Thursday, December 18, 2014

When You Need to Encourage Yourself (Jude 1:20-21)

In my last post I wrote about the need we sometimes have to encourage ourselves:
 Not everybody knows how to be encouraging.  The word means to "put courage in", not to be critical.  Encouragement shows someone how to find strength even in their weakness, points them to Jesus, and stays in relationship no matter how messy it gets.  Encouragers never use shame to motivate.  Evaluate your relationships and let go of people who are the opposite of encouragement to you.  Pray for the Lord to send people that will build you up and support you in what God has called you to. You may find that you have to encourage yourself for a while until the right relationships have developed, and I have a video (coming later today) that will give you some ideas on "how".
Well, here is the video:


At the end of the video I invite you to visit my and my friends' online "joybox" on Pinterest right here ...

There is so much inspiration on Pinterest, and I think everyone has a quote pinboard that holds meaningful words - see, you already know how to encourage yourself! But just in case you need that encouragement and CAN'T be on the internet, a little joybox on your shelf is the next best thing...

Till later, beloved,
Cindy

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday of Lights - What is the Significance of Hannukah for Modern Christians?

http://www.thekosherchannel.com/images/chanukah-menorah-girl.jpg
Image Source

 Voice of the Lord


God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name (Philippians 2:9).
Jewish Date
KISLEV
25

Although Chanukkah (the Feast of Dedication) is not a festival specifically commanded in the Scriptures, we are told that Yeshua observed it in first-century Jerusalem (John 10:22). He certainly affirmed the importance of the Maccabean victory of 164 B. C. E. and celebrated the preservation of his people, Israel. A central part of the observance is the lighting of the nine-branched chanukkiyah (Chanukkah menorah, or lampstand) to commemorate the miracle of the oil.

We are told in the Talmud that as the Maccabees kindled the Menorah in the restored Temple, one day's worth of oil lasted for eight days until a new supply could be produced. Hence, we light one candle for each of the eight days. Why the ninth candle? We call this candle the shammash (servant). It is the first candle lit, kindled by the match; in turn, it gives light to the other eight candles. Although shammash means "servant," it is clearly exalted above the rest of the candles of the chanukkiyah. It stands taller than the others.

The shammash candle is a perfect picture of Yeshua the Messiah. He left his glory in heaven and humbled himself to become a shammash to mankind. Yet after his death, he was raised by the Father and exalted. We can only experience the light of God as we receive it from his Son, Yeshua, the Servant.

Thank you, Abba, for the light of your exalted servant, Yeshua HaMashiach (the Messiah)!*



Believers can celebrate this season along with their Jewish brothers and sisters...more in depth teaching from a Messianic perspective is available at this link if you are interested.  In addition there are instructions for the driedel game, the traditional game of the holiday!

For myself, I wanted to observe the holiday in a simple way.  I asked the Lord for help, and He gave me a simple verse and single thought for each candle.  Here is my celebration:


 You are welcome to use these same scriptures for your own Hanukkah lights - you can download a version at this link or a clean white background version at this link.


Till later, beloved...

Cindy




*The italicized portion is taken from the Voice of the Lord edited by David J. Rudolph. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.

Monday, December 15, 2014

5 Things You Need to Endure When the Holiday Season Gets Tough


I always enter the Holiday Season thinking I have everything planned and in place so I can relax and enjoy the surprises that always come our way during this season.  I have my mind set to be the one customer in cash register lines that is NOT in a hurry, and I smile and chat with those around me and bless the cashier during my turn.  But then there are things that happen like the cookies burning at 10 pm because my ancient oven decides to give a burst of heat to prove it isn't really that old...and the co-op homeschool party gets rescheduled 3 times!  The heater has gone out downstairs, but that is the room with a fireplace, so in actuality that is the perfect excuse to have more fires!
God is with me - all the time - and my life is good. 

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
Psalm 16:6


It isn't that life doesn't hold heart-ache.  We have had our difficult years.  I don't talk about this often, but we have an adult son who is in prison, and we are raising our grand-daughter (this is my sweet teenager I talk about).  We have been her parents since she was a baby.  She has learning differences that sometimes still take me by surprise, because she is so "normal" 80% of the time.  My career outside the home didn't happen as we had planned- well, it did and then we made the decision to homeschool her.  God has been with us every step.

But sometimes I feel that I cannot stretch again.  I become hard and rigid with others so that I don't feel the scraping and punctures of emotional hurts - whether intentional or not.

I am needy, too.  Sometimes life is hard.  I am in need of endurance and hope and encouragement just like anyone else.    Whatever is the name of your hard place - loneliness, illness, stress, fear, unrest, depression - because we have Jesus, we can stand strong in the midst of whatever is happening.

That is the kind of environment the new believers of the New Testament also dwelt in.  The writer of the book of Hebrews exhorted these young Christians to stand strong in the midst of their circumstances.  He reminded them of the deity of Jesus, of His fulfillment of the prophecies of the Messiah, how His life and sacrifice abolished the futility of the legalistic system.  How He had opened up the way to fellowship with God once again.  And he further encouraged them with these words:

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, 
for He who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 

Four of the five qualities we need to endure are in this verse:

1. Hold fast - In the original language, this phrase is put together from words that means to "pull down from a higher plane and to hold there.  I love the idea this creates in me - I "see" believers pulling down from heaven the promises of God, clinging to them in their present trials.

2. Confess our hope - The word "confess" here is homologia.  If you have been in a good Bible teaching church for a while, you may have already learned the meaning of this word: "to say the same thing about".  But even more deeply, it means arriving at the same conclusion.  We can "confess" without having the heart assurance, but this means that our confession is based on a conclusion that we have arrived at...we really need to have confidence in the thing we are confessing.  And hope is our confident expectation.  To confess our hope means to declare as true what we are confidently expecting when it comes to the promises of God.

3. Don't waver - Unbending.  Unyielding.  Resolute.  That is the meaning of the word translated "don't waver".  It must come from a place of strength; strength that is built by "holding fast" and true "confessing" the promises of God.

4. Be assured of His faithfulness - From  Strong's Word Studies:  1861 epaggéllō (from 1909 /epí, "on, fitting" intensifying aggellō, "announce") – properly, to declare a promise that is fitting (apt), i.e. legitimately applies. God specifically pledges (promises) His Word, and does so in particular situations.  And He is trustworthy (faithful) to fulfill what He has promised, not necessarily what we think He said.  That is why it is so important to know what His voice sounds like, so we don't go running around saying "thus says the Lord" when it is really just our own imagination!  So many writers are emphasizing this right now - know God's voice is definitely a "kairos" (always important but strategic for right now) word for the moment!


The fifth thing needed is other encouraging people:

and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another;
and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB

Not everybody knows how to be encouraging.  The word means to "put courage in", not to be critical.  Encouragement shows someone how to find strength even in their weakness, points them to Jesus, and stays in relationship no matter how messy it gets.  Encouragers never use shame to motivate.  Evaluate your relationships and let go of people who are the opposite of encouragement to you.  Pray for the Lord to send people that will build you up and support you in what God has called you to. You may find that you have to encourage yourself for a while until the right relationships have developed, and I have a video (coming later today) that will give you some ideas on "how".

Blessings!
Cindy

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Can you give me 2 minutes? {Where Do Essential Oils Come From and Why They Work}

Essential oil talk is everywhere. And in this environment, it won't be long before you begin to hear conflicting ideas, or people trying to restate what they heard and not remembering everything accurately. It can make a person feel lost and confused even when they really want to know more! So I found a great video that talks just the basics of what an essential oil is. You can watch it right here and it is only two minutes long.


If you would like to know my personal story and learn more about these incredible health boosters, go here and sign up for the "training". It is really just the information you've been wanting so you can make an informed decision about God's gift from the earth!

My story + more is here: Learn the "Essentials" of DoTerra Essential Oils, under the 12 Tribes Oils tab of the navigation bar.

You can also ask questions on my facebook page:  Cindy Fort@12 Tribes.  I can't wait to talk with you - I am so excited for what oils have accomplished for my family's health!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A little quiet time reflection and thoughts I wanted to share with you.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; 
give thanks to Him and praise His name. 
Psalm 100:4 

How beautiful to go to the temple of the Lord, and minister to Him.  To see the visible place of His dwelling surely caused the praise and thanksgiving to rise up spontaneously in each worshipper. In Old Testament times, the priests even lived in the temple, the closest place to Him on earth. What joy to be counted among those who were set apart for this service! And we have this kind of access to Him 24/7 because His temple is our heart, He live in us!  In considering how this verse applies to our present reality, I was brought to this thought: to "enter His gates" today means to pause, consider, and acknowledge that
 1) He is in His temple 
 2) we are that place and
 3) "entering in" means to be present to this truth and 
act in awareness of His constant presence with us! 

During this season, I am praying to be daily more aware of this incredible truth that the Living God, the Creator of the Universe has made His home in my heart...and the implications of this.