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HIS

September 7th, 2015

Much is said about identity. I have had the benefit of sitting under some excellent teaching on the subject. Now and then when I look in the mirror and assess my current state of being, I think for a minute that I understand the mystery of identity. Then I am quickly reminded that I have only scratched the surface of understanding.   For most of my life I did not even know the matter was worthy of investigation. So, I begin to take inventory of who I am, what I am about, what I believe – and how I am known. I examine my thoughts about who I desire to be. That brings a basic and simple answer: I just want to be known as – His.

To the best of my ability and with the leading of Holy Spirit, I desire to live my life in holiness – set apart for God’s glory. I desire to be a vessel of honor, a place where Jesus can reside and shine through, where He can be seen and His presence can be felt. I long for my Father to see me as obedient, and teachable, and willing. The Word tells me I was created in His image, and for His good pleasure. That is good by me. It says I have a calling and a purpose. I receive that. At the end of the day, I just want to be known as – His.

When someone meets me for the very first time, I want them to sense that I have just been with Jesus. I want that person to desire a bit of whatever it is that is pouring out of me. I want them to quickly tell that I know who I am, that I know whose I am – His.

In this world of uncertainty and mixed messages and political correctness and blurred lines, a person can easily get lost in the confusion. What I was taught just a few years ago seems to no longer apply. Rules are broken and things that were once deemed precious are trampled on and treated with reckless disregard. Words that have been in our language for centuries are now being redefined. People in authority are telling us that evil is good and good is evil. Much of what was once held as truth now seems to be turned upside down. Who can rest in peace while standing on such shaky ground?

It is no wonder we can easily be robbed of our identity. If we are not watchful, we can be stripped of all that we thought we knew, and be fed an entirely different doctrine, especially if we are too easily swayed by the opinions of others. We can quickly fall and be trampled by a crowd that has been whipped into a frenzy by a few with an agenda.

Do you know who you are? Can you recite what you believe – and stand on it even if you are in the minority? Have you established your own values and beliefs, or have you let someone else write that chapter for you? Have you built a firm foundation that will not erode as the winds of doctrine are swirling all around you? Is what you are living for worth dying for? Scripture tells us everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Will you have anything left when that happens?

I know that I am the child of the Most High God and He loves me unconditionally. I know that He made me in His image and for His good purpose. I know Jesus calls me his beloved. I know that everything about me is there for a reason and nothing about me has come by accident. I know that I have been given gifts and callings to use for the purpose of furthering the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and my life is sweet when I am living accordingly. I know that I have been given an absolute free will to choose or reject my Creator – I also know that rejecting Him would be the biggest mistake of my life. For certain I know everything that happens in my life is ultimately for my joy and His glory, whether or not I can see that at the time – and it is way less bumpy when I choose to trust and just roll with it. I know I have been given an invitation to lean on the Lord for guidance, and He will never leave me nor forsake me. That means I can be at peace at all times, in all places, in all circumstances; but I must affirmatively choose to walk in that peace. I know I am weak in my flesh but strong in Him. I know I am the forgiven of the Lord, no matter my past indiscretions. I know that I have already died to my flesh and have been risen with Jesus, and I will continue to live through all eternity, even when this body in which I currently reside returns to the dust. And I know how I want to be known – as His.

When this chapter of my life is finished and folks gather together to remember me, I just want to be known as His. As my Father sits on His throne, with His Son Jesus at His side, He will smile as He hears me declare, “Daddy God, You are mine and I am Yours!” Are you His?

A TIME FOR PREPARATION

October 3rd, 2011

        

Many words have been coming out of the media, as well as from the prophets, pointing to a huge ‘event’ that is to take place the end of next year.  In part because the Mayan calendar ends in December of 2012, many people believe that date marks the end of the world.  We know that cannot be true because the world is never going to end – we who have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior know we will rule and reign with Him for all eternity.  Some believers think this upcoming event will usher in the return of Jesus and the end of this current age.  As I read Scripture, I do not think that can be true because many prophesied events have not yet taken place.  For instance, in order for the “abomination of desolation” to take place, there must be a temple in Jerusalem where the antichrist will come in and demand to be worshipped.  Plus, the Church has not risen to her fullness, nor has evil risen to its fullness.  Not yet, but soon? 

Although I do not believe next year will bring about the end of the age, I do believe we will very likely experience some sort of event that will bring about much change in our lives.  That line of thinking is not much of a stretch when one compares the signs of the times with the prophetic words in Scripture.  Who knows, perhaps fear alone will bring about many unwanted changes in our lives.  One thing is certain:  God will be glorified in the middle of whatever takes place.

What I am left with is a decision:  will I continue in my current lifestyle or will I choose to be proactive and make some changes in my life to be better prepared for a possible life-changing event.  Stating the correct answer is a no-brainer; however, it gets a bit more difficult when I take an honest look at my life, and I take action to remove the things that do not produce eternal fruit.  This is the place in which I find myself today.

Recently during a time of worship, I received a word from the Lord.  While I was singing praises to Jesus, in my spirit I saw two angels enter the room and stand in front of me.  They invited me to go with them, so I stood up in agreement.  They took their places, one on each side of me, standing very close and squeezing me between them.  We rose up and up, and entered a huge room.  I did not think I was in heaven because the room was hazy blue, like it was filled with smoke; however, I did sense it was outside of this earthly realm.  There were lots of people in the room, all of them frantically moving couches and chairs, arranging and rearranging the seating.  When I asked why they were moving the furniture, I was told they were getting ready for a whole bunch of new people.  The angels said that something big was about to happen and many lives would be taken.  I asked what I should do.  I was told to keep doing what I have been doing:  pray and intercede, take my rightful place, lead, write, declare the Word of the Lord.  They said to tell the people:  do not be afraid; this is not the end.  Much must still take place before this age comes to a close.  Read the Word to know the signs of the times.  Tell the people:  do not fear.  Fear causes a herd mentality, and the Bride of Christ does not follow the herd.  She stands and holds her place.  Tell the people – write it in your blog:  times are going to be more difficult for lazy Christians.  If they do not rise up and fight for what they believe, they will grow cold and turn away.  Times are going to be more difficult for the double-minded, the people who are straddling the fence, with one foot in the Kingdom and one foot in the world.  If they do not make a commitment soon, as the chasm grows wider, they will crash and burn.  Remember your aunt Leona, who could not make a decision to go right or left during her driving test, and she crashed into the auto dealership plate glass window in front of her.  She never drove again.  Take a stand; blow the trumpet; sound the alarm.  Time is short.  Be at peace.  Shalom.

That message really got me to thinking and pressing in to the Lord, asking Him for a deeper understanding of these words.  Several nights later I had a dream.  I rarely remember my dreams once my head leaves the pillow, so when I remember one this vividly, I know it is significant.  In the dream, I am trying to find the hallway that will take me from the back of a building to the front, where my workplace is located.  As I am heading up yet another hallway, I meet a young man and I ask him if he can help me.  I am so drawn to this man because he is absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, with an engaging smile and a captivating manner.  Yes, he says he knows how to get there, and he would be delighted to show me.  He wraps his arm around me in such a courtly manner that I am somewhat distracted, as I wonder why a handsome young man such as he would be so incredibly attentive to an older lady such as I.  He escorts me down another hallway, and then he stops midway and invites me to join him for a short movie.  I am already late, but I agree.  He sits in the movie with his arm around me in a pure and respectful manner, and I am quite taken by all the attention he is showering on me.  After the movie, he asks me to walk with him to his friend’s house in order to get his car, and I agree.  At the friend’s house, I am warmly welcomed and everyone treats me like I am a dignitary.  We go out to his car, which is named Vector, he puts the top down, and we go for an incredibly refreshing ride.  I am beginning to feel more and more uncomfortable about being so tardy to work, so I force myself to tell him I really do need to get back.  He reluctantly drives me to my workplace, but he takes the long way.  I slowly get out of the car, and I quietly take the back stairs up to my office, hoping to not be noticed.

As I shared the dream with my husband, he quickly connected the dots as to its meaning.  That beautiful-looking man surely represented the devil (who Scripture says can even appear as an angel of light), whose goal was to distract me from my job.  For as long as I allowed it, he kept me from returning to work, disarming me with his charm and distracting me with delightful activities.  Isn’t that so like the enemy to draw us into all sorts of worldly pleasures, while the jobs we were made for sit unattended?  I felt really duped, but I reminded myself that it was only a dream, and no doubt a gentle reminder from the Lord.  I chuckled as I thought about the car’s name:  Vector.  That is an aeronautical term, and when the vector is not set precisely correct, a plane can fly cross-country and arrive in Seattle when its intended destination was Los Angeles.   

The next evening we discussed my concerns with some friends, identifying activities in our lives that produce fruit, as well as naming activities that are barely remembered the next day.  Then in the night I had another dream.  In this dream, I am at a big conference table with lots of people, and we are discussing strategy to prepare for the days ahead.  We are sharing ideas about what things to include in our lives in order to produce the greatest results, and what things we want to eliminate.  We seemed to be making good progress when I awoke suddenly, experiencing intense pressure on my chest.   I was in a lot of pain, and having difficulty breathing.  My first thought was that I might be having a heart attack, but as we prayed and commanded the discomfort to cease, the Holy Spirit confirmed that I was fine.  I was simply experiencing an attack of the enemy (it would seem that he is not interested in seeing me make some positive changes).  Praise God that He has given me the power and authority to banish evil.

As I lay in bed, I asked Holy Spirit to lead me down the best path, to show me what things the Lord would have me change in my life, for my joy and for His glory.  He reminded me of a vision I had several years ago and had never written about.  It goes like this:

During a walk on my treadmill, I envisioned what I knew was the Spirit of Jesus.  He was in the shape of a very large man, but completely transparent and without features.  He said to me something like this: “Let Me show you how to walk through life’s challenges.  Come up really close, right behind me.  Now, staying very close to Me, take a step every time I take a step, as if you were my shadow.”  So I did just that.  He walked through tall thickets, moving the branches away as He walked.  The branches waited for him and me to pass by and then they bounced back, never touching either of us.  Then He walked through a muddy swamp.  Every step He took left a big dry place for me to step and the mud waited to cover up each footprint until after I stepped out of it.  He walked through a rushing river and the water swirled around behind us.  As I looked ahead, I could see right through Him, and since I was so very close behind Him, it seemed as though I was out there all by myself.  When I would get frightened, I had to remind myself that I was not at all alone.  When I would fall back a little, I was blasted by the elements, but as soon as I pressed in close behind Him, I was once again protected.  As I looked around and thought about going another way, I would be reminded that doing so would leave me to face the elements all by myself.  So, even though I did not always want to go the same direction He was going, I chose to let go of my own ideas and stick with His.  Smart girl!  I noticed that the air smelled so much fresher and the trip was so much easier, so long as I stayed very close to Jesus.  I was not fearful at all, but instead, I was at peace and filled with joy.  I was glad I had chosen to remain in His tracks long enough to experience a taste of the peace and joy that passes all human understanding.

As I re-read the words of my vision, I realized that this was all the answer I would ever need!  When I am tucked in, right behind Jesus, I am safe from the world’s troubles – no, actually, I am safe IN the middle of the world’s troubles.  I must know that I too will be affected by whatever comes.  The media will scare people into frenzy; after all, the reporting of shocking events is how they make their money.  But rather than allowing fear to overwhelm the Church, we must know and declare that this is our finest hour.  People always run to God when their world gets turned upside down, and we will be there, ready to proclaim the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As for me, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to re-assess my priorities and shore up my life while there is still time to ease into change.  I am likening myself and the year ahead to a young man leaving home and heading off to the military.  He empties his room of the familiar souvenirs of life that have surrounded him during his youth, and he arrives at boot camp with a single suitcase filled with the basic necessities.

So long as I stay in lock-step with Jesus, following closely behind Him, keeping my eyes continuously on Him, going wherever He is going, I will never need to be concerned about my life.  He will never be wasting time, so neither will I.  He will always be doing His Father’s will, and so will I.  So long as His priorities are also mine, I will always be right smack dab in the middle of God’s plan for me.  And you will know me by the fruit that is produced in my life.

 

Matthew 24:14-16  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.  Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand) then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

 

Isaiah 41:10  Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you.  Yes, I will help you.  I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

James 1: 2-3, 6-8  My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. … But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

II Corinthians 11:14-15  And no wonder!  For satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those that are called according to His purpose.

 

CALLING ALL BABY BOOMERS

October 26th, 2010

 

This message is primarily for the so-called Baby Boomers.  However, if you are not one, feel free to read on – and pass the message on to one you might know.

My heart has been heavy over the condition of our nation, and especially over the condition of the Church.  We have been led down a wrong path and I fear that the cliff might just be around the next bend in the road.  Dear fellow Baby Boomers, we have been world changers.  We have introduced some extraordinary works, and we deserve much credit for that.  However, we have also infected our families, as well as our own lives, with seeds of wrong thinking.  Let’s face it; the fruits we have produced are not tasting very good.  I believe the time has come for us to take a stand, reverse our direction, and sweeten those things we have soured.

Way back in the Nineteen-sixties, you may not have actually been a ‘hippie’ yourself.  However, I am betting that you certainly did cheer them on and ride on their coat tails – declaring and demanding your so-called freedom.  It may have even begun in the Fifties, when you rejected your parents’ music and rushed to the store to purchase music called Rock & Roll.  Whenever the rebellion began with primarily teens and young adults, most of us jumped on the band wagon and started shrugging off the moral code our parents diligently tried to teach us. 

The results have been devastating.  First came dissatisfaction with the concept of boundaries and accountability.  Then came blatant rebellion, followed by what was called free love.  Too late we found out there was nothing free about it.  Some of us are still paying for having believed the lies of the enemy who step-by-step infiltrated and demoralized much of an entire generation. 

By the Seventies, we added bitterness and hatred to the mix.  Next we pressed for legalized abortion, thinking this would help clean up the mess we made with the free-love experiment.  Families were torn apart as parents tried to please an un-pleasable and rebellious group of spoiled kids.  More moms entered the workplace to help pay for our excesses; many of those who remained at home were scorned for wanting to be homemakers, no longer an honorable profession.

Soon we found ourselves in a society with loose morals and rampant misery.  Maybe it was gradual but we were so busy demanding our rights that we did not even notice.  Pregnancy outside of marriage was now deemed ‘normal,’ as was living together – we were grossly offended when our parents still called that ‘shacking up.’

Today as we look back at the legacy we have left for our children and grandchildren, the future looks bleak.  Putting a monster like this back in the box will not be easy.  Now, I do not want to suggest it was all bad, or that our behavior was totally decadent.  We did accomplish a number of remarkably good things.  It is just that the good things are not what plague us today.  We must assume responsibility for a large portion of the perversion we now find ourselves in – much in the name of tolerance or political correctness.  It breaks my heart to know our grandchildren will not even be taught basic traditional morality in school, and much of what they will be taught is totally contrary to our own Christian values.  Even the definition of family has been completely rewritten.  I remember one day my granddaughter came home sobbing because she thought there was something wrong with her family.  The neighborhood kids at the playground had asked if she lived with her mommy or her daddy.  When she told them she lived with both, they proceeded to tell her she had to live with one or the other, but nobody lives with both parents.  How sad that she was the odd man out.

Today much of society buys into the beliefs of the few.  How did we get to a place where so many people call good evil, and evil good?  How in the world did we ever fall prey to an entitlement mentality?  Why are we so willing to be assaulted with a barrage of perversion, even inviting it into our homes?  Where is the Church?  Are we Baby Boomers guilty of teaching our children to wink at sin?  What will it take to rouse the voices of that silent majority we used to hear about?  How close has our country come to falling into complete moral decay?   

Only a mighty move of God can pull us out of the cesspool we have fallen into.  My fellow Baby Boomers, I invite you to join me, and begin to wield the power and authority given to us by the Most High God.  We must take a stand against a runaway society that has stripped us of our decency.  Yes, we can turn America around, but only if we back out of this mess in the reverse order in which we got into it.  First, we must come back to God and allow Jesus to be Lord of our lives, giving up that foolish notion that His ways are too restrictive.  We must put His Ten Commandments back into our lives, back into our courtrooms, and even back into our churches.  We must expose the twisted concept that is presently called ‘tolerance,’ and replace it with true Godly love and respect for one another – love allows others their own beliefs without forcing us to abandon ours and buy into theirs.  We must take ourselves and our families back to the Houses of God and actively participate in making the church relevant again.  We must reintroduce holiness to our minds and our bodies and our bedrooms.  We absolutely must reverse the mind-numbing bondage of political correctness.  We must talk to our children and grandchildren about honesty, integrity, purity, holiness, and teach them the value of an honest day’s work.  We must put on love, share it with one another, and teach others the blessing of putting someone else ahead of ourselves. 

Jesus is coming back for a pure and spotless Bride.  As a Church, we do not yet look exactly presentable to take our place at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.  We are barely even noticeable in today’s society.  I believe it is time to stand up and say, “Enough is enough, and we are not living like this any longer!”  Baby Boomers, are you ready to once again start a revolution and change the world, but this time for the better?  God bless you.