For God So Loved

For God so loved the world, HE gave.

When we truly love someone, their needs become the priority.  God loved us so much that HE wrapped HIMSELF in flesh, came as a babe, took the life-journey to Calvary, and gave it up for us.  Even on the Cross, as HIS flesh cried out that HE felt forsaken, HE gave it all up for a plan of complete love.

Do we really grasp I Corinthians 13?

V. 1 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” It matters not that we speak in other tongues, if we don’t place others ahead of our own selves. The Corinthian church placed great value on speaking in tongues, but Paul said without love, we are basically just an irritant.

V. 2 – “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.”  We can have great faith and be the one others turn to for prayer when they are in desperate need, or we can operate in the gifts, but it all loses GODly value when we don’t put others needs first. “I am nothing.”

V. 3 – “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing.” We can sell everything we own and give the money to the poor, and giving of what we have is certainly important, but what is our motivation? We can become a martyr for the gospel, but still we accomplish “nothing” in the Kingdom without loving one another.

What does this love look like that we are to be showing, giving to others?

V. 4 – “Love suffers long, and is kind; love envies not; love brags not itself, is not puffed up,” Love puts up with a lot.  Love is kind, gentle, encouraging.  Love is not jealous! (of anything). Love is not prideful, never says, “Look at me”. If we do what we do for the accolades and applause, our motives are not those promoted by love. Who do we spend most of our time talking, thinking about?  “ME”, “MYSELF” and “I”, or someone else, especially Jesus? We speak louder through our actions than with our mouths.

V. 5 – “Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil;”  When we act or behave out of love, we give no one a reason to question our motives. They are pure and undefiled. Love gives credit and does not seek credit for it’s actions. Love is not temperamental and always thinks the best of others.  Love does not hurt others in effort to make our “place” in the world. And love never keeps track of our own hurts or others’ wrong-doing.

V. 6 – “Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;”  Love proves that which is true and seeks that which is GODly.  Love is not content with strife.  Love is peace. Love desires truth. Searches for truth. It never rejoices in brothers and sisters who may have fallen into sin. That is nothing short of a malignancy that needs to be removed. Love encourages complete restoration, the touchstone of our faith.

V. 7 – “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Love doesn’t seek an angle.  Love does not distort. Love covers the faults of others. Love will outlast any force.

This love is eternal and rests in first place.

V. 8 “Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” Love doesn’t take a break. Love doesn’t stop – no matter what. These gifts were of imminent importance in the church. Yet, he says, everything else can cease. They lose value without love.

V. 9 – “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.” Love is not about being a religious know-it-all.  Love understands we have not yet been perfected.

V. 10 – “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” If we make our lives about loving one another the way HE has loved us, some day perfection shall be attained, when we all get to Heaven.

V. 11- “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Children do not understand the vastness of the concept of love. Children are born into sin and have an innate selfishness. They must be taught and lead and shown love.  If we cannot even put our child’s needs ahead of our own, what have we gained in this life God has given us?

V. 12-“ For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” We cannot possibly grasp or fathom the depth of HIS love for us in our humanity with our failures and our shortcomings. Oh, but someday, when we are face to face with our Creator, we will understand. We will see HIS love and understand in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, why is was so important to share this love with others.

V. 13 -“And now stays faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” We need faith in our lives because we cannot serve HIM without it. It is impossible to please God without faith. We need hope because HE is our hope even to the ends of the earth. But the greatest of these, Love, is the most important. Why? It is the reason our Creator has done everything HE has done throughout eternity. It is HIS motivation and HE asks that it be ours, too.

This poem written by Paul is somewhat in juxtaposition of his rugged character. There is a precious tenderness in these scriptures. We get the sense that he is inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak these words and in doing so, we see his heart. If you read the preceding chapters and the chapters after, it seems almost out of context with everything else going on.

In the first three verses, Paul emphasizes the absolute need for love. We need to love one another, no matter what.  All else should fade to the background, pale in comparison to the love we all need in our lives.

In verses 4-7, he speaks of the characteristics of love, how it behaves, how we know love when we see and experience love. The rest of the scriptures directly speak to love being eternal and supreme. Love is forever, without end. It cannot be turned on and off.

Some Biblical translations use the word charity in place of love and the word “charity” here can easily be confused with giving. We think of charity in connection with giving physical items to others. Love in this chapter is all about the heart. The giving of one’s self to others. Offering forgiveness, restoration, space, kindness, gentleness. Love is defined as “God”. God is love. (I John 4:8) Love is the very nature of God! For God so loved, HE gave! Everything! How can we do any less?

These scriptures do not preclude one from taking some time for themselves to refresh and have time alone with God. These are words of encouragement to treat others with love and respect, always. Sweet and bitter cannot come from the same source. We shouldn’t be hateful to one another, even those who disagree with us. Jesus showed love and mercy to all, followers and sinners. We either love one another all the time, or maybe we should strongly consider going back for a time of refreshment.

Love – will always put a cement block around the feet of our unGODly priorities and sink them.

Love – will always lift others and their needs to the top of our list.

We are first on HIS priority list. Can we put HIM first, others second, and ourselves last?

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” I John 4:16

 

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You Are Not Alone

When you come to the Garden in the cool evening mist,

You feel so alone, don’t think you’ll be missed.

The world has withdrawn it’s love and concern,

You’ve no one to listen, nowhere you can turn.

Your heart has been torn, your nerves have been twisted.

Your arms are empty, emotions now blistered.

“Does no one hear? Does nobody care?

The pain I am in, the load that I bear?”

You sink to the ground, no strength have you left.

Totally alone in this world, completely bereft.

Your tears fall like rain in the evening still

You sob out the pain, ’til nothing you feel.

You sit so silent, shoulders slumped ‘neath the weight.

The weight of aloneness you think won’t abate.

You accept the fact that you are lonely by call

That you will never be loved by any at all.

Then, you hear the voice coming out of the mist,

“Oh, my sweet child, don’t you know you are missed?

You walked away of your own free will

And left me alone with a void I can’t fill.

I chose you, I called you, I loved you so much,

But you withdrew from my hand, away from my touch.

You hid in the world, faded into the crowd,

I whispered your name and called it aloud.

I’ve longed for our talks and long evening chats,

But you got too busy to worry about that.

I drew you here tonight to remind you of me

Will you stay now with me? Or in a moment flee?”

I realized then that folks come and go,

Friends, family, even those we love so.

But my Heavenly Father had followed me

Even though at the time, I could not see.

He was there when my hero flew home to Him.

He was there when I turned to the bottle of gin.

He was there every time I gave into sin.

He was there after I turned my back on Him.

He was there when my best friend walked out on me

He was there when I thought there was no one for me.

He had waited in the shadows and whispered my name

And He was there in the moment of my greatest pain.

I stood and I turned to my Father’s waiting arms,

I cried repentant tears that bonded our hearts.

I lingered there in His presence so sweet,

And knew beyond doubt, I would never retreat.

I’ve stayed in the Garden, though gone on with life.

Here I find peace from the world’s daily strife.

Where ever I go, be it valley or hill,

“You are not alone,” He whispers still.

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New Adventure

The Lord reminded me this morning how just 6 short years I was battling the Beast, (a rare form of cancer I not-so-affectionately called the Beast), and my beloved hubby was, in all likelihood, facing a heart~transplant. We were exhausted emotionally, physically, spiritually, and bone-dry financially, from the life-haymakers aimed at taking us down.

In retrospect and from a “God Had That!” perspective, it was just another adventure. From about the age of 4, I already knew life was hard. I didn’t yet know that it rains on the just and the unjust, (Matt. 5:45), I just knew the force of pounding rain. That ‘just and unjust’ scripture? Life began to make sense for the first time when I truly understood it for the power those words held.

At the age of “Thank YOU, Lord, for every day” I now view these haymakers as adventures. Where the road leads? Only God knows the end. But EVERYTHING, every adventure, can be an spiritual education if we embrace it, know it will be for our good, and realize that HE never means to harm us. That’s when life-lessons become an adventure of GODly proportions!

Our church began a 21 day fast on Sunday. While the purpose of this fast is completely spiritual, it begins a new path in life for me. We had been doing some research on a list of food-lifestyles the pulmonologist gave me. He said weight loss would be a good thing for me but it would be a battle because of all the steroids, so it would take some research to find what would work. My only “know-fer-shur” was it would have to be high on protein. A couple of health issues require this. We figured the 21 day fast would be the perfect springboard into our new food-lifestyle. We will have spent a lot of time in prayer and food challenging moments.

We began at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, January 5, 2019. Hubby is doing the Daniel Fast, and I am doing a variation of it which permits everything! Except ~ no bread, pasta, sweet goods (no sugar), crackers, chips….you get my drift. Now, if you know me, you know me and my sweet tea! Parting is such sweet, sweet sorrow! (Thanks, William. I use it all the time with some variations!)

Here’s the thang! In just 48 hours? 10 pounds gone. Here’s the lens to use ~ I have been putting on 1-2 pounds a day since the steroids, and lucky to remove 5 a week WITH lasix. If I was the sort to drop the mic? Totally would! Now let me say this ~ I am under no illusions that this rapid weight loss will continue. That would not be safe for this body created by God. But this? This is good, a boon, so to speak.

I am not taking this journey alone and that helps tremendously. We have folks all over the world beginning the year with a 21 day fast and it works because of the time you spend in prayer. We have been hit with another issue this week and the first thing I thought was to give God a big thank you because we are at this time and place in this new adventure!

PUSH! Pray Until Something Happens!

I will continue to share this journey with you and if ya wanna? Jump on board! I am committed!

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God’s Plan Will…..

God’s Plan Will Come To Pass

Jeremiah 29:11  (KJV)  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

God has thought of everything when it comes to our life.  He knows the expected end! Did you know that He has a perfect plan if you are submitted to Him?  You may hope for the perfect ending for your life.  You may have dreams for the future and pray for specific things to come. But God’s ultimate plan is for our good.  Job said, “I know that your plans cannot be thwarted.”  

God’s Word tells us HE sees and holds our future in HIS hands. We lesser mortals are finding our way, day by day, and sometimes? Moment by moment.  We stub our toes if we wander in the dark. Scraped elbows and knees when we willfully try to journey alone without HIS light. We have general ideas of what God wants us to do and we have specific knowledge when HE speaks to us, but the more mundane tasks of our lives are left to us to handle.  I need to brush my teeth, but HE doesn’t remind me to do that.  I need to make dinner, but HE doesn’t tell me what to make.  HE will provide but I need to go to the store, purchase the groceries and then go home and prepare the meals.  If I accidentally pick up 2 cans of peas when I meant to get 1 can of peas and 1 can of beans, HE is not gonna switch that out for me so that when I get home, I have the cans of food I intended to purchase.  Those little things do not affect the PLAN for my life.  I will still get where HE is taking me and I will use that 2nd can of peas for another meal.

God looks at the big picture.  HE cares about the fact that I use my mistakes to learn and grow.  I may become OCD trying to make sure I get the right canned goods at the store each time and that might concern HIM, but HE really isn’t bothered with my little things. HIS PLAN is like the Road Map HE has created for my life. HE has marked my starting point, numbered my days, and a few ‘biggies’ I can’t miss along the way.  My problem is the little detours along the way.  I just want to get on the road and get where I am going, pedal to the metal all the way, baby.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, life just doesn’t cooperate with my philosophy.

What are some of those detours and when can they become problematic? Detours are all the little things that effect us every day and yes, that includes the people in our lives. Detours become problematic if we lose our focus. Before GPS, when my husband and I were on a road trip, the Atlas stayed with the one who wasn’t driving. Every little bit, we’d bring the Atlas out and we’d exchange updates on where we were, how much longer to the next stop, and “Wow, did you know there is a town called Tightwad in Missouri? Oh, and one called Unalaska in Alaska?” and “The Corvette Museum is just 30 minutes ahead on the left!” If we happened to stray off the intended route, we were gonna know pretty quickly. Without the road map, all we had was a general direction and we would be subject to errors along the way. Errors that would take up valuable time and energy. If we stayed focused, we usually arrived at our destination within an hour of our ETA.

Some detours we may want to take and they won’t hurt the PLAN.  If we are weary, hot, and tired, suffering a little with black dog syndrome, a rest stop along the way to pause and refresh is called for and permissible. It’s for our good as are all things in the long run. But what about the detours we shouldn’t take?  If someone is giving us directions and they tell us to “go up the road about 500 clicks, hang a Louie and then you are gonna come to a fork in the road” and the next words out of their mouth are “don’t take it!” what are we gonna do? Personally, I am not going to even try to figure out how far I have to go for 500 clicks. You have to ‘know’ the voice you listen to when it comes to the road map for your life. HIS voice! HIS Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. This means, HE directs each step and even which direction I should be going. If I turn back, I have just detoured of my own free will. I can’t blame God for my mistakes. I need to know that I know HIS voice in order to know the timing of where to put my feet on this life-journey.

Knowing God’s voice is your Atlas. Let HIS voice be your life-GPS. Sometimes, our schedule may change drastically, seemingly throwing us off course. Sometimes, everything we see and touch every day is suddenly out of reach. Sometimes, we are thrown for a loop because we didn’t see ‘something’ coming. Maybe there is a lesson we need to learn. Maybe HE wants us to trust HIM a little more. Maybe there is someone we need to meet and minister to or they have a Word from the Lord for us. It is all in HIS plan, even if we see it as a detour. God will place people in our lives who speak with His voice to encourage us and provide confirmation. They are using the same GPS. They can help us along our journey to provide nourishment, or a comforting embrace, a place of rest. Don’t become self-willed and refuse to listen to those folks. They are God’s gift to us.

So, how do we follow the Plan? Pray every day without ceasing. This is not optional. We wouldn’t consider someone a true friend if they only call when they are in a jam and need us to spot them some cash. We don’t want to be anyone’s personal ATM and neither does God. HE wants us to love HIM, trust HIM, and have fellowship with HIM. Jesus is here for us whether we know we need HIM or not. Why not foster a loving, constant relationship with Him?  He knows our needs before we do. He wants to be our friend. And HE can provide so much comfort as we traverse the vicissitudes of life.

Update your spiritual GPS by staying in the Word of God. Our Bible is our Heavenly Road Map. It tells us specifically how to get from Birth to Glory. Enjoy the trip. There are fascinating things along the way for you to absorb and relish. There are hazard signs and warning lights signaling dead ends and roads washed out. There are points of breath-snatching beauty in the form of revelations. Save yourself some time, energy and pain by keeping your Atlas at hand.

Don’t forget to pause and build altars along the way. These are the hallmarks of our journey. They are the thanksgiving moments. The moment HE sent us the love of our life. When our unborn child arrived safely into this world after uncertain times. When we danced our way in praise through a battle with cancer. When we received devastating news and HE assured us HE was with us every step of the way. These spiritual altars are like the landmarks we can look back on and remember when.

We can’t get where HE wants to take us all by our lonesome. At the very least, we need God and if you are anything like me, a few Godly folks placed along the way at those ever important rest stops. HIS thoughts, HIS plan, HIS WILL, is peace!

I love you but Jesus loves you even more.

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NYRs

When you don’t feel any too good, mostly what you do is think, unload phone photos, and nap. During the “think”ing phase of this past week I gave much thought to the absolute waste of time I have spent on NYRs.  I make them only to break them and now, I wonder what that says about me. Have I made resolutions in the past, that somewhere in the back of my mind or somewhere in my heart, I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep?

Henceforth, my NYRs this year, if they be GODly, and with HIS continual help, I have laid out the following:

1.  To love the Lord more every day and keep HIS greatest commandment.

2.  To love my family, friends, and strangers without judgement, alienation, or reservation, which in effect will help me keep the second greatest commandment.

3.  To allow my failures to motivate me to do better.

4.  To trust my Lord completely.

5.  To make a positive difference where I can, while I am still able.

6.  To seek HIS wisdom in all things.

7.  To remain in HIM and bear fruit.

8.  To rely on HIM always as the source of my strength.

9.  To remember what I say about others says more about me than them.

10. To stay in the Word and inspire others to do the same.

11. To embrace this journey and enjoy every day.

12. To be the wife, mother, and grandmother my family so richly deserves.

13. To remember Mercy and Grace are my constant companions.

14. To keep on keepin’ on!

Happy New Year, Y’all~

 

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My Last Year’s Revelations

While some folks are working on New Year’s Resolutions, I am focusing on Last Year’s Revelations. The past several months have been brutal for my beloved family as we struggle with my diagnosis. I have battled for years with OA, which involved 5 total joint replacements. I have fought against the debilitating effects of FMS, yet still maintained a semblance of normal as much as possible. I battled cancer, with God’s constant help, and have been in remission for 6 years. Then came DISH and MCTD. They are a hindrance for sure, but you know my motto: Keep On Keepin’ ON! And I did! Until…..

I knew for a couple of months things weren’t right in my body, even with everything else going on. My energy levels were sorely depleted after just a few minutes. The chronic cough, shortness of breath, discoloration and swelling in extremities, etc. First, they cleared my heart. Thank God! If I could’ve taken a deep breath at that point, I surely would’ve. Then my doctor told me I had a lung disease that would take my life much sooner than I would have expected or liked. Next came the pulmonologist, who told me my lungs were fibrotic, my lung function puts me in the severe range, and he confirmed that this will take my life unless I get hit by a bus upon leaving his office. His idea of a joke didn’t make me laugh.

I arrived late to this diagnosis party. I could have had many more productive years, had I known and received treatment in the early years. I was too busy fighting everything else to recognize there was a new enemy on the scene. A doctor told me when I was still in my twenties that I had chronic bronchitis, so that was that. I dealt with it twice a year, then 4 times a year and then it just never really went away. After my current doctor diagnosed me, I spent weeks in the fog of war. Knowing the facts and accepting them are two very different things. My mama and her father both passed due to this disease.

The limitations on my life are innumerable at this point. My immune system is not strong because of the FMS and CMTD. Now, a flu bug can kill me. A common cold can kill me. Every exacerbation, and I’m in another one now, further damages my lungs which can no longer regenerate. I’m supposed to wear masks everywhere, which is impossible due to claustrophobia. I wear it when I can but only for a few minutes.  During an exacerbation, I cannot exhale enough air to inhale the rescue medication. It takes long, agonizing, painful minutes to get to the point of being able to help myself. Three meds at a time in the nebulizer for a 45 minute treatment 4 times a day? Ain’t nobody got time for that. And the need to sleep is overwhelming. Ironic for an insomniac, yes?

I had already begun to seriously look at my life. Examining everything again, and then again. We had found a church that felt like home and we felt God had directed us to go there. We had not attended church for several years for many reasons, so it felt good and strange all at the same time. We had only been attending for 1 month when I got the news that would lay me out. They told me I would go through the stages of grieving before I would be able to accept what was happening in my body. They were right on that score. It is a daily tussle. Denial. Anger. Playing “Let’s make a deal, God”. Depression. And at some point ~ Acceptance will come.

Each step comes in with the force of a hurricane accept the depression. It sneaks up on me in the middle of the night, taking my emotions and my mind to dark places. The only way back is Jesus. Prayer. The Word. Prayer. Worship Music. Prayer. It’s during these times I have found myself needing to go deeper than ever in God. And this need has not sprung from fear of death. This need has been birthed because of the time limit on my life. I need to learn everything I can about my Creator and spend as much time as I can with HIM. I knew that HE was in control. I knew that HE was ordaining every step of this journey. And I knew that HE was with me as I traversed this uncharted territory. But I also had a huge question that plagued me, moment by moment. Wherein lies the Glory?

I believe with all of my heart, that God deserves and receives all the Glory, for the moments of our lives. We were created for HIS Glory ~ (Isaiah 43:6-7). Everything Jesus did was to bring Glory to God ~ (John 7:l8). Jesus instructs us to do good so it brings Glory to God ~ (Matthew 5:16). Jesus answers prayers for the Glory ~ (John 14:13). Jesus endured the cross for the Glory ~ (John 17:1). So, there must be a Glorified purpose in this sojourn. I wanted, needed to grasp it’s purpose.

My first revelation was forgiveness. I had things from my childhood that still haunted me. I felt justified in the harboring of hurt and angry feelings. After all, I had just been a child. How dare anyone transgress against the precious innocence with which God created each of us? Until I begin to read the journey of the Cross with fresh eyes. Jesus was perfect, without sin, the purest of innocents. Yet, he was maligned, beaten, betrayed, spat upon, abandoned, became the sacrifice for every sin ever committed by others and experienced true agony because of it, mocked, brutally nailed to a cross, speared through his side, and so much more. I wept as I read the recounting in the Gospels. All of that for me. For you. And at the end, what were some of HIS final words? “Father, Forgive them.” I saw myself in that moment. What I experienced was hurtful, painful and it came from the hands of those I should have been able to trust, but it did not compare to what HE suffered for me. If HE could forgive those who persecuted HIM, I could certainly forgive, too. It did not come easily, but I am free of that heinous burden. And because HE is the Divine ONE, HE also forgets! I’m still working on that part. Thank you, Lord, for clarity in YOUR Word!

My second revelation was friendship, and it was a two-fold lesson. Friendship has never been easy for me. My husband, my children. That’s who I trusted. I have protected myself against “possible” pain by not allowing others to get too close. Very few folks are in my inner circle. Part of the process I went through this year was a complete shut-down. But there were a few folks that said, “No”, and they stayed on my heels. They have been constant friends in the worst storm of my life and that taught me it was truly okay to trust again, a hard-fought, hard-won moment in time. The other, and most important branch of the friendship schooling, was understanding “Friendship with Jesus”.

I spent time in prayer most of my life. I knew a fair amount about the Word of God. I loved HIM because HE first loved me ~ by rote. How’s that for honesty? By rote. I knew what I knew. I was raised “in the church”. My children were “Bible Quiz” Award winners. Of course, I knew God! Or….did I just think I knew HIM? HE was my Healer and HE had healed me many times. HE was my Provider and HE had provided above and beyond. He was my Leader, my Shephard, the Lamp to my feet and the Light to my path. The truth, the heart of the matter was, I knew of HIM.

It was like meeting someone for the first time when I had a true encounter this past year. In the middle of the night. When the depression rolled in with the fingers of despair pulling, tugging fiercely, at my mind, I needed someone. My husband had been up late with me and needed to get up early to go to work. I needed to be up and at the ready by 5:00 a.m. for my Baby Grands’ arrival on my doorstep, and I was a whimpering, sniveling, sobbing mess.  I needed someone! “God!” And immediately, almost before the word had left my lips, I felt HIM surround me.

I had felt the presence of the Lord many, many times, but this was personal. I had never felt THIS! HE had entered my field of anguish with total magnificence. I quieted, my breathing slowed, my tears began to abate and I waited. I don’t know how much time passed. But I knew the moment I was ready to take up the fight again. I have fought this body for years, but with the deepest breath I could draw, I was refreshed. This time, it didn’t matter how hard the battle, I was not fighting alone. HIS strength was what I had needed all along. Since that first sweet moment, I have craved HIS presence. I can’t go very long without communication, sometimes several times a day. Just the confirmation that HE is near and listening propels me forward. I had developed the beginnings of true friendship with Jesus.

The third revelation was in my blog “By God’s Grace” on the Armour of God. HE has my back ~ ALWAYS, and Jesus is all I need to fight this battle. If HE chooses to heal me on this earth ~ Hallelujah! If not ~ Hallelujah! anyhow.

The fourth revelation came today in church. Why did Peter get out of the boat? You remember the story in Matthew 14 when Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side of the lake. HE dispersed the crowd and went up to pray. A storm gale blew and the disciples were afraid in the boat. In those days, they couldn’t check the weather like we can today. They had to look to the skies and read the clouds. But in the fourth watch, which is between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m., the storm arrived. The clouds would have been hard to decipher. I’m sure they rowed furiously and worried they might perish at any moment.

Then Jesus came walking on the stormy waves and reassured them HE was indeed the Lord. Peter, ever the first one with the mouth, challenged Jesus. “Oh yeah? Well, if that’s true, tell me to step on outta this boat!” Jesus said simply, “Come”. Peter, being the man with the plan, did just that! He leapt over the side of the boat and began walking on water. Peter was full of impulses and never quite able to squelch them. That impulse took him out of the boat. Neither the boat in the midst of the storm, nor stepping out of the boat could be considered safe. Jesus had not yet calmed the storm. Peter went from hazard to hazard. Why? I believe it was because he had spent time with Jesus and knew the power that was Jesus. Because of his knowledge, he left the boat. But then…

In the midst of this storm, Jesus has been my storm-whisperer. HE quiets me, soothes me, calms me. I feel strong and bold, ready to walk on water in the face of the tempest. And then new lab reports come in, pulse ox drops a few more points, a medicine stops being effective, and my feet begin to sink. If your focal point shifts from HIS power to your problems, you’re going down in a hurry.  Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the chaos around him. Keep your eyes upon Jesus!

Here’s the beautiful resolution and revelation. The Bible tells us that “immediately” Jesus saved Peter when he cried out, “Lord, save me”. Immediately. Sometimes, God gives us the choice to humble ourselves and realize our desperate need for HIM. And sometimes, HE will allow circumstances to come our way which will humble us and bring about the same result. You can know the power in the name of Jesus, but until you act on it, Jesus said it’s “little faith”. When we are cruising through life on perfect seas, we still know there is power in the Name, but until that emergent moment? That moment, when you’re world is erupting in fear? That is the moment you become intimate with your faith in that power.

We were traveling with my sister and brother-in-law. The rain was coming down so hard we were all trying to help my brother-in-law “see”. There was a semi beside us, one behind us, and suddenly, barreling down the entrance ramp to the highway was another semi. A certain crushing scene was coming. In unison, we yelled, “Jesus!” To this day, none of us actually saw or felt anything different, but just like that, we were well ahead of all the semis! The power in the name of Jesus causes immediate reaction on HIS part when HIS child is in danger. Never doubt that HE is with you!

I pray you come to know HIM intimately this year. Get into the Word and make it a revelatory experience every time. Run references. Scripture interprets scripture. Pull out a commentary and research to know what you are reading.

So, my question, “Wherein lies the Glory”, is answered simply in my sharing with you. If just one person can be inspired to go deeper in their relationship with God, then this journey will bring Glory to God.

Lord, take me deeper than ever before!

Happy New Year! I love you but Jesus loves you even more!!

 

Posted in Finding Your Way, Grief Living, Knowing Jesus, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Things I Have Learned From Little Man

1)  I am older than Jello.

2)  I type like a Ninja.

3)  I smell good.

4)  I have the best food in the world.

5)  I am the funniest grandma ever.

6)  I should never waste time by ironing.

7)  I invented FB.

8)  My voice sounds better after coffee.

9)  My hair always looks better frosted.

9)  My hair always looks better red.

10)My hair always looks better black.

11)My hair always looks better brown.

12)My hair always looks better after I brush it.

13)My lasagna is better than chocolate milk.

14)If you look tired and spacey, you’re probably a pothead.

15)If the doctor calls, hang up.

16)Pizza is healthy.

17)Candy is healthy if it’s fruit flavored.

18)If you play a game and you lose, it’s okay to cry but only for 6 seconds.

19)Real men do cry, cause Jesus was a man and HE cried.

20)Elvis really is the coolest singer ever.

21)If you mix sweet tea, diet coke and orange juice, it looks yucky but doesn’t taste too bad.

22)If you love your dog, then she shouldn’t have to eat that dry stuff out of the bag.

23)Boys don’t wear jewelry, ever.

24)If you step on a crack it will not break your mother’s back.

25)Ramen is the best when you put an ice cube in it.

26)Strawberry-Rhubarb pie will not give you the runny poops, peanut butter fudge might.

27)If you are allergic to peanuts, you can’t eat anything with peanuts in the ingredients.  Just read the bag and be sure.

28)Jesus loves everybody, even Judas and vampires, but vampires aren’t real so maybe not.

29)Red is the best color of all the thousands of colors.  Yes, there are thousands cause you can just mix up a new one whenever you want.

30)Aunt Judy has the softest cheeks in the whole world.  Theo said so and Tristan tested the theory.

31)You can get a time-out for picking a leaf off of a bush at school.

32)You can make a float out of chocolate ice cream and diet Mt. Dew, but you won’t like it.

33)Honey dew is made from spreading honey out on the grass at night and in the morning – voila – honey dew.

34)Piglet’s Big Movie is just like us only the end is so sad.

35)If you tell a lie, before you say another word you must say, I’m sorry, that was a lie.

36)When you are tired and sick the best pillows in the world are at your grandma’s house.

37)If you ever meet someone named Seth you might not like them.

38)The back of my hand looks pretty old, but if I just turn it over, I look 12 again.

39)Hairspray is good if you ever need a helmet. I apparently wear one all the time.

40)The only thing worth going to school for is PE.  Everything else is just terrible, even the food.

41)If you pinch a penny, you just end up with that dude’s face on your thumb!

42)When someone buys you a lot of stuff that doesn’t mean they love you.  It means they want you to stay busy.

43)If you are too noisy, you are a distraction.  If you are too quiet, same thing, cause everyone bothers you to see what’s wrong.

44)My smile is like Skittles hanging on a Christmas tree.  It doesn’t get any better that that!

45)A day without sweet kisses is like being asleep and having a nightmare, except you are awake and going to school and stuff.

46)If you pray quietly in your heart, the person you are praying for can hear you.

47)When soccer season is over, even if you didn’t win a single game, it’s okay to celebrate.  After all – it’s over!

48)Christmas is all about Jesus, but He has lots of parts:  Love, Joy, Sharing, Laughing, and lots of Hugs.

49)When you are sick, if you just whisper, “Jesus”, you’ll feel better just like that!  (Illustrated with a snap)

50)When Thanksgiving Day arrives, it’s not just the regular things you can be thankful for.  School is out for a few days, too, and it’s okay to thank God for that, as well.

51)If someone you really, really love smiles at you or makes you laugh, it is a gift better than cleaning your house.

52)Kicking the bucket is not fatal.  However, it can break your toe.

53)You shouldn’t ask for things all the time, but it’s okay to point out what you really, really, really like!

54)Being at your Grammy’s house is kind of like Heaven.  Except when you go to Heaven, you see Jesus instead of just feeling HIM, and you will see people in Heaven you have never seen before.  You already know everybody at Grammy’s house.

55) Sometimes, if you mix paint colors together it turns our really pretty and other times, it’s not.   Don’t put the ugly color on your picture.  You can always start over and mix up a new batch.

56) If someone says, “Yo, bro, waddup?” you should say “We speaks the King’s English”.

57) Monday morning comes earlier than any other morning of the week.

58) If you hang out with ‘undesirables’ you’ll become one.

59) If you run in front of someone without yelling “Excuse me” you may get hit with a grocery cart and that hurts!

60) If you tell someone a really funny joke and they don’t laugh, maybe they just need a hug instead.

61) If one eye gets injured, well, you still have one good eye and that is better than no eyes. But when it comes to gumballs, two is def better than one.

62) You could just leave the maters out of the Marinara sauce.  Hey, you could call it Alfredo sauce, then.

63) Chocolate covered almonds are awesome but putting walnuts in fudge is just weird.

64) Tic Tacs are church candy.  Lifesavers are not!

65) If you put 4 Tic Tac Power Mints in your mouth at once and chew them up not only will you burn up your tastebuds but your nose hair will flat fall out!

66) If you eat too much rice with soy sauce before bed ~ it will give you bad dreams, a tummy ache and gas.

67) A University is simply a collage of colleges!

68) Saving money requires patience AND money. And if you’re saving for a 2DS it takes a lot of patience and a lot of money and he don’t have much of either.

69) You can add any seasoning to chicken noodle soup, but it gets hard to take something back out.

70) If he opens a restaurant, he’s going to call it ‘Grammy’s Kitchen’ cause that’s the best food and he’ll make lots of money.

71) There is too much importance placed on making money.

72) If you have Jesus, you have love, and that’s pretty good stuff right there.

73) He took a walk through my mind and saw heartbreak.

74) All food is good, except mushrooms, peanuts, guacamole and peas.

75) Ramen is college kid soup and should be made in the coffee pot cause that’s the only appliance they probably have.

76) Though he can hardly believe it, his mama is older than Olive Garden!

Posted in Parenting Simplified, Uncategorized | Leave a comment