Tag Archive | Thoughts

Meditation in the Morning

Are you going through stuff?  Many are right now.

Sometimes the sky is sunny and bright and all is well with the world. Emotions are riding high, the world is viewed through rose-colored glasses, as the old folks of my generation would say.

There are other days where you plod along without emotion, just doing the daily things because that is what you do.

At other times your emotions are bruised and you feel like you have been run over by a truck.

Welcome to the world of men, the natural world. A song from some years ago asks the question:  “Is that all there is?”

I have a friend in Israel whose home has been invaded twice by Arabs. She was robbed of her jewelry and some other things that meant a lot to her. But at least she has her life.  She feels quite numb. The police have no clues to go on and have closed the case. She asks me to pray for justice.

Can you fathom what she feels, what she is going through?  I cannot.  The closest thing to any shock I have experienced was a violent knocking on our door around two o’clock one morning with the demand from the police that we “Open up”.

They were searching for someone who attempted to rob the convenience store near us.  The dogs and the helicopters overhead with their search lights was interesting but not scary.

What is safety?  When you go to the doctor these days they ask you if you feel safe. If you are being abused you are not safe.  Do bars and locks keep you safe?  As my husband says they just keep out an honest thief.

Most of us in America have no clue what many people in the world face on a day to day basis.

In the country of South Sudan people are being terrorized because they are Christian.  In the Mideastern countries where extreme Islamists routinely round up and murder those who don’t share their beliefs, the people must flee for their lives.

There are those whom God has raised up to teach the Body of Christ a lost truth.  Namely, that it is we who have authority in the earth through Jesus.

For generations and centuries even, we have given the devil, aka satan, our authority, believing that his power is on par with God and we are no match for him.

Let us reread scripture with eyes open to this truth:  Jesus took everything back that the enemy gained from Adam in Eden, and when He left Earth He gave authority back to man. We have been deceived and held in bondage to a lie.

How many centuries has the church prayed: “Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”  That is a prayer that God wants to answer and not just during the millennial reign of Christ, but now.

Is there lack in Heaven?  Is there war in Heaven?  Is there any rebellion against the will of God in Heaven?

God is preparing the Bride of Christ. She is to be without spot or wrinkle. Now is the time of preparation. When God created man in His own image He gave him the power of choice.  It is your choice to submit to or resist that preparation.

Jesus, the sent one, is the Lord of hosts.  The host of Heaven are our help, our weapons as it were, it is they who pull down strongholds in response to our words. How foolish to go to war without our weapons.

Our words are powerful weapons.  We speak and as we do we empower demons or angels.  We have many words of God, they are written in His book the Bible.  They were written for us, to help us navigate through the minefield of the kingdom of darkness on the earth.  But they were also given to us so that we could take territory for the Kingdom of God.

God spoke and it was. We too are speaking spirits. The Word of God teaches that we have what we say.  Is it not time for us to align our words with His words?

It is time to stop playing church and get serious about taking back what is rightfully ours.  God never intended church to be an exclusive social club. One of the names for the church is an army.  Oh how much we have lost!

Jesus wants people set free from all bondage. God, our Father, wants His elect brought into the Kingdom of God…they are bound in many deceptions.  “For freedom Christ has set us free.”

The adage, “Bloom where you are planted.” applies. You don’t have to look far and wide or go to far away places.  There are people right by you that need what you have.  Reach out, touch them, love them to life in Jesus name.

Shalom, “nothing missing, nothing broken.”  “whole, complete”. This is my prayer for you.

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answered Prayer

I wrote the other day how I hurt for my daughter Kathy as she watched her dear sister, Mary, dying in front of her eyes.

Well, today I can bring you a report of Praise to the God of Heaven and Earth.

Mary and all of Kathy’s family are Roman/American Catholic.  They strongly hold to the tradition and doctrines of the church.  They are lovely, caring people.

Our family believes and lives the born-again, spirit-filled, loving Jesus with all of our hearts lives.  The Bible is our guide book and as such we do not pray to saints, nor do we believe that water from a certain place is holy.

Having said that, we respect their family and know that they are as loved by God as we are and that He hears our prayers.

During this whole ordeal all of us, and more, have prayed for Mary. Well, I want to shout it, God heard and a miracle happened.  Here is how it came down.

When Kathy came to the hospital, the prognosis was that death was not far off because Mary’s lungs were in such bad shape.  She was on a ventilator and hope seemed gone.

So many people prayed and sent their love to Mary, but it seemed as though God did not hear and the end was near.

A simple prayer from a heart of love, filled with faith that God is good, made a plea.   That prayer caused the tipping point, the cup filled to overflowing, and God in His mercy made a decision, Mary would live.

Kathy asked the doctor what needed to happen for Mary to be able to begin Chemotherapy, the response was that she breathe on her own and her lungs be improved.

Kathy and the others in the room went to God with the request.  The next day the decision was made to remove the ventilator and see what would happen.

That is when the miracle happened.  Mary began to recover.  By the end of the day she was sitting up smiling and breathing on her own. The oncologist called it miraculous.  We call it a miracle.  Thank you Father, our Lord and our God!

The oncologist is saying that Chemo will begin tomorrow and Mary can possibly go home on Tuesday.

Our prayer now is that the chemo target every spot of cancer and kill it, but there be no destruction to surrounding tissue.

Focused death to cancer, that is what I am calling it!

Continuing to stand in the gap for Mary until the cancer is completely destroyed.

Joy

 

 

 

Sorrow

Do not sorrow as those who have no hope.

Today my heart is heavy.  A young woman, Mary, with 5 children ages 1 to 12 lies in the hospital, overcome by cancer, the Doctors have given her husband no hope.  The human question is why?  That is followed by thoughts of who will care for the kids?

This story has been repeated times without number in the world.  Not long ago we heard the story of Joey, a beautiful young singer, who with her husband Rory were raising a little girl.  After a valiant fight she died from cancer.

My struggle is trying to understand how what appears to be a tragedy can work for good.  Children without their mother or father, some so young they will never know them until eternity.

If I did not know God, if I did not know that He is love, if I did not know that He has good plans for our lives here on earth, I would be drowned in despair.

He said, “I know the plans I have for you, for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

I think of the words of an old hymn…”Though the wrong seems oft so strong God is the ruler yet.”

My girl Kathy’s heart is being rung out right now as she watches her sister Mary dying before her eyes.  Yet there is hope still.  Even at the last minute many condemned to be executed have been given a stay of execution.  Could our dear Mary yet be touched by the Master?  I believe so.

Should our Father in Heaven choose to bring Mary Home, which to our eyes appears  to be premature, He has a plan for Chris and their children.  We will pray.

When we face hard things that to our eyes appear to be so wrong, so unjust, so unfair, we go to our Father for comfort, encouragement and hope.  He has promised to be with us in trouble, to deliver us and satisfy us with long life.

When we cannot understand His hand we must trust His heart.

 

Trophy – looking for love in all the wrong places.

Born in 1948, he was Nin’s 5th child.  Her Mother was not happy.  Yet one more baby for her to worry about.

Kenny was a happy baby.  He gurgled and cooed, smiled with his eyes, and charmed everyone who met him.

Nothing much changed about Kenny as he got older.  He still smiled with his eyes; he was active, always moving, doing something, testing her patience.

Then she became pregnant again, this time another boy.  They were close together, these two sons of hers, so close that many people thought they were twins.  The little brother was a follower.  He mimicked everything his big brother did.  Together Kenny and Larrie made quite a team.

Baby number 7 was born when Nin was 42 years of age.  She was a Down’s syndrome child, at that time called Mongoloid.  The extended family was quick to blame J.B.’s alcoholism.  Nin didn’t care what they thought, she loved her little one.  She gave me the privilege of naming her, I called her Cynthia Kay.  I thought she was beautiful.

Cindy was about 18 months old when Kenny and Larrie took her for a ride in the baby stroller.  Some of the neighborhood children gathered around and made very hurtful remarks about her looks.  Coming home, they asked Nin what was wrong with her, why did the children make fun of her.  The innocence of childhood and the love of family; they didn’t know she was different, she was just Cindy and she was their sister.

People are people the world over, we judge and criticize what we do not understand.  We still do it when we become adults, we are just more covert about it than children are.  How often do we say things to others that if said to us would cut deeply?  We don’t even think about that.  We should.

Kenny and Larrie got into a lot of trouble.  Mostly Kenny leading the way.  They were so cute, it was hard to be angry with them, but Nin did not let things go by.  Sometimes, she made them go to the tree in the back yard and pick the switch that she would use to swat them; but Kenny was a runner and he would take off, laughing as he ran away from her.

One day  a policeman showed up at the door.  It seems someone had seen the boys deface public property and reported it to the police.  Kenny heard him talking to her, ran upstairs and crawled under the bed, getting as close to the wall as he could.  That didn’t phase Nin, she got a broom and went after him.  He had to face the music.  He spent time cleaning up the mess.

When the boys became teen-agers, the issues became problems and heartaches for Nin.  Fast cars, fast girls, drinking and smoking, seemingly following in their father’s  footsteps.  By now Kenny was a very handsome young man.  He had no problem having a girl friend. Close calls driving drunk could have taken Kenny’s life, but God had a plan.

Nin saw to it that the boys had a strong work ethic, so when they were old enough they had to get a job.  Of course, it took money to live the lifestyle they wanted, and with J.B.’s alcoholism getting worse so that he couldn’t work, it was up to them to get it themselves.

Kenny had drive.  He wanted the finer things of life as he got older.  He saw what others had and he wanted it for himself.  He pushed ahead.  Military service side-lined his plans temporarily, but once he was back home he began his pursuit of things.

God brought him a wife, the perfect mate.  Though the ensuing years brought struggle and turmoil, God had a plan.  He lived a double life for quite a few years.  On the surface, he was a happily married man with two daughters, but he was sinning really well in private.

Trophy:  The apostle Paul said that he was the chief of sinners because he had persecuted Christians, though he said that he was ignorant, and that is why God could apprehend him.  Paul was one of God’s trophies.

As I thought about Paul today, I began to think of my brother Ken and wanted to share a piece of his story with you; I believe that Ken is one of God’s trophies.  Oh by the way, when he got older we had to stop calling him Kenny, he was now Ken.  (smile)

These days, Ken serves God as well as he served the devil, the world and his own flesh.  He is in love with Jesus and brings the good news of salvation to any who will hear.  He ministers love with his smiling eyes and kind words.  He is a trophy of the love of God.

I have no doubt that if God has a trophy room, Ken’s smiling face is there.

Love you my brother!

Joy

 

 

 

Revival

Deuteronomy 32:15  “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked:  thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.”

There is much talk in the Christian community right now of revival and awakening.  Some have a ho hum attitude about  this, others are verbally pressing for it and some are actually striving in prayer for it.

Just what is revival?  If something is alive, not dead, it does not need to be revived.  How many are trying to revive a living thing?  If you are born of the Spirit of God you are alive.  If you are not born-again as Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be, John 3:7, then you are dead in your trespasses and sin, Ephesians 2:1.

To the church in Laodicea,  Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus spoke these words:  “I know your works, you are neither cold nor hot…because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.”    Many say that this is the state of the church today.

There is real currency and there is counterfeit currency.  There is real Christianity and there is counterfeit Christianity.  The Bible teaches that God knows those that are His because He searches every heart and nothing is hidden from Him.

In July of 1941, minister Jonathan Edwards read, in a monotone voice, a message that he titled:  “Sinners in the hands of angry God”,  If you have not read it I suggest you do.  There was no music, there were no graphics, there were no emotional stimuli, no “anointed” preaching.  But…the result of the rendering was the salvation of many in that congregation who thought that they were on their way to Heaven, who under the conviction of the Holy Spirit alone, cried and confessed their sinful attempts to make themselves right with and acceptable to a Holy God.

Books have been written by and about revivalists of past years, stories of revivals and awakenings abound.  Yet, in the heart of God’s people there is always a stirring for more than what we possess now, in our day, our time.  The reason?  Because we are alive.  Dead people have no desires, they are dead…It is a measure, a thermometer, take your temperature.

When I lay down in bed to go to sleep my temperature drops dramatically, consequently I use a lot more covers than someone whose temp. does not drop.  You might say that when believers begin to love the world more than they love their Lord, they become lukewarm, their temperature drops.  They are not excited anymore about the things of God.  And, the progression will eventually lead them into a backslidden condition.  If we stay with this analogy of natural sleep, I don’t need to be revived when morning comes, I need to wake up. My belief is that the church, all of it, is in asleep and needs to be awakened.

You can go into any church in the land and find a program to reach out to the children, the young adults, married people, and seniors, plus perhaps a hundred and one other programs to make sure that “no one slips through the cracks”.

Some years ago I had a dream that pointedly showed me how God feels about the condition of His church, those who feel that they must use some form of stimulation to keep people coming to church.  This dream was especially dealing with children.  I saw many forms of external stimulus, programs, ways, things, that would touch the soul and body of the young, but never reached their spirit.  I understood that this was a reason so many youth turned away when they became teens.  God showed me that when the power of God was there the youth ran to it.  No one had to try to convince them to come by artificial, external means. He drew them to Himself.

II Timothy 3:5  Paul, speaking of the last days of the church age, says of the church at that time:  “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.”   What is form”  I think of it as a shape, kind of like when a house has been framed.  You know it is a house, but it isn’t liveable yet.  To me a form of godliness is having a relative existence In Christ, but not a relevant lifestyle, no indication of the master design in day to day living.

The following words come from Jonathan Edwards sermon mentioned above:  “What are we, that we should think to stand before Him, at whose rebuke the earth trembles and before whom the rocks are thrown down?”   He is Holy God and His Spirit is Holy Spirit.  This Holiness has caused proud men to fall before him and weep uncontrollably.

Ephesians 5:27  Paul speaking of Jesus and the church says, “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”   Who among us is able to accomplish such a thing?  This is the work of the Holy Spirit and He alone.  He alone can awaken a sleeping church and clean it up.

“Each culture must be spoken to in a language it understands;  the counterfeit can be recognized by the manipulation of people’s emotions in which they make disciples unto themselves in order to advance, promote and supply their ministry.”

Natural man is prideful, rebellious, stubborn and hard hearted.  No one can reach his heart but the Spirit of God.  Many a person has been manipulated emotionally, walked down an aisle, gone to the alter, said a prayer and been told that they are now “saved”… but God’s Spirit was not involved.  The evidence?  No change in the life-style, no change in the desires and appetites.   They sit in church year after year, they learn how to talk Christian, and all the external Christian “stuff”, but in their hearts they are still not at rest in the Lord. They do not know His peace, His right way of living and the joy that comes of knowing the Lord.

Harvest time is coming.  Yet, today God stands ready to pity sinners, God’s unfailing love is still available to “whosoever will come” to Him and receive.  A day will come when His unmerciful wrath will be poured out on sin, on God-haters, on all who love and have believed The Lie that the liar has promoted from the beginning.  What is the lie you say?  Man is his own god,  “Every man doing what is right in his own eyes.”   It is called humanism.

Sell out to God, surrender your will to His will and yield to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You will be glad for all eternity that you did.  Each time He comes to you with His offer of new life, and you refuse, your heart grows harder.  Consider carefully, your eternal destination depends on it.  This is the “acceptable year of the Lord.”  His hand is still reaching out to you.  Turn from the darkness of your soul and be filled with the one who is The Light of Life.

Are you a Christian and asleep, cozy and comfortable in your religion?  Wake up!  Time is going quickly by, this is the day of salvation.  Get out of your comfort zone!  There is a lost world out there that our Father cares about.  He is love and He wants His children to know Him.  There are family members that have not yet been adopted into the family.

Have you placed your whole self on the alter of surrender? Have you allowed the Holy One to examine your heart and show you yourself?  Have you allowed Him to show you Himself?  It is our job to present ourselves to God the Father through Jesus the Son so that His Holy Spirit can clean us up.  That is why and that is how you surrender.

Pray!  Pray for yourself, pray for your loved ones, pray for those who don’t know what you know…how good God is, how faithful He is, how kind, how gentle, how patient, what a wonderful God and Father He is.

Come now to the Father,

Come only by the Blood.

Come leaving all behind thee,

Come now to escape the flood.

Ephesians 5:14  “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Are you sleeping?  Wake up!  Are you dead?  Receive new life!  Come to the Father, in Jesus name and He will give you Love, Life, and  Light .

May it be so…….Joyfully His.