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, December 4, 2012

Thinking about the future...

     It's difficult for a Christian to ignore the ominous signs all around us that we are at some kind of crossroads in our country, in the Church in America, and in the world.  I 'm sure you've felt it.  I believe it's the Holy Spirit, saying something like this,  "Heads up....look around....stay close to Me"
     It's Christmastime again....only now I'm in Arizona... and time to decorate, bake, rehearse for the Christmas musical (I really volunteered to do this?), and time to ponder, just as Mary did.
     I've always been so drawn to Mary and her quiet obedience and trust.  Everything around her concerning her pregnancy, her marriage to Joseph,and their untimely trip to Bethlehem must have caused her to spend a lot of time seeking and praying to Yaweh.  And of course, finding herself alone with Joseph, giving birth to the "Son of God"... in a stable no less, followed by a group of worshiping shepherds....would certainly cause her to ponder on these things.  Then top it off with a visit  by eastern magi bearing exhorbitant  gifts, a middle of the night escape from the mass murdering of small baby boys, and instructions to move to Egypt.  How would you feel?
    Here in Phoenix  my family is doing well and I'm enjoying being so near them.  We all spent a weekend together in San Diego at my daughter, Tanya's, house for an early Thanksgiving.  Here in Phoenix, Scott, my son, and Mary and Brendan and Kimmi and I all went out to an expensive steakhouse for Brendan's 15th birthday last week.....and he had two lobster tails!  You explain that!
     Last night the women of my church gathered for a beautiful Christmas Dinner, catered, with music and love all around.  Our Christmas musical will be Dec 16th during the two morning services and I'm trying to learn 8 songs by heart.  My Life group (small group) will have it's party at my house that evening, and my Bouquets Group will have theirs the following Saturday.  Then my whole family will be in Phoenix for the Christmas week.  Kelly, my daughter's 16 year old, is moving fast up the tennis rankings and will be playing a big tournament here that week.  So I am blessed!
     But even in the midst of blessing, or, for many ,small or great trials, there is a sinister uncertainty for Christians stalking us.  We have been spared that in America so far, but no more, I and so many others believe.  I kind of feel as though with the things going on around me now I am boarding the entry to a thrill and danger packed rollercoaster and I hate rollercoasters!  For a wonderfully informative article on this go to:                                                 
     So, we need to heed  Jesus' words to us about watching for the signs of the times.  We need to pay attentions to Peter's warnings to be alert.  We need to prayerfully read the prophecies and Revelation asking the Holy Spirit's guidance into "all Truth".   We need to pray.....not just for what WE want to see happen, but pray for direction from the Spirit about what GOD WANTS TO HAPPEN.  It just might be judgement on the evil which would lead them to repentance, as David often did.  It just might be for strength and wisdom AND COURAGE  to live through God's judgement here in America.   I don't know.....but I want to be open and like Mary, I don't want to miss-judge the events going on all around me.  I want to be able to hear The Lord's nudgings as He directs me,  His bride, in, through, and around the uncertainties that seem to surround me.  I want to trust Him....I am His and He is mine.

Friday, November 9, 2012

An answer to prayer!

You may be praying as I am, "How do You want me to pray, now, Lord?"

      This morning I received this very clear answer as I was writing in my journal. The Lord often answers me this way....thank You, Lord.

     "Judy, don't think I have not heard the prayers of My people. I have!

     My primary concern is not the financial conditions which drive most of the politics. My concern is for the soul of America! You must not stop fasting and praying with passion, urgency and humility.

     I, the Lord, could zap the evil doers in this country, but My will is most often to use the power of My Love and Life and the Truth that flows forth from My church to change things. I can once again place the hedge of protection around America against natural disasters and terrorism, etc, but this Grace (the hedge) has always been conditional. Much of America has chosen to live apart from Me and My Grace, My Law...the result is the lifting of the hedge.

     The greater disaster for this country is the loss of her soul...the intended, god-given heritage and foundation on which she was born. This is what you , the Church must pray for.

     Pray for those liberals who are deceived about compassion and helping the poor by making them dependent on an institutional entity (government).

     Pray that the Church and the good people of this country will make more of an effort in helping those truly in need, and that they will encourage, without judgement, those who can, to work hard to overcome their obstacles.

     Pray against the straddling of the line.....Christian morals vs. openmindedness.

     Pray against the deceptions believed about homosexuality, same sex marriage, abortion, cohabitation without marriage.

     Pray against addiction to:

           pornography, and sick music and entertainment

           electronic devises which are destroying personal relationships

           drugs and alcohol

           thrills and adrenaline stimulation

           ocult and satanism

     Pray for real revelation of the values of:

           hard work and reliability

           faith and law abiding

           non-material blessings of family, church, friends, provision, health

     You have asked how to pray...this is My answer. It is not enough just to pray generic prayers. Difficult times help you to discover the source of the difficulties if you are honest enough and have the courage to face the answers. I, as Lord, do not deny your prayers because they are not sincere or heartfelt. I want you to go deeper into the problems...guided by the Holy Spirit...asking for wisdom:

           what is the real source of the problems...what is the real problem?

           what is the answer from God's perspective...what does He need to do ...what does the Church or I need to do?

           how does God's Word tell us to pray about this? [2 Cor 10:4-5, Ephes 6:10-18, Mat 18:18-19 among many others]

           Name of Jesus, Blood of Jesus, binding and losing, a specific Word for a specific situation (rhema), praying with real faith

     My answer to My Church is: LEARN TO PRAY! I'm asking you to grow up and take up your sword (the Word) and use it. 


     This is how the Lord often talks to me. But don't take my word for it, try asking Him yourself.


And you might want to read Intercessory Prayer by Dutch Sheets. It's the best of dozens of books I've read on the subject. Very informative and easy to to read.

Blessings in this new prayer endeavor! You might let me know if you're in.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Responding to the 2012 Election results

Sharing with you the thoughts of my heart on the day after the 2012 Election:

If you are a Christian....

     I grieve for the America I loved. We are outnumbered and we must find a way to lead this country to Truth. As a Christ-bearer I believe our concern about losing the Christian values so much of America rejects can only be remedied by a change of hearts.

     We believe in God's omnipotent power to place the rulers in power whom He chooses. Perhaps that is how God intends to answer our prayers. Yesterday, when I expected a Romney win, I really felt a real concern, almost a fear that the Church would go back to "business as usual" because we would think that a more conservative government would make things better.. if our prayers had been answered this way!

     As I have prayed I have come to believe that the old spiritual truth that suffering and injustice brings us to our knees in sincere and passionate intercession. This is the kind of prayer that is so effective.

     It will take more than one election to bring this country back to traditional Christian and conservative values......just look around at the values on display everywhere. It will take an earthquake of continued intercession.....we need to be on our face day after day before the Lord. I'm not sure that is where we really are yet. God may be giving us that opportunity if we really want Him to heal this land.
      How much sleep have we lost in order to interceed with passion and real humility. "if my people who are called by My Name will humble themselves[and understand that only God can bring this to pass] and pray and seek My face[day after day]...."  

     Can we be honest enough with ourselves to judge whether or not that describes the intensity of our prayer life?

     Or will we just accept our country as it's easier that way....and learn to adjust? That is the history of the Church in America.

     I know where I'm going to be for the next four years......WITH GOD'S HELP AND THE HOLY SPIRIT'S GUIDANCE. Will you join me?

One more thing.  I'm struck by the connection with where we are now in this country and the narrative of this book/movie.  Give it a read.

READ: THE HARBINGER by Jonathan Cahn
SEE:  The author's interview with Pat Robertson on the 700 Club on CBN. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Forty Days of Prayer & Fasting for America

THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION!!!  You who are closest to me in spirit are the ones whom God specifically called me to write to this afternoon!
     Tomorrow, there will be a huge (we pray) gathering of Christians in Philadelphia for the purpose of calling this nation, especially the Church in America, to prayer and fasting for our country....
  • Not for a political rally...although there may be political ramifications
  • Not for a media event...although there will be media
  • Not for a prayer meeting....although there will be much prayer
     This gathering is a response to the immense grief stricken heart of God, Who cries out to His people here in our beautiful land.  It is the response to the overwhelming sense of the judgement of God which awaits us, indeed may have already began, on a land that has turned it's face from Him.
     The Old Testament stories of Gods relationship with Israel tell the same story, over and over again. Unimaginable favor followed by joy, then complacence, then apathy, then participation in the rejection of their Benefactor. We seem to be on the same track....allowing the enemy to get the upper hand in our culture, our families, our local, state, and federal governments, our media  and even in our churches.
God, who is full of grace (read Jonah) is reaching out one more time.  Will it be the last?

     As I sat in my chair this morning, asking the Lord what and how He would have me participate, this is what He put on my mind:
  1. Tune in tomorrow to a live-streaming (God TV)of the Philadelphia event....join them in prayer.
  2. Fast one hour of evening TV, spending an additional hour each evening to pray.
  3. Contact my Christian contacts via this blog and email, encouraging them to participate for the entire forty days, praying for ways in which each can fast and pray.
  4. Use a daily prayer guide:  found at 
  5. Along with confessing, worshiping, and petitioning, intecede against the  spiritual strongholds  with the authority and spiritual weapons (Word) that I have in His Name
  6. Pray earnestly for the event, Holy Spirit annointing, wisdom, guidance, purity, and participation.
     Perhaps the Lord would have you also do some or all of these things.
     Check out  The October issue has been totally devoted to this matter and is being distributed to everyone who attends the Philadelphia meeting tomorrow.  It contains all kinds of articles to encourage and instruct you in your prayers over the forty days.



Saturday, September 22, 2012

What did they see?

     Things are cooling down a little this month, at least in the evenings and during the nights.  This means that the buildings have a chance to cool down overnight and we start the day with lower temperatures.  I, too, feel that I am beginning to revive and enjoy Arizona a little more as I venture more into the outdoors. 
     The newly acquired energy will be welcome as we get ready to launch a new group for widows and single women here that will meet twice a month at my home, along with a welcoming "coffee" before the first meeting each month.  I'm very excited and looking forward to introducing the "Bouquets from My Beloved" message to a whole new group of women.  Set-up will be easier at my house and, since most women of the church live withing one to five miles from here, the location will be very convenient and a little more intimate than in a church room.
     Another of my summer activities is winding down as the "Little House on the Prairie" rewinds has run its course in the four evening  hours of each week night.  I have so enjoyed this wonderful series this summer and, the romantic that I am, I loved the romance between Laura and Almanzo.  I guess last night's chapter was in the back of my conciousness when I began my quiet time this morning.
     Listening on my IPOD and singing to a beautiful piece where the scene from Revelation 4  stimlated my imagination, I wondered with the singer what the twenty four elders saw that caused them to fall on their faces and what did the angels see that caused them to sing "Holy, Holy, Holy".  Then I thought of the word, "GLORY", the glory that surrounds God's holiness, His indescribable completeness.
     And if you know me, you know that the Holy Spirit once described God's glory to me this way:  Picture the delight on the face of a father, full of joy and love as he looks down at his child who has just won the race of his life, or a mother about to burst with pride and love when her baby takes her first steps.
     This picture gives us a hint as to the Father's delight, pride, joy, and love which fill His heart and emanate from Him...His Glory...when His creation pleases Him with obedience and returns His love.  This is why we were created!
     Back to Laura and Almanzo. They are now engaged after many ups and downs and Almonzo buys a piece of land for them.  He is so overjoyed that he races into town, grabs her away from the schoolhouse where she is assistant to the teacher, his sister, tears out of town, taking her to the piece of property. He runs up the hill, and spreading his arms open wide, his face grinning from ear to ear, and convinces her that this is where their future home will be built.  When she finally gets it, Laura leaps from the wagon, and with great joy runs up the hill and throws her arms around him. The camera switches to a birds' eye view of their hug as Almanzo swings her around and around, both of them  throwing back their heads in laughter and contagious joy. As the lens zooms farther and farther out, we are drawn into their joyful embrace and dance of delight.
    This picture seems to answer at least part of my question about the elders and angels.  The immensity of God's joy, His delight and His love for His bride, His church, as she enters into their betrothal (our response to His salvation) is so bright so intense so overwhelming that all in heaven can only respond by falling to their faces and expounding on His holiness.  They see the results bourne out from The Lord's holiness, His ability to create and nurture His people, knowing that in His perfect wisdom they will respond.  They see the complete redemption story!
     One day when the veil is dropped from our eyes, we, too,will see with perfect clarity God's joy, His delight, His love for us.  We, too, will fall on our faces and cry, "holy, holy,holy". He is there in heaven with His arms wide open, just waiting  to pick us up and swing us around as our joy brings more joy, more glory to the Father. We, too, will join that dance of pure delight!

Friday, August 24, 2012

     Well here it is the end of August....monsoon season in Arizona.  Lower temperatures (still over 100) and frequent rain showers and humidity.....reminds me of August in Florida. Only a month or so until I'll enjoy being outside again.
     One of the things I will enjoy doing  is "dancing" in the pool to my worship music.  It's glorious to leap, spin and glide with my arms upraised to My Beloved, all the while letting the water shield my joints and muscles.  I found a way to safely pocket my IPOD in my hat, and the rest was history.
     "I remember the first glance...
         I remember the first romance..
            I remember the first dance....   when I fell in love with You"
                                                                                                Misty Edwards, Eternity-Glance
This is what I wrote yesterday in my journal on that subject:

In defense of God's romantic love for me and of my romantic, passionate love for Him....

Why else would the Lord nestle in His word many descriptions of His love for me using the terms a husband would use for his bride/wife/betrothed?  These passages are there because they best describe the passionate love He has for me. Here are a few:
  • The care and precision that Abraham took to choose a bride for Isaac...a very romantic story
  • The keening of Hosea over his wayward bride, and his powerful love to restore alagory of God's grief and restoring power over His chosen people
  • Ruth's powerfully brave and romantic response to Boaz...courage to trust in the Redeemer
  • The whole of Song of Songs.... right in the middle of the Bible....God's love song to us
  • Jesus' own words refering to Himself as The Bridegroom
  • John's revelations ....the bride belongs to the Bridegroom, the wedding supper
  • The glimpses in Paul's writings of his understanding of the Bridegroom's Christ loves the Church
     Jesus is always "romancing" us. But in this sexually distorted culture, these are uncomfortable revelations, sometimes causing distortions and misunderstandings among Christians who want to avoid anything that smacks of emotionalism or eroticism. I choose not to allow these fears to rob me of His romantic gifts to me:

     ~pouring out  His gifts to me both material (provision and more) and spiritual (gifts, revelations)
     ~delighting me with new insights about Him, me and heaven and earth
     ~calling me to His side, to feel His touch, to rest with Him
     ~jealously hovering over me to guard and protect me, not willing to let me go
     ~willing to reveal more and more of Himself to me as we share our innermost secrets
     ~reveling in my times of worship for Him, ravishing His heart with one glimpse of my eyes

Jesus says to me:
     " you are totally special to Me
        you are invaluable to Me above all else
        you are Mine...I bought you with My blood
        you are still free to choose
        you are empowered with My Spirit
        you are My partner in establishing the Kingdom of God on this earth....My helpmate"
     My faith, my choice to believe these things is not only indescribably beautiful to Him but also powerful.  It truly ravishes His heart. What I accomplish and live by now in faith will be joyously perceived and seen in eternity. My joy at what I did by faith  will be indescribable ...the glory that I give to my Lord, adding to His Glory which is reflected back to me.

Jesus say to me:
     "As you ponder My romance with you, My beloved, your wedding gown is being woven and           sewn, adorned all in preparation for Our Wedding when I return for you.
      Ponder more, My beautiful bride,
      Believe more, My beloved,
      Act on what you've been given, My helpmate.

      I long for you, too."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Well, here I am again, my dear friends....

     I am medium well done and it is only late June in Phoenix.  It is almost unbearable to go outside after noon.  Even leaving for a Pet Portrait workshop at nearby PetCo at 6PM  takes all my is still 100 degrees outside.
     Tonight I have a wonderful Bible Study at my church on "knowing who I am in Christ".  Again I'll have to kick myself out the door. I get up early and try to do chores, shopping and have my quiet time during the morning hours, then often nod off for a nap while watching Fox News Special Report which airs here at 3PM instead of dinner time.  Many changes......
     These boring details point out a life lesson I'm learning.  Stangely it is this: trusting God as my Husband requires real submission to Him. This has always been hard for us women.
      When I tried to fly to Florida two weeks ago to see my friends again and attend a concert with Kari Jobe, I was stopped cold in Las Vegas.  As a long time airline pass user (thanks to my pilot-son's privileges), I was stunned, since the night before  I had been told I had a good chance. Earlier the previous week other blocks to this hair-brained quick trip had clearly been removed and I had been sure The Lord had opened the door for me to go.
      Why had the Lord led me to believe this trip was His will for me?  That was my complaint to Him all day long as I waited for a return flight to Phoenix to open up.  I kept questioning until I arrived back home at 9:45 that evening!  I added questions like:
       "Lord, why are you allowing all this time to be wasted in the Las Vegas airport?  Why have you allowed me to miss the concert I so much wanted to attend. (Kari Jobe's lyrics are a part of my book, Bouquets From My Beloved)?  Why would you let me and my friends, who had been so excited to be reunited for a short period, be so dissappointed?"  I wasn't exactly stamping my feet and demanding answers;  I truly wanted to know.
     The scripture that kept coming to me was, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Prov 3: 4-5. The only answer I've received is that I must learn to be flexible, submissive to the unknown, but cherishing care of my Husband, the Lord, who watches and guides me jealously at all times.  Perhaps one day He will tell me why.  But until then, like He said to His Father in the garden, "Not my will, but yours..."Mat 26:39. 
     So, I came away from this experience, unharmed, a little humbled, and still greatful that He, my Husband, is guiding and making my way straight....even when it seems a little crooked.  And He is still God and I am still a child learning to know who I am in Christ. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Dream

     In the dream, my husband and I had just been married.  However, repeatedly, we were surrounded by  events and matters that seemed to demand our individual attention. What we really wanted was to just be together to celebrate our love.  I awoke longing to just be with him. 
     It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out.  Ever since my husband died, I have occasionally had one version or another of this dream. I do not know the man in the dream.  But I like to believe that it is the Lord's way of calling me, of reminding me that He wants to spend more time with me. I love that. I love to know that my Heavenly Bridegroom longs to be with me.
     My life is on hold, it seems, right now.  I have all in place to teach watercolor classes and paint pet portraits. I'm praying for students to sign up and pets to paint.
     I have found my new church.  New Life Church has absorbed me into there midst.  I am waiting for the open door to minister back to them what my Beloved has given to me.
     I love peaches.  And that's why my family and I went peach picking last Saturday and are now gorging ourselves with all the treats that can be made with peaches.  Even my daughter in California seems closer when we talk on the phone.
     As the days of a brilliantly blooming desert give way to the more subtle colors of the desert and its consuming heat, I am rereading Dutch Sheets' book, Intercessory Prayer. I am so inspired to pray courageously and with the Holy Spirit's power for my family, my country, and the world.
     But my heart responds most strongly to this call from my Heavenly Husband. I love it that He longs for me, too. I love it that He wants all my attention for awhile.  I love it that He makes me feel like I'm the only one.  I asked Him how that could be.  He reminded me that He lives outside time and space...of which there is no limit.  When He draws me aside...just me...He can stay there for as long as I wish, without withholding Himself from anyone else. We spent all morning together this day...glorious!
     Sharing a few pictures:  The April desert in bloom.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Phoenix update and knowing God's thoughts

From my journal yesterday......
"Well, Lord, thank You for getting my house sold and closed.  Signed the papers today....only one small glitch needs to be solved before it is final!"

I have a Husband who is faithful to take care of me!  I have no doubt He will make it possible for me to take care of the SBA loan and my other expenses here.  One of the possibilites is my ability to teach watercolor classes and I have some doors opening up here now.  Also, I plan to advertise my "Pet Portraits" in the many pet and grooming stores in the area.

I am still uncertain about the church God has for me to settle in.  One of the things He is reminding me comes from I Sam 16:7, where Samuel was trying to understand which of Jesse's sons was to become the announted king of Israel, to succeed Saul.  As Samuel was looking over the boys, the Lord said to him, "Do not consider his appeareance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart".  Of course, the Lord chose David, the youngest and least likely to be the one.  I am praying to have that kind of discernment in this major decision.

It all boils down to  knowing God's thoughts, doesn't it?  A favorite worship song of mine, "Strings" by Misty Edwards in her "Relentless" album,  has the lyrics: 
         I want to play the strings of Your heart, God; Come play the strings of mine.
         I want to sing straight to Your heart, God; Sing straight to mine.

         Lord, You have my heart, I am searching for Yours.
         Lord, You have my thoughts, I am searching for Yours.

Back to my journal......
"I want to hear Your song, know Your heart., Lord.  I can't handle Your heart for the entire's needs are so overwhelming to me.  But, Lord, I want to know Your song for me and my loved ones, for those to whom I can minister...let me know Your heart for them."


Monday, April 2, 2012

The Blooming Desert!

It has been awhile since I last wrote.....I've had a few distractions in the last three weeks:
~~packing up and loading all my furniture into a huge Budget rental truck, and cleaning up the mess before leaving my beloved little artist's cottage on the lake in Deerfield Beach.  However, the next day, as Scott(son), Mary (his wife), and Brendan (grandson) climbed into the truck, and Kimmi (granddaughter), Clifford (dog), Krissy (cat) and I squeezed into my car, I didn't look back.  I was ready to see what's next on the Lord's plan for me.
~~driving 14 hours a day for 3 days,  kitty meows at least 50% of the time, dog vomit twice, and was nearly run off the road by a huge 18 wheeler, and driving 8 hours on the last day before unloading into my new desert dwelling just before the sun went down.  We had arrived! 2400 miles! Krissy and Clifford and I were home!
Thank you for your prayers! Despite it all, we are all safe. Kimmi and Brendan were great and very helpful, walking Clifford, carrying cat carrier, cat litter bag and supplies, plus, computers and bags every night into the Embassy Suites, and pumping my gas 2 or 3 times each day.  Scott, stopping often for potty breaks, was patient as I got slower and slower loading up every morning.
 Mary, who had flown back  to Phoenix on Wednesday, had left the refrigerator of my new house stocked with enough to get by for a few days, cleaning products, new towels and decor in the baths, laundry soap, etc, a vacuum cleaner, garbage bags, an assortment of sweets and snacks, greeting door ma, colorful "welcome" door wreath, and a beautiful large potted brilliant purple plant on the the front porch.   I was so blessed.  The desert was already blooming.
Since then I have been making this my home....moving furniture around, unpacking 50 some boxes, hanging towels, curtains and clothes, and turning my breakfast nook into a great little mini-office adjoining my kitchen.  As I had hoped, a part of my garage has become my artist's studio as well as keeping my car sheltered from the heat, etc. Then there have been the electronic wars for TVs, Computers, telephone (including a new more complicated cell phone), remotes...not my best area of adjustment.  But we are all up and GO!
Next, my ventures out to grocery stores (I rediscovered my treasured Trader Joe's), hardware,  Goodwill and Target stocked us up with the necessaries. I found Brendan's football practice one evening as I took him there and watched in the chilly AZ evening; and Scott and I watched his first game of the season way out in Apache Junction (sounds real "western", doesn't it), then picked up Kimmi and came back here for spaghetti and meatballs and Monopoly (Denver Broncos style). Mary was flying (working).  Pure joy to have them for dinner and fun.
I visited a church which I had scoped out while in Florida on the Internet. Mountain Park Community Church is about 10 minutes or less from home, and I'm pretty sure it will be my home church. It is about the size of SRC and very active.  Womens' Bible Study is doing Beth Moore's "Daniel", and now her study is on Revelation.  Tonight I will be attending a Seder dinner.  Friday, instead of a Good Friday service, they have a "Stations of the Cross" event where we can actually journey through the scripture and historical accounts of the events, and climb the small mountain behind the church up to the cross.
I have asked the Lord each week when I attended services at 10:45 on Sunday for a confirmation.  The first week the pastor's sermon was part of a year long series about getting to know Jesus more intimately and I liked it very much. Then this last Sunday, I asked again, and was almost blown away when a drama was performed between Pete (Peter) and Andy (Andrew) from the audience and then on the stage as they hilariously maneuvered their way through the Palm Sunday crowds, and then pondered on the washing of their feet by the Lord at the upper room. I loved what I saw and heard from the pastor.  I only wish the worship was know me. 
And all around me the desert is breaking into spring bloom (along with the allergies).  It truly is spectacular.  My next goal is to take some pictures and send them out by email. The weather is mild, cool in the mornings, warmer in the afternoons and yes, very dry.  But I feel better and am not suffering the terrible fatigue that was plaguing me in the Florida heat and humidity.
Most of all, though, I really do miss you!  That is the huge void here and no amount of activity or comfort can erase that.  Sniff, sniff.....
Thanks for plowing through this....thought you might like to know the details of God's faithfulness to me.  I'll try to keep the next posts much shorter and less self-centered. 
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

What I'm looking forward to in the desert

     One of my big concerns in moving to Phoenix is the loss of the lush Florida flora...the green, the colors, the jungle, the fruits from my trees...and the fauna....the ducks, water birds, iguanas, squirrels, and other visitors to my back yard.  I've lived in Phoenix before for seven years before my husband died and I know the monotone landscape that is everywhere except where thoughtful gardeners have planted trees, and fought the summer heat to keep their grass and shrubs alive.

     And then I remember my mother's patio garden which she started each January when she and Daddy came to their home in Sun City to escape the Denver winter each year.  She filled at least a dozen huge pots with soil and fertilizer and petunias, begonias, allisum, and so many other plants I can't name and nurtured them until they spilled out like waterfalls.  Then she teased and fed her roses and other perenials into full bloom in just a few weeks, it seemed, while all the neighbors came down to oooh and aaaah. It was truly the desert in bloom.
     Then about a week ago during my quiet time in the morning, I heard the Lord speaking to my heart that He is taking me back to the desert where I will  experience the desert in bloom!  And just to confirm it (I wasn't really sure if that message wasn't just hopeful thinking), that evening as I got into bed and picked up Richard Brooks' commentary on the Song of Songs, I saw it again!  I usually only get a page read before I nod off, but this time I chuckled....knowing my Bridegroom was turning my doubts into certainty.... a lovely good-night bouquet of love.
     Brooks was refering to Song of Songs 2: 1-2 where the Lover calls Himself the rose of Sharon, and His beloved replys that she is a "lily amongst the thorns". Brooks was linking this to a beautiful prophecy of Isaiah's about Israel, which also speaks to us each individually.
 The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
  the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
 it shall blossom abundantly
  and rejoice with joy and singing.
 The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
  the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
 They shall see the glory of the LORD,
  the majesty of our God.
(Isaiah 35:1-2 ESV)".
     So I went to sleep that night and since with a true assurance that this move will not be to a drab monotone but to a blooming desert....which is the most unusual and exotic scene you can imagine... with all the cacti sprouting brilliantly colored flower bonnets.  I can't wait to experience what all that means.  But I'll be telling you......just as soon as I can get past this giant chore of moving.   I hope to keep writing weekly, but forgive me if I miss once in a while until I get set up again there. 



Friday, February 10, 2012

Cleaning out the garage

I just spent many hours writing my monthly article for The Good News/FL newspaper, March edition. It is about Redemption.  I got the idea several weeks ago, when there was much chatter on the news about Newt Ginrich's conversion, and his belief that he has been forgiven and has changed.

It made me think about what really happens when we become "born again".  I know all the Christian doctrines and believe them with all my heart, but how often have I taken each one out and dusted it off and re-examined it, allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me something new about this invaluable inheritance we have from God the Father, because of God the Son's act of redemption for us.
It was more than just His love for us that gave us new life.  It was the redemption price, the cup of wrath....with all its blood and suffering... that paid the price for my helpless fallen state.  In Misty Edward's new release, The Measure of a Man, she sings a 13 minute spontaneous song called The Harlot that paints this picture even better than the movie, The Passion of the Christ.  

Our sinful state is nothing to make light of, regardless of how much God loves us, His created ones. It infects our minds, motives, personalities, will, self-image,  and actions with our own selfishness, pride, arrogance, and all the deceptions of the devil, the evil one.  That's why the story of Adam and Eve's fall is so crucial to us still.  They had ALL of God's love and attention, but fell to the deception of the devil, becoming aware now of good and evil.  God could no longer have them in His paradise that He had made for them.  He is completely without sin and unable to abide with it. The Bible is very clear that this separation has been passed down though ALL generations; only His grace at the time allowed those who had faith to have a relationship with Him.  

In my article, I write about the plan that the Trinity had before even the foundations of the world to have the Son, at the Father's desire and command, go down to earth and pay this awful price for the root of sin in our lives.  They desire to have a relationship with us....a spiritual family, sharing intimate love with each other, and changing the world around us with that love. But it demanded a price...a redemption fee....the Blood of the Lamb of God.  It is only by faith and acceptance of this vital truth that we experience this "new birth".  We were bought with a price.  We must believe that.  And that is the Holy Spirit's give us wisdom and understanding of all that Jesus has done for us.  What a plan!

Read the article in the March issue titled I am redeemed!

Back to the title of this blog, I guess this was sort of a week of very hard work (the price I paid) in order to now have a manageable and user-friendly storage closet (which is my garage since I really don't have one).  I have to move all this stuff in 4 weeks, and that was the motivation behind it.
Not the best analogy, but the best idea I could come up with.

See you next week.  Don't forget to put your email address in the email notification box at the top right, so you'll know when I write again.  AND....please let me know what you think. Just click on the word comments below, write, and click on publish

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Election Day in Florida

As a Fox News junky, the election is really on my mind today. Like most of my friends, I feel this is a critical time in our country.  As a Christian, we've seen the results of a liberal, progressive government and are shuddering in dread at what the future might hold if that doesn't change. 

I believe Christians have a critically important role to play in this.  Of course, we must be informed.  I repeat WE MUST BE INFORMED, and there is no excuse for not spending the time in this endeavor. That is why I prefer Fox News because I believe you can get both sides of most issues, and although many of the commentators have specific viewpoints, they do allow the other side to voice their points.  This is an incredible gift to us, considering many countries and much of the world do not have the ability to make an informed choice if and when they can vote.  I know it's one more thing I have to do, but the alternative is the pollitical pit we are in.

Second, my next top prioritiy is to pray for wisdom to interpret all the information I've ingested. Without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I am just like the great mass of people who hear a few news clips, see a few political ads, and who vote for the guy that their friend is voting for. This election is far too important for that.

James 1:5-8    If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

I lack wisdom, so here's my prayer this morning.
Oh, Lord, how we need You to help us elect a new president who will restore us to the American Dream  - the pattern which came from You in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.  Lord, help us to once again be a nation that honors You and is a light on a hill, a Christian nation, an example of God's grace, where all can be inspired to do their best and love one another.

Father, put into place the man who can lead us in these paths, and break through the greed, selfishness, and political power and wealth conclaves.  If not Santorum, my first choice, keep us from making a terrible mistake, and from losing the election to President Obama.  When I vote this afternoon, help me to know for whom to vote.

Forgive us Christians, Lord, for taking our freedom for granted, for being deceived into bellieving the sugarcoated lies of those who have selfish and misguided motives.  Forgive us for not taking the time to be informed, to pray, and to vote.

I pray specifically for Newt Ginrich, Lord, that You will continue to reveal Yourself to him, that his  heart will be sincerely humble and open to Your love and guidance.  I pray for Your protection around him from the Deceiver, the Corruptor, from pride, selfishness and other weaknesses.  Help him to listen to his advisors and place wise advisiors around him; and if it is Your will, place him in the presidency.

I pray for Your widosm for Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul also, Lord.  Help them to really know You .  Help them not to lose sight of your presense and power in their lives. Give them all a will to be obedient and humble before You and those they serve, and help them to listen to Your leading.  Thank You that all these candidates proclaim You as their Saviour.  Help them to be entirely sincere in their politics, as well as their private lives.

     Let Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
           on earth, Lord, as it is in heaven.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Is He listening?

A week ago I awoke with a real sense of anxiety...the preparations and repercussions of the move, my dog, Clifford, has diarhea again, and a lot of pain in my body.  As I walked Clifford, I cried out to my Lord, my Husband, to come alongside me.  Be my strength, my wisdom, my source of provision. "I have so much to do this week and Kathleen, my sister, is coming tonight.  Take my yoke on Your massive shoulders and hold me tight", I whispered. 
Then followed a list of specific requests:
  • What do I feed Clifford?
  • Let the plumber come tomorrow on time to fix the leak under the sink.
  • Help me get the emails out about Kathleen's performance on time.
  • Most of all, keep me close to You, my Love.
John 2:1-12
Jesus came to the rescue of some friends and His mother at the wedding at Cana.  I believe He did this out of compassion and love for them.  Also, He listened to His mother's concerns;  she knew Him and His heart and tapped into that even when she knew that there were far more improtant things on His mind.  And He listened to her and her request, and then her command to the the servants spoken in absolute faith that He would answer.

vs.3 When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."  "Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come."  His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you".
vs. 7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"' so they filled them to the brim.  Then He told them, " Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet".

And we know how this first quiet miracle of the Lord turned out.  The water had turned to an excellent wine, better than had been previously served and depleted.

Oh, Lord, thank You for reminding me that you care about even the small things in my life.  You always hear my requests, and mercifully and graciously answer them even better than I expect.  I love You, my Lord, my Husband. Let me be bold and step out in faith as Your mother did, knowing that Your Holy Spirit empowers me, teaches me, gives me wisdom, leads me, and dwells within me at all times. Amen
PS All those prayers were answered perfectly!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What are you seeking?

     I find myself preoccupied with the many tasks I have to accomplish today, among them writing this blog on a regular basis.  It is my way of keeping in contact with you, my friends and dear ones, and perhaps finding new followers as I prepare to move to Phoenix in March, and leave so many behind here in Florida.
    John 1:29-42
    So I come to you, Lord, like Andrew and John did when they heard their rabbi, John the Baptist(JTB) point out Jesus as the Lamb of God.  Coming from JTB this was a weighty title.  It meant something to them other than a casual reference.  They grasped the spiritual attributes of a Lamb of God without understanding why JTB might have called Jesus that.
    So, they went to Jesus and perhaps listened to Him as He interacted with the people around Him.  This was the beginning of His ministry immediately after JTB baptized Him and, perhaps, even before His wilderness experience with the Devil's temptations, and as yet there were probably no crowds.
      And Jesus, amazingly, asked, "What are you seeking?"(ESB) or "What do you want?"(NIV) They didn't really know...they just wanted to check Him out, be near to Him.  After they had followed Him to where He was staying that night, Andrew even went and got his brother, Peter, and brought him to see this man whom they now believed was the Messiah.
    I've often wondered if I would recognize Him if I lived then and in those circumstances.  And then I remember another scripture, John 15:16, where Jesus tells His disciples, "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last."
     You, Lord, it's really all about You, isn't it? You are the One who draws us to You, and the first thing You do is ask us, "What are you seeking?"  Well, Lord, I could travel down that road for a long time this morning, but I feel an urgency to get on to my work.  So, in answer to Your question, this morning I say:
  • Thank You for caring about me and what I need...specifically for this day.
  • Thank You that I know You will answer me in the most creative way, and I will watch for that answer.
  • Thank You that nothing I want or need is too insignificant that You don't have a comment or an answer for me.
  • Lord, I need help with my computer and its problems.
  • Lord, I need help and energy to perform the tasks ahead of me in preparation for the move.
  • Lord, I want You to connect my friends on a regular basis to this blog, so we can keep in contact, sharing our spiritual and not so spiritual journeys.
Thank You, my Beloved, for asking "What are you seeking?"

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My heart burns for You....

In my walk this morning with earbuds in place, I listened to an album, Consumed, by Jesus Culture,and the refrain " heart burns for You..." kept coming to me over and over again when I returned and sat down to have my quiet time (QT) with the Lord.

Lord, how do we get to the point where You are more than just a "household Name" in our lives? What makes my heart burn for You? Another song in this album says, "We are Your burning ones". Lord, help me to understand how to set my heart on fire for You.

Mat. 2:1 - 23 and John 1:1-18
Just meditating on the real effects of Jesus' birth on His family, His visitors, and His neighbors...all were profoundly empacted by "Immanuel", God with us, most tragically, the families who lost baby boys after the Wise mens' visit. How long did it take for them to understand and accept that these children died because Jesus lived and was among them? Did they blame God the Father? Bodie Thoene's historical fiction series, A.D. Chronicles, include a shepherd who was one of those, who became bitter and then was converted later during Jesus' ministry.

But John's first few verses speak most to me of the revelation of the incarnation of God, the Word, amongst us.
Vs. 18 No one has ever [completely]seen God; the only God [Jesus] who is at the Fathers's side has made Him known!
Known to those who saw Him then
Known to those who have heard and read about Him since
Known to me

Lord, You chose to reveal Yourself to me, individually! You chose to make Yourself real to me, to tell me in so many ways that You love ME! You are always behind me, beside me, and in front of me.....I feel Your touch when I cry out for it. You answer little prayers like the one I prayed at the beginning of this entry, and You teach me about Yourself. This is Your gift to each of us who choose to believe. You have made Yourself known to me!

That makes my heart burn!