Sunday, March 31, 2013

Does He Still Feel the Pain?

Does He still feel the Pain?

I read a post yesterday...It was talking about how we have dreams or memories of painful things that has happened to us.  We will wake up fearful and in a cold sweat.  Or we will have a flash back of what happened and for a moment.  We will feel the pain of it again, we will relive it all. Some of us cannot sleep because of these memories.  Gods memory doesn't come and go.  He remembers and feels the pain of it all, all the time, throughout eternity.  I cannot comprehend this.

I cannot comprehend the love, the passion, how it moved God to such radical abandonment for me.  There are no words to express what God, the Father, Son and Spirit experienced that day.  I can talk about the beatings, the thorns on His head, the nails in His wrist and feet, the fluid in His lungs, the spear in His side.  I can talk about the humiliation, the rejection, the denial of others, the separation, the weight of the cross.  Not just the physical weight He carried, but the cross of feeling every sin and suffering of all mankind, the defeat of death and the enemy, the price paid and the victory won.  For the joy set before Him, me and you.

Darkness covered the earth. It was done, complete, God was satisfied. The masterful, perfect, sacrificial plan for God to lay down His life and rescue His people was from start to finish.  It pleased the Father, His wrath at your and my sin had been paid for with the life and suffering of the perfect Lamb of God, the perfect Son of God, the only sacrifice that could give man a new heart and restore us to our Father.  He absorbed what we deserve, death.  Amazing love how can it be that He my God has died for me.

He said, It is finished.  All of Heaven must have burst with celebration.  It was over.  But does He still feel the pain?

I want to love God and people in a self abandoning way.  We are forgiven, they are forgiven.  How can we not forgive?  There is no sin greater than His grace, ours or others sin against us.  I want to know a taste of this Love for God and others, this bold love,  the love the Father has for the Son, given to us through the Spirit.  I want it to run through my veins, to sink deep unto deep into my soul.

The Heavens opened wide.  On the third day He arose!  The tomb was empty.  He was seated with the Father in the Heavens.  He sent His Spirit to live in us.  He has replaced our heart of stone with a heart of flesh.  So this love can have life through us.  He gives it.  We receive it.  We pour it out on others.  He is our hope.  He is our salvation, our Savior,  our King!

Does He still feel the pain?  He feels the love and so do we!

Does He still feel the pain is an amazing song on youtube.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Anima Christi


Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Separated from Thee let me never be
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
Forever and ever

Translation by Cardinal John Henry Newman
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ's side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesus, listen to me;
In Thy wounds I fain would hide;
Ne'er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.

There are different versions of songs of this prayer on Youtube.  These songs and this prayer brought me to worship as the Son shines through the window pains of my heart.  Tears stream down my face as He cleanses me of all my sin.  Only He makes me worthy to come into His presence.  I am righteous with the holiness of Christ that was place within me.  Never to be taken away.  He reins, I am with Him on high.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Way To Life

                                The Way Of The Cross

It was in the middle of the night.  The lights were out in our small hotel room.  I remember sitting in the floor of the tiny bathroom, door closed, light on, reading in my bible the book of Job with tears streaming down my cheeks.

We were in Charleston.  We had taken my dad to the hospital for treatment and evaluation.  He was diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.  The only treatment, until this time, was shock treatments.  The treatments, as hard as they were for us all, seemed to work for awhile, but was no long term help in our situation.  This hospital was telling of treatment for mental health with medications.  They were saying it was the chemicals in the brain that needed help. That the brain was sick like someone who was a diabetic.  These medications would help with what the brain needed to function.  It was hope for us in a hopeless situation.  I remember asking the doctor, "what are the chances me and my sister will get this"?  He said they are slim.  What you inherit is the tendency to deal with life the same way.  I did.

Even then, 40 years ago, I knew God was our answer.  That He would lead the way.  That He had a purpose in all this suffering.  I wanted to know what that purpose was.   I was trying to have wisdom and strength for my mom, I had none.  I knew somehow we both would make it. I did not know how.  I knew nothing about trusting my Father with my circumstances.  I had no idea that my peace and joy was in relationship with Him.  I just couldn’t get my life right, what I thought would make me happy.

Yesterday I began to think, what has God taught me in suffering?  What does He want to teach me?  The meditation I have enclosed are some of those things.  I think we will forever be taught of the things of God. Our relationship with Him will deepen throughout eternity.  It will never be exhausted. 

 But one day in Heaven, there will be no more suffering, pain,or tears. We will learn from the Saints of God, from the existences of Heaven.  We will learn from being face to face with God Almighty.  But for now, we can know a taste of this Kingdom life here, with Jesus, through dying to our bent.  We can have life through allowing Christ’s life press into ours.   

Jesus died instead of us.  Now He is raised for us.  To live is to die with Him.

John 12:24

24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

God Guides Us

I woke this morning at 3am, then finally at 4am I went ahead and got up.  So I did not over sleep!  I got to the meeting of my friends even 10 minutes early.  Lots of time to just be with the Lord, review my outline and listen.  Listen to my heart, to see what was going on.  Was I going in my own strength?  Was I fearful?  Was I trusting God's presence and word to be with us all?

As I meet with my friends it became evident that it would be a good idea if the message was longer than 15 min.  More like 45.  It was evident to me that the preparation that I had done on hearing the voice of God was not going to work.  By God's grace I held the message lightly.  Through talking to my friend I felt God calling me to tell my story.  THese thoughts had started coming to me even before I left this morning as I reread our communication with each other about the talk.  I don't know why I had not seen it before.  I imagine fear kept me from seeing clearly.  We prayed before leaving for the study, also when we got there.  I knew you were lifting us up as well.

It was evident God was in our midst.  As Gods story in my life began to unfold, the women were so attentive and listening to every word.  They were so wonderful to be with.  I felt so comfortable with them.  There was no fear or anxiety.  Just friends talking about Jesus. At the end they ask questions which helped so much and shared our hearts.   We laughed together, teared up together and parted with hugs and promises to stay in contact with each other.

As Joy and I returned to meet up with Gregg, they devoted their whole morning to me.  We had breakfast together.  We share things God was doing in our lives, passions He was putting on our hearts, opportunities He was allowing us to share the gospel, and concerns we needed prayer for.  What a blessing it had been to be with my old friends and my new ones.  It truly is more blessed to give than receive. God in HIs love and mercy for us uses us for the Kingdom.  Thank you so much for your prayers. Thank you Gregg and Joy for giving me the opportunity and yourselves.   God answered beyond my imagination...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who We Truly Are

Do you want to know who you really are? To lose your life, give up on being king of your world, for His sake is to gain it, trust the true King. 

To love instead of judging. To accept instead of reject. To have peace and joy in the midst of suffering. To ask instead of know. To learn from others. To be lead the way to go. To have a compassion for those who have less than you. To have mercy for those who have hurt you. Forgiveness for those who have sinned against you. To have faith when you face the unexpected. To be humble instead of proud. To enjoy God. To experience the heart of worship.

To have love, through Christ, is to know who you truly are....You radiate His face as He passes before you and lives in and through you. I see it in others, my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want this...It is beyond me and my capabilities. But I have to believe in Him it is possible.

C. S. Lewis observed, "The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become — because he made us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own."

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Life is Spinning

My circumstances reveal where my heart is. What I am trusting in. In Gods mercy He has allowed difficult circumstances in my life to keep my heart turned toward Him. He has allowed the things I have trusted in, hoped for, placed my joy and peace in to fail me. I am so thankful he has rescued me from the spinning wheel I life.

There use to be a man on a talent show on television years ago. He had long sticks, held upright, in his hands, mouth and head. He was balancing these sticks as they were spinning. On the end of the sticks, there were plates also spinning. He kept them going and balanced. This represented, to me, what I was trying to do in my life.

The plates represented things like my children, my marriage, ministry, reputation, duties to the community and to family, time spent with God. The plates would fall from time to time and I would bend down, pick the plate up, place it back on the stick, while balancing the others and set it spinning again. Then I got tired, holding my arms up, my head back and keeping my life spinning. One by one the plates began to fall, all of them, to the ground, breaking into hundreds of pieces. I fell also, flat of my back, but the grace of it all, I was looking up! Until then my eyes were focused on me balancing everything and all these plates represented.

Apart from this breakage, I would not have been able to see that I was at the center of my life. Also I was teaching my children and husband to have me there. I was trying to be the savior of the world. Like Eve in the garden, I wanted to be God.

Through these years of the struggle with mental illness God has taught me how to begin to trust in Him, not me and not my circumstances. I thought because I wanted good things, I wanted what God wanted. Gods ways are not our ways. He is extremely jealous of our affections and His glory. He is jealous for our complete hearts and to be the center of our lives. He does not rest nor slumber. He is relentless.

I still have down times but He does not leave me there. I think I have almost come to the point in my life of saying thank you Lord for it all. Thank you for giving me what you knew I needed and not the perfect life I was working so hard for. You are my life. You meet my every need. You are the Son that shines at the center of my universe, amongst the stars in my life. Before I experienced the rays from your light. Now I experience the Son.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Full Circle

Full Circle

I want to precede this post saying I love my mother very much. We were so close before she died...

Do you remember when you were just a child and you thought your parents were the smartest people in the world? You thought they did not wrong.

Then as you got into your teen and twenties you began to see the flaws in them. They seemed old fashion. Maybe I know more than mom. Oh you wouldn't say that out loud probably but you sure thought it. I did.

My mom wouldn't correct me after I got older but she would all of a sudden hold her shoulders up straight. Of course I would follow. She would come behind me and reload the dishwasher just the way she always had done it. I thought, I will never do that to my children.

Now that my children are gone, I see the very things I said I would never do, like my mom, I see I did them. Those potatoes are done yet. Cut them smaller. You need more mayonnaise. Don't be so need to learn to forgive.
I see even the things I complained, to myself, about my mom I did.

As I got even older and I saw these things in me, I came full circle. My mom was the wisest woman I have ever known. She was compassionate and giving. She had a determination and a zeal for live and love for others. I wish I was more like her.

Just as I have become more like my mom the older and wiser I get. So we become like Jesus. Staying in His presence He lives His life through us. We are surprised by joy! We see things we know are not of ourselves, like loving people. We forgive when we couldn't before. We have words to pray for people and encourage them. Oh we forget this message of Grace but because He lives in us, His Spirit brings us back to the heart of the matter. We come full Circle.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Unbroken Circle

Sit back, relax and think for a few moments of all the things a circle represents, even how things come in full circle.  Many things come to mind...The rising and setting of the sun, the changing of the seasons.  The circle represents unity in marriage the wedding ring.  Even our daily duties at home or at work.  We eat, work, rest and play and begin again, day after day after day.  I think of the gospel.  We start our journey from the victory Christ won for us on the cross.  We return to that victory, trusting Him that it is so. We fight the battles that have already been won.  We repent and our faith is increased, over and over again. We live by the Spirit and not the flesh.  We become proud, confess it and walk in His light and love once more, round and round we go...We run away from God and He lures us away from our false lovers.  We return home only to leave again and again.  We are fearful and we believe. We are given righteousness, holiness, sanctification, a new identity, we have an inheritance from the first time we give our lives to Jesus and trust Him as Savior.  We live our lives coming back to what has already happened.  We begin in the hands of God chosen, wander in the wilderness of unbelief,  then return to intimate relationship with Him by Christ living in us. The Son has those the Father has given Him.  We remember the gospel of grace and then we forget.  We try to work our way to the approval of God and then, He drags us to His side and we remember, only to forget.   I must admit I don't understand why this is so, I just know it is.  Is it that we are like sheep?  That we have to be shown over and over how to live this life of trusting our Lord?  Believing He lives His life through us?  He gives us all we need for righteousness and godliness, but can we believe it? Can we live it? Can we remember that our righteousness is in Him?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What Happened!

What happens to our plans? God overturns them for His purposes. Jer. says God has plans for us to prosper us not to destroy us.  We don't always see or understand but we can know it is true.
This morning I woke up early. I decided instead of doing what I had thought I would do I would just spend the day with the Lord. Ideas for writing came to me. I skimmed an interesting book. I prayed for several of you. Built myself a fire and began to just drink in the Love of God for me.
Then something happened. I began to struggle. Thoughts entered my mind I knew were not of God. I began to fear. I read an article and got beaten down. I didn't understand it. My eyes got on me and I questioned many things. I corrected someone and didn't know what I was doing. Then I felt ashamed and guilty.
All of a sudden I just stopped. I ask, "Lord what happened to this wonderful day I planned for me and you?" It was as if the Lord said your day you planned was all about you. The Spirit used these circumstances to reveal the condition of my heart. I was not trusting in Christ for my righteousness. I was trying to build it on my own. I was puffed up and proud. At this time I did not understand the forgiveness and love of God. It was all about me. So I guess Gods love really was with me. He had shown me my heart. He humbled me. The only place to be able to receive the love of God.
So whether you can take out a day to spend with the Lord or whether He goes with you where you go, He is there. But if you are having thoughts that are not of Him. Feeling guilt and shame and fear. You cannot hear His voice. Your heart must be silent and ready to hear. We just can't hear if all these other things are going on in our heart and mind. But the Spirit of God is bigger than these things. Bigger than us. He brings us where we need to be.
Christ died that we would have a clear conscience. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. We are holy and pure with the righteousness of Christ. So now we can hear that still small voice, that whisper of God. We can receive what He has for us whether it is encouragement, love, teaching, counsel, fellowship, conviction. He will bring about His purpose.  So come on.  Shake off your guilty stains, get rid of those fears and go forth in joy, peace and love.   I live in and have being inside of you.  Your life is forever with me.  There is no separation.  Crawl up and my arms and let me tell you of the wonders of Me and my Son and Spirit.  They are too great for you but because of my Spirit I will reveal these truths to you.  The mystery, the inheritance, the gospel, the love, my voice,  my presence...the relationship, the dance, the delight.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Harden Heart

Hebrews 3 spoke to me this morning. The word is active and alive and sharper than a two edged sword.  The passage is warning suffers from hardening their heart. I guess this is what I have done. I confessed it to the Lord and told him how sorry I was. I did not realize that was what I was doing. I went to him I thought all the time. My doctor could not believe how well I am doing. He said no one would ever believe I had been sick. I feel like falling down on my face in thanksgiving. I am moving out in ways and strengths I did not know were within me. I have laid dormant for so very long. Like a bear in hibernation for a very long winter. Yet to come alive and experience the Spring, the beauty, the life, the nourishment, the awakening of the body, mind and Spirit. God is shaking things up. I feel He is bursting forth as the warm Spring does in the freezing cold winter. To bring the dead to life. The dormant to arise. Beauty and light to a dark world. Healing to the sick at heart and mind. I feel He is saying follow me you weak knees and troubled heart. I will lead you into the path of His righteousness, His strength and power. You will see things you have never seen. Hear things you have never heard. Hearts will be soften, lives changed and people forgiven. I want to bring something fresh and new into your life and the life of others. Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven and all these things will be added unto you. Look with expectation for miracles that have been in the making for as long as you have been alive. Now is my timing for things to come into full bloom as never before. The fragrance of my love will be poured out among you. I am God. I am your God. Mighty to save and rescue. You have found a place deep within the recesses of my heart. You are safe and secure. I will cover you as the tree provides shade. Have hope in me for I am in control. The confidence and strength you are experiencing is from my Spirit. I am living through you. THere is no other. Tell of my goodness and faithfulness to heal your weary, sick heart. I keep my promises to the 3rd and 4th generations. They will be my people and I will be their God.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Are we ever too transparent?

Out side my front door.  It was beautiful

Sometimes I think I just share too much of my personal walk with Christ. But it is my hope that somewhere, someone can relate and it will encourage you. I so want you to see how faithful God is to someone, even like me, who has blown it so bad so many times. He is just relentless and won't let me go, you either.

Steve Brown said, "I became passionate about telling people-saying it in a way they could hear and understand-of a heavenly Father who loved bad people so much that he sent His Son to die for them. I've been driven to tell people that no matter who they are, what they've done, what they're smoking or drinking, who they're sleeping with or who they've hurt, they could come. The church isn't a place for good people, but a place for very needy and sinful people who run to Jesus because there is no other place to go".

I use to think I was a pretty good girl. The Spirit had to open my eyes to my need for a Savior. When He did...then I saw how much Jesus and the Father love me. What it meant that He has sent His Son to be crushed to cover my sin. To come get me and place me into His loving arms. There is no greater love and I am banking my life on it.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Suffering in Silence

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned,
and flame will not scorch you.

I feel half way ready to write this but for days now it just won't let me go.
I have had something in my life, a thorn in my flesh, beginning at the time I became an adult. Can you relate? A difficult person to deal with. An addiction. Thoughts...Anything you wanted to have victory in your life and you just couldn't handle it or make it go away.
Paul had such a thorn in his flesh. God had given him a vision of heaven. Then he had a thorn in the flesh. No one really knows what that was but it was something to humble Paul. God blessed him, then gave him something in him so he wouldn't feel proud.  God told him on the third pea my grace is sufficient for you Paul.
THere is something in my life I have dealt with almost as long as I can remember. It has been a constant struggle. I have read books, done seminars, taking courses, repented, spent time with the Lord and a lot of it was trying to figure out how to either get this out of my life or how I was to handle it.  It humbled me.  Drove me to Christ.  Made me who I am today.
For the large part of my life I was in denial that I had a problem. I came out of denial and went straight into depression. Then as I faced my circumstance was real I ran to addiction to numb the pain. To not feel how bad it hurt. You don't feel the pain, you don't feel the love. I just simply did not think about it any more. Then I withdrew into a part of my being and buried myself there. Deep within my heart.  Feeling no pain, feeling no joy, not living but isolated and paralzed. I was in a world all of my own. Now I feel my pain. I wrestle with what to do and how to be led by God. How to love, how to respond.  
How to go to Him for comfort and assurance of who I am.  Who He truly is.
 I am coming alive again but better than before because I am depending on and love him and not myself. Things are beautiful and glorious. No matter how difficult my circumstances may become. He is my life.  He gives me my identity.  He gives me worth and love and purpose.  He sustains me.  He meets my every need.  I saw His goodness, faithfulness, and mercy to me.  That He is love and He came to give that to me.  That I can be with Him all throughout my day and even night because He never leaves me.  No matter what I can be with Him continually.
My daughter and her family have struggled for at least four years. So therefore we have struggled with them. I have not seen them for almost a year after their spending lots of time with us through those years. She called last night for the first time since Christmas. We talked and talked then I had to let her go. I felt her slipping into the arms of Jesus straight through my fingers.
I said I love you. I think of you every day. I so miss you. I wish we had only one more night together. She and I would get the children to bed. We would go on my porch together. We had candles burning, the crickets singing and the light of the moon shinning. We would talk, about things...We would listen to love songs. Speak to each other famous and not so famous quotes from the old. We would smoke cigarettes and drink coke acolas and some times just be. We wouldn't say a word. We would just be and listen. He was with us. It was one of the most precious times of my life with her. I love her and miss her dearly. God willing there will be others times of such love with her.  Right now He is with me and her even though we are apart.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

God Hears Our Prayers

I am overcome by your love, support and prayers. I just wanted to write you tonight and share how God is already working in me through them.
As I woke up this morning, got my coffee and sat down to read my devotionals I got on e-mail, I saw an e-mail from my friend who ask me to speak on "Hearing Gods Voice" with his wife and the ladies, I shared with you about. He was concerned about me driving so early in the morning by myself and wanted me to call him. He mentored me at one time but I had not talked to him in years. He told me we could do a conference call. I could send a devotional. How ever God was leading me we could do. I ask God to speak to me through Gregg as to what I was to do. It was so good to hear his voice. I immediately thought about hearing the voice of God. THere is nothing like personal relationships. THat is why Christ came. To bring us into that relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit, and with each other.
He began to reassure me of the safe place I was to talk. That I could just sit at a table with the women and tell them a little of my story. He gave me such freedom in that I could speak with them 5 min or 15. He said Deborah I want this to be for you as well as the women. His wife will be by my side.
I began to talk to Gregg about God talking to us through His Spirit. That we had the same Spirit that was in God, the Father and Son. That there was no limit to the ways God would and could speak to us.
I went on to explain that we had to have a clear conscience to hear the voice of God. That there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. There is no guilt and shame.
I told him one thing that I had to learn was how to be quiet and listen. As he and I talked he reassured me these were things that would be good to share with the ladies. I felt comfortable and at ease. God was speaking to us both and the Spirit was leading us in which way to go. We decided I would come be with the women. I had such a relief and peace. God had confirmed what He wanted me to do. He had used Gregg to do that.  God is so gentle with us.  He is merciful and kind to give us such opportunities.
I know of nothing I had rather do than talk about the love God has for us. Receiving that love and hearing His voice. I am so thankful for the opportunity my friend and his wife have felt led to give me. There is tremendous joy and blessing in being able to serve the one who loves and died for us.
I will keep in touch and maybe you could pray for our time together. Thank you dear friends from the depths of my heart. You heard Gods voice on my behalf and been there for me, for His glory. What a neat thing for Him to have happen.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fear and Trembling

I am writing asking for your help again.
I don't know how many of you know but in this area my husband is a well respected public figure. He was a coach of a very successful college football team. With that there were things I was called to do. Some of those were I met very important people, the president of the US for instance, several of them. But as for me, I was on television, gave interviews to the newspaper, magazines. I spoke to Churches, womens groups, and other christian organizations. I did this fearlessly. I knew my stuff and I did what I needed to do with grace and poise. Many times in our home with our children.
Since then God has stripped me of my self sufficiency and dependence on myself. I have seen that I am unreliable. That the only trustworthy strength I have is Jesus. My dependence and faith is no longer in myself but in Him.
Since this time I spoke one time to an FCA Fellowship of Christian Athletics adult group. I was a terrible failure. I went blank. I was afraid and had many other things on my mind. I spoke for about 3 minutes and sat down. I have not spoken sense to a group.
I have been ask to speak to a small group of women on hearing Gods voice. If there is one thing God has taught me it is to hear His voice. I should feel very comfortable conveying these truths to these women. But I am not. I am scared. Scared of failure. This is a very safe place with friends who love me. But I don't want to go. But I can't not go because God is calling me in my heart to do it. More than anything in this world I want to do what my Lord wants me to do.
So I need you. I need you to pray for me. For strength in my weakness. For first to have time in intimate relationship with the Lord. Then to hear him and prepare with clarity and simplicity of the gospel. THe Spirit living in us. I can be complicated and deep. This needs to be out of the faith of a child hearing the voice of a father or mother. I am doing this in faith and dependence on God. It is more than speaking to a small group of women. It is me facing my fears of failure and leaning on the one who is sending me. Please pray I speak with the power and authority of one loved by God. His child.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Friend

There is no greater love than this...That we lay down our lives one for another. (Paraphrased me.)

My friend...
I have written before about my wonderful friends. Tonight I want to write you about one special one who is totally different than me. She is type A, controlling aggressive. I am type B, controlling passive. We have one thing in common we are both controlling. lol But the thing is we love each other. She teaches me how to speed things up. I teach her how to slow down. She works. I meditate. We are good for each other.
I don't know of anyone who has loved me through the years any more than she has. She knows the good, bad, and ugly about me. She loves the Lord and loves with His love but has been hurt by religion. She does not go to church but loves Jesus and she loves me well.
She comes to my messy house and rearranges, cleans, plants flowers, brings homemade sweets to my guest, flowers and expects nothing in return. She loves me with the love of Jesus. She has worked in my house tirelessly and selfishly. She is my unconditional friend who puts her money where her mouth is. It has taken us a while to figure this thing out. How to love someone so different from you that you lay down your life for each other. But we have come so far. She is amazing. It doesn't matter when I call or how often she is there. Feeling my pain, understanding, being there for me, giving me hope. She encourages me and pushes me beyond what I can do. We both know it is Jesus in us.
I love her beyond words. She has taught me so much, about love, and hospitality and believing in yourself. She has shown me the way in practical ways that I could not grasp without her. She has been Jesus to me.
I love you dear know who you are.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I Can't Take It

I have been busy planning a surprise birthday party for my daughter. As her friends and I contacted co-workers, family, other friends of the family and her sons parents that she was close to, clients, the closer it got the harder I worked and the more excited we all got with the anticipation of what her reaction might me. I would pray...please Lord let her feel loved. As I went from person to person thanking them for coming, they would say, "we love Jennifer". Some came from great distance for a night of party and fun and to love on Jennifer. They came with gifts of sentimental value, my mothers wedding ring, pictures of my mom and also of Jen growing up. As she went from one person giving her love and gifts to another, the tears began to flow down her cheeks. She is not one to burst into tears like her mom but her joy could not be contained. She said, "I can't take it."
She was so touched and happy she began to burst from the inside out that we all were feeling and sharing in her happiness and joy. She was completely caught off guard and so surprised that so many from all of her walks of life would gather to gather.   It was more than she could receive being with the ones she so loved all in one place at one time.

This is a picture of Christ, Father and Spirit in my life. Then are continually working to bring me into goodness. They give me blessings and gifts beyond my wildest dreams. It is out of an abundance of love for me. It just must be expressed and the way of love is giving. So many times I am caught completely off guard. It is something that is beyond my comprehension or expectance of anything that could happen to me. I am loved in a love I have never known. I am overcome. I cannot contain it.  "I can't take it."  It runs over like the flow of water from a water fall spilling into a greatness of existence. 

Do you look for the blessing? Does it catch you off guard? We must learn to receive and expect goodness from our Father.  We have no idea how much He loves us.   He longs to give us beyond measure. In a way we never could fathom. The heights of it all is pleasure and enjoyment and delight in Him. He sees it in is our faces. Our step is different. The way we deal with life and others is unexpected. We have a confidence and trust in Him and what He can do that is completely opposite to our ways and beyond us. We have insight and wisdom. He brings others into our lives to bless us, encourage, and strengthen us when we can't go on or just for plain enjoyment. He experiences our joy with us. He is pleased as we are pleased with Him and His gifts. 

Nothing made me happier than seeing the look on my daughters face. It was all worth it. The work was giving reward. We all could just sit back and enjoy the party and each other and her. It was more wonderful than I had imagined. She was living in the fullness of all our love for her. We are living in the fullness of the love of God. There is no greater blessing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Change Maker

Are you letting difficult people, your past or suffering in the present keep you from intimate relationship with God? Are you saying when this is different then I will be close to God? When I am different I will draw near?  When I stop this addiction, change my attitude, believe more or get organized or have time then I will seek His face.  Has doubt flooded your heart?  Has fear overcome you?

 We try to fix ourselves and our lives apart from God. We try to save ourselves and others.  We are afraid He might not do it like we want.  Or when we want.  Or the way we want.  "I can't trust Him."  I can't let go of my life.   It might be painful.  I don't want to hurt anymore.  When we try to protect ourselves from pain we cannot feel the joy.  When we open ourselves to feeling the pain and going to Him as our comforter, the joy is so great the suffering is a minor not a major anymore.  When we confess our doubt and lack of faith, can God really do what He says He will do?  Our faith is strengthened. We experience His fullness.  It is like a mother who suffers greatly in the labor of having her child.  When she sees and holds that precious child, creation of God, the importance of the experience of the pain fades in compassion.  There is no more tears, fears or doubts, just laughter and happiness and excitement.  It is the birth you have waited so long for.  Finally it has arrived.  That is all that matters.  It is Jesus in you that has come to fruition.

You don't go through these things to get to God. You go through God to these things. God changes us and people and circumstances. We don't change them and us and then go to Jesus. Your relationship with others does not determine your relationship with God. God is the maker. Jesus made way for our relationship with God.  We are totally accepted, loved, forgiven.  He said that He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it.  He is the redeemer.  He makes wrong things right.  He makes things whole. It will not be the way you hoped for or planned.  It will be so much better.  He is so much bigger that we can imagine.  He works in such bigger ways.  Everyone and everything that is touched will be in His hand for good.  You will be amazed.  It will be a grand miracle.  It will be in and through Him.  In His time and His way.  His glory will be revealed in a way you never would imagine.  God is great, God is good!

And if difficult people or your circumstances haven't changed. If you feel weak and of little faith.  Hang on.  Your joy is in the Lord, in the love relationship between you and Him.  It is not in your life getting smooth.  It may never be easy.  But that cannot be your hope.  Your hope is Jesus, Father and Son.  Experiencing His presence.  That is where you trust people to Him.  THat is where you are willing to let circumstances go.  That is where the fears melt into courage.  That is where faith grows.  That is where love is.  You are the one changed.  You say where did this love come from.  I can love the unloveable.  I can find peace and joy in all circumstances. You know your God is big and mighty to save.  It is Him in me, living.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sharing Burdens

I have several friends hurting. This morning at 3:00 am I was praying that I might share their burdens and lighten their suffering and load. When you do this you really do feel their pain. You will shed tears on their behalf. He will catch them in a bottle.  God gives you insight as to how to pray and encourage. You then take those burdens and lay them at the foot of the cross. He will comfort you as you trust Him. Hopefully that comfort is felt by them also and their faith is strengthened. This is Jesus living through you. It is not something you can do apart from Him. It is His compassion.  You have it for others because you know His love.

Matt. 11:28-30 The Message...
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Heart

'God speaks to humanity through the heart, the optical organ through which one can experience the vision of God.'
We have a heart relationship with God. The heart is not only the organ that keeps us alive physically but it keeps us alive Spiritually. It is through love that we come to experience Him. The more we conceive His love for us the more we experience the existence of God and not just through knowledge of Him. We begin to believe God living in us.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Who God Uses...

1 Cor. 1:27
God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, He has chosen the weak things of this world to shame the things which are mighty.

Is your life ingrown? Do you just listen to Christian music? Watch Christian movies? Read Christian books? Have relationships with Christians? Talk Christian talk?
One: God has called us to be salt and light. To take the news of Christ to a lost and dying world. To spread His love to the broken, poor and suffering. They may not all be Christians. He wants to stretch your tent. To bring many others in. Tell them your story. It is God in you. It will give them hope, faith and love.
Two: God rains on the just and the unjust. God is in everything everywhere. He reveals Himself through His creation. He speaks through even those that are not Christian as well as those that are. He blesses them as well as He does us. He displays Himself through the gifts He has given them. Enjoy them. Love them. Learn from them. Bring them in.
You may think, I can't go out and do anything for God or others that really matters. I am too young, too busy, don't know enough, too old. God wants to bless others and give you the desires of your heart to be used by Him. God does not call the equipped. He equips the called by His Spirit. But God can use a donkey. He can use a stick. Even a rock. A burning bush. A 90 year old woman to have a son. He used the blind. THe mentally illl. The sick.  A tax collector who was a wee little man. A virgin to give birth to His Son. A murder to be a man after His own heart.  A cripple to walk.  The condemned to be forgiven.  The dead to live.  The prisoner to walk free.  A boy to fight with the strength of an army.  Men to walk through fire.  To walk through water.  He has use the fearful to be fearless.  The unfaithful to show mercy.  He who stutters to deliver a message of deliverance.  A prostitute woman to be His witness.  A young boys sack lunch to feed thousands.  A shepherd to be at His birth.
He has given you love and faith. He can use anything. He can use you. He uses the unlikely. Those that are not qualified. It is about revealing His greatness through those that have failed. About revealing who He is and His love.  He uses the foolish things of this world.

Friday, March 1, 2013

He's Alive!

My husband and I were watching tv on a commentary on the return of Jesus after his resurrection. The first person Jesus appeared to as His witness of His being raised from the dead was to Mary Magalene. At that time women had little value. They were at the low end of respectability. Mary of course was a woman who He chose to appear to first as His witness to go tell the disciples of His return from the dead. THat everything He had told the disciples had come to pass. She also was a prostitute. I have heard it said that she also was mentally ill. Jesus loved her very much and had a very close relationship to her. Of all the reputable people he could have chosen He chose her. A sinner who had loved and trusted Him. Who better could tell of the love and greatness and forgiveness and presence of their Lord than the very one He loved with His heart. She knew what He had done for her. He had saved and rescued her. He had made her whole.  She was a sinner who had been loved and forgiven. Amazing Love had can it be that Jesus died for me.