Thursday, May 31, 2012

Emerald

I read Pam's post over at Writing...Apples of Gold.  It is so beautiful that I'm asking you all - if you haven't been to blog in the last day or so - to please go and read her post entitled Emerald.

Truly, you will be blessed.

If you have never been to her blog, I exhort to become a member. Her writing is so extraordinary, it whisks the heart away to heavenly places. You are missing God's Voice to you.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Encircled By Angels

As most of you know, I just completed my long awaited nutrition course online; and as most of you know, I always look for my Divine Appointments.  Well, I had two during this course.  I'd like to introduce you to one.

Her name is Drucilla Roberson and she lives in California.  Drucilla was usually one of the first to have her assignments done and always had encouraging words for others.

We were given an assignment and I was moved in my spirit by Drucilla's testimony. With her permission, I edited two of her answers to combine them into one testimony.  Here is her story:

My husband, Al, was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to his liver.  Almost all of our married life he had always talked about getting cancer health insurance, so in the back of his mind he must have always had the fear of getting cancer. 
I was able to get him to go to a meeting at the health food store where they talked about drinking fresh juice, etc. But, regrettably he put to much faith in the doctor.  The MD said he should eat ice cream to keep his weight up.  I knew enough about nutrition by then: that cancer loves to grow on sugary food products that we ingest.  I told my husband, but he ate the ice cream anyway.  We let MD's have way too much power. 
After he had the chemo sessions it looked like the cancer was going away, but a month later the cancer was back with a vengeance.  I was able to get him to go to a holistic cancer MD, but by then it was too late. 
Before Al died, he told me that he wished he had gone the holistic way from the beginning. I do understand the importance of letting the person make his own decisions, but it is extremely heartbreaking to know the truth and watch your own husband of 37&1/2 years die. 
My only consolation is in knowing that I will see my wonderful husband one day in Heaven and we will be together for Eternity.  24 hours before Al died, as I sat by his bedside I sensed a circle of angels holding hands around us. When I would go into the kitchen that circle of angels stretched out to still engulf me in their presence with my husband.  
It has been nine years since Al’s passing, and I am so relieved to now be focusing on the living - those that are hurting from cellular malnutrition and toxins.  I feel that even at my young age of 64 that I do have a destiny to help others; especially, to help Christians, so they will be able fulfill their destiny and bring in the end time harvest. 
Oh, if we only had eyes to see in the spirit world all around us!  I think we would live our lives very differently.
Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? ~ Hebrews 1:14
Our angels are on duty! They encompass us, battle on our behalf, and sometimes come to us in human form. How awesome to think that in the moments when we ready to give up our spirits that angels are present to surround us and escort us Home!

Thank you, Drucilla, for sharing this part of your testimony. It will encourage and strengthen many. And you will, at your young age, help many fulfill their destinies by showing them how they can improve their health.  God's blessings upon your ministry!
 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summertime 101

It wasn't until a few years ago that I found out that summer doesn't begin on Memorial Day Weekend - for the whole rest of our country. Since I have never lived anywhere but New York, I wasn't aware the we follow a different seasonal zone than the rest of the country.

Our summer season "unofficially/but officially" begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. I never made the connection that it's because we live on an island. I just assumed the rest of the country's summer season was the same.

Lifeguards are only on duty between these two holidays. If you head to the beach today or tomorrow, there won't be any lifeguards. You swim at your own risk. Lifeguards only start working on Memorial Day.

Teens getting summer jobs start Memorial Day and end Labor Day. And schools don't re-open for the new school year until after Labor Day, when the "unofficial/official" summer vacation is over.






Most farm stands don't open until then.









Even our water park, Splish Splash, doesn't open until Memorial Day, no matter how hot and gorgeous the weather may be on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Restaurants hire extra help during the "summer season".

I honestly thought that this is the way it is all over America.  It was a few years after Andrew took up residency in Grandville, Michigan that I found out that the rest of the country doesn't consider Memorial Day the start of summertime.

Huh?!  Boy, did I feel ridiculous!

The highway onto Long Island (especially out East here - because of the Hampton's) are jammed today. If you've never experienced a New York traffic jam, you would be in for an experience! From this weekend on, we must allow additional travel time to and from anywhere because of all the additional traffic the summer season brings.






"City slickers" are what we call the wealthy New York City residents who invade our peace and quiet. Some have second and third mansions out on the East End of the Island. They penetrate our little towns starting Memorial Day weekend. The not-as-rich City Slickers make day trips out to the beaches and farm stands. And they come and go, maybe staying for a weekend or go camping.




The Hampton's is where the rich and famous occupy their empty mansions for a couple of months out of the year. They hobnob and play for the summer, and have their chauffeur's roll out the Rolls Royce's and Bentley's. And as we pass these opulent vehicles on the road, I still gawk. You would think I was a tourist!





The entrance to Wildwood State Park is a couple of blocks from our house. So, the campers come and go, enjoying their family campfires and the beach. But, that brings a whole other set of noise, as the fire whistles are constantly going off - generally in the evening. The Wading River fire trucks whiz by en route to the park because some drunk camper did something stupid.






Ah...the start of summer...

And then...

Soon it will be over...After all, regardless of the weather, summer just comes to an abrupt end on Labor Day, when sandals get put away and shorts are packed up until next Memorial Day. No matter what the calendar says or how warm it is still, Labor Day ushers us into the fall season. There is a clear distinction from Labor Day to the next day because fall has now "unoffically/officially" begun and families have put summertime out of their minds as they prepare to head back to school in a day or two in their warmer fall clothing - whether it is hot out or not.

...Sigh...

Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend - whether you are beginning summer or not. And let's all have grateful hearts for the real reason for our American holiday - for all the men and woman who have given their lives to protect our freedom or the freedom of other nations. God bless our soldiers!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunday's Inspiration

Church. Communion.  The two go hand-in-hand.

Whether your church does it once a week or once a month, the celebration of The Last Supper is set apart as a sacrament of the world-wide church of Jesus Christ.

I do not believe that Communion is reserved for only once-a-week or once-a-month in a church. Nowhere in Scripture does it tell us that it must be administered to us via an ordained minister or priest in a place of worship.

Scripture does tells us that as often as we take it to do so in remembrance of all Jesus Christ did for us/all that His shed blood and brutalized body affords us. Therefore, whenever led by The Holy Spirit, I take Communion at home. On occasion, during difficult times or times of sickness, I will take it daily. I have a small cobalt blue glass plate and a matching goblet that are my Communion utensils.  They are used for no other purpose.

If I don't have wine, I'll use juice or water with a piece of bread or cracker.  In years passed, we would have it together as a family or as a way to bind us together with other Believers who were visiting with us.

Each of our three children left home right after high school graduation.  They didn't go off to college, they each went off to ministry internships.  From the time they left our nest, every time we would partake of communion, I would take two wines and two crackers.  I would take one set for me; the other set is for my children - splitting that one between Joe and I.  It's our way of covering them under the Blood of the Lamb; my way of keeping that spiritual connection to each of my children. Even now, as they live everywhere but here, I still do the same thing.

There was a time when my daughter's mother-in-law, Mari, was visiting with us from South Africa. In our conversing time, as we got to know each other, we realized that we both felt the same way about Communion.  We put our mugs of tea down and I got out my blue glass plate and goblet. We proceeded to have communion on behalf of her children/grandchild and my children. As we remembered all Jesus has done for us and our children, our heart-felt prayers and tears made it a very special moment of bonding between us. Even though Mari and I were worlds and cultures apart, we had a common thread - celebrating The Lord's Supper.

There truly is something very spiritual and holy about Communion. When you are alone and can take your time to really relish the remembering, The Lord Jesus meets you in ways you wouldn't have experienced otherwise.

May the precious Presence of our Lord fill your next Communion time in a very intimate way.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Famous Last Words

How many times have you been in a conversation with someone that ended with you being angry? I'm sure it has happened to all of us.

Let me ask this: How many times have you been in a conversation with GOD that ended with you being angry?  Can you imagine that the whole world, for generations to come, would know of your angry discourse? And that it was the last recorded accounting of your words?

Well, that was Jonah.  We probably all know the story of Jonah in the belly of a whale for three days.  We know he was sent by God to the city of Ninevah to deliver God's message for repentance. Reluctantly, Jonah finally obeys. But his heart was rebellious and he was angry.

The LORD God Almighty asks Jonah if he has the right to be angry.

The last recorded words of Jonah are his reply:
It is right for me to be angry, even to death! ~ Jonah 4:9
There is only one more line of Scripture in the Book of Jonah.  It was God Who got the last Word in! 


I've often wondered what became of Jonah after that discourse with God. I do know that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21).  So, unless he repented, he sealed his fate.  He probably died an angry and bitter man.


Be angry and do not sin;
                    do not let the sun go down on your wrath. ~ Eph. 4:26

    Especially, if you are angry with God!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Birthing of Authors

Creative writers. That is what we bloggers are. Right?

Each of us can probably trace our writing gift back to our school days with a story we wrote or a teacher who saw the gift in us. Without a doubt, writing is an extension of who we are. And through our writing our own lives have been enriched. Over and over again, bloggers get to tell their stories.

As creative writers, we have the opportunity to get behind students in the township of Qwa Qwa, South Africa who are being challenged to write through a writing competition. The writing competition is not sponsored by their school, but through the ministry of Ignite South Africa.

These children know nothing of what writing will do for them.  Not yet anyway.  I believe through this competition their giftings will be stirred up (II Tim. 1:6) and authors may be birthed as they pen their stories.


I've been to Qwa Qwa, South Africa.  I've seen poverty and hopelessness that my senses cannot even begin to accept as fact. And these children are being given an opportunity to write about their lives. That is profound.


They are being given an opportunity to give their hearts a voice, for hope to be kindled, for dreams to be dreamed, and to be able to emerge from a cocoon transformed. 

And possibly...maybe...a way out of their ancestral poverty by becoming communicators through the written word.


Ignite South Africa is sponsoring the first Creative Writing Competition for grades 7-9 (ages 11-19). Here is the list of topics they have to choose from:

The essays are to be between 500-800 words in English, and their stories must be true and will be verified. Here are the three topics they can choose from:
  • My Life
  • Their story and who they are today because of it
  • Living with HIV
  • Their story of living with infection, or someone who is infected with HIV/AIDS, or having lost someone to AIDS.
  • Hope Found
  • The story of their life, how one of our programs or coaches impacted them, and who they are today because of it.


It is exciting to think how the students' lives are going to change as they find their voice through their pens - as their story unfolds on paper!  

And we have an opportunity to be a part of their transformation. Let us stand beside these impoverished African children and encourage them to write their stories.  I am asking you to please consider sponsoring this writing competition, whatever small amount you can do. You can donate right on Ignite South Africa's website.  


...Or...


You can send me a check - I'll collect the funds from all of you and send in one payment from all of us WRITERS in our Circle of Sharing.  I do believe that this is God-breathed.  May we not miss the opportunity God has placed before us to touch lives we would never be able to do otherwise.


Because of Him and Unto Him,
  


Monday, May 14, 2012

Warrior Child

I had a very intense last few days. On Saturday, word of a tragedy hit me hard. Very hard. After travailing in the Spirit for hours, I was numb. And that feeling was with me all weekend.

Then Mother's Day was just another typical Sunday. We only have one child who lives on Long Island, the other two are in Tennessee and Michigan.  Michael is a sous chef in a high-end Hampton's restaurant, so he had to work. Originally, we were going to eat at his restaurant just so I could be close to one of my children. But, due to circumstances, we couldn't eat there. I was disappointed and angry.

So, as soon as I got up this morning, I ran into Abba's arms to snuggle. I just wanted to be held and soothed, like I would do for one of my children when they were young.  As I sat in His Presence the words to an old Twila Paris' song, The Warrior Is A Child, came to me:

Lately I've been winning battles left and right
But even winners can get wounded in the fight
People say that I'm amazing
Strong beyond my years
But they don't see inside of me
I'm hiding all the tears

They don't know that I go running Home when I fall down
They don't know Who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

Unafraid because His armor is the best
But even soldiers need a quiet place to rest
People say that I'm amazing
Never face retreat
But they don't see the enemy
Lay me at His Feet

They don't know that I go running Home when I fall down
They don't know Who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and and cry for just a while
'Cause deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child

They don't know that I go running Home when I fall down
They don't know Who picks me up when no one is around
I drop my sword and look Up for a smile
'Cause deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
Deep inside this armor
The warrior is a child
And I knew I was right where I needed to be - on my Father's lap.  
Can anyone relate?
Because of Him and Unto Him,


Friday, May 11, 2012

These Flames Are Hot!

The LORD chose to rendezvous with three Hebrew boys - inside a hellish-hot, lit furnace!

We think of a great big God sitting on His Throne watching the world crises. Sometimes we forget that He is an intimate, caring God Who is alongside us no matter what our life circumstances are, just as He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. Their encouraging story is found in Daniel 3:16-28.  Those boys could face that furnace because they believed that God would deliver them.

Sure they were thrown into a furnace of affliction! (Isaiah 48:10).  But, God was inside that furnace with them.  And when The LORD God Almighty did deliver them, they emerged shinning like gold. Their clothes weren't burned nor did they even have a hint of smoke on them.  How awesome is that?!

Sometimes, we are thrust into a furnace of afflictionCan you relate?  Unlike Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, we aren't in a literal fiery-furnace, thank God!, but it sure can feel like it! Forget not that Jesus is right beside you, walking your walk, carrying you when necessary, and protecting you from the all-consuming flames.

Why did The Holy Spirit put that particular story into The Holy Scriptures?  So, that it would be something we could relate to and hold on to, be strengthened by and filled with hope by during our trails in this life.

All trials we are thrust into come from Satan. However, we know that
God causes all things to work together for good to those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. ~ Romans 8:28
Whatever furnace of affliction you are in today, God WILL miraculously deliver you just like He did for the Hebrew boys so long ago!  Believe like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego did. You will not be consumed!  Believe He is with you, and just like their story ended, God WILL BE glorified!

Be assured of that!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thursday Morning Bible Study


Welcome to

All Scriptures will be from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.


I will do my best to post these Thursday Bible studies on Wednesday evening for our friends in the Philippines, as they are 12 hours ahead of us.  

Feel free to take your time reading and meditating on the Scriptures and questions. Don't be in a hurry. You can print it out and read it at your leisure. Allow The Holy Spirit to minister Truth to you. If you are comfortable, please share your thoughts and answers to the questions in the comment section. Don't feel pressured to do so if you don't want. Maybe check back during the day or on Friday to see what others are thinking and feel free to discuss it. And please don't hesitate to ask questions! 

So, grab your Bible, notebook, and a cup of coffee/tea and join in the Circle.

Lesson Four

Good Morning!

Let's open in prayer: 

Father, in The All-powerful Name of Jesus, we come seeking things we may not know today. Oh, Father, we are thirsty for Truth. We thank You, LORD, for this opportunity to feast from Your Word, to be filled with Your Truth, and to be changed by that Truth. We love You and worship You. We thank You for this opportunity to grow and become the men and women You so desire us to be. Amen!

Trustworthy Pray-ers

First, let's begin by reading Acts 19:11-12 in our Bibles just to remind us of the kind of man the Apostle Paul was.

The Apostle Paul was imprisoned in a dungeon for preaching The Gospel. This Man of God - who was a conduit for many, many miracles - was in need. He wanted his circumstances to change.

While imprisoned, he writes a letter to Believers to encourage them. Toward the end of his letter, he says in Philemon 1:22:
But, meanwhile, also prepare a guest room for me, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be granted to you.
Through your payers...In essence this is what Paul was saying: I trust that because of your prayers, I will be released and will be able to come visit you; so by faith, prepare that guest room for me - because I'm getting out of here! All because of your effectual, fervent prayers!

He was so confident in the Believer's prayers, that he could boldly say by faith, "Prepare a guest room for me".

Do we have such faith in those in our lives who pray? Are we so confident that the answers will come, that we speak in bold faith?

The great Apostle Paul not only relied on the prayers of other Christians, he trusted that their prayers would be effectual and fervent, availing much! (James 15:13-16.)

Why could Paul not pray and have a miracle manifested on his own behalf?

Think about it. Here was one of the greatest Apostles who ever lived and yet he relied on other's prayers - not just his own.

Why?  That is the question in this study today. Why?  Seek your answer. I think The Holy Spirit's answer will be profound to you!  Let's discuss it in the comments.

I don't know about you, but I want to be a part of a powerful prayer force that moves "mountains" and causes the Hand of God to do the miraculous, as did the Apostle Paul. I want others to be able to trust that through my prayers, their circumstances will change.

Demonic forces knew Jesus, of course. They also knew Paul, but not the religious men.  Read Acts 1:19:11-15.  The demons knew Paul because The Apostle was so dead to himself and so full of The Holy Spirit, so secure in his right standing in God's Kingdom, and so assured of his spiritual authority, that the demons trembled. The demons obeyed. The demons knew him, just like they knew Jesus Christ.

Do demons know you and tremble when they hear your prayers?  Maybe...just maybe, your answer to the Why question will cause you to desire to be the kind of prayer warrior on behalf of others that demons would tremble and scream, "Ut oh, here he/she is again...let's get out of here!"
~~~~
Father, You Word tells us that we receive not because we ask not. So, today we boldly ask of You to make us into the kind of prayer warriors that even the Apostle Paul would be able to trust in and rely on. Teach us, train us, show us...we want to be shakers and movers...we want to be able to truly trust in each other's prayers.  Please show us the answer to Why Paul had to rely on other's prayers to change his circumstances.  Show us things we know not of, LORD God.  In Jesus' All Powerful Name!  Amen!


Because of Him and Unto Him,


Monday, May 7, 2012

Assurance in the Red and White

Photobucket
Joe's uncle didn't know Jesus.  I think the only time he ever even walked into a church was probably baby christenings, weddings, and funerals.

There was much pain in Uncle Ralph's heart. He had buried his 21-year-old daughter who was murdered, then his wife died of lung cancer, and another daughter died of brain cancer (you can read Hand-held Love here).

And he had done some things in his lifetime.

Yes, there truly was much pain in his heart.

Uncle Ralph was a very generous man. He always walked around with wads of hundred dollar bills in his pocket and handed them out as he saw need. Joe and I were only 22 when our first child was born. Needing to move from our tiny apartment, we started house hunting. Once we found our home, Uncle Ralph handed us $10,000 for the down payment.  He never accepted a penny in payback. Yes, he truly was a very generous man.

Uncle Ralph went into the hospital for some kind of routine surgery. My mother-in-law called to let us know that something wasn't right. He got sick and sicker after the surgery and lapsed into a coma. The doctors didn't expect him to live.

I sat at Uncle Ralph's hospital bedside. Yes, he truly was in a coma. I leaned over him and spoke directly into his ear.  I thanked him for the gift he gave us of our home and now I wanted to give him a gift - Jesus Christ. And so I whispered The Gospel in his ear. I shared God's Loving Forgiveness, His Grace and Mercy, and Uncle Ralph's need to seek forgiveness. With a sorrowful heart, I left the hospital.  A few days later we saw him again - at the funeral home.

I began praying for a sign as to whether or not Uncle Ralph had made peace with God. Linda's brother and sister asked me to write something, as I had done for Linda's funeral. I was to read it at his funeral service. So, I needed assurance that The Holy Spirit had reached through Uncle Ralph's comatose state to his heart. I needed assurance that he had sought God's forgiveness.

When we arrived at the funeral home, it was something out of The Godfather movie.  I never saw so many black cars and men wearing suits - all who came to show respect.  Fear gripped my heart as we made our way through the sea of scary men to the family, to Uncle Ralph.  Oh, Father, I'm terrified...how can I possibly do this?! 

Joe and I took the only two seats available amongst the assemblage of wiseguys. Truly, fear had gripped my heart! Even the walls were intimidating as they were lined with huge, very Italian-looking funeral flowers. Each, I suppose, from one of those men who had to show respect and who had to outdo each other.

Trying to look everywhere but in the faces of these men, I noticed on the floor to the left of where we were sitting, was a vase of roses.  The most magnificent roses I have ever seen in my life. Truly they were breath-taking. Each rose was crimson red on the outside of the petals and pure white-white on the inside.  I bent over and inhaled their fragrance, which was just as glorious as their beauty. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. In that moment, I heard The Holy Spirit's whisper to my heart,
"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." 
I knew that was Scriputre - Isaiah 1:18 - and I knew it was my assurance!

Then I noticed the card. They were the flowers that Joe and I had ordered from our florist. Obviously, they were handpicked for this occasion by God. Truly, I knew I had my assurance! And I was elated with joy.

Because of the blessed assurance I now had, The Holy Spirit empowered me to boldly proclaim The Gospel that night and to share of Uncle Ralph's salvation and entrance into Heaven. At some point, I stopped reading what I wrote, as the "preach" came on me. By the time I was done, almost the whole sea of wiseguys were wiping their tears. As soon as I finished, one by one, these movie-typical men exited the funeral home. Seeds were planted.

Truly seeds were planted. Uncle Ralph's "gumbada" - his life-long friend and confidant - whispered to me as he wiped his tears, "I think I need to do the same thing that Ralphie did."

Don't ever be afraid to share The Truth of God's Love to someone who is dying or even in a coma. God's Spirit transcends any condition the body might be in.  And if you need assurance, seek it. For our God is The God Who Answers.

Truly, He is The God Who Answers!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gifts Bestowed

I love when my Father does something special for me. I woke up this morning to one of His Love-gifts for me. No box to unwrap, but an awesome gift just sitting and waiting for me in my inbox. Thank You, Abba!

...sigh...

My day is off to a good start, as I'm blessed beyond measure.


Every good gift and every perfect gift is from Above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
~ James 1:17

What do you enjoy more - A beautifully wrapped box, in which you anticipate viewing the contents or an unexpected gift - the kind that cannot be wrapped?  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Famous Last Words

My mother-in-law's almost last words to me were, "You are my daughter. I love you".  Forever they are etched on the tablet of my heart. A truth I hold to.

King David's last words were to his son, the-soon-to-be-next-king, Solomon.  On his deathbed, the man whose heart was after God's own Heart, charges his son with these words in I Kings 2:2-3:

"Be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man.  And keep the charge of The LORD, your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His Commandments, His judgements, and His testimonies, as it is written in The Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn."

There was more to it, but this is how he began his final exhortation to his son.

"BE A MAN!" was the essence of his opening words. He followed it by painting a picture of what a man is: one who walks in the ways of our LORD and is a doer of God's Holy Word.

King David reminded Solomon, who grew up in the shadow of his king/priestly father, of what the result of that would be: that Solomon would prosper in all he would do and wherever he would turn.

Wow!  Those are powerful last words! One that Solomon took to heart, as we know he is known as the wisest man who ever lived, and his monetary wealth was staggering to the senses.

Have you ever given thought to what your last words to your family would be?  Why not pray and then write them down? Keep them in a place where your family will find them when the time comes that you are absent from your body and in the eternal Presence of The LORD.  It is something that will forever be etched on the tablet of their hearts, maybe even setting the course of their lives, as it did King Solomon.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Bible Study Cancelled for Today

I'm sorry ladies, but I just didn't have the time to devote to the Bible study this week. Please forgive me.  My school work has me a bit tied up. Hopefully, next week won't be as intense and we will be able to meet again next Thursday. I miss my little community very much!  Have a wonderful day!

Because of Him and Unto Him,