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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Father's Eyes

Lately, I've been taking stock of myself.

I feel like I'm able to look at myself more honestly lately than I ever have in my life. I am able to look at my weaknesses and my bad patterns very clearly and then make a clear decision on whether or not I'm going to change.

I think several years ago this would have been too painful for me. I hid myself from myself. I glossed over my weaknesses. I purposely ignored my failures.

This morning, I was thanking God for the strength He's given me lately to do this and God surprised me again with His grace.

He told me how much He loved me~how precious I am to Him. He reminded me that He has always seen my weaknesses but He sees my strengths and mostly He sees me the way He intended me to be. He sees my potential. And He never wants me to forget that. He wants me to always see myself as He sees me. He wants me to remember that we're not done yet. And He appreciates that I'm always wanting to improve and become more like Him.

As I was thanking Him for letting myself see myself honestly, I was thinking of writing it down for all of you. And when God began to speak to me, He told me, "Tell them this!"

"I love YOU so much~You are precious to me. I have always seen your weaknesses but I see your strengths too. Mostly I see you the way I intended you to be. I see your potential. And I never want you to forget that. Always remember the way I see you. We're not done yet. And I appreciate that you are always wanting to improve and become more like Me"

            Love, Your Father

Have a wonderful day!

love and blessings~

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Can't See the Forest for the Trees

We left our beautiful home in Colorado 23 years ago and moved to Opelika, Alabama for my husband to get his PhD in Economics at Auburn University. We had built a house in Colorado that I loved five years earlier. Our daughter was seven and our son was 18 mos. I did not want to go.

In fact, inside, I was kicking and screaming. On the outside, I was doing my best to be a submitted wife but inside I was brokenhearted to leave our home, our family, our church and our friends.

We bought a house in Opelika, Alabama, which is the small town next to Auburn. It was not nearly as wonderful as the house we had owned in Colorado and one of the hardest things for me is that it was dark inside. The sun shines in Colorado about 300 days out of the year and the humidity is very low and Alabama's climate was a huge adjustment for me. And the winters were cloudy, damp and dark. I was homeschooling our two children and so was home in our dark house a lot.

One day, I took a walk out into our back yard. It was a sunny day but the small forest of 75' tall hardwood trees in our backyard kept the sun from getting to our house. As I was walking around and talking to God, I pointed out to Him the trees that I would like down so that the sun could reach the house. It was just musing, as I knew we couldn't afford to pay someone to take these huge trees down.

About a year later, as I mentioned in my last post, we experienced Hurricane Opal. The combination of the hurricane and the tornadoes that spun off it brought down a lot of trees in our community. We were without power at our house for four days. Our neighborhood really gathered together helping each other get the damage cleared away.

We went to church on a Wednesday night soon after the hurricane and everyone was telling their story. Most of them were saying how the storm passed right over them and they had no damage. We had seven trees down; three on the house, and one through an upstairs window!

I went home that night and it's one of the few times I can remember being mad at God. I lay in bed that night and told Him 'How come we have all these trees down and others don't? And now we have a $500 deductible on our insurance and we are going to have to pay that money! We can't afford that! How can that be a blessing?!"

Within a couple of days, the insurance company came out and gave us an appraisal on the damage. Then a company came out, cleared the trees out of the yard and got them off our house and repaired the damage on our roof and window. We have pictures somewhere of the trees down - their whole root base torn out of the ground - and laying on their sides!

We received a check from the insurance company. When we got the bill from all the repairs and removals, we had money left over! We had actually made money! Little did I know that the insurance company did their appraisal and then took out the $500 deductible before they issued their checks. When all was said and done, we had an extra $300!

And one day in the middle of all of this, I realized that the only trees that we lost were the ones I had told God I wanted gone!

I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I still am amazed by what God did in that season in my life. He showed me that even though I don't always understand why He takes us where He does, He always has our best interest at heart. He is always listening even though at the time, I may not feel like things are going my way. And He is pursuing me with blessings~over and above all I can think or imagine!

And the biggest lesson I learned is that what may look like a storm, with nothing but bad consequences, can be a blessing in disguise. Because God is good all the time.

love and blessings~

Monday, August 8, 2016

Sharing the Love of Christ

When our children were little, we moved next door to a family that didn't know Jesus. We typically started our homeschooling day with reading the Bible, memorizing a verse and praying together as a family. One morning after realizing that this family did not know Christ, we prayed together that we would be a witness to them.

The next day, their little boy punched our 8 year old daughter in the stomach! I sat down for a minute when she came home with her story and injury and talked to God. I told Him that we had just prayed for this family and look at this!

And the Lord brought this scripture passage to mind:

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[a] either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons ofthe Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36

And I had a revelation. I realized that it's easy for us to be an example of love when everything is good. It's when things go wrong, when people are unkind, when there's really a reason to be offended, that people will notice the difference. When we surprise them with love and peace in the face of adversity and offense, they will see Jesus.

We walked over to their house and met with the parents, heard both sides of the story and found out our daughter wasn't blameless, and we asked forgiveness and gave forgiveness. From then on, we had a very good relationship with their family.

One day, about a year later, we lived through Hurricane Opal. Our power went out at 9 pm and we spent a scary night in the basement listening to the multiple tornadoes come up our street and trees crashing all around us, and even one breaking through a window and coming into the house. When we got up in the morning, we had seven hardwood trees down in our backyard, three of them across our roof, and one, like I said, into a window. Our neighborhood was a mess but thankfully, not a single person in our town was injured!

Several neighhbors gathered in another neighbor's yard to cut and remove trees from their driveway. The kids were running all over and enjoying the chaos. Soon, several of the kids rang the doorbell telling us that our 3 year old son was hurt. I ran outside to see blood pouring down his face. When the neighbors realized I was there because he was hurt, all the chain saws stopped and they wanted to make sure he was ok. I asked him what had happened and he told me he wanted to pet the little neighbor dog and that she got a mean look on her face and jumped up and bit him.

She had clipped him right above his eye brow and below his eye and the two tiny wounds were bleeding profusely. I immediately wiped the blood away, saw the small injuries, scooped him up as I spoke gently to him and started to carry him home. The mom of the neighbors we had prayed for ran over to see if he was ok and I smiled and said that it looked minor.

Forever after that, she would tell me whenever she saw me, that she couldn't believe how calm I was. I've thought about that a lot since then. I've wondered what she was used to. She would come and talk to me whenever she had a chance and she would always mention it.

We lived next door to them for five years. We continued to pray for them while we were there. I hope we were a blessing to them and God has brought our prayers, and other's for them, to fruition.

But because of that situation, I've learned to look at adversities as an opportunity to shine in Christ. I look at bad situations completely differently and watch and listen to the Holy Spirit to see how He wants me to use that opportunity. And because I know that 'Jesus is interceding to cause all things to work for good for those who love the Lord' (Romans 8:28) I stay in peace.


love and blessings~




Thursday, July 28, 2016

Get Up and Dance

I was at my chiropractor's office yesterday, waiting for my turn to be adjusted, when I saw a sweet elderly lady also getting an adjustment. It was very hard for her to get up on the table. She was very stiff and I discerned that this was her 'state of being' not a recent injury. I began to pray for her in the Spirit and I heard the word 'settle.'

I saw that her sins (thoughts that don't align with the Word of God) had 'settled' into the joints of her body. And the Lord began to impart to me the value of exercise.

Even though we are three parts: Spirit, Soul (mind, will, emotions) and Body - we can not separate these three in reality. What we eat affects us spiritually, what we believe affects us physically, what we do affects us mentally, etc.

If you don't do another constructive thing this summer, I want to encourage you to listen to  Dr. Caroline Leaf. I linked to a message of hers on my last post. She is a Christian neuro-scientist who has proven that 'as a man thinks, so he is.' She teaches that our thoughts have 'mental real estate.' Our thoughts actually create neurons in our brain. When our thoughts are pure and in line with God's Word, they bring Life and health. When they are sinful, they bring sickness, disease and mental illness.

She teaches, in her books and videos, how to renew our mind in the Word and change our health. Even things we are born with are a result of sin. The Bible tells us that the sins of the father are carried to the fifth generation. She teaches through renewing our mind in the Word, we can 'heal' those generational curses.

I have been listening to her teachings every chance I get and I've gotten two of her books to read. The Lord added to this teaching as I was sitting watching this dear lady.

We know that exercise releases endorphins that affect our moods and mental health. What God showed me is that exercise can keep these sinful manifestations from 'settling' into our joints as we get older and causing us to 'stiffen.' All physical ailments are rooted in these truths.

I love to start my day with Praise. Praise is declaring  Who God is. It is declaring that He is perfect in all His ways. I love to declare my love and devotion to Him with music and dance and movement. If you haven't read my post on the Seven Hebrew Words for Praise, please do. You'll see that movement is a very important part of praise.

When I start my day like this, I am incorporating both praise and exercise. I am blessing all my three parts - Spirit, Soul and Body. When I start my day like this, I hear God's voice all day long.

Some people love to commune with God as they walk. This is also a wonderful way to incorporate exercise with worship.

I truly believe that God wants us to understand that exercise is part of His design to keep us healthy Spirit, Soul and Body.

love and blessings~




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Making Things Beautiful

Hi All!

Sorry that I've been gone for so long! If you read my other blog, Gates of Crystal, you know I've been busy!

I used to wonder if decorating my home was ok with God. I wondered if I was laying up treasure in the wrong place and valuing the wrong things.

I started decorating when I was a kid. I would rearrange my furniture in my bedroom and it was important to me that my room was clean. It was a reflection of 'me' even then. I remember finding out a friend's mom was selling a piece of furniture that I liked and telling my mom. My mom bought it for my room.

When I was in high school, I picked out a new bedspread and had my mom take me to the store for paint. I painted my room by myself on a Friday night. I was an only child and my mom worked full time so I was home alone a lot. I would clean and get things perfect and then enjoy the house. (I never liked to cook!)

When my husband first got his PhD, we moved several times before he got a tenure-track position. We rented homes in two different states we lived in and it was really hard for me that I couldn't paint the rooms. I had learned by then to sew slipcovers so I would match my furniture to the carpet of the house. I also loved garage sales and estate sales and that's when I started finding furniture at prices I could afford. I babysat children from our church so that my kids would have playmates and we would have the extra money.

My family has thought that I was a little obsessed at times. But being a stay-at-home mom for so many years and homeschooling (which requires you to stay at home) it was the thing that kept me sane. I could control my environment.

And that's what brings me to this thought. When we visited The Mises Institute in Auburn in March, I sat in on several of the talks. The Mises Institute is a Libertarian based think-tank and a lot of the people involved are Christian. I love attending the conferences there and often times will hear the Holy Spirit teach me while I'm listening to a lecture.

I was listening to a gentleman give a very informative talk about how our government is causing farmers to not be able to own land and to farm when the Holy Spirit began to enlighten me.

One of the first commands God gave was 'to be fruitful and multiply and take dominion over the Earth.' Without apology, I will say that I don't believe that God's intent was that we take dominion with guns or force but His intent was that we take dominion over evil with love and salvation.

If you read the Old Testament, many of the stories are exactly this: take dominion over the Earth. Obviously, the story of the Children of Israel being set free and taking the Promised Land would be the big one.

I believe we're each given a 'realm of influence.' For some, it may just be their families but for others it may be a Bible study, a neighborhood, a congregation. For some, it will be a world-wide influence. All with the same goal: take dominion, in Jesus' Name, over the Earth.

Where the enemy has brought destruction and chaos, we are to bring healing and love. Where there is lack and loss, we are to bring love and covenant relationship. Where there is ugliness, we are to bring beauty.

Whatever we touch should be better off for having us there. We are the light of the world. Joy, love and beauty should be the fragrance we leave behind when we go.

I believe that ALL people are creative. They ALL were made in the image of God and God is a creator. All children love music, love to move to music and dream of 'making' something. My grandson wants to be an inventor when he grows up and he's always talking about what he's going to invent. (My daughter doesn't have a microwave because of the negative health issues it causes and one day he said he was going to invent something that heated your food real fast! Ha!)

I never want to value the things I own more than God or the people He's put in my life. Therefore, I give a lot of things away. It doesn't bother me one bit. God has asked me before to give away things that were the most dear to me~ my Bible, a banner that I took everywhere and was like an extension of my arm, all my worship dance dresses~ those were the things that were hard to give away. They represent my heart more than my house.

But I believe that God spoke something into us when He told us to take dominion over the Earth and in a lot of us women, we express that with our homes. This is our territory where we express ourselves and want to have a perfect representation of who we are. And God is the creator of color and beauty. God wants our homes to be an oasis in a crazy world.

I ask God when I want a specific piece of furniture and He always brings me the most amazing deals! The Word tells us that when we delight ourselves in the Lord, He brings us the desires of our heart.

love and blessings~



Thursday, May 19, 2016

No Weapon Formed Against You Shall Prosper!

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

The Lord has reminded me of this verse often in my life. It's a powerful truth that we need to employ when fighting against the enemy. Some translations use the word 'confute' instead of 'condemn.' It means 'to prove wrong.' 

The enemy's attacks can take a lot of different forms - gossip and slander, sickness, financial troubles - but we need to understand that we can close the door to these attacks with the Word of God. If our actions have gotten us into trouble, we can still repent of these things and then call on the grace of God to close the door on the enemy.

"Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."—Ephesians 6:17. Even Jesus fought with the Word. When He was tempted by the enemy, He quoted scripture. (Matthew Chapter 4)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8  

I like this translation because it says that the enemy looks for "whom he MAY devour." Don't let that be you!  Satan is the accuser of the Brethren and we know that when we gossip and slander others, that we've aligned ourselves with him. 

"...from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way." James 3:10 Did you know that when you speak against someone, you are cursing them?  I've heard before that Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded. We need to recognize that even if we disagree on some points, we agree on an awful lot, and we're supposed to be on the same side! 

One of the most amazing things happened to me several years ago.  I used to suffer from migraines. (I found out after several years that they were a result of an injury to my neck during a car accident. Weekly visits to my chiropractor keep me from having them.) 

But I've also had spiritual attacks that have resulted in terrible headaches. I had a man say something to me once and was immediately hit with such a severe headache that I had to have help to get out of the church. I could see the demon attached to my head and people were praying for me but my head hurt so badly that I couldn't tell them to rebuke this demon. I started speaking in my head and finally got it off.

During this same season, I was hit with a terrible headache while I was at home, that sent me to bed. As I was lying there, I spoke before I planned on speaking. It must of kind of been like the donkey in the Bible that spoke~no conscious thought of what I was saying~ but God moved my mouth! 

I (God) said, "No weapon formed against me shall prosper!" It was honestly one of the most astonishing things that I've ever had God do! But obviously, He was interceding for me and teaching me how to fight.

Lately God has been reminding me of this truth and convicting me to declare this verse. I have literally been going around saying it 100 times a day! And as I say it, I begin to feel the strength of God and His protection and energy rise up in me and around me. 

"No weapon that is formed against me will prosper; And every tongue that accuses me in judgment I will condemn. This is my heritage as a servant of the LORD, And my vindication is from Him,"  (turned around to first person) 

That is not to say that I am right all the time. We need to ask God to 'judge us and correct us' daily. As we do that and repent from any wrong doing, the enemy has no legal right to attack us. 

We are always going to encounter people who are unaware that they are being used by the enemy. We have made that mistake, too, so we have no room to judge them. We need to walk in love, overcome evil with good, bless them and not curse them, and learn to protect ourselves.

I hope you have a day filled with joy and the love of God!

love and blessings~





Friday, May 13, 2016

Testing. Testing.

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;" 1 Peter 4:12

When I was younger in the Lord, I used to wonder why God would test us. Doesn't He know everything we're going to do before we do it? What's the point of Him testing us?

The Old Testament stories are examples to us of spiritual warfare and Godly principles. 1 Corinthians 15:46 says, " However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual." Many of the things that happened in the Old Testament have spiritual lessons that God wants us to understand.

I'm always amazed when I read that the first time Moses comes to the Children of Israel and tells them that God is going to set them free from slavery, they tell him they don't want to go! But God showed me this at a time I was praying for spiritual freedom for a group of people so that I would understand that often times we are happier staying in bondage because it's familiar than getting set free and going into an unknown territory!

I've heard that it would take about a month for God's people to cross the wilderness and get to the Promised Land. However, we all know that they 'wandered' in the wilderness for forty years! The number 'forty' in scripture represents cleansing and preparation. By the time they entered the Promised Land, every one of the first generation had died. 

Do you understand that God was not punishing them? He was cleansing out the slave mentality and disobedience. The generation that had grown up in bondage and would rather stay in Egypt instead of getting set free would never be able to cross into the Promised Land. Either that, or they would have fallen into another type of bondage. God had to cleanse them of this for them to be successful.

They had a mind-set and had made a decision to stay in that mind-set. 

Those that survived the 40 years had been cleansed of bondage and had chosen to trust God. The testing had cleansed them.

I think it's important to understand that we create the need for our own tests. God has a plan for each of us..."For I know the plans I have for you; plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11  We can either submit ourselves to these plans of God or continue to walk in the wilderness.

I think about the story of Joseph often. God had big plans for Joseph but nobody had more ups and downs that he did! He was sold into slavery and then when he finally gets out of it and has humbled himself and -does nothing wrong!- he is accused falsely and put back into prison!

I have wondered about that a lot. If Joseph had been more humble and not told his brothers about his dream of them bowing down to him, would God have permitted him to be sold into slavery? Why did God allow him to be falsely accused and thrown into prison?  There must have been something God wanted Joseph to learn in prison. It must have been important that Joseph be innocent and still be imprisoned.

When I encounter adversity, the first thing I do is go to God and ask Him for His perspective. I want to see the adversity through God's eyes.  What is God wanting to cleanse from my life? Do you understand that none of us is without sin and that even the best of us needs to be stripped of 'self' to attain Christ?

The thing I have learned to do is ask myself; What would Jesus do? Because the goal of all of this is to transform us to the image of Christ. No one was more falsely accused and betrayed and mistreated than Jesus Himself.  And through all of it, He never defended Himself. He always defended His Father and the Truth of the Word, but never Himself. 

And He asked God to forgive those that mistreated Him.

So, when I encounter less than ideal circumstances in my life, I look at it as a test, and ask, "What would Jesus do?" I want to pass the test. I want to move forward. I want to be transformed into the image of Christ. 

It does us no good to demand our 'right to be right.' Love does not insist on its own way. Love does not keep a record of wrong doing. 1 Cor 13. We need to keep submitting ourselves, our every thought and hurt to God, knowing that He loves more deeply that we can ever understand and keep moving forward.

love and blessings~





Thursday, May 5, 2016

Jesus is Our Sabbath Rest

There's a lot of days that I sit down to write and I have 100 different thoughts~all tangled together. Sometimes, one seems to pull itself free and head in a definite direction and then I write, but often I can't sort out what I want to say from the other 99 things that I am thinking about.

Sometimes my emotions get the better of me and my eyes fill with tears and I think how much I would like to be able to impart the love and the grace of My Father. I would love to tell you how lost I was before He found me, how He took me out of the pit and set me in a wide open space. How He gave my life purpose and meaning and how He healed me of my failures. And how much He longs to do that for every single soul that He has created, out of His infinite love.

I wish I could impart that the heart of God sees us as He intended us to be - whole, beautiful, strong - and that He never gives up on helping us become that. I'm crying as I write this because I never cease to be amazed at how much He loves me, how patient He is as He nurtures me and encourages me to go further toward what I'm called to do. In my times of greatest weakness and rebellion, He has shown me His greatest love and grace and He undoes me.

He's the One Who sorts out the tangle that is my thoughts and my questions and my wonderings. He is the safe place that I run to when I don't know where else to go. He is my Great Reward when I wonder if I'm doing anything right or when I just feel un-needed.

The One Who needs nothing, needs me. Because I'm a part of Him.

When I hide myself, He misses me. When I beat myself up, it wounds Him. I am the apple of His eye. My boundaries are ever before Him in love. I am inscribed on the palm of His hand.

There is no sin, no failure, no weakness, that will stop God from loving us. Because that's Who He is. Because He can do no less. Because when He saw us at our worst, He hung on a cross for us.

The work that He needed to do for us on the cross is complete, but that doesn't mean that He won't do whatever it takes to reach us today. That doesn't mean that His grace and mercy stopped when we received His gift. He is Faithful and True and nothing can separate us from His Love.

Jesus is our Sabbath Rest.

My mind never stops. There's not a day that goes by that I'm not weighing myself and find myself lacking.

And then I remember to look at Him. I remember that I am IN HIM. That His grace is sufficient. He is satisfied with me because I have trusted myself to Him.

And He fills me with His joy because the joy of the Lord is my strength. His mercies are new every day.

love and blessings~

"He brought me forth also into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me." Psalm 18:19

"For I am persuaded , that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present , nor things to come , 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31

"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings" Psalm 17:8

"Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me." Isaiah 49:16

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Cor 12:9

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh 8:18

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Let Him Who Has Ears...

The more and more I have thought, unto the Lord, about my last post, the more and more understanding I get. Please don't think for one minute that I am happy about the things that the Lord is revealing to me. But very honestly, I have suspected something like this for years.

More than ten years ago, we were attending a local church. When the Holy Spirit began to move in the worship dance ministry that I was leading, I was pressured out of the church. It was a traumatic and painful experience for me but during that season the Lord began to speak to me in very dramatic ways.

First, He proved to me that I was hearing Him. I could write a book about what happened in that season but let me just say that God began to tell me very 'odd' things. Then He would prove to me that I had heard Him.

For instance, I had been one of the small group leaders for a women's Bible study at this same church. We were just getting ready to start Beth Moore's The Patriarchs when the Lord asked me to step down. I obeyed. Then He told me not to even take the Bible study.

I confess that I was really disappointed because I was enjoying these studies so much.

Immediately after that the Lord began to lead me to read in Genesis and began to give me amazing revelation. I had a dear friend who was still leading one of the small groups. We would talk often and I would share what the Lord was showing me. Then, amazingly, she would get the same thing from The Patriarchs Bible study! This happened through the entire Bible study.

The Lord taught me the same Bible study by the Holy Spirit! The really amazing part to me was the details the Lord told me.

There were honestly some things that God did in this season that overwhelmed me a bit. I began to see angels and demons and become very aware of what was going on in the spirit realm and that took some adjustment. One day, I became so aware of something God had done, that I had to leave the house.

And then God began to break off some religious principles that I had been taught in the church. I'm not going to share these things today because I want the timing and the release of the Lord. It took Him some drama to set me free because I was very ingrained into the ways of the church.

One day, I was walking across my dining room when the Lord spoke to me and  His Presence was like a weight that drove me to my knees. And that still wasn't enough to get me set free of the thing He had spoken to me about. It took months of me saying, "Are You sure?" before I had peace. The Spirit of Religion is a strong and binding spirit that keeps The Body from the joy and freedom that God desires His people to have.

I'm telling you all this because I know that I have said things on my blog that trouble some of you. And I get it. There was a time in my walk with the Lord that I could not have heard the things I know now. I would have become offended and immediately shut the door to what was being said. This is why Jesus talks about us being able to 'hear' Him.

The Lord showed me the spirit of pride once. It had hands over the eyes and ears of a person and it put a hand out in front of them held out in a 'stop' position.  The next day, I was in a 'discussion' with an elderly gentleman and saw him do this same motion!

I do my best to obey the Holy Spirit in my encounters with people. Sometimes, the conviction of the Holy Spirit comes on me and I share what the Lord is putting on my heart and the person is greatly offended and rejects the Word. And I have learned to live with that.

But I know there are people out there who are hearing the Holy Spirit and need encouragement to survive in the organized church and this world.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate those who have befriended me on Facebook and by email and give me such loving, encouraging words daily.

love and blessings~