Dear Passion and Fire family,
Joy to your world for the Lord has come! It’s Christmas time!
I hear the Lord saying, “Come! Let me release my comfort and joy to you during this Christmas season. When the enemy tries to come in like a flood against you, I will come to comfort you. I want to be to you like a warm blanket or a hot cup of chocolate on a cold day. For it’s in my heart to pull you closer to me. I want you to be able to experience My joy even in the midst of your enemies, For I didn’t rescue you and give you salvation to then allow the enemy to rob you of one of the most fulfilling emotions that I have to impart. For it’s one of My most beautiful, delectable, delicious fruits of the Holy Spirit that I have to offer. So, open your heart to more of me and I will come in to comfort and fill you with joy unspeakable and full of my glory this Christmas season!”
As I’ve waited on the Lord for this month’s word I’ve been hearing over and over in my spirit the Christmas Carole “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. I know this is God, as I rarely ever think about it. I’ve never really even considered the words. As you read the lyrics Let them begin to speak to your heart.
God rest ye merry gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ, our savior was born on Christmas Day,
to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray,
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!
Now to the Lord sing praises,
All within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood,
Each other now embrace
This holy tide of Christmas,
Doth bring redeeming grace,
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!
What a wonderful song! The God of all comfort and joy has come to abide in our hearts forever. And not only that, but He’s made Himself available to be released through each of us every day of our lives. For everything He has given us is meant to be shared and given away to those who need it. 2nd Cor. 1:3
But, you may be reading this and saying in your heart, “I can’t help others. I’m not in a place to release anything. I’m the one that’s really in need right now!”
In the last two months, we’ve attended three funerals, all of them were for family members: an uncle, an in-law and a nephew. And then just a few days ago we found out another family member (a cousin) has passed. But the Lord Jesus, our faithful Father, has brought us comfort and peace in every situation. He has given us His comfort and His joy in exchange for our mourning.
You too may have lost a loved one, or you may be suffering from some other kind of loss right now. Having pastored for 18 years I’m well aware that this can be the hardest season of all for some. Tragedy is alive and well on planet earth. And Christmas can be especially hard when you’re grieving or have family members in the hospital. There’s a myriad of circumstances that can cause you to lose your way. But I hear the Lord saying, “I have come and I am here to rescue you!”
Just the other night I had a dream about a woman who was struggling. She was having a meltdown and her thoughts went to suicide. I could hear her thoughts loud and clear in my dream. And she was struggling with feelings of jealousy over the happiness of everyone around her. She was thinking, “Why did this happen to me? Why me? Why at this time? Wasn’t this supposed to be the happiest time of year? What have I done to deserve this?” Her grief and torment were indescribable. Her mind was racing and she wasn’t able to stop the thoughts to regain her peace. All she could do was cry.
Then all of a sudden, I saw a friend walk through her front door. He went over to where she was sitting and wrapped His arms of love around her to comfort her. Then they both began to cry uncontrollably and they cried until all their tears were released. And an amazing thing began to happen. They both began to laugh uncontrollably. And they laughed and they laughed and they laughed. It was almost as though they couldn’t stop. It was a miracle! She was set free! She was released from her all her depression. Her thoughts of suicide left her. She was healed and delivered! Then I woke up and realized that the friend was Jesus embodied in another believer. Jesus, Himself, in another man’s body had walked into the room that day and brought her the comfort and joy that she needed so badly!
If you’re suffering depression today, I declare that Jesus is going to walk into your room. He wants to heal your broken heart. He’ll wrap His presence around you! For He is going to make a personal visit to you too. He is bringing you comfort and joy!
Isaiah 61:2-3. Jesus quoted this passage in Luke about himself in Lk. 4:18
“I am sent to announce a new season of Yahweh’s grace (and we’re in that season now) a time of God’s vengeance on His enemies (the enemies of your life abundant and freedom), to comfort all who are in sorrow, to strengthen those who mourn in Zion that are crushed by despair to give them a beautiful bridal bouquet in the place of ashes, the oil of bliss (joy and gladness) instead of tears (robes of mourning) and the mantle of joyous praise (a splendor garment).”
There is an interesting wordplay found in the Hebrew text in the last part of this scripture. The word for beauty or beautiful is phe’er and the word for ashes is epher. By simply moving letters around you have an amazing wordplay that God uses, He has the power to change or move things around in your life to make something beautiful. See Romans 8:28. The Father is about turn things around for you!
I’ve been addressing those that are depressed, but maybe you’re not depressed and everything is fantastic! The Lord wants to use you to be to be a light in the darkness to those around you this Christmas. As you yield your heart to Him, Father God will release the anointing of joy that you carry to others. Joy was meant to be shared. It was meant to be contagious! There will never be a better time to release it than now! And every moment is now!
I just saw the movie, “A Beautiful Day” about the life of Mr. Roger’s. I’m sure most of you have heard about him. He had his own children’s television program. The movie was a powerful testament to his life and how he brought hope to others! From his broadcasts and in his everyday life he went about releasing hope. And he did it in a very simple and unassuming manner. We can do the same. Sometimes just a hug, a kiss on the head, focused attention, a word of encouragement and other kind gestures can go a long way. Your life was meant to bring hope as well.
I will never forget my pastor’s wife kissing me on the head as a young child. That one simple act touched me so profoundly that I never forgot it. It was as if the Lord, Himself had kissed me and it was one of several kisses from Jesus that made me pursue Him.
I also remember a special incident years ago that took place years later when I became a pastor. Whenever I would enter the church on a Sunday morning, I would always remind myself that it was time for me to focus on the needs of others and not on my own. On this one particular morning I happened to hug a visitor (which was a pretty regular occurrence for me at our Sunday morning services). But this one morning it became a life-changing experience for one particular visitor. They told me later that they planned to end it all, but decided to try church first. She said she had prayed before she entered the building and said to God, “If no one hugs me I’m giving up and I won’t be back. It’s over.” But that morning I hugged her. Although it was just a normal hug for me, for her it wasn’t an ordinary hug at all. It was the Father hugging her. She told me later, “I only came back the next Sunday because of that hug. And when I did, I heard the gospel message and received Jesus.” It really doesn’t take much to release Jesus and His comfort and joy to others.
We’re all well aware that suicide rates are soaring. But we must also be aware that we contain the embodiment of the good news, the light life for others to run into to be safe. We can call them out of the darkness! And we don’t always have to use words. We have the capacity to change atmospheres even through one look of love, one hug, one word of hope, one gesture of the Lord Jesus reaching out through us. The world can only offer up on a mirage of false hope, but we have the reality of Christ living within us. He will reach out through you when you least expect it. You are going to shine for the glory of God this Christmas. I’m declaring it! He is going to use your face, your arms, your hands, your feet, and yes even your money. Whatever you have He can use. You may think your hug is just a simple hug, but God can take a little gesture of kindness and use it to work a miracle! It’s time to spread the comfort and joy of Jesus!
I hear the song from the Philly Cream Cheese commercial right now, “Spread a Little Love Around!” LOL! Yes, spread a little love around. Spread a little comfort around. Spread a little joy around! In fact, how ‘bout spreading a lot of it all around. Let there be no grinches when it comes to Jesus! His heart is not to withhold, but to give generously; pressed down, shaken together and running over from an overflowing heart of love! This is what the coming of Jesus to earth has made possible. Listen to the words of hope found in the Christmas story! Hear the words of comfort and joy as it came in the form of Jesus to this earth!
“Don’t be afraid. For I have come to bring you good new, the most joyous news the world has ever heard! And it is for everyone everywhere! For today in Bethlehem a rescuer was born for you. He is the Lord Yahweh, the Messiah.” Lk 2:10
“In Him, there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.” Lk. 2:14
“The word from heaven will come to us with dazzling light to shine upon those who live in darkness, near death’s dark shadow. And He will illuminate the path that leads to the way of peace.” Lk. 1:79
Now, I want to address all of you who are in need. I hear the Lord saying, “Allow your heart to become my home again. Let it be a place of rest for me. I want to offer you the gift of comfort and joy this Christmas. I’m holding it out for you to take. I’ve wrapped it up in my grace and offering it to you today. It’s available to everyone that will reach out to take it. You merely have to trade in your grief and sorrow to take hold of it. This Christmas season I want to baptize you afresh with the power of Holy Spirit! And as you receive this baptism you will receive my comfort and my joy! And not only will you be made whole, but you can become a restorer of hope as well!
Psalm 31:7 “In mercy you have seen my troubles and you have cared for me; even during this crisis in my soul I will be radiant with joy, filled with praise for your love and mercy. You have kept me from being conquered by my enemy; you broke open the way to bring me to freedom, into a beautiful, broad place.”
2nd Thess. 2:16-17b “Now may the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father God, who loved us and in his wonderful grace gave us eternal comfort and a beautiful hope that cannot fail encourage your hearts.”
Let nothing ye dismay,
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy!
To get more info and updates about our schedule go to our calendar at passionandfire.com/calendar
NEW THIS YEAR
Missions Trip to Guyana
April 29 – May 10, 2020! Make plans to join us for the inaugural TPT mission trip to the beautiful nation of Guyana, South America. Look for all the information on our passionandfire.com/missions web site.
TPT ONLINE BIBLE COURSES
Our online Bible courses are Revelation-Part 1 & 2, Song of Songs, Ephesians and Philippians. For more information and updates on the school please check us out on our website at TPTBibleSchool.com.
We’re hosting various webinars each month. If you’re interested in being a part of a webinar you can go to passionmovement.com to sign up.
Sign up here. You can ask anyone who has gone with us how it affected them. I’m confident that they will tell you that it was worth the money and time. It’s a fabulous trip! Life changing! Please reserve your space now.
Brian is now working on Judges and is in chapter 19. He was finally able to finish the book “The Blessing” and I’m working on “The Dreamer”. Thank you for praying us through all of these projects. Genesis is selling like hotcakes! Whoohoo! If you don’t have a copy, I recommend that you purchase a copy.
Of course, you can find the Translation & some of our books on audio. And look for other information at our passionandfire.com site. If you’re one of our Aussie friends, you can purchase the translation and all the books from Koroong and amazon.com.au and our Canadians friends can purchase them at amazon.com.ca.
A special thank you to all our Passion Translation Partners for your monthly donations, and all of you for your incredible prayers and for following us daily on our websites. You have no idea how much we appreciate your sacrifices of love for us!
END OF THE YEAR GIVING
As we end the year you might be looking for a good place to invest your money. We suggest you consider the TPT project. You’ll be making an investment that has the potential to change the world. We believe that the TPT will be a revival Bible that will touch the lives of this next generation.
If you’re a partner, we’ll automatically send you each new book of the translation as it comes out. (This does not include the other books, only the translation.) You will also receive the webinars, notes and the archive of the webinar and you will have the opportunity to meet us personally during one of our conferences when we’re in your area. It’s just another way of saying thanks and of getting to know you.
TO BECOME A PARTNER
If you would like to become one of our Partners, you can do so by making a monthly donation of $39 or $99. Or you can make a one-time tax-deductible gift by credit card at our web site here or through our PayPal account or you can mail your offering to Stairway Ministries, PO Box 4068, Madison, CT, 06443.
If you have any questions, feel free to email or call our administrator, Tiffany at email@example.com or you can call 877-566-4289.
- Wisdom in scheduling meetings
- Good relationships everywhere we travel
- Good health for us and our family
- Wisdom and revelation for the translation
- and our other projects
- Safe travels
We’ve just returned from an amazing Thanksgiving trip where we spent time with all of our children. It was the first time all of us have been able to get together in one place at the same time in years. What a treat! And to top it off our son and daughter-in-law announced that they’re pregnant and having a boy. Life is good! Another grandchild is on the way next June. We’re so blessed!
Brian and I wish you a Very Merry Christmas! May blessings overtake you!
Yours for transformation,