I Will to Forgive and Forget

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Rachel has been following her fancy as far as language arts is concerned. What I mean by that is, when she’s struck by a curiosity she begins to hunt, and if it seems a worthwhile subject, she’ll go on and continue her research and then write a report. Her latest was on Pierre Picaud. You’re probably familiar with him but don’t know it. Ever hear of the Count of Monte Cristo? It is believed that the character is based on the real life Pierre Picaud. I found this all fascinating as I didn’t know there was a strand of truth to the movie that I watched so many years ago.

The report was mesmerizing but one fact caused my jaw to drop and me to turn away from the paper and gaze at Rachel. Our main man, who was falsely accused and wrongly imprisoned, plotted his revenge for 10 years.

I looked at Rachel and echoed, “Ten years?!”

I mean, think of it, Picaud was released from prison after 7 years but whether he began to plot while incarcerated or not, he was in a prison of his own making for ten years. A whole decade wasted on the poison of unforgiveness and revenge.

Have you ever given the Apostle Paul much thought? He was a learned man. He was a very religious man. Why else do you think he sought to imprison believers in Jesus and relished in their deaths? Believing in Jesus went against his religion. He thought that he was doing God and humanity a favor by aiding in the destruction of these so called heretics.

Ah, but one day, the King of kings, the LORD of lords, had an intervention. Paul had a miraculous conversion. As you may recall, Paul was on his way to Damascus, papers in hand from the high priest, permitting him to bind any believer he found there and have them hauled back to Jerusalem where they’d be imprisoned, perhaps even executed, when he had an incredible encounter. This man, who had been bent on destroying Christians until Jesus got hold of him, had to forget all that he had been in order to fulfill all that God wanted him to be.

Let’s go a step further: Not only did Paul have to let his past go, fellow believers had to let his past go. I kind of feel for Ananias, whom the LORD sent to minister to Paul. He’s like, “LORD, You want me to go where? To see whom? Do You not know who Saul is? Didn’t You hear about all the evil he’s done to the saints in Jerusalem and now he has authority here in Damascus? I’ll be arrested!”

But Ananias did go and it doesn’t appear as though he put up much resistance. Apparently he trusted God. And isn’t that what we ought to do? Wouldn’t life be so much better if we could forget the pain from our past — both self-inflicted and the pain brought on by others? Paul is a shining example of forgetting what he had done by his own words and deeds.

Let us also remember the Christians of his day who must have felt sorely tested by his newfound faith in Christ. They, too, had to be willing to forgive and forget what he had done. I confess that I probably would have had my questions and doubts if I had been in their sandals.

I was listening to Christian radio one day before New Year’s Day, I don’t remember who was teaching. But he said something that triggered tears to stream down my cheeks. What he basically said was this: “After all he’d been through, there was Joseph. He was second highest in the land and his brothers (not recognizing him) were standing before him in need. He had not one thought of retaliation.

Years ago a sister-in-law said something especially hurtful to me. I dealt with it and dealt with it and dealt with it and concluded I was done with it until that Bible teacher made that statement. I shamefully admit that even after all of these years there was still a speck inside of me that wanted to throw what she said back in her face. I didn’t even know it was there until that statement smacked me. Thank God He deals with us where we are, and little by little if need be, until it’s all over.

Entering into a new year has given me much pause to think. (Yes, I realize we’ve nearly plowed through the first month but as you can see I’ve been dealing with some weighty stuff 🙂 .) I think on Paul’s statement in Philippians 3:12-14 but a phrase in particular which boils down to this: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I have also been meditating on various verses from the Bible that have to do with God making all things new.

This also grabbed me as Bob and I were talking one night and I shared a horrible memory from years ago concerning him. It dawned on me that the anger and pain were no longer present but I was still giving that instance a voice. I told him the next day, “I don’t want to hold your past against you anymore.”

He isn’t the man he was 20 years ago, 2 years ago, maybe not even 2 weeks ago. And I’m not the same woman. We can’t keep revisiting yesterday (unless it’s to aid the healing of others) no matter how much it hurt. How are any of us going to be the whole people that God created us to be when we still keep clutching the past? “New” is going to be an impossibility unless we let go of the old junk that’s holding us back.

Are you ready to release yourself today? Or perhaps someone else from the prison of your making? Then join me today in forgiving and forgetting as we take the journey toward freedom and wholeness.

Please go to the links below. I believe you’ll be blessed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_18SzbjJgaE

If only our dear Picaud would have chosen forgiveness. I am. Will you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMn0QNdiuGE

…Behold, I make all things new.

Revelation 21:5 KJV
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What are We Missing?

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There I stood in a circle of prayer with our small study group to close out our evening. We had had a good Bible lesson and discussion, as usual, although it seemed the atmosphere was subdued.

I asked one of the men to lead us out in prayer, suggesting we would then pray one by one whatever Holy Spirit laid on our hearts and agree one with another. The man expressed that he did not feel like praying but did so anyway as a courtesy to me, a leader. Then it was my turn to pray. I felt the presence of the LORD, but I also felt heaviness. My prayer was followed by a lengthy silence that I broke by asking if anyone else had something they wanted to pray. That is when our dear Miss Debbie, who is normally effervescent, spoke up in brokenness and asked, “Are we missing something?”

Many of us have faced great loss over the past 2 years, but in our circle, this year has been especially difficult. The reason for the heaviness that Sunday evening was due to the death of a 14 year old girl who had cancer. There were those in our prayer group who had been praying and believing for her and yet here we stood, adding this young girl to our list of losses.

“I prayed for her. I believed for her. Look what happened. I have a sister who is battling cancer. What am I supposed to do? Where do I go from here? Am I missing something?” Miss Debbie asked.

The man who led in prayer shared similar experiences, the same grief, and asked the same questions. It was difficult to stand there in silence, not having the answers. My heart was bleeding for these precious ones lent to my care.

Mom brought up the first thing we must consider in these situations: we do not know the heart of those for whom we are praying. The battle can become too much. We can become weak. We can choose to die. True though it was, I sensed this did not pacify our small group. A 14 year old girl died. It was difficult to believe that she chose to die when she had so much to live for.

We stood in silence. What would You say to this, LORD? Your people need comfort.

God is good and faithful. Suddenly a couple of things came to me, besides the fact that we do get to choose life and death. I said it to the group like this:

“I did a small group study years ago and the author taught that the devil hits us in our strength. Look at it this way: What is the earth saturated with right now? Fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. It is satan’s currency. If he can continue to keep us discouraged so that we quit praying in faith, then we’ll never see the moves of God that we’re expecting. God is going to loose Himself on His remnant. We need to continue to be persistent and consistent so that we can be used by Him. Keep the faith.

“I also learned this from a man who has had phenomenal answers to prayer although not all of his prayers were answered in the manner in which he prayed. When he asked the LORD about this, the LORD told him, ‘You are quick to glorify Me when the outcome is positive but you blame yourself when the outcome is negative. You do not receive the glory, you must not take the responsibility. You must leave it all in My hands.'”

I felt the heaviness dissipate. The furrowed brows smoothed. Smiles lit the room. Miss Debbie hugged me and held me tight after we closed. She was refreshed. And I hope that you are too.

Yes, continue to pray. Continue to believe. Jesus did say that those of us who believe in Him, the things He did we will do and greater (John 14:12). But we must hold on through these times of loss. We must continue to trust in Him. Are there things I do not understand? Yes. Do I have questions? Yes. But I’ve resigned myself to give it all to God. I have decided that I will continue to believe that I will see the salvation of the LORD no matter what things look like. It isn’t easy. And yet it is. Fear and doubt wear a body out. If you will live, faith and trust are a must.

I believe with all of my heart that there is coming a day that before the prayer is wholly out of our mouth the answer will be there, but we must hold fast until then. God loves you. He loves me. He loves the people He created and wants us to advance. Let’s take that attitude into 2022. Join me today in basking in the presence of the one and only True God. Whether it rains or shines, He is worthy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehfif98GENw

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Gifts, Glorious Gifts

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A friend of mine was here briefly and we lavished her with gifts. This is one of the same friends with whom I agreed not to buy intentionally for Christmas anymore to help alleviate some of the pressure and expense of gifting. As I age, my philosophy is more and more becoming: Lavish someone on their birthday; after all, their birthday is their special day, Christmas is Jesus Christ’s day (unless that’s your birthday, too. In that case, I’m sorry 🙂 ).

This year, it just so happened that we came across some items that we thought my friend would really appreciate, even more so since she lost her home and all of her belongings this past late summer. She did appreciate the gifts. In fact, she is really fun to give gifts to. I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten a reaction other than sheer joy at whatever is placed in her hand. And when she said she had gifts for us, Laura clapped. My friend seemed taken aback at first but then we all laughed.

Laura and Beth are especially good when it comes to retaining likes, tastes, needs, and wants and matching people with items. It’s like they have bionic memory and perception. We snatched up discards recently and as the girls sorted through, they were able to meet one person’s need and another person’s desire. I mention Laura specifically because gifts are her main love language. It’s one of God’s love languages, too.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

God gave.

I have a print on my wall that I put near the Christmas tree. It says: The magic of Christmas is not in the presents, but in His presence.

Think about that. As wonderful as giving and receiving are there is no greater gift than God. Do you know what heaven is? It is the presence of God. It is the presence of hope, joy, peace, and love. I pray that this season is heavenly for you.

Lest you think I’m turning into a Scrooge where gift giving and Christmas is concerned, I have bought a few gifts this year that I am truly excited to give. From the looks on the girls’ faces, I’m receiving a few gifts that I’m going to be really excited to get. But without God, none of it matters. He is everlasting. Our material gifts are not. And as much as we may like what we receive, it will fade away, God will not. Yes, I’m excited for Christmas Day. But I’m more excited to sit in His presence and fellowship with Him. I hope you’ll be able to carve out some time today to join me in marveling at the Ultimate Gift Giver, God; the Ultimate Gift, Jesus; and the Ultimate Presence, Holy Spirit.

May you have a very, Merry Christmas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aGLV5CfoTU

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

Photo by Aaron Burden on Pexels.com

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.