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I don't need to see fruit. I need to love God with all of my heart and do what He says to do. I don't need to prove to anyone that Tin Man Ministries is fruitful. I need to please my Daddy God. That's it. In other words, I don't strive to show others that I or TMM is bearing fruit. I just love Him, obey Him and pray. He produces the fruit. I don't have to see it with my natural eyes. I believe it with my spiritual eyes. If I abide in Him, there is fruit. It's a Biblical truth found in the book of John. It says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit" (John 15:5).
The late Mother Teresa and missionary Heidi Baker didn't move with the poor, feed them, clothe them and adopt them, to prove to the world that they and their ministries were fruitful. They loved God. They obeyed God. They loved the people God placed in front of them. It's simple, but people complicate things.
To the natural eye it may seem that I have only ministered to a few. What if each individual person that I have spent considerable time ministering to and pouring into, then impacts hundreds or thousands, including their churches, towns, families and very importantly, their generations! Heidi Baker of Iris Global has a motto, "Stop for the one," meaning, stop what you are doing and love the one in front of you. What if I spend months or years loving on the one, and that one turns out to live a life such as Billy Graham, Lou Engle or Bob Jones.
Since my husband and I founded TMM, I have tried to model my life after Mother Teresa and Heidi Baker, but in my younger years, I desired to be like my Auntie. My Auntie never became famous, but her great love and faith in God caused me to pray, "Lord, make me like my Auntie." I watched her sacrifice for others and love them unconditionally, including the delivery person, her elderly neighbor and her rebellious grandchild. I watched her live out her faith in God, never wavering, whether in the storms of life or sunny skies. I know this for certain, this one life impacted my life and now my life is impacting my generations and even the nations. I can say this because I have the eyes of faith to believe it.
God's word says, "Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Paul lists men from the Old Testament who became "famous" because of their great faith to believe the promises of God. He goes on to say, "These heroes all died still clinging to their faith, not even receiving all that had been promised them. But they saw beyond the horizon, the fulfillment of their promise and gladly embraced it from afar" (Hebrews 11:13a TPT).
I have a promise from God that He gave to me before TMM was founded in 2012. "I will use you to bring healing to this generation." I have faith to believe that this promise will be manifested, even if I never see it with my natural eyes. I believe God will produce the fruit of this promise (and all the others), including the harvest of my prayers and the sowing of my tears in intercession. The fruit will manifest, from faith, in God's perfect timing. I will cling to these words, "These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them" (Hebrews 11:39 TPT).
Do I want to see the fruit of my labors? I do! Sometimes in my weakness, I pray to God, "Let me see some fruit Lord!" He very lovingly obliges me, because He knows that it encourages me to continue the work that He has given me to do.
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"The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life." Psalm 23:1-3 TPT
I was at a place in my life once again, where I suffered the loss of close friends. Not only did I lose my prayer partners, but my heart was broken from several other of life's blows. As a soldier in Christ, I found myself wounded, weary and alone. It is at these times that I must go to God with my broken heart and lift it up to Him and say "Here is my broken heart that's been shattered in pieces. Please heal it and make it whole." I mustn't seek a person or a thing, such as alcohol, to numb my heart. I mustn't busy myself with distractions and pretend the pain isn't there. These actions do nothing to heal my broken heart. I must go straight to Jesus! Jesus is the Healer; the gentle Surgeon; the Giver of new hearts.¹ Jesus died on the cross so to "bind up the broken-hearted."²
After we've surrendered our pain to Jesus, sometimes He will send a person our way to minister to us. I call such a person, "God's love-with-skin." God sent Joy (a fictional name) to me for this very purpose−to minister God's love to me at that very moment in my life when I was feeling the intense heat of the fire. Joy and I were introduced by a mutual friend over the phone and we met for lunch one day to get better acquainted. That morning Joy sat with God in prayer and welcomed Him into her day. She heard Him tell her that I was in need of being refreshed, so Joy knew that God was going to use her to bring me refreshment. And let me tell you, God was in our midst during our meeting that day and it made the pain and burdens of my soul feel light; just like Jesus said in Matthew 11:29, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." It was like I was in the midst of a fiery furnace, but the heat didn't consume or overwhelm me because Jesus sent a dew-laden breeze to refresh me. It's like the words from Isaiah 18:4, "I will look from My dwelling place quietly...like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
After Joy and I had lunch, we sat in her car to pray and listen to worship music. Joy sat there, yielding herself to God−her heart, her hands, and her voice−to be used by Him to refresh me, as she remembered His words to her that morning. I sat there worshipping the Lover of my soul, whom I was desperately clinging to, so as not to drown in the stormy sea that raged about me. It was then that Jesus came to me in a divine encounter that rocked my world and made it all worthwhile...
I saw Him standing in a doorway. Behind Him was an all-white bright light which beamed forth from the door and encircled His body. He stepped through the doorway and walked up to me. He had a white robe with a Jewish prayer-shawl draped over His head and shoulders. He had the wounds in His feet.
Jesus placed His hand gently on the side of my face and said "My beloved one. My cherished one." I then felt a gentle breeze blow on my face. He then looked me straight in the eyes and said "I don't mind looking you in the eyes." I replied, "I have nothing to hide from You."
I then noticed His smile. He had white shiny teeth as He smiled at me. I felt in my heart that He was happy with me.
Jesus then reached out to take my hand, so I reached back and took it. I knew that it meant that we would walk together on this journey of life, hand in hand. When I took His hand, it made me feel safe. My thoughts went to the many men who abused me in my lifetime. But holding Jesus' hand, I felt safe. I cried out, "Don't let me go!" But even as I said those words, I knew that He never lets us go. We are the ones who let go of Him.
I began to walk forward with Him, feeling that I never wanted to leave His side because I knew that as long as I stayed close to Him, He would protect me.
That day Jesus came to me because I was clinging to Him and looking to Him for His help. He came to me in a vision and also through Joy, a willing vessel who reached out to me, a near-stranger, but a sister in the Lord, and through her prayers and mine combined, Jesus came. And with His presence comes every means of provision needed for the journey. Thank you Jesus! Thank you Joy for saying yes to God. Thank you for being a yielded vessel for the Master's use.³ You are an oak of righteousness planted by the Lord to reveal His glory.⁴
2 Timothy 2:20-21³
You changed water into wine.
You made a borrowed axe float.
You raised the widow's son from the dead.
You walked on water.
You placed a coin in the mouth of a fish.
These are the things Your Word says you can do.
These are the things that are true.
Is there anything too hard for you?
You call the things that are not as though they are.
You parted the Red Sea just in time.
You raised Lazarus from the dead.
You created the world out of nothing, with just Your Word.
With You, all things are possible.
With You, nothing is impossible.
Is there anything too hard for You?
You gave the widow all the oil she needed.
You gave children to the barren wombs,
You shut the mouths of lions.
You did not let your servants be consumed by fire.
You made the blind man see.
You can do miracles in my life too.
You do the impossible.
There is nothing too hard for You.
Jesus, God's Son, died on the cross for our sins.
You took my sins and made me clean.
You work in my heart and sanctify me daily.
You love me and made a place for me in heaven.
A sinner, made clean, to one day see Your face.
To me, the greatest miracle of all,
Your love in this life and then the next.
With You, all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
2nd Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
(c) 2019 ANNETTE HAHNER
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
The storm is over, the night has passed,
From this trial you are free at last.
Victory is yours and Triumphant Truth,
Your Lord is Faithful and He saw you through.
God alone determines the end.
The battle is His, You are His to defend.
For God has prepared a way and a plan.
The test of your faith was to help you to stand.
Our Warrior, King Jesus, He determines the plan.
Our battles are His, who against you can stand?
The entire battle, from start to end,
was always in His hands.
By His sovereign, mighty Arm, only His counsel stands.
A trial will never last, not one day more,
No man can alter what God has in store.
The plans of God, never thwarted will they be,
For no evil weapons formed will prosper against thee,
When the enemy comes in roaring like a flood,
The Lord raises up a standard by the power of His blood.
Darkness can not stand in the power of God’s light.
The Lord rises up and puts your enemies to flight.
If God is for you, no one can be against,
For the Lord, your Warrior, is your certain Defense.
He rises up to defend you and scatters your foes,
Their lies, plots, and plans He victoriously overthrows.
All pits that have been dug for thee,
Were formed only for your enemy.
All lies and evil plans meant for thee,
God sends back to their source, for He gets the glory!
My God, He triumphs! Your enemies He overthrows!
He has sent out His arrows and scattered your foes!
God alone has the power! You were always in His hands,
No evil plans against you will stand.
Your enemies turn back when you cry out to God,
this I know,
Your God, He has vanquished them with His arrows.
The Scriptures are your battle prayers
as war is waged with the foe,
God provides you the victory, like the battle of Jericho. Remember this victory, your banner raised!
Give Almighty God the thanks and the highest praise.
Never forget that God is the Warrior for you!
Never forget how God saw you through!
Victories are remembered for all eternity,
The Cross of Christ has overthrown your enemy.
© 2020 ANNETTE HAHNER
What if I told you that you have NOTHING to worry about…
NOTHING to fear…NOTHING to fret over?
What if I told you that I will take all of your cares, concerns, deepest desires,
and provide, ponder, prepare…for you?
What if I told you that my plans for you can NEVER be thwarted and can NEVER fail?
That my counsel for you will always stand…that there is hope for you beyond what you could ever imagine…
That there are provisions for you from the storehouses of my Kingdom, beyond what your mind can conceive...
What if I told you that I AM the God of the impossible and not just the possible?
That what seems impossible for you is easy for me...
That I AM able.
That I AM the One who makes a way where you can see none, for I AM the door.
What if I told you that you are the object of my deepest desire?
That you are my delight and the apple of my eye...
That my love for you knows no bounds and can not be quenched, not even by death...
That your life is my symphony…
What if I told you that you are accepted, forgiven, and rejoiced over?
That you are so deeply loved and cherished beyond your wildest dreams and deepest desires…
What if I told you that I think about you CONSTANTLY?
That there is not a moment that I don’t notice you or care about you…
That my thoughts of you are so innumerable, if you should attempt to count them, they would outnumber all of the grains of sand on the earth…
That I never stop thinking about you…
That I skillfully fashioned all of your days before there were none of them,
even before the foundations of the earth were laid…
What if I told you that I have EVERYTHING planned for you, prepared, and figured out?
That I have a storehouse of provision for you that knows no limit
in your lifetime here and in eternity...
That what I have prepared for you here, is not even a fraction
of what I have planned for you in eternity...
What if I told you that you can walk in daily victory, daily light, and daily joy?
That I use your brokenness; broken pieces and shattered dreams, mistakes, hardships and trials as my fabric for fashioning something beautiful in your heart and life...
What if I told you that the storehouses of my Kingdom of wisdom, of joy, of understanding, of provision, know NO LIMIT?
That you are royalty; crowned with my all…all of my love, affection, and devotion...
That you are crowned with all of my faithfulness and provision…
That you are my deepest desire, the object of my heart, life and love…
What if I told you that all of my love and Kingdom can be yours?
What if I told you that I AM faithful and true?
That I AM the Ancient of Days, that I AM love... that I AM.
That everything I say is TRUE...
That I AM the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords…
Would you dare to believe me?
That it’s true and that you would embrace me and my LOVE for you...
What if I told you that, yes, you can bear much fruit for me and my Kingdom?
That you can love me, and everyone that I place in your life, with MY love…
That you can obey and be made holy...
That you are more than a conqueror…
That there is NO condemnation…
That you can BOLDLY come before my throne…
That you can have FULLNESS of joy…
What if I told you?
You see, I have all ready told you in my Word,
For I AM the WORD
John 1:1 In the beginning was the WORD and the WORD was with God,
and the WORD was God.
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
© 2019 ANNETTE HAHNER
"This is church," I heard God say to me. It was in the middle of a ministry board meeting. It was a lovely fall day, so I decided to have our bi-monthly meeting outside on our family deck. It was interesting to hear those words, as I was not part of an organized church at that time. Later, when I pondered God's words, I noted that we were a small group of Believers who prayed, worshipped God in song and fellowshipped with one another. This was in addition to the business portion of the meeting, but even this was done unto the Lord. I heard those same 3 words once again while praying and worshipping God with a handful of people at our state house capital building. In these 2 circumstances, I was gathered with God-fearing, Holy Spirit-filled people and everything we did or said was unto Him. "This is church."
I've heard pastors highlight to their congregations the need for people to "go to the house of the Lord," (Psalm 122:1), but those words were from the Old Testament. After Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to fill our bodies, and so when a person is filled with or baptized by the power of the Holy Spirit, they become the temple of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells the church in Corinth, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?" (1 Corinthians 6:19). The truth is, "WE ARE THE CHURCH." WE (Believers or Christ-followers) make up the church. Paul stated to the believers in Ephesus, "So then you...are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets; Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone; in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-22).
While attending one church, I was worshipping God and had a vision. I saw the church building from inside the walls, but the walls looked like a cardboard box. I watched the walls of the box collapse down and out. I then walked out of the "box" and into the street, where I saw a person whose hands were bound with handcuffs. I walked up to the person with a set of keys and unlocked the handcuffs. I spent a lot of my time in that church building. I spent hours there on Sunday mornings and then Sunday nights. I went there for the seasonal conferences, monthly women's breakfasts, weekly classes and all of the social gatherings such as the Christmas potluck. One day while in prayer, I heard God say to me, "Holly, I don't want you to camp out in the church building. I'm calling you to go outside the church building." I wept when I told my pastors what God had said to me because I loved them and was loyal to assisting them with the needs of their "church."
I agree with Paul's words in the book of Hebrews, "Let’s consider how to encourage one another in love...not abandoning our own meeting together, as is the habit of some people, but encouraging one another" (Hebrews 10:24-25). We need to fellowship with like-minded people where we encourage and exhort one another. King Solomon, known for his wisdom said, "For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up!...And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart" (Ecclesiastes 4:10, 12). Whether I am part of an organized church or not, I make it a point to connect on a regular basis with my Christian brothers and sisters (and spiritual mothers and fathers), whether it be through texting, emailing, conference calls or meeting in person. I enjoy doing this not only on Sunday or the Sabbath day, but on every day of the week. I enjoy praying, worshipping, serving, fellowshipping and learning more about God, every single day of the year.
I've had church in places such as a strip club, a parking lot where homosexual men meet, Dunkin Donuts, a park where drug dealers work, and my local grocery store. When California's governor mandated that churches could not gather and worship God, worship leader Sean Feucht called "the church" to gather and worship on the Golden Gate Bridge. Hundreds of Christ-followers had church on a bridge! Sean wrote about it in a Facebook post and entitled it, "THE CHURCH HAS LEFT THE BUILDING." Sean continued to have church outdoors in cities across the nation in the following months and I was blessed to take part in the Boston, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. gatherings. I loved worshipping God freely under the open sky in the Boston Common; a park where non-church goers also gathered and so could hear the Gospel message and feel the tangible presence of God. I've asked myself, "If all believers in Christ hang out with each other in a church building, then how will unbelievers outside of the building hear about the love of Jesus and be saved?" Most believers spend all their time and energy tending to their families, going to work, and lastly, in the church building. It leaves little or no time to reach out to people who would never step foot in a church building.
Many people have been wounded while attending the organized church or Christian-based school. Some were victims of abuse from pastors, priests, worship leaders, and teachers. These people are not likely to walk into a church building. So I ask myself, "How will they hear the Gospel message and be saved?" Many people look at themselves and feel that they will not be accepted if they were to walk into a church building because they do not look, talk or smell as good as those inside. Even if they were welcomed, they still may feel that they do not belong. "Who will go to share the love of Jesus with these ones?" Another question that I ask myself.
Ok God. I hear you. "Here am I. Send me" (Isaiah 6:8).
Lord prepare me
To be a sanctuary
Pure and holy
Tried and true
I'll be a living Sanctuary
Oh for You
*Song by Marantha Music
**Sanctuary refers to a temple or church