Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I am weak, He is strong...







About 20 years ago, I began a prayer letter, at the suggestion of my mentor then.  As I began to write

my writings became similar to a  journal.  It also was me praying to God.  Asking others to pray for

me and my family along with other concerns.  My faith grew and it was therapy also.  I could

see things in my heart,

I could not see before.


I sent my writings to a small group.  As time went go the the group grew.  My friend suggested I

began a blog.

My co -writer and friend of mine edited the devotionals.  I am not a good writer.  It is very hard for me

to reread my writings for some reason..  Writing too much was also a problem.  It was hard for me

to think God wanted me to write with such limitations.  But the thoughts would come and I could

not dismiss them until they were put in print.


Since that time I have narrowed and limited my prayer letter.  It is usually for very important request.

I did not have the faith that my prayers were answered,  like those that I ask to pray.  The prayers

that I sent seemed answered in my heart, even before I sent them.


Hmmm my faith was more in those few righteous saints than in my own prayers.


Learning to pray has been a journey for me.  I do believe in the power of prayer.  I believe God

listens and answers our prayers.  Yes, even the prayers I pray now is in faith.


Not only that, but our relationship in loving God and others is a major part of praying.  Having His

desires become ours.


The Spirit illuminates my heart and mind.  The Father is pleased to reveal His desires and will to us

in His time.


Jesus is praying for us.  The Spirit groans with prayers and intercession for us.  Does that blow you

away?  It does me.  We are in the communion of the Trinity.


I was praying the other morning in fear.  I did not know why.  I thought I am weak but my God is my

rock and my salvation.  He is my strong tower.  Most of the morning and early afternoon was spent in

fear, that was a mystery to me.  Learning to trust God about things I don't know or understand is the

place I have been lately.  God is stretching my faith once again.



I am reading a book on women of faith in the underground church.  One young mother was capture in a village in Africa.  Her child and husband was taken prisoner by the muslims who were not christians.  She went through all kinds of beatings.  As she was beaten, she would respond "the blood of Jesus is all powerful".  She could not understand why these beatings had not kill her.  But she knew that God had spared her for a purpose.

She was united with her family in the end.  She had her own battles of faith in her mind...Had she betrayed her family.  At times the inner turmoil was more difficult to handle than the physical abuse she had endured.  She loved her family and God so much.  The thoughts of her betraying them was more than she could bare.


I was sharing with a friend the story.   Her comment was, do you think we do not even know what suffering for Jesus really is.  The story was a motivation to press on in difficult times.  I told her ordinarily I would have taken the position that today most of us don't know what it is to keep the faith, instead...The Spirit gave me a picture of the struggles in my life and the lives of my friends.  We all enter into a battle to believe and have faith.  At times we trust God and there were times we doubt.  We deal with heart issues, pride and our wills.

God has a plan for His children to glorify Him.  To display His power before the heavens.  To pour

out His glory before them.


I shared with my friend.  I said this is our captivity.  This is our cross.  This is our suffering and joy.

God is the author and we play the role He has designed for us, with mercy and grace.


We are to encourage each other to keep the faith no matter how small our circumstances seem to be,

in comparison to the hero's of the faith, Hebrews 11.  Trusting Christ is a gift He gives us.  Faith also

comes by hearing.  We are to speak the gospel to each other.  Remind each other of the love of God

for us.  Strengthen each.  Share each others burdens.  Encourage in the faith.   To keep our eyes on

Jesus.  The author and finisher of our faith.



God is about building His Kingdom

and taring ours of self serving down.

His Kingdom come,

His will be done.

on Earth as it is in Heaven....


The Father knows what is in our lives, that will bring the most glory.  He knows the plans He has for us.  Remembering that He is good.  He is for us in the battle of faith.  As we trust Him by His power, glory comes.







We are not alone.

He never leaves us.

He gives us the gift of the body of Christ

In our weakness, we learn to lean into His strength and power. 




He is our Hero!

Our mighty warrior!

He will fight for us.

He will bring us Peace when we know no peace.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Our hearts revealed...






Could we talk about some topics rather difficult....

A topic that has come up a lot around me lately is elderly care.  I think also of caregivers of the sick,  or just can't care for themselves at the particular time.  Our daughter Elizabeth works for the state equipping caregivers.  It has become a universal problem.

I think of me, struggling with mental health.  Maybe other mental issues, such as dementia,  where the person can not care for themselves.



I remember when our children were young and they would be whiny. I would tell Danny...they are just tired.    It was true.  They also wanted their own way.  Maybe not wanting naps.

 There were times I would take the kids to the duck pond or practice field and meet their dad with a picnic.







I had no drivers license for a long time...They had expired and I didn't realize it.  I had to depend on family to take me around.  Later on friends came to bring me to appointments.  I really enjoyed being with the different girls.   I got out of the house and visited with friends at the same time.  I was so touched by their kindness.   Another thing I don't want to forget.

 I think of times where we are out of control, such as bad health, or not being able to drive...We become fearful. We think we are powerless.





When Christ was being crucified, His focus was on the desire of the Father.  On the plan He and His Father had agreed upon before creation.  He may have lost sight of what that was but He trusted the Father.

Then after asking the Father why He had forsaken Him, Jesus surrendered.  His will was to agree with His Father and willingly lay His life down.

He then focused on the purpose of His coming.   Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
Redemption of man and the gift of the Father.   Glory!   Joy!  Jesus then had a focus of eternity and the joy set before Him.  He surrendered to love.




I do think that all these circumstances can be not only better and fear lessened. But times of memories that can be the joy Jesus saw.  Mine was. My family was involved when needed.  They not only cared for me but gave me room to be my own person, as I got better.  God was prepping me to have a charitable heart.  One I knew nothing about.

 Not that you don't love already.  But reassurance of your care and Gods love calms a heavy heart.  Jesus says His yolk is easy.   He was referring to the law.  We think we need to do more.  Try harder.  Spend more money.

Jesus says it is love.  He says it is through loving God and loving others.  These words of love are of Jesus.  Maybe a hug or a smile is just what your loved ones need.  Maybe you too.  Small gifts like a verse on a card.  Sing a song.  Listening.  Poetry.  Funny jokes...Asking questions.  See what they are thinking and feeling.  Connect.  Jesus does with us.  It is the personal relationship of sharing, caring.

Jesus loves even the unloveable and you can to. We who are His has the Spirit.  The hard to love person is the one who at times needs it the most.  The more we understand the love of Jesus for us.  The more we love others.  It is His love in us that we experience.  This is what we give others.  The sweetness of Jesus and the love of the Father poured out in us through His Son in His Spirit.








Then as time past, the Spirit worked in my heart.  I saw that I was focused on my needs and fearful.  I was not trusting God with where I was physically and mentally.  I didn't believe He had a plan for my good.  I thought at times, I would never have any kind of life without pain and sanity again.

When these things came to my heart, I could not thank my family enough. I felt so loved and cared for.   I saw my self centeredness.  The doctors visits, med checks, counselors, and so much more they did.  There is no way to list all they did for me and tirelessly.

 There was a time I had to put my meds and supplements in boxes.  I got them mixed up and would have relapses.  They walked with me through this all.  Their love for me and care was beyond my comprehension.

I thanked them over and over again.  Gratitude began to heal me through the Spirit.

Yes the Spirit worked in my heart and me sleeping my life away. Average about 2 p.m.   The things I have learned.  The love I have been given brings tears of gratitude that some days I cannot stop them.

God is not limited by anything.  He will bring about His plan and purposes no matter what.

This brings about an earnest and sincere desire in our hearts to work with the Spirit.  To surrender, no matter if we understand our lives or not.  To trust our Fathers care, His precious plan and our Saviors prayers for us.  We lean into the promises...He will never leave us.










Our daughter Ashleigh's birthday today.

God did not want our family to be perfect but to be real, sincere and His, in ways I never imagined.  Our children are survivors.  They know and love people...even people hard to love.  Like their mother at times.  They are givers of grace, hope and love.  Something I had no idea of when raising them.  It is a precious gift.  Thank you Jesus!



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

HE RESCUES ME!



WE ARE BEING RESCUED
TRANSFORMED AND EMPOWERED
BY HIS GRACE....



Hey everybody.  I am doing so much better, after this long, difficult... just really hard year...I wanted to catch you up on life at Ford Farms as far as today, my health,  spiritually and physically.

A year ago I was in the hospital and taken off the med I had taken for over 20  years.  I was put on a high dose of another one.  It has been so very hard. I felt I lost hope and heart even at times.   I have been discouraged and felt I had no life.  The sleeping and the pain, the swelling,  at times were more than I could handle.  So I just was as one day faded into another.  Sleeping my life away with no strength to fight the sedation of the med.  The process was hoped to get better as the med was promised to be tapered as the time went on.  I saw no improvement or progress.  Blood had to be taken once a week.

My family Dr. did not acknowledge the med was causing the side effects. He did not know.   So we ran test after test to try and find out the cause.  I knew in my heart but proving it was out of my power.  He felt the lack of activity kept things from flowing in a healthy way.  I am sure that does not help as today I have spend hours in the car.  Swelling as the same as it was before it got better.  Dense thinking and tired.

Last week my other Dr added a small dose of another med. A new one on the market.   The cost is 1,000.  So far I have had help with getting it.  The side effects of the previous med are gone! Almost totally.  I am so in awe and amazed.  I have life again.  I am thankful beyond words.  I do not think I will be taking life as a gift, for granted.



I wanted to help you think with me.  If you are not already thinking of some of these things.

I am sure the things going through my head and heart you know.  I would love to hear your thoughts.  I don't think we can be encouraged too often.


We are saved by grace, by faith...Justified.
We are also sanctified by grace...by faith.

We are becoming more like our Savior...
We are learning and becoming empowered to love as Jesus does.
It is His grace.


We are born into a battle.  A Spiritual Battle!

God brings down the strong and strengthens the weak.  Redemption is no respecter of persons.


Jesus is rescuing us from evil, even when we have no idea a battle is going on all around us, within our own selves.


Your husband you are in conflict with...
Your teenager you are trying so hard to keep under your control...
Your boss that drives you crazy...
It is not flesh and blood that is your battle...It is evil...

A Spiritual Battle.   It is with Satan and those fallen angles and spirits that are with him.  He is angry because Jesus has defeated him.  In our living out our faith we need to remember that

"IT IS FINISHED".
If you are Jesus',  you are living out of a life of victory!







One of the prayers I pray often is do not leave me to myself oh Lord.  I know that I can be deceived.  My wisdom is none at all apart from my Lord.


I also pray so often...Lord Jesus rescue me.
You may wonder...ok...how does this happen.

FIRST OF ALL it is Gods grace that draws me to pray the prayer of deliverance.

SECOND He gives me the faith to believe that He will lift me up.

Rise me up out of the weightiness of the situation I maybe experiencing at the time.  It maybe just tired because of a certain med.  It can be a heaviness and sadness that I maybe experiencing and don't know why.  I know He can draw me out of it.  I usually pray and wait...believing for the rescue.  It amazes me how I have a strength that is not of my own and a love and hope.  Even gratitude.  It is the Spirits work.

There are times I have to go about my day asking for the faith to believe He will deliver and raise me up.  It is not always my time.

For instance, anger, unforgiveness.  Or maybe oppression of fear or confusion.  It maybe slight.  Just enough to keep me from doing things I usually do.
It maybe when I was fearful for no reason.  Or feeling guilty for no reason.  It could be stuck in regret that is keeping me from going further in faith.

It could be a sin I am struggling with.  I struggled so much with smoking.  I tried telling myself it was not a sin for me but I knew the way the world saw it.  So I felt it hurt my family seeing me smoke.  We did not know when I began at 18 that it was bad for you.  But none the less it consumed so much of my time, thoughts. It robbed me of peace.   I begged God to free me.  I believed He would.  It would play on my conscious.  I hated it and did everything possible to stop and I just could not.  So what do you do?  Believe me it gave me compassion for others who struggle.  Trusting God through that, oh man!  I really thought I was pretty good but for that if I was honest lol.  He couldn't let me stop.  I claimed the blood of Jesus for me over and over.  I had a hard time with it at times more so than others.

Honestly...I held a rotten lung, black.  I did acupuncture twice.  I took chantix.  A medicine.  I wore patches more times than I can remember.  I chewed the gum.  I tapered.  I am sure there is more.

A year ago I was put in the hospital to get my meds changed.  They told me I could not smoke.  So I stopped.  Just like that it was over.  I have a pack in my drawer now because I was mad they made me.  I wanted it to be my choice.  I did feel my will being broken a couple of times.  I got mad but after I threw a couple of fits I was done.  I couldn't believe God did that.   I didn't think of it again.   I just changed my thoughts.  I did use the patch a little at first in the hospital.  I thought this is like starting over.  So I just stopped and didn't look back.

I have no doubt that it was not the graciousness of my Father that did that for me.  My mentor a long time ago said when God sets you free you will stop.  Don't worry about it now.  I thought God didn't free me because I was so self-righteous.  He would keep me from pride.  Like Paul's thorn in the flesh.  I got to where I didn't hide it.  I just gave up.  But GOD!









So whatever my struggle in life...it is Jesus that sets me free, rescues me.  Then it is as if He lifts me to the heavens beside Him.  I have peace and joy even in the most difficult circumstances.


IT IS FOR HIS GLORY!

IT IS REDEMPTION

IT IS HEAVEN ON EARTH



There are some things that the struggle has been for years.  We all have them...Really though it does not mean I won't struggle.  But my heart is of love beyond my doing.  I have a strength,  humility I suppose, because I long for Gods will not mine.  Others best before me...It is not possible for a prideful, depressed, anxious woman like me to bring about.  It makes me in awe that the Spirit will and can do that in me. Someone told me the other day.  Don't do that they are going to think you are crazy.  I read in John 15 that they though Jesus was crazy.  He lifts us the lowly.  It is just not fun breaking someone as strong willed as me.

The Holy Spirit works in my heart to bring to my mind, illuminate certain things in my life that is offensive to Him.  What has my heart and my worship besides Jesus.



Then we go to work...



Just recently I realized I was not a grateful person as I once was...with the help of my family and a friend.  This has been a hard year and it had taken its tole on me.   I thought God had given me the gift of encouragement.  Why did I find it so hard now to be thankful and to encourage those I love the most.

I began small.  Thanking God for specific things.  I also ask Him to help me see the good in others that He saw.   I would see with HIs eyes.  I prayed for Him to change my heart to be more loving and kind.  I ask the Spirit for the gifts.  Time searching my heart, revealed a part of me,  that has come to the surface during the hard year.  When you are left weak you see as you really are.

I realized though, life can be hard and there can be a sweetness shared with Jesus  that nothing can take away.

 I use to think I was sweet.  I just didn't really love people for themselves... selfishly.  I wanted their approval to say I was ok. I carried a weight that was not mine to carry.  I was not to blame for everything and everyone.  I was not that important or powerful.  I have done wrong things, as we all have.  I adored my children and my husband.  When life hit a hard place for each one of us...I saw that my faith was more in me fixing everyones problems and life.  Not so much trust in God.  I believe God has use my illness for me to learn to trust Him.  To love from the depths of my heart.  Let people into my heart without fear of failure.


So yeah Jesus...You are on your mighty stallion, with your armor, raised high your weapon, fighting in victory, like nothing this world has ever seen.

We lift our hearts and our worship to you Oh Lord!  Set us free!  Rescuing us from evil, for your glory throughout all eternity!


Humble yourself before the mighty hand of God and He will lift you up,  in due time!












What I am sharing with you is work.  It is joy.  It is repentance and faith.  It is a life,  I never thought

possible this side of heaven.  At times it is sheer coping, praying, asking for prayer and in more pain

than I know what to do with.  Other times I cannot believe how wonderful I feel.

In is personal relationship with my Savior, who knows me, but yet loves me.

It is consolation prayer.

It is meditation and solitude and trying to just get through the day with clear thoughts.

It is surrendering my heart over and over and over.

It is living in the purposes of God.  His will becomes mine.

The glory of our God!  

God stretches me as I live in the moment, the present, be present.

Each day seems to be its own as I am unable to predict.

It is a beauty seen though the eyes of Jesus...

It is a rightness of Jesus that our Father sees each time He looks upon us,

which delights Him beyond our comprehension.


THE MIGHT WARRIOR

Thursday, July 13, 2017

His Way Not Mine





To love God and to love others is our given commandment.  If you were to ask me how to go about this I would say...to know them...God and people is a beginning.

So my journey in this life has been to know God and to know people.  It consumes me.  It has been the single thing that has challenged me.  I even see this in my own children.  Shaped by life experiences and relationships is the outpouring of knowing God and loving Him and man.


About a year ago after a time of surrendering and approaching Easter in Lent I was reading.  Thinking about knowing God more intimately.  I also was thinking about Gods people and charity came to mind.  The book I was reading said that charity was at the very heart of God.  

I thought I know so little about charity Lord but yet this is at center of your heart.  I began to pray regularly that the Father would teach me through the Spirit what charity is.  I assumed that He would direct me to an area that I could serve others.


What happened instead is that I became the one needing charity.  I have shared my physical and mental struggles this last year. The times in the hospital, in ER with people beyond my imagination needing care. The stay in the hall way overnight hearing the moans and cries.  




 I found myself with an expired drivers license and in the mental hospital being taken off one med and onto another.

As my family took care of me, I also reached out to friends like I never have.  They carried me to my appointments and other places I needed to go such as grocery and shopping at times.  It served me getting out and visiting and being encouraged by others.  

I had never ask for help such as this. I would say I have suffered much not because I was too weak but far too strong in my own strength, pride that is.  Jesus ask for help. Father take this cup from me if it be thy will.  I was so amazed at the healing in me that went on during this time. It takes a humility to ask for help.  I saw a kindness and gentleness come from within me I had not known.  I felt so loved and cared for.




Experiencing Jesus through charity never occurred to me I would be on the receiving end of it.  But of course...

Jesus did not come as a rich King but a poor Shepard and carpenter in a lowly manager.  He became like those who needed charity to know them.  To know our pain and suffering.  He took on our sin to know us.

Jesus wants to know us and fully accept us but in the righteousness that only He can give us.

Me attempting to love others and my Savior shows me how much I need Him.  I see my self-centeredness all the time.  My selfishness. It is like I think I can control the world and make it work.  I fight being the center of my universe and repent often.  I have no wisdom of my own.  Gods ways are not my ways so who am I to decide how this life should go maybe by not being content and thankful but anxious.

It is amazing to me the love that pours out of this heart of mine when I confess my lack of love.  That I need Jesus to love others through me and to love me.  My heart melts and I see things in others that shines the glory of God and I am amazed.  People are unique and they are creative and beautiful as I see Jesus in them.  Their compassion is the gift of Jesus through His Spirit.  I am in awe.

Jesus sweetness fills me once more and I see Him as never before.  I see His people and as they become like my Lord it makes me so happy.

Jesus wanted to know us so He became like us.  I wanted to know His heart in a deeper way so I had to become like the ones His heart breaks for.

It would have been easier to serve charity than to become them.  But the Father wanted my heart when I do.  I wanted to know His.







The Father gave His whole heart in His Son so He could have ours in Him.  Love can't be stopped in the presence of Him.  Where the Spirit of Jesus is there is love.  In me.