Tag Archive | Angels

Where Fear Walks

Mary was a tall slim woman of thirty five years.  She had never married, much to the chagrin of her family.  People had described her as plain, but when they got to know her they found that she had a delightful personality, everyone was better for knowing her.

Dan Archer was new in town, he had moved to Washington from the Midwest.  Jobs were hard to find as the economy was in a downturn, so he took the only job available, The Moton Pet Store.

Harry and Alice Moton owned a pet store in the town of Jethro, Washington.  They were animal lovers so when Harry retired from the business world they decided to open a pet store to do what they loved.  It was going well, so much so in fact that they needed to hire an employee.  Harry worked long hours and this would free up some of his time, so he could relax.

Mary Pierce worked for a local insurance agency as receptionist and secretary.  She loved her job.  Working with people was what she loved to do best.  She had been trained to be a helper since she was a child.  Her mother had been active in church and taught Mary to reach out to others, especially those less fortunate than herself.

There was a new pastor at the 1st Baptist church in Moton.  He came from California where he had pastored a church of fifteen hundred people.  Pastor David Melvin was well known in the evangelical stream of Christianity for his sermons on revival.  He had a large following on Facebook; mostly it was people who knew him or those who found him there and liked what he had to say.

Mary was a loyal member of the congregation since her youth.  Her mother Agnes was a founding member.  Agnes had raised Mary alone as Mary’s father had left her when she found she was pregnant.  He told her, “I didn’t sign on for this.”  Not to be daunted, Agnes turned to Jesus for help and He was her faithful partner.  Mary turned out good!

The Saturday before the fourth of July, Mary decided that she wanted to have a pet.  Agnes had died the year before and though Mary had an active busy life, she wanted a companion at home.

As it happened, Dan was working at the pet store when Mary walked in.  Dan had not married after he got out of college because every girl he met was shallow and vain.  Not one to dwell on the negative he took it in stride and moved on filling his life with friends and fun.

Mary asked to see the dogs, she was particularly fond of the Black Labrador breed.  Harry got pets for the store from several sources.  He had only recently acquired the Lab puppies from a source in a small town near them.  They were so cute and lively.  She fell in love with a male who seemed to be the most gregarious of the litter.

As she was paying for her dog, Dan asked if she knew what she was going to name him.  She replied, “Alphonso The Great”.  “Interesting name for a dog.”, Dan replied.  “Yes, I think so too.”  Mary responded.  “I will call him “Fonzie” for short.” Mary said.  “Oh, like on the old TV program, “Happy Days”? Dan asked.  “Yes, because “Fonzie” always wore a black leather jacket and my new dog is black, I think it is appropriate, don’t you?”  Mary said.  Dan agreed.

Dan thought, “Interesting girl.  Not much to look at, but she seemed to have a great personality and a sense of humor.”

Mary and Fonzie settled into what would become a routine over the next year.  He grew to be a full sized Lab and could take Mary for a walk instead of the other way around.  He was headstrong and wilful.  She decided he needed some training, so once again she went to the Moton Pet Store to get a lead.

Walking in, she noticed the man behind the counter was the one who had sold her the dog a year ago.  He remembered her and asked how “Fonzie” was doing.  Explaining her problem Dan told her about a man in town that had trained dogs for the United States Army.  He was highly recommended.  Mary contacted him and he worked with Fonzie and her to teach them how to work together.  Teaching Fonzie that she was the top dog was no easy task.

When Dan smiled, Mary noticed that he had a dimple in his right cheek.  “Mmmm nice, she thought to herself.”  Dan could not help but notice that Mary, who was wearing shorts that day, had beautiful legs. “The old-time movie star, Lana Turner, whose legs were insured for a million dollars, had nothing on Mary Pierce.” He mused.

As it happened, the Baptist church was having a revival the coming week-end; there were signs all around town announcing it.  A tent was to be set up on the vacant lot at the back of the church.  A famous evangelist was to hold the revival along with Pastor Melton.

Mary was looking forward to the meetings.  She asked Dan if he would be interested in coming to the meetings.  He wanted to get to know Mary, so he said he would be delighted to come.

Rain was threatening for the Revival week-end, but it was no match for the praying women.  The storm parted and went right around town.

Dan had never been to a revival.  He was not a believer, in fact, in his youth he had told his parents that he did not believe in a god he could not see or prove existed.  Naturally, his parents, who were believers, were devastated.  He had gone to church at their insistence,  but, since high school days Dan had not gone to church.  He had mellowed a bit and was not as dogmatic and argumentative as he had been then, but he still did not believe in God.  He believed in being rational and reasonable.  If it could be seen and explained, he was all over it.

Pastor David Melvin had brought his young daughter into the store to purchase a parakeet.  She was a sweet little girl with red hair that her mother had put into pigtails.  So adorable.  Dan loved little kids and hoped that someday he would have his own, though at age thirty, time was flying.

Dan saw Mary sitting up front; noticing a chair next to her he ventured forward.  “Hi, may I sit here?”  he asked.  “Yes, of course you may.  Good to see you again, I am so glad that you came.”  “I am glad to see you again, Mary.  I don’t know anything about this sort of thing.  What is the format?”  Dan asked.  Mary explained the general pattern of service, but offered that they just needed to be open to what God wanted to do.  Dan wasn’t thrilled with that remark, but chose to let it go.  He just wanted to get to know Mary better.

What followed for Dan Archer was nothing short of life changing.  In one night he experienced God’s power, a power that he had denied existed.

The visiting evangelist told the congregation about the love of God for them.  He explained that God was not mad at them.  “He loves you and wants you, just the way your are.  He wants you to come to Him, to know him.”  He told them that through the sacrifice of the Son of God for them, as if they were the only one who needed to be rescued from their miserable life, they could come to know this loving God, this Father.

Something was stirring in Dan, he felt very uncomfortable.  He wanted to leave, but he was sitting up front and would not make a scene.  He had heard this message before, but it had never touched him. “What is going?” He thought.  “I am a reasonable person, I don’t do emotional.”

Thankfully, it was over and Dan asked Mary if they could spend a little time together.  Mary suggested that they stop by her house and pick up Fonzie for a walk in the park.  He liked that idea and agreed.  He felt so comfortable with Mary, she was intelligent and could carry on a stimulating conversation.  He liked that.  A woman with a good mind was hard to find.

The next day was Sunday and the revival services continued at the tent on the grounds of First Baptist.  Monday morning Dan heard that a woman who had been hard of hearing was healed at the Sunday night meeting, so Pastor Melton decided to continue the meetings to see what God would do.

The praying woman in the community had been meeting together for over a year, asking God to move upon their town and revive it.  Now, it appeared that He was doing just that.

Dan called Mary to ask if she would like to have supper with him, this was Monday night.  Mary said she was going to the tent meeting, but Harry and Alice were having a get together at their house at noon, which he also had been invited to, and could they meet there?  The answer, of course, was, ” Yes!”

Dan loved picnics and Bar B Q’s, he loved the outdoors, so this was right up his alley, as they say.  He was delighted.  Mary arrived shortly after Dan did, she was wearing his favorite color: blue, and had on shorts again, showing her best asset, in his opinion.  He was finding himself increasingly attracted to Mary Pierce.  And, he liked it.

He watched Mary as she interacted with people.  He thought to himself, “How could I have ever thought she was plain, she is beautiful.”

Mary stood at the sink washing dishes and chatting with some ladies.  Dan watched her from the couch.  She seemed to be in her element when she was helping others.  What a great quality in a woman.

Mary noticed that Dan was watching her, she wondered what he was thinking.  He was so handsome and she wondered why no woman had snatched him up.  Feelings began to rise in her that she had not experienced before with any man.  She liked to be with Dan.  He was so interesting, but he was not a believer and she knew that she could not be joined to a man who was not of like mind and faith.

The food was eaten, the dishes were done and it was starting to get on toward late afternoon.  She had to get home, take Fonzie for a short walk and get ready for the meeting.  She hoped Dan would want to come, but he didn’t seem interested.

That night there were several people that were healed of long standing illnesses and diseases, as well as old Silas Crup who had been in a wheel chair for twenty years of his seventy years.  When all paralysis left his body, he got up and began to jump up and down like he was twenty.  The people were stunned to say the least.  No one had seen anything like it before.

Tuesday morning the town was a buzz about the healings that had taken place.  People called their relatives and they told others and suddenly the town was full of people coming from the surrounding communities to attend the revival meetings.

Several people came into the pet store to talk with Harry and Alice about the revival.  “Were you there when my cousin Sadie was healed of cancer?” Leta Carpenter asked Alice.  “Yes.” she replied, “We could hardly believe it; if we had not seen that deep hole in her cheek fill in right before our very eyes, we would not have believed it could happen.”  “But with God, of course.” she added.

Dan heard all of this and wondered what was happening.  “Could it be true?  Does God really exist?  Could I have been wrong all these years?  No, I have studied this thing out, there is no such thing as God.  I know I am right.  This is just hocus-pocus.” He thought.  But the crack in his armor had taken place and Spirit of God was drawing him.

When the revival was over that evening Dan was waiting for Mary.  She came to get in her car and he asked if they could talk.  Reluctantly, she agreed, but said she had to go get Fonzie and take him for a walk.

Arriving at Mary’s house, he put Fonzie in the back seat of his car. Dan wanted to talk.  She didn’t know what was on his mind, but she agreed.  He headed downtown toward the pet store.  Dan turned into the lot behind the store, Mary saw the community service officer’s car hesitate as she saw them, but then recognized Dan’s car and kept going.

He stopped the car and they got out with Fonzie.  Dan had the leash in his hand, intending to walk him along the grassy area behind the store.  Fonzie suddenly reared up, showing his teeth and began to attack Dan.  Mary stood dumbfounded at what she saw happening, she was paralyzed with fear.  Dan yelled at her to get back and call for help.

Incredibly, when the story was told later, they realized an angel, sent from God, came and seemed to get in front of or into Dan as he wrestled with the dog.  Fonzie fell to the ground, apparently dead, and what stood before them could only be described as a satanic presence.  It was the ugliest evil thing either of them had ever seen.  It bared its teeth and growled that it was going to kill them.

That’s when I woke up and realized I had a dream.

Days are coming when God is going to show up and so is satan.  Maybe you don’t know it, but there is a war going on and to the victor belongs the spoils.  The spoils these warring kingdoms are after is the souls of mankind.  I have read the back of the book and I can tell you, God wins, satan is defeated and sent to Hell.  End of story!

Which side are you on?  Think!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foundations

The sky is overcast…again.  We have had many overcast days so far this year.  There was a break in the clouds that lasted for several minutes and the sun shone brightly upon my little piece of earth.  It was a joy!

As I peruse the different sources for information that come to my computer each day, it would be so easy to become discouraged.  Yet, God reaches out with words of hope and comfort.  They lift my spirit and focus my sight, once more, upon what really matters.

Jesus, talking to His disciples, said, “Be careful that no one misleads you.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars…nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom…there will be famines and earthquakes in place after place…all of this is but the beginning of the early pains of intolerable anguish.”  Matthew 24:13-14

When you read the newspapers, watch TV news or see news on the internet, it sounds like these words of Jesus.

There is a verse recorded in Psalm 11:3 that says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Foundations matter.  Without a foundation that goes down to bedrock, a building shaken by a strong earthquake will rarely stand.

It has been recorded in Hebrews 12:27, that “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken until only what can not be shaken remains.”

When the shaking comes, and it will, where will you and I be?  I don’t mean a literal spot on earth, I mean spiritually, mentally, emotionally etc.  There is no safe place on earth, when judgment comes, there will be no place to hide.  When things suddenly go haywire we tend to panic.  When there is nothing that brings us the security we need, what then?

I had a picture come to mind of a swimmer crying out to be rescued, but when someone tried to rescue him, he pulled that person down with him.  People can’t help.

I was thinking of those who are addicted to something, and how trying to go it alone is impossible unless they exchange one habit for another.  Will power only goes so far.

One thing about earthquakes, nothing man made will stand unless it has a solid, deep foundation. Faith in Jesus is the solid and deep foundation we are bonded to, it will weather any storm, any earthquake, any hurricane, anything that happens around us.

I think of a story about a few soldiers during WWII, who during the bombing of a building took refuge under a library table.  One of the soldiers knew Psalm 91 and began to quote it from memory.  When the shelling stopped, the building was fallen down around them but they came out from under the library table safe.  It certainly was not the table that saved them, but rather one who knew the word of God concerning safety in the midst of crisis.

Do you believe in angels?  I do. Many times I have been saved or directed by these unseen helpers sent by our Father in Heaven.

Faith is man reaching out to God while God is reaching down to man, bringing him into His Kingdom, making him a Son with all of the rights, responsibilities and benefits of Kingdom living.

Of course, one can have inherited a fortune and never benefit from it if he does not follow the rules laid out to receive it.  I believe there are many believers who don’t know their rights and therefore do not receive the benefits.

God has declared that the rights of the Sons of God are, to name just a few, righteousness (God’s way of doing and being right), peace (That settled state of mind with nothing missing, nothing broken) and joy. (a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope; a source of happiness)  I don’t know anyone who has apprehended what is available, I certainly haven’t.  But I am pressing toward that goal.

If you are not in God’s family today, I suggest that you do so, because you need to be ready for the time that lies ahead.  World War III looms on the horizon.  It will not be like the other wars, life will not be the same in America or the world when the dust settles.

... 15, April 21~2 Nephi 15-19 or Pages 85-90 Jesus with Outstretched Arms

Prepare for your future by coming home to the Father’s house.  Your foundation will be set upon the Rock, Jesus the Messiah, He is the only righteous man that ever lived on planet earth.  He is the only foundation that will take you through what lies ahead.  He is the door into the Kingdom of God, it is written that no man comes to the Father, except by Him.  John 14:6

Come home to the Father, repent of rebellion against His will for your life, give Him your heart and invite Him to be your Savior and Lord.  As Him to fill you with His Spirit, get a Bible if you don’t have one and begin reading in the book of John.  John loved Jesus and you can hear and see it in the book he wrote.  Ask God to lead you to a church that believes that the Bible is God’s love letter to you, the instruction manual for a believer, and go, get with like-minded people, tell them your story and enlist their prayers.

A warning:  Church is full of flawed people just like you.  No one is perfect, just forgiven.  Don’t judge,  Ask God for a mentor.  You have a lot to learn and He has someone who can teach you.  May the Lord bless you on your journey.

I heard a few words of the old hymn Softly and Tenderly this morning and I want to leave them with you.  Be encouraged today, friend, God is on the throne, you are loved and you are safe in His arms, if you belong to Him.

 

 

 

 

Mandy’s Song

She looked as fragile as a butterfly, but she was tough, hardened by years of abuse from people in her world, people that she should have been able to trust.

Dripping wet she only weighed 100 pounds, she had hair as brown as corn silk and her eyes were as blue as the sky.  She always had a smile for everyone, it lit up the world around her.

You would not think of her as beautiful, perhaps not even pretty, but there was something about her, everyone said it, though no one could put their finger on just what it was.

Her name was Mandy.  She came from a long line of drug addicts, not the illegal kind, but the kind that the doctor prescribed.  Once every year she got so sick she had to be hospitalized because she just couldn’t handle life anymore.  In a way, it was a ploy to get the attention that she craved.

Mandy was no different from her mother before her, or her grand-mother, they were all addicted.  Oh, it wasn’t the kind that made you a walking zombie, it was just enough for you to be to be stable and able to sleep at night.  Legal, accepted by the world.  Naturally, she did not think of herself as an addict and, of course, no one but those closest to Mandy even knew that she was taking drugs every day.  But, she knew she needed the drugs to survive.

But there was more to Mandy than the abuse she suffered in her young life or the drugs she needed to live each day, Mandy had a different spirit in her.  She knew she was unusual, even children and animals were drawn to her like a magnet.  She would only look at them and they would run to her.  God had prepared her, He had set her up to become His child.

I met Mandy a few years ago and in a very short time she became like a daughter to me.  On a lovely spring day, a year after we met, I introduced her to the only one who could heal a sin sick soul, she met Him and His peace flooded her life.

I wished that I could have had a daughter, but I had been blessed with four boys.  Somehow, with Mandy in my life, that void was filled.  We were dear, dear friends.

Our relationship was so close that when the incident happened, I was shocked to my core.  I had never had to deal with the loss of one so dear, especially one in the prime of their life.  The day it happened, morning came like every other day.  That afternoon, I felt like, “How could this be?  How could life just go on as if nothing happened?”

By the way, I believe in God,  I believe that He is “our Father in Heaven”,  I believe that He is the ultimate good and that He has a Son and His human name was Yeshua, we call Him Jesus.  I also believe that Jesus is the only way to God and that He made the way through His death and resurrection.  I not only believe this mentally, but I believe it experiencially.  I have had the privilege of seeing Jesus twice.  As a result, the peace and love that I live in is tangible to me and to others.

Having said that, I want you to know, dear reader, that the shock of losing Mandy sent waves of hurt crashing against my soul that nearly took me under.

I was sitting in the sun porch of my home, the sunlight was streaming in from the west, I had my sweet cat, Katie, on my lap, a glass of sweet tea and the book, “Make Fear Bow”, by Gary Whetstone in my hand…life was good.

The phone rang.  When I picked it up I heard words I never thought I would hear.  “This is the sheriff’s department, Mandy Larson has just had an accident and your name was on a slip in her purse, are you a relative?”  I was taken aback, but quickly answered that I was not.  “What happened?”,  I asked.

“Miss Larson was crossing the bridge on Interstate 85 when the bridge collapsed.  Her car was among those in the center and it fell along with a piece of the bridge into the water.  Divers were deployed as soon as we could get there.  Miss Larson’s body was found in her car.  I am sorry ma’am.”

I hung up the phone, I was in free fall.  I felt numb.  What should I do?  I turned to my “Abba”, my Daddy, He  has always been there for me.  “My God, why?  How could this be, Lord help me.  This is just not possible.  Mandy, was so young, surely You were not finished with her yet? ”   I sobbed, my heart breaking for my loss.

After what seemed like an eternity, but was actually about 15 minutes, I began to feel God’s peace envelop me.  Presence of mind returned and I began to wonder what would happen next.

As you can imagine, the collapse of the I85 bridge over the Missehaga river made headline news all over the nation.  Many people lost their lives that day, many families lives were changed never to be normal again.  Husbands lost their wives, wives their husbands and children their parents, it was devastating!

The shock waves continued for days, and those who knew Mandy were stunned to think of the horror she must have experienced when this happened.  Imagination runs wild in tragedy.

I asked the Lord if He would let me know how Mandy felt and how she was now.  In His kindness and love for me and my loss He gave me a dream that I want to relay to you.

I found myself in a garden, the most beautiful garden I had ever seen.  Some of the colors were like we have on earth, but more brilliant, deep and rich than any I had seen, there were other colors that I had never seen on earth.  The smell was “Heavenly”  (smile) and there was the most beautiful music coming from everything.  It seemed like a park, in a way, and yet was a garden, it is hard to explain.

Anyway,  I was taking in the wonder of it all when I saw someone come walking toward me and I recognized that it was Mandy.  I ran to her and embraced her.  She looked beautiful, radiant.  We sat down on a lovely garden bench and began to talk.

Mandy told me that when she felt the car shake and began to fall, she was terrified and fear began to engulf her.  The car hit the water hard and the next thing she knew she was in Heaven.  Jesus told her that her neck broke at that point and he had angels right there to take her to Heaven, so she never experienced the horror of drowning.  Thank you Lord!

She encouraged me that she was wonderfully happy and free at last from the heaviness of things of earth and that I would be with her soon.  I woke up from this dream with God’s peace and the assurance that Mandy was fine.

God is so good!  I hope to spend the rest of my time on this planet thanking Him and telling of His love for people.

I hope you know Him, whom my soul loves.  He is a friend that is closer than a brother, as the scripture says.  He will be with you in all of the trials, tests, troubles and temptations of life, if you will ask Him to come in.

This story is a composite of many people and many experiences.  I hope you enjoyed it!

Lovingly,

Joy

Agape and Truth

In 2012 I had one major request:  “God, I want to love like you love.”   This post is a warning to anyone who asks anything from the Lord God, be aware that He may give you the desires of your heart, and that may not be what you thought it would be.

To love as God loves is to love without condition.  For, you see, He pours out His “rain on the just and the unjust.”, upon those who are good and those who are evil.  He loves the good person and He loves the evil person.  Natural human love cannot do that.

The night that Yeshua was born, God stretched out His hand and declared:  “Peace, good will toward men with whom He is well pleased.”  Really?  Well-pleased?  It was one of the worst times in history, the Romans ruled the known world.  They were decadent, self-gratifying, cruel.and very religious.  The emperor of Rome had complete authority and was worshiped as a god.  If you know anything about the creator God and the Bible, you know that one of the things He hates is idolatry.  How then could He say through His messengers, the angels, who sang and spoke to the shepherds that night, that He was well-pleased with men?  

I think this is the reason:  At the foundation of the world that we live in, the beginning of it all, He had a plan, a plan that included this Babe, born in an animal stable in Bethlehem.   He looked ahead with the eyes of Agape, the eyes of unconditional love, He looked at His Son and the price that He had agreed to pay to buy back man-kind, knowing, that out of the billions of people that would be born into the world, as a result of what Yeshua would do, there would be a remnant who would return His love, and He was well pleased. 

It has been said by some that the world we are living in today is not unlike the time that Rome began to gain control of the world.  America has been likened to Rome by some commentators that I have read.  Whether it is or not I will leave to them.  However, as I observe the world around me I do see a world without direction with each person doing what is right in their own eyes.  There appears to be no absolute.

Is that because there is no absolute?  Not in my opinion and certainly, it is not what is taught in the Bible.  Yeshua, Himself taught His disciples that He was truth personified.  When He was examined by the Roman, Pontius Pilate, Yeshua declared:  “Every one that is of the truth hears my voice.”  Pilate’s response: “What is truth.”  That sounds like today to me.

I said all of that to say this:  Truth is a person and that person is Yeshua, the man that English speakers call Jesus. He was not sent into the earth for any other reason than to reveal God’s unconditional love for man-kind.  

I am joyfully His and He is mine, and my heart’s desire is to be like Him, to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  He fully loves people and He fully hates sin.  When I asked  to love like He loved, I was not prepared to experience what He does from the people He loves so much.  Silly me!  Short-sighted me!  I just wanted to be like my Papa, I didn’t know the hurt and pain of rejection from the people He loves so much.

I know now that there are some people who, when loved with Agape, because of the condition of their own heart, their own filters, the walls they have erected because of hurts and wounds suffered, are not able to receive the God kind of love, which is the very thing that could set them free to be the person they desire to be.  So sad!

Rejection is hard, no matter the source, and so I turn to the only one who understands, who experiences rejection constantly.  He comforts me, I forgive, I give it to Him, I give the person who rejected me to Him and love is made whole in me once more, Peace comes and I am so grateful!

Restored, I once more sit at the feet of the Good Shepherd and learn from Him.  He is good!  I love, He loves, we love.

Joyfully His, I am His Joy

Image