If You Have Seen Me

I have spent decades of my life praying for my country. I love the United States of America. It is the greatest country, the most free and diverse land of opportunities. It is a nation that has spent billions of dollars to help less fortunate countries. It is now under attack at its very foundation, so lately I have been praying for her like never before.

A few weeks ago I gathered with others to pray first for many nations around the world, and then to end our days of prayer praying for the United States. During that time of prayer I saw something. I saw in my mind a large stone monument of the Ten Commandments being removed from in front of a government building. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from classrooms. I saw the Ten Commandments being removed from homes and even some churches. Before the historical monuments were removed, they first removed the Ten Commandments.

I remember hearing people say that the decline of this country began when God was removed from our schools and government. As I prayed I searched for the words to invite God back into this nation. The words that I found caused me to love God even more.

You see laws on a stone monument have never changed a person’s heart. Evil in a person’s heart will not be stopped or changed by a set of laws. We see it everyday as the news is filled with people perpetrating evil in most of the daily headlines. To those who do not already know God, laws on a stone tablet may make them think of a legalistic demanding God. Many think of Him as a vengeful Old Testament God. However, what changed when Jesus came in the flesh?

He introduced us to God as Father. He showed us a compassionate, loving, caring, and merciful Father. So as I prayed I let go of those stone monuments in my heart and I invited God, as Father, back into our schools, government, prisons, hospitals, churches, homes, and hearts.

The people in this nation and throughout the entire earth are in need of a demonstration of the Father’s love. Let’s give it to them. Let it be said of each of us, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.”

“Jesus replied… Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9)

“…one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.” (Luke 11:1-4)

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

Faith

Proverbs 13:12 says that “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Last month after twenty-seven years of my hope being deferred, my heart felt broken. I said to the Lord, “I don’t think that I can do this anymore. I don’t know if I can keep on hoping.” His response healed my heart and renewed my faith in Him.

First He took me to Hebrews 11:11 which reads, “Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His Word.” (AMPC)

Next He took me to Romans 4:19-21 which reads, “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” (NKJV)

Then He asked me these questions.

“Do you consider Me to be reliable, trustworthy and true to My Word?”

My response: “Yes, Lord.”

“Are you convinced that whatever I promise I am also able to perform.?”

My response: “Yes, Lord.”

“Then you have faith. That’s all I’m asking you to do.”

My response: “That I can do.”

Selah

I’ve Got You

I stepped out the back door and there he hovered, less than a foot from my face. He was baby blue. This petite, baby blue dragonfly greeted me as I stepped out my door just before sunrise. I was mesmerized by his beauty. So I told him.

You are beautiful. Let me see you.

I put my hand out and to my surprise he came closer and landed on my hand. He visited me three days in a row. I still catch a glimpse of him here and there, but those three days he actually came to me with a message. But what was it? I would soon come to know.

On the second day my husband and I were walking our two dogs around the pond in our neighborhood. Just ahead of us some workmen were working on the sprinkler system. The water came on. A dark cloud lifted up from the grass and moved towards us. They were dragonflies. Dozens of them. They surrounded my husband and I and as we moved forward, they moved with us. A cloud all around us. What did this mean?

I’ve ‘known’ God long enough and recognize His ways enough to know He was trying to tell me something. But what was it? So I prayed.

He reminded me that dragonflies eat mosquitos. Through a friend he said that the dragonfly spoke of protection from pestilence. My friend didn’t know, but God knew that my husband had been worried about the Zika virus. I had been watching over my heart to keep from being worried about Zika as well. Dragonflies eat mosquitos. God’s message to me through His little creations was I’ve got you covered. There’s no need to fear.

I’ve got this. I’ve got you. ~ God

Psalm 91Amplified Bible (AMP)

Security of the One Who Trusts in the Lord.

91 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!”
For He will save you from the trap of the fowler,
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you and completely protect you with His pinions,
And under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and a wall.

You will not be afraid of the terror of night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction (sudden death) that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side
And ten thousand at your right hand,
But danger will not come near you.
You will only [be a spectator as you] look on with your eyes
And witness the [divine] repayment of the wicked [as you watch safely from the shelter of the Most High].
Because you have made the Lord, [who is] my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil will befall you,
Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will command His angels in regard to you,
To protect and defend and guard you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12 They will lift you up in their hands,
So that you do not [even] strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra;
The young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14 “Because he set his love on Me, therefore I will save him;
I will set him [securely] on high, because he knows My name [he confidently trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never abandon him, no, never].
15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 “With a long life I will satisfy him
And I will let him see My salvation.”

Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Sarah Palin

When Sarah Palin first showed up on the political scene, I was very impressed. So much of what she had to say was exactly what I was thinking and feeling regarding our nation. I was also impressed that she did what she said she would do, true to her word. This did not seem to be a common trait among politicians any longer.

I loved her bulldog, or mama bear tenacity. I loved the fact that she was and is a strong Christian woman. She arrived as a bright light on a dark and murky political scene. Yes, I love Sarah Palin.

So the other day she came out in support of a candidate in the 2016 presidential election that I don’t like one bit. I won’t go into what I don’t like about this candidate. That’s not what this post is about. So what does Sarah Palin’s candidate choice have to do with Christianity and the love of God?

It’s what I noticed in my own heart. Suddenly she didn’t seem to shine so bright in my eyes. When I would see an image of her or a post by her, I felt this little scratch inside. I no longer felt love, but I felt something else creeping into my heart.

So why do I love Sarah Palin? I realized that my love had been based on her words and actions. When her thoughts, words and actions were different than my own, fear began to creep in and love began to fade. Something was wrong. Something had to change. I had to change.

Today, I can say that my love for Sarah Palin is not based on her thoughts, words or actions whether they agree with my own or not. I am a born again believer. Sarah is a born again believer. That means that we are both part of God’s family, both part of the Body of Christ. My Savior and King Jesus loves her unconditionally and so do I. He has asked me to and He gave me His love to do so.

Politics is never a reason to love or not love someone. Agreement or disagreement is not a reason to love or not love someone. We love because He first loved us. He loves unconditionally and so should we.

It doesn’t mean we have to agree with them. It does’t mean we have to vote for them. It does mean that we let His love flood our hearts no matter what and allow Him to drive out all the fear that would try to come. Fear is destroying this nation from the inside out. Love, God’s love that never fails, is saving this nation. Let us be on the love side of this equation.

PS… Jesus loves Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Barak Obama unconditionally. Not based on their performance or good deeds, but based on His love for all mankind. He loves them, so so do I. He asked me to.

Love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12

The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. Luke 6:27-28

Faith works by and through love. Galatians 5:6

Love Makes a Way

Yesterday I shared on the phrase “where there is a will there is a way”. This is a continuation on that post based on a conversation I had later that day.

During a conversation about people’s differences and fears in the church I made this statement,

Love drives out all fear. Love others in their weaknesses as they love us in ours.

I immediately sensed that this statement didn’t come from my heart as much as it had come from God’s heart.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35, NKJV

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love covers a multitude of sins.’ 1 Peter 4:8, NKJV

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control… Galatians 5:22-23, Amp

In our own strength we could never fully and truly love one another as He has loved us, but He hasn’t asked us to do it by our own strength, but by the empowerment of His Presence within us.

Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6, NKJV

It got me to thinking I wonder how much we are stuck in our own weakness and may not even see them because we are so focused on the weaknesses of others.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:1-3, NKJV

Perhaps in our judgment and offense towards others we step out of love and find ourselves stuck in the same sins and weaknesses we have struggled with for years. Faith works by love. What happens to our faith when we judge others and are offended?

He didn’t command us to judge. He commanded us to love. It doesn’t mean we don’t have standards and boundaries. It does mean that even while holding to the standard of His Word, we do so in an attitude, a heart full, of love.

I believe His command to love one another was part of the plan to see us all enter His grace, freedom, and empowerment to do His will on this earth as His Body.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing-life forevermore. Psalms 133, NKJV

Love makes a way for the anointing to flow in our lives and in the lives of others. Let us yield to His Presence within and fully, truly love one another.

Where There’s a Will

Where there’s a will there’s a way. These were the first words that entered my conscious mind this morning as I was just waking up. I then thought of two recent instances when I was told that something could not be done. I was determined to get it done. I found a way and I got them done.

Following these thoughts I began to think about God and His will.

Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. Mark 1:40-42, KJV

Jesus Christ is perfect theology – He is the will of God. ~ Bill Johnson

Healing is so much God’s will that He made a way through the scourging and death of His own Son. Jesus paid the full price to make a way for healing, for all.

…By His wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24, Amp

Following this another scripture came to mind.

This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity-the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. 1 Timothy 2:3-6, NLT

God wants all men saved, so much so that He sent His Son to shed His own blood to pay the price for the sin that held us bound. It’s His will, but He won’t force His will on us. We have a choice. We can say no, but even then He ‘had’ to make a way. Why, because He loves you and me.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16, Amp

But He was wounded for our transgressions,  He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

What has God promised you through His Word? What has God said is His will for your life? Where there’s a will there’s a way is not always true for us as men, but when God wills something He makes a way.

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. ~ Jesus

I Come To You in His Name

In less than a week I leave with a team from our church to serve the people of Guatemala. As I pray over and think about this trip, one phrase keeps coming to mind. “I come to you in the Name of the Lord.” Each time I hear this phrase so many thoughts flood my mind. Here are just a few.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10, NKJV)

God’s name is a place of protection… (Proverbs 18:10, MSG)

We are going in safety and peace, because we are going in the Name of the Lord.

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediatlely his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked… walking, leaping, and praising God. (Acts 3:6-8, NJKV)

…His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong… (Acts 3:16, NKJV)

“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name…they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” (Mark 16:17,18)

We are going with His healing power, because we are going in the Name of the Lord.

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel…” (1 Samuel 17:45, NKJV)

We are going with His victory and deliverance, because we are going in the Name of the Lord.

For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13, NKJV)

We are going with His saving power, because we are going in the Name of the Lord.

…God is love. (1 John 4:8, KJV)

Jesus was moved with compassion. (Matt 9:36; Matt 14:14; Mark 1:41; Mark 6:34)

We are going in love. We will be moved with compassion towards the people of Guatemala and meet their needs through His supernatural power and provision, because we are going IN the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11, NLT)

Two Little Lights

In October of 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Quite honestly I did not know that until this morning when I looked it up. I didn’t even really realize that this month was dedicated to remembering until a few days ago. Then my Facebook feed filled up with remembrances. It seemed a bit familiar like I’d seen this sometime last year and the year before. But I really didn’t pay much attention to it. Sorry, but it’s the truth.

So two weeks ago the stories, the articles, the remembrances started filling my FB feed and I started reading. With each one the tears began to flow. You see I have suffered from infertility for 21 years now. I had a miscarriage, my only known pregnancy in 1996. Two years ago I underwent fertility treatments that were unsuccessful. I know how you feel.

The fertility treatment process was such a blur, so much paperwork, so many needles, so many exams. I was giving myself 3 injections a day for awhile and my husband was giving me the fourth injection of the day. I was on the maximum doses of each drug due to not responding to the lower doses. Talk about hormones!!! I had them in abundance. It wasn’t easy for me or my husband. He was a supportive sweetheart though.

We finally ended up with two little embryos ready for transfer. I received a call each day letting me know of their progress as we awaited transfer. Then one day they called. One of the embryos is doing great. The other not so great so they discarded it. Something died inside. I didn’t know that was an option. I guess it was somewhere in all that paperwork we signed. I was devastated.

We still had one little embryo. It was transferred. Two weeks later I received a call saying your pregnancy test is negative. You are not pregnant. Once again something died inside. I was never the same… until now.

With all the stories, articles, and remembrances. Those dead places began to ache. I decided to talk to someone about it. First she listened and then with God’s leading she began to instruct me on what questions to ask God and let Him give me the answers.

I don’t feel the need to share all of what transpired. But the last question she had me ask brought life, healing, peace and joy again to those dead places inside. Here is the question?

“Ask God where those two embryos are now.”

I began to cry. I heard God’s voice say, “They are with Me.” I then saw a picture in my mind. It was God holding two little lights. I began to weep as I realized that in my mind they had been two little dead embryos. They are alive and not dead.

Because it wasn’t a baby that I carried in my body for weeks or months I didn’t stop to think about them being alive or dead. I didn’t allow myself to grieve as though I had lost a child. But in the absence of thinking about it and processing the grief I allowed a picture of two little dead embryos to take up residence in my mind and my heart.

As soon as I saw those two little lights I felt a great sadness lift. I felt the ache in my heart drain. I felt peace and joy again.

I’m actually a very private person. God and my closest friends know my struggles, but today I felt like I needed to share this because someone else needs to hear this. Someone else needs to replace that image of death and darkness with light and life.

I understand. I am praying for you. You are loved… whoever you are.

Unity of the Brethren

I woke up with an ache in my heart this morning. I couldn’t shake a heavy feeling that seemed to hang over me. I went about my morning routine, but something was missing… peace and joy. My husband saw me and asked why I looked so unhappy. I hadn’t realized that it showed. It made me stop and search my heart to figure out why I was unhappy. Then the tears began to flow. It was because someone I love, a fellow believer had said some unkind things about other believers.

I don’t believe there is a denomination that has perfect wisdom regarding God and His ways. My experience is that each one appears to have revelation of one or more of the beautiful facets of our amazing and multi-faceted God. For all the revelation each one has I find that it’s like looking at one star in the sky, for the one that we see, there are billions more we don’t see.

Also, within each of those denominations there are believers at all levels of wisdom and maturity. Each one has its men and women of God that have wisdom beyond this world. Each one has the one who hears the message, but doesn’t really get the spirit and heart of God behind the message and makes a fool of themselves and brings contempt from other believers towards a particular denomination.

When I hear a believer say something unkind about another believer or another denomination my heart sinks. There are many things we may disagree on. There may be many differences in how we worship and serve our God. But we have one very important thing in common. No, not one thing in common, One Person in common… Jesus Christ.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalms 133:1, KJV)

Our Father which art in heaven Hallowed be thy name… (Luke 11:1, KJV)

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. (1 Peter 4:8, KJV)

Don’t look around and see the believer judging you or your denomination. Look within and see where you might not be loving others as He has loved you.

Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:23-24, Amp)

Good Morning

I recently moved from the city to a very new neighborhood that for now is in the country. There are no buildings, tall or otherwise as far as I can see out my back windows… just a clear view of the horizon.

My very first morning in our home, I woke very early. I was too excited to stay in bed. I got up well before the sun. As I sat in my favorite chair in the living room I noticed something happening outside. The pitch black sky with tiny little dots like diamonds set in it began to change. Black was slowly becoming indigo and a deep, deep purple. Slowly the purple began to melt into a rich red and brilliant orange, but the main attraction was yet to be seen. I saw the brilliant colors but the sun was still hiding just below my fence line.

As I watched this amazing display, I thought to myself I don’t remember the last time I watched the sun rise. I sat on the edge of my chair waiting for what seemed eternity for the sun to peek over my fence, but even as the colors kept changing, still the sun remained hidden.

I’m sorry to say that I began to get a little impatient. I had a house full of boxes that needed to be unpacked. I didn’t want to miss this first sunrise, but it seemed to be taking its own sweet time. So, I decided to stand up on something to finally catch a glimpse of the sun and just as I was about to stand up, I heard God the Father gently say, “Wait.”

The Love of my life had spoken. So I sat and waited. The colors became even more beautiful. As I sat and watched a few scriptures began to drift around in my heart and mind.

Be still and know that I am God… (Psalms 46:10)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength… (Isaiah 40:31)

Just before God had spoken I was impatient to see the sun because I wanted to start unpacking. Slowly as the colors grew more and more brilliant, I found anticipation and excitement growing in my heart. I could hardly wait to see the sun now because of the joy bursting in my heart and then God said, “You can peek now.”

The sun shone so brilliant and bright my heart was thrilled, but I was only able to look for a moment and then had to turn my eyes from the flaming light. It was amazing. It was special. It was a very good morning spent with God.

We’ve been in our new home just short of a month now and I put temporary shades up throughout the house, but not on my back windows in the living room. Everyday I have gotten up before the sun. Every morning I sit with the One Who made the sun. Everyday as they sun rises I am reminded that He is God. Morning by morning I sit and wait as He renews my strength.