Tag Archives: kingdom thinking

Faith, Fact OR Fear

Faith, fact or fear

Faith, Fact OR Fear

Today I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on “Faith, Fact OR Fear”.  Please go check it out and also help me get this teaching out to as many as possible.

You can CLICK HERE to go online and listen to the message.

You can also go to iTunes by CLICKING HERE and subscribe to the Kingdom Thinking podcast.

I would love to hear from you below!

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Greatness Through Serving

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“Greatness Through Serving”

Today I shared at Living Water Teaching’s US Headquarters, in Caddo Mills, TX on “Greatness Through Serving”.  I used Matthew 20:20-28 as my reference.  I believe with all my heart that TRUE & LASTING greatness only comes through serving others!

You can CLICK HERE to go online and listen to the message.

I would love to hear from you on your thoughts on serving and also how you would define it, below.

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Healed, Whole & Healthy

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We live in a world where people sink billions of dollars into health and fitness, with not many really ever seeing a lasting return or result.

I just read a 2015 stat that showed the health club market was $81.2 billion dollars.  I wonder how many of those billions that are spent on health memberships are never used?  I think if you’re not willing to invest in yourself at your own house, then it’s a far jump to say you would actually show up at a GYM.  Another $5.12 billion was spent on exercise equipment alone.

Now this is NOT an attacking blog about just health and fitness, so please stay with me.

Let’s look at those three little words from my title:

  1. Healed – “To make free from injury or disease:  to make sound or whole. To make well again:  to restore. To cause (an undesirable condition) to be overcome.  To restore to original purity or integrity.”
  2. Whole – “Free of wound or injury. Free of defect or impairment. Physically sound and healthy:  free of disease or deformity.  Mentally or emotionally sound.”
  3. Healthy – “Free from disease or pain:  enjoying health and vigor of body, mind, or spirit. Showing physical, mental, or emotional well-being. Beneficial to one’s physical, mental, or emotional state.”

(All three of these are taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary.)

When I read those three words, I get brought back to God’s original design for mankind.

Genesis 1:26 (AMP) Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the cattle, and over the entire earth, and over everything that creeps and crawls on the earth.” Verse 27: “So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them”.

Webster defined image as, “A reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing, a visual representation of something.  Exact likeness.”

I love the last two words, exact likeness!  God made me in the image of Him, an exact likeness.  Now I’m sure someone, somewhere in the world, would love to do nothing more but take this apart and redefine it for me BUT it doesn’t matter to me!  My relationship with God is based purely on that, relationship; not a religion, and for sure not mankind intellect.

God made man in His image, but because of decisions made, things took a turn from His perfect plan.  BUT, my Jesus put all things back in order for those that call on Him, confess in Him and believe on Him!

I love what Benjamin Franklin said, “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”  Or I would say, the decision-making power to pursue it yourself.  The power of a decision is truly awesome!

So, what does healed, whole, and healthy mean to me?  Does it mean that life is perfect because I live by faith and not by sight?  Does it mean that all I have to do is speak words off the pages of the Bible and boom, everything changes?  A little hocus-pocus and SHAZAM, it’s all fixed?  Sorry, but no, life is life and it comes with that which seems like a roller coaster ride.  But as a faith filled believer, we should have a hope that life and all its tips, turns and loops can NOT shake us from.

Healed, whole, and healthy to me means first and foremost that I know who I am in Christ Jesus.  I know what the Word says and I walk in a revelational relationship with my God.  It means that the Joy of the Lord is my strength (Psalms 28:7 AMP) no matter what life brings my way.  It means that in every area of life, spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, and socially, I see what Jesus did for me before I see the situation.

Healed, whole, and healthy might not be revealing right now in the natural realm that there is nothing missing and nothing broken, BUT, the hope we have in the greater One that lives in us does and that’s all that matters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Temple Dominion

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Greetings to all the Kingdom Thinking family.  Debbie and I are excited to have another power packed guest post this week from our good friend, Julieann Hartman.  You can read more about Julieann in her bio at the end of this post.  So put on your seat belt and get ready!

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own”? (1 Cor 6:19 NKJ).

How do you treat your body?  How would you present and keep your house if you knew that a King or Queen was coming to stay in your house?  Heck, when I have a couple of friends over, I clean my house like crazy!  I can’t imagine what it would be like if there was a Royal Priesthood coming to stay at my house and I wasn’t equipped to accommodate them.  What about the Holy Spirit that lives on the inside of you?  Wouldn’t you want to present your body a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God which is your reasonable service? (Romans 12:1)  Now please don’t get me wrong, this is not to condemn you at all about how you treat your body!  We already know that “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”. (Romans 8:1)

What about exercise?  I know there are a lot of people that don’t like to workout.  Do you like to do it? Is it the first thing on your “to do” list or is it such a low priority that you just keep putting it off for days and then years?  We do need to be good stewards over our bodies.  How do we do that?  How do we steward?  The definition of “stewardship” is the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving. (Dictionary.com)  Do you care about yourself enough to want to preserve yourself for as many years as you feel you want to live on this earth?  For an everyday person who is not an athlete, exercising 3 to 4 times a week – 30 to 40 minutes a day is perfect.  You have only one body.  You can lift, tuck, tan and enhance but you will not be able to replace it.  Think about your future because you will be in this body for the rest of your life!  Whatever you sow now is what you will reap later.  This can be good and bad.  Exercise has SO many positive effects.  It makes you alert.  It makes your heart healthy.  Makes your motor skills more precise.  It gets your blood flowing, it makes you more energized, it makes your brain process quicker.  There is nothing wrong with exercising. The only wrong thing about exercise would be if you have a wrong attitude about it.  When I was a trainer I heard over and over again, “Oh, I don’t like gyms, they’re meat markets!” or “I don’t want to mess up my hair!” or “I’m too embarrassed about my body!” or “I just don’t have the time!”  Nowadays, there are NO excuses.  There is something for everyone.  You can download an app and workout in the comfort of your own home and at any time!  You can join a gym, you can take a class, you can walk, hike, cycle, and the list goes on and on.  There is never a lack in finding something that will benefit your physical body and overall health.  My 78-year-old mother works out 3 times a week in a program called “Silver Sneakers”.  She loves it.  It’s a good workout.  She can do it standing up or sitting down.  It’s a time of fellowship, ministry and just plain fun!  Did you know that the human body is the only machine on earth that gets better and stronger the more you use it?  Every other machine made by man wears out with use!  But our bodies are made by God!

Now over-exercising is a whole other thing.  It can make you feel exhausted all the time and everything you do seems like it’s impossible because you are so tired and your body just won’t work at its full capacity.  It creates brain fog, complete exhaustion, short tempers and body soreness!!  Please take the time to take care of your body – in all ways.  Working out is supposed to help in your body’s overall health, not take away your energy.  I was guilty of that for many years.  The reason I over-exercised was so I could be so exhausted by the end of the day that fear, anxiety or any other negative impulse or thoughts would be overruled by my complete 100% exhaustion.  One thing I see so much of is posting on social media in the form of “look what I’m doing” selfies or “look at my cute workout outfit”.  Do you exercise for the Instagram photo or Facebook?  Or how about Snapchat?  That’s all fine but that kind of reason will definitely fade away in time.  Please do it for the goals and dreams ahead of you that God has put in your heart to do.  It will all be worth it someday when you see the fruit of all your labor for building the Kingdom.  I praise God that I was delivered from that mindset.  You see how something that is meant for good can be damaging to someone who leans on their own flesh to break bad habits or bondage?  We just don’t have that kind of power on the inside of us when we are not in Christ.

Sleep deprivation can be an enemy to our physical bodies.  We have to sleep!  Especially women!!  I don’t know about men because I’ve never been one but I can guarantee that they need sleep as well.  We have to rest our muscles, organs, and minds!!  As women, we have hormones and when we don’t sleep our hormones get all out of whack!!  For me, it all started when I had my first daughter.  I was up all hours of the night, had my second daughter and was up all hours of the night even more!  And then when they started to go to school, drive, have relationships…. need I say more!!  We have to be “hooked up to the vine” constantly to keep our minds from going places that they shouldn’t go in our emotions. (John 15:1)  I know that when I don’t get enough sleep everything I do the following day is with so much more effort.  Be honest about how much sleep you really need and then get it.  There’s no shame in needing 8 to 10 hours of sleep.  That might be what your body requires.  I know how easy it is to stay up and look at all your social media, to look at who’s doing what.  It’s so tempting but you will be the only one who suffers the next day when you’re so tired.  Actually, it will not only be you who suffers – it will also be everyone around you, too!

As I close, I really just want all who read this to know that you have dominion and authority over your life.  It is empowering to know that you can be successful by the choices you make and by some of the sacrifices you make: one being exercise!  You’re never too old to exercise.  There is always something you can do.  Whether you sit in a chair and wiggle your toes or you compete in the Iron Man Triathlon.  It is up to you.

You are not just a conqueror, you are more than a conqueror! (Romans 8:37)

About Julieann:

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Julieann Hartman is a native from Los Angeles. She’s been married for 25 years to an incredibly loving & talented Executive Producer of Television Animation and has 2 adult daughters who love the Lord with all their hearts! She’s had many careers in her life up to this point. She’s been an Actress, Executive Secretary, Material Supervisor on the game show Jeopardy!, Tae Bo instructor and Personal Assistant. She and her husband, Butch, are the Co-Founders of their Non-Profit Foundation “Hartman House” established in 2005.

No matter how exciting these careers might seem, NOTHING takes the place or even comes close to being a wife, a mother and an Ambassador for Jesus Christ!

 

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What About 2016?

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So what about 2016?

The end of January is right at hand and I wonder how many are still thinking about 2016?

Thinking about the good, the bad and the really ugly of a year that has come and gone; did you hear that? A year that has come and gone! Ladies and gentlemen, we are in a brand new year. The chalkboard has been erased and it’s a fresh new slate just waiting for you to start writing.

The only thing we should really be thinking about from 2016 is “What did I learn?” Honestly, every day of life is a learning experience. The problem is that if we don’t recognize and make changes, then life basically becomes like 365 ground hog days with no true forward traction. Some people live their entire life never finding that place of joy and happiness. They always find themselves in want and call it need. They move from one horrible day to another and one day realize they have wasted their entire life away with nothing to show for it. Life was never promised it would be easy BUT it is also not meant to be the way I just described it. But we also don’t have to buy into a downward spiraling system that is all around us.

So let’s stop for a moment and look at our lives. TIME TO TAKE INVENTORY! Grab a pen and paper for this PLEASE! Be honest on the following:
1. Today, at this very moment, how would YOU describe your life?
2. When you look in the mirror, do you like what you see?
3. Do you like how you feel?
4. When you look around your home and in your vehicle, do you see excellence?
5. What would you like to see changed in the relationships in your life?

If any of these questions have a non-positive response, then it’s time for a change! That change cannot be left in the hands of God or anyone else. You have the power of change and the authority over your own life. Today is the second most important day of your entire life, second only to the day you made Jesus the Lord over your life. Why is this day so important? Because you have the opportunity to make a shift that will change your life forever!

My wife, Debbie, and I started a lifestyle change maybe 5 years ago. It’s been a roller coaster ride with more up’s than down’s but 5 years later, we feel better than we ever have. The smallest repeated positive change can make a huge difference over time. But again, we live in a society that wants it NOW! That’s why people are daily looking for the latest diet plan, the pill that will shred the pounds without all the work. I just heard a commercial for a workout item and the money backer for this invention said, “I like to stay fit but not workout”. REALLY!???! That’s like “I want to lose weight while I eat a bag of chips and drink a soda”. For us, we have tried many things, but a free app (MyFitnessPal) and some decisions about what we were not going to eat OR eat so much of, making smart food choices, and a good exercise regimen, turned about to be the answer. You can apply this to any area of your life, you just have to stop making excuses! Trust me, I know. I made excuses for years but now I see the proof and real desire!

So today, right now, STOP looking at 2016 and focus on the here and now and make it the BEST day, week, month, and year EVER!!!!!!

I would love to hear from you and also, if you have any questions on this post OR how we made the changes in our health and fitness, please feel free to ask. We really do want to hear from you. =)

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Resolution -vs- Solution

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Greetings to all the Kingdom Thinking family.  Debbie and I are excited to have a guest post this week from our good friend, Julieann Hartman.  You can read more about Julieann in her bio at the end of this post.  So put on your seat belt and get ready!

It’s January 2017 and what do most people do for a new year’s resolution? They all promise, vow & post about how they are going to get into shape! Then about 4 to 6 weeks later, you start to see less and less of the “weight loss” posting and then they’re back to posting pictures of food! I was a trainer for many years and unfortunately, I’ve seen and heard this same pattern over and over and over AND over again. It has always made me feel so much compassion for the ones that start out so gung-ho and then start to lose their steam as the days move forward into the year. I hated to see people feel like they failed. It would affect them negatively in so many areas of their life. Why make this sort of New Year commitment when you can do it at any time? All it takes is a little discipline throughout the year. It’s so self-defeating when you start out the “new year” making a promise to yourself and the whole world (in some cases, thank you social media!) that you probably won’t keep or you won’t pursue to your end goal. Why does it have to be a temporary fix? If you could work on this all year long, it would be so much easier. This would make you feel confident and “on top of the world”. What if you didn’t do it for yourself? What if you did it for the Lord?

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?” (1st Cor 6:19).

Don’t most of us say “I would do anything for you, Lord”? Most of the worship music we listen to usually has a part in the song that says “I will seek you with all my heart”, or “I will shout your name on the mountain tops”? Well why when it comes to our “daily, minute to minute lives” and our “daily consumption” we don’t involve the Lord? I hope this doesn’t sound mean or offensive, but I know that some of you reading this can get very disappointed in yourself for something that you can really learn how to control. This is exactly what the enemy wants us to do. He wants us to create bad habits so he can remind us of them every time we start to make a change. Don’t let him be the Lord of your life! Jesus is the Lord and the love of your life. It’s a choice we have to be serious about making. Remember, it’s not God that makes you feel condemned by your weaknesses. We have awesome scriptures like, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (Eph. 6:10) that empower us to know that it’s not by our strength – but His. He loves us so much and knows that if we are not reading, meditating, or hearing the Word of God day and night, not letting this Word depart from our lips,we are going to succumb to the wiles of the devil, the lust of our flesh, the pride of our eyes and every other thing that we know is not good for us.

Exercise can be a tricky one because usually 8 out of 10 people do not like to exercise (unless you live in L.A.) They do it because they feel they have to in order to be healthy! The Bible does not say that being healthy comes from exercise. I have only found one scripture in the Bible that says anything about exercise and it’s “bodily exercise profits you little” (1 Timothy 4:8). That scripture does not say bodily exercise is the key to your health! In fact, the rest of that scripture says but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come”.

Proverbs 18:21 says “death and life are in the power of the tongue”. So, to me, your health really comes from what you say and what you don’t say. It doesn’t say that death and life are in the power of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, exercise, etc. It says it comes from the power of the tongue! Interesting, huh? The medical experts say that we can benefit from exercise and controlled eating. Yes, in the natural that is true; but please don’t put all your health concerns in the basket of food and exercise. Resting in the finished work on the cross, peace and joy are all ways of staying “healthy”. Heck, even Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Dry bones can break and dry bones can maybe be what causes arthritis.

One of the biggest reasons why people are not successful in this part of their life, is because they really don’t love or like themselves. It can be a vicious cycle. You don’t like yourself so you won’t be nice to yourself; so you eat out of self-hate and not out of self-love and then you find yourself being mad at yourself because you went out of control when you could have been in control; but now you feel like you want to give up and eat whatever because “Why not? Who cares? It’s my body. I’m not trying to impress anyone”. Do you hear the noise on the inside of our heads? Well, if you are in Christ that’s not true. You were bought with a price. Jesus was the price and His life was the ransom for your freedom. Please think about this. God LOVES you so much that He gave His only begotten son just for you and your freedom. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”! (John 8:36) There is no trainer or diet plan that loves you like your Heavenly Father does.

Okay, so now that we know that we’ve exposed some “stuff”, let’s get to the root of the problem. I believe most people have been a victim of identity theft. Who are you? Whose are you? Who do you live for? Where do you live? What’s your inheritance? Who do you trust? What does God say about you? Why are you so important to Him? Who do you say He is?

I know this very well because my identity was stolen. From birth all the way until just recently, I never really understood who I was in Christ. I could see Christ in others, but I felt so bad about myself I didn’t think God even had the time to waste on this girl who didn’t live for Him or even acknowledge Him very often. WRONG! FALSE! LIE! DECEPTION! As I got older, I thought my identity was in who I was to everyone on the outside – my body, my abs, my ability to workout multiple hours a day and the list goes on. That’s what I thought made me who I was. I thought that was my strength. The Word of God says that “the joy of the Lord is my strength”. (Neh. 8:10) What I found out was that no matter how many hours I worked out or how many calories I counted or how many foods that I removed from my diet because they were ‘bad’, I was still in His LOVE. My self -image started to change and I wasn’t afraid anymore. Fear can make you do things you never thought you’d do and it can also make you not do things you’ve always wanted to do. We are free in Him! “Therefore, now there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

Spend time cultivating a one on one relationship with the Father. Crawl up in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91:1) on a daily, hourly basis. Don’t be hard on yourself. Love yourself. Love the one who takes up residence in your heart: Jesus. If you do, you will find forgiveness, healing, deliverance, protection and provision. It’s the only way to live.

About Julieann:

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Julieann Hartman is a native from Los Angeles. She’s been married for 25 years to an incredibly loving & talented Executive Producer of Television Animation and has 2 adult daughters who love the Lord with all their hearts! She’s had many careers in her life up to this point. She’s been an Actress, Executive Secretary, Material Supervisor on the game show Jeopardy!, Tae Bo instructor and Personal Assistant. She and her husband, Butch, are the Co-Founders of their Non-Profit Foundation “Hartman House” established in 2005.

No matter how exciting these careers might seem, NOTHING takes the place or even comes close to being a wife, a mother and an Ambassador for Jesus Christ!

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A message of PURPOSE revealed in STAR WARS

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The following is a really great guest post from Eric Anderson .  I asked him to bring the topics of PURPOSE and STAR WARS together for this post and he did a really great job.  Thank you, Eric!  

“Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope.” This line from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, is one of the top 100 lines in the whole history of cinema. Although it was not the first line in the movie, it became the first significant line in a franchise that has impacted millions of individuals, as well as culture as a whole. This line brought an old man out of exile into a conflict which spanned a galaxy. Obi-Wan Kenobi had been in exile for nearly 30 years at this point. He was keeping tabs on a child on a desert planet far from his former apprentice. He did not exactly choose this exile. It came after he experienced a battle with a friend who betrayed him and his friend’s new mentor was just too powerful for the few Jedi that were left, to take down. But this line gave him a renewed purpose.

Purpose is a hard thing for us, right? We often struggle with it. Whether as a college student in a boring job with classes that are overwhelming or a businessman who is traveling to another continent for work or play. We live in a culture that does argue over our origins, regularly. In a world where a view like Han Solo’s claim of “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of the galaxy to the other and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything,” I would argue that we should take the side of Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan knew the Force. He had used the Force and responded to it time and time again. For him, it was not a struggle, and it doesn’t need to be one for us, either – even in exile.

The Jews in Babylon knew the feeling of exile. They had been in exile for nearly 70 years. They had sought purpose in the exile and were longing to get out of exile. First, we’ll look at the purpose within exile, then the purpose after exile. There were several prophets that can stand out in this time period. Jeremiah did not go into exile, but he wrote a letter to those in exile which is found in Jeremiah 29. Now normally, people focus on verse 11, but we shall look before that at what he actually told them to do while in exile. Verse 7 tells us: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” He didn’t want them to just carry on in life, but to live missionally within their context. This fits with Jesus’ teachings. He taught us to share our resources with those who have none. Even when God sends you where you do not want to go, He has people there for you to reach. People for you to love, be generous to, and to which you can share Jesus. I doubt that Obi-Wan just sat there while he was on Tatooine. We know he was looking after Luke from a distance and also that Yoda had told him to train in communing with the Force. Did you really think he became a Force Ghost later on by doing nothing on Tatooine?  In Jeremiah 29:12, after telling us He has a future and a hope for us, God says: “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” God has a relational and personal purpose for us. Jesus himself said that he calls his disciples “friends” and not just servants (John 15:15). This calling is one that exists both in and out of exile. It never ends and it will continue in eternity.

Exile is never permanent. It is always temporary, even if it feels long. When the 70 years were up, God revealed a particular part of His plan to two different men. One of them was sent to build walls around Jerusalem. Nehemiah felt a calling from God to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem and Ezra felt the calling to build a new temple for worship. They each have their own book in the Bible and I encourage you to read them. It seems that when someone is pulled from exile, throughout scripture they have a role. Paul spends time growing closer to Christ in exile then goes on his missionary journeys after that. Jesus spends forty days fasting in the wilderness and then completes his calling to bring redemption. Obi-Wan’s purpose was to get Luke out of his exile and helping with the rebellion against the Empire. In the newest Star Wars film, we find another person coming out of exile. A girl named Rey. She has been living life as a scavenger on a planet that experienced a huge battle and has many crashed ships on it. She then helps seek Luke Skywalker after enlisting in an army to fight the New Order.

Whatever phase of life you are in, whether you feel exiled to a place you do not like or if you love where you are, God has purpose for you. First of all, for you to enjoy life with Him, and secondly for you to bring His redemption to those around you.

Thank you again, Eric Anderson! And thank you to those that have taken the time to read this blog post.  I pray this one and any others you take the time to read, will bless you and bring increase into your life.  Please help us to reach further and bless more people by sharing this blog with others you know.  Together we can make a difference!    

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