- SHEILA RHODES
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Author Archives: Sheila Rhodes
Have you ever needed courage to walk through a door…the kind of door that you knew without a doubt God was opening just for you? Well, I have certainly walked through some doors over the years where I knew God was the only one who could have opened the door. I got so excited thinking about all the possibilities this “Open Door” could bring. However, I’m remembering how anxiousness tried to hi-jack my peace and joy. Don’t you hate when this happens? You are so giddy with expectation of what the Lord is about to do and anxiousness decides it wants to crash the party.
These are the spots in our lives where we must focus and meditate on the promises of God’s Word, to not give way to that anxiousness.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27
These are the moments in our walk with the Lord that put our faith into action for the entire world to see. Do we believe God or the ugly lies we are being fed. I don’t know about you, but I choose God. So often we muster up the strength and courage to walk through those open doors in our lives. Only to tremble once we’re in the room for any number of reasons. It’s unfamiliar. It’s dark. It’s empty. It’s quiet. It’s loud. It’s cold, etc… We tend to forget the second part of Deuteronomy 31:6 … He will never leave you or forsake you. We act as if when we walked through the door we walked in alone. To the contrary. We walked in holding the hand of Jesus as He leads the way. Remember, nothing catches Him by surprise.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:6-7
As you may find yourself in that quiet, empty room, not knowing what to expect, just expect. Expect His peace and joy to abound. Expect, exceedingly and abundantly. Fill the quiet room with praises of joy and thanksgiving. The Lord will take that empty room and fill it with His promises. Although at times you may not care for some of the pieces He chooses for the room, in the end they all work together, for His glory and our sanctification.
Now that you found the courage to walk through the door with me, watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong (1Cor. 16:13) and open your eyes, to see all the beauty and splendor He sets before you as your faith increases and anxiousness decreases.
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way.
God is the Giver of all things good and He has a plan for the fullness of your healing, which includes physical, emotional, relational and spiritual growth that is designed specifically for you.
Pastor Charles Stanley from Atlanta, Georgia writes, “Adversity is not simply a tool. It is God’s most effective tool for the advancement of our spiritual lives. The circumstances and events that we see as setbacks are oftentimes the very things that launch us into periods of intense spiritual growth. Once we begin to understand this, and accept it as a spiritual fact of life, adversity becomes easier to bear.”
Suffering may be someone’s fault or it may not be anyone’s fault. But if given to God, our suffering becomes an opportunity to experience the power of God at work in our lives and to give glory to Him. Always remember that God can do anything. He can even bring healing when you least expect it.
Last Sunday there was a profound and Biblically accurate message on healing by Dr. David Cooper, Senior Pastor of Mt. Paran Church in Atlanta, Ga. I believe it would be worth your time to watch this healing service by clicking the link below. I’ve heard a lot of messages on healing (My husband has personally taught on these things many times and we have prayed for others to be healed). Please click the link below to view one of the most biblically accurate and practical messages that you can find anywhere on healing.
May You Find His Presence In The Midst of Your Circumstances!
Do you feel as if you’re drowning? Perhaps, every time you take 2 steps forward, you go 5 steps backward? And maybe you feel God has forsaken you although the Word says He will never leave you nor forsake you? Have you lost all joy and barely making it through the day?
Would it be alright if I told you, “Everything will be okay”? I know what it’s like; I’ve been there many, many times! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. God is walking alongside you, and whispering to you that He loves you and wants to quiet your mind and soul. He sees that you are restless and those sleepless nights with tears. He knows your thoughts and wants to comfort you. In His presence there is fullness of joy. Let His presence and joy overtake you. And may you find His presence and comfort in the midst of your circumstances as you read His Word below.
Four ways to experience God’s peace:
- Jesus tells us in John 14:27 that He has left us with a gift- peace of mind and heart. This peace the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled and afraid.
- We can have peace through prayer – Phil. 4:4-7
- Fix your thoughts on Jesus, always – Isaiah 26:3
- May the Lord of peace Himself give you His peace at all times and in every situation. God will be with you. – 2 Thess. 3:16
Now, rest in His presence and walk in His peace, this is His will for you, dear friends.
Here Comes the SON ~ ADVENT SEASON~
Let me start with a question- Why all the celebrating? Why are we so excited? Why do we fellowship, and get together with friends, relatives, and neighbors? Why all the trees and the trimming? Why all the tinsel and the glitter. Why all the decorations, the glowing lights and children being photographed with a fat man in a big red suit? Why all the shopping, cluttered malls and busy streets? You might answer “Duh, its Christmas Time… Santa Claus is coming to town.
Is all the rejoicing for Jesus the light to the world or is it for Santa Claus? What’s all the festive celebrating really about? Is it for the Savior or Santa? Let me ask a question… Are we AS excited about the arrival of Jesus Christ as we are about the arrival of Old Saint Nick?
Here comes the SON…
Luke 1:26 (TLB)
26 The following month God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin, Mary, engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Congratulations, favored lady! The Lord is with you!”
29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.
30 “Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for God has decided to wonderfully bless you! 31 Very soon now, you will become pregnant and have a baby boy, and you are to name him ‘Jesus.’ 32 He shall be very great and shall be called the Son of God. And the Lord God shall give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he shall reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom shall never end!”
34 Mary asked the angel, “But how can I have a baby? I am a virgin.”
35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of God shall overshadow you; so the baby born to you will be utterly holy—the Son of God. 36 Furthermore, six months ago your Aunt[b] Elizabeth—‘the barren one,’ they called her—became pregnant in her old age! 37 For every promise from God shall surely come true.”
38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants. May everything you said come true.” And then the angel disappeared.
Here comes the SON…
This is the month of Advent. How many of us really know what advent means? Advent means “to anticipate/ to prepare for the arrival of something important. ” It’s the beginning of the Christmas season… Yes, we are all waiting for the arrival of something important. But the question is; what’s the important thing that you’re waiting for? Are you preparing for Santa and all of the presents? Or are you anticipating the arrival of the King- Jesus, the Holy Son of God? I know you will agree with me that it’s not about “the presents”… It’s about HIS Presence!
A recent study showed that the most anticipated part of Christmas, is the receiving and giving of gifts. Hence, the commercialism of Christmas! Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with giving gifts, (especially if they are for me- lol!) Giving is a wonderful act of kindness, God reminds us in His word, that He loves a cheerful giver. However, we need to make sure giving gifts isn’t the main focus of our Christmas experience. Giving, in every way, must be a daily event not just a once a year, or special occasion act. A blessed life is a generous life, a shared life. Giving should be a daily experience, not a seasonal one.
Our primary focus this Christmas should be that of celebration and praise for the gift God has provided the world. He has given us a sacrificial lamb. His only begotten Son and in Him we have the most expensive and most precious gift offered. *Jesus is the perfect gift… One size fits all!!!
It is Jesus, the anointed One that brings distinction to this holiday season. That’s what makes it a Merry Christmas. I recently received an invitation and I would like to share it with you.
My Dear, As you well know, we are getting closer to my birthday. Every year there’s a celebration in my honor and I think that this year the celebration will be repeated. During this time there are many people shopping for gifts, there are lots of radio announcements, TV commercials, and in every part of the world, everybody’s talking about my birthday that is getting closer and closer. It is really so nice to know, that at least once a year, some people think of me.
As you know, the celebration of my birthday began many years ago. At first people seemed to understand and were thankful of all that I did for them, but now in these days, no one seems to know the reason for the celebration. Family and friends get together and have a lot of fun, but they don’t seem to know the true meaning of the festivities.
I remember last year there was a great feast in my honor. The dinner table was full of delicious foods, wine, pastries, fruits, and gourmet chocolates. The decorations were gorgeous and there were beautifully wrapped gifts. But, do you want to know something? I wasn’t invited. I was the guest of honor and they didn’t remember to send me an invitation. The party was for me, but when that great day came, I was left outside. I wanted to be with them and share their table and they left me outside.
To be honest, that didn’t really surprise me that much because in the last few years it seems all are closing their doors to me. Since I wasn’t invited, I decided to enter the party without making any noise.
I went in and stood in a corner and watched. They were all merry and having a great time, but to top it all, this big fat man all dressed in red wearing a long white beard entered the room yelling Ho-Ho-Ho!. He sat on the chair and all the children ran to him, shouting: “Santa Claus, Santa Claus”… as if the party were in his honor!
At midnight all the people began to hug each other; I extended my arms waiting for someone to hug me and do you know what?…. no one hugged me. Suddenly they all began to exchange gifts. They opened them one by one with great expectation. When they were all opened, I looked to see if, maybe, there was one for me. How would you feel if on your birthday everybody shared gifts and you didn’t get a single one. I then understood that I was unwanted at that party and quietly left.
Every year it gets worse. People remember to eat & drink, buy gifts, but nobody remembers me. This year I want it to be different. I would like it if- this Christmas you allow me to enter into your life. I would like it if- you recognize the fact that two thousand years ago I came to this world to give my life for you, as the most precious gift. Then, I gave my life on the cross, to save you. Today, I only want you to believe this with all you heart.
I want to share something with you. As many didn’t invite me to their party, I will have my own celebration, a grandiose party that no one has ever imagined, a spectacular party. I’m still making the final arrangements. Today I am sending out many invitations and there is an invitation especially for you. I want to know if you wish to attend and I will make a reservation for you and write your name with golden letters in my great guest book. Only those on the guest list will be admitted into the party. Those who don’t answer the invitation, will be left outside.
Once you’ve accepted my invitation, be sure to extend this invite to others… I’ll be waiting for all of you to attend my party this year…
See you soon…. I love you! -Jesus-
So I encourage you during this season of Advent to share with others the REAL reason for the season. Tell them that it’s not about Santa and presents and things… it’s about Jesus and the salvation that only He can bring!
Thank you Minister Vicki Fisher of Community of the Holy Spirit in Willoughby, Ohio, Wife of Pastor Chris Fisher and a Dear Precious Friend of mine for sharing this beautiful and insightful message on the true meaning of Christmas and ADVENT ~ May this message bring a clearer and deeper heart understanding of this Christmas season to all who read it.
According to the calendar, fall doesn’t officially begin until the end of September, but that’s much too late for my taste. September 1st marks the first day of autumn around my house and in my mind. That’s because I’m noticing the gradual changing of color on the leaves and the decorations in the stores. Stores are filled with Autumn smells, scented candles and beautiful Fall decorations right now. So, I’m getting in the mood to begin the decorating of my house for Fall. Never mind the fact that it’s still hot as blue blazes here in Georgia, I can enjoy my autumn-themed decor and pretend the mosquitoes and gnats aren’t swarmin’ just outside my kitchen door. Yep, decorating is about to go down ladies here at Sheila’s house. LOL
For the sake of a truthful heart here, I’ll need to let you in on a little secret…I’m decoratively challenged even though my family and friends would quickly disagree. I’m not really all that confident about the way I decorate for holidays but I do pour my heart and energy into it just because I enjoy the outcome. However; family seem to enjoy my little special decorative touches so that makes it all worthwhile to me. It’s getting just about time for my husband to go up into our attic to gather up all the dusty boxes of decorations that have been stored away for months. And, every year he says how much he loves what I do to make our home so inviting during the holidays for family and friends who stop by. He calls it “good balance” for him!
I have asked myself where I got this seasonal decorating thing from. Was it from my sweet mother growing up, my precious Southern Aunts or was it just something I seem to enjoy doing with every season that passes? Honestly, I don’t quite know when or how or why it all began for me but I do know that my house always smells like a candle shop no matter when you walk through the door. I just love little bright lights so decorating for me has to be with bright little lights, scented candles and lots of color for the FALL and Christmas season. I have all kinds of neat things displayed on my mantel and hearth. I have way too many Fall wreaths that I’ve bought over the years for inside and outside of my house. And, of course…those bright twinkling lights have to be intertwined among the colorful decorations. Without the lights, the decorations are not complete for me.
Just last year my front yard filled with “10” scarecrows, hay piles, pumpkins and fake black crows looked more like a North Georgia Fair display than anything. However; the grandchildren thought it was FANTASTIC and wanted to touch and hug every single scarecrow. Ha!
You know what? I think I just might have gotten a desire to decorate like this when I was a child. My parents would ride my sister, brother and myself around town to look at all the neat decorated yards and houses every single year. It never failed and I LOVED it. My aunts made their homes so special each Fall and Winter season too. That’s about the time I started noticing other homes. (Yeah, I am pretty observant ya’ll). Seeing all of my aunts’ homes, my friends’ homes and the many relatives who loved decorating….I got inspired I suppose. They seem to make FALL so inviting and exciting by the way they did things. Now, every year I pull out the boxes of decorations and go at it like a crazy lady until it’s done …every little decoration in place and the twinkling lights glowing.
Well, all these years later my house still doesn’t look like the homes that served as my inspiration. *Sigh* But, I’m proud to say that I’m no longer content with just being a “plain-Jane” either. Purposely working with the creativity ability that God’s given me I have managed to create my own little version of an Autumn wonderland. I’m sure no one will ever use the phrase “beautifully bedecked” to describe anything in my house, but I can say with confidence that it’s peaceful and enjoyable.
**Do you take the opportunity to celebrate the changing of the seasons by putting out a few decorations? If not, I’ve compiled a few ideas that will hopefully get your creative juices flowin’.
Start small if you have to, but start. Don’t let intimidation hinder you from jumping on the decorating train. It actually took me a few years to get started than I care to admit. I allowed the overwhelming thought of, “Where the heck do I start?!” to paralyze me with inaction. Overcoming that concern and purchasing my first front-porch pumpkin got me going. If I can do it, so can you!
Be creative. Of course, buying stuff at the store is the easiest way to go, but why limit yourself to someone else’s ideas? Think about what you already have at home that you can use. There are so many neat things at the Dollar Store that has helped me over the years in my own creations. I don’t always buy because that can also get pretty expensive. So, I’ve created on my own and have quite a few pieces saved from year to year that I purchased. I LOVE FALL and Decorating for the seasons of the year!
Don’t compare. This one’s a tid bit tough for me at times, especially since (as I’ve mentioned) the majority of my friends and family are beyond gifted in the art of creating beautiful spaces. Seriously, the homes of most of my loved ones could be featured in decorating magazines and I’m all like, “Look at my homemade picture frame thing!” But I can tell you from personal experience that you’ll be much more content if you can embrace your own creativity without comparing. Just be yourself and enjoy being creative and the end result when it’s all completed.
Shop Wisely. There is no shame in hittin’ up the dollar stores and thrift stores. You can get a whole buggy full of stuff for what you’d pay for one pretty door wreath at most stores in the mall. Hold off until the end-of-the-season clearances to shop the major retailers. You’ll score some great finds for next year at literally a fraction of the cost. 75% – 90% off signs are my favorite!
Store carefully for re-use. Store your decorations so you can use them again. If you pack them carefully they’ll look as good as new for years to come. By carefully preserving what you have and adding a few new items each year, you’ll have a look that your family will enjoy without breaking the bank.
Ever Found Yourself Brokenhearted? God is the Healer!
Having a broken heart over the loss of a relationship, a close family member or dear friend leaves you in a pile of grief, many questions unanswered and lots of disappointment. When someone you love, admire and respect is suddenly gone from your life… grieving can easily consume you. Sometimes you are forced to accept what you can’t explain. You may even notice that you replay the events like a jury reviewing the evidence but it’s all “after the fact” and pointless. Maybe you’re waiting for someone to come and rescue you, or maybe you’re feeling resentful because nobody appears to understand your pain. I’ve learned over the years that only the Lord can heal this kind of deep pain. Whether it’s a fractured relationship, a sudden and unexpected death or some gut wrenching experience, God and God alone, is in the business of healing broken hearts. Men are not God. They can’t restore what life has stolen. Their words of sympathy are hollow compared to God’s merciful presence. Maybe you didn’t deserve the treatment you got or the disappointment you have experienced because of someone else. However; has it occurred to you that perhaps the Lord just by-passed all the interns and brought in the head surgeon Himself to heal you? “…He Hath Sent Me To Heal The Brokenhearted…” (Luke 4:18) When you have reached the point of surrendering to Him these painful hurts and disappointments, He is right there to bring His healing to the innermost parts of your heart and life.
David said, ”He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness…” (Ps 23:3) Before God can lead you on, He has to restore you and heal you – so be still and let Him work in you. Until you’ve been restored, you’ll only speak out of the unhealed areas and unresolved issues in your life. In other words, you’ll find yourself speaking “death” and you don’t want to do this. That’s why He’ll beckon you to lie down in green pastures and by still waters, so that you can drink of His presence and be strengthened by His word.
Today, He’s calling you to Himself and saying, “Anytime you’re ready – the healing will begin.”
On Saturday, May 3, 2014 the “IN HIS PRESENCE – BEHIND THE VEIL” ministry to ladies was hosted by Dr. Oya Townsley and her dynamic team of women who helped to make it all happen. It was held at Castlewood Christian Ministries in Lilburn, Ga. Talk about a Move of God among the women last weekend. WOW! Actually, it’s a double WOW!!! The beautiful posting written by Suzanne Mills captures the heart and spirit of what took place. A GREAT BIG heart felt “Thank You” to Dr. Oya and the team. It was a day marked in the Heavenlies!
My Cup Runneth Over!
I have long been on my journey for wanting to draw nearer to the Lord. I, like most of you, get up early in the morning to read and study the Word, to spend time in prayer. There has been a consistency to this but yet I found myself wanting and needing more. I needed a touch. I hungered to be in His presence. I was seeking the Lord for purpose and direction when I saw the Face Book posting regarding “In His Presence” gathering. I felt like this was something that I needed to be a part of, something that my spirit needed. It was on April 15th that I reached out to Sheila and asked if there was any space available. She said “YOU BET THERE IS….,” so I did what she instructed me to do to get my name on the list. I was excited and I made sure to clear my schedule for that Saturday, which included getting my daughter to make arrangements to get to the site where she was to be taking the SAT and to get a ride home. I was going no matter what.
Saturday was exactly what I had hoped it would be. When I walked in the door I was greeted with a beautiful smile and warm hug from a beautiful lady I hadn’t seen in about ten or more years. It felt good to see so many faces that I once shared my life with and to be received and welcomed after all these years of separation. I could sense in the atmosphere the stirring of the Spirit even though many were busy preparing for the gathering. There was an anticipation in the air that was like electricity. Everything was adorned in white and looked beautiful. In the front of the room was a display, if you will, of the veil and the Holy of Holies. It was also beautiful and gave me a visual and a reminder of my place before the throne because of what Christ did at Calvary. A reminder that I can, as the song says, “hasten to His throne,” that no longer was an intermediary needed, I could go straight to my Father, no more sacrifices had to be made for the atonement of my sins. In His Presence I could be and here I was. Praise God!
I sensed that every woman there came for something in particular but that we all were there with a hunger for the Spirit, to abide in His presence, to receive a touch from Him. While we were eating and listening to some music we started singing and worshipping as if to say – forget this natural food we want the Spirit, let’s get on with it! We continued into worship and again I could feel a stirring, a pressing in, a drawing on the Spirit. This is where I wanted to be. Awesome. We moved into more intimate groups to minister to one another. The groupings may have been done randomly but was by no means random. My group was a mix of ages ranging from the 20’s up into 60’s. Ministry flowed from the young to the seasoned and from the seasoned to the young not only in my group, as I looked around the room, in every group. The Bible says “forsake not the gathering of yourselves together” not because you need to go to church to have a relationship with Him but because it is when you come together in like faith that your spirit is refreshed and your faith built up. As women, we have a LOT on our plates all the time. People and things are always pulling at us wearing us down. It is gatherings like this where we can be ministered to and where we can pour out of our spirits so that we can be refreshed. “Iron sharpening iron, deep calling unto deep.”
Moving in the Spirit in Gifts is an awesome thing to experience and this gathering was no different. With the strong hunger and anticipation for the Spirit it was the perfect atmosphere to pull out of Sheila her gift of prophecy. It was heavy on her, I could sense it and see it. Through her flowed words of healing, words of gifts of healing, words of new relationships, words of God’s recognition, words of direction, words of restoration, words of transplantation, words of confirmation. It was awesome to watch her flow. As I sat there watching her and praying for those she was speaking to it was stirring more in me. It is neat how when we give out from ourselves, even when we are in need, that He fills us with more than we give out. Our heavenly Father wants so much to fill us with His spirit not that we should store it up but that as He pours in He wants us to pour out, to be a conduit for His Spirit. I was blessed to have Sheila speak directly to me and she was right on the money. She confirmed some things that she would have only known by the Spirit. God will almost always give the person giving the prophecy some knowledge that they could only know by the Spirit as a confirmation to the one receiving that the person is prophesying by the Spirit. Praise God.
After Sheila flowed in the Spirit we were to go one or two at a time behind the veil and to lay before the mercy seat anything that we needed to, any burden, desires…. I felt so full that I could think of nothing to lay before the throne but to say thank you for His life giving Spirit and to offer my life to Him to be used by Him more fully. What a great way to end the morning then by giving back to Him. I came with great anticipation, I experienced a move of the Spirit, I went before the throne and I left with my cup running over. Praise God!
Hey Ladies ~ I invite you to watch this video of the upcoming ministry gathering of ladies with Dr. Oya Townsley and me. It will be a “Prophetic Gathering” on Saturday, May 3rd at 10:00 AM. It would be my joy to see you there! If you want to attend, please contact me or Dr. Oya Townsley. The contact information is on the video.
This Prophetic Gathering of “Spirit-Filled” Ladies are joining together to receive an impartation of God’s love, healing and personal ministry.
AS A BEAST GOES DOWN INTO THE VALLEY, AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD CAUSES HIM TO REST, SO YOU LEAD YOUR PEOPLE, TO MAKE YOURSELF A GLORIOUS NAME (ISAIAH 63:14)
Do you know what it is to experience and to enjoy the benefits of “real rest”? Most people do not know what “real rest” really is and that it is available to them. To enjoy the benefits of “real rest,” there has to be a way to give one’s problems or needs to someone else to handle. God has made a way for us to give Him our problems and also to lead us to a place of rest. He does this through the work of the Holy Spirit, but only if we allow Him to work His plan in our lives.
It is evident, as you think of your own life and of the many people you know, that God’s people need rest. Most agree on that point; however, many fail to realize that God has provided a rest for them.
Just as God leads the beast down into the valley to rest like scripture tells us in Isaiah 63:14, He desires to lead His people to a place of rest. Your place of rest will no doubt be different from others’ place of rest. When we are ready to yield ourselves to Him and turn our problems and our frustrations over to Him, He is ready to receive them.
Many times during their wilderness wanderings, God provided a place for Israel to rest. However, where and when to rest was always His choice. God knows the best time and place for us to rest.
Two principles of a Spirit-led rest are important for us to remember. First, it is the Holy Spirit who enables us to rest. The leading to that place of rest is a part of His work in our lives. Second, as we receive that rest, it brings honor to God and glorifies His name. God desires for us a proper rest. Only as we yield to the Holy Spirit can we find that place of rest in Him. “Rest is a brilliant way to plug up all the gaps. It fills you, giving you confidence and an inheritance. Rest is a major part of your renewal. When you live in a place of rest, you are so God-conscious that renewal is a constant.” ~ (Graham Cooke)
Always remember that the number of hours or days that we rest is not the issue here. The real need is for us to be led by the Holy Spirit into that place of rest from which God will be glorified.
My prayer today Lord ~ There are many who find themselves tired and weary and in need of rest. May Your Spirit lead them to that place of safety where they will find rest. And above all else, may your name receive the honor and glory. Amen!