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!

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.


Friday, July 7, 2017

The most incredible experience

     I just had the most incredible experience this morning...in my pajamas and in my own kitchen!
I prayed out loud and heard hundreds or thousands or more praying with me together.  No, I wasn't watching TV or a CD or some other electronic marvel.  Only a telephone....not even a cell phone!
     At 9:25 I suddenly remembered that I had planned last week to call in and join this First Friday Prayer Conference Call.  For over a year I have been led to start some kind of intercessory prayer group or team.  Some doors have closed, others haven't opened and I still believe God is calling me to do this!    Have you ever been in that spot?
     Intercessory prayer (prayer on behalf of others) is a big calling in my life...being a "watchman on the walls" to help guard, defend, and sound the alert in my part of the Kingdom of God.  I, like many others, however, get caught up in the duties of the day and our own flesh which keep distracting us, and I fall far short of the calling.
     Lately, God has confronted me with books, articles and other eye-opening reminders of God's power and promises to answer our prayers.  But He also keeps reminding me of the power that I have when doing battle with the heavenly forces of evil, and not just that I have this power...but that nothing may happen if I don't use this power.

     Enter:   Intercessors for America!  I read avidly their monthly news letters which give me the "inside scoop" about what is happening in this world of prayer, answers to prayer, and aids to help me join the thousands, maybe even millions of other intercessors for America. Being reminded about our Founding Fathers' belief in the power of prayer for their endeavors, about our current leaders and their personal and public needs, as well as knowing about what God is doing in answer to these prayers takes about 1/2 hour while I eat lunch.   That last issue was when I committed to join the monthly conference call.  This was a first for me!
     But it was so easy!  I called the phone number printed in the reminder box of the news letter, and when it answered and told me to click in the access code, I followed the directions.  And, voile, I was listening into the conversation! David Barton was asking for prayer for Wallbuilders, a wonderful organization which teaches churches, schools, and others about the spiritual foundation of our country.  I had heard him speak in my church in Florida almost ten years ago and was very moved.
     Then, they "turned off the mute button" which allowed me to hear hundreds, thousands or who knows how many others praying for Wallbuilders.  There was a cacophony of voices, even some singing, all praying in their own way.  I got goose-bumps.  After a minute or two, the mute button was turned on so that I could hear someone else offere up a concern for our youth who are being so influenced by deception and darkness.  Then we prayed, as the mute button was turned off so we could hear the multitudes of prayers and singing.  After a couple of other specific prayer requests for our leaders and the Congress and courts, once again, each time, we all prayed together.  Finally, one man  encouraged us all with the fact that there are several serious prayer groups in the White House and halls of Congress, and that the President, himself is not only open, but encourages prayers and Godly words of wisdom within the White House and personally for himself.
     I am so encouraged!  And now I know how to answer my Lord's calling.

     I am going to regularly write in this blog encouragements and helps, requests and needs for America, and we will together become Intercessory Prayer warriors. It's up to you as to whether you want to join, (there are no dues); however, remember the Bible is full of admonitions even from our Lord that we pray.  We are somehow His partners. We are His betrothed, His helpmate.  Amazing, isn't it?  Let me know if want to join.
      First suggestion:  Go online to
Pray for America's Leaders      or       Intercessors For America

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Crude or Corrrupt: That is the question!

     This is another of those times when my procrastination is finally defeated by a LOUD shout from God!   Wherever I look, whatever I read or hear reminds me that God gave me the title of this post and He is waiting for me to do something about it.  He truly never gives up until He gets His way in my life.  How about you?
     I don't need to tell you we are in a presidential election season.  And as a Christian who wants to vote according to God's will for our country, I feel like I am in a dryer, being tumbled and twisted and overheated in every way.  All this,  just to get the wrinkles out?
     I believe a mighty prayer movement is just about to break out:  a prayer movement that cries out against the moral depravity that is smothering our country and others, the massive corruption in our local and state governments that threatens our constitution and national well-being, and a Holy Spirit awakening in the Church as we cry out for God to make Himself known as the only solution....the only resolution (thank you, Misty Edwards).... to our quaking world.
     But there's still this nagging question.  How should we vote in less than a month?  Crude or corrupt very aptly describes each of the two presidential candidates.
      I've read articles that remind us that God has used ungodly rulers a few times in the Old Testament to wake His people up.  Cyrus was one of those.   He was the Persian ruler that, as a heathen king, still heeded the call of God to release the captive Israelites to go back to Jerusalem and re-build their Temple.  Could a man who is crude and even vulgar in speech and attitude possibly be a modern day Cyrus?  Last night I heard Jerry Fallwell, Jr, president of Liberty University say that "we need to concentrate on America's future instead of Trump's past".
      I've also read many other articles from various Christian sources urging us to NOT take the easy way out.  David Kubal, President and CEO of Intercessors for America, wrote in the October 7, 2016 issue of their newsletter, "The fourth option, not voting, seems to be the only moral choice for some, but the action of taking no action by Christians could guarantee governmental leadership whose party platform will not protect life in the womb, will not support religious freedom, and will force you to forsake your traditional Christian values or face legal punishment if you resist.  Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is known for his famous saying:  'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.'"  Can we ignore all the evidence of deception and corruption in the liberal leadership and in government in general?
      The conservative platform pledges to support and protect children before birth and to not support and fund abortion.  It pledges to support traditional marriage and family, protection from the policing of  tax-exempt organizations who espouse Christian values in the public arena, protection of individuals and businesses for acting  on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and many other social issues important to Christians.
       There is also the concern that a future president will put forward  Supreme Court judges (a few are expected to retire in the next four years).  These judges can either pave the way for more liberal values or for protection of our Judaeo-Christian values and an adherence to the constitution's original intentions for America. They have the final say.....will we?
       The only thing I know for sure is that "God has a plan".  He is not and will not ignore our prayers. This He has promised those of us who walk humbly before Him and trust His promises. But there is more than that to our responsibilities.
        So.......I have carefully looked over the platforms of each candidate. As a Christian there is no ambiguity as to which platform most closely lines up with my views and desires for my government. I urge you to do the same.  If you don't know where to go for that information, you can go to the Intercessors For America, www.IFApray.org, and click on  "party platforms".  They have a great "2016 Presidential Election Voter Prayer Guide" and much more helpful information to help you in this most important decision.
     Most importantly, vote!    There is no excuse for not prayerfully making a decision, for being fully informed, for voting your choice.   Just as important, answer the call to join the dramatic and powerful movement of prayer in the Church.  God has blessed us with this country, and it is our responsibility as a Christian to do our part. I'm in....are you?

Friday, August 26, 2016

     I haven't submitted a new post for awhile. I know that being busy is no excuse.....but it's true.  I must be insane to try to run two businesses at the same time, when most people my age are playing golf, traveling, going to lunch with friends, etc.
     How did I find myself in this situation ten years past retirement? 
     Well, the Lord must have seen my inherent lazy nature and decided to sabotage my plans and get on with His project in me. He's certainly not finished with me yet....but this wasn't what I might have imagined a decade ago in South Florida.
      As with many of us in our seventies all my plans for income have been vastly changed....mostly due to forces beyond my control (the 2008 debacle in the stock market and then the housing values crash topped it off).  One of the many times I begged the Lord, "WHY?", He seemed to assure me that He had me exactly where He wanted me.  Dependent on Him.....for the rest of my life....single...aging....no career options....scared spitless.  
     "Oh Lord, what am I going to do?"  was a frequent beginning to my day.  And He would just remind me of all the past times (thousands) when I had uttered those words, and somehow He had carried me through.  All I needed to do was to trust...trust Him and His promises.
      And here we are, not 2006, but 2016 goin' on 17!  How has your life changed in the last ten years? Doesn't it seem like our lives are racing down a train track 200 miles an hour, and we're still trying to get our luggage on and put away in the luggage racks?
     It could be that you feel like you're left at the station and everyone else got on the train and they keep racing by but not stopping to pick you up.  That waiting time is often just as hard as being on the fast track to the unknown.
      For Christians, for those who have made Jesus Christ their Savior and Lord, it IS easier. We are to build up our knowledge of Who our faithful Lord is by reading His words to us. And we learn that He really cares....no, passionately, loves us.  He has a plan for each of us.  With faith as our shield we brush off the doubts and fears and take a little time out each day to lean back in His arms and let Him speak sweet words into our ears. It is these times that we are able to keep going down the path before us.
     If this is not happening for you (hearing the sweet words of the Lord spoken to you), try asking God to make it happen.  He loves a seeking heart and always responds.  But, beware, it will not happen the way you expect.
      This whole subject and my own needs are what led me into the writing career and the books I have written out of my own experience. Who would have imagined that?  Not me, for sure.
       And then part two of God's plan for me AT THIS TIME IN MY LIFE also arose out of necessity....income.  But instead of a job that I hate, He gave me the opportunities to improve my art skills, the courage to believe the results were good, the strength to display them and teach others the joy of being creative. And I love doing it.
     So....two new careers in the "twilight" of my life!  And I am overjoyed!  I love what I do. I feel totally fulfilled!  And they're all centered around the love of Jesus for me...the One who has a plan for me!  He is truly fulfilling His promises of peace, joy, love, fulfillment, and the knowledge...the absolute knowledge, that He will never leave me because He is passionately in love with me.
       "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in HIm shall not die but have eternal life". (John 3:16) 
       "I have loved you with an everlasting love".  (Jeremiah 31:3)
      "I belong to Him, and His desire is for me".   (Song of Solomon 7:10)

COURAGE, MY DEARS, COURAGE!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

I have a plan......

     After many months of ignoring my blog with all sorts of very credible excuses, I felt compeled to share some of my quiet time with the Lord today.  Like you, I am very concerned about all the things that are happening in my beloved America. I pray almost daily for her, and believe that God is hearing my prayers along with millions of others who are likewise concerned. 
     This is not a political opinion piece although it speaks of politics in our country.  I am not endorsing any candidate. But my heart is heavy as it was when I sat down to spend my time with my Beloved this morning.  Before I barely got started, I knew this was one of those times when I needed to write in my journal, to make note of this conversation with Jesus.  Here is what I wrote and what He answered
                                                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     We're in the midst of an extremely heated and unprecedented Presidential race...an attempt by some (Cruz and Trump) on the establishment (the U.S. governmental and political ruling class with all it's connections, not the true constitutional framework set up by our founders).
     When I sat down for my quiet time, the Lord took me directly to Hebrews 8, 9, and 10.  Easter was last  Sunday and this seemed a perfect passage to speak to me again of what Jesus' resurrection means to us. As I kept on reading about the ending of the "Old Covenant" and the bringing of the "New Covenant" by Jesus' death and resurrection,  I began to relate it in some small way to what is happening in America.
      Paul (the supposed author) explains that the Temple...the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies....were shadows of the true Holy of Holies in Heaven.  Although they didn't know it yet the Old Testament high priests and the blood sacrifices were about to be replaced by the one time blood sacrifice of the willing Son of God, Jesus. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Christ, meant that redemption has been made once and for all for sin!. 
     When this happened, the whole need for the Temple and all it's functions had ceased.  The "establishment" was threatened and sensed a major attack on their existence, their income, their power, their prestige, and their lifestyle. They were not monastic monks living in poverty and humilty, and they reacted with fear when Jesus began to attack their traditions and hypocrisy  and overturned the tax takers' tables and animal sellers, etc.  He spoke words of stinging truth and conviction.  They did not understand what He was saying about the Kingdom of God, but knew it was a threat to them. Thus they had to get rid of Him.  It was a matter of life and death for them.
    
     I believe, Lord, You are showing me that in much the same way, the establishment (political), Washington...the whole system of power and money exchangers...senses a serious attack on all they know, deserve and have worked for to benefit themselves. And they believe they must, at all costs, stop Cruz and Trump. I am not comparing Cruz or Trump to the Messiah, by the way. 

     "Judy, you got it!  The attack on America's political and governmental establishment  is the same sort of attack as on the Temple system.  It is a warning call to the power brokers and financiers and all their cohorts in the halls of government who are dependent on the process.
     The reason I showed you this is that the battle for America and the God breathed foundational stones on which it was founded and built is a matter of life and death!
     I AM calling you and all of My people to pray... not so much for one candidate...I have a plan and I have heard your prayers for your land.   I AM calling you to pray:
           ....to stand against the enemy who also has a plan to destroy America
           ....to pray for Christians to see the TRUTH and to join the battle to pray and vote
           ....to pray for wisdom and discernment when praying specifically
           ....to refuse to join emotion-based activities in the election but to wage spiritual warfare, protected by your spiritual armor.  (We battle not against flesh and blood, but against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, ... Eph 6)
           ....to understand by the help of the Holy Spirit who the real enemy is and take him out by the power of My Name and the TRUTH of My Word

     I have a plan! I will not be deterred.  Part of that plan is the calling forth of My people to join the battle:
        by prayer
        by seeking My marching orders
        by obeying My orders
        by trusting in the power of My Name and your prayers.

     Cover yourself in My blood.  I will protect and guide you.  Write this on your blog. As you do these things you bring me much glory.....you ravish My heart.
                                                                                                        Jesus"
                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So there you have it!  He commanded and I obeyed.   Will you?



Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Testimony to my pastor.....

This is a copy of a recent email I sent to my pastor.  It was entitled: A testimony about lack. I thought you might like to read it also.

     I have been a little worried about my financial situation the last few months... income has been down and I don't want to be in debt. When I was praying, reminding God of my financial needs this month, the Lord allowed me to look in on the scene of His feeding the multitudes.  This is how I literally saw it.

     Thousands of men, women, children, healthy and sick, rich and poor were camped out for the day on the grass of a large hillside. It was getting late in the day.  They had already eaten their lunches and snacks much earlier, not wanting to miss anything that might happen there with Jesus, the Healer, the prophet-teacher, the miracle worker in their midst. 

     The disciples noted the subtle restlessness of the children who were tired and hungry, the undercurrent of concern among the parents, and even the unspoken questions of the more sophisticated about how long was He, this Jesus, going to go on.  They came to Jesus, turned Him aside and asked Him about this.  Should they try to go buy food?  Did they have enough money for such a large crowd?  Or would He dismiss them now, allow them to go home or to nearby inns? 

     I could see the wry little smile on Jesus' face as He turned around and said, "Well, why don't you go and see what you can gather up from those who had brought food," motioning them to, "go on now".  Then He continued on with His divine lessons, walking among them, laying a
hand on fussy children, stopping to touch a lonely widow, to pray for an aching back.  He seemed utterly unconcerned about the disciples' assessment of the gathering.  He had more, much more, to say, and the hearts were open and ready to feast on the real Bread of Life. 

     When one of the disciples came back with nothing in the basket he had borrowed, and another with only a half-eaten loaf of bread and a dried fish, Jesus smiled again and motioned them to sit down and wait for the others.  Then He went on to finish His parable.  Soon the others drifted back and compared their "catch".  Only a few more loaves of various shapes and kinds of bread and a couple more shriveled up fish. What were they going to do?  What would Jesus say? 

     Well, He didn't say anything.   He just grinned from ear to ear.   He actually picked up some of the bread and smelly fish and raised His arms up and gleefully kissed each piece.  Then He quietly began laughing to Himself as He gave the traditional blessing, replacing the food in the various baskets and continuing to thank The Father for these generous, sacrificial gifts...given with trusting hearts.  THEN, He said, "Take the baskets back out among the people and give them all they want." And all the time, He was chuckling quietly as He watched the blank faces of His helpers, who slowly backed away with their baskets, their eyes transfixed on His grinning face. Then suddenly one tripped on a nearby leg...falling backwards,  his basket flying through the air.  Bread, loaves and loaves of it, sailing  and then landed in the laps of those behind him! The joy of Lord began to break out on all sides. 

     And,  course, everyone ate their fill, with plenty of leftovers for those not fortunate enough to have been there to see it for themselves.  And joy filled the place, babies went to sleep, children quieted and watched this Miracle Worker as He seemed to reach out His arms to hug them all at once.  And the sun sank below the horizon  on a peaceful crowd as they packed up and went away for the night.
 

     I know this is a paraphrase, but it was the way I saw it.  Then Jesus seemed to be telling me that I must not be like the disciples as they looked at the huge need, and the minute supply.  He seemed to be saying that I must keep my eyes on His face...on the joy He felt, the glee that He experiences when we just trust Him. 

     Of course, I could go on and on with my assessment of what He meant.  But I think that's for each one of us to do as we  see that picture of His joy in responding to our trust, as we get our eyes off the needs....as we just keep looking at Him.  

     I hope this picture stays in your head and moves to your heart as quickly as it did mine.

 Blessings,

Judy Lokits

 

 

 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Deep Calls Unto Deep

     I finally submitted Deep Calls Unto Deep - How to respond to the Passionate Love of God to the publisher this week.  It is about the Song of Songs in the Bible, a book that intrigues most Christians with it's love story and evocative language, but leaves them with the question, "Why is this book in the Bible?"
     I believe most teachers avoid teaching on The Song because they really don't know quite what to do with it, afraid of offending some in their congregations, or dulling down the language and meaning so much that it becomes a misunderstood story. The truth is that the Song of Songs is the picture of the greatest love story there has ever been.  It is the love story of God and His people.
     This week I read an article in our local Ahwatukee Foothills News insert for seniors written by  Rabbi Dean Shapiro, spiritual leader of Temple Emanuel of Tempe,AZ, entitled the Gift of Torah. The title intrigued me and I was thrilled to read this passage.  "The Torah is the symbol of the love shared between God and the Jewish people.  Because Shavuot marks the night that symbol was given, the Kabbalists taught that it is our marriage night as well. We study into the night to achieve a mystical union with God. Just as Ruth bound herself to Naomi and her tribe, so do we bind ourselves, over and over again, to our God and our Torah".
     The rabbis and ancient Jewish leaders have understood this love story for centuries. That is why it is in The Old Testament of our Bible today. Continuing the revelation in The New Testament, Jesus is quickly recognized as the Bridegroom who has come for His bride.

     Being a person who learns best pictorially, I have to see it first.  I am a born romantic and need to get involved with the story. For me, the history of a place or event makes so much more sense when I can insert myself into that situation. 
     For example, learning about a place like Ephesus cannot compare to walking down a 2100 years old Roman boulevard with parts of marble pillars lining the street, a colossal Roman building around the corner, and coming upon an ancient marketplace now covered over with grass and weeds.  I can almost hear the sounds of people shopping, children playing, and soldiers clomping down the street while people scatter to get out of their path. I listen for Paul, the apostle, standing somewhere is this large city center, gathering a crowd as he preaches the Good News. I read a part of his book to the Ephesians as I stand here.  I now am in that crowd.

     That's how I see the Song of Songs.  A collection of conversations that give us a picture of a growing, responding, hesitant love is painted on the pages of this book.  A young woman learning to love the love of her life.  But that's only part of the story.  The other part of it is the royal lover, who gently teaches her of his love for her and what their marriage-covenant will produce. 
     Without the vibrant and sometimes erotic descriptions, I cannot really grasp the scene.  Jesus uses this same teaching technique over and over...speaking in parables, using the vernacular and local life experiences of his characters to teach an eternal lesson. He paints a picture for us...places us in the scene.  I guess it's my artistic nature that responds so passionately to these scenes.  I RELATE.  I CAN FEEL THE EMOTION.  I RESPOND WITH EMOTION.  I OWN IT!

     That's why I wrote this Bible Study.  I didn't want to interpret every one of the word descriptions

and dull down their impact. Yes, as in Jesus' parables, there are deep lessons in these word pictures. The words are a poetic vehicle, not meant to be sexual, but to arouse our passionate love, to fire up our heart to produce powerful fruit. I want to have my emotions aroused.  I want to feel God's love for me.  I want to respond to that love emotionally, as well as spiritually.  I want to love Him with a passion so great that I will do anything for Him...even give Him my whole life.  Then maybe my life will accomplish something really special and important...for the Kingdom of God.