The Fall Feast - God's Appointed Time

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We find described in Leviticus 23 God's feasts or His appointed times of celebration and consecration. The fall feast is a season when God wanted His people to learn to rest in Him. The Feast of Passover teaches about God's peace; the Feast of Pentecost instructs us on God's power; and the Feast of Tabernacles gives understanding about God's rest.

The dates for this Fall, 2017 are:

Rosh Hashanna (Feast of Trumpets) Beginning of the New Year - September 21st - 22nd
Days of Awe - include the 10 days from Rosh Hashanna to Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) A day of fasting - Sept. 30th
Sukkot or Feast of Tabernacles/Booths - October 7th - 12th

Even though the days previous to the feast were a time of repentance and reflection, the Feast of Tabernacles celebrated the final ingathering of the harvest which God had blessed the people with for the year. The fruit of the land had been reaped, so the people could rest from their harvesting labors. It was a time of great rejoicing! They would celebrate and thank God in advance for the next harvest.

This feast emphasized a rest with the Lord, however it did not necessarily mean to literally lay down and do nothing. Rest meant to continue to be intimate with Him, staying involved in the normal work of the Kingdom, while continuing with their occupation, family, study, prayer and ministry.

I believe God is doing many things behind the scenes during this time of restoration and reconciliation. My wife Becky recently prophesied that "Things are fixin' to change!"  And several months ago I received a vision with a pumpkin and a huge stick of dynamite stuck inside. I believe during this Fall season, God is going to move in a great way, affecting not only the seven mountains, but His people individually as well. I do not know how it will play out, but I know there is a correction coming to level out the playing field and to begin to restore what has been stolen from His people.

Let's celebrate His Fall Feast looking forward to this New Year!

In His beautiful love,

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The Pen Of A Ready Writer

For a few months now I have had impressions that God desires for His creativity to flow through His people afresh. We know He is always releasing a divine flow of His Spirit, but now there seems to be a release of His extraordinary grace to those feeling called to write and create, also for those who have not quite completed their projects or assignments. I believe God is now activating in an accelerated way as He sends out a clarion call to take up the pen and write. We have stepped into a season to clearly hear from heaven and accomplish the assignment and call by His great grace being released and available to help you complete the task placed within your heart. 

I was awakened last weekend from a deliciously sound sleep, when I heard Holy Spirit whisper, "The pen of the ready writer. It's time for My people to pick up the pen." I thought that was all He wanted to say so I laid my head on my pillow, closed my eyes and expected to return to sleep, when He continued to speak. I haven't had a visit from Him for a while where I knew He had something very special to talk about. So I picked up my pad and pen and from 1:30 to 5:30 I sat with Him as He shared. With the time He spent with me I believe this is a pivotal moment for many. 

First, even though I have been the recipient of the term "ready writer" spoken over me, honestly, I have never really investigated it. But this night was different. As I opened my Bible, I was taken to Psalm 45:1. There was written the words, "My heart overflows with a pleasing theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready (skillful) scribe." This verse denotes the workings of David's heart, which was passionate and fervent, kindled by God's grace and inspired by Holy Spirit.

Upon further reflection I heard the quiet voice of Holy Spirit encouraging His people to write, create, compose, develop, and remember that skills develop by doing the work. He showed me books, novels, teaching manuals and materials, song lyrics, music scores, paintings, buildings, furniture, videos, movies, even games and comic books and more. The vision of all that is created by His grace and inspiration continued to flow. It was overwhelming, the many things He is waiting to release through the one who will sit with Him and be guided by His hand. I sensed the excitement and heart of a Father encouraging and guiding His children to explore, take risks and step out to release the dream He has seeded in their heart. Then He asked the following questions: What has the Lord placed on your heart? What have you experienced? What are you going through? What truth has He shown you to share? God is releasing His plans and creativity, and His impartation and activation is flowing afresh in this season. What vision has he given to you to draw, paint, develop or compose? What piece of furniture or design will you create or produce? What scientific understanding will you study and explore which will bring knowledge and understanding? What have you been called to build? What song, poetry or prose do you hear in your head and heart to release? What picture do you see in your mind's eye to express? Will you give expression to His impression so He may flow through you?

The excitement and expectancy of all He was sharing soon turned to a sense of concern and sadness. As I waited before Him I began to sense His heart, longing like a parent waiting for their child to recognize the gifts within them. The proud parent who sees the gift their child carries, and yet the child for either lack of understanding or fear of reprisal or rejection allows the treasure to remain dormant and untapped. And then I heard Him say: "My people are hindered by comparisons. Comparisons are good for science and research, but not for My people. How can you compare the voice I have given you to another's voice? Each of My children have been given their own voice and without their voice and without their voice released, someone must wait for an answer. Someone must wait for encouragement or hope, direction, counsel, guidance, support, truth, or simply the love and peace of words that soothe their soul."

These words reminded me of His call over 40 years ago for Richard and I to enter ministry, serving wherever needed in churches and later initiating a Bible study with training on hearing His voice. Even though we knew He had asked us to begin these small groups we were still surprised as we watched Him assign and bring people together forming a beautiful kingdom family now called The Covenant Center. I was taken back to the challenges we faced, sprinkled with accusations, some criticism and even scoffing. Who do they think they are? What do they know? What is their pedigree? Have they lost their minds? Why would they sacrifice their jobs and degrees - give up their incomes and security to do this? Sometimes we both looked at each other and asked the same question: "What are we doing?" The path was strewn with hardship, long hours, much sacrifice coupled with sadness and pain. We had friends who could no longer walk with us. There were even family members who could no longer support our path. Encouraged by God to keep our eyes on Him alone, we simply got up each day attending to what was required within our ability and watched God breathe on what He desired, which developed into a community I could never have imagined, with experiences and precious friendships as sweet fruit.

At our recent Covenant-U graduation, Don Franklin made a statement that deeply confirmed my impressions. He said: "You know the Apostle Paul didn't know he was writing the epistles or writing books of the Bible. He simply obeyed the Lord and expressed what God directed." How true that still is today! None of the people knew they were composing something of great value. They lived their lives and gave expression to their experiences and impressions. I was reminded of the great music that was composed centuries ago, yet upon debut, they were sometimes met with criticism and stamped as a failure. And yet today, many of those enriching symphonies are played continually throughout the world touching hearts and the souls of men. The gift they expressed didn't meet expectations or approval of the times, and yet they still live on. This can be said for paintings, films, inventions, designs, plays and theatre productions, and so much more. Aren't we grateful these people didn't give up and held onto their pen even though often faced with hardship and sometimes despair?

Our Father is asking you to acknowledge the impression you are unable to dismiss; the call to give expression to the seed He has planted within you. What is Holy Spirit revealing in your life? It may come through your personal experiences, emotions, scripture, revelations, sensing or discovering the magnificent world that surrounds you. You may gain insight, revelation or specific knowledge and understanding He presents to you. As you acknowledge the call in your heart, begin to prioritize time with Him and allow Him to guide you into understanding, which will lead to expressing the gift in your heart. Make a decision to give time to develop what is in your hand. Understand you will be met with opposition and ask for strength to persevere. There will will be days you may feel like giving up or that you are standing alone. Remember each morning comes with a fresh beginning and new mercies. Choose to be bold. Take a step forward, share and attend to the vision in your heart. It will surely, in it's season blossom forth, bringing encouragement and life to the one for which it was designed.

"Father, help us to recognize the gifts and callings You have placed within us. Give us understanding to your divine impressions. Help us know when and how to release what You have deposited within. May we always release the divine through Your eyes and heart of love, so that it may land safely in the hearts of others."

 

 

 

Looking Forward to This Year!

Hello Covenant Center family and friends! Becky and I and our TCC staff have had a restful month of July. We hope you have also found time to hit the beach, travel, relax and spend some quality time with Him, as well as each other. I am excited to share with you our schedule of activities as we step into a new year with Fall classes, Community Break Out Nights, School of the Prophets, Sunday Celebrations, Worship, Prayer, and continuation of our Covenant U School of Ministry classes. 

We will begin each week as usual with our worship and celebration meetings on Sunday mornings. Starting this Wednesday, August 2nd, our Community Break Out Night will commence again with fun, fellowship, small group discussions, classes and prayer, including Pre-K, Youth, and Teens to Adults. It's always great to get a cup of coffee, meet with the family, have Q and A in a relaxed environment as we learn more about God, the Scriptures and the practical application of the Gifts of the Spirit. Some of the break out classes for adults will be Hearing God with Wanda Hollingsworth, A Study of Genesis with Bob and Pat Stark, fellowship with Sarah Galarza and more to come. 

Our School of the Prophets is expanding with Cathy Lechner, Don Franklin, Glenn Miller, and Randi Lechner beginning August 3rd with Cathy Lechner's meeting. Don's meeting will take place on the 2nd Friday of each month; Glenn will be the 3rd Friday of each month; and Randi will meet the 4th Friday of each month. Cathy Lechner's meeting will begin this Thursday, August 3rd and continue each first Thursday of the month for this year. Each Prophet brings their own curriculum and teaching on how to hear from God and move in the gifts with godly character. 

I'd like to mention that our Covenant U graduates will receive their licensing or ordination Saturday, August 12th, at 7pm. These graduates have faithfully attended the school classes on Monday nights to gain knowledge and training regarding Spiritual Roots, Hebraic Thought, Knowing God, and developing skills for Spiritual Leadership. Our Covenant U School of Ministry classes will get underway Monday, September 11th at 7pm. If you have questions please contact our office at 863-802-5171.

This is going to be a great year! I believe Holy Spirit is going to continue to bring revelation, truth and a fresh level of divine love that will change hearts, bringing a desire to know Him more.

Things Are Fixin' To Change!

This past Pentecost Sunday, June 4th, during our Covenant Center worship, we experienced a beautiful manifestation of Holy Spirit as He spoke in His love and power. Our entire Sunday celebration was filled with His expression as He came and rearranged the flow of our meeting. It was a stunning experience and display of the Book of Acts and Pentecost as God touched each person intimately, with spiritual songs, dance, the release of prophesy, tongues, interpretation and revelation. Being in God's presence brought refreshing, hope, renewed vision and strength to all. The following word was shared during worship. May this word bring life and encourage you with renewed hope. 

We come to celebrate Him and He always meets us in such startling and extraordinary ways. But I heard the Spirit of the Lord declare as I stepped into this room today: "Things are fixin' to change!" I said, "What Lord?" And He again said: "Things are fixin' to change!" And then He said the sweetest thing. He said, I'm so proud of this family that I have birthed and brought together. I'm so delighted! Look around. They have stood with Me in darkness; they have stood with Me in loss and pain. They have stood with Me and trusted Me through it all. What good Father would not give good gifts to His children? And how sweet it is to watch a child, a babe, when he takes his first steps and begins to walk. What a thrill it is - the first step, even when he falls. The joy of watching him; stand on their feet and begin to walk and run. What joy that is to Me.

And I say to you: How can one understand the mountain if there is no valley? How can one understand the glory of light until they have stood in darkness? How can one understand My miracle working power when they have not experienced pain or loss? How can they understand My gift of prosperity and life if they have not walked through the valley of the shadow of death? These things are not meant to harm you. These things are meant to teach you and train  you. These things are meant for you to become the light of the world. For in the coming days, as the earth grows darker, you will be My temples and houses of light and prosperity and healing and joy. Fear not! Fear not! I come to protect you, for you walk in My covenant of peace. I bring to you health and life, prosperity and healing, and you have joy when you recognize My hand is upon you. Oh, but I hear you say: God, it's taken so long! Why has it taken so long? Do you think there was not celebration at the pool that day, the years, the 38 years the paralytic sat by that pool waiting for My touch? Time is of no essence to Me. I know it feels that way to you, but has it not been written that those that wait upon Me shall be renewed, shall be healed, shall be restored, shall be given life abundantly? So understand, even though there was a ten-year lawsuit, even though it has taken twenty years to put in place the proper applications and positioning in this house - things are fixin' to change! And I ask you one thing as the blessings come; yes, as the blessings come - please My beloved, always remember where I've brought you from and what I have done for you. Remember... Remember...And let your testimonies fill the airwaves of the earth with My glory and My faithfulness.

Now receive! Receive! Receive Me! Receive Me! Receive of Me! I love you. I love you My children. As a Father I've watched you stumble. I've watched you fall. Oh, but the joy I've had in watching you get up again, and try again. And I have been growing and strengthening a back bone of steel in you to stand. For in the coming days you will stand, and at your hands My glory will be released. And people will come to you for they will know that you have heard from heaven and can bring guidance into their lives. So nothing you have experienced has been in vain and everything will be redeemed. Receive of Me. Celebrate with Me. This is a joyful day because it's time for things to change. It's time for things to change. Things are fixin' to change!

In HIs love,

 

 

Pentecost 2017

Pentecost is a Feast of the Lord celebrated by believers on Sunday June 4th, which is mentioned in Acts 2:1. However, the holy day is found all the way back in the book of Exodus. In the New Testament in Acts 20:16, In this scripture, Paul mentions he was in a hurry to reach Jerusalem, if possible, at least by the day of Pentecost.

The Jews celebrated Shavuot when they received the Torah from God in Exodus 20. The presence of God appeared on the top of the mountain in the form of fire. Torah or the Word of God was then given to them on tablets of stone.

In Acts 2, the presence of God fell upon the believers with tongues of fire as they began to speak in the native language of those who were listening. In the book of Jeremiah 31, he prophesied that the Spirit of God would come upon the believers and the Torah would be written on their hearts, rather than on tablets of stone.

We look forward to celebrating this Feast with joy and thanksgiving! He has given us His written Word and continues to write His Word upon our hearts. As our covenant relationship of intimacy increases, His Word on our hearts also increases by knowing Him and the power that relationship brings.

His blessings to you and family, 

Release From Disabling Roots

Transition, coupled with God's divine work of transformation and renewal, can sometimes leave one wondering where they are in their life journey. We may try to figure out what God is saying or try to understand the focus of His work in us. When we ask, He is so faithful to reveal His plans and His focal point to guide and encourage us. A dream is one way He speaks to give us guidance and understanding.

In a recent dream Richard and I were in our home, when the doorbell rang. As we opened the door a young couple greeted us with their children, bringing some sweets they had baked to share. We then went outside and joined others who were standing beside a large tree and John Deere Gator utility vehicle. We could immediately observe that the large base roots of the tree had grown around and entwined themselves into and through the bed of the utility vehicle. It was immobile. The only thing holding it back from functioning, as it was designed, were the large roots. Without saying a word, we all knew it was important to pull the roots out that had disabled the vehicle so it could once again function at capacity. As we together began to pull out the roots, we were pleasantly surprised to see how quickly our efforts resulted in the each root relinquishing its hold. As we continued, the roots flew through the air and landed at the base roots of other trees. We knew once the roots were removed they would no longer detain the vehicle or hold it powerless.

Though the Body of Christ has been in a long season of surgery and transition, with God pruning branches to bring new growth and fruit, it is now time to look for the larger deep roots that God is exposing. As we acknowledge them, take time to work on them by pulling them out and removing them, we will be freed from those things that have been holding us down and hindering our forward movement. For some these roots have completely disabled them, where they have become immobile and unusable, causing discouragement and for some despair. For those who will allow God to expose the deep roots hindering them and actively work to remove them, they will begin to experience life and the ability to once again become active and fully alive. They will move forward with great mobility and rock solid stability, smoothly steering with great maneuverability and ground clearance, to ride over bumpy terrain with strength and power. They will have the ability to carry heavy loads while being equipped with the tools and supplies needed to be productive and accomplish all they have been called to, arriving safely at their destination. What may look overwhelming will become very sweet.

Father, thank you that you love us so much that you reveal yourself and your truth to us. You desire to guide and direct us so we may live well and prosper. Now, please show us the roots that may hinder us from moving forward in you. Thank you for strengthening us and giving us the ability to remove all that hinders us from walking in your fullness of life. Thank you Lord!

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)

In His love - 

I'm Desiring A New Move

During our Wednesday night Hearing God class on March 3, 2017 at The Covenant Center, Don Franklin released the following word. God is speaking and desiring to reveal Himself to you; and I pray He will give you eyes to see and ears to hear His desires for this time and season in the earth. Love and blessings to you - Becky

"I'm going to give it to the meek and lowly at heart, to those who are on their faces before Me crying out for what I want. There are preconceived ideas in other groups that are not in line with what I want. And the Lord said, I will not once again hand over the power and anointing of God to a group that's going to take it astray. I am looking for a people that will listen to Me, walk with Me, and do it the way that I want it done.

And God says, stand up if you want to be counted. Stand up in the Spirit. Stand up and call upon Me. I am a fair and equal opportunity employer. Say not I am small; I am too weak; I don't have this; I don't have that. You have Me. And My Spirit is hovering over this city and I am testing men and women. And I am checking out hearts and I am looking for those who will come strong after Me, and will obey Me and listen to Me. The Lord said, this thing is not settled yet.

Call on Me. I will show you great and mighty things that you know not of. I'm sifting out the hearts of men before My judgement seat. Oh, be swift my soul to answer Him; be jubilant my feet. I'm calling and an knocking; I am seeking; I am walking the streets of this city looking for men and women who will obey Me and listen to Me and do it the way I want it done.

I am looking to nest. I am looking for a home. I'm looking for a place to land, and to tabernacle and to abide, and to nurture. I am looking for a hospital; I'm looking for a place to bring the sick and the wounded - those that need the grace, and the mercy, and the hand of God. I'm looking for a place to tabernacle where My Spirit can have free rein. It's not over yet.

Was not My Son born in Bethlehem? He did not come out of Jerusalem. He came out of a manger, in a small place. Do I not love the meek and the lowly? Have I not said that I Am the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose Name is Holy and I dwell with those who have a meek and a contrite heart? Am I not attracted to the smallest one in the family - a little boy named David?

There's a humility that resides within the Godhead that the church does not understand. I am not arrogant; I am not proud; I am not looking to show off. In fact, the other attributes are exactly what I am. I am meek and lowly of heart. Jesus said, if you've seen Me, you've seen the Father. He did not boast; He did not brag; He did not show off. He was not trying to prove anything to anyone. He was simply being the manifestation of God.

So, know this, the meeker you are, the lowlier you are, the kinder you are, the more you attract the power, the anointing, the angelic realm of God. The Lord said, I'm looking for another manger. I'm looking for a Bethlehem. I've had my fill of Jerusalem. Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Competition is of the enemy. This is not a competition, although many have turned it into a competition - a boasting and bragging love fest. Who has the most of this? Who has that? How many did it seat? How many are there, and on and on it goes. It has nothing to do with My kingdom and that's why My moving in those places is limited. They limit the Holy One of Israel; they limit the Holy One of Israel all the time thinking they are doing Me a favor, when they are actually, blocking what I really want to do. That's why I don't move; that's why I'm not flowing.

I'm looking for the right place - the right manger, the right people. Heaven desires to move; heaven is hungry to touch, heal, to bring in. It is man that binds the hand of the Lord. When the Lord went into His hometown, He could not heal. It was man that blocked what He wanted to do. And again, and again, and again I have been blocked when I wanted to move in certain places, and I continue to be blocked. But the Lord said, I am going to open up portals and places where there are mangers and where there are those who have learned to walk in meekness and the holiness and the submission to God.

So, know this - it's wide-open; it's wide-open; it's wide-open. Many places have formalized and crystalized in their structure and i will not be able to move like this through them. I will move to the limit that they let Me move. But I have laws that limit Me from moving through denominations and congregations, even free flowing places that think they are moving in a direction that will be pleasing to Me. I cannot move because of inborn attitudes and "What will happen down the road if I do?" Therefore, I hold back no matter how many times they cut themselves, cry, and fall, and pray. The Lord says, I am hindered by their very inner attitudes.

Look deep into the heart of the scriptures and see what Bethlehem was like, what David was like, what the Lord Himself was like. This is where you'll fine Me flowing. The Syrophoenician woman is the key; when she was insulted, she ducked under and humbled herself. Humble yourself in front of the Almighty and I will answer with fire upon your altar.

I am desiring to move in this House; I'm desiring to move among you; I am desiring to pour out My Spirit on this group. Just humble yourselves before Me and call on Me; call on Me; call on Me. As you go through your days, call on Me from the inner spirit of your heart. Hannah never said a word out loud and I gave Samuel. You don't have to get bold; you don't have to get loud.

I will raise up those who have an anointing for this, but it is not for everyone. Call on Me night and day from your heart, and the Lord says, I will answer with fire - first in your heart and then in a congregational setting. I'm desiring to move; I'm desiring to move; I'm desiring a new move, a new structure, a new way of presenting even the Gospel, not only to this city, but to the globe. You are already in the future.

Let those that have what they have, go with what they have. But look to Me, saith God; it's a new thing that I am doing, and yet it's as old as the hills of Jerusalem. Well done, My good and faithful servants; enter thou into the joy of the Lord and find the Kingdom of God as it was intended to be lived and preached. Angels are hovering over this place, waiting, waiting, waiting. Don Franklin

He Is Looking For A People....

This past Sunday, April 2, 2017, Becky Maisenbacher delivered a word of the Lord emphasizing the Lord's desire for us to seek Him and His presence. The word was also a challenge for us to lay down competition and any program that would stand in the way of what He wants to do as He knits us together as a body. Be blessed and encouraged by the following word. - Richard

"Holy Spirit, we just thank You for coming here today. We just ask You to speak. What would You say to Your people today? What would You desire for us to hear, Lord? You've come with Your precious presence and we thank You. We thank You that You choose to abide with us, that we may learn to be a habitation for You.

And I hear the Spirit of the Lord saying, I am looking for a people. I am looking for a place. I am searching for a family where I may rest. I am searching for a people who desire for Me and My presence, where they would allow Me to move without pretense, without marketing, without false celebration of what I am doing. I desire to have a place that My Spirit is free to reign without the pretense of competition, without the disappointment for the lack of a program. Could you be that place? Could you give up your desires or your expectations of who I am, and let Me be? Let Me be? For I have searched far and wide, and yes, there were places that I began to manifest My presence and what I desired to do. And at first I was celebrated, and then they took their eyes off of Me and they began to declare, "Look at me! Look at us! Look at who we are! Look how great we are! Look at what we have become!" And once again I was lost in the equation of what man thinks I am and who they must be. But I continued to search the earth for that family, that place, that people, that individual who will let Me be. And it will not be for personal gain. It will not be for personal glory. It will be a place to simply let Me be. Could you be that place? Could you be that people? Could you be that family that will come and celebrate with Me and let Me be? Could you let Me have my way and continue to point toward Me in the heavens? Could you lay down the need to be seen, to be exalted?

I come to you today with these questions. For even as the activity of My hosts, My heavenly hosts are here today in their anticipation and excitement, I anticipate that with you. Could you lay down everything of what you think I am and every expectation of how I am to perform for you, and let Me be? For I desire to show you My glory, My greatness. But in My mercy, when the celebration becomes about you, I must remove Myself so that you are not destroyed. So could you come, let Me have My way, and sacrifice your own needs so that I may thrive?

I love you. I love you! And I know your plans and purposes are good. And I know you desire to celebrate Me as a child celebrates and loves his mother and father. But I tell you, if you can do this thing with Me, you will be amazed at the works that I will do in you, in this family, in this place, if you choose to allow me to truly reign.

I love you, My beloved. I love you, My beloved. Thank you for choosing to let Me reign. Thank you for choosing to let Me have My way. Thank you for letting Me be who I am. I Am! Thank you. Thank you for laying down all your own needs or desires. Even that competition. Even that competition that can be so - so, in the world's hands, so celebratory, but in Mine, in My world, it is distasteful, because I love you all and I desire to touch you all with My loving hand. No one is greater, no one is less. Just let Me be who I am. Let Me be who I am."

Becky then continued with some further insight - The angels are ministering right now. Thank you. The Lord has come with questions for not only us individually, but as a body. This is truly a holy moment. This is a moment to decide with the angels and Holy Spirit, what are we able to do? What are we able to do for Him in removing ourselves and not touching Him in His glory. I don't think we'll be able to decide this today, but it is a sobering request. And as I'm sitting here I'm reminded of a word that was prophetically given to our community several years ago, and it's just now becoming real to me; which was the Lord asking if we could make this a habitation of His presence, and that He had things that He wanted to do here with us and through us to touch the world in His name. But there was a condition in the word, and the condition was when people came and said, 'Oh, look what you are doing!,' and the excitement over His presence and visitation and you know, whether we like it or not as humans we start to go, 'Wow, I'm pretty good. He's come sitting with me!' But the condition that prophet spoke was , when He moves and people come, can we just say, yes, it's just family. It's part of the family, and remove ourselves from any pretense, you know, that anything came from us, but it was all from Him. 

So, I submit this to you today. Thank you Lord. We just ask You to come and minister to each person here today and too all of us as a family, as a Covenant family You divinely have brought together. We know You have spoken and You have strategically placed us together and we don't really understand that, Lord, or what it looks like, or what the purpose is. But I thank you we can all learn to just be family. You've been knitting us together as a family, celebrating one another and not competing. Not even competing with Your other families that You've created, Lord. We're just The Covenant Center family, and You are our Lord. - Becky Maisenbacher

 

 

 

Eating Healthy

Many believers in the United States are wondering: "If God is in charge why do we have so much strife going on right now?" I believe this article found below by Skip Moen offers an answer to this question. Certainly food for thought...Richard

EATING HEALTHY by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 1 Corinthians 3:2-3 NASB

Still not ready - We all want the healthy stuff, right? We want the full meal, the meat and potatoes, the diet that gives us spiritual strength and insight. But are we ready? Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that we are. Notice what Paul says about those who are still on baby food. They aren't ready because they don't follow the same rituals? Oh, wrong again. They aren't ready because they attend that other assembly. No, again. Paul's entry requirement to the banquet hall is rather startling. The reason for a continual diet of baby food is jealousy and arguing. Until we get over the ego issues, we can't get to the adult's table.

If what Paul says is true, then you and I are surrounded by a world of babies. Everywhere I go there is jealousy and arguing. The Greek terms help us see the bigger problem. Zelos (jealousy) is that fervent desire to have it my way. In the early Church fathers, this Greek word is used in the sense of envy, to have what is yours simply because I want it. This attitude is competitive and aggressive. It is the, "You're wrong, I'm right. Shut up!" environment. Of course, we can be jealous with civility. We just dismiss the actions and thoughts of others. "It's too bad that they don't get it, but isn't it nice that we have the truth." According to Paul, this life style keeps us on strained peas.

"Quarreling" is the Greek term eris. It is strife, contention, intransigent debate. You and I have seen plenty of this in religious circles. We don't discuss anymore. We argue. We fight to claim we are right. And most of all, we act as though we have nothing more to learn. We are the guardians of the true gospel and anyone who questions us is anathema. Between 303 CE and 428 CE the whole Christian world was caught up in this kind of attitude. As a result, the Church murdered its own, claiming that God demanded the removal of those who did not agree. Instead of killing each other, we just start a new assembly. That way we don't have to repent over the graves we left behind.

Paul's assessment?  "Are you not acting in typical human ways." The NASB adds "merely," but the message is pretty clear. You will not eat at God's table until you give up your need to be right. If jealousy, envy and strife are present, don't expect to grow. In fact, Paul might even call you sinners. Perhaps the first step we need to take in this spiritual diet is a trip to the mirror. If you discover that the person staring back at you has to be right, rejects any alternative, competes for prominence and won't budge an inch, you might notice a severe malnutrition is setting in.

Skip Moen; www.skipmoen.com

Your Healing Journey

Do you know God knew you before He formed the World? Jeremiah 5:1 tells us before the foundations of the earth were laid He knew you! Before you even entered your mother's womb He knew you and had a plan for your life. This is how important you are to Him and how much He cares about you. God chose you to be here and it is His desire to prosper you. Read and pray 3 John 1:2 over you today and let your heart receive His love and desire for you: "Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers." Well, you may say, "Yes, but you don't know what it's been like. You don't understand." Beloved, I may not, but He knows you, and He is with you and does understand.

When illness of any kind appears, God in His love has a plan and He has a prescription of healing made out just for you. God's plan for health and life culminated at the cross by Jesus. He bore the sickness and pain for all and released His healing power into the earth (1 Peter 2:24) flowing through two main streams. One is the natural stream, which is good and at times very necessary. God may direct you toward healing through, physicians, medication, surgery, vitamins, physical therapy, nutritional and diet changes and more; and all this has been provided for you through His hands of provision. He is the Creator of all things so it is good to receive from this important medical stream. We are so fortunate to live in a country with some of the best medical assistance available in the world. However, there is also a supernatural side to healing that we sometimes forget to seek out, and that is Jesus, who is our healer. His name, Jehovah Rapha, declares He is our health. He is your health! This second stream of healing includes prayer, laying on of hands by the elders, anointing with oil, taking communion, and angelic visitations. Jesus used many different methods of healing including, prayer, mud, spit, a touch, angels and more. Some received spontaneous healing or miracles, while others languished for years, like the cripple who waited 38 years and the woman with the curved spine who bore pain for 18 years before complete restoration arrived. It is never too late. No matter how long you have been waiting. Nothing is impossible for Him and for those who believe. There are no limits to how He may touch you and bring wholeness to you.

With all the wonderful modern medicine and technology, the first place we usually look for help is the medical field, and again that is good. I support God using the various streams of medicine to diagnose and heal, and have been healed many times through their knowledge and skill. However, in our need for relief, we may forget and leave Jesus out of the healing equation. He is still in the miracle healing business and personally I believe every healing no matter how it is attained is a miracle. How beautifully and wonderfully made we are that God has built into our bodies the ability to heal and be resilient. Even if your healing comes through a process that takes time and medical support you can still actively participate with Him in your healing journey. First, remember how important you are to God and know that it His desire to be there with you - to love you and heal you! Ask Him into your situation. Tell Him how much you need Him. What good and loving Father will not respond to the need of His child? Ask Him: "Jesus, please come into this situation. I need You. I need Your healing touch. I need You to help me. Please help me through this healing journey. Please come with Your health and life. I trust You. I believe in You and that You want to heal me. I receive Your life and healing touch. Thank You Jesus. Thank You for healing me and bringing wholeness to me." Make this one of your meditations and tell Him often how much you need Him. Whisper or declare His name - "Jesus!" His name is above all names and just mentioning it changes the dynamics and atmosphere around you when you are in covenant with Him. "Jesus! Jesus, I need You and love You. Please help me. Thank You Jesus."

Also, consider listening to streaming worship music or healing scriptures to feed your soul and spirit. Take a few moments each day to read His word, especially Matthew through John, which teach on the various ways Jesus brought healing to those in need. Ask someone who is in relationship with God to pray for you and if you are able to attend church, ask an elder to pray or anoint you with oil. If you're unable to connect with others, search for a radio or television program with sound biblical teaching that will encourage and feed you. Devotionals, internet, emails and phone calls are other ways to align with those who will pray and believe with you for your recovery. Keep knocking on various doors of healing and seeking Him. Though discouragement or despair may stalk you, keep your eyes on His beautiful face, thanking Him for His grace to heal. I pray that Jesus would bring you comfort and peace, and that He becomes more real to you than ever before as He walks with you through your healing journey where His light of love breaks forth with new life.

"Precious Jesus, please come with Your healing touch to Your people. Heal the broken hearted, those rejected or experiencing loneliness, those living with shame or guilt, those fighting disease or sickness, arthritis and pain, or financial distress. I speak Your wondrous name over them - 'Jesus,' and I thank You for bringing relief, health, and life to their situation. Guide them through their healing journey. I praise and thank You Father."