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 the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church. She and her husband live in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

For Such a Time as This

 


Queen Esther (One Night With the King, Common Sense Media)

 

Beautiful Esther was the Queen of Persia in the 5th century BC. She was the wife of the haughty King Xerxes. However, when Xerxes chose Esther to be his wife, he did not know she was a Jew. The Persians considered the Jews to be lowly although they treated them slightly better than the surrounding ruling kingdoms. Had Xerxes known of Esther’s heritage prior to his selection, she probably would have never been queen. What we find interesting to Esther’s story are the parallels which can be drawn and the lessons which can be learned from God’s dealing with His people then and now. Of course, during Esther’s time, all believers were Jews (followers of the God of Abraham) and today believers encompass all who call upon the name of the Lord and believe in their hearts that Jesus is Lord. It is Esther’s situation in life (where God placed her) that we find so fascinating as well as prophetic to the time in which we are now living. Esther was meant to be the Queen. She was in the right place at the right time to help save her people from certain destruction.  

 

Esther 4: 14, For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” …For such a time as this? How many of you have felt that we are living in unprecedented, prophetic, perilous, Biblical times? We venture to guess that most of our readers have felt this way in their lifetimes. We also suspect that the perception of living in a special time is growing with each year, month and even day.  Now, before we continue, we are going to confess we may get rather “political”. We have refrained from doing so in the past because we aim to keep our focus on Jesus through the lens of His words. That has not changed. However, it is no secret that the whole world is watching the United States right now in anticipation of the upcoming presidential election. This election may very well be the most important one our country has ever seen. We are not being overdramatic in saying it will be Biblical! That statement may rattle a few feathers and that is okay. We are fully aware that in the very last days God will turn His focus to His chosen people and their land, Israel. We are swiftly moving towards that time. But we are still in the age of Grace or the Church Age and this era is culminating into a time of decision for the followers of Jesus. There is a spiritual battle raging right now over the whole earth. What is happening in the United States sets the tone for the whole world. And no, it is not about human power, it is about God. Let us look back to Esther now …

 

There are parallels between Esther (Hadassah, a Jewish orphan) and believers in Jesus Christ today…

 

Esther was Mordecai’s uncle’s daughter.  When she was orphaned, he adopted her as his own child.  She grew up in Shushan, the capital of Persia, under King Xerxes.  Jesus, Himself, says in John 14:8 “I will not leave your orphans, I will come to you.” Ephesians 1:4-5 (NKJV) “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.” Esther was chosen by the Lord to intercede and help save her people, Israel. She obtained favor in the court of Xerxes, when she was taken among the eligible young women and was eventually chosen as the next queen.  Ephesians 2:4-6 (MEV) “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),  and He raised us up and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” We can rise up like Queen Esther and boldly go before our King with our petitions. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

 

Haman, the Agagite, hated the Jewish people.  He convinced the King that they were not following the King’s laws and that they should be destroyed. A lot was cast (Pur) for the date of their destruction. Esther 3:13 (NIV) “Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day…”

 

Esther had kept silent about her Jewish heritage and faith in the palace.  The King knew nothing of her people or that Mordecai was her uncle.  However, her uncle sent a message to Esther, asking her to “go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.” (Esther 4:8) However, the King had not summoned Esther into the court, and anyone who had not been called would be “put to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live.” (Esther 4:11)

 

Esther 4:13-16 (ESV) Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish” [if I am destroyed, then I will be destroyed].

 

Esther fasted and prayed for her people, for wisdom and favor, in order to go before the King. She was willing to perish on their behalf.  What are we willing to do to intercede for our loved ones, for righteous rulers, for Christ’s followers? There is a time of decision today to pray and stand up for TRUTH to prevail!

 

“For such a time as this….” is today’s passionate prayer for Christians around the world.  What should the followers of Jesus Christ be doing today? How are we allowing ourselves to be influenced? Political popularity contests? Law and order? Anarchy in the streets? Violence against humanity? Global warming: environmental condemnation? Fear based living against plagues (viruses)/ against all hope? Ephesians 4:14 (NKJV) “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting…” Yes!  The story of Esther is prophetic to the times we are in right now… What TRUTHS will we stand up for? Live for? Vote for?  Do all lives matter or just certain ones? What does the Lord Jesus say about these very things? We need to make a decision today: do we stand for and represent “light and all that is good” or “darkness and all that is evil” according to the Word of God?

 

There is a spiritual battle raging throughout the earth today, not just in the United States during this presidential election season…  What should we do? God knew each one of us would be living here now. It is time to ask the Lord how He wants each of us serve Him, for such a time as this. 

           

 

 


Monday, June 8, 2020

Jesus is the Cure


I AM the Cure
The coronavirus has dramatically changed our entire world. Classified as a pandemic, this disease mixed with heightened media attention and strict governmental mandates, has become unparalleled in its scope and impact. There is a great deal of uncertainty and downright confusion regarding this disease which should be a signal to those who follow Jesus, as a situation which requires discernment from the Holy Spirit to be dealt with wisely. Our Heavenly Father is a God of order. He expects order in His church and reflects order in His creation. 

1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV) For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

Yet here we have a disease that has many interpretations among even the most advanced medical communities in the world. How did this disease develop? How does it spread? Who will get the disease? How do we treat it? Should people wear masks to prevent the spread? Are masks unhealthy? Is this virus even really a virus or is it (as some suggest) a form of bacteria? Now, take those questions and apply the dilemma of who should we listen to for sound advice? Even the World Health Organization has shown itself to be unworthy of our complete trust. All of this turmoil is not from God! 

John 10:10 (NIV) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.

We are reminded of the earliest Christians in the book of Acts. As they waited in the upper room for the presence of the Lord, they also dealt with uncertainty. Many of them could not understand each other due to language barriers. It was only when the Holy Spirit came and filled them with His presence, that they were able to move forward with the confidence that comes through understanding. By waiting upon the Lord, they were able to birth a movement that has grown in light and intensity for over 2000 years.

Isaiah 40:31 (AMP) But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.

Today, in the midst of this pandemic we are faced with what appears like new challenges. They aren’t really new, but they may look and feel different. The answer to this pandemic is Jesus. He is the CURE. Jesus gives us Life. Jesus is the way.  How can we move forward with confidence knowing that we can be safe? We can trust Jesus and believe in His provisions for us. We are not talking about “name and claim it” as is being so misused (and misunderstood) in these days. Rather, we are encouraging each reader here today to allow Jesus to activate your faith in Him. Our faith is activated through prayer (talking with Jesus) and declaring (out loud) His words.
The LORD is our Provider, our Healer, and our Peace.

 Genesis 22:14 (NKJV) So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; [Jehovah Jireh] as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

Exodus 15:26 (NKJV) … If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and will do what is right in His sight, and will listen to and obey His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord Who heals you.

Romans 16:20 (NKJV) And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

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.]

We can have confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and His finished work on the cross.  We can live without FEAR of this virus!  God is LOVE and HIS PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL OUR FEARS.

1 John 4:8-9,18 (AMPC) … God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or [unique] Son, into the world so that we might live through Him. There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

God’s love for us is COMPLETE.  Jesus Christ’s complete work on the cross guarantees us access to the Father’s love.  We need to receive HIS LOVE and be freed from all FEAR, from any virus, pandemic, destruction, or loss.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Our HOPE as Christians is in Him. Jesus Christ is coming back for us, His Bride, for those who love Him and have made Him Lord.
 
1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 (NKJV) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.