Ask Yourself These Questions and Your Life Will Never Be the Same

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Missionaries spoke during our a.m. service yesterday. Of course they shared their testimony, their vision, and the typical things you would expect a missionary to share. But this couple really struck chords in my heart. They were talking about the Great Commission and the three questions that it requires. This is what is surfacing in my spirit to share with you.

???Whom shall I pray for today???

  1. Be open to an unfamiliar name drop. Tears came to my eyes as I thought of God giving me an unfamiliar name because that particular person has no one to pray for them. But because of my prayers, which go before God’s throne, God now has something to work with. It’s not far fetched, someone having no one. I heard the very sad tale of a young man who aged out of the foster care system. He went directly into the service because he had nowhere else to go. When he returned from his tour of duty, he had no one to tell that he survived except for his case handler, so that is who he called.

???What shall I give???

2. At the beginning of this year I sent a letter to a minister that I glean a lot from stating my intention to provide monthly support out of my money. Mind you, I have no personal income; it’s all Bob. Do you know the LORD has been faithful to provide? You know now!

???Where shall I go???

3. The missionary husband gave this example: we go to the LORD basically shooting bullet prayers. “This person’s sick, please heal them. And I’ve got this bill, please take care of it. Thank You. Amen” and we walk away. We don’t wait for the answer, he continued. Maybe God would have us go to the sick and lay hands on them and they would be healed. Maybe the LORD would tell us to go to the grocery store and some person there would remember they owe us money and pay us back, bill taken care of.

The Great Commission is this: It is every believer asking all of these questions. Every day. Then waiting for the LORD to answer.

That’s scary, isn’t it? To take the edge off, I’m going to share a wonderful experience with you.

When I was in my early 20s, my ex-fiance’s dad was hospitalized. He had raging diabetes and had toes removed. I had been praying for his salvation and was suddenly inspired to go to the hospital to see him. Did you catch that? This was my ex-fiance’s dad. I did not know who in the family would be there or how or if they would accept me, but I knew that I knew that I knew that was his day of salvation.

I readied myself, and with my heart banging off my ribs, I drove to the hospital alone, hung my mum’s clergy card from the mirror for I had parked in a clergy spot — hey, I knew what I was there for! — and walked purposefully to his hospital room.

As God would have it, his wife was the only one present at that time. Thankfully, we had been able to maintain a good relationship. Upon my arrival, she excused herself for refreshments and left us alone. It was so perfectly orchestrated.

Don had gone to church. He knew the “deal”, but he’d never accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. He did that day. His wife knew what had happened as soon as she walked into the room and saw his tear stained cheeks, glowing face, and bright smile. Despite his devastating ordeal, God injected peace and joy into the midst of him. As a reminder of his conversion, the LORD had directed me to take him a gift: a teddy bear, the cuddling size. You might think that’s an odd gift for a man, but the LORD was working on me, too. Was I willing to part with something precious to me? Here’s the story:

Years before that, when our families were smaller, mine and my cousins’ names were drawn for Christmas gifts. My Mum’s side of the family was inundated with boys. A couple of my aunts took the name exchange as an opportunity and relished the idea of purchasing a gift for a girl. One year, not this aunt. She gave a me a plain, navy blue sweatshirt and earrings that looked like BBs. I’ve never forgotten that. The same aunt drew my name the next year. I dreaded that part of the party when it came.

When my name was called and the gift was passed to me, I left the room to open it so that she would not see my anticipated disappointment. When I opened the package, there was my brown, stuffed bear. I was so happy! He remained on my bed and saw me through many a heartache. It pained me to give him away, my perfect for cuddling sized bear, but it seemed Don needed him more than I did. Thankfully, he received the bear without reservation. I went to visit Don when he got home from the hospital and where was the bear? It was beside the t.v. where it was a constant visual reminder of his encounter with Jesus.

There is much to do and time is growing short. Please join me and ask yourself these questions today: Whom shall I pray for? What shall I give? Where shall I go? Perhaps, like me, you have been waiting for a very long time for an answer to prayer. Maybe our blessing is wrapped up in His answer to one of these questions. Are we willing to make sacrifices in order to find out? I hope so. Let’s ask and wait and listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWQ4hitx7t4

Whom shall I pray for today? You. What shall I give today? This post. Where shall I go today? The internet. See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? ūüôā

Bread and Bird Bandits

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We don’t throw much food away in our house. We’re partial to eating. The more leftovers there are in the fridge, that testify to great amounts of cooking having been done, the happier my family is. Occasionally though, something will get away from me. One day I thought I was doing myself a favor by getting slow cookers going with two different meats. I was giddy, thinking of the leftovers and the free time I would have to do something more pleasant than the the making of the main dish. But upon rising the next day, I realized I had forgotten to refrigerate the crock that was full of pork chops that had been slow cooked in mushroom soup. I nearly cried. Finding berries in the frig growing white, fuzzy stuff is also disappointing. It grieves me to toss out food, (which I equate with money), but there are the sad, rare times when it must be done.

One of our most recent discards was bread. I don’t blame that on us so much as I blame the weather. It has been very hot and exceedingly humid– oppressively, suffocatingly so. And there it was, my beautiful loaf of sour dough bread exhibiting green growth. Yuk! Even in discarding food we try to find uses for it. Beth took it out for the birds. It wasn’t long before they found it and she came to me with what she had observed.

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One of the birds had a large piece of bread in his beak. Another bird swooped down and then another and another. They went after the morsel that their counterpart had instead of the remainder of the loaf. Beth was amused and I was dumbfounded. Seriously? The other birds couldn’t break off their own chunks?

A great passage of scripture to read today is John 6:25-59. I’m going to pluck out a simple portion and put it in a nut shell for today’s post: Jesus said the Father gives true, life giving bread from Heaven. Jesus is that bread. Whoever goes to Him will never be hungry or thirsty and will live forever. There’s enough of Jesus to go around. We can all easily have our abundant portion. But He explicitly spoke of those who come to Me. We’re not called to be feasted upon by others. It’s up to us as individuals to go to Jesus and receive everything He has for us. Otherwise, we’re the tormenting birds trying to pilfer from others when what they have could readily be ours if we’d only go to the Source.

Who has come to steal from you? Who is pecking at the tasty morsel you have in your mouth? Is it a person? Health problems? Money woes? Your place of employment? Ah, look more closely. It is not the face before you that challenges the blessing of your Bread but the spirit of satan. He is the author of discord, disease, lack, and death. Jesus is the Author of life, and life more abundantly. Will we continue to let the enemy swoop in and peck at us and our gifts from God? Or will we resist?

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 KJV

You do what you want, but I’m not surrendering to the birds. I’m submitting to God and resisting the devil. I hope you’ll join me and do the same. I’ve discovered the Bread is delicious and I’m not giving Him up for anything.

Reconsider

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I am spending the month of July reconsidering in earnest a great deal of things/projects in my life. When I write to you during this time it will most likely be “off the cuff”.

For starters, this song has been running in my mind for probably over a week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWlB7sLoLJs

Then this morning, this song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vUvi-A75BU

God has not changed His mind. He said it. I believe it. Everything hidden will be revealed. Healing oil will be poured over all the nations. He will have His way. He will do what only He can do. He will do the impossible. We will see His wonders, His miracles to perform. The decision has been and still remains ours: Believe and receive or doubt and do without. I choose to hold fast to faith in God. Join me.

Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Psalm 77:14 KJV

What Did You Say?

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Bob and I were in the garage.  

“What do you want to do with these?” he asked, motioning toward carpet remnants.

“I don’t know.”

“Do you have plans for them?”

“No.¬† Do you?”

“I don’t want them if we’re not going to use them for something.”

Obviously.  Upon further thought, he decided one would be nice to lay on while working on vehicles but it was quite large.

“We could use some of it for Foxy, for on her floor,” I suggested.

He handed me the measuring tape.¬† “Here, go measure it.”

I came back with the measurements.¬† He marked the carpet.¬† “This looks really big.”

“It is.”

He made a little slice.¬† “This looks way too big.¬† Look, if I cut it where you told me, it’ll be more than half the carpet.¬† I’ll have hardly nothing left to lay on.”

I was feeling insulted.¬† “I know how to use a measuring tape.”

“I’m not saying that you don’t, but this is too big.”

“Then measure it yourself.”¬† It was getting too cold for me for much more debate.

He strolled out with the measuring tape and I followed him.  He went to the dog box that we have for Foxy outside of our partially enclosed basement entryway.

“I didn’t measure her box,” I said.¬† “I measured her crate.”

I measured the crate correctly but the measurements were indeed too big for what he thought I had measured.¬† I was irritated over our miscommunication.¬† A simple clarification would have spared me some agitation — not that I should have been agitated in the first place, but I was.

And so it is in our world today.¬† People vying to be heard, people vying to be right, people vying for their way to be the way and all for the enormous price of discord everywhere.¬† I declare to you today that the repair of communication malfunction begins with me.¬† And you.¬† Us as individuals.¬† Here’s some verses from the Good Book to get us started.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  Ephesians 4:29  KJV  

In other words, let no bad communication come out of your mouth so that we can build others up.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  Matthew 12:36  KJV
 
We’ll answer for every useless word we speak.
 
And a couple of my all time favorite scriptures that pertain to speech are:
 
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.‚Ä̬† Matthew 12:37¬† KJV
 

And a verse much like the last:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 18:21   KJV

Have you given much thought to what you have spoken lately?  Is it something that you want to eat?

¬†As far as words go, I’ve discovered that I have a hard time believing people.¬† Think about this, I mean really, really, think about this: We have been conditioned for unbelief.¬† People tell us one thing but then do another.¬† We even do it to ourselves!¬† Don’t believe me?¬† How many times have you told someone, “I’ll be there by 5”, and you don’t show up until 5:15?¬† Sadly, I’ve done it myself.¬† And I’ve mostly done it to people who I know won’t be on time themselves.¬† I figure if their being late doesn’t matter to them then my being late shouldn’t matter to them.¬† But by living this way I’ve reduced my own character.¬† It’s not hurting them, that’s their way of life, it’s hurting me.¬†¬†

My church is what one might consider a “full Gospel” church.¬† I like my church.¬† But do you know how often we have the “full Gospel” manifested during our services?¬† Not near as often as God would have it, not near as often as I desire it, and yet look what we’re giving God to work with.¬† We’ve given Him pointless, useless talk.¬† What’s worse, one doesn’t have to travel too many corridors to hear gossip, character assassination, or just plain meanness.¬† “In the church?!” you gasp.¬† Of course.¬† Are we really going to play this game of “I didn’t do it” instead of “Let’s repent, quit doing it, and move on”?¬†¬†

I’m going to take today’s reprimand one step further.¬† We had a prophetic message that said in part, “The state that the world is in today I (the LORD) lay at the church’s door.”¬† If you want to argue that point and blame politicians, absentee fathers, and the next door neighbor, you’re wrong.¬† If you’re in the church, same as me, God deems us to blame for the mess we’re in.¬† Are we really going to argue with God?

2 Chronicles 7:14  KJV says:  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

God is talking to His people.¬† He isn’t playing games.¬† He never has.¬† He never will.¬† ¬† His people, those of us who have taken Him unto ourselves, are at fault.¬† Listen, I’ve presented many, many encouraging words here at God’s Word Girl and all of them have been given in sincerity with Holy Spirit leading to the best of my ability.¬† I would be remiss, however, if I came to you with those types of words today.¬† God is on the move and He is working, but He is working on behalf of those who are wholeheartedly seeking Him.¬†¬†

God is long suffering, yes, but we are coming to the end of the era of the indifferent church.¬† Holy Spirit will no longer be in attendance in those places where homage has not been given to Him.¬† One very wise man once said, “Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated.”¬† And yet we expect God Almighty, awesome, incorruptible, highly esteemed, our Creator, to go where He is not welcome?¬† Where His presence is not anticipated?¬† Expected?¬† Desired?¬† Wanted?¬† No more.¬† If you’re in a self-seeking church that doesn’t challenge you to grow in God I highly advise you to get out.¬† Now.¬†

We are crazy indeed if we think that church as usual is on tomorrow’s menu.¬† It is not.¬† Neither is¬†Christian as usual.¬† We must be people who fulfill not only our word but God’s Word or we will cease to be.¬† God deserves better.¬† He deserves a Bride who loves Him without reservation, just as He loves us.¬† Listen, we’re not going to do this perfectly, this isn’t what today’s word is about.¬† It is about a call to make a decision to love and purposely grow in that love.¬† Further, it is a call to prove that love by action as best as we can.¬†

See, another part of the message to the church is that the fields are white unto harvest.¬† God hears the cries of the lost day and night.¬† He is looking for an army, those who will take His armor and His Name and fight for the lost.¬† I want to be on God’s side.¬† Do you?¬† Then join me.¬† Let’s take His armor and His name and go.¬† ¬†

TobyMac’s song, “Speak Life”, is perfectly fitting for this post.¬† Check it out by clicking the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rK6O0YtBRY

The old adage, If you don’t have anything good to say then don’t say anything at all, is still a good adage.

Precious Heirlooms

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There we were, the four of us at a narrow, long table covered with plastic, an old sheet, planting paraphernalia, and dirt, working in a tight spot in the cluttered, wooden, dirt floored garage. My eldest daughter and I stood across from my Uncle Paul and Dad. Paul had asked Dad to help him transplant his seedlings into cups for the next part of their growth journey and he needed help. He’d fallen and broken 3 of his ribs during his last adventure in the garden. Dehydration was the culprit, doctors say. Uncle Paul testified to that, saying he “never drinks water” and now he’s been commanded to drink a gallon a day. He looked tired, said he was in a lot of pain, and has a hurting toe that he told the doctors to snip off. And yet . . .

. . . he was happy, poking his finger in the cups Laura and I filled with potting soil and sinking his tender seedlings. He told us about the tomatoes we were transplanting. They’re called Abraham Lincolns and the way he talks they will grow to be a large, sandwich tomato. We’ll never be able to buy them anywhere because they’re from heirloom seeds. One of my great uncles gave him a seed that grows a plant that produces large, red beans. He’s been growing that for nearly 50 years. If Uncle Paul isn’t a gardener he isn’t anything. He is in a hard place for sure, what with mending and it being planting season and all, but there was joy about him as he played in the dirt and dispensed his knowledge and experience concerning heirloom seeds.

A couple of weeks later would find Bob and me at a real estate auction for an older couple who had gone to our church. The wife passed away a few years ago, the husband just this year. I felt like the human version of the turkey buzzards circling overhead as we stood in the 40 degree temperatures, complete with drizzle, and watched as their belongings were paraded before the gathering of over 100 people. Oh my, the stuff! We had been there for three hours and the auctioneers said it would be another hour before they got to the “inside stuff”.

I looked at the tools, the shovels, the silverware, the fine china and the decorations and listened to the onslaught of, “I know it’s worth fifty dollars but who’ll start with twenty? Twenty dollar, do I hear a twenty?” I thought: Is this what most our lives will amount to? An auction being held in our parking lot while strangers, neighbors, friends, and even family pick through our stuff?

I thought about this even after we came home. Suddenly, a happy thought. I had done a final walk-through the couple’s home before the auction began. I had a mental picture of a room. Actually, at probably no bigger than 4×6, it had likely been a closet. But that was not the purpose it served for as long as I knew Nancy — and that had been a very long time. A red curtain was pulled back at the entry to expose the simple, tiny space. Stained glass paper was on the wall at the far side of the room. This was the sacred. What transpired here would never be found on the auction chopping block. This was Nancy’s prayer room. This was where the truly precious took place. I am sure we witnessed some of the effects of the battles she waged and won there while other prayers have been stored by God Himself, collected until the time is ripe for Him to release the answers to her prayers.

Heirloom seeds, antique tools, jewelry — there’s nothing wrong with any of these things. But they all pale in comparison to the precious. What is the precious? Our faith. And the prayers we pray in that faith. That’s precious. That’s everlasting. That’s priceless.

Join me today as we reevaluate what we hold in such high regard. Let us look at the way we are living today. What does that look like through the lens of eternity? Will we be known for the possessions we leave behind? Or for the investments we have made in eternity?

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36 KJV

Rats and Revelation

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Our family arrived at the twins’ friend’s house together but for some reason we parted. Laura didn’t understand why the four of us went another direction in the house when she specifically told us where they normally meet. Even Beth came with us so Laura went alone to the room where they usually hold their Bible study. The young, married couple was waiting there. All of a sudden a rat unexpectedly dropped down from the ceiling light fixture.

“Run!” the husband yelled.

Laura ran but to no avail. The rat was quick and latched onto her ankle. The husband shot the rat with a gun that was toy-like in nature. The ammo had less effect than paper wads. No matter that it was shot at least 20 times, it didn’t let go.

“Get it off me! Get it off me!” Laura screamed.

At last she’d had enough of rat dream #1 and woke herself up. I find her ability to stop dreams at will, and sometimes even change the course of them, interesting and somewhat enviable.

Though the dream perplexed me a little, I was really jolted when Laura had rat dream #2. In this dream a rat was biting her neck. She didn’t stick around in that dream for very long. I became more earnest in asking the LORD if there was something to this and please reveal it.

When Laura announced that she’d had rat dream #3 I sighed, or groaned, or both. I didn’t know if I wanted to hear it. But being a fervent believer in God speaking to us in our dreams, since I think we’re sometimes too busy during the day or too dense to get it while awake, I asked her to proceed. In dream #3, she was chasing the rat. It went to a dark place to hide but it could not escape her.

I don’t believe rats in dreams are good omens, especially when they’re attacking. I did a little bit of research a few days after Laura had had all of the dreams to see what they might mean according to the Bible. Though there was little to find it was mostly what I expected. Rats symbolize lack, sickness, and sin, among many other delightful things (yes, I’m being sarcastic). I’m glad I sought the LORD first instead of searching for symbolic definitions or I would have been totally freaked out.

I shared my findings with Laura and we discussed her three dreams again in light of them. We were struck when we realized in a couple of my findings that rats (symbolically) have a lot to do with all sorts of financial grief. It is also part of their mission to torment people and prevent them from reaching their destinies. To understand how fascinating this is, you must know Laura. She is a very generous person and isn’t afraid to use her money to bless others or spend it on herself. She totally trusts that God will provide — which He does. I told her once, “Laura, you will never be without money because you aren’t afraid to spend it. You trust God so completely.” I also believe that it is her giving, merciful spirit that will lead her (at least in part) to her destiny.

Guess what gripped her during this time period of the rat: fear. And not just any fear, fear concerning money. She was looking at some items that she herself admired and was suddenly (I don’t like demonic suddenlies) consumed with fear about buying them. She was being tormented where her finances were concerned. It was so absurd, so blatant, so not Laura, that Beth said, “What’s wrong with you, Laura? You always have money and you’re not afraid to spend it.”

This revelation was mind blowing for us. It was also a relief for, in the end, Laura had the rat on the run.

Now I’m going to share something revolutionary with you. The more I meditated on her dreams, the more I realized this dream isn’t just for Laura, it’s for me. And it’s for you if you’ll receive it.

All of us have “rats”, demonic critters that come chewing and attacking. They bring negativity, lack, loss, disease, sickness, bondage, sin, and as if all of these things weren’t heart breaking enough, the devil will steal our destinies — if we let him. Listen, no matter what the “rat” has done or is doing in your life, I decree to you now that we are entering a season when the destroyer of our souls is going to be running from us, not at us. We won’t back down. No matter how dark, no matter how deep, he’s not getting away. No more chewing on us! We will no longer be the hunted but the hunter. We are no longer unsuspecting but aware.

I was thrift shopping with Beth recently. As a woman was cashing us out in one of the stores she said, “You know, I think this covid has been a good thing. I think people are waking up to what’s going on. I’m expecting good things to come out of this.”

“Yes,” I agreed with her. “But not everybody is going to see it. Only those who are looking for the blessing are going to see it and receive it.”

The Bible tells us to look up, for our salvation is near!

Are you looking? I am. If you’re not certain of deliverance then please say this prayer with me:

Dear God, I am so sorry for sinning against you.  I recognize Jesus as Your only begotten Son.  I believe in His crucifixion and His resurrection.  I believe that He made this sacrifice so that I could be Your child and that's what I want to be.  I choose You.  I choose righteousness.  Please forgive me.  Holy Spirit, come now.  Live in me and mold me into who You made me to be.  Help me reach my destiny.  Thank You.  Amen.

God bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you. If you said the prayer above please let me know. And to all of you, pick up the Word and join us in getting rid of some rats. It’s time.

I picked this video with Bob and my male followers in mind. Be sure to watch Theo Meade’s creation to the very end to see the Ultimate Hero. He resides in all of us who have chosen Him and will do great things through us for God’s glory — if we let Him. What heroic thing can we do with Jesus today?

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. Isaiah 54:17 KJV

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 KJV

The Day After Nothing

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Life is hard and then you die.

Not your typical encouragement from God’s Word Girl, is it? Don’t worry, just my odd sense of humor coming through. This post gets better, honest.

I used to say that, though. Looking back it’s kind of funny now because I said that when I was younger. Like, before marriage, kids, a mortgage, car payments, electric bills, phone bills — you get the picture. Before life was ripe with responsibilities. I consider it a badge of spiritual maturity that I no longer say that. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally think it.

Quite frankly, I’ve been battling sinking feelings lately. It’s mostly because my expectations concerning answers to prayers have not been answered in the way or time that I had anticipated. Although this has been subject matter of mine before, it bears repeating, especially since I’m not the only one wrestling with this.

There is an older couple from our church whose husband has been on a physical roller coaster ride for 4 years, maybe more now. He’s bed fast and aware, but unable to speak. The twins had made cards for our friend in honor of his birthday this month so Beth and I went to deliver them. The wife’s eyes were swimming with tears as she softly said, “I had thought by Easter . . . ” and then she shrugged. Neither are willing to quit the fight but the weariness of battle is evident.

I try to abstain from asking the LORD “How long?” But like my life is hard statement, that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking it. Mum has said I was a bit of a nag growing up. I admit it. What causes the nag in me to come out is being told something’s going to happen and then when it doesn’t, I wait. And wait. And wait. And then I begin to nag. Anyone else out there suffering with the symptoms of taking-too-long-timeitis? That makes me smile. Taking too long by whose standards? God is obviously adhering to His own timetable and if I have done all He has told me to do and am keeping the faith, there’s nothing I can do besides wait.

I think of another friend of ours. She and her husband have had quite the ordeal with the process of fostering a child with adoption being the end result. The day the LORD revealed that this child was to be part of their life was a buoyant day indeed. For two years they prayed, believed, did the proper paper work, integrated him into their family at every opportunity, cooperated with the family member who was their contact, jumped through every hoop, and persevered through the maze of red tape. On Good Friday, however, I got a frantic text. The boy’s family member had driven my friend to her utter limit. Her plea boiled down to, “Pray!” Which I did. I prayed a bold prayer; I asked the LORD to rectify the situation in time for Easter. After 9 p.m. Saturday night the text came: He’s here!!!! Nearly an hour later a picture of my friend, smiling from ear to ear, holding their new son. What a long, drawn out battle, but then, SUDDENLY.

As Beth and I were parting from our older friends, I said to the refreshed wife, “You know, nearly every time I wait a long time for an answer, I think of the story about Jesus healing the blind man. The people wanted to know who sinned, the man or his parents. Jesus said, ‘Neither. But that the Father may be glorified’.” And the wife and I said in sync, “When it is time.”

God has not forgotten us. The Blood of Jesus still has its power. Holy Spirit is invading the earth. Angels have been dispatched and are warring. Things aren’t happening according to my timetable, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t happening. I was speaking to yet another man just last week about some general expectations we as Believers have concerning the Church as a whole and our nation (and other nations as well). I said, “I believe there is a lot more going on than we realize. One day we will know about it.”

God said He will have His way. He who promised can not lie. He said many enemies from without as well as within the Church have tried to destroy His Bride, but He won’t have it. When it is time, and He will receive the most glory, He will shake the earth with the evidence of His awesome existence. In the meantime, He is looking for those who will take His name and His armor, and battle for the souls of those crying out to Him day and night for salvation. Will we be those who are named among His great army? I want to be. I can think of no greater calling.

But what about this time thing? Beloved, when you did all you know to do, Just stand. Our Father has a treasury full of Suddenlies and at the most opportune time they will be poured out on the faithful. There are no “nothing” days. God is always up to something. He is always on the move. Maybe we won’t see the fruition of His hand today, but we will see it. Until then, please join me and worship Him for simply Who He is. God is love. God is forgiving. God is faithful. “His goodness is running after me.” Sing it. Say it. Share it. Believe it.

Beautiful Messes

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Once again I have been writing in my head. What makes it to God’s Word Girl is far and few between. It’s a shame, too, since some of the blogs I’ve mentally compiled are fantastic — if I do say so myself.

Part of my issue is a genuine one, though. My computer is old. Sometimes it throws fits while I’m on it and it shuts off without warning. And there I am. Computerless. I don’t know about other bloggers but I’m not able to post without certain tools — a computer being a very necessary one. So, if I drop off again it could be a toss up between mental compilations that never make it to print or my computer passed out on me . . . again.

Another problem is that I have so much that I want to write and so many directions in which I could go that it’s hard to pick one. The twins have been hard at work polishing activities for the tween’s devotional book that we’re creating so I want to keep up with the writing there. Another part of me is chomping at the bit to get back to a novel one of my closest friends has waited for for literally decades now.

Yet another problem is that I’ve been preparing to move. That’s no small feat. What to keep? What to toss? What to donate?

There I go again, rambling. See, this is what has been going on in my head and in my home lately. Too much, too much, too much . . . .

One night my husband and I heard strange noises. Neither one of us could quite tell what the noise was or from where it came. Apparently neither one of us had enough energy or concern to get up and look, either. When the kids were young my radar was prime. If the least little thing didn’t sound right with them I was out of bed. Meanwhile, they could cry their heads off and Bob would sleep right through it. On the other hand, that man would be on his elbow listening or at the window looking if he heard a strange vehicle or an unusual noise in our neighborhood. Those types of things tripped his radar. Apparently on that night, there were no child worries for me and no neighborhood worries for him so we proceeded to go to sleep.

Before he left for work the next morning I told him that I thought the noises may have come from our closet. I think I mentioned in prior posts that ours is a very old house, some parts being 100 years old. Obviously people then had little use for closets. Our built-in closet in our master bedroom is a 3 foot rod. Yep, that’s it. No shelves, no other rods, no nothing. That would be fine for the couple whose wife didn’t like dresses and blouses and whose husband didn’t wear uniforms, but that’s not us.

Shortly after we moved into this house, while Bob was working second shift, Dad built us a BIG closet out of one of those kits you can buy at any home department store. It’s mobile, kind of, and takes up a pile of room in our bedroom, but so would all of the clothes if they were helter skelter. My dear closet began to buckle. One shelf kind of fell sideways a couple of days earlier. But on the night of all of the noise that shelf totally gave out and down came my sweat pants and the blouses that hung on the rod beneath. I guess it could’ve been noisier but all of the clothes collapsing kind of muffled the sounds of anything breaking.

For nearly 2 weeks I looked at the mess and wondered what was the meaning of life. I’m kidding! I wasn’t wondering that although I did wonder if I could get rid of enough clothes so that all of them would fit on one rod. I also wondered if God might be trying to tell me something about what to keep, donate, or toss . . . ?

Have you given much thought as to what’s in your closet lately? Are you filled with unforgiveness, anger, pride, or selfishness? Are your rods and shelves heavy laden with worry and the cares of this world? Are the noises coming from those deep recesses disturbing your sleep? Funny how closing a curtain or shutting a door doesn’t get rid of the things that lie behind. Only the Blood of Jesus can do that.

My challenge to you is to join me in examining our hearts and face what is lurking there. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the writers of the Psalms asked God to search them and see if there was any wicked way in them. If so, there was then a plea, “Create in me a clean heart, O God! Renew a right spirit within me! Please don’t cast me away from Your presence! Don’t take Your holy Presence from me!”

If we live by the world’s standards we are living too low. Holy Spirit will flourish in vessels who honor Him. If Jesus wouldn’t say it, do it, or dwell on it, then neither should we. I don’t know about you, but I want to rise to the heights of my God given authority while simultaneously sinking into the depths of His limitless love.

I will try to come to you again much sooner next time although at this point that may depend a lot on the state of my computer. I do miss you and I miss our time together. Be blessed and go in the grace of our LORD Jesus Christ. And let the searching of our hearts begin.

The Sands of Time

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At times I held my breath, sometimes I clutched the door handle, sometimes I pushed my foot against the car’s floorboards as if that would slow the car down; it didn’t. Yet I remained closed-mouthed or waited until the “moment of terror” ended before I gently instructed. Laura giggled about how my head bobbled when she hit the pot holes a little harder than intended and Beth relished taking the turns around the snow banks that the plow truck made in the parking lot. I tried taking it all in stride. I didn’t want to risk freaking out the new drivers or damaging fragile confidences.

It didn’t seem so long ago that Dad was white-knuckling the door handle while softly instructing me on the wonders of driving a vehicle.

The passage of time has made itself ever real to me. I realized today that on my side of the family we have lost 4 relatives in just a little over a year; an aunt, an uncle, and two cousins. Then I proceeded to reminisce about those we have lost long ago.

I remember Bob and I having a conversation about “lines”. Picture soldiers in formation, great grandparents in the front (if you have them), then grandparents, then parents, then you, then children (if you have them),etc. As people pass on, the next generation moves forward. It’s kind of eerie thinking about the front lines thinning out and realizing that one day you’re going to be it. But remember none of us are promised tomorrow (James 4:14). My cousins that passed away were in their 40s. Sometimes death reaches past the front lines and snags someone prematurely. I hate when that happens.

The most recent death in our family brought a startling thought to my dad: out of my grandparents’ brood of 13, he is now the oldest surviving son. That’s startling on a couple of different plains. I don’t care much for the thoughts of my parents aging, but they are. I definitely don’t care much for the thoughts of me aging, but I am. All I need do is look around my table to confirm that. Often I wonder where my babies went. I used to question if I would survive their childhood or keel over in pure exhaustion yet here they are, young adults. Tick-tock . . . .

A story came out following my uncle’s death. He was in a hospital bed in another room. My aunt had a monitor at the foot of his bed so she could check on him from her own bedroom. One night he was talking to Grandma and Grandpa. Was my uncle seeing his parents in his own suspended state of death? I don’t know. But here’s what I do know: death was never meant to be a final farewell. My uncle lived a wild life, a “rascal” was what one of my aunts called him. But guess what? He came to Jesus. He was water baptized, fully submersed, while wearing a t-shirt saying, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”. It was a late-in-life conversion, and he carried on with some of his former bad habits, (I imagine they may be difficult to break after decades of practice), but it was genuine. I remember glancing at him in church and thinking how happy he looked to be in God’s house. After many years of wandering, he had finally come home. The message the day of his funeral:

It is not too late and you have not gone too far to come to Jesus. God’s deepest desire is for us to come to Him.

The saddest part about death is remaining. It leaves the living too much time to think about what they could have done differently. A neighbor lady told me about a friend of hers who spent all of the time she could with her mother because she was elderly. Little did she know that her husband would die unexpectedly many years before her mother did. Did she regret not spending more time with her husband?

Maybe we should try to live today without regrets. Make that phone call. Write that letter. Send that text. Give that hug. Say that word. Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today — and make sure people top the list, not things. I know, I know, it’s hard. Work and chores must be done. Yes, that’s so. But sprinkle the mundane with the spectacular. Set out the good dishes for no particular reason and when there is no company. Play with the kids. Laugh with your spouse. Call that friend you haven’t spoken with for a while. Make an impromptu visit or call to parents or siblings. Let those who have been away from church know that they are missed. Take up a new hobby. It’s not too late. My uncle was proof of that. He had a lifetime of rough living, but towards the end, he chose Jesus. I’ll remember the light of his countenance and the smile on his lips. He had finally come to know true love, joy, and peace.

Join me in being more aware of those around us. Can we help them find their way somehow? Can we encourage them? Let us also be conscious of the passing of time for it is slipping by so very, very quickly. May God guide us in spending our moments wisely.

Whosoever

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Cassie’s mother rejected her. Between Bob’s brother’s full time job and work at his farm, he didn’t have time to nurse a calf. Truth be told, my 3 children were young then, I didn’t have much time either. But I couldn’t resist the urge to play the heroine and try to save a cast off animal. So Cassie came to stay with us. Mum helped me with my mission more than anyone else, she and I making trails in our lawn from our house to Cassie’s temporary home. We did our best but to no avail. In nature, the death knell tolls for babies who are rejected by their mamas. Cassie was no different. It was a crushing loss; we had tried so hard to save her. But something more devastating was about to come. God used this particular life experience to give me a loud and clear message: Despite my best efforts, “Not all will be saved.” I cried for days after I heard that. Even now it squeezes my heart when I think about it.

Today’s memory was triggered by a scripture I read: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7

No one had seen an ark, much less rain, but God showed them to Noah in a dream. Noah believed or why else would he have toiled to build an ark and suffer under the weight of the ridicule that came with it? I imagine that what kept him stable was the memory of the dream and the terrible vision of its fulfillment that lie ahead. Unlike the other humans on planet earth at that time, Noah had a reverential fear of the LORD. He knew that when God said, “ENOUGH!” it was time to stay out of His way and do what He said to do without question.

God gave a way of escape to whosoever would get in the ark. Today He gives a way of escape to those who will receive, commit to, and confess Jesus. But those eerie words echo in my head, “Not all will be saved.”

God is speaking through today’s prophets. There are two instances of the prophetic in my own life that keep coming back to me. The first Word came to our congregation on January 5, 2020.

“I have drawn you in circles of love. I have called you by name. I love you. Come to Me. Step into My embrace. Let Me cover you for you do not know the time, the evil, what lurks in the shadows, but I do. I would protect you. Step into My embrace. Let Me cover you. Come into My bosom. I will be to you a shield and a buckler. Will you continue to refuse and resist Me? Do not! Come to Me. For you do not know the time or the evil. I Am your Father, Healer, Friend, Savior, Deliverer, all you could ever want or need, I Am. Come to Me.”

One of the scriptures that came to mind following this Word was from Isaiah 26:20 where we are told to hide ourselves for a little while until the LORD’s anger is passed. What really encouraged me about this Word from the LORD is that He said if we would step into Him, He would hide us. Many times God presents opportunities to us in His Word: “If you will ______, then I will ______.” Fill in the blanks. On our part, it’s simple obedience. Yeah, simple yet complex all in one nut shell, eh?

In my prayer time on April 14, 2020, the LORD showed me three pictures (not in any particular order):

The first looked like a genie’s lamp. It was suspended in mid-air with the bluest colored sky as a backdrop. From it poured an abundance of oil that covered the earth and it did not cease. I believe it represents Holy Spirit’s anointing and divine healing for everyone.

The second was a collision of pictures, mostly spring/summer-like and the words, “The trees bud and the flowers bloom.”

The third picture was a high-powered spotlight and the words, “Nothing hidden will remain.”

Many are the times I have returned to these precious Words and pictures when I felt like my hope was waning.

Today’s post is two-fold. Ours is a lost and dying world. We must be the Noahs in our generation. We must push through the ridicule and continue to proclaim Jesus Christ and do our best to encourage faith in Him. “Not all will be saved.” Yes, that’s the sad truth. Agrippa told Paul, “You almost persuade me to be a Christian.” Paul’s heart must have sunk, Almost? Here’s the thing about that story, Paul gave it his best shot. We’re not responsible to judge, condemn, or browbeat people into salvation. We are responsible to share the Good News of the Gospel. When is the last time you reached out to someone on behalf of Jesus? It’s easier than we think, really. Just love.

The second part of this post is hope. God is not done. He has made certain promises that will not fail. Hold on. Keep the faith. Do not succumb to the lying taunts of the devil for I hear rumbling in the distance. It is thunder. It is the sound of God walking on the shores of our nations. Now isn’t the time to hide in the dark. It is time to shine and bring whosoever will with you as you step into the ark of His embrace. Hurry now, the rain is coming.