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) lmci.org . 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 sons. 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 lmci.org . Joanne has danced and taught at Christian conferences and various churches in PA and VA. She currently teaches classical ballet and coaches dance for gymnastics. Joanne attends Lighthouse of Faith Church. She and her husband live in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Let Not!


It is a troubling world. Strife is among people everywhere. There are wars, rumors of wars, terrorist’s attacks and hateful discord strewn throughout nearly all media outlets. We all endure personal struggles to varying degrees. It could be from “my daughter didn’t make the cheerleading squad” to “my brother has just been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer”. And quite frankly…… in this fallen world, these situations are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Knowing how dark and sometimes savage our world is capable of being, how can we be expected to live lives of peace? Yet, our Savior, Jesus told us to “…Let not our hearts be troubled?” (John 14:27b)

“Letting” is an action, isn’t it? When we “let” the dog out we are allowing it to go outside. When we “let” ourselves eat a dozen tacos at 8pm in the evening, we probably won’t feel well the next day. Those actions are choices and they result in consequences such as a happy dog or an angry stomach. Of course, Jesus has always known about our free will and that is why He told us to “Let not our hearts be troubled”. He knew that the result of our action of “letting not” would give us peace. We want peace in our hearts. Do you? 

There is a story line in the movie Star Trek III, where Spock’s half-brother Sybok, a determined space hippy, captured the Enterprise so he could fly it to a universal place of love and peace. He was able to subdue the crew through his Vulcan mysticism….. All except for Captain Kirk, of course, who saw through the danger of the promise of a false paradise. When Sybok taunted Kirk with the promise of everlasting bliss through removing his pain, Kirk resisted by screaming, “I want my pain, I need my pain!”  Of course, the whole ordeal portrayed a longing for a counterfeit place of peace. However, Kirk’s desire to hang onto his pain teaches us a valuable lesson. How many people today are choosing misery instead of following Jesus’ words to “let not our hearts be troubled”?  

If letting is an action that we truly have control over, then why let distress rule our hearts? Why would someone want their pain? We don’t have all the answers, but perhaps some people think they have the ‘right’ to wallow in self-pity, anger or bitterness? While we know these emotions exist and that we have experienced some of them from time to time, they are NOT from God. They are part of the fallen human condition that we can choose to overcome through the saving grace of Jesus Christ.  Jesus’ promises to us are true.  He GAVE us His PEACE and we must allow our hearts to accept it in every situation that we face.

John 14:27 (AMP) Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]

So how can we “let not” our hearts be agitated, filled with fear, doubt, or discouragement?  What actions can we take?  There are several ‘directions’ in the scriptures that we can follow.  

1) We need to keep our eyes (and minds) on the truth of the Word of God, by reading scripture (reading it out loud is best).  When we do that, the Lord promises to “keep us in perfect and constant peace.” (Isaiah 26:3) 
2) We must choose to “forget those things of the past” and look “forward to those things which are ahead” with HOPE (a positive expectation of good). (Philippians 3:13-14)
3) We should remain steadfast (unwavering) in our pursuit of God, by way of the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord and His finished work on the cross. (2 Peter 1:2)
There are several ‘actions’ involved in the above.  Picture yourself standing at an open doorway… You are on the threshold of going through to a new place, but your mind is filled with the unrest of past experiences which are holding you back.  You want to ‘breakthrough’ and step out, but first you must remove those thoughts that seemingly continue to plague your mind and keep you frozen. Then you decide to “forget those things which are behind” and you toss one hand behind you, in an action of determination.  Next, you take that hand and reach forward through the open doorway.  But you haven’t moved through the threshold yet.  A force is needed for you to press forward and step with momentum through the doorway.  This illustrates what is needed to move forward.  

Let NOT your heart be troubled… let not the past keep you from moving ahead with life.  A life that is promised to be more abundant by the Lord Jesus Himself. Do not allow the “thief” to “steal, kill, or destroy” you or anything that pertains to you.  (John 10:10) Follow after Jesus Christ and learn more of His finished work on the cross.  Grace and peace will be multiplied to you!   

Today we declare that the promises of Christ Jesus are true and we receive them! 
Isaiah 26:3 (AMPC) You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
2 Peter 1:2 (NASB) Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

~ Sarah and Joanne





Friday, May 12, 2017

IN THE MIDST OF WOLVES


Jesus told us that persecution would be coming for those who follow Him. The most severe persecution today exists as we see many believers in Christ around the world suffering unthinkable horrors for their faith. They suffer brutal afflictions mostly at the hands of Islamic radicals. Their fate of martyrdom is due to the fact that they believe in Jesus. However, we are in a time where Christians living in what were once considered firm Judeo/Christian strongholds, such as the United States and Western Europe, are enduring persecution too. Fortunately for those Christians, the torment is not typically in the form of physical torture, but rather, it comes in the form of tyranny, intimidation and harassment.  Any Christian who engages in social media will quickly learn that the cyber highways are littered with nasty Trolls! Their objective is to bully true believers into silence. Worse are those who pretend to be disciples of Jesus by hiding behind false ideas of Oneness and universal “love”. They are clearly endorsing a false gospel. We wrote about this counterfeit “love” in a previous post, The Truth About Being One.  Yes, Jesus warned us about the veracity of Christian haters and gospel twisters!

2 Peter 2:1-2 (CEB)   ……false teachers will come among you. They will introduce destructive opinions and deny the master who bought them, bringing quick destruction on themselves.  Many will follow them in their unrestrained immorality, and because of these false teachers the way of truth will be slandered……..

So how then are we to ‘finish the race set before us’ (Acts 20:24; 2 Timothy 4:7) and accomplish all that the Lord has given us to do for His glory? How do we survive and thrive in this fallen, chaotic world?

Jesus said in Matthew 10:16 (NKJV) “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
WHAT did Jesus mean when He said this? It has been said that, “A serpent is wise, with keen eyesight and is quick to learn. A dove is innocent, meek and gentle.” He was admonishing us to outwardly portray these qualities of wisdom with humility. Also, He wanted us to understand that we should be “militant in the spiritual realm, and gentle as doves in the natural realm, full of the fruit of the Spirit.”

Thankfully, we can be certain that our Heavenly Father never leaves us without knowledge. The scriptures describe how we can have both attributes of a clever serpent AND a gentle dove.  We are to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15-17); and to “walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time” (Colossians 4:5) Philippians 2:15 says “so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of people who are crooked and stubborn. Shine out among them like beacon lights.” (TLB) It should be said of us that we live our lives as witnesses for Christ, not as worldly, but as just and blameless in our behavior towards others. (1 Thessalonians 2:10)

So, HOW are we to “arm ourselves” against the enemy, yet “walk in love”? Isn’t this what Jesus did when He walked here on the earth?  He walked in love to all who would listen and hear His words, and signs, wonders, and miracles followed.  Yet, the enemy could not stay in His presence because at Jesus’ words, demons were removed and cast into the sea. At Jesus’ words….these are our powerful weapon against the enemy.

Matthew 18:19-20 (NKJV) “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

When we are in AGREEMENT with Jesus, HE is in the midst of us! Where two or three are gathered together in His name, Jesus is with us. Let us state here that the TRUE words of the Holy Scriptures are our defense against those preaching false doctrines as we stated earlier. If the words you are hearing or reading from others is not in AGREEMENT with the Bible then they are not from God’s Spirit. His words are life!

Psalm 23:4-5 (NIV) Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

In the presence of our enemies, the Lord anoints us with His oil, and our cup overflows… with what?? With His grace, His mercy, His wisdom, His favor, and blessings so that we can be over-comers in every situation we face.  When any trouble, distress, or persecution, comes our way, and when we are in the midst of wolves, let’s remember that Jesus is with us! He is with us in the midst of every storm in life.  We can walk in love, being armed with the TRUTH of the Word of God.  When we ask for wisdom, we will receive it from on high. We can hear the voice of the Lord directing our steps. We can speak and the door to freedom will be opened for us.

John 10:3 (NKJV) To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

~ Joanne and Sarah