Category Archives: Life

I Hear Your Prayers

I love you much, I hear your prayers, they do not fall on deaf ears. There is a perfect timing for all things. I am opening the doors before you from long ago prayers and some current ones. As you prepare yourself and are dependent on Me, you are now entering a place where you can operate in those areas without them being too much for you to handle.  I don’t want to give you what will cause you to fall because of not being ready to carry it or walk effectively as you and I desire. Your trainings and preparation time have not been in vain; nor are you through with all you need to learn – it is a lifelong process. Continue searching to know and understand Me, My ways, My heart, and the answer to those puzzling and mysterious questions. Continue with a hungry heart, open ears and yielded spirit. Be careful of being too busy to have time with Me or in My word. You are a delight, I take delight in you.

I Know

Dove and featherI have not forsaken you. I know your plight. Continue trusting in Me and you will see My glory manifested in you.

Why Fret

Lizard BuddiesWhy do you fret? Am I not trustworthy? Leave it in My hands, I know your desires; remember how much better My ways are.

Tune In

Bengal Cat in the SunAs you stay tuned into Me, walking close by My side, guided by Holy Spirit, you will know the way to go. The decision will be yours on what you choose to do. I have much before you, things your heart desires of. You are my beloved; I want the best for you.

Ready, Set, Live

Margie - Burney Falls #1   I heard of a gentleman who worked in the library of a newspaper agency where files were kept on people. People were divided on shelves between the living and the dead. One day as he was looking through the ‘dead people’ section spotting a file on Jesus Christ, with no one looking he moved the file into the ’living people’ section.

   As we go into the New Year where do we have Jesus filed? Is he in ancient history, gone the way of the dodo bird, or is He alive in our lives?  Yes, He is the Ancient of Days; yes He died, but His story didn’t end there and neither does ours. There is no tombstone bearing the inscription “Jesus Christ, Son of God…He lived, He died, He will be missed”. Jesus rose from the dead, is alive today, as is his promises.

   Some people are just here; they exist but don’t really live.  In John 10:10 Jesus states “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”. Abundantly means exceedingly, beyond measure, great plenty, amply supplied. What an offer He has for us! With all offers we have a choice to make, do we accept it by coming into agreement with what the Word says is for us, instead of aligning with the gloom and dread with no hope of something better, that we often hear around us.  I for one lived in that world of no hope for too long, I have no desire to return to it; let’s choose the abundant life as we forward.

    Before we start thinking gold, silver, yachts, expensive mansions, and more money than we know what to do with, I think Jesus’ perspective on abundance is not material possessions. Many people have great wealth and vast possession yet are hopeless and depressed. Jesus is not against money or possessions – after all Psalm 50:10 says “For every beast of the forest is mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills”. Money is a source to meet our needs and a way to be a blessing to others, not the source of our life’s purpose. There are things of greater value than money can buy such as: an abundance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, true friendships, salvation and eternal life, plus an intimate relationship with the God of the universe.

   This abundance is available through relationship with Jesus, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”. Paul instructs us to “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God”. Is your life hidden in Christ? If not it can be, refer to “Finding Freedom in God’s Perfect Peace”, in this paper.

   Are you ready for the New Year? Are your eyes set on things above? Are you ready to live, really live?

 

Whose Voice

exotic bird-onlineI was taking a trip to Oregon; having done this countless times I have my route down with a preferred cut off which takes me from the highway over to the interstate I need. The evening before I left a friend asks if I had tried this other route they take, stated it’s a 10 mile straight shot which would put me on the interstate much quicker. Quicker sounded better so I thought I would try it, after all they sounded sincere in their directions.

   The next morning I turned at the designated location. GPS kept giving me a course correction back to the original path I was on; this is normal for a little ways before it recalculates a new course. A few miles into the “straight shot” the main road curved right. The straight road seemed less traveled so I called my friend to inquire about it, I was told to go straight, don’t take the curve. Driving down the straight road I become uneasy as it began looking desolate and foreboding. GPS kept saying turn around. I decide to abandon my friend’s advice and head back for the curved road. After I am on a path that will eventually lead to the interstate I receive a call, my friend looked on maps after my call and was now apologizing for giving me bad advice. They had thought of taking that road but realized they never had: further it did not lead to the interstate as thought.  The supposed shortcut actually added extra time, miles, and hardship to my drive. We were able to have good laugh and learned a valuable lesson.

   How often in life do we listen to a sincere voice only to discover it was sincerely wrong? Satan constantly tries to tell us all sorts of lies, they may sound good on the surface and even desirable, but are not for our well-being; remember the forbidden tree in the garden. The GPS, like the Bible, wants to show us the right way to go. If we go astray it will give guidance on how to get back on the right path. My friend didn’t intentionally lead me astray, however they are not guilty alone in my waywardness – I still had the responsibility to verify their advice instead of blindly following it. The same thing is true when we receive life or spiritual advice – we need to compare it to God’s word to make certain it aligns, so we are not led astray whether intentionally or unintentionally.

   Jesus said, My sheep hear My voice…and they follow Me. The question is – whose voice are we listening to? If it’s not Jesus’, He allows U-turns; He invites us to make a course correction back onto the right path. We were given a road map called the Bible; like any map we need to read it in order to know the way to go.

   Lord, open our ears to hear your voice.

Good Grief

Heart sculpture - onlineNormally when I hear the words “Good Grief” I think of Charlie Brown, not a reference to mourning.
Years ago, I heard a gentleman speak on losing three family generations in one accident: his mother, wife, and daughter. He tells of trying to hold on to the way things were, not wanting to face change, but found it was like chasing the setting sun; no matter how hard you run after it – eventually the sun will set, then you will have to face the dark night. However, if instead we turn to face the night – the dawn of a new day will arrive much sooner. I tucked away those words of wisdom.

My family were emotional stuffers. I never saw emotions over a death and those gone weren’t spoken of afterwards. It was like the person never existed and their life never mattered. I, too, learned to keep emotions in check, not realizing that the suppression of negative emotions also affected my ability to express the positive ones.

Why is it okay to express happy emotions over good things, yet not the sad emotions when hurtful things happen? Both are normal valid responses. To me to deny one emotion would seem to say God didn’t know what he was doing in making us emotional creatures. Jesus felt secure to publicly weep; why shouldn’t we?

I didn’t emotionally deal with my parents’ death for 13 years; once I did a heavy weight was released. With my husband’s passing I reasoned, I didn’t ask for it; But like it or not life will never be the same; that I would face the dark night and do this “grieving thing well”.

How does one grieve well? I have learned we all grieve differently; there is not a right or wrong way, or a designated time period. Grief is normal, natural, and necessary; grief provides a healthy way to cope with loss and what that person meant to us.

I’m learning good grief includes allowing ourselves to grieve, to be honest with where we are, acknowledging the loss – that it hurts, that our world has been turned upside down. I’m learning to embrace the emotions in a healthy way, giving myself time and space to cry, to mourn my loss; freedom to politely say “no I’m not okay” when a friend inquires; to not isolate myself, yet not over commit myself. To allow encouraging safe people in who are supportive; relying on the Lord for help; talking with others, reading encouraging material, attending bereavement and GriefShare classes. To give myself grace when I make mistakes and to well-meaning people who unintentionally say the wrong thing.
Though we may not like this season, let’s try to look forward with hope to the day mourning turns into dancing. Moving forward does not mean leaving the person behind, we take them with us in our hearts and the special memories we hold dear.

Trust the words of Jeremiah 29:11.

5 to 6 = 32

In our office when an equation did not equal the expected results we jokingly called it “creative accounting”, then we dove into to find out why the difference. I have found some things in life don’t logically line up; they are better understood with the heart or spirit.
My husband’s prognosis was five to six months, when he passed at only 32 days I felt cheated out of time with him, it did not add up to “what was supposed to be”.
When speaking with a visiting chaplain he stated individuals have more influence over length of time they continue in situations such as ours, whether they are ready to go or fighting to remain. Barbara Karnes writes in “The Dying Experience”, “How we approach death is going to depend upon…, and how willing we are to let go of this known expression to venture into a new one. Fear and unfinished business are two big factors in determining how much resistance we put into meeting death.”
John 19:30 states of Jesus “…He gave up His spirit”. Despite taking our infirmities and bearing our sicknesses they did not kill him, no one took his life – He gave up His spirit. In Philippians Paul talks about being hard-pressed between the desire to depart and be with Christ or to remain in the flesh which is more needful for others. Later, Paul, nearing the end of his life writes ”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord,…will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing”. I am not comparing Gene to Jesus or Paul, just the desire/willingness to lay down the earthen vessel when our earthly journey is over. They had no fear of death or unfinished business.
A gentleman’s actions years ago made a lasting impression on me. Knowing he would soon die he reached out to anyone that he thought there might be unresolved matters with, all was settled, he had peace, he finished well.
32 days was not what I expected logically, but a grieving heart recognized the grace of God and answered prayer as he entered heavens’ gates. We cannot put life in a box and certainly not God who is far greater than we could ever conceive. Thus begins the tension of rejoicing for the one who has gone before us while at the same time grieving our loss; yet we “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope”.
Like it or not grief is an experience we must walk through in order to be healthy and have a new normal; it’s not a place to campout in; thankfully we do not walk alone for the Lord is with us. He wants to turn our mourning into dancing.

Get Excited

colored-lights-onlineWhen My Children get excited to be with Me I get excited, as does all the heavenly hosts, it causes a shift in the atmosphere, it ushers in a freedom for Me to move. ~ Papa

I’m Ready!

Bible PicWhat do you do when your loved one say’s they’re ready to go home – ready to be with Jesus?

   Even when you have heard the doctor’s report, know the test results, and see health declining, it does not fully prepare you for the moment when your spouse says they are ready to stop treatment and to be with Jesus.  It was no more a subject I wanted to discuss then, than I desire to write about now, except that hopefully someone is encouraged. The weight of the statement implied that I would become a widow; something difficult to contemplate. Nevertheless there was a white elephant, figuratively speaking, in the room that must be addressed, to ignore it – though not fully possible, would create its own issues, an uneasy tension, or even shut down communication at a time when it’s needed.  Death is an individual experience, yet, the dying process affects all those connected with the person; and just because they are nearing the end of their earthly life does not mean their feelings and opinions are no longer valid, that they are not concerned for loved ones, or have matters to settle.

   It’s prayer time! Time for a frank one on one conversation with the Lord regarding what’s going on, all the wild emotions, concerns, questions, doubts, and fears;  a time to hide nothing and a time to listen. Then to take time to bask in His loving presence, to receive His encompassing peace, being assured of his promises and faithfulness, to gather strength, courage, and guidance to face what is ahead. I find when I’m at peace it’s easier to have the difficult conversations; to clearly address concerns and know better how to pray for and with others.

   Having first settled matters with the Lord, I was able to discuss all that was on my husband’s heart with relative calm. I was able to see from a different perspective, not by looking down from my point of view at the situation, but from a knelling position in prayer and humbleness, looking up to see from his; with God’s grace I found the strength to say it was okay for him to leave if he was ready to go. For some individuals facing the end of life it helps having permission to go, it lets them be a peace instead of struggling between wanting heaven and feeling they have to remain because of loved ones. A hard prayer is – Lord, you know his hearts’ desire, be gracious to him, please don’t let him suffer; keep him in peace.

   Is it easy? NO! But, scripture tells us God will be our strength: ex: Ps 29:11, 10:17, Isaiah 40:29, 40:31, 41:10, 58:11.   In difficult times we must “Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding” Prov. 3:5, and believe God works for the good of those who love him…. Rom. 8:28.
What now? Pray, trust God, love unconditionally.