Monday, November 30, 2015

"Forwarding Address - 'Heaven'" - 11/30/15 - 1 Corinthians 15-16


"For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 
The last enemy that will be abolished is death".  (15:25-26)
 
 
 
Our Adam has been welcomed into such a family of God.  I am overwhelmed when seeing how our ABBA has answered all of my prayers for him.  Last night as we stood in the visitation line for Ashley's grandfather, Jerry Shank,  I watched the pictures on the screen and thought about all this man of God has passed down throughout his life. I looked at the faces of his "fruits" and prayed a prayer of thanksgiving for allowing us to be a part of this family.   I thought about how our ABBA knew before the creation of the world our paths would be meshing together.  How He knew we would partake, to grow and be nourished from these "fruits".  
 
I have never been surrounded by such a family who loves so freely.  so openly.  without any hesitation or guarding of their hearts.  I stood in line and recognized again, our ABBA has given me a another small taste of what Heaven will be like. 
 
Today, while reading the 15th chapter, I was aware once more of His timing.  The verses written by Paul so long ago pertained to death and resurrection in Christ.  Our hope.  Today we will go in a few short hours for the funeral of this beloved man.  I rejoice knowing the cemetery is not his "final resting place".  It is not on Jerry's traveling agenda.  He has held the ticket of Christ in his hand for many a year and is now journeying towards Home - Heaven.   
It is often I pray your eyes are wide open and you have life based on and in Christ.  Praying the standards you live by are from His Word. 
 
I pray you aren't merely skimming through this brief life.  But as you go, you are giving it all you have.  For Him.
 
I pray on this short walk toward Home, nothing nor anyone, is causing you to lose focus on our Savior. 
 
And most of all, I pray as you live this life where He has placed you, you are loving Him and others without stopping.
 
"Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute, and love without stopping."(16:13,14)
 
Reminder - Heaven isn't a destination - it is a future address.  It is Home - living with Him and His.  For eternity. 
 
"In my Father's house are many rooms....I am going there a prepare a place for you....I will come back and take you to be with me that you may be where I am." (John 14:2-3)
 
 
 
 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"All Through His Eyes" - 11/29/15 - 1 Corinthians 12-14

"But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.(13:13)

A few years ago there was a little boy God had laid upon our hearts, and we surprised him for the Thanksgiving meal at his school.  While there we witnessed some larger boys picking on a smaller, younger child, until Curt broke it up.  It was hard feeling sorrow for the bullies, rather than the unkind thoughts which boiled from within, when coming upon them.   I have a sore spot in my heart when it comes to bullies.  I was bullied throughout my growing up years and it is hard to feel compassion towards them. To look at them through the eyes of Christ.

I am thankful God has given me the ability to love, and to love deeply.  The problem I encounter though is sometimes I become self-righteous in my loving.  I begin to measure other people against my measuring standards on how they are living, how they are loving or not.  I begin to pick and choose whom I will love.  He is so helping me with this.  To use Christ' measuring stick - not my own.  For when I utilize mine - I shut out people.  I tend to focus more on what they do, say, act - rather than the fact of the matter is -  they are His child too. 

And more often than not - a lost child - no matter their age.  

I find the deepest struggle I have is being around bullies when little children are the targets.  There are some who enjoy being  mean towards the little ones until they cry or even physically shake from fear.  Some persons will stand on the sidelines and laugh at the reactions brought on from the bullies.  And some just stand and pray.  And with His help is finally taking action. 

That would be me.  I have come to a place where I know I am to speak up, stand up for these little ones.  Just haven't figured out the knack of always speaking words He wants me to use, which are healing,  rather than using my own, which cause defensiveness and division each and every time.  I know anger and self-righteousness on my part needs to be gone from my heart.  Only love for those who are bullies needs to be present. 

This is where I struggle.  "Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly in all situations."  Towards all people.  He is bigger than any bully.  He is in control.  And I have asked, am asking, for Him to use me wherever, whenever, whatever way possible for His glory. 

He is also showing me I am just as much as sinner as the bullies.  The times when I don't love as Christ does, I am nothing.  I get in the way.  The times I do allow Him to shine - it may be the only time they will see Jesus.

His measuring stick is the only one that works in all situations - all situations:

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.


Love never dies." (5-8)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

"One-ness" - 11/28/15 - 1 Corinthians 9-11


"Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness - Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in Him.
We don't reduce Christ to what we are; He raises us to what He is."(10:17)



There is such honor in being one to serve communion to my family.  To stand at the end of the aisle and pass the bread and juice to outstretched hands.  To pray over those my eyes take in until my heart feels as though it will burst.  To see my family sitting, with heads bowed.  To see little ones watching, wondering, requesting.  To see smiles.  To see tears.  To see peace. 


To see His radiance shining through the faces as they are in communion with Him.

There is such blessing in knowing, without doubt, when the trays are emptied and put back into their places, the unity of my family remains.

There is such treasure tucked away into my heart.  Mind pictures of those I see Him shining through their eyes.  Their smiles.  Their tears.  Their hugs. 

How He fills my heart with those I am unified with.  Those I share communion with.  Those who He has raised up to where He is.  Transformed them into the beauty I see. 

There is peace knowing because of the brokenness of Christ, we may live life unbroken together. 
His blood covers and unifies us. 

My family in Him. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

"Us" - 11/27/15 - I Thessalonians 1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1-3

11/27/15 - I Thessalonians 1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1-3

"HIS 'Us'"
"God's amazing grace be with you! God's robust peace!
Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you're in our prayers."
(1 Thessalonians 1:1-2)
 
How differently this day is compared to the 27th of November 33 years ago.
 
We are spending this day working on the remodeling of our downstairs bath. 
 
Curt and I met on June 9th during the week he was back in Quincy packing up and moving to Texas.  After that week, we were together the few weekends he would drive back and a week when I went down to see him.  There were many who speculated I was pregnant to be getting married in only five months.  I wasn't.  There was just something within us that knew we were to be together.
 
Neither of us walked with The Lord.  After three and a half years, it was in becoming pregnant with Adam when I finally woke up and realized I needed to have an intimate relationship with our ABBA.  That was the real beginning of "us".
 
Today, there isn't any amount of makeup able to cover up my wrinkles, while Curt doesn't care if his show or not.  My wedding dress hangs in our bedroom on display and I sigh realizing one leg would pretty much fill the space my waist used to.  I wonder why it is gray hairs enhance my husband, yet they don't do the same for me.  So not fair. 
 
I think about how we are now a family of eight, whom are together "just because of two people".   Throughout the years our world of "us" has expanded as The Lord crossed our paths with others.  So many memories made in the last 33 years.  Praying for many more years ahead to fill up as well. 
 
Last night as I was praying and thinking about the past, good and hard memories marched through my head, reminders of all the water which has passed under our bridge of life. 
 
We have been and are evidence in how our ABBA uses everything for His Glory. I stand amazed at how He has/is, using us as part of His Kingdom Come, no matter how often "us" messes up. 
 
There have been times of hanging on to each other tightly and times of wanting to let go.  On this day after Thanksgiving, I am so blessed we have endured and made it.  Knowing it is only because of The Glue of ABBA.
 
If I could, would I go back and repeat this day from 33 years ago?
 
In a heartbeat - YES.
Happy Anniversary to "us".
 
"Every time I think of "my Curt", I thank God for him. Day and night he is in my prayers."
 
 
 
 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

"Being Watched" - 11/26/15 - 1 Corinthians 5-8


"Isn't there great danger if someone still struggling over this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees you go into that banquet? The danger is that he will become terribly confused - maybe even to the point of getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong.
Christ gave up His life for that person. Wouldn't you at least be willing to give up going to dinner for him - because, as you say, it doesn't really make any difference? But it does make a difference if you hurt your friend terribly, risking his eternal ruin!
When you hurt your friend, you hurt Christ. A free meal here and there isn't worth it at the cost of even one of these "weak ones." (8:10-12)

I read and wonder what it is I am selfish in giving up in order to help another in their walk.  Is it time?  money?  stuff?  food?  What is it I am loving more than loving His people.

As a believer, many are watching to see you in action.  When in Christ, there is something "different" about us, and it does/should draw attention.  It is being in Christ that makes us stand out from the world.

Do I ever hold on to the things of the world to satisfy my "self", even if it means hindering another ones walk?  I know of one who didn't feel the need to give up drinking in front of an alcoholic, believing it was up to the person to not submit to drink.  It wasn't part of their job to help them overcome. We are all on a different level in our walks, different strengths and weaknesses.  Different because we need each other. 

As I have grown in Christ, I see it is our job to come along side of each other and help the growth.  When helping each other, we are really helping the whole family.  We are living a life that is pleasing to Him.

So I ask you, what is it you are holding onto, satisfying "self", which is hindering the walk of a brother or sister.  Is it really worth it? 
 
 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"I Wonder If" - 11/25/15 - Acts 18:19-19:41



"Curiosity about Paul developed into reverence for the Master Jesus."(Acts 19:18)

I wonder if my life, my choices make people curious.  When I am looked at, is there something different about me?  Do I stand out in the world because I am different? 

Or do I blend in?

And then if I am looked at - do they see Christ and not me? 

It states that, "curiosity about Paul
DEVELOPED into REVERENCE for the MASTER JESUS". 

DEVELOPED -  REVERENCE - MASTER JESUS. 

Am I a vessel for His light which He is using to draw others to Him - to see Him?  Are my words, actions, thoughts, a reflection of Him for all to see. 

I keep going back in my head to the verse, "the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few".  How am I working?  Do I set my own hours, working only when I feel like it?  Am I on vacation? Am I retired?  Have I been promoted from where I started out? 

Am I at the point when others look at me - they don't see me?

They see Master Jesus.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Church of HIM" - 11/24/15 - 1 Corinthians 1-4

11/24/14 - 1 Corinthians 1-4

"Church of HIM"

"The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hell bent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written,
I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head,
I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots.
So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation." (1 Corinthians 1:18-21)
 
 
Some time ago in our Sunday School class, some were discussing the new mega atheist churches springing up around the world. I went home and googled it, being more than a little confused as to why persons who profess to not believe in God, are assembling in a God like atmosphere. This is from one of the articles I read, "During the service, attendees stomped their feet, clapped their hands and cheered as Jones and Evans led the group through rousing renditions of "Lean on Me," ''Here Comes the Sun" and other hits that took the place of gospel songs. Congregants dissolved into laughter at a get-to-know-you game that involved clapping and slapping the hands of the person next to them and applauded as members of the audience spoke about community service projects they had started in LA.
At the end, volunteers passed cardboard boxes for donations as attendees mingled over coffee and pastries and children played on the floor."  (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/10/atheist-mega-churches/3489967/).

Incredibly sad that they don't have a clue they are worshiping a god - the god of self.  I did find it more than ironic, for all the complaining I have heard of "the church just wanting your money", they collect a donation.
 
 In my prayers, I'm not praying these "churches" will fail. I already know through Scripture, they will tear themselves down without any help from God. "Self" wants all adoration, praise, glory, honor, for "self", and there are too many "selfs" involved. "Self" is unable to provide The Fruits of The Spirit. "Too many cooks in the kitchen" keeps coming to mind.

What I am praying for in these "churches" is an awareness. An awareness for the person sitting there, to recognize he/she is there because "something" is missing. An awareness that they have come to a place which is about worship, praise, community, family, and continue to search until they find the "church" which is our ABBA's church.

Some may see these churches as a loss, I am seeing them as future gain for Him. All things are for His Glory - we are promised this. All of us are made in His image. All of us have within us a God void only He can fill - not the gods of the world, satan, or self. I pray for the "children who played on the floor", that they will be deaf and blind to the lies they are being brought up in and search for "our" Savior. "Our" Savior who we are commanded to go and make Disciples for. So He may become "their" Savior.

When I hear about these churches, I wonder how His churches are really doing. How are we doing at "going as we live, making Disciples". How even though we attend a church that recognizes ABBA, are we really that much different than those attending the mega atheist church?

Who are we worshiping, self or ABBA.....
 

Monday, November 23, 2015

"No Games" - 11/23/15 - Acts 17; Acts 18:1-18


"Starting from scratch, He made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find Him.

He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; He's near.
       
We live and move in Him, can't get away from Him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.' (17:26-28)
 
 
 
They were everywhere on the living room floor.  Lincoln Logs.  On the dining room table were the box of colors and coloring books from years ago.  On the coffee table was the game "knockout". 
Earlier we sat and ate our supper of applesauce, chicken nuggets,  hash browns, bread and Miracle Whip sandwiches (for only two of us) and juice.  Tonight I put away into my memory chest the scene of my Curt sitting on the floor playing with us. 
 
It was our first time to be watching Charlie and Ella. 
Two little ones who come in the package with their mommy, Ashley.  These three have not only captured the heart of our Adam, but also our hearts as well. 
 
As I was getting things ready in preparation for tonight, my mind was overflowing with the memories coming out from within the game cabinet.  I couldn't help but smile, remembering little hands and fingers learning to grasp the colors.  Rosebud lips turned up into a smile as they turned carrying a favorite game in their arms.  The boxes were almost bigger than they were at the time.  Their dancing eyes turning up to look at me, excitement throughout their bodies as they sat upon their knees leaning over the table.   I continually find it hard to believe they are now grown men. 
 
We have always played inside/outside games as a family.  Even today, it is the norm when together, to spend hours sitting at the table playing a board game or cards.  Sometimes we will drag out the little kid games, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, etc. and have a tournament. A couple of Christmas' ago we played a game we made up years earlier, "fart ball".  Most of the lights are off and we are playing "tag/hide n seek" with a little nerf football.  I will always remember the look on Amber's face as we were running through the house away from whomever was "it", throwing this little brown "fart ball" at each other.  Another game we played was where one would hide in the darkened house while the others counted together to 100 in the bathroom.  As the one hidden was discovered, the discoverer would squeeze in beside them, until everyone had found the one who was hiding. 
 
And each time we played these games in the dark, until they were older, the boys never ventured far from Curt or my side.  They loved playing, but were just a little unsure, scared, to be alone searching in the dark. 
 
These memories bring to mind yet another thing I love about our ABBA.
 
As much as I enjoy playing games, I know without doubt, there aren't any games being played when it comes to life "in" Him.  There aren't any times I have to wander in the dark away from Him.  
 
"He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; He's near.
        We live and move in Him, can't get away from Him!"

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"Yes!" - 11/22/15 - Galatians 4-6


"May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely - be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes!(6:18)

Amen.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

"He Leads" - 11/21/14 - Galatians 1-3


"If I was "trying to be good," I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.        
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work.

So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man.

Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with Him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.
 
My ego is no longer central.
 
It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  
      
I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily."(2:18-21)
 
He is leading me and I am striving to follow. 
 
Sure, I sometimes find myself doing the fancy dance of "self" - you know the one - two steps back one step forward.  But what a relief to know, my "Instructor" is right there with me - no matter the steps.  Leading me to dance, "The Dance of Eternity", with Him.
 
I love knowing - to all of life's music - my dance card is full. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

"He Answered" - 11/20/15 - Acts 15-16


"So outsiders who seek will find, so they'll have a place to come to"(15:17)
 


There is an old TV show from when I grew up, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys.

It isn't that I sported a huge red-nose that would glow and beep, but felt there was something about me that never "fit in".  No matter where, or with whom, I usually felt like someone on the outside looking in.  Wanting to belong.  To be part of the celebration others seemed to be enjoying.  I am thankful in looking back to see those He did put into my life, for those few and in between times, that gave me a taste of knowing what it meant to be loved and belong.  Those He used to prompt me in continuing to seek for more than a "taste", but a whole meal of Him.

I can remember sitting in the bathroom in front of the open window, the cold winter wind blowing across my face, wishing more than anything I would catch cold and die.  Thinking my wet hair would do the trick.  I remember sitting on a window ledge nine stories up, wanting to slip off the edge, wishing more than anything I would die.  I can remember driving in the night and thinking about not taking the curve, just heading straight, wishing more than anything I could die. 

A misfit.  Feeling so alone.  Feeling like there was not any place I belonged. 

The emotions of shame, guilt, fear, controlled my thinking..  Put upon me by those who said I was always a burden.  Who have affirmed what I always felt, telling me, my love didn't matter to them.  Who caused me to believe for many years, I truly am a misfit.

Thankfully, our ABBA had other plans for me than an early death.  Today, my life is full and I have realized those that treated me as a "misfit" were correct.  I have been and always will be a "misfit". 

A misfit in the world. 

But I am not, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be - a misfit in my ABBA's heart. 

I love that He has surrounded me with the "misfits" of this world.  That my life is full of love from and for them.  Never have I experienced such joy and peace, such sense of fulfillment and belonging, as I do with my family of "misfits".  My heart feels full to bursting when looking across a room and seeing a "misfit' sibling, the look, the smile we share - knowing without doubt - we are His "misfits".

"Misfits" who are no longer "outsiders" looking in. 

And that is more than okay. 

"He led them out of the jail and asked, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?"         They said, "Put your entire trust in The Master Jesus. Then you'll live as you were meant to live - and everyone in your house included!"        
They went on to spell out in detail the story of The Master - the entire family got in on this part.
They never did get to bed that night.
The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then - he couldn't wait till morning! - was baptized, he and everyone in his family.        
There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal.
It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration."(16:30-34)

He hears, He sees all "outsiders".  all "misfits" calling and seeking "a place to come to".

Please listen to this - one of my favorite songs. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueCcUFKvvxI

"Came To My Rescue"Falling on my knees in worship
Giving all I am to seek your face
Lord all I am is yours

My whole life
I place in your hands
God of Mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at your throne

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are

My whole life
I place in your hands
God of Mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at your throne

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are
In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Living In His City of Life" - 11/19/15 - James 1-5


"Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (3:17-18)


Her steps faltered as she came into the Great Hall.  She looked even smaller than the last time we met, a few more lines etched into her face, her eyes not as bright.  The results of worry and sadness could be seen, not only in her face, but the way her body had begun to bend even further from the weight of the burdens she carried.  I stepped towards her, and for a moment I saw the glimmer of the younger woman buried deep within.  Briefly there was a twinkle in her eyes, reminding me of diamonds reflecting the sunshine.  Her smile was touched with her heart, as I could tell she missed being in His city of Life.  Of Living.  But, before we came together, the shadows of her burdens brought up the walls of defensiveness and protection.  There wasn't a hug or touching, just a yearning to. 

We left the Great Hall and ventured out into His City.  Even though His Sonshine was basking down upon us, she never removed the coat she wore, swallowing up her tiny frame, clutching it tightly around her, afraid to let it open up and expose herself to the elements.  She was silent, deep in  thought, as we walked over the bridge, stopping to look at the crystal clear waters far below.  Passing by the displays in the windows of life, she would forget and let out a gasp of pleasure.  I could see the farther we came away from the Great Hall, she was also leaving behind the train she had just gotten off  and was drinking in the delights He had set before her.  Every once in awhile, her hand would find mine as we stepped off the curb into the street.  There was fear and distrust in her body language as the bustle and noise surrounded her.  Even though it was completely safe, I knew it was because she was so out of her element.  Out of her comfort zone.  She was out of the false sense of security she found while riding on the train.  Time and time again, I could feel her eyes upon my face.  And when I would look back at her, I could see the thoughts of wonder, pride, hesitation, sorrow. 

It took us most of the morning to reach the far side of the city.  There were times when we had to rest, the walk exhausting her.  The evidence of life wearing her down and out, can no longer be hidden.   I could tell there were moments she wanted to turn back, the fear and distrust bringing out another element, that of anger, causing her to desire to be back on the train.  Through much of our time together,  I was silent, only speaking the words ABBA had given me to say.  He gave me the realization this walk, this time together, was for Him and her.   I was being used as His vessel.

The city behind us, the waters reached out with no shoreline as far as our eyes could see.  The waves came in continually, the spray from the cool water touched upon our faces.  She grinned in delight.  I watched as her steps in the sand began to leave footprints of a dance.  Lifting her hands up high, her voice singing praises to our ABBA, she was shedding the burdens from her soul.  Casting them into the waters of life.  His Light causing the whole of her to shine brightly. 

The sky began to darken.  Before we left the waters edge, she ran back and began to pick up her burdens the waves had washed back upon the sand.  Her hurried steps brushing the footsteps of her dance into a memory, as she rushed about gathering her burdens up before the fingers of His waves could bury them in deeper waters.  We started our journey back through His City on our way to The Great Hall, her coat once again tightly clutched around her.  She took my hand.  I could see how torn she was about going back to the train or staying with me in His City.  "Come, join us on the train", had slipped from her lips throughout the day, except for the time we stood at the waters edge.   Each time I could only shake my head no. 

ABBA has shown me through His Word of Truth, His Wisdom, I had to get off the train she rode on with the others.  He has led me through the Great Hall into His City of Life.  To live a Holy Life and be His Vessel to whomever He has decided I need to walk with.  To live among others who have also have off their train.  Learning from they who have grown wise from their journey, so I may help those He puts into my path.  Even those who only get off for a little while.  To walk with them through the City, praying they will choose to stay.
There were tears in her eyes as we parted.  My heart ached and for a moment, I was torn.  satan wants me to believe when getting back on the train there will be a joy and comfort.  ABBA has opened my eyes to see  it isn't genuine, it won't last.  ABBA has led me to realize the world is riding on the train of insanity.   Expecting different results while traveling on a train going in circles, on the same track.  He is showing me, there will be moments, days, He is using me to be a guide, a companion, as I walk with others who are walking in His City of Life, contemplating if they will stay. 

And it is my continued prayer for Him to use me as His Vessel, to fill my heart with His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and most of all love.  He has shown me this is how I am needed,  for not only her, but the others.  To never lose hope that one day they too, will get off the train and come live "in" His city.   

"a healthy, robust community that lives right with God."

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"The God of Miracles" - 11/18/15 - Acts 13-14



" There was a man in Lystra who couldn’t walk. He sat there, crippled since the day of his birth. He heard Paul talking, and Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God’s work, ready to believe. So he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, “Up on your feet!” The man was up in a flash—jumped up and walked around as if he’d been walking all his life."(13:8-10)


As you are reading this, I pray you don't miss the biggest part of this miracle.  It isn't only he walked, but how:

"up in a flash"
                             "jumped up"
                                           
                                                      "walked around"


There are persons, whom have lost their ability to walk and have shared with me what an intense procedure they had to endure to gain that ability back.  Their brain had to reprogram the muscles and nerves to do as instructed.  They had to go through hours and hours of therapy, trying to bring "memory" back to those muscles, strength building for the muscles to hold them up, pain as the nerve endings came "alive" again. 

The persons who shared this with me, had once walked.
The man from Lystra,

he had never taken a step.

There are so many miracles ABBA shows us throughout our days, our lives, and oft times we just cruise along completely missing them.  The times we do see "one" miracle, is actually "one of numerous" which are  flowing out through His Love for us. 

For me, the biggest miracle is the creation and birth of man and animals.  To think all living beings start out as a sperm and an egg.  The sperm swimming to and penetrating itself into the egg and then the fertilized egg attaches itself to the womb wall. From those tiny separate vessels is  growing into "one" miracle. 

A woman's body, able to nurture, stretch, hold, carry, a separate life within her.  Her body preparing to bring forth a blessing - through the birth canal,  several times smaller, which then shrinks back.  Life sustaining milk being signaled to begin production.  And then the infant or baby animal, growing and learning.  What they know how to do, without being shown.   Their brains - just by intake - knowing language, body functions, control, emotions.  Numerous miracles within the creating of "one" miracle. 

Such a miracle worker is He.
How He made me "new" through His Son, my Savior.  

He instructs me to, "Get up and walk", going forth and making new Disciples.

How often am I "up in a flash" or hesitate using the lamest excuses.  How often am I drawn back into the cripple I once was, laying there feeling sorry for myself and not "walking" with Him on this journey. 

How often do I take for granted the miracle of His death and resurrection, for my sins, and not respond instantly nor react to the urgency of finding the lost? 

 He gives us a "key" in these verses to be a part of this and all other miracles.

 "Paul, looking him in the eye, saw that he was ripe for God’s work, ready to believe".
Ready to "become what he believed".

A person is able to go through all the therapy procedures, but without the right mindset and will-power, will not walk again.   A person is able to learn all the instructions of making Disciples, but without falling "in" love with our ABBA,  "leaping up" and walking with Him, they will fail. 

It is my heart prayer all of His will be "up in a flash", doing as He desires of us.  
To be part of His miracle network, saving those who are crippled and helping them to walk.
To walk "in" Him. 



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"His Empowering Words" - 11/17/15 - Acts 11-12



"He'll tell you something that will save your life - in fact, you and everyone you care for."(11:14)

There are times when I sin in my words and the taste in my mouth is sour.  There is a place in the pit of my stomach turning over in such disgust, I want to vomit.  There is a blanket I want to put upon myself and hide away under it.  It is called shame. 

These are the times in which I find myself "flapping" my mouth.  Venting, gossiping, tearing down, whining, complaining, wallowing in self-pity.  There are times when my body language is speaking the same language just as loudly as the words flowing from my mouth. 

I walk away from these times and guilt sets in.  I know I have not left with words that will "save lives".  I have been walking on the "tear down" path.

We as humans, for some reason, find it easier to believe the bad over the good.  Studies show it takes a billion, zillion good comments to cancel out one bad comment from our head.  And even then doubt still sneaks in and we will often pick up that one bad and start the cycle of "tear down" all over - again. 

Perhaps this is why it is so hard to take The Word of Jesus for what it is.
Pure, Holy, 100% Truth. 
Maybe it seems too easy that He is The only Way to our ABBA. 

A question from a few years back continues to go through my mind. 
"No matter what my circumstances are,
do I feel like I have everything I need to live my best life for God?"

I have realized, it isn't I don't feel or believe I have everything I need to live my best life for God - it is that I too many times choose not to utilize what He has given me.  Too many times I choose not to take the escape He promises me for every single temptation which will come my way. 
 
I choose me over Him. 

This is where satan loves to jump into the "tear down" party and have us believe we haven't a chance.  This is where satan and self join together to sing the chorus of  "you are a loser".   This is where the burden of shame will keep us. 

But, THIS is when The Holy Spirit really starts to show off His Power. 

I could continue to stay covered up in shame, but His Word tells me I am covered instead in His Grace and Mercy.  His Word tells me I am His Beloved.  Fearfully and Wonderfully made.  His Word tells me He loved me so much, He gave His only beloved Son to die - for me.  for my sins. 

So, I stand up again - in Him.  I let the blanket of shame fall to the ground, I rinse my mouth out, consume His Words, and focus on my ABBA and His Truth. 

I pray I am, more often than not, leaving behind words to give others hope and Truth after they have chosen to serve "self" and not Him.   To let them know they don't have to live in shame apart from ABBA, by sharing His Words with them. 

His Word tells me, "something that will save my life - in fact, yours and everyone you care for."
 
 

Monday, November 16, 2015

"The Explosion of Him" - 11/16/15 - Acts 9-10






"Peter fairly exploded with His good news: "It's God's own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites!  It makes no difference who you are or where you're from - if you want God and are ready to do as He says, the door is open. The Message He sent to the children of Israel - that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again - well, He's doing it everywhere, among everyone.(10:34-36)





Upon meeting someone we already know or are just introduced to, our conversations are peppered throughout with subjects we sometimes are "fairly exploding" about.

Landing that first "real" job.  Becoming engaged.  Expecting a child.  Having children.  Children achieving.  Grandchildren.  Buying a home.  Travels.  Events.  Enduring the weather.  Accomplishments.  Sacrifices.  Good deeds.  Life experiences.

 How about God and the plan He laid out so we can be with Him?  How often are we as Peter?

"Peter fairly exploded with His good news".

Sunday, November 15, 2015

"Grabbing The Chance" - 11/15/15 - Acts 7-8



"Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him."(8:35)

I don't enjoy going to the doctor or shopping.  

Unless shopping is at the home improvement stores, Farm & Home, and Goodwill when visiting the kids in Phoenix.  (I love finding a bargain.) 

Yesterday I didn't have a choice.  We were out of food. 

The weather was absolutely perfect and it would have been so easy to get aggravated to be spending my day in a way I would rather not.  Thankfully I didn't.  As items were being checked off my list, I was basically going through the motions, focusing on getting home.
And I almost missed it.

ABBA opened my eyes at the checkout line.  An older woman, whose beautiful smile welcomed me as I put my items on the conveyor belt.  Not sure how, but before I knew it, we were both talking about "our Jesus".  Nothing personal was exchanged about us, it was all about Him.   She was "preaching Jesus" in her check out lane just by being.  He was shinning brightly through her. 

I walked out to our car, my heart lifted up.  It wasn't a chance encounter - she was my "Philip" for the day.   

And I almost missed it. 

"Philip grabbed his chance. Using this passage as his text, he preached Jesus to him."(8:35)

I have been wondering since, do I grab every chance?  Do I "preach Jesus" just in the way I am living?  Am I being "Philip" to all He puts in my path or am I too preoccupied, just going through the motions on my way "Home", checking off things on my list? 

Her last words to me have been going through my mind.
"If I don't see you again here, I'll be seeing you one day there - with Him." 

"Preaching Jesus".  What a wonderful way to live life. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

"The Faces Of Angels" - 11/14/15 - Acts 4-6


"As all those who sat on the High Council looked at Stephen, they found they couldn't take their eyes off him - his face was like the face of an angel!(6:15)

Do you remember what you think upon seeing their faces?
 
These "angels" of God.

These "angels" whose beauty from within radiates outwardly.   Is it impossible to tear your eyes off of them?  Do you recognize He is giving you a glimpse of His wonderment and awe, face to face? 
Many such "angels" come to my mind and my heart instantly smiles.  How much I delight in sharing life with them.  Growing from their example.  Striving to be more like ABBA because of their witness. 

It isn't the way ABBA arranged their features or how artfully they have put on makeup, worn a color to match their complexion and eyes.  It is because ABBA resides completely in their hearts that they have "the face of an angel". 

I see it in the little faces of young ones.  I see it in those the world has deemed "abnormal" because of mental or physical handicaps.  It is the innocence, the trust, the delighting of life that isn't tainted or completely covered up by sins of self or the world. 

I see it in the faces of couples, parents, families, looking at those their hearts are sold out to.  In the gentleness of their embraces, nurturing, building up, guiding, strengthening each other. In the glances they share, secrets only they know betwixt each other, their special bonds to one another.

I see it beneath the wrinkles of those whose skin has aged throughout their years.  In their work worn, gnarled hands, clasped together in prayer.  In the callouses on their knees from years of kneeling before their ABBA. In the twinkle coming from the depths of their eyes hidden behind thick lens.  I see it as they clutch His Word, pages worn from years of reading, to their whole beings, completely merged into their hearts, minds, soul. 

I see His beauty in the faces of His many angels and He takes my breath away.


Friday, November 13, 2015

"Grow On" - 11/13/15 - Acts 1-3


"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of The Lord"

These words were spoken by Peter in his second recorded sermon after seeing Christ be taken up into Heaven. 

Peter.  The same man who said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed.

Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter.

Peter remembered what The Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.(Luke 22:60-62)



 Peter.  The same "Peter who followed, but at a safe distance"(Luke 22:54), when they were putting His Christ on trial. 

Peter.  He never lost his focus on Christ  - until it was spoken that he also was with Christ. 

At that point his focus changed.  It settled on "self"  and he went into a defensive, self protection mode, not trusting God to take care of him.  He stood away from Christ - as did Judas.  The difference in these two was Peter's focus went back to Christ.  "At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, The Master turned and looked at Peter."(61).  It doesn't say their eyes met across the crowd, but I feel they did - for Peter then remembered.  "He went out and cried and cried and cried".

Guilt.  Shame.  Grief.  Brokenness. 

And after his brokenness, came rebuilding.  Through his rebuilding, "times of refreshing may come from the presence of The Lord"

When our focus is off of ABBA, we begin to believe He is not aware or even involved with what is going on in our life.  Being so caught up in "self" we forget He is all knowing, all seeing, everywhere at one time, we begin denying Him in our thoughts, actions, words.  Not having faith or trust in His ways.

And then we see Him looking at us. 

We need accountability - it causes repentance, turning away from sin, following closer to Him. The guilt and shame, can either convict us to change or consume us to such a point we begin to spiritually die. 

Our choice.

You can either be overwhelmed and broken down by the burden of guilt and shame

OR

Accept what Christ did on The Cross and grow on.  Casting  the  burden onto His waiting Shoulders - learning from it - gleaning from it for your journey ahead. 

 It all goes back to our to where we choose to focus.

In New Testament times, capital punishment was sometimes carried out by tying a murder victim's body directly onto the perpetrator's back. Wherever he went he was literally weighed down by his crime, with no way to escape the stench of decomposing flesh. Eventually the bacteria-filled corpse infected him too, and he died an agonizing death - as we will also die when taking on guilt and shame.  

Peter broke down.

But he didn't turn away as Judas did. When He is with Christ later, he accepted the gift of forgiveness and laid the burden of guilt and shame at His feet. Christ is designed to handle our burdens - we are not. It will consume us - it will break us - it will slowly rob life from us - as it did Judas. He never refocused on Christ, "Then he went out and hung himself". (Matt 27:5)  

You can slowly die from the burden of guilt and shame or grow on in Him. 

Grow on -  so He may use you and all that has happened in your life.  Your mistakes, your sins, your everything - for His glory. 

It's your free choice to accept -

"But you are first in line: God, having raised up His Son, sent Him to bless you as you turn, one by one, from your evil ways.”(Acts 3:26)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

"To See Him" - 11/12/15 - Luke 24; John 20-21


"saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognize Him.(John 20:14)

The only two persons we knew in the room were the host and his father.  We sat enjoying the food and getting to know others in the casual atmosphere.  I was thankful it wasn't a formal sit down meal, just soups, finger foods, set out on a table and serving yourself.  I was learning a lot about the persons, just by listening to the words flowing about me. 



It wasn't that anyone was bragging in their conversations.  They were just discussing their day to day lives, making plans for future adventures, a little bit of business here and there, and it became obvious very quickly we were surrounded by huge sums of money.   For the first time ever, instead of feeling intimidated, I was enjoying just sitting and wondering why ABBA had me planted in this room of older, very well off,  strangers.  ABBA had brought me totally out of my comfort zone to say the least.

 He opened my eyes to see them through His.  He opened my ears to hear them through His ears.  Instead of intimidated, I felt sorrowful.  They have so much worldly and none of Him.  I sat amazed as a dear woman sat and without asking,  suddenly opened up to me how her son, his wife, their two children, see her on her once a year visit to their home in California.  They both are in high level positions in major corporations and run a very busy life.  She shared that money is all they care about, as she wiped tears from her eyes. 

Her eyes.  There was so much sadness coming from the depths of them with the tears.   

My eyes kept coming back to our host while he was cooking in the kitchen.  He is in stage four of a cancer and is basically a genie pig with the medications, procedures.  So far, the cancer isn't spreading, nor is it shrinking.  The glass he had close by was never empty.  I can only imagine the liquor isn't helping the fight against these killer cells within him.  While watching him, I could see death is in the air about him.  His coloring, the puffiness.  But it was his eyes.  As were the eyes of his father, whom I would see looking at him too. 

In each set of eyes, there was the fear.  the sorrow.  There wasn't any hope. 

Another gentleman extended an invitation for Curt to join in his every Wednesday night poker game, he has been hosting for the past 10 years.  He shared about what it cost to play, the food spread he provided for an extra $10, how he had built a poker room onto his machine shed.  His eyes were sparkling, his body language was alive.  You could see his passion for this weekly event.  But then, his eyes would go dark as the excitement drained away from him. 

There was such an emptiness deep down within his eyes.

And my Curt.  In response to the invitation, began to share with this gentleman why Wednesday night can't work for him.  He shared with him for the past six years we have held a Bible Study in our home.  Curt's eyes were alive as he shared the bonding which has come about with these persons.  Persons we now call family.  I loved watching his hands move about as words tumbled from his heart though his mouth.  My Curt, the man of few words, was sharing his heart. 

His eyes.  Alive with the Light of our Lord. 

And the man he was speaking to.  His his whole demeanor changed.  He shut down and turned ever so slightly away from us.  He became focused on the card game that had started up beside us and called out, "Deal me in".

In that moment, while lifting up a prayer of thanksgiving to be married to a man of God and not of money,  I realized why ABBA had us planted there.  In that room.  At that time.

 "saw Jesus standing there. But she didn't recognize Him."

We, all who are His Warriors, is whom He is seen through,
standing there amongst those who "see" Him not.

My eyes.  
Sorrowful for those whom we encountered.  Seeing how in their emptiness they eagerly and openly share their sorrows in hope of the void being filled.
My eyes. 
Filled with hope they too, will "see and recognize" our Savior. 
 
"Jesus said to him, "Because you have seen Me, have you believed?  Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." (John 20:29)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Running Free To Him" - 11/11/15 - Matthew 28; Mark 16


"Tell His disciples.........and Peter"
(Mark 16:7)

I remember cutting across the field to go to church when I was young.  By the time I hit the middle, the ground had become mud, clinging to my tennis shoes, making it almost impossible to lift my foot for another step.  I can remember the embarrassment and shame I felt after my mom sent me back home to change my shoes - by way of the road.  I hadn't realized the field would be that wet as the edges were dry.  I also didn't want to go back to face the people who had witnessed my error.   

But, you know what I love most about our ABBA? 
 
It is how He knows, really knows, from the top of our head to the tips of our toes -
knows each and every one of us. 

Even if we choose to not know Him.  To go our own route. 

And still - He unconditionally Loves us. 

 It wasn't a slip of the tongue that Jesus mentioned Peter by name with the disciples. 
It wasn't that Peter was extra special. 
 
In different scriptures John was called "the one Jesus loved". 
As we all are.  We are all "the one Jesus loves".  The Cross was proof of that.

And just as He loves each of us, He also knows when we need encouragement, affirmation.  He knows when we are beating ourselves up, just as Peter did, how we need to know the gift of forgiveness, grace and mercy.

 For many years I lived in the mud caked shoes, just as Peter did,  denying I knew Christ.  I was living in and for the world, even though I grew up hearing all He had done for me.  I never accepted The gift of "Him" for myself.  I never took it personal. 

In the shoes of shame, doubt, regret, Peter was blinded to the fact Christ would still want to have Him in His arms again.  How often do we put on those same shoes?  These shoes, so caked in "mud", we are weighed down and feel we aren't going to make it.  How often do we believe the lies over His unconditional, mind blowing, full out, LOVE? 

This is why He knows each of us by name.  This is why we are the most important part of His creation.  This is why He calls out to us continually. 

He wants nothing more than to be up close and personal.  With each one of us.

He wants us to take off those shoes and run as fast as you can towards Him. 
Run free to Him.  He is calling out your name.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"It Is Finished" - 11/10/15 - Luke 23, John 18-19


"When they got to Jesus, they saw that He was already dead, so they didn’t break His legs.
  One of the soldiers stabbed Him in the side with his spear. Blood and water gushed out."
(John 19:34)

Even in death. 
 
They still continued to torture His body. 

Each year, when I knew I was coming to the day of reading of His Crucifixion, I would cringe inside.  I used to wrestle with guilt, shame, being uncomfortable.  It was because I know, my sins, are part of the reason He was Crucified. 
I have felt Him transform my heart.  Now when reading of His Crucifixion, I am overcome with the blessings of His forgiveness.  of His grace.  of His mercy.  Tears come as my heart is overwhelmed by this act of True Love.
Christ didn't go to the cross as an act of being able to hold the Crucifixion over my head. 
He didn't do it as a "trump card", forcing me to do as He bid. 

He willingly was Crucified because of LOVE.
No other reason. 



It was the only way for myself, and others, to be with His ABBA. 

He willingly went to The Cross because He was doing what His ABBA needed Him to do.

To be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

I continually pray I will never take His Words recording His ultimate sacrifice for granted.  I continually pray when I recognize where ABBA had to turn His back on my Savior, His Son, my heart will continue to weep.  As a mom, I can only imagine the pain ABBA and Christ were going through. 

But. 

He wants me to lay down at The Cross my sins. 
He didn't die so I will continually carry them with me, a constant reminder of what He put to Death. He doesn't want me to continually wear the cloak of shame.  Eat from the plate of doubt.  Drink from the goblet of guilt.   
 
On the day I fell to my knees before Him, His arms were stretched out wide, accepting me, as I was and am,  That day when I gave my life to Him, His blood ran down over me as I bowed before Him, cleansing me, purifying me, making me Holy and Pure.  Claiming me as His Beloved.
It is my choice to live life in the freedom of Him. It is my choice to lay down my sins, open my arms wide, and receive Him into my heart, my life, my soul - my all.  It is my choice to take the escapes He provides when sin presents itself in my path. 

It is my choice to accept His gift of LOVE and with each step, become more and more like Him.  To live and love as He has and does.  To accept His gift of grace, mercy, forgiveness and extend it to others.

It is my choice to not continually torture Him. Or myself.  His Beloved.

Monday, November 09, 2015

"For You, Oh Yes, He Did" - 11/09/15 - Mathew 27, Mark 15


"But he had Jesus whipped, and then handed over for crucifixion.
        
The soldiers assigned to the governor took Jesus into the governor's palace and got the entire brigade together for some fun.        
They stripped Him and dressed Him in a red toga.                
They plaited a crown from branches of a thorn bush and set it on His head.
They put a stick in His right hand for a scepter.
Then they knelt before Him in mocking reverence: "Bravo, King of the Jews!" they said. "Bravo!"        
       
Then they spit on Him
and hit Him on the head with the stick.
 
When they had had their fun, they took off the toga and put His own clothes back on Him. Then they proceeded out to the crucifixion.        
       
 
Along the way they came on a man from Cyrene named Simon and made him carry Jesus' cross.    
Arriving at Golgotha, the place they call "Skull Hill," they offered Him a mild painkiller (a mixture of wine and myrrh), but when He tasted it He wouldn't drink it.        
       
After they had finished nailing Him to the cross and were waiting for Him to die, they whiled away the time by throwing dice for His clothes.  Above His head they had posted the criminal charge against Him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.   Along with Him, they also crucified two criminals, one to His right, the other to His left.               
 
People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament:  "You bragged that You could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days - so show us Your stuff! Save Yourself! If You're really God's Son, come down from that cross!"                
 
The high priests, along with the religion scholars and leaders, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at Him:  "He saved others - He can't save Himself! King of Israel, is He? Then let Him get down from that cross. We'll all become believers then!  He was so sure of God - well, let Him rescue His 'Son' now - if He wants Him! He did claim to be God's Son, didn't He?"         
 
Even the two criminals crucified next to Him joined in the mockery.                
 
From noon to three, the whole earth was dark.        
       
 
Around mid-afternoon Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have You abandoned Me?"
               
Some bystanders who heard Him said, "He's calling for Elijah."        
       
One of them ran and got a sponge soaked in sour wine and lifted it on a stick so He could drink.         The others joked, "Don't be in such a hurry. Let's see if Elijah comes and saves Him."        
       
But Jesus, again crying out loudly, breathed His last.
       
At that moment, the Temple curtain was ripped in two, top to bottom."(Matthew 27:26-51)
 
 
I pray as you read these words they hit home in your heart.  Our Savior was put upon The Cross as the ultimate sacrifice for all of our sins.  His purpose was to remove the Temple Curtain, which separated us from our ABBA, so we may have an intimate relationship with Him.  The Creator of all.  ABBA. He wants us to be with Him. 
 
 "He was so sure of God - well, let Him rescue His 'Son' now - if He wants Him!"(43)
 
I can only imagine the restraint  our ABBA had to not reach down and remove His precious, pure and Holy Son from this death.  From the torture of being separated from each other. 
 
His restraint because of His great Love for you.  for me.  for all. 
 
This isn't a story.  It isn't a myth.  This happened.  Recorded in His Word and numerous other accounts, by persons who were eye witnesses. 
 
The only reason our Savior left His ABBA?  for us. 
 
Jesus.  After our own hearts.  I pray you have given Him yours.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

"At Home In His Love" - 11/08/15 - John 14-17


"I've loved you the way My Father has loved Me. Make yourselves at home in My Love.(15:9)

Yesterday we were honored with celebrating at two different birthday parties.  Fred and Abigail, our miracle twins, had just recently turned the "Big 1".  Walking into the church Annex, we saw members of His Family scattered about.  Each of us connected to these little ones through The Blood of our Savior, celebrating how He answered the many, many prayers lifted up regarding this precious little family.  There wasn't any hesitation in the gifts of love, acceptance, laughter, and joy from my siblings.  I felt so at ease - so at "home" in His Love through them. 
 
Later while sitting, watching Charlie and Ashley open up their presents in the celebration of their births, I looked about and thanked our ABBA for this wonderful family we have entered into through the gift of Adam's Ashley.  Blessed by the connection which runs deeper than anything the world can offer.  The connection of our ABBA.  To partake of the gift of being with them and feel at "home" in His Love through them. 
 
On another night, darkness had surrounded our home as we sat around our small table, empty plates pushed back, elbows on the table, leaning in towards the other, conversation from the hearts flowed about me.  One of our "kids" had joined us for our evening meal and we were playing "catch up".
There have been moments I have been standing at the kitchen counter, preparing food for our meal when another of our "kids" will walk behind me and open up the fridge.  Knowing he is at "home", he takes out the lunch meats, cheeses, condiments.  Knowing which cabinets to go to for the plate, glass, utensil, bread, in the making of "just a sandwich to tide me over".
Our Adam when living here a few years ago, saving money to buy his first home and then while gutting, renovating, preparing it to move into.  And now there are times when it is filled with the noise, laughter, and sometimes crying, of little ones making memories and feeling at "home".  Nichalas and Amber, when back, staying in "their" room. 

Most every Wednesday night and one night every other week, His family settles in and we study His Word.  I love they too know which cupboards to find a needed dish, cup, or glass and feel at "home" to get them.  

This place.  This temporary "home" He has placed us in before we are in our eternal Home with Him.  He has taken this shell of boards, drywall, floorings, furnishing and filled it with His Love.  Using it for others to feel at "home" in.  Even when persons aren't here, the memories of voices continue to fill it.  How many treasures I have stored in my heart from the persons He has brought within these walls. 
 


 And almost always, each one feels  and makes themselves completely "at home" here in His Love. 

It is a place where one is able to be themselves, accepted and loved unconditionally.  He uses us to encourage, hold accountable, grow, and listen to many who walk through these doors.

He has also given me the gift of feeling completely "at home" when I go before Him.

No matter where I am, what I am doing, I always feel "at home" in His Love.  I know, without doubt, I am able to crawl up into His lap at any moment and He is always eager to receive me.  I know, without doubt, He desires to be with me.

He desires this from all of us.

He desires, with everything He is, for each of us to feel completely "at home" in His Love with Him.  He wants us to cast aside all pretense, all fear, all doubt, and "be" with Him.

I know this, without doubt, because He gave up His only Begotten Son, so I can be "at home" in Him one day for eternity in His Love. 

Saturday, November 07, 2015

"Communion" - 11/07/15 - Luke 22, John 13


"Judas, with the piece of bread, left. It was night."(John 13:30)



The last thing our Christ gave him, was that piece of bread.  I imagine the gentleness, love Christ had as He handed it to Judas.  Telling Him, "“What you must do,” said Jesus, “do. Do it and get it over with.”(27).  How just before this He dipped it into the wine which represented His blood.....

I wonder what Judas did with this last gift.  Did he fling it away from him in disgust, anger, fear, as soon as he was outside?  Or did he carry it in his hand, forgotten, in his haste to betray Christ.  Stuffing it into his pocket and finding it later - wadded up, dried or moldy.  Did it bring to mind Christ face, His hands as He handed him this last gift. 


My heart breaks when I read - "left.  It was night." 


So often after a time of communion with Him, eating the bread and drinking the juice representing His body and blood, I too have "left".  I go from day to night in my thoughts or actions - sometimes both.  I know satan cannot enter into me, as I am full of the Holy Spirit being in His covenant, but still I sin. 
 
I share in communion with Him, leaning upon His breast as His favorite disciple did, and then "left" is my choice.  I so hate that about myself.  I so know some of my actions, thoughts do cause deep grief and pain to His heart. 
 
I so know sometimes I reach into my pocket and find His gift wadded up.....and am reminded.  

I see His face, His hands, His eyes as He is on the cross.  I see His overwhelming love and am driven to tears.  I feel His Love, His Grace, His Mercy, wash over me - and my heart falls into repentance - again.  I feel His Light change my night to day.  And again I am in communion with Him.  
 
I praise Him so much for His Gifts.  For His unconditional Love.   

 “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”(Luke 22:15-16)

How He "looks forward" to being with me in communion.