Friday, June 29, 2012

In Need of The Healer

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. ~ Proverbs 23:7
I believed, therefore I spoke ~ Psalm 116:10a
What do you think about yourself?  What do you believe?


What we truly believe and think will be evidenced by our words and actions.  


Sometimes are hearts are so wounded, so scarred from life's circumstances that it can rearrange our beliefs and change our thinking. 


Our words and actions can become so contrary to who God designed us to be.  


How do I know? Because I'm living proof.


I'm asking for major prayer for a woman who has been so sexually abused and battered through gang rape as a teenager, and brutal beatings and other abuses from her father and other men in her life that Love cannot come to the forefront of her heart, her being. She wants to Love others but doesn't know how. 


She doesn't know Jesus and is very broken and depressed, with no sense of self-love and value. Please stand in the gap with me for her. Major walls must come down around her heart to allow Love to flow through and meet her. If you would like any more personal info, please email me.


May our prayers cause Jesus to mend this broken - truly broken - heart, and restore unto her "the years the locust have eaten" (Joel 2:25) back to the creation He created her to be.  


With deep gratitude, I thank you! If you have anyone you would like intercession for, please feel free to leave the request or to email it to me.


Because of Him and Unto Him,







Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Book That Tells All

After I commented back to Floyd on my last post, I realized I needed to write a post about my Bible. It is very personal to me, but I desire to share it with my Circle.

I have an old Open Study Bible in the New King James Version. When I purchased it, the high-quality leather was a beautiful shade of blue with silver on the page edges. The blue is an off-blue now and the silver is long gone.

I had my name and "A Vessel of Honor" (from II Tim. 2:20-21) embossed in silver on the front cover.  As a newish Christian, I was no where near being a "Vessel of Honor", but I sure did desire to be. So, I it had it placed on the cover to be my life's goal.  Every time I read The Word and allow it to be that doubled-edged sword to my own self, I am one step closer to my goal.

You can see from the photo how out of shape it is. Along the binding, I have clear packaging tape on to hold the front cover to the binding.  I've purchased other Bibles and I certainly use them to study from. But, when I preach or teach, I must have this Bible. I can find Scriptures that I need when I can't find them in any other Bible. It's like my spirit is fine-tuned to the words in this Book. I may not remember what chapter and verse to find a Scripture, but I do remember where it is placed on the page. This study Bible has an awesome concordance and encyclopedia in it, which helps me to find Scriptures I'm trying to locate.

This is actually the second Bible I've had in my 28 years of walking with Jesus.  After the first one fell a part, I purchased this one and painstakingly recopied every note from the first Bible. It took about 6 months of daily scribing to complete. Oh, how my faith soared as I re-wrote all God had done for me and in me!  I not only have sticky notes on various verses, I have hand-scribbled original meanings of words and cross references; dates and words of thanksgiving or repentance; prayers prayed; Words God spoke to me; my accountings of angels; and all my major healings and deliverances.  You can say my whole AD (After Chrsit) life has been recorded in my precious Bible.

I can remember when I began to write "Expect A Miracle" on the top of every page. Phew, that was an undertaking as well! My handwriting would get sloppy as I got tired of writing and had to stop. As I wrote on each page header, I would read all the notes I had written on that page.  It was a slow-as-molasses process, but it helped me to grow and change; and kept me falling in Love with my Wonderful, Beloved Jesus, over and over again.

I even have my three children's first missionary trips, with their prayer cards pasted in the back cover of my Bible.

I don't have much in the way of monetary gain or possessions to leave as a legacy to my children, but I sure have my Bible. I'm sure my children do not know the value of it.

But...

...My hope is one day, when I'm eternally basking in The Glory of The Most High God, my children will pass the Bible around, spending as much time as the need, reading every jot and tittle in it. Maybe that will give them a greater under-standing of their mother, whose only aim in life is to become that Vessel of Honor, making my life an act of worship unto my God.

To REALLY know their Mom, all they have to do is read my Bible. I hope when that day comes, they will treasure their inheritance as my most precious gift to them.  May God use it to solidify their faith, and cause it to be an encouraging word to them whenever they need it.

Years ago, I typed and framed this of my love for God's Word. It is taken from various Scriptures:


Your Testimonies have I taken as a heritage forever ~
for They are the rejoicing of my heart!  
I have inclined my heart to perform Your Statutes 
~ forever ~
to the very end!

Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not A Toy, But the Real Deal!


This is one of Veronica's originals.  Oh, I love it.

"Keep looking!"

Yep, sometimes, we must KEEP looking for that brighter side to things in this life, don't we? But, if we keep looking, eventually we will see!

I used to be very pessimistic and truly only saw "the glass as half empty".

Until...

Until, I began reading and allowing God's Word to have have it's transforming power in me.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. ~ Romans 12:2
The word "renewing" means renovation.  Renovation means the act of renewing and restoring.  God restores where He needs to and makes new where He needs to. Hallelujah!  In my case, He had much to make new!

And He sure did!  He renovated me from the inside out.

"Be transformed" - like a caterpillar to a butterfly transforms. That is what God has done in me. He didn't just fix me up; He made me into a brand new creature! And I will shout it from the rooftops: I AM A TRANSFORMER! HALLELUJAH!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~ II Corth. 5:17
I am a TRUE Transformer - not a cartoon or a toy, but the living, breathing, real-deal!

I am so glad you all didn't know me back then. But, am blessed beyond measure that you know me now!

...sigh...I sure wish I had the artistic ability to depict it...

...Ver.on.i.ca...If any creative images come to mind...

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blogger Meet-Up

Claire Vorster, from Claire's Tea Party, is on Long Island visiting with family....about 25 minutes from me.

She is the sister-in-law to my pastor.

This is going to be my first blogger meet-up.  I'm so excited.

I'm hoping she and her family will be a church this morning.  I can't wait to hug her, look into her eyes, and listen to her British accent.  She sure doesn't write with an accent!

I pray for the opportunity to meet you all - this side of Heaven - for you all are such an important part of my life.

Any greetings you would like me to pass along to her?

Have a blessed Sunday!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, June 22, 2012

Don't Pull Those Weeds!

Have you ever felt like a "weed" in a field of gorgeous "flowers" - out of place and so very different?  I sure have!


Well, I guess I really am a "weed"!
Hallelujah for that!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Statue Is Worth A Thousand Words

I visited with someone from my church the other day. On her living room wall was a giant framed poster of a statue. It moved me deeply.

I came home and went online to find out about it and then to find a photo worthy of this extraordinary bronze statue, Born Again, by Dean Kermit Allison. This is the best I could find:

Born Again by Dean Kermit Allison



Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ~ John 3:3
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. ~ II Corth. 5:17
Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. ~ Romans 6:6-7
Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. ~ Phil 2:12
I can look at this statue in one of a few ways:
  1. The man is struggling with his own flesh. Trying with all his might to rid himself of his sins; to make himself worthy of the glorious God that resides within him. Little does he know that it is only be the grace of God are we saved from our sins. It is a gift. There is nothing I can do to earn God's gift of salvation; and we don't have to "clean" ourselves up to be worthy. Without The Grace that covers our lives, none of us are worthy.
  2. The man is born again and "working out his own salvation with fear and trembling".
  3. The new creation is emerging - shedding the "old man".
Please share what you see as you mediate on this statue.

Because of Him and Unto Him,



Monday, June 18, 2012

Sunday School Teachers - The Unsung Heroes of My Life

I grew up in the Lutheran church.  I say "grew up", because from my earliest remembrances through marriage and child-bearing, I went a Lutheran church. From age 6 through marriage, I attended the beautiful St. James Lutheran Community Church, in Stewart Manor, NY. Truly, some of my fondest childhood memories are centered around our little church - that truly was community.

St. James Lutheran Community Church, Stewart Manor, NY
I had a deep love and respect for God, fostered by Pastor Dietrich. I seriously knew that Jesus Christ died for MY sins and I was ever so grateful. I so desired to read God's Holy Bible, that I made numerous attempts through childhood to read The Book. Not understanding, I thought you had to read it as a book - from beginning to end. But, I always got stuck at Leviticus, so I would put The Book away for awhile.  Eventually, taking it out and starting all over again at Genesis, only to be stopped, again, at Leviticus.

But, what I did get about God's Holy Word was two major things in my life.

In Sunday School at St. James, around the 4th or 5th grade, we had to learn the order of the Books of the Bible - from Genesis to Revelation. Diligently, I studied to memorize the Book orders, via the little tune the teacher taught us. To this very day, I have no trouble finding any Book in the Bible.

Myself, a Bible teacher, I get so frustrated when someone says, "Where is John?"  I'm talking about women who have been in The Word for many, many years. But, it has made me ever so grateful for my 4/5th grade Sunday School teacher who made us learn the Books in order.

The other thing I learned from my childhood years at Sunday School was that Jesus was a miracle-producing God. Little did I know the impact those Bible "stories" would have on my life.

When I was 16, on Christmas Eve, my mother was in the hospital at death's door from Crohn's Disease. The doctor's had told us she would not live through the night. My family went to the Christmas Eve candle-light service. The whole church was crying. Crying because Mary Lou was dying. Even our beloved Pastor Dietrich was weeping.

I was weeping too, but not for the same reason. I was a gasped at the thought that my church family didn't believe Mommy would not die -  Don't they believe in miracles?! 

Well, I sure did! And I prayed accordingly that Christmas Even night.  All the Sunday School Bible "stories" of Jesus' miracles caused faith to abound in my young heart.

And God was faithful.  He produced another miracle that Christmas Eve night. As we arrived home from church, the phone was ringing. It was the hospital saying, "We have no idea what happened, but Mary Lou took a turn for the better and she won't be dying tonight."  She went on to live three more years until I was 19. My mom got to see me graduate high school, meet Joe, and be a part of the beginnings of my "adult" life.

Years later, those same old Bible "stories" I heard as a child produced dunamis (dynamite) power in my life.

When my youngest son, Andrew James, was 17 months old, he dropped dead in my dinning room as he walked across the room. LONG STORY short: another miracle happened that day.

Jesus raised Andrew from the dead.

When the ambulance didn't arrive, I finally lifted up Andrew's lifeless body toward Heaven and commanded three times: In the Name of Jesus Christ, be healed!  (I'm in the process of writing out that whole story now, which includes Andrew's testimony of Heaven.)  Andrew's dead body came back to life.

Where did the faith for me to do that come from?

That was the question of my heart - for a long time afterward.

(At this point, Joe and I were born again.  I was in the process of being healed, delivered, and starting to thrive as a brand new human being.  I diligently studied The Word of God, that I had so longed to understand as a youngster.)

But, I needed to know where the faith for such a powerful miracle to manifest came from. The gift of faith, the working of miracles, and the gift of healing were all in play at that one moment in time to raise Andrew from the dead. Where, Dear God, did my faith for it come from?

Years later, The Holy Spirit spoke the answer to my heart.  Two words = Sunday School.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~ Romans 10:17
Years of attending Sunday School instilled such faith in me to always believe in miracles.  God IS the God of miracles!  I have a sign that attests to my belief in my kitchen that says, "Expect A Miracle!"

Many years ago, I hand wrote: Expect a Miracle! at the top of every page in my Bible.

And I still expect...

...All because of dedicated Sunday School teachers from my childhood.

So, this post is dedicated to Sunday School teachers all over the world. Thank you for persevering in a most-of-the-time thankless job that you volunteer to do! Thank you for teaching our children and grandchildren about Jesus Christ. Thank you for persevering when you don't necessarily see the fruit of your labors!  I assure you this: Someday, even if it is not until that young child becomes an adult, the fruit of the seeds of God's Love, Character, and Word that you sow will be made manifest.  When they need it the most, the "stories" of Jesus will be as real to them as walking on water was to Peter.  And all to your credit!


On the day I walk through Heaven's Gate, I will personally thank all my Sunday School teachers that I had over the years.  For they truly were the foundation of my faith-filled life and the developer of my love for God's Holy Word. The legacy of their teaching gift has been passed on to me and for that I am humbly grateful.


God bless Sunday School teachers!  PLEASE feel free to copy this post and give out to your church's SS teachers to show your appreciation to them.


Because of Him and Unto Him,

This post is linked to Tell Me A Story. Please stop by and read some incredible true stories!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Here Come Da Judge

Isn't she pretty?  I think so.

Take a closer look.

It wasn't until I enlarged the photo and took the time to really study her face that I realized it wasn't a face at all. I just perceived her as a face.
     What we see depends mainly on what we look for. ~ John Lubbock
How many times do we look at someone or a situation and perceive something that is totally not truth? But, we believe what we believe. Our "eyes" can, and will, deceive us.

We're studying the Book of James at Bible Study.

Phew....

Even after all these years, Jame's words still cut me like a knife.
My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Lord of Glory, with partiality.  For if there should come into your assembly a man with gold rings, in fine apparel, and there should also come in a poor man in filthy clothes, and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? ~ James 1:1-4
Judges...with evil thoughts?!

~~~~

Oh, Merciful Father, thank You for The Blood of our Lord Jesus that covers us; that affords us the gift of Your Mercy.

Forgive me my thoughts and my partiality. Forgive me for seeing what my mind wants to see - instead of Truth. Thank You, that You do not judge us according to our outward appearances.  I bow before You with a humbled heart and with thanksgiving. I'm so grateful for Your Love, Mercy, and Grace that is extended to me.

I pray You do not see evil thoughts or intents when You look into my heart; but, if You do, please, my Abba, show me.  I want to have a pure heart.  For blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matt. 5:8).  I want to see You, Jesus, everywhere I go and in the face of all I meet.

And especially in my own reflection.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Proverbs 31 Woman

No need for words. Just let this soak into your spirit.

Photo Credit


Because of Him and Unto Him,


Monday, June 11, 2012

What's Up with Our One Words?

Do you believe we are half-way through 2012 already?

www.oneword365.com
I've been assessing how I'm doing with my One Word goal for this year.

And I'd like to know how you are doing with your One Word goal for 2012. Please share with me, as I have prayed for each of you who I knew had a One Word goal.

My One Word was actually two: Extravagant Love.

I was reading Romans 8:32-39 the other day:

He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not, with Him, also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God Who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ Who died, and furthermore is also risen, Who is even at the right hand of God, Who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the Love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
    “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as     sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who Loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This is a picture of God Almighty's Extravagant Love toward me. Toward you. We are on the receiving end on a Love that will never quit and can never be taken from us!

But, what about me pouring out Extravagant Love to others? I don't ever have a problem receiving God's Love for me, but people...

Since, I've come out of the wilderness I was in for seven years, slowly, I'm allowing others love for me to reach my heart again. And willingly allow my heart, that is so filled with God's Love, to pour out to others.  It's been slow - like a springtime tulip opening itself up unto full bloom in the sunshine. But, I'm getting there. 

I'm getting there!

How are you doing with your goal? Please share.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Willingly Obedient?

Joseph and Mary took their infant Baby and ran into exile to protect Him.

They became expatriates.

After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the Child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” 
That night Joseph left for Egypt with the Child and Mary, his mother, and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the LORD had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt."         ~ Matt. 2:13-14 

Willingly obedient, they left home, family, friends, country, and moved to a foreign land.

What a price to pay for having birthed The Son of God.

But, they were willing.

Food for deep contemplation: What are you and I willing to do to protect The Lord Jesus Christ?

In that question, I mean, sometimes The Lord's reputation is on the line because of us - things we do or don't do, say or don't say. Others can look at our lives and say, "I want to be a Christian" or "I don't want anything to do with Christianity".

What are we willing to do to protect the reputation of The Lord Jesus Christ? Are we willingly obedient to The Word of God, as Joseph and Mary were?  

Just a little food for thought today.


Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Dark Clouds of Life

I'm not necessarily a shade person. I love the warmth of the sun, the brightness a sunny day brings to my heart. Cloudy, overcast days have always seemed gloomy to me.  However, there are times when I've been outside in the sun too long that my body and soul craves the cool reprieve that shade can supply.

From the Book of Exodus through the Book of Isaiah, we are told that God provided a cloud of shade by day and a fire by night for the millions of escaped Israelites.  The cloud protected them from the burning sun during the day time and lead them on their journey.
Yet, in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, to lead them on the road; nor the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way they should go. ~ Nehemiah 9:19
But, at that same time Almighty God used the massive cloud to protect and lead them, we find in Numbers, that God went before them IN the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. ~ Numbers 14:14b
God was in the pillar of cloud! Not only was He in it, He never took the cloud away from them even when they must have pleaded with Him for some sunshine. The humongous, dark cloud hanging over them must have added to the gloominess and moodiness of their exodus. But, God knew what was best for them. 


He hadn't left them nor forsaken them. 


The "dark cloud that hung over them" was for their benefit!


Us New Yorkers have a saying when some bad things repeatedly happen to good people, we say, "There is a black cloud hanging over them". Is that just a New York saying?


I'm seeing a "black cloud hanging over" someone in a whole new light. 


God is going before them. He is in that cloud. He is trying to get their attention, to cause them to look up to Him. He is trying to get them to see that He is right there with them, in their "black cloud" situation.


It's the same with our gloomy days. He is still all around us, protecting and leading us. A people not forsaken, no matter how "gloomy" our days may seem.


I just had an image of a gorgeous Long Island sunset come to mind.  They truly are magnificent!  What makes them so eye-catchingly colorful is the cloud formations. The clouds are what seem to illuminate and mesh the colors like a beautiful watercolor.


Oh, Thank You Father for Your infinite Wisdom in providing shade to planet Earth. Thank You that You speak to us and reveal Yourself through Your clouds, and beautify our skies with them. Thank You that You are Present in the dark clouds that sometimes hang over our lives and that You teach us through those dark-cloud circumstances; that You go before us, are with us, and that You don't ever forsake us. Thank You!


Because of Him and Unto Him,









Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Morning Nudge

I read this Scripture this morning that someone from my church posted on their FB page. I knew I had to write about it.  There are a few "sermons" I get from this Scripture, but I'll share only one:
And David said to his son, Solomon, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear, nor be dismayed for The LORD God - my God - will be with you.  He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the work for the service of the House of The LORD."  ~ I Chron. 18:20
Do IT - whatever the "IT" is in your life, God Almighty is saying, "Do IT"!

How many times in life do we let fear stop us? How many times do we sit back and then later on have regrets?

God is with you, so just Do IT!  He won't leave you nor forsake you in the middle of it.  He is with you to the very end.

BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE, and DO IT!                                                            

Because of Him and Unto Him,