Wrong Number Betty

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

Years ago, we got a “wrong number” phone call. I answered it. The elderly lady and I had a rather lengthy and interesting conversation. Actually, we had several. It turns out our number was very similar to one of her children’s (?) numbers so she would dial me by accident. It got to be that we would talk for 20 minutes or so at a pop. I rather enjoyed our conversations. The first time she called, my family was blown away when, in answer to their inquiry as to who called, I said, “A wrong number.” It wouldn’t be long until she became endeared to us as Wrong Number Betty.

I remember one phone call that caused me to be alarmed for her. The way she talked she was at one of her children’s work places and she wanted to go home. They weren’t returning and she didn’t know how to contact them. I spoke calmly to her, sensing something drastically wrong, but felt kind of powerless to do anything but pray. I can’t remember the time frame, but I did call back and got a quizzical, “Hello?” from her son. When I explained our strange phone relationship and my concern for her he explained to me her condition. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, something like that. He said she’d be home but insisted that she was at one of their work places and they could not convince her otherwise until she came out of it. Heart breaking. Betty has since passed.

In this day and age of solicitors and scam, we usually screen our phone calls. Rarely ever do I answer a number that I don’t recognize and because of the phone plan that we have, I can’t return long distance phone calls. Uh-uh, ain’t happening. Gone are the days of the pleasantries of Wrong Number Bettys. Well, maybe not totally gone. Something happened recently that had Bob, especially, answering numbers he didn’t recognize. What happened is, when we returned from one of our camping trips we had over 20 messages on our answering machine saying they were returning our phone call. Did you catch the part where we returned? We weren’t home to call from our home phone and yet somebody was using our number like a hard hit slot machine.

When Bob called the phone company to report what was happening, (it is fraud), one of the — pardon me, I was about to type something unkind there — employees suggested that we needed to contact Panasonic, the maker of our phones. Yeah, right, ’cause Panasonic knows the numbers of every person who has ever bought a phone from them and is fraudulently using their numbers. When Bob told him we had gotten return calls from people in different states, of which we can’t call, he said, “Oh, I see you can’t call outside of your region with the phone plan that you have.” Du-u-u-h! I know, I know, you’re all shocked to discover that our phone provider did not rectify the situation and we’re still receiving “call backs” — of which we never called in the first place.

Today was the first day I answered an unknown caller. Actually, the answering machine kicked on and he was talking. My curiosity was piqued as to what kind of messages we were supposedly leaving that people felt compelled to return our call so I picked up the phone. The man was elderly and from the state of Washington. He did not receive a message from us but returned our call because he was concerned that someone in his community may have fallen and needed his assistance. Maybe it’s an elderly thing. That’s the second time I received a phone call from an elderly person that said they always return phone calls that look personal in nature. Like Wrong Number Betty, ours was an interesting conversation until he mentioned the state of the world and I said, “We need Jesus.”

“What?” he asked.

“The world needs Jesus.”

Suddenly we’re entrenched in conversation about how his mother was a devout catholic and he had to pray all day long and this displeased him. It’d displease me, too, if I felt as though I were being forced.

“That’s religion,” I said. “That’s not what Jesus is about.”

“That’s what all of you Christians say. I dumped everything and I have more peace now than I’ve ever had my entire life. I pray to whoever, and thank them for whatever, but I don’t know who I’m praying to. I just prayed that if God or Jesus is real then He’ll tell me before I die.”

Excuse me. A Christian, by his admission, not mine, answered his wrong phone call. He named me. And yet he didn’t see the irony in what he was telling me?

Somehow the conversation morphed into abortion. According to him he’s 100% pro-life and he’s 100% pro-choice. Uh, no. It doesn’t work like that. I didn’t follow him at first but I eventually realized he was trying to make it philosophical by bringing in when a soul is actually present according to different religions. Depending on when the soul enters, it’s a viable human being. This guy obviously did a lot of research and was obviously equally confused.

I’m going to explain something to you here: a soul is mind, will, and emotions. Cats have souls. Stroke one the wrong way and you’ll arouse some emotion. Dogs have a will. Give one their favorite treat and then try to take it away. They will have their treat. Many a variety of animals have been taught many a variety of tricks; they have minds.

But like I told this man, we have spirits. We are the only part of creation that is God-breathed and made in His image. And if you want to get technical, my research tells me that a baby’s heart begins to beat in approximately 22 days. Whether a woman chooses to deliver her baby or not does not change the fact that it is a baby. It was as if I wasn’t talking. He went on to tell me how so-n-so sent him a tract that looked like a million dollars and when you open it there’s a picture of a baby inside. Our phone connection was crackling worse and he seemed like he was shooting shotgun in the attempt something would hit.

“I’m not following you,” I said.

“They’re trying to say that a baby is worth a million dollars.”

“But it is. And more.”

I think that was actually the point when he brought up the soul thing.

“Have you ever seen a video of an abortion?” I asked him.

“Oh yes,” he sounded almost jovial.

“They feel pain,” I said. “They try to get away from the (doctor’s) instruments.”

He snickered.

My anger was aroused. “That’s not funny. That’s murder.”

He plead “lots of calls coming in” that he needed to return and hung up.

That strange conversation clung to me like a spider’s web.

The propensity for density in some people is mind blowing to me.

Believe it or not, as a stay at home mom, I used to look forward to these types of phone calls. Since I was not in the work place, I thought maybe I could somehow make a difference in those who entered my home via phone.

At one point in our conversation the man from Washington asked me if I knew what all of the various types of religions have in common. I did not. “You’re all right,” he said. “None of you are wrong about anything.”

That was an interesting concept. I’d like to interject that people can be wrong but God is always right.

I’m shaken because I feel like I was ineffectual. I’m shaken at wondering how many people think like him. But my faith is intact. I just talked with God this morning and received wonderful revelation that I am hoping to share with you soon in the form of a testimony. He walked with me throughout today and will be with me as I drift off to sleep tonight. Jesus, God, Holy Spirit — they’re all real, very real. I hope that man’s prayer is answered, that God does make Himself real to him. I also hope he realizes Him when He comes. Do you ever wonder how much of God we miss because we simply aren’t paying attention? I do.

I feel like closing with a prayer today.

Dear LORD,

There’s a lost and dying world out there. You alone are the answer they seek and You are in me. Make me aware of where You’re going so that I may go, too. Make me aware of what You’re saying so that I may speak it, too. Make me aware of what You’re doing so that I may do it, too. Oh God, help me to love like You love and not be so wrapped up in my own small and selfish world that I miss the opportunity to be Jesus to somebody who’s in need of You. Thank You. I love You. Amen.

I hope you joined me in this prayer. Let us consider that the “calls” that we initially interpret as “wrong numbers” may turn out to be opportunities to minister God’s grace. Dear God, help us to not miss a single call.

In the Little Things

school supplies office pens
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

While contemplating what to post, I came across a draft that I had written nearly 3 years ago but it is relevant today.  I hope it encourages you . . . and that you don’t hyper-ventilate thinking about the holidays looming ahead 😉 .  

We were a very small prayer group that Sunday night, only 4 of us.  We began with testimonies.  I love hearing and sharing testimonies, they produce overcoming power (Revelation 12:11).  I was brimming with thanksgiving.

An aunt of mine gave the girls $20 at a Christmas party to take chances on the baskets (they do raffles to support the next year’s party).  Beth asked if it’d be all right if she also took a chance on the 50/50.

“Sure, but you better hurry.  They just announced the last call.”

The girls won the 50/50.  They had over $140 to divide among the 3 of them for Christmas shopping.  Laura told me later, “I just prayed this week and asked what we were going to do for money for Christmas.”

We had also volunteered at an annual church giveaway, one we’ve been helping with for years.  Laura came skipping over to me, “Mum, Mum, Mum!  You’re never going to believe what I found!  Shampoo!  We really need shampoo.”  Yes they did.  And Bob, too.  His bottle was upside down trying to catch what it could in the lid on a shelf in the shower.

And me, I was blessed silly with dresses, some of them brand new.  And a cute note pad.  And little post-its to mark pages in a book.  I’m a sucker for stationery type items.  And in the bottom of the bag a chain link bracelet with a C dangling from it–I didn’t put it in the bag.  I don’t know where it came from.

I told our little group, “This year (2019) has been very difficult for us in a lot of different ways, not just financially, but I’m so thankful.  God is so good.”  My voice broke with a sob.

In my quiet time Monday morning I had continued praising God for His blessings when along came that still small voice.  “I know you, Christi.  That’s why I sent you stationery items at the giveaway.  You were so happy.  And Laura was so happy with the shampoo.  I know you’re looking for the ‘big’ things, and they’re coming, but I’m also in the ‘little’ things.  That’s where it’s at.  Thanks for noticing.”

We are once again fast approaching Thanksgiving and Christmas. And although we may find much to worry or sorrow over (as I shared in my last post, “In a Funk”), gratitude and reflection on the gift that Jesus brings is timeless. More and more I am discovering that one of our greatest weapons in spiritual warfare is worship. God is present in powerful ways when we praise Him.

Join me today in putting aside what could so easily beset us and instead focus on how mighty, magnificent, and lovely is the LORD.

p.s. Thanks again for the feedback! I am discovering that one of the highest compliments that can be paid in the cyber world of work is sharing. So if you like, please share! Thank you!

In a Funk

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Before getting into today’s post, I want to give a special thanks to those of you who give feedback in the form of comments and likes. That includes those closest to me who tell me via phone or in person what God’s Word Girl means to them. It’s really encouraging to me to know that my prayers and time invested in the written word are making an impact of sorts in the lives of those who are taking time for me and what I have to share. That is called exhortation, it is a gift from God, and I greatly appreciate it. Thank you!!! Now, let’s see what we’ve got for today.

To be of a truth, I have been in a funk. Bet you didn’t know that from my lack of posts 😉 . Sometimes I feel like I’ve got a fire lit under me and I think I could write everyday, but I know myself how tiresome it can be to have a daily deluge of notices so I refrain. Then we have these periods of time where I drop off. Yes, this has been a monumental year; I’ve already shared that. But the past month or so, if I was to be honest with you, and I don’t want to be anything else, I’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed. Some of my laundry list of burdens are:

  • gas and food prices
  • the future for us
  • cares of this world
  • an upcoming mile-marker birthday complete with life changes
  • grieving as our homeschooling adventure has come to a close and anticipating what lies ahead
  • one more driver in the household to get licensed
  • what to write (so much to choose from!)
  • oddly enough, the impending reality of a dream come true. How does one stress over that?! I didn’t think there was a way but I found it.

It was a slow slide to neck-high deep worry. I thought I was handling it pretty well until I realized that I wasn’t 🙂 , mostly thanks to a conversation I had with Mum.

Mum called me early-ish one morning over a week ago. I could hear in her voice that she had been crying. She had something to say and required my undivided attention. Apparently, I had caused her to sin through worrying about me. It made sense then, when we were camping, that she made a point to ask me, “Are you having a good time?” I was. But the way she looked at me when she asked was odd, to the point that it stuck with me. When she explained, it made sense.

“You’ve been short-tempered lately and I’ve been concerned over what you’ve been going through physically. So I’ve been praying and crying for you. The LORD told me that you’re stressed and I believe a lot of the physical is related to it and will go away when you deal with it. I feel better now because He told me that He’s holding you in His hands.”

That was comforting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the LORD with concerns for myself or a family member and He will tell me, show me, or both, that He’s holding me/them in His hands. If you’re His kid, He’s got you, too.

Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15 KJV

It was a bunch of little foxes invading my beautiful vineyard and plucking my ripened grapes of peace, joy, and hope. Ever been there? Our laundry list of worries may not look the same but something tells me that I’m not the only one who’s been self-absorbed with a bunch of junk. How do we get out of it?

After Mum’s pep talk with me, I began reading Matthew 6:25-34 and Luke 12:22-32 on a regular basis. She especially highlighted seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you. Oddly enough, the teacher of the Bible study I attend threw that scripture out there the evening after Mum and I talked. It was as if it was in neon. I’m going to break all that down to two simple words: Seek God. “Simple”, we say. Is it?

Do you know, and what a terrible thing to confess here, where I tout the benefits of relationship with our Creator Father, that I have been avoiding God? Why? I don’t know. But Beth came to me a few days ago and asked, “Will you please talk to God and get a Word from Him?” Have you ever been there? When my brother and I still lived at home, he sometimes called Mum Read-a-Book. That’s what she did when she was “hiding” from God . . . or maybe mulling things over. She’d read books — lots of them. Here I was, avoiding my corner chair and my quiet time. What a nut! Life’s a lot better being in fellowship with God than without Him.

In my deepest recesses, I think I’ve been afraid of what God might tell me or ask me to do. To the mature believer, that sounds insane. Guess what? I’m not at the maturity level that I wish.

So, I did get quiet with God. Truth is, I missed Him. Part of what He told me is,

Daughter, do not be afraid of Me (or My words). I will never hurt you or mislead you. It is not My nature.

Not His nature. That leads me to believe that I’ve been battling some bad religion and some misconceptions about God. That makes me sad. I desire to know His nature and see Him for Who He truly is but I am influenced by forces without at times. It is true that I sometimes get sucked into the negativity/trauma of some peoples’ stories and fear sets in. How do we get out of the funk that we’re in?

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 KJV

We must renew our minds with the Word. What does the Word say?

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32 KJV

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

What is the kingdom of God? Everything that’s good. And it pleases God to give it to us. Does the devil attack? Sure. Do I do stupid things and sometimes suffer the consequences of those stupid things? Sure. But God doesn’t issue harm. It doesn’t change how He wants us to pray and what His hope is for us:

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Do you know what else was huge in pulling me out of my funk? Offering up the sacrifice of praise. You might be thinking to yourself: I can’t do that feeling the way that I am. That’d be lying. First of all, that’s why offering it when you don’t feel like it is called a sacrifice. Second, God doesn’t require feelings, only acknowledgment. Third, the more you do it the more you’ll feel like doing it.

Can we today, let God continue to transform us and comfort us through the Word by His Spirit? I know it takes effort, time, and sacrifice, but couldn’t we give a little bit more to the Savior Who gave us His all?

If you’re in the funk I’ve been in or are tempted to be, join me in repenting and get quiet before our God. He’s waiting. He’s listening.

Pour it Out

Photo by Aviz on Pexels.com

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James 2:19 KJV

Basically, the Bible teacher said this, “It’s not that you need to know more about God, you need to release what you’ve learned.” Then he referred to the scripture above.

Please, please do not take this as an opt out of seeking God. I truly believe that our Father’s greatest desire is to be known and loved by us. However, something did connect in my mind when I heard this.

I’m going to bring this down to the natural level first. What I know of Bob is that he is excellent at fixing things. Does that mean we never need a repairman or a mechanic? No. But I know him, I’ve seen what he’s capable of. So, when the car’s making a mysterious noise or the washing machine ceases to spin out, I know to go to him first, not the phone book.

Here’s another illustration combining the natural and spiritual. My father-in-law recently had knee replacement surgery. Laura had an urge to call him before he went and ask him if he wanted prayer. This was a step out for her. My in-laws do not share the same faith that we do and especially not to the degree that we have. However, the girls were raised to believe that God hears and answers prayer. Because of that knowledge, she wanted to pass on what she believes to her grandpa in the way of praying for him. When she called to ask if he wanted her to for pray him he received her offer. The surgery went smoothly and quickly and I can’t say enough how proud I am that Laura moved out of her comfort zone to minister to her grandpa.

What I learned made me think of another scripture:

Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth in Me, the works that I do he shall do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto My Father.  John 14:12 KJV

This is Jesus’ way of telling us that it’s not enough to know, we must also release, pour out what we learned. He’s in agreement with the Bible teacher I listened to. In light of that, what are we doing that shows our knowledge? It might not be as earth shattering as the miracles Jesus performed, at least not yet. But I believe that it will be if we continue to operate in the things that we know, and I might add, step out in faith to operate in things God knows and will do through us. It reminds me of that old adage, Use it or lose it. I think it’s safe to say that as we practice we will increase.

Join me today in pouring ourselves out in any way we can in honor of our magnificent, wonderful Savior and for the benefit of others.

Depantsed

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Yes, it has been a long while. Forgive me as this year is packed full of mile marker anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations. Perhaps the celebrations will slow a bit and we here at God’s Word Girl can return to a more regular schedule. Perhaps . . . Without further ado, let’s dive into today’s post.

We were at a picnic at the in-laws’ home. Bob was carrying a crock pot into the house for his mom when he stopped dead still and turned to me. I was maybe about 20 feet away from him. He had a peculiar look on his face, like a fawn found in the thicket without its mother. I paused my conversation with a niece-in-law and looked at him, not understanding what he wanted.

“What?” I asked.

He continued with that odd expression.

“What?”

His voice was low, so only those of us in close proximity could hear: “I’m not wearing a belt. My pants are falling down. I’m not going to make it (to the house).”

I got up from the bench, grinning, and went to his rescue, hiking up his jean shorts. He was wearing such nice, red, silky boxers. It seemed a pity to hide them but I understand his not wanting to put his underwear on display for the entire family. 😉

Bob’s experience made me think of several verses in the Bible that refer to “girding up the loins” (Proverbs 31:17, Job 38:3, 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Kings 18:46). People in Bible days wore long robes, down to their ankles. When in action, they reached between their legs, pulled the robe from the back to the front, and tucked it up into a girdle, in essence a belt, (which then probably looked like a baggy pair of shorts), so as not to restrict their movement.

Stay with me . . .

Mum saw the brightly colored field of flowers again, the one that has given us so much hope. It was nearly 3/4 of the way full. What she didn’t anticipate was seeing a black line under the green of the field. It alarmed her. Then she saw 2 ravens.

“What does this mean, LORD?” she asked.

“satan is trying to steal away the blessing. It is here, but he is trying to take it.”

Great, just what I wanted to hear.

I joined her vision with Bob’s near depantsing and considered all that we have been praying for as individuals and as a nation. We can’t quit. We can’t give up believing for and decreeing vocally what God wills until it is done. People, we must not be caught with our pants down! satan isn’t quitting, so neither should we.

There’s also a lesson to glean from the crock pot that Bob was carrying. I was attending a mid-week Bible study recently and the teacher was saying how we are a microwave generation, wanting things instantly, when food actually tastes better when slow cooked in a crock pot. I have heard her reference to this many times prior. But suddenly I had a new revelation that pertained not to our impatience, but how we behave while we’re waiting. When I assemble my meal I do not sit and watch it cook; that’d be pointless. Instead, I go about my day, attending to other things, and let the crock pot do the work. When we’ve committed our petitions to God, we must leave them with Him. He is capable. Continue in faith, trusting that it shall be done as He has said. Let’s give our prayers time to “cook” so we will taste and see how good the manifestations are. God will have His way.

After Mum saw the black, we returned to fortify our prayers concerning the original vision by reiterating our trust in His will and goodness toward us by praising Him. Guess what? Yellow flowers began popping up where Mum was seeing black. God is on the move. Let’s not doubt that. Join me in tucking our righteous robes into our belts, moving with God, and continuing in earnest to run for ourselves, our families, and our nations.

If we happen to see a brother or sister about to be depantsed, let’s not sit still and let them be humiliated. Go alongside and hike up their pants. Help is on the way. If you have it, offer it; if you need it, ask for it.

Let’s Sup

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy on Pexels.com

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20 KJV

There was a message given at our church recently and the “meat” of it referred to this verse. I am a very visual person so it was easy for me to imagine Jesus, standing at the door of people’s hearts, waiting for an invitation to come in. In my mind’s eye, it was a beautiful picture. It made me wonder how many people see the warmth in these words. Jesus is coming in tenderness, wanting to sup, to visit with us as we would any dear friend.

What I found interesting, while looking in one of my favorite commentaries, is that in this particular context, Jesus is speaking to Christians. Yes, it is a picture of an initial invitation, but it is also for those of us who have formerly let Jesus in. This was said to the pastor of the church at Laodicea who had become lukewarm.

Overall, this verse is for the unbeliever as well as the believer. What happened here, in this context? I guess the pastor forgot or got too busy to let Jesus know it was suppertime and therefore, did not invite Him in. Have you ever been in that position? I have.

I think we take our relationship with the LORD for granted at times. And what I’ve been hearing so often as of late is that people are peddling away at works but their hearts have remained unchanged. Case in point, Bob had been having some pretty intense conversations with Catholics concerning lent. I’ve participated in this sacred practice at various times though I am not of the Catholic church because I feel it helps me focus on the gift that God gave us through Jesus. Bob’s conversations have kind of been in the vein of why bother practicing if the heart remains far from the LORD? Why indeed? What is anyone accomplishing by giving up beer, or chocolate, or cursing for 40 days when the heart remains as far away from the LORD at the end as it was at the beginning? To make matters worse, one of these conversations was with someone who was pontificating about the merit of eating fish on Fridays while living with his girlfriend as his wife. That is called fornication. It is sin. As Bob has asked people repetitively as of late,

“Do you think God is going to say, ‘Good! You ate fish on Fridays. Marvelous! You gave up beer for 40 days. You continued in sin, with your heart remaining far from Me, but that’s okay. You did your just dues concerning lent and that’s good enough for Me.’ Do you think that’s what’s going to happen? No!”

If you think I’m going to go into a laundry list of dos and do nots then you haven’t read me very well or for very long. It’s the point of this knocking on the door. Relationships take effort.

I have a friend who is a great gifter. Over the years I have enjoyed the items, some quite unique, that she has brought to me and to my family. But her gifts pale in comparison to spending quality time with her. Without that quality time, there is no relationship. That’s what’s missing.

Many of us are so religious. We are conditioned so much in our beliefs and in our practices that I shudder to think how any of us would respond if we should meet Jesus face to face as the disciples did. How many of us would be named among the hypocritical religious leaders of His day?

It is my personal belief that part of the fallout from covid will be the ruin of religious institutions as we know them. To that I say, Hallelujah! and Good riddance! I’m fed up with the practices and beliefs and attitudes that have lured me away from the pure, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. In John 14 Jesus says, “These things will you do and more.” But are we doing them? Are we seeing people saved from hell, healed from sickness and disease, delivered from demons? Not often enough for my liking. I don’t resemble the Jesus that I serve to the extent that I desire. Guess what? It isn’t Him who is the problem.

So I go back to that invitation. I love spending time with my family. And I have a couple of friends that I can talk and laugh with for hours and those hours pass as if they were minutes. That’s our Jesus invitation. “Let Me in. I’ll sit and eat with you and we’ll talk for hours. What would you like to talk about? Is there something particular you’d like to know? Do you need direction?”

There are days when I sit at my Savior’s feet and worship Him. There are days when I pray 2 Chronicles 7:14 and repent on behalf of the wicked who know no better and for my own wayward self. There are times when I simply love on Him. It’s so difficult for me to imagine why anyone would intentionally hurt Him. Lest you think our Creator feels no pain from mankind, you are mistaken. We are, at times, no better than those who nailed Him to the tree. And yet . . .

“Do you hear Me knock? I wish to come in. It’s been a while. I want to catch up with you, hear your voice. And I have something wonderful that I wish to share with you.”

It is true. God made us because He wanted family. Jesus paved the way with His very Blood. Holy Spirit is ever present and longing to comfort us. It’s a great, mysterious gift that I desire to unwrap everyday for the rest of my life. Will you join me?

Work It

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

In 2017, I began the year with prayer and fasting and seeking God in earnest. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the LORD and sought to please Him in anyway I could. But suddenly, where I was, wasn’t enough. The cry of my heart was, “There has to be more — and I want it!”

God was faithful to answer my heart’s cry. I began a journey from which I have no intention of departing. In fact, I am past wanting “revival”. To me, revival is an event. What I believe we’re more in need of no longer warrants visitation; now, at this late hour, I believe the Church is in need of habitation. Getting to that place requires a consistent discipline to willingly examine motives and beliefs coupled with the fortification to cleanse what is necessary and receive fresh revelation.

Back to my topic of this now 5 year long journey. I’ve discovered some things I absorbed as truth but were mere religiosity and some things I haven’t given much conscious thought to but wished I would have. It’s been interesting indeed.

One of the things I want to share today wasn’t a stretch for me. Subconsciously I guess I always believed that God is all-powerful but He isn’t all-controlling. If that were the case the world wouldn’t be in the mess that it’s in. If you don’t have the stomach for thinking outside of the box that’s maybe built around you, then you will probably hate what I’m sharing today. If the current state of our world doesn’t make sense to you, but you can’t reconcile it because you’ve clung to “God is sovereign and if He wanted to He’d take care of it”, then today’s video will most likely offend you. OR, it just might cut a big slash in your box so you can escape. It’ll at least give you something think about. If you’re brave, you won’t immediately dispose it. You’ll ask God if there’s some truth to it and ask for assistance to see and receive it, just as I did.

If you’re feeling courageous, join me in killing a religious “sacred cow”. Hope you like beef ’cause it’s a lot to chew on.

Have a blessed day 🙂 !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KybB3UECmM

It Came to Pass

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Being the celebration of Passover, Crucifixion and Resurrection, I wanted to write something profound, something that would take my readers’ breaths away and make them trip through this weekend, celebrating the holiest time for believers in Jesus everywhere. I had nothing. Then I read this, what I began writing some time ago:

“. . . read the 2 blogs for part of my devotions this a.m.  A thought came to me that I wanted to share.  “And it came to pass”…  I picked apart and camped there a short time.  IT came is anything that came.  You know pain, storms, unwanted pests, unsavory words . . .  Whatever, IT came.    But to PASS!!!  While reading “Waves of Glory”, I was thinking how the waves come and pass. Four little words I had forgotten about were, “this too shall pass.”  And as time passed, no matter how many ITS come at one time, they come to pass.  The thing is, remembering to have hope until it passes.”

Portion of a note sent to me from one of my favorite followers, my dear Mum! Her words so encouraged me that I wanted to pass them on in hopes that they would encourage you also.

  “. . .remembering to have hope until it passes.”

Tough, isn’t it? Just when it looks like “things” may be calming down, the dust is kicked up again until it feels like we’re in a sandstorm, so thick we can’t breathe let alone see. And yet . . .

It feels like it’s been Friday for over two years, but I’m here to tell you today, Sunday is coming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gx6_rGLz20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKxD8WnSYqQ

Reflections

Photo by Saeid Anvar on Pexels.com

It was one of those melt-in-your-mouth, savor it, kind of days. The sun and breeze were what the laundry gods had ordered. Only our household’s chief laundry attendant, me, was out of commission. I’d had triple hernia surgery and was given very strict restrictions. Oh, you think I’m kidding? I am not.

I was not to bend over, not even to put on socks or shoes for 3 months. That chore, God love her, fell to Rachel. The surgeon told me that if I could avoid the chore of sweeping and scrubbing for a year, do it. I thought he was joking. He was not. I was not to lift over 10 pounds for a long time. I couldn’t look over my shoulder without feeling the strain of it in my abdomen. As you can imagine, my active lifestyle came to a screeching halt. And one of my most pleasant chores, hanging clean clothes in the sunshine, was ripped out of my hands.

I felt useless. My parents had been wonderful. Bob, of course, was still working full time and would on occasion buy groceries on the way home. The girls were doing a splendid job at maintaining the house but they also had school work to do. I would later discover that these precious girls would go off and quietly cry due to all the stress of Mama’s chores compressed with their full school load.

“You know,” they said, “we never realized how much . . .”

Wait for it . . .

I began to glow with the anticipated praise. How much Mum does. How hard Mum works. How wonderful Mum is.

“We never realized how much stuff Mum drops until we had to pick it up.”

Seriously? That was my daughters’ takeaway concerning one of the singular most difficult things we’ve had to wade through as a family? Lest you think they’re snots, they’re not. I am one of the most loved, honored, and blessed mothers I know.

Back to the laundry.

There it was: three hampers full and I could do nothing but look. I figured I could hang clean laundry but I couldn’t root through the hampers, reach to the recesses of the washer to pluck out the damp bundles, and there was NO WAY I was heaving a basket loaded with wet clothes. I couldn’t beg on the girls any further. They had to do their schoolwork. I was desperate. Then I remembered something.

A young woman from our church said, “If you need anything, call me.”

Anything?

I picked up the phone.

“What are you doing, Mum?”

“I’m calling Kayla to see if she’s busy and if she really meant calling her if I need anything.”

Kayla did not hesitate. She came in record time. She rooted for, reached up, plucked out, heaved, and hung laundry. We sat in the sunshine on lawn chairs in between loads and shared the types of conversations women don’t get to have while inside the church. If she had any further reservations about me being lofty in a super spiritual kind of way, they were squelched that day. She realized we both had our own set of struggles, and she was not in my shadow as she had presupposed. I could be to her a friend, confidant, advisor, and teacher.

Kayla remained to me what I had thought. She was passionate, tender-hearted, a bit overly emotional at times (as if I never succumb to that 😉 ) and full of potential. I discovered that she could be trusted. She did what she said and said what she meant. I liked her. That day, with the breeze twirling our hair, laundry detergent wafting on the air, and smiles and secrets exchanged, a root of friendship was deeply sunk.

It wasn’t until this very week, years later, that I realized if I had not had that surgery, had not needed help, had not taken her up on the offer, we may never have reached the heights of friendship that we have. Suddenly, I applied this scripture to that period of time in my life:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

That experience was no fun. I trusted God, that He would perform a miracle and I would not have to have surgery. I vividly remember the day that I received peace concerning having surgery and I even knew what surgeon to choose. I also recall the devastation I felt when I came to and realized that the surgery had taken place. I had hoped, up until my last conscience moment, that God would miraculously touch me.

Good things did come out of it, though. The girls reached greater levels of maturity and responsibility. The LORD took me to greater depths of learning to let things go and trusting in Him. And He gave me a most precious jewel — my friendship with Kayla.

Maybe you are going through a difficult time right now. Perhaps you received a bad diagnosis, lost a loved one, have been set back financially, are in relational discord, etc. Maybe you are in the place that I was when I came to from that surgery and realized the miracle I so desired had not taken place. Maybe you don’t know where to go from here.

I want to comfort you and remind you that God truly does work all things for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I doubt I will ever believe that surgery was God’s perfect will concerning me, but God gifted me a beautiful friendship from the ashes of that experience.

I also want to give you a thumbnail version of what the LORD told Mum and she shared with us recently. Our sorrows, tears, joys, everything that we experience, it is hooked together like an endless chain of marquis shaped diamonds. It is beautiful and precious to God and He makes diamonds out of everything that we commit to Him.

I want to add to that a mental picture that I had while praying over someone. Picture a person being on their hands and knees, peering into placid water. Just beneath the surface is the thing for which they’ve been longing and believing. That’s where I think we are, all of us who have continued in faith. We are peering into those still waters with our answers just beneath the surface.

I hope, until you hold that thing in your hand for which you’ve been believing, that you will join me in reflection. Take the time to remember what God has brought you through, what He’s brought you to, and perhaps what He’s brought to you. Like me, you may see the face of a treasured friend.

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

Refreshing

Photo by Intricate Explorer on Pexels.com

It’s been a really difficult time for me as it has been for many others. There are things I look forward to sharing with you later but now is not the time. The words aren’t flowing. What is flowing is thanksgiving. I am filled with gratitude for God being who He is and showing up in the midst of my mess. He is everything to me.

It is my hope that you will join me in worship with a song that refreshes and reignites my weary soul. May it do the same for you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhU-Omwg2rU
    

God gives water and rest to the weary and refreshes the weak and sorrowful soul. (Based on Jeremiah 31:25)