Like a child

11/25/2018 Visalia First: Like A Child: My God Is With Me
By: Iann Schonken Pastor | Spiritual Development

Pray, about all things…

Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not treat prophecies with contempt reject every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.

1 Thessalonians 5:12‭-‬18‭, ‬20‭, ‬22‭-‬24 NIV

God is moving….I can feel Him.

Last week, I was in Phoenix for my residency. I was sad and frustrated on Tuesday. That evening, I prayed a simple prayer that I would have eyes to see what God wants me to see. Sure enough, the next day, He flooded my heart with a loneliness the other person was experiencing.

Today. I spent quite a bit of time on chapter 3. The example was, what I thought, anyway, spot on! I left at 1230, to check on Roxi. I then left for Akers. When I went to upload my deliverble, I couldn’t find it anywhere! Mom and Dan came for dinner, after wars, I went to the office to see if I could find it. I couldn’t. I came home and uploaded my assignment, without the last 6 hours of work. On the way home, I prayed that God would show me where it was. After I uploaded the older version, I found it! I was able to email it to Dr. Maul. Now, I sit here, amazed at how God answers prayers. I need to get serious about paying…

  • Miranda and Deven….
  • Craig… especially our relationship….
  • Steve….peace and Joy
  • Our meeting tomorrow.
  • That I wont be exhausted. Joy in all circumstances

Thank you Jesus, for the victories, regardless of the size.

Fight the good fight

I have never really stopped to consider “fight the good fight”. If we are told to fight the good fight, To fight means to

to put forth a determined effort

  • They were fighting to stay awake.

We need to put forth a determined effort to keep our faith. The bible app has a great 14 day free devotional by Christine Cain, from her book unexpected:

When I learned I had a cancerous tumor on my thyroid in 2015, it was so unexpected. But as I walked through that experience, I realized that if we stop and think about it, every day is filled with the unexpected. We make our “to-do” lists. We set out thinking our day will go according to plan. But it doesn’t, because interruptions that we never saw coming invade our lives and usher in the unexpected.

But as surprising as the unexpected is to us, we need to remember that our unexpected is never unexpected to God. God knew that day would come in my life, and he was already in that day waiting for me. Fear tried to grip me like it naturally does when we receive any bad news, but I knew I couldn’t let it overwhelm me.

I knew I had to stop my mind from going too far—thinking about Nick and our girls and the unknown future, if I would live or die, if it was curable or not. I knew enough to recognize the runaway train of thought in my head could speed quickly down a dangerous track and derail me into a dark place. I knew that I needed to be in faith. Like many situations I’d been through before, I knew there was a choice that was mine to make: Would I walk in fear or faith?

It was faith that had always propelled me forward through my circumstances in the past, so I chose faith. That didn’t mean, however, that the fear went away. It still tempted me, but I knew that being tempted with fear wasn’t the same as giving into it—and not giving into it was the only way I could overcome its grip.

I began walking in faith by encamping myself in what I call a “faith cocoon.” It’s when I proactively decide to stay diligent in the word, listen to worship music continuously, and only allow faith-filled voices to speak into my life about a particular situation. I knew to speak only faith. I had learned that we either feed fear or we feed faith, and that I had the power to choose which one I would feed—so I fed my faith. I ran to God and not away from God. I fought the good fight of faith.

You can dig deeper into this message of supernatural peace and complete trust in God even when life takes an unexpected turn through Christine’s newest book, Unexpected. Learn more about it here.

Adapted from Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind, Move Forward in Faith, Embrace the Adventure by Christine Caine. Copyright © 2018 by Christine Caine. Reprinted with permission of Zondervan Publishing. All rights reserved

Two things that struck me here…

1. nothing is unexpected to God.

2. I need to fight to keep faith, instead of allowing my thoughts to spiral out of control… (as I so often do).

Lord, I know on my own I can not win the battle to live in (or love in) faith. I need to be continually filled with your spirit. Thank you for always speaking to me through your word. Continue to answer my prayers…. showing my husband love, in a way that HE knows for sure that I love him. It is Interesting, as I do, how he responds, but what is even more interesting, is how even now, I can feel insecure in his love for me. I desire to fight for the good faith, that doesn’t allow my mind to spiral down to murkiness.

Same story

Funny, some days, it seems that you keep seeing the same story. This is when you know that God is speaking to you.

The next step is to understand what HE wants you to do with it.

On a personal level, it is kind of simple. I say kind of, because it is evident, but doing it isn’t always easy. Controlling your thoughts, moods, and tongue, is a difficult task.

On a professional level, it is even harder. People are sometimes a bit more reserved in what they say around me. But even adults, are unkind to each other, dwell and the negative, form cliques, and are just mean.

We can invoke blessings in the land we live. I am claiming Valley Life, my house, and my family, as the land God has given me and am going to claim blessings, and victory by God. That He will also hide the previous problems from our hearts….

I know this won’t be easy, strongholds need to be broken. Previous issues need to be dealt with. I will need strength, and can only do this if God goes before us.

began taking “thank you” walks to practice gratitude, enjoy the outdoors, and feel grateful instead of stressed. This was a life-changing practice that not only energized me physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but also provided time for many profound insights and ideas to come to me.

(Gordon, J)

Vfa grow and know God

Visalia First
January 6, 2018
01/07/2018 Visalia First: Grow: Know God
By: Mike D. Robertson
Lead Pastors | Mike & Karen Robertson

2 Kings 6:13-23 NIV
13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my Lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord , so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord , “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked. 19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria. 20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “ Lord , open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria. 21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?” 22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.
your trouble is your training
Don’t be afraid

sometimes When you follow Jesus and end up on a hitlist.


Seven Inhibitors in Knowing God

1. An UNDERDEVELOPED spiritual eye.
Don’t just serve, without hearing the voice of God.
Don’t Be afraid. it is the Evil out there that causes us to fear.
Open our eyes lord, to see what you are doing.
your trouble is your training Don’t be afraid.

Seven Inhibitors in Knowing God

2. An OVER DEPENDENCE on the five senses.
5 Senses connect us to the natural world.
Need to tap into the spiritual world. Faith in Jesus.
Walk in the spirit


Seven Inhibitors in Knowing God

3. An INEXPERIENCED spiritual ear.

Revelation 2:29 NIV
29 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
spiritual ear. Is there something I needto hear?
He moved the mountains, I know He’ll do it again

Seven Inhibitors in Knowing God

4. Being UNTAUGHT in the Word of God.
Power of discernment trained by practice

Trained themselves to discern God’s word.


Hebrews 5:11-14 ESV
11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Seven Inhibitors in Knowing God

5. An UNPROGRESSIVE prayer life.
See Elijah Prayer. Open their eyes. close their eyes.
open the eyes of our hearts.

miranda. Deven, joel Sarah Alex alan staci Melissa Barbara Brandi David


1 Timothy 4:8 NLT
8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.”

Seven Inhibitors in Knowing God

6. A pre-occupation with REVENGE.
Why would you Kill what you have already conquered.
Don’t let people get into your Spirit
Don’t kill them, Feed them
Syria never came back to fight them.
God loves peoplesnshould we


Seven Inhibitors in Knowing God

7. An UNEXERCISED spiritual gift.
lord, what is our gift?
Throw your gift at your need.
if you need faith – throw yourself into faith.


People that make me uncomfortable

On my way home from dropping Miranda off (after a great 2 days of wine tasting), my heart was heavy. I am guessing I miss the purpose of a heavy heart more often than not. As I prayed for my kids, the Lord put another person on my heart.

This devotional reminds me again to pray for those that make me uncomfortable me. Funny, as I write this, two more people cone to mind, but for different reasons. (Thank you Good for speaking to my heart).