Focus

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Bob and I were at a local Salvation Army Store a few weeks ago. A small, woman’s voice came from the changing room.

“Does there happen to be a female out there? I need help!” came the pitiful cry.

Of course of every male within hearing range does what males do, they faced the changing rooms to see what’s going on ’cause they’re nosy.

Bother! thought I. Couldn’t the males at least have the decency to turn the other way?

The female needing help and the female in the cubicle beside her were both giggling.

I did a quick scan of the area and realized I was the only available female. “I’m coming,” I answered, unsure of what I’d find.

I have been given to the unfortunate event of trying on a dress of bygone years only to find myself stuck inside like a straight jacket. It’s kind of humiliating needing help to get oneself untangled from dress, elbows, and breasts. For the woman’s sake, who had the attention of all nearby males, I silently prayed it wasn’t that extreme. Thank God, it wasn’t.

I slipped through the crack in the door that she offered and discovered that she was fully covered except for her exposed back. She was able to get the dress on and managed to zip it but only so far. The zipper was hopelessly out of her reach no matter how hard she tried. I exited a heroine. The giggling behind closed doors commenced.

Ever feel like you’re in a straight jacket? This year has come close. It began with the loss of one of my uncles in the beginning of this year. It followed with the loss of Bob’s two uncles, a cousin, and his godmother — ages ranging from 48-80. It continued with two distant relatives on my side, four neighbors, two acquaintances, and rounded off with the loss of a dear friend of ours, the pastor who performed our wedding ceremony. Then there’s the many prayer requests for people sick and/or in the hospital.

When Mum saw the three phases of thorns and tears it was no joke.

I was thinking about these heartaches and hardships when other thoughts began seeping in like a dye. I thought about those we prayed for who are now healed. I thought about one of Bob’s aunts and uncles who were in a rollover and survived. Everyone I show the truck’s pictures to says, “How? It’s a miracle!” And it is.

In the midst of contemplating this year, it was as if the LORD asked, “What are you going to focus on? The losses? Or the miracles?”

In rapid succession, I saw sea spray. Jesus was in the midst of it. He was wearing garb typical of His day but the smile He was wearing was what most attracted me. His dark, wavy hair was a wonderful mess, and His eyes were sparkling as He looked back to me. He was going into the deep, His hand was outstretched behind Him, an invitation for me to join Him. Would I focus on the losses or on Him? Would I take His hand and follow Him into the deep? Yes, yes I will.

I invite you today to join me in setting aside your sorrows. Trust Him. Take the hand of the Man who has great adventures set before us.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GGFb6LcX3U

Choices

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News Flash: satan is alive.  I’d say “and well”, but he isn’t well.  He’s sick.  In case you haven’t figured it out by now, he hates us.  He hates everything about us.  Our bodies, our minds, our talents, our happiness, our relationships — you name it, he hates it.  His soul purpose in life is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).  It really doesn’t matter to him how he does it just so it gets done.

A story suddenly comes to me.  When I was in high school I got a frantic phone call from one of my classmates.  We weren’t real close, but I did know her and her sister as they were neighbors to family friends of ours at that time.  The girl’s name was Angel.  Oddly enough, she was practicing white witchcraft.  I’m just putting this out there: witchcraft is witchcraft is witchcraft.  No matter how we slice that cake, witchcraft is satanic.  Period.  No matter how well a pig is dressed, it’s still a pig. 

And that’s why Angel called.  She bought the white pill lie.  She was practicing evil but she was using it for “good”, or so she thought, so everything was okay.  Only it wasn’t okay.  Things were beginning to go a little freakish in her world and she was getting scared.  I don’t remember the details.  What I do remember is that satan was beginning to expose himself to her in ways that had her running scared.  The payment exacted from her for her practice of witchcraft was more than she bargained for.  With myself and Mum’s help, she was educated, advised, and delivered.

We have choices.  Sometimes we make bad or uninformed ones like Angel did when choosing to practice witchcraft.  But then, like Angel, we can change directions and  make good choices like choosing Jesus.

A “church” girl argued that fact with me this summer.  She said when our number’s up, we’re gone no matter what and there’s nothing we can do about it.  Our choices don’t have an affect on our demise. 

It had to be God because it would have taken me too long to come up with this on my own.  I told her: “What about drinking and driving?  Say a 20 something makes the poor choice to drink and drive and maybe kills themselves or someone else.  God isn’t in that.  A bad choice was made and there were consequences.  Drinking and driving shortens some people’s lives.  That’s not God’s fault.”

She was quiet.  The arguing ceased.  I think the rebuttal took a little chip off of the chip on her shoulder.  We can’t blame everything on God.  We do have a part to play in some of what happens in our lives, probably a bigger part than most of us would admit.  That’s one of the takeaways I hope you receive from this post.

The second: Angel called me.  I didn’t always feel like I portrayed Jesus Christ properly in school . . . sometimes I still don’t.  But when that girl needed someone genuine, guess who she called?  Uh-huh, me.  Someone out there today needs to hear the words of a prophet that have stuck with me: You are doing better than you think you are.

Go into life with eyes wide open.  Ask Holy Spirit to advise and reveal.  satan is roaming about seeking whom he may devour.  Let us not be prey for him.  Take careful attention of habits, practices, and thoughts.  Beware of what lurks in the mind!  We have a very, very real enemy.  Let us not forget, we also have a very, very real Savior/Deliverer. 

Join me today in being observant and vigilant.  Keep choosing the only Hope this world has: choose Jesus.  And let’s continue to choose to pray, praise, and keep the faith.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL2bZfHmsDs

Our Experience with Covid

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Towards the end of September 2020, after our final camping trip, Bob wasn’t feeling quite right. I honestly didn’t give it much thought since he suffers from allergies. Many of the symptoms mirrored are what I’ve seen before when he’s been too long in a barn stacking hay bales. He got a phone call from a fellow coworker that another coworker tested positive for the covid virus. That was on a Friday. You guessed it, he tested positive the next week.

He had a gamut of symptoms minus a spiked temp and vomiting. To be quite frank, he was miserable but he wouldn’t tell me until it was all over that at times he honestly thought that it would be the end of him. The scariest thing we encountered with Bob was the sudden attacks of feeling like he couldn’t breathe. They literally came from nowhere and usually followed a warm shower, something one would assume would loosen the chest, not tighten it. I would lay my hands on him and pray. What else could I do?

In the meanwhile, within 2-3 days of that Friday, the girls and I all had some sort of symptoms. The symptoms were minimal and mostly nuisance-like in nature — until Laura.

It was during an assumed reprieve that I was lounging on the couch one evening, wiped out from care-giving, when it was as though a light came on in a dark room. Something wasn’t right with Laura. She hadn’t been herself a better part of the day and it came back to me, Rachel saying that she felt warm. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, none of my girls are given to being cold. But my mother senses were suddenly on full alert. I bolted up the stairs to check on Laura. She did feel warm. Actually, she felt hot. It took some effort to find our inexpensive thermometer and even more effort to get the aged thing to give me a read. My heart sunk. I immediately proceeded to get a bucket of cold water, a cloth, and began administering tablets for fever. Rachel, (who did not know what was going on at that time), would tell me later that as she ate her evening snack, she sensed a spirit of death hovering over our house. She and Beth decided to combat it by playing worship music in the dimly lit bedroom.

I confess that in that initial moment I was gripped with fear. Then something came back to me from a teaching I had been recently studying and I knew I had to stop it and quick. Fear is the opposite of faith. I squashed the fear quickly by muttering scripture. I called Mum and she agreed with me in prayer. I knew we prayed through for Laura’s healing. But knowing you won the war doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be battles along the way.

Laura’s temperature ranged from 100 to 104 degrees. Once when calling our doctor’s office I talked to one of his staff who tried my patience by insisting the rest of us get tested. She especially wanted me to take Laura. Quite frankly, I was enraged. My girl was fevered and weak and yet she was insisting I take my child for that test under those conditions?!

I might have sounded impertinent but I didn’t care. I had more pressing issues to deal with. “My husband tested positive for covid and you know what you did for him when he called you and asked for help? Nothing!!!”

I was not taking Laura out feeling the way she was to satisfy someone’s curiosity and boost the fear-mongers’ numbers. I guess the woman finally realized my stance and changed her tone. “And how are you feeling, Christi?” I reigned in my own rising temperature and answered her as kindly as I could.

By night 5, Laura and I were both exhausted and I tired of giving her aspirin. I prayed within myself, “LORD, just get her below 100 and we’re done with these pills!” That was my line in the sand.

Don’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor. Before I called Mum and she rebuked the spirit of infirmity, Laura’s temperature was 100. After we prayed it was 99.9. I laughed out loud. I even said, “Funny, God.” But “below 100” was the “sign” I asked for.

“Well Laura, this is how I prayed. You’re old enough to make up your own mind. Do you want to take an aspirin or do you just want to go to sleep?”

“I’m tired, Mum. You prayed and I trust God. Go to bed and just let me go to sleep.”

I’d be a bald-faced liar if I said I didn’t have one speck of reservation when I went to bed that night. There was the temptation to fear that the temperature would spike in the night and I wouldn’t know it. My prayer before I went to bed: “We’ve done all we can, LORD. You love her more than I do. She’s yours. And since You neither slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:2-4), and I need to sleep (Psalm 127:2), I’m trusting her totally to Your care tonight.”

When I woke at 6 a.m. I admit that I was tempted to check on Laura. I squelched it and went back to bed. When she did wake several hours later on her own, the first thing I did was take her temperature. It was 98.6. It was Hallelujah! time in our house.

Satan’s schemes are kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). When I think of sickness I often think of a minister who said, “Satan will kill ya with a cold if he can!” It’s true, it doesn’t matter to our adversary how he destroys God’s beloved. Quite frankly, I’ve had my belly full of him. It’s the same thing over and over and over again. The frustrating thing is that the Believer has authority over him (Luke 10:19; Colossians 1:12:13; Ephesians 4:8; Colossians 2:15) but we either aren’t aware of it, aren’t educated as to how to utilize it, or are too overwhelmed or lazy to fight.

I hesitated to share this because I don’t want to be the cause of the fear that so many others have wallowed in for over a year and a half now. Fear isn’t the point; faith is. Disease isn’t the point; healing is. Since beginning this draft quite some time ago, Bob’s older sister was near death. I didn’t know it until I heard from her lips that a priest was called in to read her last rites — only he wasn’t allowed due to a virus. In hindsight, I thank God he wasn’t allowed in, that might have “sealed the deal”, so to speak. As it was, my family and closest prayer partners were waging spiritual warfare by rebuking the spirit of death, speaking Holy Spirit to breathe into her lungs, and life and health to come back. She isn’t 100% yet but she’s home and she improves daily.

Covid is demonic. Lest we forget, all sickness is demonic. I will say that I feel like covid has its own special kind of demonic power as it has brought so much fear, division, and control. Do you understand? Get this: God isn’t doing this to teach us something. We might learn something from this assault, and indeed, many people say they have. But God isn’t the source of this. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly.

God kept Bob. God kept Laura. God kept Bob’s sister. Continue to fight. Continue to pray. Continue to believe. It is difficult with so much crap going on around us, I get it, but determine to never give up. I remind the LORD often that He showed me healing oil being poured on all the world. He who speaks it keeps it.

If you are in health, thank God. If you are ill, trust God. If you know someone who is battling, stand in the gap for them. Join me today in praise, trust, and prayer. God’s got this.

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

I hope you will take the song above to heart.

To Hell and Back

antique crumpled crumpled paper dirty
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A couple of years ago we studied two of Larry Huch’s books with a small group.  One book was Free at Last–Breaking the Cycle of Family Curses.  If you desire an interesting read, and one that may give you insight as to why breakthrough seems so hard or next to impossible in your life, I highly recommend studying this book alongside Robert Henderson’s teachings on The Courts of Heaven.  They’ll cause brain sparks; good ones, but still, sparks.

One evening we were talking about keys based on the scripture in Revelation 1:18 where Jesus tells John that He has the keys of hell and of death.  A man in our small group told about how he and his wife were going through his mother’s possessions.  They found a drawer with a massive amount of keys in which they had no idea what any of them went to.  There may have been a key to a bank box with a fortune inside but they’d never know it because the keys weren’t marked.

Jesus, through His death and resurrection, has given us everything.  EVERYTHING.  But we’re not utilizing His gifts.  Worse, we’re not not passing on the things which we have gleaned to the next generation.  Need proof?  Look at the affairs of the United States of America.  No matter the arguments, ours is a nation founded on God and His Word.  Ours is a unique land.  It was dedicated to God and bought by the blood of diverse Believers whose faith carried them through many battles.  These Truths have not been passed down to the generations but have been successfully twisted, tainted, or omitted.  Why else would a generation prefer the god of socialism over the LORD of all when socialism has historically been proven to be a complete and utter failure?

The point is, we have been given keys, keys which unlock marvelous treasure or lock doors to merciless evil, and we are failing to pass them on.  Just like that couple, our young people are coming across keys that aren’t marked.  I have been learning of keys myself, keys that could help me and my family.  But few of us will ever know these keys because we are too lazy to seek out the Truths hidden in God’s Word.  Or, those of us who do know them may be unsuccessfully passing them down.

God hasn’t changed His mind about His gifts and His longing for us to have them.  It’s us.  We are in a sorry state because we have failed to learn and pass on the joy that the gifts bring and the knowledge of how to use them.  It’s our responsibility, not God’s.  He did everything He’s going to do by giving us Jesus.  Jesus took it to the grave and back.  For crying out loud, He took the keys of hell and death.  That’s it.  There’s nothing left.  Therefore, I beseech you to join me today in being proactive in passing on the keys which we possess and fervently searching God’s holy Word for new ones.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Matthew 16:19

Something to think about from the same woman who led our small group: satan doesn’t even have the keys to his own place.  Jesus does.

Confused or Prophetic?

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I wanted to come to you last week but life was a cyclone of activity. Plus, I was still churning blog ideas about in my mind like laundry in a washing machine. I didn’t know what to write about. Then something happened and all my other ideas were put to the back burner . . . .

We had our final camping trip for this year over the weekend. Funny, it was our worst trip of the entire season and yet it wasn’t horrible, just — Well, we had truck trouble; the spots we reserved were given to others so we literally had to drive to the bathhouse in order to use it or go in our pants if we attempted to walk there; the flea market we went to, which was the reason for our going to this particular campground in the first place, was a bust; and the noise was from the a.t.v.s in the evening was worse than the noise from the traffic on the highway near our house. And yet, it wasn’t horrible. In fact, as I was writing in my journal, I realized something quite wonderful had happened: God blessed me with another revelation.

In between our supper of fire roasted hot dogs with beans and picnic salads but before the s’mores for dessert, we strolled across a large expanse of field to get a closer view of the campground’s little, scenic pond. Before I crested the small mound where it was nestled, Bob pointed out something that was rather astounding. It was a rough, burly looking apple tree that appeared to have seen better years. But what it bore was a marvel: apple blossoms. To really grasp this, realize that we were looking at a few clusters of apple blossoms the evening of October 1st, 2021. Not only that, Mum noticed a young, tender branch advertising new, green leaves — some so fresh they were still curling. I found this so mind blowing that I pinched off a little cluster of blossoms, complete with buds, to dry and put in my journal. New life at the end of a season. It was profound.

I sat down with my pen and journal to record these things when I could have been knocked off my chair with what Holy Spirit pieced together for me. On April 14, 2020, the LORD showed me three things: one was a genie lamp type pitcher suspended in the sky with gold-tinted oil pouring over the earth (healing). One was a high-powered spotlight shining in the dark (nothing hidden would remain). And the third ties in with the apple blossoms. I saw a collision of pictures and words. What stuck was, “The trees blossom, the flowers bloom . . . .”

I was so excited when I first received this and expected deliverance for the nations and for the sick that spring of 2020, but it came and went with no signs of relief. My faith soared in the spring of this year, as I hoped again for deliverance for the nations and miracles for the sick. I was crestfallen as spring came and went and the struggles and the battles continued to rage. However, I believed that what the LORD had shown me was true so I stood in faith despite my unmet expectations.

As I sat at my table, ruminating the meaning (if any) of apple blossoms in October, Holy Spirit brought to remembrance “the dreams”. For the past couple of years, every now and again, the girls would dream dreams that were out of season. For example, one of them dreamed they were wearing flip-flops with a light layer of snow on the ground. Okay, they like their flip-flops, but not that much. One dreamed she was wearing a heavier weight jacket during the summer. Another dreamed our house was decked out in Christmas decorations and looked as pretty as a picture in a magazine, only it wasn’t during the winter season. I believed these dreams were very significant, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on why. It perplexed me. Then, as if to solidify the importance of these dreams that were out of season, Bob, who rarely ever remembers dreams, dreamed this August that he was wearing shorts and a tank top and there was a light layer of snow on the ground. What was with these dreams?!

The out of season apple blossoms and the out of season dreams merged. I suddenly understood. The dreams and longings I have for me and for my family personally and the hopes and expectations I have for my nation and for the world collided. The apple blossoms that I brought home with me are a physical sign that God is on the move. I kept thinking the flowers and blossoms in the pictures that the LORD gave to me meant deliverance would come during natural spring time, but now I do not believe that to be so. I believe God is beginning to bring things to fruition now; I held the tangible evidence in my hand. And I have the reminder of a word from the LORD to a very dear friend of mine that He gave to her in January of this year: “The end of 2021 looks more beautiful than the beginning.” I also carry with me the vision that the LORD gave to Mum that after 3 waves of thorns and tears follows a bright, shining Light and a beautiful field of flowers.

That apple tree is not confused as one might surmise. It’s out of season blossoms are a visual certainty that God is always on time. I believe it is a sign of the prophetic. You might feel as rough and as burly and as battered as that apple tree looked. It may appear to be the end of certain parts of your life as you know it. Have you been feeling that way? I know I have had bouts of feeling like that. But have you also held on to Hope despite it all? God is the God of the impossible. He brings spring blossoms in the autumn just because He can, because He is a God like no other. He brings new life when all signs indicate that it is on the verge of death. How cool is He? Join me in continuing to hold on to Jesus and watch the hills. Our deliverance and our promised blessings are at hand.

Life’s Journey

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There has been much on my mind and in my heart for the past several weeks. I have been besieged by outpourings of tears and fits of joy as I battle to keep the faith. The battle does rage for me, does it for you?

I began several blogs in order to share what has been happening as of late but none seemed to suit. Yesterday words began laying down like blocks and I began to write. I don’t claim to have a gift in this particular area, but occasionally I like to express myself with poetry. Sometimes it rhymes, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the stanzas match, sometimes they don’t. That’s okay. To each their own.

Today’s presentation:

Life’s Journey

Embarking upon life’s journey,

one never knows what one will see.

I hate to confess,

I must confess,

life has sometimes got the better of me.

Sickness, pain, death, and tears,

sometimes days feel like years.

Trials can be long,

it’s hard to remain strong,

when the mind is drowned in fear.

There are moments when hell feels close,

flames are hot, sulfur burns the nose;

my ears twitch with demonic voices,

accusing me for all kinds of choices.

hell is filled with Heaven’s foes.

On the brink, on the precipice,

I sob, What a mess!

Then I hear a voice, I feel a hand.

I will be able to stand.

With Jesus’ help I will do no less.

Back turned away from fire and flame

I look to the face of the Name above Names.

I behold His eyes, His smile,

His embrace that offers me awhile.

Where would I be if He hadn’t have came?

Today’s hell is defeated and tomorrow it will be too.

It’s all been done a long time ago for me and for you.

Take the nail-scarred hand of the Man,

Prince of Peace, Son of God.

Have no fear, as you journey here,

for wherever you go, He does with you trod.

~ Christi Marie

I have a plaque on my wall that says, “God gives the very Best … to those who give Him all the choices.” Give Him control today and join me in trusting the LORD to lead us in Life’s Journey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t38EjduZ0yI

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.