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RE-OPENING THE DOORS

"In the first year of his reign, in the first month,
Hezekiah opened the doors of Jehovah and repaired them" (2 Chron. 29:3)

The enemy of our soul is steadily at work to bring distraction into our lives.  If we can be distracted from using our God-given resources, the milk and honey of the word, we can lose the proper perspective of God's intended purpose for our lives.  Hosea says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall no more be priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the law of your God…." (Hos. 4:6). 

Isaiah says that the people of God have been robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses……and none says RESTORE. (Isa. 42:22).  

THE BUTLER'S OPEN DOOR

When there is full restoration, there is a recovery of all lost ground. Remember the butler and baker of the King of Egypt.  They both offended the King.  An offence is an enticing stumbling block that results in side-slipping. Even if done unintentionally, perhaps because of ignorance, the error can lead the offender into a place of imprisonment.  Because the butler and baker offended, they were placed in the prison.  While in prison, they both dreamed a dream.  Joseph, who was in the same prison, was able to interpret their dreams.  To the butler, Joseph predicted that within three days, Pharoah would restore him to HIS PLACE and to the FORMER MANNER to which he was accustomed when he was the king's butler.  (Gen. 40:13).  For the butler to be RESTORED, a door had to be re-opened that was shut against him.  He was restored fully to his original position. 

HEZEKIAH AND OPEN DOORS

King Hezekiah (meaning, "strengthened of God") did that which was right in the sight of God. (2 Chron. 29:2).  In the first year of his reign, Hezekiah OPENED the doors of the LORD and REPAIRED them. (2 Chron. 29:3).  The doors of the LORD had been shut against Israel because of the sin and offences of Hezekiah's father, King Ahaz.  Unfaithfulness on the part of their forefather's brought wrath upon the people and upon their land.  This resulted in the people being taken captive and delivered to trouble. (2 Chron.29:8).  Hezekiah rose up to turn everything around by re-positioning. The shut doors were re-opened through repentance. The doors then had to be repaired from the damage done through error and ignorance.  The Levites obeyed the commands of Hezekiah to cleanse themselves first and then the House of God.  They cleansed themselves, the courts, the temple and set everything in its proper place before the LORD.  This order and re-positioning opened the door for God to move SUDDENLY for the people.  (2 Chron. 29:26).

"And Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done SUDDENLY" (2 Chron. 29:36).

May nothing interfere with our breakthroughs.

Blessings and honor,

P/Karen

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THIS BATTLE IS NOT IN VAIN

"We are troubled on every side, but not
distressed…" (2 Cor. 4:8).


It is important to understand the word pictures the Apostle Paul was painting in 2 Cor. 4:8-9 when he said, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (2 Cor. 4-8-9).

Many of God's children are troubled on every side.  It's important to understand that most trouble is not a punishment against you, nor are you necessarily out of God's will.  We should understand that Paul was using words in these two scriptures that pertain to the wrestling and running competitions that took place every five years at the public games known as the Isthmus of Corinth.  All competition is in essence, a battle.  To win the prize, one must compete.  May this concept bring some relief to your mind about "why me," or "oh no, not again."   

In order to illustrate this concept, please note the four Greek words below that are used to describe the wrestler's and the runner's opponents in the Olympic games. 

  1. Troubled (thlibo) on every side, yet NOT distressed; (Wrestling)
  2. Perplexed (aporeo), but not in despair; (Wrestling)
  3. Persecuted (dioko), but not forsaken.  (Running)
  4. Cast down (kataballo), but not destroyed.  (Wrestling)

Please note the sporting terms above are also words Paul used when describing life's battles.

Regarding running a race, Paul asks the question "Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but ONE receives the prize? So run, that YOU may obtain" (I Cor. 9:24).    

We need to be prepared for these races, because no one in the Body of Christ is exempt from the race to live as God intended.  In order to win, we must be prepared. "Every man that strives for the mastery is temperate (self-controlled) in all things" (I Cor. 9:24).  Two areas of self control include watching every word we speak, and watching our physical diets.  I have found these two extremely important.  I know from personal experience that in times of intense spiritual warfare, fatigue due to lack of healthy nutrition can affect the outcome of a war.  

Using boxing as an illustration, Paul teaches us that we sometimes must fight, but not as one that beats the air. (I Cor. 9:26).  "This last idea which Paul means to present. He did not miss his aim; he did not exert himself and spend his strength for nothing. Every blow that he struck told; and he did not waste his energies on that which would produce no result. He did not strive with rash, ill-advised, or uncertain blows; but all his efforts were directed, with good account, to the grand purpose or subjugating his enemy - sin - and the corrupt desires of the flesh - and bringing everything into captivity to God. Much may be learned from this." Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible.

Paul said, "But I keep under my body, and bring IT into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to other, I myself should be a castaway" (I Cor. 9:27)  (KJV).  A castaway is one who doesn't pass the test, becomes disqualified and rejected.

I know many of you have endured a long race.  Please be encouraged.  You are very close, even moments away from the finish line. "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense of reward" (Heb. 10:35).

Blessings and love,

P/Karen

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HOPE REQUIRES A PRICE

"For there is hope of a tree, if it
be cut down, that it will sprout again" (Job 14:7).

If a tree is cut down, there is hope that it can grow again, sprout up and begin anew.  Hope is the powerful Hebrew word, tiqvah.  Its word picture is that of a chord of attachment, such as the umbilical chord of a child growing in the womb of its mother.  Hidden in the root of the word tiqvah is another powerful Hebrew word, qavah, meaning to be twisted together like a woven rope.  An example of qavah can be found in Isaiah 40:31.  "They that qavah (WAIT) upon the LORD shall renew their strength…"  Those whose lives are twisted together unto the LORD like the chords of a rope, will be like the onc
e decimated tree and re-sprout.  

If a tree can sprout again from a stump, how much more can a man whose life may be, for the moment, cut down due to circumstances beyond his control.  If he wants, and seeks The Lord as to how, he can arise from the stump of despair and be restored.  

APOSTLE PAUL AND HOPE

We all have hope today because of one named the HOPE OF ISRAEL (Acts 28:20), Yeshua Ha Mashiach.  The Apostle Paul was arrested and put in chains because he believed in this HOPE (Acts 28:20). Although repeatedly accused, he had done nothing wrong against his people or the customs of the ancestors.  

ABRAHAM AND HOPE

Many of you are suffering today because of delayed HOPE.  Remember Abraham and be encouraged today. He believed in hope against hope.  (Romans 4:18)  God promised him that he would be the father of many nations.  He was faithful, God's friend, obedient to his every command, yet suffered through years of contradiction to that word.  He never lost HOPE.  

EZEKIEL AND HOPE

Israel declared: "Our bones are dried, and our HOPE is lost: we are cut off for our parts" (Ezek. 37:11).  They were saying that their hope had vanished and they were destroyed.  God commands Ezekiel to prophesy, "I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves…" (Ezek. 37:12).   Today, God is promising this to all who call on His Name.  You may feel buried under confusion, disappointment or shame. God's heart is to resurrect (re-sprout) you from this condition of heart.  

"God can't break His Word. And because his Word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised HOPE with both hands and never let go.  It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God" (Heb. 6:18-19 Msg). 

"For there is hope of a tree, if it is cut down, that it will sprout again, and its tender branch will not cease  (Job 14:7).  If a tree can be restored, how much more a man.

Blessings and hope,

P/Karen

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GOD HEALS BITTER WATER

"When they came to Marah, they could not drink from the waters because they were bitter. On account of this it was called Marah"
(Exod. 15:23) TLV

 

The lessons that we can learn during the time between Passover and Pentecost are as beneficial to us today as they were to the ancient Hebrews in the Book of Exodus. Understanding the Feasts and the Hebrew months can bring great revelation and light to our lives and improvement to our ability to overcome adverse  circumstances.

As highlighted in the last newsletter, we are now in the month of Iyar, also known as Ziv.  Geographically, this was a transitional month for the children of Israel. This can be a transitional month for us spiritually, as we learn to focus entirely, even exclusively on the Word of God.   

During this 2nd month, Ziv, the Israelites were led to a place of undrinkable, bitter waters.  Instead of trusting Moses and his commission from God to lead them to adequate sustenance, they began to murmur and complain. Moses had, in fact, led the children of Israel to a place that would reveal what was in their hearts.  What they recognized (saw) in the Water (bitterness) was also in them. " As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person. (Prov. 27:19).  The water is a looking glass, accurately reflecting the "looker."  

SIGNS THAT YOU MAY BE BITTER

"Bitterness can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as obsessive thoughts of revenge, resentment, sarcasm, self-righteousness, unkind or critical comments, conflicts with others, controlling behavior, aggressiveness in relationships, and hostility." (Clinton and Hawkins) 1

Merriam-Webster words related to being bitter are: resentful, acid, caustic, cutting, harsh, cruel, discontent, irritated, cynical. 

The Apostle Paul gives instructions on becoming the ONE NEW MAN.   He tells us to "Get rid of all bitterness and rage and anger and quarrelling and slander, along with malice" (Ep. 4:31). Each of us are personally responsible for getting rid of these things. 

ANTIDOTE FOR BITTERNESS

The Word of God, when obeyed, brings healing to our bodies and souls. As we meditate on God's Word and learn to Focus, concentrate, and do It, we will experience transformation and healing.  While meditating, the Holy Spirit will reveal  the root issues that are keeping us in bondage to the spirit of bitterness.  Forgiveness is the antidote for bitterness.  

When the people murmured against Moses (Exod. 15:24), he cried unto the LORD.  The LORD showed him a tree.  The word "tree" in Hebrew is called "ets" (Strong's No. 6086).  "Ets" comes from the root word "Atsah" (Strong's No. 6095)."Atsah" consists of  the Hebrew letters: ayin, tsade, he.  In the etymological dictionary of the Hebrew Bible, by Matityahu Clark, based on the commentaries of Samson Raphael Hirsch, he describes "Atsah" as CONCENTRATION. The inference is that you concentrate until you reach your goal.  Moses was able to SEE the tree he was to throw into the bitter water, because his focus and concentration was on the face to face relationship with God. "But the one who looks intently into the perfect Torah, the Torah that gives freedom, and continues in it, not becoming a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts—he shall be blessed in what he does" (James 1:25). (TLV)

It was at Marah that the LORD challenged the Israelites with adverse conditions in order to test their faithfulness to Him.  (Exod. 15:25).  There, He revealed Himself to them as Jehovah Rapha, The LORD who heals.  And He is still healing today.

May this season be the beginning of freedom from all forms of bondage that are keeping us from our destiny.

Blessings and hope,

P/Karen   

_______________
(1). Clinton, Timothy E., Ronald E. Hawkins, The Popular Encyclopedia of Christian Counseling. Eugene, Or. Harvest House, 2011. 180. Print

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ENDURE TO WIN THE VICTORY

"Behold, we count them happy which endure" (James 5:11).

Are you in a contradictory position right now?  Do the fabrics of your life seem to be opposing each other?  If so, I have some encouraging keys to help you understand what is happening, why it's happening, and how to reach the finish line as the victor. 

The Bible is laced with examples of men and women who received promises and dreams from God, yet temporarily their situation appeared to be the exact opposite to what was promised in their prophetic word.  This seeming contradiction can be likened to the "transitional" phase of a pregnancy.  Jesus tells us in John 16:21, "A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for JOY that a man is born into the world."

These contradictions must be faced with endurance.  The two must work together to help us cross the bridge from promised word to actuality.  The transitional phase of a pregnancy is the most serious and most painful, yet the woman must endure it in order to deliver the life God has put in her.  Our greatest model is Jesus. "Looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who ENDURED SUCH CONTRADICTION of sinners against Himself, lest you be weary and faint in your minds" (Heb. 12:2-3).

CONTRADICTION AND SHAME

We must purpose to remember that at the end of the contradiction there is joy. Contradiction has an end, IF we do not try to work things out in the realm of carnal thinking. Abraham was given a prophetic promise from God that nations and kings would come through him, yet over two decades passed before the promised son was born.

Perhaps the most painful part of our contradictions is the accompanying shame.  We all hate shame, especially when we are in God's perfect will and others do not understand what we are going through or why we are going through it.  Abraham and Sarah obviously despised the shame when after ten years they implemented their plan to make God's promise come to pass, and as a result, created Ishmael.

One of our greatest temptations, a tactic of the enemy is to "quit in the middle".  In the middle of a contradiction, our minds can become weary and too easily cause us to faint. The good news is that your endurance will weaken the enemy and turn the shame onto him.  Your endurance inflicts pain upon the adversary and brings you to victory every time.  

FINISHING WHAT WE START

A powerful example of finishing what we start and overcoming the enemy's plans against us can be found in Nehemiah 4:6-11.  In this portion of Scripture, we're told that the wall that was being re-built was half-finished.  The returning Israelites were in the "middle" of the work.  The strength of the laborers was giving out.  They even confessed that they were not able to finish.

Throughout the Scriptures, the Spirit of the LORD shows us how the enemy thinks.  It is important to know this information in order to stay-the-course and endure the contradiction.  Looking at Ne. 4:11, we can see the enemy's mindset.  "And our foes have said, They shall not know, or see, until we come IN THE MIDDLE of them and kill them, and cause the work to cease" Neh. 4:11.  Nehemiah and team were in the middle of the work. It was then that the battle became heated.  "Endurance" and "standing" are the two major keys for victory.

STANDING IN THE MIDDLE

To encourage you further regarding endurance, refer to the story found in 
2 Sam. 23:11 as the writer introduces us to one of David's three mighty men, "Shammah."  In Hebrew Shammah has several meanings.  One meaning is 'to be ruined,"  one means "to become numb," and another, "to stun."  Have you been in a trial for so long you have become numb and even indifferent because you don't think God is going to perform what he promised?  Let the story of Shammah encourage you today to stand strong and have your faith increased. Standing alone, Shammah was surrounded by a troop of Philistines.  2 Sam. 23:12 says that he STOOD IN THE MIDST of the ground (lentil patch) and defended it.  Because he stood in the middle and fought, the Philistines were defeated.  God wrought a great victory!

While you may feel numb, your endurance in the midst of your opposing circumstances STUNS the enemy.  You may be facing devastating medical reports, financial woes, ministerial disappointment, family crisis or any number of other difficult situations. To have victory over these attacks, you must stand tall in the middle of "Ruin and Devastation" and watch God bring the help you need and the victory you long for.  Having done all to stand, STAND (Eph. 6:13,14). 

May you always be encouraged to stay the course and see the joy set before you. Look for the victory!

Blessings and Hope,

P/Karen

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UNDERSTANDING THE WILDERNESS
AND PREPARATION

"I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please. Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant? " (Song of Solomon 3:5-6)

Are you in a wilderness and not understanding why or what is happening to you?  Have you been feeling like God is against you and has abandoned you?  Are the circumstances surrounding you wearing you out?  Have you been tricked into believing the lie that no one understands you?  Does it sometimes feel as if  all hope is lost?  If you can say "yes" to any of these questions, then this message is for you; and it's for you TODAY!

God wants you to be encouraged no matter what the circumstances surrounding your life may be.  God wants you encouraged regardless of how many other people are having breakthrough while you aren't (yet). How can you break the feelings of being left out?  I want to bring a few things to your attention about the wilderness experience that will help you focus on a personal, face-to-face relationship with the Lord, regardless of temporary circumstances.  Grasping the meaning of this explanation will help you win a decisive victory in your spiritual lives AND in the natural.

Hebraic Understanding of the Wilderness

Understanding the wilderness from an Hebraic perspective rather than from a Western mindset can dramatically improve every area of your life, starting today!  As we will look at the Western vs. Hebraic perspectives, you will see a vast difference in understanding the nature of your wilderness. Merriam-Webster defines a wilderness as an empty, pathless area.  This definition paints a picture of loneliness, aimless wandering without direction, no guidance and no hope of improvement or change.  In the political arena, a politician is said to be "in the wilderness" when they have lost their authority and relevance.

Blessed be the Name of the LORD, for the language He speaks has an entirely different perspective.  God spoke in Hebrew.  Hebrew is a pure language; a conceptual, picture painting language designed to help us, His Body, SEE the LORD and His purposes for our lives. In Hebrew, the word for wilderness is "M'dabar."  The "M" in front of a Hebrew word "dabar" is the preposition, "from or out of."  "Dabar," is Hebrew for the word "word," meaning the place of re-arranging and order.  Putting the two together, "M'dabar" means the place from which God speaks to bring order.  Can you see the word picture?

The wilderness is where God meets YOU and begins to show you what you are thinking.  He adjusts you like a chiropractor re-positioning bones, bringing you into proper alignment.  When God speaks to us, His Word is "quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).

Another way to look at this is as an "open field of speech or dialogue." Our proper understanding of the wilderness will lead us into the same spiritual place where Isaac was walking before his future bride, Rebekah arrived.  In several places, the Torah reveals to us a mystery of Isaac and the desert.  In two distinct stories of his life, we see him first in a barren wilderness or desert receiving blessing (Gen. 24:62,63), and in another place receiving a 100 fold return from sowing in the parched ground (Gen. 26:12).  Both situations are examples of obedience bringing supernatural blessings.  Scripture teaches us that the stories of old are meant to teach us what to do (Romans 15:4), and what not to do (I Cor. 10:5).  May we pay careful attention.

The Power in the Wilderness

The wilderness experience is meant to be a place of great growth, power and blessing.  But, if we don't understand the purpose of the wilderness, it can be a place where we are overthrown because of our rebellious attitude regarding our situation.  The whole reason for the desert/wilderness experience is allowed so the Lord can possess "our hearts."  We try at times to get people to "pray us out" of our desert experience.  However, powerful and mighty personal growth takes place while we are in the wilderness, so we need to learn how to abide there until God releases us.  In Hosea 2:14, the Lord says that He will allure us and bring us into the wilderness.  He says He will speak comfortably to us. It is God Himself who created the wilderness to draw us into it so we can learn from Him, use what we learn, and be blessed.

To be allured means He will open us up and enlarge us to receive His personal instructions. These instructions are the words of the covenant between bridegroom (Yeshua) and bride (us), so that our vineyards may be restored.  There is a passageway from the Valley of Achor/Trouble to the Door of Hope (Hos. 2:15).  From the wilderness your song is restored (Hos. 2:15).  From the wilderness, we meet Him as Husband (Hos. 2:16). From the wilderness we learn His mercy and His marital faithfulness (Hos. 2:19,20).  From the wilderness experience, we have the wine (joy), corn (increase) and the oil (anointing) restored (Hos. 2:22).  From the wilderness we are PREPARED.

Every harvest requires PREPARATION.  There is no harvest until ground is broken up. (Hos. 10:12).  Your ministries, whether in the marketplace or in a more formal ministry setting, will take preparation that can only be perfected in the Wilderness.  Do not disdain the wilderness! 

Blessings and honor,

P/Karen

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THE POWER OF PROPHETIC 

"Despise not prophesyings." (I Thes. 5:20)

Surely we are seeing Joel's prophecy, "And it shall be afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and daughters shall prophesy." This is coming to pass before our very eyes.  The gift of prophecy is the one gift that Paul said to covet.  "So then, brothers, seek to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues" (I Cor. 14:39).  When you covet something, you earnestly desire it passionately.  In this sense, coveting is a good thing and not evil.  The gift of prophecy is a gift for the body of Christ.  This beautiful gift is an expression of the Holy Spirit to edify, encourage and comfort (I Cor. 14:3).  The prophetic is not limited to church meetings. The gifts of God are manifestations (exhibitions) to publicly show forth the glory of God and to give God's people divine advantage.

I am going to share a story through this email blast with the intention of impacting lives around the globe.  All OTC teaching e-mails reach out to all the nations of the earth, not just locally or the US alone.  

THE BIRTH OF THE PROPHETIC

Personally, the first time I ever had a vision and prophetic experience from Heaven I was 4 years old, playing in my parents back yard one summer.  I had been led to the LORD as a child through my grandmother.  This gifting was resident within me and not something I heard in a church.  Suddenly, I heard a voice, the voice of the LORD speak to me, whether audible or not I don't remember.  He said, "I am ETERNAL."

Other times, as did Samuel, I heard my name being called in a whisper, "Karen, Karen."  At that moment, even though I was a child, I was aware of the heavens opening and the voice of the Lord speaking.  In natural words, I don't know how to describe what happened, other than that I was having a visitation and an encounter with the Holy Spirit regarding ETERNITY.  This set the stage in my life for the personal relationship of hearing the LORD, and then seeing what He had said come to pass.  

THE PROPHETIC AND PAUL MCCARTNEY 

In October of the year 2002, I was leading my weekly prophetic ministry gathering in the conference room at Trinity Music City (TBN) in Hendersonville, TN.  That day the room was full, and as I did almost every week, I started the gathering playing prophetically on my keyboard.  I remember that the prophetic anointing was so strong on me that day.  As I began to play my keyboard, I started prophesying saying, "Sir Paul, the Master is looking for you."  At the time, I had no idea what that meant. Munday Martin of Contagious Love International was at that gathering that day.  His first name is Paul.  I thought that perhaps the Spirit of the LORD was speaking to Paul Munday Martin.  Of course, the prophetic utterances given by the Holy Spirit cannot be discerned by the natural mind.  I was naturally thinking one thing, but the Holy Spirit was revealing another.  He was revealing the future.  

My hands on the keyboard felt as if they were on fire that day.  With my eyes closed, I began to have visions of Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix and Michael Jackson.  I distinctly remember saying, "You were all misplaced prophets."  They did not use their natural gifts to advance the Kingdom of God.  I spoke to the audience of what was happening when the Spirit of the LORD said to me privately, "I am taking you into Paul McCartney's world."  I never forgot those words, but naturally found them unlikely to happen, and pursued nothing to "make" that happen.  I did not even know what those words meant.

THE FULFILMENT IN NEW YORK CITY

Seven months later, I received a phone call from a man I did not know well, inviting me to go to New York City, to meet and have lunch with Paul McCartney's right hand person and licensing agent. I accepted the invitation, which coincided with a ministry invitation at the exact same time in the Bronx, NY. Before the lunch, I was invited by Sir Paul's administrator into the beautiful Brown Stone (building) where McCartney Publishing Company is housed. I was told that I was going to be taken on the grand tour of the building.  We proceeded to the second floor of the 3 story building where the agent said to me, "I want to show you pictures that were taken by Linda McCartney."  In a long hallway, hanging on a wall were enlarged black and white photos of Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix and Michael Jackson.  I could hardly believe my own eyes.  Remember seven months earlier at TBN, I had a vision of these three people.

When Sir Paul's agent and I stepped out onto the sidewalk, as we exited the Brown Stone on our way to lunch, I looked at this person and said by divine utterance, "The prophets of God are alive and well today."  The anointing fell so heavily on both of us when those words were spoken that we could tangibly sense the anointing of God on us as our skin tingled, and trembled at the accompanying awesome sense of the LORD.

My relationship with Paul McCartney's right-hand agent continued for several years, and there were more personal meetings that took place in his office.  As the LORD had spoken that day in October of 2002, I was ushered into Paul McCartney's world because of the prophetic anointing.  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that the Spirit of the LORD would want to take me into the personal world of one of the BEATLES.  There is much more to this story regarding Paul McCartney and prophetic music, but this is all I can share today.

I am sharing this true life story with whomever has ears to hear.  God is no respector of persons.  God will use whomever He desires to see that His will is done.  He has to have a mouthpiece.  I was able, by invitation of the LORD, to enter into the world of one of the "Beatles" and speak as He dictated by divine unction.  God used my voice to decree things within those walls in NYC because God loves this man, Paul McCarthy and desires that every man be saved.

I am sharing my personal story to encourage you to COVET TO PROPHESY.  "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof" (Prov. 18:21).  We live in a voice activated Kingdom.  Jesus said "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall SAY unto this mountain, be removed, and be cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he says shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he SAYS" (Mark 11:23).

Rise up!  Speak life!  "You shall also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto you: and the light shall shine upon your ways" (Job 22:28).

Blessings and hope,

P/Karen

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IS CRITICISM AFFECTING YOUR PROGRESS?

"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults--
unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a 
way of boomeranging" (Matt. 7:1-2) MSG

Definition of criticism from the Oxford Dictionary: "The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes."

In Hebrew, one word for criticism and/or a critic is biqqo^reth, (Strong's Concordance H1244) from the root word baqar (Strong's Concordance H1239).  This word is a picture of one who is inspecting you, and examining you, so as to scourge you.  

JESUS, JOHN THE BAPTIST AND CRITICISM

We have all been the critic at some time in our lives, and we have all been the object of someone else's criticism.  The truth is we must expect to be criticized.  It is not our assignment in life to please men, but to please God.

John the Baptist and Jesus were constantly criticized. "For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners'" (Luke 7:33-34).  If we are still trying to please men, we are not the servant of Christ. (Gal. 1:10).  

MOSES AND CRITICISM

Moses knew first hand the effects of criticism from those closest to him; Miriam and Aaron.  Jesus says that a man's foes are they of his own household (Matt. 10:36). Behind his back they criticized Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman, (Num. 12: 1-2), but the spirit behind that conversation was envy and jealousy of his position and power in God.   This critical spirit evoked anger from G0d and brought immediate negative consequences to Miriam (Num. 12:9-10).

The greatest danger of one with a critical spirit is how another man's progress can be interrupted (Num. 12:15-16).  This critical spirit was so dangerous, it shut the whole Hebrew camp down from journeying for seven (7) days.   Almost all criticism is malicious and motivated by anger, jealousy, envy and even a hidden agenda within the perpetrator.  One of the reasons people secretly criticize is to make their victim look incompetent, in order to advance their own position.

The Book of Romans teaches us that those who criticize are practicing the same thing they see in others.  "Therefore you are without excuse, O man, who ever you are that judges; for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself, for you who judge do the same things" ( Rom. 2:1). Being critical is a serious offence against God Himself. A critical spirit is the OPPOSITE of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.  

THE APOSTLE PETER AND CRITICISM

Your very obedience to the will of God in your own life can evoke great criticism.  When the Apostle Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and accused him by saying "you went into a house of uncircumcised men and ate with them" (Acts 11:2-3).  Peter did not retaliate in anger or defense, but wisely responded with a spirit of humility and laid out the facts.  He was operating in direct response to the voice of God, and was criticized.

The Spirit of the LORD is cleansing His body.  " Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things ought not so to be.  Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and the bitter? (James 3:10-11).  Critical words bring great emotional wounding and have the ability to damage one's own soul.  The very word for being critical in Hebrew comes from the root baqar and consists of three letters:

Beth= house
Qoph= weapon and a hole of an axe
Resh= head

In looking at "criticism" from an Ancient Hebrew perspective, think of this the next time you are tempted to be critical.  We are now the house of God. Critical words are as a weapon, an axe wounding the head.  Your head is the vessle for your mind, which Hebraically is your soul (your heart, your will and your emotions). Again, criticizing each other is like wounding someone in the head with an ax.   That image should be enough to give us pause. 

The Holy Spirit, when asked, will empower you today to have victory over criticism, whether you are the victim of a critical spirit, or the perpetrator of the criticism.  For those who have been hurt and otherwise damaged by this evil spirit, I encourage you today to remember that God will not be mocked. "But, no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, [those in whom the ideal Servant of the LORD is reproduced];  this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the LORD" (Isaiah 54:17).

When we feel the temptation to be critical, there is an antidote. We must stop and examine our own selves.  Jesus said it clearly: "And why do you look on the splinter that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye?  Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull the splinter out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First cast the beam out of your own eye, and then you shall see clearly to cast the splinter out of your brother's eye" (Matt. 7:3-5)  Let's corporately ask God to forgive us of and deliver us from this sin.   We may even discover why we are so critical of others.

Blessings and honor,

P/Karen

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THE WORD OF GOD AND SNOW

"Come now, and let us reason together, says Jehovah; though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isa. 1:18)

Nothing is more beautiful and pure in appearance than snow.  For many of us reading this e-mail blast, we are seeing the beautiful blanket of snow outside our windows.  Snow is very beneficial to the earth's soil for FUTURE crops.  Yet, at the same time something so delicate as an individual snowflake can be combined with other snowflakes to become the material for a dangerous, life-threatening avalanche. 

Snow falls from a place called the "treasury of heaven."  Job was challenged by God when He asked Job this question: "Have you entered into the treasuries of the snow? Or have you seen the treasuries of the hail which I have kept for the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?" (Job 38:22).  God challenged Job with many questions like these, such as "Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?  Tell if you have understanding" (Job 38:4).  God laid the foundations of this world with His Word.  God's Word (Jesus) is His wisdom.  The carnal man cannot receive the wisdom of God, only the spiritual man can. 

"For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (Is. 55:10-11).  As the power of the snow starts with one individual snowflake, so begins the power of the Word of God.  

As we gather together to corporately hear the Word, it becomes as the snow, more and more powerful as one lesson builds on the previous one.  It purifies and brings nutrients to our person, our soil.  It prepares us for our future harvest.  God told Job he had reserved the snow for the day of battle and war.  As we come together in unity, the LORD is developing us as strong warriors and ministers, skillfully operating in our unique gifts, consistently adding strength to the body.  

It is not a time to forsake the assembling of ourselves.  We are as the individual snowflakes, that is without power, if we do not come together as one.

I have put together a study of scriptures that you can share with your family or friends to edify and encourage you regarding the public reading of the Word of God.

  • Deut. 31:11-13
  • Joshua 8:33-35
  • 2 Kings 23:2
  • 2 Chron. 17:7-9
  • Neh. 8:1-8, 13, 18
  • Jer. 36:6
  • Acts 13:15, 27
  • Col. 4:16
  • I Thess. 5:27       

Remember, like the snow, God's Word goes forth and PROSPERS wherever He sends it.

Blessings and honor,

P/Karen 

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THE CURE FOR DOUBLEMINDEDNESS

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8)

In judging the quality and the fruit of your life today, can you  locate any double mindedness on your part?  You might ask yourselves these questions:  

 

1. What does it mean to be double minded?

2. If we are double minded, what is missing or misaligned in our lives that causes this condition?

3. What is the cure?

 

  1. To be double minded means that we are operating out of two different mindsets.  This can be further explained as operating out of two souls. Adam Clarke describes this as: "The man of two souls, who has one for earth, and another for Heaven; who wishes to secure both worlds; he will not give up earth, and he is loth [extremely fearful] to let heaven go."

    James explains that double mindedness makes us unstable in ALL of our ways; not in just a few ways, but in ALL ways.  Jesus says: "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Luke 16:13). 

     
  2. Our clear understanding of what double mindedness indicates, might be hidden from us.  We all need to look at James 1:3 and 1:5.  Faith and wisdom are not in operation when we become double minded. Remember "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).  Faith must be tested.  We all must face our various uniquely designed (yet common to all) trials.  James says to count it all JOY when we fall into or are surrounded by trials (testings).  Our trials are doing a work in us in order to test our FAITH.  The testing of our faith is creating and fashioning PATIENCE.  "In your patience POSSESS ye your souls" (Luke 21:19).  

    When we are going through various trials, we must ask for WISDOM, and we must ask in FAITH.  We cannot waver in opinion when we are appealing to God for wisdom.  A wavering man is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed (James 1:6).  The fruit of a man who is not operating in faith produces wavering and instability.  I personally believe the root of all double-mindedness is the lack of faith.  Lack of faith is usually a picture of our pride in action, causing us to try to think from our worldly knowledge and fleshly logic and not from the principles of  God's Word.  

    King David understood both double mindedness and faith when he wrote Psalm 12: "Help, LORD; for the godly man ceases; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak" (Psalms 12:1-2). 

    If we operate out of two hearts (mindsets), only one is able to bring forth truth; the other a lie.  This phenomenon is called duplicity. Duplicity is trickery and deception.  All of us who stand in a place of leadership must speak truth to the hearers, otherwise we are spinning a delusion or lie which instruction could never be followed and lead to success (pleasing God).  The Apostle Paul tells us:  "Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me" (I Co 4:16).  Specifically, we are to follow him, as he was following the Messiah.  We follow leaders only as they follow Christ. 

    Martin Buber, in his book Good and Evil, pg. 10, explaining Psalm 12 says of the double minded man, "They speak with a double heart, literally with 'heart and heart.'   This expression must be grasped in all its depth.  The duplicity is not just between heart and mouth, but actually between heart and heart.  In order that the lie may bear the stamp of truth, the liars, as it were, manufacture a special heart, an apparatus which functions with the greatest appearance of naturalness, from which lies well up to the 'smooth lips' like spontaneous utterances of experience and insight."

     
  3. The cure for double mindedness is:  
    1. Repent of all doubt and unbelief in the power of the Word of God.  It is the Truth (of God's Word) that sets us free.  "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).  
       
    2. "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you; cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded" (James 4:8).  This is a personal responsibility of all saints.  We have to take the first steps in drawing near God, cleansing our hands and purifying our hearts (minds).  The Word of God is as water and fire and brings transformation and healing.  We have to choose to no longer be conformed to the pattern of this world, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God" (Romans 12:2).

May God bless all of you who have taken time to read this letter. "But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed" (James 1:25).   

May 2018 be the most productive and greatest year of your life.

Blessings and hope,

P/Karen

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