Matthew 10:7-8

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


MERRY CHRISTMAS! I'm so glad you've chosen to visit my blog and hope that my thoughts have brought encouragement to you this year. Get the fireplace going and listen to the sounds of Christmas. As I write these words I am praying for the warmth and love offered by the PRINCE OF PEACE to overwhelm your heart.

"But you Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." (Micah 5:2)

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

"The days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will raise up to David a righteous branch, a king who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land." (Jeremiah 23:5)

"For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6)

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,............" (Deuteronomy 18:15)

"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." (Matthew 1:21)

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7)

"The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:2)

Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this [will be] the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:10-14)

"But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart." (Luke 2:19)

May you also ponder the wonders of the Christ!

Much love,

Friday, December 2, 2011


Why don't you hit the play button and get the fire in that fireplace going as you begin to read? I think you will be able to capture more the spirit of what I'm about to say! :)

Last Sunday for the entirety of our time in praise and worship I kept having a vision of a fire. Actually, this fire had pretty much burned down and what stood out to me most was the warm glow of burning embers as most of the flames had gone out. Usually when I have a vision it is a quick glimpse of something, but this lingered on. I felt a lot of peace and became very intrigued as I was aware that God allowing me to see into something that He was doing.

The download from the Holy Spirit came.

When we allow a fire in a fireplace or fire pit to burn down you are left with hot coals and embers which consume what is left to burn. For people who are serious and passionate about their relationship with Jesus, God knows who you are. May your heart be opened for what is about to come. Remember when Isaiah proclaimed that He had seen the Lord sitting on the throne? Isaiah became troubled as He realized that He was in the presence of holiness which caused him to cry out, "I am a man of unclean lips." At that point a seraphim came with a hot coal and touched Isaiah's lips, telling him the good news that his iniquity had been taken away and his sin had been purged. Isaiah was now ready to represent and serve the Holy God.

Now when you received Christ, your sins were already forgiven. There is no need for an angel to come and bring a hot coal to touch you so that your sin is purged. God recognizes this and honors the work of the Son. However, we all have some rough edges within our flesh which we need to be emptied of so that we can be more Christ-like. God was showing me that for those who want to represent Him and His kingdom well, He is burning these imperfections out of our lives. Those things within us that cause our flesh to clash with our desire to be more like Jesus.

The vision of burning embers consuming what is left to burn became a beautiful imagery to me. I smiled as the Lord told me that I was included in this.

There was no condemnation from the Lord as I saw Him doing this, nor are these "burning embers" intended to bring pain, but only purity. Instead I became aware of a pleased, loving Father nurturing His children. Have you ever made something with your hands that you were excited to finish so that you could show it to others? The closer you get to finishing it, the sense of excitement increases. Well, it was kind of like that. I remembered the passage in Zephaniah which speaks of the Lord rejoicing over us with gladness, quieting with His love and even rejoicing over us with singing. (chapter 3:17)

I pray that as you read this the fire of the Holy Spirit burns within your heart bringing encouragement and excitement. Yes, God LOVES YOU this much. Don't let anyone ever convince you otherwise. You are royalty in His eyes! Why don't you scroll back up to the beginning and for even a few minutes just watch the fire, listen to the worship music playing, meditate on the greatness of the Lord and feel the warmth of His presence as it comes? (You may need to hit replay or after the video ends just choose from one of the other fireplace videos that will come up.)

Let those embers burn Lord, let them burn!! All that I am is Yours!

Consumed by His love,
Mark S.