Friday, October 31, 2014

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

How many doors have you opened today?
For the past week or so I’ve been giving a lot of thought about doors, all sorts of doors and how much they are a part of our lives. 

On a “normal” day, did you realize that the average person opens and closes a door at least ten times (even more depending on the event). 
 
For example, in many parts of the world, this is a busy day with neighborhood kids knocking on doors for a special treat. All that knocking can add up to a pretty good amount of door functioning. 

If we were to total our low average door activity for one year, it would be 3,650 times we placed our hand on a doorknob.  Think about the amount of doors you use each day.  There are entrance doors to the home, bedrooms, bathrooms, garages, closets, pantries, basements, etc.  You get the point.

Over the course of a lifetime of approximately 70 years our door visits add up to 255,500. Let’s not forget that this total doesn’t include out of the home door visits as in shopping, doctor appointments or any other place we may go that includes opening a door.  Figuring in those totals we could see upward of one million doors we face in our lifetime.  In the words of Mayberry's Gomer Pyle, "Makes ya think."

You would assume that being familiar with a simple thing as a door, we wouldn’t have a problem approaching them would you?  Awe, but there is one door that many have never faced. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBBangladesh; Netherland Antilles; Tel Aviv, Israel;  Swan View, WA, Australia; Bridgewater, NS, Canada; Burgess Hill, England, UK;  Kranj, Bohinj, Slovenia; Orillia, ON, Canada; Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand; Davao City, Philippines; Larnaca, Cyprus; Comayagua, Honduras; Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan; Cannock, England, UK; Kaiserslautern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany; Sarcelles, Ile-de; France, France; Surat, Gujarat, India; Kuwait; Malaysia.
USA Madisonville, TN; Dahlgren & Broadway, VA; Margate City & Glassboro NJ; East Berlin& Sharpsville, PA; Fairmont, WV; Lubbock & Weslaco, Texas; Raleigh, NC; Saint Paul, MN; Security, CO; Youngstown, OH; Mitchell, SD, Bell Gardens, CA, Smyrna, DE; Portage, MI; Clovis, CA; Ballston Spa, NY; Zebulon, NC; Hialeah, FL;  Chester, MD; Grove City, PA.
New Jersey Margate City, Glassboro, Woodbury, Sewell, Franklinville, Vineland, Millville, Mullica Hill, Williamstown, Swedesboro, Elmer, Newfield, Turnersville, Bridgeton, Pittsgrove Twsp., Deptford, Mantua, Cherry Hill, Dumont, Tuckerton, East Orange, Alloway, Sicklerville, Monroeville, Marlton, Gibbstown.
If I left anyone out please let me know.  Thank you for your continued support and sharing this Outer Journey on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) 

You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post. 

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).

Visit the Q& A and Weekly Top Ten List sections.

Doors Are Passages
While my husband was in physical rehab this week I took advantage of a conference room that was adjacent to the facility.  It’s a quiet place that has a large table for me to do research. I like to use that room whenever it is available.
Spreading out all my materials I settled in for some serious writing.  It didn’t take but a minute, literally for me to stop what I was doing after noticing the word “knock.”  I don’t know why that word put a halt to my research, but it did. 
Out of curiosity I looked up a few passages in the Bible regarding that word and got some insight to what the Lord was revealing to me. 
Glancing around that small area (maybe 30’ x 40’) there are eight doors.  In one hour about twenty people entered or left the room through one of those doors.  No one looked frightened or apprehensive about using them either.  They are simply a passageway to another place.
 
Another Kind of Knocking
Traveling around town I have seen some very strange and bizarre things that people chose to display for the first big fall holiday. Some I can’t even look at they are so scary.
King Belshazzar: Rembrandt-Feast-of-Balthazar
Have you ever been so frightened that your knees knocked?  More than likely even if it didn’t happen to you, that phrase is familiar.
I remember a passage in the Bible when King Belshazzar was so freaked out by a strange sight that his face changed colors, his hip joints shook out of their sockets and his knees knocked against each other.  Talk about rattling bones!
When the King saw fingers writing on the wall (another catchy phrase … “the handwriting on the wall”) you can be sure he wished there was a body attached to that hand. (Daniel 5:6)
Anyone there? Will you answer My knock?
God was giving Belshazzar a message in an unconventional way, but all the same, He was knocking on the heart of a king to take notice of what was about to happen. 
When the Lord wants to reveal something to us, He “knocks” on our heart door in hope that we will open it and let Him inside us.
“Behold, I Jesus stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)
There are times when the Lord uses other methods to get someone’s attention like in Belshazzar’s case, but now we have His Word.  I believe that this has been a time when God has tried to get you to open the door of your heart to Him.  He has been placing people and things in your path but you haven’t gotten the message.
Maybe you’re knees have been knocking because you are afraid to approach the throne of Grace, but God wants you to know that He is waiting at the door for you.  All you have to do is open it like you have to so many other things in your life.
 
Keep at it …
Ask, Seek, Knock
We are at the point of our outward journey where we should be continually at Heaven’s door asking, seeking and knocking for God to reveal our next steps. 
Jesus has given us permission to approach His Kingdom door.  In the Bible He spoke these very words:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 & Luke 11:9-10 NKJV) 
In other words, God wants us to stay at the gate and keep asking, seeking and knocking until we know His will for our journey. There’s nothing spooky or scary about the Lord wanting to get a message to you.  He’ll use whatever method it takes to get us to listen, so why not open the door to the prompting of the Holy Spirit?
 
The Other Side of the Door
When we were children our parents taught us to be careful not to open the door of our homes to strangers, no matter how convincing they sounded.  If someone we didn’t recognize knocked on our door a flag would go up alerting us to danger.
Who are you? What do you want?
As we have grown that practice has not been kept, and many times as adults we have opened doors that we wished remained closed.
Unfortunately, there is another one who has been knocking on our heart’s door and many have given him easy access by their “ghoulish” activities. 
Of course, I’m referring to letting satan have entrance to our heart through the gateways of our ears, eyes and actions.
If we allow satan to come in through the gates in our life, he will undoubtedly be seeking and knocking on our heart door until he wears us down emotionally.  When that door is opened, it’s hard to close without a struggle.  That’s why it’s vital we know who is on the other side of the door.
 
Door #?
 
Pick a door any door ... but be careful.
 
There have been occasions when I have spent more time knocking on the door to Heaven in seeking God for His grace, mercy and favor regarding a situation in my life.  Recently it seems to be non-stop as I seek direction for my own journey.  
I feel as if I’m on a game show having to pick what’s behind a door and selecting the wrong one each time.  Conversations tend to be three fold … God, myself and the devil saying pick a door! 
On one side of a door I’m writing and teaching about the favor of God.  The reverse side pleas are going toward Heaven’s door while trying to avoid opening door number three – satan’s.
 
The Door All Face
Wait, I believe, let me in,
please God!
There will come a time in our life that this journey will end and there will be one more door.  Some call it death’s door, but for believer’s it will be the door to eternal life.  This time it will be us standing outside Heaven’s door and asking God for entrance into His home. 
For those who have already trusted Him as their Lord and Savior here on earth, the door will never be closed, because the gates have already been opened to us.
Those who refused to open their heart door to Christ here on earth will have His Heaven door shut to them forever.
There are no second chances once your journey here on earth is completed.
Look at what Jesus Himself said to those who think differently,
“When once the Master of the house (Jesus) has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,” and He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know you…” (Luke 13:25 NKJV)
On October 31st, this day of celebration, many fail to realize how dark the world really is.  They don’t see things as they really are because satan has convinced them that his door leads to happiness, when in fact it leads to death. The deceiver has believers so smoked that they revel in festivities and decorating for satan more than they do the birth of Christ or His resurrection.  It is the number one celebrated holiday for American’s.
Hanging skeletons from a tree, ghosts, RIP signs scattered throughout a yard is a door that Christian’s have opened to the devil, and he has them trapped in thinking these things are OK and glorify the Lord.  If the devil can keep people on death’s side, they will never see God's door or experience eternal life. 
When did these things become true, noble, just, good, lovely, praiseworthy, virtuous or pure?  Aren’t we supposed to think on these things instead, as Christ said? (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)

Every choice we make is a door.

God has given fall as the season of harvest, blessing and favor, but we cannot expect Him to open those doors of Heaven to us if we insist on hiding behind satan’s door thinking it’s OK for believers.  It’s time to close that door beloved and never open it again.
Are you ready to hear Jesus say, “I don’t know you” because you disregarded His door and walked through another based on society or worldly traditions?
 
What’s Behind Heaven’s Door?
My mother used to tell us kids that we couldn’t visit a place too often or we would wear out our welcome. Have you found this to be true?
It's me. I'm here again Lord ..
The great thing about making a connection to God’s place is that you can never wear out your welcome.  You can keep talking and He will continue to listen, answer prayers and ask you to stay in fellowship with Him no matter how many times you need to knock on His door.
When I first became a worship leader I spent many more hours than usual in my prayer closet; sometimes it was on my knees, others walking around my property.  What I found was that when I knocked on Heaven’s door, even if I didn’t get quick answers to my questions, there was always a peace that fell on me once inside.
No matter what I bring before the Lord, my concerns never fall on deaf ears. I can expect His mercy and blessings on those I’ve brought before Him, then thank Him for His unlimited favor that surrounds me. 
So I’m going to keep knockin’...


This Week’s Challenge:

Knock on Heaven’s Door

It would be easy for me to say that this week we’re all going to knock on the door to Heaven and ask God for whatever …, but that’s not our assignment.
Many of you will have lots of visitors this weekend or perhaps you are planning on attending an event.  That’s where our challenge lies; bring someone to Heaven’s door.  It’s a door they may have never faced.
One time I had the opportunity to bring someone to the threshold of Christ’s door at a Christmas party.  I had people tell me it wasn’t the time, but it was for that young lady. Her life changed that day because the Holy Spirit used me to show her the door to Heaven. It’s a day I’ll never forget.
 
 
With a soul in mind, ask God for guidance in directing you to the person He wants to bring to His door this week.  I know He will, because I have already prayed for you in this matter.  Thank and praise Him for His favor in selecting you to be the Light for this person and allowing you to take part in their journey to Him.

 
Hear me Lord I’m knockin’ on Heaven’s door!
I keep talking ‘cause You answer, Lord
So be listenin’ for me …


Click on the word link for just the feature song.
 
 This is part of the Album.  Feature song is at 4:30 seconds.
 

Until next time, you’ll find favor at Heaven’s door.

 
“Welcome to my house, Come on in.”
– Jesus Christ

What's New this Week:  Knocking on Heaven’s Door     Music Download from Avalon



Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Doors  Rembrandt-Balthazar  Jesus   Ask  Stranger  3 Doors  Pulling Door  Heaven's Door  Knock  Teens
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

Heaven, Daily Favor Blog, Favored1, Challenge, Christian Living, Avalon, Salvation, Prayer, Bob Dylan

Revised: 3/30/17; 6/10/17

Friday, October 24, 2014

First L♥VE

Joy in finding that true relationship.
My niece recently celebrated her sixteenth birthday. I look at the photographs with her young man and see the joy she has on her face. 

Of course they are in love, weren’t most of us at that age?

There’s nothing like a first love.  Everything is exciting; even rainy days are followed by beautiful rainbows.  The world is seen through colored glasses and pointing to new adventures, with the one you know you will spend your life with forever.
I am sure that Michael and Gina felt the same way with their marriage, only that’s not how it began.  A turn in life’s journey led them to where they are today.
Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBGuam; Belgium; Kranj, Bohinj, Slovenia; Ludlow& Burgess Hill, England, UK; Maria Ellend, Niederosterreich, Austria; Benalmadena, Andalucia, & Toledo, Castilla-LaMancha, Spain; Sevstopol, Ukraine; Kathmandu & Jhapa, Nepal; Quezon City & Catubig, Northern Samar, Philippines; Santiago, Region Metropolitan, Chile; Lagos, Nigeria; Regesnburg, Bayern, Germany; Dhi Qar, Al Muthanna, Iraq; Doha, Ad Dawhah, Qatar; Frankfurt, Hessen, Germany; Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.
USA   Willow Springs, MO; Cary, NC; Margate City, Mantua, Harrison,  Dumont, NJ; Philadelphia & Jim Thorpe,  PA; Eucha, OK; Lomita, CA, Opelika, AL, Dahlgren & Harrisonburg, VA; Chester, MD; Chattanooga, TN; Muskegon & Spring Lake, MI; Charleston, AR; Muskogee, OK; Minneapolis, MN.
If I left anyone out please let me know.  Thank you for your continued support and sharing this Outer Journey on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) 

Read updates on Hubby’s Heart Attack.

You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Visit the Q & A and Weekly Top Ten List sections.

First, but Not the Last
Matt & boys
Gina was a vibrant, highly spirited Italian girl who fell in love with her college sweetheart Matt.  They married and began to build a family when something happened. 
Her “first love” was diagnosed with cancer that eventually took his life on Christmas Day 2005, leaving her a widow at the young age of 36.
A very strange thing happened the day of Matt’s funeral.  His childhood neighbor Cathy came to the service and spoke to Gina, a woman she never met before that day.
Cathy
Six weeks later Cathy would join her friend in heaven succumbing to a fast-growing brain tumor, making her husband Michael a widower with three kids of their own.
The lives of two families would be profoundly changed as each traveled the grief road that would bring them together for this part of their journey. 
Gina believed that if they didn’t find a way to let God transform this tragedy into something good they would miss out on His ultimate plan and purpose.
 
A Vessel He Could Use
Even though Gina lost what she believed was the love of her life, God was able to minister to her in the way she lived her life before others.  She allowed herself to be the vessel God could use, and in turn the Lord brought people into her life that would uplift and encourage her family through difficult times.  Michael and his grieving family would be a part of that “new thing” God was doing in their lives.
When Cathy left this earth it wasn’t something Michael’s family expected.  After all, she wasn’t sick for years like Matt.  Although it was painful, Gina had time to prepare to some degree.  Michael didn’t handle the situation in the same manner as a God fearing servant, and in fact he had no answers at all.
It was Gina, the church, family and friends that helped Michael get back on track so he could continue his journey.  Only this time it would be with someone new.
 
Four Shall Become One
Two years passed when the grieving families would become a blended one.  Gina describes their new journey as one of “Imperfect people trying to love the Lord and others.”
Michael & Gina
As he has grown closer to God, Michael’s invitation for us is to be mindful of each opportunity we have with family and friends.  Find a way to be servant minded and learn more about Jesus.
In their search for God’s perfect will, Michael and Gina never forgot that Matt and Cathy were the reason this all came about in the first place.  Their marriage embraces those they have lost and they allow the Lord to use their story to bring others to Him.
 
Gaining Joy for the Journey
Michael and Gina Spehn
This isn’t a lesson or even a story about finding true love and your soul mate here on earth after heartbreak. 
What was the key factor to Gina and Michael’s new life together and being able to establish a ministry?  When their sole mate (the only loved one) was no longer here on earth, they remembered they had a soul mate, Jesus Christ.
God was able to take what the devil meant for harm and turn it into good.  They each returned to their first love, Jesus who is first before anything or anyone else on earth.  
Gina describes it as the walk with God in her faith journey that set her on the path for greater things.  He turned her mourning and weeping into joy for the rest of her assignment.
 
Is Someone Against You?

When we accept Jesus into our hearts as our Savior, He becomes our first love in our new life as a believer.  He gently takes us by the hand and leads us into new destinations. 
We look to Him for guidance, are excited to read the Word of God, can’t wait to share what we’ve learned with others … it’s like our first real romance. 
Everything changes when we receive Christ, and our anticipation of each new revelation only heightens our relationship with the Lord.
Somewhere along our journey life takes over, and before we know it Jesus is no longer the first person we turn to when things go wrong.  He is often the one we blame.
“…Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4 NKJV)
By returning to our first love, which is God, He can turn the most tragic situations into something pretty amazing and for His glory.  He promises that He will bring a new thing into our lives, if we put Him first.
“We love Him, because He first loved us.” God has always put us first in his heart over everything else.  We matter to Him.
What I want you to take away from this isn’t the pain and suffering of two families, but the joy that God brought to help them through the valley.
When God becomes our first love, He changes the way we love and the way others love us.  He bestows grace, mercy and favor in abundance when we return to our relationship with Him.
So that’s where I want to take us for this week’s challenge – back to our first love.
 
Remember When …
Try to remember those feelings you had when you saw the “one” that changed your life forever.  The one thing that stood out for me was my husband’s beautiful eyes and long lashes.  He still has lashes every girl wishes she had.

Read the Story Behind the Book
I couldn’t wait to tell him the events of my day and holding his strong hand made me feel so loved.  If he were in a crowd of people I could pick him out by his walk or the sound of his voice. 
Things that make him happy are easy, because they are mainly related to food or animals (besides me naturally).
All these little bits of information let me know that he is important and first in my life.  It’s the same with the Lord. 
God has attributes and characteristics also, and if He really were our first love, we would know them. 
 

This Week’s Challenge: 
Returning to Our First Love
Just as you know your loved one here on earth inside and out, this week we’re going to be specific in what we learn about God. 
When we really know God, we can describe Him and learn to live like Jesus.
Living a life pleasing to the Lord is something that others can see.  It’s measurable, a term we have learned for this part of our outward journey for Christ.
Here are a few questions we need to find answers to that will help us return to our First Love through salvation.

1 - What do you know about God’s eyes?

2 - Describe God’s hands.

3 - Do you look forward to talking/listening to the Lord?

4 - How do you recognize God in a situation?

5 - List some things that make God happy?

Think about this, everything you desire to know about a person you love should be something you already know about God.  Rediscover your first love as a believer in your journey back to God.
Find out about the God that loved you before you were born. (Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV)
The more you learn about Him, the more you’ll see that He has favored you all along. 

 "Because you loved me first Jesus, you will always be my first lve!"



 
Until next time, favor your First Love, Jesus.

 
Check Messages throughout the week.

 

“Return to me, I’ll always love you.”

– Jesus Christ
 

What's New this Week:  Two Selections



Return to Your First Love:
 A Journey Back to God
 by Teresa Jones


(I receive no compensation for
promoting these books for charity.)

   
How Two Families Found Faith, Hope and Love
in the Midst of Tragedy
by Michael and Gina Spehn



 
 

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Couple  Hands/Heart  Book First Love
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.