Random April Musings

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1

Stand fast… stedfast… half of this year’s word God gave me to concentrate on for 2023. Cara Whitney points out that wild horses seem to be free, but horses need help from humans to survive. Humans living without Jesus think they’re living free, but looking for love and provision in all the wrong places is not freedom. Knowing Christ frees us from the law of sin, death, and lack. God’s freedom offers us what we long for: unconditional love, purpose, and meaning. The yoke of Jesus is light, freeing, easy when you walk with him. Our adversary, the devil, is a hard taskmaster. Our selfish, fleshly nature is no better. Let’s surrender daily to our Lord and walk in true freedom.

‘Wild Horses’ pages 220-221 Cara Whitney from Unbridled Faith

9. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10. who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

11. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 1Thessalonians 5:9-11

Uta Milewski titled today’s devotion, Courage. God sad he’s done his part, so whether we live or die, we live together with Jesus. Praying in the Spirit builds us up so we can encourage each other. Praying in tongues, even for a short while each day, results in big change over time. Join in and see how you will become a source of courage for others, participating in the Kingdom of God. This explains what’s happening in my life these days!

12. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2Timothy 3:12-13

As I’ve said, my first book, Musings Along Life’s Journey, is available for purchase. It is not without persecution… let me explain. I have been working with my publisher and librarian to schedule a date to promote my book. The date has changed three times, my book printing being delayed. My books came in God’s Kairos time, my second word for 2023. This brought the first snag, not enough time for the library trustee board to read my book before promoting the event. I immediately signed a book for each of the 9 trustees, thanking them for being my pre-readers. I checked in with the librarian about a week later to set another date. She said she’s not gotten my book to all the trustees yet. Also, she is not allowed to use the library name for any promotional materials if it’s a Christian book or church event. I could see if the person scheduling the community room would let me schedule, then she could do the promotion without the library name on it.

The second glitch was that my Facebook account got scammed, and when I tried to log in, the password I’d recently changed, due to another scam, was rejected. After going through Facebook security measures, I was totally locked out. So, I made a new page. In my first post, I told how privileged I was having my Facebook scammed and blocked just when I was promoting my Christian book. Several people commented, giving links to use to unlock my original account. My so, Chris, messaged me not to click on any of them, they’re scams! So, if you’re friends with me on Facebook and get a friend request from me, it’s legit! Look for the selfie of me with Joyce from Tanzania on the profile.

I’ve been playing phone tag with my publisher, Sabrina Adams, for a week. I finally got her on the phone. She’s in the hospital, and they’ve found cancer has spread throughout her body. Last week, she told me that on the way to her treatment for the first cancer, she was ready to give up. In a vision, God told her she had two choices. He could end this and take her to heaven, or he had a mandate for her to start a publishing company named Zoe Life and publish Christian books for His glory. We’ll, you know which she chose. In the middle of publishing my book, her breast cancer was reoccurring, and she had a radical mastectomy. She refused chemo but agreed to radiation. She went for treatments for about a month, but chose to quit because it was taking so much out of her. Join me in praying for a miracle, complete restoration of her health!

For such a time as this! Keep tuning in to my musings, I will be making dates for signing events and will keep you posted. You can purchase my book, Musings Along Life’s Journey, at http://www.zoelifebooks.org, and if it still says, “Coming Soon,” ignore it because you can still order my book there.

Jesus paid it all! His precious blood is still available. Let us appropriate it!

What is Truth?

Bing Images – Jesus before Pilate

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?”

Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.

38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

I am subscribed to T.R. Nobel’s blog: http://www.nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com, and on April 25, 2022, she shared the following imbedded video. Melissa Dougherty is creating a series on Jehovah’s Witnesses, explaining how to understand, love, and speak truth to them. I also recommend her short 16-minute video: The Time A Chrisitan Visited a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall. T.R. Nobel shares on her blog questions to look at that go along with the following video.

Forgive me for being absent for a few weeks, we took a two-week break at our daughter’s home in Los Angeles, and after a bout of COVID, we ended our trip with a long stay at both JFK and Boston airports which made our return trip twice as long as we expected. We hit the ground running with a busy schedule and this is the first time I’ve had to catch my breath. This blog and videos hit home for me because I studied with Jehovah’s Witnesses for a short time as a young mother and new believer in Jesus. I share that story with you now.

A cousin of mine was addicted to drugs. While in drug rehab, he was visited by some Jehovah’s Witness members who helped him recover. He fell in love with the daughter of one of the leaders, they married and then went to NYC to work at The Watch Tower. My aunt was just glad to have him off drugs.

In the fall of 1983, we moved into the village of Lowville with our daughter 20 months old and our son three months. For the first time in our short married life, we got cable TV and I was able to watch my first episode of The 700 Club. Growing up in a Presbyterian church, we did not talk about ‘being born again’, but this show explained it and each episode ended with Ben Kinchlow leading us in ‘The Sinner’s Prayer’. I began repeating it with him on Monday, then each day until on Friday, Ben noted, “You may not feel anything different, but if you said this prayer, believe God heard you.” A light went on in my head and heart and I realized I had to take salvation by faith.

About a month later, a couple of grandparent-ish Jehovah’s Witnesses showed up at my door with a briefcase filled with books and papers. The woman remarked on my young ones and asked if I’d like to have her do a Bible study in my home. I had been going to the first Bible study our new Pastor had started on the Book of Revelation at church on Thursday evenings. It was hard to get out with my babies, and I knew my cousin was Jehovah’s Witness and I didn’t know much about it, so I said yes.

She came in with a benign looking book which I think had Adam and Eve in the garden on the cover done in sepia tones. It was like an older child’s story book. She would sit at our kitchen table as I was feeding my children breakfast and we read the book and did the questions together. She quickly taught me their beliefs that you cannot pray to God and to Jesus or that’s praying to two Gods. Also, Easter, Christmas, the cross… were all pagan celebrations and symbols. Easter was Estrus, Christmas was a Druid mid-winter festival, Jesus died on a stake, not a cross and because of the verse that says:

Matthew 24:19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.

… you should not have children or not many. My cousin and his wife have never had a child. Very sad for my aunt! Oh, one day I was at Mom’s house when my aunt was there, she told me not to fool with the Jehovah’s Witnesses unless I was really serious about it. Next…

Leviticus 17:11a. For the life of the flesh is in the blood

Because of this Scripture, they believe you should not donate your blood. I marveled, with a bit of disgruntlement, that my young daughter could easily answer the questions in the readings we were doing. I also threw away my blood donor card and the fancy cross necklace I’d been given from my church. I came under a fear that if I didn’t come under the Watch Tower, the end was near, and I would not be saved. The woman invited me to a sledding party they were hosting, and I seriously thought of going to their Kingdom Hall. As a new believer in Jesus, I had not begun Bible reading on my own and did not know how to speak about my salvation and had no idea what it all meant.

I began to back off from wanting them to come into my home. The day they walked in to see I had put up a Christmas tree and was noticeably pregnant with our third child, she was not happy with me. Shortly after this we moved to the other end of town, and I did not tell her our new address. The Adirondack Home News, a free weekly paper, came into our new apartment. Looking through the classifieds, I saw an ad, “Are you involved with Jehovah’s Witnesses? Do you need help? Call Cheryl ‘555-666-8888′” I cut that ad out and never saw it in the paper again, but a few weeks later I got up courage to call the number and Cheryl answered. She said she’d love to come visit me and we’d talk. She came a few days later and gave me some cassette tapes that talked about abuses JW’s had done and told me her story and encouraged me in my young motherhood. She said she had hated going door-to-door and prayed no one would be at home when she had to knock. She gave me a couple of Scriptures that are supposed to speak truth to Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I used them the next time the couple came (yes, a kind neighbor near our old apartment told her where we’d moved). After telling her these things, she finally quit coming to my house.

I got into a good Bible believing and teaching, Spirit led church soon after and spent years trying to search out what the Jehovah’s Witnesses had taught me to see which things were true and which were not and what really mattered as far as truth in Jesus. Yes, we need to have a firm handle on what we believe and why. Even the Bible says that zeal without knowledge is no good. Remember, God’s will is that none should perish, so we need to love people that have been deceived like this and share truth with them. In the 16 minute video above, Melissa shares clips of former Jehovah’s Witnesses that were never told the truth by any Christian. We need to learn how to lovingly share truth with those who are hurting like this. There are kernels of truth in each cult/false teaching. As they do, we should be witnessing to people in Jesus’ name and living a godly life that shows our faith. Yes, it is biblical to go out two by two.

When I began attending Airport Chrisitan Fellowship Church in Dexter, I found out that Cheryl, the woman who came out of JW’s, had been part of that church when it was called Dexter Faith Fellowship. What a small world it is, especially if you are connected in Christ! I leave you with an amazing sunset I captured through a friend’s window last evening.

Glory to God in the highest!

(Sorry for all the little spring bugs that were swarming on the screen!)

The Thrill/The Agony

The Agony

Luke 9:23 Then He [Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

The Commission

Luke 10:2 Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.

The Joy

17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

The Truth

18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

The last book I finished reading, The Thrill of Victory The Agony of Defeat from Randy Clark’s Message Series is one I got when the Global Awakening team came to our church. Randy Clark has spent decades learning about healing and shares his experiences. This short book explores our responsibility Jesus gave us to heal the sick and what that looks like. We receive power and compassion from Jesus and in His compassion, Randy admits there is a high emotional price tag that comes with praying for the sick. A man who came to Randy’s Baptist church to lead a healing workshop said this:

“Don’t say this doesn’t work until you have prayed for at least 200 people because some of you will start praying for the sick and will not see anybody healed a few times and will quit. But I am telling you, do not quit or say you did not get anything until you have laid your hands on 200 people and you, yourself have prayed for them. If you will do that, I promise you will be hooked for life because you will see people healed.”

page 6

Randy has found that victories and defeats go hand in hand with healing, as ABC’s Wide World of Sports used to say, “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”. I encourage you to read the quote from page 6 and take some time thinking how it applies to you.

Randy shares five principles for healing, cautioning that principles cannot be made into laws. The five principles are:

  1. faith

2. sin blocking healing

3. the anointed person

4. feeling the anointing

5. moving with compassion

Healing can work through anyone willing to let the Spirit flow through them. All these principles are true, and these things give confidence to step out in faith, but they don’t always work. Healing works even if there’s little faith on your part or the other person’s, even if there’s unconfessed sin, if you are not anointed to heal, don’t feel the anointing, or feel no compassion. I see this as key to walking out the Christian life. If something works, we take the principle and make it a law. Since God can’t live in a box we make, we cannot pin down what will work every time and have to be open to the flow of the Spirit. Randy says:

“The whole point of this two-part booklet is for you to believe that God can use you. That you personally can experience the thrill of victory.”

page 21

Randy Clark shares many examples of his experiences. Many healed, others who were not. It’s a real taste of the victory and the agony he has personally experienced. I recommend this book as great encouragement for anyone wanting to see God move in and through them to keep going.

Every day is a new day to serve the Lord, every night is time to give thanks and let God speak to you in your dreams.

Early March Musings

I am busy doing a big editing job. The manuscript comes from a local Vietnam Vet who wants to share his personal account of a year in Nam and lay out the failure of our Nation to deal with the “police action” and its aftermath so the festering wound many veterans and activists- our nation as a whole-have can be cleaned out and reconciliation may come. The author’s wish is that we would learn from and correct the mistakes to keep from repeating them. I will let you know when this manuscript becomes a book; the author has wanted to speak out for decades and could use the encouragement!

Since I didn’t share any books I’m reading last post, here is one I finished over the weekend: 8 Keys to Kingdom Resources by Shawn Bolz. He begins with this:

“I have heard it said (and have said myself) that Heaven has an economy. A better statement is that Heaven is full of the best economic principles in existence.”

Shawn Bolz in 8 Keys to Kingdom Resources page 3.

This book is a condensation of Keys To Heaven’s Economy An Angelic Visitation from the Minister of Finance. In 8 Keys, Shawn covers:

1. Giving And Generosity

2. Finance, Resources, and Time

3. Favor, Relationship, and Influence

4. Hard Work

5. Creativity

6. Education

7. Risk and Faith

8. Intimacy With God

Have you ever thought about this many things being involved in Heaven Economy? It’s more than:

Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.

Add to it:

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

The parable of the talents in Matthew 25, adding:

Daniel 1:17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

And so much more. As we discover God’s storehouses are overflowing and He is our Father who loves to give good gifts to His children and what Mark shares about the abundant, and more abundant, life Jesus died to give to us,

John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

8 Keys is a simple, but deep little book that goes far beyond the false “Prosperity Doctrine” many churches have adopted. Jesus does not want us to be poor, but to put our trust in Him to use what we’ve been given as the man with the five talents and the man with the three talents did. If you live in fear and hold tight to what God has given you to give away, invest, or share with others, the Kingdom cannot advance. This is illustrated by the man with the one talent who buried it because he knew it was a hard taskmaster that it belonged to.

Heaven’s economy has no lack. That means wealth is a renewable resource; the more you give, the more you have to give. The more you get and use knowledge, the more knowledge you have to give. It’s worth the risk, as long as you are intimately involved with God’s plan for you and those around you. The Gospel is free, but it takes finances to spread it! Let us do all things in the spirit of God’s love!

God’s Love Is All In All!

It is all we need!

Glorious Day!

I am free!

We sang this song in church Sunday and it really hit home for me! It’s good to stop and remember what you were saved from and what it awakened you to. Here are the lyrics and some thoughts that came to me.

Glorious Day written by Mark Hall

I was buried beneath my shame
Who could carry that kind of weight?
It was my tomb
‘Til I met You

I was breathing, but not alive
All my failures I tried to hide
It was my tomb
‘Til I met You

Do you remember the shame that buried you before you met Jesus? I do! I remember feeling like all I could describe myself as was a zombie walking through the halls of high school.

I had a chip on my shoulder; thougth I was a Christian because I sang in the church choir and attended regularly. I dressed in my brother’s cast off t-shirts, jeans and hiking boots. It was the late ’70’s into 1981. I was the “goody-two-shoes”, teacher’s daughter, loved and hated by students and teachers by turns. That’s why I hid under the “work” attire and had a terrible attitude. BUT:

You called my name
Then I ran out of that grave
Out of the darkness
Into Your glorious day

I heard Him call my name when I was twenty years old, already a mother to two babies with the third on its way. Jesus took me out of the shame of fornication amongst other things, and I was gloriously awakened! Two years later, when my fourth child was seven months old, I found a Spirit filled church Sunday evenings teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Within a month I experienced baptism in Holy Spirit fire, then I was truly ALIVE!

Now Your mercy has saved my soul
Now Your freedom is all that I know
The old made new
Jesus, when I met You,
whoa, what a day

When you called my name and I ran out of that grave
Out of the darkness into Your glorious day
I needed rescue my sin was heavy
But chains break at the weight of Your glory
I needed shelter I was an orphan
Now You call me a citizen of heaven
When I was broken You were my healing
Your love is the air that I’m breathing
I have a future my eyes are open

I’m as fresh in Jesus as my four-year-old granddaughter!

Because He called my name, called me out of the grave of sin and death and raised me to life! Praise Jesus, I have a fresh life, I can see into the wonderful future and I know He is the air I’m breathing; I am nothing without His love! I am adopted and made a citizen of heaven, even while here on earth. Are you walking in this victory, my friend?

Lyrics Source: LyricFindSongwriters: Jason Ingram / Jonathan Smith / Kristian Stanfill / Sean CurranGlorious Day lyrics © Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music GroupFeedback