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His weathered hands, watery blue eyes and salmon-colored lips poured out stories; then a pause came in the outpour, like a thermos pouring coffee, interrupted.

His look pierced me across the table and he said, "You have the gift of encouragement."

After initial surprised silence, I tumbled out messily, "Ah, yes... I believe I do... How did you know?"

I had just met this precious elderly couple about 15 minutes ago and had only gotten in a few sentences. (Yes, I had injured my foot. Yes, I was familiar with and loved staying at the Wilderness Prayer Cabins where his son managed…)

My question was just out of my mouth when he replied, smiling confidently. "Holy Spirit told me. Praise the Lord. Thank you Jesus. He is good."

Then he went back to his story as if nothing of significance had happened. One of many stories in his treasure trove reflecting an adventurous, well-lived life and of his savior, Jesus.

It reminded me of the time a young lady I had just met in church told me God had given her a picture of me walking in fields with dogs worshiping God and that God wanted me to know that really blessed him when I do that. Had she been stalking me? But truly, what an encouragement to hear.

Or the time I was walking in a dark gymnasium listening to a Christian band and a stranger gently touched my arm and said Holy Spirit told her I was carrying a heavy burden and wanted to pray for me.

You see, friend, the gift of Holy Spirit speaking to us today and prophesy is real. The gift of speaking in tongues is real. The gift of healing is real. All the gifts talked about in the Bible are real and matter. Even the ones that don't fit well into square boxes. 

Dear friend, if you have eyes to see, you can clearly see that dark spiritual forces are kicking it up a notch in our world today. The devil's love of violence, murder, chaos, evil and deceptions are consuming fires. Truth has been kicked upside down, inside out. My guess is that he understands his time left to rule this earth is growing short, and he wants to bring as many down to destruction with him as he can. And he wants Christians to believe we have less than we really do, be less than we were created to be.

To fully engage against the enemy's attacks and take ground for the kingdom, we need to use every gift our precious Father, Savior and Holy Spirit has so graciously given us. We need to listen well to Holy Spirit in us. And most importantly, we need to walk as believers in unity and love. (Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Corinthians 13:1-10)

God placed us here during this specific time to make a difference; he wants to use us to bring about his holy and great purposes. He wants his love to shine through us to show people his love toward them. 

It is well past time for us to open our spiritual gifts, love God and others well, and engage.

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire the gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy…the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:1, 3

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12

And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur. Revelation 20:10a

We have been commissioned to pull heaven down to earth, until the will of God is done here exactly as it is there. (Matthew 6:9-10) Kris Vallotton

For further reading and understanding on gifts, Holy Spirit and loving others: Holy Bible; Do Greater Things by Robby Dawkins; The Spirit Contemporary Life by Leon Fontaine; Heavy Rain by Kris Vallotton; Translating God by Shawn Bolz; ask God/pray (Psalm 25:5). 

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We Heart Matters Publishing gals care about women. Their joys. Their struggles. Their everyday, ordinary lives. We write from those very same places hoping to uplift, challenge and encourage your soul and deepen your faith.

The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie


    I’m turning 62 this year. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn


    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Emilie


    I am currently finishing my degree in relational communications and plan to graduate in the spring of 2020!! I am thankful I have had time to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally


    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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