Monday, August 31, 2015

Scenario #4 ....It is tough being a woman....

It is tough being a woman being thrown a MAN - sized weight.

Today was a tough day.

I have been thinking and asking God about this Scenario for several days now and this eve --   the MAN sized weight.... the HUGE sized weight....the AWFUL sized weight that was thrown on me and many others today ..... is one of a LOSS. 

 Grief ....death...hurt... sad sadness.

In the story of Ester, Ester comes to the realization that her people are going to be alienated--  persecuted and killed.   The Edict had been signed and sealed and the Jewish people were to perish.

When I was thinking of this and in prayer, I thought of many types of edicts.....

..... the revelation of a woman when she discovers her husband has betrayed her  -
.....the revelation of a woman when she learns that her son has made poor choices and is now being placed under arrest -
...... the revelation of a woman when what she has been looking forward to: a proposal, a vow, or a new job-- is taken from her -
..... the revelation of a woman when the doctor states there is a diagnosis -
.....the revelation of a woman when the police officer comes to the door and a child was in an accident
.....the revelation of.....

And this eve -- as my heart is hurting, the revelation of a beautiful woman, who made a choice to end her life.     Hard.  Why......

I am so thankful for a Heavenly Father -- and when I can't make sense of anything, I fall back to the comfort of -- HE knows.

 I believe that her pain is eased -- and that Jesus was there to welcome her to heaven.  I have to believe that.

My grandfather took his life when I was 9.  41 years ago - people did not speak about suicide and I was told to not speak about it.  Often I would wonder 'why'.  It became a topic of conversation  over the years, and yet --- truth be told, we will only know the total truth and 'why' when we are in heaven.  

And in heaven - there is NO sadness.

There is a sister this evening that is grieving the loss of her sister.
There is a brother, grieving his sister.
There is a mom, trying to come to grips with the death of her husband  and now her daughter.  
There is a son, who has to come to grips with the death of his mother.
There are many many many lives that have been touched by this beautiful woman .....who was always found with a SMILE on her face.

This family extends...into many.  

And there is a husband who is in severe pain -- grieving.

Lord, touch each and everyone of them. 

1 Thessalonians 5.11 says, Encourage one another and build each other up.
2 Corinthians 4.18 says, We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 

Ephesians 4.32 says,  "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

When my Grandpa died, I remember for months my mom searching for articles and stuff to read  so that we could maybe "see" the why or  if we  could have prevented it.

Tonight, I looked on line and googled "suicide prevention - christian" and found a very helpful  piece of information.  I think it would be good to share -- but not now.

 But no matter what -- we love our loved ones and watch....but  we just don't know the future.  It is in these times....we pray...we trust... and we believe -- that tomorrow -- there will be HOPE.

Jill --   I have thought of you often today.  I have cried...I have remembered and I have enjoyed the photos of you on Face Book -- and I am so thankful that  God knew.

Jill, I will hold your entire family in prayer -- and I will hold onto these verses as well:

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you: and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned: the flames will not see you ablaze."  Isaiah 43.2

Isaiah 41.10  "So do not fear, for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you: I will uphold you with  my righteous right hand." 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dear sweet one --

Dear Sweet one.....

You can't see it - but God wants you.
You can't believe that HE truly can be your true 'man'....but HE can.
You are hurting and yet.......the best way to move forward from this -- is to allow Jesus to come into your heart.

I know you have 'tried'.   I have seen some very valiant efforts.    And, I have seen your tears ..... and yet ..... you are not at the point to truly trust God.  But I can promise you -- you won't be disappointed if you allow Jesus in to fill that HOLE.

From my point of view -- God has placed you very close and near to several women around you that love and adore you.
From my point of view -- God has been 'whooing' you for several months and your head and heart continue to 'fight' back and forth -- I think you are scared.

From my point of view -- you may think that seeking God -- means that all of your fun will disappear.
From my point of view -- you may think that 'church' is weird and you are perhaps a little scared.

From my point of view -- I would agree with you -- 'church' can be weird.....  But God is not weird and seeking God  is not 'church'.  

Church is really the people.
Religion is man made.
Jesus was about showing and telling you  HOW much you are loved and that HE died for you.
Jesus came -- that the 'fun'...won't stop.
Jesus came -- to fill that HOLE and the gap left by ..... unfaithful boyfriends.... a dad that left...... friends that no longer speak to you.....

But...there is a 'church' out there where you can be fed God's Word, make friends and allow a few others to come into your life.......   and it will be good ! 

So, right now - if you stop and put some praise and worship music on--  ( I suggest going to the Internet and finding Mercy Me's --  The Hurt and the Healer song  -- download it and play it several times while looking at or reading the lyrics. )--you will find that praise helps us grow closer to God.

So, after your worship time.....Open up your bible and if you don't have one - download the YOU Version Bible app on your phone --

Read Jeremiah 33.11 -- over and over again in your mind .....

Then pray -- Lord, I am at my end.  I am scared and need to talk to someone ...I need to have a mentor that will speak life into me.  I need something to remind me that I am worth dying for and that I am loved.  Lord.....this may seem awkward, as I feel I have prayed this prayer several times ---but I need the strength now, and the courage to go to find one of those women or go to  church with one of those women You have placed around me...Lord, I will trust that I will begin to find answers and LOVE as I seek You.  Lord, I need You -- as I am so tired of this life.....I am unsure of 'which' church You will lead me to, but I will trust the people ( heaven sent angels) around me as they watch over you.   And Lord, I want what I see in a few others around me.  I want peace.  I want to KNOW that I KNOW -- YOU are God - and  I want purpose within my life.  Lord, I will try my best to believe that You indeed are interceding for me.  Lord, I need you and am tired of these up and down moments.  Lord, I want to seek you and STAY focused on You.  As I am going to pray that the women around me will mentor me and I pray that as I fall in love with You God - I am going to trust that my heart will be healed as well ---  and with that Lord, I will read Psalm 139 5x so that I will see within Your written word that indeed -- I am YOUR  favorite.  I am perfect in YOUR  eyes.  I am going to church this weekend me which one.   And Lord, I will open my head and heart to become involved with other they create the church.  In Jesus name.  

 Today a prayer request was made known to me------

If this is for you -- and you want to meet up or chat -- please do - I am in the phone book.  
 - humbled 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Scenario #3 - It's tough being a woman --

 - in a mean world. 

It is tough being a woman in a mean world.  I sat down two days ago to write this blog  as I am trying to follow the Scenario's that Beth Moore is speaking about as we walk through the book of Ester in the bible study I am redoing with a few friends.    However, as I sat and typed -- it was just NOT meant to be. 

Beth shares several teaching points and speaks about the history between Mordecai and Haman and gets into the root of a few words like how Haman and hate are in the same family of word origins -- (funny), right?  NO -- that is how perfect God's word is!  And she speaks on how 'mean' has a personality.  And MANY times, the ones that are mean to us are so insecure that they must be mean to survive.  Ok -- all of those teaching points made sense and I took notes, but the blog post was STILL not flowing. 

If you have read my blogs before, I write for therapy, to teach, and to vent  some times, but ---- I always bathe it in prayer and totally believe the Holy Spirit takes over the keyboard.  So, as I said, the other night, the blog on being mean -- just was not 'meaningful'.  Ha Ha - play on words. 

But today --   I have something to share --

It is tough being a woman in a mean world with mean ones around you -- period. 

Here are a few verses about  righteous anger: 

Psalms 7.11 KJV says, God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

2 Kings 17.18 says, Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight.  None was left but the tribe of Judah only.

And Jesus got angry:   John 2: 13-16  The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there.  And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these thins away: do not make my Father's house a house of trade.".

Here are some verses about unrighteous anger: 

Psalms 37.8  Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!  Fret not yourself: it tens only to evil.

Proverbs 30.33  For pressing mils produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife.

Proverbs 15.18  A man of wrath  ( or a woman of wrath ) stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. 

And, to Overcome anger: 

Proverbs 19.11  "Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense." 

Ecclesiastes 7.9  Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

James 1. 19-20  Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger: for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 

Ok, with all those........

Now I write -  I will admit, over this past summer, I have gotten angry with God about several situations.  I wanted  to see ANSWERS - like, yesterday.  And when I would continue to see these relationships continue to fail or anger would some times turn to just seemed that God was not moving in those areas. 

However, I know that I know - HE has never quit and HE is at work. 

And recently, a sweet woman had some 'mean' on FB and I felt that meanness with her.  It was just not right.  I was mad over it too -- and yet...

I know that I know  - HE will judge everyone and that mean one will have to answer to God for his/her decisions if they don't make it right now....   God will not be mocked. 

And finally, as I was driving home this eve, I got MAD at Satan ----as he is the one that I need to be angry with - as he continues to try and steal, kill, and destroy my loved sisters in Christ... and the random ones that cross my path and I pray --

(Including the most recent report from ISIS about the ravage and slaughter of the young 11-12 year old girls over seas --  it is just awful.)

So, then I read this: 

"Anger and bitterness are two noticeable signs of being focused on self and not trusting God's sovereignty in your life.  When you believe that God causes all things to work together for good to those who belong to Him and love Him, you can respond to trials with joy instead of anger or bitterness."    - John C. Boger

WOW....  yep.... I do believe and know that ALL things work together for good ---- so I will just wait. 

And I read this:  " Our God is not an impotent God with one arm: but as he is slow to anger, so is he great in power." - Abraham Wright

WOW.... and I I saw a funny glimpse of both Jesus,  Holy Spirit, and God in a 3 - braided cord....winding up their arms...and PUNCHING Satan in the face.  Amen.  God wins. 

So, if you are in a battle or have forgotten -- that God wins -- seek HIM.


 And for my sweet dear sister in Christ who 'had' a right to be angry the other day, if that person or person(s) don't repent and seek forgiveness ... God will deal.  Amen. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

It's Tough being a women - Scenario #2

 Scenario #2  It's tough being a woman in a world where beauty is a treatment. 

Ester spent almost 4 years being 'prepared' for her King.  6 months of this treatment and  6 months of that. 

While this took place, what was Mordecai doing?  I can see him walking past the gate or place where the young girls  were being 'walked' and as he saw his cousin, I am positive he prayed for her and spoke to her when he could. 

One of the key concepts that Beth Moore states within this week's work is:  

You can't amputate your history from your destiny.  

What a profound statement. 

Everything is our past can be forgiven and 'washed clean' in the eyes of Our Lord, and yet....we can't run from it. 

Part of my past -- part of the past for most women --- is their self image. 

 Perhaps on the way left ---- If they were raised by a mother and father that fostered a strong self - image, those women are  probably pretty self- assured and confident. 

 Perhaps on the way right ----If they were raised by a mother and father too busy to notice much and they themselves were hurting, then probably those women are very damaged, hurt, or even walking around today with a self-image that is worth nothing. 

That is the perspective -- from one side to the other -- and where you fall, maybe be somewhere in the middle or far left or far right of that line. 

However, no matter what 'life' was spoken into you or not --  God has created you in HIS image and HE does not make junk. 

Finding our identity in Christ  and knowing that we are blessed, accepted, adopted, chosen, forgiven, and redeemed is one of the MOST liberating revelations  --- and it should be a goal for every woman.  

I know that as I raised my daughter, there were actions and behaviors that I know I wanted to foster.  And there was the 'stuff' that my parents did-- that I was NOT going to repeat and yet.... in some of those quiet moments, I found myself saying...."oh my goodness, I have become my parents!".  

This does not only go for 'women'....when I think of my children, I think of my son as well.  And I think of the students that walk into my room every morning - believing that God has given me these children for HIS purpose!

Back in the day of Ester, Beauty was something you DID.   Has that changed too much? 

Back in the day of Ester, Mordecai spoke into his cousin that he was given charge of.  Has that changed too much? 

Whom do you speak life into? 

Beth reminded us of three verses she has posted near her quiet time table.  She stated she does not have to read them daily, but some days she does.  She may read them every few days, but then may be able to just glance at them for a reminder...either way ---

When she shared this story, it struck hard.  When I did this study 6 years ago,  it gave me such a release to believe that - 'EVEN she, a famous bible scholar and woman of God had insecurities'.  Therefore she wrote a book and did a study, "So Long Insecurity, YOU have been a bad friend to me".  I highly recommend this book if there is any hint of insecurity.  As I said, knowing my identity in Christ is life changing. 

What are those verses?   Here:  
Song of Soloman 7.6
How beautiful and pleasant you are,
    O loved one, with all your delights![a]

 Coll 2.10  10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

And Psalm 90.17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

So....  if you are reading this tonight, and the Holy Spirit is comforting you with these words and yet, you know -- that you don't understand your identity in Christ....
Then I highly suggest Beth Moore's book, and seek a mentor to help you see and understand that YOU can do all things through Christ that strengthens you.  Beauty may still be a treatment that we 'do'...but true beauty is from within.  

True beauty is walking with God, as when that happens -- the fruits of the spirit are evident.  

If you are allowing your destiny  to be amputated your history  -- I encourage you again to seek a mentor and begin to pray to  re attach that amputated part!!  

And if by chance you don't believe you are beautiful, get 3 index cards and WRITE those verses down that Beth Moore has on her quiet time table.  And then memorize them and recite them daily -- until you believe it.  


Saturday, August 8, 2015

It's Tough being a woman..... Scenario #1

I am in the beginning of a bible study on Ester.  What a remarkable woman of the bible.  I first did this study ( it is a Beth Moore study ) back beginning in April of 2009.  Beth starts out sharing the feast of Purim.  And how the scroll would be rolled out and the entire "megillah" would be read and shared so that the story of Ester and how she saved her people would not be forgotten. 

I think about that  - what story am I writing that won't be forgotten.  I pray my children can repeat my best qualities and I pray that they will be examples of Christ and I hope and pray they SAW Christ within me....  that would be answer to prayer. 

Over this past summer, I received some news of an extended  family member of   my brother's family and he is battling ALS.  It was such a shock.  It still is.   And for HIS purposes ( God's purposes)  ...  this family has become  embedded within my brain.  I have prayed.  ( God even orchestrated this family to come across my path twice within the week I was home -- but little did I know of the diagnosis. )   I have sent a note of encouragement, but I want and will do more. 

Their daughter is getting married this weekend.  What a joyous occasion, however, within this week, the groom's father was taken home to the Lord with an unexpected and quick heart attack.  He was only in his mid 50's.  Again... wow.  Why Lord?   Does the future bride and groom embrace a funeral before or after their wedding.  ???  This question so had plagued my mind today and yet...I know that I know of what GOD can do and I know that whether they choose to celebrate this man's life before or after the wedding -- God can and will bring beauty out of these ashes.  I don't have details.  I don't know if the groom is an only child or not - but does that make a difference?  I don't know how close the groom and his dad were, but again -- my heart breaks for this brand new married couple, starting their married life together with cloud of sadness. 

When I heard of the diagnosis of the bride's dad ... I was shocked and saddened and yet...  I know this family and they LOVE the Lord and I believe there will be many lives touched by HIS hands.  But still .... 

I can't imagine. 

Because of this news, both Brendan and I have spoken a bunch over the summer about death and our wishes.  Not to be morbid..... but, I  have some wants  - of  if and when my death occurs.  I don't wish for it to be tomorrow, nor do I want some gala, but I want a celebration of life.  Two years ago at this time, I was praying with my dear childhood friend who was battling cancer for the 2nd time and her healing came when she saw Jesus.  As I get older, I guess I have begun to think more of eternity!  ALS is a disease I don't know much about, but it certainly has had a lot of publicity in the past year with that ice - bucket challenge.  Would I want to just go quickly, or have a diagnosis where  my life would change ....?  Either way -- does it change how I live today? 

Ester was indeed an orphan.  Her parents had died.  We don't know exactly how or why, but she was raised by her cousin, a male cousin.  The book of Ester shows a vital perspective on the providence of God.  Ester was sustained.... raised by Mordecai.  He was a Jewish man, but in  exile within the people at that time the Jews had basically blended in to the woodwork.  And then Ester, saved her people.  In Persia, Ester means STAR....she certainly became a star to the Jewish people. 

For the family that is dealing with a death and a diagnosis this weekend as well as a wedding -- Lord...I pray and know YOU will draw them close and be there for them.  Lord, be with my family that is indeed embedded within this family and I pray they will be a source of hope and comfort.  Lord.... I know that this life is temporary and I pray that as each person walks through this weekend -- God, comfort in such a way that they sustain...IN Jesus name... Amen. 

With this bible study, we are looking at some scenarios for women.  This first one, "it is hard being a woman in another woman's shadow". 

Six years ago when I first laid my eyes on this curriculum and went through the weekly lessons, I wrote in the margin about 'the other woman'.  I knew something was bothering our lives, my marriage, but I felt it was the mid-life crisis stuff and I felt it was the WORLD that had pulled my family apart and had disengaged my husband's heart.  But it was not only his heart that was pulled away -- it was mine too.  There was a cloud around us.  The enemy had taken residence within our hearts - both of us. 

I thought today about the 'other woman' within the lives of the people who read this...

...who is within your life right now that is affecting your walk with Christ? 
Is it a wayward daughter? 
Is it a daughter living in outright sin and not ashamed of it?
It is a mother or mother - n - law with such unforgivness that you hurt?
Is it  a child that has gone onto heaven before you? 
Is it a woman that has decided to interject her thoughts, actions, and reactions into you life?
Is it a woman that has brought circumstances to full circle?
It is  a past sin that continues to haunt you? 
It is a past circumstance that you have not dealt with? 
Perhaps it is hard to be a woman with the shadow of a former wife lurking within your marriage?
Is it the shadow of rejection, hurt, and fear? 
It is a newborn baby that has taken over your heart and focus that everything else and everyone else has taken a back seat ...?  Including the Lord? 

Who or What is that other woman?   

As I went over the pages within my homework and had to answer the question of the 'other woman' ...  I wrote that there was a shadow over my life and my marriage but I pleaded with God to reveal it in HIS time and to heal me.  I pleaded with God to teach me more of  His character so that I could be MORE like HIM and I prayed for a hug.  In the margin of my study on 4/20/2009 I wrote....

"Lord, today was a hard day....  I feel so alone and unloved.  Unwanted.  But God....  I will trust in You - move the mountain or move me."  And then I was headed to my sister's house to soak in the hot tub as it was the eve before her son's birthday.  He would be turning 19 the next day...but he would be celebrating in heaven.  So I went to her place and we sat in that tub.

 BUT...on the way TO my sister's house -- I got a phone call.  From my earthly dad.  And if you know him...he NEVER calls....  never.  But he called me out of the blue.  And he told me he was thinking of me.  We chatted for only a few moments, as I got choked up and began to cry right on the phone, but I told him, it meant the world to me for him to call and he had no idea of the significance. 

Even 6+ years later -- this DIRECT HUG from my Lord.... still brings me to tears. 

6 years to the present, I am aware of the fact there was another woman.  However, it is only a part or piece of our story - that is now our history and yet ...  as God saw fit, HE knew it was our destiny to overcome, so therefore we can share the greater news of his redemption and our restoration.   

So I know -- that if there is 'another woman' within your life causing a shadow .... ask for a HUG from HIM. 

So I know -- if there is a diagnosis or hurt.... ask for a HUG from HIM.

And...for that precious family in Wisconsin that is on my heart -- know that HE is there -- ready to HUG you too!   

- humbled.