He Sent a Man Before Us

Abraham never knew that one day his great grandchildren would need to be saved from a great famine. He had followed God from his home trusting in His provision for himself and his family. But famine came to his heir. Death was at their doorstep. But God had a plan already in place to save them.  Psalms 105 Verse 17 spells out the plan.  “He sent a man before them-“

Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob, had been sent ahead by God to prepare the way to save His people. The Bible tells us Joseph obeyed the Lord and made himself ready to be used. When the famine arrived, Joseph was in place, prepared to save his family.

Have you encountered a “famine” in your life? You probably have and didn’t realize what it was. In the natural world, a famine caused by weather patterns, results in little to no crops being harvested. There is not enough food to feed the population depending on it. There is loss, deprivation, sadness, depression and death.  Doesn’t this describe some situations we have encountered? Rejection, lost love, sadness over a great loss, even death of dreams, desires or a special someone is a famine. Even losing your faith in God due to circumstances results in famine. And we begin to think we might die from the lack in our life.

But God had a plan.  He sent a Man before us. One who would experience all we experience so He is ready to help us through the famine, back into a season of abundance and joy. 
Jesus went before us.  Like Joseph He was tested and found to be pure, full of wisdom, and willing to stand ready to help us through the season of lack. He set God’s plan for us in place so when famine comes, He is waiting for us to come to Him for help.

Psalms 104: 4 “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore.”

Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to find help and food to sustain his family.  Help did not come to him. God tells us to ‘seek’ Him.  He is ready to help us, but we have to humble ourselves and go to Him seeking the help we need.  Jesus is ready right now to heal scars from earlier famines or to provide what we need to get through the one we are in. Don’t hesitate! God placed a “Man” before us to save us, restore us, and to make a great nation out of us. Seek Him. “Seek Him and you will find” (Matthew 7:7). Seek Him and He will provide abundance in the midst of your famine.  God sent a man before us who loves us enough to wait with a heart ready to heal.

Weebles Wobble but They Won’t Fall Down

For 47 years children have had Weebles to play with.  In case you don’t know what Weebles are, picture an egg. A perfectly shaped plastic egg. An egg that is weighted very specifically on the inside, so it will wobble, but not fall over.  Each egg has a personality making a great toy for boys or girls.

This one is cute like me, it’s why I chose it.

You can put a Weeble on its side, let it go, and it will be standing upright in less than a second.  It may still be wobbling, but it will be standing.  No matter how many times you do it, the Weeble will stand. Its all in the design. The design uses gravity and the way it is weighted, and its perfect egg shape to cause the Weeble to bounce back up when its been knocked over.  And, if you stand a group of Weebles together, they will hardly wobble at all.  Each one helping those next to it to remain stable and standing.

God designed us to be like Weebles.  Only instead of being specially weighted in order to bounce back up, He fills us with the Holy Spirit.  He is our unique inner weight that stands us back up when we fall on our walk with Jesus. 

Psalms 145:14 tells us “The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down.”

That is His promise to all who believe in Him.  All His children. He knows that some days we will find ourselves looking at the world horizontally instead of vertically because we have stumbled and fallen. So God planned for it by giving us the Holy Spirit to help us get back up.

Because of our godly shape, we can rest on the promise we will bounce back up to continue on our journey.  And as added security, God gives us others to stand with us in unity.  When we stand shoulder to shoulder, just like the group of Weebles, we are impossible to push over causing us to fall.  Together, we can help each other to remain upright, evading a setback.

When you feel yourself begin to wobble, or find yourself flat after a fall, remember the Weeble.  Just like these egg people, you will bounce back up.  Then run, don’t walk, and put yourself in a group with others so together you can stand for the Lord. 

Weebles wobble, but they DON’T fall down!

The ‘Son-rise’

As I sat waiting for the sun to peek over the trees, the day held nothing but promise. The world is still gray, just shadows of what is to come, but the promise of color rests just beyond the tree-line. Colors will pop up that are so vibrant our eyes will open to possibilities we hardly dare believe in. Everything is possible to believe in just as I believe that any moment the sun will appear just as it does every day. This day is ripe with promise and kissed with joy.
This is the description of the life lived in the Son. It is life with the potential to be the greatest, brightest, most beautiful life imaginable. This delirious, delicious life isn’t available just in our imagination, but is a promise from God. Psalm 37 says: “Delight yourself in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Verse 4) And in Psalm 27 God tells us to hold on to Him as we wait for the day of promise to dawn: “I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Verse 13) Jesus is our abundance, the over-the-top blessing from our Father. 1 Timothy 1:14 proclaims: “And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Jesus Christ.” It is hard to wrap our minds around the magnitude of blessing God has for us who believe in Him as Lord of our lives.
As the Holy Spirit calls us out of the world, we begin to anticipate the Son, just as I am anticipating the arrival of the sun this morning. I can’t yet see the glow of the sun, but the color change in the sky promises the sun won’t be far behind. So, it is as we get our first glimpse of the Son who calls us back to a relationship with our Father. We don’t yet know how our world will be changed, but we can see light beginning to erase the dark and our anticipation builds within us.
The red-yellow glow of the sun has begun to crest the trees now. The blue of the sky is becoming visible and the warmth of the sun begins to be felt as the chill of the night is chased away. As Jesus becomes real to us, we begin to feel the warmth of His love penetrating our cold, night-weary flesh, and a thawing begins in our hearts. The night has ended and the promised new day has begun. As the sun allows us to see the real, not just shadows, Jesus opens our eyes to the invisible that then becomes real. The darkness of life fades as His Light shines into all the corners. The hidden things are exposed so He can heal them, taking them into the light of His love. Forever removing their shadow from our lives.
If you haven’t yet had the Son light up your life, I invite you to sit one morning before the dawn, and watch for the sun to arrive. As you do, begin asking the Son, Jesus, to come too. Ask Him to light up your life by removing the darkness that has so burdened you. You will never see the ‘son-rise’ the same way again, I promise.


What Exactly is Perspective by Angie Vanek

* The dictionary tells us that perspective is: a true understanding of the importance of things, a sense of proportion, one’s point of view, what we see with our eyes.

•What would it be like to walk everyday with the mind of Christ & His point of view?
•Are we looking at His perspective for our life and for the lives of others?
•Or are we carrying a negative perspective of ourselves and of others?

PROVERBS 23:7 NKJV tells us: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

‬‬The renewing of our mind is to not believe the lies that come at us but instead to start filling our mind with God’s truth and promise.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Where do we align our heart, our sense of proportion?

Our perspective as a Christian is a very unique thing. We have the ability to “see” with the eyes God is giving us and yet we have seen things with the eyes we developed through the world. This is a powerful opportunity for us to have a better perspective for others who are being drawn and attracted to God, His truth and His perspective on who we are designed to be.
God is using us to gain a greater perspective for experiencing an honorable life with His good purpose… what greater view could there be?

Whose eyes are you looking through? Yours or Gods?

“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭11:34‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Get closer to God. Learn His word and His truth, His love for you. What His word says about your life and what you mean to Him. Renew you mind, guard your heart and let your renewed heart transform you into the perspective of our heavenly Father’s view.

~ Angie Vanek

The Glory of the Lord

The dawn had not yet arrived though it was getting lighter, signaling that dawn wasn’t far away. Suddenly, a shining, beautiful, golden glow filled the sky to the east. It was as if a fire had exploded on the horizon and its flames lit up the sky. It was spectacular to say the least. I stood in amazement of the beauty that was before me. What a way to begin a new day. Now the children of Israel knew this heavenly glow too. It says in Exodus 24:17 “The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.” They were face to face with the glory of the Lord, not just a sunrise. He included His children in the awesome display of His presence/ His glory.
As I stood and admired the beauty of the coming dawn, I thought about the glory of God. Israel was treated to a firsthand view of Gods fiery glory as He began to teach them who He is. God is spectacular! His glory/His presence, is mighty, powerful, strong, captivating and beautiful. Some lowly shepherds were blessed to see the glory of the Lord as they tended their sheep near Bethlehem. In Luke 2, we find the story of shepherds being told about the birth of the Savior. Verse 9 is: “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.” In the dark of night, against a backdrop of stars, the shepherds saw the glory of God light up the world. Well, it would have looked like the world was lit up to the shepherds. God had something important to tell and what better way to get our attention than for His presence, His glory, to fill the earth?
The glory of God is overwhelming. The Israelites thought so. They didn’t want to go into God’s presence at all. They sent Moses instead. But God wants to share Himself with His ‘kids’. So, He gives us a taste of His magnificence, His glory, in the sunrise or sunset or in a waterfall or a field of flowers. It’s His way of preparing us to know His ‘awe’ so we don’t turn away when we encounter Him. And if we desire Him, we will certainly encounter His presence!
God is making His presence known to man more and more. Our world is full of stories where the Lord’s presence plays a starring role. Some day He will be the only light we’ll need. In Revelation 21:23 we’re told: “The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it.” Today, my morning was ‘lit up’ by the glory of the sun in the eastern sky. But, I’m looking forward to the real thing. The time when the Lord’s glory is so bright that I’m blinded to anything else on earth. How about you?

Deni Fortuna


Are Your Shoes Too Tight?

I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t left the house ready to take on a new day, that hasn’t at some point, realized that their shoes seem to be squeezing their feet. Your shoes just feel too tight! The shoes didn’t feel tight when you put them on, but somewhere through the day something changed and now your toes feel like they are being pinched off. Walking has become painful and running or dancing would be impossible. All you can think about is getting home to take off your shoes and letting your feet go free.
Well, in our spiritual walk we can find ourselves with “shoes that are too tight”. Now, you might ask how this can happen, so I would like to explain. Jesus, through His death, burial and resurrection set in place the New Covenant between God and His people. This new covenant is totally based on His sacrifice. Because He offered Himself in our place, we are forgiven of our sin and through His righteousness we are reunited with the Father. Our part is to recognize the value of this gift and repent from our former lives to begin a walk with Jesus. Sounds easy enough to do, and it is, but we have to watch out for traps that spring up in our walk. We can get pulled off track if we listen to old religious mindsets and allow ‘works’ to creep into our thinking. This old way of thinking causes us to try to work our way into a relationship with our Father. The Old Covenant, under the Law, was based on works; always trying to do the right thing to please God. But we never could. Our sin nature always got in the way. Jesus became our ‘Way’, our Truth and our Life when He did for us what we could never do.
The Old Covenant cannot coexist with the New. And, when we try to put the Law and works together with Jesus, our shoes get too tight because the Law and Jesus were never meant to be worn together. Jesus fulfilled the Law and He alone gets the credit for our redemption.
Life with Jesus is an ongoing dance. One you don’t want to miss, but you will if your feet hurt because your shoes are too tight. Be sure that every day you only put on Jesus, no works. Your feet will be happy and your dance with Him will be one of pure joy.

God’s Waterfall

How is your day going?  How is your week going?  Are you worried about your finances, your kids, your job?  Or are you weary?  Maybe life has become too much.  I know I sometimes get worried about the things that are swirling around me too.  Sometimes I come to the point of being so overwhelmed by the things that are happening around me, I just have to…STOP!!!

So, I take a deep breath, close my eyes and see myself standing in a river with a beautiful waterfall.  As I walk over to the waterfall I can feel the spray of the waterfall on my face.  As I walk into the waterfall and let it pour over me, I look up through the waterfall and see my Father pouring His love over me and saying: “I have you, it’s going to be ok.” I begin to dance, sing and jump up and down letting the waterfall pour over me.  My cares, worries and weariness fade away.  I have been refreshed in the waterfall of God.

God knows our worries.  He knows what keeps us up at night.  He knows our every need because we are His children! The Word says in Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus.”

God gave me the vision of the waterfall during a time of tribulation in my life when I needed Him very much.  Now, my vision is a balm anytime I need it.  Do you need God’s waterfall of love poured over you today?  Go to the river and stand in the waterfall, twirl and dance in it and let the love of God pour over you even when storms are raging around you.  Let God give you the peace that surpasses all understanding.

After I finished my blog, God told me there was more to be added to the story. The following is what He gave me to add to what I already had.

He told me that at the base of the waterfall are a lot of lily pads and on each of them is a multicolor flower.  He told me to search out about the flowers, so the next morning in my prayer time, I started thinking about the lily pads and the flowers.  I don’t know if you are aware of this, I wasn’t until I found it in my research; you can’t kill a lily pad.  You can cut off the top, but you can’t kill the plant because its roots go deep into the foundation at the bottom of the lake.

As I thought and prayed on this, God showed me this is like our faith.  When we are rooted in Christ, our foundation is strong.  Storms can come, and they may even knock us down, but we get up and stand again because our roots of faith go deep.

Ephesians 6: 13-18 Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”

As I searched regarding the meaning of the many colors in my multicolor flowers, this is what the Lord gave me:

White – symbol of purity, righteousness, holiness Blue – symbol of heaven and authority Red – symbol of suffering, sacrifice or sin Yellow/Gold – symbol of kingship, kingdom glory Green – symbol of prosperity, growth, life Purple – symbol of royalty, wealth, prosperity

These colors of heaven wrap around us as gifts and blessings that allow us to withstand the storms and help us to grow our faith roots deeper and deeper in the Lord.

Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations I will be exalted in the earth”.

Ruth Cagle


Journey of the Heart

Journey of the Heart

Recently I had someone say to me that Christmas time is nothing but madness and would be better removed from the calendar.  My first reaction was to take offense at this.  You see, I have loved Christmas my whole life and have so many great memories of this time with my mom when I was young, with my kids as they came along in life, and then in the last 12 years since Jesus became my Lord, not just my Savior.  As I gave the comment some thought, I found I could agree that the world can make Christmas a crazy time.  And, in the past I have succumbed to the whirlwind that surrounds this sacred time, and found myself with no joy by the time Christmas actually arrived. So, I realized that while not right, I could see how someone could become hardened by watching the world “celebrate” the wonderful Christmas holiday.

Not long after hearing the negative comment I was given a Christmas card.  The caption on the front says:” Christmas is a Journey of the Heart.”  It seemed as I read the caption, that this short message was a neon sign. “Yes” I thought, this is the answer to all the negativity that arises because of how our culture sees Christmas.  They have never taken the journey!

Jesus came to the world the same way all humans do; as a helpless baby.  He would be loved and cared for by loving parents, and through all the world’s promises and grief, He would grow to be the Man God sent to rescue our world.  When He became a man, Jesus went on a “journey of the heart”. In 3 short years He taught us about the Father, taught about the Kingdom and its principles, showed what love and healing looks like from Heaven’s prospective, and He prepared Himself for the journey’s climax that would accomplish for the Father a renewed relationship with His lost children.  Jesus could not have done this without living through the love in His heart; the heart of the Father.

This journey of our heart is how we, as Believers, can transcend the world’s idea of Christmas and see what really matters.  That God had a plan which He had held on to from the beginning of time. The plan was a humble one designed to draw the humble, the hurting, the lost and the watchers.  So, the plan began in humble surroundings with the birth of a baby in a manger, in a stable, in a city that was all but ignored by the nation in which it sat.  There was nothing remotely majestic about this plan yet two people agreed to go on this journey of the heart, and they made a life for the Son of God, so He would grow up to complete the mission He had agreed to. They loved Him, protected Him and allowed Him to develop into the Servant, Savior He was born to be. 

We can’t allow ourselves to lose our focus on Christ because the holiday has been distorted.  While not easy, we can allow the frenzy of the world to pass by without effecting the journey we are on with our Lord.  By taking the journey of the heart each year at this time, we can enjoy with our families the same love God gives us and not get caught up in the world’s imitation of love, peace and joy.  Hold out for the real love, real peace and real joy that a baby brought to the world and offered to all who would believe in His sacrifice, in His journey. 

Merry Christmas to all who are on their “journey of the heart”.  Be sure to wave as we pass by on the great adventure we are on with the greatest Guide ever.

No One Knew His Name

No One Knew His Name

In the dark of a lonely night a new baby came into the world, just like so many babies had done before Him.  Mary and Joseph had come to a city they were unfamiliar with but that represented Joseph’s   lineage. But there must not have been any family members left in town since no spare room was offered to the couple, so Mary’s baby could be born in a house instead of a barn.  So, the baby was born in a humble stable, heated by the household animals and lit by the stars above.  And two young people began a journey of epic proportions, raising the Son of God.

God watched over the birth of His Son knowing His plan to rescue His children was unfolding.  For hundreds of years He had heard the cries of Israel for a Savior; one to release them from bondage to their captors.  But God knew their heaviest chains were around their hearts, not their feet.  So, while He was ready to begin the rescue, it seemed Israel was not.  They couldn’t see past themselves and have faith in the God of their fathers.  Only a handful of people were watching and praying for the promised Messiah to appear.  That is why, in the town of Bethlehem, the cry of a newborn babe wasn’t thought of as anything more than the birth of another ‘slave’ for Rome.  No one knew He had arrived, the Lamb that would be sacrificed to save the world.

No One Knew His Name
Dientje Fortuna
The babe was born for all mankind
But no one knew His name,
He left his Father where He was King
and as a babe to earth He came.

Mary and Joseph had traveled so far
knowing Jesus was soon to be born.
With no room at the inn their choices were few
but the stable left Mary’s heart torn.

As Mary labored to birth God’s babe
the angels, a concert they gave,
to the shepherds, the lowly, the announcement came
as Jesus, in a manger, was laid.

Though shepherds came to pay respect
to the baby the angels proclaimed,
Bethlehem lay fast asleep
so no one knew His Name.

The Star shone announcing the birth,
the One foretold through the ages.
But the people were caught in the myth they believed
the one told by priests and sages.

A great and mighty king would come
to vanquish their foes all around.
So they looked for a crown, a warrior, a king,
for the trumpets to give mighty sounds.

No one looked for the babe God had planned,
His Son who would one day become,
the sacrifice needed so sins are forgiven
and back to our Father we’d come.

The babe was born for all mankind,
but no one knew His Name.
His road was set from birth to death
It was the reason that He came.

To restore God’s children back to Him,
out of Love, for it brought no fame,
cause the world didn’t get why He was here,
and so they didn’t know His name.

But the tiny King came to give us the greatest gift of all…a relationship with the Father.  So, let’s celebrate the greatest gift man ever received, Jesus. 

Merry Christmas from New Wine Ministries.

Deni Fortuna


The Journey

The Journey 

What kind of journey are you on?
Are you enjoying the journey or are you complaining about where you are?
Is your glass half full or half empty?

God has an appointed time for everything  In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 it says: To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die;  A time to plant,  And a time to pluck what is planted;  A time to kill, And a time to heal;  A time to break down,  And a time to build up;  A time to weep, And a time to laugh;  A time to mourn,  And a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;  A time to embrace,  And a time to refrain from embracing;   A time to gain, And a time to lose;  A time to keep,  And a time to throw away;   A time to tear, And a time to sew;  A time to keep silence,  And a time to speak;   A time to love, And a time to hate;  A time of war,  And a time of peace.

God can change your situation in the blink of an eye, but, He won’t if you aren’t learning what you need to. God is a Good Father. He doesn’t want you to go around the mountain a hundred times but, He will let you go around and around if you’re not trying to learn what He needs you to learn

So, where are you at right now?  There could be someone or some ones that you can help but, if you are complaining or discontented with where you are then you will miss the opportunities that God provides.

Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God I will be exalted among the nations,  I will be exalted in the earth!

We can’t bypass the lesson to get to the goal/blessings. We must be content where we are and enjoy the journey.

Are you enjoying the whole journey? Then let’s start today!!!


Ruth Cagle