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

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)

Touched

When I say the word ‘touched’ what comes to mind? Maybe you think of the physical act of touching. A hand reaching out to come in contact with a person or object. Maybe it causes you to think not of a physical act, but an emotional one. Being deeply moved emotionally by an act of kindness or by the suffering of another.

During a recent conference, one of the speakers shared on the woman with the issue of blood. Let’s take a look at her story in the book of Mark chapter five.

And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. (Mark 5:25-29, KJV)

I love what the conference speaker shared in regards to this woman. He spoke of how some make it seem as though she grabbed Jesus or clung to Him in some way. But he demonstrated what it means to touch. She reached out her hand and maybe with just one finger lightly, gently and momentarily came into contact with His clothes. All around Him people were pressing in. I picture people pushing and pressing being jostled about as they tried to get to Him.

And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? (Mark 5:30-31, KJV)

The disciples were thinking, “Are you kidding me? Who hasn’t touched Him?” as they were being pressed on all sides. But someone touched Him in a way that caused virtue, His healing power, to flow from Him. He wanted to know who touched Him in faith and received the grace to be healed.

As I listened to the speaker a song started to stir in my heart, He Touched Me. The song flowed through my heart and my mind. Then I heard His still small voice, “You’ve touched Me.” My heart was flooded with joy. My eyes filled with tears. I knew what He meant. He was not speaking of a physical touch. He was telling me that I had touched His heart.

Yes, He touched Me. Yet, I am humbled, amazed, and in awe of the fact that He is a Savior, our God, that we too can touch.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched… (Hebrews 4:15, KJV)

How Beautiful

Have I ever mentioned that I almost always have a song going in my head? Today I wanted to post the lyrics from one of the songs that has been playing in my mind for the last few days. It’s an oldie but a goodie.

How Beautiful by Twila Paris

How beautiful the hands that served
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth
How beautiful the feet that walked
The long dusty roads and the hill to the cross

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the heart that bled
That took all my sin and bore it instead
How beautiful the tender eyes
That chose to forgive and never despise

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

And as He laid down His life
We offer this sacrifice
That we will live just as he died
Willing to pay the price
Willing to pay the price

How beautiful the radiant bride
Who waits for her groom with His light in her eyes
How beautiful when humble hearts give
The fruit of pure lives so that others may live

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

How beautiful the feet that bring
The sound of good news and the love of the King
How beautiful the hands that serve
The wine and the bread and the sons of the earth

How beautiful, how beautiful
How beautiful is the body of Christ

There are some very ugly things to see in the world. I never watch the news, but I would read it on-line so I could pick and choose what I saw and read. Now just seeing the headlines can be disturbing. Violent or inappropriate images surround us. But when we look at each other we can see beauty, because we can see Him. How beautiful, the Body of Christ.

Following His Lead

Over twenty years ago, I sat in a little church in Texas. I was attending a small gathering for the ladies of the church. A team of people where there to pray for us. They were going to pray for us and then share the specific thoughts and visions that God gave them for each person.

I’m not going to share all that they said to me that day. Some words blessed me beyond measure. Some words left me wondering. One young lady shared with me the images she saw as she prayed for me. She saw me dressed as a nurse tending to the needs of people who had been wounded in a battle. She asked me if I was a nurse. I answered ‘no’. I truly had no idea what God was trying to tell me through that vision. I placed it on a shelf in my heart and left it there, not knowing what else to do with it.

Sometime after that, my husband and I sensed God leading us to a new church. Once there, I felt God leading me to join the hospital ministry. He also opened a door for me to join their healing school ministry team. Did I mention that at that time I knew nothing about what the Bible said concerning healing? Each week I said nothing, but just listened and learned. 

For the next fourteen years I worked in the healing ministry at that church. I even led the teams for the last three of those years. At one point I was walking down the hallway of a hospital ready to minister to yet another person in need of God’s healing power, when I suddenly remembered the vision that young lady had shared with me so many years ago. I may have not been a nurse in the natural sense, but I had spent years ‘nursing’ hundreds back to health with God’s Word and His power. I was walking in the vision even though I hadn’t understood it and had done nothing to make it happen. One step at a time He led me right into His plan for me.

Almost three years ago He led us to yet another new church. I have followed His lead one step at time while at this new church. Where are we heading? What’s the plan? I don’t know. What I do know is if I just keep following Him, one step at time, I will end up right in the middle of His plan.

Come, follow me… and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19, NIV)

…He leads me… (Psalm 23:2, Amplified)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14, Amplified)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

Starbucks

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. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:16-17, Amplified)

Recently the CEO of Starbucks made some comments after being asked about Starbucks’ pro-gay stance and it’s financial effects on the company. His comments led to some very interesting comments among my Christian friends with some supporting a boycott and some opposing a boycott.

The above scripture speaks of the love and grace Jesus came to give. He didn’t come to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world. He came to save it. I must say it was a blessing to see so many of my Christian friends understand that we too were not sent to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on the world.

I was however surprised that at the same time one or two of my Christian friends didn’t understand that we were also not sent to judge, reject, condemn or pass sentence on one another. Just as we are to love the lost not judge the lost, we are here to love each other, not judge each other.

At then end of each sermon our pastor says to take a moment and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us individually. What is the Holy Spirit saying to you about this situation?

This is being led by the Spirit, being led by God. He may tell you to go to Starbucks, because by you going there, you may be in the right place at the right time to help someone. He may tell you not to go to Starbucks, because by not going you may be elsewhere at the right place at the right time to help someone. He may not be telling others to do what He is telling you to do. He may tell you not to go one day and then ask you to go another. Be led, but also allow others to be led.

So who’s side am I on in this debate? I’m on the Holy Spirit’s side. I’m going to allow Him to lead me moment by moment, day by day. He led Jesus that way. I want to give Him the pleasure to do the same in my life so that I can be in the right place at the right time to be a blessing to whomever He would have me bless.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever – (John 14:16, Amplified)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14, Amplified)

Eyes of Love

Many years ago a woman shared with me her testimony of healing from cancer. She shared that she was lying in her bed dying of cancer when she saw Jesus walk into her room. She mentioned that He didn’t look at her. She said that He walked to the foot of her bed, but still did not look at her. Next He placed His hands upon her feet. She felt a warm sensation run through her entire body. Once again she said, “But He still did not look at me.” He turned and left, never looking her in the eyes. She was completely and miraculously healed of cancer that day.

As she shared her testimony I heard God speak. He asked me, “Do you want to know why I did not look at her?” My response, “Sure, if You want to tell me.”

This is what He said, “If she had seen the love in my eyes, she would not have wanted to stay.” I knew He meant she would not have wanted to stay here on earth, but would have wanted to join Him in heaven.

Recently I found myself facing pain from long ago that I had chosen to bury away inside my soul. As the pain flooded my heart I said to Him, “Can I see the love in Your eyes for me?” What I saw next surprised me, humbled me and blessed me immensely.

First I saw the eyes of God the Father full of sadness and pain as His only begotten Son died on the cross.

Next I saw the eyes of Jesus as He died on the cross. I saw intense agony as the pain racked His body and His life drained away.

This was not what I was expecting to see, but it was exactly what I needed to see. He loves me!

And Jesus, looking upon him, loved him… Mark 10:21