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.”  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.

Silent Night, Holy Night

red and orange solar flare
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The LORD was dead.  What else were they to think?  Jesus had been violently taken away from the disciples.  He was brutally whipped.  He had His hair pulled out and His beard plucked.  A crown of thorns was mashed into His skull.  He was investigated, interrogated, isolated.  And where were His followers?  Gone, scattered like rats when a light comes on.  Only a few close to Him witnessed His barbaric crucifixion.   

Following the terrible ordeal the disciples met in quiet and in secret.  Where would they go from here?  I imagine their stunned silence was broken only by the spasmodic sobs of their inconsolable grief.  Jesus’ death was surreal.  It blindsided them.  But why weren’t they prepared?  Because none of them remembered that Jesus had told them He would suffer many things, be rejected, and be killed.  The most important thing they didn’t remember was that Jesus said He would rise again.  He would come back to life.

They were so deluded by what they saw and by what they heard in the natural that the very words of the LORD Himself were buried with Him.  They didn’t pause to remember, to ponder, and to rehearse what Jesus had said.  They didn’t pause to consider that it wasn’t that the Father couldn’t deliver His Son from the cross but He wouldn’t deliver Him because Jesus had a mission to complete.  Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.  And not just any blood would do, but that of something, and in this case, Someone spotless, blameless.  Without the gift of God and the sacrifice of Jesus all of humanity was doomed.  But the disciples didn’t quite  understand that yet.     

While His disciples mourned His untimely death, Jesus went to the bowels of the fiery earth.  While His disciples shook with sobs the demons shook in terror because the Son of God, the Holy of Holies, showed up on their doorstep.  Jesus took from satan the keys of death and hell (Revelation 1:18).  I have a notion that night wasn’t silent but it was holy.  Unfortunately, the grieving disciples couldn’t see the truth beyond the evidence of the crucifixionThe evidence said their LORD was dead; the truth was that Jesus was alive and warring while the disciples were in unbelief and mourning. 

I wonder what it would have been like if one of the disciples came out of his grief-stricken stupor long enough to ask, “Hey!  Do any of you remember Jesus saying something about rising again on the third day?”  And what if one of them answered, “Yeah.  I do seem to recall Him saying something like that.”  And what if another said, “Hey!  Me too!”  And what if their sorrow turned to joy?  And what if they made cake and waited in expectation to celebrate with their LORD? 

What if . . .

. . . we would be those disciples?  What if we would stand and say, “I don’t care what I hear or see in the natural, I know what God has said.  He said divine healing/miracles will come.  He said nothing hidden will remain.  He said Jesus will draw His sword and sing songs of deliverance over people in the night.  He said He will not be mocked.  He said He is not only able but willing and He will have His way.  Therefore I choose to believe He will fulfill His Word no matter what I see or hear because I know what God has said and I know in whom I have believed.”  What if we would be those people? 

Join me in continuing to trust.  Let’s be the people who believe no matter what happens.  God is looking for faith in the earth.  May we be named among the faithful.                                                              

Miracles happen just like that. Put on your seat belt. We’re going for a ride.

When it is Time

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A few years ago my husband decided to learn how to play chess. Not having sat down at a board since I was in middle school, I was no help to him. After he taught himself the basics, it became a common practice for him to sit with his laptop in his easy chair and go a couple of rounds.

If memory serves me correctly, his learning experience took place one fall and into winter, then spring. Along with spring thaw comes outdoor activities and camping — which is when Bob’s newly acquired skills were challenged. Incredibly, one of our camping neighbors approached Bob and asked if he played chess. Bob’s answer was something to the effect of, “I’ve never played a person before but if you want me to, I’ll give it a try.” I think the guy was giddy just having found someone who’d give it a whirl. He happily grabbed what they needed from his camper and the game of chess commenced at our picnic table.

I admit it, I didn’t sit and watch. But had I known what was going to happen, I would have. Bob won. Mind you, I didn’t assume he’d lose; that’s not the point at all. The point is, Bob won and he didn’t even know it. His opponent pointed it out to him.

“Who taught you how to play? Are you sure you never played before?” he asked, near accusing.

“I taught myself. I’ve only ever played the computer,” Bob assured him.

“I have never seen anyone play like you before. I’ve never played anybody who begins a game with the moves that you do. They’re so aggressive.”

Many people may consider 2020 to be a wash. Consistent, disheartening news reports (I don’t watch, but sometimes hear from others) seeping into our brand new year, may make many a person fret. But the scripture that immediately comes to my mind is from Colossians 2:15 where it says Jesus disarmed (demonic) powers and principalities and made a public spectacle of them by triumphing over them through the cross. Jesus’ work on the cross is still valid. He is still triumphing over evil. I see this as a time of necessary exposure. When I was praying about all of this rot (covid, political crap, etc.) half a year or so ago, one of the things the LORD showed me was a gigantic spotlight. He said, “Nothing hidden will remain.” Nothing. I see this as the time when evil is exposing itself to its core. It isn’t fun. It definitely isn’t pretty. But it is necessary. Whenever we are doing thorough house cleaning, I tell the girls, “You have to make a mess to clean a mess.” I have seen no bigger mess than this on planet earth in my lifetime so then this must be the mother of all cleanings.

God has said over and over to me that He will not be mocked and that He will have His way. God is not required to disclose His strategies but we are required to believe that He will triumph no matter how great the presumed losses. Absolutely nothing looked worse for all of humanity than the day when Jesus took His final breath on the cross. I’m sure the hordes of hell celebrated . . . that is, until Jesus showed up on their doorstep and took from them the keys of Hell and of Death. Jesus won! When are we going to know it?

I’m thinking of another scripture in Isaiah 28 that says God will rise up and do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act. Like Bob, God will win with unusual moves, moves that we will see as aggressive when once fully revealed. Unlike Bob, God knows He’s won. Truth will no longer be quieted. Justice will no longer be prevented. “When?!” we cry. When it is time.

God is not fretting. Why should we? Join me in prayerful, peaceful waiting.

You’re Here for a Reason

colorful cutouts of the word purpose
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Several months ago I decided to blog once a week.  Down the toilet went my good intentions.  Between a new adventure at church, end of camping season, returning to creative writing for profit, and battling some personal upheavals, God’s Word Girl slipped by the wayside.  I actually signed in a few times and wheeled around my site, looking at posts, drafts, and stats and then logged off without so much as typing The.

Every now and again I look at my followers.  We are few in number.  I say “we” because I am my first follower, by accident, but then I let it be.  I figure if I’m not willing to follow myself how can I expect anyone else to?  (The details to that story can be found in The unIdentified Lone Follower @ https://godswordgirl.com/2018/11/09/the-unidentified-lone-follower/ ).  Sometimes I sigh.  Sometimes I feel defeated.  Believe it or not, a lot of work goes into this blog with no tangible pay and little encouragement — which I cherish.

I considered quitting.  But, like I said, I occasionally visit my stats.  I click on my followers and scroll the names and faces (where available) and I think, I can’t let this person down.  God’s Word Girl must go on as long as God says it must go on, paycheck  or no.  If doing this work costs me then let it be a sacrifice as unto the LORD.  

I look again at the names and the faces.  Sometimes I don’t look.  Sometimes I send up a prayer for you without your name and your face before me because you matter to me.  More importantly, you matter to God.

You are not in this world by accident.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  God knew you before He formed you in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), and He loved you . . . and still does.  God has a plan and a purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11).  But lest you think all of your future is going to come to you gift wrapped and tied up in a pretty bow, look beyond to Jeremiah 29:12-13 which says when we call upon Him and pray, He will listen.  When we seek Him and search with all of our heart, He will be found by us.  Our relationship with Jesus must be one of consistent pursuing.  Isn’t that what we desire?  To be wanted?  To be pursued?  To be loved? 

Once pursuing is established, I have discovered that the plan and purpose God has for our lives often come in bits and pieces of information/revelation.  It’s what we do with those bits and pieces that is pivotal to what comes next.  I’ll use a couple of stories to illustrate.    

My Mum asked me if there was anything I would like for Christmas.  A few weeks earlier she had pointed out fleece lined knee high socks.  Generally I’m not a knee high sock kind of girl, but fleece lined, in winter, with my chilled feet?  There was nothing to deliberate.

“You know what, Mum?  I would like to have those socks you pointed out to me at the Amish store–that is, if you get back there before Christmas.”

Guess what?  On Christmas evening I was opening fleece lined knee high socks.  She hadn’t made it back to the store; she ordered them.  Did I feel loved?  Yes!  Privileged?  Yes!  Listened to?  Yes!!  Is my relationship with Mum contingent upon what she gives me?  Absolutely not!  But she asked and the socks were evident that she listened to my answer.

Let’s look at this in contrast.  The girls have an aunt who used to ask what they wanted for Christmas.  They would tell her and their answers often had to do with anything Barbie.  Mind you, none of their requests were unobtainable or expensive.  But rarely did they find what they requested in the packages she presented.  Do you know what happened?  They gave up telling her what they’d like to have, figuring she’d buy what she wanted to buy anyway, so the practice of question and answer fell by the wayside.  It wasn’t that the gifts they received weren’t nice, but they weren’t what the girls wanted. 

Likewise, if you intend to do as you wish anyway, (like the girls’ aunt), don’t ask God what He wants if you don’t truly want to know.  However, when we sincerely want to know what God wants, and He tells us what He wants, then we need to do as He says.  Know this: He will not be pacified by anything else.  Like us, He wants what He wants.  Unlike us, He knows the reason behind the request . . . as usually whatever He asks for is all part of a bigger, beautiful tapestry called Life.  He longs for the day when we can stand with Him and look at it and say, “Oh, I see now why You called for that color!  And that particular weave.  It’s beautiful!” 

Do you want to go to the next level?  I do.  So once we’ve settled that we are pursuing Holy Spirit, we are responsible for what He tells us.  I believe God has given me God’s Word Girl and that is why I won’t quit despite the times when I feel like my offering is insignificant.  I am not doing this faith walk perfectly, but I am doing the best that I can in the strength that the LORD has given to me.  If you are doing the same, then take to heart the encouraging words that I gladly received from the LORD through a prophet several months ago: “You are doing better than you think you are.” 

I repeat, you have a plan and a purpose.  You have a place in the body of Christ.  No one is going to do anything exactly the way you do.  You are necessary.  Do you see your potential?  I hope you do.  It is past time for us to seek the LORD with fervor and endeavor to fulfill our purpose.

Join me today in praying one for another and persisting in seeking and following God’s plan.  

My prayer for you today is a song.  I want to send you into 2021 with encouragement and assurance that you are needed and loved.