What Kind of Friend Are You?

Good question. What sort of friend am I?

None of us can 100 % say we have never faltered or never hurt anyone. When someone betrays us, hurts us or disappoints us (whether it is intentional or not) we have to remember we too have been in Judas shoes. We too have hurt others, failed to love unconditionally, disappointed others whether it was intentional or not. I asked this question of the Lord today and then went searching (I had a personal reason for asking)… “Lord, Did you still consider Judas your friend after he betrayed you”? I then read in Matthew 26 where Jesus calls Judas ‘friend’ upon greeting him, as Judas led the Temple Guards of the Sanhedrin to arrest him. Judas betrayed Jesus. Jesus called him ‘friend.’ I had to let that sink in.

Betrayal is the breaking or violation of a presumptive contracttrust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship amongst individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations. Often betrayal is the act of supporting a rival group, or it is a complete break from previously decided upon or presumed norms by one party from the others. Someone who betrays others is commonly called a traitor or betrayer.

Wikipedia

I began thinking, “Lord, I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum. I’ve betrayed trust, and I’ve been betrayed.” There are times, others will ‘feel’ betrayed whether or not that was the heart intent of the ‘betrayer.’ It matters not: the disappointment lingers and we have to fight to overcome the unloving thoughts, and to keep our hearts soft and pliable before the Lord. The only real choice is to forgive if we want to move on. There comes a time where you just ‘have to let go.’ Things may never be the same in the relationship: trust has been broken, though reconciliation is always a possibility. What a powerful image, Jesus, in the Garden, praying and waiting, and has known all along who was going to betray him, and yet he continued to love Judas and called him ‘FRIEND!” When I read this today it blew me away. I’m so grateful that Jesus STILL calls me ‘FRIEND’ when I mess up. Even when I fail, Jesus never fails. He’s constant. Jesus was staying true to His character and being obedient to His Father, to love and forgive Judas, though the relationship was severed forever. Betrayal affects relationships, but forgiveness empowers us to love like Christ did as we submit to Him, and take the ‘high road’. Judas was no longer in the inner circle and he no longer had access to Jesus, due to his own choices, BUT Jesus still loved him! That’s powerful, and amazing to me!

I’m reminded of Proverbs 18:24 : A man of many companions may come to ruin, BUT there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Jesus is that brother!

I want to be that kind of friend, though it is not always easy. The story of Judas and his betrayal has never really been about Judas, it’s always been about Jesus and his overpowering and all consuming love for us. It’s about Him being OUR friend, even when we don’t deserve His love and friendship.

 Lord, help us to be more like you.

https://christcommunitykc.org/jesus-and-judas-friend-or-foe-digging-deeper

Trusting God / Loving People

God is shifting and shaking, exposing what is in our hearts, be it fear, offence, love, forgiveness and even our motives. He is asking us to pray and seek His face to rightly discern a matter. If we harbor any ill feelings or unresolved issues when we make a judgement toward others, it can become a trap of the enemy, to distort our hearing God clearly. “We cannot pray in love and live in hate and still think we are worshipping God…A.W. Tozer.” It’s imperative we come to God with a clean heart, asking Him to give us His heart concerning others. There was a time, that my heart was so broken by a situation, one in which involved a family member. I wanted to lash out, the pain went so deep. So, after a moment of crying out to God, beating my fist on the wall, and then crumbling into a heap on the floor, I asked God quietly, “How do you see this ‘person’, Lord? He said to me in a small, still voice… “You cannot curse that whom I love.” So, I prayed, I chose to forgive, and every time a negative thought would come, I would choose to forgive again, til one day I felt Gods compassion overwhelm me for that person. I still struggle, like everyone else, but I’ve learned, and am learning, that above all else I want Gods will, favor and blessing on my life more than I want to hold onto bitterness and offence. Lets choose to be Peacemakers, take the road least traveled, repent of offence, back biting and gossip. The Word says we are to “bless and pray for our enemies,” and even more so, those of the household of faith. ❤

Where You Lead Me

I stopped following my dreams, and I’ve started following Jesus, and my dreams followed me.

unkown

Here I sit, feeling like I’ve come full circle. From the time I first came to Christ, as a young woman, lost, broken and without hope…I was drawn to this scripture in Luke 7:37

37When a sinful woman from that town learned that Jesus was dining there, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume. 38As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feetwith her tears and wipe them with her hair. Thenshe kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume. 39When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who this is and what kind of woman is touching Him—for she is a sinner!”…

I had felt the touch of the Saviors hand, and my life would never be the same. I had such a desire to be like this woman who worshiped with abandon, wiping Jesus feet with her tears and then anointing them with oil. I remember weeping as I sat in my room and the overpowering Presence of the Lord ministered to me. At that moment, I was overcome with gratitude and thankfulness, and a hunger to minister unto the Lord. He was wooing me and calling me to come up higher.

I also recall during this time, kneeling at the altar after some youth event. Others had come up too, but as I sat there I had a vision of Jesus on the cross, and waves upon waves of His Presence washed over me, and I again wept in awe and thankfulness. It was overpowering, and I felt like I could have stayed there forever. I have had other amazing experiences in the Presence of the Lord over the years since those early years, and yet found myself in these last few years holding on for dear life at times, wondering if, as Peggy Lee sang in her song…’ is that all there is to life.’ As I entered my 60’s, I had begun to look back over my life and I asked God, “What about all those unmet expectations, hopes, desires and dreams that seemed to fade into the shadows of my youth? My love for the Lord, was intact, albeit, I felt dry, and there were still times He made His Presence known in a tangible way, but my passion, my zeal was waning, and I was struggling going forward. I felt I had somehow missed my ‘calling,’ my purpose for living if you will.

I was once asked what my ‘destiny’ was, what my calling was. At the time I wasn’t sure I could answer that question. I was a licensed minister (Christian Worker) and leading worship for a Women’s Bible Study, and for other women’s events (eventually with the help of my husband who is an excellent keyboardist, as well as an Assistant Pastor). We eventually began co-leading worship on Sunday mornings, but then after a few years, due to various life circumstances, I found myself sitting on the shelf; withdrawn, and I hid, struggling with hopelessness. There were many times I asked God, “Can these dry bones live again?” I felt lost and without direction, a foreigner in a strange land and then…

God began to breathe new life, new vision and I began to realize the best was yet to come. I began to step out and the walls that I had so meticulously placed around myself, began to crumble. Sometimes the weights and cares of this world distract and pull us away from our GREATEST CALLING, which is to sit at His Feet and Worship Him. I find myself starting over… getting back to the basics: a place of surrender, repentance, consecration and determination once again. Abba Father, has assured me, the best is yet to come … where He leads me I will follow.

This video is an encouragement and declaration that nothing else matters but God. At the end of the video, a minister quotes, “I stopped following my dreams, and I’ve started following Jesus, and my dreams followed me.” It’s time to lay aside our own preconceived ideas, the things we’ve held onto, the baggage, the old ways of doing things and surrender to the Lover of Our Souls. Nothing else matters but Jesus, His will, and His way. He wants all of our heart, not just a piece.

Nothing Else by Cody Carnes

I submit to you a prophetic word given at one of our Church meetings, going into 2019. It encouraged me more now than it did then, especially as my walls began to crumble. It’s time to Be Still (let go) and KNOW that He is God. It’s time to embrace the new, and let go of the old … So many of us are at a place of transition and change. Be encouraged as we forge ahead…

“A new year is upon you. New days will arise. The old things will pass away. Put this year, 2018, under the blood. Let it go says the Lord. Let go of the good and let go of the bad. Let go of all the setbacks and the disappointments – any hurts- any frustrations! Let it go, says the Lord. Let it go. Look to Me-look up says the Lord. Seek My face and you shall find Me for I have new things for each and every one of you. Old things will not hold you down, but new things will begin to lift you up. My Church is going to rise. My Church- My Church- those that are open and willing – those that will obey me and listen and seek Me- you will arise into new things, says the Lord. New things are on the horizon. Breakthroughs are coming your way. Turn-arounds are taking place- but you have to trust me on a new level, says the Lord. You will have to have not limited thinking, but open your mind to the new things. Open your mind to all possibilities. Open and you shall see it, says the Lord, for My heart is with My people. My heart is to do good things. My heart is bring My Church up and out. So look to Me in these days ahead and see the new things, for I have special things. I have called thee up and I have called thee out. Will you listen? Will you hear? Will you obey? and if you do, you shall see it, says the Lord.”

Abba (I Belong To You)


Psalm 139:13
For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.

I was listening to this song the other day, and I immediately started thinking about the abortion travesty, and the killing of the over 60 million innocent, precious babies who were sacrificed at the altar of ‘inconvenience.’ So many in our society have lost their moral compass, their conscious having been seared and polluted with the ‘politically correct’ thinking of the day, and humanism: a whatever feels good do it, even if it means the killing of an innocent child, mentality. I am not here to condemn anyone, if by happenstance you, dear reader, have had an abortion (willingly or by compulsion), there is always forgiveness and redemption through the loving heart of our Creator.

As I continued to listen to the song, ‘Abba’ by Jonathan David Hesler ; it was as if I could hear and sense these precious innocent souls singing along ‘Abba,’ I belong to You’. I could see the faces, the beautiful, pure and holy, faces of the children gazing up tenderly into face of their Creator, surrounded by His overwhelming Presence and Love.They still had their own uniqueness, personalities, individual traits and gifts that they were endowed with here on earth; but in heaven they were now complete and perfected. They were not lost, they were safe, and they were waiting, praying and worshiping. They were eternal. They were loved.

The same week that I was listening to this song, I came upon this excerpt from James Nesbit on one of his Facebook pages. It was a prophetic encounter he had with the Lord during a time of corporate intercession. It brought tears to my eyes…such a moving vision:

“As I was leaving that prayer meeting before going to the land assignment, a prophet stopped me and said, “You are going to hear a sound on the land today!”

About an hour later, I was standing in the midst of the intercessors leading worship when all of the sudden we stopped singing and it got very still; And as I felt the wind brush across my face, I heard the Lord say: 

“There are over 50 Million babies worshiping around My throne; And the sound of their worship is unimaginable to you. A portion of their worshipful cry is, mercy for their mommies and daddies and their grandparents who counseled their mothers to abort them.”

He said, “Get over this notion that they are dead babies, they are eternal souls who see the beginning and the end!”

He said, “I love these innocents more than you know, and I love their mommies and daddies and grandparents as well.”

He said, “I am going to honor their worshipful cries, and send the Light of My love, and the awakening gentleness of My mercy, to visit their loved ones in the middle of the night, and draw them to me.”

Then He said, “These babies are not angry at them and neither am I, for it is the thief, who came to steal, kill, and destroy their family tree.”

Finally He said, “I need You to stand in the earth and agree with what I have just shared with you.”

What a powerful mandate from the Lord. Let us stand and ‘agree’ dear brothers and sisters, that the ‘Light of God’s Love, and the awakening gentleness of His mercy,’ will go forth into our Nation and soften and heal the broken heart, save and set free. I’m believing that Roe vs. Wade will eventually be overturned, the sanctity of life restored, and righteousness will once again take hold of America, as we turn our hearts toward Him. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing!

My Life: Transition/ Diabetes/ Turning 64

He Knows My Name

Transition:

noun:

the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.“students in transition from one program to another”:

synonyms: change, passage, move, transformation,conversion, metamorphosis, alteration, handover, changeover; segue, shift, switch, jump, leap progression, progress, development, evolution, flux.
From the time we are born into this world until the time we leave it, we are always in a state of transition or flux (continuous movement, instability, inconstancy; going from one circumstance, moment, situation, to another). During childbirth, the transition period when the contractions start and the baby begins to move through the birth canal can be and usually is the most painful time. This can be true in life too. Looking at the state our world is in right now, there is no denying that there has been a shift, and we are in transition, the Bible calls it ‘birth pangs.’ (Matthew 24)
 ∼
I just turned 64 years old, on August 23rd. It felt like any other day, to be honest, and though we celebrated, I felt like I was 25 years old again, questioning God about the ‘purpose of my life.’ Quite frankly, I had been feeling like the baby who is ‘stuck’ in the birth canal, perhaps more like the ‘mom’, wondering when the baby is going to be birthed, and tired or weary of waiting. It’s not pleasant, and though I had two C-sections, our first was stillborn: I was induced and the contractions were excruciating! I know full well, that God is faithful, and He is a God that fulfills and keeps His promises, but as the word says, ‘the flesh is weak, but the spirit is willing.’  So, I continue to wait, pray and believe, that what He has promised He will do.
One of the areas I find myself struggling in is my health: Diabetes. I’m used to being a little more in control, and now I’m floundering. I  manage to keep myself up most of the time through worship, prayer, the Word, and a sense of humor, but there are certain days, my health affects my outlook. It’s been called the ’emotional’ disease. I have been visiting my diabetic nurse educator almost every week, and soon will see my doctor again also. I’m in transition when it comes to my health. I have had some bad experiences with very low blood sugars (which put me in the hospital two times since the end of December), and have caused me to panic when they start to drop, because I’m never sure how low they are going to go, so most of the time my sugars are elevated (not good long term). I am soon to get a Continuous Glucose Monitor (Dexcom) which will help me monitor when my sugars are going up/down/ and how fast or slow. This should help tremendously. It will set off alarms when and let me now either way. I’m blessed to be able to have this kind of technology available to me.
Our family is also going through transition right now. In recent years we have experienced the heartbreak of Alzheimer’s and my father-in-laws passing, then my mother 6 months later. It was one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced, saying good-bye to my mother. Over the last few months, my mother-in-law has had to give up driving, and we are now in process of looking for assisted living which is very difficult to find, and the waiting lists are very long. We are confident God has this, and that she will find a good fit, but it is very stressful for her as well as for us. There are times I think about what she is going through, look at what she is giving up and I can’t help but put myself in her shoes down the road. There have been times I have wanted to weep for her as we have walked through this process with her, and the struggle for her to let go. It’s made me want to ‘lighten the load;  just start tossing and getting rid of stuff I don’t need…all the unnecessary junk we tend to accumulate through the years. I’m letting go…things just don’t mean as much as they used too. When I start to go inward, I think about friends and family who have had to let go of loved ones, forced to evacuate due to fires or flooding, sink holes, dealt with health issues worse than mine and the list goes on.Transition can be very painful and life altering, but it can have it’s rewards too. I’m very thankful for the Presence of God in my life, and that I do not have to walk this walk alone.
I don’t think this is a bad thing, this transition, although it can be difficult and overwhelming at times…I fully expect the end result to be good.  Aren’t we, as Christians, going from ‘glory to glory?’ I constantly remind myself, God is IN CONTROL, He knows everything that we are going through, every heartache, every struggle, every season of our life, He is there. He was there when I was born; when I was diagnosed with diabetes, the times I almost died. He was and is there during my greatest joys, my deepest sorrows, when I was overwhelmed with fear, when I was full of doubt and when I was full of faith. He will be with me when I transition to ‘glory.’ He knows us intimately…and during these days of transition, our time on earth, He will not forget us nor abandon us…those of us, called according to His name. ❤

Memory Bouquet : Pieces Of April

Pieces of April

Published on Apr 7, 2015 (revised from my original post on Youtube)

I originally made this video for a dear friend, a free spirit of sorts, and a nature lover. I loved this song as a young teen/adult, though I was limited to mostly country in our home, there were times, when I was finally able to drive, that I would, as soon as I left the driveway, crank the music up, and it wasn’t usually country. It seems like yesterday I was driving the folks Chevy and headed down the highway…listening to this song, ‘Pieces of April’ . I am thinking a lot about family these days, my family of origin mostly, and how fast time is slipping away. So, as I look through picture albums and video’s lately, I am making ‘memory bouquets’. When I come across a video of my mama’s grin, laugh, mannerisms, or beautiful face and/ or  a video of my daddy laughing and teasing, well…sometimes the tears threaten to come to the surface; other times  I catch myself smiling or laughing…but always I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and love.

So, over the years, I’ve become a collector. A collector of memories, through pictures, video’s and more. I have a Memory Bouquet…full of life, love and laughter. Times of joy and laughter, times of pain and sorrow…but through it all  a wonderful ‘bouquet’ of memories. I’ve learned through the years how, to pray, to forgive, to push forward, to endure, to love, to sing, to overcome, to speak my mind, to break through intimidation and fear and to fight for what I believe in. I’ve learned to laugh through the pain, I’ve wept in times of joy,  praised God in the storm, stood on His Word, and sat at His feet in worship and surrender. God is constantly working in my heart…pruning, watering, breaking up the shallow ground, and shining His light in the dark places. I am ever so grateful He knows how to love me to life, picks up the broken pieces, looks beyond my faults and sees my needs. He tends to me like a well watered garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having Done All… Stand

849cf0dba123dfbf80b9683878ec4e89--character-portraits-character-ideas

I AM STANDING

I HAVE THE VICTORY 

NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST ME SHALL PROSPER

I AM AN OVERCOMER

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME

I WILL LIVE AND NOT DIE

I WILL PROCLAIM THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD

I WILL NOT BE MOVED BY WHAT I SEE IN THE NATURAL

I WILL STAND UPON HIS WORD: THE SWORD OF TRUTH

I WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD

FOR HE HAS HEARD MY CRY

AND HE HAS DELIVERED ME

Ephesians 6: 10-18 (AMP)

10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides].

11 Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.

12 For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

14 Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God,

15 And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the [a]firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness [b]produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace.

16 Lift up over all the [covering] shield of [c]saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one].

17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit [d]wields, which is the Word of God.

18 Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

It Is Well/ You Make Me Brave

There are times when a song will go to the depths of my heart and touches my spirit in a very profound way.  It draws me into His Presence.

 

“It Is Well”

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regardThrough it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name [repeat last line during 3rd run]
[x3]

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
[repeat 3x]

It is well it is well with my soul [x3]
ahhhhhhh (softly)

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You Lord
Through it all, through it all
It is well with me.