ARE YOU POSSESSED?? ….or just professed?

Yes!  I know that question raised some eyebrows!  I believe that most of you, my readers have a personal relationship with Jesus, so you wonder, “Why is she asking us if we’re possessed?”

I know that when most folks hear the word,  possessed, they immediately think of the negative connotation.  But, I didn’t say demon possessed, I merely said, ‘possessed.’

Scripture bears out the fact that we are to present ourselves as empty vessels, ready to be filled by the Holy Spirit.  We are to be ‘possessed’ with Him, and His attributes.

I know a lot of folks who ‘profess’  to KNOW Jesus as their Savior and Lord, but their walk doesn’t match their talk.  They are so in tune with the world and all that pertains to it, that no one would ever mistake them to be a Christian.  God said we are to be a peculiar people.  That word means, strange or odd-unusual; belonging exclusively to.  In other words, we are to stand out, be different.

Are you feeling empty, dry, unfruitful, or hollow?  Is your ‘walk’ with Jesus unexciting and mundane?  Do you lack joy in your life? Is your worship and your giving merely obligatory services done for show?  Is your heart in your prayers…or are your prayers just repetitions day after day?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, you may be professing the abundant life that God offers…but you are NOT possessing it!  God gave the Promised Land to the children of Israel, but His ‘gift’ did them no good until they went in and ‘possessed’ the land!

When you asked Jesus to become your Savior, you were filled with the Holy Spirit, but we need to ask for a new filling of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.  We need to become intoxicated with His Spirit, so that we can be empowered by His might!

I don’t know about you, but I want the love and power of God Almighty to possess me…body, soul, and spirit!  I want His goodness and mercy to ooze out of me.  I want folks to look at me and know  there’s something different about me.  I want to be approachable.  I want to be kind.  I want to show mercy and love.  I want to bring folks to Jesus.

“Lord Jesus, possess me!  Take over all my thoughts and actions.  Let the lost and dying world see YOU in me!  Let me be a beacon…a light house; let me point the way to YOU!  Fill me with YOUR Spirit, Lord!  In Jesus name, Amen.”

Anita

BY CHANCE? … OR ON PURPOSE? August 28, 2015

I posted this blog about three years ago, but I am reminded almost daily that there is nothing that happens by coincidence! Everything happens by the will of God and His plan for me! If you don’t believe me…take a look at the following. You’ll be convinced! -anita
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The Gathering Journal

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Sorry for being a “blog hog”… but something extraordinary happened last night, and I couldn’t wait to share! -anita

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Today, I was reminded once again that nothing happens by chance.  There are no coincidences…no accidents…EVERYTHING happens for a reason!  Every person you have ever met, every person that has ever crossed your path, has done so according to the will of God Almighty!

I will confirm this theory in the following story.

In 1953, my dad decided to go to Baptist Bible College in Springfield Missouri.  While in school, we attended High Street Baptist Church.

We went from that state, to Oklahoma for a time, and eventually ended up in Denver, Colorado.

My dad was raised in a…

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TAKE YOUR BROKEN WANT-TO TO JESUS…

I was recently asked to do a blog post for W.O.W. , Women Of Worship.  They are doing a study from the book mentioned below.  Thought I’d share….  Enjoy! -anita
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I began reading the book, Heart Wide Open, and like many of you, as I began to read this book, I could see myself in it’s pages.  I’ve gone to church pretty much all my life.  I Know what the Bible has to say.  I am a born-again Believer.  …But my “relationship” with Jesus, most times is not as intimate as it should be!
Oh yes, I have my moments where He is all I need and want, but they are far and few between.  He’s heard me say that I love Him.  I tell Him that almost every time I pray.  But in all honesty, I don’t always live like I love Him.  For you readers that are married, or have ever been in love, you realize that loving someone makes you do crazy things!  You’ll do anything for them, and you don’t care who’s watching!  That’s the kind of love and devotion God wants from us.  That’s the kind of relationship He wants!
Like the boldness David had when he met Goliath on the battle field.  Like the trust Daniel had in the lion’s den.  Like the raw desire Mary Magdalene had when she went to a party, uninvited just to be near the Savior.
I’m quite sure when David got to the battle field and saw how BIG Goliath was…a fleeting thought went through his head that said, “You’re crazy boy!  Look at this huge guy!  What in the world made you want to come out here and pick a fight? …”  But then, faith got a hold of David, and boldness took over.  He boldly put that rock in his sling, and let God do the rest…
Daniel knew the edict of the king.  He knew the penalty for being caught in prayer to any god but the king.  Any person in their right mind would fear being thrown into a den of lions; but his trust in God Almighty was so great that he risked everything to speak with “his friend”, the Lord.  So he trusted….and he prayed.
Mary Magdalene was used to the jeers from those around her.  Their disparaging looks were nothing new to her.  But her desire to be close to Jesus was deeper.  So she went to the party, uninvited.  She washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.  She didn’t care who saw her.  She wasn’t concerned about what they thought.
Knowing God changes things in your life.  It changes your perspective.  The things you used to deem important, now seem trivial.  The activities you used to engage in…the things you wanted to do, you no longer want to do them.  That’s because God took your broken want-to and fixed it.  But, like the author so aptly pointed out, God will NOT force His want-to on you!  He gave us free will.  He doesn’t want the servitude of a robot; He wants the worship and adoration of a grateful heart!
Sometimes we think that if we give our all to Jesus, our life will no longer be filled with ‘fun’…everyday will be the same…life will be mundane.  But for those of us that have given our want-to to Jesus, even once…we know better!  Life was anything but boring for the three characters I mentioned above!
Take your broken want-to to Jesus.  Take it every day.  Lay it at His feet, and ask Him to fix it for you.  He will !
Anita Mondragon

LILY

I’m not sure if I’ve posted this before, but it is an Easter poem I wrote back in January of 2008.  I was thinking about the events that took place;  I closed my eyes and thought about the day of the Crucifixion…and then the Resurrection; how the earth itself mourned the death of the Creator.

This is a little on the abstract side of writing.  It’s a story of a flower that awakens early in the Spring, only to find she’s been moved from the garden to the hill of Golgotha and is about to witness the Crucifixion of her Creator. -anita

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Tremble before Him all the earth!  Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad and let them say, “The Lord reigns!”  Let the sea resound, and all that is in it.  Let the fields be jubilant and everything in them.  Then  the trees of the forest will sing…they will sing for joy before the Lord. – I Chron.  16:30-33

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‘Neath a blanket of glimmering, soft, snowy white

The naked trees sleep peacefully through the long Winter’s night.

 

The flowers sleep also, as they dream of Spring

When the sky will be blue, and the grass will turn green.

 

Then Spring dons her bright robe of emerald-green,

As nature awakens from her long, cold dream.

 

Lily stretches and yawns, then bursts forth through warm ground.

As birds upon wing, their sweet songs resound.

 

She’s looking for Daffodil, Violet, and Rose

In the garden so fair where they slept in repose.

 

But to her complete dismay, she awakes all alone

To the snap of a whip, and a shuddering moan.

 

She’s not in the garden…she’s been moved, far away

To a desolate hill, where the sky’s turning gray.

 

Two men hang already, on crosses nearby

for crimes they’ve committed, they’ve been sentenced to die.

 

Bewildered, and shaken, Lily looks all around

Then she turns to the right as she hears a loud sound.

 

Another man with a cross, trudges slow up the hill;

His face soft and kind, yet determination of steel.

 

He walks with a purpose, despising the shame…

But He was born for this moment; it’s the only reason He came!

 

He stops for a moment, and looks in Lily’s direction.

His gaze focused full, soft eyes make a connection.

 

Why!  She knows this man!  Its Jesus, The King…

The Creator of all…even her!  Everything!

 

How could this happen?  What could He have done?

And, what’s wrong with those soldiers?  Don’t they know He’s God’s Son?

 

She knows He is innocent of all He’s accused,

Yet He’s broken and battered…He’s beaten and bruised!

 

His eyes are all-knowing as He searches her heart.

He knows every room there, every secret, each part!

 

He knows she’s bewildered, confused, and afraid

By the things that she’s seen.  Her mind is reeling, and dazed.

 

So He bends down, fingers touching her petals so pure…

And in His eyes, she can see, Mankind’s long needed cure!

 

One drop of His blood falls, and stains her robe of pure white;

Then He picks up His cross and willingly marches towards His plight.

 

She marvels at His will…His tolerance, so great!

Why!  He could call 10,000 angels to come to His aide!

 

But He takes every jeer, every slap – all the loss;

He’s determined to die…up there, on that cross!

 

And as He hangs there, stripped naked between Heaven and earth,

He cries, “Father! Forgive them, for they don’t know My worth!”

 

He says, “It is finished.  What is lost, shall be found!”

Then He closes His eyes; Lily hears no other sound.

 

Then Nature mournfully speaks out loud, as the trees bow themselves to the ground;

The Sky cries great tears, for the Creator is gone…God’s Son, has kept His vow!

 

The Earth shudders, and shakes.

Lightening flashes, Thunder breaks.

 

The Sun is black now, and refuses to shine;

And the Wind, mourns and howls and plaintively whines!

 

As Lily stands all alone, she takes the scene in…

The Creator, God’s only Son, has died for all of man’s sin!

 

Night soon draws neigh, as Lily waits in the dark.

She sees them take His body down, and watches them depart.

 

She hears He’s been buried in a rich man’s borrowed tomb;

The all is quiet, she’s all alone, hoping morning will break soon.

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Three days have passed, and the Sun just rose.

He’s been entombed, in quiet repose.

 

But a new day has dawned!

The victory over death has been won!

 

For a voice calls out, ringing loud and clear…

It falls ever joyous on Lily’s ear!

 

“He has risen…Just like He said!  He is alive…no longer dead!

He has for sin with blood atoned, now sits with God on rightful throne!”

 

All the flowers of the field rejoice, for a new day is born.

There’s no time for sadness…that time, has gone!

 

He was dead…Now He lives!  Earth, bless His name!

Praise God, for sinful man He came!

 

Anita Mondragon  -January 2008

 

 

LIFT YOUR VOICE IN PRAISE!

I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. -Psalm 34: 1-3

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These verses blessed my heart today when I pulled them from my promise box!  I have been in earnest prayer about a few things as of late, and found myself talking aloud to God all day yesterday.  I’m home alone during the day…and it was probably a good thing, because everyone would have thought I’d lost my mind…talking to someone unseen.  But I knew God was listening.  He’s always listening!

We need to remember when we go to God in prayer…we should accompany our requests with PRAISE!  Praise to God, are the weapons of our warfare against our arch enemy-Satan!

You got some prayers that need answerin’?  You have some tough decisions to make?  Then go to God in prayer.  Ask whatever you will.  Believe that He will make a way through it all.  Then…LIFT YOUR VOICE IN PRAISE and thank God for what He has already done, for what He is doing right now, and for what He is about to do in your situation!

PRAISE!  PRAISE!  PRAISE!  And watch the answer come!

Anita

 

OVERCOMING YOUR FEAR

We’ve all heard of Alcoholics Anonymous and their twelve step program to recovery.

Well…today I want to give you the ten step program to overcoming fear in your life!  These were notes my husband had written for a sermon he preached.  They are good things for us to all remember when fear comes knocking.  Take a look…. -anita

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  1.  Name It! -don’t kid yourself and call it anxiety or depression…call it by its real name…FEAR
  2.   Study It! –know your enemy!  Fear is our enemy, for it keeps us from moving forward.
  3.   Expose It! -don’t isolate yourself…don’t hide it from yourself or others; admit it!  This makes it lose it’s power.
  4.  Permit It! -symptoms help you cope.
  5.  Fight It With Faith! -Romans 10:17 says this:  “ So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  When you have faith, you BELIEVE GOD’S WORD!
  6.  Outsmart It! –change your thinking!  Stop agreeing with fear when it whispers in your ear!
  7.  Confront It! –Jesus said, “Fear Not! For I am with you!”
  8.  Diffuse It! -Speak LIFE to your situation!  When you do this, fear loses it’s potency
  9.  Disarm It! –Realize that nothing is going to harm you…it’s just the voice of fear you are hearing once again.
  10. Declare Your Victory! –Revelation 12:11 says:  “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony…”  Share your victories!  Get up and testify about all the good things God is doing in your life!

Go to God in earnest prayer, and ask Him, “What is my fear trying to keep me from doing?”  He will reveal it to you!

Remember…Courage is not just being brave…it is OVERCOMING your fear!  Ask God for help…then, BELIEVE!

-Michael Mondragon

 

“ON YOUR FEET, SOLDIER!”

I wrote this poem back in July of 2008, and just found it yesterday while searching through some old writings of mine.

I can’t speak for anyone else here, but temptation knocks at my door almost daily.  Temptation to be angry, curse, say things I can never take back…temptations to get revenge, to bend the truth (in other words, LIE), etc; and if we’re all honest…we all deal with Mr. Temptation on a pretty regular basis in one way, or another.  That’s how this poem came about.  -anita

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Last night, temptation came to me and seduced my poor, weak soul.

I fought him bravely for awhile…I kept site of my goal,

To only please my Father–for He’s done so much for me!

I just couldn’t bear to disappoint, so I tried to run and flee.

But never once did I call Jesus’ name….  That was my first mistake!

See…temptation knew my besetting sin, he KNEW what was at stake!

So he ran at me hard, and laughed as I fell, then laid there all wounded and torn.

He looked rather smug at me,  lying there in the dirt. “Gotcha’ now!” he said, as he blew his horn.

He was calling other demons to come there, to his aid.

I was helpless to fight back, I felt defenseless and afraid!

Then condemnation and regret showed up, and despair was at their side.

Condemnation laughed and said, “I knew you’d do this again!  …But you thought just ’cause Jesus died,

That you’d never have to see me again…but guess what?  You were wrong! ‘Cause here I am!”

“AAAHHH!”  I wanted to shout right back….  For behind him, stood The Lamb.

He’d no more than spoken, when I saw his face begin to twist and contort…

Then his knees began to shake and buckle as he yelled to the others, “It’s over! Abort! Abort!”

They were on the run! Jesus had heard my heart’s faint cry!

Then He looked at me, and shook His head and lovingly said with a sigh…

“A righteous man falls seven times, then dares to rise again!  He asks forgiveness for his faults, then turns from all of his sin!

He seeks a refuge in the Lord, and calls upon MY name.  He doesn’t make excuses…he owns up and takes the blame!

The saddest thing is not the sin, for those, I will forgive!  It’s the fact that you’ve disappointed the Father…and with this, you’ll have to live!

But…you’re not condemned…see, I paid for that as I hung there on the Tree.  I died and shed My blood for you…from condemnation, set you free!

Now, get back up!  Stand on your feet!  Walk tall, and be on your way.

Remember WHO you need to serve–choose right!  Choose you this day!

Will it be Me, who died for you; Who loved you then and loves you still?

Or will you serve the one who comes, to only destroy, to steal and kill?

Choose you this day Who’s voice you’ll hear…

My voice of Peace?  Or that of fear?”

Anita Mondragon July 2008

SHUDDER FROM HIS POWER!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever posted this before.  If I have, please forgive me for boring you with it yet once again!

I was looking through my piles of poems, and all the many things I’ve written in the last twenty some years…yes…there is a lot of stuff!  Anyway, I ran across this little thought I jotted down way back in 1997.  I was at work when I wrote this.  My desk faced the window, and the thought that went through my mind was…”The Holy Spirit is like a mighty wind!”  Then, I went on to write the following….

The Holy Spirit is like a mighty wind!

I realized this as I watched the cotton from the cotton wood trees float through the air, as the leaves rustled softly in the warm breeze.

When we follow His leading, we glide through things with seemingly little to no obstacles.  But, when we are resistant to His gentle coaxing, He can become like the winds of a mighty tornado which can uproot the strongest of trees.

If we truly belong to Him, we will hear His voice for we are His sheep.  He can lead us through the wilderness, or beside still waters.  The choice is ours.

We can move at His very whisper as it stirs the strings of our hearts, or we can ignore Him until He calls to us with the voice of many waters which will uproot our stubbornness, and take us intensely from our stable surroundings.

SHUDDER FROM HIS POWER!

Anita Mondragon -1997

ASSURANCE OF SALVATION

Here’s another good one from our own Lee Pierce.  He always asks the tough, pertinent questions that most of us shy away from.  Take a look…  -anita

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Are you saved, and do you know it assuredly? I think that’s a question that pesters many Christians (and no doubt, Satan works diligently to build on our uncertainty). I know that sometimes, when I’ve done something particularly egregious, I start to question myself; am I really a Christian, based on what I just did???

I got wrapped up in this question recently and did some searching to see what Holy Scripture has to say on the matter. John 5:13 is a good starting point. “These things I have written to you [believers]…in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:10, “…brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you….” Dr. R. C. Sproul goes so far to say that believers have “a certain duty to work toward attaining certainty about their salvation.”

Okay, you might say; I believe I am saved but how do I know for sure? Jesus’ parable of the sower in Matthew 13 worries me; am I truly good soil? In fact, in some theological circles—particularly Catholicism – we’re taught that we can’t have assurance of salvation. The fear here seems to be that, once a person has salvific assurance, that person no longer will feel a need to obey the Lord and this impedes our journey of sanctification.  But this position is not supported well by Scripture.

In the passage noted above in 2 Peter, verse 10 concludes with this thought: “…for as long as you practice these things you will never stumble.” What things? 2 Peter 1 verses 5 to 9 provides a list of attributes which sound pretty much like the fruits of the Spirit [see Col 1:10-12 and Gal 5:22-23].

Dr. Sproul speaks of a reciprocal relationship between assurance and these fruits of the Spirit. His point is that we don’t seek these fruits in order to gain assurance of salvation. Rather, these fruits appear and are operative in our lives because we know the Lord and want to serve and obey Him. In other words, God first acted on our lives, and only then we respond.  Knowing that Jesus died for us—if we truly know that and are grateful to Him for His suffering on our behalf—leads us to want to show our thankfulness in how we conduct our lives. We want these fruits to be evidenced in our daily lives. As Dr. Sproul concludes: “True Christians seek assurance not so they can grow complacent in serving God. Instead, they do so in order to grow in holiness.”

If you see evidence of these fruits in your life, give thanks to God. They are there because He is there in your life. As the song lyrics put it: “He’s still working on me….” Thank you, Jesus!

 

I DON’T KNOW MUCH…

I was raised in church…went just about every Sunday since I was two weeks old.  My daddy was a Baptist preacher for over forty years.  We went to church on Wednesday nights for prayer meeting, and Thursday for visitation.  We had special events for teens, ladies, men on most Saturdays.  I spent more time in the church than I ever did at home.  IT WAS MY HOME!

I know many, many scriptures, although I don’t know their addresses (where to find them), but I can quote them verbatim.  I have hidden the Word of God in my heart, and my parents taught my brother and I the scriptures like it says to do in Deuteronomy, I believe, where it says to talk about them in the morning, and when you lie down, and when you walk in the way.  God was brought into every…EVERY situation that arose in our household.

But…I find, I really don’t know much.  God’s love is so wide!  His grace so unfathomable.  His mercy so far reaching…I can never begin to KNOW and understand the measure of His being!

He formed the worlds…the universe…the sun…the moon…the stars….  He made everything on this earth and the heavens.  And He did it all by speaking it into being.  When I realize these things, and really ponder them, it is mind-boggling!

But then when I think about my own sin, I am overwhelmed at His forgiveness!  The fact that He would die to save the likes of me is something I find hard to comprehend!  So I conclude…I really don’t know much.  But like the following song says….”I have learned ONE thing about God…He will never change!   Take a listen, and ponder today on the love, grace and mercy of God Almighty to each one of us….  You will be blessed!

Anita