Tag Archive | Yeshua – Jesus

Roots

Roots, how important are they?

I woke up this morning at 3:33.  The number three stands for trinity, it is the number of God.  This led me to my subject today: Roots.  What are our roots, where do we come from?

We are body, soul and spirit.  God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  God created mankind, He made us man and woman and out of that union comes a child.  Three, in God’s economy a beautiful number.

As I lay there, I began to meditate on last night’s experience.  The church is having Vacation Bible School this week for the children.  They are brought to church where they are taught that God created them, that He loves them, that they are special and He has a good plan for their lives.  I noticed that there were children of many ethnicities there.  How wonderful, how delightful and how unique each child is.

Some children are outgoing, energetic and fun-loving, others are quiet and observant.  Some children love to raise their hand to answer every question and others never make a move, afraid they will be called on to answer a question.  There are children who are taller than others of the same age, or one may be more “fluffy” than another, but they all are learning how to live, how to be a person ever moving toward being an adult.

My friend, Jeri, has struggled with weight all of her life, as we were talking one day she told me that she decided to agree with something she had read; she decided to call herself “fluffy” not fat. Somehow that helped ease the condemnation she felt.

There are many reasons why people are unhappy with themselves or others.  One very good reason is that some of us are taught to hate when we are very little people.  Rejection is perhaps one of the biggest issues that most of us face.  Some of us don’t feel we measure up to someone’s standards of perfection and so we hate ourselves and cannot come to the place of acceptance and peace with who we are.

There are others who hate people who are different in some way than they are, perhaps it is the color of skin, religion or some other prejudice.  I recall a song from “The Mikado” about children being taught to hate.  “You have to be taught, you have to be carefully taught.”  There are organizations whose whole base is hate, they teach their children to hate, perpetuating the work of the adversary of God.

Acceptance of ourselves as we are and acceptance of each other is necessary, mandatory, if we are to be like our Father in Heaven.  He loves and we must love; love the person God created, in spite of “flaws” that may be obvious to our eyes, or the eyes of someone else.

I think it must be said that blind acceptance of what is sin in God’s eyes, taught as tolerance, is not what God teaches in His Word.  God hates sin because it separates us from Him.  He loves family and like any good father He wants to be with His kids. God’s Spirit is always reaching out to draw us closer to Him in order that we might be forgiven and be in relationship with our Father.  God convicts never condemns His children.

Are we not all flawed in one way or another?  After all, we live in a fallen world; there is no Utopia anywhere on earth, and there has only been one perfect person that ever lived on planet Earth, the God-man, Yeshua.

The theme for this year’s VBS is Norway: a fishing village.  Since I am Scandinavian by my roots, I thought it would be an especially unique time.  Well, it was, but not as I thought it would be.  I was looking for teaching about the roots of the Norwegian people, but it was about modern Norway.

I think that understanding where we came from is a major part of coming into relationship with each other.  Children need to be taught their roots, naturally and spiritually and if we have come to adulthood and don’t know where our ancestry came from then perhaps we need to search it out.

Today there are many interested in genealogy, the search for your roots.  Sources abound where you can find out about your ancestry.

I recall a series on the local PBS TV station called “Roots”, I believe by Alex Haley.  According to some this was not an accurate picture of slave trade to Europe and America, it was said that slave trade went on in Africa years before the Europeans showed up.

I am reminded of Englishman John Newton who wrote the song “Amazing Grace” and his part as a slave trader in destroying many African people before he came to faith in God.  People capturing and using people, selling people, is not new.  It proves that there is evil in the world and it accentuates the goodness and love of God.

There is a certain amount of pride that comes with identifying with an ethnic group.  My husband is 100% Norwegian by background and his family is proud of it.  But, it is finding ourselves in the family of God that changes our life and makes us contributing members of society.

We can find our family origin, our roots.  We can find our place in history and still not find ourselves and our part in the world in which we live.  God created man.  Our original roots are in Him.  He is the designer, the manufacturer and when the product needed to be recalled, redeemed, He came to earth as the God-man, Yeshua from the town of Nazareth in Israel to do the job.

Apart from God you are defective.  Come to God through Yeshua (Jesus), He is the manufacturers representative.  He is The Way.  You will find your roots in Him and you will grow up to be the man or woman of God that Father planned for from the beginning.  The way is open to whoever will come.  You will be changed.  You will find yourself in Him; real life will begin.  Will you come today?

We love you, Jesus and me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unity and Judgment

“The sword without and terror within.”  Attacks upon America and Israel from outside, from other nations;  Terror attacks within America by foreign nationals and Americans who have been radicalized by the forces that want a one world government.

George Washington had a vision of three wars on American soil.  The final war came from Europe, Asia and Africa and it appeared that all was lost.  BUT…Americans rose up and began to repel the attackers; afterwards she began to rebuild.  However, she was not the same.

Is that time now?  There is a time clock; it dwells in the mind of God.

A time is coming upon the world when the judgment of God will be fully unleashed against all who hate Him and His ways.  No one person or nation will be responsible for the carnage that results at that time.  God will lift His hand of protection over creation and the world of men, this will cause all manner of destruction to come; there will be no place to hide from the wrath of God.

Eventually, the God-haters will have their opportunity to “have it their way”.  The result of rebellion against God and His way will be judgment.  Not one person who is in alignment with God through the person of His Son Yeshua, the man Gentiles call Jesus, will be lost for eternity.  However, throughout time there will continue to be those who will be martyred for Him.

God promises no wrath for those who are truly His children; these have been grafted in to the vine, Israel, and are part of the One New Man.  The time of the One New Man is approaching.  God will do the combining of the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim.  Man will try to bring about unity between believing Gentiles and believing Jews; there will be a false unity just as surely as there is true unity.  Jesus prayed for unity and true unity will come, but only by the power of the Holy Spirit.

“Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:  Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”    Ezekiel 37:16, 19

Many years ago I heard the Lord my God say, “You are of the tribe of Joseph.”  I did not understand at that time what He meant.  I wondered if I was of Jewish heritage.  When I understood the Ezekiel passage above, I understood that he was saying that as a Gentile believer in the Jewish messiah, I was in Joseph.

Ephraim is the son of Joseph, the patriarch, his name means “fruitful”.  The history of Ephraim is not so good, in the same way church history reveals a lot of shameful things, but the church has been fruitful in bringing the Good News of the redeemer to the world and before history is finished she will fulfill her role in the plan of God.

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.”                      I Thessalonians 5:9 

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”   John 17: 21

The Adversary will continue to pursue his ambition to take the place of Yahweh, God.  And, he will be allowed to take control of world government for a time, but only for a time.  God is now, has been and will always be on the throne and He will never be deposed.

“Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!”  Deuteronomy 32:25-33

“Void of counsel”, God says of a nation that has turned its back on God.  “How should one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them and the Lord had shut them up?”    Deuteronomy 32:30

There is but one God, no matter how many claim to be God, He is LORD and there is no other, Isaiah the prophet declared it and it is so!

“Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it?  ye are even My witnesses.  Is there a God beside me?  yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8

Since all these things be true as recorded in the scripture, “what manner of men ought we to be living holy and godly lives?”    II Peter 3:11 

“So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”                                  I Corinthians 1:7

Let no one who reads these words be found wanting, having been weighed by God in the balances.  There is only one true measure that can balance sin and it is the sacrificial death and resurrection of the God Man, Jesus the Messiah of Israel.

Do you know Him?  If not, repent of your sin of rebellion and turn to God with all your heart and soul, He will redeem you through Jesus blood, the only sacrifice acceptable to God.  There is a mercy-seat, a place where you can come, a place where God will hear your penitent cry, forgive your sin and heal you. Don’t delay!

Praying that you will hear with the ears of your heart what Holy Spirit is saying today.

COME!

 

 

 

 

The Problem of Evil

“The world is going to Hell in a hand basket.”,  my friend Mary Alice used to say.  There is always bad news and good news, it is the same old thing day after day.  There are many approaches to how you view the world.  I choose a Biblical world view.

Years ago a Catholic priest taught the world the power in thinking positively.  The problem was that it did not change the bad news, people still got murdered, robbed and had their property destroyed.  The government still was corrupt, though perhaps more covertly than it is now, and even though the 1950’s was a time of “God, mother and country”, in a lot of places evil reared its ugly head, especially on the coasts and  in the big cities.  It is worse now than then.

A child is born into a family.  In most cases, the family rejoices in the birth and looks forward to growth, celebrating each milestone along the way.  In our family the oldest grandson and his fiance have announced that they will be married in the near future.  Jordan and Ali have been “going together” for several years now.  It has been the natural expectation in our family that our children will find a mate and marry.  Not too long after the marriage we expect that children will be born to the couple.  The older family members die and children are born, it is the cycle of life.

Another thought….have you noticed that you don’t have to teach a child to do what is wrong?  Just tell him not to touch the stove because it is hot, and it is the very thing he will do, however, once he has touched it he won’t do it again, for then he will know what hot is.

As a person ages, he learns that he can cross the line his parents set and not die or be punished, so he begins to explore his boundaries.  He pushes hard against them and unless his parents push back, he keeps expanding the boundaries farther and farther past the mores of his parents, and each generation after him does the same until evil prevails over good.  The Bible speaks of a time when good is seen as evil and evil is seen as good.  Are we there yet?  Good and evil are cumulative, did you know that?

All of this points us to the need of a savior.  Someone who will rescue us, our world, from the miasma that we find ourselves in.  If you think the world is in sad shape today, just wait five years.  The world is looking for a superman, someone to fix it.  The opinion of some is that they don’t have long to wait.

It is written:  “I have been young and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25

Have you ever wondered why most people don’t think about death or dying until it comes close to home?  Why are we so surprised when a young child dies of cancer, or a mother of five children is killed in a car accident or the husband of a newly married couple is killed in Afghanistan?   We are shocked because when God created us He put eternity in our hearts.  We “feel” like we will live forever, and we will, just not on planet earth.  The question is where will we live after death of the body?  In order to get the correct answer you have to ask the right question.

The big God Story concerning human beings began in a garden.  God had a plan and He implemented it.  Two people, a man and a woman, were created.  The man was formed out of dirt.  He was created first; his body lay lifeless upon the ground until God blew the breath of life into him and he became a living being.  Soon after, God took bone from the man and made a woman, a human with a womb for the purpose of bearing the fruit of their union, children.  God had a plan and He had a purpose.

God wasn’t lonely, but He loved to come into the garden where the man and his wife lived; and as we in the Midwest say, visit with them.  It was lovely until the day that evil crept in, for in that day everything changed forever.  Suggestions were made by the evil one.  “Did God say you couldn’t eat it?”  “God knows that when you eat it you will be like Him.” In other words, “God is holding out on you.  He doesn’t want you to be wise like He is.”  Well, she took the bait.  She was deceived.  Her man was standing right there, He should have thrown that snake out of the garden, but he didn’t.  He took the fruit and he ate.  Paradise lost.

Remember what I said about the child and the stove?  This is where it all began.  We think we know what is best for us.  We choose to do what we know is wrong and then blame someone else because everything fell apart.  The man and his woman pushed against the will of God and when stuff happened, as God said it would, they pointed the finger at someone else and refused to take responsibility.  The curse came upon them and the whole earth because of sin.

The very thing God said would happen if they ate of the forbidden fruit is what happened.  They lost paradise.  Cast out and the way into the garden barred, they were forced to make their own way in a hostile world.  So it has been ever since.  If the story ended there it would be a tragedy; thankfully that is not the end of the story.  Many, many years went by. and then…..

On a hill far away there stood a cross.  It was at an intersection where many people passed to go into the city.  On that Roman cross there hung a man named Yeshua.  The sign above his head read…”King of the Jews”.  The governor had it written that way to irritate the leaders who pushed him to crucify this man who claimed to be the son of God.  His wife warned him, “Don’t have anything to do with that righteous man, I have been warned in a dream about him.”  He washed his hands in a bowl of water, like that would wash away the guilt of innocent bloodshed.

In a place called Sheol the murderous adversary of God rejoiced, he had seen to it that the High Priest and his cronies carried out his wishes, murdering Yeshua by crucifixion; the Son of God was now in his domain and under his control, it was party time.  He had finally touched God where it hurt the most, His own Son.  His victory was short-lived however, for in three days a light brighter than a thousand suns filled that cavern as God’s Spirit came into Yeshua.  Satan was shocked, the torment he was inflicting upon Yeshua was now turned upon him, as the victim became the victor.

Yeshua fulfilled the plan of God, He bruised the head, the power, of the evil one and took him captive.  From that moment on, any human being who would reach out and take that victory as his own, would nevermore be terrified of death or dying for upon his death he would bypass Hell, go directly to Heaven and collect the full inheritance that Yeshua provided with His life, death and resurrection from the dead.

Though “the beat goes on” and on and on….There is an end, a stopping place.  There is a time when God, the righteous judge, will stop time.  Thrones will be set, people will be gathered and judgment will begin.  No one will be excused for any reason.  The books will be opened.  The most important book, the “Book of Life”  will be opened, and if your name is not in the family album, you will not make it into Heaven.  Your destination will be Hell.

The gathering judgment is for “all the marbles”, forever, no end.

Those who find themselves in Hell will not be having a party, and they will not be with their friends, they will be alone in darkness so deep you cannot see you hand in front of your face.  There are some who have been taken there that they may come back and tell the people not to go there.  They have described putrid odors that sicken you, the screams of the damned who realize that they will be there forever, every soul tormented constantly with no end, forever.

God’s children serve Him in obedience because they love Him.  He gives them peace, joy, harmony and family.  When the separation is made between the sheep and the goats, the sheep whose names are written in the family album will be told, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.     Matthew 25:34

God calls the people who have chosen not to follow Him goats, and as we know goats butt.  God permits no buts.  The first commandment makes it plain, “You shall have no other gods before me”.  He is God and there is no other.  He commands obedience to His will.  In the hour of judgment He will say to these who chose to go the way of the devil, the world or their own flesh:  “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.”   Matthew 25:41

According to the written word of God, sheep hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and they follow Him because they know His voice.  He leads them and provides for their needs.  They are blessed with relationship, with fellowship, as were the man and his woman in the garden.  God is their God and they are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Paradise was restored and is the place you come into when you get to Heaven.

Two kingdoms exist.  The kingdom of light and the the kingdom of darkness.  You belong to one or the other.  The kingdom of light, also called the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven, has a king and His name is Yeshua. (English: Jesus) He is also the door to the Kingdom of light, and no one gets by the door or comes into heaven by any other means.  “All roads lead to Rome”, does not apply to the Kingdom of God, There is only one way and that way is Yeshua.  “The way is narrow and few there be that find it.”

It would be well for you to consider where you are headed.  Where will you spend eternity?

There are benefits for those who are part of the Kingdom of light.  Not the least of which is “glorious liberty”.  When the burden of sin is removed from your soul you feel lighter, you are free at last.  You become part of a great family.  You have a Father in Heaven who is crazy about you; He truly desires to bless you.  You learn His right way of living and being, and peace and joy fill your soul.  Following this road will take you to Heaven.

The Kingdom of darkness has a low road and a high road, with Hell as its destination.  Money, power, and fame has lead many to debauchery, defilement and suicide.  These are only some of the benefits of the high road to Hell.  Addiction, disease, loneliness, abandonment, rejection and suicide are the payoffs on the low road to Hell, to name a few.  Hopelessness, despair and depression are part of this kingdom, and that is just the beginning of the torment you will experience…forever.

There is really no comparison of the two kingdoms.  The head of one is a liar and a murderer.  The head of the other is the Savior who is the way, the truth and the life.  It seems like the choice is clear.  You can choose blessing or you can choose a life where you are under wrath, under the curse of sin.   Life or death, your choice!

“As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”   Joshua 24:15

I choose life and blessing sixty two years ago.  Life is better and better as the days go by because God is faithful!  Yeshua said that we would have tribulation in this world, but we were not to concern ourselves with it, rather we are to turn to Him for He has overcome the world.  We receive what He did as though we did it ourselves.  That is imputing to us His righteousness, we become right with God through what He did for us.  Praise God!

Someone wrote this song:

“He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay.  I needed someone to wash my sins away.  And now I sing a brand new song “Amazing Grace” the whole day long.  Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.”

How about you friend, have you chosen the Kingdom of Light and its King, Yeshua?   If not, today would be a good day to do so.

Blessings!

Joy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insight – A River of Living Water

Ezekiel 47: 1-12  selected portions…NKJV

“He brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east.  He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gateway that faces east and there was water running out on the right side.  The man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits and the waters measured ankle deep.  Again he measured a thousand cubits and the water came up to my knees, again he measured a thousand cubits and the water came up to my waist.  Again he measured a thousand and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim.  The water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley and enters the sea.  When it reaches the sea, it’s waters are healed.  Every living thing wherever the rivers go, will live.  There will be a very great multitude of fish, but the swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt.  Along the bank of the river; on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, their fruit will be for food and their leaves for medicine.”

Water is often likened to the Holy Spirit.  The East is often thought of as the birthplace of civilization, the possible location of the Garden of Eden.  It is also the place where Biblical history takes place.

With that in mind, I share this insight with you:

Water.   [the Holy Spirit outpouring from the throne of God]

It comes from the right and flows East.   [Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, His legal position after the cross]

Ezekiel was brought out from the North side.  [God’s throne is “on the sides of the north”]  The “man” [angel] then took Ezekiel East.  [Israel is East where life on Earth began and where it will all end.

The “man” measured a thousand cubits and the water was ankle deep. [babes in Messiah] Then it was measured again a thousand cubits and it was knee deep and then waist deep. [children of God] Again a thousand cubits and it was a river.  [the mature sons of God]

Each of these measurings can be considered to be coinciding with moves of the Holy Spirit in the Earth.

The waters flow to the sea.  [The sea is often thought of as mankind]  Wherever the waters go there is healing.  Healing is needed when something is sick or diseased.  Because of war and natural disasters preceding and during the seven year period when God deals with the natural seed of Abraham, there will be much destruction and devastation.

Trees with fruit and leaves is referred to also in the book of Revelation for the healing of the nations.

The First outpouring on the Day of Pentecost came upon the disciples/apostles of Jesus.  The first generation church had only an ankle deep outpouring, in that it only touched a few people in the known world.

The Second outpouring of the Holy Spirit coincided with the first and second great awakenings, which touched many nations and many people and swept many into the Kingdom of God.  These would be the waist deep people and where we still are today, this is often called the “Church Age”.  [having gone through the “Dark Ages” where the adversary stole truth from the Body of Christ, God began to restore what was lost.  Martin Luther was used, as were others to restore Salvation by Faith to the Body of Messiah. then subsequently, the remainder of what was lost to the kingdom of darkness, began to be restored.]

The third and final awakening is imminent and will sweep through the whole world touching every nation and tribe with the truth of the gospel.  There will not be one who will not have an opportunity to choose TRUTH.  [Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only way to the Father God]  There will be a great harvest of souls for the Kingdom of God.

If people do not choose the TRUTH, God will give them up to believe the lie; they will be deceived and enter into the kingdom of darkness which is already judged and headed for destruction.

When Messiah Yeshua, Jesus, comes to set up His Earthly Kingdom, He will deal with rebellion against the Kingdom.  For it is written that He must rule until all things are put under His feet and then He will turn the Kingdom over to His Father, Yahweh, God.

There will be an interim period of 1000 years after the “Church age” ends and the seven year period when God begins to work again with the natural seed of Abraham is over, where Messiah rules from Jerusalem as the absolute ruler of the world.  By the way, It is His by inheritance, His Father gave it to Him.

If this sounds close to another religion, it is.  There is real and there is counterfeit.  I was trained in the banking business to know the difference between the false and the real.  We studied the real, not the counterfeit.  When we got a counterfeit bill we instantly knew it was not real. Selah!

Thank you Father God for your plan for Earth and her inhabitants.  You are good.  Thank you that you are a God of mercy and judgment.  You are the righteous judge of all.  May your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Amen!

Sin, Righteousness and Judgment

In all of my 77 years there has not been a time like there is in this hour of history..  I have traveled to many countries of the world, and I know that I shall go again to others before my sojourn here is over.  None of the countries that I have visited is like America, none…and yet…the America that I am seeing today is hardly recognizable when compared to the country that I grew up in.  But, before I make my point today, I want to declare what I believe.

I am a believer in the Hebrew God of the Bible, Yahweh, who according to the Bible is the only true God, the creator of all that exists, who was, who is and who is to come. And I believe in His Son Yeshua, called by the English name Jesus, who fulfilled the plan and purpose of His Father perfectly, having given His life blood that men might live in God’s presence without sin separating them from Him and I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Ruach ha Kodesh who was sent to cohabit with every believer. This is my God whom I trust, He has been faithful and kind to me since I met Him.  I give Him place, I honor Him and I stand in His presence with godly fear for “He is God and there is no other”.  (Isaiah 45:5)  I believe that the Bible is the infallible, inerrant Word of God.  This belief is the basis for my faith.  This is the firm and solid rock upon which I stand.  Though I may be unfaithful, He is faithful and will “never leave me or forsake me.”  Hebrews 13:5

Repentance.  Every believer in Jesus the Messiah has come to a place of repentance for rebellion against God, for going his own way, not.God’s way.  You cannot call yourself a Christian if you have not repented of sin. “There is none who does good, no not one.”  (Psalm 14:3)  “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23) This is the condition of fallen mankind in God’s eyes, according to the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

Having laid the foundation for the condition of sin, of righteousness and judgment I would like to address something that disturbs me.  I don’t know if you have noticed it or not, but there is a different standard being used to measure in this hour.  I have stated in prior offerings here that in this time of history we have come to the place where “evil is good and good is evil.”

We have come to the place in America today where every religion is to be accepted, all are to be tolerated and one religion is being promoted as peaceful when in fact its proponents are anything but peaceful.  No one can speak a negative word against this religion without repercussions of some kind.

There is only one faith that is increasingly not accepted, not tolerated and that is Christianity.  People of faith in the God of the Bible are increasingly facing persecution for their faith.    Today it is open season on believers in God.  One thing non-believers may want to keep in mind is that in the past when the Church of God was persecuted it grew, no matter how much God-haters tried to take it out, the opposite happened, it grew and spread all over the known world.

Yesterday a young man was held up before the world for “crimes” he had done as a teen-ager.  He is a believer and as such has repented of these sins and moved on with his life.  Forgiven by God does not mean perfection, but it does mean sin is covered by the Blood of Jesus that was shed for the forgiveness of all sin.  From the point of confession and repentance, there is no condemnation for that sin coming from Heaven.  Forgiven means free.  That is good news.

The people who are pointing their fingers are sinners in God’s eyes, because God has only one standard, one solution for sin and that is the Blood of Jesus shed at Calvary’s hill in Israel.  If you don’t come to Him through the Blood, you are a sinner in His sight and to accuse another is to stand accused before the righteous judge who weighs all hearts.

The adversary of God wants his pound of flesh and will do whatever it takes to get it.  Be advised if you are on the side of the finger pointers, you will find yourself some day being pointed at.  God is not mocked.

In my day it was understood that children in their “teen” years were finding their way.  Very often there was some form of experimentation whether it was their Dad’s cigarettes, cigars or pipe, his choice of liquor, or experimentation with sex.  Most often this experimentation was not lasting as one came into the mid-20’s, married and started a family.  The time I was raised in was a time of “God, Mother and Country”, as someone said. I am speaking of the Midwest, because that is where I grew up; of course, I am aware that this was not the case for everyone.

If I were to use the standard of today as a measure, I was sexually abused by a friend and by relatives.  But, in that day it was a time of experimentation, trying to find your place in the world, trying to find who you were, why you were here and curious oh so curious.  As I said, when you “grew up”, and you “put away childish things.”, (I Corinthian 13:11)  no one thought of it anymore.  Kids were kids, that is just the way it was.  They grew out of it and life went on.  .

People know that no one is perfect.  They know this instinctively.  What they do not know is that a believer in the God of the Bible, who has repented of sin, has been forgiven and they are free.  God who, unlike mankind, also forgets.  This does not mean that a believer never sins from that point on, no, the great Apostle Paul, declared at the end of his life that he was the greatest sinner.  He could not forget that he had persecuted the children of the One he now loved and he knew that a human heart is deceitful.

But God does not leave us hanging when we sin, we have an “advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.  (I John 2:1)  We can run to Him and He will forgive. That sin is blotted out of the book of our life, through the Blood of Jesus, as if it never existed.

This is the condition of Josh Duggar, who was crucified yesterday in the media for sin when he was a teen-ager.  He is now 27, married to Anna and they have four children.  Josh is a part of the Duggar family, a Christian family who have made their faith and values public through the TV show, “19 Kids and Counting”.

In a day when the offerings on TV include spoiled children, adulterers, fornicators, mediums, bigamists, and murderers, the Duggar family TV show was a breath of fresh air.  I for one am grieved at what this good family is now going through because the world hates righteousness and searches to find something to accuse anyone who believes in the God of the Bible.

It is plain in the Word of God that persecution will come for faith in God.  It is also clear that the source of that persecution is the devil, the “accuser of the brethren”. (Revelation 12:10)  We should not be surprised.  It is also yet another reminder to us that the coming of the Lord Jesus the Messiah draws near.  It has been declared: “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”  (Hebrews 10:30)  We have also been told to pray for “those who despitefully use you.”  Matthew 5:44

We choose to forgive the people who have risen up against this righteous family, I pray for the Duggars, but I also pray for the people or person in the media who is responsible for bringing this accusation to the public to shame and humiliate the Duggar family.  They do not realize what they have done.  They have poked a finger in God’s eye.  He loves His kids and He will not let this go without dealing with it.  There will be judgment.  “Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment and some men they follow after.” (I Timothy 5:24)  “Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I have no doubt that because the Duggar family’s God is also their Father and Jesus is their Savior, that they will arise from this attack stronger than before.  I pray that they will release forgiveness and pray for the media piranhas who are always looking for another juicy story. The Duggars will be fine, I am sure of that.  I have no doubt that many are bringing them to God in prayer.  I pray too, that God will be merciful to the media and move in power to open their eyes, for truly, “they know not what they do.”

I am saddened, but not surprised at the attack that came yesterday and the subsequent cancellation of this wonderful TV program.  It serves as a reminder that we believers are not of this world system, we are only passing through in the 70-90 years that we live here.  Human life is fragile and temporary.

It is written of unbelievers:   “Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction.  Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!  They are utterly consumed with terrors.”  Psalm 73: 18-19

A believers confession:  “Whom have I in Heaven but You?  And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.  My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.:  Isaiah 23: 25-26

Where do you stand?  Are you on God’s side or the world’s side.   A decision must be made in this life.  “Now is the day of salvation”  The time of the end draws near, the time of judgment.  Where will you stand in that day?

You are loved by the Lord, the Almighty, Powerful God of Heaven and Earth, but you must believe and receive His way of doing and being right.  Pride will keep you from Him.  Humble yourself and turn to God with all of your heart, soul, mind and body, cry out to God and He will receive you when you come through the Blood of Jesus.

Because I care…Joy

Destination

I gaze out my window on the world this morning.  The sky is cast over with clouds, but I know that the sun is shining above them, because I remember the first airplane flight I took.  The airplane sat on the ground at the Denver airport; the snow was coming down rapidly and was beginning to pile up on the wing of the plane. The snow flakes were big, soft and feathery like.  I was young and did not worry, I had never flown before so it never occurred to me that takeoff might be a problem.

The pilot announced that we were going to de-icing; we would take off shortly after that.  Soon a greenish colored liquid was being sprayed all over the airplane and when that was done we began to taxi to the runway.

The plane was cleared for takeoff.  The mighty engines roared and we lifted off into the snow-filled sky.  Ascending higher and higher we broke through the cloud cover into the bluest blue sky I had ever seen.  I had an epiphany moment.  The clouds that from the bottom looked so dark and ominous, on top looked like mounds of cotton.  Oh how we need to remember that things are not always as they appear.

When you are going anywhere you must know your destination.  We would call a person foolish who said he was going to Chicago and headed toward San Francisco.  Would it not also be considered strange to go by motorcycle to Alaska via Canada in the dead of Winter?

Transportation and Destination, two very important issues if you are going somewhere.

As I looked out my window this morning I saw an older man, who with the help of a cane walked to his mailbox, I thought, “A child is born into the world, he begins his journey through life and ends up in a body that does not function and eventually dies.  The man then goes to the destination that he chose while he lived on the Earth.”

Our physical body is our transportation while we live on planet Earth.  Most of us take our body for granted; as young people old age and death are not on our radar.  A lot of us abuse our bodies with substances that do not aid, benefit or help our bodies to be strong and full of life.

How often do we stop to think about what we are eating?  The food we eat is the fuel that gives our body energy.  The maker of our bodies designed the body to operate on certain foods.  Many things that taste good to our mouth are not good for our body.  I call these things, “entertainment for the mouth”.

Don’t get me wrong, I indulge in “bad” fuel occasionally, but today as I looked at life with a telescope interest, I can see how wrong fuel will cause malfunction, and if continued in practice, will result in the breakdown of the body and may eventually bring premature death.

I fully realize that it is natural, that death is part of the cycle of life; there are cycles for everything.  My point is that many of us are hastening that process by what we put in our mouth and that may lead to an early death…some of us are oblivious to that fact.  The body we live in is our transportation, let’s do a better job in 2015 of taking care of it.

Now, let’s look at destination.  If you have been following my blog for a time now, you know that I am passionate for people to know the love of God and the form that love was expressed to the earth through…..His only begotten, not created Son, Yeshua, born in Bethlehem in the land allotted to the tribe of Judah, because He was of the house and lineage of that tribe, His surrogate father and his mother, both being of that tribe.

He was raised in the city of Nazareth in order that prophecy might be fulfilled, and His ministry of three years was in and around the Galilee region, though He traveled to other places as well.  His death had to take place in Jerusalem as the prophets predicted and it did, and so did His resurrection from the dead.

Yeshua, Jesus, was a Jewish man, He kept the Sabbath holy and He kept the feasts of the Lord.  The Bible says, “He came to His own and His own received Him not.”  God planned to reach the Gentiles and He used a Pharisee (religious) named Saul, converted and renamed Paul, to bring that to pass.

Today, 2015, converted Gentiles await the second coming of Jesus to the Earth.  The Jews await the arrival of their Messiah; they do not believe that he is Yeshua/Jesus.  They will see, as the Bible says, and they “will mourn as he who mourns for the loss of his only son.”, but not before a “whole lot of shaking going on”.

Choices are made every day, some good, which bring good results, and some bad, which bring bad results.  The choice of destination, made by every human being that ever lived on planet Earth, will and does determine where he or she will spend eternity.  The Bible teaches only two destinations:  Heaven or Hell.

Joshua set before the people of Israel a choice, “See, I have set before you life and death, therefore, choose life that you may live,”

I have set before you a choice.  If you choose to believe and receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord your destination at death will be Heaven.  That, my friend, is life!  If you choose to live for your body or your soul, you will die in your sin and your destination will be Hell, forever separated from all that is God and good.  You will never know love and acceptance, there will be no peace for you only torment with no let up.  I would not wish that on the most evil person alive.

May you know the blessing of sweet fellowship with the Lord your God, who loves you so much that He gave His life that you might live with Him forever.  May you know The Truth, may you be converted and live your life on planet earth in preparation for your destination:  Heaven.  This is my prayer.

In Him, Joy

You

Worthiness and Rejection

Many a person never fulfills there calling in life because they feel unworthy. This feeling begins with rejection, and usually it is very early in life.

I recall a story that Dr. James Dobson told when he worked at a hospital as the resident psychologist. I will tell it as I remember it, if you know it give me grace if I get some of the details wrong.

One morning the head personnel director, a woman, called a meeting of the staff. Everyone showed up and began to take their seats. Dr. Dobson was seated in the front row on the far right.

In the back of the room was a table on which there were doughnuts, rolls and coffee, however, no one went to the table, enticing as it was.

The director walked up to the podium and greeted the group, by the way, Dr. Dobson related that he was the only male in the group, she directed that the meeting would begin after they had partaken of the coffee etc. She asked who would like to go first…no one moved.

Dr. Dobson related that he knew no one would be the first to move because every person has suffered some rejection at sometime in their life, so he boldly rose from his seat and said, “I will.” and according to him, all the women immediately rose and followed.

Rejection can be debilitating, Rejection can come upon a child in the womb, and inexplicably to him or her, that child deals with feelings of rejection his or her whole life unless the cause is found and dealt with.

Many times a baby is an inconvenience to a couple, I have counseled women whose mothers did not want them, who did everything they could to get rid of them short of abortion. They suffered with feelings of rejection no matter how assured they were that they were loved.

School brings peer pressure and if a child is somehow different than the other children they are picked on and/or ridiculed. This is the entry point for rejection with its feelings of not measuring up and feelings of unworthiness. Many a child has taken their own life or the lives of others for this very reason.

Within the last few days the well-known comedian Robin Williams took his own life. There are many articles, many stories surrounding the man and the incident. I doubt that anyone, short of the man himself, would be able to say what happened to him as a vulnerable child. Perhaps he was unusual, not the norm. I am no psychologist but I have read that many comedians use humor to gain the approval they could not get any other way. According to one article I read Williams mother gave him the approval he needed to go the direction he went. His life apart from the spotlight was not a happy one according to what I have read. He seemed to be seeking something but never found it.

May I suggest that the something seekers are looking for is not a thing but a person? His name in Hebrew was Jeshua, He was born to a Jewish girl named Miriam, His Father was God, Yahweh or Yehovah, this is what the Holy Bible teaches.

If you have been infected with rejection, it is nearly impossible to escape from it apart from the work of God’s Spirit. God’s love and acceptance are the key to freedom.

Some of us had parents or guardians that did not bring us up in the way that was best for us or in the manner that was needful for us to develop into whole, happy people. But, Thank God there is no scenario in which we may find ourselves that God cannot change. It is written in His Word: “Behold, I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh: Is there anything too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

How many people have siblings that seem to “outshine” them in so many, if not all areas? Brothers in the same family as different as night and day, all of them pursuing excellence, but in totally different ways and styles. One brother is educated with several degrees and has a high paying job, while another has only a high school degree and works in retail, another is a truck driver who cared less about education but loves being a truck driver. They don’t talk, they have nothing in common. How sad! Diversity is good, but not without unity.

Another situation may be one in which there are several sisters, to one sister it seems that she is the only one who does not have the gifts and talents that all the others do. She has struggled her whole adult life with this seeming lack on her part, trying to make sense of these feelings. She does not feel like she fits and on the one hand pushes against having to conform to their standard while on the other hand desiring their acceptance.

We all deal with rejection according to Dr. Dobson. You cannot live in this world and not experience it at some point. What is the answer?

Feelings of rejection can come because we are different than someone and that is pointed out to us, usually repeatedly, though not necessarily. In point of fact, each of us was created by God according to Psalm 139:13 “For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Each person is unique and special.

God’s feelings for us are spelled out in Zephaniah 3:17: “He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

Isaiah 49:16 tells us that He loves us so much that, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” This passage also says that a nursing mother may forget her baby, but He says He will never forget us. Jesus expressed it this way in Matthew 28:20 “Lo, I am with you always even to the end of the world.” Ephesians 1:6 tells us that we are accepted in the Beloved.” In Habakkuk 13:5 we are assured by God, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

There are conditions however, in James 4:8 we read: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Deliverance from rejection is available when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior; having repented of the sin of rebellion against God, we have taken a step that brought us out of the Kingdom of Darkness and into the Kingdom of Light, God’s Kingdom according to Colossians 1:13-14.

We have become a child of God by new birth, as John 3:3 tells us, it is at this point that we qualify for all that Jesus died for us to have, which includes deliverance from the affects that have come upon us from the adversary (the devil), the world and our own flesh. This is accomplished as we yield, surrender and submit our whole self: body, soul and spirit to God and allow Holy Spirit to work in us, bringing us to wholeness through what Jesus did at Calvary.

No amount of striving on our part can make us whole, make us well. Jesus did it all. We receive what Jesus did and rest in that finished work. It is Holy Spirit’s job to help us, Helper is one of His functions. He is also our teacher, our counselor, our comforter. We need Him in every one of those ways.

God’s written Word is His love letter to us to help us through the process. Relationship with Him through prayer, which is the conversation of the believing heart with God, is that “Drawing near” that James spoke of in his letter and out of the combination of The Holy Spirit, the written Word and Prayer we will grow up, come to maturity.

Our body is simply a container, an earth suit to live in while we are on this planet. The body is born to wear out and die, which is part of the curse that came upon man and earth when Adam transgressed God’s command not to eat of the Tree in the midst of the garden.

Our spirit and soul are another matter. God created mankind for fellowship with Himself. We make contact with Him through our Spirit and when we believe on and receive Jesus and are born-again, we begin the process of the conversion of our soul.

The soul is the seat of our mind, our will, our emotions, our feelings. We, our soul, may be a “mess” when we come into the Kingdom, we may have a lot to overcome, but the good news is that we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and His Spirit, so we don’t have to go it alone. Praise God!

We become part of the Family of God when we are born of the Spirit of God. We can begin to have fellowship and walk in “The Way” with those we will be with for all eternity.

And now: “May the Lord bless you and keep you, May the Lord shine His face upon you and give you His peace”, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit! Amen!

Blessings,
Joy

Identity Theft

Victory!

Victory!

Who are you?

When God looks at you what does He see?

How do you see yourself?

Does it matter how you feel, does it matter what you think?

I am reading a book by Brennan Manning called “Abba’s Child”. If you have not read it, may I strongly suggest that you do so.

Over the years I have read countless self-help books, books that offer counsel or suggestions. One that comes to mind is “Freedom of Forgiveness” by David Augsburger. The Holy Spirit is always on time with just the right tool, He truly is the “Helper”.

Some authors write books on a given subject because their publisher says that this is the “hot topic” at the moment. Others write out of their current experience and still others write because they have learned such a valuable truth from Holy Spirit that they are directed to share what He has taught them. I like all of them, but the latter type are the ones that “rock my world”.

Brennan Manning is an author that has found answers to many of the questions, thoughts and feelings that followers and disciples of Messiah face.

As I have been reading Abba’s Child, I have thought of many that could benefit from this book. How many of us have a perfectionist complex, a savior complex, to name just a couple of issues? The thing about all of the thoughts and feelings that beset us is, they all have a modicum of truth.

The adversary of God, our Father, and thus us, knows that we will not accept outright lies, but if he mixes a little truth with the lies we may just accept them.

Case in point: Tidiness. How many times in your life have you heard, “Cleanliness is next to godliness?” If you don’t keep a tidy house, accusation lives with you, especially if you have a friend that is a cleaning fanatic.

if you spend time watching a movie on TV (because you are exhausted) or talking with your neighbor (because your are building a relationship with her) instead of cleaning your house, you are bombarded with, “You’re lazy.” or “You procrastinate everything.”

Of course, if you go to the local soup kitchen and serve soup to the “down and outers”, with whom you cannot identify, you are doing a good thing and feel good about what you have done and your untidy house does not come to mind, what does come to mind is, “Why aren’t you doing more?”

You cannot win with the “Accuser”. Strife is his game and striving one of his favorite tools to keep you agitated.

What is the problem here? Is it not that you do not know who you are? Most of us have an identity problem. You can do all of the “good” things for yourself, your family, the neighbors, the poor, the sick, the incarcerated and still feel unworthy, useless, worthless.

Why are you here? Why now? Why at this moment in time are you on planet earth? Is there a purpose?

Why is it that all the good works in the world do not satisfy the gnawing in your soul, the dissatisfaction?

It is because of “Identity”.

Years ago there were no identity thieves. Have you talked to someone whose identity, meaning all of their money related things were stolen…credit and debit cards, drivers license, social security etc.? These things gain access to bank accounts and social security accounts. Scary, but not the real problem. Those that have experienced this use this word: “violated”. Identity thieves violate your identity.

There are more serious things than thieves who steal “stuff”. Stuff can be replaced.

What about the thieves that steal your heart, your soul? You cannot replace your heart or your soul, they are the only ones you have.

I had a friend whose soul was stolen because of low self-esteem. She has been put through the mill with programs and treatments and is no better. No matter what she is told about herself, she only sees that she is worthless, she can’t do anything right, she is a mess. Her true identity has been stolen.

There are many in the world whose heart has been stolen by the identity thief of religion, religion that subjugates them to the leader of their particular religion. They are told what to think, what to do, how to dress, even sometimes what to eat. Life is spent trying to be good, do good.

The law is not good news, it is a hard taskmaster; only the gospel is good news, only the gospel tells us that In Messiah we have been set free, free to be what God has created us to be.

Scripture says that when a thief is found out he must repay seven-fold. Sometimes, when it is your first offense, a judge will grant you leeway and give you much less penalty than you deserve. There is someone in my family that has experienced this very thing. The thing is…you now have to prove yourself; what if you are not changed, what if the very thing that got you arrested in the first place has not changed? Is there not the likelihood that you will be a repeat offender?

How often, in any given day, does God give us grace and mercy when we deserve judgment? How often do we take advantage of that graciousness, that love of our Father in Heaven and then continue to go our own way?

When Yahweh, God, looks at you who have believed on, trusted in and rely upon Yeshua, Jesus, He looks at you through the eyes of unconditional love. He sees you perfect…because you are “In Him”, a part of the Body of Yeshua on the earth. There is nothing you can do that would make Him love you more and nothing you have done that would make Him love you less. It is not about you. You are not the center, He is the center.

Where is your focus? What you gaze upon is what will possess your soul.

Do you know who you are, whose you are? If you know that you are “Beloved” because you are “In Him’ who is the beloved of His Father, then you know that as a child of God there is no condemnation for you.

The accuser has nothing in you when you know that the “Blood of Jesus” continually cleanses you of all sin and if you do sin you have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” When you confess your sin to God, through Jesus finished work for you, He forgives you and cleanses you of all sin.

If you have found that you have given authority to an identity thief, go to God and ask for forgiveness, He will forgive and cleanse you. You have a God given imagination, use it to see yourself free from the thief and right with your Father.

Jesus is coming back some day, it could be soon and it could be later, that is not up to us, our part is to be ready at any time so that event does not come upon us like a thief.

I don’t know about you, but I do not want any door, natural or spiritual open for the thief to come in and steal. Prepare friend!

Jesus and I love you,
Joy

Fool’s Song

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes:  but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”   Proverbs 12:15

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes.  But the Lord weighs the hearts.” Proverbs 21:2

He that trusts his own heart is a fool, but the man who walks wisely shall be delivered.”  Proverbs 28:26

A wise man fears and departs from evil, but the fool rages and is confident.  Proverbs 14:16

“The wise fear the Lord and shun evil, but a fool is hotheaded and yet feels secure.  Proverbs 14:16

Ecclesiastes 10:14  “A fool is full of words.  A man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him?

There are two paradigms available to man:  To be wise or to be a fool.  It is a choice.

“No man is an island.”  says John Donne.  No man lives unto himself… but every man dies alone.  It is our decisions that determine our quality of life and it is our decision that determines our destination when this physical body gives way to death.

Each human being will make a decision to be wise or to be a fool.

The Bible, the written Word of God, declares that a fool says in his heart, “There is no God!”  This passage in Psalm 53:1 also says that there is none that does good, which is further confirmed in Romans 3:12 where it says that there is no one who does good, no not even one.  Understand…this is from God’s point of view, not man’s.  God is God! He knows all hearts and declares that a man’s heart is desperately wicked.  Jeremiah 17:9

On the other hand a man is wise who chooses to believe in and receive the gift of salvation through the one that God has sent to be the Savior of the world, Jesus, the righteous one.

The person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, the one sent by God to be the Savior, is declared to be righteous before God through Him.

“What then will you do with this man Jesus, who is called the Christ?” Matthew 27: 22

History, as my friend Bill says, is His Story…it all is, the whole thing.

Jesus, Yeshua in Hebrew, is the Christ, the sent one ; sent from God. (who is the the Father of us all.  Ephesians 4:6)  Hebrews 1:3

He must rule and reign until…

“Then comes the end, when He hands over the Kingdom to the God the Father, when He has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.”  I Corinthians 15:24

Until then we struggle…

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Ephesians 4:6

These forces have power, dominion and authority over the world’s way of doing and being, and over those who do not belong to the Kingdom of God. (by their own choice)

But Jesus said to those who belonged to Him:  “These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace.  In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

This work that Jesus did for us of overcoming the kingdom of darkness through His passion at Calvary, can only be ours by appropriation.  It will not just fall upon us, we must believe it and receive it…that is called faith.

Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

A man is not made just before a Holy God in any other way than by faith.  God justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 4:5

It is only by faith in what Jesus did that an ungodly, unholy man is accepted as right with God.

Not by works of righteousness that I have done, but according to His mercy  He saved me.  Titus 3:5

Which paradigm do you choose, to be a fool, to not believe, to trust in your own goodness, your own way of being right or to be wise and believe in, lean on and rest in the Savior and God’s way of being right.

Right or Wrong                      Good or Evil

Wise man or Fool

The choice is yours…

Joshua 24:15  “Choose this day whom you will serve….as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Praying that you will believe and live…Joy

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