Thursday, December 17, 2015

SLOW DOWN -- IT'S CHRISTMAS


To my step-mom’s disdain, I have never been much of a sewer. I am speaking of the needle kind. For example: knitting, crocheting, embroidering or sewing machine work in general. I love seeing the finished product from someone else’s hands. I admire the intricacies of the work. I admire well done calligraphy and am impressed when I see artistic handwriting. Inspired paintings on canvas take my breath away and even invite me to step inside by my imagination and become part of the creation. I was contemplating the above facts this morning when the Lord spoke to me by his Spirit, "Those kinds of expressions take time". As simple as that, he spoke. As always, my reasoning with the Lord in the realm of my heart and mind, began to produce one of the gifts He has given me, vis-à-vis: inspired writings. We all have been given gifts in the way of talents and abilities. I remember crocheting lace for a set of pillow cases when I was a young girl. I had received instruction from “mom” and was hoping to please. The final result was that as the ends of the lace met for the final stitching, there was about a half to three quarters difference in the width. My handwriting is the same. It may begin one size and by the end of the writing it is another. Those are not my areas of expertise. This does not mean I will never again attempt something outside my realm. What the Lord spoke to me was that part of the reason for my imperfection and even sometimes failed results is because I do not take the time necessary for the perfection. Being in a hurry for the final results will never produce the desired intentions. My desire would be for the viewer to behold the beauty and be inspired by what they see. With my writings, I desire lives be affected in a  positive way and be blessed, comforted, quickened in their mind and even challenged toward change. Mostly, I want the reader to be drawn closer to our Father God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Relationships are that way. If we desire to create God-designed relationships, time must be invested. “Wait on the Lord…” Most of us have heard that verse from the Bible. “For God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Jesus gave himself for us and he gives himself every day by his Spirit. We don’t know him and his promises the way we could if we do not take the time to get  to know him more and more on a daily basis. Husbands and wives, friends, parents and children, these are all relationships that take time to build, time to maintain and grow. We can rush through life and settle for the imperfect and uninspiring in the work of our hands and relationships or we can slow down and spend the time and attention to create a finished result that will deepen not only our journey but draw others to that place of desiring to walk into the canvas of our lives and “follow us as we follow Christ.” MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Friday, November 20, 2015

TUNE IN; LOOK UP; LISTEN UP

The other night I was looking through some boxes I have yet to unpack since moving to my new, temporary, home. I will elaborate on the "temporary" later in this post. As I was rummaging through the items, I discovered a long forgotten Walkman. For those of you who don't know what that is, it is a forerunner of the Ipod. It is an am/fm radio that you use headphones with. I used to use it when I was running. My find was met with a bit of skepticism due to the fact that the Walkman was a gift from 1994. I wasn't sure if it would still operate. I placed the double A battery inside and sure enough, sound emerged! I was amazed at all the am stations available. There were so many, in fact, that I was only able to tune in to a couple. The others were jumbled and indistinguishable. It was a bit overwhelming trying to find a clear signal. Once I did, the first thing I heard was Breaking News about the attack on Paris. This made me ask the question, "What are we tuned into?" Maybe we are not tuned into anything. Perhaps we are just going through life in neutral, floating along with no purpose or power. Tuning in brought my attention to heart breaking news and from that, I was compelled to "look up" to the only place that provides hope in the midst of devastating news. "To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, til he has mercy upon us." That mercy was given in the form of God becoming man through our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of Souls, who died on the cross and rose from the grave and is at the right hand of the throne of God. So, I look up. Not around, not down, not over, but UP. There is so much chaos, confusion, distortion, mumbo jumbo that without looking to the Author and Finisher of our Faith, we face the possibility of crumbling under  the load; breaking down mentally, emotionally, physically and or spiritually. Through the Word of God (Bible) and Prayer (aided by the Holy Spirit), we can "tune in" to a clear and concise signal of Truth that will set us Free to walk a path of Hope-Filled Victory knowing our final destination is the total and complete Salvation of our Souls and a guaranteed home in Heaven for Eternity. Therefore, with that in mind we have the ability to "listen up". For what are we listening? "For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a SHOUT, with the VOICE of the Archangel and the TRUMPET of God." He is coming back for those who are watching, waiting and looking. For those who have, by Faith, put their lives in the hands of a Grace-filled God who tells us to BELIEVE in the name of His Son Jesus Christ... the only way to know, connect with God and live forever in His presence... in peace, joy, happiness; tearless,  painless, fearless. He is crying out by His Spirit; pleading to those who would TUNE IN, LOOK UP; LISTEN UP! God has provided deliverance! He has provided the straight and narrow way and given us the forward momentum to walk, run, climb to the TOP! As we take hold of the Victory that is ours, we can be that Signal, Beacon, Light, Voice for others. We can give them hope in the darkness and help lift them above the death that the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of this world offers. "He brought me (us) out of the kingdom of darkness and into HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT, I'm on the ROCK OF SALVATION. I'll fear NOT day or night." When you have Christ, you have the Keys.... Pass those keys around every chance you have! Joining you each day as we Follow the One who knows the WAY!

Monday, October 19, 2015

ANOTHER DAY

Do you ever awaken in the morning and think, "Another Day" to live through. Sometimes it may be the result of wearying trials or simply being human and wondering how you made it thus far and how far you have left to go. Many of us who know the Lord Jesus and his truth are able to quickly take hold of a familiar Bible verse and speak it to our minds and receive the encouragement and strength it brings. Other times, even the strongest Christian can view the beginning of a new day as a huge obstacle to encounter. We face it by taking a deep breath as if to say, "Here we go again". The inescapable trap of a new day can be overwhelming. There is only one way to escape life and that is by death. We are here until it is time that we are not. Our times are in God's hands. That brings me to the word "perseverance". The truth is, everyone is going through something every day. We have to fight hard some days and other days we are given rest. We are ALL going through life. We can choose to go through with or without the greatest help available, the ONE who conquered death and the grave. If we know Jesus, we know we also have an enemy. We know we must contend for the Faith. We know it is not easy but we know who goes before us to make a way. In a physical fight between two opponents, one may outweigh the other; be taller; even be stronger. However, if we are trained in the right fighting techniques, our enemy is doomed to defeat. We stand the victor every time. We who walk daily with the Lord and choose to step out into the ring of life to receive the overcomers crown are in constant training to develop those techniques. Jude 20&21 gives us instruction. "But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life." Luke 18:1 tells us the words of the Lord that we "ought always to pray and not lose heart". I want to continue to learn and practice every spiritual technique available to STAND at the end of my time here and as Ephesians the 6th chapter tells us "having done all to STAND." There can appear to be a dichotomy between STANDING according to the Bible and LOSING YOUR LIFE as we read in Luke chapter 17 but there is not according to the way of the Kingdom of God. The LIFE we are fighting for is ETERNAL. That is why the martyrs in the Book of Revelation and to this day, "Loved not their lives even unto death"! This is a sobering thought but it is happening, that is why it is so crucial that we learn to walk deeper in the Spirit as the days go by and take every opportunity to "Fight the Good Fight of Faith" with every spiritual weapon, wisdom, strategy, discernment, truth, fellowship, insight that is available to us. "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire." 2 Peter 1:7 "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather." Luke 17:37. Don't find yourself in the position of being a corpse with the vultures stealing your life. Through Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, we have LIFE and VICTORY. We can "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer" knowing that "He is able to keep us from falling and to present us before his glorious throne without fault and with great joy." So be it and come quickly Lord Jesus! The Spirit and the Bride say "Come" according to your WORD!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

TURNING STRESS INTO GODLY ENERGY

As most of my Blog Followers know by now, I got married again on the 4th of July of this year. After giving my hopes, dreams and aspirations to the Lord while caring for my late husband for several years, I believed I knew what direction my life was to go. The Bible tells us that: "man can make his plans but the final outcome is in the Lord's hands." Proverbs 19:21. The story goes.... Widower marries Widow. I fell in love with my Friend of 19 years. We and our spouses had been friends for many years which makes it comfortable to share the memories we have with one another. My new Husband, Albert and I share a common call to see people come to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We Pastor together in Christmas Valley, Oregon. We love the people in our Fellowship and our heart's doors are open to receive and love all those God sends our way.
 
Life's circumstances have a way of bringing stress of varying degrees into our lives. Stress can be extremely harmful if not handled correctly. Many sicknesses and diseases can come upon us both mentally, physically and spiritually if stress is given free reign. The following is a teaching I shared with our Church last evening and I felt it would be beneficial to pass it along in the Blogging World. There are many healthy ways of dealing with stress but I believe the best remedy is through the Word of God. Here are 7 steps I suggest you follow if you are being weighed down with the stress of life.

Change your Mind: Philippians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 10:5
Choose to think on the “good” things and not the circumstances. Bring every thought into  
captivity at sword point.
 
Change the scenery: Hebrews 12:2
Fix your eyes on Jesus and who he is and what he has done rather than your circumstances.

Get moving:  2 Peter 1:2-11
Exercise and add to your growth spiritually

Just Breathe: Psalm 150:6
Breathe out praise to the Lord.
 
Goof off a little: Proverbs 15:13; Mark 10:1
 “A merry heart does good like a medicine”. Come to the Lord as a little child. Lighten
 up sometimes.
 
 Journal, talk, tweet, facebook: James 5:16&17; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16 
 Don’t be a “Ruminator”. Write what is stressing you down “once” and let it go. Proclaim the   
 truth about God with one another. Use social media to speak the truth. Confess your sins to 
God and one another. Pray for one another. Believe 1 John 1:9. Believe John 3:16.
 
Finally: John 10:10
The enemy, satan, will use stress to try and "kill" us spiritually and physically. The thief     
comes to destroy... Jesus came to give life abundantly. 
 
I hope your enjoy this brief Bible Study and it becomes a way of life that you come to practice and pass on to others. Until next time.... Grace and Peace be yours through the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!! Be well!

Friday, May 29, 2015

DANGEROUS PLACES


It has been 5 months since my Husband, Clovis, went to be with Jesus. During the years I took care of him and especially at the end of his days, I learned that there is more than one way to lay down your life for someone else. You can lay down you life and still be breathing. I believe that is more difficult than taking your last breath for someone else to continue breathing. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord according to the Apostle Paul. Laying down your life is not only an act of the physical body. It may mean laying aside your own needs, hopes, dreams and aspirations to give someone else the best quality of life possible as they struggle to face the transition that is to come. I would do it all over again for him.                   
 1st Peter 4:12 tells us, “Dear friends, don't be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.”* I believe when someone has accepted the salvation provided for them on the Cross by Jesus and perhaps gone through a time of inner and outer healing, the challenge is to consider what’s next. When the road became really tough for Christ’s followers, some of them dropped off by the wayside. His faithful ones struggled and as we know, even denied they knew him for a season. It all depends upon what you want from the life you now have. 1st Peter 4:13 says, *“Instead, be very glad--for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” Those of you who know me well, know that I hate to miss out on anything exciting that is happening around me. That challenging expectation is hard to meet since I am unable to clone myself. The fantastic truth is that when God’s glory is revealed to the world, no one is going to miss it. We will either receive it with joy or we will shrink back in fear and shame. God wants the former for us, not the latter. As I have written to you before, my goal is Philippians 3:10: “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, (why?) so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!” ETERNAL LIFE!!!! No one can take that away from you no matter what avenue takes you from this present life! Knowing that, I accept with joy the trials that become part of my “missionary” journey. I am an Ambassador of Christ. Missionaries and Ambassadors are quite similar. They both deliver a message to their listeners. Ambassadors and Missionaries are called to dangerous places at times. My Friend and Brother in the Lord, Ron Flug, wrote a song I had the blessing to hear him sing: “Dangerous Places”. The following is the chorus:

                                “You take this heart into dangerous places.

                                You take this heart where I wouldn’t go.

                                You take this heart into dangerous places

                                And you break it open and you let love flow.

                                Yea, you break it open and you let love flow.”

 Mark 8:34 & 35 If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.” I guess it is all up to choice. The last choice our Creator incarnate made was to “carry his cross”. That is the final act of someone slated to die in that manner. They had to carry their own cross. I have chosen Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” In actuality, when we choose “life” we are choosing “death”. Death to self; life to Him! Jesus never told us it would be easy but he did promise that through his grace and strength and the power of the Holy Spirit, we can be "more than Conquerors!" As Paul said in Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Even to be able to say, “It is a good day to die!”

Lord Jesus, may we all receive the strength that only you can give to enable us to say unreservedly, “I surrender all… everything I am, everything I am not, everything I have… I’m Yours Lord!”

(all scriptures are from the New Living Translation of the Bible)