Hope for a Broken World

My husband Sam and I are teaching a course called How to Hear God’s Voice. The past classes have covered hearing God in our thoughts. To activate this ability, students ask the Lord a question of their choice and wait quietly for an answer. Then they write what they hear or see in response to their question.

Heather Baker, one of the students who is also a part of The Pool Ministries, asked the following question and the answer was so encouraging, I wanted to share what she received from the Lord.

Question: Lord, why is the world so broken?

Answer: Beloved child, my heart weeps for the brokenness and pain of my children. This devastation was never my plan or design, but a path that was chosen out of innocence at the beginning of time, when choice was gifted to my creation. But just because something is broken does not mean it has no value, no redemption, no healing, no restoration. What is at work here will shine brighter than all the stars in the heavens, and will be the crowning jewel of my creation. Look on in hope, for what is lost will be found, and what is broken will be made new. All of the pain, devastation, and sorrow will be redeemed and made beautiful beyond anything you can imagine

.… He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, even the veil which is stretched over all nations. He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:8-9

If you have someone willing to read the word and the scripture out loud to you, please ask them to do so.

Hugs to you all.
Susan

205.556.4555 (Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of robo calls. You may schedule a call or prayer session via email).

Please send your email to thepool@thepoolministries.org

If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate.
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Those Fancy Fig Leaves

The “Smarter Than You” Spirit
I’m one of those fortunate/unfortunate people who had the privilege/horror of attending graduate school as a brand-new, spirit-filled (in the traditional sense that I experienced an encounter with the Holy Spirit subsequent to my born-again experience and emerged speaking in tongues) Christian.

Shortly thereafter I was accepted into a graduate-level program at a university. Little did I know that the campus was saturated in the “Smarter Than You” spirit. Or perhaps you know it as the dog-eat-dog spirit which can manifest in environments other than academia, but academia was the place I first recognized it.

Because I was very vocal about my beautiful God and completely lacking in wisdom, my classmates and some of my instructors made me a target to mock.

But the very thing they mocked turned into my shield because I didn’t care one bit if someone was smarter than me. I just wanted everyone—and I mean everyone—to know about my wonderful Jesus.

From this seat in heavenly places I was able to observe how desperately, and often viciously, the campus population competed for the prize of being the smartest. Now, the competition I watched was mostly confined to faculty and graduate students. The staff were viewed as peasants and, thus beneath notice, while the administrators were powerful but considered unimportant.

What did I learn? That the ones so desperately competing were deeply insecure about their value; that they were terrified of appearing stupid; that they were willing to do “whatever it takes” to hide their vulnerability even if it meant partnering with a predator spirit that devoured anyone deemed weak.

Did you know that we inherit fallen behaviors from our ancient parents Adam and Eve? This means that blame shifting comes easily to us. Another automatic fallen behavior is hiding our true selves because we believe that we are shamefully naked and unacceptable.

What that boils down to is this: All the competing and showing off, all the despising another person and thinking ourselves better, smarter, richer and prettier equals fig leaves. My fellow grad students and the faculty were competing over who wore the fanciest fig leaves. Pretty dumb, huh?

Disclaimer: Not everyone competed. Some fought against it and were very kind. But I think everyone was affected by it. Those who were basically secure often felt despised by their peers. Others felt compelled to prove their worth.

Here are some clues that you are discerning the presence of that dog-eat-dog “Smarter Than You” predator spirit.

Do you feel compelled to prove to others that you are smart? Really, really smart?
Do you feel compelled to make others feel stupid?
Do you feel stupid and insecure around certain people, but otherwise feel ok?
Do you feel haunted by feelings of insecurity in certain environments?
Have you fallen into the habit of measuring your worth against the accomplishments of others?

I don’t have a solution for this problem other than this. Bring it before the Lord.

If you are keeping yourself safe by being smart and smarter than everyone else, for goodness sake repent! And ask the Lord to heal your broken heart and to heal the people that you have hurt.

If you are simply discerning this kind of spirit and not in agreement with it, you will feel bad about yourself as if you just don’t measure up. Of course, you may have unresolved hurts in your heart, but those hurts are amplified by this kind of spirit. The problem is a predator spirit—not you.

Ask the Lord how to pray. Ask him to reveal any unresolved hurts that need his touch. And ask for the courage and wisdom to be who you really are without getting caught up in the competition over whose fig leaves are the most dazzling.

These are the only words Jesus used to described his nature (that I have found).
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Be gentle and humble in heart. Hugs!

Susan
205.556.4555 (Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of robo calls. You may schedule a call via email).

Thank you for your many emails. Makes me feel loved. (Most of them do lol) Keep ’em coming. thepool@thepoolministries.org

If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate.
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It is NOT too late. Honest.

Here is a shift in perspective for you. A shift that powers down a particular attack of the evil one. First, how many of you have had distressing thoughts about time running out? How many of you have agonized over the thought that you are too old and its too late in life for you to be useful in the kingdom of God? How many of you are sad because you desperately wish that the truth you understand now is something you had understood back then (when you were younger)?You can put your hands down.

Here is what the enemy is up to. He is pressing your buttons in order to get a painful emotional response from you: disappointment, regret, anger, self-hatred, shame and so on. Why does he bother pushing your buttons? He wants to suck down the life energy that flows from your heart when you are miserable (Proverbs 4:23).This “energy”—for lack of a less New Agey word—has been measured by scientists who call themselves neurocardiologists. Neurocardiologists call this negative energy emitted by the heart when a person feels upset a discordant heart sine. Let me suggest that this energy is what the adversary is seeking to devour. Consider that he is cut off from the life of God and stripped of all power. From where does he get life and power?

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

These same neurocardiologists call the harmonious heart beat that results when a person is at peace or grateful or in awe of something amazing and beautiful a coherent heart sine.

I have set the Lord continually before me … Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. Psalm 16:8-9

Let me suggest that the evil one is NOT able to prey upon the positive energy produced by a heart at peace. What does this have to do with the painful belief that the time you have left on earth is too little and too late? Let me answer that question.

Such thoughts about the meaning and purpose of your life being over are not God’s thoughts. They are a ruse by the devil to produce in you the distressing emotions that result in negative energy.

This prophecy came forth in Little Church a few meetings back. The one prophesying saw an old car on the side of the road and buried in weeds. From the look of things, this car was never going to be useful again, but then the motor roared to life (after a few cranks of the key) and a tow truck with a huge hook arrived and pulled that old car back onto the road. Here is the gist of the words prophesized:

You thought it was over. That you have been sidelined because you are old and useless, but that is not true. This car may be an Old-s-mobile, that was abandoned on the side of the road, but now it is a priceless antique, a showpiece, restored and ready to go.Don’t be fooled by that roaring lion. God knew from the beginning the course of your life. If you have a day left on this earth, rejoice and follow the Lord. If you have 60 years left, rejoice and follow the Lord. Don’t let time sit on the throne of your life.

Let’s pray: 
Father, God, Creator of heaven and earth and time. Forgive me for listening to the lies of the devil. He tricked me into focusing on time instead of You. Whatever time on earth I have left Lord, doesn’t matter. Help me follow You. In the beautiful and majestic name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray.

(To learn more about Neurocardiology and the research that supports their findings, go to https://www.heartmath.org/research/science-of-the-heart/details/).

Hugs and blessings, 
Susan
205.556.4555 (Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of spammers).

Send me your emails.
thepool@thepoolministries.org 
I love getting them.

If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate. 
http://www.thepoolministries.org

Can You Love God & Be Really Mad At Him Too?

Asking for a friend

So, here is the question. Can I love God and be really mad at Him too? Is it even safe to voice that question out loud where other Christians can hear me? Since it probably isn’t safe to voice that question, let me qualify it by explaining the kind of rage I am talking about. I am NOT talking about the rage of an infant left squalling in a crib for too long. If you are an infant, you should feel rage when your needs are not met in a loving and appropriate way. Screaming your lungs out because your needs are being ignored is age-appropriate behavior when you are little.

It is not age-appropriate behavior when you are 40. At some point in your adult life, God expects you to get out of the crib and use that free will of yours to make some maturity choices. It is good for you. Immature anger misdirected toward God is not good for you and is not what I am writing about.

I am writing about believers who find themselves in a desperate situation. Those of us with a sick child; those who are desperately lonely; those who can’t conceive or carry a pregnancy to term; those with a crazy spouse or chronic illness. I am writing about believers who have worked hard to mature; who have stood in faith; who are willing to do whatever God asks them to do, because they LOVE Him.

Feeling like you have gotten a raw deal—one that God could resolve easily if He would just do so—isn’t a comfortable place to be. If you are like me, connecting and reflecting upon those strong emotions feels very unsafe. Especially if you have distanced yourself from the ugly, angry you. Especially if you believe that the ugly, angry you isn’t acceptable to God; that the ugly, angry you is the reason God isn’t answering your prayers and, thus, must go far, far away.

I had a weird dream recently. I’m pretty good at interpreting other people’s dreams but terrible at understanding my own. And the icing on that cake is this: none of my friends and family are able to interpret my dreams either. If I get an interpretation, it is from God or I get nothing. Not sure I want to examine the why on that, but there it is.

So, I had one of my let’s-baffle-everyone dreams. Let me give you some context. Sam and I used to own a children’s entertainment business. As part of that business, we offered high-quality princess and super-hero characters for parties and events. I was completely obsessed with providing the most amazing characters and experience possible.

Here’s the dream. Sam was in the background putting tremendous pressure on me to costume myself as Beauty from Beauty and the Beast in order to entertain at a children’s party. Setting aside the fact that I am in my 60s, even on my best days I do not look anything like a Disney princess. But I felt compelled to comply with his demands, even though I knew I would be a disappointment no matter how I tried to convince myself that I could fool the kids. But I HAD to perform. On top of that, I was late and the arts and crafts were not ready.

Typing that out makes me realize that a dream could not be more obvious; nonetheless, it was days before the Lord explained the dream. Hidden within my heart was the belief that He required me to be the perfect princess in every way before He would heal my son. Since I believed that, I had sent away the “not princess” part of me, the angry and frustrated me, the mad-at-God me that I thought had to go because “she” didn’t have faith.

Let me be clear that nothing I do will ever make me into princess material. (Here is where everyone reading this agrees with me lol). All my efforts to hide my anger and frustration from God; all my efforts to become the perfect believer did not trick God into answering my desperate prayer. As a matter of fact, my crazy just got in His way.

Are you twisting yourself into a perfect YOU in order to get your prayers answered? Might as well stop, dear one. It doesn’t work and isn’t required by God. Here is why it doesn’t work as I understand it.

You and I will never become perfect enough to deserve God’s blessings. We will never be a good-enough Christian. It just isn’t possible and that is OK, because our savior Jesus is perfect and we are in Him (Colossians 3:3). AND (take a deep breath) God’s blessings are not earned.

Look at these scriptures:

Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:8

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God … 1 Corinthians 2:12

Don’t be like me! God’s blessings are free! Stop trying to earn them by putting aside your honestly confused and frustrated self. Instead, I want you to embrace that part of you. If anyone needs love and acceptance, it’s the ugly you.

Oh! One more scene from the dream. I kept looking into the mirror, thinking I don’t look like a princess, but at the same time I looked better than I expected. Maybe the ugly me is really the hurt and scared me? Maybe I just need a hug.

So, don’t bother twisting yourself into a prince or princess. It DOESN’T work and actually gets in the way of God’s blessings. Why? Because bribing God with good behavior is actually manipulation. I think the Lord wants to answer our prayers, especially our most desperate ones, but if He responds to our manipulation (no matter how unconscious), we will come away believing that our manipulation got our prayers answered. We would probably teach other people how to manipulate God into answering their prayers.

(I am NOT saying be bad! I’m saying be real, be honest and let that grow into an intimate relationship with God. Godly behavior will flow from that).

So, let me answer my question: Yes. I think you can love God and be really mad at Him. I think it is OK, because the truth sets you free. So hug tight the ugly you that is angry and have an honest talk with God. I have done it and it makes things better.

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. John 8:32

Hugs and blessings, 
Susan
205.556.4555
(Leave a message. I will call you back. We don’t answer unscheduled calls because of spammers).
Send me your emails thepool@thepoolministries.org
I love getting them.
If this ministry has blessed you, please consider visiting the website to donate. 
http://www.thepoolministries.org

Pray for USA’s Intercessors!

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My dear intercessors, in the event you haven’t noticed, you are being intentionally targeted and attacked. The purpose of this deliberate assault is to shut you down, so that you will stop praying for our president and our nation. This attack goes beyond the usual annoyances of the evil one. If it were just his usual stuff, you would recognize the working of the evil one and brush it off. This is more subtle. It is coming in on three fronts.

1. Exhaustion that is really oppression.
2. Discouragement through a flood of bad news.
3. Self-examination that is really a distraction.

Are you feeling extremely heavy and no amount of rest resolves it? That’s not exhaustion, that’s oppression.

Is the reported behavior of our president troubling you more than before? Does it feel like the evil one is gaining ground? Do not allow the shredding of the president’s prayer cover. Cover him back up.

Are you experiencing a cascade of painful memories and regrets? Even those you have resolved? Does it feel like a painful introspection is being forced on you?

I am not, in any way, suggesting that you avoid inner healing. For goodness sake, inner healing is my specialty. But this current deluge of painful memories and regrets, this introspection the enemy is directing at God’s intercessors, is not inner healing. It is a distraction.

This is not the time to engage in senseless painful self-examination or allow the enemy to flood you with the shame of your past. As Isaiah 54:4 states:

Fear not, for you will not be put to shame;
And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced;
But you will forget the shame of your youth,
And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

Please intercessors, do not give up. Please do not stop praying for our country. Do not stop asking the Lord to shatter the strongholds that have taken the nation captive. Press in and preserve. We need you!

Isaiah 59:19 says that “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”

You, dear intercessors, are God’s standard, representing in the earth His Son the Ultimate Standard! Please do not allow the enemy to trick you into believing that you are too weary or unqualified for this work.

Don’t believe the lie that the work you do in prayer isn’t feared by the enemy. If your prayers are not mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds, why would the enemy waste energy targeting you?

This is a call to all believers to share this information and to pray. Pray for our intercessors. Pray without ceasing. Here is a sample prayer.

Father God, Creator of all, strengthen those who have dedicated themselves to praying for our nation and for our president. To all those you have called to this great work give the protection of Your greatness. Refresh them in Your peace and joy. Reassure them that their prayers are vital because the battle is first of all spiritual. Pour out blessings upon them in this life and the life to come.

We command the evil ones to stop this attack against our intercessors. There will be no more devouring. It is forbidden. Holy angels, we send you to destroy this evil scheme. In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray.

Please continue to cover the intercessors as they cover our nation. If you are not American, feel free to apply to your country as needed.

Blessings upon you and those you love,
Susan
205.556.4555 (leave a message)
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My Greatness Is Your Shield

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Have you been feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly unending corruption in the world? Just when we swallow one more horrid story of another depravity, here comes along something even worse. And if you don’t accept one more twisted abomination, candy-coated in false compassion; if you stand up for God, then you find yourself condemned and attacked. It is Isaiah 5:20 come to life.

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Here is what is happening in the spirit realm. The devil has a kingdom called darkness and captivity. Ephesians 2:2 names him the prince of the power of the air. Communication (sound) travels via air waves. He is manipulating communication so that his message of rage and despair is always in our ears. I call this the Corruption Channel and, more than any others, the devil wants Christian ears tuned in.

What grows in the believer when he tunes into the Corruption Channel? Fear and unbelief grow. We forget how mighty God is and, through our fear, enthrone the wicked ways of the evil one. We talk among ourselves, amplifying the horrors being normalized in the world. We post them on social media and read the posts of others.

I am NOT saying that we should be unaware of the condition of the world. I am NOT saying don’t vote or run for office. I am saying STOP bowing down in fear and unbelief to the shenanigans of the devil.

Last night I woke up with my spirit tuned to the Corruption Channel. It was calling me to be afraid. It was declaring that the devil is greater than My God. Has that been happening to you? Your joy and peace compromised by an unending flood of bad news. Even in the night when you should be, and need to be, resting in the arms of your Lord?

I asked God what to do. How do I resist this particular scheme of the devil? He responded with this: My greatness is your shield.

Have you noticed that much of the worship music coming out of where ever it comes from is focused on the individual’s relationship with the Lord? Not trying to be critical here, but singing about God’s love for me isn’t much of a weapon against the current attack being launched against the body of Christ. He is a good, good Father; He will guide us through the oceans of life. That’s all good, but He is also the Mighty One, our dread champion! We need to be singing Psalm 91 back at the Corruption Channel.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But it shall not approach you.
You will only look on with your eyes
And see the recompense of the wicked.
Psalm 91:5-8

I remember as a young believer singing scripture songs that elevated the greatness of God. We need to be exhorting each other about the greatness, the awesomeness of our God and STOP amplifying the kingdom of darkness. Laugh instead! That is what God does. Oh! He is great and greatly to be praised!

Why are the nations in an uproar
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
“Let us tear their fetters apart
And cast away their cords from us!”
He who sits in the heavens laughs … Psalm 2:1-4

Two prayers follow. One is for the body of Christ; the other for the nations.

Prayer for yourself: Creator God, Father, in Jesus’ name we approach You, repenting of falling for the devil’s lies. Forgive us for entertaining unbelief and fear as we gazed upon the kingdom of darkness and its evil deeds.

Establish us firmly in the Kingdom of Light. Fill our mouths with the sound of Your greatness. Cause Your glory to pour forth from us as we go about our days, telling others the good news: They are forgiven. They are loved. They can come home to You because Your Son Jesus has defeated the evil one.

Prayer for the Nations: Mighty God, Everlasting Father, I ask you to shatter the strongholds that have taken our governments captive; our media captive; our entertainment captive. Release those who have been enslaved by these strongholds. Release those taken captive by the stronghold of abortion; homosexuality and pedophilia. Destroy the evil spirits that live within those strongholds. Restore to the captives their rational minds and free will. In the name of our Lord Jesus I ask. Amen.

Blessings upon you and those you love,
Susan
205.556.4555 (leave a message)
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The Scheme of the Evil One

No! Don’t Shoot Yourself in the Foot!

baby holding

Ok, people. I have been noticing something going on in the churches that is targeting the minds of the leadership. Exactly what I have been seeing became clear this morning after an intense time of spontaneous worship. I’m going to put this out to you very straightforwardly. My hope is that you will share it and, together, we will beseech the Lord to shatter a stronghold that is emerging.

God’s next move will be among the young people. That is not news. I mean what other large group is there that needs rescuing from the kingdom of darkness? The enemy is anticipating this. And he already has implemented a plan to short circuit this upcoming revival.

Let me explain the problem, then I will expose the enemy’s plan. Today’s young people suffer the most from poor parenting within a culture that caters to their carnality. Their parents, teachers and other role models are themselves deeply wounded and immature. When God sweeps these young people into His kingdom they are going to turn to the older believers for parenting.

The church is packed with mature believers who have worked hard to develop good character. They are equipped in many ways to help ground new believers in the great traditions, history and disciplines of the faith. Most of the young people caught in God’s net will have never been churched or exposed to scripture. They will be profoundly dependent upon mature believers until they become solid in Christ.

My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you … Galatians 4:19

Maturing these new believers will be quite a challenge. It is the elders among us who will shepherd this flock. Not the leadership or specially gifted or the fancy ones. But the many men and women in the ranks who are steadfast and who are capable of being the parents, teachers and role models that our young desperately need.

Here is the enemy’s plan. He cannot stop God from rescuing the young people, but he can stop them from becoming mature Christians. He is already setting his plan in motion. Here it is:

1.Leaders in the church are aware of God’s desire to win the young people. They long to partner with God. That’s good.

2.The enemy is twisting that good desire by creating tunnel vision among our leaders. In other words, ALL focus is being shifted to winning young adults.

3.But the enemy has deceived many in leadership about HOW to win young adults. So, methods of winning them borders on pandering to what they like. We will play their music. We will give attention to their gifts. We will give them a platform. We will dress like them and talk like them.

There are two problems with this: First, this current crop of young people has been pandered to all their lives. They are looking for real, safe grownups who will call them to maturity, not more pandering. Second, God will bring them into His kingdom in His time and in His way. We don’t have to make it happen.

4.This pandering is being done at the expense of the many grounded believers in the ranks. Their gifts and wisdom are being ignored. They are being marginalized in the name of winning the young.

5.This means that when God sweeps a bunch of youngsters into the church there will be very few parents, teachers and role models there for them. Those with a good understanding of the faith; those with strong character, and those well-formed in Christ will be gone. They will have left seeking a place where they are treasured.

6.There will be too many new believers for the leadership to shepherd. So, once again, our young will be left to parent themselves. We all know how well that works out. As an aside, the leadership will be bereft of prayer support as well.

That is the enemy’s plan. He is forming a way of thinking among our leaders that seems good, but is not God. This way of thinking, if left unchecked, will develop into a mental stronghold that will completely control the perspective of church leaders.

This is how we pray against it:

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I ask You to shatter the mental stronghold that is trying to, or has taken, our leadership captive. I ask You to destroy the evil spirits that live within that stronghold. I ask that You completely destroy this evil plan against the maturing of new believers.

Deliver those leaders who have been attacked by the evil one. Restore their rationality and free will. Adjust their perspective according to Your will.

Strengthen those of Your people who fill the ranks of Your church. Prepare them to parent, teach and guide the children shortly to be born into Your kingdom.

Angels! Go to war on our behalf!

Amen.

Pray this prayer often! God is much, much, much greater than the schemes of the devil.

We are not ignorant of his (Satan’s) schemes. 2 Corinthians 2:11

Blessings upon you and those you love,
Susan
205.556.4555 (leave a message)
Send me your emails. I love getting them.
Visit the website to donate.
thepoolministries.org