Why I Hate Revival…

By definition the term revival is an instance of returning to life or consciousness; restoration of vigour or vitality. It implies that something was dead. Or at least on the verge of decay, lifeless, lacking any sort of zeal or zest for life.

I am not dead.

I don’t believe that you are either.

Colossians 1:13-14 (AMP), For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty].”

Christ has first rescued us… or reclaimed us.  He has triumphed in the act of removing (a person or property) from legal custody by force, in violation of the law. That is precisely what the Old Covenant was… a law. A binding agreement between two parties; the Jewish people and their Creator, Almighty God. It was a contract to be upheld by both parties. That’s why in Matthew 5:17 (NLT) Jesus says, Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Jesus Christ fulfilled the contract as a representative of the Jewish people or mankind. He was the ultimate sacrifice and violently took back those that legally belonged to God… his children, his family, the human race. 

He didn’t only rescue us, he transferred us out of a Kingdom full of darkness and into a Kingdom of marvelous LIGHT! He literally moved us or shifted us from one location to another… and there is no going back. So if you have been rescued and transferred by Christ, you have also been made alive. John 1:3-4 (AMP) declares, “All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men.” 

So if you are alive… then you don’t need to be revived. However, some may need to be awakened. An awakening is simply to arouse from slumber or sleep, to wake up. The present condition of the church and nation may be a state of slumber or a relaxed position of laying in retreat or surrender. Given up and not even knowing it. They need to be awakened… there must be another GREAT AWAKENING!

Earlier this year (February) Charlie and I traveled to Seattle, Washington to be guest speakers at the Declaration 2016 conference hosted by Pastor Darren Stott, his wife Andrea, and the AH-mazing team at Seattle Revival Center. Other ministers for the event included Patricia King, Leif Hetland and Bobby Conner. During the jam-packed conference weekend, we were scheduled for the Saturday 2pm session along with a special Sunday 11am service.

It was incredible all weekend as you could feel the expectancy in the air. Miracles, healing and deliverance began to take place in the afternoon session as God moved through the room. It was in the Sunday morning service as Charlie was ministering and asked the leadership to turn around and begin to minister and lay hands on those who had come to the front in need of a miracle.IMG_1124 The altar area was flooded as I began to weave my way through the crowd of people, praying over each one I passed. It was an electric-chaotic atmosphere… I was aware that Charlie was on the stage prophesying and ministering healing to many, but I was almost so gone in the spirit and unaware at the same time. After the morning meeting, he was recounting testimonies of miracles that I had to go back and watch the live-stream because I had totally missed them, even though I was present in bodily form. It was in this service that a woman who had breast cancer, and had a mastectomy could no longer feel just the tissue, but felt her breast actually growing back and publicly testified to it.

After meeting with Pastor Darren and the Eldership it was decided to extend the meetings until Wednesday of the upcoming week… that would take us to March 2, 2016, Charlie’s 34th birthday. I made the phone calls, flight arrangements and worked those logistics as I so often do. You see, that Sunday afternoon God had taken Charlie into a vision while he was praying for the evening service. He has made it a habit of praying anywhere from 2 to 4 hours a day… and being married to the preacher-man for almost 11 years I can attest to the validity of this intimate prayer life. I also know that around the 3 hour mark is usually when something supernatural takes place… which if you study out the ‘Watch of the Lord’ you will understand the significance of the 3 and how it relates to the Heavenly realm.

Well, in this vision the Lord showed Charlie a glass golden bowl- almost translucent gold, filled with oil. The honey-like oil was being poured out from the bowl and formed into rain 1917468_780793808689080_5412964366467797187_n-2drops of golden glory falling down from the Heaven-lies to the Earth. As it came raining down it turned into a liquid fire. Later that night, Charlie declared that the church was a container for revival, a vessel of honor that had been purged by the fire… You can watch the entire service from that night here.

The meetings continued each night that week and then on into the next. I had to return home, as my two children had been staying with their grandparents and needed some Mommy time… Charlie would continue on, preaching the Gospel with signs, miracles & wonders throughout the month of March. One of my favorite times, was the Saturday night baptisms. Each week as new believers in Jesus Christ would publicly profess their faith and be baptized in water, delivered and healed. It was so incredible to see God’s goodness manifest. After 27 days of being away from the kids we were finally reunited when I packed up the kids and flew back the Seattle March 20, as the Awakening continued.1512641_780618822039912_8214398019515625901_n

It was magical… Well, honestly, you try flying across the country with a 4 & 9 year-old alone. After spilled apple juice and delta blanket togas, we trekked to the rental car and finally made it to the host home exhausted only to realize Charlie (who had been flying back from a weekend in Pittsburg) needed to be retrieved from the SEA-TAC airport from hence we had just escaped. Each day I praise the Lord for the sweetest couple on planet Earth… Gene & Mary, who were there ready and willing to transport Charlie form the airport to the ministry home.

Finally together again, we stayed on through the first week of April pouring out what God has deposited on the inside of us and loving every minute of it. God continued to move mightily during this time and there are countless testimonies and reports of the miraculous. People came from all over the region and many different states, including Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, California, Oregon, Montana, Vancouver BC, Canada  and those are only the ones I can remember.

Seattle Revival Center continues on in the Awakening God has birthed here… as I sit on the same living room sofa I did only a few short months ago, typing out some of the most precious memories I have. What I know to be true is, God is faithful… and he has created you to be a carrier of his glory. He designed you after his likeness and saw fit to make his home among you and dwell in your tabernacle of flesh and bones. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit and out of you flow the rivers of life that quench a dry and thirsty land. Let the rivers flow… no matter where you find yourself, no matter the geographical location… the same Holy Spirit in me is the same Holy Spirit in you and he is ready to move. Let him.

I hate revival, because we are not those that are dead… we are those very much alive. So awaken… awaken to your purpose, awaken to your destiny, awaken to your calling, awaken to your responsibility as a conduit of His presence, awaken to your right as a son & daughter of the King, awaken to the season you are in now… AWAKEN!

 

For more videos of services from Seattle Revival Center click here. For testimony videos from Destiny Encounters click here. For more pictures check our Facebook page!

*A special thanks to all the volunteers and dedicated church workers who made each meeting possible and to all the “in-house” ministers who had a vision for and desire to see another outpouring in this region. You are the true heroes who help champion the cause of Christ. To the wives, who are also the Moms to the babies of the preachers and worship leaders… Thank you for giving of your time and many nights putting the babies to bed alone, I am with you. May the movement and momentum be ever increasing and may God’s glory forever shower this faithful house.

Holy Spirit Adventures

by Tammy Devaraj

Nations!!! 

For as long as I can remember that has been the cry of my heart!  To see Nations transformed by the power of God.  As a teenager God called me to take His light to the darkest nations of the world.  Ever since then my heart has burned with a love for the nations.  Nations!!!

I am blessed to be married to a husband who has the same heart for the nations as I do and we are raising up our three children with that same heart and passion.  From two weeks old our children have always traveled with us to countries around the world.  I want my children to experience Jesus healing people and setting them free….people accepting Him into their hearts, seeing Him divinely directing our steps and see Jesus provide in amazing ways while being in foreign countries.  These same children are already learning from first hand experience how to move with the Spirit of God and being led by Him in amazing ways.  These are our future history makers and nation shakers!

As we have traveled thousands of miles to distant lands to share the love and power of Jesus we have had such amazing adventures.  Our family calls them “Holy Spirit Adventures.”  We simply ask God where He wants us to go, get His assignment of what He wants us to do in a particular country and then go and have a Holy Spirit Adventure!  It is so simple, but it produces so much fruit!!  I would like to share with you a few of our Holy Spirit Adventures….

Back in September 2014 while attending a women’s conference, I was down at the altar along with other women.  I had my eyes closed quietly worshipping the Lord.  The speaker, Barbara Yoder, suddenly said, “The Lord is giving many of you up at the altar a new assignment.  He is going to show it to you right now.”  As soon as she said that I immediately saw a picture in front of me of a huge mushroom bomb exploding over the Middle East in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  This mushroom bomb was a glory bomb and it started raining down God’s Glory all over the Middle East.  It was amazing!  God told me, “Go to the UAE and take all seven states.”  We went there on assignment to the UAE in the summer of 2015.  God told us to go to each state (emirate) and He would show us a IMG_6322key leader in each state to mantle.  We made seven golden cloth mantles and took them with us.  We didn’t know how we were going to go to all seven states.  We didn’t know who we would mantle.  We just simply trusted God and allowed Him to lead us.  We were to be in the country for three weeks.  During the second week God divinely connected us with two pastors who immediately caught the vision that God had given to us.  They told us that they would take us to all seven states!  On the first evening when we started to travel to one of the states, God put a sign in the sky…..there in the sky was a huge portal….like an open heaven with beautiful rays of light shining down on our path.  The Glory of God filled that car!  It was glorious!  IMG_6404We traveled to one state and mantled a leader under the flag of the UAE.  When we were entering into the next state, I was amazed to see a large clock in the middle of a round about. Just two weeks before that God showed me an extensive vision about what He was about to do in the Middle East.  In the vision He showed me a clock and He said, “When you see this clock, know that My SET TIME has come.”  Well, when I entered that particular state, I saw the EXACT clock that I had seen in my vision two weeks prior!  God said that His set time has come to the Middle East!  We completed our assignment and mantled seven leaders in seven states and experienced many signs and wonders and divine appointments.  Our children were all a part of it and experienced first hand being led by the Spirit of God.  Glory!!!

Another Holy Spirit Adventure happened in Kerala, India!  It was our first time in that state.  Different culture, language, food, etc.  It was all new to us!  It was such a beautiful place!  It was in the mountains with tea plantations, lush greenery, flowers and so much more.  The roads were so narrow and I have to admit that it was a bit scary driving on those narrow roads in the mountains trusting that the driver knows just how to make the right turns.  If he would turn too far one way, we could have easily fallen off the mountain.  It was definitely an adventure!  One evening after ministering all day in a conference the leaders told us that they wanted to take us to the top of the mountain to overlook the entire city.  So we got in the pastor’s jeep and he proceeded to drive us up a VERY steep, narrow hill.  As the sun was just about to set, he stopped the jeep and told us that we have to walk the rest of the way.  I didn’t want to go because it was getting dark.  Thoughts of taking my children out in the dark and how safe it would be flooded through my mind.  I told the pastor that I would stay in the jeep with my children while everyone else goes to the top.  However, my son, Micah, soon reminded me about a story he had heard that the week before an elephant had come to that very area and killed a person!  So I thought maybe it might be a better idea to just go along with the others!  Off we went!  I couldn’t believe what we were doing!  It was dark by then and we had walk across a narrow bamboo pole with water flowing beneath.  We preceded to climb the mountain in the dark using only the light from our iPhones to light the way.  All I kept thinking of was what if there are scorpions and snakes hiding in the all the bushes ready to bite us.  The Lord had spoken to me that morning while praying that He was going to take me beyond my comfort zone and remove fear.  As we continued up the mountain, suddenly there was a house!  There was a family that actually lived there!  We passed the house and climbed further.  We finally reached the top and what a view we saw!!  It was breathtaking!  It was totally worth it!  The entire city below was lit up and we could see even more mountains in the distance.  We stood there and prayed blessings over that city.  On our way back down the mountain we stopped at the house and got to share the Gospel with that family and pray for them.  We reached safely to our hotel that night and as I went to sleep I just kept thanking God for giving us that opportunity and for taking me out of my comfort zone and removing fear.

My last story that I would like to share is when God used my ten year old son, Micah, in a wonderful way.  Ever since Micah was four years old he has been blowing the shofar.  He blows the shofar in all of our meetings and God instructed him to bring his shofar to all the nations that we go to.  One summer when we were in India, we were ministering in a conference in the south part of India.  That morning I invited Micah to come up to the stage with his shofar.  I had asked him to blow his shofar and release God’s Glory in the meeting.  When he blows it, many people have testified of being healed, set free and much more.  Well, that morning instead of just blowing the shofar, he started speaking to the people what he felt the Lord wanted him to tell them.  He spoke about how God wanted to deliver many of them that day.  It was just not like him to start speaking prophetically.  He then blew the shofar and the presence of God came down in that place in such power!  Half of the crowd started manifesting.  There were people slithering like snakes on the ground, others spinning with their faces contorted in weird ways and much more.   We were all shocked!  As Suri and I started to pray and command the evil spirits to come out of them, all the demons came out and each person was delivered and set free from torment.  Praise the Lord!!  There was great joy in that city!  The people didn’t want us to leave.  Their lives were completely transformed by the power of God.  God used a ten year old boy to put things into motion.  If God can use a ten year old, He can surely use you!

Are you ready for a Holy Spirit Adventure?  Are you ready to go and take the Nations for Him?  God wants to use YOU!  You have a calling and a destiny on the inside of you waiting to be released to bless the Nations.  The Nations are calling…..God is asking, “Who will go?”…..Let this be your response, “Here am I, Lord, send me!!”

 

More about the Author:

10389062_10205044675690901_3093910947148142977_nTammy Devaraj is the co-founder of Latter Glory Ministries along with her husband, Suri Devaraj.  She served in Youth With a Mission (YWAM) for several years as a leader assisting in Discipleship Training Schools and taking teams to various nations of the world.  In 1998 she moved to Kolkata, India as a full time missionary, where she lived for 3 1/2 years working in a Deaf school as a teacher as well as ministering in various church settings.  After getting married in 2001, Tammy relocated to the south part of India where she and Suri established a children’s home called Mahima Children’s Home as well as a ministry base for their ministry.  They moved back to the States in 2008 and are based out of Pittsburgh, PA.  Tammy travels with her husband and their three children to many nations around the world, including the Middle East, India and Europe.  Tammy has a heart for the nations and desires to train up people to walk in their God given destinies.  She assists her husband in their weekly Glory Encounter Meetings in Pittsburgh.  She moves in a strong prophetic anointing and loves to flow with the Holy Spirit.  Tammy loves to receive “assignments” from Jesus and go on adventures with Him to distant lands.  She ministers in conferences and special meetings seeing people healed, delivered and launched into their callings.  

John G. Lake: The Roots Go To The Bones

When I was 18, in the dead of winter, somewhere in Upstate New York I had found myself in a small country church with my brothers, Mom and a few friends. We had gone as the worship team for a special meeting as a Prophet was coming to town… and by “we” I mean all those previously mentioned outside myself. Mind you, the family musical skills did not transfer down to me. Alas, there we were, lost in worship. The man of God began to minister and what he preached, I could never tell you. In fact, I was probably paying more attention to the cute guitar player than the words of the minister. Let’s keep it real.

Then the minister began prophesying over people in the crowd, calling them out one by one. He came to me, and I stepped forward. My oversized wool sweater keeping me warm on this icy night. As he began to pray, I felt an electricity come over me. Eyes tightly closed but ears wide open, straining to hear each word he said. He began to prophesy about healing the sick, emptying hospitals and seeing mighty miracles. He said, “You will see things like John G. Lake and Kathryn Kuhlman… you need to get every book on Healing Ministers and read them all.”

Fast Forward 14 years and I am ministering in Seattle, WA along side my incredible preacher-man hubs at Seattle Revival Center’s Declaration 2016 Conference. Up to this time, in our ministry together we had seen many miracles, signs and wonders and God truly showed himself to us in a powerful way. The meetings went from being a four-day conference to nightly gatherings that never seemed to end. We agreed to stay 3 more days, then a week, then another week… you get the point.

Declaration Conference had turned into a full blown Awakening… not just a revival. Revivals are for things that are dead. We were not dead. Those at the meetings were not dead. They were fully alive and being awakened to the supernatural reality of Christ’s healing and transforming power in this very time and season that we live in today! It was gloriously humbling to encounter night after night the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit and partner with transformation.

As the weeks went on, I flew home to my kids and Charlie pressed on. Traveling from Seattle to Pittsburgh, PA igniting another Awakening and re-opening the Healing Miracle Well of Kathryn Kuhlman… stirring up the waters. Those meetings continue on to this very moment I am writing my blog. After a whirlwind weekend in Pittsburg, he flew back to Seattle, a month had passed since he slept in his own bed. The kids and I boarded a plane and met him in Seattle that very night, reunited… and it felt so good!

This is where the plot thickens… We had heard the stories of John G. Lake our whole young adult life and dreamed of visiting Spokane, Washington. Ministry travels had never lead us so close than that very moment. Being the good husband Charlie was, he didn’t dare go adventuring without me… especially not to John G. Lake territory! If you read my previous article you know we have been to Smith Wigglesworth grave, a Pioneer of Faith and Power. The list goes on my dear friends; William Branham, John Alexander Dowie, Daniel Nash, John Wesley, Maria Woodworth- Etter, and Charles Finney. Some homes, churches, graves of those Fathers and Mothers in the Faith that have gone before us.

We heard the story of the late Prophet Bob Jones and his encounters when visiting John G. Lake’s memorial. It goes something like this…

 I remember I was once told to go to Spokane, Washington and lay my hand on a Pine Tree. I didn’t understand it, but I was ministering in Seattle and they took me to Spokane and I was asking the guy, ‘Do you know anything particular about a Pine Tree?’ and he says, ‘Yeah, there’s one growing out of a grave… John G. Lakes grave.’ And I said, ‘It’s really strange, but I was told I’m supposed to lay my hands on that Pine Tree.’ I went up there and laid my hands on that Pine Tree and fire come up on my shoulders and at different times even today, fire comes up on my shoulders and my hands. I said, ‘Lord, I don’t understand that kind of stuff and I need to understand this’… He said, ‘The Roots Go Down Into The Bones.’

So with this in mind, we loaded our children into the car and drove the 4.5-hour journey from Seattle to Spokane. It was a beautifully clear day and we stopped at the Wild Horse Monument and were nearly blown over by force of the mighty gusts of wind. The kids loved it! IMG_1789

When we finally arrived at the cemetery, we thought it’d be easy to spot the grave with the Pine Tree coming out of it… surely, a simple task. With nearly 30 minutes until public visiting hours ended it felt as if we entered a forest of Pine Trees. I mean to tell you, there were so many trees I burst out laughing… thinking… sure, let’s go lay hands on the Pine Tree! There are so many and how are we ever going to find it? A few minutes later with the help of a receptionist, we had map in hand and away we went.

We pulled the car to a stop and everyone jumped out, scrambling to find the grave marker that said John G. Lake. We arrived at the site only to discover the Pine Tree had been cut down. The very Pine Tree that is in all the stories… the one with the roots that go to the bone. Gasp! Oh, but the plans I had in my mind to lay hands on the tree and receive the fire like Bob had… all up in smoke. Without thinking and a layer fresh sawdust sprinkled across the stump, I skipped forward and said, “Charlie, I’m going to sit on the tree!” Before he could get out, “You’re What?!”. I had already plopped down and posed for my photo op! Then as I began to stand up and straighten my skirt, I felt it. A warm, gooey, sticky substance had transferred itself from the base of that decapitated Pine Tree and adhered to the backside of my dress!

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Pine Sap.

The blood that ran through the veins of the tree that grew from the grave of the Man of Faith and Healing. Now smeared across my backside, reminding me of Psalm 1 and the importance of where we find ourselves seated…

 

“How well God must like you—

you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,

you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,

you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.

 

Instead you thrill to God’s Word,

you chew on Scripture day and night.

You’re a tree replanted in Eden,

bearing fresh fruit every month,

Never dropping a leaf,

always in blossom.

 

You’re not at all like the wicked,

who are mere windblown dust—

Without defense in court,

unfit company for innocent people.

 

God charts the road you take.

The road they take is Skid Row.”

Psalm 1 The Message Translation

It was a day I will remember forever. A day filled with the God-kind of Adventure… A day when personal prophecy meets a personal life-path forged. A day when history collides with destiny and you know full well that you’ve walked those famous Frost words,

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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HELP I am ALL Over the Place

by Cycelia Matthews

Have you ever gotten up in the morning and it’s already midnight in your mind? That was the story of my life for a long period of time. My days would look like nights and my night looked days.  For the last eight years I have had the privilege of pastoring alongside my awesome husband, Bishop “RJ” Matthews. We pastor a thriving church, Kingdom Vision International Church, in the friendly city of Columbus, Mississippi.  I have 3 beautiful children Robert Charles, Micah Jeremiah and Faith Zamir. My morning started out around 6:00 and ended about 12:30 the next morning. I needed balance because my life was “all over the place.” My titles range from Pastor-PTA MOM.  I have been asked on several occasions “How do you balance life and ministry?”  I really could not answer the question that I still needed help with.  I had to find what I call a healthy BALANCE.

In order to find this balance I had to do an evaluation of my life. I had GOD as the head but there were so many other things that were out of order.  I had to prioritize my life! I begin to list what was most important first. I discovered I spent more time helping others outside of my family. I gave most of my good energy to them. My children would only get the tired, drained, upset mommy. My husband was getting the aggravated, annoyed, and angry wife. My life needed a shift. I needed a shift. My family needed me to shift. So I did. I begin to shift my energy towards the ones that I knew would give out genuine unconditional love to me and that was my immediate family.  Your first ministry is your family. Take time for family nights. Take family vacations to the zoo or just to a local hotel to just get away from the norm.  Take the children to the park to run and play. They enjoy the simple while we enjoy the extravagant.  Don’t miss important moments like dance recitals, school plays, and baseball games.

My husband found me days at a time completely drained of energy. I am 31 years old surely I shouldn’t be tired from walking from the car to the couch but I would be exhausted.  We must spend time with the one we made covenant with.  WE promised to love and to cherish them. Cherish is to keep or cultivate with care and affection.  The key word in the definition is to cultivate which means to improve by labor.  Marriage is work. In order to cultivate the marriage one must put in work. There are no off days. Every day is a day of discovery. Always make your spouse your number one priority. Send text messages during the day. Call at random times. Complement one another on their choice of outfit for the day. Encourage and Affirm who GOD says that they are. Most men need words of affirmation. They need to know that you approve of their work ethic and you appreciate their desire to take care of the home. You are their biggest cheerleader! They want to hear from you on how well they are doing. It drives them. Proverbs 14:1 “A wise woman builds her house and fool will tear it down with her own hands.” It’s up to the wife to build her husband! She speaks life into him even when he feels as if he is a failure! Continue to appreciate the small things. Be grateful that the lights are on and the water is running! Women like me enjoy “quality time”!  I enjoy simple spontaneous dates. You could pay lots of money and take me to Paris but I would choose a” Burger and Fries Date.” Husbands should learn your wife’s love language and commit to doing the things that mean the most to her.

Ministry was my next mountain to climb. The ministry that GOD has given to my husband and I was very time consuming. It was time consuming in a good way though.  We love our church family! Everyone there is very unique and gifted. They bring so much joy to our family.  In order to prioritize my time with the church I had to change my perspective of the ministry and treat it like a business. We set a daily schedule. We used what most corporations call a “5 Most Important to Do List.” In order to get tasks accomplished and to chart progress we would write what was most important as our #1 thing to do on that particular day. Each day was different and the urgency to complete was different depending on the day.  We charted this and begin to see results. I was able to mark off things that I would normally put off doing. So take my advice if” it can wait” Guess what “It can Wait” Just that simple. Don’t try to be  superwoman and conquer everything in one day. It is not possible. It took GOD 7 days to create the world surely you can’t fix everything in one day.

Every area of my life would have suffered if I didn’t get a grip and realize I was all over the place.  I now know the value of everything that GOD has entrusted in my care. My marriage, being a mom and being a minister is a privilege that I get to enjoy. I will never take for granted the “LIFE” that GOD has given to this little ole lady from West Point, Ms. I will never take for granted these amazing people HE has given me the privilege to learn and to grow with. I am forever grateful that now I can finally say I have the answer to this Balance thing. I decided to get a GRIP!

More about the Author: 

Cycelia

Prophetess Cycelia Denise Matthews was saved and baptized at the age of 8.  She accepted her call to the ministry on July 16, 2004 and preached her first sermon on November 24, 2004.  On December 9th 2006, she was joined in marriage to Bishop Robert C. Matthews, Jr. As God blessed their marriage they gave birth to their 1st son, Robert C. Matthews III on December 14th, 2007, to their 2nd son, Micah Jeremiah Matthews on November 1st, 2011, to their 1st daughter and 3rd child, Faith Zamir Matthews on October 27, 2014.

Prophetess Cycelia Matthews, as First Lady, is an active member of Kingdom Vision International Church in Columbus, MS under the leadership of her husband, Bishop RJ Matthews.  

Prophetess Cycelia Matthews is also the founder and visionary of Cycelia Matthews Ministries (CMM) where her vision is to bring people of all denominations, ethnicities, and cultures to the feet of Jesus As a result of CMM, the Proverbs 31:31 Fellowship has been birthed. A ministry dedicated to strengthening, empowering, & promoting Pastor’s Wives to excel in their marriages, ministries, & communities for the Kingdom of God. Her desire is to lead those of broken hearts and wounded spirits to a life-changing worship experience at the feet of Jesus. 

 

The Day I Met Smith Wigglesworth…

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The week had been dark, gloomy almost. Winds whipped around us, swirling and swooning in a tumultuous rain spat fury. The cold, chilling to our core as we crossed the grassy fields along the River Eden, just the day before. A flame like desire, burning our insides, keeping us engrossed in the rich history of the land we trekked. Hands clasped tight around my tiny daughter. Eyes, never dropping gaze from my sweet school-age boy as he darted down the path. With umbrella in one arm and babe in the other we sojourned the English countryside to pay homage to those Saints that had gone before.

In these moments, solemn and uninterrupted by the chaos of life. I breathed in deep and drank up my surroundings. At that moment, with sheets of icy rain pouring down and wind that would like to snatch up my rainbow colored umbrella, set it free and loose it to dance among the clouds, I knew. I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

That night, exhausted, we laid our heads to sleep and awoke to the sun streaming in through the clouds. The rain had cleared and it was a glorious day with even warmer temperatures than the days prior. Today was to be the day! We set off on a journey that had no direct course other than that of adventure. Loading the two kids in the back of the vehicle, along with a friend who had joined us from America, we set off. Today we had plans that would take us a little under three hours by car and the sky couldn’t be any clearer.

We arrived in Bradford, Yorkshire searching for the address we had scratched down on paper. A scavenger hunt of revival history, a search for tokens of a time gone by. I live for these moments. A frenzy of emotions as we canvass the unfamiliar territory, a quest for a piece of heritage… a glimpse into glory. I can recall first hearing the name Smith Wigglesworth when I was in my teens and had been given the book God’s Generals by Roberts Liardon. His story unfolded before me and as I went on to Ministry School, I took the book with me… digging deep into the lives of those that once shook the nations for Christ.

There I stood, 14 years after my introduction to the Man of Faith and Power inhaling the crisp English air and exhaling a prayer of thanksgiving for the seed of this man’s life. For his wife, Mary Jane. For his fierce faith in a God who does the impossible. I sat in the stiff grass directly in front of his tombstone… It read, “I am the resurrection and the life.”

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Have you ever been in a moment, a space in time, where the surroundings melt away like the wax of a burning candle and you are suddenly engulfed in destiny? You know when it takes place. Every fiber of your being feels alive, every cell dancing to the song of the stars. Your purpose, your path, your call… all leading you to these memorial moments. I close my eyes, sitting in the C Terminal at the Nashville International Airport, and I am taken to that day. A bright day with a slight chill in the air. Clear, crisp, like Autumn in New York yet with the soft glow of an early morning in Spring. Delicious.

We moved on from the cemetery to find the house Smith once lived in. The very house that Lester Sumrall would visit as a young man. As we scoured the streets, with nothing to go on but an address and a tip that it was near a corner Barber Shop, we happened upon a location that vaguely fit the description. Charlie, my husband and current driver, parked the car along a busy street, hopped out and declared he would knock on all the doors in the row of townhouses until he found it!

I watched as he walked away, locked in the car with the kids and our American companion. Fear gripped me as a loud bullhorn reverberated something in Arabic and I suddenly felt as if I were no longer in England, but a Middle Eastern country. I glanced outside the windows and noticed the women walking by in full burka, while the younger girls had head coverings. I twisted around in my seat, searching the street signs and faces of those who passed by. I could not help but notice we were the only light skinned Americans in what seemed to be an entirely Muslim Community. Seven minutes had passed since Charlie entered one of the homes, and my imagination just went wild!

Suddenly, he emerged from a stoop, waving for all of us to come. We unloaded the kids quickly and ran to the door where three Pakistani ladies and two small children invited us in. The house had been difficult to find, as some Christians had visited in the past and asked these ladies if they could have the door numbers. Being polite, they obliged and then never replaced them. This is why Charlie had been knocking on several doors asking for the correct home.  When the ladies answered, He said, “I noticed you don’t have your house numbers up.” To which they replied with the story aforementioned. So Charlie in great humor said, “Oh really, well then you won’t mind that I have come to take your front door!”

The ladies burst into laughter and invited him, along with us (who had been in the car) into the home where they showed us around. The ladies grew up in the home as their deceased parents had purchased it over 40 years ago. They told us stories of the many Christians who have come by to see the home, but they hadn’t often invite them in. They told us of one, wanting to buy the home and create a museum but they would not sell. The now adult daughters said, “We have heard the stories of the man Smith Wigglesworth but this has been our home and will always be… but tell us, are the stories true? Did he do miracles and did he raise his wife from the dead?”

It was there in the living room, which would have been the front room or study of Smith Wigglesworth during his time, that we were able to share the truth of God’s healing power and love of Jesus Christ. We were able to pray over the ladies there and see the healing of a migraine headache, shoulder pain and severe torment. Right in the very home that Lester Sumrall would visit weekly to read the Word of God with Smith Wigglesworth, we shared the love of Jesus. It was surreal. It was epic. It was so naturally supernatural. Because when you are on an Adventure with Christ, it is the daily comings and goings that breed the miraculous. It is found in the pleasant conversation of strangers that love is transferred and hearts are transformed. It is in the chronicles of grace and glory that we find our true selves.

 

 

 

Finding Peace in the Chaos of Parenting

by Millie Radosti

 

On a snowy lake, on a brisk March day in 2007, I married the love of my life. We walked ourselves down the aisle, played our own genre of music and wore unique colors that we especially chose to reflect our personalities. After all, this was our wedding, so we wanted everything to be exactly as we liked! Our honeymoon included a trip down the east coast. Six months into our marriage, we felt an undeniable burning in our hearts — God’s call into ministry. We would need to leave much behind, which didn’t bother us for one moment. We packed up our car with what we could fit, including our two cats, and headed back to our home state of Pennsylvania. Within weeks, we were traveling around the world, sharing the amazing testimony of God’s transforming power in our lives. We learned to be comfortable with the instability of not having control in our lives. We saw so much during our travels:

  • The jungles of the Darien and the Amazon
  • The shacks and prostitute villages of Suriname
  • The poverty-stricken tribes of Guatemala and
  • The gang-tainted parks of New Zealand.

We didn’t think that life could get any crazier! But then — when we least expected it and against all odds — we got pregnant!

I walked into my first pregnancy blithely unaware, with no idea of what I would face. Since I believed with all my heart that pregnancy, labor and mothering should be natural and intuitive, I very confidently rose to the unexpected challenges that soon approached. My labor was one of the most intense and terrible things that I had ever experienced. I birthed at home, in a birth pool with the belief I would emerge with a calm baby who slept when I wanted him to. I thought that my pregnancy weight would fall right off me, and my life would be perfected by this little human who took my relationship with my husband from “couple” to “family.”

Instead, I invited nearly the entire church to my “perfect” labor where I screamed embarrassing things, such as “Hit me over the head with a shovel!” After enduring 14 hours of labor, I was handed a strong-willed, screaming baby who did not believe in sleep. My husband, mother and I took eight-hour shifts walking him in circles so that the others take turns getting some much-needed rest. At our six-week appointment with the midwife, she plainly announced to me, “Your labor seems to echo much of the past trauma that you’ve experienced. You should consider getting some help.”

She left my home, and all I could think is, “What did I get myself into? Will this ever get better?”

The deep emotions of hopelessness as a mother grew too intense for me to bear. I later learned that I was suffering an extremely severe case of postpartum depression. I reached out to other friends, some without children who had no idea what was wrong with me and some with children who could not relate to my experiences. I was tired, depressed and even worse, I felt isolated. I shared my story with a friend who decided it might help if I joined her in a “Mom’s Group” that she attended. I opted to go only to find myself immersed with an incredible group of mamas who were living in “babyland bliss.” Maybe it should have been encouraging, but my mind instead decided to inform me, “Look at all of these incredible moms who have it all together with beautiful children your baby’s age! You are just not a good mother!” The mental comparisons began. Triggered by no one but my own insecurities, I walked into the dangerous world of comparisons, “I need to be better than someone to have worth.”

The pressure to have a perfect child — and in the future, children — grew. “I’m a ministry wife! My children need to be the best behaved, with 50 Bible verses memorized along with all basic children’s Bible songs learned in American Sign Language by the age of 2!”

Over the years, more and more children came, until the day that I sat down to write this blog post, now pregnant with sweet baby number four! I carted my children from ministry event to ministry event, trying to bring enough snacks and toys to keep them quiet and that were acceptable to adult standards. I learned many “parenting techniques” for keeping my kids “in order.” Some were less than desirable and did not produce the long-term results that I wanted. I learned that many recommended fear-based parenting. “Whip the child who does not listen!” I’m not blogging about spanking here, but I found that children shouldn’t carry the pressures that we place on them to be “perfect in all adult settings at all times.”

Through much time in prayer and walking through the process of healing, I learned to embrace my children at each stage of life. I learned to look into their souls to see what they needed. Sometimes, life is crazy, loud and very chaotic and I wasn’t sure how to “quiet” my children apart from fear and intimidation. Although I desperately wanted peace, I didn’t want to take that route. One day, when I felt completely overwhelmed, I asked God, “How do I get peace? When it’s all so crazy, how do I get peace?”

I heard his reply to my heart, “I will quiet you with my love.”

“Wait a minute,” I thought, “I’ve heard that before!” I quickly zipped over to Zephaniah 3:17.

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

How does God quiet His children?!? How does God maintain such an everlasting and perfect peace in the midst of any situation? Through His love. This isn’t knocking any particular parenting style except the ones that use fearful intimidation as a tactic. I’ve been guilty, guys. I’m not pointing the finger without first repenting myself. You may quiet your children temporarily using fear-based parenting, but over the long term, you will damage your connection, not only between you and your child, but between them and God. If you want teens who are “in love with Jesus,” learn to quiet them as children with your love — the love that God put in your heart for them. Learn to rejoice over them with singing! Learn how to bring out the joy in an intense moment with your child.

One of the main ways to do this is to seek out your child’s heart.

My husband had me read the book “The Five Love Languages” before we were married. I enjoyed it immensely and learned a lot about my soon-to-be spouse. But it wasn’t until recently that I thought to actually apply these same principles to the lives of my children. My first baby, the one who I labeled as “strong willed,” well . . . not much has changed. He was a fighter from birth. I always knew that he had been given this strength for a reason, but I saw the need for his strong spirit when he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on Feb. 1, 2015, at just 4.5 years of age. This form of childhood cancer almost claimed his life. We prayed and believed for his life on that crazy day when his fighter spirit kicked into overdrive, and in just 10 days, the specialists declared that he was “in remission.” Though we are still walking through this insane three-and-a-half-year journey with him, those months of living in the hospital were some of the craziest times of our lives. The only thing that seemed to light his countenance were the toys and gifts that people gave him. He received so many gifts that the nurses had to tell us to take some of his presents home because they were crowding his bed in the tiny hospital room. We snuck some home, but he wouldn’t allow us to take too many; they were such a source of joy to him.

Though my son was in the fight of his life, those terrible, condemning, comparative thoughts started up again, “What if I’m creating an ungrateful child? Maybe I should tell him about the children in Africa who have so little so that he doesn’t ask for or expect so much? Maybe the joy that he gets from these ‘things’ is teaching him to be unthankful.” In the light of the situation, I did the best that I could not to mention it.

Nine months later, he still asked us to get him a gift or toy that he desired. At times, we honestly could not buy him the things that he was asking for, and he understood, At other times, my own self-righteousness” to be the mother with the perfect children kicked in. My criticisms began, “Why are you so ungrateful?!? You always want something! You know some children have nothing!” I purposely avoided getting him anything even when I could. I told my husband, “He constantly asks for things! We need to teach him not to want so much!”

We did our best with his demands for gifts, but his behavior grew increasingly worse. I couldn’t figure out why he was acting this way. I limited sugar, tried to add more vitamins and greens to his diet and scheduled his day more, but nothing seemed to work. That was the day that I ended up in my bed in tears, praying, “God, please! Show me how to attain peace! I don’t want to lose connection with my child! I love him so much — and I can ‘control’ him now, but I feel like his heart is distant! How do create peace? How do I create connection?”

“I will quiet you with my love . . . . “

“Okay,” I thought. “I get it . . . I get it. I can control, schedule and put him on a diet — but nothing will have the effect on him that love will.” Is that to say that I didn’t love my child?! Absolutely not, but I wasn’t exercising love behind every parenting technique that I put into practice. I controlled his appetite for “wanting” by using intimidation because I was afraid that he would become ungrateful over the long term.

So I sat down with my son to have a heart-to-heart talk. “What is up, honey?”

I listened to his heart. He wanted a tiny pillow that he had seen at the store. Could I get it for him? At the time, I absolutely could but I was withholding it, so I decided to try an experiment. I bought him the pillow. I explained to him that I cannot buy him everything all the time but that I would buy or make him things whenever I could, and something miraculous happened. His behavior improved. He became a different child. He didn’t ask for everything anymore although he talked a lot about the gifts that he would get. He became an incredible helper around the home and compassionate toward the needs of others. It finally occurred to me that my son’s love language was “gifts.” He receives and shows love through the giving of gifts. He didn’t care that much about the pillow itself, even though he wanted it. Instead, he felt stifled when I badgered him and shut him down with accusations. He regularly brings me flowers picked from our yard and loves gifts from us in various forms. When that need is fulfilled in him he blossoms, but when it is suppressed, he completely disconnects.

Why was this so hard to figure out? Because gifts is not my love language. In fact, of all five love languages, gifts rates at the very bottom for me. It took the growth and maturity in me so that I could see my children as individuals. I not only needed to see them as individuals but myself as an individual to receive grace as a mother. Yes, we mothers need grace for ourselves! In the beauty of each creation produced from our passion and love with our spouse, we did not create a bunch of “mini-mes.” We created little individuals with their own unique gifts, annointings and love languages. Every individual meshes together to make up our family, which also makes up a unique culture all of our own — not to be compared with others but to be joined with others in community. We can all learn from each other and mostly, as parents, we can learn from our children. If you have a child who is disconnected, distant or defiant and if you are crying out for him or her, quiet the chaos with the love that God put in your heart for them. Seek out who they are. Be open to how they might be different from you in ways that you could never previously understand. Then watch them blossom and grow into the best version of themselves as you cooperate with God to release them into their identity, purpose and destiny.

 

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To find out more about our guest author, Millie Radosti, visit her on social media! Click the link to find her on Facebook, Twitter: @MrsMillieJoy, Instagram: @MRS.MILLIEJOY

 

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The Divine Union

After only being back in the USA for 14 days, 9 of which my preacher-man hubs was in fact, not in the USA, but rather New Zealand… I had the amazing privilege to share my heart at The School of the Supernatural hosted in Clarksville, TN. If that wasn’t exciting enough, I got to share along side of my Mother-In-Law and Sister-In-Law! We had a blast. It was a family affair.

So naturally, I want to share with you all what I spoke on… GLORIOUS MARRIAGE! The Divine Union.

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In Genesis 2:18-25 (NLT) We see that this passage speaks to the creation of woman…

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man[a] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky, and all the wild animals. But still there was no helper just right for him. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.”

As we look through Genesis, we see that it was on the 6th day of Creation that God formed woman. After all of Creation had been put into place, God looked at man and said… it’s not good for him to be alone. What he did next, is somewhat perplexing… Because for most of creation God spoke it into existence or sang it into existence, BUT when He created man, he said let us make them in our image and in our likeness and it declares in Genesis 2:7, “Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” Or another translation says, living soul.

God himself formed or fashioned man from the Earth and then breathed the breath of life, filling him with Heaven. Then out of the side of man, he took a rib and built woman.

Mark 10:6-9 (KJV), “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Twain, being such a fancy word for two… simply means y’all are no longer seperate… y’all are one and there is nothing that’s going to tear you apart -if God’s the one who put you together.  (Matt 19:5, Eph. 5:31 are some great verses as well)

So, now that you know you are in this holy and divine union… how do you walk it out naturally? In the real. #realtalk

First, you need to Build A Solid Foundation! Just as you would have done as a single person cultivating your relationship with Jesus, you must now cultivate a firm foundation with your spouse, both naturally and spiritually. I believe, whatever you want to manifest in the natural you must first birth in the spirit…. So you have to cultivate it. How? I’m so glad you asked.

Pray Together: You must, must, must learn to pray together. In addition, get baptized in the Holy Spirit and pray together in the spirit, in heavenly tongues. (Acts 2:38) This will open you up to be sensitive in the spirit to one another and build a strong bond spiritually.

Often times I have newly married couples tell me they struggle with this… I have heard them say, ‘Well I need to pray alone. It is my personal relationship or well my husband/wife is shy and they don’t really want to. We have different styles of worship or praying…’ That’s great!! Keep being individuals. You can have all kinds of encounters with God separately, just don’t neglect the ones you have together. The key here is to be vulnerable and open, and allow the Holy Spirit to work it out and construct that foundation!!

Second way to walk out your Divine Union is through Communication! With the openness of praying together and expressing yourself spiritually to one another, communication is vital to the life of your marriage. Learn to communicate your needs or expressions without manipulation… because that is just plain witchcraft. Don’t try to butter up your husband or wife, trying to coerce the situation. And if you don’t tell him, he’s not going to know… it is just that simple. Men are not mind-readers and neither are women.

That may seem trivial or even an obvious point to you. But to others, who may have been raised by a Mother or Aunt or even Grandmother that manipulated her way through marriage to get the things she wanted, this is breakthrough for you! If you think of it in a parallel to your relationship to Jesus Christ, you aren’t going to work an angle to get his blessing or butter him up for forgiveness… NO! You are his Bride and his Wife and therefore, you are granted access to all that is his. You are a rightful heir to his goodness! The documents have been signed and legally there is a blood covenant (1 Cor. 6: 19-20). So just as that works with Christ, it should be reflective in your earthly marriages.

Ephesians 5: 22-28 (MSG) says it so beautifully, “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.”

Lastly, in walking out your Divine Union: Choose Honor. If you do the aforementioned in your communication, you will be deliberately choosing honor, which will then create an environment for your husband to fulfill those scriptures in Ephesians, for him to love you as Christ loves the church. You will also avoid the inevitable loss of respect and undermining of his authority in your home. You must make this a conscious choice and it does involve effort! Marriage isn’t for the faint of heart, it is for those willing to put in the work to see the glorious result.

So what is the result??

The result is a United Force, the Spirit of Unity resting and residing in your home and marriage. It is the Deuteronomy 32:30 – “One could put a thousand to flight and two could put ten thousand…” and Ecclesiastes 4:12, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

You have literally become that three-cord strand comprised of you, your spouse and God interwoven together. Anything that tries to come against what you have agreed upon, can not stand. With this knowledge of being intertwined, not only in the natural sense but also the spirit, you have what I call the art of agreement, or the power to decree a thing and watch it come into existence.

Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

You have power in your words, and I will show you why…

Genesis 1:1-4 (AMP) reads, In the beginning God (prepared, formed, fashioned, and) created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and an empty waste, and darkness was upon the face of the very great deep. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good (suitable, pleasant) and He approved it; and God separated the light from the darkness.”

The light God spoke into existence in the beginning was not the Sun, Moon, Stars… because those were created on the 4th day of Creation. It was, in fact, the light of Christ, the Creative LIGHT! Therefore, it was not CREATED light, but rather CREATIVE.

John 1: 1-5 (AMP) reads, In the beginning [before all time] was the Word ([a]Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [b]Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men. And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].”

This CREATIVE LIGHT dwells on the inside of us, if we have been spiritually reborn by Christ. And just as the Holy Spirit brooded over the waters of the deep before creation, so the Holy Spirit can brood over the waters of our Earth bodies! It is scientifically known that we are made up of 60-70% water in the natural… and John 7:38 (AMP) declares, “He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.”

So in your marriage, you have the CREATIVE power in your words to “frame-up” or speak into existence or create. Whatsoever you decree over your life shall come to pass, in accordance with God’s Word. If you need healing in your body, you ought to decree health over yourself. If your spouse needs a job, declare provision and promotion into the atmosphere. This principle goes down even to the tiniest details of your life. That is why it is vitally important to speak life into your relationships and marriage; to speak life to your spouses spirit and physical body. To make decrees over your marriage and pray out scriptures over your life!!

Find some scripture promises that mean something to both of you and begin to decree them together. God’s word never returns void, it won’t come back empty handed… so what you speak out over each other and your families will come to pass.

Here are some I like to speak out loud:

Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing AND obtains favor from the Lord!”      

Psalm 118:17 (KJV) “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD.”  

Psalm 2:8 (NIV) “Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.”  

Psalm 37:25 (KJV) “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”

Psalm 91:16 (NIV) “With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT) “For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”

Marriage in its truest union is when you can look beyond yourself, past the fog of selfish desires, peering deep into another’s soul. Find the spark that ignites their destiny dreams and be the one who holds the match that creates the flame.

It is ultimately selflessness… You must be the one your spouse looks to, for support, for prayer, for insight and inspiration. When you look beyond yourself and see the bigger, grander picture or tapestry of your life that the Master Weaver would like to create, this will allow the limits to be taken off and for your dreams together to flourish!