Greetings

Just this morning, I saw a small window of blue sky in the otherwise dreary grey overcast, a promise of the bright sun-lit day to come. God is always giving us signs of His love and faithfulness to us.......if we are looking. That is what this blog is all about. Are we looking? And what did we see, hear, smell, or feel that our loving Creator put in our path? Why does He do that? Do we really want to connect that close with His affection for us? So many questions. Let's exhange some of them, and share our own sightings!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Stopped dead in our Tracks

This afternoon I was sitting in my "war room" for a time with the Lord   It's really only a comfy chair next to a little side table piled high with journals, Bibles in several translations, prayer schedules from Master media for praying for a specific  media person each day of the year, notes and reminders to pray for so and so, Jesus Calling and other devotionals, my old IPOD being charged to play my favorite worship songs, pencils, glasses and lots more. 

On the left side is the side panel of my tall dresser, with a beautiful portrayal of Jesus painted when  Akiane was 8 or 9 (so real, I can see His eyes on me in a grin, or the stern look of a sergeant, or just the most passionate love for me). Along with the picture taped at my eye level, there are also three pieces of scrap paper taped next to the picture with special verses hand written as I work on memorizing them along with claiming them in my prayers.

Anyway, I was sitting there.... and I felt... heard...sensed such QUIET.  It was full of power and majesty.  Even the birds were silent, the traffic a few streets over, the constant roar of lawn care machines in the neighborhood were silent.  Not just for a minute, or five minutes.   It seemed as though time stood still.

And then I began to see in my thoughts America, with all the traffic, electronic noise, loud exploding music and dancing in an almost demonic nightmare, sex crazed ads for movies, horror filled television shows, clothing, and everything else.  These were all things that really bother me as I see our culture wildly looking for something to satisfy and not finding it.

Following that scene was this phrase that popped into my mind.  Stopped dead in our tracks.  We have been stopped dead in our tracks as most of us are staying home to stop the onslaught of the Corona Virus.  No classes, no meetings, no shopping (except for necessities), no meeting at a restaurant for lunch, not even church services.

And then the realization.  The enemy (who had his own plans to destroy the world with this pandemic) has also been stopped dead in his tracks.  He can't lead the thirsty to bars and hangouts. They're closed; college housing has been closed up;  there are many fewer people in the streets to be victimized,  as are thousands of other lairs for his activity.

Families are home together, getting to know one another again.  Classes like my watercolor classes are canceled, gyms and libraries are closed, restaurants are closed.  It reminds me of Sundays back in the 1950's (now you know how old I am if you hadn't already guessed).

So what should I be doing as a Christian.  My age prohibits me from getting involved in much outside my townhouse. BUT  I can pray!    So can you!

The Lord has gotten the show started, by stopping us all in our tracks, slowing us down, refocusing our physical and spiritual eyes.  He's saying to us, "Be My intercessory warriors!" 

"Because he loves me" says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me and I will answer; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.  Ps 91:15

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."  Mt 21:22

This is the time to find your own little "war room".   Go there often. Fill it with devotional, Bibles, notes, worship music, pencil, and anything else that you think of. Be quiet and listen to the quiet... listen for Him.  He has been waiting for you to come. He promises to listen and answer.

Make a list of things to pray for.

 Of course we need to pray for protection, health and healing for family and those close to us.
 But even more so we need to pray for God to send in an army of angel warriors to defeat this virus and the plans of the devil. 
 We need to pray that the quiet, powerful Spirit of the Lord keeps falling on us all.  We need His comfort and peace.
 We need to pray for those who don't know Him, who need to feel the comfort, peace and grace of God. 
 We need to pray for workers to go out into the world to harvest the fields "white with harvest".
 We also need to be one of those workers who prays first and then tells someone else about this powerful victorious God, who can take what the enemy meant for bad and turn it into good.

I am believing that this harvest of ripe fruit will be the beginnings of a great "awakening", of multitudes of people hungry for something to save them, something more, because the things of this world just don't satisfy. Holy Spirit, prepare their hearts to hear the good news.  We can pray for that!

 Even if things are really tough for awhile.  I can trust God in that because I dwell in His abiding place, in the shelter of the Most High God". I can be an intercessor.












Monday, October 7, 2019

Stressful times - what can we do?

As we look all around us we see chaos, plots, arguments, hatred, anger, riots, demonstrations....need I go on.  You can't really miss them.  However, occasionally, we see a display of compassion, real love, thoughtfulness, even self-sacrificing mercy to another.   It's like being jerked around on a rollercoaster, as it rises and then plummets, then rises, and plummets again jerking me over to one side, then another.  Will the seat belt hold, will the wheels stay on the track, will the somersaults in my stomach just please stop!

Recently, I read this September 19th entry from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
    "There is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind.  Heaven and earth intersect in your mind; the tugs of both spheres influence your thinking. I created you with the capacity to experience foretastes of heaven...heavenly realms....As you concentrate on Me, My Spirit fills your mind with Life and Peace.
"The world exerts a downward pull on your thoughts.....Stay in continual communication with Me whenever you walk thought the wastelands of this world....Refuse to worry...Stay alert.....Look forward to an eternity of strife-free living, reserved for you in heaven,"

                                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Ephesians 2:6  (NIV) And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.

            Romans 8:6  New (NIV)  For to set your mind on the Spirit is Life and Peace.


           1 John 2: 15 - 17 (NIV)  15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

                                                 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That is what I have been striving to do lately.

 In my quiet times, I find favorite scriptures and use them in my prayers.  Try Psalm 91. Your peace will be restored. I listen to Worship & Praise music and sing along, even dance to it. I imagine that I'm in the heavenlies with my Lord.

I've limited my TV news watching and turned on 90.3 FM for background noise.  Channel 8 (PBS) has a lot of wonderful, peaceful, things on it that are uplifting, educational, beautiful, interesting, and good watching....if you avoid the news and commentary.

When I teach my watercolor classes, I pray for the Holy Spirit to fill me and let His Light shine through me to each student, meeting their needs. A single student that is last to leave is often a field planted and growing, ready to be harvested. I talk to her and let the Holy Spirit lead the conversation.

As I finish up my daily prayers, I commit my way to the Lord, and ask him to direct my path. And I watch as opportunities and answers and small needs are filled throughout the day.

This is the way of peace, the cure for stress, the answer to all my questions.  God is faithful!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Dirty Work of Childhood Molestation

The Dirty Work of Childhood Molestation

A loved one within my own family is a victim of this tragic crime. In the last month I have heard friends who were speaking of their own painful journeys, and news abounds about the latest serial rapist who has destroyed numbers of children and teenagers with his orgy parties. I've heard the reports of the border crises...most especially the child trafficking and raping of children and women who have paid an exorbitant and lifelong price to cross into the US.

Then last Saturday night, I was looking for a good mystery on PBS or on my DVR. I first watched Law and Order SVU, then PBS' 4 week series, “Unforgotten”. Once again, with gripping reality, the heart wrenching victims of childhood molestation and rape, and young women and boys who are lured into sex parties where unspeakable atrocities are performed on them were told. But it's not just what happens to them in these dark torture chambers (which, thankfully were not shown). These two shows clearly spelled out the life changing effects for those who were now middle aged. How do these things change their lives? I vaguely knew, but now I was being shown.

What happens to them after the perpetrators have had their fun? These victims are then turned out into the pasture of their lives to try to make sense of it all, to smother the tortuous feelings of guilt and shame (for it must have been their fault that “I was afraid but I felt something good....well not really good, but like a hot pepper that burns, but you go back for another taste”). Or it may have been immensely painful and no one listened to their cries. Then came the anger....anger against those that allowed them to get themselves into these situations, or the anger at the pervert who disgusted them but may have been a family member, or the anger at themselves because they let it happen. Some may have physical pain in their most intimate parts...will it get better?

Next question they ask is “should I tell someone,....mom?.....dad? Would they believe me? Would they blame me? Would they tell everyone else? “ Then how do they deal with the results of the stares, the quiet sneers, the gossip that would most certainly accrue. So most say NOTHING  for years, or decades, I mean NOTHING!

Children forced into these nightmares, especially when they live in fairly stable homes, may seem to recover, but not really. Often PTSD is just as real for them as for a marine coming off the battlefield... nightmares, sleeplessness, rage, anger, depression, withdrawal, insecurity, and rebellion are common mechanisms for coping with the pain of the memories... if they are not revisited by the same  relative, teacher, coach, or other sicko. However, if there is a chance of repeat performances, fear becomes a constant companion. How do you explain that you don't want to go stay at Aunt Nikki's house during summer vacation? How can you lock your bedroom door and keep him or her out?

There's another whole aspect that can also bring pain, or relief. That is how parents handle the thing their child has just tried to tell them, if indeed they ever do. Parents are all different and their reactions are all different. Going to the police is the obvious next step. But the anguish and the realities of infrequent convictions because nothing can be proved, the unwillingness of the victims to expose their already violated privacy, and the daunting aspect of confronting the monster in the room make this a difficult choice.

I'm sorry to expose you, my reader to these ghastly realities of the fruit of acts that at least 30% of our population experiences. These are only a fraction of details that describe the lives of victims of childhood molestation. We may have a friend or relative who has shared some of the nightmare with us, but most of us hear the stories, then, because we too, are pained by them, we go on to something else that will make us feel happier. But I implore you to keep reading and allow God to bring the Truth into your life. You may be able to pray more effectively for someone, or be a source of wisdom and help when most aren't comfortable to even talk about it.

For me, this was an answer to prayer. I wanted to understand more, I wanted to be honest with myself as to how I dealt with this in my own family. I wanted to enter into the reality of my loved one's sufferings. I wanted to understand more. I was seeing the devastation all around decades later. “God, help me understand”.

I'm not one to run from conviction. Conviction is a true sense of sorrow and regret and acknowledgment that I am at fault in some of my decisions even if I thought I was doing the best I could. I wanted to feel the extent of the pain and devastation that my loved one has borne for decades. I wanted healing, forgiveness for us all. Conviction should always lead to confession and God's forgiveness,,,,so that I can live without the pain of condemnation so that I, too, don't make things worse. I didn't want to live in condemnation.

Condemnation is NOT from God. It torments and twists its way into every part of these stories...the victims, the loved ones of the victims, and the perpetrators. Condemnation is a poison that weaves itself into our relationships, often those most important to us... parents, love relationships, siblings, and later our own children. It accuses, blames, fabricates, twists the knife deeper, then starts all over again.

Jesus came to us, as God's heartfelt gift, so that He could not only show us the Father, but that He could suffer and die for us. His sacrifice has purchased our forgiveness, miraculously bringing healing and restoration and reconciliation. This is the answer for everyone swept up in these horror stories. God cares, so much so that He's given us a way to recover, be healed, be free from pain, and be made new. That's why He gave us Himself, Jesus.

I believe and pray that many of you that read this will hear the heart of God in this writing and prayerfully ask Jesus to lead you through this process. I know of no other counseling, treatment, or book that will do what only our loving God can do.

Please share with me your thoughts about this.



Friday, April 19, 2019

The Blessings of Good Friday made real to me

Good Friday....as I sit here late in the afternoon, I've been so aware of the meaning of Good Friday and wanting to do something to honor it (since my church has no service). I've been reading  The Divine Dance by Richard Rohr- a deeply intellectual description of what our relationship with The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit should be in order to fully take part in Their life in me.

So many things stood out to me and as I read  I had to stop and express, "Oh, Lord, that's what is happening in me", or "I saw/experienced this today!"

I had to get up early and  arrived just barely awake by nine at the downtown Senior Center for my watercolor class.  When I walked in, I first saw two new women sitting at the closest table.  As I passed by I invited them to come paint with us when I got it all set up.  The one nearest me,  I realized, was very large, and had a clearly masculine face, long hair, feminine dress, and a very deep man's voice when she responded, "Maybe...what're you going to paint?"  I said I'd show her a picture in a few minutes, but it would be easy and I would help her.

I realize now, that a rush of love washed over me, along with an acknowledgement of her identity choice, and  I can honestly say at that moment and even more so later in the morning, even though she decided not to paint, that LOVE won out, as apposed to judgement.

Revelation One.....that's the way that God's LOVE always is....automatic and without judgement.

Just before we started the painting, our director came over to give a ten minute lesson on the History of Good Friday. Barbara, my new friend, crossed her knees in a very masculine way, and frequently spoke up to add accurate details of the Passover, and it's relevance to Good Friday where Jesus' spilled blood was our sacrifice for freedom from our sins, just as God had the Israelites put the spilled blood of a lamb on their doorposts to protect them from the angel of death (the final plague announced by Moses before the Egyptians freed them).  Other student painters stepped up and added their own additions to the theological discussion of  Christ's crucifixion,  and were very open to the short, beautiful prayer of thanksgiving as our director thanked God for this LIFE-giving sacrifice from our Lord.  I had been to church!!

Revelation Two....God has wonderful gifts for us everywhere we go.  This one was sooo obvious though!

Now, as I continue reading The Divine Dance, I see so clearly that living in the midst of the Trinity and sharing Their LIFE fills me up with non-judgmental love, and allows me to spill it out on everyone without thought, and along with the  Good Friday Sermon, I'm filled  with wonder as The Father, Son and Spirit dance around, in and through me.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

I thought I might share the conversation The Lord and  I have been having back and forth over the last few months. It concerns His provision.....ie: my money (or lack of) problems.  Ever have that talk with The Lord?   I thought so.  So let me know what you think of these musings that I've written about in my Journal.  I put quotation marks around those words that I believe are His voice to me.

My words:
Every month, I'm just barley making it, with no assurance of income next month beyond my inadequate Social Security check. Lord, this is so hard! I do trust You, but I want to be free of the concerns that nag me constantly.

His answer:
"Judy, I AM providing your daily bread.  I have also asked you to live by faith for provision for [various specific expenses].  All these years you have trusted Me and I have been strengthening you...you ARE stronger than you think!  And I AM FAITHFUL.

Don't you think Paul and my other servants struggled like you, and yet they continued to see My power expressed in their lives?

Be careful that you don't over think and over analyze these things.  That will mean nothing when you stand before Me. I will ask, 'Did you trust Me?'  And I want you to answer, 'I did, in spite of my doubt and struggles.'

The answers to your provision do not include the 'absence of trials'. The trials cause you to stay close to ME, as/or while I AM providing. That is why you won't be able to reason, 'well now, that's taken care of.'

In your increasing maturity, the greatest element is the ability to know and follow MY WILL for you.  It doesn't matter what others think or how they judge you. I'm asking you to know MY WILL for you and to obey and follow that path.

       Romans 12: 1-2 I appeal to you, brothers, by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a living        sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to            this world, but be transformed, by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may be able to            discern what is the will of God...what is good and acceptable and perfect!

Judy, be an example of this truth, that you might be an example to many others who are also struggling with this matter.The ability to discipline yourself in this culture of plenty is as important as is  being faithful in other fleshly temptations. Pray for and receive MY help and strength to do this. I WILL NOT FAIL YOU. You are MY bride...remember that...don't doubt  MY help that is available to do this.  

I love you, my precious one."

I must say, that I really took this to heart, and now am much more able to throw off my concerns and just remember the many Words I've heard from the Lord.  I have written a number of verses out in long hand pertaining to the promises I am standing on, and taped them to my kitchen cabinets, where I often read them.  However, this last week, one morning I read all of them out loud with real conviction.  I even recopied these scriptures on matching notepaper and carefully re-taped them to my cupboard doors.  It take ten minutes or more to speak them out loud, and I have repeated this several times since then.

That first day, it seemed as though a huge dam broke and some answers that I have been trusting God for have broken loose!  Not just once, but several times this week.

I see my LORD grinning from ear to ear, as He sees me finally getting this "no concerns, no worries about finances" thing.  Halleluiah!

Try it...especially the written scriptures and speaking them out loud with conviction. My mind is being transformed and so will yours.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The obscurity of the stable

Why was Jesus born in a stable,    
          rather than a palace as the desperately longed for  king who would deliver Israel from the Romans,
          rather than the Temple as the long awaited Messiah prophesied about for centuries,
          rather than Mary and Joseph's comfortable, yet modest, home near to loving relatives            
                    any place other than a strange city where they knew no one,
                    any place other than an outside cow barn, cold, smelly, uncomfortable, and dark?
Why was He born in such obscurity?  It makes for a nice story, but let's be real here.

There are so many reasons,
          some now known with the help of common sense and  The Holy Spirit,
          so many more yet to be revealed at the Lord's knee!

The most obvious reason He wasn't born in Nazareth was that even though the scandal and whispers would have erupted again, there would have been little need to reach out in desperation for Jehovah's help. Mary and Joseph had all they needed right there.

With that in mind, let's consider the more treacherous reasons why He was not born in Nazareth, or a palace.
         How long would He have survived in Nazareth? When the shepherds came, would the Romans wonder why all the commotion, and investigate? Rumors run wild in a small town and everyone knows everyone. Herod, upon learning of the rumors, could have easily tracked the Child down and killed Him.
          The wise men may never have found Him. In fact many prophecies would have had to be changed if they were referring to the coming Christ.
Get's complicated, doesn't it?  But for sure, Herod would find Him and kill Him!

And a most tragic reason that Jesus was not born in The Holy Temple:
           The priests and other ruling hierarchy of temple greed, deception, legalism and politics, would have imprisoned Him in their doctrine, brainwashed His pure mind, and even if not successful at that, they would have made His life unbearable.
           Jesus could never have left their influence.

Soooo, the most precious and important reason was for us ....the need for us to have FAITH....to grow through uncertainty and misty memories to strong certainty that what God told us is true! Mary and Joseph lived it out!
        It was for Jesus to grow up as a normal child in order to display to the common man the TRUTH and LIGHT available for us as we live out our lives on earth.          

The many other reasons?  I'll ask Him when I see Him face to face in eternity.

But this I know...He whispered it to me as I was listening to O Holy Night, "You may think your life and ministry are unimportant, and shrouded in obscurity, but I, the Lord, have a plan for you, too. Trust Me as Mary and Joseph did.  Always keep growing in faith.  Your faith brings more glory to Me as I watch with such pleasure and joy.
Stay obscure so that My Father in heaven can be glorified.  Just listen and follow Me. If I choose to bring you out of the shadows....let it be into My light.
And it is up to Me, your Creator, to fill out the story in the perfect way."

"All is well, Immanuel." said I.
"All is well, My love." said Jesus.
       
         



     
                 

Friday, September 29, 2017

     So excited!!!  My Bible Study in the Song of Solomon has just been republished and the New Edition is now available on my web site (www.judylokits.com), Redemption Press, (redemptionpress.com), Amazon, Barnes & Noble and soon most book retailers. Watch for my special deal coming up in a week or two on my Facebook page.
     To be truthful I sound like I know what I'm doing with all of these online things, but I just limp along slowly, learning as I go.  Forgive any mistakes you spot, or delays, or even outrageous  errors in getting your books.
   
     A few days ago, midmorning, I was just sitting down in my prayer chair with a cup of coffee for my time with my Beloved, but found myself acting out in my mind how I would begin marketing the book(my main goal for today). Something became very clear in my thoughts regarding the shuffling of my finances to be able to buy some books, pay for my credit card charges regarding book publishing, and whether or not to separate out the money received for the sale of the books, etc.
I suddenly had the impression that the Lord and I had just had a corporate meeting and He had given me the answers that I had been very concerned about in the past few weeks. In fact, I could picture Him on the other side of the table with a big grin on His face, His big hands flat on the table saying, "Well, now that that is over, let's get on with the more important business......where do you want to start?"
     Every day, my heart is full of thanksgiving for how the Chairman of the Board of my book, the first Bible study using my book that I'm co- leading at my church, my art classes and all the other areas and activities  I am involved in   (JLokits, Inc  ... that's a joke)....how He manages to keep me from falling flat on my face!

      But....the best part is when I lean back in that chair, close my eyes as one of my incredible worship CD's play, and see Him, The Lord Jesus Christ, beckoning me to join Him in the garden. Once again I hear His gentle words of love and so much more.....the mysteries of Him.  This is what I live for, and desire most.  A lesson learned in the Song of Solomon. 

Be watching for the special coming up in the next week or two!  I'll announce it on Facebook.