Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a well-known figure from recent history. How much do you know about her life and ministry? After reading this book, I know a bit more and would like to share some of the things I gleaned from this book. Father Leo Maasburg, from Austria, was Mother Teresa’s close companion for many years, beginning when he was new to the Priesthood. She always wanted a Priest handy to give the sacraments as she travelled and ministered, and Father Leo accompanied her often.

Although I do not agree with all Catholic church doctrines, I do agree with the core of Mother Teresa’s ministry, the first of which is: we are all created to love and to be loved. She ministered with her Sisters of Compassion to the poorest of the poor, seeing Jesus in the most decrepit and caring for them without any desire for recompense. She believed that you learn humility by being humbled. If she sensed pride creeping in, she would clean toilets; the dirtier the better! Her three rules:

*Loving trust (in God)

*Total surrender (to God)

*Cheerfulness (due to the first two)

We all seem to ask God to fill us, but she said, “Even God cannot fill someone already full!” And what’s the problem with the church today? You and Me! Our selfishness and lack of love bring divisions. Her view of abortion was the topic for her Nobel Peace Prize speech as well as the one for the National Prayer Breakfast. Abortion means the mother and/or father hating the baby, trying to dispose of “a problem” creating ‘A Problem’. She offered to take any baby that wasn’t wanted and supported adoption.

Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

This was one woman showing what being bold as a lion, wise as serpents, and harmless as doves looks like. She would walk up to a communist leader flanked by armed guards, soften his heart by loving on him, and secure permission to open a House of Mercy in their area. One account is told of a couple of her Sisters of Charity who walked up to a man with a gun and killed him with kindness, displaying no fear!

When finding a new place for the Sisters of Charity to have a house, the first room she designed was the sacristy so they could have their prayer and devotion times. She hung a crucifix and under Jesus’ arm she had “I thirst!” which she saw as the humility of God displayed on the cross. Mother Teresa’s goal was to fill Jesus’ thirst by humbly bringing people to their knees and to love whomever they could love for Jesus. “We are only pencils in God’s hand.” And again, “You don’t need to come to Calcutta at all to discover Jesus in the poorest of the poor. The poor are right there where you are, very often in your own families. Look for them, find them and put your love for Jesus into a living action for them.” [page 145]

What about us? The two laws Jesus left us with: love God with all your heart soul and strength, love your neighbor as you love yourself. When you give a cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, you are ministering to Him. I’m reminded of the old song: “I don’t like spiders & snakes, but that ain’t what it takes to love you!” We live in a hurting world, and we have the solution. Jesus left us with all we need to love the unlovable. Let us draw on the treasure He has put inside each of us who believe and be His hands, feet, mouth… even ‘God’s pencil’!

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

I leave you with a final Mother Teresa quote to ponder from Page 157: “… our witness for Christ must always be of such a kind that people cannot decide against Him by mistake!”

Unexpected Journey

This week I finished reading Heaven an unexpected journey by Jim Woodford with Dr. Thom Gardner. The subtitle: One Man’s Experience with Heaven, Angels, & The Afterlife. Each chapter ends with Take The Journey[TTJ] written by Dr. Gardner. He brings you into the main part of each chapter and helps you meditate on what Jim has shared from his heavenly experience. There is a prayer written at the end of each TTJ. I want to share a couple things from Jim’s story here.

Chapter 6 is titled: The Sticky Love of God. Jim was shown horses in heaven. Everything is made of light. When he touched the horses, the light radiated out of them as he began to pull his hand away. The essence of God’s love is the light! Like some of the gooey things our kids play with, it sticks. God’s love is sticky, elastic, drawing us back to Himself. He knows how we are made because He made us. It was out of His love that we were created, that all things in heaven and on earth were created. The light and love of God is in each of us. Jim found out the angels recognize it, and all creation in heaven recognizes it and reaches out to us to connect with the love of God that is part of the way God created us.

After experiencing heaven, Jim can love himself as God does, and love all people as God loves him. Jim hung in the balance on the precipice of hell. A demon even tore at his back with its claws as a voice from hell was beckoning him, “Jim, come with us, We’re here for you! This is where you belong!” (pg. 56) When Jim found himself outside his truck, outside his body, he said, “God, forgive me!” When he was on the precipice between heaven and hell he said, “God help me!” Those six words saved him and changed his life on earth and eternity forever.

Psalm 10:15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”

Have you heard the evil one speaking to you as those in hell spoke to Jim? Have you wondered if Jesus could cover ALL your sins? If your soul can be healed from the damage done to you by other people by yourself or others over your lifetime? Have you come deep enough into God’s love expressed in Jesus Christ’s suffering, dying and being raised to life that you can love those around you?

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Have you come to Jesus? Have you come close enough to learn from Him? have you found rest and the light burden when you share it with Him? Enter into the rest of the Lord. It’s the best place to be! I recommend Heaven an unexpected journey to anyone who wants to understand the love of God, the light of God, the encouragement we need to live this life and truly trust that you have a home in heaven.

2 Corithinans 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

In other news, I want to thank the Global Awakening team from the Global School of Supernatural Ministry (GSSM) for coming last weekend to do a conference at our church. You can catch the services on our church website or connect with the ministry with the links below.

http://www.airportchristianfellowship.org/church-events/

https://globalawakening.com/

Photo by Mu0103lina Su00eerbu on Pexels.com

During the conference, I was given a word from the Lord about being a sunflower. It had to do with turning toward the Sun (God) and many seeds, multiplying my giftings and sharing with others to raise up others to come into the things God has planned for them. It encouraged me, the Lord assured me He knows I’m growing closer and is pleased with the time I am setting aside to connect with Him.

How is your time going seeking the Lord while He may be found? Currently, I use the timer on my phone and set five minutes for singing to the Lord, ten minutes for praying/singing in tongues, fifteen minutes for reading the Bible and praying. Sometimes the thirty minutes spreads to an hour, sometimes it’s cut short. The Lord is happy with whatever you can purpose to bring to the relationship Jesus died to give you. Remember, it’s not a religion, it is all about relationship!

Psalm 40:16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”

My prayer for you is that you will rejoice and be glad, that your mouth continually be filled with praise, and you find your strength in the stillness. Also, that you will daily experience the Joy of the Lord, our strength. Amen. Jim says Joy is defined as ‘living on the edge of a huge laugh’! (pg. 166) Have you ever tasted that joy?

Let us all unplug for a bit each day!

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!

Ephesians 4 Unity

Snowy view out my window

After my post last week, I have been thinking about unity in the Body of Christ and in the world. Purity comes to mind and the snowy weather this week reminds me that Jesus’ blood washes even the vilest sinner whiter than snow. Ephesians chapter 4 is the spot I’ve been reading all week and I want to share it with you.

Ephesians 4:1 I, (Apostle Paul) therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the bond of peace… walk worthy… with all lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering… bear with each other in love. So, this is how we walk worthy of the calling of Christ on our lives. This bearing with each other is what brings unity, all wrapped up in the love of God.

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism… one God who is Father of us all… He is above all, through all, in all. Unity! Bought with the price of God’s Son Jesus.

Spiritual Gifts

4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

Spiritual gifts? They are not given according to our efforts, but a free measure of grace gifted to each of us. Jesus led captivity captive, allowing us to become free from what captures us besides His grace. Think about Christ’s gift: all loves excelling, all hell defeated, the full measure of the Godhead residing inside the Believer!

4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 

So, Jesus gives mankind these gifts and callings to equip us to minister, to edify the body of Christ. The Unity of the Faith and Knowledge of the Son of God. We are to become perfect as He is perfect, attaining… by grace… the fullness of Christ.

4:14 … that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

As we expect our own children to do, we must grow up in the Lord so we will be carried by the wind of the Spirit of God instead of the wind of doctrine and trickery of men… trickery… cunning craftiness… deceitful plotting…. Father, forgive us for being led astray, not walking in Your Spirit and submitting to these things that bring fear and division. Amen.

4:15… but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

How then shall we walk? Speaking the truth in love. This will cause us to grow up in Christ. We are His Body, joined… knit together… How? By what each joint supplies. Every part of His Body, every member of His Church, must work in unity. The synergy of a congregation as each member recognizes the gifts within and walks in them, each doing its part, causes the growth of the Body of Christ. Each of us in position to edify the others in love.

Ukraine is in the news this week. Instead of repeating the dire predictions of Russia pounding Ukraine’s Warriors, blow the Shofar! Today the Spirit prompted me to remember Gideon’s army, David’s battle with Goliath, all the “ites” that were defeated by Israel when they sent Judah first, putting the worshippers, musicians, and singers before the army. It’s high time to war in the Spirit and see a great miracle in Ukraine as big as when God parted the waters of the Red Sea. The Egyptian chariot wheels that got stuck in the mud as the waters came back together after God’s people passed through on dry land can still be seen at the bottom of that Sea today!

The Glory of the Lord shines around us! Let’s go forth

in unity and victory!

A Queer Quandary

NOTE: I love all people because God made each one of us and loves each of us the same. Walking in love does not mean condoning sin, even my own!

Queer: denoting or relating to a sexual or gender identity that does not correspond to established ideas of sexuality and gender, especially heterosexual.

According to Wikipedia, “Queer is an umbrella term for people who are not heterosexual or are not cisgender. Originally meaning “strange” or “peculiar”, queer came to be used pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late 19th century. Beginning in the late 1980s, queer activists, such as the members of Queer Nation, began to reclaim the word as a deliberately provocative and politically radical alternative to the more assimilationist branches of the LGBT community.” [hi-lighting done by me. HH]

Quandary: A state of perplexity or doubt; dilemma.

My eleven-year-old granddaughter who is in fifth grade at a small elementary school texted me about a week ago asking what to say when she confronted people at school. She has a teacher who is openly lesbian and has a partner, which makes her very uncomfortable. The school sponsors an LGBTQ meeting during lunch periodically, offering pizza to all who attend. Natty sits alone in the cafeteria, the only one who does not attend. She also has a girl friend who is gender-confused that she’s been trying to speak truth to.

This movement has hijacked God’s rainbow, the word ‘queer’, the word ‘gay’… I pity the young person who tries to read and understand some of the older classic books which use these words with different meanings! So, is truth relative according to the prevailing culture… does it change? The Bible is truth that comes from our God who does not change. Jesus is The Truth, and always will be the only way to eternal life. In an attempt to be non-discriminatory, our schools have aided and abetted the enemy’s plans to corrupt young children and prevent them from fulfilling their God-given destinies. The devil sees abortion is not killing enough infants, so these plans keep them from being conceived. It allows a same sex “married” couple to adopt a child.

What does God say?

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

God created human beings male and female from the start. He made our bodies to create and raise children to populate the earth, giving us dominion and authority to subdue and rule over the earth He created for us. If you research the Hebrew, both male and female are Adom – man and wo-man; a man with a womb. This makes us mankind.

Some people say the Bible doesn’t say anything about homosexuality. Must be they’re not reading the versions I have read! Let’s look at what it says. I am using the NIV. Dr. Kevin Zadai uses it frequently and lovingly calls it the ‘Nearly-Inspired Version‘. The first verse is from the part of the book of Exodus that lays down God’s Law for sexual conduct.

Exodus 22:22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.'”

Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction is where the term Sodomy came from, which used to be against the law in our country. Remember, those cities were destroyed with fire and brimstone from heaven.

Genesis 19:4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

A good portion of the tribe of Benjamin was destroyed by the other tribes of Israel because they had given themselves over to homosexuality.

Judges 19:22 While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

It would seem unloving for God to destroy people who perverted God’s sexual design [as you read in Exodus 22], but if the Israelites had obeyed God and put to death those who practice immorality, the sins would have been removed from society and not passed on to the generations. The New Testament compares sexual immorality to the worst sins and depravity that come from the human heart.

Matthew 15:18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.

1 Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

1 Corinthians 6:13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 

1 Corinthians 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.

1 Timothy 1:9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine…

Well, I did not load Natty down with all these Scriptures, but the pertinent ones, and reminded her to speak the truth in love.

Ephesians 4:15 “… speaking the truth in lovewe will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Her Mom gave me a good report: “She told the teacher, ‘I hope you don’t hate me, but I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and don’t believe in homosexuality.'” Her teacher said she doesn’t hate her. Nat’s mom told me the teacher loves Natty and she’s one of her favorite students! That is what the favor of the Lord looks like on a humble, respectful Believer who stands up for truth [in love] instead of political correctness or pat facts. If we don’t step up and walk in the Spirit’s boldness, the youngsters will put us to shame! Last Sunday a twelve-year-old girl stood up and shared a prophetic dream she had that set many people free. May we all walk in the Spirit, know and speak the truth, and keep loving God and loving others at the forefront.

SHALOM!

Valentine Weekend Musings

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Love Of God Makes The World Come Together!

Welcome to my newest gathering of thoughts. Love is the theme for February, through Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. Combining the two themes, we remember the contributions blacks have made to our country, many of which did not make it into our history books, loving people from all races and those in our personal life. The Law of Love is what Jesus Christ gave to us as He completed the journey through the cross to resurrection. If we claim to be believers in Him and do not love God and the people made in His image, we fall short of what Christ has commanded us to do; what He died for.

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FAMILY

Today, my granddaughter is going to her first school dance after school. My son sent a photo of her in her Valentine dress. This evening, John and I are going to Couple’s Evening at my church for desserts and to listen to several couples share about what a godly, loving marriage relationship looks like. My son Alex and wife Joanna celebrate their seventeenth wedding anniversary on February 12 and my daughter Eliza’s birthday is on the 15. Our month of family celebrations continues with grandson Owen turning twelve on the 18th, grandson Steve turning thirteen on the 27th, and daughter-in-law Jana’s birthday on the 28th.

While looking for something else on Amazon, I found an engineer-themed mug that looked perfect for my engineer daughter. I was a bit put off when the estimated delivery was February 17-20 and chastised myself for ordering late. Imagine my joyous thanks to Father God when I got a shipping update: February 14, just in time! Another little “I love you” from my heavenly Father.

I am on Day 38 in Experiencing Jesus Through Communion by Beni Johnson, hard to believe only two days left! By the way, I had a prayer request. You can join me in praying for Beni’s healing from advanced cancer. Today’s theme: “Partaking In A Worthy Manner” can intimidate, but Beni makes it understandable.

1 Peter 1:18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.

Here is the communion meditation from page 177:

Father, I am so grateful for the precious, holy gift that You have given us in Communion.

I take the body of Your son, acknowledging that it was Jesus’ sacrifice that washed me clean. I could never have done that on my own.

I take the body as a priceless, sacred gift.

I take the blood of Jesus, that which cleansed me from all unrighteousness and set me free. Your blood covers me, Jesus, so that I might participate in Your worthiness and experience Your miraculous power in my life. I receive everything You paid for on the cross.”

Eating the bread and drinking the cup in an unworthy manner could mean taking communion as an unbeliever, never having acknowledged the lordship of Christ. It can also mean to take the bread without realizing it covers all sinners and the entire Church of Christ; His Body. Jesus allowed His blood to be poured out to seal the new covenant, reconciling Jew and Gentile, man and God. Let us remember to walk in love and to forgive others as Christ forgives us. Realize Jesus paid the price for every person on earth and God’s will is that none would perish. NOTE: love and forgiveness do not mean you need to renew a relationship with a toxic person. It also does not mean you have to accept their sin. You are called to love with the love of God found in Christ, no matter what. No one said it would be easy, but He is with you to help you. There is much freedom in resting in God’s love, forgiving, and praying for Him to change hearts.

The final puzzle in the bunch, another 1,000 piece marvel! America, bless God!

New Wineskins?

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wineskins- Bing images

Luke 5:36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

They make wineskins from animal skins which become brittle as they age. New wine actively ferments in the skins, so a new skin will expand with the aging of the wine. If you try to use a wineskin for a second round of new wine, it will not expand with the fermentation, thus explode as the pressure increases.

We are in a new era, a new move of God. The Spirit impresses upon me this newness needs new wineskins. Seeking Him to figure what that looks like, I am reading the prophetic outlook for 2022 from Generals International, compiled by Cindy Jacobs. This evening, I realize these prophecies are part of the new wineskin process. There is a technology revolution beginning that is as great as the industrial revolution in the early 20th century. Many ‘Daniels’ and ‘Josephs’ are being raised up to move in the political and financial realms. We need to get used to AI, AR, crypto currency and similar things.

The church has a record of being wary of new technology, or new ways of doing church. We have spent years demonizing the internet explosion, technology, new ways of doing finance, and new ways to dress and to worship. Not to mention discouraging “Christian” young people from going into the film industry, politics, and other “worldly” professions, such as higher education.

As a new believer; I followed what my new brothers & sisters in the Lord were doing, trying to find rules to follow for living the Christian life. Stumbling along into legalism, one Christmas I got rid of anything to do with Santa when I was told he was evil, even throwing away Christmas books that had been in our family for a long time. I think it was necessary to stop listening to the music I’d grown up with in order to learn the songs of the Lord, but it was not my place to tell others not to listen or fault them for watching shows I would no longer watch. We fear what we can’t understand, what we can’t control. I discouraged my daughter’s interest in star gazing when I learned the Bible teaches against astrology, not being able to differentiate the nuances of Scripture. I was taught things such as men should not have long hair, tattoos were evil, and many other things that put parameters around our lives. Recently, I have found freedom from some of my legalism. I spend more time reading and studying the Bible, the Spirit expanding my understanding of the essence of true biblical law, which is love.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

God wants our hearts filled with His love, and to let Him handle other people’s hearts. Another part of the new wineskin is forgiveness. It is a choice Jesus commands us to make, to forgive others as He has forgiven us.

Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.

Jesus expanded on this with the parable of the unforgiving servant to further illustrate:

Matthew 18:32b ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

I share this link from last Sunday when Brother Len Mitchell preached on forgiveness, which is my word for 2022.

As we head into the near future, let us walk in love and forgiveness, being ready for what the Lord is doing. Help is on the way and changes are coming for our families, churches, neighborhoods and the nations. It will be a difficult, but glorious time! Seek the Lord, read the Word, pray and sing praise as you walk in the Spirit, testing the spirits and not making snap judgements of rejection. Prepare yourself to mentor and disciple new believers and people who have not been in church for many years. This new era requires the entire body of Christ to arise and engage to handle the influx, not just the leaders of the church. Onward Christian Soldiers!

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 1For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

I just finished this Charles Wysocki puzzle “Lost In The Woodies” full of flags & boats.

Give Thanks for Each Person in Your Life!

I have been reading through Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians repeatedly in The Passion Translation Bible since I shared this with you in my mid-January post. I want to share with you what the Spirit hi-lighted in Ephesians chapter 5 in TPT:

Ephesians 5:1 Be imitators of God in everything you do, for then you will represent your Father as his beloved sons and daughters. And continue to walk surrendered to the extravagant love of Christ, for he surrendered his life as a sacrifice for us. His great love for us was pleasing to God, like an aroma of adoration—a sweet healing fragrance.

We must live in the surrender to extravagant love shown in Christ’s sacrifice. In Experiencing Jesus Through Communion by Beni Johnson, I’m on Day 27. Jesus took all the punishment meant for me to give me life, peace, complete healing and restoration to the Father. He has paid this price for each person in my life, even the ones who have hurt me or caused me pain, and remember that He sacrificed for each person, even the ones that offend you. Let us walk in Christ and display that “sweet healing fragrance” in all our relationships.

11 And don’t even associate with the servants of darkness because they have no fruit in them; instead, reveal truth to them. 12 The very things they do in secret are too vile and filthy to even mention. 13 Whatever the revelation-light exposes, it will also correct, and everything that reveals truth is light to the soul. 14 This is why the Scripture says,

“Arise, you sleeper! Rise up from your coffin and the Anointed One will shine his light into you!”

Rise up, oh sleeper! Reveal truth to those who are in the death coffin of darkness and evil! Let the revelation-light of Jesus expose the darkness so it can end.

15–16 So be very careful how you live, not being like those with no understanding, but live honorably with true wisdom, for we are living in evil times. Take full advantage of every day as you spend your life for his purposes. 17 And don’t live foolishly for then you will have discernment to fully understand God’s will.

Let us live in true wisdom, honorably submitted to the will of God in Christ Jesus as Simeon and Anna were. We must seek Him and learn discernment of God’s will. We are not to be side-tracked by the surrounding evil, but keep our focus on Him.

18… be filled continually with the Holy Spirit.19 And your hearts will overflow with a joyful song to the Lord. Keep speaking to each other with words of Scripture, singing the Psalms with praises and spontaneous songs given by the Spirit!

We are vessels for the Holy Spirit, meant to be so full of the Spirit that we overflow. When is the last time you let a joyful song to the Lord bubble out of your heart? Can you remember the last time you spoke to others in words of Scripture, Psalms, praise, or spontaneous song?

20 Always give thanks to Father God for every person he brings into your life in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Are you thankful for the people coming into your life? Did you realize Father God is bringing about these connections? All for His glory! I have been so blessed through those the Lord has connected me with on Mighty Networks with Leslie Leyland Fields’ writing course. Also by those I’m frequently connecting with on LinkedIn and Facebook. Not to mention those people the Lord is bringing into our congregation these days! Having always been shy, I’m now known as an introvert. It was hard when I first came to Jesus to reach out. I didn’t know how to handle my friend that was always coming to give me a hug. Now I’m the one giving out hugs! The Spirit prompted me to walk up to people I don’t know in church and say, “Hi. I’m Heidi. What’s your name?” I also made myself an info card from the Publisher program on my computer because people kept asking for my information, which is a good way to start. I’ve come a long way from where I started thirty-some years ago, and what a blessing all these connections are bringing to my life!

Our church has a Missions Task Force that decides how to spend a tenth of our church budget. One group we sponsor is DavidskidZ International. You can find their website here:

https://www.davidskidz.org/home.htm

I bring this up because I am the newest sponsor of a student in their school program. I already sponsor a Bridge Of Hope student in India through Gospel For Asia and when they gave us an option to sponsor a child through DavidskidZ on a laptop at church, I told them I’d love to, but my husband’s already wondering why I spend money on a student and why would I spend it on another one? That worked to settle my conscience for almost a month, until I finished reading Imagine Heaven by John Burke, a book I shared last week. Considering heaven and eternity, what should I be investing in?

I actually have accrued a good sum of money in my savings over the last year (thanks in part to the Stimulus check) and it keeps building. Contemplating what to do with my money in light of heaven, Davidskidz came to mind immediately! As I clicked on the “Sponsor” page, the bunch of smiling faces were overwhelming. Where do I even start? Finally, I looked for a girl, since I sponsor a boy in India. Then I looked for one the age of one of my granddaughters. I found the last girl on the page is 15, the same age as my eldest granddaughter. There is an option to pay quarterly, $90.00 instead of monthly $30.00. This helped me to go forth in faith, knowing I could take the lump sum out of savings four times a year and not figure how to free it up each month. Grace! I eagerly await getting to know my newly sponsored child begins with my first quarterly payment, February 15.

As Ephesians 5:20 says in TPT, I rejoice and give thanks to my heavenly Father for every new person He brings into my life. All for His kingdom, here on earth as it is in heaven. Amen!

Glimpses of Heaven Connection

Welcome to another session of musings. I am coming to the end of the 21-day fast and have been reading books about heaven, after reading Once Upon A Wardrobe by Patti Callahan and Stories From The Glory by Ruth Carneal with Kevin Zadai. Since the mid-1980s, I have been collecting books about heaven and all this time more people are having NDEs [near-death experiences] and increasingly frequent heaven encounters without a health crisis. As I read Touching Heaven by Dr. Chauncey Crandall, the following Scriptures stood out to me and I’d like to share them with you all.

Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.

Acts 17:26 He made from one blood all nations who live on the earth. He set the times and places where they should live.

27 “They were to look for God. Then they might feel after Him and find Him because He is not far from each one of us. [NLV Bible]

So, God is looking for us to understand, to seek after Him. Every one of us came from one blood, no matter what nation we come from. He is the one who put us on the earth at the appointed time for our birth, in the place He chose for us to live. God is close to any of us who choose to seek Him. The barrier between heaven and earth realms is minimal these days!

Psalm 63:1 O God, You are my God. I will look for You with all my heart and strength. My soul is thirsty for You. My flesh is weak wanting You in a dry and tired land where there is no water. [NLV Bible]

We are all in a time of challenges. What are you looking toward for remedies? Are you trying to get “milk out of a dry cow”?

Psalm 10:14 But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief,
To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You;
You are the helper of the fatherless.

We are all fatherless if we have not found our true Father, the Lord God almighty!

2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

The enemy is hitting us all hard with the triple threat of fear, confusion and greed. They surround us on every side with people who “know what’s best” for us. They shook everything around us to the roots.

Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart

Hang on! Help is on the way. God has said, “Enough!” His judgements are sure and He will now shake everything that can be shaken. Where is your hope anchored? Faith is trust in a Father who never lets us go. You can trust Him to provide all you need in Christ Jesus. The Lord shall hold in His hands all who trust Him, far above the chaos. It will save you along with your whole family if you stand in faith during this next phase. Revival married to renewal await us to step into the things God has for us.

On page 55 of Touching Heaven, Dr. Crandall quotes Reinhard Bonnke: Faith is not a mental exercise to believe the impossible… It is not believing in ‘something’ at all [such as a miracle]. Faith is trust in God. It is personal… always about believing [Jesus]. This is when Chauncey had done all that is earthly possible to cure his son’s leukemia.

I leave you with the book I am currently reading, Imagine Heaven by John Burke. Burke uses excerpts of stories I’ve already read, beginning with the first I read about a young soldier during the war who died of pneumonia and found himself with a heavenly encounter. Burke uses a lot of professional people’s stories; those you know must be telling the truth because otherwise, they would suffer ridicule and loss for coming forward. Keep a heavenly mindset as your destination or you will be no earthly good! Shalom dear friends.

God IS Absolutely Good!

There are so many things rattling around in my head today, I’m waiting for it to settle and find out where to begin. First, fasting is going well, due to the grace of the Lord and my choosing to be flexible to what the Spirit is saying and what my husband is saying and trusting the Lord to balance it all out. It isn’t about food/no food, it’s about where my heart is at. Fasting is about denying my flesh so I can hear the Spirit of God more clearly.

See the source image

The last week or so, John works steadily, but at a relaxed pace, on the remodel of our extra bedroom and is ice fishing with a friend today, so I endeavor to use my time by myself wisely, an excellent opportunity to work on this post. I have already taken Communion with Experiencing Jesus Through Communion by Beni Johnson. It is Day 13 and I am learning again how Communion proclaims and applies the divine healing and wholeness Jesus bought by His body and blood sacrifice. Beni talks about people who believe healing and miracles ceased when the first apostles died; ‘cessationists’. Beni says:

“People can argue with theology, but your testimony is your most powerful tool… When we take Communion, remembering what Jesus accomplished on the cross, we are repeating the ultimate testimony again and again.” (page 67)

Do you trust that God is absolutely good all the time? Yesterday I began reading Preparations For a Move of God… In Your Life by Sandra G. Kennedy. What she shares are basic tenets of the Christian life. The first chapter “Is Jesus the Son of God?” brings the challenge: If He Is, How Does It Affect Your Life? Get it past your head knowledge and into your heart.

The second chapter “It Takes Faith To Know God” challenge: it’s simple, but do you trust God?

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him,

for he who comes to God must believe that He is,

and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Let us go to “The Lord’s Prayer”

Matthew 6:8 Therefore do not be like them [wondering what you shall eat or wear]. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

So, we must trust that God knows everything we need before we ask. All we need on earth is already in heaven, which is why Jesus taught us to ask God for what we need and to bring things from heaven down to earth. There is nothing lacking in heaven. Because of Jesus Christ, daily sustenance, complete fulfillment of all our needs, divine healing and divine health and well-being are there for us to appropriate, for that is what heaven is like. When we pray in Jesus’ name, Father God sees us through His Son. Ask God to send down what you need, anything that concerns you. Seek Him and wait patiently for Him to do what you have asked, knowing He rewards those who seek Him, as you trust He will answer. When you ask, God sends angels to do what you ask [see Daniel 9 and Luke 1]. Release them to do it.

God has done all we need through Jesus Christ, our Messiah. As our Father, He wants us to put a demand on Him. God the Father, Son, and Spirit are in close relationship. There is so much love in this trio that they created humans to share that love with. Don’t miss your opportunity to put demands on Him and access what Jesus died to give to us. Going back to Sandra Kennedy’s book, in order to prepare for God to move in your life, you need to get back to basics. I think the most basic thing may be the song we learned as children:

See the source image

Jesus Loves Me

  1. Jesus loves me! This I know,
    For the Bible tells me so;
    Little ones to Him belong;
    They are weak, but He is strong.
    • Refrain:
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      Yes, Jesus loves me!
      The Bible tells me so.
  2. Jesus loves me! This I know,
    As He loved so long ago,
    Taking children on His knee,
    Saying, “Let them come to Me.”
  3. Jesus loves me still today,
    Walking with me on my way,
    Wanting as a friend to give
    Light and love to all who live.
  4. Jesus loves me! He who died
    Heaven’s gate to open wide;
    He will wash away my sin,
    Let His little child come in.
  5. Jesus loves me! He will stay
    Close beside me all the way;
    Thou hast bled and died for me,
    I will henceforth live for Thee.

Anna B. Warner, 1860. verse 2-3 by David R. McGuire, ref. by William B. Bradbury 1862 Public Domain

All To Jesus I Surrender!