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This is a place where we share the astonishing, hilarious, and holy moments where God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit intersect with people on earth.

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This community is a safe place for all God's kids. It's a place of genuine love, respect and commitment to the Lord and to one another. Our two guiding principles for this home are:

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Behind the Scenes With Mordecai

By Martha Bush Behind-the-scenes

Last week, in my post on Walking in God’s Favor, I found out that Mordecai drew more attention from readers, not so much for the actual deed he did for the king, but because of his attitude.

To refresh your memory, Mordecai informed Esther of the plot by Bigthan and Teresh to kill King Ahasuerus. An investigation was made, the two men found guilty, and impaled alive.  This was all recorded in The Book of Chronicles, the history book of King Ahasuerus’ reign, and that Mordecai was the man responsible for saving his life. However, five years passed, and he had not received any recognition or honor from the king for having spared his life.  

I have to admit that I would have had a pretty cruddy attitude about that. “Fine thing I did for the king, and he didn’t even take notice of me!”

But my friend, Nancy, made a comment about Mordecai that I have dwelled on all week. Quoting Nancy:

“Mordecai did not call attention to himself like many do today.

He was a humble man accepting what the king did for him.”

 Ummm.  Well, that shook my “ME” attitude off its pedestal. It reminded me of a saying I once read from an unknown author: “When you walk into a room, does your appearance say, “Here I am, or “There you are?”

That question goes right along with the ME attitude, doesn't it? Oh, how I pray I try to keep a humble spirit that Nancy described Mordecai as having. (Yes, I have repented this week, thanks to Nancy.)

So, since Mordecai has been on my mind this week, I decided to do a little further study on him to see what other character traits he had to go with his humble attitude. 

To name a few:

1. He was compassionate

We first get a glimpse of Mordecai’s compassion when he took Esther into his household and treated her like his own daughter after she was orphaned. (Esther 2:7) 

2. He was courageous

His first act of courage is exposing the evil plot to kill King Ahasuerus. (Esther 2:21-23).

Next we see his refusal to bow down and worship Haman. This certainly reflected his belief that God alone should be worshiped. (Esther 3:2) 

He also suggested a bold plan to counteract Haman’s scheme to kill the Jews.  (Esther 4:7, 8)

Mordecai had the courage to stand up for his beliefs, despite danger to his own life. 

3. He was an encourager

The most recognized words in the book of Esther come from the lips of Mordecai, when he was speaking to Esther about why she must be the one to tell King Ahasuerus of Haman’s plot to exterminate the Jews. He holds nothing back from her; he tells her the truth that when the king discovers Esther’s Jewish heritage, she will have the same fate as all the rest in the community.

But---- he instilled in her the hope that maybe this difficult position she was in was ordained by God by saying, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14 ) 

Mordecai had enough faith to believe that God would save his people no matter how bad things look. So, he encouraged Esther to be God's instrument and go before the king to save the welfare of the Jews. (Esther 4:1-17; 8:8-12)

After this encouragement, Esther knew what she needed to do.

*****

My friends, I am sure there are more character traits of Mordecai that you might be able to list in the comments. My personal take-away after studying more about Mordecai was that he was what movie producers call “supporting cast members.”  Merriam Webster's online dictionary defines this as the actors in a play, film, or television show other than the main stars. In short, Mordecai did more behind the scenes that supported and helped others do Kingdom work without drawing attention to himself, which brings us back to his humble attitude that my friend, Nancy, reminded us of.

Though Mordecai might not be considered the “star” of the book of Esther, his faith was rewarded because he always did right in God’s eyes.

To be clear: Favor and Blessings are not earned, just as salvation is not earned. They are gifts from God, and not based on our goodness. May we be as humble as Mordecai was, receive gladly whatever the Lord has for us, and give credit to His name.

What are your thoughts?

 


Donovan Clan Update

Fall in VancouverDonovan Clan Update   

My friends, I’ve been living in a whirlwind of crazy business.  But, today as you read this post, I’m nearly finished packing up my Temecula home and preparing to drive next week to our new location in Vancouver, WA.

Say WHAT!!

It was two months ago, today, as of this writing, that we made the decision to move. What most of you don’t know is that exactly two years ago while at the Open Heaven’s Conference. I heard the Lord speak to me. This was nearly audible. Or was it audible?? I can’t be sure.

I heard this: Don’t ever doubt that I am always with you. AND, you are moving.

Whoa.

Two years ago, Mike had been unemployed for months. I was wrangling with the financial strains and moving was NOT EVEN AN OPTION. However, down in my tiny heart was a dream. A tiny desire to return to an area where there is green. I desired to return to the seasons and the greenery of my childhood. And there is something so cool about a Father in heaven that knows the tiny dreams in our heart.

He’s JUST THAT GOOD!

Friends, there is something about the draw of our childhood home. The Bible is filled with so many reference to returning home. To leaving the desert and coming home.

This past week, I toured all over the county, in and around Vancouver. My heart soaked up the green. It reminded me of my home in the mountains of Colorado and Utah where I grew up. I know this is my calling. I have heard the Lord share with me some of my new assignments in my new home. I’m blown away by what He is reveling. And my placement in my new home is strategic.

Meadow Glade And our new home will be a miracle. I’ll explain more on that later.

Friends, I also attended Open Heavens while in the middle of moving. And it was SO GOOD. Below is a quote by one of the speakers. I think it was Papa Bill. Chew on this until I write another update. I love you all so much. Lynn

The most important thought you will have in the morning upon first awakening is the thought about how you see God. This thought is reflective of how you view yourself.

Wow… Just Wow.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. – ROMANS 12:2


Thoughts on Peace

Nitish-meena-RbbdzZBKRDY-unsplashPhoto by Nitish Meena on Unsplash

Hello everyone, Jeanne here with the post I planned to write last month.  I hope it’s worth the wait!

In the past ten years, I have had people ranging from family members to coworkers to people I’ve just met comment on my peaceful nature. Where does it come from, and how do I maintain it?

I have come to understand that just as “you are what you eat”, I become what I ingest.  In the computing world there is a very basic principle called GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.  Jesus says in Luke 6:45, “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” 

Scripture tells us to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1) and Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure… think about these things.  (Philippians 4:8)

We would all agree these are great goals, but the tasks of renewing our minds and focusing on excellent things are crazy difficult in today’s world.  Matthew 6:22 is another familiar verse that helps me.

The lamp of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Modern translations use clear, or healthy, or good in place of the word single, but the sense of the verse is if you are focused on the one right thing, your life will be full of light. 

Imagine there is a 6-month-old child in your living room.  The baby is surrounded by toys and loving adults and safe things to explore, but he is determined to crawl over to the burning fireplace. Every few minutes someone has to pick up the baby, turn him around, and distract him.  Sometimes our thoughts are like that.  Like the baby’s toys, we have many good things to consider and explore in our lives, but instead we keep thinking about the unruly family member or difficult situation. We need to get into the habit of changing our thinking by picking up our thoughts, turning them around, and filling them with good things. Even better, we can focus on the one right thing: keeping our eye single, looking to Jesus.

We are constantly bombarded with bad news and harsh words.  I am incapable of being exposed to that without being affected, so I avoid most mass and social media.  However, avoiding the garbage is not enough.  I need nutritious content to actually nourish my heart. A coworker once asked me, “If you don’t watch TV, who tells you what to think?”  My response: the Bible and the Holy Spirit do a great job of telling me what to think, and what to think about.

Not only are we surrounded by innumerable negative influences, but there are also hundreds of good causes that compete for our attention.  This is where I must rely on the guidance of Holy Spirit.  There are countless situations in the world and in my community that desperately need attention.  But I have limited time and resources.  To maintain my peace, I have to stay focused on my calling, and trust that God is raising up others to do the rest.  I can pray and contribute widely, but I need to “stay in my lane” when it comes to where I invest my time.

Replacing media time with time alone with the Word and the Lord has worked wonders for me. It’s in this time that God’s promises have come alive, and the seed of God’s word has borne fruit in my life. In John 14:1, Jesus tells us not to be anxious, and then he tells us how.  

Let not your heart be troubled.  You believe in God, believe also in Me.

Believe means to fully trust in and rely on God. It’s not just mental assent.  In Philippians 4:6, we find more instructions:

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God…

If I’m still anxious I ask myself, “Did you skip the part about ‘with thanksgiving’?  Are you rejoicing in the Lord??” (Yes, I talk to myself like that. Don’t judge me!)  Because if I did it right, I have the promise of the rest of the verse:

…and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I’ve heard it said that if you’re still upset after you’ve prayed, that’s not prayer, that’s just complaining.  When I have trouble getting out of a negative loop in my head, I find a way to play some worship music, stand up or walk and praise God out loud until I have recalibrated my perspective.  When I focus on the truth that God is on the throne, and he’s already provided a solution for every problem I’m ever going to face, I can truly be free of whatever burden I’m carrying.  I know there is joy in the presence of the Lord.  I can choose to get into his presence, or stay in my own miserable skin.

If you struggle with swirling emotions and negative thoughts, try changing what you feed yourself. Replace some/more of your media consumption with regular time alone with the Lord and his Word.  Drown out those negative voices with praises for our powerful, loving God.  In the comments, share what works for you to deal with worry and fear, or tell us about your favorite scriptures or songs that lift you up. See you


Walking in God's Favor

By Martha Bush Walking-in-gods-favor-1

Let’s take a stroll today and see what it's like to walk in God’s favor. For a reference story, I want to draw your attention to a man in the book of Esther - Mordecai. Let's start with Esther 6:3.

The king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?”  Then the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” 

The story behind the above verse goes like this:  One day, as Mordecai was on duty outside King Ahasuerus’ gate, two of the king’s guards became angry at the king and plotted to assassinate him.  Mordecai heard about it and passed on the information to Queen Esther who told the king, crediting Mordecai with the information.  An investigation was made, the two men found guilty, and impaled alive.  This was all recorded in The Book of Chronicles, the history book of King Ahasuerus’ reign.

Five years passed and it would appear as though the king had forgotten all about Mordecai saving his life.  But, on that night, the king could not sleep and asked for The Book of Chronicles to be brought to him, and he read the account that had been recorded of how Mordecai had saved his life.  The king decided it was now time to reward him for this.

And thus, plans were put into motion for "A royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him." "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’”  (Esther 6:6-11)

You gotta hand it to God.  He knows how to have a grandeur performance that glorifies His name. What a class act He performed. An interesting little tidbit of information.  You probably have noticed that The book of Esther does not even contain the name God. I don’t know know about you, but to me that shows how God works behind the scenes, and when He gets everything lined up like He wants it, He carries out His plan.

There is much written about the story of Mordecai and the events leading up to the night the king asked to read from The Book of Chronicles. But, may I draw your attention to three take away points in Chapter 6:  (1) God Saw Every Aspect of Mordecai's Life (2) God Didn't Forget Him (3) God's Timing Was Perfect. 

The Results--- 

Mordecai had the honor of Walking in God's favor!

What about you?  Do you ever feel that the dreams you have for your family have not been fulfilled? Do you ever feel that there is more God has for you to do? Do you ever feel that it is time for God to show up on your radar screen?

My friends, I can’t explain it, but I just feel it in my bones that something “BIG” is on the horizon for all God’s people - - new assignments, transitions, prophetic words coming to pass. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the "Hot Topic" among God's children.

Just like Mordecai, He has not forgotten us, nor has He forgotten our nation. So…….

Receive it in your hearts, and by faith, begin

Walking in God’s Favor!

I can’t wait to hear all of our stories that will surely come out of this time in history.

What are your thoughts on the story, as well as your own life.  You might can add more takeaway points than the three I listed.

*****  

If you haven’t watched it yet, check out Lynn’s video on what the Lord shared with her from Isaiah 61 concerning  The Year of The Lord’s FavorSee video here.

 


Embrace the Fork in the Road

By Martha Bush Y-road-sign

Fall is in the air, and a new season has begun. Here in Southeast Texas where I live, we are elated that we have survived the heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and love bugs that accompany the long days of summer. I passed a perfect stranger going into the grocery store the other day who paused to say, “Isn’t this weather great! I’m so glad summer is almost over!” 

The stranger’s statement made me think of our journey through life. Just as Mother Nature takes us through different seasons with each one having its own distinct features, so does life.

Take a stroll with me as I share the road I have traveled through different seasons of my life. Perhaps you can relate to some of them.

  • Sweet 16: My first memory of anxiously waiting for a specific season to arrive: driver’s license, and the awesome privilege of driving around our small southern town on Friday night.
  • Twenty One: College graduation, marriage, along with laundry, cooking, working 9-5, with attempts to hold onto the dating life we once knew.
  • Twenty seven: Babies began arriving, along with diapers and midnight feedings, which led into school, homework, carpools, ballgames, spend-the night-parties, fun times, crying times, proms, dating, college, weddings. Whew! How did I ever survive?
  • Grandchildren: A time to relax and play, and not have to pay the bills.
  • Death of Parents: Grief has a story and season of its own, unlike any other.

Yes, I have reached the age where I have passed through many physical seasons along my journey of life. Many of those seasons were filled with much joy. However, there have been many seasons that were filled with heartaches, which tested my faith. Those are the ones I wanted over and done with just as quickly as I wanted the long summer days of heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and love bugs to end.

Switch gears with me now and let’s take a look at spiritual seasons in our life. This involves our calling and purpose God has for us in different seasons.

For example: I was a school teacher for many years, and one day I heard the Lord calling me to follow Him in a new direction. Many times I cried out: “Lord, I love teaching; why are you taking me out of teaching.”  Then one day, as I questioned Him for the 100th time, I heard Him say, “I am not taking you out of teaching, I am just asking you to change courses.”

Thus my calling and purpose in life didn’t change from being a teacher; I just changed courses from teaching Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, as they were once called, to teaching Biblical courses at my church and in prison ministry, and later through writing. My calling and purpose remained the same; but the strategy of fulfilling it changed.

Our own Lynn Donovan is about to make a big geographical move. Did her calling and purpose in ministry end? No, it is expanding into another area where the Lord has called her to work in His vineyard. How exciting!

Upon reflection of my physical and spiritual life, I discovered that-----

  • In my physical life, there have been times that I just had to go ahead and embrace and accept whatever was going on at the time. Accepting it didn’t mean I approved of it. But, it was a season that I had to go through. According to the scriptures, To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1  (NKJV) Those hard seasons would eventually pass, and after it came the harvest. It was within that season that I learned and grew rather than remaining stuck, complaining about the pests that had invaded my life like the bugs and mosquitos in Texas.
  • In my spiritual life, when the Lord called me to follow Him in a new direction, a scripture boomed out at me: I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. (Deuteronomy 30:18  (NIV)  Though we are no longer under a curse, the blessing comes from obedience to the call and purpose in each season that God ordains for us to follow.

My friends, I conclude:

In both the physical and spiritual seasons of our lives, 

we are brought to the FORK in the road.

It is our choice which direction we are going to embrace at the FORK.

What about you? Share in the comments the seasons of your life, both physically and spiritually, where you had to make a decision to embrace the season at the Fork in the Road.

I can’t wait to hear your story.