Tuesday, October 31, 2017

To Have a Friend you must be a Friend

I am not sure how or why Joanne and I were so close. She was just one of those people that you meet and sit down and talk. We were so different in some ways but in other ways so alike. She was extremely creative, which is how I met her, and I was more business minded. We seamlessly blended together with respect and encouragement and our love for God.  

On reflection, I think I had the biggest admiration for the things she could see with her creative eye. She painted, she crafted, she wrote children's books. wrote poems,  and the creativity was apparent in all that she was a part of in life. When I would listen to her and see things through her eyes the things of God just popped out and became clear. As we talked, she probably had no idea that my mind was taking God out of the box I put Him in but expanding my view of who He is and what love He has for us. So simple and yet so complicated sometimes. We all need that friend that draws us closer but also give us a bigger picture of who God really is in our life.

A few years ago, she received the  news that she had cancer. When they found it they didn't give her  more than a few months, I met her about two years later after her diagnoses and she was as vivacious as ever. She was standing on the promise that God had given her more time and more energy to fight. A fight she gave that cancer. She held on for two more years. Even through the pain and her body giving out on her, she kept fighting. There were things she wanted to finish before she left this world. Things that God had put on her heart and she finished each one. When she walked through those gates of heaven she talked all the way there. She was ready and happy, if you can even say something like that at that moment, but peace and happiness seemed to be what the family felt as she walked on to another place where she no longer has to fight.

Through this journey with her, really on the outskirts, somehow our relationship deepened. It became something very special and honoring. Her Pastor spoke at her funeral and talked a lot about relationships. Relationships with each other, with family and friends. That this is the most important thing in life. Jesus constantly talks about it and encourages us to love one another. It's not what you have, not what you want but learning the heart of God and that He truly desires our love for Him.

Time is short, life can change in a moment, standing and being a friend is a life long honor and privilege that we don't always see. I have had my own battles with health and almost dying a couple of times in the recent years. Somehow, this message makes so much sense to me. It's just not what you have, it's what you have to give and the most important part is YOU.

Monday, July 17, 2017



By Barbara King 


The writings of Paul

I always picture Paul as a humble and unassuming man after he met Christ on the Damascus Road. But, the thing that draws you to him in his writings is his passion for living a life following Christ. In his writings, you can feel the compassion, the mercy, the correction, the standard that he places on himself to not lose one ounce of time so he can spend it knowing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as much as he could here on earth. He was a man with a mission.

That passion exuded through him and around him. So much so that people were healed when they were in his presence. Can you imagine being so close to God that when you walked by miracles just happened through nothing about you but through the supernatural power of God.

As my studies have brought me to really meet Paul, learn more about him. I see that the possibility to be that close with God is available to us today as well. That deep walk with God is not just for those in the time of the early church but this time 2,000+ years later. By no means have I arrived at that place, in fact I think I am just stepping out on my journey. My intention is to press in, to know God more and to have a passionate walk with God. A hunger and thirst for righteousness. It will mean that I will have things in my heart that I must face and deal with, it will mean that I will have to give up some habits and some things I love but the prize is running the race! The prize is knowing Christ more and more and that I know him intimately, “to be still and know that I am God”. To obtain that confidence and trust in God that I know “all things come together for good for those who love the Lord”. Standing strong in the face of adversity and instead of me fighting the battle, knowing that God has already gone before me. It is one thing to know the scripture and it is another thing to know

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spring Cleaning of the heart



Spring Cleaning of the Heart


I am not sure when it happened, or even how it happened. I believe it must have started with my Mom. You know how their habits, that you will never mimic because they rubbed you the wrong way, you tend to end up doing. Spring cleaning I believe must have been one of them. How do I know? I hear the groan from my daughter every time I announce we have a new project we need to get done! Cleaning out a closet, a room re-organization, new painting that might need to be done. It seems the list can keep you quite busy for some time. And somewhere in the deepest part of my brain I hear that still small voice, no not the Holy Spirit, my Mom telling me what to do, when to do it and would you please get rid of all those things you don’t need.

But the thing that is happening along with cleaning is that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. As the air is filtrating through the house, clean and fresh, it seems my spirit is longing for that same clearing out of the clutter. Dispensing of old habits and thoughts that do not line up with my Father. The Bible says “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me”…we need that renewing, that refreshing, I could go on and  on and let you know the tears that I have cried over my selfishness in the light of my heart or I could tell you of my skinned knee's trying to make myself honorable in God's sight but you have your own stories where this story fits you and only you. You know your mountains and the re-shaping, re-thinking of your circumstances that only God can show you to change you. The hardest reality I have faced is seeing the love of God. Realizing that no matter how "honorable" I try to be, that the reality is that God doesn't want me to work so hard at it. He just wants me to be "me" because that is who He made me to be.

 If you are like me you don’t just go to the Lord in prayer and ask, I am prompted by reading (or washing of the Word), sermons that go down deep to that inner being and wake it up where it has been asleep, and that quiet time where I know to “Be still and know that I am God”. That place that trust, faith and love intercept and He takes me by the hand to yet a deeper walk on the water than ever before.  So the clearing out, the skinned knee's, the heart wrenching rears are all worth it when you walk into the deeper love that you thought could never exist.

Happy Cleaning ladies :)

 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Light Bearers

I am very honored to be a part of the newest book by Patricia Bradley "The Light Bearers". It is a mall synopsis that my family went through last year. I am just one of the many stories of the faithfulness of God. I know you will enjoy the book and be encouraged by it





The Light Bearers: Witnesses of the Redeeming Love and Amazing Grace that's Available for You (under HIS SHADOW) (Volume 2) Paperback – October 28, 2015

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Faith is for the courageous


In time we all endure suffering of some kind. The fight to survive the crisis is sometimes not in the crisis but in the journey afterward. The aftermath of devastation that surrounds us. When a tornado, hurricane or natural disaster hits you see the houses, the cars, the memento’s scattered through the streets. In that rubble is the lives that were affected by the disaster.  In other moments of disaster you may not see the physical aspects of live blowing down the street but you can see and feel the spiritual and emotional effect of the event.

The onslaught of emotion that we feel after we have stood and the draining of those resources and life ebbs back into routine. The wounds that are left behind from the crisis of the moment.

We all quote the scripture, we all hit our knees in the harshest moment but what happens after?  What happens if things don't work out as we asked God to intervene in the crisis? What if we lose a limb? Lose a loved one? What if what has been before will never be again? As we walk, we need to keep this in mind: 

Isaiah 40:31

For they that wait on the Lord, shall renew their strength,

 They shall mount up with wings like eagles

They shall run and not be weary

They shall walk and not faint

 

Even though our mind is racing with all the devastation, we stand. We stand on the character of the one that holds our life in His hands. Instead of allowing the cares of this world overtake us, we make it clear that we serve God in every way. We hold steady. We don’t look to the right or left but let our eyes focus on the one who loves us more than we can ever know. We look into those eyes of grace and know in our hearts He is our strength.

We stand firm in all kinds of trouble, hard times and suffering.  Even though the emotions will overwhelm, we stand. Then, as we stand, one day we will realize we took a step, then another and then we will be running again.

Faith is not for the faint of heart, it is for the courageous. But at the same time the weak. Because in our weakness, the glory of God shines brighter than we can ever know.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How do we walk on water with Jesus?




This morning I am reading in Matthew 14 and I ran across this parable that a little light glimmered across It:

 

28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

 

 We all know it this parable. We have heard sermon after sermon about it. I just saw something new in it that I thought might speak to someone else as it did me.

 

Peter, being a fisherman, was not afraid of sinking in the water. He was a fisherman after all and in the water all the time. I am sure he had seen a lot of times in the water and well equipped to swim. What caused him to get his focus off God was not the water but the wind! As a fisherman he knew that the wind would create a storm and quickly. His mind is quickly calculating how fast they can get back to the boat. How far are they from the boat? How are they going to be able to stand through this storm without the safety of the boat to hold them up? He rushes through all the scenarios in his mind of how they can best handle the situation until he realizes, he has never been in this situation. How do mortal men walk on water and get to safety with a storm coming? All these thoughts must have rushed through his mind in a matter of seconds  He wants to protect them both but his quick exhaustive list has run dry. There is nothing he can do so he cries out “Lord, save me”. And Jesus acknowledges his heart. He was the first out of the boat but he wants so much more for him. So much more to give him. Peace in the midst of the storm. Eyes trusting not on earthly things but trained to see past that to trust the Father in all things.  Jesus admonishment was not about his faith out of the boat but his lack of faith that something bigger could change his focus. That his first thought was not trust in Him but trusting Peter’s abilities until Peter could not see a way they he himself could fix the situation. That he did not realize that Jesus would hold him through the storm, through the hard times, through the darkness of the unknown. That something as small as the wind would not take away from his care and protection.

 

Peter took his eyes off of what Jesus had for him. We all think that if we stepped out of that boat onto the water to walk, that we would be so in awe of God that we would have made it all the way. But how many times does God do a huge miracle in our life and then we turn around and have forgotten what He has done because the next crisis is on the horizon and our fear overcame our trust.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

We all have a story to tell

I have been working on my book and I know I need to use this part some where. I don't think it is fitting with the book but I know the Lord had me write it. So enjoy and comment. Thank you all for your faithful encouragement too.


 
We all  have a story to tell.  We have a place where we found God so profoundly that we made Him not only our Savior but Lord of our life.  The Bible talks about these profound moments.  The scripture says in Revelation 12:10-11:
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,

Who accuses them before our God day and night?

Has been hurled down.

11They triumphed over him

By the blood of the Lamb

And by the word of their testimony;

I know this to be true. Many of us hear someone else’s testimony and are encouraged. We can hold on stronger to our faith, we can take just one more step, we can confess and allow God to heal that brokenness and our strength is renewed. When someone tells their testimony with such honesty and truth it breaks the yoke that is upon us. It allows us to give our burden to the Lord in the light of what we know to be true about Him. It makes our burden lighter, easier to carry, easier to have faith in the road unseen. Sometimes the Lord uses that testimony in our life so we can see how loving and giving and easy it is for Him to love us and help us have more faith.

We also have a place where life  changes our foundation, view, perception When that moment comes, it seems like we are facing head first into a hurricane .  The waves are crashing on top of us and we can’t seem to catch our breath. All we know, all we are, all we seem to be unravels and we desperately seek to anchor our footing so we can have a solid hold on the things we have known. In that moment, inside the eye of the hurricane we don’t see the changes the water has made. The shifts of the sand beneath our feet. The way it moves the water around us and strengthens our stance as we place our feet on solid footing and weather  the storm.

.In the midst of the storm we hear that still small voice. A whisper of truth to hold on. We struggle to grasp the grip of His hand, to hold on to our faith, our love and the Father who we know ultimately has it all in control. Finally we feel our hands in His, and the grasp is so strong we know without a shadow of doubt that He has us, in His grip

In those times doubt creeps in before you find that strong grip, that solid ground, you wonder if He knows the storm is raging. Much like the time Jesus was asleep in the boat and the Disciples shook him awake and asked “Lord Do you not see the waves crashing around us”? You know He is there, but[ the struggle to find Him while you are battling the wind, is hard. You see darkly in the midst of the trial and can’t seem to find solid ground. This storm might be the one [JG14]  ravages us and leaves us in a heap with no energy to fight another day. This storm is raging may leave us all alone and gasping for air.

Have you been there? Maybe you have walked alone for so long that the only things you allow yourself to do is keep the smile pasted on, the hard things in your luggage compartment locked and closed, and the heart walled away so the pain can have a nice hiding place and maybe, just maybe there will not be another storm.

When we have been hurt or struggled so hard, I know how easy it is to close the pain off and not want to look at it again. To try and  hold things at bay until the storm passes. I don’t deny wanting rest and restoration[ . But, I know that if we truly want to know God we must understand His heart for us.  Seeing the wind for what it can create in our heart if we lean into the Father for strength, healing and hope. Then those raging waters will come and we can see the true things that lie in the dark in our hearts and bring light to them, truth. His desire for us and the love He has enveloped us in.  David puts it best with

Psalm 139:23-24 

23Search me, God, and know my heart;

Test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24See if there is any offensive way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

I am not sure where you are[, but my life faced one of the moments more than a few times. But, the  year I faced death was one of the most profound. As I pen this book each day, I must face what I’ve written. The questions I] asked out loud to myself and to you, the reader. Every question, every doubt, and every dark moment I have painfully endured, do I  have the faith to hold on? All those times I can say that “joy comes in the morning” and I finally found that faith. But the road is difficult and “the morning” represents time, and we need  time to see all those things that give us peace, love, understanding, patience, kindness…the fruit of our relationship with the one who loves us more than we can ever comprehend.