Saturday, March 31, 2012

Joy..and what it is NOT...

Joy is not laughter.
Joy is not feeling good.
You can cry, and be full of joy.
You can be having a terrible day, and still your joy is full....

What is joy? Oh my gosh, I wish I had the WORDS....Joy is a life inward "lifestyle," if you will... Joy is where you live at all times...a spiritual city whose founder and reigning authority, is The Most High God...To know God is to have access to joy, to seek God in ALL your ways is the key that allows joy to bubble up inside of you..and overflow...

On rainy days, when I am restricted to indoor activity...when it's cold outside...when I'm having a bad hair day... when what I wear to work doesn't "feel" right....when my co-workers are cranky....when my bank account is ANY and ALL joy is you hear me? MY JOY IS FULL....

I am smiling on the inside even when my face shows a frown of consternation or concentration (I'm working on that "frown" thing..)....because my joy is full.

When I walk, my feet touch down on clouds. Not because my circumstances are perfect (those of you how know me KNOW that isn't the case)...but because I am walking in the fullness of His joy....truly, truly,  guys, "the joy of the Lord is our strength."

Want strength? Get HIS Joy.
Want HIS joy? Get Him.

Need instructions?There is an instruction book: The Bible...Need directions on getting past the "begats" and the "Thee's and Thou's?" comment on this blog...

It is my hearts desire that you all have this JOY.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Next Big Thing

I am sitting in my world of people
who carry their scars under blankets of smiles, or scowls.
Laughter rings because I will it to be so.
I will my joy onto them
knowing that this is not how it works
but hoping and praying
That they will find what I have found
And as I enjoy my day
making small talk and feeling love
I wait for God to show me
The next big thing.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dreams that take you underground.....

Woke up this morning from a strange dream that I really can't recall in full...Immediately my mind was pulled back in time to places and situations where I no longer dwell...I was taken to  my "underground" days...those days when I literally lived in a basement with a man I was involved with...It was my choice to be there at that time....

So, I started to pray along the lines of, 'Oh God, I'm so sorry....' and I stopped and thought : "Wait a minute, this is wrong...I repented from my old life a long time ago...God knows I don't live there anymore...He knows I never dwell on this so it isn't an issue I'm having to work through, or something I still need to forgive myself for....So, why IS this on my mind???"

And I saw his face again. The man I loved and lived with. I've seen his face several times lately in my mind, AND online in the news...So, I knew then what the memories are about....Praying for this man. He needs God. He needs a miracle. He needs an incorruptible seed to replace the Adamic, corruptible seed. He needs Jesus...and he is a hard nut to crack...his shell has layers of harded years wrapped around it....his heart? I have no idea if there is any softness left...but I know either way, God can change him.

So, I said, "God, I HAVE prayed for ________'s salvation MANY times. You KNOW the need. Are you asking me to beg? Are you asking me to keep telling you something you already know??"

This, I believe, is a valid question. Once we give something to God, isn't it a done deal? Well....maybe....

This morning I was reminded of the Scripture about the woman and the judge and how she just aggravated him so much that he finally gave in to her wants...(Luke 18)...and this Judge wasn't even a RIGHTEOUS Judge...So...yeah, I guess the answer in this case is...Yes, God does want me to keep bringing this subject up. I don't know WHY, because he IS God and he already knows the need, but for SOME reason, he wants ME to keep talking to him about my old friend.....

So I did, and so I will....and I will keep you posted....

Good blessed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Single/In a Relationship/Engaged"....Pick the RIGHT One.

I've got something that God wants me to say about relationships. At least I think it's about relationships.
I really want to get this right...and not speak in a hurry, but I have found that if I wait, or take it really slow, then the words won't always come....So, here goes....

Relationships are important. Sure they are. I am talking about the male/female relationship. A relationship is a good thing. Of course it is.... And in this same vein:

Money is important (to a degree). Sure it is. Without it, your mortgage company won't let you keep your house, your bank won't let you keep your car....the grocery story won't let you carry your groceries to the car. Money is a good thing. Of course it is.

Education is important. Sure it is. Without it, you could not sign your name to the check to send your mortgage company. You could not read the digits on the speedometer in your car....and you could not pick out a balanced meal in the grocery store.

There are many, many things in this life that are important. There are many that are good. Some are good and not so important, but still good......And my point is?

My point is FOCUS. My point is PRIORITY.

I pause here and do the heavy sigh thing <sigh>....because I am not quite sure how to word the rest of this message for the full impact of what I am trying to convey....bear with me....

Through the many social networks available, I "watch" as my friends, both far and near, put so much emphasis on relationships (the male/female kind).....The Christians seek Godly partners and rejoice when they meet on Monday and are "in a relationship" by Wednesday, and "engaged" by Friday...then "single" by Sunday. (Okay, so maybe sometimes it takes longer than a week, but you get the gist of what I am saying). And the same thing happens to my non-Christian friends. I watch as they post the pretty "broken but better for it" type posters....I watch them heal miraculously, and start the same process again...

It is as if the whole world is "starved" for a relationship. And indeed it is! It's as if everyone needs some "one" to complete them, and indeed they do! But here is the secret: Of all the things we desire that are needful and good (relationships included) there is only one thing that is absolutely essential to the quality of life. There is only one relationship that fulfills and "completes."  That One is God. That relationship, is a relationship with the one true God.

Many times I want to cry out, "Please, my friend, get THIS first! Understand THIS first! Seek God FIRST!"

There is so very much more I could say on this subject, and maybe I need to go further. But the thing I really want to get across is this: The strong desire we have to connect with another human, was put there by our Father. But until you and I are complete in our relationship with God, and by complete I mean, "sold out" "100% disciple" "don't NEED nothin'else"....until we are at THIS point - then any other relationship will not fulfil. It simply will not.

When we reach the point where we are totally in love with God, then, and only then, will our hearts be prepared to receive the life partner HE has prepared especially for us.

I think that's all I have to say. Except maybe, "slow down," wait on God. He brought you this far and He will take you the rest of the way.

And above all else: Seek God. Seek Him with all that  is within you. Muster all your passion and direct it towards your relationship with Him.....and just watch what happens.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

...When we are ready to learn...the Teacher will show up...

I have been on a journey with God dealing with loving the unlovable. We know there is no such thing, but in reality, there are those we simply do not like. God had to show me that I was such a one, and HE LOVED ME. He confirmed that love isn't a thing I have to strive for, it is a thing that dwells IN me...and through His Grace I can nurture this seed into full growth. That takes the burden off of me and puts it on Him, right? Which is where it should be. We KNOW this in theory, we have to learn to LIVE this. I'm still in school :)

...And the Heavens Opened.....

This will be short and sweet and maybe not quite the exciting thing to you, that it is to me.

I have experienced, or should say "re-experienced" something this morning. A thing I know well, and have often spoken of - a "God Thing."

Quite simply this: When we put forth the tiniest bit of effort, we are rewarded 100 fold by our Father....And by effort, I do not mean the "works of righteousness" that we tout, I simply mean the effort to approach Him at whatever level we are at the moment...In my case, I have been maintaining in word what I did not feel in actuality....I have continued to proclaim that "I am" - I am His Child, I am the righteousness of Christ, I am in authority over the enemy...All these are true - but I haven't been "feeling" them. (But we walk by faith,,,,and not by sight,,,,correct?)

So this morning, after reading ever so briefly in the books of John and Daniel (yeah, a strange mix)....and a gut level prayer that was just as brief and not very well articulated....I sat, with a cup of coffee in my hand and sleep in my eyes and watched as God opened the heavens to me....

What I mean by this, is God spoke to my heart....He flooded my mind with wonderful things that came so quickly I almost asked Him to 'slow down!'....but, and this is a I caught myself saying, 'I can't absorb all of this!', He spoke again and quite clearly I understood:

I have been stopping at the gates, when God has been saying "Come up higher!"

Yesterday, I read several posts by friends on facebook reflecting on this very thing - the fact that God is calling us to come up higher - to be more than a face in a crowd - to join and become a part of the "movement."

Thank you, Father, for this glimpse of Your glory....take me higher still...Amen.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

THIS is Why...........

In July, 2012, I endured a 'Dark Night of the Soul.' As Dark Nights go, it was brief, but painful none the less. 
Early in the morning of the Dark Night a young man appeared at my door with a look of concern and determination on his face. We talked. 
He questioned me and prompted me to identify where the darkness had begun. We plowed and uncovered roots. As the roots of destruction were exposed we prayed about each one and nailed it to the Cross of Jesus. A burden was lifted and healing began. 
I had not asked for this man to come and visit, but God had nudged him, and he listened. He heard because his inner ear is always tuned to hear that Still Small Voice. 
1993 was a hard year for my daughter. She married and gave birth to my granddaughter. Neither she, nor her husband had any place for God in their lives and thus began a long and painful journey. They fought and I prayed. I questioned why God allowed this union to take place. There was suffering and destruction. The granddaughter was the joy of my life, but the head of that household was a thorn in my flesh. 
Why, God? 
18 years later the answer held my hand and prayed me through my Dark Night. God raised beauty from ashes and her dad has become an awesome man of God whose life shines with his Heavenly Father's love and mercy. 
Never, ever, ever give up. And never, ever, ever doubt that God hears and answers prayer. Never.