Wednesday, April 29, 2015

50 years ago -- on May 1st, 1965

My mom and dad  will celebrate 50 years of marriage this weekend.  I say 'celebrate', as I hope they will go out to dinner and that a few of my siblings will take them out for breakfast or something .... me, I sent a sweet treat - chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered cherries.  I figured you can't go wrong with chocolate!!     ( I could not get away to fly how -- something about this FSA testing....LOL  ) 

The 'party' will come this summer when my siblings and I will HOST a picnic day in our hometown - of Watertown.     It will be the first time in 6 years that the 9 of us are together again -- oh wait - scratch that - we all got together in January when our Grandma went to heaven but the time was TOO short ...so maybe this summer we can get that family photo taken which seems to happen only one every 13 or so years....!

The photo above --is dated -- I  LOVE the black and whiteness of it all with our grandparents at each side! 

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad -- I look into the eyes of those young kids and can't imagine and yet....I was there myself once...  almost 28 years ago.

It is hard to imagine but my folks were YOUNGER in this photo of our wedding than I am today!
Yep!  I believe they would of been about 42 and 43.... and I am almost 50 -- THAT just seems so unreal.  Unreal.  Unreal.  Unreal.

I am  old.   No.... I am just realizing again HOW fast time flies.  

Anyway,  Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad, with all of my heart - I wish you the BEST weekend and I know we will enjoy many family memories and fun this June when we have our picnic!

50 years....  50 years of Christmas's   50 years of  Easter's and many and many Sunday drives and midnight checks into the barn to check on a cow......

How does one put 50 years of stuff in a blog that can be read in 5 minutes?   I am going to try -  but first a prayer --

Lord, I pray for my folks right now, that as they reflect and enjoy the presence of family and friends and celebrate ...I pray that they will draw as close to YOU as possible and that the desires of their hearts are received.  Lord, I pray for their health -- thank you their healthiness right now and I pray that will continue even after Dad eats all those cherries!  Lord, I pray you would bless them financially as they are getting ready to retire and yet...probably won't because they both seem to keep busy.  Lord, I pray for their friendships - old and new -- for their trips -- while visiting a Farm Progress Days Farm and speaking to total strangers to visiting with old snowmobile fans.  Lord, I pray for their hobbies and their interests that as they continue to grow that the love they found within each other some 51 years ago -- would just be as strong or stronger today -- and brand new!   God, I pray that as we celebrate 50 years - we also will celebrate many more - I truly know that their hard work, persistence,  and resilience   and the  prayers  of many have kept the 9 of us ..... somewhat normal!  I pray  their best qualities live on within each of us.  I pray that as we continue to walk in this life - that we can do whatever we can to make their lives a little sweeter.   I thank you Lord, for giving me my parents -- as THEY are the exact parents YOU planned for me and THEY did the best they could -- they indeed are to be honored and praised.  I am very proud to be called the 'oldest' and the first - but most of all, I love them dearly and want ONLY the best for each of them -- IN Jesus name, Amen. 


So,  50 years have produced much.  I tried to do the math -- with 9 children, with all of us playing sports -- mom ( mostly ) and dad probably watched and attended over 3400+ middle school and high school games.

With 50 years and 9 children...   I think I calculated that mom was pregnant for over 90 months...
With 50 years and working on a dairy farm..... there was probably over 287 visits from the Ice Cream Truck.....  over 8665 runs of 'cleaning the barn'........ probably 45+ years of  attending the Dodge County Fair and with grand kids.... the numbers could start over.

These 'facts' are only a sampling -- I sat today and tried to calculate how many basketball games and then the cost spent on Football stuff as 3 brothers played -- even the insurance premiums... and decided it was WAY too much for my brain to comprehend.


Then I sat and tried to come up with 50 memories -- and I have plenty -- but.......
Then I got to thinking -- and I know that I know what my folks are most proud of...it is us.  The 9 of us.  And so, I will share 'us'....

This is me ,our  daughter,  son and my man.  The 'first' grand kid was produced in 1991 and then came another 24+ ....and there is ONE on the way....  I believe due at the end of this year!   Dear Mom and Dad, I learned something  very powerful from the two of you -- being relentless and being tenacious.  I have watched both of you endure much -- suffer much -- and yet, I have seen you both give mercy and grace to many -- and my prayer is that as you grow together in the next 50 years...that you would both show grace and mercy to each other!  I pray we, as kids... always honor and believe the best for both of you -- thank you.  Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for providing a home and teaching me MANY qualities that I know are because of ..you BOTH.  I love you - 
This is my sister Jeanette  and her husband.   Dear  Mom and Dad ...she has given you the first  - 'great grand kid'...and that is OK by me...LOL!!!   Dad, Jeanette  indeed has your gift of conversation and mom ...your gift of always looking for the good in others.  Always.    I love this photo of them...they have been through much and they continue to smile and share the experiences that God has allowed within their lives to help others.   I am very proud of my sister and what God has done in her life in the past 6 years since the home going of their son  -- what a legacy Blake left.  I continue to have my 'iron sharpened' with my sister around as she holds me accountable and I love that.  There are only 2 of us here in Florida, the rest are in Wisconsin and I am blessed she is here.
This is my 'elder' brother Daryl and his family.  He was the first born boy -- Tigger, his nick name,  and he was that little red headed kid that -- made you'd smile one moment and you'd want to smack him the next.  I know that as the first son, there was extraordinary circumstances within the growing up years and I thank God that I am able to witness now .... a sweetness where father and son can live and breathe together and work side by side.   Dad,  it is truly an answer to my prayers and I know it is a God thing.  I can just see both you and Daryl  sitting and discussing this blog and determining what I was trying to mean by that last statement ...LOL.   And I love how you take trips now together, and I love the fact that you both can look back and enjoy each other now --  thanks!   As I still pray for all of my family, I continue to pray that all of these kids  ( now all teens and one is going to college ) grow in stature and wisdom with God as their strong tower.  However,  they have a pretty good legacy already within their reach --as their parents are pretty  god lovin cool.
And this is Aaron, son #2.  This photo was taken this past winter as their number #1 son has taken on the family tradition of being a Marine!    I am very proud that my brother served our country and now my nephew is following in his father's footsteps.    Dad,  Aaron takes after you -- as you never wanted or allowed anything to be done ....  ok, I will say it ..."half ass"..... Aaron is Mr. Perfection and I am pretty sure it has rubbed off onto his children as both excel in what they set their minds too.    That is a quality that is lost in many of today's jobs and 'work'...one  that was handed down from the baby boomers in which my you were at the tail end of.  And Mom, the creativity of yours has flown up and over both of these grandkids!   Jarod was quick to be promoted within his company and that little one on the left raises National Champion Rabbits!  I am so thankful for this family and am blessed to call them 'mine'.
Christopher is the middle son and he is the one with the MOST kids -- so far!  Mom and Dad, I see so much of you both within his life -- his wisdom and his patience  ( ok, maybe he has a few more patience qualities from you MOM....)   but I do see both of you within him and his family.  Mom, I saw how you always wanted to help others and do community service like when you went door to door and raised funds for the first POOL in Watertown and I see Christopher doing that as well - being involved with much including his church family.   I see a carbon copy of a young Jim...in the oldest grand and I see a very young looking Mary Ellen within one of those girls!  However, what I see collectively within this family is love -- love for family and love for Christ and it is a beautiful thing! 

My sister Diandra and her family.  How I longed for another sister in among all those boys and God granted both Jeanette and I favor. She was spoiled, she had a temper.....but she certainly made us laugh.  Dear Mom and Dad, I sort of 'claim' a little of her upbringing -- well, I was about a tween when she arrived and by then you both were very busy with the farm....and as JJ would say, I did ANYTHING to get out of barn chores!!   LOL.    Anyway, I love seeing the FB photos of Dee grabbing you Dad and heading to Farm Progress Days or the June Dairy Month Breakfast and I love it that you, Mom, can teach those girls sewing and all the little 'stuff' you did not have time to teach us because you were so very busy...and we'd of probably squawked at trying to learn from our mother anyway. 

This is they younger brother, Trevor, and his family.  Mom, I am going to claim this one as well -- as I bet I changed more diapers than any other -- then again, maybe not.  I know I probably got him dressed more often than  a few of the other siblings!   However, here is another brother that is a great dad and provider to his family -- a quality that you , Dad, displayed.  Thank you Dad for working so hard to make sure we were fed, clothed, and we had a ride to school and wherever!  Trevor indeed has the Peirick Perfection Position  Gene but he also has a work ethic that You instilled in ALL of us Dad -- and Mom, no matter what, cows had to be milked, hay had to be baled and work was done.  Mom,  you saved out butts on MANY an occasion and we all appreciate YOU! 
This is Nate,  or Nathen,  or Nathen Jay...or Jay -- pick a name and he will answer to it.  The youngest brother and the one that probably gets picked on the most -- of course -- he is the baby!  This father of three boys is expecting later this year - well, Tina is !   I see such a playful spirit of fun within this family and just like his brothers -- he has that work ethic, that drive of perfection, and the willingness to change a diaper or two.  You always have a smile on your face Nate, even when one of the boys is in trouble or having chocolate milk with his cereal for breakfast. Dear Mom and Dad, you did well with this one!  That playful spirit comes from Dad  and his mother -- as he would chase us around the farm in the summer and pretend to scare the crud out of us or tell us stories of 'a tonya ya tusha'  and that smile probably comes from Mom who always made fun out of everything -- even milking cows at 12 midnight or singing show tunes while waiting on the next wagon of hay to unload in those hot summer days!  
And LAST but not least -- Britty!!  Her God given name is Brittan Leigh or is it Brittan Lee?  (inside joke)   Anyway -- this 'baby' of the 9 of us was conceived on a snowmobile trip back when I was in high school.  Yep, I remember being disgusted when I realized my parents sex life was still pretty active -- eww.....!   My mom was VERY pregnant at my high school graduation and my freshman roommates at college decorated a bulletin board for me when she arrived while I was at UWW.   There are 19 years between my youngest sister and myself and she is certainly the favorite.  Yep, she is and she owns it!
Dear Mom and Dad, within this one I am sure you see the 'end' of your babies but yet within this family now, I am sure you see much JOY and peace.  And, a great excuse to go driving to the badlands...  I know Brittan brings you both joy and she has a hold over you both like I have never witnessed --- it MUST be because of being the baby -- you now have an inside dog!!??  How many times did we ask to have a toy dog and all I would hear is 'dogs are for the farm, chasing cows'....LOL  My oh my how time changes hearts...heads...thoughts....and one become different!   Dad, I have to admit -- 7 years ago when I met with you at Perkins with Brittan and her first born and we ate breakfast -- watching little Haidyn get syrup all over you and you not fussing or sternly telling mom to get the 'kid cleaned up'...I thought - WHO are you and WHERE is  my dad??  I admit, you have mellowed and I am a little jealous that I have not been able to see the transition like the others did -- but I am glad for it -- as I look forward to many visits in the future!  And Mom, in Brittan,  you did a great work, she is a strong and beautiful example of that tenasity and resilience as well -- that you taught her -- and me...and all of us! Bless you Mom!
 With all the silliness put aside - Brittan got mom's talent for many things - one for sure, talented hands!  And she has Dad's ideas and she has been known to be a bit stubborn as well -- but she is MY baby sister!


There, with that --

God in heaven -- God who placed EACH and every star -- it is with ALL authority in the Name of Jesus that I claim each and every one of these precious people ( my siblings ) and their spouses and family  -- to be YOURS.  Each one of them is at a different place and spot in their relationship with you, but I am claiming Acts 16 and believing that all will see Satan cast into that lake of fire and we will enjoy heaven together as a family!  God in heaven, I declare protection over each and everyone of them -- and I want financial security and I pray they they won't rob You Lord of what is Yours.  I pray that as we gather this summer in June in Lebanon to celebrate the 50 years of marriage - that it will be a blessed time of fellowship, fun, and memories.  God, I would not trade a one of them for a million dollars -- ( well, Ok, maybe...Carson - Just Kidding...seeing if anyone reads until the end!)  God as I said, thank you for my precious family and I pray that we will all celebrate each others 50th and enjoy many more parties. God in heaven, I thank you for my mom and dad and what they have meant to me in my life. I am ALL of their best qualities and I am their legacy.  Lord, I thank you for them and I trust that You continue to draw them close.  Lord, bless them in a mighty way and I boldly claim May 1st 2015 as a healing day -- for many and much within our own lives -- God wins - Victory Dance!! Amen......in Jesus name, Amen.




I love you MOM and DAD - Happy 50th!  - chell








Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Just Bold & Scary prayers this eve for some friends!

 To my new sweet  friend --

You inspired me today.   You shared something and reminded me, or the Holy Spirit reminded me  and HE used you -- that His idea  ( God's idea) to do Girls with Swords (after our recent Encounter was HIS plan)--  and it was good.   Girls with Swords is an awesome bible/book study which leads you into a new understanding of who we are as daughter of the most high God!

 Yes, God used you today remind me that He speaks to me and He is using me.

I did not realize I so needed to hear that. It was rather essential! 

 The past few days have been one 'dart after another'.   I mean, I know the enemy pursues and tries his best to attack, but my armor was tired, drowsy, and dragging.... - tired!   It is just life.  Testing... hormones.... stress...planning...writing... and I have been busy trying to keep up, plan some upcoming  new events, and just exist in our little cottage.  But anyway.....

Living in His grace and exercising our faith is a daily thing and some days, it is harder.  As Lisa stated last night,  there are many times when we are at a point of being overwhelmed or we will overcome.   I choose to overcome. 

I made a comment yesterday, "the enemy continues to tell me, I don't belong".    Then Lisa Bevere shares a story in the DVD lesson  last night  how she never felt  like she was to "fit in".    And she further explains  that we are not suppose to fit in -- we are to be on the outside and set apart -- so that HE can use us!

Therefore,  I went home and reminded myself -- I am an over comer and when I don't 'feel' like I fit in -- that is probably the BEST place to be!! 

 Back to my new friend --  God used you today, to remind me that HE is constantly working within all of us.
God used you today, to remind me -- that HE knows I love  Him and I want to do His work.
God used you today, to challenge me, and I wrote a prayer for myself and for you --
God used you today, to spark some BOLD and scary prayers -- but I am going to believe and claim victory --

Anyway, thank you -- thank you for inspiring me today dear one -   this prayer is for you and me, but I included a few other dear ones that are in my list of prayers.  

                                                        *****

Lord, I want you to bless this woman who spoke up today and reminded us all of what it was to carry our cross.  We are to carry our cross, our cross is ALL of WHAT You did for us -- it is simply this -- Our Cross is you -- Lord.  Lord, for that dear one, I pray for her current trial and situation which has brought her to full repentance and deliverance;  so I thank you for that, but now as you redeem and bring beauty out of her ashes....I pray for some BIG revelations on the part of the other.  I pray that the other understands and realizes that no sin is more 'powerful' than another and that all of us have sinned against You Lord -- I just do.  I pray that as each day continues you would reveal to her YOUR exact plans and heal her heart.  I pray for her children and for restoration on each and every level and part.  I pray for a family to be restored and in one accord with YOU -- serving you and sharing their cross with others as time is short. 

Lord, I pray for the ones ministering to them right now, I pray that you would bless them in a mighty way. 

God for another sweet lady I know who is working on forgiving and trying to believe that You will bring beauty out of her ashes.  Lord, she has see WHAT you have done in her past and in others and I want her to know - YOU will do it again.  I ask that you would bless her in a mighty way as many new events are taking place soon within her family and that the joy of this special time, would out weight the hurts for right now and bring her hope.  I pray for total restoration within them - period.  I know YOU can do this Lord, I pray they will believe it too. 

Lord, I pray for my sweet close sister this eve who is battling something that is too hurtful to share, but I don't need to know -- YOU know and she told me she is taking it to You -- so, I leave her with You and I pray she would trust what she see's of You within me -- and that You would use me if need be...otherwise - I will thank you now for answering her prayer. 

Lord, I pray for that sweet one too -- who is awaking with anxious thoughts and wondering what You have in store for her next -- but she loves you and seeks you, so Let me see the glory that is about to happen and let me see her smile.....

Lord, I pray for the dear one that has suffered years and years of being '2nd fiddle'.  God I thank you for her revelation, she knows that You have not been first in her life, but NOW you are.  Lord, I identify with her in so many ways and levels....but ONLY YOU Lord can continue to comfort her -- and bless her.  Lord,  I pray that as this next month comes, she will seek Your Word and dig deep into her Girls with Sword Challenge .....and I have been praying this week -- and I know YOU will move the mountain in  her live - provide a home and YOU will open his eyes - period.  You have MUCH to do Lord! 

Lord, I pray for this other dear young one ...who appears to be so tired and just not ready to fight -- but God - I pray that she would dig deep and know -- YOU are in control and that YOU want healing, restoration, and a family to be together.  God I pray for her heart -- capture it and hold it.  God I pray for him -- that he sees -- what he is losing ...God I pray -- for them. 

Lord, for my sweet friend who will awake tomorrow and be reminded that on that day -- You received her son into Your loving arms.  It still hurts...It still sucks...It still is a big part of her life and their lives...God - ONLY YOU can comfort -- extend extra angels this week and weekend -- to surround her with GREAT HOPE --

Lord, for our upcoming PINK IMpact this weekend -- for the ones I invited -- God I want them to come to hear YOU -- not to appease me  -- and for all the 'legit' stuff that has to be worked out and Lord, for NO NO NO NO technical problems...in Jesus name.. amen. 

Lord, for my HOUSE....  I went ahead and claimed a week ago, I want to be in my home by the end of this year -- the sooner the better.  I have NO idea how YOU are going to do this - but I am believing for a miracle and that YOU want to give me this blessing - period. 

Lord, for the women I have sought out this week -- to step it up and believe in YOU and themselves to begin a home group -- for YOUR glory! 

Lord, for the one random one who is reading this tonight and trying to believe -- that YOU still heal...YOU still restore.  Lord, for the one battling cancer ...for the one battling the thoughts and ideas that she is not loved...for the one who has felt attacked -- and for the young mother who has not slept well in days --  God - may they all seek you,  draw closer to You and may they cast EVERY care upon YOU - in Jesus name, amen.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Healing a Wounded heart - fresh perspective today!


Today is Sunday.  I had a tremendous blessing at church today. 

I want others to experience the JOY only HE can bring.
I want others to believe in something that CAN happen with HIS help.
I want people to have growing faith - that WHEN they get beyond their own hurt and crisis...they will then PRAY it forward and speak life into another.

I want all to know - HE will make a way when it seems like there is NO other way!  

Today, we had a prophet come an speak a word of knowledge into our church body and he reminded us that -- God wants to speak to us - all the time.  HE wants to USE our words and our language to draw His children back into Him.  

Psalm 34.18 says:  "the LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit".  


In my most darkest and broken hearted days -I did NOT want to get out of bed.
I did not want someone to tell me it was going to be 'ok'...I WANTED it fixed and yesterday!
I was TIRED of praying and waiting.
I WANTED answers and I wanted to know - that all would be well.
And on many of those days - I wanted GOD to come from heaven and SMACK some people around - I did -- I wanted JUSTICE...what the hell did I do to deserve this hurt?

This world is broken.  This is not our home.  I never did anything to 'deserve' this...but I was/am a sinner and  mercy is for the just and the unjust.... God showed me mercy.  I needed HIS mercy.

Unfortunately -- the only one that could really help me  was God Himself and He was at work - I just could not SEE it.  So then comes the TRUST factor.


In the middle of the hurt, I leaned more and more on my comforter - the Holy Spirit.  
On the days in which I just had NO MORE words to pray - I used and prayed in my time with God - in my prayer language.  It was something that the enemy had NO clue to -- he could NOT understand it - if he was listening.  


I say that as a reminder to myself...and to a woman I prayed with today -- she is tired and her words are few ...she needs a healing.    And -- I believe, God will answer.  

No matter what -- GOD can heal and restore.  God can and HE will.  HIS perfect will IS to restore a marriage.  It is.   We must be obedient.

No matter what the 'world' may say -- GOD hates divorce.  HE does.  As I told this woman, if there is physical abuse or a cause of fear for one's safety .....then GET OUT...but, God's will is to restore and to heal and redeem.

I could insert here MANY MANY MANY different %'s and statistics of marriages and what works and what does not -- but I could also copy/cut and paste at least 4 different testimonies right here of other couples that had IMPOSSIBLE situations  ( situations that make mine seem like a 'picnic') and God healed...GOD restored...and GOD redeemed and blessed.

They were obedient.  In some cases the wife waiting on the man.  In other's the man waiting on the women.  And even in one, they divorced and remarried 6 years later....amen.  God is creative.   God wins!

  God's will is to restore.  It just is.  THAT is HIS will.  HIS will is to have a man and a woman as ONE FLESH -- working together to be a union....to show the world HIS love for His church.   People just don't fall out of love.   Love is a verb - it is an action.

When they say 'I never loved you'...they are lying. When they say, 'they love another' - they are lying- that is not love  -- that is EGO and LUST.

 Hurting people hurt others and lie...they have to JUSTIFY what they are doing -- to make it seem 'ok'.  

 The Enemy is a liar and the enemy will make a person 'believe' that one never loved another....
        the enemy will make a person 'believe' that another will NEVER change....
   the enemy will make another believe that 'now they finally deserve someone better'........
     the enemy will continue to steal, kill and destroy -- cause he knows....WHAT God can do!

So with that, and with ALL assurance that GOD is CLOSE to the brokenhearted and HE will bind your wounds...I will say to you -- hang in there.....


But FIRST.....I had to get right with God.  I did know that Christ had died for my sins and I knew of HIS word...but I did not have a one to one relationship with God - where God /Jesus was my husband...my best friend....and the ONE I trusted.

Trusting is the first step.  Believing  in something that is unseen - is faith.

Today as I prayed with this special woman, she is at that point - she realizes and knows, she loved him more than HIM... and she realizes that right now she is the spiritual authroity in her home and there is much to do.  

She realizes that it will take time, but that she can't fix him - he is HIS.  He is in a battle and we pray that he will open his eyes to God's direction and the Holy Spirit's leading -- before it is too late.  In the meantime, she is going to stay focused on God and her children and I am oh so proud of God in her -- as she is taking this ordeal ...humbly and with all the dignity of a true wise woman of God.  She is indeed speaking loudly to that wayward husband -- and I am going to believe that he already sees in her -- what he knows he needs with God.  


Lord, I pray for the beautiful woman that I had the pleasure to pray with today.  Lord, that she gets a GOOD night's rest but that she will awake with a supernatural peace surrounding her.  Lord, I pray for her husband - sin has been revealed - may he come to realize that his choices continue to break the relationship he had with God, and that God will not change His mind -- as  he needs a saving touch - that he needs Jesus. Lord, there are children involved - hearts that are hurt that need comfort - interject Lord - I know you are RIGHT there  -- that they would see something within their mom -- YOUR Light and HOPE...  Lord, help her to get that new routine going of teaching those children how to pray for their dad and declare victory over the family, that will be reunited and that will be used by GOD to help others...  Lord, protect her thoughts - as the enemy is working HARD to discourage her and I pray that she will believe that our time of prayer  today is by NO accident - that she will dig deep into your word, refresh her relationship with You and allow YOU to be the husband for the moment -- and that she would believe YOU are working on him as well.  In Jesus name, amen.


Lord, I am humbled- Hopeful...encouraged..and committed to believe YOU will do it again!  I will continue to pray for those  couples around us and believe that YOU are at work, YOU will open the eyes of the ones who are deceived, and YOU will restore the others...and give courage to the ones that MUST seek some professional and godly help -- I believe.  I believe,  YOU WANT for them -- WHAT I now have with my husband...new soul ties...new love... and revelations that there was LOVE all that time....the the wife of the youth...is HIS will...that the current wife is GOD's will.... that the two married -- should remain.   amen.   GOD....wash them all clean....God that the ones that are NOT in relationship with you - would be miserable...until they SEEK you and if You see fit to use Brendan or myself within this.....then do it and we promise to be faithful to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to us - in Jesus name..amen.
michelle

Friday, April 24, 2015

McDreamy -- and I pray I NEVER become so captivated by a story line again - period.

Ok, I said it.  I cried like  a BABY even knowing that the writers of Gray's Anatomy were probably killing off Derrick  this season.    And yes...  the past few months, as I watched each and every episode, my husband would ask ....do you really need to watch that? 

We have, as a couple, been seriously watching what we watch on TV.  Yes, we are trying our best to make sure it speaks life....it is of some moral content...and if it could be  adding to the  desensitising there is within  the  television medium now.

We heard a speaker last week speak about 'television'.  And he went on to say -- what is 'television'??

              ....  Tell ....a...Vision.  

The television is giving us a vision -- a vision -- so is it a godly vision?  Or is it a vision the enemy is using to -- steal, kill, and destroy?

Ok.  So I can hear the Holy Spirit speaking LOUDLY but still -- this habit of watching these characters.....

Enough said.

No wait -- I just have to add this.  I grew up on Days of Our Lives...so maybe I can blame all of this on my Grandmother?     No, I know. 

As a kid, Carol Burnett, The Munsters, Bewitched and the Brady Bunch filled my afternoons.   And then I begged for the chance to be in side on Sunday nights to watch, The Donny and Marie Show.  Ok, so I grew up with TV.  I remember being in high school and watching MTV for the epic inaugural year -- in which is was GOOD music videos!! 

 Oh, how Brendan and I could hardly wait  until the next  Michael Jackson video came about  -- I had "Thriller" memorized by the 2nd time I heard it.   I stood, hook, line and sinker when Madonna laid all over the floor and sang, "like a virgin" and I have to be honest, it took a good couple of minutes before I could really understand WHAT she was singing about.  LOL.

Anyway --

I got hooked on a drama, "Family" as a teen.  Then the Hardy Boys and other such shows - "the Bionic Woman" and so forth. (When Jamie and Steve DID NOT get back together for good -- it took several weeks until I was not obsessing over them and their relationship. ) Yes...I am being serious.

  When the kids were little -- Dallas and Knots Landing and the reruns of all the shows I was unable to see as a kid -- Adam 12 and so forth. TV Land had just begun.   I can't remember off hand, if I obsessed over characters within those shows, but I  so remember watching Titanic in the theater and then...went home and was unable to function for 3 days -- in tears and withdrawls and mourning  because of the sadness.   And I vowed I would never watch that movie and again -- and I have NOT.  There are certain movies I have never seen - because it is just TOO real.  I have watched Marley and Me once and I will never watch it again.  I was heaving I cried so badly. 
 
I get it - the TV dramas.  Most recently the show "Parenthood" had me laughing, protesting, and evenually bawling as it ended this past month.  IN my later years, I am trying my best to make sure -- WHAT I put into my eyes via the TV is worth something.   And, when Parenthood seemed to be heading in a direction that I was unwilling to watch each week, I took a break and reminded myself - it was just TV; however,  this year, when it announced and proclaimed that this year would be the LAST season, I got hooked again and I thank God it ended well -- seriously, I prayed it would.  I could not handle a week of tears and mourning when the 'dad' died.  ( And the couple that was headed for divorce  - reunited!)

I am not too proud of the fact that  when Gray's Anatomy was introduced, I asked my son if he wanted to watch it with me.  Yep...what a 'moral compass' I   was!    I wanted to have someone to talk to about the show.  How sad...??  I had to ask my then 9 year old son... but, yes -- I did.  YOU see, about 10 years ago, there was not a lot of family communication in our home - nor was there much 'church attendance'  no accountability ....so, as Hunter would watch Lord of the Rings and such, I would sit with him and make him tell me the story line and then when a show looked interesting I would ask him to watch it with me, as I wanted something to chat about as his soccer career was beginning and he was beginning to travel a lot.  And so, it  started and he wanted to 'stay up' and watch it as well and I let him.

  That idea of that romance between Derrick and Meredith -- how was I to know that I would re-look at their relationship over and over and finally come to the point of NOT watching it for the past 3 years  -- and the OTHER relationships on the show -- story lines became befuddled so I stopped watching;  ....only to get HOOKED again this season and then ..... hurt last night as they killed him off.

  Consequently,   the show consumed my Thursday night for many seasons until about 6 years ago when TV just was not as interesting and my interests began to change.    And as I said,  I am not very proud of the fact that this show has sucked up some  major viewing time, but as I drove to work today, I prayed and asked God to help me -- NOT to get involved with another family drama ...or drama about relationships  and I asked God to please show me something of value out of this all....

And quickly HE reminded me --

We want relationships -- 
We want to be loved - and be heard and we crave that oneness. 
God created us to CRAVE ...HIM... 

Many of us  get it out of TV characters,  a sport,  or perhaps physical fitness.... our worth and value but what we really need is JESUS.  Period.  

Too many of us look for it  in our spouses and DRIVE them crazy with our expectations, neediness, and we smother them with our manipulations.

In the soap operas,  all it took was a mysterious illness, and the family came to see the patient and then the loved one  or the prodigal son returned and everything was OK.

 Do you know how often I would ask God..."can I just have an accident where I am not too badly injured and then the family will have to come and worship me for a bit and I will know ...THEN...that I am loved?" 

Did you read that?
Did you hear that?
I am admitting -- I prayed that FAR to often.  I thank GOD, HE never answered that prayer.   But I just wanted love and attention and I was looking for it in another -- instead of God.  

Anyway, I thank God that I am at a different place, however, my glass house had to break before I really figured out that stuff had to change and stuff was taken from me, to finally have the right perspective and the right motives -- HIS.

But praise God - HE was patient with me and gave me that 2nd chance.  


Ok, so  Matthew 6.30 says, for your heavenly Father knows you have need of all things -- and we are to ask God for what we need and not what we want!

So, I am asking for God's help in staying away from any more continuing drama's where I am a train wreck for the next few days afterwards when they kill off the main character.  

I am going to make sure and be more viligent in it - to guard my time on that TV and make sure it is for HIS purpose.    To me, please don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with watching TV and many of these shows, help us to escape -- we just need balance.

I can't seem to keep that balance, and so therefore, I make different choices now of what I watch.  I don't want to put myself in a situation where I get so attached  to a character - and so forth. 

That is wise - that is what God wants me to do.   He wants me to have all that I need! 

Forgive me for 'ranting' today -- I just felt the need to share my head and heart and  let you know that I mourned all night last night - in my dreams and in my thoughts.

And this am.... I recalled the 'death bed'  scene last night on Gray's as I was driving to school.  How sad... cause there was No 'life' there - there was no talking or HOPE of seeing him again in heaven and when I voiced that OUT...when I pictured a hospital bed with angels around it -- thinking and dreaming about a real doctor that had probably died this way as well....

Saving lives and then getting in an accident as he left the scene of the accident -- and then later being there in that bed with the tubes and such ....  as his wife or maybe daughter unplugged it all ....

I thought about how awesome that would be to have angels in that - right in there, awaiting his return to the King.  

And then, as I said, reality set in - this is nothing but a TV show.
Real life is much better -- amen.


- michelle

Thank you for reading this until the end.  If you call me, I will take you for ice cream as payment for my therapy session!

being HELD.....

  
Being  ...held......


Natalie Grant wrote this song called "Held" after a friend of hers lost a baby.  IT has circled the Christian Radio charts and I believe I have purchased her CD 2-3 times and given it to people when they have experienced the death of a child....it is comforting to know that God does HOLD us...we are being HELD.


 I did a little research on the word held..or hold.... The Dictionary says,  1.  to have or keep in the hand, keep fast, grasp.  2.  to set aside, to reserve or retain -- like to hold a reservation.  3.  to bear, sustain, or support as with hands or arms or by any other means.  4.  to keep them in a specified state, 'the preacher held them spellbound'. and 5.  to detain, the police held him at the station for questions. 

Held.....then I looked up some more info...The noun held means an act of holding...as a verb, it means to remain in or continue being held.....Did you know there is also definitions for ...
hold back....
hold down....
hold forth....
hold in.....
hold off....
get ahold of .....
hold one's own.....


Then 2 verses were found:  
   2 Thessalonians 2.15    So then brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

   1 Titus 1.9
  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Then I found this:   the word HOLD with a capital "h" is found in 11 verses in our bible, 9 chapters, and 9 books.....that version is more of the noun hold....

I wanted to write down each verse, I will site a few of my favorite:

Judges 18.19     Nehemiah  8.11     Job   13.13
Psalms 17.5   Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
Psm  109. 1    Amos  6.10    Zephaniah 1.7
Mark 1.25     Luke 4.35       2Tim 1.13
Psalm 119.117   Hold thou  me up, and I will be safe; and I will have respect unto thy statutes continually.

I stopped and pondered why those two verses really STUCK in me....I remember many times in my life when I would beg God to hold up my goings in thy path....and just HOLD me....up....

And in Psm. 119....hold thou me up...JUST HOLD ME UP...how many  times I begged and pleaded that on my behalf. 

How about you...are you begging God to hold you up?

 IF you are, let us stop right now:
Lord, for my sweet sister or for whomever is reading this.....they or she or he needs you ...hold them...hold them up.  Amen. 


Then I came across this.  The word HOLD with a capital H is there 11 times and the word hold with a lower case 'h' ......is in 167 verses...167 verses....49 chapters....35 books...I was astonded.

That is the verb hold !   an action!   God is holding us! 

I did not write down each verse but a few that spoke volumes to me.

One of my life verses:  Exodus 14.14    The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Psalm 139.10    Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Proverbs 3.18  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her and happy is every one that retaineth her.
Proverbs 4.13  Take fast hold of instruction, let her not go, keep her, for she is thy life.
Isaiah 41.13  For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not, I will help thee.

That last verse...spoke life into me many times over the past six-seven  years.   I don't wish to bring up the past, but I have to share this one story...of HOW this verse spoke life back into me.

   My husband and I were separated.  Our son was headed to Louisiana for a soccer tournament and my husband was very kind and did not expect to travel with us, as he knew our time together was hard, very hard but after prayer, I knew,  he deserved to be able to attend and enjoy the soccer.  It had been a planned trip and Taylor was traveling with us.  Arrangements were made and our time together was difficult but "ok."

  WE spent a week together as a family and enjoy Hunter' team and their wins and their heartbreak loss on the last day.  The in between times were VERY hard, as sometimes I could only smile for so long and pretend for so long that all was well.  Each evening we would pick a restaurant and sit as a family  and each of us did a good job with keeping conversations 'right'.  Anyway, like I said, at times, it would just get too hard to bear and I would excuse myself and head to the ladies room.  At which I would get sick, either lose my lunch or supper or just spit up dry heaves and then look at myself in the mirror and hold my hand up in front of it and recite this verse.

Sometimes I would cry it out, sometimes I had to be very discrete, but I had to remind myself over and over that HE was holding my hand.  HE was going to get me through this and HE would make all things new.  HE did.   The Holy Spirit would take over.  I know this...NOW,  but then, I was literally grabbing onto the promises of God every 2-3 minutes.

 I would be able to wipe my tears, recompose myself and head back to the supper or dinner table and smile and just be thankful for the four of us - enjoying time together.   I was SUCH a good actress.  I had to be.

 It was a difficult week.  The kids and I shared a King sized bed and my husband  slept on the floor.  Many nights were spent in prayer as I could not sleep between two kids that literally tossed and turned as they slept and I would hold my arm up in front of my eyes and focus on my hand and recite that verse...and imagine that God was RIGHT there...holding me and being my RIGHT hand......it was a verse I came to paraphrase and repeat often.

Now, bear in mind...that may leave a sad taste in your mind about my husband ..but don't let it.  I want to tell you that for the past 2-3 years, I fall asleep each night in his arms...he holds me very tight and waits for me to wiggle out of his grip.  When I awake in the am, he must awake too as he will turn over and quickly grab me and hold me tight.

When he first began to do this, I would just lay there and think...."how long will this last?".  Then it continued and after a few months of expecting it to quit....I awoke one morning and I could hear the Holy Spirit remind me -- "THAT is how God has held you - TIGHT and now I am using your husband to remind you - God is still here."  

This am, that happened again.  And God reminded  me...'see....I continue to hold you...through him'....Brendan can be the person on earth that can show you physical love and hold you and remind you that YOU are deeply loved by the Father. 


I believe that.  That brought  even more healing to me today.  That made me smile....


Revelation 20.2
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.

Yep...God wins.  Period. 

Lord, I thank you so much, for holding me.
PS...don't let him stop....I still need it - daily...even though I know YOU can hold me without being here...and I know I am so loved without him holding me...I am just saying...it feels so so so good. 

Amen. 

I love  him Lord, but I know that I know, I love you more...there is a proper order now - amen.  And Lord, I thank you for our past -- as it has formed our destiny.  Amen.

- michelle

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I won't underestimate God!

I clearly heard God impress upon me the other morning -- "Everything that happens to you is for YOUR own good"....and  "I am doing good for you".

I sort of laughed and then smiled at that thought and then sat in my car a moment and said to myself, "really Lord?".

Yes...  "everything YOU do for me IS good!".

Everything.

I am at a point in my life where I have had MANY victories so when it looks pretty bleak -- I can seek God to bring back into remembrance the GOOD and it helps me get past the yuck.

I am also at a point in my life when I believe HE is teaching me SO much -- as time is short and HE wants to use me...I WANT to be used.    ( for HIS Kingdom)  

Everything that comes our way -- should be filtered through the heavenly language....God's language -- HIS Word.  When I look at and filter EVERY experience and feeling, and thought through HIS Word.... something changes.

I sound pretty smart - don't I ??  That concept was shared by  Lisa Bevere in the  Girls with Swords  DVD lesson last Monday.

I have thought about that all week.

So, when I think about every situation and prayer request and see it through the heavenly language of God's Word -- I am going to believe that everything that transpires is for our good.  
 

I was reminded of the story of Ester.

 Today as I was a part of a beautiful prayer group that called upon the heavens - called upon Jesus to send warrior angels to fight and called upon  the Holy Spirit  to comfort a warrior that needed uplifting.    This warrior -- reminded me of Ester. 

Life is hard.

Situations- somethings at sometimes seem so UNBEARABLE to deal with.

You can get to the point of just wanting to GIVE up -- but .....don't.
 
  
 The Story of Ester.  Here is a recap of that Book in the Bible:  
Esther was a young, beautiful, Jewish woman living in Persia. She was unknowingly thrust into one of the greatest stories of all time, due to a very strange turn of events. Esther proved to be a woman of unusual wisdom and courage, facing adversity and wickedness with a quiet confidence and grace. While God is not directly mentioned in this book, His hand and perfect timing are seen in every turn of events. 

Then her story can teach us some lessons:  
Esther saved the Jews. Her life can teach us several vital lesson:
1. There is a preparation time.
She allowed herself to be prepared for the task. God's preparation time can sometimes be long and uneventful. Moses spent 40 years in the desert looking after sheep before coming to deliver the Israelites. The refining of our characters is very essential to God's plan for our life. God cannot use a proud woman (or man).


I believe there was a season in my life where GOD prepared me.  HE changed the way I felt about Him and myself and then, when I was ready -- HE did allow some revelation and I know that I know that my 'time' was THEN to walk with HIM and walk in faith and learn to TRUST God.  

I know a woman right now - that has been prepared - I believe it.   I have seen her strong and I have seen her weak.  I have seen her at her best and I have seen her hurting and trying to drown the sorrow.  But now....   She is strong and she knows how to hear from God and she knows that HE is asking her to trust HIM -- but it is really hard.  

  I have seen her-  now - at her best for many months.   She has been patient and believing.    I have seen the 'old her'  that constantly sought God and taught about God.    But I can see, she is at her breaking point -- and I want to scream, "please don't give up!"  The enemy continues to try and hurt her through her thoughts...through her children...and through her circumstances. 

 But I want to remind her tonight --  Her children are blessed.  She has the Holy Spirit within her and so her thoughts ...can be overcome by the blood of the Lamb.  And...that one she SO hates right now ......  God is not liking his behaviors either -- but God knows that the two of you - can overcome and He has thousands of angels...just waiting to run to him -- but his eyes have to open.  Until then -- wait dear one ---  God  can heal your heart.    And I am just going to believe and pray a scary prayer -- GOD -- heal them -- restore them...break him.... and let her see a glimpse of YOUR plan so she will not loose HOPE!  

2. We need the favor of God.
Esther found favor with the King and so did Mordecai. Even Jesus grew in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52). When you live a life pleasing to God, by obeying His will you will find favour with Him. God will also give you favour with people.

I have had people come to me and say, "pray for me as YOUR prayers are heard".  God hears each and every prayer.  We do need God's favor and it comes with our obedience.   The key is living a life pleasing to God.  I believe many times we give up or give in ....right before the blessing comes.  And so often, we give up or give in cause God does N OT seem to be moving in our timeline - and we get impatient.  God's timing does seem slow, but trusting it -- brings favor.  

I believe that my friend HAS God's favor....she is walking in it.    And I prayed today that HE would seek her and show her that HE is pleased.  

3. God works in His own time and season.
Esther got her timing right. Maybe God has put it on your heart to do something for Him. Don't just jump into it but wait for his time. Joseph was in jail until it was God's time for him to be released. God will move in His time when we remain faithful and alert to His leading.


Another lesson from Ester on God's timing.....it does seem like God is really trying to TEACH us something.  I believe there is a woman reading this tonight -- and right now, she knows that God is telling her -- NOW is the time...

Maybe NOW is the time to fast and pray for a specific child that  is lost or mixed up in sin...
Maybe NOW is the time for you to sit next to a friend who is in a storm and just PRAY with her...
Maybe NOW is the time to get off your butt...and DO something....for HIM...instead of expecting God to lay it all before you...
Maybe NOW is the time to actually pray and seek counsel on something or a stronghold that has plagued you for FAR too long...
Maybe NOW is the time to go to church - find one...worship one...and maybe ask yourself, "does God know me?"...
Maybe NOW is the time to give and extend forgiveness...
Maybe NOW is the appointed time for restoration within a part of your family...
Maybe NOW is the appointed time...
4. Your background does not hinder your future with God.
Esther was an orphan. God still exalted her and used her. Some of Jesus' disciples were fishermen, tax collectors and one was a doctor. Your background does not determine what God can do with you. Your faith does.

I did a bible study on Ester with Beth Moore.  A major part of the study is taking a look at 'our past' and that it has BROUGHT us to this point - here and now.  Our past was our destiny.  Our past did shape our future -- but it never has to dictate it.  

God has allowed experiences within out lives -- as we walk through it with HIM...we can then, do that for another and help another walk through the pain of..... a death....a betrayal....a rejection....

God uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary -- our faith creates miracles!  


There is NOTHING God can't heal, restore, or redeem.

There is NOTHING that can separate the love HE has for us--

Are you in a season like Ester was?
  Is now the time to step it up -- and help SAVE a child or friend around you?
Only You and God know the answer to that --
If Ester had NOT spoken up when she did  -- what would of happened?
She saved a people....
Who have you helped God to save today?


I am humbled.  Humbled that I was reminded this evening that my blogs -'help'  - thank you Hannah -- I certainly enjoyed hearing that.

I am humbled that I am able to pray with a bevy of women that have the faith to FAKE it until it is felt.    ( Sorry, Ryan..there are men in that group too)

I am humbled that God has given me several memory stones...in my life that I can come back to and see victory when it seemed hopeless...so I WILL believe for another - it is NOT hopeless.

Sure...can God use a divorce?  yes.  Sure....if this divorce does transpire...will God still use my beautiful friend - YEP -- I know it.  But I am still going to believe that this 'couple' will be reunited and it will happen in a way that MANY will see and say -- 'that was God'...as there are children and many lives that need restoration and healing as well -- that are connected.

I know God loved  me THAT much.
I know God loved Job.... Mary..... Sarah ...Ester ...THAT much.
I know God loves them  - THAT much.

God does not have to 'faith' it until HE feels it - HE is the love.
God is not to be underestimated.

God shows up - each and every time.
Amen.

Lord, I know that I know  -- you will show up in her life in a mighty way and tomorrow will be a new day and she will testify as to your faithfulness and I know she will seek Your Will...and I am believing that she won't have to 'fake' it...  she will be granted her hearts desire -- in Jesus name, amen.  

Her hearts desire is YOUR will Lord -- I know that I know that -- thank you! Amen. 

- humbled, Michelle

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Those DARN cats .....

At  5.23 am, a few days ago,  I could hear the scream and cry of a something.  It sounded human at first and then as I roused myself, I heard it again.  A few moments later, another cry was heard but it was different this time and thus began a series of cries, calls, and a loud discussion.  --- Cats.

Cats.  Yuck.  I am not a cat person and please, don't be offended and quit reading, but there is a 'band' or gang of cats that stalk the neighborhood area where I currently reside.  I can't let Elsa go and chase them, she won't return, but every now and then - Bella gets a good yelp or will chase one and returns looking like she conquered the world and all is well.    So anyway -- there was obviously a problem going on ...... as I laid in bed, this is what I was hearing .....

"help"
"what?" 
"help"
"what on earth have you gotten into?" 
"I don't know but I need help, please?"
"nope"
"nope?"
"nope" 
"you did not listen, I told you...." 

And then a 3rd cat joined in and at this point...there was a confusion of cries, screams, and then you could tell something happened.   And then --  it all went QUIET. 

Now, bear with me,  as I laid in bed, I had begun to pray and could hear the cats and then the Holy Spirit began to speak to me.  And I could not think it through but yet, my mind began to race about HOW this all is related.

God does not waste anything.  So bear with me -- as I TIE this all together. 

I am reading a book right now, where the author is using the research and study of lionesses'  to awaken - this woman.  Me.  A few chapters ago, there was insight into the body of Christ.   In the chapter   called Greet and Groom.   Let me give a little background, Lisa Bevere uses lionesses as her vehicle to share something about the body of Christ.  When lionesses sleep in the day, for almost 21 hours at a time, they lay right there - wide open in fields or an area.  They know that they know - no one is going to bother or touch them.  They are indeed the queens of the jungle or the prairie at that moment.  Nothing will bother them, except,  maybe a rogue lion that won't be able to penetrate  the pride - as the lioness' will band together and they will protect their young.   However, the point is --  they know their identity.    They know whom the lion is,  where he is,  and they are confident in their identity.

In our lives...  do we know our Identity in Christ?  In my life?   I do know.  I do know where my identity lies -- in HIM.

How powerful to know what your purpose is and not worry about what others are thinking and doing. 

And, with this pride of lionesses, as they move about here and there, if one of them gets off the trail or is on a hunt and returns to the sisterhood...she is greeted instantly by another who  gets close enough to SMELL her.   This is how they recognize that 'she belongs' to that pride. Once the smell is received, all is well and then the others sisters will property greet her with licks and such.    Do you know your children by their smell?  I know the smell of my hubby as he has used the same Polo cologne for years and I love digging into that smell.     Interesting!  Or how about this....?  Have you smelled something on your child where instantly you knew -- to pray?  

 Then, the others  ( back to that pride of lionesses....)  will groom each other.  You see, a lioness can't wash a part of  her own face - she can't get the ticks out of the back of her ears nor can her tongue reach to that one back spot where there may still be ...poop on her butt.  yep...  I said it - poop. 

So, the lionesses do what needs to be done.

2 Corinthians 13. 12-14 - Greet one another with a holy embrace.  All the brothers and sisters here say hello.  The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you. 

1 Corinthians 4: 4-14-15 -  I'm not writing all this as a neighborhood scold just to make you feet rotten.  I am writing as a father to you, my children, I love you and want you to grow up well, not spoiled.  There are a lot of people around who can't wait to tell you what you've done wrong, but there aren't many fathers willing to take the time and effort to help you grow up. 

This ritual of lioness greeting progresses favorably.  Does the ritual of 'us' greeting each other progress favorably?  


Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.  He displayed and showed that he was their servant. 

In fact, Jesus had a conversation with Peter of sorts and Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet.  So Jesus let Peter know that if he did not allow the footbath, then Peter would have no part in what Jesus was doing.  Peter overcompensated and took Jesus's offer to the extreme by inviting Jesus to wash him from head to toe.  Our amazing Jesus brings it back to the point:

Jesus said, "If you've had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you're clean from head to toe...So now you are clean."   John 13.10

That is why Jesus went on to say in vs. 14-17 that a servant is not ranked about his master ...what Jesus did for us - that is what we do for others..... 

Like the lionesses, we need each other to clean off the dirt, ticks, and parasites from our daily living.

When we are a part of a community that grooms one another, we help each other to keep our lives clean.  

I believe and agree with this author, that like the lioness, we need each other to clean off the dirt, ticks, and parasites from our lives.

I agree with the author, it is imperative that when you enter a house of worship ( a church family ) you are greeted and there is opportunity to connect.  And there needs to be an atmosphere of holiness within that church body.

Friendships and churches without connection and interaction will not groom you for God's purposes. 

We must be willing to ask...'do I need grooming?'
We must be willing to serve.
We must be willing to look at a sister in Christ and let her know - there is poop on her butt.
We must be willing to wash feet -- and have our feet washed.  

"However,  this kind of 'foot washing' works both ways.  Not only are we to speak into one another's  lives; we are to invite others to give their input to us as well.  " - Lisa Bevere

I want and need a few that are qualified and wiling to speak direction and wisdom into my life.  I have those women and those  people.  I believe everyone needs 'that' kind of person.  And of course, we look to HIM who is our ultimate 'groomer'. 

John 13.10 says:   My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene.  

Matthew 23: 25 says:  For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy -- full of greed and self-indulgence!  


Holiness is a function of the heart.  It is a heart issue.  Confusion can happen when our focus is on avoiding  bad  rather than on doing the good.  Jesus went about doing good, not avoiding the bad. 

When we imagine we are above the need for heart grooming, we start judging others.  In judgment we deny other what we ourselves need.

I believe we can embrace the grooming process because we know the sister lionesses  around us love and are there for us.... for me.  I know whom they are in my life,  and I believe they know whom I am in theirs.   Sometimes, we may disagree -- but that does not mean we disband.    ( from Lisa Bevere, page. 130)

Who are the women in your life that need to be greeted ?
Who in the world would benefit from some tender grooming?
Is there someone you could invite to be a part of your grooming process?



************************
Now back to those cats....

As I heard the last fight, discussion or spat between the three cats,  in cat language,  and before it disbanded, I could not help but think  something was wrong within their conversations...and I thought of gossip.

I was that  person who lived in a glass house for many years and my judgement on others  was not pretty.  I was looking at their holiness and what they did not have right or wrong.   I probably groomed, but not in a godly manner and not for the right reasons.  It was not to nurture and yet, many times I felt it was.

I thought about those cats and had many different conversations with myself and God and the Holy Spirit  today, as with our human flesh and our human frailty -- there seems to be a wanting to rather  fuss then seek out an offense.  I mean, some would rather voice their opinion and share something, instead of taking it to God and to that person.


  I am reminded that time is short  --

I also thought that maybe one of those cats just wanted to groom another and when she went to pick the tick off her back....the other cat screamed "leave me alone".

Perhaps she was unaware that this cat just wanted to help?

I am reminded about  the one who spoke out the grooming -
- or the one who spoke out the offense -
or the one who said something that hurt another.

  And when allow ourselves to listen and then share it can  become gossip.

There is such a quick or fine line there -- as if we are offended we just need to go back to the one who offended us.  However, HOW did we know what was said.......?  Unless another shared info that should of been kept to oneself?  

Oh Lord, forgive me.  

Researching scripture today on gossip -- was painful.

  As with each verse -- I could see the OLD me.  The one that lived in that glass house.  And I asked God to remove those memories and HE assured me, HE had no record. But I am pretty sure, others might.  But, I don't have to answer to them when I get to heaven.  I mean, I have sought out and made amends to those that the Holy Spirit brought to me .....but the rest - it is the past.


Proverbs. 18.8
Proverbs 26.20
Proverbs 21.23
Eph 4.29
Proverbs 16.28  says how a whisper can separate close friends ....

If you are reading this, I challenge you to look up those scriptures.  

ouch....ouch ...ouch.... ouch.... ouch....

I think it is so important to have that greeting -- that connection.  Those cats outside were not mine.  If they were, perhaps I would of jumped out side to see what was happening and maybe rescued that one that seemed in pain.  I know I would of.

 My mom is a saint, she would of hopped out of bed and checked out the skirmish -- but I stayed in bed.  As I said, no connection.

I think that is the biggest difference with me now -- I have real connections.  I am in love with Jesus, I am no longer trying to 'save' another, but just do life with another.  I also have a wanting to help others ....to reach their fullest potential.  I want them to be used by Christ and share that JESUS HIGH that is so addictive.    I want the best for him or her.      And I believe that I am willing to be groomed - I believe I can be that servant.

There are verses in the bible -- Psalm 139.23 in which is speaks about 'searching my heart lord' and how HE sees our motives.  Jerm 17.10 , Romans 8.31, and Col 3.2, Josh 1.9 and of course Ex. 14.14 ...all remind me that I am deeply loved and I only have to 'answer' to HIM.  HE is the final judge.  And again, I know whom I am in Christ.  I am not trying to win a popularity contest anymore.

I only want to hear, "well done my good and faithful servant".
So as the cats awoke me a few days ago --  and I began that  day in prayer and speaking to my best friend -- the Holy Spirit and He enlightened me  --

I know that I know, that God will use everything that He allows within my life for HIS purposes.
God wins.

2 Cor 5.7 -- I am going to walk by faith and not by sight and I am going to continue to believe for the BEST ...for me...for the people around me...and for HIS Kingdom to come -

HIS will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Forgive me Lord, my trespasses  as I forgive those and lead me not into temptation but deliver me from all evil.

Lord -- you win.
Use me.
Amen.  


TBT - my healing is complete! Guest writer - my better half!

  I can get so overwhelmed about God's timing and then I smile and go..."of course"....As we read HIS word, it is living and active.  And, HE uses all and everything that we endure and come across for HIS purposes and HIS glory.  My Time Hop directed me today to this blog post from ONE year ago in which Brendan was the 'main' contributor.   And you know what?   I needed to post it today - as it fits perfect!  

However, I added a few updates from my hubby -- after another year walking with him in this life.... he has gotten a little more wiser .....  he listens to God and I LOVE that.  

I am SO thankful that my husband -- teaches me so much...I mean, God uses my husband to teach me, as my man is seeking HIM.    Love it...Love that... God wins!  

So here is my TBT post -- with a few updates in RED --


  "My healing is complete and it does not always LOOK like what you want to see".....

When I was praying so fervently last year  for a friend that was battling cancer, God spoke to me.  

----- HOW do I hear HIM?  ( that can be a topic for the future )


 I began to pray and I asked  God to speak to  my friend Trace....I was reminded of how many times - the healing does not come right away....or the healing does not look like WHAT I want it to.  

Back to RIGHT now...today -- 

I was reminded of this Word from God again --- "my healing is complete and it does not always LOOK like what you want to see"....


I have been asking God a tough question over and over these past two weeks - "why do some marriages work out and others don't"???????


My husband, at times,  may hear a bit of a  conversation I am having with  another - I try to keep it as private as possible at times, but I do welcome  his input and ask him  at times for his advice.  He has the gift of discernment,  and as we pray together  -- sometimes other prayers just spill over and he will listen and then give me a suggestion or a reminder.   

He noted something last week and then I stated he should "blog it"  and he was going to -  but that has not happened so I am going to share a bit of it now.  He speaks of the ROLLER Coaster....He is pretty knowledgeable in it, as he was on a roller coaster of faith for a LONG time.

I was too.

 He reminded me  of how there are ebbs and flows of our feelings. He reminds me how you can't be controlled by your feelings.   You will see where a person is so desperate for help and seek godly counsel and get through the crisis of the moment, but he or she won't take that EXTRA step and GET out of the boat and begin  to WALK in faith  with Jesus on that water.  

Many times it is  because  - he or she is  NOT ready. 
Other times, it is because one believes he  will have to 'give up' too much of the 'old life'.
And even other times, it is because people  are looking for a quick fix -- not a LONG TERM relationship with God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus.
  {Brendan added this week:   "most people see Jesus an an Enhancer instead of a transformer"  -- Good stuff!   .....I think I will keep him! }

But that is OK.  

As, God does not want ANYONE to perish,   that person will seek HIM out again and maybe this next crisis of faith will be the one where that person FALLS in love with Jesus ...and wants HIS companionship and FELLOWSHIP - all the days of his or her  life.  

It really is a cool thing to witness.  

....when one crosses over that line and becomes SOLD out to HIM...

So with that....God reminded me, "my healing is complete"....I know that God heals and HE heals completely - it just may not LOOK like what I expect from THIS perspective.  

But that is OK.  HE is in control. HE only asks me to plant the seed at times and to be a prayer warrior for a season -- but I trust GOD that the complete healing will come to that person...that prayer request.  

I believe God is big enough.

And divorce does not mean that this couple won't GET back together. In fact, I have a dear pal that was about to SIGN the papers of divorce and God clearly spoke to her - 'this is not my plan' and she went back home.....and they have been married now over 20+ years.

I am humbled that my marriage was restored.  I know God brings beauty out of all ashes when we allow HIM to.

And sometimes God uses the divorce ...to bring healing.  But - HIS healing is complete.  

I believe God can OPEN the eyes of that one who does not realize that they are STILL on that roller coaster .

I believe GOD can  open those eyes  of the one that continues on that Roller Coaster --EVEN when that person  appears to GET BACK ON that Roller Coaster with their own poor choices.

The point is -- as I wish to SPEAK LIFE as I wrap up this blog post -- is.....

If you want complete healing -- BE willing to wait on God...HIS healing is complete.  Believe that promise for yourself.  Claim it.  Recite it.  Healing emotionally is - at times - more painful and time consuming than a physical healing.  But - GOD will win.

And as we wait on that healing - STAY close to him.....

 Thank you Lord for this TBT to a year ago, in which You spoke through Your word and my man -- I praise and honor You Lord and I thank you for him.  In Jesus name, amen. Lord, I pray this insight -- this blog post will speak to a heart -- several hearts - male and female.  May they truly allow Jesus to transform them...not just enhance their life!  amen.