Meet the Authors.

Sarah Burlingame is passionate about Biblical truth. Her diverse church background has taken her through Mainline Methodist, Evangelical, Assemblies of God 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 Coastal Family Church in Flagler Beach, FL.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

HOPE in 2016

Another year has passed. Was it a good one for you and your family?  Were there things that you would have liked to do differently?  More importantly, is it really possible to make a plan that will cause the coming year to be a better one?  Who could give us such a plan?  How could we make it a reality? We’re not talking about New Year’s resolutions which are easily broken.  We are talking about renewing our strength DAILY so that we can succeed in what we have to do. 

This world is often such a busy, hustling, bustling place and it’s easy to become weary of it all. When that happens to you there is a place of refuge where you can renew your strength. The LORD promises us strength which we can have no matter our age.  Yes, another year has passed and we will be another year older.  But, we truly can be strengthened daily to accomplish all that is on our “to do” list which often starts with “I MUST DO” these things today! So, as the dawn of a new year breaks ask the Lord (who is Jesus Christ) for a strength and resolve that can’t possibly come from your own will but CAN come from Him. In the Old Testament book of Isaiah God promises this:

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Waiting upon the Lord means giving Him your cares and trusting Him to always be there for you. In The New Testament God offers another promise:

Philippians 4:13 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

We can have an “I CAN DO” attitude when we know that Christ is in us. He is our Hope of Glory…
We want to offer you hope in this lost and dying world because we know that Jesus is real; He is alive; He is working in the world today when we trust Him and call upon Him. In Romans 10:13, His Word says: For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Many believe that “saved” only means to inherit eternal life (which is true) but it also means to be whole and well in this world. 
So, don’t count on others to give you a good 2016. Don’t count on a new gym membership or a new diet or a new anything other than a new hope in Jesus. Through trusting Him and trusting He is working in us, we have the ‘hope’ of a good future for the New Year. 

Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)
For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.

~ Joanne and Sarah

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A Christmas Blessing

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

While the storms of this world rage around us we can remain in His pavilion where we are hidden and protected. For He is our mighty God, He is our counselor, He is our prince of peace now.

Psalm 27:5  (NKJV)
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 31:19-20 (AMPC)
Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men!
In the secret place of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You keep them secretly in Your pavilion from the strife of tongues.

So, even if you are around people who are arguing, where there is strife, if there is illness, depression, financial stress or family discord, we can be assured of His peaceful presence.  If we keep our eyes focused upon Jesus, He is our peace.

Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”

~Joanne and Sarah

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Past, Present, Future

The Charles Dickens story “A Christmas Carol” has become an absolute classic tale. It portrays a miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who was visited by three otherworldly spirits on Christmas Eve in the middle of 19th century London. It evokes strong visions of both enchantment and doom to its audience. Today, more than 150 years later, this story continues to be a holiday favorite. In fact, “A Christmas Carol” has become so popular that it has taken on a multitude of forms, many of which Dickens would barely recognize as his inspiring novella. Hollywood has made millions of dollars off of this work. It has offered us classic renditions played by famous actors such as George C. Scott and Patrick Stewart as well as goofy versions played by the Muppets and the Flintstones. There have even been gender breaking renderings acted out by Susan Lucci, Tori Spelling and more. So, what is it about “A Christmas Carol” that holds such sway over a 21st century audience? Well, all of these very diverse versions maintain the same theme of revisiting our past, being guided by spirits and facing our futures with renewed hope. We seem to have a universal, collective need to contemplate past mistakes along with a desire to make our futures better…. and we often look to otherworldly sources to achieve that goal. The question is could it be possible to turn the fantasy of righting past wrongs ‘instantly’ into a satisfying present with the hope of a bright future? There is One in this whole universe who can help us do just that. Jesus Christ was, is and will be forever. He is the timeless yet present God of yesterday, today and tomorrow.  

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

In the story, “A Christmas Carol,” the spirits (angels) of Christmas Past, Present, and Future show Ebenezer what happened to him in the past that caused him to act the way he was in the present.  On that miserly miserable path he had chosen, his future was bleak.  No one would care for him or even miss him when he died. 
An angel of the Lord had to tell Joseph that even though his betrothed wife, Mary was with child, he wasn’t supposed to divorce her (which was the custom of the day, since he had not fathered the child in her womb).

Matthew 1:20-21 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
 But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit.
 She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].

This was done for all of us who lived in the past, the present, and who will live in the future.  Jesus Christ has come and can prevent us from a terrifying future.  He was the fulfillment of God’s promise to send us a Savior.

Matthew 1:22-23 (NKJV)
 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:  “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

1 John 4:9 (NKJV)
 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
We can live in the present with a hope of a good future through Jesus Christ.  No matter what has happened to you in the past, no matter how much pain you have experienced from various people and situations, Jesus Christ has taken all of that agony, hurt, and loss from you at the cross.  An angel announced to the shepherds who were watching their flocks the night of Jesus’ birth the good news of His arrival.

Luke 2:10 (NKJV)
 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.

This is still good news today, for all who have suffered, been abused, abandoned, or just confused about what will happen in the future.  The possibility of a different future, if Ebenezer Scrooge changed his thinking, caused him to become a person who was giving, with more thought for others than for himself.  His outcome changed for the good in the story.  Your life’s story can change for the good with Jesus Christ, Who is your hope of a good future.  Receive Him today.  Call upon the name of the Lord and receive His love, peace and joy in your life.  His promises are timeless!

Romans 10:13 (NKJV)
 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

~ Joanne and Sarah

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Angels We Have Heard On High

“Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains……….
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.”
If you are familiar with the lyrics to this Christmas song, perhaps you are wondering if angels are around now?  Or were they only at the birth of Christ as this songs says? What are angels exactly?  And, if they do exist, what are they doing? 
Can we see angels? Communicate with them? Some people say that a ‘guardian angel’ saved them from perilous incidents or even death.  Can this be true?  In the book of Revelation, John began to worship the angel who was showing him “the things which must shortly take place,” and he was told to worship only God.
Revelation 22:8-9 (NKJV)
"Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.”
The Bible describes angels as God’s ministers, who are spirits, like flames of fire.  They minister to those of us who have believed and done the following:
Romans 10:9-10 (NKJV)
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
It is good news indeed to know that angels are real today and they are available to help us! However, we would be remiss if we did not clarify that angels are the creations of the God of the Bible and not spirits of the New Age cosmos. In other words, angels should be understood by believers in Christ to be the created ministering spirits whom God designed as helpers of the human race. We also must clarify that 1/3 of the angels rebelled against God and His perfect plan for His creation. They especially hate God’s love for humanity and God’s grace offered to people through Jesus Christ. Fortunately, speaking and declaring God’s words and activating His obedient angels, is a wonderful reality we will be discussing in greater detail in the near future.
Hebrews 1:7, 14 (NKJV)
And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits
And His ministers a flame of fire.”
Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

Psalm 104:4 (NKJV)
Who makes His angels spirits,
His ministers a flame of fire.
What can we do today to have this connection with the angels? How can we have them help or minister to us? 
Psalm 103:20 (NKJV)
Bless the Lord, you His angels,
Who excel in strength, who do His word,
Heeding the voice of His word.
When we speak God’s word over ourselves, our families, and our situations, the angels heed the voice of God’s word and help in the fulfillment of those promises. 
Psalm 91 also speaks of how the angels protect those who have made the Lord their refuge.
Psalm 91:10-11 (NKJV)
 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
So in closing, we want to emphasize that we can (and should) connect with the angels by speaking blessings in the name of Jesus. When we speak God’s word, the angels help us and minister to us when they hear us speak and pray in faith.
May this season of Christmas be a time filled with hope and wonder at all God has done for us through His, Son, Jesus Christ.
~ Joanne & Sarah

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Joy to the World

Picture the manger/Nativity scene:  the figures portray the epitome of PEACE, LOVE, and JOY.
Joy to the world, really??  With terrorist threats and attacks everywhere?  Global unrest? Jobs lost? Opportunities missed?  Sudden or chronic illness?  Other personal fears and anxieties?  How can we really have JOY in our lives or in the world?

It is true that people spend a lot of time and money seeking true “peace, love, and joy” in their lives. How can we really have these?  Are you one of the many that find this time of year only reminding you of the lack of peace, love and joy in your life?
The answer is in Jesus Christ, who was born in a manger, who lived His life and gave it for you and me at the cross.  He tells us in John 14:20 “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” (NKJV)

We do see people around the world seemingly ‘rejoicing’ at the horrific acts of terrorism shown in the media.  But, Jesus promises us that our sorrow will be turned into joy.  He even describes how in the following verses:

 John 16:21-24 (NKJV)
A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
“….. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."

We are to ASK the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for whatever we need in our lives. 

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
"You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

If this verse is true, then coming into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ gives us “fullness of joy.”  How is this possible?  If you SEEK the Lord, and ASK, you will FIND Him!

Matthew 7:7 (AMP)
"Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you."
Cool! The bible tells us it is possible but you may still wonder how to apply this joy in your own life. Overwhelming distractions (especially during the Holiday season) are a firm reality for many of us in this world. We are busy people with demanding jobs and families. We decorate, we shop, we cook and consume fanciful meals. It may seem impossible to seek and find the joy we want in our lives. As the Grinch so aptly said, there is too much, “noise, noise, noise.” Then there are others who do not suffer from activity overload because they are alone or depressed. To them, Christmas is simply a time to be reminded of the close relationships they do not possess. Trying to escape the harsh realities of this world is a growing trend among many people… both the busy and the lonely. So, when one finds themselves tired of Facebook, TV, parties or whatever…. The promises Jesus gave us all regarding joy, will still be there waiting to be fulfilled. There is a saying called, “simplicity in Christ”. The way to find joy truly is simple BUT, we need to be persistent. The joy Jesus has for us is found in quieting our minds and simply talking with Him. Ask and continue to ask and it will be given to you. You must be willing to reach out in the quiet asking and He will be faithful in answering. Yes, it may take a little time and a little practice but isn’t joy worth the effort? It’s up to you. In conclusion, please read and fully consider these words uttered directly from Jesus Himself and allow yourself to be blessed.    

John 16:33 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world." [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
~ Joanne and Sarah