There is a lovely storyline throughout the Bible. It says in the beginning of time, God, like a loving Father, created all things including mankind. He wanted to have relationship with us. He wanted a family.

Unfortunately, man and woman messed it up. They were deceived by the serpent (Satan) into believing that God withheld from them when in truth, He gave them everything- dominion to rule and care for them in every way.

And ever since then, God has been implementing a plan to bring us back into right relationship with Him that He had always prepared. And He still wants His family...but on His terms.

Isaiah 55:6-7 - “Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

God wants people to return to Him. He will have compassion on them, forgive them and bring them into the fold.

Unfortunately, the serpent still prevails today, skewing the perspective which needs to line up with God’s. Mankind insists on believing the lie that God is not good. But He is very good and wants glory.

What does it look like to give God glory? We glorify God when people around us hear what we believe, see how we make decisions and our response to difficulties. The hope is that they may become curious and want to worship God because it’s His power that helps us live our lives in a supernatural way.

When we don’t give God glory, evil and a sinful world prevails.

In Revelation 9:20-21, it says that some of “mankind…did not repent of the works of their hands nor gave up worshiping demons and idols…nor did they repent of their murders, sorceries, sexual immorality or their thefts.”

God’s Word to all mankind is not only to extend His grace, nor is it simply to live uprightly, nor is it that He is a fairy godmother that makes all our wishes come true. God’s word has been and continues to be, “Repent.”

Isaiah 30:15 - For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not.

Ezekiel 18:30-32 - “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord God. “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord God. “Therefore, repent and live.”

Matthew 3:2 - John the Baptist preached, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Mark 1:15 - Jesus said “Repent and believe in the gospel.”

Acts 2:38 - Peter said “Repent and be baptized.”

Acts 17:30 - Paul said God “commands all people everywhere to repent.”

But what is repentance?

Here’s what it’s not: regret, shame, feeling sorry…

Repentance involves two things: a change of mind and a change of behavior. Repentance means you change your mind. That’s what the Greek word metanoia means– a changed (meta) mind (noia).

Romans 12:2 says, - “ not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Here’s the thing: when dealing with spiritual matters of the heart, God’s the only one who can really change your mind. We are simply not predisposed to say “I was wrong! I was wrong about God and about myself. My whole way of looking at the world has been in error. I want to change.” That’s repentance. And it’s amazing because the Holy Spirit is the one who leads us into repentance through truth in the gospel message.

You’ll hear me say often, “Change your priorities, change your life.”

When you come to Christ and ask Him for forgiveness of sin, repent of it and change your thinking and behavior, your life is turned around by the power of God, through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

If you do not know Him in this way, message me. I’d love to pray with you to come to know Him as Savior and Lord.

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How do you keep the flame of God’s love alive in your heart? Do you feel exhausted by all that is going on in the world? When I keep my eyes on these things, I truly feel weary by all of the evil. This is why I am so thankful for all Jesus has done to help us keep that flame alive:

Hebrews 12:2 says, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

I love studying the idea of personal revival. I’ve been reading various books (excerpts taken from Rekindling the Altar Fire) and all through the Bible about it. What does revival even mean? All throughout the Bible, you will see a theme: revival is the renewal of one’s spirit to regain life and lost power.

In ancient times, there has always been this concept of an altar being central to the lives of God’s people.

The principle of God’s altar seems to be a key to an awakening and strengthening of His people’s spirits; our inner, eternal life inside of us. Throughout Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, building an altar and sustaining the fire on it was how man honored God and God blessed and forgave His people.

Today, building an altar and sustaining the fire of God is a reflection of His power or Holy Spirit that changes you and in turn, the world around you.

The phrase, “They built the altar of the Lord” is found at the very beginning of defining moments in Biblical history:

For instance, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, Saul all built altars to God. Keeping the fire stoked and burning was a command to Aaron and his sons, the Levite priests after him.

Even in the New Testament, John the Baptist cried in the desert, “I baptize you with water for repentance but there is One coming after me that will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

“On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Acts 2:1-4

There is such significance in the fire.

Hebrews 12:29 says, “For our God is a consuming fire.”

In order to know what this fire even means, to keep it burning inside of us, we should understand that it is a perpetual relationship with God and as that fire is ablaze in our hearts, it becomes a move of God in and all around us!

The altar no longer signifies animal sacrifice to atone for mankind’s sin. Today, the altar represents a place for coming to worship God.

As a little girl, I would be moved by the music and preaching by the Pastor. At the end of the service, an altar call would be initiated and we were invited to come for prayer to dedicate ourselves to God. That doesn’t happen very often today. I remember those times of consecration to be some of the most powerful times of my early walk with Jesus.

The altar always represented an anointing of the Holy Spirit. A heaviness, if you will. It is said that the anointing breaks the yoke of bondage of the enemy and the altar is a place for that overcoming.

But the altar is also a place of personal daily communion.

I read this week in Exodus 20:24 all about how God commanded the children of Israel through Moses to construct altars on which sacrifices and offerings would be placed: “Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.”

Thank God that we no longer have need of this! I wrote in my devotional today that this ritual for forgiveness of sin is so detailed in scripture that it’s hard to divorce the severity of the endless killing of animals to this holy God from the God we offer our hearts to today.

“But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” Hebrews 10:3-4

I am so thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice because when He came, there was no longer need for this. How my heart fills with love and gratitude!

Exodus 33 says, "Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the "tent of meeting." Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. ... As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses."

This is how I keep the flame of God's love alive in my heart. Everyday, I spend time alone with God. I pray and tell Him how grateful I am for all He has done for me. I offer Him worship and praise. I read about Him in His Word. He fills me with a Holy fire of His Spirit to renew me.

And that is how revival begins... it's a spark that turns into a flame in our personal hearts first.

May we all begin here.

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I’ve been watching some highlights from a Prophetic Summit Conference. Some of my favorite prophetic and apostolic leaders spoke.

The looming question: What is God saying for 2021?

This past year was one of refinement. It’s taken every bit of courage and bravery for us to even consider peering around the corner of a new year.

Looking ahead, we must maintain a positive outlook for a hopeful future. The enemy’s main goal is to wipe out your expectation and hope.

But before we can look ahead, we must understand the lessons 2020 taught us.

I spoke this week to our women’s group about one of my favorite Bible stories. In John chapter 21, Jesus’ apostles returned to their fishing businesses out of despair. They could not see a future without Jesus in it and couldn’t move forward into their new lives, now changed forever by Him.

Imagine the scene: They returned to their old life (human wisdom and will, fleshly living), and in their own strength, they were unable to accomplish God’s will for them.

But in this passage, Jesus was restoring and re-commissioning His apostles who had fled at His arrest (Matthew 26:56; Mark 14:50), reminding them of their calling.

Just three short years earlier, Jesus was beginning His earthly ministry and was teaching and preaching God’s Word near the Sea of Galilee. He met Simon Peter, a fisherman and told him, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a catch of fish” (Luke 5:4).

Simon answered, “Master, we have toiled all night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Your word, I will let down the net” (verse 5). Verses 6 and 7 explain: “And when they had done this, they gathered a great multitude of fish: and their nets broke. They had to call their partners, who were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. They came and filled both the ships, so much so that they began to sink.” When Jesus gave the word, the apostles caught enough fish to sink their boats!

Now fast-forward back to John chapter 21, here they are again, throwing their nets on the right side of the ship. The apostles did not recognize Jesus standing on the shore (John 21:4), but when He gave the word for them to fish, the miracle of the enormous catch occurred and John remembered what happened when He originally called them.

Peter, beside himself with awe and love for the Master, jumped into the water to reach Jesus quickly.

This scene makes me cry every time. There is Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, cooking a little fish breakfast for them on the shore. I can imagine Peter hurling himself into Jesus’ arms.

But let’s remember, in Luke 5, when Jesus had first called brothers Peter and Andrew and brothers James and John, all experienced fishermen, they had just fished all night and caught nothing. Peter confessed to Jesus he was discouraged, but he would still do as Jesus said. How amazing that once they obeyed Christ’s words, their nets broke because the catch was so large!

And Jesus told Peter, “Fear not; from now on you will catch men” (verse 10).

In the context of John chapter 21, the apostles had been fishing on the same Sea of Galilee. Now three years later in Christ’s absence, the apostles found themselves in the same predicament: catching nothing. But when Jesus arrived and told them to cast again, their two boats literally began to sink with fish!

Before Peter even became an apostle, he had already learned from Jesus that God’s Word was the key to catching multitudes of fishes. In the case of his apostleship, God’s Word, not fleshly efforts, was the key to catching multitudes of souls! He and the other apostles had forgotten this very important lesson and they learned it again in John chapter 21, by obeying Jesus’ word and trying again.

In verse 12, Jesus said to them, “Come and dine.” Jesus was teaching them a very important lesson. After such devastated events: Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, they felt alone. Hopeless. Wandering without direction.

But Jesus showed up and said, “Launch out into the deep.” And then, “Dine with Me, I am the Bread of Life.”

Peter knew from three years earlier that the Lord had showed them the same miracle to get their attention. But this time, it was to show them that He would enable them to be fishers of men.

The lesson learned was that they knew they could trust Him at His Word.

Let’s not forget the lessons of 2020. God is trustworthy. He makes a way where there doesn’t seem to be a way. He provides when we are in despair. Just be obedient to His Word.

There is still a hopeful future for 2021.

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