Sunday, November 11, 2012

One Nation Under...What?


It has become
pretty clear
that America
no longer stands 
together as
One Nation Under God.

Instead, it appears,
we have become
a nation divided between
a couple of political parties.

To have become a people
who allow a
political party,
movement,
or
lobbyist group
to define who we are
ethically, morally and religiously
is ridiculous,
if not,
down right scary
because none of them
accurately represent 
who God is.

If the Lord was here,
He would say - 
oh wait!
He IS here!

And He is saying,
"Come,
those who will,
and follow Me.
Together,
you and I 
will change the world
as we usher in the 
Kingdom of Heaven."

"Under God"
has always been
and continues to be 
the standard by which I live.
 He is the One
with whom I partner
and work.
Because, truly,
He is the only One
with the solution to
all of our problems.




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Moral Conscience?



I find it interesting
(or perhaps more honestly, disturbing)
that (some) people do not hesitate
to like, share, repost, forward or promote
those things which express their
opinions or annoyances about things
which make relatively no difference in the world.

Yet, mostly, ignore
those things which, perhaps,
prick the moral conscience
and might be the very thing God is using
to nudge them into action.

There are people all around us
who need our help every day.

We have neighbors who are on
the verge of becoming homeless,
friends who can't pay their bills,
family members who are struggling to feed their children,
and members of our communities who are homeless;
all living quietly on the fringes,
hoping that nobody will notice, 
yet at the same time, 
hoping that someone will;
not openly admitting their situation to the people
who claim to love them
because those are the same people
 calling others in similar situations,
“Lazy, low-life scum who think the world owes them something 
and who abuse the system in order to stay where they are.”
(As if poverty is something people aspire to).

Sure, there are a few who have learned how to
 “abuse the system”,
but I say that they are the exception and not the rule.

And I am willing to bet that there are just as many,
if not more, people at the other end of the 
social/economic/political spectrum, 
the mega-rich, 
who have used and abused far more
 to get to where they are
and continue to do so on a daily basis 
in order to maintain their positions.

I submit that if those on that end of the spectrum
would give just a portion of their excess
to those at the other end of the spectrum,
the need for welfare and 
assistance programs in America
would cease.

And if every one of us
would give something to the person next to us
who has less than we do,
 homelessness and hunger
 would end in America as well.

In short, if we
loved one another
and took care of the least among us
just as Jesus commanded.

Instead, it appears, 
that we would rather go on with our lives,
 perfectly content with
 the yearly bag of canned goods 
we donate to the local food drive,
the loose change we drop into the red bucket,
the shoe box we fill and ship overseas,
and the angel or two we pull off the tree;
feeling satisfied that we have
“done our part”,
all the while willing that 
annoying little prick of moral conscience
to simply shut up and go away!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rant With a Purpose


Every so often,
something will rise up so strongly within me
that it's impossible for me
to remain silent.
This is one of those times.

The "Christian Conservative" response
to the election results has been
heart-wrenchingly appalling.

If we would
put as much time, energy and effort
into helping our neighbors in need
as we did in screaming at them 
to go out and vote
and
as we do in
demonizing people, 
blaming the government for all of our problems
and griping about everything else,
I am certain we would actually
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
in each other's lives
and bring about real change.

One day a few weeks ago,
I took our last thirty something dollars
to the grocery store and purchased
some "staples";
milk, eggs, bread, etc.
The things I purchased needed to last
us for about ten days.

The next morning,
as I opened the refrigerator
to make my husband's breakfast
and lunch,
Holy Spirit said,
"(Someone) needs half of what you purchased yesterday."

So, I contacted that family 
and asked if they needed some bread, milk and eggs.
The response was a resounding,  "YES!"
They were out of money,
out of food 
AND 
they were having mechanical problems
with their vehicle.
I took the food to them that same afternoon.

A day or two later,
I woke up with the weight of the knowledge that
my husband was going to need gas for his vehicle
that evening if he was going to make it home.
 I whispered my request to God,
said, "I trust You Jesus,"
and went about my day.

That evening,
about thirty minutes before my husband was
to leave work,
a friend handed me fifty dollars and said,
"The Lord said you need gas money," 
I was able to deposit it into the bank
just in time for my husband to go and get gas.

A couple of days after that,
I was handed one hundred dollars
with the comment,
"Obedience is rewarded."
At first,
I had no idea what the comment meant.
Then the giver looked at me and said,
"As you help others, you'll be helped as well." 

WOW!

I hadn't given a second thought
to the fact that I had shared our food
with another family.
It was simply the right thing to do.

No, my response to Holy Spirit
had not solved all of their problems
(or mine),
but my obedience did allow
for both of our families 
to eat for a couple of days.

And yes,
it appeared to take away 
from my own family's provisions,
but I am certain
that if I had chosen
to ignore what
Holy Spirit said to me,
I would have missed out
on the other blessings He had for us.

What kind of people are we
that we would allow our fellow 
countrymen,
our neighbors,
our friends,
our families
to go hungry
simply because 
of harsh judgments,
 selfish ambitions,
and
self-righteous attitudes?

If 
"Christian Conservatism"
is the face of
 "Christianity",
I certainly want nothing to do with it!

Lord help us!






Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Jesus Didn't Do

  
As I think about
the things that
Jesus did and
the example He set,
I am both struck
and
moved by the things
that He didn't do.

When people went  to Him
with their needs,
He did not reproach them.
He didn't ask,
"Have you heard the gospel message?
Did you go forward during the altar call?"
He didn't first 
point out to them all of their faults
and
accuse them of 
"not doing anything to help themselves".
He did not despise their poverty,
 demand that they account for
every penny they had spent
in the past twelve months,
nor did He hand them a cup
marked "Urine Sample".
He did not look at them in disgust, 
ignore them
or turn His back on them
because they weren't living their lives
the way that He thought they ought
or because they weren't
contributing enough to society.
No.
He did
NONE
of these things.
Rather, 
He looked at them,
He saw them,
He knew them,
He had compassion upon them. 
He fed them,
He healed them,
He was a friend to them,
He loved them.
He granted their requests.

He did ALL of this
without
conditions,
limitations,
or
restrictions.
And after He DID 
all these things,
He said to us,
"Do, likewise, 
all that I have done
and
MORE."




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One More

We do well
to remember
that
Jesus 
did not
overthrow
the Roman government,
but rather
taught 
&
demonstrated
what we can
(and ought to)
do
to usher in
the 
Kingdom of Heaven!

Institutions of man
OR
the Kingdom of Heaven?

This woman's efforts
are in
the Kingdom of Heaven!

God Thoughts No. Seventy


For months
I've been thinking a lot
about 
what would happen
and what
the world,
my country,
my state,
my community
would look like
if every individual
took 
personal responsibility
for one's 
own actions;
did
everything and all
that they could do
instead of the
least
that they can do;
stopped relying on
politicians and "leaders"
to fix
everything
and instead
became a part of the
solution;
quit judging
and 
began helping;
in short,
lived according to
the
Law of Love.

Jesus,
first 
fed
His betrayer,
then told him to
go and 
do what he must.

He then 
told those remaining
at the table,
"Love each other.
Love each other
 in the same way that 
I love you.
This Love
will prove 
to the world
that you
(love, obey &)
belong 
to
Me."
(John 13)


Change
begins in
the individual,
not
in the government.




One Hope


My hope
was never
in either
(or any)
man.

My hope
has always been
and remains in
the 
Lord.

King 
Jesus
Plain
&
 Simple

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Parables & Prophesy


The more she thought about
her dream,
the more the woman recognized 
that it contained
parables.

The first was
that in the midst
of her despair,
under the weight
of her burdens,
her deepest longing was to
be close to the Lord.

As she found herself unable
to bear the thought
of entering into
any one of the churches,
she was driven on
and into the empty building.

Her "aloneness" with God
reveals
that finding solace
and rest for one's soul
cannot be obtained
in any institution
or by subscribing to
man-made theologies.

The kind of peace which
the soul longs for
can be found in
and obtained by
Christ 
and Christ alone.

The second parable is
that as she sought peace
from the 
Lover of her soul,
He, in His ever merciful Love,
brought others to her
to help her in her situation.

As those who entered the building
were in the habit
of living in obedience 
to the Lord,
they were filled with
joy, happiness, praise & laughter
of which they were unable to contain.

They obeyed the Lord
without question 
or hesitation.

And by her being 
a stranger to them,
they did so without regard
to their own
personal gain.

This kind of
selfless, obedient life
is rewarded with the
overwhelming joy
which comes directly from
the Author of Joy.

Having been prone to 
prophetic dreams
since early childhood,
the woman recognized, also,
that within her dream was a prophesy.

As she thought about
the significance 
of what the people did for her,
she did some calculations of her own
and discovered that 
the amount she had received
in her dream
was, in fact, 
the exact amount that
would remove three
of the burdens from her life.

The significance of this fact
impacted her greatly
as her heart was elevated
to new levels of
Hope
&
Joy.

It wasn't over yet!

Oh how good
&
gracious
God truly is!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Promises


After waking from the dream,
the woman was filled
with hope;
hope that there were still
people in the world who
"did the right thing" 
and who still
listened to and
obeyed the Lord.

As she went about her day,
Holy Spirit kept whispering,
"Hold onto the promises."

And the more He whispered,
the more lighthearted she became.

Indeed,
the Lord had made
promises to her;
promises of
provision & abundance;
promises of blessings so 
full & overflowing
that she would have more
than enough to
share with and
to bless 
others.

"Hold onto the promises", 
indeed!

This is exactly what she 
intended to do;
to hold onto them
and not let go
until the Lord
brought these things to pass.

Because He IS faithful.
He does NOT lie.
His promises ARE true.
And the answer to her prayers is,
"Yes!"

 Amen!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Story, Dream, Parable or True?


Early Sunday morning, a woman set out for church.
Her heart was troubled as the weight of her burdens 
pressed down upon her.

She soon found herself on an unfamiliar street
lined with several churches 
of different denominations.

Feeling a little confused,
she could not bring herself to enter any one of them.

As she walked a little further along the street,
she came to a building which
 she felt compelled to enter.

It was empty inside
except for one over-sized chair.
She went in and sat down.

Just as she began to ask the Lord what
 He wanted her to do,
the doors burst open and people began piling in;
laughing, singing and praising the Lord.

A tall, African-American gentleman, 
wearing a big grin, walked up to her and said,
“Don’t worry. 
You are right where you are supposed to be 
and the Lord is pleased with you.”

As he walked away, 
another man walked up to her,
handed her a check, 
made out in her name, 
for $700, 
grinned and winked then 
went into the crowd.

Just then, a woman walked up,
handed her a check for $650, said,
 “Please hold this for a week before cashing it”, 
and went off into the crowd.

Immediately after that, 
an older, well-dressed gentleman approached her.
He handed her a blank, signed check and said,
 “Fill this check out for me please.”
The woman replied, “I can’t. 
I don’t know whom you want it made out to 
or for how much.”

The man handed her a pen and said, 
“Put your name on it because
 I don’t know how to spell it.”
While she was writing her name, 
the man was busily doing some calculations.
 He said out loud, 
“Forty-three percent”,
 and continued calculating.
 He then looked up and said, 
“Seven thousand. Make it out for seven thousand dollars.”
With astonishment and tears in her eyes, 
the woman asked,
“Why would you, all of you, who are complete strangers, 
do this for me?”
He smiled and replied, 
“Because it is the right thing to do. 
Besides, God told us to.”
He patted her on the arm and then 
turned and joined the crowd.

Another man approached her,
 silently handed her a check for $500 
and quickly walked away.

As soon as he did this, 
the people were gone.

The woman sat in the chair,
overwhelmed and full of
wonder & amazement,
joy & hope,
thankfulness & generosity.

Oh how good and gracious God truly is!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Simple Really


Looking
without seeing

Assuming
without asking

Declaring
without clearing

Judging
without knowing

Seeing
only half of the picture

Asking
not whether it is true or false

Clearing
the conscience

Knowing
you could be wrong

Things are not always as they seem.

Communication is the key.

To find the truth, ask.

It is not as difficult as you think.



Friday, October 12, 2012

Fanning the Flame

All relationships go through different phases.
Every relationship is tested.

Whether it be marriage,
relationship with our children,
parents, siblings, or friends,
all relationships can survive
as long as we're willing to stand firm
and to love & forgive unconditionally.


Today, 
 marriage relationships are on my heart.

I found this image on the internet last night;


and Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.

"Fan the flame of your own desire.
Focus on what drew you to each other
rather than on the differences you may have
or 
on the challenge you may be facing.
Dwell on the spark which first ignited 
your love
and allow your thoughts to fuel it."

The funny thing is that all this week
that is exactly what I have been doing;
fueling the flame of my love
for my dear, sweet husband.

I love that the Lord put 
what I have already been doing
into words that I may share with you.

You see,
the Lord loves us 
fiercely.

And since we have received
such a fierce love from 
the Author of 
Perfect Love,
every one of us
has been equipped
to give out that same kind of love.

But as with anything else,
we must choose to do so.

At some point in your relationship
with your spouse,
your heart sang the same song
as Solomon.

So why not focus on that song
once more and allow
your heart to soar
and your love to pour?

I am quite certain 
that you won't be sorry!




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Let Go



I don’t believe in coincidences 
or that random things just happen.
Instead, 
I believe that everything happens 
for a reason 
and that all things, 
even bad things, 
work together for good.

Certainly, things happen because of 
choices people make 
and we live our lives every day, 
making decisions, 
often without regard to the future. 

Though we may not be consciously aware, 
even the smallest thing 
can have a most profound effect; 
while a big thing may 
have a seemingly small effect.

That poor decision we make today 
may not have any ill effects 
until years later, 
just as that small act of kindness today 
may not reap obvious benefits 
until we least expect it.

The things we do every day 
(good or bad), 
without any second thought 
may seem inconsequential, 
but they aren’t.

Everything serves a purpose.
Regardless of our perspective,
 all things are working together… 
for good.

God gives strength to His people.
 He blesses them with peace. 
(Psalm 29:11)

Though our situation 
and/or circumstance
 may be difficult and seemingly overwhelming, 
there is nothing going on that 
God hasn’t already given us 
the strength to overcome.

He can take any horrible decision 
or situation
 and turn it into good.

And not only are His methods perfect, 
but so is His timing. 

It may not feel like we can handle a situation
 right at that precise moment, 
but if it is happening,
 we can rest assured that God
 has already given us the strength 
to get through it.

Sometimes we are affected, 
positively and/or negatively, 
directly and/or indirectly,
by another person’s actions 
which invoke within us 
different emotions.

But remember, 
there is nothing
 that anyone has ever done
that Jesus’ work on the cross
 hasn’t already forgiven.

It is up to us to choose 
whether to harbor negative feelings 
(which make us miserable)
 or to let go 
and to allow 
perfect Love 
(which sets us free)
 to have it’s way in our hearts.

And truly, 
this IS
 what it all boils down to -
~ LOVE ~
Pure
Unrestrained
&
Unconditional

It is the Love 
that we have all
 been given by God.

So what right 
do we have 
to withhold it 
from one another?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

God Thoughts No. Sixty Nine


With each difficulty,
challenge or conflict
that arise in our relationships
comes the opportunity to increase
our capacity to Love 
unconditionally.

Since Christ's Love-
His life, death & resurrection-
has so demonstrated 
and
completed 
His unconditional Love
for us,
how can we love one another
any less than He does?

He was serious when He said,
"Love one another".

Though it may not always be easy
~it IS possible.

Jesus told us that we would have trials
and difficulties,
but He said, also,
to not lose heart because He has
already overcome them all.

And because of His victory,
we too are victorious.

It is simply our part
to walk in 
Victory
 by choosing
to obey His command to
Love.




Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Student Work II

 Student A
"The Ups and Downs, The Waves of Life"

Pain and sorrow appear unbearable.
Love and joy know no bounds.
Confidence lurks somewhere inside.
Questions never ending.

Hope versus doubt;
the age-old war between good and evil.
Somewhere within
there is a song of truth,
a song of strength.

Dreams take flight and find a way.
Dreams crash and fall.
The daylight fades,
The shades of black and grey take over the soul.

Jokes and pranks,
Losing ranks,
Losing respect;
Losing ones self while finding another.

Fathers leaving,
Brothers falling,
Mothers weeping,
Sister lying,
While onlookers are sleeping.

Families growing,
Broken homes,
Needing to know you're not alone.
Waiting for a hero to save the day,
All the while,
You're fading away.

Going back is no option,
You've just begun to get comfortable,
Hiding in the shadows,
Sleeping in the gutters,
Standing behind the curtain,
Staying out of view.

Babies crying,
Birds singing,
Dogs barking,
Hope springing.

Water running,
Rain pouring,
The sun is out,
It's day again.
It's a second chance,
It's another try,
There is still hope.
Please don't go,
This isn't goodbye.


Student B
"Cynic"

Do what needs to be done,
Say what needs to be said.
Prove yourself of gain,
Be a superior;
Always watching your back.

Push others aside,
Taking what you need.
Prove yourself great.
Feed your greed.

You only amount to what you own,
what you have been sold.
Make yourself happy;
vanity and possessions provide this.

You're all that you've bought.
You're the knowledge you've paid for
and thieved.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

God Thoughts No. Sixty Eight


I fell asleep last night
awoke this morning
saying,
"I trust You Jesus.
I trust You Jesus."

Indeed, 
I trust You Jesus;
therefore,
I will get through this day
and all of my needs
will be provided for.

When there's nothing else you can do,
say these words,
"I trust You Jesus"
over and over again,
until you realize
that it's the best thing 
you can do.

And see if it doesn't
help you feel more
at peace.

Because His peace
is the peace
that transcends 
all human understanding.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pray-er

"Pray for each other, so that you may be healed. 
The prayer of a righteous person 
is powerful and effective."
James 5:15b-16

It is God's desire that we pray for one another.
Although He already knows all of our needs,
He delights when we partner with Him
in bringing forth His blessings to others.

This morning Holy Spirit reminded me that
when I put this into practice,
I am better able to resist
the temptation to become
overwhelmed by my own list of needs.

By focusing my attention
on the needs of others
and continuing in dialog 
with the Father,
my focus on self diminishes,
my burden is made light,
and I am filled with
Joy 
which transcends human understanding.


In light of this,
I am offering to pray for you. 

If you have a special prayer need 
or
would simply like me to pray for you 
on a regular basis,
send me a private email message
and I will be honored to do so.

You may include as many details as you 
are comfortable with
or
you may be vague in your request.

It is entirely up to you 
as it is my habit to pray
as Holy Spirit leads,
thus, praying the will of the Father
and not my own will.

May your day be blessed
and may your life be full of
indescribable JOY!

Hallelujah!

" Never stop praying." 
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Monday, September 24, 2012

Misunderstood

I have realized, recently,
that some of the things I post
are misunderstood
by readers.

I was pondering
this when Holy Spirit 
reminded me that
Jesus was also, often,
misunderstood.

Even those who 
lived with Him 
didn't always understand
what He was saying to them.

Yet,
He didn't lose any sleep over it!

And then I (re)realized;
relationships
are all about getting to know
one another.

We may not always understand
what the Lord is saying,
but as we continue in relationship
with Him,
He makes things clear.

Jesus came and lived 
on the earth
so that people could know
God.

He came so that
we could receive clarity
on the things that confuse us.

God's purpose
is to 
make Himself
KNOWN.

So,
if you're confused 
or 
don't understand something,
ask for wisdom,
understanding
&
revelation.

But also,
be content knowing that 
He knows what He is doing.

And my purpose
with this blog,
is to share my own relationship
with Him
and to
encourage others
in pursuing their own relationship
with Him.


So before assuming something
about what I have posted,
or
if I have confused you,
please,
ask me about it
and I will be happy to clarify it for you!

Because,
hopefully,
you and I are building
a relationship with
one another too!





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