Meet the Authors.

Sarah Burlingame is passionate about Biblical truth. Her diverse church background has taken her through Mainline Methodist, Evangelical, Charismatic and Roman Catholic circles. Her calling as an intercessor led her to receive a certification in Advanced Spiritual Warfare from LMCI (Liberating Ministries for Christ International) . Sarah has served as a small group leader, worship planner, liturgical dance leader and online ministry coordinator. She holds a M.S. degree in Education and lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and their youngest son. Her older sons reside in northeastern Pennsylvania and upstate New York. They attend North Rome Wesleyan Church.

Joanne Reinhart asked Jesus Christ into her heart at the age of nine in a Sunday school classroom in Maryland. Her journey with the Lord took her through various careers, colleges, and universities. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Art/Dance, Theology, and Education, and a M.S. degree in Educational Administration. Her passion for the Lord is evidenced through worship, dance, and teaching. She was liberated into her spiritual gifts and callings through the teaching resources of LMCI . Joanne has danced and taught at Christian conferences and various churches in PA and VA. She currently lives in Florida and attends church at His Heart Ministries: Donna and Jack Rigney, Pastors

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Frozen in Hope… Thawed to Love

Whether you live in sunny southern California or chilly Minnesota, your thoughts and emotions can keep you from receiving the promises in God’s Word.  When your mind is full of worry:  about a loved one’s health; the possibility of getting a decent job; living in a safer situation; or the pressures of life, your hope can be “frozen.”

The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a God of “hope.”  He can fill you with joy and peace, so that your hope of expecting a good result in every area of your life will be fulfilled.

Romans 15:13 (AMP) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.
[The Greek word for hope in this verse means expectation.]

Many of you have probably watched the Disney movie, “Frozen”. If you have little girls in your life, you’ve probably seen it many times! Although we’re quite certain no spiritual implications were intended in the making of this movie; one can glean spiritual insight from many stories when guided by the Holy Spirit. That is what happened when Sarah watched Frozen (again) during a snow day at home with her youngest son. In the movie, Queen Elsa is isolated from the others in her kingdom [lyrics: “a kingdom of isolation”] and doesn’t let them see what is really going on in her mind. [lyrics: “Don’t let them in, don’t let them see. Be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.”]  The Frozen world that Queen Elsa created was quite beautiful, but it was still lonely. How many of us have attempted to surround ourselves with pleasant things hoping they would bring us joy only to find that we still have that ‘something missing’ feeling?

The repeated lyrics, “the cold never bothered me anyway,” could easily be interpreted as someone who builds walls around themselves to keep others away, supposedly not being bothered, but really yearning for close relationships. It is true that we don’t all experience relationships with others in the same way. Some tend to be more sunny and outgoing while others are more comfortably reserved. Those qualities result from our culture and our nature; but the intentions of our hearts do matter. That is where our hope lies and we need to guard our hearts from being frozen in fear, apathy, selfishness and loneliness.

Thankfully, there is someone who yearns for a close relationship with us, and His name is Jesus Christ.  He died, was resurrected, and now sits beside the Father in heaven, always making intercession (praying) for us. (Romans 8:34) We don’t have to fear a relationship with Him because He will meet us on our own terms. We will never have to build a wall around ourselves or isolate ourselves from Him. We can be confident that Jesus will give us a relationship full of grace, mercy and love. He invites each one of us today to allow the ridged iciness of this world to melt off of us in the light of His glory. While He will teach us to have fellowship and relationships with others, He will heal our own hearts first.
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This is the type of relationship that can free you from being frozen in this world and give you true and lasting hope.

Colossians 1:11-14 (AMPC)
11 [We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, 12 Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God’s holy people) in the Light. 13 [The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.

1/22/17 Word of the Lord (given to Joanne during worship)
"Comfort, comfort, My people.  I have heard your cries, I have seen your tears, I have heard your moans.  Come to Me, come to Me, for I AM the God of all comfort.  The devil is going about roaring like a lion trying to freeze you and tear you apart.  But I AM come to give you life and life more abundantly.  Let NOT your heart be troubled or afraid.  I am your Healer, your Provider, your Peace.  Come to Me and give me all the hurts and concerns of your heart.  I will give you My Peace, which will surround you like a shield.  Come and sit with Me and I will take all your burdens.  I will guide you and comfort you.  I will hide you in my pavilion and you will be safe", says the Lord.

~ Sarah & Joanne

Friday, January 13, 2017

Rest For Your Soul

Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me

Jesus had a heart and passion for the souls of the people living during His time on earth. He knew that the people with whom He shared His Jewish heritage were oppressed and wearied from years of foreign occupation and rule. He knew that their minds were held captive every bit as much as their bodies through lengthy subjugation and demoralization. The Roman regime were heavy taskmasters and the occupied people were beleaguered.

But, Jesus had an answer:

Matthew 11:28-30 (AMPC)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

We may not be living under an oppressive Roman rule any longer; but governments have a way of coming around to heavy handedness in some form or other………… and this world will always be fallen until Jesus returns to set up His Kingdom. So, how can we find true rest for our souls (minds)?  Is it possible that we are carrying around the weight of the past and that it has become a heavy burden?  What about the chores, tasks, and work that are mounting up before us each day? What does it mean to take Jesus’ yoke or to be yoked to Him?
When animals were widely used in farming, oxen were often teamed together with double yokes. It was a wooden bar which harnessed two animals (typically oxen) together to cause the load to be carried more easily.  Often, one harness was larger and meant for the stronger, more experienced animal, while the smaller harness was used for the animal being trained.  Jesus wants to guide each one of us and take the burden off our shoulders and minds (souls).  When we cast all our care on Him, Jesus takes our burden and in exchange, we can rest amid all that is before us.  (1 Peter 5:7)

Picture the following:

A person is bowed down with burdens as if a wooden yoke is around their head.  It is heavy, and their head is swaying to the right and left, their eyes looking only forward or down, but not up, due to the weight. They are moving slowly, and do not even see the heavy chains attached to each ankle.  The chains are from worry, anxiety, fear, abuse, unforgiveness, bitterness, anger, lust, pride, iniquities, sin consciousness, and other memories that have been haunting their thoughts.
But, by the GRACE of GOD, the person is introduced to Jesus Christ, Who takes their yoke in exchange for His, and the harness on their neck is removed.  A sense of release and freedom is known, but the hidden chains remain in darkness. These are secrets of the past that no one can see outwardly or understand.  Yes, as Christians, we can carry around these chains until the Holy Spirit reveals the truth and we are set free.

Colossians 2:14 (NKJV) having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

At the cross, Jesus Christ’s shed blood erased all the sin, transgression, and iniquity that was against us.   He redeemed us from the curse of the law, from all generational curses, and from the hand of the enemy.  (Galatians 3:13; Psalm 107:2) Jesus died to set us free from worry, anxiety, fear, illness, and all disease (dis-ease).  The Dark Ages’ lie that the Christian life is “one of suffering” has permeated the Church for decades.  Each one of us must believe and lay hold of the promises Jesus Christ made available to us by His death and resurrection.
So, how does “knowing” the scriptures in our heads become a reality in our hearts?  Our souls (minds) need to be saturated with the truths of the Word of God.  When Jesus Christ set us free from the past, we are free now!  (John 8:32) The chains of the past finally come loose, sometimes one link at a time, perhaps all at once, and then all our mourning is turned to dancing!  We have been set free by the knowledge of Jesus Christ’s finished work at the cross.

Can we sit and take a few minutes to REST in Him:  to hear the Lord speak to us in our hearts?  His voice sounds like ours, but Jesus will confirm His words to you.  There won’t be any more doubt in our minds when we hear and listen and read the scriptures of truth from God’s Word.  What JOY!  What HOPE!  Our burdens are removed, and we can look up and see the goodness of the Lord.
Come today, and give all your burdens to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Call upon His name and He will answer you.  (Romans 10:13) He will become your REST.

~ Joanne and Sarah

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hope in 2017

Welcome to the year 2017! We wish blessings and favor to be with you throughout this whole year…….. and they can be when you rest in Jesus. Are we saying that this year will be filled with only good things and that it will be utopia? By all means, No! We understand that in this fallen world, there will always be trials and tribulations; but, we can Praise God because Jesus gives us true and lasting HOPE. 

Genesis 2:2 (ESV)
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

It is the year 2017 on the Gregorian calendar which is the most widely recognized calendar used in the world today. Note the last number of this year is the number 7. Another way to look at it is that 2017 is the number assigned to the year of the gentile (Greek) world while in the Hebrew calendar (sometimes called God’s calendar) it is the year 5777. That is a lot of sevens! We understand that God is both timeless and complete. That means that as His children, we can glean insight from both measurements of time presented to us today. Therefore, we would like share the significance of the number 7 as it relates to our lives today through the lens of our biblical, Holy Spirit filled, world view. According to E.W. Bullinger in his book Number in Scripture, the number seven is shevah in Hebrew. It is from the root savah, which means “to be full or satisfied and to have enough”. Therefore, when God completed creation and rested on the seventh day, it was full and perfect. Nothing could be added or taken away without tainting it. There was nothing more to do other than to rest and be at peace. Bullinger goes on to say, “In the creative works of God, seven completes the colors of the spectrum and rainbow, and satisfies in music the notes on the scale. In each of these the eighth is only a repetition of the first.” The instances of how God used the number seven to convey completion of creation and rest are too many for us to include here, but we are convinced that we are to look at our current year, and the significance of the number seven, as a time to focus on resting in Him. 

Resting in Christ’s finished work is something we need to think about in our daily lives. But, does God really know about all the things that are facing us each day?  Is He a distant Father in heaven or One Who does know the number of hairs on our heads?                                                                      
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Luke 12:7 (CEB)
Even the hairs on your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows.

So how do we keep from being afraid, angry, agitated, depressed, disappointed, and discouraged?  We must focus our minds on the Lord, Jesus Christ and remember all that He did for us on the cross.  When we do that, He keeps us in perfect peace.

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.

The Lord does hear you and will be your help in time of need.
(Psalm 30) Looking to the Lord and waiting on God puts us in a place of rest. 

Psalm 27:13-14 (AMPC)
[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

“Resting in the Lord, Jesus Christ”, will be a topic we will continue to write about in future blogs.  For today, and each day, follow the words of Micah:

Micah 7:7 (TLB)
As for me, I look to the Lord for his help; I wait for God to save me; he will hear me.

~Sarah and Joanne