Saturday, February 6, 2016

Saturday's Scribbles

Good morning from our corner of the world where more than one kind of blizzard visited Iowa this past week.  Monday night was Iowa's caucus and the media was out in full force along with all the candidates who hope to take up residence in the White House.  Words filled the air like a blizzard from every social media created by man.  Passionate people speaking out for the person they want to see sitting in the Oval Office.  And if you watch the news, there is still the aftermath, of accusations one against the other. The media loves a good fight, hoping for something that will raise their ratings and bring drama into the situation.  In some ways it is amusing......

On Tuesday we had yet another kind of blizzard.  This one from nature.  I had a morning appointment to see the eye specialist and struggled with wanting to go.  I am weary of doctors.  The weather was a perfect reason to stay home but after hearing God's whisper for me to "go" we took off like true Minnesotans (or Iowans) to drive across town.  There were a couple of glitches but we made it.  One of three patients who did not cancel.  Ha....The appointment went well, the report was good and we were home in time for lunch.

The snow continued on all day and we ended up with at least 10 inches.  The winds were high and travel was not advised in town or anywhere else.  We hunkered down, grateful for our warm house. We woke up  Wednesday to our neighbor's snowblower and when we looked out he had done our driveway too.  Sweet!  Joel was heading over to do my sister and BIL's driveway so he only had to venture out once.  We had to laugh when we drove down one street Thursday morning.  Someone had taken all the piles of snow and built a super cool dinasauer .....even coloring it green.  How fun!

So, the blizzard is over and the caucus has moved out east.  This weekend the focus is on the Super Bowl.  So much excitement in one week!

We received an email a couple of days ago letting us know that the Lutheran Bible Institute (Trinity Lutheran college) in Washington state was closing its doors.   This is the end of another great ministry.  Joel and I graduated from The Lutheran Bible Institute/Golden Valley Lutheran College in Minnesota in 1968. It began in St. Paul in 1919 and closed it's doors in Golden Valley MN in 1985.

Our first year we were there it was LBI, the second year it shifted and expanded it's programs and became GVLC.   The Washington campus came out of LBI in Mpls., along with the LBI located in California, if I recall it right.  LBI/GVLC was such a great place for students.  The professors/teachers had a deep foundation in faith, and many brought their experiences from being missionaries to their classrooms.  Joel and I learned so much there which went with us into the world as a young married couple.  And speaking of married, The Lutheran Bible Institute was known by many as the Lutheran Bridal Institute.  So many of us met our spouses there!

LBI campus in Golden Valley, MN

Joel and I both went there interested in mission work in Africa.  The draft and 8 years in the military kept us moving forward on a different path (not off track) and then going to seminary with 4 kids was yet another adventure.  We fell in love with Montana and went that route.  Later in the 80's we looked into mission work again, but at that time our multi-racial family kept us from being accepted as missionaries to Africa.  God had other plans.  But our faith was strengthened and rooted through our two years at LBI/GVLC where we studied the word in depth.  I still miss that, friends.  I still miss the classroom setting and the Word being revealed and studied.  We both are forever and eternally grateful for LBI colleges and the seeds they have planted in so many.

This past week was filled with blizzards created by humans and nature.  We have watched teachings that have increased our knowledge and deepened our faith and desire for more of Jesus.  We have been saddened by some news received, and delighted by other news.  We have walked at the malls ~ we have watched TV, finished yet another puzzle, read aloud together, and worshiped.  Just another week from our corner of the world.

How is the first week of February shaping your life?

Until next time................

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Shalom of Heaven

Sometimes I am stunned by the circumstances people are struggling with.  The storms that come against God's children are too many to name.   It is challenging to stay in a place of rest when we are buffeted around by the enemy, and it can be so difficult to stay centered in that place of peace with Jesus. Difficult but not impossible.  If we look back over His ministry we can see that He was always speaking peace over people during His ministry, reminding them to not be afraid.  He was and is the Prince of Peace and just where does He reside?  In us!  There it is, what we need to stay in peace!

Last week I watched a couple of teachings at Bethel Church that presented me with a fresh  perspective on peace.  That "Be still and know that I am God" promise put into action. Some of what I received from the teachings was so insightful.

"Jesus anointed us with peace and we are expected to use it.  He knew troubles would come, and He prepared us for it with peace.  We can trust His covenant of peace and live a full abundant life.  We are recipients of an endless supply of peace, so use it in all circumstances.!"

John 14 tells us Jesus gave us peace as a weapon of warfare.

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  
I do not give to you as the world gives.  
Do not let our hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

John 14:27

I have never thought much about peace as being something that God gave every one of us to use, release, or hold on to in tough times.  Another weapon of warfare.  He is the Shalom of Heaven and since He resided in us so does His Peace.  So simple, yet so powerful, this truth found in His Word.

Any of you dealing with circumstances that want to steal your peace? I know I am raising my hand. Well, don't stand with the enemy who steals, kills, and destroys, but choose to stand and agree with the Peace that passes all understanding.  The Prince of Peace.  Choose Peace, and have such a firm grip on that precious gift that no one and nothing can take it from you.

Lord,  You have told us to speak to our mountains, so I come before you in prayer for all of us who have been hearing the lies of the enemy and agreeing with them. I repent of believing those lies.  I speak to the mountains of anxiety, fear, and worry, and I command that each be broken off in Jesus name.  I speak Peace into the minds and hearts of us all, and I declare that we will receive a flow of the peace that passes all understanding.  We give you Praise for the Shalom of Heaven, and we rejoice that we can live out of a place of peace.  We speak Peace into the minds and to the heart sand souls of your creations.  In Jesus Holy and powerful name.  Amen

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Putting Off Or Stepping Into

As I look out the large picture window in our living room all I see is blowing snow.  The winds are strong, the snowflakes are coming down fast and furious, and white dominates the landscape.  I am thankful to be inside where I can stay warm and cozy by our fireplace.

Like true Minnesotans (who live in Iowa) we headed to my doctor appointment this morning with the eye specialist.  There were a couple places as we traveled where you could not tell where we was definitely a blizzard outside!  In fact we had a strong gust of wind come across while the wiper was in the rest mode and Joel went up on a median before bouncing back down a few seconds later because he was in a whiteout and could not see.  That got our attention.  Seriously not a good time to be out, but we headed across town and arrived 25 minutes later at the eye clinic.  We were one of three patients who came in.  Usually we wait an hour just to see someone, but even with the storm causing problems, we were home in a little over an hour with a good report.

Now let me back up a bit.  I have been challenged at time with keeping the pressure down in my eyes to a level where it will not affect my fragile optic nerve fibers.  (that darn Lyme damage )  I also have been struggling with vision problems from the cataracts that have set up residence in both eyes.  So, even though I knew I needed to go in for a recheck, I did not want to go. I have been pretty weary of spending so much time in the care of the medical world.  Yesterday was my final visit to the surgeon. That felt good, but I just did not want to face the "what ifs", feeling a bit like a wind tossed snowflake  going from a place worry or anxiety into then a place of trust and confidence concerning today's appointment.   I had been praying, and we had been speaking over my eyes. We knew God wanted them healed, but the enemy was whispering into my ear worst case scenarios.....Yeah.......I was feeling, well, vulnerable.

When we woke up to a blizzard today I told Joel  that we should just stay home.  Everyone else would.  I could just reschedule.  He said he would call the clinic and see if they were open and they assured us they were, but we could reschedule in only 3 weeks.....Joel asked me what I wanted to do and I heard God's voice say quietly, "Go".  Just one word........"Go".  So we went and as the doctor looked into my eyes to test the pressure I recalled what God had sent me this week via Facebook, and I said quietly to God, "These are YOUR eyes."  I am your child and these eyes are YOURS.  Let me see with Your eyes."  I moved from that place of worry and fear to a place of trust, determined to settle in there and stop being blown about by an internal blizzard.  My history tells me I can trust God.  He has always walked with me.  His Word tells me I can trust Him.  It would not change now.  God never changes.

I was grateful that my eye pressure was the lowest it had been in a very long time.  That is good news because we then could go ahead and get tested and set up for cataract surgery. They will call by Friday to give us the dates and times.  Of course, I would love to wake up and have those cataracts gone and my vision clear, but as Joel reminded me last night, "God heals through surgery, too.  He healed you of cancer, He will heal you of cataracts."

I wanted to put off what I dreaded I would hear today.  I was believing the lies of the enemy and looking only at my history ~ ~I did not want to face things. Have you ever been there?  Usually for me it is anything medical.  Sometimes I put off small things, too, but I have learned over the years that when God is with us, we are better off stepping into that which causes us to tremble.  Why?  Because we are never alone.  God is always by our side.  His power resides in we can be bold as a lion. And even if we feel weak as a lamb, no problem.  Then He carries us.  This is how much our Papa God loves us.

A few nights ago I had a nightmare and as I lay in bed hoping to drift off to sleep again, I started to worry about my eyes.  I kept going over it in my mind until the worry grew in size.  Until my problem became bigger than my God.  Needless to say, I did not go back to sleep.  But first thing in the morning while still in bed I read the Passion Translation's prophetic words on Facebook.  It began in God's words..."Come and gaze up My face.gaze into my glory..........I will give you new eyes....MY eyes which will give you true understanding...............I call you into true vision that you might see..............From this day forward I am calling you to put aside your blindness and use my healing eye salve, the revelation of My love.  Oh how He loves us!

Then Monday morning I picked up our daily scripture book and the first verse was about "irritants in the eyes that we do not want to take into the new land".  That spoke to both Joel and I in more ways than one.  Again, another verse later on eyes.  God was making sure I knew He was with me.  He gave me promises to hold on to...........and yet worry still wanted to sneak in.  I sometimes want things to happen in my way and my timing.  Sigh.

When we find ourselves in a storm, whether it is a storm from the enemy or of our own making, we need to remember how much our Papa loves us.  God is never against us.  He is always for us and because we are bathed in the grace provided by His son, we need never fear.  Can't walk?  He'll carry you.  Afraid to take that first step forward?  He will take your hand and lead the way.  Confused on what direction to go?  We will hear a voice behind us telling us whether to go to the right or to the left.  We need not put off that which causes us dread because when we take the hand of Jesus, we have the courage to step into what is ahead.  And when we step into what God has for us Satan runs the other way defeated.  Victory is ours.  That is how much He loves us.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Mountain Speaking

I had been struggling with a nasty upper respiratory virus for over 4 weeks.  It began the last week of radiation therapy when my immune system was weakened from the daily treatments and the burns that covered so much of the area.  My body was fighting hard to restore itself, but just a couple days after Christmas I hit a wall.  I was sleeping 9-10 hours a night, and would fall asleep sitting up in my chair 2-3 times a day.  I had little energy to do anything.  I was coughing a lot, dizzy when I laid down and again when I sat up.  I had sinus issues and felt short of breath.  It was relentless and did not seem to improve from day to day.

One day I told Joel I believed we needed to do more than just pray over this, we needed to ask Holy Spirit to reveal to us what was needed.  While Joel was praying over me, he felt Holy Spirit revealed to him that I had an actual spirit of sickness oppressing me. Not possessing me, but troubling me.  (All sickness comes from the enemy).  So, just like Jesus and the disciples did in the Bible, Joel spoke to the spirit of sickness and commanded it to leave in Jesus' powerful name.  I began coughing and coughed so hard I nearly threw up.  And then I felt it.  I felt a weight come off of me and the weakness left.  I felt better right away.

In the next few days my energy improved greatly, the cough left, and I stopped sleeping all the time. I was able to help cook, clean, and get out of the house.  I started walking again, first for 10 minutes, and then more until I am now back to walking a mile.  The virus left.  My immune system is now healed from the radiation and I am back on track.

Jesus told us to speak to our mountains.  He was clear on that.  

"For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 
Be removed and be cast into the sea, 
and does not doubt in his heart, 
but believes that those things he says will be done, 
he will have whatever he says."
Mark 11:23

I don't know what you readers believe about this, but I do know that by being obedient to Holy Spirit and rebuking sickness from my body, I saw healing come!  When we read the gospels we see many instances where Jesus commanded, rebuked, and spoke over people.  He did what the Father told Him to do. And He healed ALL who were sick and tormented.  And He told us we would do what He had done and more......... How can we?  Because of Who lives in us.  We have been empowered by the Holy Spirit.  That same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside of us. Inside of you. Inside of me.

Sometimes the healing is immediate and sometimes we see healing come over time.  I have seen both. The Lyme died immediately when I was prayed over, for the chemical sensitivites it was a process.  I prayed for a cyst on my leg to be gone off and on for over 2 years and the other day I noticed it is gone.  Gone.  My healing came for breast cancer through surgery ~when they went in and took out that tissue surrounding the small tumor they found nothing more. The radiation was a "just in case" measure.  The message here is, God wants you well.  He does not put sickness on us. Jesus died for our sins and for sickness. (Isaiah 53) The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came to give us abundant life.

Is everyone healed?  Even those who believe "by His stripes we are healed" see sickness and death. Death comes to us all, as we know from the Bible.  But it does not change the truth of His Word.  He tells us to speak to our mountains.....command and rebuke as He did........and those mountains will be cast into the sea........

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Saturday's Scribbles

Good Saturday from our corner of the world.  Today we are supposed to have temperatures in the thirties with a possibility of ice and freezing rain.  Again.  I am not complaining about the warmer weather, no way.  We will deal with the rain and ice if it comes.  We are also supposed to be heading into heavy snow for Tuesday, but who knows?!  Tracking a storm can be unpredictable.  The closer it gets the more information the forecasters will have, but alas, weather seems to have a mind of its own.  Kinda like some of life!  We did get to walk outside a couple of days, but mostly we are heading to a small strip mall in the afternoons where the carpet softens our steps and we hardly see anyone.  5 times around makes a mile.

Speaking of miles, Joel is putting a few on the car driving to the church he is filling in at twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays, and it looks like it will continue for February.  He enjoys preaching and the people enjoy having him.  A win-win situation.

My brother Todd dedicated his coaching to his mom, sister Kay, and me this week at their Paint the gym Pink event.  Jeannie, his wife, is a teacher and their school helped paint the gym pink too.  Todd is a teacher and also coaches girls varsity basketball.  So nice of him and the girls who dedicated their game, too.  Pretty cool, right?

Speaking of cool, I got a new phone this week.  It is actually my birthday present from last year, but I kept putting off getting a new one.  We got a sweet promo deal with Verizon and I now have a new android phone and a Verizon tablet.  It turns out both were "free" and the only cost was for the tablet case and screen cover!  The iPad our DIL gave us still works well enough, but a few glitches were showing up and we had been talking about a new one since I use it 24/7 to listen to teachings, music, etc.  I can just cart it around the house with me everywhere I go.  I am liking the new phone even though I am adjusting to the larger size!

Several days ago we had 8 deer in the yard.  We had not seen any deer all winter, and that morning 8 came into the yard and the neighbors yard grazing on bushes and actually pawing through the ice on the bird feeder to drink.  We stood quietly watching God's creation for quite awhile, but of course we had to take a few pictures!

Deer are to left and next to pine tree

This deer studied us as much as we
studied her

Last Sunday we celebrated Joel's 4th Anniversary of his overnight miraculous healing!  I made him a southwestern salad he loves plus a pumpkin pie.  We reflected on God's goodness and the healing He wants for ALL of us.  Such an amazing "suddenly" that changed our lives forever!
"The joy of the Lord is my strength"
Nehemiah 8:10

It was a year ago we were in Arizona on such a fun adventure that also changed our lives forever. We left a piece of our hearts in Gold Canyon.  We don't know why things unfolded as they did for us....but we know God is good, God loves us, He has a purpose for us.  Our future and where we lay down our heads to sleep at night is in His hands ~~ where we have placed it.  We have surrendered this season to Him, only asking for more of Him.  More of His presence, His purpose, His amazing love.

Tonto National Forest near Gold Canyon 

Things are a bit crazy here in Iowa with the caucuses going strong in the final days.  Ads saturate the TV and the phone seems to ring a lot more.  We never watch any ads on TV, as most are about what could be wrong with you and what miracle drug you can take......along with an endless list of side effects.  I'm not against medication, I use it when I need to for sure,  but I'm weary of it being pushed down our throats by pharma. Okay, did I just say that?  Hmmm  Anyway, we are watching all the hoopla with fascination and interest from afar......

Tuesday night we held Bible study here, Thursday morning I headed off to Bible Study at Praise church.  Friday night we had supper here with friends who are such a blessing.  Laughter and reflection are good for the soul!

We have been reading aloud Barry Bennett's book, "Hearing God" this week, I am finishing up a light mystery, and I have watched a few Bethel Church's teachings and a couple of Heidi Baker's too.  It is good to fill the soul......What is filling your soul?

Until next time............

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Listening Heart

Today I stopped over to  Bonnie Gray's blog and read her post for OneWordCoffee Wednesday.  She wrote a beautiful post about stepping out of our need to feel safe and following God as His beloved. She included scripture found in the first chapter of Mark.

As Jesus was going along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. Jesus said, “Come, follow me.” Immediately, they left their nets and followed Him.
Going on a little farther, He saw James and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending their nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.” Mark 1:16-20
It is the second time today that this passage has come to me, so God has my attention.  Bonnie asked us once again to pick out a word that stood out in the passage.......and once again I could not pick just one word. Just too many to focus on!

Looking at the passage we see that Jesus was on a mission to find disciples to follow Him in His ministry.  Did he know Simon and Andrew at all or did His heavenly Father whisper in His ear who He should choose.  And just what did Simon, Andrew, and the others see in this man from Galilee? What drew them in so quickly that they cast down their nets and followed Him at His beckoning.  If He appeared and asked us to "put down our nets" and follow Him, would we?

He does, you know.  He asks us to put down our lives, surrender all, and follow Him.  Accepting Jesus as our Savior, we follow Him.  A simple yet powerful yes to opening our heart to the Son of God.

But there are other ways we are asked to follow Him and that is where I feel drawn to.  Yesterday I wrote a post about where we find our passion.  For us it is not in sports, politics, or more.....but at this time in our lives, it is in healing and Holy Spirit.   As we move into the "retired but re-fired" season of our lives, as we leave my battle with breast cancer behind, and as we continue to walk out our healing by Jesus from Lyme Disease and more, we have been asking, seeking, and knocking.  We have been surrendering, and listening.  Listening for Jesus to say, "Come, follow Me". He will say it.  We know that Holy Spirit is stirring, and we believe He still has purpose for us in ministry.  A ministry of His choosing.  We know He will say, "Follow Me." What we don't know for sure is where or when.  So, as excitement builds, we are doing as I like to imagine Simon and Andrew did, we are living daily with our hearts open, waiting to hear............"Come, follow Me".