Friday, April 20, 2018

I Have Been Talking To You All Night

I was determined to hear her speak, the author of two books that we had read.  Judy Franklin is an assistant to pastor Bill Johnson and shares her gifting of visions from Holy Spirit as a speaker and author..  She understands the spirit realm and has written about her own experiences.  It is powerful the way God can use our imagination for His own purposes.

She was so interesting! Part of her lecture was to have us sit back and visualize Jesus in front of us.  Then listen for what he wants to tell you and see what he wants to show you.

As I leaned back and closed my eyes Jesus came right up.  Eyes so vivid and hair a reddish brown, thick and wavy.  He took my hand and I noticed the scar on the top of His.  I leaned down and kissed the scar.  He urged me to walk with Him so I did. We went to a meadow by a creek and he sat down leaning back on His hands with His ankles crossed.  I sat beside Him.  He suddenly scooped His hands up from the grass and lifted them high in the air.  Feathers went up and then fell down all around us.  So many small white feathers!  As I stood up and started gathering the,, He said, "You don't have to collect them, there will always be more."

That was the end of what I saw as the speaker then invited some of us to share what we had seen.  I am not completely sure what the feathers represent but they have come to me often over the past 2 1/2 years.  It started with breast cancer surgery and the verses and feathers showing up in images, etc.  Shelter-of-His-wings feathers, healing feathers.  Then when we went to Bethel Church last fall they showed up before we left after we asked for them as affirmation for our trip.  This time from an owl who was gracing us with his nightly presence.  Now once again I am seeing feathers.  I am praying for clarification and meaning to fully come, but for now I am grateful there will always be more.

At the end of Judy Franklin's teaching, she pointed her finger at me and told me she had been "looking at me and talking to me the whole night".  She went on to speak some amazing words over and about me that touched my heart and has had me pondering their meaning ever since.  I was one of 3 people she spoke to in a room of 75-100 listeners, so I am so grateful to hear from someone who has helped me to understand the things I see and hear. 

There are so many ways that God speaks to us.  Through our devotionals,  the scriptures, worship songs, the words of friends and family, books written by others, prophetic words, and much more.  More, like God using our minds/imagination for His divine purposes. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Let Me Tell You A Story

Recently we listened to Pastor Kris Vallotton speak about a very difficult time in his life.  A number of circumstances came together to put him into a deep depression.  It was 5 months before he saw a glimmer of hope,as he lay on the sofa day after day.  With medication and prayer he slowly improved.  He said, "The day I experienced one hour without depression I told the devil he should have killed me".............because now he (Kris) was going to tell the world how God saved him from the enemy's destruction."  From that winter season of his life came the book "Spirit Wars" which is still helping others.  Since this time of struggle he has used the winter seasons of his life to write books and bring God glory, making his story God's story.

Recently I read a story about a woman who felt it was her calling to help those God sent her way.  She was going to a store one day and as she pulled into the parking lot a young man came up to her window, put a gun to her head and told her to get out or he would kill her.  She him that he did not really want her car because so many things were wrong with it.  He replied, "Get out or I will shoot you."  At that moment Holy Spirit whispered to her, "He is suicidal."  She said to him, "You are  having suicidal thoughts" and with surprise in his voice he told her he was.  She told him to go around and get in the car.....when he did she shared with him about Jesus and prayed for him, also breaking off a spirit of suicide.  He left her car and walked away that day a different man.  Her story, this one story really speaks of her faith, boldness ( some people might think more.....rashness)  and God's glory.  Wow. Don't you just love this?!

Not all stories are so dramatic, for sure.  Yet I expect each of us has at least a story or two to share about how God has been faithful.............protective.............healing.............loving...........Whether we call them testimonies, faith stories, or "coincidences" they tell others how God is with us through the best of the best and the worst of the worst.

One of Joel's stories of protection has been written about here before. We were selling our car in the Philippine Islands before heading home to the states.  He received a call from a Filipino man who wanted to see the car in the hopes of buying it.  When Joel picked him up he had a buddy with him.  Joel drove them around Angeles City, a heavily populated city right outside the base.  As they drove the one young man started directing Joel where to go.  At one point he told Joel to turn left which would take them to a rural unpopulated area.  As Joel waited to turn he heard a strong voice in his head say, "Don't turn!"  When Joel hesitated he heard the voice again....."Do not turn!"  Joel knew it was God speaking to him and he immediately drove to a very busy area, stopped the car and got out.  He then told the two men to get out of the car and leave.  As they did, they stole his calculator but he firmly told them to put it back, keeping his distance from them. As soon as they walked away he got in the car and drove home.

It was only a couple of days later he heard about a man from the base who had been showing his car to two young men and these men had him drive to a rural area, where they stabbed and robbed him, stealing the car in the process.

Before Joel had gone out to try and sell the car we had prayed about it, asking for his protection because life was pretty chaotic in this third world country where people lived in such deep poverty and lack.  God heard our prayers and intervened that day.

Our stories are God's stories and I never tire of hearing them or sharing them.  It is always encouraging to hear the many ways God works in our lives.  Our stories becoming His stories.  They put the devil in his place of defeat and God in His place of glory. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday's Scribbles: Let There Be Light!

candle and fireplace glow

It is Saturday, in our corner of the world and nature has completely lost her mind.  Mid April and we are in the midst of yet another snow event.  At the moment we are watching it snow......while listening to it thunder!  The forecast is for "only" 3-6 inches here, while just north of us they are to get 6-8.  About 100 miles north of us they are in blizzard conditions with 10-16 inches of wet snow on the way.  Seriously, this is gone beyond strange to crazy.  Spring has lost it's way!

It started last night with a thunderstorm and high winds that took out our electricity for an hour or so.  We had just turned in and were settling into sleep when the TV came back on downstairs and the beeping and whirring of technology came alive........"I'm back.....I'm back."

There is something calming about sitting in the dark with candles for light.  It is peaceful and the silence is almost palpable.  One small candle in the dark provides enough light to see our way.  God's light in the darkness theme in the Bible holds great truth.

Of course that light is the One......Jesus.  Our light in darkness to lead the way.........His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.   The Light of the world.   Jesus.

We are not looking forward to any more storms or  winter with weather or in life, but comfort is near. Even with darkness around us, there is light to be found. In a candle.........and in our Jesus.

 Let there be light!



Thursday, April 12, 2018

A Sturdy Backpack


I have been reading Tsh Oxenreider's book, "At Home In The World:  Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe" . I am savoring the words she has "penned" the way you do a good dessert.  One spoonful at a time. 

Tsh, her husband, and three kids sold their home, put their belongings in storage and put on sturdy backpacks, making the world their home for nine months.  It has been delightful to see her perspective on life in Asia, Australia, Europe, and more.  It reminds me of a quote that hangs on our wall............

"Adventure will leave you speechless, 
then turns you into a storyteller."  

. Joel and I love traveling adventures, going to places we have not seen before.  We love telling stories too!  Ha......

Yet....

"Adventure does not always require a sturdy backpack."  
Tsh Oxenreider

Often adventures happen in our own home, community, city.  Sometimes adventures happen as you sit among others in worship.  I remember our adventure at a Lutheran church in CT. as we joined others for a healing conference.  It was there we met face to face our friend Katherine and her family.  A God blessed friendship that continues to this day.    It was also quite an adventure for us to sit under Bethel Church in Redding CA.  We may have been strangers, knowing no one in their congregation of 9,000 members, but it felt like community.  A community of believers seeking all the gifts that God offers!

"We are strangers, but this is community."
Tsh Oxenreider

I believe that God has an abundance of adventures for us to experience, most of which involve a relationship with Him and with others.  Something to do with that "abundant life" He speaks about.  It is true that life throws us difficulties, but even during those times, God offers us more.  He offers to work all things out for good if we love and trust Him. As hard as it can be at times, there is joy to be found in all we experience.   If Helen Keller can speak of life as a daring adventure I expect we all can follow suit.

When we say yes to Him, when we surrender to Him, adventures abound.  Sometimes it requires a  "sturdy backpack" and sometimes the adventure takes place in our own backyard.  Or maybe inside the pages of a book!  Living life to the fullest with our God is a daring adventure whether backpacking across the world, or experiencing life in the place we call home.  Embrace it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

God Of Angel Armies


I was quietly meditating, asking Holy to guide my thoughts and show me anything I needed to see for Joel and myself.  I immediately saw us in Heaven, standing on the sidelines, watching a battle taking place.  To our right were slate colored horses with riders wearing slate armor, whose faces were obscured by armor.  Swords were drawn as the horse and riders thundered forward.  To my left were the angels on white stallions, they wore no armor but carried large silver swords.  As we watched the fighting taking place, I asked Holy Spirit if we were to join in.  He said yes and immediately Joel and I were pulled up on the back of horses behind the angels riding them.  I could actually hear the horses snorting, and the swords clashing as the fight continued on.  I could feel the horse underneath me, strong and muscular.  I felt safe with the angel in front of me.  I knew he was fighting from a place of victory.  I glanced at his face and saw he had longer blondish hair and a square jaw.  His face was set firm and his eyes were on those he was fighting with, the enemy.  This is where my vision ended.

I connected what I saw with what Ana Werner spoke of a week ago.  She sent out an email to her readers , sharing that Jesus had told her to "sound the alarm". Let everyone know that there is a battle going on against full healing for people and God's angels have joined the battle.  Our part in this battle was to "KEEP praising in the midst of the battle.  Keep praising because praise carries more power than we realize."

A couple of hours later I was on Facebook and saw that Dr. Brian Simmons had given a prophetic word from God.  "I have set My armies in place, they are battle ready and prepared to fight for you......Watch the miracles break forth as you step forward in faith.  I call you to march with My Heavenly armies and see great victories for you."

I love it when God connects the dots.  When I receive something three or more times I pay attention. I have been quite discouraged by this latest medical drama with Vitamin D toxicity.  As I struggle with symptoms that keep me close to the sofa, I am more than a little weary.  Yet, God.

I have a dear friend who has been dealing with a problem in her body that is causing great anxiety.  Our brother-in-law is dealing with chemo side effects as he journeys ahead.  A dear couple we have known for over 40 years is coming to grips with the doctor's words.....terminal.  Many of you are carrying your own burdens.  Life is at times so challenging.  Yet God.

God tells us we are never alone.  He fights for us.  He wraps His wings around us as a shelter.  The words I have received and what He has shown me let me know that He is very aware of what is going on and He is sending out His armies to fight.  In this situation I believe our job is to give God praise.  To step out in faith knowing He has this.  To praise Him and trust that He has it covered.  He hates sickness and suffering as much as we do.

If you find yourself in a battle.....or sitting exhausted on the sidelines.....remember that "The Lord with fight for you and you need only to be still."  Remember that praise is a mighty weapon of warfare.  Remember that God's Heavenly Armies rise against the enemy!  The God of Angel Armies Is Always On Our Side!




Saturday, April 7, 2018

Saturday's Scribbles


The sun is shining today and the temperatures are, well, they are dang cold!  We are using the fireplace, cranking up the furnace and I'm bundling up in sweats and wool socks.  Hello...........  Tomorrow we are getting snow again.   Six to eight inches are forecast for our area.  Seriously, this is so wrong.  Just where has Spring gone?

I expect we all have at one time or another been looking for Spring to arrive!  Spring filled with flowers and warm temperatures, and Spring filled with a change of circumstances, all of us eager to leave a winter season behind.

Our oldest daughter mentioned to me recently a time when she was in college and could not afford to go on a "Spring break".  A couple of her friends came to stay with us and we decided to have our own Florida experience.  It was winter, but we cranked up the heat, decorated our grandfather clock to look lie a palm tree, added a few "tropical" foods and decorations and put on summer clothes.  We could not change her circumstances, but did the best to create fun and joy right where we were.  Creating spring in the midst of winter.

Guess we need to do the same here in the Midwest.  Keeping our joy on while dealing with yet more snow.  Keeping our joy on while in the midst of unwelcome circumstances.  God is in the midst of our winter seasons.  He brings sunshine to our days and SONshine to our circumstances.....He reminds us that victory is ours.!  We live in hope for better days.  Spring is coming