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Hey, Jude

You were thinking of the Beatles or the new movie, Yesterday about their music, were you? Well that’s alright. However, I’m thinking of the one chapter book written by the flesh brother of Jesus Christ. Jude (Judah) was the son of both Mary and Joseph and grew up in the same home as Jesus. He crammed several sermon-worthy, provocative items to encourage, challenge and caution us in this short book or letter.  Who knows, this may end up being a multi-part blog.

First of all, let’s talk humility. He doesn’t note that he is Jesus’ brother. He states that he is the “loving servant” of Jesus and “brother of James”. He doesn’t boast of his credentials, family line or connections. He knew his rightful place as a servant of the Most High. He recognized his status and did so with a glad heart.

He wanted to luxuriate and revel with his spiritual brothers and sisters in the tremendous, eternity-altering gift of salvation. However, he was evidently a man well aware of the season in which he and others found themselves, one that just like today, caused him to send out a rallying cry to defend and contend for the faith. Beyond the blatant slaughter of our brothers and sisters in multiple nations at this very point in time, we who have enjoyed so much freedom in the United States of America are now frequently banned or our posts are filtered out of searches on YouTube and Facebook. And in a just obtained memo from the FBI written in May, they are saying that if we believe several things that they call conspiracy theories, we may be threats. Now, I know the latter doesn’t equate to our Christian faith so directly and succinctly. However, many thinking persons who are first and foremost Christians, hold certain beliefs based of evidences both overt in this physical realm and covert in the spiritual realm (based upon our understanding of the principalities and powers of darkness in this present age who are fueled and fooled by the prince and power of the air, Satan). We understand that there is a larger plan afoot right now that would silence anyone speaking for morality, life, true liberty, out of absolute love and selflessness. Many of us are Christians.

Yes, several brothers and sisters have had to rely on their own websites or other platforms to continue getting important messages out to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. But even those will be taken off-line at some juncture. Friends, evil is never content to play on it’s side of the street. Rather, it spreads like wildfire and overtakes those unaware before they can awaken. Now is the time to ask the Holy Spirit of God to rouse you from your slumber. Pray for God to show you where you need to grow in your understanding and that He give you vigor and perseverance. This is not for the faint-hearted. Read the full counsel of the Holy Bible.

Church, wake up. Stop playing ostrich. When it all comes to your door and they say, if you believe in Jesus, we will take you to an internment camp (look up that definition – it’s sobering) or we will drop you right here, when they say, you and your children will starve to death if you don’t become one of us, taking the unchangeable marking of/union with the Beast, do you have the boldness to say, “I am ready to live or die for my Savior” and that “God is God above all gods and He SHALL SUPPLY ALL of my needs through the glorious riches in Christ Jesus”? I pray He grant me that strength. Remember, dearly loved friends, that your kids belong first to the Father who shared them with you, same is true of your spouse, mother, father, sister, brother and friend. He is more than able to equip each one of us…but are you/we willing?

Enjoy the blessings; but please don’t be seduced by them.

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What’s in Your Mouth?

We use our tongue to praise God our Father and then turn around and curse a person who was made in his very image! Out of the same mouth we pour out words of praise one minute and curses the next. My brothers and sister, this should never be! Would you look for olives hanging on a fig tree or go to pick figs from a grapevine? Is it possible that fresh and bitter water can flow out of the same spring? So neither can a bitter spring produce fresh water.
James (Jacob) 3:9‭-‬12 TPT
https://bible.com/bible/1849/jas.3.9-12.TPT

We are spoken to so much in the book of James about the need to tame our tongues. We’re also told in the scripture that it’s evident what’s in our heart by what comes out of our mouth, to paraphrase. Furthermore, we are told to guard our hearts above all because out of it flow the issues of life. Circling back to our mouths, we are told that the power of life and death is in the tongue.

I just want to briefly say that I have learned that firsthand, specifically in relation to a situation referred to in the post entitled, Observe the Mouse. God spoke to me to change what I was saying, much of which was very factual to any objective observer who could review available evidence. But I started going with the scripture that talks about calling those things that are not as though they are. That doesn’t mean to just confess things like the kind of job you want or that you’re out of debt, although those things can be fine depending on the condition of one’s heart. But you can use that premise to speak life in the midst of death. Once I started speaking life into the situation, forgiving and loving my perpetrator and confessing on a regular basis that all of my enemies have to bless me and that I bless them and do not curse them, I saw dramatic change that I did not know how it would be possible or if I would ever see such change.

I challenge you to speak life and to do as the word says, to pray for your enemies, those that persecute you and say all manner of evil against you for the Lord’s namesake and to bless and not curse. Choose life and you’ll reap unfathomable blessings today!

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New Logo

Hi Friends,

This is the logo for UTBW.BLOG.

The story behind the logo…

My sister asked me, “What is ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside?”

I rather quickly responded, “A geode.” Now, it’s not that a geode is ugly on the outside but rather that it is plain and very much a disguise for the level of intricate beauty on the inside. So I knew a geode had to be part of the logo indeed.

Then I thought about who we are as Christians, truly. Just like our Savior and Older Brother, Jesus Christ, we are either called to be lions or lionesses. That is our true identity that needs to be revealed over time and through the leading of the Holy Spirit.

So you see in the image, a lioness who shows markings, scars or lines as she is bursting forth in her beauty and being less contained and restrained in a misleadingly outwardly plain shroud.

I am still very deep in the development phase of the various items that will be offered through the website including my books.

If you are a servant of Jesus Christ, please continue to pray with me for wisdom, guidance, direction and divine connections. God is up to something big. This whole ministry is His for whatever purposes He defines, in whatever way and at whatever pace He chooses and sets.

Blessings of God on you today.

Kristiann

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True Intimacy

Google search brings up the following:

in·ti·ma·cy
noun
close familiarity or friendship; closeness or a private cozy atmosphere

I don’t mind sharing that I’ve been married twice and frankly never experienced intimacy with either husband. Certainly people use the word intimacy euphemistically for sexual acts and that is not to what I am referring. I am referring to a true closeness between the core of who you are and the core of who another person is.

I have been privileged and continue to be so, in that I have intimate enduring friendships, some going back over 20 years now. But I’ve really been dancing with this whole concept of intimacy lately.

What does intimacy with the Lord look like? Maybe you, like I, have been hearing the sexual euphemism for so long that is prevalent in the American culture, that the idea of intimacy with the Lord sounds strange. But recently, the Lord revealed to me that without true intimacy with Him, we can never know true intimacy with a lifelong spouse.

Truly falling in love with our First Love and maintaining that, as our first priority, is the only way to fulfillment. Only then, can the true door to intimacy on all levels be opened to us in human relationships….

But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.
Revelation 2:4‭-‬5 AMPC
https://bible.com/bible/8/rev.2.4-5.AMPC

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What’s in Your Mouth?

I work in a secular setting where I don’t have the breadth of freedom I wish I had to say all of the things that are so important to people’s souls. Certainly, the Lord has opened doors over the years and I am very thankful to Him for so doing.

But as I contemplate the Christian Life and our purpose, it leads me to ask what is in the mouth of the believer. I am noticing a divergence within the church. I think it’s important here to remind us of the scripture that says a house divided against itself will not stand. It is also important to remember that Jesus said if we deny Him before man He will deny us before His Father in Heaven.

I don’t know if it’s a trend but I suspect so. What am I talking about? I am talking about us trying to be so palatable to the world and so ingratiating that we blend in. We are a set apart people, the Word says. It says we are the salt and the light here on Earth and that a city set on a hill cannot be hidden. It also says if the salt loses its savor it is good for nothing but to be trampled under foot.

I find that some parts of the body are allowing Satan to come in full force. There is a shying away from words like Christian, holiness, Bible and even church. The Bible says come out from among them and be ye separate. If you have what I have and I’m not doing well, I will not seek you out for help because you’re in just as bad of shape as I am. But if you have something different, something extraordinary that is drawing me to you because I know in some way you will point me to the right answer, I will come running to you.

In the business world I’ve been told to dumb myself down. In my personal life I’ve been told the same. In the church world I’ve been told to not be so bold because I might frighten away those that are not yet believers.

But the Lord is speaking to me greatly about my identity, knowing who I am and coming out from the herd or the crowd. I really have to go the way of the ministers that are boldly declaring the new things that God is doing, which are in alignment with the principles of who He has shown us He always has been and always will be in His Word. In fact, He tells us in His Word He is doing a new thing and asks us whether or not we are perceiving it.

One such minister speaks about God calling him to be a forerunner and how it’s a very lonely and unenviable position in many cases. That reminds me of the Apostle Paul and the disciples that Jesus called, who worked alongside of Him and really were emboldened in a fresh way after His Ascension.

I am discontented and troubled within my spirit as I compose this. I am really coming to the point of realization that just as Jesus offended so many of the religious persons of His day and I am called to resemble Him, His warning is so correct that if they hated Him they will hate me too. And I am getting so comfortable with that idea.

The terrifically sad part of that to me however, is that there is a division that is going to be magnified in the church as there are both wheat and tare growing up together not just outside of the church walls but within them. Now of course I understand the church is not a building but I say it that way to draw a distinction between those that are truly a part of the church, the body of Christ, versus those that suit up, show up and do not know Him or even those that ultimately will walk away from a once held faith in Jesus..

Listen, it’s been said that you’ve got to stand for something or you will fall for anything. We are in a day and age of great wickedness and turmoil where those claiming to be Christians who are very well-known are judging and making statements completely antithetical to the Word of God, the Bible. Whose side are you on? Today is the day of salvation, God told us in His Word. We are not promised tomorrow nor even a breath in the next moment.

Right is right, not relative. Please contemplate that and ask God to speak to you and embolden you each and every day to speak what He would have you to speak even in the face of friends, family and enemies.

May you perceive God’s blessings today.