Copyright: infobond

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This week may be a week of NOT TODAY!! The phrase “NOT Today” must be written in bold letters, in All caps, and with several exclamation marks. But, the preferred method is spoken with the voice of righteous indignation. Some of may have encountered a few of those days already, maybe last week or even the week before.  However, this is very interesting, considering that this week we will probably be spending time with friends and family for the Thanksgiving holiday. For some this may be the first in-person holiday that we’ve had in a very long time. 

Now, normally I would advise people against giving the enemy too much credit, especially when they run into a tough situation or unforeseen circumstance.  Believe it or not, there are times when the Lord is a source of our frustration because he’s stretching us outside our comfort zone. He knows that we grow stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually when we are met with resistance and opposition.  But there are other times when we must tell the enemy NOT TODAY!  We will not entertain one taunt, threat, distraction, discouragement, or setback.

The Bible says that, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue[even our own tongue] that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn”. 

The New Living Translation says it this way, “But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!”  Isaiah 54:17

We must remember that although spiritual warfare is real, our enemy is not people.  So, I would suggest that we pray for all of those that may cross our path this week. 

Take a moment to be still, be slow to speak and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Stay Connected…

Copyright: olleg1

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God Forbid! But have you ever lost your phone?  In that moment, did it feel like maybe the world had stopped?  Isn’t it interesting that for some, even if we were able to borrow a phone to make a call, we don’t have family phones numbers committed to memory, which may I suggest that you might want to write them down somewhere, just in case!  But, luckily, in today’s world of technology, our phone carriers can ship us another phone overnight and, in most cases, recreate all our contacts and recover our pics.

Well, as we consider just how devasting the thought of losing our phone would be, what happens when we find ourselves disconnected from the Holy Spirit? I would like us to consider that although the Holy Spirit dwells within us, it is possible to lose our connection.  I would venture to guess that we almost always know where our phones are, so that we can stay connected to the outside world.  So, how does this apply to staying connected in our world within?

The Holy Spirit keeps taking me back to the wilderness story and as you may remember, just like in that story, the Lord may be taking us the long way around because we’re just not ready to go to short route. So, it is critical that we stay connected, because we simply don’t have all the details needed to make the trip!  No matter how much God talks to us, there are certain things that He is going to leave out.  There are things we just can’t take right now… And HE knows it. So, how often do we grow impatient and just hang up in the middle of the conversation?  Although we may be saying, God why is this taking so long, He is saying we are still not ready.  We may think that we are ready, but we are not.

As I mentioned last week, I still don’t have the answer to whether I should go back to my church, or bigger yet, I still don’t have a clear picture of where the Lord is taking me. I know that I’m headed in the right direction, however, I don’t have His final answer.  It seems like a reasonable and simple request, especially regarding the church, but I must realize that I may not be ready for what lies ahead and until I’m ready, it’s just going to take time.  If He would allow me to take the short route and go by way of the Philistine country, I could get beat up and I might want to go back the way I came; back to my old ways, back to Egypt.

As the Lord perfects and matures us, we grow stronger in our faith, we become more prepared for battle and we are more sensitive to His Spirit, His direction, and decisions because easier, while we are waiting for His answers.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

Philippians 1:6

Let’s take another look at that vital organ that we talked about early, you know the one I mean, the one that keeps us functioning daily, our phones!  We have access to everything we need at our fingertips.  But on the other hand, when we find that we can’t breathe without it, possibly we have become too reliant on it.  We need the Holy Spirit to be our lifeline, the one that if we lose the connection, we can’t breathe without Him.  He is the one that will lead and guide us along the path that the Lord has laid for us.  Our phones are simply a tool that if used properly can help us to be productive, but if we lost it, we would still survive…

It’s imperative that we ALWAYS take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Missed Moments

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Do you have those close friends or relatives that you don’t talk to often, but you are very close?  You may see them on Facebook from time to time, but as life happens, years may go by without actually talking to each other.  But, in a moment, the Holy Spirit will say just call them.  Now this is the challenge, do we take the moment to call or do we put it off or maybe you just text to say Hi. 

Now be honest, how many of you are thinking that I may have lost a close friend?  Well, you can breathe, that’s not the case… But how many of you thought of a close friend or relative that you haven’t spoken to and maybe you need to call?  There are many different scenarios that may come to your mind.  But for me, a few days ago, I received a call from a close friend, and I must admit that when I saw his name on my phone, unfortunately, I knew it wasn’t good news.  He told me that a friend of ours had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and the outlook was very bleak. 

This blog post is NOT about death, because we know that it’s not over until God says so, we must keep praying, because miracles still happen every day! Mike was the 2nd person in a week I know that was diagnosed with cancer… but what’s interesting is that as I was preparing this message, I was listening to a message about God is a Healer, coincidence I don’t think so and then when that one ended, I switched to another message and the woman was singing about “A Season of Miracles”, so I posted it and within minutes Mike responded to my post.  So, although I had been reluctant to talk to him, I called him immediately and we had an amazing conversation.  The Holy Spirit always works in mysterious ways. But unfortunately, I also realized that although I worked with Mike for many years, there were moments that I missed, because we were just too busy.

This episode is about LIFE, and we really can’t afford to miss a moment and although, I’m almost sure that we may say that all the time, do we live life to the fullest, being grateful for every moment.  We must admit that the pandemic has changed a lot of things, but it should have made us even more aware that we need to say in better contact with each other than ever before.  We have technology that allows us to see each other’s faces even when we are thousands of miles apart.  Oftentimes, the Holy Spirit will bring someone to mind that you haven’t spoken to, but what about those moments with friends and family that may live right down the street or even in our own homes.  Are we pushing past those moments when our daughter or son may be out of sorts, but they really don’t want to talk about it and we are kinda busy anyway?  Or maybe our spouse is a little more irritable lately, but we know that it too shall past.

Then, on the other hand, a friend texts us to invite us for lunch, but we don’t have time, we’re very busy at work, not realizing that our friend just really needed to talk.  However, technology can be a two-edged sword, because I believe that we have lost the art of communication, to text is faster and easier.  But now, we don’t have the opportunity to read the body language, or sense how people are feeling by just their tone of voice…

Life is too precious, we can’t afford to miss a moment, especially those quiet moments when we need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Do Not Grow Weary in the Wilderness

Copyright: janprchal

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As it is most times, I was lying in bed early one Friday morning, even before I had finished last week’s blog post and I was wondering how long Holy Ghost Downloads blog would last.  I must admit that I tend to grow tired of ideas and to be honest, especially when they don’t get the response that I expect, but we’ve talked about that before.  So, pray for me… But then, I began to say, in my mind, I’m beginning to become weary, the Holy Spirit said very clearly, “Do not become weary in welldoing”, thus this week’s blog post, “Do Not Grow Weary in the Wilderness!” 

So, what are you saying to yourself?  What decisions are you making in your mind?  What are others saying about what you should do? Are you in a place of uncertainty?  Are you growing weary in your efforts to keep moving?  As we said last week, you may be in the wilderness.  Unfortunately, it is in these times, that we may seek the advice of others and yes, it is possible to get ungodly counsel from godly people. So, we must know what advice to listen to. Many times, our advancement, our ability to move is determined by the advice we don’t take.  If you are like me, your thoughts will wear you out, especially when you’re in the wilderness. 

For the children of Israel, the wilderness was the place between Egypt, the place of slavery, and the Promised Land.  ** So, listen very carefully, there is someone, including myself, that needs to hear that the Lord has delivered us from our own place of bondage, the prison of our mind and although the wilderness may feel like a place of stagnation, maybe even boring and non-productive, it’s a place of the Lord’s provision and protection until we are ready for where He needs us to go, to the place that He has promised us. 

Recently I read a quote from Laynie Travis that says, “The Lord does not call qualified people; He qualifies those that He calls”.  It is for that reason that He does not expect us to have our act together.  But at times, we may really believe that we are on the right track and things are moving full speed ahead.  But then things seem to get a little blurry and we find ourselves stubbornly holding on to our plan and trying to get the Lord to follow our ideas on how things should work.  Then we begin to wonder, why have we stop moving?  We feel like we’re stuck… It is then that the Lord may be taking us the long way around because we are not ready to fight what may be ahead of us.  So, although it takes longer than we had hoped, we cannot grow weary in the wilderness.  The Bible says if we seek His will in all [we] do, He will show [us] which path to take.  The Lord knows what’s best for us and His timing is always perfect! 

So, as I ponder my original questions, how long will Holy Ghost Downloads podcast last?  What if the His downloads stop?  The Holy Spirit said to me that as long as I am a willing vessel the oil of anointing will continue to flow …and that goes for you too.  I’m sure that that will be a future episode. 

The Wilderness is a Part of the Journey

Copyright: muha

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My Holy Ghost Downloads blog was a year old on Sept. 30th, and it’s interesting to see that the messages from the Holy Spirit has had a common thread throughout.  The Holy Spirit has been very specific about us looking really close at our respective journeys and determining where we are in God’s process.  One day, I’d love to reread all the posts of the blog to Him speak to me again with new revelation and share with all of you, and I’m sure I will. 

But for now, let’s take a moment to look where our journey began… Our very first post was about the children of Israel coming out of bondage from Pharaoh, the ruler in Egypt. The Holy Spirit has helped us to realize our own freedom from bondage and search the many facets of our own journeys, for instance, waiting on the Lord, having faith, dealing with our feeling, experiencing doubt, yet having hope and so much more.  But then we spent a lot of time, with one of my newfound, very favorite scripture in Isaiah 43, which has been interwoven throughout the Holy Ghost Downloads and I’m sure will continue to be …

For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

isaiah 43:19

So, we must understand that the Wilderness is a part of the Journey…

If we were to look back over the last 12 months, what would we see?  Now, if we could look ahead 12 months and what would we see?  Are we looking at all the pieces of the puzzle, are we connecting the dots? Are we seeing the Order of our steps?  Or have you found that we are in the wilderness? 

Let’s go back to the children of Israel…  They left Egypt and instead of being able to take the short route, the Lord took them the long way around.  In Exodus, Chapter 13, the Bible calls it, Israel’s Wilderness Detour!

17 When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.[c] Thus the Israelites left Egypt like an army ready for battle.[d]

Exodus 13-17-18

20 The Israelites left Succoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. This allowed them to travel by day or by night. 22 And the Lord did not remove the pillar of cloud or pillar of fire from its place in front of the people.

Exodus 13-20-22

But then we all know that the Egyptians came after the Israelites, and they crossed the Red Sea.  Now I’m sure that you may be wondering why is she giving us another history lesson?  Because I need for us to understand that what should have taken 11 days turned into 40 years of wandering, but either way the wilderness was a part of the journey.  Although, the Lord may lead us into the wilderness and provide for us while we are there, the manna wasn’t meant to be permanent.  God will sustain us to survive, but He didn’t mean for us to get too comfortable with it and settle in the wilderness. 

We can’t allow our expectations, resistance or fear of the outcome influence our ability to change course at the risk of not moving at all.  Planning to move, will only take us to the starting line, it won’t get us moving.  Our purpose works differently, it will drive us forward, regardless of what goes right or wrong.  So, when we relentlessly hold on to our purpose, versus our plan, we will surrender to the direction God wants to take us.  So, what’s it gonna be?  11 days or 40 years? 

Again, it’s our choice, but either way the wilderness is a part of the journey! So be sure to always take a moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

The Lord is Not Done with us Yet!

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For some reason, the Holy Spirit wants me to stay on this topic of the “Clay in the Potter’s Hands” a little while longer.  If we go back to Jeremiah 18, the Lord told Jeremiah to give the children of Israel a message:

 “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.  Jeremiah 18:5-6

Jeremiah 18:5-6

Therefore, the Lord is not Done with us yet!

It’s very important that we look at the context in which this verse was written.  Many times, we forget to do that, but there’s a part 2 to this story.  I would urge you to read the whole story, but what I believe that we need to gleam from this is that the Lord has sent another message to Israel to help to keep them on the right path, but their response was “we hear you, but we’re cool. Life is pretty good right now” (paraphrased, of course). So, needless to say, the Lord was not pleased.  So, there’s a slightly different perspective of this topic that we all must consider.  I heard a pastor say the other day, the Lord doesn’t have an iPhone, not does He have call waiting. So, is He still trying to call us, and He keeps getting a busy signal? 

The Lord chose to create us before the foundation of the world, for a very specific purpose and I realize that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.  But once we have decided to stay in the Lord’s hands, we will begin to see our destiny a little clearer.  Clarity will give us the confidence to go where the Lord is taking us.  But we must answer His call.  We really don’t want to attempt to live this life according to our own personal agenda.  So where are you in God’s process?  Are you still a ball of clay or have you decided to allow the Lord to continue to mold and shape you into what you were created to be?  It is critical that we Live on Purpose because He is Not done with us Yet! 

But, to do this, we must take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

It may Get a Little Hot…

Copyright: olegdudko

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Last week, I suggested that we all take a closer look at our own respective journey through life.  As the Lord molds our wet clay on the Potter’s wheel, the process may begin smooth and gentle, but at some point, it may get a little Hot…

The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said,

 “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand. 

jeremiah 18:2-6

So, let’s look at where you might be in this process…

Are you still a ball of clay trying to decide whether you want to stay in the Lord’s hands?  Are you wandering aimlessly with no real direction, just hoping, and praying that you make it through this season of the journey?  I find it interesting that when we are a ball of clay, we must fully surrender to the will of God, and we must allow Him to mold us as He knows best.  Every jar that He creates has a unique design to serve a specific purpose.

Once we’ve decided to allow the Lord to mold our wet clay into a new jar, we will be able to see our destiny a little clearer.  The Lord’s gentle hands will glide up and down the wet clay to make sure that there are no cracks or bumps, as He smooths out our rough edges.  But if perchance, the Lord discovers that we are not turning out the way He had planned, we may have to be crushed into a ball of clay once again.  We must be willing to be crushed whenever it’s needed.  This implies that we may become a ball of clay numerous times, but what I find interesting is that the Lord will ALWAYS use the same clay, He doesn’t make us over, He just reforms us into a new jar, as we enter a new phase of life. 

We must understand that our journey never ends.  Once the Lord has made us into a new jar, it may get a little Hot!  He must make sure that the clay solidifies and begins to harden, so He must apply some heat.  The heat may become intense at times which may be very uncomfortable, even painful.  But we must remember that as the jar is hardened, the Lord will bless us with a unique design of gifts, talents, wealth, knowledge and so much more to serve a very specific purpose that will benefit others and glorify Him. 

Wherever you may find yourself on this life’s journey, you are Always in the Lord’s hands being molded and shaped into what He needs you to be, even when it gets a little Hot!

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. 

Luke 12:48b nlt

So, Remember to Always take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

God is Shouting…

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I must tell you that the Holy Ghost Downloads and the messages that I’ve hear over the past week, has been nothing less than incredible, yet so very overwhelming.   It’s as if the Lord is Shouting at me!  Now, many of us have been taught that the Holy Spirit only speaks in a whisper, with His still small voice.  But do you believe that at times, the Lord may become somewhat frustrated with us and because when He whispers, we don’t really listen, so He Shouts!  There’s a noise in your spirit that is so very loud that you can’t ignore it.   This is not a shout of chastisement, it’s more of a wakeup call, so that He can give us our next set of instructions.  I believe that this may apply to some of you, and you know who you are…

Let me begin by saying that there was so much in last week’s episode, “Preparing for the Journey”.  Now I must give you a disclaimer, I do not have the gift of prophecy, although some say I do, but that’s not the point.  I believe that there’s a major shift happening in our lives and the Lord has had to result to shouting at us, because time is of the essence.

We are being shaped like clay in the potter’s hand into the version of us that we need to be for what’s ahead of us, as we prepare for the journey. I find it very interesting that He uses the same ball of clay to mold us into a new pot.  Visualize with me, His hands are so smooth and gentle, as He molds the wet clay.  The potter’s hands go up and down and a pot takes shape.  But once the pot is formed, it takes time for it to solidify and harden.  So, we can’t rush the process or else the clay may be crushed into a ball again and He will have to start over, but remember, He will use the same ball of clay.  There is no better place for us than in His hands.  The Lord says…

I will teach you wisdom’s ways
    and lead you in straight paths.
12 When you walk, you won’t be held back;
    when you run, you won’t stumble. 

Proverbs 4:11-12 NLT

As I said last week and will continue to say, the Lord is constantly leading us towards our destiny and many times, we don’t even know it. He is ordering our steps and guiding our decisions, as we move from one place to another in this life.  However, the question begs, are we ready to listen to the Holy Spirit or will He have to continue to shout.  The choice is ours. 

Over the next few weeks, unless the Holy Spirit says otherwise, I would like for us to look a tad closer at our own respective journeys.  Let’s consider where we are in our potter’s clay molding process.  Are we still a ball of clay?  Are we wet clay on the potter’s wheel?  Or are we a new pot that has begun to solidify, as our destiny becomes clearer? 

I pray that you will join us… and always remember to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying!

Preparing for the Journey

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Imagine with me, for a moment, that someone very close to you; spouse, sister, best friend, someone who knows you, almost better than you know yourself, told you that they were taking you on a trip.  You will be gone two weeks, but they are not going to tell you where you are going.  Now if you are like me, there is already a problem, because I would really want to know where we were going!  But again, we are just imagining, so they give you a few details, so that you can prepare:

  • It’s going to be warm about 70-75 degrees, but it may get cool at night, and you may have to be prepared for rain.
  • We will be doing a lot of walking, so bring comfortable shoes.
  • We may have dinner in a fancy restaurant, so bring something nice to wear.
  • We may work on our business plan for a few days, so bring your computer…  

And that’s all, no more details, you must just get ready for the trip!  But the details are so vague… a lot of walking, where?  Fancy restaurant, how fancy?  So, are you excited or just a tad apprehensive or maybe a little bit of both?

Isn’t the Lord the same way and He knows us better than you know ourselves? 

So, how are we preparing for where the Lord is taking us? Or are we going to just go with the flow until we get where we are going?  For some reason, I don’t think that that will work.  We must get ready, although we have no idea where we are going, and He will give us just enough information to prepare for the journey.

For a moment, I’d like you to consider that before God decided where we were going or what He needed us to do [our purpose], we were created for His Glory.  Sometimes, I think that we need to be reminded.   

Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.
    It was I who created them.’”

Isaiah 43:7

So, He doesn’t have to tell us where we are going, we just have to get ready and put things in suitable order for the journey.  We must understand that the Lord wants to do a new thing in our lives, something that we have never seen or even imagined before.  Thus, we have no frame of reference of what our destination may be. The Lord says…

19 For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

isaiah 43:19

At times, we may think that if we just knew where we are going, we’d know what to wear and we could plan for what we’d do when we got there.  But do we really what to know?  Remember Daniel… He saw a vision of the future and as he was trying to understand, God told Gabriel to tell him what the vision meant.  I can only surmise that after fainting three times, he would have rather not known!  Personally, at this point, I am ok with the small details that the Lord is willing to give me. 

We cannot afford to get too preoccupied with where God is taking us, however, we must strongly consider our decisions along the way, with the information that we have. Recently, I read that even “a good decision does not mean a path without obstacles”.  Many times, God will take us through the process of elimination, so the first thing God shows us, isn’t His final answer.  Then we get frustrated when the first thing doesn’t work.  This doesn’t mean that it wasn’t from God, nor was it a bad decision, it’s just a part of getting prepared for the journey.  God’s way is not just right, it’s the very best route and He makes Himself responsible for us arriving safely to our destination. 

Although, at times, we wish that we had even as much detail as was given to us regarding our two-week trip with a friend to a place that we’ve never been before, but to prepare for His journey…

We really must be listening intently to what the Holy Spirit is saying ALL along the way…

Once We are in His Overflow, We will be Stretched…

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Last week, we talked about living in the overflow, meaning to be saturated with God’s presence to the point we begin to overflow His Glory. Since we cannot contain His Glory, the overflow becomes the catalyst to our calling.  We all have the same calling: to glorify God in everything we do. This is why we are here. Scripture says God created us for His glory (Isa. 43:7) and instructs us to “do everything for the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). Logically, this sounds reasonable, however, spiritually, we will be stretched beyond our own ability.  To be stretched means to cause something to reach, often as far as possible, (beyond normal limits) in a particular direction and that can be extremely uncomfortable, even painful.

We cannot afford to be so preoccupied with just living life that we forget why we were created! The Lord is constantly leading us towards our destiny and many times, we don’t even know it. He is ordering our steps and guiding our decisions, as we move from one place to another in this life.  Although this scripture may be very familiar, it should reveal something new to us every time we read, say, or hear it.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take [what decisions to make].

Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT (paraphased)

Our obedience is the key.  Sometimes we think we have a choice to obey God, and yes, we have free will.  However, no matter what we choose to do or choices we make, for our fruit to grow, God must make it rain.  We may decide that we just want to live the simple life and the Lord will let us settle for simple, even when He knows that He has a better life for us.  But to have better, we will have to be stretched, pulled beyond our self-imposed limits. 

As we all look back over the last three (3) years, even in the midst of some of our greatest challenges ever, the Holy Spirit has continued to create opportunities for us to utilize our true God-given gifts and talents.  So, as we live in the overflow, we should not be surprised when our assignment triggers our inadequacies. Many of us may tend to underestimate our abilities, especially during difficult times, but remember, we are being stretched! 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthews 5:16

As we move forward, we cannot afford to be too busy doing things that be fruitful and miss the moment(s).  They may not be BIG moments, according to our expectations.  But we must be ready when the door opens, because it’s the small opportunities, at just the right time, that may count the most,

which is why we must always be listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying!