Thursday, August 28, 2008

"I Love Your Blog" Award




Talented, cardmaking Maria from Joyful Stamper nominated Beautiful Grace for the "I Love Your Blog" Award. Thanks, Maria, for your encouragement!!! I now am to nominate blogs that are a blessing...ones that "I Love."

The following blogs touch one's heart with a sense of humor, candor, godliness, insight, wisdom and eloquence. Some of these women/girls, I know well, while others only through the information highway. Thanks, ladies for touching a life!!!

Classic Mama (Definitly a "Classy Lady", royalty robed in the glory of God)

Jesus and Dark Chocolate (My friend, with an imagination and sense of humor that springs from Jesus. You're awesome!!!)

oH mY wORD (Straight arrow, passionate heart, fantastic sense of humor)

Hands-Free Heart (Deep and still water, full of passion waiting to be expressed)

Livin' Life (Jesus' Beloved!!!You ARE beautiful, inside and out!!!)

Crown of Beauty (Beautiful ability to express her Mary-heart through writing)

Riley Matters (Keep up the good work, Dear)

Plain and Simple (Busy Mommy and Wonderful Sister...Love you!!!)

Relentless (New to Blog Land, but already has impacted with wisdom and insight)

Love Looks Like Something (World-Changer, Evangelist, Prophet and Missionary)

Beautiful Grace (Not me, Maria Pauline, the original Beautiful Grace with a special anointing for writing)

Casual Elegance (Reveals the beauty of God's children through photography)

Here are the reward rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog
2. Link the person you received your award from
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls or boys you’ve nominated.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Preparation and Red High Top Sneakers?


Picture from No Sweat Apparel

Ephesians 6:15 (Amplified Bible)
"And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace."




Those of us familiar with the Bible realize that God not only speaks plainly through His Word but also, historically, prophetically, symbolically, and typologically. Not only does God speak through His written Word, but also through experiences labeled as "supernatural," but these experiences should fall in line with the character of God as revealed through His written Word. God's desire to communicate with his kids takes creativity to a higher level.

In 2001, God creatively impressed upon me the need for "Preparation." Already in bed for the night, I awoke to see a pair of red high top sneakers floating above me, while simultaneously hearing God say, "Preparation." Looking back in hindsight, God, indeed, was preparing me to face the most difficult years of my life…but what in the world did red high top sneakers have to do with preparation? The Holy Spirit caused me to remember the Ephesians 6 description of the full armor of God, specifically verse 15, which directs the reader to put on the Gospel of peace like a pair of shoes. The Gospel of peace enables one to stand firm-footed, prompt and ready when confronted by the evil one. Because of this visual experience, aka a vision, I immersed myself in His Word.

Since then, I have had numerous dreams regarding just how my feet were shod. I believe each dream was like God's barometer measuring my preparedness to face the evil one…through people, situations and my own soul. My feet have been barefooted (total lack of preparation); bedroom slippers, high-heeled shoes, sandals, broken heels, uneven heels, combat boots and white sneakers, have all graced my feet, but to date, never have I had the privilege of wearing those red high-topped sneakers promised by my Jesus.

I write this to encourage myself...the Lord IS preparing me and I am NOT alone when facing the evil one, but I also write to encourage those reading that God prepares you also, if you will follow His lead, listen to His call and obey.

Jesus, empower us by Your Spirit to stand firm-footed, prompt and ready when faced with the evil one. Only You can give us the wisdom and strength needed to be victorious in each battle. WE HAVE ALREADY WON THE WAR THROUGH YOU, JESUS, but we humbly ask for Your power in each situation, day by day, moment by moment, that we may truly reflect your glory and represent You, as sons and daughters of the most High God. In the powerful name of Jesus!!! AMEN!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Real Men Bake Cookies


Last week, My son, Fire, had been asking to bake cookies with me for several days. Last Wednesday night at youth group, he jokingly said to me (in front of his friends) that I wouldn't bake cookies with him...soooo early Thursday morning (last week), we baked cookies, chocolate (for you, Sandy) chip cookies to be exact, along with our neighbor, Teddy Bear.

I love it that I can share one of my passions (cooking/baking) with my son, because everyone knows...REAL MEN BAKE COOKIES!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dream

The following is an excerpt from an e-mail I just received from Chuck Peirce. First, the dream and then the interpretation. I have found that Chuck Peirce, the words the Lord gives him, have impacted me more than any other prophetic voice. Read prayfully, and determine any revelance to your own life.

With much love,
Beautiful Grace

Dream shared by LeAnn Squier: "I was in an outdoor stadium, more like a performance hall or coliseum. Not so much the size but the importance of the setting and gathering was key. I arrived early, being one of the first in line to assure that I would be seated properly. I went through the gate and turnstile, and then walked down at an angle to all the seats. The stage was in front of us. When I got down to where my seats were, I looked back and could see that several had gone before and usurped the fences and the boundaries of the order set by the authority over the gathering. Many of the best seats all over the hall had been claimed.

There was this one section that stood out brilliantly to me in the dream and I knew I was supposed to be seated there. The section had been saved by someone placing bright, hot pink, stadium blankets to cover the whole section of seats. I looked around and there was this beautiful, elegant, stately black woman down front and I knew she was the director over everything. I went down to her and said, "Is that alright? Are those seats available? Should they have been covered over like that?" She said, "No, you're welcome to take those seats."

At this point I was down front close to the stage but I knew I must be repositioned for this important meeting. Instead of just taking the easy way, climbing over others by zigzagging and running to secure my seats, I went all the way back to the entry way, and went through the gate and turnstile again. I waited on the three people in front of me. As I was waiting on this pathway or concourse that you walk on, I stepped out to the aisle and there were children on the ground playing with toys. They obviously had some clear plastic toys that were now totally broken into many parts and pieces. They were all over the pathway. These pieces looked like clear broken glass. I thought, 'I've got to go to my seats so I will just step on all the broken parts and keep going.' I felt the plastic pieces getting into my feet. I stopped and grabbed the next post in wonderment, shaking my head, wondering why all this broken stuff was on this pathway or aisle. I was just sitting there, plucking it out of my feet and I woke up."

LeAnn shared that the key issues in the dream that impressed her were the authorities, the authorization, the positions that were given, the gates, the paths, and the brokenness that could have stopped her. I could sense the interpretation for us as she shared the dream.

I heard the Lord say:
"I have destined a place for you. In the midst of My positioning, you are halfway. You are between redemption and purity. I am purifying you now so that you can find the redemptive thread for your life and the entry way into your promise. Your seat and position of authority has been destined. I am blowing new vision on you to show you your place of authority for this next season. Do not enter in the gate through an invalid way or hurry past the protocol that has been developed for your safety. Watch the authorities that I have positioned to help you into this next seat of authority.

When you see your position, find your way fully through and into your next place. Even though much immaturity has torn up and broken the gifts that I am releasing and cluttered the path to where My people will be seated to rule in days ahead, walk forward anyway! Walk on top of that immaturity and do not allow that which My children have used wrongly to stop you. Do not allow My gifts that have been broken and abused to keep you from your new seat of authority. I will have those on your path who will point the way and keep you moving. You will be positioned with a new authority in a new place. I will redeem your place in the midst of those who have broken rank and run ahead of My perfect timing. This will not prevent Me from gathering again those who are willing to hear My call. I am preparing the places of broken, abused and unfulfilled destinies and will reseat My faithful ones that will lead on into the future. Harvest awaits and I will not be stopped."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Praise Report from the Ridings

In the Post entitled Urgent Prayer Needed: Rick and Patti Ridings, I asked my readers to pray. The following is an update/praise report. Thank you all very much!!!


Rick and Patti Ridings
Aug 17, 2008

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Our deepest thanks to all of you who have contacted us to let us know you are standing with us in the visa and financial challenges described in our Aug. 3rd prayer letter. We really appreciate your encouragement, giving, and prayers.

I told Patti last Friday evening that it felt almost like we were in a canoe that made it through some severe rapids, then went over a waterfall where it looked like it could crash on the rocks below, only to re-surface downstream intact.

Concerning the finances: The money came in time to pay the rent ($9,817.50) on our 24/7 prayer facility. In addition, enough came in to already pay $10,000 toward the $30,000 debt incurred this year (as the dollar has dropped so sharply, making it worth about ⅓ less against the Israeli shekel than a year ago). We have also been able to put about $5,000 toward the rent due Sept. 1st. Praise the Lord that in two weeks more than half of what was needed has already come in.

Concerning the visas: We have talked with our lawyer here, and he is moving ahead to seek a status that would allow us to apply for a better kind of visa for our core staff. This will take some months, and has to be approved by the government, so please keep this in prayer, as well as our personal visas which are still under consideration by the Ministry of Interior.

Concerning our staff: We had a very precious farewell dinner with those of our staff who have to leave because of the sudden change of policy in the Ministry of Interior that volunteer visas will only be granted for two years rather than five. Even though it’s hard to say good-bye, the Lord has comforted us by providing new staff. Already, a gifted Israeli couple joined us this week, and another strong worship leader (who speaks Hebrew) is coming on staff soon.

Concerning vision for the future: During this intense time, the Lord has graciously been giving/clarifying vision for the future, which encouraged us that He must be planning to keep us here :) He has spoken to us about an acceleration of Israelis being added into the 24/7 worship and prayer. Please pray for them to hear the call of the Lord in this respect, and for financial support to come in from the nations for Israelis called to the house of prayer. The Lord has also spoken to us about increased ministry to the poor, and the planting out of houses of prayer in the Moslem nations. We will have a first (invitation-only) training seminar for this in October.

If you would like to help us continue this ministry of 24/7 prayer and worship over Jerusalem, and into surrounding nations, you can send a check to: Light to the Nations, PO Box 406, New Cumberland, PA 17070. Or you can give online at our website: www.jerusalempraise.com. For those in Europe, you may email us for details to transfer to our Belgian account.

Thank you again for standing with us to see the fulfillment of all He has called us to be and to do here in Jerusalem

Grace and shalom,
Rick and Patti Ridings and family

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fire's First Triathlon!

Fire competed in his first triathlon today in Lewisburg, PA! The perseverance he exhibited in training throughout his summer break made me so proud!!! What's really cool about this whole thing is Fire's approach in this endeavor...he used his training to spend time alone with Jesus. He told me that he thought his leg was going to cramp up during the meet, so he said a prayer and it immediately resolved!!!





video





Fire placed 152nd out of 243 contestants.




These are the cool Lewisburg police officers with which I spoke. I started a conversation with them, because I had never seen such a beautiful police car previously.


The car competed and won a competition for the "Best Appearing Patrol Car" for the state of Pennsylvania.

If you look closely, you can see scenes from Lewisburg Borough in the POLICE letters...awesome!!!



I felt like it would transform into Barricade at any moment!!! Yikes!! Another lovely surprise was running into Classic Mama and Scarlet. Her Brother Bear also competed in the triathlon. I was privileged to meet Classic's family!!!

Today was a great day!!! :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Spirit of Prophecy


Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Photo Copyright-Free
All the rest ©2000 Gimp-Savvy.com

My faithful readers may have noticed the new side article I have added to my blog, "The Spirit of Prophecy." My intent in this addition is to bless you as I have been blessed by the words from the Lord through Bill and Marsha Burns. I have found these servants of the Lord to be not only accurate in the times and seasons, but also true to God's Holy Word, the Bible.

Be blessed to know that you are not alone!! God watches over you and loves you so much that He would speak to someone else to get a message to you or confirm a message He has already laid on your heart. Prayerfully consider the words spoken to determine their relevance to your own life.

As always, with Love,
Beautiful Grace

Monday, August 11, 2008

Burn 2008






























Set me like a seal upon your heart, like a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death, jealousy is as hard and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead). Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame [the very flame of the Lord]! "
Song of Solomon 8:6

This year's Fuel youth conference, Burn, was held in Maryland at Summit Lake Camp. We stayed and played at the camp and traveled to a youth conference at Bethel Assembly of God church ~30 minutes away.

Knowing the love of God and then releasing the love of God to others was the theme this year. Thank You, Jesus, for Your love!!! May Your love flow through us in increased measure. In Jesus' name!!! AMEN!!!

video

Monday, August 4, 2008

Urgent Prayer Needed: Rick and Patti Ridings

If you read my post of July 2007, "I've Been Tagged," you know that My dream is to one day sing, dance and pray at Succat Hallel (Hebrew for “Tabernacle of Praise”) in Jerusalem. Succat Hallel is currently in need of our prayers. Here is an update!!!

Thank you for any prayers you offer on their behalf!!!

With Love,
Beautiful Grace :)


Aug 3, 2008

In our 26 years of “living by faith”, and 9 years of living in Israel, I have never had to issue as urgent a call as in this prayer letter. But it seems clear that Satan is “pulling out all the stops” to try to stop our ministry of 24/7 worship and prayer here in Jerusalem.

1. In the past two weeks, we were informed that the Ministry of Interior of Israel has made two new rulings that very much affect visas for all Christian ministries in Israel. They have ruled that those on “volunteer visas” can no longer have them for five years but only two. Already, that means that one of our main worship leaders (who had been here 4 years) must leave the country next week, and that our main administrator (who has been here 3 years) must leave soon. This ruling could affect many of our core staff and leadership over the next months, unless we are able to find another solution for visas (which our lawyer is working on). In addition, the Ministry of Interior has said they will not allow people more than two three-month tourist visas in one year, which means that already many who have helped here may not be allowed back in.

Please feel free to join us as we fast and pray this Friday - Sunday for a reversal of any ways in which the enemy is coming against Christian ministries in Israel.

2. In these same two weeks, we were informed by the dear brother who had been funding three apartments to provide housing for short-term workers and interns that he will no longer be able to continue that funding past this Autumn.

3. In these same two weeks, for the first time in a long time there are no funds on hand to pay the August rent on our 24/7 prayer facility ($9,817.50). The check should normally take about one more week before it arrives to be cashed at our bank in America.

4. Over this past year, the dollar has fallen sharply this year against the Israeli shekel. According to an accountant, ministries whose support is primarily in dollars now have one third less purchasing power in Israel with those dollars than a year ago. Though our support has stayed steady, the long-term result of the dollar’s decline has been a debt for us. Where for many years we have not had to carry a balance on our credit cards, we have had these past months to carry many increasing expenses for the ministry and our families on our cards, so we could pay the rent and utilities on the 24/7 facility. We now owe over $30,000 to pay off these debts. Unless there is a breakthrough, I will need to sell our car and the ministry van (each worth about $5,000) in order to pay next month’s rent on the facility.

Those of you who have received our prayer letters through the years know that we have seldom mentioned finances for ourselves. However, as I was praying about what to do in the present situation, I felt I was to humble myself and share this need openly.

As we have sought the Lord in all of this, we have felt more strongly than ever that He wants us to continue to stand here at Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. We have felt we are to move forward in a major way to bring more Israeli Jewish and Arab believers on staff. We have been moving forward on a recording of new Hebrew youth songs, written by local believers. We have felt we are to move forward on helping to plant out houses of prayer in the Middle East (in these same two weeks, we have been asked to help develop houses of prayer in Egypt and in United Arab Emirates, and another couple on our staff has received a call to plant one in Afghanistan, and another staff felt the same call toward Iraq).

If you would like to help us continue this ministry of 24/7 prayer and worship over Jerusalem, and all that flows out of that to help the youth of Israel, etc., you can send a check to: Light to the Nations, PO Box 406, New Cumberland, PA 17070. Or you can give online at our website: www.jerusalempraise.com. For those in Europe, you may email us for details to transfer to our Belgian account. If you can email us about what you are sending, it will help us to know where we are on the finances: rickridings@jerusalempraise.com


Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and support.

Grace and shalom,

Rick and Patti Ridings and family
www.jerusalempraise.com