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 5:16Let 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!”
This week I finished reading Heavenan unexpected journey by Jim Woodford with Dr. Thom Gardner. The subtitle: One Man’s Experience with Heaven, Angels, & The Afterlife. Each chapter ends with TakeThe 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 11:28Come 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 Heavenan 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 1:3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 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.
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?
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 1:26Then 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 19:4Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 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 19:22While 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 15:18But 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 6:9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterersnor men who have sex with mennor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Romans 1:24Therefore 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 6:13You 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 10:7Do 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.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.
1 Timothy 1:9We 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 love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”
1 Corinthians13:1 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. 2 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. 3 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.
If you’re old enough, you may remember this song as the theme song from the 1979 movie Ice Castles. I was sixteen that year and we girls all went to the movie theater and cried our eyes out over the story of young love and figure skating! We ice skated at the small rink on our way home from school; the village iced the tennis courts and had built a warming house where we could change our skates. It was my favorite pastime during our long North Country winters and gave us lots of dreams of Olympic performances and the beautiful ice dancers with their beautiful young man to hold on to. I’m not sure Melissa Manchester or the makers of the movie had Jesus in mind with this song, but I think it fits well with a personal relationship with the God of the Universe!
This leads me to the book I read this week: Through The Eyes Of LoveEncouraging others through prophetic revelation by Shawn Bolz. Shawn has revelation that prophecy and revelation knowledge all hinge on the love of God. We cannot impact lives for the Gospel without seeing people through God’s eyes of love. Shawn has learned through years of trial and error and experimenting with prophecy that it all boils down to how much the Lord cares about individuals. The first of his books I read was Translating God. In that book, he shared many experiences, many from his own life, that boiled all prayer and prophecy down to that love. In Through The Eyes Of Love, Shawn shares stories of people he has interviewed on his Exploring podcasts as well as his own amazing testimonies of how the Spirit has used him when he has been bold enough to step out in love.
God wants to speak to people right where they’re at. This book begins with connection with the Father. When we prophecy, it has to be out of a loving relationship. We need the true revelation of who we are as beloved children of God, then seeing others through that love, we can work from a healed relationship, knowing that acceptance comes from God and not from your gift. Then you can humbly let Him flow through you. Shawn covers marriage & family, life direction, restoration, entertainment, work, finances, government, and redemption. I think this covers all areas of life on earth that the gift of prophecy, used with love, can minister to others. I remember Pastor Penn Clark teaching our congregation how to use the gifts of the Spirit. Thirty-some-years later, the thing that has helped me most: think about what God wants to say to the person. I think sometimes I need a rock dropped on me to get things into my heart. I’ve always known the love of God is what brought Jesus to save us, the love of God sent Holy Spirit down to be our comforter, teacher, guide and friend. It has not always infiltrated my heart and soul how much I am loved by the Father and how much He loves others just as much. Shaw Bolz’s ministry has added a lot to my life, changing my outlook and thought life, which is seeping down into my heart and progressively manifest in my life. I recommend this book along with Shawn’s others, even if you don’t think you are a prophet. We are all called to prophecy, even if we don’t wear the mantle of the office of the Prophet. [Apostle Paul said he wished we all prophesied and that we should covet the gift of prophecy]
Going back to the theme song from Ice Castles, I can relate this love song to my relationship with Father God, through Christ Jesus. I was looking for love in all the wrong places after my Dad died. When I found a relationship with Jesus, I found a love that I didn’t want to let go. Through the years I’ve had a deeper revelation of Father God. I can see what’s mine now. I have seen a light that opened up another world for me. I have found the Love that will never let me go. I’m in a relationship that I could never have imagined when I first saw that movie, since I didn’t meet Jesus until five years after I saw it. I know from experience He’s with me in the eye of the storm. I know who I am, looking through the eyes of love. I am complete and I see others through His love and can call them into the completeness He has for them.
In the natural, I have experienced the love that was portrayed in Ice Castles. The first time my husband and I were together, we held each other and never wanted to let go. We still experience this feeling over forty years later, but I also experience this with my Savior daily and know that relationship will last through eternity. I hope you all experience this eternal love and share it with those around you. I pray each of us has a deeper encounter with the Lover of our souls and experience true Shalom this side of heaven.