Thorns, Tears and Flowers

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Laura was cooking one evening and discarded an egg that had some red in it. She was letting me know where it was so I didn’t accidentally put it down the drain.

Beth says to Rachel, “Hey, go out and dig a hole and bury that egg.”

“Yeah,” Rachel agrees, “so we’ll grow eggs. We’ll have an egg-plant.”

Despite how difficult life may be for you at this time, I hoped to inject a little light into the darkness.

About a month ago, Mum had a vision of what amounted to basically a wall of impregnable thorns. After that, a sheet of tears. Actually, because of how it looked, she didn’t know what she was seeing until the LORD told her that it was tears. It happened three times. Thorns, tears, thorns, tears, thorns, tears. Then suddenly, a bright, nearly blinding Light. Then a field of flowers, far as the eyes could see, all different, vibrant colors.

It might not feel like it, Dear Heart, but our Deliverer is coming. Join me and be one of those who are holding on and you will receive your reward when it is done.

The Difference Between Nuts and Bolts

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Bob heard a noise coming from the back of his work truck that caused him concern. Thinking it was the brakes, he began gathering estimates on what he’d need to fix them. One of the places he called was a store where a fellow coworker of his has a part-time job.

The conversation went something like this:

“Advanced Auto, this is Jeremy speaking, how can I help you?”

“I’m looking for brakes for my truck,” says Bob.

“What kind of truck is it?”

“A red one.”

The phone went silent for a few seconds before Jeremy realized it was Bob calling to torment him yet again. I can only imagine what he was thinking. He called Bob a name that I will not repeat here and then laughed — just as I was laughing when Bob related the story to me.

“You wait,” I said, “someday someone is going to call and talk to Jeremy just like you do and he’s going to go off on them thinking it’s you pranking him again.”

We did end up working on Bob’s truck. Well, to be honest, he worked and I handed him tools and such. Mostly, I was mesmerized by my hard-working husband and marveled again at his ability to tear things apart and put them back together again. (I was also admiring his muscles flexing while he torqued the wrench. ; ) ). Okay, so maybe most guys can pull off a brake job in their backyard, but there’s probably just as many guys that can’t. So I’m going to stick with marveling and add that there’s something about watching my man in action that I find irresistible.

One of the things Bob asked me for while working on his truck was a nut. I gave him the right thing but muttered “bolt”. I know he knows what he’s talking about and I know the difference between nuts, bolts, screwdrivers, wrenches, washers, etc. Due to the size and shape though, it made me think of a bolt.

“It’s not a bolt,” he tutored. “It’s a nut, a lug nut. It doesn’t screw, it gets screwed into. See,” he said, gesturing to himself, “bolt, male; nut, female. Male and female parts. That’s how it works.”

His banter got to me to thinking about things like that literally. There are definite differences between males and females. Though today’s society is trying to scramble or totally obliterate our obvious differences, we definitely have them. These differences aren’t meant to belittle either sex, they’re meant to complement them. I love the differences between my husband and myself — okay, so that’s not totally true. At times I find them to be absolutely maddening. If we females are nuts then it’s because the bolts, er, the males, made us that way. Smile! This is banter.

Seriously, God made us different for a reason and He doesn’t make mistakes. If you’re male, embrace it. If you’re female, embrace it. It takes too much effort and makes little sense in trying to be what we’re not created to be. We each have our own purpose. And when we come together, bringing what God gave us, something wonderful happens. It’s a beautiful thing.

Before I close, whether you be single or married, I have a couple of links I’d love for you to check out. Please be sure to come back!

Ladies first:

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

I ashamedly admit that I have done this on way too many occasions to Bob. (Sorry, Honey!) Gungor made a specific reference to a woman whose husband washed the dishes in one of his other videos. When she asked him why he did that chore, he said it was because he didn’t like seeing dirty dishes. His answer offended her! I had to smile because I know why. What she wanted his response to be was because he loved her sooo much. Hug, hug, kiss, kiss, yada, yada. His practical side kicked in where she was looking for the romantic. Yeah, I’ve been that woman at times. Got my hackles raised because it wasn’t all about me. Bob didn’t fix his truck because of his undying love and devotion to me. He did it because it needed done and I’m okay with that.

Ladies, I know we long for romance and we’re deserving of it, but let’s follow Gungor’s advice and lighten up on our men. I’m talking to myself here! Let’s try to be glad that he took out the trash of his own accord instead of trying to figure out the “motive” behind it.

(By the way, I know from talking with Bob that men aren’t immune to the sin of judging and trying to figure out the “whys” of others’ motives. Maybe it’s not as problematic for men as it is for women, but we are all susceptible to falling into the “judgment” trap).

Now it’s your turn men:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Jxdu63EjQg

This video brought to mind the story of Johnny Lingo and his 8 cow wife. If you have time, you can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Lingo. No, there aren’t any pictures, but it is a short, interesting story with a profound point.

It is the wisest of men who realizes the power of their words . . . or the lack thereof. The girls walk on a cloud for days when their daddy compliments them. By the same token, if I knock myself out to look good and get no positive feedback, I’m much less inclined to do it again anytime soon. That is the nature of the beast, men. Treat your woman like an “8 cow wife” like Johnny Lingo did and you’ll have yourself an “8 cow wife”. Treat her like less and, well, you get the idea. Don’t blame me, I didn’t say it, a fellow man did. Men, please follow Gungor’s advice. Make the effort to love your women and your children with positive affirmations so that they are less inclined to become disheartened. It’ll be worth the effort.

(Likewise ladies, our words can be just as life-giving or destructive as a man’s. Let’s be cautious of our speech with those in our lives).

Be ye married or single, male or female, join me today in incorporating Mark Gungor’s advice into our everyday living. More than that, let’s be and celebrate who God created us to be. There is no one more suited to be me than me nor is there anyone more suited to be you than you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew0g1xnOT30

Sing a Song

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I recently came across some disturbing news. Wildlife health experts are investigating reports of songbirds that are sick or dying. This spans across several states. Despite numerous tests, diagnosis has remained inconclusive and our fine-feathered friends continue to struggle with a mysterious condition. This truly saddens me as one of the things that I most look forward to is the sound of the return of the songbirds. I know spring is upon us, despite the remains of crusty snow, when I hear their herald from the still dead looking trees.

Our pastor brought a message to us in which he presented Lucifer as beautiful and Heaven’s worship leader; most theologians concur that this was the case. Then pride got the best of him and he was booted from those wondrous celestial realms. Guess who pastor presented as the worship void fillers? Us! I never looked at it that way. So not only does satan hate us because we’re first, made in the image of God, but second, we took his job. Well, okay, to be honest, not all of us have taken his job.

Years ago I battled with a severe complaining problem. Looking back, I can see now it was a spiritual genetic condition the devil tried to pass on to me. I hated it! There were times I couldn’t stand to hear myself talk. I’m not kidding. I felt like any mountain I circled a million times I deserved because of my seemingly uncontrollable urge to complain. Sometimes I find that I still succumb to it. Aargh!

Pastor Thomas’ message also made me think of something else, a scripture from Nehemiah 8:10 KJV “…the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

If my Gram were still with us, she’d probably say she’s never seen anything like what our world has become. I hear that a lot from elderly people that I know. We are seeing many weak, discouraged people and who could blame them? Especially since the “pandemic”, disruptions in the nations, an ineffective president of the United States, gender confusion — which I honestly don’t get. A person’s equipment is a good indication as to what’s going on with a person’s gender. Feelings don’t change things. If someone steps off a 10 story building because they feel like they’re going to fly, gravity is still going to be working.

What’s the solution to all this nonsense? JOY. That seems counter-intuitive when situations are so bleak. But did you ever try to remain discouraged while feasting on good praise and worship music? Or when thanksgiving is flowing from your own tongue? Listen, I know it’s difficult sometimes. I’m not totally immune to the chaos surrounding me. There are days when I get out of bed wanting to go right back and cover my head and try again the next day. But the times when I don’t cave to the negative feelings and instead battle against them with gratitude and praise and dance, the whole atmosphere changes. It changes because according to Psalm 22:3 God inhabits the praises of His people and He doesn’t let anything negative in His presence. Isn’t that wonderful? A simple solution, but do you know how many times we fail to utilize that particular “escape” button?

Join me in taking note of the birds and sing out a song today with Go Fish by going to the link below. Oh, and let’s say a prayer for our struggling songbirds, the ones of the feathered kind and the ones of the human kind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UbGwgssdYM

“Two and a half?”

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Beth and I went out to eat at a Chinese buffet. As we were leaving the restaurant a woman with a baby, and another woman who we assume was the grandma, were walking in. The hostess met them in the welcoming area and asked, “Two and a half?” Beth and I got quite a chuckle out of that. Yes, the baby was a little person, but she was still a complete person, not half a person.

In my last post, I mentioned missionaries who came to minister to us. I had been ruminating on a couple of things they said. One of the things the husband presented was revelation from God that time is not. He sees everything. God told Bill that He is so creative that He never makes exactly the same person. He injects parts of His character into each individual but the combinations are such that there will never be a duplicate. Think about it: how many times have you known somebody that reminded you of someone else but they are never exactly the same? It’s never going to happen.

This is where time and the creativity God weaves into people collide. We see life frame by frame throughout our lifetime but God sees the very beginning to the very end. He sees the problems of the past, present, and future and creates solutions, proper for that time, called people. Look at the problems of today. We must ask what role we have to play in being part of the solution, for each one of us is created for a specific purpose. Each one of us has something vitally important to contribute to society. Believe it or not, we do.

It’s a weighty thing to consider but we must. We owe it to our Creator to investigate our reason for Him sending us here to planet earth. Our answers may not seem earth shattering to us, but we’re not looking at them through the scope of history. We never know what impacts the slightest decision we make today will have on tomorrow.

Every person is unique and distinct in their own way. Each one of us has a specific purpose. Each one of us is part of the solution. Each one of us is an answer to someone’s prayer.

That being said, as I am writing this, over 26,000,000 — that’s MILLION — abortions have been performed this year alone. I found the statistics at worldometers.info and I literally watched the number increase by the second. Ironically, abortion statistics are found under the heading “HEALTH”. I never could comprehend how ripping a human being from a woman’s womb is “healthcare”. Or “safe”. And safe for whom?

Yet every second, babies who God created with a purpose, babies He sent who have solutions to problems, babies who are answers to someone’s prayers, are discarded like yesterday’s trash. It has to stop. Life in the womb is precious. Abortion destroys the beauty that God wrapped and sent with love in a package called a baby. It’s not half a person. Not an embryo. Not a fetus. I never used any of those terms when I was pregnant. I was having a baby, a complete, unique, whole little person.

As long as life inside the womb isn’t treasured, then the brutal attack on life outside of the womb will continue. Life is precious. We all bear unique and distinct combinations of God’s character and, as such, carry solutions to problems and answers to prayers inside of us. Our lackadaisical attitude to find our purpose and the horrendous act of abortion have prevented and/or destroyed solutions to wars, cures for disease, and answers to prayers. This has come at an inestimable price to all of humanity. I wish to change that. Do you?

Join me in discovering our purpose and being a voice for the value of all of life. Remember that the choices we make have consequences. Therefore, let us do right and be blessed.

Dear God,

Please show me today what Your will is concerning me. Maybe I will not do anything considered “grande” in the eyes of the world, but I can be the answer to someone’s prayer if You’ll show me how. I am willing. Holy Spirit, empower me.

Forgive me where I have erred in my views of life. All of life is precious to you. Help me to see others the way that You do. Help me to help others recognize their purpose and reach their full potential in You.

Thank You for taking so much time to craft me and make me the unique individual that I am. Show me the special combination of Your characteristics that You have placed inside of me and teach me how to use myself for Your glory and Your honor.

You are wonderful, beautiful, and worthy of praise. Blessed be Your name, O LORD.

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. Often. 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? 🙂

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.

Photo by Zack Jarosz on Pexels.com

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.”  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 the video in the link below with Bob and my male followers in mind. Be sure to watch 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?

ahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCRxjomgzCA

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