Sunday, January 10, 2016

Ponder On That!

Like many at the beginning of a New Year, my home church is kicking off a season of new resolve.  We have been encouraged to set aside a time each day to pray not only for the goals set forth in our church, but individually as well.

As I sat down to pray, I couldn’t help but feel like I had done this so many times before.  I was discouraged as I remembered past resolutions being overtaken by the pressing event of the day until they were completely forgotten.  Nonetheless, I settled in with pen and paper eager to hear from my Father. I was reminded of our last time together on Christmas Eve when after having poured out my heart in prayer, I rested in His presence waiting for a response.  He simply said, I Love You.  Ponder on that!

Today, He expanded on that point, “Remember last time when I told you I love you?  This needs to be at the forefront of your mind not a list of Do’s and Don’ts.  This will change your focus throughout the day.  How many times do you mindlessly go off and do things without thinking about Me?  Am I going too…not just will I approve, but am I there in your midst? I love you. That’s the point of this life Bonnie, My love toward you and it extended through you to others.  If you must have a life goal, let it be love.  If you must accomplish something each day, let it be love.  Love in all its forms; giving, receiving, helps, hope, encouragement, significance, seeking, soul searching…all in love and nothing but love so help me God. (Yes, He really said that)  Life is supposed to be FULL not filled.  Look it up!”
So, I did.

Webster’s definition of FULL is as follows (parenthesis, mine):

Containing as much (love) or as many (instances) as is possible.
Complete (love) especially in detail, number or duration.
Lacking restraint, check (questioning) or qualification (worthiness).
Having distinguishing characteristics (of a child completely loved by God), enjoying all authorized rights and privileges.
Not lacking in any essential, perfect (love).
Being at the highest or greatest degree, full speed, full strength.
Being at the height of development (all in love).

Look, I know life is not all rainbows and unicorns, but if I gave in love and received in love, if I extended help, hope and encouragement through love, if while soul-searching I found significance in His love. Wouldn’t this obliterate most of the items on my To Do list?

So, this is my new resolve, to accept the fullness of God’s love toward me and let Him love others through me.  Ponder on that!  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Prosperity Test

The Prosperity Test
December 10, 2013

Who are you going to honor with your finances?

It depends on who receives the first portion that leaves your checkbook.

The following is the scriptural precedent for receiving a double or confirmation.

“Now as for the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh twice, it means that the matter is determined by God, and God will quickly bring it about.” 
Gen 41:32 NAS
The Dream.
33 “Now therefore, let Pharaoh select a discerning and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt in the seven plentiful years. 35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities. 36 Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
Genesis 41:33-36 NKJV
Tithing affects every area of your life. 

 “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts;
 Malachi 3:8-11 NKJV

Don’t give your tithe to a Christian University, A TV evangelist or a Christian Organization; bring the whole tithe into the church (storehouse). 
Because you’re not tithing YOU ARE under a curse.  God is not cursing you.  You’re cursed because we live in a cursed world.  A fallen cursed world and what God wants to do is bring your finances out from under that curse.  You have to give the first 1/10 of your finances because that’s how you redeem the other 9/10.  The Lord says if you do this He will open the windows of heaven and bless you AND HE will rebuke the devourer.
There are two common testimonies:
Tither – “We are so blessed.”
Non-Tither – “I can’t afford to tithe.”
You will never be able to afford to tithe until you tithe because you’re under a curse.  Every time you start to get ahead something else goes wrong.  The devourer is devouring your finances. 
13 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.”
Exodus 13:1-2 NKJV
12 that you shall set apart to the Lord all that open the womb, that is, every firstborn that comes from an animal which you have; the males shall be the Lord’s. 13 But every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck. And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.
Exodus 13:12-13 NKJV

The verse says “if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck.”  He is saying you are going to lose it anyway.  The tithe is going out of your account whether you give it or the devourer takes it.  Why don’t we give the tithe to God and the other 90% is blessed.  90% blessed by God is going to go a lot further than 100% not blessed.


26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have one-fifth, except for the land of the priests only, which did not become Pharaoh’s.
Genesis 47:26 NKJV
This was not an Egyptian practice this was a God principal.

1.  The Firstborn Must Be Sacrificed or Redeemed.

How do you know whether you sacrifice it or redeem it?  If it is a clean animal it had to be sacrificed (like a lamb).  It is unclean it had to be redeemed by the sacrifice of the clean animal.

Everything in the Bible points to Jesus.
            Where you born clean or unclean?   - Unclean (we were born in sin)
            Was Jesus born clean or unclean?    - Clean
The Firstborn clean (Jesus) had to be sacrificed so the unclean (you and I) could be redeemed.

Jesus is God’s Tithe.

God gave Jesus first, while we were yet sinners….

2.  The Firstfruits Must Be Offered.
19 The first of the firstfruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.
Exodus 23:19 NKJV
The scripture says bring because you can’t give what doesn’t belong to you.  Bring it to the house of the Lord.
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.
Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV
And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
Genesis 4:3-5 NKJV
Why did God accept Abel’s offering and not Cain’s?  Firstborn belongs to God.  Firstfruits belong to God.  The scripture says, “in the process of time”, meaning when he got around to it, Cain brought “an” offering.  Not the first.  God doesn’t receive second.  He is never in second place.  He is always first. When you give Him an offering that is not first it is not accepted.  In His nature He cannot accept it. 

3.  The Tithe Must Be First.
30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.
Leviticus 27:30 NKJV
Don’t touch what is Holy.  Don’t leave it in your account.  Bring it to the house of God.
The tithe is the first 1/10 that LEAVES YOUR HAND. The first one is the redemptive portion.  It can redeem the other 9/10.  This is a heart issue not a legalistic issue. When you put God first everything else falls in line. 

14 So it shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ that you shall say to him, ‘By strength of hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.’
Exodus 13:14-15 NKJV

I was in bondage, but God…with a Mighty hand delivered me. Therefore I gladly bring to God the first of all my income.  Everything I have I know it came from His hand.  It’s a privilege to give Him the firstfruits. 

Please visit and watch The Prosperity Test.

The Power Test

The Power Test
December 3, 2013

Definition of Power – The ability to do something or act in a particular way as a faculty or quality. The capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.  - Webster’s

1.  From where does power come?

In John 19:10-11 we see that power was given.
Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.”   John 19: 10-11 NKJV
The word power in this New Testament passage is Strong’s 1849 exousia (in the sense of ability) jurisdiction strength of judicial decision – Jn 19:10
In Psalm 62:11 we see Power as an attribute (an inherent part) of God.
God has spoken once,
Twice I have heard this:
That power belongs to God. Psalm 62:11 NKJV
The word power in this Old Testament passage is Strong’s 5797 oz, oze; or (fully) Power is one of God’s attributes.

The desire for power comes from God.  Why, to help people.  It is only Satan that distorts it.

2.  To whom does power come?

The humble.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4:10
Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 1Peter 5:5-6

3.  Why does power come?

So that He may establish is covenant.

how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Acts 10:38

Summation:  All power is inherently God’s.  He gifts power (to steward) to further His kingdom.  I interject steward because as we have learned we will be tested by how we steward any gift of God.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Prophetic Test

The Prophetic Test – Study Notes
November 26, 2013

Definition of Prophecy - Any utterance, whether including a prediction or not, of one who has received his message from God.  NAS

Prophetic words can be either conditional or unconditional

He sent a man before them—
Joseph—who was sold as a slave. 
They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the Lord tested him.
Psalm 105:17-19 NKJV

I have included the New Living Translation because the last sentence is so clear.

Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them Joseph, who was sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with fetters
and placed his neck in an iron collar. Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.
Psalm 105:17-19 NLT
his word – dabar – what is said, the actual word itself
The word – imrah – commandment, the literal word of God, torah

God tests Faith with Prophetic words
God tests Character with the Literal Word of God

1.  I Submit My Word to His Word

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
1 Corinthians 13:9 NKJV

Prophetic words are like a piece of a puzzle. 

2.  I Test My Word

All prophetic words should be tested.  Though the word may be pure it is being delivered through an earthen vessel.  So test it against the pure word of God.

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:18-21 NKJV

3.  I hold on to My Word

Until your word comes to pass, cling to your faith in Christ and keep your conscience clear. Pastor Morris states the way to a clear conscience is through upright actions.

Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.
1 Timothy 1:18-20 NLT

Again, I have included another version for clarification.

I’m passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in. There are some, you know, who by relaxing their grip and thinking anything goes have made a thorough mess of their faith. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two of them. I let them wander off to Satan to be taught a lesson or two about not blaspheming.
1 Timothy 1:18-20 The Message

Definition of Blaspheme – (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance #987 Blasphemeo)
To vilify, to speak impiously (not pious:  lacking in reverence or proper respect (as for God or one's parents), speak evil of, rail on, defame, revile. 

This word means to use speech to bring down another’s value, honor; due-respect; to injure another’s reputation in the eyes of others.  Any contumelious (scornful, insulting, insolent (rude, arrogant, lack of respect)) speech, as of those who railed at Christ, those who speak contemptuously of God or of sacred things.

Please keep in mind that these study notes are merely highlights from the teaching.  I encourage you to watch The Prophetic Test at  for clarification and greater understanding. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Prison Test

The Prison Test – Study Notes
November 16, 2013

Every test Joseph encounters has to do with stewardship.  We have seen him steward actions, body, attitude, other people’s property and now perseverance.

“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5: 3-5 (bold, my addition)

1.  Tribulation Produces Perseverance

Patience is keeping your heart right while your waiting.
Perseverance is a fight or battle while you are waiting. 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

A Trial is short.
Tribulation is a long trial.

2.  Perseverance Produces Character

The bible does not say that anything else produces character aside from perseverance.  The worst thing you can do is to deliver someone from a trial that God is using to produce the character they will need in their destiny. 

Our response to the trial determines how long we are in it.

God never rewards manipulation. (Genesis 40: 14-15, 23)  Joseph asked the cupbearer to “mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house.”  It was two years later that the cupbearer remembered Joseph. 

God is waiting for your character to come up to your destiny.

3.  Character Produces Hope

Hope is that God will walk with us through our trials not deliver us from them. 

Character is not only how we act, it’s how we react.

4.  Hope Produces Appointments
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

The statement, hope does not disappoint is a double negative.  Not and dis are both negatives so we can restate this as….Hope appoints.

We can look forward to being used through God appointments because  “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.” 

The Prison Test teaching can be found at  Enter The Prison Test in the search bar and look for the video from March/April of 2013.  

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Purity Test

This week we explore Joseph's Purity Test in Genesis 39.  Needless to say, sexual morality it is not a popular topic.  However, it is worth exploring because it not only affects our life, but the lives of those we love as well.   

The Purity Test – Study Notes
November 12, 2013

Sexual morality has everything to do with character. A person who will be immoral in this area of his or her life will also be immoral in other areas.  Sexual immorality opens the door to a host of other sins such as lying and deception. 

1.  Impurity Affects Your Family
            Iniquity – inward and dwells in the heart.  Lust is an iniquity.
            Sin or Trespass means to cross the line or transgress  – outward movement.

 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Is 53:5 KJV

I understood that Jesus died for my sins, but bruised for my iniquities gave me pause.

“God…keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Ex 34:6-7

If you have a blind spot for a weakness in your own life you are not going to see it coming in your children.  This is not sins of the father visited on the children as commonly quoted, but inward iniquity of the heart. 

2.  Impurity Affects Your Faith

If you keep immorality in your heart it will affect your relationship with God.  Imagine coming before God worshiping with raised hands and a covered heart. 

3.  Impurity Affects Your Future

Satan will lie and tell you no one will ever know about your sexual immorality.  There are two people who already do: God and you.  Immorality is disobedience toward God.  Such disobedience will cost you the presence of God that you need in order to reach your destiny.

4.  Impurity Begins in the Eye

Genesis 39:7 says, Potiphar’s wife “cast longing eyes on Joseph” 

Where I look - What I hear  - What I feel  - What I expect

I actually borrowed that last line from Beth Moore.  Each statement has an affect on the next.  If you don’t want to get caught in the trap DON’T LOOK. (Matthew 5:28; Psalm 101:3; Proverbs 27:20; Matthew 6:22-23; Job 31:1)

As always, I encourage you to visit and check out the teaching from Pastor Robert Morris.  Enter The Purity Test in the search bar in the upper right hand corner and click on the teaching from March/April of 2013.  These notes are directly from the video and Pastor Morris' book, From Dream to Destiny.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Palace Test

The Palace Test – Study Notes
November 5, 2013

The Palace Test is a test of Stewardship.  What are you going to do with those things that have been entrusted to you by God?

At this point in our story (Genesis 39) Joseph is installed into Potiphar’s home and entrusted with “all that he had”.   We soon find that whatever Joseph put his hand to prospered because he was a faithful steward.  Before we see how let me just say…

Prospering is not a bad word!

The Lord would like for your marriage to prosper, your children to prosper, your work to prosper and your relationships to prosper.  He wants you to succeed.

Don’t let a bad prosperity doctrine or the enemy’s guilt steer you away from God’s blessing.  There are 63 mentions of prospering in the Old Testament alone.  I think it’s safe to say prospering is God’s idea.

1.  The Key to Prospering is the presence of the Lord.

Gen 39:2  “The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man.” NKJV

The Orthodox Jewish Bible says; “…a man God makes prosper.”  It is very clear that the cause of success is the Lord. 

2.  The Key to the Presence of the Lord is Obedience.

2 Chronicles 17:3-4 – “ the Lord was with Jehoshaphat….because he walked in God’s commandments.” NKJV

1 Samuel 18:14 - “David was prospering in all his ways for the Lord was with him.” NASB

3.  The Key to Obedience is Faith.

If we really believe, we will obey. 

Hebrews 3: 18-19 “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”  NJKV

It was not disobedience that prevented them from entering in – it was unbelief.  If they had believed God’s words, they would have obeyed Him. And if they had obeyed Him, they would have entered into His rest. 

4.  The Key to Faith is hearing the Word.

This is the best news yet.  This is something we can all do…hear the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 – “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” NASB

Isaiah 55:10 – “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”  NASB

The Word accomplishes, succeeds, transforms, heals, equips, restores, protects, enlightens and gives hope.

There is power in the Word of God!

In Summary:

The Word produces Faith
Faith produces Obedience
Obedience produces the Presence of the Lord
The Presence of the Lord produces Prosperity. 

I encourage you to watch this teaching at  The best way to find this video is enter – The Palace Test in the search bar located in the upper right hand corner of the main Gateway website.  A list of videos will come up.  Select The Palace Test from March/April of 2013.  May God bless you in hearing the word.  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Pit Test

Last night was awesome!  Great teaching followed by great discussion.  I think we all have a new appreciation for the purpose of the pit.  I honestly thought this was going to be a depressing study.  I found only a loving Father gathering His children unto Himself.  Be Blessed!  

The Pit Test – Study Notes
October 29, 2013

What is it in my character that God is trying to mold or shape to allow me to reach my destiny?

1.  The Position of the Pit

How did you get in this position?

If you are struggling with relationships ask – How do I present myself?
Pride says, “It’s not pride in me, it’s envy in them.”  We live in a blame society.  Even if you feel the issue is on the other side you need to ask this question because you may be the reason a bridge is not being built.   

If you are struggling with bondage ask – Am I blaming others?
Whether a financial bondage or a recurrent sin (Rom 7:15 “I don’t understand what I do. I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do what I hate to do.”) We need to take responsibility for our part. 

Joseph’s father gave him a gift.  Our father gives us gifts.  Joseph was proud of his gift so he lost it. 
            Is your identity in your gifting?
            Do you tell others about your gifting?
            Do you work your resume into conversations?
When Joseph repented he not only regained what he lost, but more importantly the relationship with his Father was restored.

2.  The Perspective of the Pit

When we fall in the pit often the first voice we hear is that of the accuser.  Let’s get God’s perspective on the pit.

Conviction – Is specific and constructive.  i.e.  You did this _____.  Here is what you need to do now________.

Condemnation – Is general and oppressive. i.e.  You are a bad person.  You will never accomplish anything.  God can’t use you.


John 3:17 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” NIV

3.  The Purpose of the Pit

To deliver us.
To bring us back to the Father.

When Joseph was thrown into the pit he probably blamed everyone around him.  Once we stop kicking and spitting we will most likely come face to face with ourselves.

Jonah 2:2  “I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.” KJV

You may be sitting in a pit, but you don’t have to remain there.  Jesus went to the pit so we wouldn’t have to.  Cry out with sincere repentance and be restored to the Father.

To watch The Pit Test go to