December 31, 2015

Books to Read in 2016

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I'm a reader. I read constantly.  My friends smirk at each other (with love) that whenever a (God) subject comes up, I will tell them a good book to read. And giving people books is my favorite thing to do.  What greater gift is there than knowledge from God?

I have a Kindle and if I want to read fiction,  I use it.  But for all my Christian books, I always buy paper back.  That way I can write in them and mark passages that I want to remember.  I think it's so much easier to study a paper back than an e-book.  

I have a short list of books that have changed my life.  I have included the Amazon link where you can purchase these books.

1 At the top of this list is, of course, the Bible!  There is no substitute for God's Word.  His Word is LIFE.  And a great tool along this line is the book I mentioned in my last post,

Prayers That Avail Much by Germaine Copeland.  

3 When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson  Several years ago, I had reached a point where I began to ask God if I was crazy.  I say this very seriously.  No one seemed to know the God I knew and I began to wonder if I really had it wrong.  And then the Lord made me aware of Bill Johnson and his church in Redding, California.  Bill Johnson says that when miracles become logical, we have renewed our mind in the Word.  He is my hero.  I read everything he writes and listen to him

4 Kingdom Principles by Myles Munroe  Jesus did not come to earth to give us a new religion.  He came to bring God's Kingdom to the earth.  

5 The Essential Guide to Healing by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark  I believe that it's always God's will to heal.  God's character is kindness and love and you cannot come into His Presence without becoming more whole.  He never makes people sick.  It is not His nature.  After reading this book, God told me to 'practice' praying for people and laying hands on them for healing.  Since then I have consistently experienced people receiving God's healing when I pray for them.

 Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne  Shane Claiborne is another one of my heroes.  This book will change your perspective on 'churchianity' and changing our world like Jesus did.

7 Pagan Christianity by Frank Viola and George Barna This book was a HUGE confirmation of many things God was telling me several years ago.  It was another confirmation for me that I was not crazy.  Don't read this book if you don't want to be rocked to the core.  

8 The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson  This book contains powerful truths about taking territory for God's Kingdom through prayer.

9 There Were Two Trees in the Garden by Rick Joyner  In this book, Rick Joyner gives powerful insight to the difference between God's righteousness and man's good.  You will never look at the world the same again.  

10 Fashioned to Reign:Empowering Women to Fulfill Their Divine Destiny by Kris Vallotton  I have not read this book yet (ordered it today) but I've heard Kris' teachings on this and they are wonderful! Two-thirds of the Body of Christ is women and God did not give us gifts that He did not intend us to use.  If you have any reservations about this, these truths will bless you and set you free.

11 The Tongue:A Creative Force by Charles Capps  God created the world with His Words.  We change the world with ours.  

12 The 40-Day Word Fast  by Tim Cameron  I have not read this book yet but was told about it by a blog-friend.  If you read my last post, doing this was a powerful life-changing event.  

I am looking forward to 2016 with a renewed sense of purpose and hope!  The world is in need of a Savior and we are to be His hands and feet.  We are to speak His Words into the earth and bring righteousness and truth.  We cannot do that until He is manifested in us.  Wrong thinking (thinking that is not aligned with the truth of God's Word) will stop this from happening.

We need His Truth.  We need revelation.  We need transformation.

Happy New Year!

love and blessings~

"My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6

December 30, 2015

Renewing Our Minds

"And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind to prove what is the good and acceptable perfect will of God."  Romans 12:2

It is not enough for us to believe in God. We are called to be Christ-like. God wants to manifest Himself here on the earth through us.

We are to be His hands and feet - healing the sick, raising the dead, counseling with His wisdom, filling others with the Holy Spirit - and we can only do that as we are transformed into the image of Jesus.

We want to think like God and speak His Truth.  We want to say nothing that is contrary to the truth of His Word.  We want to always have His Truth to counsel others with.

If we don't have the Word of God to counsel others with, we have  nothing. Our opinions are worthless. And in fact, our opinions can cause harm. If our wisdom does not come from the Lord, it can lead others in the wrong direction.

We can't know God unless we know His Word. God and His Word are one.  We can't identify His Voice if we don't know His Word.  But as we begin to abide in His Word and His Word abides in us, we will hear His thoughts and His Voice. We will begin to have an inward witness and receive direction and an inward counsel.

We can tear down every thought that rises against the knowledge of Christ with the Sword of the Word. In other words, when the thought comes that we aren't going to have enough money to make it to pay day, the Word in us rises up and declares, "My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19)

Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. (Romans 10:17)  We cannot have faith unless our mind is renewed in the Word.  Don't try to fake faith.  You can't.  But as you renew your mind in the Word, faith is birthed in your inner man and out of the fullness of your heart, your mouth will speak. (Luke 6:45)

When I first recommitted my life to Christ and was filled with the Holy Spirit, I found a book that is a great tool for renewing your mind.  I read the whole New Testament within a few weeks but I also started using this book.  "Prayers that Avail Much", by Germaine Copeland. (this is not a sponsored post)

The teaching at the beginning of this book is life-changing and it changed my life.  I re-read this teaching many times until I understood it and then I began to apply it to my life.  This book is simply the Word of God grouped into prayers on different subjects. The Word is turned around into first person so you are speaking the Word over yourself.

I did this every night the last thing before I went to sleep until I had memorized all these verses. Then I could quote them over myself whenever I wanted.  My first four paper back copies of this book fell apart.  lol  I now have the leather bound version.

I give this book to everyone I have a relationship with and advise them to incorporate it into their lives.  A friend of mine and I bought a small case of them a few years ago and handed them all out. It's a great tool in renewing your mind!

In this season the Lord told me to go on a 40-day Word-fast.  I knew instantly what He meant.  I stuck my television in the closet and turned my radio to a Christian station.  I put nothing into my heart except the Word of God and teachings and books on the Word for 40 days.  It transformed me. I went from zero to sixty in 40 days.

A true fast is 'water only' but I believe that if you are water fasting, this is a very powerful thing to do during a fast too.  If we are fasting, we should be dedicating as much time as possible to prayer and interaction with God. TV and books should be put aside during the fast.

I am always very careful to not watch anything on TV or see movies that are violent or sexual.  I want to confess that I have not been perfect in this and am making a fresh commitment to be more careful about this.

I never have anything to do with supernatural movies or shows - even turning the TV to another channel when an advertisement comes on.  These movies and shows impart demonic spirits of violence, lust, impure thoughts and even nightmares.  The more sensitive you become because of the renewing of your mind, the more you will become alarmed at these things and need to remove them from your life.

We cannot live like the world and expect God to be manifest in our lives. The Holy Spirit cannot dwell in an impure vessel and the more impurity we have in our lives, the less Holy Spirit we will have. So many of our illnesses and problems will disappear as we are transformed into the image of Jesus. Integrity becomes a shield over us.

The new year is a great time to renew our commitment to spending time in the Word and with Our God.  He is faithful and true and His mercies are new every day.  He does not hold our weaknesses against us but instead rejoices when we get it right.  He is a loving, encouraging Father that rejoices over His children with joyful singing.

May He manifest Himself in us in this new year!

love and blessings~

December 28, 2015

My New Year's Resolution

Do you make 'New Year's Resolutions?'  My birthday is in October so I typically take stock then, make some changes, and then see how I'm doing at the start of the year.

But this December, God's been talking to me about making some changes.

I have something on my heart that I've wanted to do for years...for decades...and have never done it. With God's help this year, I'm going to try to write a book.  

I've had it on my heart for years.  It will take some research and many hours of work but God gave me a plan that I think will help me accomplish 'our' goal.  I'm sharing this in hopes that it may help you, too.

God told me to make a schedule.  

This seems like such a simple idea.  I haven't had a schedule for years since I quit home-schooling our children.  They have all graduated from high school and our two oldest have graduated from college.  After I quit home-schooling, I wandered around for a few years, going "What do I do now? What do I do now?"  lol

I am not a naturally disciplined person.  When I was home-schooling, the hardest thing for me the first couple of years, was sticking to a schedule. When I quit home-schooling, it never occurred to me to have a schedule.  In fact, it was a glorious relief to NOT have a schedule! 

But God spoke to me the other day and told me to make this change. My family had already suggested that I set aside times that I would dedicate to writing, but when God down-loaded this to me, He empowered and convicted me. So I have been working on it.  

I'm starting slowly. I have designated times that I will write. I have penciled in times that I will do other things that need to be done weekly - like clean, grocery shop, laundry and errands, Gates of Crystal. I am so bad at this! But I am going to continue to work at this until it's a part of my life.

One of the things that has messed me up a little this year is our son came back home to live with us. I had a desk set up in our guest room that helped keep me organized and all my books were in there. He's been home for six months and I had to reorganize. He may be moving back to Boston soon and that will change.  (I will be very sorry to have him go!)  But I will once again have an organized spot and a sunny place to write.

My husband and I have each made a list of things we'd like to accomplish this year. We are praying together over our lists and are going to keep each other accountable. I like to think of myself as creative and having to 'do my thing' when the inspiration hits.  :)  But recently I heard Kris Vallotton say that when writing a book you start out with inspiration but the last few months are just hard work. I needed to hear that.

I have been meeting with some friends of mine to pray on Monday mornings and for Bible study and prayer on Thursday evenings.  We have been wonderfully connecting with God and are freshly flowing in Words of Knowledge and the prophetic. This time has become so precious to us!  And God seems to be connecting each one of us with people we've lost touch with and the first thing they ask is what we're doing. I had a dream the other night that the room was full of people, including men. I've been very encouraged about what the Lord is doing.  

I want to encourage you to pray.  To start with even one person and meet weekly and pray! I believe that this is the step that began to change things.  

So now, I'm even accountable to you.  Maybe we can be accountable to each other.  

If you'd like to comment and share something that God has put on your heart to do this year, please do! Or you can email me at or add me as a friend on Facebook.  I also have a Summits of Rubies Facebook page if you'd like to join.  

I have a fresh hope that this will be a year of gain and accomplishing goals!  

love and blessings for a prosperous new year!
"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is."  Ephesians 5:15,16,17

December 24, 2015

I Don't Believe in Santa

When I was first filled with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit ~before I started attending church and hearing what others think ~ when it was just me and God spending all our time together; the Lord told me some things that I have never forgotten.

Some people find God through church. Some people find church and never find God.  I found God at home, alone. Or more accurately, He found me.

Those first months are still precious to me.  It was more than 30 years ago and it was a very painful time in my life but in that season, God transformed me, changing me from the inside out and connecting me to Him. And I've never been the same.

And He convicted me of some things in those days that I've never let go of. No matter what anybody else said. No matter what I saw other Christians doing. No matter how I was questioned.

One of them was "no Santa Claus."  It's actually very simple to me. I'm in love with Jesus. His life, death and resurrection is the center of my life and being. Because of Him, I am forever connected to God, forever healed and changed, forever grateful.

Every day is a day to celebrate my life in Him, but if Christmas is the day to celebrate His birth, then I'm IN. All the way!

The first Christmas after rededicating my life to Him and being filled with the Spirit, I threw out every Santa thing that we owned. When my family challenged me by buying Santas after I had clearly expressed the way I felt, I threw them away in front of them.

My husband and I never told our children that there was a Santa. They, of course, saw him everywhere and we explained that he was like a cartoon. He wasn't real. We also explained that their cousins thought he was real and to be kind we were never going to tell them differently. That was up to their parents.

God had shown me how confusing it can be for a child to hear that God is real - but you can't see Him. Then they are told that Santa is real. Then they are told that Santa is NOT real. But God's still real.

My extended family thought we were ruining Christmas for our children. But my children had such joy in celebrating Jesus' birth and they weren't at all disappointed when they knew their gifts were from their family. They looked at other children with a little bit of confusion regarding the whole Santa thing.

One year, around Christmas, the library where we lived had a special day for our home-schooling group. The lady who was leading it asked the children, "What's the first thing you think of when you think of Christmas?"  She was shocked when the children all yelled, "JESUS!"  It was not was she was expecting and she had to regroup.  lol  I was filled with joy.

I'm always a little confused when I hear people yelling, "Jesus is the reason for the season" while they do the whole Santa Claus thing, because obviously they have not made Him the reason for the season.

We could change the world if we lived up to our convictions. We could have made the season about Jesus. It was the one holiday (and Easter - no Easter bunny) we could have grabbed hold of declaring our faith in Christ. We could have put our money where our mouth is and simply stayed away from Santa until he died out.

Instead, he's become the reason for the season.

I personally don't believe there are special days. I believe that the Holy Days created by God have been fulfilled in Christ. I believe that Christ is the Sabbath Day rest. Jesus is a 24/7 rest for those who have found their lives in Christ. So we celebrate Him every day.

But Christmas is a time that we can really declare our faith in Jesus to others. That we can lovingly stand our ground and declare, "Merry Christmas! Christ is born!"

So, Merry Christmas!  Christ is born! May you find your rest in Him. May your commitment to Him grow this year as we see a world in need of a Saviour. May you see the world through His eyes and let His words fill your mouth, sharing His love with others. May we be transformed into the image of His dear Son, Jesus, Immanuel, God is with us!

Happy birthday, Jesus!  You are my all-in-all.

love and blessings~

December 18, 2015

Christmas Home Tour 2015

 I hope your holiday season has been filled with a new awareness of God's blessings in your life!  We have so very much to be thankful for as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.   And everyone went to their own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 

 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor,
 The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Christ is born! Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

I know for many the holidays are hard because of loved ones we've lost. May the Holy Spirit comfort us this year as we cherish memories of our loved ones that are no longer with us.

"I will never leave you nor forsake you."  Hebrews 13:5

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