Sunday, April 4, 2021

Just like Job

 

At the end of Ted Dekker book, "Heaven" he says this, "we are all Job's one way or another".  We belong to God and declared righteous not for what we do but because of our belief in Jesus and His shed blood on the cross. The whole book is about God and Satan battling for the souls and minds of man.  Dekker is able with words to paint a vivid picture of what  that battle looks like in the heavens and also here on earth.  No matter what Satan throws at Job, he never deny God.  I am sure Job must have felt like dying many times but God had put a hand on Satan and kept him from killing Job.  The book is a great picture of the love of God for His creation and the length He will go to bring us to redemption and back into a relationship with Him.  

I came away from the book encouraged that God has done and will do the same for me.  I have been sifted and found want wanting several times yet God did not let Satan take my life.   He set up barriers and hedges to keep me safe.  And there are times I felt that safety net of love surrounding me.  But more important then feeling it is I know it, deep down in my soul and that knowledge  help me understand why God put the story of Job in the Bible.   I have believed God's Word even though at times when the evil in the earth  makes me want to scream at God to stop this madness in our world.  To put an end to the pain we suffer and bring peace.   I believe without a doubt He will end it someday and until then I need to understand the battle going on for the sake of my testimony.  

I read this recently on a blog post while I was reading Ted Dekker book and it ran true in me.  


"If you don’t do anything about your mental garden, your mind and spirit will continue to war against each other. This is usually an unconscious pattern. For example, God’s word will tell you to give, but your mind constantly tells you to hold on to everything you’ve got. Your mind tells you to always get the last word, but God says to turn the other cheek and a soft answer calms the situation. Again, your mind tells you to work hard and strive for success, yet the Bible says, seek God’s kingdom first and everything you need will be added unto you.

If you don’t address the false thinking that contradicts God’s word, you’ll continue to be what the Bible calls “double-minded” and because we continue to waver in our desires and beliefs, we can’t receive anything from God. 

Job was not a double minded mind and even when his friends and family told him to deny his God he did not give in because he knew in whom he had believed in.  

The battle always starts in the mind.  My former pastor use to say, you cannot keep the birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your head.  

For sure there are battles between good and evil we can see all over the world.  Watch TV for five minutes and you will be made aware of it.  It's easy to allow the things we hear outside what the bible teaches us to cause us to drift from His Word. 

2 Corinthians 11:3 – “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from
your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

How is your mind today...is it consumed by fear of the virus or whether or not to wear a mask?  Is it tossed on issues brought to us from the media or does it stay on the things of the Lord.  What times we live in, we have so many more choices to chose from because of communications, so many tools for Satan to use against us, to keep our minds frustrated.  

Just as Job's so called friends confused him so the world voices confused us. Clarity for living today comes from God's Word.  Set you minds on Romans 12:2 – “Do not conform any longer to the pattern (conditioning) of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”


Sunday, March 21, 2021

Heaven...

 


Heaven, does it sound like a place you would like to go??  Living in an age where information on any subject can be had with just the click of a button,  I wonder how this information  above affects you? 

For me,  when I read this.  it took out some of mystery of heaven and also took away some of my fears of the transition from earth to heaven.  

I love the part of Angels taking me to heaven, I don't have to go alone.  To be in the presence of God is to know I will be loved on for He loves me unconditionally.  And to worship with angels and other believers will be like going to church which I love.  And I am sure the music will be the best. 

To know I will not be in some sort of state where I will not know anything is also comforting.  I love knowing I will have my wit about me as I view my new home.  My senses will be under my control.  

My memory will be in there and my voice will be available as I meet and greet other believers.   Yet I will still have some degree of knowledge of what is happening on earth.  

Tonight I watched a movie on aliens from somewhere.  It was scary, uncomfortable and did not make me want to ever meet with someone from outer space.   Such a different feeling reading a small peek into heaven from Gods Word.  It became less fearful and more comfortable to think about.  

How about you, does this kind of information help you as you think about your time to leave this earth and arrive on heavens shores?  


Monday, March 1, 2021

Suffering

A dear missionary friend of mine wrote the below and it was so good I had to share it on every avenue available.  Thomas and Laura Scherer along with their two children serve in Southeast Asia in a village tucked in the jungle.   



Oh! To be like Jesus! Well . . . mostly.

For about two years I’ve been thinking a lot about suffering. That may sound morbid, but life is full of suffering no matter where you live in the world, so I figure I’d like to think well about it. Suffering is so multi-faceted, but one type of suffering I’ve thought about is the suffering believers experience. For a true Jesus follower, suffering is kind of one of the promises/guarantees given to us, repeated over and over.
It’s easy to pick and choose the nice parts of scripture. It’s easy to say, “Make me like Jesus! He was patient, he was loving, he was kind, he was gracious! I want to be like that!” But I’m not prone to say, “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. I want to be like Jesus in that way!”
Two years ago I was reading a book by Joni Eareckson Tada, and she talked about her suffering. (when that woman talks about suffering I listen!) She talked about how when we suffer, God is so good to use it to conform us to the image of His Son, and we benefit. We also benefit because we know Him better because of the suffering. But what Joni wrote next really stopped me (like I couldn’t read again for 2 weeks!). She said that when we suffer and know God better, that is not what it means to suffer like Jesus suffered. Jesus suffered so that OTHERS could know God better! I’m not kidding when I say I didn’t pick up this book for a solid two weeks! How I wrestled with God! It’s one thing to go through hardship knowing I’ll be better for it. But what if the only benefit of my suffering is the blessing of another?
It was towards the end of May 2019 when I finally said, “Ok God, I mean it, make me like Jesus in EVERY way. I’ll suffer if it means others will know You better.”
God’s timing is so precious, because the rest of 2019 was a whirlwind of hardships for our family. It was like God stripped everything away so that the only thing left was Jesus. Psalm 73 became my filter for how I saw life, verses 16-17 especially, “When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight, until I came into the sanctuary of God.”
With everything stable and familiar and certain stripped away, we found out that what God said was true. In His presence there is fullness of joy, at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore! (Ps. 16:11)
Have you ever watched a really great movie, and you can’t help but talk about it? And you want others who haven’t seen it to see it, so that they can enjoy it as much as you have. That’s a super simple way to explain how we feel about being God’s kids and having a relationship with Him. The joy we know because we’ve walked with Him is seriously nothing like this world can offer! Thomas often says, “The bitter makes the sweet all the sweeter.” We would not savor our Lord like we do today had it not been for the privilege to walk through some really hard things.
So we rejoice in our sufferings, because He gives it meaning. And we pray that the treasure we have found in Him would shine through us towards others as we ask our Lord to give us the strength and the grace to walk like Jesus walked, in every way.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Now and Not Yet

 



Today I heard a great sermon in church, one that resonated with my soul and gave understanding into some verses in Matthew 9.  

That whole chapter is about miracle healings, from healing a child who was dead and, a women who had an issue of blood for 12 years, another child who had died, healing two blind men, and healing a man tormented with demons.  Verse 35-36 says Jesus was going through the villages, cities proclaiming the gospel and healing every kind of disease and sickness.  Jesus was filled with compassion for the people and their needs.  

Healings have never been the same as they were when Jesus walked this earth.  In the early years of my salvation I begin to seek out the why.   In the Matthew 9 account of healings Jesus says nothing about any doctors or did He use any medicine to heal.  He touch, spoke few and miraculous healing happened. Do I believe He could heal with just a word from heaven?  Yes, yes, yes  but I don't question the why not for the now.  

Understanding these few scriptures put it in to context and gives hope for the future.  Jesus was establishing His ministry on earth in these verses.  You might think it was the ministry of healing but it was His ministry of who He is. In verse 35 tells us He was about His Father business and it was not healing.  He was proclaiming the gospel which is who He is, what will happen to Him and what His death and resurrection will bring to all who believe in Him and not the healing.  He was establishing His authority.  

If His main ministry was healing everyone would have gotten healed to this day. Would be no need for doctors, hospital,  nursing homes and funeral homes.  Ever since the fall of mankind in the garden it was appointed for man to die once, so first we all are going to die.  Also it was appointed for all to  have trouble here on earth before we die.
 God operates in the Now and Not Yet.

The model of healing Jesus used in Matthew will operate again in its fullness in heaven.  He wants us to focus on Him, here and now in this trouble world.  There is a bigger picture in all this and it became clearer to me when I spent some quality time with the Lord in the hospital with covid.  I cannot tell you how many chances I had to witness to all who came into my room about Jesus.  Nurses would send other nurses to talk to me, not because I was miraculously getting healed but because I was not.  It was not one touch, or one word from any one that got me released from the hospital. It was God using doctors and nurses and medicine that got me to where I was well enough to leave the hospital.  And my part was to give God the glory through it all.  There was no way you were going to leave my room without hearing the name of Jesus probably more then once.  

I am always humbled when God uses me to witness for Him and nothing brings me more joy then to do so.  To see Him in the big picture takes my eyes off me and others and puts my trust exactly where it should be. God waste nothing is one of my favorite quotes and I use it a lot. I have to because He has shown me this truth over and over and over.  

One more quote from the sermon, one I have mentioned in this post already, but deserves to be used over and over.  Christ is the focus in any healing,  not the healing itself.  If we focus in the now, our hardships,  we become hard and will not have compassion on others.  Lets focus on the not yet on a daily bases.  It can bring contentment for the now.  


Monday, February 8, 2021

Direction

 



Since last year I have been looking for direction on finishing my book which I started about 10 years ago. In 2017 I had open heart surgery and the urgency to write my memoir was resurrected and I finally got started on it. Then came the covid and a year of medical issue resulting in 3 stays in hospital last year. Finally I am feeling on top of it again, health wise, not out of the woods yet but I have direction as to some of my why's, and what to do with the why and a boast from the Lord that He has given me more time here on earth.

Recently I have been doing lots of research on writing a memoir and discovered that I really have my whole first book written. For a memoir is not a bio of my whole life but its about a particular incident or experience of an individual and attempts to highlight a point of view. Where a biography presents chronological event from the life of a particular person without specifically focusing on a particular experience.

Here is the reason why the book is already written. I have used the experience of growing up with an abusive father who called me and my two brother pitiful along with other cruel words and actions that took whatever love one could have for their father and ground it to dirt. I have use that as a platform to help others through counseling, speaking to women gathering So now with a clearer picture of my book I can draw from all the material and focus on that one part of my life.


Forgiveness is the center of my book, the core, the guts as they say. Forgiveness is the key to a healthy life, a life of freedom that is not bound up with bitterness, resentment and all those kinds of emotions that steal a free life.

Now, is there more life to write about, yes, yes, yes? But I had never before thought about writing more then one book which is why I was trying to piece together it all and have been totally overwhelmed. One incident that spanned about four years concerning my Dad would unlock the floodgates of forgiveness, a book, a memoir that I pray I can finish soon, and that it's contents will help others find forgiveness for what ails their hearts. That is what I have to finish, those four years. Pray for me as I set my sites on that and my health stay good so I can do what God told me 10 years ago to do.

Oh, one more thing. I have an enemy that does not want me to write this book. He uses mind games all the time to get me to put aside a God driven goal. He will tell me, there are so many books just like what you are writing , why one more? You are so inadequate to do this, no training to write. He plays these thoughts and others over and over in my head until I do exactly what I am doing right now, writing and exposing him. He hates anything that will lift up the Lord and put a stop to any glory that would go to Him. He has absolutely no love for me or any of God's creation, most of all he hates God.

Let me just close with this: it is important to know your enemy as it is to know your Savior. We spend all our time sometimes fighting the physically things such as another person and the enemy of our soul loves it. Two things I know for sure, in whom I have placed my trust in for my soul and life here on earth and my eternity. The other is who my enemy is, the devil, or satan, which ever one you prefer to call him and I will call him out when given the chance and that frees me to hear the direction the Lord wants to give me when I ask.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Trusting God or TWA

 



Years ago, in 1985 we took a giant step of faith that would lead to more steps as we journeyed on with the Lord. 

My husband had a great job with Trans World Airlines, TWA, remember them?  He had 20 years invested when God begin to work on his heart about being full time in ministry.  For those 20 years we trusted TWA to pay his wages when he put in his hours loading cargo and suitcase on planes.  So going into ministry and trusting the local church where we went on staff to supply our needs was different.    My fears were at their height during those early years. 

Learning to trust the Lord is a daily spiritual mental exercise of faith.      

After that big step God was not through offering us other ways to grow our faith.   One day we were getting our car worked on and as we waited,  my husband said, honey, I think God wants us to go into over seas mission.  I can't say I was surprised, I knew a change was coming our way, God was preparing my heart as only the God of the universe can do.  

We had several years of trusting the Lord for our needs as we ministered at a local church in Kentucky   I learned to trust for giving to a missionary when  I supported one for five dollars a month and God supplied it every time.  Sometimes it was from babysitting, sometimes a rebate in the mail, sometimes I would have money left over from my budget for grocery or a birthday gift.  It became exciting to wait and see how God would supply. Each time I raise the amount another step of faith.  

Being on the receiving end is scary, humbling and exciting and a much wider step.  So our faith grew deep and wide.  

That song Deep and Wide just popped into my head as I type that,  there's a fountain flowing deep and wide.  God's fountain is the deepest and the widest, much more then TWA's.  God never goes out of business, He is always on the throne and never says, don't bring your prayers of need to me.  

Let me relay a story I just told someone today.  We ended our training with the mission school owing 8 hundred dollars.  After graduation we left the school for our home church in Ky. with a promise to stop by a friends church that Sunday. He wanted us to meet his pastor and maybe get a chance to share our hearts.  The pastor gave my husband 5 minutes from the pulpit to share.  Our friends  church put us up in a hotel and our friend pass on an envelope from the church when he dropped us off at the hotel.  It had 8 hundred dollars in it.  OUR FRIEND DID NOT KNOW WE OWE MONEY TO THE SCHOOL. We had  told no body except  our two children when we prayed for that debt before leaving the school.  

What a start to learning how deep and wide God wanted our trust to become.  We have served in two countries, Bolivia, South America and Papua New Guinea and not once have we done without our needs.  Food has always been on our table, shoes on our feet, clothes on our back. We have always had a car to drive, a bed to sleep in, money to fly home when needed.  And money to help others when needed.  After years of trusting Him, I think I can trust Him for the rest of our years.   

  • So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

  •  –Matthew 6:31-33
  • Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. –1 Timothy 6:17
WHAT ARE YOU TRUSTING GOD FOR TODAY?
  •  

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Dwell Deep






For the last two years my word has been deep, go deep with the Lord.  This year I am going to stay with the theme and chose the word, Dwell.  It's one thing to go deep but to stay there is another.  Life has a way of forcing us to rise to the flesh and make decision and choices from  an earthly mindset.  

When I was young in the Lord, I heard this saying, don't be so heavenly minded you are no earthly good. 

At  that stage of my journey with God I thought, yeah, that's right, don't want to drive people away from me by being a Jesus freak.      Now after walking a few miles with Him I know, believe, that when I lean on Him and not my flesh or the worldly wisdom I am content, and make fewer mistakes. Don't misunderstand me, I am never perfect but He who lives in me is.  

Maybe it's because I am older, and not as busy as I was when younger that I have more time to wait and respond instead of react to what comes into me that I can stay dwelling deep with Him.  I am more heavenly minded in a serious way.  

I think it's because I have more understanding to God's ways then I did when I first started this journey.  My prayer in my early years was, teach me Lord, give me wisdom from above, teach me your ways.  And as best I could when I knew His way I have tried to walk on Calvary's Rd. , knowing I would slip off at times but His ways would light a way back on the Road with Him.  

Here I am a few days from 74 still praying the same prayer, take me deep Lord, help me to dwell there with you.  Deep is where the sweetness is, the pure wisdom from The Lord. One cannot stay in the shallow end of life and grow, mature, be all God's wants us to be.  

To dwell I must pray, pray, pray. 

I humbly hand over my heart to You, and I say, “Lord, here’s my heart, search me and know me, show me anything in my life that is keeping me from being as close as I can be with You.”

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NIV)

As You show me these things in my heart and in my life, Holy Spirit, will You show me what You would like me to do? Will You show me how to let go of these things? Will You show me if there is any unforgiveness or pride in my heart?

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Psalm 51:10-12 NIV)

Anything I am hanging on to that belongs to You, anything that I have willingly allowed into my life that is not in alignment with You and Your ways, I lay it down at the foot of the cross. I surrender all to You, Lord Jesus. Thank you for taking these burdens, Lord. Thank you for what You did on the cross to set us free from death. In You I have victory! I praise You, Jesus!


Sunday, December 27, 2020

Day After



The day after is just as important as, "THE DAY", meaning Christmas day.   The day after the disciples are  depressed, Jesus is dead, buried, the Roman's are still in change of their world.  When history proves itself it should give us hope, especially when He told them there was more history coming,  but how easily we get caught up in the drama of THE DAY,   making us feel hopeless.  It should be easier for us who have all the history pinned down in the most powerful book ever written, the Bible.  We can read how God continued to fulfill His promises, all of them to the tee as we journey in our days after.  

Let me just add this, there is a time for mourning, grieving,  feeling hopeless, that is why the day after is important.  It shows us how frail our faith is, no matter our station in life.  To have walked side by side with Jesus for three years, hearing over and over truth, being shown daily He was God in the flesh, all His promises would come true.  One would think the disciples would have the strongest faith of anyone, yet the day after made them doubt and fear and fall into despair.   

On this day after, Covid is still killing people.  Businesses are lost, jobs are gone, families are tore apart, most of our leaders are not making wise choices, they are driven by greed and pride.  How could our country come back and be a better country after all its been through?  

For one, He never promised our world would be better, He never promised death would not hit everyone. He did promise in this world we would have trouble. 

I love a  song by the Martin's titles, The Promise, especially this line, "And my love will be the anchor that you can hold onto, This is the promise I made to you. "  

I am holding tight to His love for me, not my love for Him, for mine is frail.  Just let a hard trial come my way that I cannot control or change you will see how frail it is. 

 So I will cling to II Cor. 5: 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all , therefore all died, and He died for all so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.  

II Cor.  4:16 -18 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner is being renewed day by day.  For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond  all comparison while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  

Where is your faith on this day after?




Friday, December 18, 2020

Extension of life....


 Stop always expecting your blessings to be financial or materialistic, God just may have added some time to your life instead.

 Have you ever begged God to extend your life?

At almost 74 I have faced some hard health struggles but never felt frail enough that I might die.  

Until recently.

On top of blood pressure issue my kidneys started failing,  infection filled my body and then I caught Covid.  

I begged God with every fiber in my body to extend my life, to let me stay around my family a little longer, to restore me.  I did not ask out of fear but a desire to not go yet.  

I did not hear a voice, feel a touch, get Holy goose bumps, nothing super natural happened.  It still took doctors, medicines, a stay in the hospital and lots of rest, but I am here to tell you God has extended my time here on earth.  

My kidney doctor came in every day and told me how lucky I was because I was slowly getting better.  With a sadness he said, I have signed more death certificate's in the last few months then all the years of my doctoring.  He said, it had taken a toll on him.  Everyone who worked or came onto the Covid floor had to be garbed in a plastic suit with  plastic head gear with a pump attached to them that pumped cool air into their head gear.  They wore two pair of gloves all the time, taking off the top pair and adding a fresh pair with each new patient.  All the extra work wears on the nerves yet they treated me daily with kindness.  I was never worried that I wasn't being taken care of.  


  I am beyond grateful for the extra time God has given me. 

 23The steps of a man (or women) are ordered by the Lord who delights in his journey. 24Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand.…Psalm 34:23-24

Not only did He give me more time but He is holding my hand as I walk it.  Would you pray I use my time wisely and with purpose?




 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Garble Speech and Limp Hand

 It's been a while since I posted anything because we have been busy getting our cabin ready to live in.  This past Sunday night my husband stayed in it while I spend the next couple nights in hospital due to very high blood pressure.  

 As soon as the questions left the doctors lips I started to worry.  Yes, everyone in my family , both sides have had strokes. Yes.  Surely he doesn't think I am old enough to have a stroke?

By this time I was feeling sick to my stomach and realizing that is what happened to me, a mini stroke.  

Everyday while I was in the hospital, three times a day I had to give my name and birthday to the lady I ordered my lunch.  Then it really hit me, I am as old as my Grandmother and Mother when they had these strokes.  OMG.  

To say this has shook me is an understatement.  We have worked hard this summer and fall and right into the winter to get our little place ready before the temperature goes below 0. I will admit its been stressful for all of us.  But we  now sit in a little combined living room/kitchen with a bathroom and bedroom warm and decorated.  It's wonderful, made more wonderful because its across the driveway from our daughter and family.  

Stress, even good stress is hard on  a body and when you got 73 years on it.  For me the results was a mini stroke.   I have no damage done to my brain thanks God.  Every things still works well and I am trying to do everything the doctors told me to do which is to REST.