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Lessons Learned In The Pruning Season



 

People in the church often have a misguided notion that God always operates in the timing and the way that we think He should.  His Word is quite clear that His ways aren’t our ways (Isaiah 55).  The longer I’ve been pursuing a life in the Kingdom, I realize that God is really into times and seasons.  Often one season may look totally different than another season.  Nature reflects this so well.  Winter and summer may look completely different, but they each serve a purpose.  It’s important to discern those seasons.  The sons of Issachar understood this too (1 Chronicles 12:32). It’s important to trust God in those seasons and be able to recognize that God is faithful no matter what a situation may look like.  We often like to talk about the exciting season.  We all want to hear words about harvest and the manifested promises.  We all love to hear stories of the faithfulness of God.  What about the season that things appear dry and dead?  What about the seasons where you feel pressed so hard you aren’t sure you can see the promises of God on the other side?  What about the times when God isn’t talking like you’re used too?  What happens then?

John 15:2 (NIV) talks about a time of pruning, “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”  A pruning season isn’t a bad thing.  It’s a good thing.  I am not suggesting that God brings situations with your health or wealth, but I’m suggesting a season where it feels like what once was moving and shaking suddenly seems dry.  I’m talking about season where no one seems to know your name or cares.  I am talking about seasons when you cry out to God trying so hard to pick up pieces of vision and destiny that feel scattered on the floor like a half done puzzle.

A few weeks ago I had a dream.  We have this fig tree in our backyard, and if you know anything about fig trees they can be finicky with the seasons to take care of.  They need pruned and extreme temperature will kill them. We have gone through several times we thought it was dead.  But we wouldn’t give up on it.  Eventually the leaves appear and we have even found some fruit on it.  In this dream, I saw this fig tree.  The branches looked dead, but on the ends of them there were leaves in full force.  I believe that dream wasn’t just for me, but for many who have walked through a pruning season recently.  I believe what has appeared to be dead, is far from it.  There have been things that God is doing on the inside, which no one has seen yet.  Like winter is to summer, you cannot have the harvest without the pruning season.  True spiritual maturity is learning to trust God no matter the circumstance.  True spiritual maturity knows that God is faithful.  He would never leave you nor forsake you (Deut 31:6). He doesn’t have favorites (Romans 2:11)

If you find yourself in this season, here are a few helpful tips:

*Press into God and his presence.  It may be easy when you are in a difficult season to avoid God.  Our busy worlds can slowly start putting God last instead of first.  If this is the case, press in! Recently I believe the Holy Spirit gave me the acronym of P. Pray R. Relentlessly E. In Every  S. Small S. Season.  That Press is pressing no matter the season.  That is pressing whither everything is going right or everything seems to be going wrong. I believe if you will take a step toward God, he will take all the more towards you. Philippians 4:6 commands us to be anxious for nothing but in everything pray.  Is your anxiety louder than your prayer?  Which one is occupying your internal dialogue more? 

*I want you to make yourself a list of situations you have walked through in the past that God really showed up on your behalf.  Remember how he delivered you, orchestrated your footsteps, and provided.  In 1 Samuel 17, when David killed Goliath He reminded himself of the things God had used him to do in the past.  He had fought the lion and fought the bear.  He knew Goliath didn’t stand a chance.  God doesn’t change.  It may not always look the same, but God was faithful to you then and He is faithful to you now.

*There have been times in my walk that it has seemed that God’s voice was so distant.  A childhood pastor of mine used to suggest that in those seasons to write a letter to God.  He used to suggest, "To get everything out you want to say to Him".  He used to suggest, "To hold nothing back", but then he would say to, "Write a letter in response that you feel God would say to you in return".  He said to pray and to allow God to respond to you.  He used to always say that we treat God like one would pick up a phone, have a one sided conversation, and then hang up the phone.  Relationships are two sided and not one.  God is very clear in His word that His sheep know his voice (John 10:27).  I am not suggesting it’s always audible, but deep in your spirit flows forth rivers of living water (John 7:38).  One of my favorite scripture is Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you look to the right or to the left, there will be a voice behind you saying ‘Go this way walk in it.”  God’s Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path (Psalm 119:105).

I believe you have a story.  Inside of you, you are walking out a miraculous testimony.  Do not let the first chapter define your end.  Do not quit (Matthew 24:13).  People don’t often want to turn a message about endurance and perseverance into a ‘Hallelujah’ shouting message, but it needs to be.  Press on to the high call of God that God has placed in your life.  Press on no matter the circumstance.  Press on no matter who has told you no.  Press on no matter if your vision can feel blurry.  Write the vision and make it plain so that those can read it may run with it.  (Hab 2:2)  It’s time to take your feet from the sidelines and get back into the race.  For the pruning season is only for a season.  At the end of that season, the fruit abounds.  Trust God!

2021 The year of a singular vision


 


2021 The year of a singular vision

        Every year I tell myself I am not going to write a yearly blog about what I feel God is giving me for the next year, but yet I do.  I try really hard not to attach ‘thus sayeth the Lord’ on anything unless I'm sure it’s God.  I never want to use those words as a slogan or a tag line.  Every year I can see what God gave me and how it really does play out over the course of the year.  Of course it never plays out the way I thought, but always makes sense throughout the year. 

            I felt like God gave me the word for 2020 that it was about “clarity of vision”. As crazy as 2020 has been, I can definitely see that it has come to pass.   Sadly so many things about my own personal life have been made clear.  This political climate has certainly been eye opening.

            Honestly this year I wasn’t getting much until a few weeks ago.  I really like the Word that Hank Kunneman has been declaring that 2021(won) is a declaration that we’d already won that battle.  I totally agree with that, and am excited to see that play out.

            However, as I was praying what I felt was God was giving me that it was year of a singular vision.  Here is the scripture God was giving me. James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. I realize that the scripture is about a mind and the word I have is about vision.  But I personally am standing on the Word like never before.

James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

            Being double-minded or double visioned makes people unstable.  It’s kind of like being a flamingo standing on one foot.  If one would to come over and knock it over it would be easily fall over. If you ride the waves of emotions it will not help you be solid in this time.  If anything we can all agree that the signs of the times are upon us, and we must hold fast to the Word.  I don’t mean that to be a fearful thing, but one of steadfastness.  We must be singularly focused and not one foot in the church and one foot in the world.  That means shut off the news and look to what God is saying.  If anything this has been a year that made the foundation of people’s walk very clear.  I will confess that I’ve had my moments.  But in those moments, I have had to go back to the Word.  What does God say about it? 

            I personally have been taking 10 scriptures a week, ones that God has been putting on my heart and copying them on a legal pad every morning, and then changing them every week. This has been a great tool to stop any tossing and turning of waves. 

            We must hold fast in this time.  We must stay diligent.  Do I believe the second coming is tomorrow?  Maybe, but honestly I don’t think we’re quite there yet.  But whenever that happens we need to be ready.  We need to be singularly focused on what God has for us.  We need to stand because there is a very lost world around us.  I don’t think God is done.  I do think the church is about to experience one of the biggest revival we’ve seen.  God sees us, and His heart has never left us.  He is faithful!


The Politicization of Common Sense and Morality; of course I'm voting for Trump

 


The Politicization of Common Sense and Morality; of course I’m voting for Trump!

            Many years ago I started writing a blog before the Presidential election to give a thought provoking and detailed reasoning as to who I was voting for and why.  When I looked at writing it this year, deep down I wanted to say, “Duh.” If any of you have been reading anything that I write for any length of time, you’ll know where I stand on this election. 

            While it’s always my desire to come across genuinely loving and to see both sides of the situation here, this time I know I will probably offend some.  While that isn’t my goal, the nation we live in is getting more and more divisive and the ‘middle ground’ has quickly disappeared.  I will state my opinion, and I realize not everyone will agree with it.  While I love people, I cannot condone the decline of morality and the destruction of common sense in our nation right now.  Recently I was watching an ‘Answers In Genesis’ lecture given by Avery Foley called “Gender, Sexuality and the Bible”.  It is a fantastic lecture (https://youtu.be/Pm6qWdfrlMU) and one thing she said that totally popped out at me was that when Jesus was on the earth he walked in Grace and Truth.  This is found in John 1:17.  What is so fantastic about that revelation is that she said ‘picture it as a road’.  Grace and truth meet in the middle and there is a balanced approach.  The problem is that many people go to the ‘grace’ ditch and it turns into a ‘sloppy grace’ message and that isn’t Biblical, or they go to the ‘truth’ ditch and it gets so hard core and no love.  That ditch isn’t Biblical either.  When dealing with situations we need to as believers unite with ‘grace and love’ and be in the middle.  We can’t compromise, but we also have to show God’s love.  I thought it was a fantastic way to put a balanced Christian approach in these very polarizing times in America and the World.

            Where do I want to see America 4 years from now, 10 years from now, and beyond? Our nation was founding as a ‘Republic Democracy’. Our founding fathers set it up that way on purpose.  They also said that it would only work if the Bible was kept as the guide for morality and the cornerstone for what we did.  In 1983 Congress declared” The Bible, the Word of God has made a unique contribution in shaping the Unites States as a distinctive and blessed nation and people…Deeply held religious convictions springing from the Holy Scriptures led to the early settlement of our nation…Biblical teachings inspired concepts of civil government that are contained in our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States (Public Law 97-280)”  

The problem is that our Education System has been experiencing a hostile takeover for years and ‘we as a people’ have kept our heads buried in the sand.  Students are not being taught the truth on this matter, and personally I have witnessed this.  Curriculum writers have been writing liberal curriculum and this has become accepted.  School boards use blindfolds when it comes to curriculum and the teachers enforce it. I am not saying that every person in a public school system is bad, but take a long look at what is being taught.  They have been dumbing down America for years. Thus, there is a generation of voters now that think Socialism somehow works.  The rising trend of people who think Socialism is a good idea is astounding to me.  Nowhere in history did it ever work.  Trump wants to keep America the way it was founded.  A Biden/Harris ticket will do everything in its power to continue to rip out the foundation of America.

“The philosophy of the classroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next. ~Abraham Lincoln

            One of my biggest reasons to vote for or against a person is their stance on life.  Trump has done more for the cause of Pro-Life than any President in modern times.  There is big money in abortion.  The truth that babies are being sold for parts is alarming and should concern you.  Trump is defunding this.  How does the Biden/Harris ticket feel about this? They support late-term abortion, to the point that it comes out of a mother’s womb.  There is a Holocaust of babies being murdered in our nation.

            Since we are discussing children, let’s talk about Child Trafficking for a moment.  Unless you’ve had your head in the sand during this whole ‘pandemic’ drama one of the biggest child trafficking travesties has been uncovered.  The #PizzaGate and Epstein flight logs and stories are enough to make you want to be sick. Now the state of California is loosening their laws about all of this.  For a long time this has been seen as a conspiracy theory.  However, I am sad to say it’s not.  Under the Trump administration this is being exposed.  There is a theory to try to link Trump to Epstein, but it’s an attempted smear tactic at best.  Trump admits he knew him and kicked him out of his Florida home.  He wanted nothing to do with him.  The amount of times Biden’s name, Clinton’s, Obama’s names have been brought up in connection to Epstein though is alarming.  Many of you are saying ‘Well that isn’t proven yet’. Perhaps, time will tell as this is being investigated.  However it’s enough to cause serious concern.  It’s enough that one wouldn’t want their future president to be tied to it.

            So let’s talk about the ‘pandemic’ for a moment.  I have said from the beginning of this thing, that it’s been 98% fear mongering and 2% pandemic.  I still stand behind that.  I went to my doctor who told me that the virus is reacting like any other virus.  You build immunity to it and that immunity in a healthy body will create its own tolerance to it.  She told me to go live my life and be healthy.  She told me that the vaccine is being shoved out without clinical trials and it’s all about money. She personally will be refusing it. If Trump hadn’t been President during this time, I don’t want to know where we would be.  He has said many times that the vaccine would not be mandatory, despite many countries considering this. Big Pharma has been at war with people who dare discuss alternative treatments and to the point Facebook and Twitter giants are shutting people down to try.  Trump found out that the vaccine was supposed to contain aborted fetal tissue and he said he’d stop sending money to the World Health Organization. They are redeveloping it without that.  Biden has already declared if he is elected President, masks will stay mandated throughout the country.  You may disagree with me on this, and that is fine.  But it’s clear Trump is trying to protect America and Biden has his own agenda.  You probably haven’t heard of much of this on the news, because the news is propagating that fear.  Fear and sensationalism sells.   

            The movement to defund the police and riot doesn’t make sense.  I personally am all for people to have equal rights, but destroying law and order is not the solution.  I never thought I would live to see the day that this scripture seems to be coming to pass before my eyes.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

            There is also the Supreme Court to consider.  While I cannot say who will be the next to retire or need a replacement, it’s important that Conservative and Bible based judges be put there.  Our Courts have already been very divided, and with all the crazy oversteps of the Constitution that has happened recently it is critical we have Justices that will uphold the Bible and the Constitution.

            There are so many more things I could say here, and I have already said more than I planned.  However really quick I want to also mention the economy.  Trump is a business man.  Our economy had been doing very well under his leadership.  Even in all the crazy of the “pandemic” it was doing good.  If Biden is so good into politics how was the economy doing under his leadership?  Under Obama it wasn’t doing very well.  In fact my husband and I recently spoke with a real estate agent who suggested we wait and see what happens with the election before making ‘long term goals’ on our home value.  Their point? Under one administration our value will stay stable, under the other the home prices will go down and the interest rates will go up.

            The sad thing is that many Christians don’t vote. The numbers vary but millions of them didn’t vote in the last election.  Many Christians spend time getting mad at each other during election years and it causes strife in homes, churches and on social media.  Dear Church, we must take a stand here.  We must link arms and despite whom our favorite candidate may or may be we must vote for righteousness.  Look I get it.  Trump isn’t perfect.  Some days I really wish he’d no longer be allowed to use Twitter, and I know that he has a sordid past. However without a doubt I do believe that God has used him in this great time of need in our nation. He has been a friend to Israel.  Without a doubt I voted for him in the last election and I will vote for him in this one.  Dear people please vote in this election and if at all possible do it in person.  I have believed voter fraud has been an issue for years, and I have no doubt it still is.

            Whether you agree with me, or want to fight me it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is no matter who you are, you have to realize that our nation needs help right now.  Our nation is so divided and sadly is trampling upon the Constitution and the Bible as if it were a doormat.  We must take a stand.  We must pray for the nation.  We must not waver in our beliefs.  We must remember that the Bible needs to be the cornerstone.  We cannot merely stand back and keep our heads in the sand.  Ask yourselves, who do you think our founding fathers would have voted for?  What do you think they would say about how America is right now?

 

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Something About Me and My Book:
I'm a wife, mother, writer, guest minister, and super fab child of God.

I was born and raised in the heart of Ohio. I received a BA from The Ohio State University. My husband and I with our two children now call central Florida home. I am the author of many works including: 15 books, four screenplays, two children's book series, and a woman's devotional among other short stories and poems. I am in the devotional Heavenly Humor for a Cat Lover's Soul, published by Barbour Publishing. I have been in an anthology from Adam's Media, My Dad My Hero. I have been quoted in Christian Women Today, Everyone Has A Story, abcnews.go.com, aarp.org, aoljobs.com, and parentingpink.com. I am the co-founder of Doveagle Ministries. I am set to release my first full length book with Destiny Image Publishers. "Cursing the Church or Helping it? Exposing The spirit of Balaam".


Cursing the Church or Helping it? Exposing the spirit of Balaam is published by Destiny Image Publishers. It serves as a wake up call to the church today. Balaam was a prophet in the Bible who was hired to curse the children of Israel. When he realized he couldn’t curse them he taught Balak, the wicked king how to make sure the children of Israel could bring a curse on themselves. However the Bible isn’t silent about Balaam. God mentions throughout the Bible that He’s upset at Balaam because he saw the Israelites in the wilderness and would rather curse them then help them. In the book of Revelations there is actually a scripture that the spirit of Balaam is equated with being under the throne of the devil. Today the church has acted like Balaam for too long. We set back and see our brothers and sisters in the Lord struggle and we’d rather back bite, gossip and slander than we’d rather help them. People are leaving churches at an alarming rate. We in the church are too busy caught up in our own lives and we’ve lost our compassion. It’s time we drive out the spirit of Balaam from our homes, our churches and our lives. May this book serve as a wake up call to the church, open the eyes where we’ve fallen short, and change our attitudes before it’s too late.
This book is endorsed by Pastors Hank and Brenda Kunneman.

God is faithful!!!
Website:
http://www.annamaquino.com

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At 11:11pm on June 16, 2011, Author Aleja Bennett said…
Nice to meet you here in the world of book marketing. I'm Aleja Bennett Author of Ten paper backs and eight available on the kindle. Here is my fan page, stay in touch when you can. I know we both may have hectic schedules at times but I will always follow you back. Below is my fan page hope you like it and thanks again for your support it's appreciated very much. http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAlejaBennett Enjoy the book video
At 6:36pm on March 25, 2011, Sheila L. Jackson said…
Thanks Anna for the friendshp. Love your photos
At 6:30am on March 22, 2011, Laura Vosika gave Anna M. Aquino a gift
At 3:20pm on March 21, 2011, Bill gave Anna M. Aquino a gift
At 3:10pm on March 21, 2011, Gene Cartwright said…

Anna, thanks for your friend request. I wish you great success.

Gene

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At 3:06pm on March 21, 2011, Bill said…
At 3:06pm on March 21, 2011, Bill said…

~ * ~WELCOME ~ * ~
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There is a pool of Love . . .
that holds all things that are in existence . . .
this pool’s waters are so pure . . .
it washes away illusions . . .
of time and space . . .
. . . with this being said,
what is there to know ? . . .
for even knowledge bows ! . . .
. . . to honor love. . .

~ wsp ~

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~ inner child enterprises ~

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© 2008 : William S. Peters, Sr.
At 1:58pm on March 21, 2011, Donald James Parker said…

Thanks for the friend invitation. I'd be honored if you'd check out my work at http://donaldjamesparker.com

  Good luck with your new book!!

        Don

 
 
 

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