Thank God There’s A Heaven…


20161004_150844 (2)His brother’s name was Jubal, the first of all who play the harp and flute. Genesis 4:21/NLT

Music is God-given from the beginning of time. Instruments add what textures the human voice cannot go, illuminating God Himself to His Creation.

Some of the best Gospel ministers I’ve met are musicians I’ve worked with. One such band was the New Grass Revival. There was always a gospel tune or two which spoke truth in love leaving the audience spellbound.

John Cowan befriended me with one line, “If I didn’t know better, I’d think we were related.” Yes, he’s the one with the long curly hair that looks like mine does when it’s long and untamed with my brother’s face, for those of you who knew Richard.

That started a short friendship each time the band came to play. One such time John and I talked about God’s love. He had lived a much harder life that I at that point, yet he talked about God’s rich grace in a way I had yet to hear from the pulpit up to that point in my life.

What he said went something like this God loves me, and when I mess up, He gently picks me up and helps me walk again. I’m better for it.

The short of it is I know that God uses musicians to bring His Word and to life and share the great news where we can all Thank God there’s a Heaven, and a ringin’ in my soul, and my soul’s set free…

Amazing!

Hands On Life


20161004_150844 (2)…and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?” -James 1:16

There is a universe in each of verse of God’s precious letter to us.

This verse reminds me that every human is rich, robust and giving is more than money. Money is a very real help, but emotional & psychological support are essential as well, and take much less time than making and giving money.

It’s one of the reasons I write for this blog; to offer support in areas, and point to areas where we can not only know, but feel God’s rich presence in our lives and in this world.

Binding the wounds of those hurt in unseen areas; the mental and spiritual areas, with more than Bible verses. The acknowledgement of this type of pain is step one, but step two are kind hugs, encouragement and directing the hurting to an appropriate practitioner if necessary; going with them if necessary and checking in until they are truly well.

Who needs God’s mercies today through a check-in? Where do we need to let others know our needs that we may be healed?

Hands on is real life. Virtual is next, but it is not the same as voice-to-voice, eye-to-eye, and real human contact. God cares enough to be this way spiritually in our life and wants us to be in community where we can feel His presence more fully through others and offer His presence to others as well; whether we are strong or needy.

Amazing!

 

Fully Divine Fully Human


20161004_150844 (2)So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.  -Hebrews 4:14-16/NLT

For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. -Colossians 3:13/NLT

Iēsous/Yeshua/Jesus, the name above all names revered in Greek, Hebrew, English and globally points to the God-Man, fully divine, fully human. He was The Good Gift coming from the Father Of Lights, bringing Good and Light into the icons of humanity.

In my weakness I am strengthened by the fact that my life is hidden in the person of my big brother, who not only stokes the fires of divinity in me through the work of His Good Spirit, but gives me leave to fully find myself in this world by boldly embracing my humanity.

I live in a divine dance with the Holy within as wholly human.

wedding-443600__340

My High Priest wore human skin, experiencing all of humanity’s flavors; each color on the spectrum of emotion, capturing every thought, ambulating his temple (which I picture as being the perfect physical exercise), socially adaptable everywhere, nourishing his spirit, propelled by a divinely pure heart.

I have a learning curve because the Perfect infused the atmosphere with forgiveness before I was born, and grace & mercy are the brokers and bearers of this good news, breathing Life into me each morning I awake, and every night as he seals the thoughts of the day in preparation for the next.

I am free to be fully divine and fully human because The Firstborn of the Resurrection has granted me this beautiful privilege and simply asks that my faith and works grow to reflect this truth.

Amazing!

Jesus is All That and More!


20161004_150844 (2)You are beautiful my sweet, sweet song. –Third Day

audrey-hepburn-519978__340How can Jesus compare to the beauties of this world? Cindy Crawford, Audrey Hepburn…

How can Jesus compare to the majesty of a John Williams masterpiece?

chinese-1028101__340How can you compare the great engineering feats of Oil rigs, the Great Wall Of China and the (building) tower to Jesus?

Or the idea that the vastness of the universe is comparable to Christ?

computer-767776__340What about the fact that knowledge is growing exponentially year by year, decade by decade; Christ no only keeps up, but is ahead of the curve! Is that not mind blowing?

And we haven’t even gone into the unseen world of cells and micro-worlds; Jesus holds it all together in its amazing complexity. How can anyone contain that?

books-1245690__340How about a literary piece so perfectly captivating to humanity compared to Jesus’ words?

And humor; who is funnier than Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Hawkins or ??? Can anyone imagine Jesus laughing at a joke in the middle of distresses. Does Christ care? Yes, His compassion never fails, and humor is healing.

indexI can think of verses for all of these thoughts, but leave it up to the Holy Spirit to bring them to your mind. I would love to know how Christ has been all of that and more to you. And if you have a verse or quote to share that is up building, please feel free to share!

Kind words are like honey—
sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. –
Proverbs 16:20

Amazing!

Renovation By Love


20161004_150844 (2)When you say yes to God you are being made into God’s image. Print that on your resume!  In the eyes of God you are worth dying for. Would you let this truth define the way you see yourself? Would you let this truth define the way you see other people? Every person you see was created by God to bear his image and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. This is God’s plan. This is God’s promise. And he will fulfill it! Because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

-Max Lucado/Unshakeable Hope

I was reading Genesis 4 a few months ago, and a lesson I had never seen nor heard preached continues to return to me like a great friend with whom I am having coffee. It’s the kind of friend with whom I do life, laugh and talk about realities.

I just met with a good childood friend on a recent trip. We not only laughed, but we both talked realities, some hard. And yet, we both left lightened for having included Christ in our conversation.

In that spirit, here is the text that has returned to encourage me…

Adam was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, “I have had a male child with the Lord ’s help.” Then she also gave birth to his brother Abel…

Adam was intimate with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has given me another child in place of Abel… and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of Yahweh.
-Genesis 4:1‭-‬2a, 25-26 HCSB

God mentions names because they matter to His Story. For my point’s sake, I am removing the usual story we focus on in this chapter.

Instead, I am focusing on the brackets…those steadying objects which keep books or thoughts together. They may seem less important, but are the most important, for the objects in between would have no form, no context.

When I read this text with fresh eyes lately, I notice Adam and Eve mentioned in a positive light; carrying out the mandate to be fruitful, multiply, fill the Earth and subdue it. Eve praises God while naming her sons, and then the crescendo, a tiny, but the most powerful and significant phrase…

At that time people began to call on the name of Yahweh.

The first woman, created by God through miraculous love out of the body of Adam; the two who are also known as the first couple to infest humanity with the plight of sin, were also in the process of being redeemed in the fourth chapter of The Book of Books.

God does not contradict Himself, but as a human, I must guard against focusing against a repetitive doctrine that excludes details that appear along life’s trail that grow me more in love, and set me more free to love others, including my human family in Biblico. This is my greatest guard against dogma.

Is it possible that though Adam an Eve failed terribly, that they were also the first ministers proclaiming the name of God to their offspring that they might begin that trip towards a more perfect Eden through God’s promise to bruise the serpent’s head?

Adam and Eve said Yes to God after they said no. Is that not all our stories? Do they and other failures not deserve a shot at redemption just as we have?

What is known about the physical brain and the tie to the human body today is amazing, which is why all person’s must be treated with dignity, for even so there are therapies able to correct the once thought uncorrectable, including cooperative hardened criminal brains and unreverseable conditions, that one’s quality of life and more peace may increase, according to Dr. Daniel Amen of the world famous Amen Clinics.

“Healing brains can lead to healing in relationships.” -Dr. Daniel Amen

I know this is true, I’ve been there, and Dr. Amen’s Clinics have already helped me substantially. I did a lot of work on my own before going, spiritually, physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially, which gave me a healthier brain before testing. The results were fascinating and made me praise God more!

My answers included supplements and other simple therapies, for my brain is overall healthy and getting healthier, thank you God.

I am in a few transitions, but one of my goals is to be in a place to help others better through my writing and sharing health information.

No one but God knows a person’s real heart, and the true changes it makes to be inspired by God and formed by the Messiah.

Though it can be deceitful above all else, the heart is the Home the Holy Spirit of God chooses to reside today when confessing Him and asking humanity’s most consistent Ally in.

God perpetually knocks at every soul’s heart, which is why we are all very near Him. Dr. Caroline Leaf, mentioned in past posts, a neurologist, along with other neurologists, mentions over and over the finding that our brains are wired for love…that was God’s plan from the start, and that subduing the earth is multilayered including removing all forms of toxicity to improve all human function.

Imagine Adam and Eve takimg responsability for their actions, acrively workimg on removing the toxicity in their brains and minds, and replacing it with the beauties of Eden. Who wouldn’t want to tell others about this beautiful place and it’s God?

Imagine them continuing to birth God’s plan by having children. No telling the stories they told about that perfect world they had come from. It must have been hopeful, mind changing and a player in God’s plan of redeeming the family of man into God’s beautiful Kingdom here on Earth.

Forgetting sin means that we may recall the sin, but the sin does not have us. We can rewire our brains and minds for good and for God by retelling a bad story redemptively for ours and others sake.

That person who was difficult in a season or generation or two may end up being our best ally later in life. If we were the difficult one, we can change and reap a new season of hope with a new mind and brain. Current science is showing God’s redemptive Love everyday.

Yahweh is the Hebrew word for God, a word too sacred to speak and write, for in it contains all of His Attributes, the greatest of these is Love, the way we were all wired to give and accept from others for all are His image bearers.

Amazing!

The Witness of the Innocent


20161004_150844 (2)Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.

Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.
-Proverbs 31:8-9

There are places of safety for mothers in crisis and their unborn all over the world. The healthy centers have the mission of being Jesus to the unborn and their parents, as well as lovingly changing the minds of abortion centers with facts over emotion.

Their witness is strong, for saving both mother and child is the highest work of religion.

As I read James 1:27, I see a deeper meaning that I didn’t see until I volunteered at our local crisis pregnancy center.

baby-1866621__340Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. –James 1:27

Strong’s defines orphans as bereft (of a father, of parents); of those bereft of a teacher, guide, guardian; orphaned. And defines widows as feminine of a presumed derivative apparently from … the idea of deficiency; a widow (as lacking a husband), literally or figuratively:—widow.

Who is more orphaned than the unborn without future parents, or with mother – sometimes father – alone; mostly coming from difficult sectors, whether personally or socially?

baby-20339__340Christ is most exalted when those who cannot speak for themselves – whether the born or unborn orphaned, literal and figurative widow – are served and shown the Love of Jesus, first through service, then the healing of Christ’s Love, and then a presentation of the Good News for a New Life in Christ.

It has been a privilege for me to volunteer as I can at our local crisis center. All who come in are in crisis, even if married, for sometimes the unexpected child pushes a family into a lower economic class and family support may be limited. Who can fill in the gaps better than Jesus through the hands and feet of those who serve these precious souls?

baby-22194__340It is I who leave more humbled and filled after spending a shift volunteering with some of the kindest Christian family I have ever known. Prior to adopting our own Monika, I worked at this same center and gleaned so much courage by watching women who had less than myself and John chose to raise their children in the Lord, and be filled with His Joy as they grow in Him through ongoing classes.

I also am influenced by my peers who counsel and the admins who make the place run under the Godly leadership of the Executive Director and Center Director. Their stories of personal transformation have made them the leaders that brought our local center into the 21st Century with free well woman exams and free ultrasounds, among so many medical and personal services.

All centers are run on donations from donors who want their funds to go before them to help God’s Kingdom come to earth.

indexRecently Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author, spoke at our index2fund raising Gala. His wrote Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery. He articulated very well how abortion is the new slavery that needs exposing with facts and grace, for it took William Wilberforce 24 years to end slavery in England. So with facts and the hands and feet of Jesus, both child and parents can be spared and transformed for good.

For anyone reading who may be post-abortive – including men – please hear my heart and the hearts of a magnificent God Who loves you. There is redemption and forgiveness, no judgement. The Lord knows your story and is here to heal you permanently. There are many post-abortive programs that can help you become your best self and know how to tell your story so others might live. And for those of us who know souls who have survived this trauma, the best they can receive from us is unconditional love, and for us to listen and bear witness to their stories of redemption.

John 3:16 begins…For God so loved the worldThat means all of us!

Is God not an amazing God to not only save the Esters, but the Rahabs of this world for His purposes? He not only cares about the Josephs, but the Davids, and carves a place in history for them.

We are part of His Story as He writes His Story on our hearts. Ours is to step into our role every day, glorifying God in all we do, whether walking straightly, or getting up from another fall. Our response to failure by turning our eyes to the Lord – even if it takes a season – is all the Lord seeks from each of us.

May we all see the God-design in every human being, and know we too are God-Image-Bearers serving those who need Him most.

Thank you Jesus, for the opportunities today to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Amazing!

To My Two Earthly Loves


20161004_150844 (2)

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. – Ephesians 6:18 /NLT

I couldn’t be who I am without the husband God gave me, nor my daughter, and so many others. But will focus on my precious two.

John made me smile the first time I saw him. One of my intuitions was that he was loved well by his parents.

He was.

He passed that love on to me with attention and humor.

Twice he has blindfolded me and taken me on surprise trips!

One of those times he drove around a rotary many times so that I would not know the direction we were going on for our vacation.

The other time, he drove around the city in many directions. It was a crazy ride, then he headed out west.

We ended up in Ruidoso, NM.

He said, “Do you want to spend the night here”?

“Sure,” I replied, Ruidoso being one of my favorite childhood vacation memories.

Ok, it’s actually Taos, New Mexico. Surprise!”

I was thrilled anyway!

Then he responded, “Surprise again! We’re here”!

That’s so John!

There’s so much more I could say about him; the support I’ve received in my life, for my parents, for my siblings, and then in exchange, his accepting my love and his family’s accepting my love as well.

I am also thankful for our daughter.

She’s spunky, asks great questions, is satisfied if we can’t answer them all, a good daughter – but yes, a human daughter and stretches us, as well as a good friend to many and is one of the most loving people I know.

One of my favorite scenes is watching John and MJ interact.

They joke, she accepts his wisdom about life, especially boys – a girl’s best defense – they cook well together, play soccer almost identically and both love God.

It’s a wife and mother’s dream.

Are we perfect? Only by God’s grace, for He has covered much in each of us. Is all 100%? Only because God is merciful, for His mercy has provided so much.

Do we get scared? Have lows? Treated unfairly? Yes, but as my “cousin” Tom Norton has painted so beautiful a picture, in the span of eternity, life is a dot.

God is the great equalizer, and we are trusting Him more deeply as a family and learning how to support each other and our loved ones better everyday on this dot of an experience. For it is all we have now, while looking into a hopeful future.

Nearly every night is filled with the tradition of mentioning the three blessings of the day for each of us. We then end our days with petitions and thanksgivings to God.

I thank God for my husband and the family God’s created by our coming together. It keeps me on my knees always, and I am so thankful that God listens.

Amazing!