Like a Glove

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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!

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See You in My Dreams

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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?

Through the Open Door

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Consider this photo. It’s a bit silly and whimsical, this door in the middle of a field. It is possible to completely avoid the door, to simply step around the post and continue walking into the expanse beyond.

There have been times in my past when presented with just such choices I would have gone around. An old rebellious nature in me would cause me to see constraints as suspicious and therefore to be avoided.

I recently came upon a piece I’d written about two years ago and it too was about open doors. At the time I was feeling frustrated because something in me sensed a new opportunity (an opening door) and yet it was stubbornly hiding itself or otherwise remaining closed to me. It’s a feeling I’m quite familiar with and it has caused me no end of grief.

You see, when faced with such blockades, these times often cause impatience (and impetuousness follows close behind), causing me to go around the doorpost and on into a future I felt quite capable of managing on my own. I’m positive God isn’t happy with this behavior.

The value in journaling or otherwise writing down your journey can show you important pieces of yourself. This old piece I’d written showed me, loud and clear, how I wasn’t waiting on God. Today, with a clearer eye, I see what He was doing. Unfortunately, we don’t have the benefit of hindsight when we’re faced with the decisions of life now.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

Many years ago, a friend gave me this verse as part of a prophetic word. It was so appropriate at that time, a much needed promise to give me hope for my future. I just looked up the root meanings of the main words in this verse and found a new revelation. I just love it when Papa gives me the gift of new meaning, fresh from His Word!

The root meaning of “spring forth” is samah. It means to sprout, to bring to bud. What I saw for the first time is this: bring to bud means to me that this is another of those “process” things. The verse doesn’t say the new thing is new now; it says, in the original language, that the new thing has begun, is set forth as a bud. Buds aren’t the finished product, it’s just the beginning of what will become a beautiful new flower. It must go through the process of growth to “finish” to maturity.

I see a new meaning to open doors in my life. Like this photo, they are placed there as a promise to me that something new is sprouting up, a new opportunity, perhaps  to grow into that which I’ve been hoping for. If it’s a open door from God it is an invitation to enter in. Funny, that once you go through the door, again just like this photograph, the field looks pretty much the same as if I’d walked around the doorpost. The only difference is one of submission and obedience; I’m choosing to go through the open door that God has placed in front of me and now I will patiently wait for Him to bring the bud to flower, allowing God to be in control and not me. Once through the doorway, things look pretty much like life as normal. It is only in the waiting patiently that things which originally looked familiar will transform into something new and amazing, sent from a loving Father! 

What about you? How do you handle those periods in your life when you are chomping to go forward and yet, everything today indicates you are to go nowhere any time soon? I’d love to hear how you keep from charging around the open door.

I want to encourage you to go through the open door! That bud is going to be beautiful…in its own way, in its own time!

Give Thanks Until You Become Thanks

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I love Graham Cooke’s teachings! He made this statement today in a podcast (see http://www.brilliantperspectives.com): Give thanks until you become thanks!

I read it and wondered, “how on earth do you become thanks?” I listened to a short audio he had available on this subject. By the time I got to the end of this short explanation, the anxiety I’d been feeling was already shifting.

I’m not sure what’s been happening lately in my life but anxiety has been following me around. I do fine for some days. But there are those other days. Anxious. Worried. Fretful. What on earth Lord?

I love that Cooke says that the Lord always gives you an upgrade. He’s not into shifting you downward. Ever. No, our Lord is all about us advancing, making our way from glory to glory.

Webster’s dictionary defines glory as: Brightness; luster; splendor; magnificence; Praise ascribed in adoration; honor; praise; fame; renown; celebrity; The felicity of heaven prepared for the children of God; celestial bliss.

I see nothing there that speaks of darkness or sadness or demotions! No, our God, our Father in heaven is for us and, by His own Word, He is better than any earthly father in that He loves us and He loves to give us good gifts.

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! Luke 11:9-13 (ESV)

It doesn’t matter that perhaps your own experience with your earthly father was anything but positive. This God of ours, this God who proclaims He is our Father, that He adopted us, grafted us onto His vine of life, is all about us advancing into the more of all He is. He seated us in heavenly places, next to His Son, Jesus Christ. That’s no small statement. If I’m seated in heavenly places with Jesus, my Savior, then that somehow, miraculously, positions me there, with Jesus and my Father, God. And if I’m there, then this that I’m feeling must shift to His will!

Anxiety, go! Frustration, worry, fretting, go! You have no right here, messing with me! I’m with my Father, my Savior and Holy Spirit. Thank you God! Thank you that you have made a way of provision, a way of escape to any and all of my challenges. How do I know that? His Word…

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

So, what is the way of escape today Lord? Praise and thanksgiving! As Graham Cooke said, “give thanks until you become thanks. Speak it out loud. Speak it back to God; He loves to hear His Word spoken back to Him.”  Graham said one more thing that caught my attention. He said, “giving thanks is an act of your will, not of your emotions.” When I choose to worship Him and give thanks for all He’s done for me, I bring myself into alignment with His nature, for He is worship, He is thanksgiving. Aligning. Right. There.

OK Lord, I’m doing it. I’m exercising my will and I’m deciding to give thanks…out loud.

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! 1 Chronicles 16:8 (ESV)

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!1 Chronicles 16:34 (ESV)

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:17 (ESV)

 I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 (ESV)

 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7 (ESV)

 Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! Psalm 33:2 (ESV)

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. Psalm 86:12 (ESV)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! Psalm 100:4 (ESV)

 Because,

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)

 Continue here, giving Him thanks for all He’s done in your life. Name as many things as you can think of. Name them all…

Are you getting it? Are you becoming thankful? I am. I want to be a thank you to my Father in heaven. I want to be known as His kid who thanks Him for all He has done in me, through me, and for me. Give thanks until you become thanks! I will Lord, and I am. Thankful. For all You do, for who You are, for loving me as You always do, regardless of my performance or my shortcomings or yes, even my anxiety. Oh God, I love you!

I invite you to share your thoughts on thanksgiving, on being thanks. I pray this has helped you today…

God in the Storm

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“May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality.” Ephesians 3:16 AMPC

This is what Holy Spirit did on Monday, 4/17/17. As I heard the suggestion to perhaps fast and pray, my coming into agreement with the Spirit launched a fresh in-filling, a re-aligning if you will, of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Now hear me. Fasting and I don’t necessarily play well together! At the mere mention of the word “fast” I become ravenously hungry. But that day was different. Driven by tumultuous tumbling in the huge waves of stormy seas, I was desperately grasping for anything to anchor me, to help me get my feet back under me and set upon solid ground. I had been being rolled in the stormy seas for a few weeks and I knew somehow that if I didn’t find my way soon, I might perish in the hurricane.

So, the thought of “fast and pray” came in. Coincidence? I don’t believe in such things any longer. No, I believe the Holy Spirit was attempting to give me direction. After all, I had been crying out in my pain and fear for over three weeks now, “oh God, show me the way through this mess!” The anguish I was feeling had resulted in an emotional breakdown of sorts on Tuesday, 4/11/17. I knew I was out of order, falling victim to fear yet, just as being tossed around after a huge wave catches you unawares at the beach, I was flailing with my emotions. I knew I was allowing the enemy to tumble me like rock in a broiling, violent storm of circumstance, I just couldn’t figure out how to turn the tides on the barrage of flaming arrows being sent my way. I was being attacked and the enemy was winning. I was drowning…

I was desperate that Monday morning, crying out once again for the Lord to show me the way through. “How can I get my feet back under me Lord? Do you not hear me?” I cried. My husband was gone, doing several errands and the house was still. I sat on the couch, a position I’d found myself in quite often over the course of the past eight weeks or so as I was aware that depression was once again knocking at my door. “But you delivered and healed me Lord of depression many years ago. How can this be happening?” My despondency was pitiful, yet here I sat, not knowing what to do next.

And then there was that thought again. Fast and pray. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I decided then and there to fast. Now what? I think back on this and almost want to break out into hysterical laughter for the insanity of the whole thing. I was like a stubborn child; “ok then God, if you want me to fast, I will! Are you happy now?” I demanded. And then, very quietly, I knew I needed to pray. I needed to thrust my entire self into this decision I’d just made.

Honestly, I don’t know how long I sat there on that couch, looking out on the clouds and the sky, fervently putting everything I had into praying in my spirit language. It started out flat, a recital of sorts, of words in tongues that really meant nothing to me because I do not know what I uttered. I just kept going. I didn’t know what else to do, so I continued. In the past, when I’ve been incensed by something, my words in my prayer language have become rapid, full of the intonations of rage that I was feeling. Not this time. I was spent, dull, rote. The words came out, one after another, for an hour or two or three, I honestly don’t know how long. One by one the words flowed, until the unfamiliar contortions my mouth must go through in order to speak out loud in my prayer language made my mouth sore. I had to stop. And now I just sat there.

At what point do I feel the Holy Spirit made His entrance? I’m not sure but it took awhile. All too subtly I sensed something. I didn’t hear His voice audibly. No, it was simply an impression. A question. But with the question came familiarity. It was my dear, Holy Spirit once again.

“How did you survive cancer?” He asked. That was it. Five words. They were all that were needed.

Ten years ago I found myself in another battle of my life, this one literally a potential life ender. It was the one word I feared ever hearing and yet there it was. Kidney cancer! Oh noooo!

The way through came in a book given to me by a friend, perhaps two or three weeks before I was diagnosed. A book by a 1970’s evangelist, T.L. Osborne, called, “The Good Life.” A book filled with scripture yet ordered in such a way that you can find your need and the promises of God flow. Right there. Meeting you. In the middle of the storm.

The way through didn’t turn out how I imagined it would. But it was the way through and I am a cancer survivor of ten years! And once again, I was at the crossroad of terror, this one concerning finances and someone attempting to steal from my inheritance, for me, my son, and our grandchildren. It was no less intense, no less tumultuous.

I almost laugh again here. I realized this on Monday, that I was to get the book out and declare it’s truths, the actual Word of God, over the situation I found myself in. Tossing, tumbling in the waves of fear, doubt and rage, the book represented solid ground. Holy Spirit tossed me a life preserver this day…but it took me another four days to dig the book out and read it! Oh the insanity of man, or woman, as was the case.

I dug the book out on Thursday as a dear friend came for a visit and we were going to pray for each other; we were each going through difficult times. So there, in my living room, I read excerpts from the book that had once saved my life and witnessed it do its powerful turning of circumstances as we were both ministered to.

It was as if the life preserver found its mark in us both and we grabbed wildly for its life saving powers. Hanging on dearly, still bobbing precariously in the waves of a tossing sea of circumstance, we felt the saving grace of a God coming toward us, walking calmly on the waters. Oh, the wonder of realizing He was there!

“May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality.”

I’ve been camping once again in the pages of this book. Some would wag their finger and say, “oh no, you need to be in the Book, the Bible!” The Good Life contains page after page of Scripture, lumped together as the promises of a God that loves us so much. It is here, side-by-side with the Word of God, the Bible, that I find myself daily. Read a promise, or ten, and then go to the Word and read them in the context they were written. Is it a dilution? No. It is simply the loving words of a God who loves and cares for us so much that He still uses mere men to help us better understand the depths, width, and heights of His love for us.

Has God been in this battle, did He by chance allow me to be sifted as He did Job? I can’t answer that for sure, but I know there have been many lessons learned already in this battle over finances and it isn’t even over! One of the greatest lessons? That the man responsible for my angst, the man who is stealing from my inheritance, is a child of God too! God loves him just as much as he loves me. God showed me he is a prodigal son! The only difference is that I am saved; this man evidently isn’t…yet. God impressed me with this truth so much so that my husband and I are praying for this man’s salvation, for an encounter with the Living God we know and love. Three months ago, I was not capable of such a thought. But it has been in the furnace of testing, the fire that burns off the dross, that I’ve come to this understanding. My God requires me to pray for his soul now, and so I do.

What of the inheritance? That too has been laid of the foot of the throne. I was surviving before I received it, I will survive if it is taken away. Justice? While I grappled with that question in the early tumbling, I find I am oddly calm. Justice is something God will take care of. Now. Later. But I will not benefit from clinging to it. He will take care of it. And in that, I will benefit.

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And suddenly I find myself firmly on the beach again. The near-death encounter and wild tossing of my emotions and spirit are over. Seas are once again calm. Indeed, this statement makes for great drama here but I must be truthful; it felt for awhile that I was dying!  My Savior walked across the waters of my storm, grabbed me by the hand, and brought me safely to shore. The only difference is, I’m not standing in sand anymore. No, I’m standing on the Rock of my salvation, Jesus Christ!

My Manifesto

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Writing has been a love of mine since I was a little girl. My first attempt at writing was a version of a mystery I’d read and loved. Shortly thereafter I learned what the word  plagiarism meant. So much for that story.

I wrote often growing up, mostly about what was bothering me on any given day. Those words are long gone, something I’ve regretted. I didn’t learn about proper journaling for many years and I must admit, I’m not very good at journaling every day.

I was brought up in a home where God was talked about. I didn’t much question my belief in there being a God, I just believed. Until late in my twenties. Then I questioned Him a lot.

Coincidentally, at the same time, I realized a few things about myself:

  1. All the decisions I’d made about my life once I left home ended poorly.  I was not the independent soul I longed to be,
  2. I needed help,
  3. I didn’t know where to go for that help,
  4. So I went looking for a church to find answers.

It took a little bit of doing but I eventually found a church I felt I belonged in. Different from the one I grew up in, this church began filling a hole I hadn’t realized was there. Over the course of a few years I realized I was loved and I had purpose. God loves me and He gave me a purpose. Whew! That took a lot to get out on paper!

Purpose in God needs tending because truth takes time. In some instances (ah-hem! Did I say that?) truth can take a very long time to sink in. But, loving Jesus Christ taught me that He’s not impatient and He’s quite willing to hang around with me, waiting for me to understand His love, purpose, and sheer determination to help me get it. Yep, it took time, but I finally got it.

Writing, and a few other creative inclinations I love, was a part of me because that is the way He created me to be. Listening happens to fall into that list of things I do well. Having empathy for hurting people was yet another quality I was given. Finally, after listening to others most of my adult life, as they poured out frustrations, hurts, pains and dilemmas, I began playing with the idea that I had also been given the creative ability to make sense out of people’s lives. Did I believe that right off?  No. Not so easy to think you may have been given a talent to put others at ease even when you’re having trouble doing that for yourself.

I’ve heard the saying that God doesn’t make junk. It was easy to discount for a long time. But when you love to write, you love to listen and help problem-solve, and especially when others tell you they feel better having spent time with you, I ever-so-slowly began to wonder if it could be true.

It has only taken approximately forty years to begin to trust in all this. God has honored my attempts to keep learning about Him and how not to lean on my own understanding. I think I’m making headway and this is what I’ve learned:

  1. I am a writer,
  2. I am a listener and a problem-solver,
  3. I am creative,
  4. And I love to encourage others.

Therefore, this blog is to Just Encourage!

God Has Begun a New Thing

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“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

If I were to re-write the above scripture it would say:  “Behold, I have accomplished a fresh work; now it shall sprout and come about; do you know what I’m doing? I will even lay down a new path in the wilderness and a new river in the desolate places.”

This particular scripture was spoken over me approximately 15 years ago as a prophetic word.  Today I am declaring this word over you!  God has begun a new thing.

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A chance meeting (only if you believe there are chance encounters with God) over the weekend opened up something new for me. I ran into a man I’d met two years ago. I’ll call him Andy. During that encounter, Andy spoke a prophetic word over a group of believers, gathered for a time of worship and prayer.  It was a good word, one that resonated with me so deeply that I was impressed to ask if I might be able to share it with my church home. He graciously consented to send me that word once he got home and was able to transcribe it.

I emailed him my contact information and waited. In the busyness of his life it took a little time. One day Andy wrote that he had not forgotten me, and he would get to it soon. In the meantime, he asked if I would pray about a situation in his life and he proceeded to tell me a bit about a problem with one of his children. My heart ached for him and I wrote back something I felt inspired to share.

You see, this is how God works in family. In the weakness of one, He will use another, perhaps someone in a similar situation, perhaps one who is doing well or standing in God’s strength at the moment, to speak encouragement to the other. This is what happened that day. I was caught up in a similar situation and at that particular moment, I was walking strong in God’s provisions. That I would respond to this new brother’s dilemma was all the Lord asked at the moment. A short time later, Andy sent the transcribed word I had asked for. And then our correspondence fell silent. Until last weekend.

My husband and I almost declined to go to this meeting but, at the last moment, we went. We’d just arrived and were going down the aisle to find a seat when once again, I ran into Andy. He recognized me and we quickly struck up a conversation. With neither of us remembering the email correspondence from two years earlier, he told me about his life now and he made some bold statements about his relationship with his children today. Andy was walking firmly in the new thing God had provided for him! I asked him how he’d come to this new understanding and his reply was, “I’m not sure when or how this happened, but I’m so comfortable in this place, knowing He has my kids covered!” I had recently experienced a troubling encounter with a family member and I was still hurting and struggling from that time. Andy’s words in this moment ministered greatly to my hurting spirit.

I went home that night and remembered that I wanted to look for Andy’s prophetic word.  I had recently purged old emails and was a bit fearful that perhaps I might have deleted his word. I laughed out loud as I found Andy’s word on the last page of my emails; I had deleted everything prior to about a month before Andy and I began corresponding! I love God’s sense of humor!

As I read our email thread I not only found the prophetic word but also the email about Andy’s child and my response. I was deeply touched, not so much by my words of encouragement, but by the reciprocity of God’s provision. Here were words of encouragement sent to pretty much a stranger in his struggles. Our encounter earlier this evening provided the exact same encouragement to me, almost two years later to the day!

Do we understand the power of our God? How much fun does the Father have, sitting in heaven, orchestrating such encounters? Do He, Jesus and Holy Spirit sit around a table and make plans for this child and that one, providing chance encounters for us, spinning the tale into these delightful times that transcend time, and sometimes bringing us back around to the point of beginning, only swapping participants so we stand in awe at His provision? I don’t even know if this is truly expressing the awe and wonder that I feel as I realized all that had been in play at my meeting and corresponding briefly with Andy.

To top it all off, I shared Andy’s prophetic word with my pastor last night at our mid-week service. He was truly touched by this word. And here’s the kicker. Andy’s word was deep and two years ago it touched me that it was indeed a word for our body of believers. But when I finally received the word from Andy a few weeks later, I never shared it and in fact, I forgot all about it. Not to worry however, because God had it on His timetable and this past Friday evening, He orchestrated to get Andy and I back in contact so the word would arise. It speaks to our congregation now even better than if I had shared it two years ago!

The end of the story is this. I’ve been wrestling lately with a couple of decisions that have to be made. I’ve been wrestling with my life, my future, and what does God want for me. I wasn’t hearing a thing – until I ran again into Andy. And suddenly, the truth of Isaiah 43:19 is releasing something into my life. Right. Here. Right. Now.

I wish I could put into words the deep rumbling I feel in my spirit. It is a transition space similar to that of a child being born. Just before the birth, there is pain and discomfort indescribable. It is the agony of anticipating something joyous and yet you cannot see it, touch it, and it actually hurts! I am in transition and I am waiting for that which I know is going be a joyous time in my life. I do perceive it.

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My friend, I’ve learned over the years that when God does something in me, He is willing to do much the same for others. My life, just as yours, is a testimony of all that Jesus Christ has done and is planning to do in my future. Testimony is the spirit of prophecy! What Christ does for one, He is willing to do for others for He is no respecter of persons.

I declare over you right now that Jesus Christ is doing a new thing in you; do you not perceive it? He is making a way through the desolate places of your life, providing life-giving waters where there has been none. You are entering into a new place – now! I pray you will receive this prophetic word over you today and I would love to hear your comments below. Get ready to move – God has begun a new thing!