Monthly Archives: July 2014

July 31st, 2014

Often the subject I write on is something God has dealt with me on.  However, if it is not, I can almost guarantee you it’s coming!  The other day I wrote on the power of our tongue…well, I probably should have known better.  No sooner had I hit “post” I was tested.  I literally had to stop, read what the Bible said again, read what I had “preached” and pray!  I was, as they say, fit to be tied!  The “wrath of Donna” was upon them and it was judgement day!

The person who was in my cross hairs was someone who needed to see the love of Jesus and not the judgement of sister super Christian though.  In the Kingdom of God there is no religion; only righteousness, peace and joy.  As ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, we dishonor everything Jesus stood for; His ministry of peace and love for one another even to His death on the Cross for our reconciliation with God when we sit in the judgement seat.  Furthermore, when we try to “fix” them we are showing a lack of faith in God to do so.  Romans 14:4 “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.”  When we show them grace, mercy and love, we are laying the foundation and Jesus is the chief cornerstone.  Our faith is before God.   Just like we can exploit God’s grace to others (hyper grace), we can also exploit our obedience (legalism).  Our obedience is written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit and we choose to follow.  WE cannot write that obedience down for others to follow ourselves.  We can only lead them to God and let Him do His work in their hearts.

We will all be held responsible for our own actions, not others.  The enemy will use others to promote strife.  Even among Christians many have different beliefs.  The Bible says in Romans 14:21 “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.”  However, it also says in Romans 14:14 “that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.”  In other words, even though I eat meat I will not do so in front of someone, who for religious  reasons does not because it could cause strife – it is not the meat that destroys the work of God but the arguing and strife that destroys.

Jonah did not want to go to Ninevah because he knew if they repented God would forgive them and show them His mercy and grace, yet Johan wanted God to persecute them for their evil ways.  It is not up to us to decide  for exactly whom Christ died because He died for ALL of us – the good, the bad and the ugly.  It is however up to us to love them in spite of our differences because our Lord died for them.  We don’t love them “for” the Lord, we love them “because of” the Lord….therefore, we don’t judge them “for” the Lord either.

As it turns out the “wrath of Donna” has little effect on others except to cause them to fall as well.  However, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are much stronger and more powerful and through His guidance I was able to choose blessings instead of cursings.  Psalms 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”   Thank you Lord for being so faithful! – Donna Warren

 

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July 30th, 2014

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL:  If we really want to see a true reflection of ourselves look in the Bible, not the mirror.   Somethings may horrify us and on the other hand, some  may give us hope, strength and confirmation that we are on the right path – God’s path.   When we look in our bathroom mirror and see our flaws we are moved to fix them.  We get out our hairbrush, toothbrush, razors, tweezers and go to work.   The day goes by and when we get back in front of that mirror our hair is behind our ears, that 5 o’clock shadow is coming back and those onions we had for lunch….well, we won’t even go there.  The point is, the longer we are away from the bathroom mirror, the more we are deceived.  Whether we look better than we thought or worse, the mirror tells us.

Using the Word of God as a mirror has the same effects.  We really don’t know what we really look like until we look in the Bible.  When we see those imperfections we are also moved to repair, improve and conform to God’s teachings and see the person we really are.   We see our strengths and realize from where they came and begin to understand exactly what God’s grace is really about.  The further we get away from the Word of God and It’s reflection of who we really are, the more we are deceived.  James 1:23-24 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.”

When we are weak or fearful our mirror, the Word of God, tells us “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” Philippians 4:13.  If we need guidance His Word says “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” Psalms 37:23.  Then, on the other hand, we will see our flaws….all of them!  The Word of God also reminds us that faith without works is dead.  James 2:19 “You believe that there is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons believe–and tremble!”  We can say we have faith but as Christians we must do good works to all.  Our works don’t justify us but being justified through Jesus and the Cross we are called to do good works.

God has given us so many preachers and teachers throughout the centuries to point us to His Word but until we begin to pick the Bible up for ourselves and apply what it says to our lives, we will never know our true reflection.  With everything going on in this world today we all need to know who we really are; who we really are in Christ.  We all need to know Jesus.  The God we are cursing for our problems is the same God holding us up right now while the enemy is the one causing the problems.  Look in the mirror and be a reflection of God’s glory! – Donna Warren

July 29th, 2014

THE TONGUE JAMES 3:1-18.  I never realized the power of our words.  The Bible says that we all stumble in many things but if we do not stumble in word  we are a perfect man because only then can we have total control over our entire being.  How is that?  I’ve heard Christians talk about speaking blessings not cursing but I thought that meant don’t swear or cuss.  Then I read James Chapter 3 and began to further understand the power of the tongue.

Did you know you are not qualified to teach God’s Word unless you can control your own tongue?  Teachers of God’s Word will receive a stricter judgement.  Some people believe Christians are weak because we don’t or won’t speak our mind.  They think we let people run over us because we try to do what is right while others keep doing wrong.  Then on the other extreme some may think we are self righteous because we can’t control our tongue.  There is a big difference in meekness and weakness.  I think we have all been in situations where its hard to control our mouth  It takes A LOT more strength to keep our mouth shut and turn the other cheek than it does  to spew out “our” wrath on someone when we are angry.  Sometimes its much harder to show someone the “love of Jesus” than it is to show them the “love of Donna” because Donna may not be loving them so much at the time.

We can tame every wild beast but we can’t tame our tongue.  We curse our neighbor and praise God with the same tongue.  James 3:11 “Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?”  The Bible talks about putting a bit in a horses mouth and we control it’s whole body or how a small rudder can control the direction of a large ship.  When we begin to understand how the smallest spark can start a huge forest fire, we realize the true meaning of blessings verses cursing.  If we can just bridle our tongue and allow God to take the reigns, He will lead us in the direction we need to go.  However, the problem arises when we only bridle our tongue and don’t allow God to take the reigns – we call that resentment.  I’m not talking about keeping our mouth shut then going to plot our revenge.  I’m talking about keeping our mouth shut, feeling good about not eating off the plate the devil tried to serve us and KNOWING God saw our boldness in standing up in the face of the devil and blessing that very same person the devil is using to curse us – now THAT is a good feeling; knowing we won that battle; knowing we had the strength to tame our tongue.

Our tongue is a strong weapon but it can also be our weakest defense.  With our tongue we declare and decree; we swear our allegiance.  As Americans we swear our allegiance to the Flag and truly believe in everything it stands for.  Why then is it so hard to believe, declare, decree and swear allegiance to the Word of God and everything it stands for as well?  Was this nation not built on the very Word of God?  Every single one of us were born with a purpose in the image of God.  It is not until we seek God to find our purpose that we know His will.    The enemy will use our tongue for his purposes if we allow.  When we use our tongue to speak God’s Word, the Lord sends His angels to work; to bless and protect us.  On the other hand, we can spew out the word’s of the enemy, “our wrath” upon the world.

Although I may stumble, thanks to the Word of God I better understand blessings instead of cursing and I choose blessings.   I pray and speak blessings of life, redemption and God’s will over all my family and friends.  God bless you all!!  – Donna Warren

 

July 28th, 2014

What I thought was “an asset” turns out to be one of my greatest weaknesses.                         2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ” I wondered what is my greatest weakness.  I have a strong Type A personality, competititve, ambitious and aggressive to name a few.  That’s not all that bad, is it?  Well, it is if we are also controlling and independent.

Being a Type A personality makes it hard to give up control when you have strived to be independent all of your life.  Now, all of a sudden I’m suppose to allow the Lord to be in control and be totally dependent on Him?  No one can ever convince me God’s not still in the miracle business!  When I finally gave up control, God showed me He not only cares about the big things in life but the small details as well.  The nuggets He leaves us that  we know only came from Him begins to increase our faith one step at a time.  Before you know it, you are completely dependent on Him.  Prasie God for His faithfulness.  He doesn’t have to prove His faithfulness to us, He’s already done all of the work.  It’s only because He loves us so much that He does take that “extra effort” to show us.  He wants us to prosper and do well, not just hang on until the end but we just have to have faith in Him also.  That’s all He asks for, is for us to believe and have faith in Jesus and the Cross.

The Lord wants to be in every part of our life everyday.  Praise Him for our strengths and let Him use our weaknesses to show the world His glory.  We don’t boast of our weaknesses or our strengths.  “Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified.” 2 Cor. 13:7.  Jesus’ may have appeared weak on the Cross to the enemy but it was in fact His victory.  The enemy attacks our weaknesses and God wants to use those exact weaknesses to defeat the enemy in our lives.  God has already defeated the enemy, now He wants to help us defeat him as well…but we must let him.  Our weaknesses become our testimonies of what the Lord has done in us and for us.  Our weaknesses can help others become stronger in the Lord.  When we help others we become stronger in our wallk with the Lord.  2 Cor. 13:9 “For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete.”  Don’t allow the enemy to exploit your weakness, turn them over to God and let Him exalt your weakness and give Him the glory. – Donna Warren

July 26th, 2014

God watches over His Word…so should we!  Jeremiah 1:12 “”you have seen well, for I am ready to perform My Word.”  We speak blessings or cursings everyday into our lives and the lives of others.  God keeps a close watch on His Word and is ready, willing and able to keep His Word.  His Word NEVER comes back void.  Isaiah 55:11 “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”. 

Speak HIS Word into your life today. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”  Amen! – Donna Warren

July 25th, 2014

THE STUBBORN AND ANALYTICAL MIND.  Oh woe are we who possess both!  As for me, I would always try to figure it all out.  You tell me your problem and “we” could handle anything.  I had myself fooled for quite a while actually – still do sometimes.  Then I’ll get this feeling of a 2 year old hanging on your parents leg and they get there hand and push you behind them, out of the way.  I think to myself “Oops – I’m sorry, you’ve got this God”.  My husband calls it “getting a little fleshy”.

It’s really easy to get a little fleshy if we’re not careful.  We try to get ahead of God.  It’s like Satan throwing us a bone and we jump up to go fetch it or if you have those OCD tendencies like me, all he has to do is leave a piece of paper in the wrong spot and I’ll put it where it belongs before ever thinking.  The thing about it is, we run get that bone, come back and there goes another one!  Before you know it we’re running in circles chasing our tails also.  Finally, we get dizzy and look back and there’s God right there in the same spot we left, pointing to where we were suppose to be all along – behind Him, under His protection.

Then there are other times when God wants us to follow Him and we’re scared to move.  The promise land is before us but all we see are the giants and we (being  a little fleshy) don’t quite trust God “THAT” much.  Our analytical minds can’t figure out how to beat those giants so our stubbornness keeps us put….and we remain in the wilderness.

The Holy Spirit is the one who guides us but it is our choice if we listen.    The pharaohs in Egypt were given every opportunity to receive God’s mercy but they just wouldn’t let the Israelites go.  If the Holy Spirit quickens us to act, the enemy immediately dispenses fear.  Fear can cause us to second guess ourselves and keep us from acting.  On the other hand, when God wants us to be still and wait, the enemy starts throwing us bones and keeps us distracted.  Fear and distraction are not of God.  A supernatural peace among all of the turmoil comes only from the Holy Spirit.  “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.” Philippians 4: 6-7

Discernment, wisdom and knowledge are three gifts of the Holy Spirit.  If we believe and have faith in what Jesus’ accomplished on the Cross, why don’t we seek, then have faith in the gifts He has given us?  Why don’t we trust in the quickening of His Spirit or the stillness of His peace?  Why?  Because the enemy sends fear and distraction  The enemy knows what God has promised each of us, the enemy has faith in God’s Word!  Trust God.  When He opens the door, take a step.  When the Lord closes the door, be still.  “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13. – Donna Warren

July 24th, 2014

KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST.  This is yet another statement I didn’t understand for a long time.  I always thought to myself “Well yea, I know He loves me!”  Then I would do something, write something or say something and worry….should I have really said this or done that.  As it turned out I didn’t know who I was in Christ because knowing who you are in Christ breeds confidence and courage.

The confidence of knowing who we are in Christ doesn’t mean He loves us only when we are right.  Our confidence is in HIM and His love, not in our actions.  It doesn’t mean confidence that we’re always right.  God knew what He was getting when He chose us. We don’t have to be “perfect”, just available.

So, now that I finally established “who” I was in Christ, not perfect but available knowing He would love me regardless of my failures, I was then led to this scripture  1 Cor. 8:9-13 “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.  For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols?  And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?   But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.  Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 

The liberty we have in knowing who we are in Christ also brings a higher responsibility.  We know His love and forgiveness but we also know the sacrifice made by Jesus.  We now hold the responsibility of not exploiting God’s grace.  Just because we know who we are in Christ and understand we will be forgiven when we fail does not give us the right to “flaunt” His grace in the presence of others.  Yes, we are given grace freely and abundantly but it is only because of Jesus’ sacrifice.   Showing off God’s grace and forgiveness without showing off the sacrifice made by Jesus can lead both believers and unbelievers to only knowing who they are in grace – not in Christ.  The liberty of knowing God’s grace and forgiveness can mislead others if we are not responsible with what we have been given.  God holds us accountable when we mislead His children.  As a child of God we walk boldly in who we are in Christ, we are forgiven and reconciled with God but we know at what price that came – Jesus and the Cross.  To sin against others is a sin against Christ.  Therefore, we must consider how it affects others in everything we do.  We must give to them the same grace and forgiveness given to us and tell them by whom and from where it came, Jesus.  Give His grace and preach your Jesus!  – Donna Warren

 

July 23rd, 2014

Is hell REALLY for real?  Would our God, so full of mercy and grace, really send us to a fiery pit?  We can’t pick and choose what part of the Bible we believe.  It’s all or nothing.

What would we do if a group of thugs nailed our child to a tree?  Years pass by (2014 to be exact) and some don’t even believe it happened or choose not to “get involved”.  Then our child says ““Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34  Could we forgive?  Its hard to imagine but THIS is where God’s mercy and grace begins.  THIS, Jesus Christ on the Cross, is the only reason we have made it this far. Jesus petitions God for favor and mercy for all of us sinners. 

This is why we fear God and love God at the same time.  We fear Him because we understand His power and we love Him because we understand His mercy.  We are thankful for His favor on our lives when we didn’t want to “get involved” in His Son’s crucifixion.  Once we understand, believe and have faith in Jesus’ work on the Cross, we are adopted into the family of God.  Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,  and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”

Once we’re pronounced a child of God, we understand the wrath of God in which we fear is as protective over us as He is over Jesus.  We are no longer the persecutor but we are now  preserved.  We’re reconciled with God because we believe in Jesus and the Cross.   Now we take that next small step in faith and begin to walk out into the Kingdom of God.  All of our “problems” are still there but for some reason they don’t seem as important.  We know who we are in Christ.  We know we have His protection over our lives.  Then… a prayer is not answered – WHAT?!?   Confusion begins to arise.  Aren’t we protected, aren’t we a child of God, what about all of those “promises”?  1 Cor. 14:33,  “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace,”.  (This is why as new Christians we must stay in the Word and as mature Christians we point them to the Word.)  And so we pray; we reject confusion and pray for understanding.  Things begin to happen, supernatural really – this praying thing may be working.  We begin to understand a little.  We kind of see where maybe that was a good thing that prayer wasn’t answered.  We begin to understand that unanswered prayer was our will but maybe it wasn’t God’s will.  When we look back, we realize God gave us a “revelation”.  Wow – our first revelation!  I’ve heard about those things!  He revealed to us we should pray for His will and not our own if we want to really know His purpose for our life.  His revelations and newness become an everyday occurrence.  Even when bad things happen, instead of moaning and groaning, we know God’s got this.  Unexplainable actually – we just pick up our cross and bear it.

The newness of God’s revelations in our life is for everyone, everyday. Yes, hell is real and if it wasn’t for Jesus we would be well on our way.   Jesus didn’t die for us to suffer through life.   It is when we allow confusion of unanswered prayers or the complacency of our walk with the Lord that limits God.  We cannot live out God’s will for our life without God.  The gospel is still as simple as it was 2000+ years ago.  We don’t have to beg for God’s grace, we just have to go back to the basics.  Believe in Jesus, have faith in God and seek Him first – then get out of His way. He’s still the same God the first day we’re saved as He is right now.  He still wants to bless His children, protect His children and guide His children. – Donna Warren

July 22nd, 2014

THE GAMBLE – I personally use to love to gamble.  Even to this day when I hear and see the shuffling of the cards on the computer game of Solitaire my flesh takes note.  The entire atmosphere of sounds, smells and flashing lights in a casino will heighten my senses.  Did you know they actually pump oxygen into the casinos?  I remember one night while playing poker the dealer came in, worked her shift, got off of work, came back the next night to work and I was still sitting there playing.

Obviously gambling can be quite expensive and addictive.  I have even heard it described as the receptors in our brain becoming “numb” to the constant and relentless firing of our heightened senses; therefore we seek more to maintain the high.  I suppose this is the general idea behind any addiction.  Fortunately, I never thought of myself as “addicted” to gambling, maybe it was just because I didn’t have the money, but I can certainly see where it could become addictive.

A friend of mine had a blog called “Chasing the Anointing” describing how some Christians chase the “high” of an experience with the Holy Spirit.  I attended a bible study last night about “hyper grace” describing how some seem to worship grace more than they worship the Lord.   I guess my point is, we must be careful and not replace one “addiction” with another.  2 Timothy 3:7  speaks of  “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  The only truth is in the Word of God.  We do not add to it, we do not subtract from it and we do not conform it to fit our lifestyle.  We rise up to it and regard it as ” given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “it” is the Word of God. 

God has blessed us with many teachers, preachers, evangelists and prophets who all point us to the Lord and His Word.  These people are men and women of God to whom we are thankful for being obedient to the Lord.  They are the Lord’s servants sent here to feed us His Word.  However, satan has servants as well.  Satan knows the Word of God better than many of us, myself included.  Mark 13:22 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. ”

Yes, some are replacing one addiction for another.  They are seeking a “high” instead of seeking God.  The enemy has them convinced they are “righteous” because man told them so.  Like other addictive behaviours, they just can’t get “high” enough and they fall.  They fall and in turn think God failed them and the enemy is right there saying “told you so”.

We cannot be lazy in seeking God.  We cannot depend on others for our salvation.  WE must get into the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit guide us to the truth.  Our pastors and teachers are only with us a couple of hours a week.  They pray for us to seek the truth so we can confirm the Word of God for ourselves.  They know once the Word of God is instilled in our hearts, we become living witnesses of God’s grace and mercy.

If you would have told me two years ago to read the Bible, I would have thought you bumped your head.  I have been blessed with mentors who constantly pointed me to different scriptures at different times.  I would read those scriptures and begin to dig a little deeper.  Finally I realized I hit the jackpot!  The “high” I had searched for came when I searched for the Lord and He caught me.  Once He catches you, He won’t let go…only we do.  Go deeper with God and don’t be deceived by man, know for yourself the Truth – know the Word of God.  – Donna Warren

 

July 21st, 2014

DEFEAT THE DECEIT –  Being born again, which only comes through faith in Jesus and the Cross, we are born into the righteousness of God and dead to sin.  Dead to sin means “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14.  Grace meaning Jesus paid the price for our sins once and for all.  It was not the Law that condemned us but the sin.  If not for the Law we would not know sin; just as we would not know light if not for the darkness.  Furthermore,  we as carnal beings cannot conquer sin on our own.  This is the reason Jesus came to save us.  The Lord came to pay for our sins; past, present and future.  He suffered the consequences and we live because he died.  This we call Grace.

As Christians we are still held to the strict obedience of the Law but we are now, through Grace, given the power to over come sin because we have within us the Holy Spirit.  HOWEVER, even with this power to over come we still stumble.  We all fall short.  Our flesh, being of this world, desires things of this world.  We have the Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirit but WE make the choice.  We are given the power but it is up to us to use.  This is what we refer to as crucifying the flesh and bearing our cross daily and its not always necessarily easy. Is it the right thing to do? Yes.  Is it always easy? Absolutely not!

And so we stumble.  We, being the righteous of God, sin.  We sin for many different reasons, in many different ways but we do sin.  Our sins can lead us far away from God or we can allow God to use them as a learning process in maturing us as a Christian.  Sin doesn’t come without satan, the liar and deceiver, and once our sin is committed we must decide again who we are going to serve.  For “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils:” 1 Cor. 10:21.  We CANNOT use Grace as an excuse to sin but we ask for forgiveness, once again receive His grace and repent.  You see, it is His unwavering faith and love for us that causes us to repent.  His love for us IS our power to repent.  God knows our heart, He knows when we are trampling on the blood of His only begotten Son or when we are truly sorry for our sin.

Once we ask forgiveness and repent, the battle is not over.  Satan still tries to regain his territory – you, me and ours.  The enemy begins preaching the truths of this world; telling us we’re sinners, we’re unworthy and surely God won’t forgive THAT or forgive AGAIN – sound familiar Eve?  The feelings of guilt and shame are knocking on our door. This is our opportunity to glorify the Lord in the face of the devil.  Never depend on the enemy to preach the Word of God.  Satan will not tell us “that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Romans 8:28.  He, satan, will not tell us that by rejecting guilt and shame will allow God to reveal Himself to us and through us. By receiving God’s forgiveness and His Grace, we are His testimony; we are His witness.   When we accept guilt and shame instead of forgiveness, we are allowing the death of Jesus to be in vain.  The enemy knows he has already been defeated, don’t allow him to convince us otherwise.  When the deceiver attempts to put you on trial for your sins once they have been forgiven, remind him who the judge is and that the verdict has already been handed down.  Instead of running deeper into the darkness, glorify God by running back into His arms! – Donna Warren