Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for India

Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for India

I was supposed to be in India right now! But since my travel visa was not approved, God has shown me He wants me to gather prayer partners for the Esther Movement/Global Sharing team ministering from March 10 – 24, 2017. Are you in?

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race market out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

Here’s a detailed account of

http://fromashestobeauty.com/2017/03/march-2017-from-ashes-to-beauty-news/  I hope you will take time to print the prayer guide and pray through the various needs of the team day by day. Thank you!

The Dalit women of India are overlooked and marginalized members of society. They work long and grueling hours in the tea plantations. The Esther Movement/Global Sharing team is bringing hope and healing through God’s word and their presence. Please pray for open hearts to God’s work in their lives for the Dalit women. Pray for strength and stamina for the team. Pray for healing and hope through Jesus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Friday Favorites: Pray for Our New President

Friday Favorites. Today is USA’s Presidential Inauguration Day. It is an historic day for America. My presidential inauguration memories go back a few years. I remember in 2005, the day before President George Bush was sworn in, my oncologist called to tell me he could find no more cancer. Further unwrapping other childhood memories, not an inauguration, but a sad day for our country. I was sitting in class in at Cottage Way Elementary School. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Martell sobbed uncontrollably as she told us the horrible news of President Kennedy’s assassination. Today, my friends, history is marked by the swearing in of a new president. Regardless of how you voted, our 45th President of the United States was sworn in. I hope you were able to watch the new president’s ceremony or possibly you can catch it later.

That’s right, we are commanded to pray for our leaders in I Timothy 2:1-2 ,I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

I joined the Presidential Prayer Team today to pray for President Trump, Vice President Pence, their families and their new administration. Would you join thousands of other Americans to pray for President Donald J. Trump? The Presidential Prayer Team introduces USPRAY100 is a nation-wide call to all who believe in the power of prayer to commit to praying for President-Elect Donald Trump and his administration for the first 100 days in office. Here’s how: http://www.presidentialprayerteam.com/prayertools/

The Lord’s Prayer teaches us how to pray: Matthew 6:9–13 (ESV) “Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.'”

Matthew 6:9-13 (TLB) “Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done here on earth, just as it is in heaven. Give us our food for today, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Here’s a great article about praying scriptures over our nation and our leaders in Crosswalk.com from Jason Soroski.

http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/jason-soroski/10-scriptures-to-pray-for-our-nation-and-our-leaders.html

Have a great weekend – you are deeply loved!

Sheryl

A True Story

freedom

The story you are about to hear is true: I felt free. The conference had ended thirty minutes earlier. My feelings of spiritual relief weren’t because I was now outside the four walls of the training facility. God’s Word had cut through fear I believed about myself and my choices for my future. God gives fear as a natural response when our safety is threatened. Neil Anderson says, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but it is living by faith and doing what is right in the face of illegitimate fear objects.”I learned that behind my fears loomed lies I believed. God asked me to renounce these lies, and once I did this I could again be centered to believe the truth. Empowered, refreshed, and reaffirmed in my ministry, I couldn’t wait to see what God would do next.

Now in my car, I arranged my lunch so I could eat while driving home, and then my phone rang. A man’s commanding voice said, “Everything you have believed about God is not true. To listen to our weekly hour-long church service by phone, call this number.” Click. The call ended. I sat in shock for a moment and remembered the four-day truth encounter. I spoke aloud. “In the name of Jesus, I rebuke you. There is no weapon formed against me that will prosper. Greater is He who is in me than He who is in the world. Thank you Lord Jesus, that you have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of sound mind. I renounce this spirit of fear. I want to live by faith in you and in the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Maybe you’ve never had a blatant spiritual attack. Deception can be a subtle yet slippery slope. The bottom line: We must know the voice of our Shepherd so that when the voice of a sleezy stranger such as discouragement, distrust, depression, or anything else contrary to God’s truth knocks, attempting to invade our peace, we recognize it. If we are familiar with the tactics of the enemy, we can say, “Oh no, you don’t. You are not welcome here. I refuse to let you in to my life.”

It’s essential to keep our mind focused on verses such as Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” And when we do, truth of God’s Word will cut through the dishonesty of the father of lies. The more you reinforce who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will reflect your beliefs about God.

Let’s pray,

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for giving us everything we need to live with victory in Jesus. Lord, you have loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3) and declare us not guilty (Romans 8:1). Thank you that we who are born of God do not continue to sin, but you keep us safe and the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). Lord, we approach you with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12), asking you to work in us to will and to act as you guide us according to your good purpose (Philippians 2:13). In Jesus’ name, amen.

Need more help? Send me an email sherylgiesbrecht@aol.com—I will pray for you!

Go to Transformed through Truth and check out FREE resources from Freedom In Christ ministries.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day honor 2016

Memorial Day is not just another three-day weekend. It’s a time to remember those who have died for our freedom. Don’t miss out on sharing with others this Prayer For Memorial Day. Please pray for the families of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom by giving their lives.

Encourage them to stand on God’s precious and magnificent promises. Grief can change us when we “lean into our personal grief.” This means to “grieve our own grief” and let our grief take us where it will. We can’t go around, over, under our grief, but we can put effort into moving through our grief. Won’t you stand with us? And the others who have lost loved ones? Take five minutes right now and pray for the families of the fallen. Have a blessed weekend!

_Memorial Day_Pray_2016

“God heals the brokenhearted, he binds up their wounds.” —Psalm 34:18

“The day you die is better than the day you are born.” —Ecclesiastes 7:1

“The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For the godly who die will rest in peace.” —Isaiah 57:1–2

“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.” —John 14:2

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things will pass away.” —Revelation 21:4

For encouragement and prayer for the grieving go to free resources at From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed through Truth.

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The Potter and Clay

The Potter and Clay - FromAshesToBeauty.com



If you’ve watched a potter make a clay pot on a potter’s wheel, you remember how fascinating it is. You see the wheel turn around, as the potter’s hands patiently shape the clay. The clay stays soft and pliable as the potters’ hands are dipped into water; the wheel’s motion assists the formation of a masterpiece.

Similarly, God’s hands form us into a vessel fit for serving Him as life’s motion assists in our development. To stay moldable to the Potter’s touch, it helps to remind ourselves of His love. We must remember – although we might not trust His hand, we can always trust God’s heart.

Sometimes God reminds us we are not in charge through circumstances spinning out of control. Is. 29:16 says; “You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘He did not make me?’ Can the pot say of the potter, ‘He knows nothing?’”

My emotions were raw and some days ran the gamut from giddy highs to desperate lows, in the days, weeks, and months following the tragic day my first husband, Pastor Paul, was killed in a motorcycle accident. Yet my circumstances were impounded and surrounded with God’s love, the prayers and presence of His people encompassed me in a powerful way. I didn’t want God’s hand to shape my understanding of grief and loss in this way. One day, I finally submitted to His plan, I said, “Ok, I will let you redirect my life and allow you to heal my broken heart and wounded soul however you wish. Make me more like Jesus.”

I am thankful to say God has given me a sensitive heart that cares for the grieving, the widow and the orphan because I sought healing through Him. This happened when I submitted to the Potter’s authority and looked at my life through His eyes, because He allowed me to heal, I can relate to each of these situations.

If we remain pliable in the hand of the Potter, desiring to be conformed into the image of His son, this is allows Him to shape us and make us into a new creation. Our responsibility is to have a regular prayer time and Bible study. When you sit alone with God, you begin to observe His ways are not your ways. Giving leadership to God is not easy, but it is best. When we choose to obey God, to do things His way and not ours, we are under His authority and find true liberty.

True freedom, healing and transformation is entirely possible when we submit to His control. Is. 30:15 says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”

Let’s pray, “Father, it’s a privilege to be molded into a vessel that is fit for your use. I thank you for shaping me and making me into a vessel worthy of being filled with the holy contents of the Holy Spirit. Keep me pliable and receptive to whatever you have planned for my future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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Free Indeed

Free Indeed - FromAshesToBeauty.com

A common attraction at our local county fair is the house of mirrors. When a person walks into the exhibit, you see your reflection ‘rearranged’ depending on the shape of the mirror’s width or height. One mirror makes you appear dwarf-like, another makes you appear tall and skinny, like a beanpole. As you look at your distorted image, you are deceived by the image you see in the mirror.

Although the house of mirrors can be appreciated as comic relief, the concept of the house of mirrors is a tangible spiritual illustration for how we can be misled into believing something other than what is true about God. Satan can keep us ensnared in doubt, deception and despair. His lies convince us God doesn’t love us or care about us. The enemy of our souls loves to maximize our problem and minimize God’s power.

...the way God sees us. - FromAshesToBeauty.comJesus came to make us free through the truth. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

We must live close to God, when we do we can face the truth about ourselves. We read the word and the word reads us. So when we look into the mirror of God’s word we see ourselves the way God sees us.

Romans 8:1-2 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

Let’s pray, “Thank you Father, that you sent your Son to set us free. Help me to remember in every situation, the truth will set me free. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Do You Really Believe God?

Week #4 - Blog Post #1 - Belief Brings Relief

I believed a lie for two decades. It was something I had been told when I took ballet as an 8-year-old, and some of the other students commented on my appearance. They said, “You are fat,” which my mind translated into, “You are not good enough.” It felt like a poison dart, and it affected my self-perception. You might struggle with the same lie, or perhaps the lies you believe differ. Holding close to truth is the way we root out deception and take God at His word. We must devote ourselves to search out and find truth.

This means we are dedicated to learning what God thinks about us. When we do this, the impact of the opinions and accusations of others will be diminished. God helped me untangle the knots of self-deception so I would be free to experience His truth. God’s Word cut through the lies and ushered in the truth of His love: “I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with unfailing kindness,” Jer. 31:3 (NIV). When I heard, applied, and believed what God said about me, I could love myself, my body, and appearance, just the way God made me.

When you feel guilty, it is difficult to move forward. But we don’t have to be victimized by our past, held captive to our thoughts, or imprisoned by how others perceive us. Trusting God moves us ahead unhindered; our progress becomes secure as we apply God’s word to our circumstances and allow Him to move us from deception to truth. It helps to take control of our thoughts and say His word out loud. The truth of Romans 8:1 break through guilt, shame, blame, and unworthiness: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Let God defend you and free you through the power of His word.

Dear Father, thank you for your word. I ask for you to show me the lies I have believed. Help me find scripture references that cut through them and bring in the truth. Renew my view Lord; show me what is true. Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love and for freeing me from condemnation. You have set me free, indeed. In Jesus’s Name, Amen

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What to Do in the Midst of the Greatest Trial of Your Life

DCF 1.0

Ever feel like you are in the midst of a raging storm? Life brings trials that send us into a tailspin: disease, denial, doubt, depression, desperation, divorce, discouragement, domestic violence, and death. The only way we can survive is to depend on God.

Psalm 89:8-9 says, “Who is like you, LORD God Almighty? You, LORD, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them” (NIV).

Praise ushers in peace. Inviting the Creator into our trials invites the peace of His presence. This type of dependence on God transfers us into a deeper level of faith, as we trust God to turn our trials into triumphs.

After King David removed evil King Adonijah, he peacefully charged Solomon as he transferred the kingdom, “So be strong . . . and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go . . .” (1 Kings 2:2 – 3 NIV)

It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Walk in God’s ways, follow as God directs, keep His commands, and allow Him to lead. The result: God gives favor. God loves obedience; He looks for opportunities to grant our requests.

I can’t tell you how comforting it was to know that aspect of God’s character when I was in the middle of the greatest trial of my life. During a nine-month period, I underwent two surgeries and chemotherapy for stage-four cancer. God granted my request for peace. He also taught me how to surrender and trust Him, as I rested in His peace.

I prayed scriptures such as Psalm 86:11-13, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead” (NIV).

I encourage you to allow your struggles and circumstances to take you to a new level of reliance on God. He gives us what no one else can. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” (John 14:27 NIV).

I’ve found it helpful to write out everything you have on your mind, allowing your emotions to drain and physically committing everything you’ve written on paper to God. What are some of the ways that you have learned to depend on God and find peace, even during your greatest trials?


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No More Excuses

 no-more-excuses[1]

“Not now. I don’t have time. I don’t feel like it,” are excuses I’ve used to put off making a decision. Although these explanations might be valid, they are also methods I use to give myself permission to procrastinate. Each time I’ve decided to postpone the decision, it is disobedience to what God wants, my faith erodes, and my trust in God is non-existent.

One of my favorite Biblical mentors on this subject is found in John 5:1–11. A man paralyzed for thirty-eight years lived in a “colony” of people with disabilities—these were severe impairments: blind, deaf, lame, and paraplegic. The man had gotten used to his own condition of inability to use his legs to walk and had grown accustomed to his circumstances. He was not expecting to ever walk again. He had seen many people healed—everyone, it seemed, but him. Explained in verse seven, “from time to time the angel of the Lord” would come down and stir the waters, the first one to step into the pool would be cured of whatever disease he had.

Enter Jesus. As our Lord does with us, He asked the man in John 5 verse six, “Do you want to get well?” Seems like an obvious question, doesn’t it? However, the paralytic man had to admit he wanted to be able to walk; Jesus wanted the man to admit his condition. The man had to take an honest responsibility for what he knew about his state. For thirty-eight years, he watched scores of miracles: he’d witnessed hundreds of others’ sight restored, hearing renewed, limbs returned to function. And today, Jesus asked him, “Do you want to get well?” Really? Was Jesus mocking his condition? Sarcastic? Hardly. Jesus wanted the paralyzed man to recognize his condition and invite Jesus to work.

Take Life to a New level

Like the paralyzed man, some of us don’t know we are paralyzed; we’ve gotten used to our motionless state. We get used to limping along and to our uneven gait as we adjust to our disability. We make excuses to cover up the disability. God wants to reckon with us. He asks, “Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get well?” He wants us to allow Him to have his way and let go.

For years, the bandages of my past paralyzed. I was wrapped up in shame, blame, unworthiness. God had forgiven me, yet I couldn’t forgive myself. I had my own story, which I shared in counseling women one on one. One day, God asked me to publicly share about my years as a rebellious and promiscuous teenager, alcoholic, drug addict, alcoholic, drug dealer. He asked me to explain how I had heard and believed how God’s love covered a multitude of my sins (1 Peter 4:8). I didn’t want to do this, but I was at a crossroads. “Would I trust God?” I asked myself “Do I want to get well?” When I was willing to confess honestly, admit my condition, the first step to my healing began. The paralyzed man made excuses about why he couldn’t get well. The man said, “No one would help me up.” Basically, it was other people’s fault. He said people cut in front of him. Essentially, Jesus said in verse eight, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Get moving! You are no longer stuck! When the paralyzed man did what Jesus said, he was healed—immediately!

I made excuses for years; I was afraid of what other people would think. When I faced my wounds, losses, I realized many others had gone through similar things. What about you? What’s preventing you from getting over your past? At first it was very difficult to face what was paralyzing me, to let go of it and get moving. Purpose Driven Pastor Rick Warren says, “We are all products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.” What’s paralyzing you? For some of us, we take on the problems of others. We cope by sharing prayer requests about others’ illnesses, while ignoring our own guilt, loss, addiction, abuse, abortion, affair, shame, or perfectionism.

Jesus tells us, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” When you do what He asks, watch Him open doors for you. God has opened many doors for me, once I chose to share how He healed my addictions. He restored to me the years I had wasted on abusing drugs and alcohol. He allowed me to see those in the lifestyle of addiction from a different standpoint. Now I could share with them the same healing and hope I received from Jesus. Jesus did a new thing in me, and He could do it for others in the same struggle if they were willing to answer affirmatively to the question, “Do you want to get well?”

“Do not call to mind the former things or ponder the things of the past, behold I will do something new, it will spring forth, will you not take notice of it?” Isaiah 43:5

Jesus told the man twice to “pick up your mat and walk.” His paralytic mat was where he had spent his whole life. Can you imagine? Thirty-eight years on the same mat? The mat was the man’s platform; it was what gave him the right to share his story. Jesus told him, “You are well . . . ,” and the man went away and told the Jews it was Jesus who made him well.

“If the Son has set you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:3

Liz Curtis Higgs says, “Sharing with others your shameful past and God’s glorious grace doesn’t bind you to your past—it frees you from it’s power to hurt you any longer.”

NoMoreExcuses[1]

Each time I share the story of how God healed my addictions, shame, and blame, God continues to heal me from the pain of this world. All I have to do is say, “Yes.” No more excuses. What about you? Do you want to get well?

Dear friends, let me pray for you now:

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for making excuses. Thank you for your mercy as we have told you, “Not now.” Thank you for your faithfulness, love, patience, grace, and mercy. We do want to get well. We ask you to do whatever it takes to heal us. For some of us, this is very scary prayer to pray, especially if we’ve been “stuck on our mat” for a very long time. Thank you for your timing. Please help us to allow you to take our hand and walk forward with you and allow you to do what you require to glorify yourself. We want to glorify you, whatever it takes. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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Send Revival

Spiritual revival

Have you forgotten how to thank God? Ever felt awkward when you should praise Him? You may be in need of revival. I am not talking about another trip down the aisle for the sake of salvation. It’s about what I call “spiritual resuscitation.” Revival: what we need when we have trouble remembering how much God loves us. Revival will restore us when we are bored with the concept of grace. Revival will renew us if we have stopped believing God is able to heal our pain.

We need revival after we’ve gone our own way for a while; we need revival when we find our way doesn’t satisfy and is a dead end. If you’ve ever watched your blessings fade and your joy wane, you need revival. We need to experience a refreshing touch of God’s grace; that’s revival.

Revival is available to any of us any time. Revival is the power of God that breaks through the lie, the deception of the enemy, the accuser who says, “Your God is not there for you.” If you have ever felt like God is not there and God does not care, you need revival. All through history, the Bible records individuals and nations who needed revival. Such was the case of the children of Israel during the reign of King Josiah. After decades of worshipping false gods and even sacrificing their own children to heathen idols, King Josiah led the children of Israel to revival. God allowed the nation to get to the end of themselves; they were worn out with living for their own desires, they sought revival.

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In 2 Chronicles 34, we find four steps to revival. Number one: The people had to humble themselves before God. The people had to realize they sinned against God by worshipping other gods. Number two: The people had to confess their sin of following after other gods. Their prayer was to ask God’s to forgive them, for worshipping idols. Number three: They recommitted themselves to God. King Josiah called an assembly together with all the people in Judah and Jerusalem. Everyone was there, from the youngest to the oldest, crammed into the temple. King Josiah read the covenant aloud before the whole kingdom. Together, everyone chose to do things God’s way. Number four: Revival came in to the hearts and minds of all the people like a flood. But revival had to start with one person. And that person was King Josiah. Revival starts with one person, so let that person be you!

All my love, Sheryl

Dear Heavenly Father, we need revival. We need in our hearts and minds and souls. God send revival. We confess we have worshipped other Gods, forgive us. We remove all the other gods and recommit to worshipping only you. Lord, send revival into our hearts. Lord, send revival into our homes. Lord, send revival into our churches. Lord, send revival into our cities. Lord, send revival into our nation. Lord, send revival into our world. Thank you Lord for revival. In Jesus’ name, Amen. The song ‘Touching Heaven, Changing Earth” expresses how God wants us to ask for revival. Let’s hear from Darlene Zschech and Hillsong.

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