Giving, Receiving, Family, and Fun

Giving, Receiving, Family, and Fun

by Theresa Classe

It begins several days before Christmas Eve…

I begin my journey to the dollar store to buy gifts for a family game. I am excited knowing I am about to watch my children be silly, laughing and enjoying each other.

Christmas Eve comes and we’re all sitting around. My children are waiting for the words “ready, set, go.

“ Okay, “READY……. SET …….. GO.”

At that point, they begin to roll two dice and every time they roll a seven or 11 they run to the other room where the wrapped gifts are and bring one back. It is pure joy watching them excitingly run and even bumping into each other on the way back to roll their dice again. This continues till all the gifts have been taken. When all the gifts are gone they then wait for the words again “ready, set, go.“ They then begin rolling the dice again but this time when they roll a seven or 11 they get to take a gift from each other. All the while they are laughing and giggling, and it is a joy to see this.

After three minutes of doing this, they look to see who has less gifts than them and they then choose to give their gifts away till everybody ends up with the same number of gifts. They are receiving and giving with joy.

I believe our father, God, in Heaven gets joyful when He sees us. You and I are His children and God loved us so much that He sent his one and only Son to us as a gift. The gift of Jesus. Who is the greatest gift of all; born on Christmas Day. He came to forgive us our sins and give us eternal life. If you do not know this Jesus may I encourage you to receive Him in your heart and receive a new and everlasting life.

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

by Laura Filipkowski

Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year for me. But 6+ years ago it all changed. That’s when I began to dread the season. Dare I say, I hated it.

It was just a reminder of everything that I lost. At times hope seemed lost, even impossible. My body was sick and my heart was broken. There seemed to be no logical reason, no answer and no end to what I was suffering. There was nothing I could do about it, so I hung on to a promise from God, “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you”. (Hebrews 13:5)

I clung to those words, moment after moment, day after day. I’ll be honest. It wasn’t easy and at times I felt like giving up.

Why bother? This is too hard! I’m all alone and it hurts to much. Nobody understands.

Yet, one person did and still does understand, Jesus and I never took my eyes off Him. Maybe I should say, He never took His eyes off me. I cried out to Him and told Him what was going on and asked for His help. Praying, “Lord I give you my plans, my hopes, my dreams, and my life. I surrender it all to You. Not my will Lord, but Your will be done in my life”.  And He DID IT! He pickup me up out of my mess.

Now… For the first time in years I can say again, “This IS the most wonderful time of the year.” It didn’t happen overnight and I still have moments, but He is my hope. When I see what He’s carried me through I know He’ll continue to see me through. My hope, my joy, my plans and my dreams are in Christ alone.

If you find yourself in a place where your heart is broken, you’ve lost friends or loved ones, you’re out of work or physically sick, please remember…. God doesn’t just love me. He loves YOU too. What He did for me, He will also do for you.

Call out to Jesus, put your hope in Him and He will carry you through your terrible time. And if you don’t have the strength to hold on to Him, ask Him to hold on to you and He will carry you in the palm of His hand. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

I am praying that God gives strength, peace & joy to you and your family. Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

by Kirsten Aufhammer

Most Americans have at least a passing knowledge of the history of Thanksgiving. Every year in school auditoriums across the country, a version of the first Thanksgiving is acted out by students. We know that the Pilgrims had the first day of Thanks to celebrate their first crop of corn in November of 1621. This celebration was enjoyed by both the Pilgrims and many of their Native American allies. The celebration lasted for three days. It was a time of fellowship, dining, and days of thankful prayer to the Lord.

New York was the first state to adopt Thanksgiving as an official holiday in 1817. By the 1860’s almost every state had made Thanksgiving an official holiday. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November 1863. In President Lincoln’s 1863 Proclamation, written by Secretary of State William Seward, he stated:

…It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.

Thanksgiving was not declared as a federal holiday until October 6, 1941 by Congress. It was originally declared that it be celebrated the last Thursday of the month.  However, in December of that year they amended the resolution that Thanksgiving would be the 4th Thursday of the month of November (which was most often the last Thursday of the month unless there were 5 weeks in the month for that year).

Thanksgiving has a rich history here in the United States. It was originally started to praise the Lord for His blessings and mercy to the Pilgrims in a new land. During the Civil War, President Lincoln asked the American people to give thanks to the Lord with “one heart and voice.” It is a day specifically named to remind us that the primary focus for the day is to give Thanks to the Lord.

I have to confess that I have not spent every Thanksgiving of my life focused on praising the Lord. For many years, it was simply a time of getting together with friends and family to eat and be merry. My focus for the day was not on thanking the Lord for His many blessings. In fact, some years it just felt like a “chore” that had to be done because it’s what you are supposed to do.

I really like what President Lincoln said about all of us joining together with “one heart and voice” to praise the Lord for His blessings and mercy. I think that sums up the true spirit of what Thanksgiving is all about. It is all of us as a nation being united in offering our thanks to the Lord.

This Thanksgiving, I will be joining my heart and voice with all the other people who are giving thanks and praise to our God.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving filled with the love of the Lord and the
love and laughter of your family and friends.

featured image from: “Thanksgiving – Brownscomb bing.com

Pieces of My Puzzle

Pieces of My Puzzle

by Theresa Classe

God is truly amazing. He is putting the pieces of my puzzle (life) back together.

I have been on a deep healing journey for about fifteen years. Through that, I have received a lot of healing from childhood wounds and adult wounds. Some of these wounds were mountains and boulders with cliffs in-between. The cliffs were so deep. I was terrified to see what was there because it involved pain and emotions I had shut off for years …. decades.

But, God began, fifteen years ago, sending Godly mature women to come along side of me. These women began to help me through my healing journey. They were each a piece of my puzzle. My healing was a piece of my puzzle. My learning through this journey was a piece of my puzzle. The puzzle that is now being put in place as I begin to walk more in my calling. It is amazing, exciting and unbelievable.

I am in awe of God and where He has brought me. I never thought this time would come, although I sensed it along the way though. Through this journey, a passion began growing inside of desiring to help others know the freedom I was beginning to have. A passion to give back what God was giving me and a passion to pour out in others just like those women had poured out in me. So much love, patience, kindness, joy, etc.

There were some other pieces to my puzzle. But, the most important piece was Jesus. This was asking Him into my heart, to forgive my sins, and be my Lord and Savior. That was the beginning for me. That was in 2003 and my life has never been the same since.

This healing journey was not easy and at times still not easy. But with healing occuring along the way, it began to be easier to withstand the hard times and/or the times when I struggled.

What I am hoping is that those that read this will be encouraged that no matter what you have been through or are going through now, God can free you. He can use what you have been through to help someone else and give you the desires of your heart.

I have a friend, actually, the first woman God put in my path to help me heal, and she would say, “I can’t help you, but God can. If you don’t quit, you win.” She would say that to me all the time – “If you don’t quit, you win.” It began to annoy me, but it became true in my life and I have seen it come true in so many others.

If you need healing, I encourage you to make an appointment at The Inheritance House for some in-depth prayer and see what the Lord will and can do. If He can do it for me, He can do it for you. This is just not words I am writing on this page, HE CAN HEAL YOU. It is truth. I am living proof of that.

featured image from: bing.com

Don’t Wrestle. Just Nestle

Don’t Wrestle.  Just Nestle

by Carole McCutcheon

Many years ago, I received a prophetic word that I was to ask the Lord to anoint my hands before playing the piano in services to welcome the presence of the Lord through the power of the Holy Spirit. We learn in Psalm 22:3 that “the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.”

Have I seen such results? I am confident that He honors His word, for we are told in Psalm 16:11 “in His presence is fullness of joy.” As we engage our hearts and minds in praise and worship – both singing and listening – He often ministers peace, comfort, understanding, healing, and His love.

While on an extended mission trip to South Africa, I was invited to minister in a large church in the Cape area. I was told I would have 20 minutes, but when the service started I learned it had been reduced to five minutes – DURING the OFFERING!!

“Lord, You didn’t bring me all the way to South Africa to entertain the troops while they pass the bucket. Please take total control of these five minutes.”

As I stepped onto the platform, He whispered into my heart, “Don’t wrestle; just nestle,” – a quote I’d heard a few days earlier. I knew the word was not just for me and I shared it with the congregation as I began to play and sing – all the time with one eye on my wrist watch to honor the time limit.

The following day I received word from the pastor there was a woman in the service who had received extensive ministry and counseling for several years without receiving a breakthrough. In those brief minutes, God had sovereignly delivered and healed her! Praise the Lord for His gifts of love. Let’s just praise Him!

Whose Voice Are You “Not” Listening To?

Whose Voice Are You “Not” Listening To?

by Theresa Classe

You may think this is a strange question, “Whose Voice Are You “Not” Listening to?” I would have thought that ten years ago, but I get it now.

It began in my early forties. My husband, my kids and I were on the way to the beach, on a road I had traveled many times before, when out of nowhere, I had a panic attack. These attacks continued over the next three years, to the point where I could not travel twenty miles from my home. No more vacations with the family. No more traveling with the kids. It all came to a halt.

I felt like I was losing my mind and decided to get some help. I learned I had buried painful memories deep inside. I did not know they were even there. They were buried alive and never processed. They were still living inside of me, and I was not even aware of it. No one knew, not even me. I was in need of healing.

In order for me to heal, I needed to process some of the memories. I needed to give them a voice which I did not have during the painful event. I had no one to listen to me and understand what I was going through during that time. My voice did not matter, so I locked it up. It became the voice I would “not” listen to because it was too painful. If I voiced it, what would happen? What would happen if I told someone? What would happen if I felt the pain? Would I go crazy? Would anyone believe me? Would it be safe? Would someone hurt me if I tell? These memories were shut off from the outside world including myself. This was my “Whose voice are you “not” listening to?”

One day, I was walking through Michael’s craft store. I began to notice certain items. These were items used for scrapbooking and were very tiny. I began to pick ones that stuck out to me. I was giving a voice to something inside. I picked out a monopoly board game, a teddy bear, a little girl doll, a birthday cake, books, white felt and a few other items. I then found a 7” x 5” x 5“ wooden box without a lid. I began to create a bedroom inside of this box that would have things that a little girl may want in her room. I put the white felt down for carpet and decorated the room with all the items I bought. I even decorated the sides of the box as if they were walls. I was giving myself a voice.

The next thing I did to give myself a voice was I cut out pictures and words from magazines. I flipped through a magazine and cut out whatever stuck out to me. I then put all these things I cut out in a pile and began to look at them. One by one I pasted them on a poster board. I was amazed at the end result. There was no order when I was cutting out the items from the magazines but when I began to paste them on the poster board, a story began to take place. I was giving myself a voice.

This was the beginning of giving myself a voice.

Along with this beginning of giving myself a voice, I began counseling and then moved into inner healing prayer. The counseling had some positive effects but was not able to get to the bottom of the “Whose voice am I “not” listening to” stuff. I started inner healing prayer and the real healing began. This was not an overnight fix. I began to trust those God put in my path to help me through this season of inner healing. I began to process my inner world with Jesus and those that l began to trust. This began my road to freedom.

Do you have any “Whose voice are you “not” listening too”? Do you feel stuck or triggered in areas of your life. I did. But through inner healing a whole new world opened up for me. I am now able to share my story and use my testimony to help others.

If you are in need to hear your “Whose voice are you “not” listening to,” I encourage you to make an appointment at The Inheritance House to begin your road to freedom.

featured image from: bing.com

It All Began In The Garden of Eden

It All Began In The Garden of Eden


 

by Barbara Koory

It all began in the Garden of Eden…

All was in harmony. There was a direct hotline that Adam had with Our Heavenly Father. After the first 5 days of creation, God saw the beauty of creation and how good it was. “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and the cattle, and over all the wild animals and all the wild creatures that crawl on the ground.” –Genesis 1:26

I wonder how many days it took (or did it happen right away) temptation to create the conflict in the lives of Adam and Eve with God, their (Our) Creator? They were told not to eat of the one tree in the middle of the garden. The slithering, conniving serpent falsely encouraged and lied to Eve to “eat of the tree, and your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.”

So she did. This is when Adam and Eve’s eyes were truly opened—their eyes of the heart. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loin cloths for themselves. (And then) when they heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden……the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees….(Genesis 3:1-7 paraphrased). Adam and Eve felt shame in that moment and had to cover it in whatever way it could be covered. So they put on fig leaves and hid among the trees in the garden. Can you believe they actually thought they could hide from God? God knew what they had done. He knew where they were. However, he allowed them to respond.

The Lord God voiced His concern to Adam, opening a discussion with him, never turning His back on the couple nor using selective listening, never judging or pointing the finger at them. The dialogue continues…Adam says, “The woman whom you put here with me—she gave me the fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.” –Genesis 3:12. Is this where blame first entered? We now call that a scapegoat, or perhaps putting the blame on someone else instead of being responsible for his own part of the falling out with God.

True shame comes when we make a mistake and we feel guilty as Judith MacNutt describes it. It’s not about denying the shame or looking at it falsely. Her article continues to say, If we look at shame falsely, it becomes a tool of the enemy in the fear of being found out, exposed, rejected, abandoned, or deemed unworthy.

Did God present these characteristics in His dialogue with Adam? No, He listened 100%–He was “all ears.” There was no condemning Voice. God had given His ruling of what tree they could eat and what the consequences were. It was the part in Adam, it’s the part in us, that one fleeting moment when temptation enters—when the enemy falsely whispers, and suddenly we are put in a position of blame and (sometimes) shame.

As the oldest in the family of five (5) other siblings, my dad would say many times, “You are the oldest. You are the one that needs to set the example.” In other words, if something went wrong, I would get the blame. It took me many years to put a name to that. It was called false responsibility. But, I was able to take this to prayer and forgive my dad. I know now that I have a Heavenly Father who says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love so I have kept my mercy for you.” –Jeremiah 31:3

In summary, I encourage anyone to bring these vices to the Lord. As a prayer minister, the supplicant enters a quiet time with the Lord. When invited, the Lord enters that memory of where the blame and shame entered in your life. Then watch what happens…….It is brought to our attention that He has loved us from the beginning of time.
(the New American Bible (NAB) version unless otherwise noted)