Rejoice! And again I say Rejoice!

Rejoice

These past weeks, while walking though a particularly stressful time, I have been hearing from the Lord about the remarkable power of JOY in Him. In fact, the overcoming resilience, fortitude and stalwartness of faith that is needed for this time in history is only found in a foundation of the abounding JOY we have in our Lord Jesus.

He spoke to me: Child, reading  and studying My word is excellent. Praying is excellent. Gathering in fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Me is excellent. Participating in community outreaches is excellent. Blessing others and helping others is excellent. Yet, you do all this in little power and strength of fleeting happiness and do not draw fully upon the well of power packed overflowing and abounding JOY that is found only in Me. Let’s talk together just to talk. Let’s laugh and dance and be silly together. Let Me make your heart merry as you spend time with Me; as My love washes away the heavy load of life and ministry. Yes! Let’s laugh and rejoice together, even in the midst of tears and challenges, because all things are in My hands and you can trust Me no matter your circumstances. 

It was true when I heard these words that life had weighed me down. There were deaths of people I loved and admired. Illness had struck too many in my group of friends and close to home in my life and family. Ministry, while so fulfilling and good, was busy and feeling heavy. Decisions came upon me that seemed insurmountable but needed to be made and then, as if He had no idea that I was overwhelmed, the Lord called me to make a giant step into the unknown with Him. He asked me to give up something I love. Of course, I said yes, but the sacrifice of it was very painful. As I took the pain to Him, He gave me supernatural Joy in exchange. I was able to overcome and do all I needed to do because of that JOY! I received it because I went to the Father and asked for help.

First, He poured it out upon me and then He taught me how to walk constantly in His abounding JOY.

Paul and the church at Philippi were in dire circumstances when he instructed them out of the abounding JOY he had in Christ Jesus to: REJOICE in the Lord always! Knowing that those words would fall on overwhelmed hearts and not penetrate he added: And again, I will say REJOICE!  That admonition was followed by instructions in Philippians 4:5-9

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

Holy Spirit’s revelation to me as He taught me about these passages of scripture was that I felt sad and overwhelmed only because I was fearful and because of the fear I was meditating on the wrong things.  Fear is a sneaky foe, but Holy Spirit revealed it to me. He said: Child, there is NO JOY found in the world except that which is flowing from Me. How true those words to me are! No matter where I looked, nothing but HIM could give me deep abiding sense of hope and happiness. So, now I purpose to check myself regularly and ask Holy Spirit to check on me and what I am focusing on. l purpose to meditate on what my God is doing, what He is speaking, and on what it says in His written WORD to us.  No matter the turmoil in my life or in the world around me there is a place of supernatural JOY that keeps me strong and enables me to do all thing through Christ Jesus, my Lord!

So join me in a SHOUT!  I will REJOICE in the Lord Always! And again we Shout REJOICE!

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Good Gifts

JetsonsI remember way back in 1964 during Social Studies class we figured out what age we kids would be in the year 2000. That seemed like a Sci-fi year to all of us as it was so very far in the future. We did essays on what we thought the world would be like in the year we would turned 50 years old. Despite the fact that all of us thought 50 was an ancient age, and it was hard for us to believe we would ever be “that old,” we began to imagine and dream what it would be like. Most of us thought it would be like the “Jetsons” cartoon on television replete with spaceship like cars, robots serving us, anti-gravity belts, instant food cooking, and a dog name Astro.

Now, we are all well past that 2000 year marker. While I cannot speak for my classmates, who could be inventors or scientists making stunning Sci-fi gizmos, I don’t have an anti-gravity car, nor can I transport to Hawaii in 5 minutes like Judy Jetson did for a beach party. But, we do have communicators (cell phones), nearly instant cooking (microwave ovens), video calling and a bunch of other Jetsons-like stuff. Too bad the robots haven’t progressed past vacuuming the floor as far as serving us at home, but they are in every industry so even that has come true.

Our imaginations as a generation of kids took us toward those inventions and technologies and many of them were created. It’s all pretty impressive what humankind has done and taken all the credit for.  Yes, I was being a little critical because, by and large, we have left out of the picture a very important component; the central reason we have been blessed with all these creature comforts. Left out by most folks has been the divine inspiration and blessings of the Lord God. There has been a gross lack of spiritual connection to the One giving all these good things to humankind. That Father God would be involved in inspiring invention and technology doesn’t seem to fully compute with our culture. Nonetheless, the Word of God says in James 1:17 “All good things come down from the Father of Lights above.” Continue reading

Oblivious to Evil

Halloween No

Beloveds of the Lord,

Today I have been overtaken by the Lord’s heart regarding the oblivious condition of the church toward evil. Every store I go to I am greeted by ghouls, skeletons, vampires, and grotesque masks and costumes along with ghosts and ugly jack-o-lanterns. To me it is a blight and my soul is vexed over this tribute to evil. But, sadly, I have discovered that much of the church goes about its day oblivious, or worse, they are preparing to celebrate evil right along with the world on October 31st.

My concern got me wondering why Halloween is a day to celebrate evil and that got me researching. I found out a lot of historic things about it having roots in pagan ceremony and superstition, but what really grabbed me a couple of years ago was the revelation that it is the night Martin Luther posted his theses on the church door for all to read. It was on October 31st 1517 that the wickedness of the then current religious order was exposed and the truth of the Word of God was restored to the people. The Reformation was birthed 500 years ago this Month! Oh, how the devil hated that then and how he hates it now! He has been seeking revenge ever since, successfully perverting a night, then a day, and now we deal with an entire month or more of disgusting evil displayed everywhere we go. And sadly, he has succeeded in desensitizing a huge portion of the church to the evil, and has successfully managed to get many of them to celebrate the evil and not the Reformation. (Read my article about this scheme of our enemy at: Should we Celebrate October 31st?)

It’s not clear how the church became so oblivious to evil. Some how, somewhere along the line, the church leaders decided to ignore Halloween occult practices, incorporate them as a draw, condone them openly and/or adopt them. That didn’t make any of it less evil, it just became less obvious as it hid behind the skirts of the church. People going to church were taught to accept it because their leaders did.

The result is that few church leaders in the USA now-a-days preach against the evils of it. But,  I love God’s kids too much to let the year go by without saying something that may penetrate the lies and encourage even one person to step away from the wickedness of Halloween.

Though you may be one that thinks I am old fashioned or overreacting,  I am not moved by your protests, so don’t bother to write.  Nor will I accept or acknowledge excuses that “it is all in fun” or “it’s all make believe” or “we do it for the kids.” None of that washes and I won’t respond to those comments either.  Why am I so stubborn on this?  Two reasons:  First and foremost, the word of God says to reject evil, even the appearance of it. To me the evil of Halloween has been and is quite obvious.

Here are just a couple of verses, out of many that are in the Word of God, telling us to turn away from evil things like Halloween and do good instead:

Amos 5:14 – 15 (NRSV) Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

3 John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

1 Peter 2:15 – 16 (NRSV) For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.

Secondly,  I have first hand knowledge of the evils of the occult and its supposedly innocent fun beginnings “for the kids.” My Lord Jesus delivered me out of that trap in 1990. Celebrating Halloween as a child, led me to fascination with the occult. Living my life in occult New Age practices for over 20 years as an adult nearly killed me. I will never be silent regarding the dangers to both children and adults of playing around with demonic things, including Halloween,  because I personally KNOW what can happen and I don’t want it to happen to you or your children!

You can read my testimony on cherylbirchministries.com .  You can also view my testimony that was recorded a couple of years ago. I spoke regarding the need to step out of evil contrasting with a Halloween decorated set. View it by clicking Here.

As well, I have written an article from my heart called  What Part of Evil is Good?

So, what if this article or my testimony has touched your heart and you are ready to step away from Halloween? How does one combat this evil?  Answer: Renounce it. Repent for entertaining it and participating in it. Receive forgiveness and determine to step into GOOD! Evil is overcome by good!

Then, this time of year,  start celebrating the Reformation! Have a Reformation Party for the kids. Sure candy is great and lots of treats.  Cute, not evil, costumes add to the festivities.  Celebrate with great joy! Have fun! Our God loves a good party that honors Him!  When folks say “Happy Halloween” reply with “Happy Reformation Day!” When folks ask if you celebrating October 31st answer: Yes! I celebrate the Reformation every year.

Does that work? Yup! Been doing it for years and the conversations are astounding. The presence of God is remarkable. People ask questions! What is the Reformation? It opens doors to telling people it’s a celebration of the word of God or the Bible. That opens up a door to tell them about Jesus.

In this, the 500th year of God restoring His Word to us, let’s honor HIM on October 31st and give the devil a GOOD kick in his back side!

With much love to you always,

Rev. Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning = Love One Another

potter hands

And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 2 John 1:5-6

In my walk with our Lord I have found over and over again that every ending means God has developed in me a greater capacity to keep His commandment to love one another as He has loved us.  (John 15:12) This increased capacity to love as He loves creates a new beginning and He opens new doors for me to walk through in order that I may demonstrate His love in fresh new ways.  The hard part of this process is always the ending of a season, especially if that season has been the center of my life. The closing of a door can be confusing if it is something I had come to rely upon or had thought I would be part of forever. It can be painful as closing doors always means I have to let go of something whether its my opinions, habits, status and position, financial, or even people. Often the new door is not clear and I have needed to let the old door close in obedience following the leading of Holy Spirit without knowing exactly where I am going or why.

In this process of beginning, for I am determined to look at each ending situation no matter how painful as an exciting new chapter in my life, Continue reading

We have job to do!

usa-flags

“And you shall swear, ‘The Lord lives,’ In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; The nations shall bless themselves in Him, And in Him they shall glory.” Jeremiah 4:2

All I ever hear from the Lord is that
we are being prepared to enter into the USA’s Greatest Hour!

I don’t listen to or read all the junk being published about the downfall of the USA. Truly, there are far too many that love the Lord with their whole heart and whole mind salted throughout our nation for God to destroy us. No, we are not in a time of wrath and destruction. We are in a time of course correction, discipline and intense training so we are prepared to rise up in our greatest hour ever!

I know that I must shout from the rooftops to the body of Christ: Believe the truth of God’s word and begin to declare His truth and BLESS our nation!!!

Start today, during our national birthday month. Let’s stop speaking unbelief, fear and death over our land and start speaking LIFE ABUNDANT in Christ Jesus! As we rise up together and become a voice of blessing in every sphere, we will see righteousness return steadily to our land!

We have a job to do, a great work in the Lord, to win a nation back to Christ.

Let’s stop complaining and go do it!

Best of Times or Worst of Times?

It-was-the-best-of-times

 

It is seems these words by Charles Dickens in the Tale of Two Cities mean even more to us today than ever…

As  I was praying and listening to the Lord today these words kept echoing in my heart. My own challenges and the list of folks in desperate need of prayer for healing, finances, jobs, relationships, recovery, depression, grief and more seems to be longer than ever. Combined with dooms day prophecies and the endless stream of bad news from around the state, nation and world…
It appears we are in the worst of times. At least that is what the demonic forces want us to believe. 
 
But, it is NOT what I believe!

 

Raise up your heads brothers and sisters in Christ, shake off that heaviness, get your faith revved up!

 

These are indeed the BEST OF TIMES ever in the history of the planet!!! 
 
I am so excited over what our amazing awesome awe inspiring Father in Heaven is up to all around us! Unfortunately, especially in the USA, a cloud of demonic gloom has been trying to hinder the body of Christ. Too many of our prophets have tapped into that gloom seeing what is going on in the “second heaven” (where the demonic spiritual activity occurs) and the natural world where the enemy works manifest through people and world systems.  And, way too many in the body are believing we are suffering God’s wrath and that the bowls of judgement are pouring out upon us.

 

Good Grief everyone, the Bible is extremely clear that we, His kids, will NOT suffer His wrath. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.) The blood of Jesus has set us apart and before any final judgments and wrath pours out we will be in His arms. No, we aren’t there yet brothers and sisters! We are still in the dispensation of GRACE, maybe the very last days of it, but we are still covered by the blood, wrapped in His love and walking in mercy and grace here on earth. In fact, if we will look up to Him, and to what is happening in the “third heaven” where He dwells, instead of at the doom the demonic camp is trying to peddle, we will burst forth into joy, glory and favor here on earth as has never ever never been seen before!

 

How do I know this? Well, I know it because I am walking in the glory and favor.

 

Sure I have challenges and some are down right nasty, but I am not focusing on that! I am focusing on the greatness of my God!  In the past 2 years, I have seen more prayers answered and prophetic words come to pass than in my whole 26 years as a believer. In the past year, there has been more shifting and changes bringing about reconciliation and unity in the body of Christ than has ever happened in the entire history of this city and region. Apostolic and prophetic doors are opening that no man could have opened and no man can shut throughout the Central Valley and our State. Unified efforts in prayer from Alaska to the Baja on the west coast are growing!  For me personally, the opportunities to be an ambassador for Christ and to be a catalyst for unity are exploding. And, I see the same happening for everyone that is fixing their eyes on the the goodness of God and listening intently to His voice.

 

I am not seeing or hearing anything that is doomsday from the Lord. The numerous edifications and encouraging words pouring out of His heart tell me that…If ever there was a time to be encouraged and expectant, it is now!

 

What I am hearing is that it is time for a mature, faith-filled, saturated with love, walking in peace and joy, power of God reliant Army to rise up out of this challenging time.

 

It is the birth of and refining of this Army that is most on the Father’s heart. Our relationship with HIM is the most vital component of our future. Is He your vital source? Second, as Believers, it is so important that we do our job and BELIEVE right now that God is still in control. He is still on the throne, Jesus is still “ever making intercession” for us, Holy Spirit is still walking with us, guiding us, teaching us, protecting us, His Angelic Hosts are still helping us. Third, it is high time we rested in that awesome safety net knowing that whatever He calls us to do, we can do! Working in our own strength must stop. We cannot go forward until we are operating in His strength alone and trusting that His plans are perfect even when they mess up our plans, or maybe better said, when they correct our course to line up with Him.

 

Don’t let the deceiver and destroyer turn your focus to his plans and to the world’s craziness as the measure of your future. Your future is GLORIOUS! Allow whatever challenges you are facing to be used by the Holy Spirit to make you more like Jesus! When we are refined, renewed, refreshed, reformed, and revived… Wow! The Kingdom of God will begin to be established here on earth as it is in heaven!

 

Be encouraged, walk in confidence and joy knowing that God has not forgotten or forsaken you… your greatest hour is at hand!

 

With love,
Rev. Cheryl