Heart of Refuge

Unveiling The Hidden Beauty Of Your Heart

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Dreams Do Become A Reality ~ My First E-book

 

I started 2016 with a list of goals that I just prayed over and said “God over to you”. I did not know how some of them would be accomplished but I wrote the vision and made it plain.

Well one of my goals was to publish my first eBook. At the time it looked like a huge mountain but God connected me with a class Dawniel Winningham was teaching about ebooks. So I paid for the class and listen and took notes. Then I made contact with Julia Royston, a publisher and she helped me to publish my first book on 19th September. I am in the process of writing other books and can’t wait to launch them in 2017

When  you have a vision, God will connect the dots and cross the T’s. It was a goal that appeared to be so far fetched for me but I wrote it down anyway.

If you had a goal in 2016 that  has not happened then make sure you write it down as your first goal for 2017. Don’t discard or give up on it. Keep praying over it and keep going!

Here is the link to download my eBook on amazon  Click here .It deals with issues that we may have had we our parents and the dangers of passing on those issues to our own children, if we do not deal with them. at the end of each chapter are exercises that you can do.

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God’s Best Kept Secret ~ Lorraine Spence

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Image from Lorraine Spence

I have often heard it said “I am not called to prayer” well I would like to challenge that comment as I don’t know where that comes from or what would make any believer even believe such a ridiculous theory. Well if there is one thing we are ALL called to is PRAY so hopefully by the time you have finished reading this you will realise that we are ALL, including you called to pray.  Real prayer is a 2-way activity, which consist of speaking and listening, not the type where you come to God with your list of I wants, Matthew 6:33 tells us to ‘see you first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added’. Real prayer is, praying the heart & the will of God, Matthew 6:10 ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done’ Luke 22:42 ‘nevertheless not my will but Thine will be done’.

There are approximately 650 prayers in the bible and the actual word pray is mentioned over 300 times (KJV), that’s right, that alone should let you know how important prayer is to every believer and your relationship with the Father. Prayer or praying should be the most natural action every ‘born again’ believer should participate in regardless of their position or title, whether you serve in ministry or not, whether it’s congregational, group or alone, whether it’s in church or out of church – prayer is key.

Did you know that babies say their first words roughly at about 6 months and string together their firs 6 or so words by about 18 months? So I’ll just about give you the first 6 months to find your feet and adjust to the change, but after that you should definitely be speaking to the Father on a daily basis. There is absolutely no excuse not to develop a consistent prayer life as it is an integral part of your development and relationship with God. Imagine for a moment that you have a child which never cries, speaks or interacts with you in any way, what would you do? I know for a fact you would not just sit here and accept it, no you’d probably rush to the doctor’s surgery or to the baby clinic looking for answers, not only that what, what would you say to family and friends? Surely not “my child is not required to react or communicate with me”. This wouldn’t prevent you from loving your child and neither does it prevent God from loving you, but you would long for the interaction, as does God.

The dictionary describes prayer as ‘a solemn request for her or an expression of thanks’ well that is pretty sad because prayer is so much more. Prayer is how we interact with God, how we communicate, how we build our relationship and see Him as our father. Without interaction through prayer a real meaningful relationship cannot be properly cultivated or developed. The bible tells us in Luke 18:1 men ought always to pray, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to ‘pray without ceasing, James 5:26 tells us the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man avails much, in Matthew 6:9 – 23 Jesus instructs the disciples how to pray and again in Luke 11:1 the disciples even though having spent a lot of time with Jesus, were asking Jesus to teach them how to pray. So having read this do you still believe that you are not called to pray?

 

Lorraine’s Bio

Born 2nd of 4 children of Jamaican parentage, I grew up in an area
what was considered quite suburban. I grew up going to the local
Baptist church with my siblings where we were taught all the bible
stories and basic prayer.  I wasn’t taught anything about the gift of
Salvation nor my need for it. I remember about a year or so before I
gave my life to the Lord having a ‘strange’ desire to go to church & I
didn’t know why, nor did I know my life was about to change – forever.

I gave my life to the Lord aged 28, on my 2nd visit to a local
Pentecostal church & have not looked back since. It was at Alpha &
Omega Christian Fellowship where I discovered prayer & naturally
gravitated towards it. I used to listen to the Pastor & the older
church members pray and with all my heart wanted to be able to pray
like them. so I started to attend prayer meetings & arrive at church
extra early, the same time as the ‘Prayer Warriors’ (yeah that’s what
they were called) so I could join in the prayer. I was recommended a
book called The Joy of Prayer by Larry Lea, after reading this book I
was well & truly hooked. My desire is to see all nations come back to God through the power of prayer & intercession.

I currently serve as team leader of an Intercessory prayer team. I
love to train people & help them develop their  God given gifts but
more so help ‘believers’ understand that their natural should be
‘supernatural’ & this is possible through understanding the Word of
God & relationship with God through the Holy Spirit via prayer.

 

Transitioning Alone  

image from www.linkedin.com

 

As the earth continues to spin on its axis our lives also continue to spin. No twenty four hour period is the same. A mobile phone we used in 1999 will not work in 2016. Today’s latest iPhone will not work in 2025, why?? because of transitions.

Life is consistently changing and whether we like it or not we are adapting to it. We have to or we will not be able to live our daily life. During periods of transitions it is also a time for us to evaluate our relationships and ask ourselves will this relationship allow me to transition with them or will I have to transition alone?

It can be a scary thought but it is something we all at one point or another in our life have to consider. Transitioning alone is daunting but if we are to fulfill our destinies or God given vision then it may have to be a step we may have to take.

We do not want to look back over our life and see regret littered along the way because of fear of taking a step. Take this opportunity to consider your relationships, prayerfully evaluate them and decide if they can walk with you or will you have to transition alone.

Do you have idols in your Heart?

www.1stfreewillbaptist.church/media/sermon-archive.html

Ezekiel 14:4-5       Colossians 3:5     Isaiah 44:9-20     Leviticus 4:19         Psalms 16:4 

As Christians it is so important for us to do consistent heart checks on our selves so that we do not allow idols to form in our heart. An idol is anything that takes the place of God in our heart.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines an idol as  “a picture or an object that is worshipped as a god”.

There are so many things that can be constituted as an idol such as our families, jobs, money, worries and cares, needs and desires and even our self.

In Tim Keller’s book “Counterfeit God’s: The empty promises of money, sex and power and the only hope that matters”, makes a powerful statement about “heart idols” in today’s society. He states that

…….Life only has meaning or I only have worth if …..

  1. I have power over others (power idolatry)
  2. I am loved and respected by …….. (approval idolatry)
  3. People are dependant on me and need me (helping idolatry)
  4. I have a particular kind of look or body image (image idolatry)
  5. I have a certain level of wealth, financial freedom and very nice possessions (materialism idolatry)

These are statements that we may have said or thought at one time or another. Do we secretly feel discontentment take root in our heart because we crave “nice things” and feel resentful about not having them. Materialism is not  necessarily about having nice things it is also about craving them. The discontentment can also prove to be an idol in our heart.

Ezekiel 14:4 the word “setteth up”  translates to transcend, to be high, to mount, arise up, to cast upward and to offer up. It also carried the connotation of an upward movement or an ascension to a higher place.

After reading this can you think for a moment and ask yourself the question, when I come to God in prayer do I come based on the multitude of idols in my heart?  Does  bitterness, unforgiveness, malice, pride or my own self importance occupy my heart more than who God is to me?

I try to check my heart daily  and clear my heart iof anything that wants to exalt itself greater than my father. It is not always an easy process but it can be done and must be done because in the end these things destroy and the things of God will always build.

Take a moment now and check your heart and prayerfully ask God to show you any idol or idols you may  have that is competing with HIM in your heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mental Health Awareness Week 16th to 22nd May 2016 – Encouragement from My Heart to Yours

Image result for christians and mental health

image from www.christiansontheleft.org.uk

 

Mental Health Awareness week is 16th to 22nd May 2016 and I wanted to write a post about mental health that would encourage someone who maybe experiencing mental health challenges, especially in the church setting.

I have been in church for over forty years and it is only in recent years that the church is becoming comfortable with discussing mental issues.

So many people suffer in silence in church because it is not discussed from the pulpit or the stigma of it is too much for them to bear in their community.

MIND (www.mind.org.uk) the organisation that offers support to sufferers and their family, lists reasons why people suffer from periods of poor mental health. They include:

The following factors could potentially trigger a period of poor mental health:

  • childhood abuse, trauma, or neglect
  • social isolation or loneliness
  • experiencing discrimination and stigma
  • the death of someone close to you
  • severe or long-term stress
  • unemployment or losing your job
  • social disadvantage, poverty or debt
  • homelessness or poor housing
  • caring for a family member or friend
  • a long-term physical health condition
  • drug and alcohol misuse
  • domestic violence or other abuse as an adult
  • significant trauma as an adult, such as military combat, being involved in a serious accident or being the victim of a violent crime
  • physical causes – for example, a head injury or a condition such as epilepsy can have an impact on behaviour and mood (it is important to rule out causes such as this before seeking further treatment for a mental health problem)
  • genetic factors – researchers are currently investigating whether there might be a genetic cause of various mental health problems but there is no clear proof yet.

The first thing I want to encourage you with is that Jesus came to set you free. I love how Luke 4:18 reads in the Amplified bible.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (the Messiah), Because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent Me to announce release (pardon, forgiveness) to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed (downtrodden, bruised, crushed by tragedy),”

This dear heart is what Jesus has for you; this is what he died for, for you to be whole in your mind and body. He came to release you from the trappings and pain of your past.

If you need to seek professional help then please ensure that you do, but I just wanted to let you know that you are loved and appreciated and a new day awaits you. The best in life is ahead of you so please do not allow the pain of your past to keep you caged, isolated and alone. Jesus promised to never leave you nor forsake you, he promised to be with you always. Believe that with me today.

Prayer

Father, right now I lift up to you anyone who is reading this blog post and is having mental health challenges. I pray restoration and healing for their mind and life. Father, minister to them in a unique and tangible way that they will know that you love and care about them. Touch them like only you can do Lord in Jesus name. AMEN

 

For more information  please visit

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/mental-health-problems-introduction/causes/#.Vye1M9LmrIU

 

 

 

Dear Father God Prayers – A Prayer for Hurting Mothers

Image: African American Art Print by ” A woman’s work” By Kevin Williams

Dear Father God,

I just want to lift up to you every mother that is hurting right now. Father you know the pain and burdens she carries for her children, Lord you see the falling tears and the muffled cries at night in her pillow. You see the sadness behind that smile, Father you see her heart. As she cries out to you on behalf of her children, answer the cry of her heart.

Any child who has an addiction set them free through her prayers Lord, those who are in gangs,  fulfil those children’s need to belong. Whatever needs your hurting daughters are lifting up to you on behalf of their children answer their prayer.

Father, I lift up the tears and prayers of these mothers to you as they intercede, fast and warfare over their children. Father your word says that the children you have given them are for signs and wonders, Father you said that children will be a fruitful vine around the homes of their parents. Restore and repair the mother child relationship bring healing as only you can do.

Lord I lift up any mother reading this prayer who is bereaving the loss of her child. Father only you know how to comfort her in this difficult time and you Lord are the God of all comfort.

Father I lift up to you any mother that is feeling guilty about her motherhood. Lord help her to forgive and release herself from that burden. Minister to her in a very unique way, let her know that she is released and forgiven in Jesus name Amen.

Drinking from a Deeper Well

I was in the library doing some studying and to take a break I was glacing through an old Ebony magazine and came across the story of a successful pastor whose older sister committed suicide, she had mental health issues. He said it shook his faith to the core but he realised he had to drink from a “deeper well” to recover. This pastor had to dig deeper in his faith in God to continue to drink living water to cope with this tragedy.

I have had to dig deeper in the wells of my bible, pray and worship to cope with many painful situations. The wells of God’s word never run dry. The things of God never run dry, the river is always running but we have to position ourselves to drink.

When I suffered personal pain and loss, I shut myself away and dug deeper. As I poured out to Father God in prayer, tears and worship I experienced the river of his love wash over me and through me.

Is there anything that you are experiencing that is forcing you to drink from a deeper well. Dear Heart do not run from the well but run to it because there you will find the water of life that will quench your thirst.

Jesus told the woman at the well that the water I will give will cause you not to thirst again, it was a living water that ministered to the soul. When we are thirsty and need a drink, identify good quality water because there are many polluted sources. When you are well identify your good sources so that when you hurt you know where to go.

Dear heart, keep drinking that living water and when life throws things at you and that well dries up, don’t stop but dig another well.

Dear Father God Letters ~ A Prayer for Domestic Violence Victims 

Dear Father God,

I just pray and lift up to you any victims of domestic violence who are reading this prayer. Lord you know the shame and guilt that they feel. How hurt and stripped they feel of their dignity and self esteem. Father by your loving touch start a new work in their heart and mind. Bring about total restoration to everything they have lost and valued. 

Restore their confidence, their sense of self worth. Jesus you are touched by the feeling of their infirmity and pain. Father God bring them to a place of safety in the heart and mind. Touch them In their inner most being where they need a special touch from you. Give them the courage they need to move out of the situation they are in.

Lord from this experience show them how to use it as a stepping stone to touch others who have been in a similar situation and to help them move on with their lives, In Jesus Name Amen.

  

Dear Father God Letters – Thank You 

Dear Father God,

I just want to say thank you for being there in the midst of every trial I faced. Your Word was and is my foundation. It is also a lamp to my feet and a light to my pathway.

At times it has been tough to keep going and keep standing but I did it because through you I was and am strengthen. I appreciate that there are billions of people on the earth, but you see me as an individual and you love me. Thank you for making me unique with my own set of finger prints and DNA.

Thank you for sending your Son  Jesus to die on the cross for me and thank you for giving me the ability to enjoy life daily.

In Jesus Name Amen.

Quotes by Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Mother Theresa was a woman who dedicated her life to looking after the poor on the streets of Calcutta, India. I wanted to share a few of her quotes that have ministered to me.

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” Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”

” Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love”

“We shall never know the good that a simple smile can do”

” We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence….. we need silence to be able to touch souls.”

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work”

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