Archive | January 2014

Warfare

We are in a war!  It is the battle for the hearts of men and women, waged by the kingdom of darkness against the Kingdom of Light.  There are minor skirmishes and there are major attacks, these will increase as time goes on.

I have been involved in a minor skirmish since before Thanksgiving.  Sometimes the evidence is clear as to what a battle is about and sometimes it is not seen until the battle is over.  I believe the battle that I have been through was to see if I would stand against the onslaught of the enemy against me and continue to wage war in the spirit for the people that God has placed in my “cluster”. 

Shortly before Thanksgiving my computer developed an issue that I could not fix.  I brought it with me to my son’s home, where he and my grandson operated on it, only to determine it was the hard drive.  My son is amazing!  I don’t know any man that can tear the engine on his car apart, fix it and put it back together again, do carpentry, plumbing and sheet rock, garden, wash clothes, cook gourmet meals and more, and every week day he is an incredibly successful scientist.  He stayed up all night to rebuild my computer.  Thank you my son!

Not too long after Christmas I had an issue with my I pad, happily it was an easy fix.  The next thing that had a problem was the T.V.  My husband kept getting an “unauthorized” sign when he put it on.  He talked with three different people, it took four days and the last person could not understand why it was not fixed immediately, and fix it she did…immediately.

The next issue was my car battery.  I went out to start my car and it was dead.  My husband called a towing service.  When Steven came, he jump started my car, but when he shut it off and tried to start it again, it would not stay running, so he told me it would have to be towed.  When I asked how much it would cost I gulped hard.  This kind man then graced me with only the charge of jump starting the car, told me that he could get the car started and I could drive it to the dealership, then he proceeded to drive in front of me all the way down to the dealership, got out and instructed me what to do and explained what he thought was wrong to the attendant.  God bless him!  The result was that I got a new battery at no charge to me.

Finally, my cell phone acted up.  It was determined by Samsung employees at the Best Buy store that it needed a new battery…”Sorry, we don’t replace them, you will have to call 1-800-Samsung.”  Uh Huh…I have heard stories of calls to India or Pakistan and not being able to understand the language, well that is my story.  I finally got someone from the south and…gave him the wrong e-mail address.  Next “chatted” with a rep on their web-site and again…wrong e-mail address.  Visited Sam’s Club, where I bought the phone, only to find out that I could not buy a new phone at the $.96 price because my “contract” did not expire until April of 2015.  I could, of course, pay full price for the phone or pay $50.00 for a new battery.

As you can imagine I was more than frustrated at this point.  A kind friend suggested that I take it to the Sprint store, since that is our carrier.  Duh, never thought of that.  All my troubles vanished like smoke in the wind when David took the phone, fixed it up and handed it back to me.  “No charge.”, he said.  Bless him Lord!  I have only one minor problem…the Samsung employees at Best Buy wiped my phone clean, so I had to start all over again as if it were a new phone.  But, I learned a valuable lesson:  Go to your carrier first.

In the midst of all of this I was having some pain in the area of my heart, sometimes quite hurtful.  Some years ago I survived a “thyroid storm”.  I learned that soy affects the thyroid which in turn affects the heart.  The soy consortium has sold the food industry on soy being good for the body.  Consequently, it is found in most products on the grocery store shelves under soybean oil, (in salad dressings, mayonnaise and Miracle Whip) soy lecithin, (in chocolate candy, other processed foods, and now even in tea) lecithin, and sometimes natural flavor.  Tofu, which is touted as so good for you is soy bean curd.  Then there is soy milk for those who can’t drink cow milk, and now I am seeing edame in salad bars, they are soy beans.  There is something in unsprouted soy beans that harms the thyroid gland.  Could this be why so many women have weight issues (check out hyper and hypo thyroid on Google) and why there are so many women dying of heart attacks? Something to think about.

To continue – when my heart started hurting I began to pray and ask the Lord, “What is this all about?”  I questioned it because I have not had this kind of thing for quite awhile.  I am careful not to eat much with soy in it, if I can help it.  I would wake up during the night or early morning hours to pray for Ed.  I believe that my heart was hurting for him.  I have known others who felt symptoms as they prayed for someone who was sick. 

Ed had a blood clot on his aorta that the doctors were not able to remove so they were giving him a blood thinner.  He had suffered with a fibrillation of his heart in which the blood pooled and then clotted.  Though the church prayed, today Ed went home.  At this point I do not know what took his life, but it was suddenly, so I suspect it may have been a blood clot.  Though our prayers for healing were not answered, and his passing is a mystery, we are happy for him, for his dancing day came and no doubt he is delighted to be home at last.  We will miss you Ed! 

As I talked with a friend about all of this she called to my attention that all of these things affecting me, including Ed’s heart, had to do with power and energy. I could see that electricity was involved in each incident.  Now, I don’t know if you believe in conspiracy theories or not, but some of them seem very plausible.  I had recently read that some people were convinced that the government was harassing them through their electronics.  If I were anybody important I might suspect it could be what has happened to me, but since I am a nobody, I seriously doubt that is the case.

At any rate, with all of these things that i have had to deal with involving electricity, power and energy, I believe that I have been, personally, under attack and this is part of the war that I mentioned in the first paragraph of this article.  I do not doubt that there will be increased warfare on a global scale and probably in the near future.  Look to April and watch Israel.

I am a child of God, I am a tither, I am blessed and highly favored by my God and whatever the enemy means for evil my God will turn for good, that is His word in Romans 8:28. 

Praise God!  Hoping you are prepared, equipped and ready for battle in 2014 and beyond.  God bless you is my prayer.

Joy

 

 

Time

“Time is money”, have you heard that statement?  From a natural standpoint some may find that to be true, but from a spiritual standpoint time is like money because you can spend it.

As I was waking up this morning I was praying and listening. In the wee hours of the morning it is somehow easier to hear and during the time between sleep and awake God often speaks to me or shows me things, so this morning  I began to think about time.  We are each given 24 hours to spend any way we choose.  We can choose to work or play, to be gainfully employed or be on the government dole.  (those who might read this who have no other choice but to receive assistance from the government, please do not allow what I am saying to condemn you.) 

We know that God ordained work for man after the choice Adam made to sin against the word of God.  The Bible says, “If a man does not work he should not eat.”  That is pretty clear.  There are those who refuse to work even though they are able to do so.  That is in clear defiance of the teaching of the Holy Spirit and we know that breaking the law brings penalties.  The law is unforgiving.

Enter the gospel, the good news…thank God for the glorious liberty of the sons of God that came through Jesus Christ.  We who are not under the law but under grace can be led by the Holy Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, there is life, and that abundantly to overflowing…to whosoever will come and receive it.

Above all is love, above all is God who is love, He is over all and His eyes see, behold all things under the sun.  He counted the stars and called them all by name and He numbers the hairs on our head.  As Corrie ten Boom once said, “God has both a microscope and a telescope interest in us.

How do you manage your allotted time? 

I made a decision several years ago to give my time to the Lord.  I asked Him to lead me.  I wanted my time to be His time and for the most part, though being the imperfect person that I am, I yield to His leading.  It is a place of quiet rest, His peace prevails when I yield to His will.

Surrender did not come easily.  There were many years of striving; miserable, uncomfortable and sometimes joyless days and nights.  Perhaps I am too strong-willed, or perhaps dense or perhaps…just human.   It took Him years to get me to realize that Father does know best.

When my time became His time, I began to rest in the truth that He knows what is best for me and will lead me in the way I should go.  If I mess up, He will clean me up and He will clean up my mess.  He never, no never, condemns me, but He always corrects me.  He is a good Father.    

Work for man-kind takes many forms.  There are assignments that God gives to each of us, paths that we are foreordained to walk in.  Some of us spend our years wandering around trying to find what our purpose is here on earth.  Songs are written about it like the one Peggy Lee sang years ago, “Is that all there is?”.

Defining work can be difficult because sometimes what appears to be may not be at all.  I read of a woman whose assignment from the Lord was to worship Him and spend time in His presence.  She was a married woman and her husband took care of their natural needs, but to some it appeared that she was lazy and did nothing but sit around all day.  God is the judge, we are not.  We seem to need to run our mouths and meddle into things that are none of our business.  God help us!

When a person is in the place that God has called them, their natural abilities and giftings will come into play, but God will also give that person supernatural gifts and callings that he was not born with.  I think of Peter and Paul.

Peter was a fisherman, he was proud and impulsive, but when he met Jesus he became contrite and humble.  God used Peter’s natural boldness and leadership qualities, but he transformed them and gave Peter the assignment to bring the gospel to the religious Jews in Jerusalem.  Why?  Because it would be clear to them that Peter was an uneducated man, so that when wisdom and understanding of spiritual matters came out of his mouth it confounded the religious and caused them to wonder how he got this,, they “took note that he had been with Jesus”.  Selah!

The apostle Paul was an educated man, he “sat at the feet” of Gamaliel, a great teacher of the Jews.  He called himself a pharisee of pharisees.  His zeal carried him to persecute those who followed Jesus, some even to death by stoning, the penalty for blasphemy.  But one day, when the perfect time had come, Jesus appeared to Paul on the road and he was struck blind.  When we say I see and we are really blind, we may be blinded by the light of Truth until we see.  A deceived man does not know that he is deceived until Truth comes and sets him free.  Such was the case with Paul. 

Paul was a gifted man, a man of position and power.  He was well known by and approved of the High Priest, so much so that he had papers on his person to arrest any who were found to be in “The Way”, as Christianity was called at the time.  After Paul was arrested by Jesus, he went to the desert where he was given a visitation and revelation of the mystery of Messiah Yeshua and of the Kingdom of God.  This capable, educated man was sent to the unlearned masses.  He was a tent maker by trade and in the early days that was how he lived on the road.  He had no wife, he had no family, but God provided him with companions and spiritual children.  His life and teaching have impacted multitudes, in my opinion second only to Jesus himself.  God knows.

The Bible says:  “Make your calling and election sure.”  I take that to mean that everyone is called to come to the Father through Jesus and every one who chooses to do so is elected, has a place, in the Kingdom of God that has been prepared by our Father before the foundation of the world.  If we choose to spend the time that we have been given here on earth in line with God’s plan and purpose, then our reward is to be with the Lord forever and enjoy the blessings that our Father has prepared for those who love Him.

Given that these things are true, why would anyone want to follow after the way of the flesh, the way of man?  I cannot imagine.

So, friend, the challenge for you today is:  How do you spend the time you have been given?  Do you waste time, kill time, or abuse time?  A delivery man that came to our home yesterday told me of some youths with way too much “time on their hands” who used it to abuse others and their property.  God, forgive them and show them Your love so that their time might be redeemed here on earth and they would become contributors instead of destroyers.

Let us “make the most of the time” that we have.  Each of us has a life span, this mortal body is not eternal, it will die, thanks to Adam’s decision, but we can live life fully, making the most impact possible in our sphere of influence.  Let’s “invest our time” wisely, knowing that the day of accountability will come and judgment will be given according to what we have done during our sojourn on this planet.

God bless you!

Joy

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Living Intentionally

Did you ever have a day, a week, a month when it seemed that the world was out of kilter?  You scratch your head and wonder:  “What in the world is going on?”  Have you ever made plans with someone and had them change so many times you can hardly keep up with what is going on?  You know that you have, if you are a human being. Nothing about this world is stable and predictable, it is all subject to change. And, I might add, seems to be getting stranger and stranger by the day.

How do we handle these kind of things?  Well, one way is to get all frazzled and bent out of shape over it.  Another way to handle crazy making is to shut yourself off from the world; be a hermit.  You could also yell at the moon, yell at God, yell at other people, yell at your your spouse or your kids, or you could write protests to the newspapers or lead a parade protesting your chosen issue, or you could call, fax or write your congressman and senator.  So many options, so little result.

I know these options are not a complete list, but you get the idea.  So what are we to do when we are faced with the kind of things that tend to drive us up the wall?

I think I have discovered a better way.  Years ago there was a song with the title:  “One Day at a Time”.  All we have is the moment we are in now.  There are no guarantees for tomorrow.  Yesterday is gone and cannot be changed.  So this moment is what we have.  Let us live in the moment. 

Put away all the things of the past.  If you feel guilt then confess your sin to Father God, in Jesus name, asking for forgiveness.  His promise is that He will hear, forgive and forget.  Not only that, but from that point on He will do all He can to help you.  Your part is to let Him.  The lady that mentored me years ago said:  “The past is past, it is water over the dam, God owns the water now and God owns the dam.  Let it go!”

When we keep looking ahead and planning ahead we will never find joy in the moment.  There are plans that must be made for our future, this is necessary.  But, once the plans are made we can turn the outcome over to God and begin to walk in rightness with Him, enjoying His peace and joy. 

It is so easy to take offense, and one of the biggest joy killers is offense.  Peace also goes out the window when we are offended.

Each of us is unique.  We are each “wired” differently.  When we start to interact with each other, we are presented with the opportunity to be offended by some difference.  God designed us with a temperament, a unique personality, things that make us who we are.  He likes us that way, our part is to appreciate the differences in each other. 

One of the greatest gifts we could give our children is to teach them how to refuse offense and appreciate difference. They can be taught to agree to disagree without being disagreeable. 

If we choose not to be offended, no can take our joy; this choice is a willful action, it is not automatic.  If we react rather than act upon our conviction, then we will slide down the slope of offense and through unforgiveness end up angry and bitter.

On the other hand, if you are a people pleaser who bends over backwards not to offend anyone, to the point where you are living a lie, not even true to yourself, you will also end up angry and bitter.  I worked with a woman who felt totally used and consequently became horrible to be around, her own reactions caused her problems, but she accepted no responsibility and always blamed someone else.

So, to wrap this up, I decided to no longer be offended, and believe me after that decision was made, I had plenty of opportunity to be offended, I did not take it.  Secondly, I decided to live each moment as if it could be my last.  My desires changed and from that point on I have focused upon loving the people I am with as if I may never see them again.  I want to appreciate all the blessings that God has provided for me.  I want to tell God how thankful I am for allowing me to live all these years with my wonderful husband.  (they were not always happy as he was not always wonderful, but you know I wasn’t either. : ) )  I want to be ready for Heaven, but prepared to live her for as long as God allows.  I want to run the race before me and finish my course strong. 

My prayer for you….consider making a decision to live in the moment and refuse to be offended.  You will be glad if you do them.

Love to you from Jesus and me,

Joyah