Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Frozen Ground

It is raining here...beating down on winter ground, leaving a small pond in the neighbor's yard and a creek along the side of our house.  Frozen earth beneath keeps the water from above limited in its descent.  Living water unable to penetrate the cold frozen ground.

Yeah.  That maybe says it all.  The Living Water, our Jesus is so often limited by our beliefs, our unbeliefs, our frozen ground.  Limited because the choice is ours....the believing, the unbelieving.  He waits with love in His heart.

What seems like ages ago now, we headed to a one night conference in Minnesota to hear one of our favorite teachers speak about healing.  He asked a question that we are still pondering. "Who is Lord over your life?"  We would all probably answer "Jesus, of course!"  And yet.................I can almost guarantee that we all can uncover little lordships in our lives that interfere with Jesus as the Lord.  Savior?  Yes, but Lord over our fears, our desires, our soul?  Maybe it is related to money, control, security, sickness, children...........Living water finding resistant frozen soil.  It was a great teaching of which I cannot give justice in my written words, but let me suffice to say that we knew THIS is why Holy Spirit wanted us to go.  For the inner us........He likes to shape and change us on the inside, renewing, transforming for His purpose.

A few days after arriving home, I was hit with a virus from hell.  Cuz that is where they all come from.  Coughing, hacking, sneezing, fever, chills, fatigue, weakness, aching, blah blah blah.  Six days and 12 meals of chicken soup, nearly 2 kleenix boxes later, lots of sleep, a continual supply of essential oils and prayer and I am finally recovering.  I asked for prayers from The Knee Team a few days in and quickly developed a fever and new symptoms......failed prayer?  Nope.  This let me know that prayer was having an affect on the sickness....my body was fighting back....so maybe the virus....but I know prayer is a might weapon of warfare.....  When I was too sick to read, watch TV, talk, or do much of anything, this virus had my attention.  Here was a perfect example of something else being lord of my little life....and over my body.  I felt like crap and distractions were hard to find ~ I succumbed to discouragement.

Today looking behind me, I am able to see how easy it is for our circumstances to lord over us.  So. easy.  This one virus was a small example.  It had me. One little virus had me at it's beck and call, unable to fight.  I remembered the verse God has been sending and I asked God to fight for me, through The Knee Team....through His Son, and I spent my time working at remaining calm, resting.

The teacher we listened to that night had asked...."Are you willing to change lords?  Stop adapting to sickness, or fear, or whatever the enemy is using to lord over your life~~ and turn to Jesus.  We don't deny what screams loudly, we just tell the problem how big our God is.  Jesus loves being our Savior.....He also desires to be Lord over our lives.

What do we talk about more?  The disease.....the symptoms.....the circumstances in our world.......the latest drama unfolding on TV or social media..........OR do talk about the promises of Jesus.  The Word. Who reigns.

It is still raining........the water is rising....limited by the frozen ground.   Oh Lord, don't let me be frozen to the Truth of Your many promises....Your Love......Your Word.  Melt my heart with Your fire as You reveal these little lords in my life that interfere with you being Lord of All.  Remind me how Big you are and how small my problems are.  Let me whisper.........Jesus.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

"We Are Family"

They gather once a week.  Each family bringing their own personalities to the table.  As food is passed, conversation ebbs and flows, sometimes voices rising in conflict but nearly always with respect. There is an unspoken rule to be present at these gatherings and three members of the family are their in memory ~ two matriarchs and a son who lost his life on the job.  This is family.  Family is always important, and in this case the family business, law enforcement, also connects them.

I love this family.  I love how it works together as a unit, but keeps it's individuality.  Love how it operates well even in their imperfections, because of a firm foundation in faith and love. Through love expressed comes forgiveness, respect, and diversity.  Unity in diversity.

By now you may have figured out that this family I am describing is found on Friday night TV.  Blue Bloods in a show about cops, but it is much more.  The people in this show are portrayed pretty real, as far as how complex family can be.  How humane...how difficult.  It is a family drama.  And isn't that what life is about?  Relationships and of course within that, drama.

There is a song our whole family sings at wedding celebrations.  "We Are Family" unites us as we celebrate welcoming one more into the clan.  We don't all live our lives in parallel forward movements, nor do we all agree on such topics as faith or politics, but hopefully we see each other through a lens of love, the way God commands we do.  The way He views us through the Lens (Jesus) of love.  

And isn't that how we all need to see each other?  Not one of us is exempt.  We are required to see others through this Lens, this One that God placed in us as we reached out to Him,
believing...receiving.  

We gather at a table together in our homes, in restaurants, in schools, offices, and places of worship.  We gather, we give thanks, we pass bread, we lift glasses of pure liquid to our lips, and we unite over food and fellowship.  We unite as a family, as a community, a country, our world. Unity in diversity.  

I am not always comfortable with the intensity of the show Blue Bloods, but when the family gathers as they always do, a smile graces my face.  Family.  My heart aches for our family, but it also fills with warmth as I think about their own gatherings around their own tables.  We don't have the privilege of having weekly dinners.  Yearly dinners are all we can hope for, but in our hearts we still sing the song ....."We are family....." and we give thanks for that.

God has given us the way...the truth.....whether with our family or our community...to view each other with love.  It is through His beautiful Lens, Jesus.  Through that lens we are all family. 




Monday, February 6, 2017

Sometimes We Need To Just Hand God Our Warrior Princess Sword

This verse is so persistent in showing up.....Saturday night I was on Facebook and it popped up again.

"The Lord will fight for you, just stay calm."
Exodus `4:14

Sunday it came into my vision in yet another image shared.
                                                                         



Where are we going with this God?  Through prayer and meditation I have come to understand that putting aside the natural/physical of this staying calm and resting business, there is much more to grasp.  Where do we fight from?  A place of fear or a place of victory?  Who fights with us?  And who fights for us?

So Sunday morning I started doing a little google research to see what others had to say about this verse. Tony Evans, pastor and evangelist, had a good article on the topic.   He talked about the story in Exodus 14 where Moses was preparing the people to cross the Red Sea.  Pharaoh and his soldiers were coming behind them and Israel looked to be cornered.  BUT GOD....... When Moses trusted God to fight their battle, the Red Sea parted.  Think about this.  It divided.   Come with me and see it......Water on either side of Israelites high above their heads.....held back by some invisible force...by GOD.  How frightened they must have been to walk into what looked like certain death.  Did they then realize how powerful their God was?!  They must have turned to Him as the earth shook, the water rose, and everything in the natural had to give way for the supernatural!  They learned quickly that no battle is too big for God.  And to watch Pharaoh's men drown in that same sea, shouts of victory must have filled the sky.  Proverbs 21:31 tells us "Victory rests with the Lord!"



I recall a true story about a man named Mike Hesch who had a huge cancerous tumor on his chest. He believed God wanted him well, and he did everything he could to make that happen.  Continual prayers, laying on of hands, scriptures read and spoken, commanding, asking, rebuking.  After years of this he was no better and the tumor was growing.  He then came to the understanding that he had done all he could and needed to just rest assured in knowing that God would take over the battle.  The price had been paid on the cross and he, Mike, needed to just trust what he knew to be true.  Sometimes we need to fight hard against hell, and others times we need to trust God to fight for us.  As he lay on his sofa resting it came to him, "What do well people do?"  He got up and went and washed the windows that day. Thus began his journey to complete healing.  Could this be a good example of Exodus 14:14?

My tendency when I receive a verse like this over and over is to lean to the idea...."what is God preparing me for now?!"  Do I need to get armor ready like Xena, warrior princess?  Not the best thinking......my excuse is all we have been through.  It kinda keeps me living on alert.  But I don't believe this is God's intention here.  Let me repeat.  This is not God's intention.



The Christian life is often presented as a battle.  It is also an inbuilt part of many of our natures.  In truth, there are plenty of battles we fight as we experience all life has to offer.....and all the enemy brings against us.  We may be battle ready like Xena as we face each day, but maybe we need to consider that one of the best ways we fight our battles is when we rest in God and trust Him to fight for us.  When we stand firm from a place of peace instead a place of fear we are making it hard for the enemy, that ol' deceiver, to make headway against us.  Trusting God gives us the peace to declare, the joy of the Lord is our strength.  Victory is the Lord's!  Sometimes we just need to hand God our sword and rest awhile.

I'm not sure what lies behind God soaking me in this scripture, but I am embracing it.  The love that covers me every time it shows up.  The peace that comes to the surface when I declare it aloud.  The joy I feel knowing how much Papa loves me.  I receive it like a warm blanket, like a sword in my hand, like shoes of peace on my feet




Friday, February 3, 2017

Surprise!!!

My sister Jan just turned 80.  Looking at the picture below she is the one on your left (just in case it is hard to tell).  It is pretty obvious she looks younger than most 80 year old women.  No offense to anyone in their eighth decade of life.  She looks younger than me and I am 11 years behind her.


 Recently her husband Lanny gave her a surprise birthday gathering in Nashville....it was a surprise because all of her kids and his, along with spouses and a girlfriend came to celebrate with her.  Most of them showed up at their condo door to say...."Surprise!"  She had no clue.  Absolutely none.  She opened the door and there they stood.  She said it took her a while to process........  From all the pictures I have seen it looks like they had a great time celebrating!  As it should be.  It is a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by your people and blanketed with love.

Blanketed with love.....this is what God does for us, too.  And sometimes he knocks on our door and says "surprise".  I can't help but think back about when we first "found" Praise Church here in town.  God knew what was coming and I believe 100% that he sent us there in preparation for the months to come.  We thought we were moving to Arizona, so when we first went to Praise I remember saying to Joel..."Why would God give us this church now when we are leaving?"  Well, of course cancer showed up on a mammogram and the rest is as they say, history.  Was cancer the surprise from God?  Nope.  Nada.  Never.  The enemy attacked me with the cancer, but GOD'S surprise was the provision of His blessings through a church where we could express our love of Christ in the praise music, the charismatic, the prophetic, and especially the healing.   He is always ahead of us preparing the way, fighting our battles, making all things work out for good.  He just loves us that much.

Just the other day Joel was driving back roads to a church and saw for the first time a red fox in a white field along the side of the road.  He loves red foxes.  God often surprises Him with an animal in nature when he least expects it, but definitely needs a love tap from His Father.  It is a way they communicate......through nature.  God telling Joel, I've got this.  Just enjoy the blessings.  Joel was delighted with God's surprise of a red fox greeting his Sunday morning!

Another surprise?  Joel's immediate, one-minute-sick- next minute-well healing.  Recently we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the miracle and I gave him a cute card I had found in Arizona 2 years ago.


Inside it says, "There, all better!  Can I get an Amen!"  It is meant to be funny.....but it was just about the way it happened for Joel.  That fast.  That simple.  A revelation of God's love and Holy's power within us, released.  Healing and Holy gifts.  Wow!   Surprise!  Now go out and surprise others with what you have learned.

Our Papa God delights in surprising us with an abundance of His love blessings all around us.  Some cannot be contained and must be shared.  Some come in the form of a red fox........a place of the prophetic and healing......a gathering of family blanketing you with love.  Look for His surprise blessings on your life today.......they are all around you just waiting to be discovered.  Surprise!






Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Scrabble Education



Joel and I started playing Scrabble this winter to pass the time away as we shelter inside, and it gives our brains a work out too.  We were pretty much going back and forth on who would win until.......  until the time came where I lost 5 games in a row.  It was then I noticed I was not having a great attitude.  My, "I'm happy for you Joel, great game!" was a bit forced.  After game five I was expecting to lose every time I sat before the board. I would not stop playing cuz I'm stubborn, but I was moping and began to speak negatively.  It is not easy to write this......reality bites

I won a game and then lost another.  Last night as I lay in bed after having a pity party for one.....I realized that the game of scrabble was revealing something raw about how I was seeing my life.  How I was seeing myself.  It was not pretty.  I had just spoken in a community group about how we speak life or death with our words,  Two choices there as stated in Proverbs 18:21....

Life    or   Death. 

So what am I speaking?  Part of what I had been saying aloud is that I was not smart enough for this game.  Joel is smarter....thus wins more......and it morphed into what really was getting to me deep deep inside. This past year of health challenges has me believing Joel is healthier....cuz I don't have what it takes to see my full healing.  I have been dealing with some major symptoms and felt I was losing the battle.  IF I believe in full healing for everyone, where was mine?  God wants us well, so I must be blocking the way.  Again, not easy to confess.



Through playing Scrabble I became aware of how I am speaking over myself and thinking about myself.  God has been using a board game to show me what is going on at a deeper level.  Something He wants to unearth and bring out into the light for His healing touch.  He is so loving isn't He!  He never leaves us where we are.  Leave it to God to give me a Scrabble education!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Absolute Surrender

It began last fall..........the verse showed up in my vision through social media and I wrote my first post about it in mid September.....

"The Lord your God will fight for you......just stay calm."  
Exodus 14:14

This verse had jumped out at me in the questions I pondered.  And then my intuitive daughter Bethany and her family gave us a wall hanging for Christmas that resonated another translation of it.



Thus began God's persistence in bringing His Words to my attention.  Over the past four months that verse has popped up often ~ I' m thinking at least 9 times counting the one from this week that has me putting pen to paper.  


God is making a point, and as much as I don't always like the message I need to embrace it.  Just be still.... you need only be still......and let me fight for you.  

This is difficult for me....being still.   When I was sofa bound I had no choice but to be still in a broken body.  When I was set free, I vowed to never be on the sofa again, so it can be emotionally challenging for me to be still and let go.  Echoes of the past make it hard.  And speaking of echoes of the past, the "be still"l takes me back to the six year old little girl who fought against the abuse to her body.  I would resist, striving to get away, but eventually the strength and size of the abuser would overpower me.  It left an imprint on my brain.  When I could no longer resist, I was still, and bad things happened.

In my mind I know these are lies now, and Sozo has released me from most of the trauma surrounding these seasons of my life.  I know that I don't have to always be the fighter, the resistor, the striver.  I know I am safe now, but at times the old way of survival rises from the grave.  And sometimes my urge to fight my own battles gets in the way of what God is doing.  Just saying............

In the past, when God has sent me the same verses over and over again from different sources, he wants my attention.  I confess many of those times were connected to God trying to tell me to rest in him....be quiet in Him.....be still in Him. It is what I now describe as "absolute surrender"......words came to me from God as I meditated with Him this morning.  Absolute surrender requires absolute trust.  

Can you relate?  We hear all the time we are to fight to win the race....even Paul tells us that in the battle.  But in truth we cannot do this alone.  I'm sure God is not done showing me what he wants me to grasp from this subject, but today I am holding on to the comforting words that HE is my defender and I can trust Him.  I can lean back in His arms as the "little girl" and be safe.  I can lean back into His arms as an adult and trust Him to fight for me.  I don't need to always be fighting my way out of disease or distress.  God wants me to let go of the old way of living and trust Him.  He wants us all to trust Him with our past, our present, our future.  We look to Him alone.

When we trust God, when we believe His promises, when we understand Jesus as our healer, protector, provider, friend, warrior......then we can let Him fight for us and be at rest about it.  It is not that we stop doing our part, but we learn to stop striving alone, and walk forward from a place of knowing we have the victory through Jesus!  We give Him absolute surrender knowing that He fights our battles and that no one can stop the Lord almighty!