A Tribute

I spoke about my mother-in-law recently and I have an update. She passed August 8,2017. This is one reason I haven’t written. I wrote a tribute to her and spoke it at her funeral and wanted to share it on my blog for safe keeping. This way I can read it and it won’t be lost. I hope you enjoy it. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Virginia Gibson was my mother-in-law. I knew her for 30 years. I wanted to say a little bit about who she was as a person. I admired her goodness. Her desire to do good and be good. She didn’t see life any other way. She told me once that her whole life she didn’t understand why anyone would want to be bad. She was drawn to the Light even when she was a child. She told me how she loved going to revival with her mom. I like to imagine her right now with her family in the biggest revival she has ever see and heard. She is experiencing the full love of Christ right now. I have had tastes of His love already and I know for sure she is full of joy beyond what we can imagine. She wanted her children to love one another, to help one another. She told me when I was taking care of her, how much she loves her children. Every night she thanked God for each of you, imagining your heads on your pillow. I found myself the past few nights that she has been gone, taking up her prayer. I have prayed for each one of you just as she did. I know you are broken and sad but we have each other. Your mom and dad lives in each one of you. We can continue their legacy with our own families. Take what they have taught us and pass it on. This is paying it forward. Give! Give yourself away. Give your time away. Give whatever you have for whoever needs it in that moment. Let’s make them proud! Don’t let all their hard work building a family be all for naught. Get up, run your race well, the way we saw them do. Love well. She expressed to me her hope for us all to be saved and go to heaven. She wants us all to be together again.

I remember a time long ago when I wanted to get up at Christmas and tell each one of you what you mean to me. I didn’t do it out of fear of talking. Just as I am afraid now, but God has given me strength to do this. I just want to say I love you all and there’s no place like home!

 

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Pray The Psalms With Me, Psalm 3

This Psalm is addressing hopelessness. Hopelessness is a state of mind. We have to choose to have hope. Psalm 3 helps remind us what we should be doing to have hope and remain in hope when we are in trouble or are feeling fearful. We must remember our salvation. God saved us! If we meditate on how God saved us we are hopeful that He will save us from whatever trouble we are in now. How awesome it is that we have a God who saves us! Fear is the opposite of love. When we are in fear we are out of love. We aren’t remembering God’s love for us. Remember God loves you, so have faith and trust in Him. God hears our prayers and He answers in His way and in His timing. He will not leave us or forsake us. We can rest in peace knowing God is with us and protects us. People can’t scare us because we know who we belong to. We declare victory over our enemies and Satan. He has no power over us unless we give it to him. Being hopeless is a way he can get in. Close the door on hopelessness and open the door to Jesus, the one who never leaves us, He is our hope! Choose to focus on Jesus!

Prayer

Thank you for the promise that You will never leave us alone! Thank you for hearing our prayers and answering us when we call on Your name. You are a great loving Father to us, Your children. One day we will be with You in heaven and we will know You fully. I can’t wait for that day! Until then thank you for Your Holy Spirit leading us and guiding us and for the hope we have in Jesus! Amen.

Are You Following Jesus Or Church?

When we are faced with questions as a christian and we don’t know how to answer them we need the Holy Spirit for insight, revelation, wisdom and understanding. I have been looking into the sin of judging and gossip lately and the Holy Spirit has shown me something I want to share. You know how churches are known for condemning people who are gay? And it is a hard thing, until the other day I understand how to respond to that. We are not the judge. We have been instructed by Jesus to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and to love others. He didn’t say to judge or condemn anyone. It isn’t our place to figure out anyone’s life. It’s between them and God. Only God knows everything about that person and knows their heart. God is the only one who knows sin and how it came to be. He only knows why each person has the problems they have. We can never begin to know everything. We are only called to love people. We aren’t suppose to sit around and try to figure it all out. We are only suppose to speak well of others, love them and lead them to Jesus. The Holy Spirit does the rest. We can’t save anyone. We just lead and the Holy Spirit does the work. I have learned that trying to be God was what Satan did and when we try to be God we are doing the same thing. It’s wrong and God doesn’t like it.

I am learning that there is a difference in following Jesus and following church. The church is people, not a place or building. Jesus’ Spirit is inside of us. We carry the light. Satan works where he has an opening, even in churches. This is why people are turned off to going to church. Since they see and feel corruption, they turn away and get even further fom God. These man made denomnations are not what Jesus wanted for church. He wants us to fellowship and worship together and spread the good news. Who cares how big or how many satellite churches you have. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the synagogue it was because they were tainting something holy with something common. He didn’t like money being a part of the spiritual.

I will confess something here. I was saved in my kitchen in August 2010 with the Gospel Of John on the computer. Jesus came to me and revealed Himself to me all by myself. I have allowed the Holy Spirit to teach me and guide me. He has manifested Himself to me because I ask Him to. He is experienced by me because I want to. This experiencing God is what makes a relationship with Him, not going to church. I am a true worshiper but I don’t fit in with church people and now I don’t fit in with the world. I guess this is how Jesus was. You see, there is the world that belongs to Satan and the so called church. Jesus even said of the church in His day that they were white washed tombs. Meaning they looked good on the outside but empty on the inside. I’m not saying all churches are this way, I’m just saying be careful about where you go.

The Lent That Sticks

Ever since I got saved in August 2010, I have done something to acknowledge the Lent season. I was raised Catholic but that doesn’t have anything to do with it. When I got saved for real, you know when this happens, I had a strong desire to follow Jesus and His teachings. Practicing Lent is not a teaching, it’s something that certain denominational churches have come up with. It’s about observing the 40 days before Easter, representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.

I feel that most people are turned off to observing Lent because they think it’s for the church. I have to say that I am turned off to denominational churches, they are the Pharisees of our day. I am learning more and more about Jesus and how the church of His day hated Him. I know most people don’t know this but it was the church who crucified Jesus. Now I know it was the plan of God but Jesus confronted them on many occasions about how they followed rules but they didn’t know God.

This is what is happening today. People are in church doing church things and they think they have to observe Lent. I choose to observe Lent because of my obedient heart towards God. If you are just going through the motions with an empty heart you are wasting your time and energy. God knows. He sees your heart. That is all He sees for that matter. The things you do or don’t do, doesn’t matter to Him, it’s the state of your heart that counts.

My husband teases me about my Lent devotion. He will say there is Lent all over the table or something funny like that. Today he made another comment like that and something was said to me in my spirit. Whatever it is your doing for Lent season keep doing it. Lent sticks to stuff right? Well, how about letting this Lent stick to your heart and soul? The only Lent that sticks is one done out of love. We love because He first loved us. Out of love we want to please God. Don’t do anything out of obligation, God doesn’t see it or feel it. He wants our love, fellowship, relationship.

I have been reading lately about soaking in His presence and intimacy with God. I found out that I do these things without realizing it just by following the Holy Spirit. I learned from Kim Walker Smith that stopping and talking to God, asking Him questions, this is intimacy with Him. Waiting for His answer, soaking in His presence. The problem we have is we are so rushed all the time and we forget. I have written about this before that forgetting God is the real sin. We have to fight to keep an awareness of His presence. This is what I am aiming for now, to stop and ask the Holy Spirit for direction, what choice to choose, what to say. I want Him in my every moment. This is the Lent that sticks. The Holy Spirit is stuck to you, inside of you, if your a believer, welcome Him, talk to Him, commune with Him. This is what He is waiting for. I read the other day that God is waiting for you to wait on Him! I loved that!

Jesus just wants us. Our belief, faith, love, trust. Following church rules doesn’t bring you closer to Him. Loving Him does.

The Be-Attitudes

Wikipedia – The beatitudes are nine blessings recounted in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun beatitudo which means “happiness.” Here they are:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. (5:3)
Blessed are those who mourn: for they will be comforted. (5:4)
Blessed are the meek: for they will inherit the earth. (5:5)
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled. (5:6)
Blessed are the merciful: for they will be shown mercy. (5:7)
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they will see God. (5:8)
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God. (5:9)
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (5:10)
Blessed are those when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my name sake
The Be- Attitudes the way I understand them:
1. Be humble/ do not have spiritual pride
2. Be mournful over my sin
3. Be gentle and quiet
4. Be hungering and thirsting for right standing with God
5. Be merciful, have mercy toward others
6. Be pure in heart, have right motives and do things from the right motives
7. Be a peacemaker, making peace instead of chaos where ever I go
8. Be persecuted for Jesus’ name sake, because you have right standing with God
9. Be ready to accept persecution and all manner of evil against you falsely because of your relationship with Jesus
What I am getting from this is that Jesus was telling us a path to blessings and happiness. Ann calls it upside down because it’s the opposite of what the world teaches. God’s kingdom is not of this world and if we want to enter it and be a part of it we have to be the opposite of this world. True happiness and joy lie in the boundaries that God and Jesus have set. The ten commandments give us boundaries and a code to live by. These beatitudes from Jesus give us further instruction about the way to get to God’s Kingdom.

A Broken Heart Lets God’s Love In

In my reading today “Lean On Me”, she says something really profound. “There is freedom in dependence. It enables us to accept our vulnerability.” This is something very hard to do but when we reach this realization that we need to be vulnerable to feel the hand of God then we invite it in our lives. I know this because I have experienced this recently.

The suggested reading is Psalm 70. This was talked about on Day 8. We have to be aware continuously of God’s presence and His love for us to stay vulnerable, humble and this pleases God.

Trail to the Tree

The scripture reading is about when Jesus took the bread and fish and multiplied it for 5000 people.

Ann says: We ask to be broken for others, as You were broken for us. Today, take the little that you are, pray that God may bless you, then break yourself for others. As He has fed us, let us feed others.

I am learning about what being broken really means. This has come up several times lately. I used to think being broken meant to be in despair, to be immovable, to not be able to function. But what God means when He says to be “broken” He means to let yourself be vulnerable. Keep your heart soft. The only way I have found to do this is by what Ann talks about in her book 1000 Gifts. Through eucharisteo I can keep a soft  repented heart, vulnerable. This “broken” heart is what God uses to heal others. Through my vulnerability He can use me to reach other hurting people. So having a broken heart isn’t a bad thing and it doesn’t hurt. What hurts is having a hard heart that God’s love can’t get into. But with the power of the Holy Spirit God can melt a hard heart into a pool of love! I know this because I have experienced it. You have to be willing and allow God to work. Surrender to Him and He will do the work on the inside of you. Living with a hard heart hurts you and the people around you. A broken heart lets God’s love inside and overflows to other people through you. The freedom in dependence is being vulnerable because you can let go and let God.

 

 

 

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Made With Love

Have you ever seen the SpongeBob episode where his grandma makes cookies for him and says they were made with love? I always thought it was cute but there is truth to this. I experienced God yesterday in an unusual way and wanted to share it with you.

Lately we have been eating out more. My family has commented on how the food just isn’t as good as at home when I make it. I never gave it much thought until yesterday. My husband and I decided to go see the movie, The Shack, which by the way is really good. I might write something about the movie later on. But anyway we got hotdogs to eat in the movie. When we finished I said that the bun was kinda stale and my husband agreed and said that eating out isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and it’s expensive!

Well, the movie began and we were sitting there watching and a scene came up where Mac, the main character is in heaven at the dinner table with Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit. God prepared the meal. Mac took a bite from the food and said how really good the food was! God responded by saying , “that’s because I made it.” I started crying during this scene, the only one, because God was showing me that the food I make at home is made by the Holy Spirit through me. It’s so good because it’s made with love. I realized in that moment that cooking is special to my family. It’s my way of showing them love. God showed me that it matters!

When we were driving home I told my husband that a part of the movie that made me cry wasn’t even about the movie itself. I began telling him the part and began crying and I couldn’t talk and he said, “Oh, I see, I get it!” When we came inside we were in the kitchen and my son came downstairs. He said,” Mom, can you make that salsa, I want some and Mollie(his girlfriend) asked if you could make it, she’s been craving it all day.” I had tears in my eyes and gladly said,”Yes.” He said,”I love you.” I couldn’t hold the tears back and I said,”I love you too.” My son said, “What was that movie about anyway?” It’s mine and my husband’s secret.

So the next time you think what you do doesn’t matter think about it. At the end of the movie they said everything we do matters and everything done with love, every kindness changes the universe. Don’t think you are insignificant, God made you, God put you here, you can make a difference in the world with just by simply cooking a meal with love.

Christ Died For Us

Today is about reverence, worship and praise toward God for who He is and toward Jesus for what He has done. I wrote an article about reverence, worship and praise here . What I read today brought these scriptures to mind. Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 1 John 4:19,  We love because he first loved us.

My reading was a poem and a quote. The quote is about how the blood of Jesus is forgiveness of sins and the cross represents the sinners that we are. He bled forgiveness on each one of us. We all have a cross to bear, our own sinfulness, but Jesus’ shed blood washes it away. Picture yourself carrying this heavy, burdensome cross across a river and a big gush of water like in the wild rapids comes along and takes the cross from your back and washes it down river. Jesus can do this for us.

The poem was about seeing God for who He really is. Having reverential fear and awe towards Him. We shouldn’t take His presence lightly. It is an honor to be in His presence. We should remember that we need God to survive and thrive. We take His Holy Spirit for granted these days. The Israelites didn’t have His Holy Spirit. We need to take God’s presence seriously and be thankful Jesus made a way for us to be with Him.

Trail to the Tree was about the gift of rescue. Ann wrote:” Father, we paint ourselves red with Jesus’ blood so that satan can not enter into this soul place to wrack ruin and death, but that You would come through the door of our hearts…that we would come through Jesus, the door, and into Your Presence.”

We are rescued just as the Israelites were on the first Passover. They painted crosses with blood of a lamb on their door posts so no death would come inside. So by faith I paint with Jesus’ blood a cross on the door of my heart so no evil can come into my thinking, my attitude, my love, my peace, my joy. Jesus rescues me and also protects me.

Thank you God for loving me even as a sinner. Thank you for Your mercy and lovingkindness and for sending Jesus to save me. Thank you Jesus that You saw Your mission through to the end to save us all from death. Thank you that You loved us first and died for us to live.

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A Valentine From God

On February 14,2013 I woke up with the number 32 appearing in my mind in different languages and forms. I was led to read Psalm 32 and felt it was my Valentine from God so I wanted to share it here for anyone who may be looking for their Valentine this year. Here it is from the One who loves you with an everlasting love that will never end. The One who will always be there for you and never leave. The One who carries you when your weak. The One who knows you intimately and is still there. The One who will love you like no one else can. God Loves You! Happy Valentines! From God to you,

Psalm 32

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.[b]

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
    which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the Lord’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

From Bible Gateway NIV version

It’s The Sin I Hate!

When I became a mom I couldn’t figure out why I was getting angry when my children misbehaved or hurt one another. I never thought I had anger issues until I had kids! I tried to figure out why this was happening to me. Now that I have been in fellowship with Jesus, He has shined a light on the anger issue and it has changed the way I look at my kids and the way I handle situations that aren’t fun to deal with.

I had the revelation that when I get angry at them, it’s not the child that is angering me, it’s the SIN I hate! This is the same with God towards us. He always loves us but doesn’t always love what we do, think or say. Part of living in a godly way is renewing your mind with God’s Word everyday.

I don’t remember where I got this from, it’s in my notebook, but it says: It’s not enough just to believe the Bible, I must fill my mind and heart with it so that the Holy Spirit can transform me with the truth. We have to become doers of the Word.                                          Jesus pointed out that God’s blessing comes from obeying the truth, not just knowing it. John 13:13-17, You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is who I am. 14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. 15 For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you. 16 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed [happy and favored by God] if you put them into practice [and faithfully do them].  I use the Joyce Meyer Everyday Bible Amplified Version and in it she puts God’s Word into affirmations and confessions so you can speak it out loud over your life. We have to speak God’s Word out loud to see it manifest in our lives. When we do this it puts us in agreement with Him and it has to come to pass because God’s Word does not return to Him void. Isaiah 55:11, So will  My word be which goes out of My mouth;
It will not return to Me void (useless, without result),
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Remember words are empty without faith and belief. You have to believe what He says is true for you and your faith for Him to do it is what brings it to pass. We serve the same God as Abraham, Moses and all those in the Bible. That thought just amazes me! The Bible says God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He never changes, so we can trust Him. Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is [eternally changeless, always] the same yesterday and today and forever. God will do for you what He did for those in the Bible. We are in the ” To Be Continued” part of His Story.

When I began to believe these truths I began to trust God and that is the beginning of your relationship with Him. When we begin to come away from our sin nature through our faith in Jesus Christ, God smiles on us. The sin is what separates us from Him, that’s why He hates it. When you put your faith in Jesus, He takes the sin away and we can have access to God and all His Grace and provision for our lives!