Why the wait?

I’d like to share with you a piece of my last two weeks. It has been life much different than usual; yet all the same in the love, favor, and mercies of God. There is nothing new under the sun; yet God is always about a new thing.

Today, I attended the memorial of a man I only had the pleasure of meeting once. I didn’t know him as a friend, but his life-partner of over three decades is a friend of mine; a sister in the Lord.

The passing of a loved one is difficult. NO ONE should go through this time without having others alongside them. Gratefully, even with grieving, sorrow, and pain, there is great rejoicing and God is glorified.cross

The intersecting of lives is not one we plan or predict; it is God ordained, for and by His plans and His purposes. Because the Lord wove my life into that with my friend, I have been blessed to see, hear, and witness amazing acts of love. I see a value in this man’s end of life story and hope you will allow yourself to delight in it with me.

The man had been recuperating for several weeks in a care facility after a surgery; later transferred back to the hospital. He had had no relationship with Jesus. He had knowledge of who He was, but no desire to follow.

Hours before his death, two unknown men visited the man in his hospital room. There was a sign restricting visitors on his door. No one else saw the two men. No one knew the two men. No one has come forward to identify themselves as the two men. They prayed with him and left.

Before the man took his last breath, he spoke of the two men to some relatives; he counted their prayer.

It was at this time the man dying spoke his desire to follow Jesus.

The man’s heart softened; he spoke apologizes, said good byes and went into the arms of Jesus with his last breath. A tear slide down from one eye as he looked up towards heaven. His face had taken on a softness; a remarkable reversal of age appeared. Restoration in the last moments between life and life MORE abundant.

Yes, there was grieving, but there was also rejoicing of angels, relatives, friends, and those who only crossed the man’s path briefly. And then there was Jesus, rejoicing in one more prodigal coming home.

At the Memorial today, my heart ached for the ones who might wait; wait to acknowledge Jesus; wait to walk out their divine story; wait for the restoration; wait to acknowledge and receive the full intentions of the love of the Father…wait to encounter the goodness of the Lord; wait…and wait…and wait…for what?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ REALLY is GOOD NEWS! Jesus loves us; not just those who think they are all prettied up neat and clean. Jesus is Savior, Healer, Provider, Faithful, and Sovereign. He knows the end from the beginning, and loves us just the same. He knows all that you have done and has made a way for you to enter into His grace and mercy, just as you are RIGHT NOW. Jesus is more than enough! He is capable. He is able. HE IS LOVE! Don’t miss out on life abundant NOW, as you wait…

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Life

In the eye of the beholder, “Life” can mean many different things. Perspective influencesWM Ft St. Jan 20161 the outcome; determines what we see and how we live. Life can be mere survival; an hourly (if not minute by minute) attempt to continue breathing. Or, it can be filled with the abundance of heaven raining (reigning) down fulfilling everything one was birthed to explore. Either way, it’s still life.

Yesterday I witnessed life in a way I use to live it; barely hanging on, groping for anything that could sustain me. It was a life consumed with my own emotions and disturbed thoughts. Oddly enough, at that season in my life, I was blind to how I lived. In my vision, I was fine. It never occurred to me I was living a life of lack. I witnessed others living abundance and believed their lives as something “special”; unattainable by someone like me.

But really, what was different from them to me? Why was another’s life so much better than my own? And why couldn’t I see that I might have more than what I currently lived in? The answer is unveiled in the knowledge of “poverty”. Not poverty as the world knows; not lived by definitions which rule the world. The poverty I am referring to is one of a spiritual context. One that deceives into believing  I am not good enough, worthy enough, valued enough, to walk in anything other than shame and condemnation of the enemy’s lies. This poverty keeps us isolated, creating minds of doubt, confusion, and neediness. Poverty leaves a person seeking validation, approval, and affirmations in fleshly and worldly ways, instead of the abundance of heaven.

I do not miss my old life! In fact, last nights up front and personal brush with the old lifestyle left me hungry for more of Jesus. Although the night is imprinted on my heart as a slate I’d like to wipe clean, it is something I was lead to step into. It contained hardened hearts, greed, drug and alcohol abuse, lies, betrayal, denial, and deep anger. Deception! Fleshly desires! Unforgiveness! That was NOT abundant life; it’s the opposite-POVERTY.

Which leads me to the answer of the problem. Jesus! Jesus called us to a live a life of abundance. It’s recognizing He intertwines our lives with others, stripping us of selfishness, into a caring spirit for those around us. “Me”isms become a thing of the past. Birthed is a love for others so that when one is hurting, grieving, struggling through life, we can pick up their arms and tell them, “I will walk through this with you!” That was the destination last night. And so it continues into today, and tomorrow, and the day after. For as many days as I have breath in my lungs and I am able’d by strength from on High, I will fulfill that which has been set before…and in this comes ABUNDANT LIFE.

Choose LIFE!

For more on the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Abundant life for all, check out zionsriver.com

 

 

 

 

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Come as you are

The words of Jesus from John 13:38 pierced my heart, “before a rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

How can that be? How could Peter deny Jesus? He walked with Jesus; learned from Him; saw heaven manifest through Him to touch the very lives of others…how…how could it be?

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Peter had asked, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for You.” John 13:37

As I pondered these words, “I will lay down my life for you” flooded my thoughts. Over and over again I heard these words…I will…I will…I will…

Then it hit me! “I will” is future tense, Jesus is a God of NOW! Jesus is not as concerned with what we are willing to commit too, as much as what we are about RIGHT NOW. Peter’s eyes were focused on the future and where he was or wasn’t going, instead of turning his eyes to Jesus right then.

Earlier, Jesus had said, “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” John 12:32. Our King wasn’t saying if we would lift up our ideas, preconceived ways of doing things, and our rational thoughts about how things should look or shouldn’t look, that He would use that to draw all men unto Him. He was saying, if you would lay aside everything, trust completely, magnify my Name and ways into every area of your life and self, turn (fix, steady) your eyes upon ME NOW…I WILL draw all men unto Myself. He is busy about our present and has orchestrated our future so we can focus on HIM NOW!

Peter wanted a NOW moment (follow you now) with a future tense application (I will). Are there “I will” areas of your life that need readjusting to NOW moments as you fix and steady your eyes on HIM? Are there areas of your life where you need to trust Jesus in the moment that HE created time, ability, speech, love and compassion; so others might see His amazing love NOW.

Jesus said in John 12:24, “…unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; bit if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Today, I encourage you, let some “self” fall to the ground to make room for the ways of One who knows best.Turn your eyes to Jesus Now instead of looking for Him to come later.

Back to the “deny me three times”…religious teachers could use this verse as an opportunity to inflict shame, guilt, and condemnation upon those who would be listening (reading). But, consider how Jesus used it with gentleness and love to Peter. Jesus used His words as an avenue of awareness and preparation for that which was about to happen. Jesus was fully aware (and still is) of His ability to draw all men unto HIMSELF. I am confident, He is just as capable now as He was with Peter’s tender heart then. After all…look what He did in/through Peter after the fact.

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JOY

Joy. It’s a common enough word. But do we ever stop to consider what it it really means? Most dictionaries define it JOY as rejoicing; a feeling of great pleasure or happiness. What does that really mean? Since this past Christmas season I have been pondering, encountering, and experiencing joy with new understanding. I invite you to come along and do the same.

Joy 2Joy is a place, a position of one’s heart, a response of freedom birthed out of encountering One greater than ourselves.

Joy springs up like a well of living water, bubbling up and over.

Joy has a vibration; transforming every atmosphere it comes into contact with.

Joy rises up as we step into divine positions and places set before us…willingly, delightfully, excitedly-not begrudgingly kicking against the goads.

Joy is transparent. “A joyful heart makes a cheerful face” (Proverbs 15:13). Joy cannot be worn as a mask; it can not be faked. It is either alive within, or not.

I believe Joy is a place of assignment. More and more sons and daughters of God are stepping into the story written for them. As they seek His face and freedom; JOY IS RISING!

“The joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). These are not just words spoken from a good book. They are words of confident assurance from a heart positioned to walk out, in freedom from bondage, that which has been set before us; having a knowing who holds the world in HIS hands.

Joy does not just happen; it comes from an infilling of God’s Spirit as we delight ourselves in His desires.

As Ezekiel was called to prophesy to the dry bones to rise, so to do I shout “Joy to the World!”. These words of proclamation exceed far beyond a common familiar Christmas Carol. These are God’s words calling His bride to live life! Yield to Jesus in those places He has called you to be and LET JOY RISE!!!

 

 

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Family

Today, I am overcome with what it means to be FAMILY. Family has been a topic at school, between friends, and even those considered as “blood” family. We’ve discussed the dynamics of what the word means and doesn’t mean. I’ve listened to others’ definitions, ideas, and views. Regardless of numerous conversations the question keeps coming back to my thoughts;  what does “family” really mean? Who do you consider as part of your family? What does it mean to be a part of a family? Maybe the question is more for you the reader and not singularly for myself.

I use to believe that God chose my birth family and I GOT to pick my spiritual family. Well, clearly that is not the case. He Who knows MUCH, hand selects both. So, I’ve changed MY views to align with God’s desires. Who am I that I could be so arrogant to think I have some huge control over plans and purposes; when in fact God Reigns. I have come to see (by God’s vision) that He maps out our lives according to His desires to be Glorified. He knows what’s best for me, and for others.

SheepEngaging our families we sometimes recognize a lack in ability to communicate and to be in relationship. It’s easy to embrace and hold tight to some who make us feel validated and approved, yet others who simply rub us wrong. I can’t help but ask, what would family look like if we just excepted others for who they are in the moment? How would things change for us and them if we decided to daily look at the condition of our own hearts instead of what we see as mess in another? Even more so, what if we sought to be treasure finders; purposely seeking that which is buried from the brokenness of days gone by?

I don’t believe God intended us to limit family to earthly blood relations; but to simple begin there and progress into a deeper understanding of HIS blood line. For He intended, formed, and created us to be His sons and daughters as we were once in heaven. Family before, now, and later.

Do not for a minute think I have this all down. I am far from perfect in relationship building. In fact, I can think of several stages of family where the Lord is readily teaching me amazing things. He’s so gentle in giving me understanding about setting healthy boundaries, loving more, and stepping into uncomfortable relationships that He desires to prosper. In the surrender to divine intentions (and not our fleshly liking’s) we partner with heaven for hearts to be healed and minds to be mended, in our lives and the lives of others.

I ask of you this day, who is your family? Are you connecting? Do you have hope for a future restoration? Will you seek the Lord for His heart in that life and relationship? Will you yield to His design, no matter the cost of perceived heartache?

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Soldiers

The beauty of God’s creative design took my breath away as I stood staring into this image. Several times a week my path crosses this exact scene; yet on this day it was different. The trees in the distance captivated my attention. Trees lined in a row across a hillside meant something; but what? I couldn’t stop looking into the depth of them!

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Then it happened, before my vision the trees became soldiers. All across the hillside were soldiers standing at attention. Fully dressed in the best of gear, prepared and waiting. I saw their feet as if they were stuck in cement; unable to move forward. The illusion of deeply rooted preparedness shattered with the exposure of a fear to move forward.

I heard the commander speak, “STEP. STEP. STEP.” But these soldiers stood still.

I believe there are people of God prepared and desiring to step forward into position where God is calling them to go TODAY, but fear is keeping them from the Commanders release to “STEP”.

I pray that the heaviness which has kept your feet stationary would be obliterated to rubble today, in the Name of Jesus. That, that which once kept you held from moving forward would no longer hold  you from stepping further onto the narrow path of God’s intents for your life. Be free to move through the doors God has already opened for you to walk step through.

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Let Your Song Arise

Tuesday’s normal drive to school took on a most unusual twist. There I was, maneuvering through rush hour traffic when a remembrance of a most Holy moment flooded my vision. My memory of the event was as fresh as the day it occurred. It happened several years ago, but apparently Tuesday was THE day for better understanding. God is so amazing that way; His way. His timing is always perfect in all of His ways.

As I drove to school several songs came to me in worship to the King. Then the atmosphere changed; a new song welled up from my belly. A blend of sounds reverberated from within creating a beautiful song about the perfection of God and His amazing ways. Then these words erupted in the Spirit about singing “the ancient song we all once knew, a song birthed of long long ago.”

That’s when it happened! The remembrance of the visitation several years ago. I had been in a most excellent corporate worship with several other ladies. Worshiping Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were the only desires flooding our hearts. We basked in His Supremacy! As I stood with arms outstretched, a visitor appeared before me. Who was this Holiness walking towards me? I couldn’t move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t do anything but weep. And even in that I wasn’t aware that I had, til later. The floor was covered in my tears which had flowed unrestrained.

As He came towards me I knew He had a name. Not a familiar type of name we use to acknowledge our King and LORD; not even YAHWEH. He was The Ancient One; The Ancient of Days! He said nothing in a language I could hear; but only spoke directly to my heart. His love infused in me as He touched my lips. I found myself on my knees and He was gone.

What do you mean no one else saw HIM? I couldn’t believe my ears! How could that be? I tried to describe HIM, yet the only words that came out of my mouth were “HOLY”. How does one described SomeOne who really is without form, yet was very much a Presence before me. I saw an image, I saw substance…and yet there is no description to define.

I had been visited by The Ancient One.

That night I had no understanding what the purpose of His visit was. Even tonight, as I type this post, I can not say I know or understand His full intents. But, I can say I know a message. That Message is one “of a song we knew in our hearts long ago to rise for the world to hear.” It’s about a song we knew before ever coming to this earth. Songs that bring great pleasure and delight to the heart of the One that was, is, and is to come.

Would you search your heart for a song of heaven. Will you listen to the heart of God while you worship and allow your sound to arise to HIS Throne. Would you remove all obstacle of fear, self-consciousness, lack, and imperfection, to believe HE knows how to loose your tongue to bring forth your sound in your yielding to Holiness.

music-staff-blueThe earth groans…waiting…

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Crossroads

 It started at a crossroad. Not just any crossroad; a dream of a crossroad that told of truth.  This particular night vision provoked questions of a deep spiritual nature. One could call it a divine encounter with Holiness wrecking my world in a most pleasant way.

The roads looked like any other; paths going different directions leading to something. At first glance they looked quite similar. Were they the same?  It seemed as if there were choices of great magnitude ahead. Decisions were about to made that would impact my life and the lives of others. But, how could that be, they were just roads.

“The road less traveled” washed over me. Matthew 7:13-14 came to my remembrance; “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few find it.” (NIV)

I starred into the image feeling the weight of “eternal choices”. Clarity of the roads began to form. Although both roads looked the same, they were clearly different. One had destruction; individual choices leading to consequences of heavens story’s being stolen from them. The ramifications being far greater than impacting just one person’s life. For individually, as we walk out God’s intentions, our lives become a living breathing example of God’s glory and magnificence on the earth for others to glean from. With one story stolen, the outcome affects others lives.

The road less traveled was filled with God’s direction. It had some sorrow, heart ache, even some hard times. But it was filled with the Presence of God Himself! It brought peace, restoration to lives, freedom, perfect promises fulfilled, relationships, love, and unsinkable joy. It is Life Abundant! It is life in the perfect will of the Father watching, listening and responding quickly. It is the good and better choice.

This blog begins with this dream, this message; because it is what the Lord used to show me new choices He desired me to make. What choices is He asking you to make today? Move quickly!

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