About Bette Cox

Born, raised, educated, employed, married and widowed, all in Florence, SC, USA. Mother of two, grandmother of two, great-grandmother of four. Also "owned" by four rescued kitties, who all love me! Reader / writer / blogger. Follower of Jesus, which is by far the most important. Intercessor. Life-long Learner, too.

Acceleration, happening now

18 October 2021

Last night the Lord quickly answered my prayer question, “What’s happening now, Lord?”

Acceleration, He said. More and more things are happening fast, and faster, and faster. Some are visible, some invisible.

Some people – believers and unbelievers – have been blase up to now, simply shaking off news of behaviors and actions of ungodly people. Now they have begun to feel uncomfortable. They wonder if perhaps they should pay closer attention to current events. Their discomfort is growing more intense by the day. Soon their discomfort will have to be addressed.

Some ungodly ones who thought their way of doing things would benefit them and their friends are noticing unplanned results instead. Their ideas have brought results they didn’t anticipate and don’t like. Things are worse for them today than yesterday and will be worse tomorrow than today. They’re wondering what to do, but none of their ideas will be better than their past ones. Indeed, they will be worse. Some will be much worse.

Yet things are better today for many who now have life. Yesterday they had death; they were working for the wages sin brings, and that is death. Yesterday they came to a decision, decided right, and today they have life. Today many others will come to that same decision, will decide right and also have life. Their numbers are increasing exponentially.

The acceleration is working both ways. Watch for it. Pray about it.

In, it’s such a little word

Esther's Petition

What was the plan, exactly?

Let’s talk about words some more. Words are describers:

Short, tall. Long, short.
Strong, weak. Simple, complicated.
Ideas, plans… Plans?

Remember this for later: “No word of God is void of power.” (Luke 1:37)

I was meditating on that verse one evening. It’s the angel Gabriel’s answer to Mary that day. He had told her something amazing, something wonderful, something absolutely dumbfounding. And she had asked him, How?

I gave that a bit more thought, then asked – “NO word, Lord? No word of God is void of power?”

“Have you considered the word in?” He replied. “As in, In the beginning?”

“Hmmm. I know several verses begin that way. Genesis 1:1; John 1:1.” I could almost feel him nod his head and wait, as I continued to think.

I had to admit that I’d never really considered that little word, in

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Unbelief can kill you

Esther's Petition

Hindrances to successful prayer

Living here and now, believers in Christ have God the Holy Spirit living inside of them, interested in their daily activities, their thoughts and wishes. Instructing, explaining, giving out assignments and directions, including what to pray.

If we are inhabited by God himself, and if we are praying what God desires for us to pray, then what might hinder us from getting those prayers answered?

Unbelief, which can come from (1) a willful refusal to believe, or (2) ignorance of who God is, his character, his love, his grace, and his will. The result is the same, a lack of active, energized faith. Faith and belief are from the same Greek word, pistis.

  • Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5-6 – Jesus could do no mighty works in Nazareth because of unbelief.
  • Matthew 9:25, Mark 5:40 – Jesus put unbelievers out of the room (case of the ruler’s…

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Unlimited potential, unlimited capacity

Seeds, continued… (again)

Esther's Petition

CornKernelsCornEars CornStalksWithEars

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21 NIV)

“In me… in you… in us…” Really? In – from the Greek preposition “en,” meaning inside the interior of something. Not a complicated, mysterious word at all. This was Jesus’ prayer, just before being killed.

I’m a life-long fan of murder mysteries. Hercule Poirot. Sherlock Holmes. Nero Wolfe. When trying to figure out “who dunnit,” the wiley detective always asks, Who benefits?

Thinking back to the events leading up to Easter, the cruelty, the overwhelming horror and anger and grief of the helpless disciples as their leader was assassinated, an…

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What’s so special about mustard seed?

Seeds, more… again…

Esther's Petition

BirdInMustardTree“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matt. 13:31-32 KJV)

“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” (Luke 17:6)

Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. He also said, if you had faith as a grain of mustard seed you could do miracles.

Why did he use mustard seed to compare those things?

Mustard…

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Seeds

Seeds, more…

Esther's Petition

Reading through Luke Chapter 8, I came to the parable of the sower and the seeds. Curious, I researched “seeds” online and found some new-to-me information.

A seed contains a live plant embryo — a new baby plant, female and male plant cells having combined in the parent plant. The scientific description of this process is fascinating, to say the least.

In order for the baby plant to grow and break free of its container it needs light, water and oxygen, and soil in which to find those things. In Genesis chapter 1, God created the earth (soil), light, water and sky (oxygen) first, and separated the seas from dry land.

In 1:11, “Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so.”

The soil came complete with the…

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Don’t eat the seed corn

Seeds, continued…

Esther's Petition

seed-cornSeed corn: don’t eat it, plant it.

Back when most people grew their own food, that didn’t have to be explained.

When I was a little girl spending my summers on my grandparents’ farm, I learned that you didn’t eat the seed corn. I helped my grandmother pick over a big basket of seed corn that was being put aside for the next year, cleaning the trash and dead bugs out of it.

A seed has life built in, no matter whether it’s corn, or butterbeans, or sunflowers. It doesn’t have to wonder what to do, it “knows” to grow. The faith for growing is entertwined in the life…

But there is something else about seeds. They need stuff. Like soil, food, water, fertilizer, and protection from pests. Today, vegetable and flower seeds are sold in stores with a coating of plant food and/or bug killer surrounding them, so you…

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So, how do we take advantage? (of the nature of seeds…)

Seeds, continued…

Esther's Petition

Prepared fieldPrepare the field. Remove the stones, the briars and weeds, plow up the soil and fertilize. Then sow the seeds. Follow-up with proper cultivation. Okay, that’s how a farmer does it. But how does the word-sower do it? Let’s look at how Jesus did it.

Pray first, find out where Father wants you to go and what he wants you to do.

Love people and help them. Turn water into wine. Feed hungry people. Heal sick people. Return a dead son to his mother. Return a healed sick boy to his father. Drive demons out when necessary. Whatever shows the Father’s mercy, compassion and practical help, do that. Then, when you speak they will listen.

Teach in easy to understand ways. Use understandable examples. Use the weather. Carpentry. Farming. Housework. Business. Warfare. Scripture, where the people are familiar with scripture. Be practical, useful, helpful. Build up, not tear down. Encourage…

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Seeds grow… it’s their nature

Thinking about seeds this morning… life is in the seed… this is the first in a series of older posts about seeds.

Esther's Petition

DaAndMuleIt’s the nature of seeds to grow (see Mark 4:27-28).

The farmer doesn’t really know how, but if he sows seed in the ground, the dirt makes the seed sprout and grow. Then the farmer takes advantage of that process and harvests the crop. That somewhat explains the earlier verses in Mark chapter 4.

Picture the planting season: The farmer takes a sack of seeds down to the field. Some seeds fall out along the roadway, not the designated place at all – hard, packed down dirt. Still, those seeds sprout!

Further along, the edges of the field are lined with stones, probably gathered out of the field to prepare it for planting. Some stray seeds fall into the stones, and they too sprout.

A bit further along, the farmer crosses the perimeter of the field where the thorns and weeds still exist. Here too, some seeds drop out and…

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Guess Who Wins?

20 September 2021

Praying before going to sleep, I asked Father God, “What’s going on in the world now, Lord?” His answer was fairly long.

Two types of supernatural warfare are going on, he said. The enemy is stepping up his attempts to destroy God’s most precious creation, mankind.

As a multitude of images rolled through my inner vision, the Holy Spirit repeated at intervals, “Guess who wins?”

So what should we be doing about all this, I asked him? Jesus is your model, your example, he said. Ask Him what he wants prayed, pray that. Use your delegated authority: Ask Him what he wants commanded, declared and decreed; command, declare and decree that. If you aren’t sure, pray the Word until you are sure. Stay alert. Listen for His voice. Pray, command / decree / declare, praise, worship, and thank Him. Repeat.

The conversation continued… One type of spiritual attack negatively, insidiously affects the spirits / minds / emotions / beliefs / attitudes / characters / will of human beings around the globe, leading to destructive behavior.

The weapon? Words. Suggestions, accusations, lies purporting to be facts. Words spoken by others, in person or in the media — or whispered in your ear by evil spirits, disguised as your own thoughts.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)

The result? Exaggerated negative effects on the personality. Some negative characteristics are present simply by being born with a sin nature, into a sinful world. But they are becoming increasingly noticeable these days.

  • hunger for power is mankind’s initial and probably greatest temptation since the Garden of Eden. This is how Satan tempted Adam and Eve, how he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. You can be like God! he said. You can have it all! (see Genesis 3:5, Luke 4:7)
  • greed, double-dealing, deception, deceit
  • false beliefs, false worship, self-delusion
  • pride, arrogance, “holier-than-thou”
  • selfishness, self-centeredness
  • impatience, short-temper, tantrums
  • resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness
  • anger, rage, revenge
  • distractedness, doubt, misgivings, mistrust
  • fear, anxiety, worry, paranoia
  • depression, hopelessness, despair

Even without being supernaturally escalated, those can and do result in distrust and disunity, the breakup of families, friendships, communities, businesses small and large, governmental bodies from school boards to legislatures. Disagreements escalate to arguments, fights, plans, plots, conspiracies, power-grabbing and power-protecting behavior.

Some lead to murder. Others result in suicide.

Occurring with greater frequency and intensity in every sphere of human activity are supernatural attacks on the economy, social media, government, justice system, politics, judiciary, religion, the military, law enforcement, primary and secondary education, publishing, entertainment, communication, medicine, research, manufacturing, agribusiness, construction, small businesses, and many large corporations, including big oil. A special target seems to be families.

Conflicts have been springing up between nations, prejudices between ethnic groups, cultures, ages, and genders at an increasing frequency in recent months and years.

Even in Christian circles this type of spiritual warfare is escalating.

Churches can be split because the true – demonic – source of internal conflict goes unidentified and unaddressed. Non-profit organizations. Charities. Missionary groups. Ministries. Entire denominations.

The other type of supernatural attack disastrously affects our habitat.

Our natural world of mountains, oceans, flat-lands, skies, space, and everywhere in between is under attack also, causing the loss of human life on a small or massive scale. “Accidental” breakdowns of national and international power grids, plus satellite communication systems could be included here.

  • earthquakes, earth cracks / fissures, massive mud slides, sink holes
  • hurricanes, tornadoes, sand storms, straight line storms
  • ocean warming, volcano eruptions, floods, tsunamis
  • wildfires, crop failures including timber land, poverty, famine
  • infrastructure collapses of dams, high rise buildings, highways, bridges
  • supernatural weather, rain, hail, ice, extreme cold or extreme heat
  • disease, natural or man-made, pestilence
  • solar storms causing space-based communication and navigation disturbances

There are so many areas of supernatural conflict on and around planet earth! You can probably think of some not included in these lists.

But God’s army, his supernatural angelic warriors have joined this global battle against the enemy’s forces. Great turmoil in the spirit world is being felt by many believers these days; we are being called to prayer, continual, consistent, persevering prayer. Intercession.

As a multitude of images rolled through my inner vision during this long conversation, the Holy Spirit repeated to me at intervals,

“Guess who wins?”

Collateral damage is a problem in any war and this one is no different. Many “innocent people” are caught up in this global conflict; many will die. If they have not committed their lives to Christ, they will be lost forever. Some may be our own friends and relatives.

So, what should we do, what can we do about all this?

Intercessors are co-laborers with Christ. Jesus is the primary prayer warrior. He plainly said that he only did and said what his Father did and said. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he made good use of all the spiritual gifts. (Discerning of spirits is an excellent one for us to covet!)

He was constantly watchful, alert, on guard, and listening for Father’s voice. So must we be. He is our model, our example, our leader, manager, guide, instructor, all of that.

Ask Him what he wants prayed; pray that.

Use your delegated authority. Ask Him what he wants commanded, declared and decreed; command, declare and decree that.

If you aren’t sure, pray in the Spirit. Pray the Word until you are sure. God’s word, his promises, his declarations are your own weapons of defense and offense. Read, study, meditate, memorize scripture.

Above all, stay alert. Listen for God’s voice. Pray, command / decree / declare, praise, worship, and thank Him. Repeat.