Blessings of Peace and Comfort to You

Two nights ago my husband and I were watching television. We were watching a series and the episode was touching something deep within. My emotions got involved in the program as I watched an episode concerning a beloved family member dying. It has been one year since my own beloved parents went home to Jesus and what I was watching began touching upon my own experience. And that’s when it happened.

As I sat, I suddenly became aware of a smell, a very sweet yet pleasing smell. It was so strong. I looked over at my husband and wondered if he were smelling it also. I asked. No, he hadn’t noticed anything. I kind of wrote it off as perhaps a lotion I had applied earlier in the morning and somehow I was getting a whiff of it again. And then it was gone, and I continued watching the program.

Last night, we were watching this same program as they did indeed say final goodbyes to their loved one. And once again, I was moved, almost to tears, with memories of my parent’s passing, one day apart. It was a tough time in my life because I didn’t have the luxury of sitting with either of my parents as they entered into paradise with my Savior, Jesus. No, this was a time of no contact because they were in an assisted living facility and they both had covid. Too many details to get into but enough to say I didn’t get to say my final goodbyes in person. It was hard.

Suddenly, I became aware of the smell again. This was a wonderful aroma, like perfume, that was very pleasing to my sense of smell. I looked again at my husband; his eyes were on the show and he gave no outward appearance of smelling what I was. This time, my mind switched over to God. “Is that you Lord?” I inquired. I didn’t hear any reply.

As I sat there with my rising feelings, I quietly voiced my disappointment to God over my not being able to be with my parents when they each slipped away. I had been denied that. And as I watched the continuing story in the program, I was aware of questions I had. I felt so badly for my parents because there was no one, save for the dedicated staff members that I knew were there with them. I know they were taken care of, but all the same, I wasn’t there. I easily could have slipped into despair. But there was that aroma wafting across my sense of smell and it was oh, so pleasant.

When the program was over, I voiced my sorrow and disappointments to my husband. We talked about it for 15 minutes or so. He asked me if I’d like to pray over all this. “Yes, I would like that very much”. We said our prayers, asking God to not only console me, but also over our various family members and what we knew of things they were experiencing, our friends and their struggles, situations that we knew needed lifting before our Father in heaven. We also thanked God and gave Him praises for all we could think of and finally, over our nation and all that is being faced right now. When we were done, we kissed each other goodnight and turned out the lights. I slept a fairly good night considering the emotions of the last hour before retiring.

This morning, on my way to church, I asked the Lord if there was anything He wanted to highlight to me concerning our Sunday service. We are members of a Foursquare Church and so we often are able to share words of encouragement to our congregation. As I waited on Him during my 20-minute drive, He brought up the smell I had sensed the past two nights and very suddenly, He dropped His explanation into my heart.

As I’d watched this program about someone dying, it stirred up all the emotions of the past year as I was grieving the loss of my parents. The program brought up a lot and for a brief moment last night, I feared I was going to fall headlong back into the fullness of my emotions; I feared I was going to fall apart. While I did shed a few tears, the aroma I had smelled had somehow comforted me. God showed me that through my awareness of the sweet aroma I smelled, He was there. It was His smell! He wanted me to know He was right there, right with me, as I was experiencing familiar feelings of loss and grief. But…He wanted me to know that His Presence was real, and He was with me, just as He always is, ready to comfort and bring me His peace. I was able to share this with our congregation this morning.

My friend, if you are in need of God’s comfort and peace, would you please just push the pause for a few minutes in your busy life and wait on the Lord? He longs to comfort you too. He is an ever present participant in our lives and, as His Word says, He’ll never leave us nor forsake us. It means He cares for you very much. Your discomfort is felt by Him and He longs to bring you His peace. There is nothing He regrets more in our lives than our pulling away from Him during troubled times.

For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees. “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; And you will be comforted in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 66:12-13 NASBS

He is holding out peace to you in your time of need. He longs to comfort you in your hard places. Let His love wash over you as a flowing river and allow Him to just hold you tight today.

I pray God’s amazing Shalom over you this day. Stop and observe. Can you sense His Presence? He’s there with you…always! Blessings of peace and comfort over you today.

His Astonishing Time: A Masterful Twist on Reality

Acts 1:7-8 (NKJV) 
And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

There is a distinction here in what Jesus was saying to His disciples just before He was “taken up” into heaven. The disciples were grieving the loss of their Savior, the man they had come to know and follow. The days were hard, living under the rule of the Roman Empire, persecution had risen and I would guess that the disciples might have even feared for their lives in this time. The One whom they had pinned all their hopes upon had died a brutal death. What were they to do now? Through Jesus showing Himself to them numerous times after His death, appearing to many of them in moments of doubt and fear, they were beginning to perceive that perhaps their friend and Savior was indeed going to usher in peace and power. There was a faint glimmer of hope building in their spirits.

The definition of “times or seasons” as stated in Acts 1:7 are two-fold. “It is not for you to know times.” The root of this word times is chronos, meaning time as we know it, chronological time, the times we live in. The root word of seasons is kairos, meaning an opportunity or occasion. Chronos times means time as it is occurring in our lifetime. Kairos, on the other hand, indicates a God-given opportunity in the midst of chronos time.

As I have pondered the difference in these two words, I was pointed back to verse 7; “it is not for you to know chronos times or even kairos moments or opportunities…But you shall receive power…!” This verse is a promise from Jesus, to His disciples and to us, to be encouraged no matter what the days look like. As I waited with God in a quiet moment, He suddenly brought back a memory to my mind, one which I feel is a great example of the difference between chronos and kairos moments.

In 2007 I had to have surgery, and it happened on a Tuesday. The surgery went ok and I was sent to my room to recover. On each morning following, my surgeon would come to my room and listen to my intestines for signs they were waking up from the anesthesia. Wednesday through Friday, they were not active, meaning they were not waking up and acting the way they were supposed to. I could not eat solid foods until my intestines woke up. After he left me on Friday morning, with no explanation as to why this was taking so long, I could read the concern on his face. “This isn’t normal,” was all I could think of and fear began to fill up my mind.

I knew I needed to reach out to someone to pray for me, so I called a new friend who had come alongside me during this season of my life. I told her what was happening and asked her to pray my intestines to wake up. She told me, “of course I’ll pray for you Linda, but I want to suggest something to you. Did it ever cross your mind that perhaps God isn’t allowing your intestines to wake because He has a divine appointment for you there in the hospital and just perhaps that person hasn’t even arrived yet?” And with that, she then prayed over me for everything to begin working as it was supposed to and we soon hung up.

Her words hung in my mind; “He hasn’t allowed things to wake up because there’s someone He needs you to meet and perhaps they aren’t even there yet!” Had I considered such a thing? NO! I was so caught up in thoughts only of myself and I was caving into the arrows of deceit that the enemy was planting in my mind. “What’s wrong with me? Why God? I’m afraid and why aren’t you healing me as I have believed you would?” I cried out inside. Fear had a hold but my friend’s words invaded my very selfish thoughts. “Could this be? Could you really have me here because you want me to speak to someone here before I go home?” Now my imagination was alert and wide awake. Who Lord? Who was this mystery person or persons You mean for me to speak to?

The rest of the day and evening, I was now on assignment! Her words had electrified my intentions and focus onto who this person might be…and I was definitely looking. I was walking around the floor many times each day because the activity and exercise could help wake up my slumbering gut. But now, as I walked and walked, I was looking. Intently.

You see, I was caught in a chronos moment of time. Reality. My gut wasn’t working, and I couldn’t eat nor go home until it woke up. I had no control over the situation. Does this remind you of how a lot of things look right now in our lives? It should because we are living in the chronos time of our days. But my friend had made a suggestion to me, one that would take my mind completely off of my own circumstances and become aware that God might have in this dilemma a kairos opportunity for me!

Sure enough, late Friday evening, as I was once again walking the floor, I rounded a corner and fairly ran into my divine appointment! A young woman I had noticed earlier was walking toward me, crying out loud and asking no one in particular, “what am I supposed to do, what am I supposed to do?” In that instant, I knew she was the one. How did I know? I cannot tell you in words, it was simply a knowing in my heart.

I asked if I might help and the next ten minutes or so were spent with her, hearing her story about her estranged father who was here, having a horrible experience of pain that would not relent after his surgery . She was so distraught, all her story fairly tumbled from her lips into the ears of a total stranger.

We talked of God and her dad. I suggested that she pray and ask God to forgive her for her long separation from Him and then to ask for prayers of healing over her dad. She told me she loved her dad so much, but due to the fact that they hadn’t had much time together over the last 10 years, she didn’t know how to tell him that. She didn’t think she could ask God to forgive her and she didn’t think she could tell her dad how she felt. I prayed with her (with her permission) and asked her to re-dedicate her life to Christ, and then to believe God had given her this opportunity with her dad to tell him all she longed to. And just like that, our time came to an end. We hugged and parted ways.

The next morning, my surgeon came in, checked me, and lo, my gut had awakened! Oh thank you Jesus! I would be discharged after one more day, once I had some food and all things remained stable. I had one more glimpse of my mystery friend later that morning, once again on my walk around the floor. Her dad’s room was at the end of one of the halls and the day before the door was always shut. This day, the door was open and as I walked toward it, my young friend was sitting on the other side of his bed, facing me, reading something in her lap. As I drew nearer, she glanced upwards, saw me, gave me a ‘thumbs up’ and flashed a huge smile! That smile told me everything I needed to know. God was good and He had shown up in her life and also in mine.

I was in a chronos moment of my life, a dire one at that. At the suggestion of a friend, my focus came off of my own circumstances and re-focused onto looking for a kairos moment. Sure enough, as I forgot about the chronological events occurring, my focus shifted, resulting in a kairos opportunity!

I would like to suggest to you to read Acts 1 again, looking there for your kairos message of hope from God. The similarities of those days in Jerusalem are very similar to that which we are living in now. Political upheaval, a pandemic crisis, isolation, fear, maybe even persecutions…all occurring in the chronos time frame. And yet, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever,” (Heb 13:8), and “God is no respecter of persons,” (Acts 10:34), meaning kairos moments are for now just as much as they were spoken of for the benefit of the disciples. Indeed, God came in a kairos moment for the disciples, after they spent time in the upper room together, praying in one accord, and waiting as they were instructed. Everything changed in a moment for them.

These days may be hard and in fact, may become harder, but in the midst of them are kairos moments waiting to occur for you and for me! All we are asked to do is take our eyes off of our own circumstances and begin to look, really look, for the kairos opportunities waiting for us. Jesus Christ, the giver of kairos moments, is waiting. Spend some moments with Him in your upper room or gather with others and pray to see Him! If you spend time there, He will come!

Rejoicing When It’s Not Easy


It’s day three of Coronavirus shut-down. In my neck of the woods we’ve not been mandated to shelter in place, but today the President advised meeting in groups of no larger than 10. That pretty much shuts down most group activities we’ve been involved in.

How are you doing with this? I have to admit I’ve had better weeks than last week. First it was all the conjecture about the government running our lives and shutting us down, just. like. that! Then it was news of COVID-19’s symptoms, incubation periods, and washing hands. Oh, and yes, there’s the toilet paper thing! What really got to me were a couple of posts I read about life in lockdown in Wuhan and also in Italy. I guess it was at that point that reality really set in: our lives were forever changed in a way we just didn’t see coming.

With elderly parents in an assisted living facility nearby, I cautiously took them to dr. appointments last Thursday in a neighboring city. We went to lunch. We talked. And we laughed. Then I went to Costco because I needed groceries. My parents opted to remain in the car while I shopped. What I witnessed inside, began the fear lump in my throat. No paper products of any kind. No sanitizing products. The meat counter was scarily empty. Shelves were obviously stocked but supplies were down from what is normal at Costco. And the people. Many, many more people than I’ve ever seen in our Costco! The wait in line was long, longer there than all the time it took me to shop.

When we returned home, I took my parents back to their place. We were met at the door by one of the directors who informed me I couldn’t come in and that my parents would no longer be able to leave unless for dr. appointments or emergency situations. I understood but I knew my mom would worry about all the family out of her range.

Now the fear lump grew. I wrestled for the next three days over all this. Each day brought more bad news. More restrictions, more cases, more people in jeopardy. And then, on my daily phone call with my mom on Saturday, I heard the fear in her voice. She knows that I’m the one who pays her bills, makes her appointments, tends to their getting to wherever they need to go. She said, “you have to stay well!  You’re the one who takes care of us and our needs and we’ll have no one if something happens to you!”

That reality had already crossed my mind and was the main reason behind the lump of fear churning in my stomach. Our church had announced they would still have service on Sunday, but they were going to go live on Facebook for anyone who opted to remain at home. I had decided already that I would stay home in the attempt to minimize exposure, even though our town had no reported issues at this point. When I reassured Mom we were staying at home and not going to church, I could hear the relief in her voice.

So, we’d kind of made the decision to stay home on Saturday and shelter in place. Today is Monday. Day three. So far, it hasn’t been bad. I’ve reached out to neighbors and we’ve all agreed to give a shout if someone is going to the store so we can minimize all of us going. We enjoyed church on the web (after we got some technical problems solved!). We prayed with the National Day of Prayer for our home, town, region, state, country and world.

Today seems more manageable. As I’ve read news updates, I’m able to be more discerning about what is fear mongering by the media and what is solid fact. My fear is abating. Unfortunately I’m the kind of person who struggles with fear periodically. I’m learning that when fear begins to grab hold, I must aggressively begin to capture my thoughts and sort through what’s fear and what’s rational thinking for the situation.

Just three weeks ago, before all this COVID-19 stuff really heated up, I had had another bout of fear threatening to wreck a much needed vacation. I’ll spare you the details but the fear resulted in anxiety and that was about to swamp me. That night, laying in bed with my husband, I told him of my plight. I thought I needed to go home because I was going down emotionally and I thought I needed help. Well, I was right about needing help, but it wasn’t what I had in mind when I first told him about it.

I’d been reading a book while I was there and the chapter I’d read the night before suddenly popped into my mind. I began retelling it’s message to my husband. And it basically boiled down to one thing…worship is a weapon! I realized I needed to take captive my thoughts, right then and there and do a little warfare. We believe that the enemy is real and that he loves to trip us up, over big things and little things. This was what appeared to be an all-out attack on my peace. So we fought back, even though I didn’t feel much like it!

We began by singing a couple of worship songs we knew by heart. We then declared that the place we were in was safe territory, covered by the blood of Jesus and unceremoniously kicked out anything not of God to depart – RIGHT NOW! We then sang again and then began thanking God for everything we could think of. Finally, we ended our time praising God for who He is, what He has done in our lives, and for giving us the opportunity to live a wonderful life. This probably took 45 minutes. And then we went to sleep.

I slept like an absolute log that night (this is quite unusual for me!). And the next day? I felt like a brand new person. Wow God! Anxiety was gone, fear was gone, and I felt energized and alive. All this to say, there is a God-provision for us all through the days we now find ourselves in.

It’s ok to tune into the news or read the latest updates about this dilemma. But I would warn you, don’t linger there and instead, try to turn your attention to God and what He has to say about such things.

Matthew 24:6-7 (NKJV)
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.”

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NKJV)
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

James 1:2-3 (NKJV)
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

These three Scriptures are just the tip of many, encouraging us to rejoice, even in hard times. The Good News of the Gospel tells us that these things are not uncommon to man, meaning we all go through trials. And here’s the thing: we’re all going through this trial together! The economics of our country will come back. COVID-19 won’t last forever; this is just the normal cold/flu season and when we get down the road a couple of months, this thing will be a memory. Hopefully, the death tolls won’t be so bad if we join in this sheltering in place thing and help kill this virus.

If you’re especially having a difficult time, try what I did a few weeks ago, even if you don’t even think you have the energy or desire to do it:

  1. Worship God. If you don’t know any songs by heart, get on YouTube and look some up. Use your worship as a weapon! Sing until you feel like singing more. Even when you don’t feel like it, SING and dedicate your worship to God.
  2. If you recognize that the enemy may be involved in your struggle, command him to leave your premises, your mind, and your peace now in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
  3. Thank God for everything you can think of. Your home, shelter, electricity, food in the fridge, that loaf of bread, your children, your job, etc. You get the idea.
  4. Now praise God for who He is. He’s the Alpha, the Omega (the beginning and the end of all things), ruler, King, Abba Father, provider, etc.
  5. Finally, end with another song or two of worship.

Remember, we’re all in this together. If we were all to do this simple exercise, might we be able to turn the table on this virus? Let’s try, shall we! Banded together in the love of Christ, anything can happen!

I’d love to hear your testimonies! Blessings, protection, and healing on you and yours…

As the River Flows…



I close my eyes.  The gentle rocking of the boat lulls me into sweet serenity, rocking back and forth so calmly I can almost forget I am trying to get to God.

Difficult days push you forward, sometimes imperceptibly, and you find yourself just going through movements of routine.  Get up, shower, dress, eat, chores, and so on throughout the day.  Nothing causes you to stop and realize that the movements are rote.

And then, after perhaps days of wandering, you catch a glimpse of His robe in some part of your day.  “Wait!  Is that you Lord?  Wait for me!  Please?”  My awareness of things of the Light is suddenly shocked into action.  There is one thing to be grasped in this moment; my Lord is here and I do not want to miss Him.

I do miss Him, for days it seems.  But I’m scrambling back up the banks of my awareness, trying desperately to get back to Him.  The short Bible passages I am able to focus on in these moments serve as my lifeline.

Up the banks I go, sometimes clawing, sometimes resting, always knowing I must get back to the place where I can see His presence fully.  He is a compelling force – and I want to be with Him.  I can see the top of the ridge.  I go for it.

As always, He is there.  My wanderings have not caused Him concern for He always provides lessons in the chase.  I see the river winding slowly away from me, around a curve, and then here it comes around the bend and makes its way back.  My Lord has not left me – He is always there for me, waiting.

I jump into the waters, soothing balm for my tired body.  The small boat is coming towards me; I grab its side and pull myself in.  I am so weary, I cannot speak.  I lay down and close my eyes.

The gentle rocking lulls me into sweet serenity as The River flows. I am with Him as we go forward together!


I Can See Clearly Now

When you look through a monocular, or what I remember in movies as an old-fashioned  “spyglass” that pirates used to use, you look at a particular place. While you peer through, you cannot see the entire field of vision, only the space around the focal point you’re looking at. What does this create? A partial view of your surroundings or tunnel vision!

When you’re up against a problem, we have a tendency as humans to only look at the thing that is disturbing or harassing us. We fixate on it really. We worry about it, lose sleep over it, and otherwise just keep looking at it over and over. What is it we think will happen by looking at it and only it? We want, more than anything, for it to just go away.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.

This scripture is a good reminder of the nature of our walk with our Lord, one we tend to focus only on the beginning, forgetting the promise made at the end of the verse! The enemy of our souls is here, in this world, and he brings suffering and negative into our lives. But. God is also with us and He’s always working for us, helping us to live well in a hostile surrounding.

“Oh that mean old devil messed up my life because he means to steal my blessing!” Or how about, “I can’t believe I’ve been having all these awful headaches; I’ve been prayed over for healing, but they’re still hurting me!” Or perhaps, “we’re in financial messes because of the enemy!”

I think we’ve all been guilty of such statements, concentrating only on the dilemma at hand, that thing we’re focusing on that is causing us so much angst. But the truth of the matter is that if we would but shift our spyglass upwards, we might begin to “see” in the ways our Lord has intended.

Let’s look once again at the scripture.“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10. Our tunnel vision tends to look at part a of this scripture; God’s intention is that we might look at part b!

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Are you a follower of Jesus? Have you invited Him into your heart as your Lord and Savior? If yes, then this promise applies to you! He came so we might have abundant life!

As we fumble around with only seeing the narrow view of our predicament, He sits in heaven, longing for us to shift our sight to the heavens. He always has the solution to our situation, for He knows the end from the beginning. The solution may be sitting right there in plain view but the problem is we’re not even looking for it because we aren’t looking to Him!

I am guilty of fixating on the problem. So what’s wrong with that picture? As I focus only on the problem, the negative thing occurring in my life and not looking around for His solutions, I miss His answer. Oh, so much time wasted!

This tunnel vision of mine is a trait I’m currently asking Papa God to help me with. I’ve learned, through hindsight, to see His provisions every single time I have a problem. I am now, finally, learning to not react to the problems that present in my life. I’m learning to say to myself when the next thing shows itself, “don’t react! Don’t react!”

Instead, I try to take a deep breath, pick up the monocular, and take another look, this time upward to see if I can identify His solution waiting there for me to discover. And as is so true of our loving Father, when I then shift focus back down onto my problem, I suddenly see the solution…right there in front of my eyes!

As growing Christians in a hostile world, it is important for us to remember that God has our back…always! And, according to John 10:10 above, He promises us that in the end, our problems are going to be turned to our good, full of abundant life. What is abundant life?

Webster’s defines abundant as: plentiful; in great quantity; fully sufficient; as an abundant supply. In scripture, abounding; having in great quantity; overflowing with. We might tend to look at “abundant” in the verse as, “oh, that’s nice.” Abundant in the original Greek is the word perissos. It means: Super-abundant! Superior! Beyond abundant! This is no small promise.

I invite you to attempt to turn over a new leaf with me. Instead of looking at life and its problems as a tunnel-visioned, “oh no, here we go again!”, let’s try to focus on the One, looking for His promise and provision. Put down the monocular, stop looking at the problem, and instead, look for His provision in the bigger picture.

Lord, help us to see this life through Your eyes. Yes, there are problems we face but there is no problem bigger than you, Lord! I pray blessings over my brothers and sisters reading here today and I pray your heavenly provisions of abundance will pop into our line of sight in brand new ways.

I’d love to hear your comments as you attempt to see things clearly now!

It’s High Time to Shift!

Shift. Transition. Move. Change. How are you doing with that?

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:18 NIV

We “are being transformed”. That kind of sounds like it’s a for sure thing to me. You and I are being transformed. What if I don’t want to be transformed? What happens then?

We humans are famous for resisting change. But. Don’t you just love it when you hear someone talking about something and follow the sentence up with “but”? But implies there’s something coming here I don’t really want to hear! Truth is being spoken here, BUT…  Isn’t it just like Papa God to throw us a curve ball?

Shift means to move, change place or position, a turning. Change means to alter, make different. As much as we don’t care for change in our lives, God’s plan has always been to move us from one state of being to another. He wants us to look like His Son, Jesus Christ, and when we say yes to Him as our Savior, the works begins, plain and simple.

I think I’ve said here before that I used to say something really dumb; “I don’t do change!” Yep, that was a dumb statement. I suspect it made God laugh right out loud. As I look back over my life, I can see countless episodes of change most of which I balked at.

The truth of the matter is that God intends for us to change. Again, this Scripture above states, “we are being transformed”. The Living Bible says it a little differently:

“But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.” 

This tells us we are being changed by Holy Spirit to become more and more like God. “Hey God, I’m not so sure I want you to be changing me!” In reality, I think if you were really honest with yourself, you’d admit that all the changes you’ve gone through thus far at God’s hand, have been for your betterment and your good.

It’s time to shift! Allow Papa God to move in your life. I’m hearing Him in this message; “Come on, let’s get on with it, shall we?” Perhaps we think we’re going down a path toward a door in front of us when in fact, God is asking us to shift, move, change directions toward that door behind us! Are you willing? Will you give Him permission?

Earlier I said we are being transformed. The implication is that it’s happening. Yet we still have free will. God wants us to come along His path, but the fact remains we must still choose to go with Him. Here again, look back over your life and understand that the changes you’ve lived through came to completion as a result of you choosing to go with the flow.

What amazing things might God have waiting in the wings of change, of shifting from one place to another? God’s promises are all good. He cannot lie and He will never forsake us. So, any change or shift that He’s proposing must have a good outcome.

Go ahead and shift gears. This shift, this change will move you, via His transforming grace, into a place you could never hope for or imagine in your wildest of dreams! He says so. That’s good enough for me. How about you?

You Need to Know…Ask God!

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…” Ephesians 3:20 (ESV)

I’ve often thought of this verse but my focus is usually on how God is able to do far more than. I’m in awe of God and His capabilities. This morning I was reading a prophetic word by a woman in Texas and I was stopped by something she said about ASK! She said, “Asking and contending activates faith…!”

I chewed on that sentence for a few minutes. If I ask for something from God, then I’m compelled to wait on Him for the answer. If I have no faith for what I’m asking for, does it cancel out my request? (Why then did I ask for it in the first place? I’ve done this in the past, but praises to our God, it doesn’t seem to phase Him!). I believe, after many years of walking with God, that He loves to confound us and our sometimes lack of faith, by answering us, even when we doubt He will. What does that do for us? It catapults our faith into the possibility range of things!

Let me give you an example. Back to when I was first saved. I’d been walking with Jesus for a few months. I was astounded about this new “relationship” I was experiencing and trying to take in the fact that God was real and ready to be with me. It confounded me at times because my upbringing in faith was in a denomination that didn’t teach about our relationship with Christ…only the sovereignty of God. Consequently I grew up afraid of God. (I want to clarify here that this was my take-away and not necessarily what they taught).

So I’m in this new relationship with Jesus. All was good until one day it wasn’t. I had a bit of a crisis in my new found faith. I don’t even remember what that crisis was, I just remember that I was devastated and I needed to know that God was real. I mean really real. I wanted proof! And so I asked for proof.

“If you’re real God, I need to know! I don’t want to keep walking down this path only to find myself five years from now learning that this was all a pipe dream. If you’re real, I want proof. You have to show me You’re real!”

I was driving in my car at the time this conversation was happening, on my way home from work and whatever had happened that triggered my trepidation. Suddenly, I heard a voice say to me, “Linda I love you so much!” I heard it…audibly! The voice was so loud and clear, I was startled. I remember actually looking in the backseat as I was driving, thinking someone was in the back seat and they’d heard everything I’d been pouring my guts out over, deciding to play a joke on me. That’s how clear I heard what I heard.

“WHAT? Was that you God? I don’t know what just happened, but if that was You, I need You to do it again!” And He said it again! Out loud. “Linda, I love you so much!” I burst into tears. And then into hysterical laughter. And then gratitude took over, me telling God how much that meant to me. Keep in mind I’m driving while this is happening. I lost all touch with reality at this moment, laughing, crying and talking to God as if He was sitting in the passenger seat. I guess He was in fact sitting in my passenger seat because we had the most glorious time.

I had absolutely no recollection of driving home. All I remember is this magnificent time spent with the God of the universe, in my car, and He, by His answer to my question, “are you real?” became very, very real to me! It was splendid!

My next memory is of lifting my head off of my hands, as they rested on the top of the steering wheel, and I was parked in my carport at home. To this day I still don’t know how He got me there, but He did. And this all important incident, this very specific asking of God to prove to me He was real, forever changed my life. God was real and my faith was activated, just as this author the other day stated it can happen.

Back to our scripture…”Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…” Ephesians 3:20 (ESV). God is the God of the universe. He created this universe, so I believe He’s certainly able to do anything. And He can and will do far more than we ask…or imagine! Here’s another of those wonderful promises of God. He’ll do far more than we can ask or imagine. Wow. That’s a lot! 

God cared about me and my doubts. I asked…and He answered. And my faith was activated. It was the pinnacle of my experience with God at the time. And I’ve never forgotten His tender care and love to answer my cry. That was some 40+ years ago.

What is it you need from God right now? Have you asked Him for an answer? Have you dared? He wants to answer your question. You may need to ask Him again (see Matthew 7:7), but He promises to answer. What have you been desiring, more than anything, to know from God?

Go ahead. Ask. And as He answers you, watch your faith catapult!

Lord, I’m asking today, for you to answer the questions of my brothers and sisters reading today. Activate  our faith today because I know that I know you want to answer us in ways far more than we can ask for or imagine. Thank you Lord…

Surviving the Valley; Hurricane Days & Dusty Road Nights

It’s been a long, hot, dusty road. I’ve missed you all and the truth is, I’ve missed me! What do you do when you find yourself living a tough road? You travel the road.

In the summer of 2018, I was reading a great book by Graham Cooke, “Qualities of a Spiritual Warrior.” Kicked. My. Butt. Ouch! I was also listening to a lot of Graham’s teachings. Somewhere in there I heard him say, “when you find yourself in the middle of the valley of the shadow of death, this is not the time for a pity party. Instead, keep walking, one foot in front of the other, until you walk out the other end.” I grabbed onto that saying like my life depended on it.

The past year has consisted of all things parental. My parents are aging and an accident last summer for my mom, changed all our lives. We moved them to our town. Not easy. We sold their house. Not fun. We’ve attempted to encourage them as they came to grips with leaving their independent life behind and learned to depend on us. Again, not easy.

A year has passed. I love having my parents nearby. Prior to this, I spent 40+ years away from my childhood home and family. I am now here to help; to transport, make appointments, oversee their health issues, take care of their finances, and attempt to soothe them in times of turmoil at all these changes. I’ve realized that losing one’s independence is like nothing else in our lives. Hard. Humiliating. All encompassing. Nothing is as it was. Nothing.

If you’ve wondered why I haven’t been writing, this is it. I’ve experienced doubt, angst, joy, sorrow, love, and countless other emotions over this past year. I’ve felt extreme highs…and sorrowful lows, at having my parents here, in an assisted living facility, ten minutes from our home. And for all my own feelings, my parents’ have had a bucket load of their own. Some days I am their comforter. Some days I’m their demon, forcing them to face things and decisions they’d much rather avoid. It has felt like a hurricane has blown through our lives, leaving chaos and disorder in its wake.

The Lord recently reminded me that writing has always been my comfort. From my days as a young girl forward, I’ve always written. Mostly about my feelings. I’ve come to realize that all those days spent spilling my feelings onto a page were in fact a healthy release of frustrations and doubts, helping me cope with the long, dusty roads of my past.

My heart is hoping for some time to spend writing again. Soon. I’m reminded of a verse in Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NASB77). “I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the LORD answered me and said, ” Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal, and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”

The vision is for a time, not yet come, but it will not fail. God has not forsaken you or me. His Word of life will not fail. Do you find yourself, like me, on a long, dusty road of life? Are you making your way through hurricane debris? Please be encouraged. God is here, right now, right next to us. Do not succumb to the “pity parties” the enemy intends to swamp us with. Instead, keep walking. One. Step. At. A. Time. One day, in the not so distant future, you will see the dawning of a new day. O glorious day, when we realize we’ve walked out of the valley and into His glorious Light!

Travel mercies my friends. The “more” of God is waiting to unfold. Ask Him to revive your weary soul. And don’t forget to look up! He’s still smiling down on us all.

Like a Glove



Do you remember report card day? Oh my, how I feared that day. As a kid, I never really knew whether my teacher was going to write something on my report card that would damn me in the eyes of my parents. As I look back now, I realize this was a bit ridiculous because I was a good kid. But back then, I didn’t really know this fact. I tried to be good, but all would be revealed when I handed that report card to my parents at the end of the day.

As difficult as that was, it afforded me some comforts, receiving this piece of paper that listed, in black and white, how I was doing, not only in my academics but also in my social life. By the way, that social thing is what got me into trouble! You see, I liked to talk back then, and that got me into plenty of “discussions” as a child, not with my peers which I loved, but with my parents.

“If you don’t settle down and stop talking, your teacher and I are going to have a serious talk about what to do with you!” my father would threaten. It might have been easier if my fellow classmates didn’t think I was so funny! Yep, I was runner up for the funniest female in my high school class, a fact I thought was just wonderful. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t agree with this achievement of mine!

OK, so back to report cards. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God handed out report cards periodically, reporting to us how we were doing in subjects such as evangelism, healing the sick, loving others, and so on? Some days I would welcome such reporting. Other days, it might be just as anxiety inducing as it was back in my childhood.

“What is it you want me to doLord? I’d love for you to tell me, unequivocally, what exactly it is you created me for.” I wanted to know about purpose, why I had been created in the first place. This question, this one question used to haunt me; what exactlydid God expect of me during this time on earth?

A few years ago, I heard a sermon about Gideon and a one-word definition completely changed how I looked at my question about purpose. It can all be summed up in Judges 6:34: “But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon…” Came. The original word in the Hebrew is labesh, pronounced law-bash. That word, came, is repeated a number of times in the Bible. But it is only here (I did not do an exhaustive search of the term “came upon,” however I did follow quite a number of scripture references) that this term is used to describe what happened to Gideon.

Gideon had been learning a strong lesson about God, the God of the universe as opposed to the god of Baal. You can read about this in Judges 6. Gideon was instructed by an angel of the Lord and he responded by doing exactly as he was told. There was a submission described in this section of Scripture, whereby Gideon did what he was told and in doing so, something quite extraordinary occurred.

‘Came’ in this verse means to clothe. The Spirt of the Lord “clothed” Gideon, put him on like a garment. In the sermon I heard, this act was described as, “in other words, the Lord put Gideon on like a glove!” Wow! In an act of total obedience, Gideon allowed himself to be fully and completely used of God. There were no conditionals here; Gideon submitted himself completely over to God.

I don’t even remember when I heard this sermon, but it has forever changed how I view God and myself. “What do you want me to do Lord,” has changed to, “Lord, I want to be like a glove.” I believe, the Father is looking for those of us who want to do what He desires in any given situation. Do I always make it? Sadly, no. But I believe it is a thing to aspire to, to allow my Father in heaven to put me on like a glove and do as He would do.

My purpose? While I know God created me before the foundations of the world (see Ephesians 1) and He gave me unique looks, qualities, gifts and talents, I believe He wants me to beHis hands and feet in a world dying for meaning. He is God and I cannot pretend to know His purposes in and for this world. But I believe He needs our help. We are His hands and feet when we speak the truth of the Gospel, bringing others into Kingdom life. We are His hands and feet when we proclaim healing and other miracles of Kingdom in faith. We are His hands and feet…

I desire for my Father in heaven to be able to put me on like a glove. In doing so, I am blessed when someone else is blessed at His hand. I am blessed when He heals. I am blessed when He provides. I am blessed when He speaks. I am blessed when He brings about a miracle. I am blessed when I am obedient!

Lord, make me like a glove… Share in the comments how you are affected by this statement. Oh, and I’d love to hear your testimonies of moments when you allowed our Father to put you on like a glove. It’s a good thing, this being a glove!

See You in My Dreams


I had a dream last night. Most nights I dream but this one was a little different in that when I woke, I noticed the dream. I didn’t do it quite fast enough because I lost a couple of the details as I went about getting going. But, then I remembered the dream and I actually spoke as much of it as I could remember out loud. Speaking it out loud, I knew, would help cement some of its details into my memory so I could “chew” on it a bit.

I’ve been reading a great book about the spiritual realms and the author is very encouraging about writing down your dreams upon waking (in the middle of the night or otherwise). It is only in this deliberate, and perhaps obedient, act that your dreams can come alive for you. He likens dreams to one of the ways that God speaks to us, speaking to us from His spiritual realm in coded messages that create such 3-dimensional movies for us! It’s a rather wonderful thought.

As I’ve read, I’ve wondered, could this be true? I’ve always had a hard time remembering my dreams, a trait I chalked off as “oh well, I guess I’m just one of those people who can’t remember their dreams.” This author suggests otherwise. He stated that dreams are a communication tool God uses to speak to us while we sleep, in that restful place, perhaps one of the only times we aren’t so distracted by the things and pressures of this world. I’ve become intrigued. What if my Father in heaven is indeed attempting to speak with me, to share prophetic information about my future, to help me understand a part of my life that I’m having difficulty with?

In his instruction, the author suggested writing down as much of the your dream as you can remember. Keep a dream journal. Oh gosh, there’s that journal thing again! I’m presented with the thought and I have in fact journaled in the past however, I’m not consistent in my journaling. A dream journal. Could it be true that in my obediently writing down my dream remembrances, God will speak to me? Not sure why, but this morning as I prepared to go to Easter services, I was impressed to write down what I remembered about this dream.

I have this cute little spiral-bound book that I recently purchased on one more of my attempts to begin journaling. There are exactly two entries in it. Two! I’ve had the book for a few months. Sad fact, those two entries. Oh well, I’ll not allow my past dictate my future, so off I went, digging through this pile and that, looking for the journal so I could record the dream. Confound it! That book seemed to have disappeared for a few minutes but I pressed on in the hunt. Fifteen minutes later, I found it.

I wrote out all I could remember of the dream. I stared at the page. “OK, Lord, there it is, just as you’ve impressed me to do. Every detail I could remember. Is there something here you want me to know? What does it mean? Lord, I want to know if you’re attempting to speak to me through this dream so would you please reveal yourself in this remembrance?” It was time to get going or I would be late for church, so I left it on my table and left for church services.

I shared my dream with a friend after church services. I shared it only as a piece of information, not really expecting to get an answer from her. When I was done, she stopped for a moment. I knew she was thinking about what I’d just shared and quite unexpectedly, she rambled off what she thought the dream meant. I was kind of awed; her interpretation held a lot of merit, a number of things that could be true. I know enough about such things to know I now needed to take it before the Lord for confirmation or negation. (Please dear reader, always take what others say to you, whether in prophetic words, dream interpretation, words of wisdom, etc., before our Father and wait! Don’t just jump to believe what someone else may say; they are not God! We deserve to know whether this word/interpretation is true to our Father’s heart or not and believe me, He will confirm or deny it if you’ll wait before Him!).

So, I’m in the waiting now, waiting for Papa in heaven to reveal to me whether there is truth in my friends’ words or not. I’d like to note that my friend is quite responsible in her sharing. She knows that it is her responsibility to share what she hears from Papa, if He tells her to go forward, and it is my responsibility to weigh her words to see if they line up with God’s intended message to my heart through this dream.

What about you? Do you dream? Do you know how to interpret your dreams? Share with me what you’ve learned about this because I’m clearly in the beginning mode.

Dreams. I believe they are more than “movies” running through our subconscious. I’m believing that dreams are a way that our Father in heaven desires to speak to us – personal parables, if you will – and He hopes we’ll get interested enough for Him to begin a wonderful “conversation” with us through our travels and adventures in dreams. If we’ll get serious to write down what we remember, I believe He’s going to begin to reveal more and more to me through my dreams. Who knows? Perhaps this is the gateway to more…visions, trances, and so on from our heavenly Father. He did it for his disciple, John. Why not me? Why not you?

Blessings on you and me as we dream – and as we listen through our dreams. God is talking…are you listening?