Saturday, August 28, 2010

Roberts Quotes for the Week (#11) by Robert Ricciardelli

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Giving and Receiving Joyfully by Robert Ricciardelli

We need discernment in giving and in our ability to receive. We give as we should but may miss what we need to receive to keep on giving. Generosity pleases God, but pride may not allow others to bless us in return. When we keep giving without receiving it is not sustainable. There is a time to give and a time to receive, and we need the reciprocity of both to remain healthy and joyful in our giving.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Healers Listen and Commit Wholly to Others by Robert Ricciardelli

Helping others who are suffering does not mean we need to share with them are own personal suffering because sharing our own pain is seldom useful to the wounded in need of healing. Healers can listen to a person in pain without having to speak about their own wounds. We can empathize with them attentively and lovingly, completely committing ourselves to serving them and their needs. We become more whole in leading others to wholeness.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Harnessing our Wounds for Good by Robert Ricciardelli

We can harness our own experiences of loneliness, depression and fear, and become a gift for others as we embrace God's healing presence. If our wounds remain open and bleeding we cannot help others. But as the love and caring progresses, we can love and care for others. When we experience the healing presence of God from others, we can discover our own gifts of healing, and build strong bonds of unity.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Empowered Wounded Healers by Robert Ricciardelli

We all get wounded, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. We do not have to hide the fact that we have been hurt, but we can use our wounds through God's grace to serve others. God can take us from the shame that might come to becoming healers even in our woundedness. Jesus' humiliation, rejection, and suffering brought glory and empowerment to followers who can now bring healing to others.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

From History Lessons to History Makers by Robert Ricciardelli

What we have learned from history is that we do not learn from history. We continue to do the things that have not worked and yet make excuses for why they still don't work. We are creatures of habit and sometimes are the last ones to get the clue that we must change. We are created for a purpose to become history makers to the glory of God. May the future look back at us one day and smile.

Monday, August 23, 2010

From Inspiration to Impartation by Robert Ricciardelli

Information is great for the mind, and inspiration is wonderful for your heart, but impartation impacts both the mind and the heart. Impartation from God is transformational to your innermost being and your spirit is changed forever. Seek after wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration, but even more so, desire for the Lord to impart to you more of Himself. The deposits of His divine nature will empower you for eternity.
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One Step Closer to a Yes by James Ryle

“Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.” (Proverbs 13:12, The Message)

go awayA friend in the promotion business says, “Every time someone tells me “NO!” I get happier — because I’m one step closer to that person who will say “YES!”

Some people cannot bear to be told “NO” even once; let alone repeatedly. And then there are others who stop just one person too soon. All they needed was to ask one more time. But they didn’t. Disappointment can do that to you if you let it. Especially if it seems to be unrelenting — one blow after the next.

Years ago I discovered a splendid little poem that has anchored my life in those times when everything seems to be going wrong — times when your hopes are dashed, your dreams have faded, your deepest desires thwarted, and when so many great expectations become inexplicably disappointed. Maybe you will find it helpful, too.

    “Disappointment. HIS appointment.
    Change one letter, then I see
    that the thwarting of my purpose
    is God’s better choice for me!”

It is true, as the proverb says, that unrelenting disappointment can leave you heartsick. But the rest of the proverb is also true — “a sudden good break can turn life around.” One doesn’t come without the other.

Draw yet another breath, my fellow traveler; though you have paused alongside the road — you have not stopped. Your journey is not finished. There’s a bend in the road up ahead. And the bend in the road is not the end of the road — unless you fail to make the turn.

Tip your hat respectfully to old man Disappointment, and then be on your way; for God has something better in mind for you. And though you have heard “NO” perhaps a thousand times — you are actually one step closer to a “YES!”

And that single “Yes” can turn your life around!

What is Truth? by Dudley Hall

Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world - to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."  Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" John 18:37-38 (ESV)
Pilate is hung up on the kingship issue. He is afraid that Jesus is planning to take over his job. He is not interested in Jesus' true nature or purpose as long as it doesn't interfere with his own position. But in the midst of Pilate's inquiry Jesus clearly discloses his nature and purpose, and we get the benefit.

Kings should bear witness to the truth! They are responsible for their people, and when they operate in deception the people suffer. Kings that don't bear witness to the truth are accountable for the destruction that comes on those under their care. It is a serious thing to be "in charge" of people.  We are reminded in the New Testament that those who teach others will be held accountable by a higher standard (James 3:1-2). Fathers who lead families should be aware of their serious responsibility. So should pastors and elders of churches. Actually, anyone who has an overseeing role in another's life has a kingly function.

It is incumbent upon all leaders to align their lives with the truth as revealed in Jesus Christ. When leaders are off kilter, the father of lies, who is a murderer, destroys the people. It is scary to see how glibly we undertake being parents, teachers, or religious leaders. We read books and take off on ideas and current trends that may be miles from the truth as revealed in Jesus. It might take years for the deceptive seeds to germinate, but they will. Ideas have consequences.

Sadly, in the contemporary church too little emphasis is put on the truth as applied to the various aspects of life. Too much effort is spent on being trendy, making sure no one is offended, and attracting more people to attend the corporate meetings. There is just not time to expose the ways of the world system in comparison to the eternal truth revealed in Jesus. It takes too much effort, and it is not possible to accomplish in 20 minutes on Sunday morning.  So families continue to operate based on concepts of reality gained from TV, popular music, and media.  Church members live under the illusion of being trained because they attend Sunday services.  All the while they continue to spend themselves into debt, work themselves into burnout, eat themselves into sickness, promote themselves into insanity, and lose themselves in a search for meaning.  This is happening while the kings over the church sphere are being congratulated for building bigger congregations faster than ever.

We haven't even mentioned those who rule over the civic realm. Even though we who live in democratic republics don't have official kings, we do have those responsible for the policies that govern our lives. Their "truth" is tainted by the need to be re-elected. The farther public policy moves from the truth revealed in Jesus, the more destruction moves in.

We cannot afford to be glib like Pilate when told the truth. He ignored what Jesus said and lost everything.  Soon after this interaction with Jesus, Pilate lost his position and became an afterthought in Roman history. If we neglect the truth we cannot succeed in the life designed by the author of truth. We must take seriously Jesus' commission to "make disciples!" People who don't know the truth and how to apply it are doomed to the default mode of deception where the enemy lurks to destroy.

“Trends and Presumptions” by Mary Lindow

As I sit here in the outdoors this evening enjoying an unusually cool and brilliantly moonlit sky, I am stirred to speak openly and transparently about the things that God is not only dealing with in my personal journey with him, but also some of the trends and presumptions that occur in the world of “Christendom” when it appears and feels as if the Father God is far off and seemingly unresponsive to the cries of those desperate for relief and merciful compassion.
Through his own personal agony David came to a new understanding of what it really was that God required from man.
God is not interested in our outward sacrifices or "offerings."
This does not necessarily mean that God never requires outward forms of worship or expression or observances. Many lines of Scripture prove that at times he does. But it does mean that these are not the things that he requires first. If our religious practices contain nothing more than outward actions and performance, then God takes no pleasure in them.

God always looks underneath what goes on outwardly, and looks to the motives and the attitude of the heart.
What does he look for there?

David tells us in Psalm 51:16 -17
“For you delight not in sacrifice, or else would I give it; you find no pleasure in burnt offering.
The sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.”

These are not common words to our ears these days!
Just what does it mean when God asks that we have a broken spirit? Does he want us to be beaten down and humiliated? I am sure that this is not his plan.
Then what is a broken spirit? It is an “inner self” that has come totally to the end of itself. It makes no claims, and offers no arguments.
All independence, all self-will, self-promotion, all self-righteousness have been pruned away.

Such a spirit simply turns and trusts completely upon God, not trusting in his own skill, merit, popularity, or ability to influence. This one who has willingly allowed the disciplining of his soul knows that he or she must only trust in God and his unrelenting mercy.

If we will ALLOW him to guide us, HE knows how to produce this brokenness of spirit in each of us. Just remember, he treats us as individuals. And he would never abuse our individuality. He uses just the right amount of intensity needed to accomplish his desires, that we would relinquish our mistrust in his plan and fully step into total abandonment, willingly accepting his plan.

“For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”
Lamentations 3:33
If there was ever a man who had to face affliction also known as “discipline” - it was David. I am amazed that he never became bitter. He even admitted that it did him good! God allows us to come under afflictions/discipline, not because he is mad at us, nor because he has rejected us. It is actually a demonstration of his faithfulness.

When he sees us taking a wrong turn that will lead to our own harm and damage, he allows difficulty and affliction/discipline to turn us back to the way that leads to peace and blessing.

When I say affliction I am not accusing God of bringing about harsh and devastating blows in order to knock us down and break our arms in the process. No! No! No!

In Psalm 119:67, 71, 75 it says:
"I used to wander off until you disciplined me; but now I closely follow your word. My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. I know, O Lord, that your regulations are fair;you disciplined me because I needed it."
How do we respond when we are "thrown a curveball" and everything we carefully planned out and prepared for suddenly takes a turn we did not expect?
David did not view afflictions/disciplines as disaster. He saw it as a form of correction - something to adjust his life. He was saying, “Before I was afflicted/disciplined I went astray and I suffered for it. Now I've learned my lesson! It pays to obey your word!”

May I caution you?
Don't fight back!
And whatever you do, do not argue with God!
Admit that God is dealing with you and allowing an affliction/a disciplining, a difficulty or disappointment, to address major issues of stubbornness, lazy spirituality, dependence upon others for water from the word, and more than often - a sour and willful independence that does not like accountability in every area.
“Am I off the pathway that you have planned and have willfully gone my own way?”

The Lord is seeking, looking, longing for you to turn away from things that are harmful and to bring you back to things that are in his purpose and plan.
If we are willing to learn from these afflictions/disciplines, there will come a time when we will indeed look back with gratitude for the things we have learned and matured in.

My dear friends. We were not created to serve ourselves or to meet our own needs. Whatever we need, the Lord will see to it that we get it, as we move along the pathway that he has chosen. You may be asking the question, “Why is it so hard for me to hear from the Lord at first when it comes to difficult issues and decisions?”

We must understand we cannot instantly “unlearn” what we have lived our entire life. We must as the Scripture says be "transformed" from who we are to what we want to be. 

We need to understand with our whole heart that we were intended to be godly in every way. In our relationships with others, and above all, in our relationship with God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. If one is out of order then both will be. 

But!  As a dear brother in the Lord by the name of Larry Reese says, “We are not to fear the passing of time or fear that we are wasting time by spending time with the Lord, searching out his word, and being still in his presence. You will never lose anything by doing these things!”
It's no secret that social media has become quite a form of communication! One of the problems that can occur when “listening” to trends, blogs, and commentary from others is that sources quoted and information gathered might well be skewed to interject thoughts and opinions into the minds of those who never think for themselves. Believers in Christ are not to be uninformed, but they are to be wise about what they “ingest and digest” when it comes to the lifestyle of a Christian.

Do not rely upon the wisdom of men to help you to ultimately reach the destiny that God himself paid the price for. He is not an ego-driven maniac looking for his entourage of followers to validate his importance! 

He "paid it forward" so that we would have the opportunity to walk upon a pathway, although narrow, that leads to purposeful living and a fruitful reaping of productivity that will only advance us into further opportunities to speak of hope and a purpose for others.

If there were one thing that sickens the heart of God it would be underhanded and slippery craftiness oozing from those who resist the full aspect of allowing God to create in them a clean and contrite heart.

It always amazes me how individuals that need notoriety and a place of “mystical” influence seem to be able to cunningly discredit good and godly saints around them who have perhaps lovingly warned them about deceptive practices or micro-management control issues, knowing that they risk the loss of relationship when doing so. It is as if these individuals secretly feel entitled to sidestep the issue of preferring your brother or sister, and humbly listening to their insights and observances.

Equally amazing, are those who listen to only one side of a conflict or disagreement, and then spiritualize-away the fact that harm or discord has happened.

 And so, the Lord allows the difficulties and afflictions to come and expose the areas of favoritism, embracing the “new and exciting” rather than the narrow and at times  - dry pathway to mature godliness. There will always be among us, those claiming to have “THE” word of the hour, the “message of the forefathers”, and on and on the platitudes and justifications are listed to justify the mocking and putting down of the simple and unique message of self-abandonment.

Listen to the “tone” in the voice of those addressing the crowd, the congregation, or perhaps a small study group. False humility has a highly "honeyed" pitch of barely restrained condescension, laced with heavy doses of unsolicited advice and counsel.  

Rarely will individuals who have an exaggerated view of their own importance allow others to warmly and intimately engage in transparent communication and dialogue regarding the unique and yet equal calling and gifting of each child of God.

These words have been spoken out from the Lord over the lives of many who seemingly can hardly lift their heads due to delays, betrayals, losses, and a deep, deep internal anguish. It seems as if God sees greater fruitfulness when we are at the bottom of the proverbial "barrel"!

 Those who are forever wishfully proclaiming that the “bad times are over and good times are ahead” are sadly attempting to override the ache of the soul when it longs to return to the comfort zone of self indulgence.
“But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless!”
Jeremiah 7:8

Know this. To avoid the chastening and bruising of our souls is a guarantee that not only will you cause devastating and brutal pain to others, but also most importantly, you shall grieve the Holy Spirit. 

I encourage those of you reading and listening, to test the fruit of those who claim to have a special and mystical "in" with the Lord.

The Lord is not one who neither “excludes” nor leaves the broken out in the cold, nor does he invite into his inner courts of wisdom and revelation, those who would use it to their own personal advantage or fame.

It is time to face the chastening of the Lord in the light of the purpose he has behind it. Growing up and maturing finally in the things he has been dutifully prodding you to do for a long time now.

Procrastination fellowships with slothful and sloppy approaches to relationship with God and with mankind. 

For once and for all make the decision to not blame-shift or deflect onto others what God is dealing with in the wickedness of your own soul.

Now is the time to be willing to lose your life, to be afflicted -- yes even to the point of having the Lord remove and expose those who have become disobedient, self-promoting, and abusive in the circles you walk within.

“SEE TO IT that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,
which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” 
Colossians 2:8

The Lord is speaking!
He has wisdom to impart to you that may well save and instruct others who might fall into foolish behavior.
It is not about your comfort, your "wants" nor even your dignity!
It’s about a willingness to be the servant of the Savior, and to emulate His example.
He Is Speaking...
...Are we listening?

“The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.”
Isaiah 50:4
Duplication and re-transmission of this writing is welcomed
provided that complete source and website information for Mary
Lindow is included.
Thank You
Copyright © 2010 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow 

Recovering the Lost Gift of True Friendship by Lee Grady

Last week one of my best friends showed me what it really means to selflessly lay down your life.

Last week one of my best friends, Chris Maxwell, organized a two-day prayer gathering for me in north Georgia, where he serves as the pastor of a Christian college. Chris had listened to me whine for months about how confused I was about my future. He took it upon himself to contact a group of my friends, and they agreed to take time off work to pray with me about some important decisions.

Chris not only gathered nine men for this prayer retreat, but he also solicited counsel from other friends who couldn't attend, and from my wife. When I sat down in that living room on the first night, they put me under a microscope and proceeded to meddle in all my business. It was 48 hours of probing questions, wise counsel, sober warnings, gushing encouragement, brotherly affection and in-your-face honesty.
"True friends pray for each other. The prophet Samuel even wrote: 'Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you' (1 Sam. 12:23)."
Uncomfortable? Definitely. Embarrassing? At times. Humbling? Totally. But the pain was worth what I gained in the end.

One of the main things I gained was a renewed understanding of how important true friendship is. In this day of unprecedented social isolation (when many pastors admit they have no one to talk to) and in this season of tragic moral failure (when church leaders wait too late before they expose their weaknesses to anyone) I have learned that we cannot survive long without godly relationships. Here are three qualities we must reclaim:

1. True friendship requires sacrifice.
I was blown away that nine guys from four states would take time out of their busy schedules to pray for me. One guy drove all the way from Pennsylvania; two others drove more than seven hours. When we were finished, several of the guys expressed amazement that Chris went to so much trouble. "Lee is so blessed to have a friend like you," one of them said.

Real friends do extravagant things to show their love. They don't just do what is expected—they go the second mile. Real friendship always cuts against the grain of selfishness. Jesus told his closest friends: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, NASB). A few hours after He said that, He was arrested, beaten and nailed to a cross. 

2. True friendship requires transparency. Jonathan and David are models of friendship because they didn't allow their positions, titles or ambitions to separate them. Even though Jonathan was Saul's son, and the rightful heir to the throne, he recognized the call of God on his friend David and set aside his own agenda.

The Bible says in 1 Samuel 18:3-4: "Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt." Jonathan wasn't going through an airport security check; he took off his outer garment and weapons because these things represented his future status as a warrior king. He was signifying to David: "I'm putting you first." The same humility is required of us if we want genuine friendships.

At one point during our prayer retreat last week, the guys took turns sharing their most serious prayer concerns. Before we went around the circle we pledged not to divulge anyone's secrets. Then, with full confidence that no one was going to condemn anyone, we took our body armor off, let our force fields down and spilled our guts.

It wasn't long before the tears began to flow. I don't know if you've ever seen a group of grown men crying—but I can tell you it is one of the most beautiful sights on earth. One guy unashamedly offered a box of Kleenex to those who couldn't keep their emotions under control. We weren't worried about looking weak. We knew the Father was pleased that a group of guys had discovered that true manhood is about vulnerability, not about acting tough.

3. True friendship requires prayer. Ever since I became friends with Chris Maxwell in the late 1990s he has prayed for me faithfully. Often I get a simple text message from him that says: "PRAYING FOR YOU." It reminds me of the heart of the apostle Paul, who wrote to his spiritual son Timothy: "I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day" (2 Tim. 1:3).

It might be safe to say that our love for our friends and family can be measured by our prayers for them. True friends pray for each other. The prophet Samuel even wrote: "Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you" (1 Sam. 12:23).

Few of us would make an appointment with a friend for coffee and then nonchalantly forget to show up. But how many of us have told a friend, "I'll pray for you," and then forgotten to breathe one word of prayer for him or her? I've recently gone back to using a written list to help me remember my friends' prayer needs, and to record answers.

My life was changed last week because some friends cared enough about me to get in my face, hold my feet to the fire and offer biblical encouragement and counsel. If you don't have friends like that in your life, I pray you will find them soon. And more importantly, I pray you will be that kind of a friend to someone else.

Ten Traits of Narcissistic Leaders by Joseph Mattera

By definition, a narcissist is a person who believes the world evolves around them to such an extent their own desires blind them to relational reality which makes them insensitive to the needs and perspectives of others. One of the sad realities in our consumer driven, hedonistic culture is that we are producing millions of narcissistic people including leaders of large organizations.

Because of our sinful nature as human beings, all of us have some narcissistic tendencies to deal with.

The following traits identify leadership narcissism.

I. When leaders think others are there to serve them instead of vice versa

This reverses the principle in Matthew 20:26-28 in which Jesus says a great person in the kingdom is one who serves and that He didn't come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.

In an organization or church led by a leader of this type the ladder for success is based more on catering to the narcissism of the leader than on merit or work output. (Note: I am not discounting the importance of loyalty with this statement.)

II. When leaders want the perks of the ministry without the pain of the ministry

There are leaders I know who want titles, prestige, honor, and the respect that comes with a leadership position but they don’t want to pay the price for it. Most successful senior leaders and CEOs already understand this, so this problem is more prevalent with secondary leaders working closely with senior leaders who desire recognition as a top leader but don’t do the hard work necessary for excellent results.

III. When leaders put their own needs before the needs of the organization they lead

True spiritual leaders give their lives for the sheep in the same way the Lord Jesus did (read John 10). Narcissistic leaders will fleece the sheep and financially jeopardize their organizations for the sake of their own self-indulgent lifestyles.

IV. Leaders who are self-indulgent when it comes to the material things of this world

Some leaders have an excessive desire to continually shop for the things that interest them (clothes, cars, computers, etc.) in order to keep them happy and motivated to serve. Along with this may be an excessive desire for entertainment, pleasure, or play.

V. Leaders who look for close relationships with those who pander to them and avoid those that confront them

Some leaders will only have people in their inner-circles who pander to their need to feel superior. They do not want people around them who disagree with them or speak into their lives. These leaders continually fall for flattery which opens a huge door for satanic deception.

VI. When leaders view people as objects to use for their own advantage

Instead of regarding people as fellow image-bearers of God some leaders view the importance of people based on if they can serve their agenda. As soon as they believe a person is no longer contributing to their agenda they begin to ignore them and look for the next person they can use. To this end they court and even flatter people they have their eyes on, treating them like the most important people in the world which abruptly comes to a halt when their services are no longer needed.

VII. Leaders who are uninterested in other people’s problems

Some leaders have no attention span for others while they are speaking about their own issues or problems. They will engage conversations as long as it is about them or something they are interested in, but will shut down emotionally as soon as the conversation shifts to something outside their interests.

VIII. Leaders who rarely give in to other people’s ideas

Some leaders are not good listeners, refuse to bend, and even act emotionally immature when they don’t get their way or when an idea of theirs is not acted on or agreed with. Once leaders like this have decided they want something, it is almost impossible to change their minds unless they hear another idea that benefits them even more.

IX. Leaders who cannot have intimate emotional connections with close associates or their spouses

Because of a lack of interest in meeting the needs of others, some leaders will only have superficial friendships based on fun, entertainment, and gossip. When conflicts arise they shy away from relationships since they are no longer meeting their cravings for fun, escape, and entertainment.

Their marriages are great in the beginning when they are in the honeymoon stage and enjoying a robust sex life. But when the pressures of raising children, finances, and time management kick in, they bury themselves in things that help them escape reality: another relationship, entertainment, hobbies and the like. Their marriages grow further and further apart as they literally become emotionally divorced before the eventual physical divorce takes place (unless, through self-awareness and repentance their marriages can be saved).

X. Narcissistic leaders are more vulnerable to sexual sins

Narcissistic people are easily bored and are prone to look at pornography and commit adultery because their main desire from sex is not emotional intimacy but physical pleasure. As soon as the excitement wears off in their relationships they look for others who can sexually arouse them. In those cases where adultery has not yet occurred, those with a high libido will gravitate to pornography within six months to one year of every serious relationship they are in and in many cases will hide their continually use of pornography throughout every relationship they have.

Narcissistic spiritual leaders are easy prey to the flattery of the opposite sex which leads to adultery--even in churches they oversee. This is because, unless the cross of Christ is directly applied to their deep emotional need to be the center of attention, when their spouse doesn’t meet their expectations they will drift to someone else to meet their addiction to praise.

Communion and Deliverance by John Paul Jackson

Isaiah wrote that one reason Jesus walked on the earth was to save our souls from death. He would be despised and rejected, oppressed and afflicted — all of which are issues of the soul. And the answer, peace, is also an issue of the soul. Jesus’ death and resurrection gave us the opportunity of having peace of mind, emotions and will, so that we can find rest in Him and no longer have to struggle within ourselves. “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5).

The price has been paid for us to abide in God and for God to abide in us. Peace is born in that place of trust. Therefore, if we are having trouble getting over issues, memories, addictions or various negative patterns in our lives, what we need is more of Jesus. We need to be delivered from the mindsets and dark thoughts that torment us so that there will be room for Him and His thoughts.Communion is at the core of our existence, and unbeknownst to many, healing and deliverance often play a major role within it. I recorded The Communion Effect teaching in an effort to help you better understand the power of communion. It is far more than just the simple taking of the Sacrament.

What happens when we take communion?
I first heard of deliverance about 35 years ago. It began with a series of dreams in which the Lord pulled negative things out of me and off of me while I was asleep. Though they happened in dreams, those encounters dramatically altered my waking life.

What does deliverance have to do with communion, and what does communion have to do with God dwelling within us?

I had been a Christian for years when God began to give me those dreams. I faithfully attended church, prayed and tithed; I even sang in the choir. I did everything I thought I was supposed to do. But I didn’t have much of God actually abiding in me. There was not enough room for both Him and the lies I was believing — the strongholds I was clinging to.

In John 6:55–56, Jesus described communion this way: “My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.”

Essentially, He was saying, “If you abide in Me, whatever I am is yours; whatever I have is yours. But in order to appropriate this, you have to understand what you are doing when you do this. If you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you abide in Me and I in you. As the Living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the Bread which came down from Heaven.”

I can almost see Him pointing at Himself and saying, “I’m it.” He is the manna that came down from Heaven, and whoever eats this bread will live forever (John 6:58).

If we abide in Him, we have access to everything He is. We have whatever we need. He is for us, and nothing can stand against us. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord (Isaiah 54:17). When we are in alignment with God, He will move whatever stands in our way so that we can reach our destinies. Communion is a starting point, a physical manifestation of a powerful spiritual act.

The role of deliverance in communion
Deliverance, in whatever capacity, can play a key role in true communion. In a way, it is simple cause and effect: Two separate entities cannot occupy the same space at the same time. The more of Him we have dwelling within us, the less influence the enemy can have on us because there is no room for him! I understand issues of habits; I know those take time to break. But I also understand the issue of demonic forces that can exaggerate habits and make them seem impossible to overcome. Both need to go, in whatever way God chooses to take care of them.

Thirty-five years ago, I did not fully comprehend that taking communion details the relationship with God we were made to have. Communion is one of the most powerful, yet misunderstood elements we are told to practice. If we can embrace what Jesus said about it, many of us will be delivered, healed and saved as we take communion, because to the degree that we believe God dwells within us is the degree to which we are like Him. We live and move and have our being in His heart (Acts 17:28), and we grow to resemble that heart in every way. There, we find rest for our souls.

If you would like to know more about the amazing healing and deliverance power of taking communion, please order The Communion Effect by CLICKING HERE. You really will be blessed from the teaching the Lord gave me.

Helping others who are suffering does not mean we need to share with them are own suffering as sharing our own pain is seldom useful to those in need of healing. Healers can listen to a person in pain without having to speak about their own wounds. We can empathize with them attentively and lovingly, completely committing ourselves to serving them and their needs. We become more whole in leading others to wholeness.

Jesus became broken and the blessed bread of life for the world. He was chosen, obedient, and lived the sacred journey for the world. He lived His live as a Son, fully pleasing to the Father. As we seek His Kingdom and His righteousness, we now live as ambassadors for Him. We commit to conform to a life in His image. We too want to live as people chosen, blessed, and broken, and thus becoming food for the world.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Roberts Quotes for the Week (#10) by Robert Ricciardelli

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lovingly Waiting For Their Return by Robert Ricciardelli

The father of the prodigal son was a parent that never quit praying for children who had gone their own way. Both sons went away from the father's heart, one through choosing to leave, and one through envy and bitterness. So the father waits and loves until the children make the choice to return home. We likewise must be like this father, like our Father in heaven.
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Community of Trust by Robert Ricciardelli

Trying to build community in the absence of trust is impossible. People become guarded and cautious in everything they say and do. Communication becomes a way to protect oneself, avoiding risk rather than expressing themselves. To  build community as God defines it is to create a safe place where people can share in the atmosphere of love, honor, and freedom. Transformation and destinies are realized in such a place.

Friday, August 20, 2010

God is Not Interested in Your Comfort by Robert Ricciardelli

God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making you more like Him than He is in making your life happy. We can be happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in wisdom, stature, and favor, before God and man. All things, even the toughest of things work together for good towards the goal. The goal is Christ-likeness

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcoming Them Home by Robert Ricciardelli

We welcome home those that have lost their way by embracing and loving them. We meet their needs by feeding them, clothing them, and making them our honored guests. We do not demand explanations on why they left, but show our joy that they are with us again. Love and forgiveness from the heart allows for the past to be wiped clean. What counts is the here and now, in the homecoming of our brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Father Grows Us to Be Like Him by Robert Ricciardelli

When we abide and are at "home" with God as His children, what then? As His eternal children we become like Father and become fathers ourselves. Sons have to become fathers; daughters have to become mothers. Growing up and becoming like God is seeking to live His perfect standards of love and compassion, by His Spirit. We must fin and welcome home our lost brothers and sisters in the way our Father welcomed us home.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Are Already Home by Robert Ricciardelli

Going home is a lifelong journey. Home is where the heart is, and it is who we are in eternity now and eternity's future. Along the way there are parts of ourselves that wander off or get stuck from truly "being" home. At times we can truly feel lost or alone. Even when home seems far off, Jesus walks and talks with us on the way. If we listen carefully, we will find that we are already home while on the way.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Taking Up Our Cross by Robert Ricciardelli

Jesus asks us to take up our cross and follow Him. We do not need to look for it as it is a part of our life in this world. But are we willing to take it up, to accept it as our cross? Maybe it is a health or family conflict to no choice of our own. Freedom comes through Christ for many burdens, and there will always be challenges in this life, but we can take up these crosses and follow Jesus with them.
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