LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE!
Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Life can be a journey with Jesus. The choice is ours. It all depends on our perspective and how we choose to react to lives challenges. It is very helpful to remember that this life is a transition place. It will not last forever and is definitely not all there is to existence. (Ps. 39:11, ICor.15:51-52)
We are able to gain hope and insight as we remember that through every season, every challenge and every event He is taking us someplace! Someplace good! Our lives are not a random chain of events. Even those things that seem negative, hard and bring pain can and are used in order for Jesus to take us to a His desired end for us. (Jer. 29:11) Jesus wastes nothing. Everything is used, everything that hits our lives has value and every season is actually taking us to another place. Another place in Him.
This includes people He chooses to place in our lives. I have found that as I follow Jesus He is very specific about the people He allows in my life. His heart is to place people in my life who will draw me closer to Him. This is both challenging and exciting for any relationship brings both. Along these lines, I have seen people choose to walk in cooperation with Jesus in the area of relationships and see the great fruit that comes from that..To both parties. I have also seen those that have chosen to keep Jesus out of the area of who they choose as friends or life mates and seen the pain, confusion, and destruction that comes from that choice as well. Both choices are an adventure but obviously the option with Jesus is a much wiser and better option. More on this subject of relationship on another post.
Bottom Line: The key to where we will end up is determined by the position our hearts take as well as how willing we are to walk in obedience in the truth of Christ.
Life will create the adventures, Jesus will take us through the adventures as a journey but we determine the outcome by our attitudes, choices and obedience.
Adventure – an exciting or very unusual experience. Participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure. A bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
I’ve come to see that each challenge in life is just Divine appointments in disguise. They can be used to experience a different level of victory, another opportunity to add new spiritual tools to our tool belt and to experience a different place of victory with Jesus leading the way. The choice is ours!

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LIVING THE SUPERNATURAL LIFE IN FAITH
The Position of Greatness
Matt. 18:3-4
Do you ever wonder why Jesus compares being like a child to being great in His kingdom? On the surface it would be easy to say it is due to the vulnerability and openness of children. Children are very trusting by nature. This is true but I feel it is far deeper than that. One thing that has been brought to my attention lately is the spirit of adventure that is in the nature of a child. Children love to find out new things! They love to explore and make things happen. Doing the ‘same ole, same ole’ is not in the nature of a child. When you watch children you see them touching everything thing, running to check out things and wanting to know how things work. They have endless questions as they are always interested to learn and find out what the limits are. I see that in the life in my grandson, Jonathan. He is such a fun little guy! All of 3 years old he is truly an inspiration! I get energized by being with him. Everything is new! Each day is a new adventure waiting to happen!
That is exactly how we, as Believers, have to be in order to be great in the kingdom of Heaven. We have to be just as vulnerable, unafraid and hungry to know the things Heaven as a child in order to ever attain to what Jesus provided for us. He came, lived and died in order that we may be able to live a life of supernatural faith. To do the works that He did while living here plus more. (John 14:11-14) I also see that just like a child we are to be completely and totally dependent on Jesus for protection, comfort and provision. Just like a child we are to have complete trust in all the Jesus takes us through, provides for us and the timing of everything we need. We must daily challenge our tendency to lean on what we think we know about our lives, needs and life in order to be qualified to walk out the life of faith He has for each one of us.
The Supernatural lifestyle of faith is not tangible in the natural realm of living. You won’t see it the “greater works shall he do” acts take place while living life in the day to day sameness of the natural/material world. To see and do the supernatural acts that have been promised to us changes will need to take place in your life.
There must be dissatisfaction with this life in the natural realm. There must be a desire for more! In short, a hunger for more than natural senses can satisfy. Only then are you ready to move into the lifestyle of faith offered through the supernatural realm. The limitless, vast world where anything and everything is possible is available today for any who will accept its reality and pursue it with energy and faith of a child.
I encourage all who read this article to begin to take those steps today. Jesus desires to take us all into deeper places in Him. His kingdom will not be found in the natural realm but in the supernatural realms that only He can take us into. He is ever watchful for those who will choose to take the first step leading to greatness. He wants to unfold so much to those who will choose to see and respond.
Make the decision to walk out the greatness that is your birthright as a Believer in Christ. Glorious encounters await you!
ENJOY THE JOURNEY.
Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia International Ministries

LOVING MY HEART TO LIFE
JOHN 10:10
I am realizing more and more that my heart needs to be fully loved in order to be able to fully love. I am seeing this in many areas of my own life and some in the life of others. In order to me to be able to give love I need to have a heart that can contain real love. I need a heart to sustain loving and being loved, which means I have to release any and all false ideas about what love is.
This is true for any relationship whether it is in a natural family, friendships, courtships or marriage. We can only love in direct context to the health of our own hearts. A wounded, bitter, disappointed or otherwise broken heart will be very limited as to its capacity to both receive and give back love. Each one of us has seen the results of the damage an “unloved” heart can cause. It is all around us in varied and multiple forms: child abuse, broken marriages, violence against women, random shootings in schools and other public places are just a few examples of the fruit that comes from an unloved heart. With these facts in mind it is small wonder that Jesus puts so much emphasis on the importance of love. (John 15:12 & 17; James 2:8) Also small wonder why the enemy attempts to devalue it through inappropriate relationships between men and women, same sex marriages and other forms of lust. (1Tim.4:1; Jude 18)
As a believer of many years I felt my heart was both capable to give and receive love from Jesus as well as from others. Several months ago Jesus took me through a time of what I call “major heart surgery”. For me this meant having the Lord peel off the outer layer of my heart in order to let the pink new tissue of my heart come forth. It was not a fun thing but so very necessary. While I lay on the floor weeping I saw the picture of what was taking place in the spirit realm. I saw the hands of the Lord very gently peeling back a layer of my heart. This layer had become brown and leather-like. It had lost its flexibility to move and change easily so had to be removed in order to allow the new pink tissue of my heart to be exposed. When the process was over, I then saw Jesus pouring oil over my new flexible, pink heart that was beating and pulsating with new vigor. (Ezek.36:26-27; Ps. 51:10)
I immediately noticed a difference. My heart was much more tender toward issues of life that had brought little to no response in me before. I was much more sensitive to the heart cries in others and could actually feel some of the pain of others when I was in their presence. This brought me to a place of prayer for them out of a heart of true concern and love whereas before I would not have had the ability to feel or intercede on that level. Other changes came forth also, clearer vision in the spirit, different perceptions when confronted with life’s issues and challenges, more clarity in the prophetic, were some of the things I noticed while learning to live with this ‘new heart’. I now realize that without this process taking place my heart would not be in position to remain “at rest” in this new season Jesus has me in. My life has drastically changed in these past 3-4 months. I went from being called to extended hours of prayer with little else to do with my days to being put back into the marketplace in a the form of a full time job, I have new relationships with precious people the Jesus has put into my life, as well as new daily ministry opportunities. The heart surgery I had endured was needful in order to prepare me to the season I am in now. Truly the Lord is faithful!
I see now that Jesus, in His great love for me, wanted me to fully engage with him on a new level so He had to give me a new heart in order to do so. I was not going to be able to traverse the new journeys of partnership with Him with the heart I had so he gave me a new one. He wanted me to truly love, to really know what love was from His perspective so in order to do that I had to have a new heart. The old heart had become inflexible and to dependent on things that were no longer necessary as Jesus was calling me closer to Him so had to be replaced with one that had the strength and flexibility to both love Jesus deeper thus allowing me to love others fully as well.
I believe this was necessary for this new season Jesus has drawn me into. I have to be open to fully love in the relationships I currently have with family and friends as well as the new relationships He has prepared and made ready for me to walk into. I have come to realize that every process the Lord takes us through, every experience is useful for our good if we will allow the Lord to use it. Truly, what the enemy means for our destruction the Lord can and does use for our great good if we will keep our hearts pointed to Him.
I encourage you to allow the Lord to minister to your heart in this way. Honestly, the process is intense but the results are so worth it! Think ‘no pain, no gain’.
Anything and everything Jesus takes us through or allows us to go through will reap a reward for us if we will walk out what He has for us fully trusting Him to work it for our good.
May you experience new places of Jesus in your journey with Him!

Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

THE INVISIBLE POWER TO CREATE
(James 3; Matt 12:35-37)
The Lord has given man the power to create in several spheres. We can create in the natural realm through various forms of creativity. We can create buildings, monuments and other physical structures. On a more personal level He has provided a way to reproduce life within a man and woman so that through the marriage relationship new life is created. All these are wondrous forms of our ability to create something new from our abilities and actions.

As I pondered this recently, I came to the conclusion that the most powerful, truly awesome way we create is through what we say. The Lord has actually given us the ability to change and create our atmosphere, environment and all that is around us by the power of our spoken words. Our lives are a reflection of how we govern our speech. (Matt. 4:4) This is truly awesome! We are the only created being that can do this. God, the Father, has given us the same ability that He possesses…the power to create through the spoken word. As I thought on this recently I had to stop and think of how much of what I say gives life and how much produces death. Not just what I say to others, even though this is very important, but also what I speak out in times of frustration. What about the countless things we speak over ourselves in our ‘self talk’ that takes place in going about our daily tasks of life. I have found myself saying things that have created far less than a positive atmosphere in my own environment.

As believers we are to be life givers in all we do. We are to be vessels of honor that bring forth His purposes on earth as they are in heaven. This includes our actions but also in our speech.
We create when we speak. What type of environment and atmosphere are you creating around you and others with your words?

I am learning how true and powerful this is in my daily life. Declaring the truth of what Jesus says about me each day is making a dramatic affect on my life in several key areas.
I encourage you to take those scriptures that bring you encouragement for your daily life and speak them out each day (Yes, out loud)…making declarations over your life. Not sure where to start? Here are a few to start with:

 Eph.2:10- ‘Yes, I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good work, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them’
 Phil. 4:13 –‘I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.’
 Gal.3:13 – ‘Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law…’
Use these as a starting place, but don’t stop there. Find your own. Ask Jesus to show you scriptures for your own life experiences and circumstances then personalize them, declare them over yourself each day and see how taking this step of faith changes your life.
Not convinced? Try doing this for at least 30 days, faithfully, and see what changes occur in your attitude, your outlook, and physical circumstances. Document each day so you can have a record of what took place when you begin doing this.
Be prepared to be both Blessed and Encouraged!

Venetia Carpenter, Founder
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

Provide Feedback: ecclesiaministries@sbcglobal.net.

THE VIOLENCE OF WAITING

April 23, 2013

THE VIOLENCE OF WAITING

Isa. 40:31 “But those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not get weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Apparently our Father in Heaven places a lot of importance on the activity of waiting. Waiting on Him. I must confess, I do not naturally take joy in this activity. It seems too much like wasting time to me and being a high energy person, I do not like to waste time! Too many things to do to just be sitting around waiting for something to happen is my way of thinking. If I can see the benefit or necessity of something I am much more comfortable with it and will willing participate in it, even if it is for a short term. So recently Jesus gave me some of His perspective of what waiting accomplishes in the life of the Believer.
As I mentioned, I have never been good with waiting. I want to feel I am accomplishing something with my time. I am probably like many who have not put a great value on waiting due to the seemingly inactivity that can take place in the physical realm but, of course, the Lord sees it differently. I feel many times He purposely puts us in situations where we have no other recourse but to wait on Him. He says those that will wait will actually gain. Gain new strength, new insight, new perspective, new wisdom, and new vigor for the seasons ahead. Therefore, He places us in positions to gain! To gain more from Him and move in new strength that is gained from cooperating with Him.
Even though I have never been good at this activity of waiting I find myself in this place again. This season of waiting is different than previous ones in that it involves some significant heart issues therefore is more challenging. I am finding that violence is required in waiting well. I am convinced that waiting on the Lord is something that must be learned and regularly submitted to in order to really benefit from it. I am learning this in a new way.
This time around, I am finding that as I wait in the Lord’s presence He is able to accomplish major breakthroughs in my heart and to calm my emotions. My soul is being taught to submit to the will of my spirit as I sit in the instructions of Holy Spirit. As waiting in Christ is not a passive action but a place of warfare as there seems to be any number of ‘immediate things’ that constantly shout for my attention.

Our souls are hard wired to have stimulation. Being a ‘high energy’ person I am more comfortable being physically busy. In waiting, my soul is being taught to take a back seat to the things of the Holy Spirit in order to actually find new strength. This place of allowing my spirit man to lead is also a strategic place of war against the forces of darkness. Remember eagles see from a very high place and I am being positioned to pray, minister and govern my life from this high place in Jesus. No wonder that warfare surrounds waiting! We must press through. Press through the distractions in our own souls in order to gain the benefits of waiting on the Lord.
I want this new strength. I desperately need it! Truly, only Jesus knows what awaits each one of us in the seasons of our life. Only He has the vantage to see what we are headed into and what we will have to encounter so it is wisdom to follow His lead into places of hiddenness and waiting. When this season has accomplished its work we will emerge with the ability to move with new agility in the spirit, new wings to fly, new perspective and new insight.
As we wait, we gain. When the Lord brings you into your season of waiting I encourage you to embrace it, lean into it and allow the presence of Jesus to renew and refresh you in ways you are not able to see until the violence of waiting gives way to the place of new equipping in Jesus.

Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries

THE BEAUTY OF TRANSITION

March 26, 2013

THE BEAUTY OF TRANSITION
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2Cor.3:18

Recently I was observing the life cycle of the butterfly. It is considered one of the “advanced insects” in that it has a complete life cycle. This basically means that the butterfly has four separate stages, each of which looks completely different and serves a different purpose in the life of the insect. There is one stage that the butterfly goes through in which it goes through major transformation just before emerging as a beautiful butterfly. Seems right before it reaches its ‘glory stage’ it goes into hiding where little seems to be going on from the outside. Even though nothing seems to be going on during what is called the Chrysalis stage, there are in fact major transformations going on within the enclosure that caterpillar rests in while the transformations are taking place.

That got me to thinking how this so much parallels the life of those who love and obey Christ. Believers who love Jesus will experience seasons when nothing seems to be going on when seen from the natural view. Many promises the Lord gave are still waiting to be fulfilled. Things in the natural realm don’t seem to be happening as fast as you would like. Seems you are ‘on hold’ about some major things that need to take place in your life. A needed career change, your life mate, a family move to another city, a promotion at work. These are just some of the things you may find yourself to be in transition about. Each one presents its own set of challenges. The most challenging of all is the desire to move forward but having been hemmed in, you must now to wait on the Lord for His timing in order to move forward.

As Believers, we may find ourselves in this ‘Chrysalis’ stage many times. It seems to be part of the normal ‘life cycle of the follower of Jesus while living on this earth. Personally, I have never found this transition stage in the ‘life cycle’ of the each Believer to be a comfortable place. You are no longer content where you were but not yet completely set in place where you are going. The Lord showed me that just like with the caterpillar that has come to rest itself in this small enclosed place called the Chrysalis or pupa stage so we must also rest ourselves in Him during times of waiting. We are being transformed for the next season to come.

Our Great Shepherd knows that we cannot move to new areas of Him with the ‘old clothes’ our souls and spirits may be clothed in so He arranges for times of transition, hemming in, so we can have the necessary changes made in order to get us ready for what is to come in the next season or cycle of the journey with Him. Truly, there is no such thing as ‘idle time” in Him. Jesus uses every single thing we go through for His glory and our good. Knowing this does help but here are some ‘tools of waiting’ I have found to be helpful during this time:

 Stay Close to Jesus. Extend your prayer time so as to keep your spirit sharp for each shift in the Spirit realm.

 Use the waiting time to start or complete those things He has been speaking to you to do but you have not had time.

 Journal your time. You will find it helpful as you move forward. Keeping a ‘book of remberance’ can be a tool to encourage your faith when other challenges come in the journey ahead. It testifies that Jesus is faithful in every season!

 Get some rest! This is your season to rest and get yourself ready for the next season which will be a ‘new journey’. This new leg of the journey will require new energy, stamina and endurance to complete.

 Remember Jesus is using this time to make major changes in you and in around you. Don’t allow what you see in the natural realm distract you. Things are happening whether you can sense them or not.

 Ask Jesus for ‘Spirit Pictures’. I have learned to ask Jesus to show me glimpses of what is taking place in the spirit realm so I can continue to stay at peace and wait in belief.

These are just a few things I have found to be of help during the seasons of transition. No doubt as you walk through these seasons you will find tools of waiting of your own. The major key is to wait with a heart of faith and focus on Jesus. His desires and purposes for you are great.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

Venetia Carpenter, Founder
Ecclesia International Ministries

WALKING IN THE INHERITANCE
Living in the Abundance of Those Who Have Gone Before
Galatians 3

Have you ever heard or read of someone who received an great inheritance from a distant relative? In some cases the person receiving the inheritance may not have even met the relative that was now leaving them this vast source of wealth. To be honest, each time I hear of something like this taking place I immediately, almost involuntarily, think, “Wow, that must be nice. I wish that was me receiving that.”

Ever been there?

To wake up one day to find that you have suddenly inherited a fortune simply from having been born into your family is probably everyone’s dream. Who wouldn’t be overjoyed to find that you can now partake of wealth and riches beyond anything you could have dreamed of all for just being who you are?

Guess what? Great News!

Those of us who know Jesus and make the decision to walk by faith in Him alone have such an inheritance! It is the blessings Jesus purchased for us through His life, sacrifice, death and resurrection. It is contained in salvation, which is awesome in itself. If it was just salvation that was purchased that would truly be more than we could ever hope to have gained in our sinful state. But wait… there is more! We not only gain salvation but we have also gained full access to all the blessings of Abraham, our distant relative.
We see in scripture that Jesus redeemed us so that we can now receive all the blessings of Abraham’s seed. (Vs. 13-14)That means each of us who have chosen to live in the faith realm are now privy to ALL the blessings of Abraham. Jesus opened the door for ‘whosoever will’ to be able to receive the promises that the seed of Abraham have access to.

It is important to remember that just like an earthly inheritance, there are conditions or requirements the recipient must fulfill in order to gain the wealth that is available.
For the ‘Faith Child’ (Believer) the requirement is simple…turn away from all forms of living after the flesh and live completely submitted to the Holy Spirit by Faith. (Vs.5-9) Commit yourself to live in all Jesus shows you to do…even when it seems scary. Remember the ‘the just shall live by faith’ (Rom1:17). Those that believe and walk out this truth now have full access to all the promised of Abraham. (Vs. 26-29) The promises of Abraham are great. We have been give great riches (Gen.13:2); vast lands (Gen. 15:18); Fruitfulness in every area of life (Gen. 17:2-9). Truly, there is no earthly inheritance that can compare with great inheritance that our Savior and gracious Lord have purchased for us. So very awesome!!
This Easter season as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It is a time to reflect on not just His life and death but, most importantly, His defeat of the grave and all that this brought for those who will believe. I encourage you to take this time to reflect on how much of the inheritance you are currently walking in. There is still opportunity to walk in more! Use this as a time to purpose to walk in all the blessings brought for you through so great a victory.

LIVING A LIFE OF SUPERNATURAL FAITH WILL YEILD SUPERNATURAL RESULTS.

Venetia Carpenter
Ecclesia Int’l Ministries