Posted in Journal

Love, given quietly

Last night I attended a community Thanksgiving Service at the church of my childhood. (Virtually, of course). Poplar Spring Baptist Church in Shelby, NC. Although more on the outskirts of Boiling Springs. It brought back so many great memories of Thanksgiving, Christmas plays and cantatas, Sunday night singings, dinners on the ground. Sunday School, Training Union, GAs and Acteens, Youth Choir.

Poplar Springs is the church where my dad and my brother were ordained. The church where my dad and my sister had their funerals and are now buried. The church that took us in and helped raise us after my dad died. The chuch where Dan and I were married. Then too, the church my mom and stepdad got married in. So many good people and so many good memories! I share this because since I am no longer there it is a piece of my life I have seldom revisited in person since I left Shelby in 1996. But, oh did that virtual visit make me homesick.

This is the church our family cleaned for years while my dad was preparing to go into the ministry. We cleaned every day of every week. Certain chores had to be done and we all had our assignments so that everything was nice and clean at service times and special times. We also did all the lawns, including the cemetery. Many were the days I sat out in the graveyard trimming the grass around tombstones with a pair of scissors.

Back then, we cleaned the toilets by hand, and there were about 20 of them. Cleaning toilets, though, in my opinion, was not the nastiest job – cleaning out the cigarette urns and picking up all the cigarette butts from the front steps was!!!! Boy, times have changed. Some say that change is not good, but I appreciate that there aren’t many men congregating outside on the church’s front steps to smoke these days.

I learned about missions and sharing the gospel, and I learned the Word of God at this church. I loved the youth group and youth choir, but as an awkward seventh grader, my parents had to force me to go because I was so shy. I am so glad they forced me. I learned to honor the elderly by visiting the shut-ins and the nursing home down the street. We didn’t do it just on special occasions. We just went. At first, I visited with my dad and later on my own. I have such good memories of those I met there.

I am so thankful for this place and all they instilled in me in those years. I am so grateful that they made sure I felt loved and cared for. These were a special people, and many (maybe most) have now moved on or passed on. Nothing much stayed the same except those stained glass windows and the pianist still playing all these years later. Oh yes….and what they placed in my heart. It is still there!

Love others and as God blesses you, bless others. Where would I be today had this church family not given sacrificially and faithfully to me and mine? They gave not just once but often over the years. These were not people that had great worldly wealth. They were farmers, teachers, nurses, and business people. I had no idea back then because they gave quietly. But I did know they were always there, ready to encourage or correct. They provided, and in the process, God used them to teach me to be a giver too. I am thankful that I learned all those years ago that LOVE feels great – oh yes, it does!

But, LOVE also looks like something. Maybe a smile, perhaps a visit, or sometimes it looks like a warm house. Love looks like many things given as needed – and now and then, given quietly!

Stained Glass: Trust the Artist

If You Think

If you think I’m selfish, you don’t know me.

If you think I’m weak when you see my tears fall as I cry out of my brokenness, my deepest hurts, or my burdens (or out of yours), you don’t really know me.

If you thought I  wouldn’t survive attacks of deception set to destroy everything I have hope and faith in, then you really don’t know me.

If you think you have me in a place that doesn’t line up with the place God called me to,  you REALLY don’t know me!

If you think you have the right to speak negative things over me or my family or friends, and that I will let it go – then you REALLY, REALLY don’t know me!

If you think I will eventually give up or give in, and that is a part of a grander scheme, then frankly, you don’t know anything about me at all. I learned early on giving up is never an option.

So if you think I will give up on you … well, you should know this about me – I definitely won’t.

Because I have the power of the Holy Ghost burning on the inside of me, and I have the authority to decree and declare God’s Word over every inch and detail of my life. Every Word over every detail. I love the details and you are somewhere in my details.

Words

I believe in who HE is and who HE says I am. I believe Him, who holds my beginnings and all the steps of this journey! I believe that the great I AM resides with me always! I will stand and believe that for you too!

I believe this scripture, (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds); Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

I believe we create or tear down with our words. They are chosen. What are you saying?

I see words that build up as brick and mortar.

I hear words that tear down the same brick and mortar – over and over until the piles become impassable walls. What are you saying?

I can honestly say I lived by natural words for a long time, and they defined much of who I was. Living like that kept me broken, of low esteem and little confidence.

My fault. I gave permission to build up as mortar and bricks but then turned around and gave permission to tear it all down.

No more!

Be careful what you say. Speak words that build and declare the glory of God. Speak Words of LIFE!

Be careful what you hear! Listen only to Words of life!

Be quick to believe what He says about you! Be quick to discard words that don’t fit PERFECTLY with who He says you are.

Stained Glass

Don’t force the glass into just any part of the fame, or you will break it. There is a place designed for each piece. Trust the artist!

One of the last phases of stained glass creation is when the artist places the painted glass in a kiln, so the paint fuses with the glass.

Your story is your story. It is fused into the fiber of your being and really into mine too. There are different layers of washes and paint that step-by-step bring out all of our glorious details.

If we live in Christ, then we must believe we are the Temple. Step back and look at the stained glass windows. They reveal the whole story and it is breathtaking!

Trust the artist!!!

Posted in Journal

On Birthdays, Military Life, and Freedom

Next week, I will celebrate my 60th birthday, and this week we celebrated Veterans Day. This particular time, combined with everything going on in this country, has caused me to look back and write down a few thoughts.

As a young married couple, Dan was in the Navy and deployed when I gave birth to our daughter. Meagan and I stayed with my mom for several months so I wouldn’t be alone. We then moved to Zion, Illinois. It was the first time I had ever been away from home for more than a couple of days.

When James was born two years later, Dan was there; but he left for a deployment when James was six-weeks-old. That time I stayed in Navy housing with my two babies. Don’t ever think that our military members (and their families) don’t pay a price well beyond a small paycheck for our freedoms. Do we regret that life or that circumstance? No way!!!!

No way, no regrets….but there were many weeks we ate soup and crackers daily so our kids could have what they needed. We lived far away from our families, back in the day before internet and cheap phone service (one 5 minute call per week was all we could afford). When Dan’s mother took a turn for the worse and died of cancer, we were too far away to get back in time. It was a price – but then we saw our country step in to send us back to PA to be with family for the funeral.

The nation watched the TV as CNN covered the Gulf War. I did too, alone at first. But then I watched with a community of wives as we went through it together. Are there wives that go astray? Yes! But most military wives that I met were struggling to keep their families taken care of while their husbands were gone. Our husbands (like so many others) were in the middle of that gulf. We helped each other in so many ways. We helped each other through the day to day chores, with childcare for doctor’s visits and to even go buy groceries (since at that time the commissary did not allow children), and we helped with the emotions military life brings. These were the things our children couldn’t provide and our husbands couldn’t provide – they were in a war! It was quite a great community of women – stronger than any of us knew.

It isn’t easy to be the one to leave; it isn’t easy to be the one to stay. Regrets? No, not one!!!! Complaints? Never!

Things of value rarely come without costs. Those were hard days, but precious days for us. When apart, we wrote letters to each other every day. When together, we sat at dinner and talked and dreamed of our future. We read books, walked in parks, flew kites, and fished. Those days helped make us who we are today, and those days were indeed some of the greatest of our lives.

Money can’t buy so many great things, but so many don’t know that because they are distracted by the things money can buy.

Dan and I were always very proud to do our part for this country. We knew at the time, and we know now that there is a price for our freedoms. We knew, and we volunteered for it. What a gift those prices now have become. Because of them, our freedoms hold great value to our family. We don’t take them lightly. We know that even if things get hard or we face challenges and even temporary separations, we can make it if we press on as a team.

When your spouse is gone for months on end and then comes back for a little while only to leave again…you both learn quickly not to make each other pay a $5 price for a one-cent bill, or you will spend your entire time together fighting. Time is precious. Love one another and don’t take each other for granted, or the things they do daily.

And never, never take your neighbors for granted because you never know that it might be you next in dire need of help or support or just a friendly ear!

Laugh every chance you get.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, stay in His Word, and in prayer. Serve Him and let everything you do flow from Him.

Posted in Journal

You Must Wait

Does anyone read poetry anymore? I never hear anyone talk about it much. As a young girl, I remember all I wanted to be in this world was a poet. I don’t know who wrote this poem, but it touches my heart because I am once again in a place of waiting, and this season of waiting has been a hard one. I have been tempted to run, but I haven’t. I have been tempted to give up, but I haven’t.  Oh yes, I have been tempted over and over, but I sit here and wait with God’s help. Still, let’s say I haven’t fully learned the discipline of waiting gracefully…yet!!! But I am trying.

I hope this beautiful poem, that I originally published in my FB notes on this day in 2009, touches you the way it has touched me once again this morning.

You Must Wait  

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master gently said,

“Child, you must wait.”  

“Wait? You say, wait!” was my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or, have You not heard?
By faith I have asked and am claiming Your Word.  

My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me WAIT?
I’m needing a ‘yes,’ a ‘go-ahead’ sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.  

And Lord, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!”  

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting… for what?”  

He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause the mountains to run.  

All you seek I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want – but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.  

You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust by knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.  

You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You’d know that I live and I save… (for a start),
But you’d not know the depth and love of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.  

You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight could come true,
But, oh, the LOSS if I lost what I’m doing in you!  

Be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And, though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still ‘WAIT.’”  

~Author Unknown

The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him.  It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:25-26

Posted in Journal

The Unreached

Ask of Me, and I will assuredly give [You] the nations as Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth as Your possession. ~ Psalm 2:8

Andorra 🇦🇩
Afghanistan 🇦🇫
Azerbaijan 🇦🇿
Bahamas 🇧🇸
Belarus 🇧🇾
Belgium 🇧🇪
Benin 🇧🇯
Bhutan 🇧🇹
Botswana 🇧🇼
Burkina Faso 🇧🇫
Burundi 🇧🇮
Central African Republic 🇨🇫
Chad 🇹🇩
Comoros 🇰🇲
Cuba 🇨🇺
Cyprus 🇨🇾
Djibouti 🇩🇯
Dominica 🇩🇲
Equatorial Guinea 🇬🇶
Eritrea 🇪🇷
Fiji 🇫🇯
Finland 🇫🇮
Gabon 🇬🇦
Gambia 🇬🇲
Guatemala 🇬🇹
Guinea 🇬🇳
Guinea-Bissau 🇬🇼
Guyana 🇬🇾
Holy See 🇻🇦
Hungary 🇭🇺
Iceland 🇮🇸
Iran 🇮🇷
Kazakhstan 🇰🇿
Kiribati 🇰🇮
Kyrgyzstan 🇰🇬
Kuwait 🇰🇼
Laos 🇱🇦
Latvia 🇱🇻
Lesotho 🇱🇸
Liberia 🇱🇷
Libya 🇱🇾
Liechtenstein 🇱🇮
Madagascar 🇲🇬
Maldives 🇲🇻
Mali 🇲🇱
Marshall Islands 🇲🇭
Micronesia 🇫🇲
Monaco 🇲🇨
Mongolia 🇲🇳
Montenegro 🇲🇪
Morocco 🇲🇦
Namibia 🇳🇦
Nauru 🇳🇷
Niger 🇳🇪
North Korea 🇰🇵
North Macedonia 🇲🇰
Palau 🇵🇼
Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬
Palestine (State of) 🇵🇸
Saint Lucia 🇱🇨
Samoa 🇼🇸
San Marino 🇸🇲
Senegal 🇸🇳
Sierra Leone 🇸🇱
Slovakia 🇸🇰
Somalia 🇸🇴
South Sudan 🇸🇸
Sudan 🇸🇩
Syria 🇸🇾
Tajikistan 🇹🇯
Timor-Leste 🇹🇱
Togo 🇹🇬
Tonga 🇹🇴
Turkmenistan 🇹🇲
Tuvalu 🇹🇻
Uzbekistan 🇺🇿
Vanuatu 🇻🇺

Congo
DR Congo
Cote d’lvoire
Eswatini
Say Tome & Principe

Posted in Journal

An Awfully Big Dream

According to Google, there are 195 nations in the world. Since making my blog “public” two years ago, it has now reached 133 of them. It fills me with joy to know that it has gone where I have not been able to. Even so, I still have a deep desire to go and teach the Word, love on and pray for people, and see God move in mighty ways. But there has been no green light when opportunity arises these last years.

As we entered the Easter season, I began a forty-day fast. Then a couple of days in came the pandemic. What a challenge! But God gave me two prayer warriors whose prayers helped carry me through. And then at the end of the fast I heard this from the Lord. “Tarry there until you are endued with power.”  I didn’t understand it. Tarry where? Though I have prayed and pondered and preached on the Holy Ghost, I still wasn’t exactly sure how it was applicable to me. This morning I wrote these words as a part of my prayer. I believe as He often does for me that God speaks to me as I write things.

“Old dreams with new anointing by the power of the Holy Ghost will carry you into this next season and usher you through. You will go deep but you will also be required to navigate the currents in the deepest and sometimes loneliest places. You will think you are drowning, but take comfort in My heart and relax as best you can. Though it will be hard, try to stay above water and wait there…until you are endued with power. Then I will come pull you from the riptide. When I do and you are safely back on shore, when you come to, you will see that during the time of struggle this turned into a season of dreams come true…My dreams in you.”

So what are the old dreams? I dream of a life of missions. Is it crazy that in this hour, I just want to GO?!!! I dream of teaching the Word and fulfilling the call to disciple. I dream of praying for others and seeing the miraculous. I dream of igniting others with the desire for prayer and the Word that He placed in me. I dream that God would take my writing (such as it is) and do a work. I dream of writing by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Missions, the Word, prayer, the miraculous, writing! It seems all over the place, but it is all very precise.

Perhaps in these next years, I will be able to touch the other 62 nations in some way. Wouldn’t it be so amazing, when it is time to go to my heavenly home, to have touched every country in the world and to be greeted in heaven by those same nations? That is my “impossible” dream!!!!

Father, would You give me the nations? As I pray for them and find out more about them would You show me how to use this tool to reach those across the world? Lord, I know it is an awfully big dream. I fully knowing it is something only You can do. Is it Your dream, Lord? I ask again today for the nations as my inheritance…according to Your Word….in Jesus’ holy and precious Name!!! Amen!!!

——

On the list below are the nations touched by the blog. I always put up their flags and I hope on your device you can see them. Being in possession of a nations flag symbolizes victory. That is why I do it. Plus, I think they are beautiful.

——

The Reached

A
Albania 🇦🇱
Algeria 🇩🇿
American Samoa 🇦🇸
Angola 🇦🇴
Antigua 🇦🇬
Argentina 🇦🇷
Armenia 🇦🇲
Austria 🇦🇹
Australia 🇦🇺

B
Bahamas 🇧🇸
Bahrain 🇧🇭
Bangladesh 🇧🇩
Barbados 🇧🇧
Barbuda 🇦🇬
Belize 🇧🇿
Bolivia 🇧🇴
Bosnia 🇧🇦
Brazil 🇧🇷
Brunei 🇧🇳
Bulgaria 🇧🇬

C
Cambodia 🇰🇭
Cameroon 🇨🇲
Canada 🇨🇦
Chile 🇨🇱
China 🇨🇳
Colombia 🇨🇴
Costa Rica 🇨🇷
Croatia 🇭🇷
Curaçao 🇨🇼
Czech Republic 🇨🇿

D
Denmark 🇩🇰
Dominican Republic 🇩🇴

E
Ecuador 🇪🇨
Egypt 🇪🇬
El Salvador 🇸🇻
Estonia 🇪🇪
Ethiopia 🇪🇹
European Union 🇪🇺

F
Fiji 🇫🇯
France 🇫🇷

G
Georgia 🇬🇪
Germany 🇩🇪
Ghana 🇬🇭
Greece 🇬🇷
Grenada 🇬🇩
Guam 🇬🇺
Guatemala 🇬🇹
Guernsey 🇬🇬

H
Haiti 🇭🇹
Herzegovina 🇧🇦
Honduras 🇭🇳
Hong Kong 🇭🇰
Hungary 🇭🇺

I
Iraq 🇮🇶
India 🇮🇳
Indonesia 🇮🇩
Ireland 🇮🇪
Isle of Man 🇮🇲
Israel 🇮🇱
Italy 🇮🇹

J
Jamaica 🇯🇲
Japan 🇯🇵
Jordan 🇯🇴

K
Kenya 🇰🇪
Kuwait 🇰🇼

L
Latvia 🇱🇻
Lebanon 🇱🇧
Lithuania 🇱🇹
Luxembourg 🇱🇺

M
Macedonia 🇲🇰
Malawi 🇲🇼
Malaysia 🇲🇾
Malta 🇲🇹
Mauritius 🇲🇺
Mexico 🇲🇽
Moldova 🇲🇩
Mozambique 🇲🇿
Myanmar (Burma) 🇲🇲

N
Namibia 🇳🇦
Nepal 🇳🇵
Netherlands 🇳🇱
New Zealand 🇳🇿
Nicaragua 🇳🇮
Nigeria 🇳🇬
Norway 🇳🇴

O
Oman 🇴🇲

P
Pakistan 🇵🇰
Panama 🇵🇦
Paraguay 🇵🇾
Peru 🇵🇪
Philippines 🇵🇭
Poland 🇵🇱
Portugal 🇵🇹
Puerto Rico 🇵🇷

Q
Qatar 🇶🇦

R
Romania 🇷🇴
Russia 🇷🇺
Reunion 🇫🇷
Rwanda 🇷🇼

S
Samoa 🇼🇸
Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
Serbia 🇷🇸
Seychelles 🇸🇨
Singapore 🇸🇬
Slovenia 🇸🇮
Sri Lanka 🇱🇰
Solomon Islands 🇸🇧
South Africa 🇿🇦
South Korea 🇰🇷
Spain 🇪🇸
St. Vincent and Grenadines
Suriname 🇸🇷
Swaziland 🇸🇿
Sweden 🇸🇪
Switzerland 🇨🇭

T
Taiwan 🇹🇼
Tanzania 🇹🇿
Thailand 🇹🇭
Tobago 🇹🇹
Trinidad 🇹🇹
Tunisia 🇹🇳
Turkey 🇹🇷

U
Uganda 🇺🇬
Ukraine 🇺🇦
United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪
United Kingdom 🇬🇧
United States of America 🇺🇸
Uruguay 🇺🇾

V
Venezuela 🇻🇪
Vietnam 🇻🇳

Y
Yemen 🇾🇪

Z
Zambia 🇿🇲
Zimbabwe 🇿🇼

Posted in Journal

Today the Message is Silent

Perhaps a decade ago, a man sent me a message via Facebook, because he thought he might know some of my family from Rutherford County, NC from back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. As it turned out, this man, who I have known as Pastor Clyde, did know some of my family back in the days of their youth. He moved away from NC and spent his life pastoring in FL and TN. We became FB friends and shared stories and testimonies of life. He started checking in here and there, and every single morning from the very day I “met” him, he sent me an email titled, “Message From The Mountain.”

This morning the “Message” was missing from my inbox, and since that was so odd, I looked on FB and read that Pastor Clyde had gone to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I will miss him and the messages. They were not airy,  feel-good, or even in-depth philosophical devotionals written by a minister with a huge following. Instead, each message was a deep heartfelt fresh Word, written by a man who passionately loved his Lord and loved and cared for his reader’s personal and spiritual lives.

From the hills of Tennessee, Pastor Clyde woke up each morning, got his coffee, and sat before his PC with his Bible. There he allowed the Holy Ghost to speak through him. He brought Words of exhortation and comfort, prophetic and teaching Words, very often Words of correction. His messages were driven by the eternal and unchanging Word of God – always!

On rare days, Pastor Clyde would give only a statement that the Holy Ghost didn’t give him anything to write for that day.  “Maybe God wants to speak to you directly today,” he would add. And you know, I think I appreciated that honesty and humility and encouragement more than anything else. What a lesson!!!!

Thank you, Pastor Clyde, for reaching out to someone from your hometown, just because my name peaked your interest. Thanks for your years of caring and for serving our great God and our Savior, Jesus! What a divine connection it has been.

The “Message From The Mountain” has now gone silent, but I will take what God gave me in this last decade, and I will not only continue to move forward, but I will also do my best to run with all that was imparted.  Maybe God wants to speak to me directly today.

Posted in Journal

Today the Message Is Silent

Perhaps a decade ago, a man sent me a message via Facebook, because he thought he might know some of my family from Rutherford County, NC from back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. As it turned out, this man, who I have known as Pastor Clyde, did know some of my family back in the days of their youth. He moved away from NC and spent his life pastoring in FL and TN. We became FB friends and shared stories and testimonies of life. He started checking in here and there, and every single morning from the very day I “met” him, he sent me an email titled, “Message From The Mountain.”

This morning the “Message” was missing from my inbox, and since that was so odd, I looked on FB and read that Pastor Clyde had gone to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I will miss him and the messages. They were not airy,  feel-good, or even in-depth philosophical devotionals written by a minister with a huge following. Instead, each message was a deep heartfelt fresh Word, written by a man who passionately loved his Lord and loved and cared for his reader’s personal and spiritual lives.

From the hills of Tennessee, Pastor Clyde woke up each morning, got his coffee, and sat before his PC with his Bible. There he allowed the Holy Ghost to speak through him. He brought Words of exhortation and comfort, prophetic and teaching Words, very often Words of correction. His messages were driven by the eternal and unchanging Word of God – always!

On rare days, Pastor Clyde would give only a statement that the Holy Ghost didn’t give him anything to write for that day.  “Maybe God wants to speak to you directly today,” he would add. And you know, I think I appreciated that honesty and humility and encouragement more than anything else. What a lesson!!!!

Thank you, Pastor Clyde, for reaching out to someone from your hometown, just because my name peaked your interest. Thanks for your years of caring and for serving our great God and our Savior, Jesus! What a divine connection it has been.

The “Message From The Mountain” has now gone silent, but I will take what God gave me in this last decade, and I will not only continue to move forward, but I will also do my best to run with all that was imparted.  Maybe God wants to speak to me directly today.

Posted in Journal

Change

You know, I have been guilty of saying the prayer, “Change me, Lord!” and then when God started making changes in and around me I have been guilty of stomping my feet and crying, “I didn’t mean change THAT!!!” None of us seem to like change, but we want there to be change – only we want the change without changes.

The word “change” has about thirty varied definitions. Those that struck me as I read them are – the passing from one place, state, form, or phase to another; to become transformed or converted; to remove and replace the covering or coverings.

Help me Lord to accept the changes that You have allowed and appointed for me and Your will for me. Help me to even celebrate Your answers to my “Change me, Lord” whether the answer is my heart’s desire or a change that creates great pressure temporarily. I ask it all in Jesus Name. Amen!!! Amen!!!

Change is coming! Change is here!

Selah (pause and calmly think on that)

Posted in Journal

My Inheritance – “You Give Them Something To Eat”

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” ~ Psalm 47:4

The Lord has been so gracious to allow me to be in His presence in places where He has chosen to show up through His signs, wonders and miracles. I know I am blessed and that He has used these times and situations to increase my faith. I have seen miracles of healing, miracles of food multiplied. I have experienced and seen deliverance from depression and anxiety and addiction. I long for the day that those that are God’s own children will not be as those from Jesus’ hometown, expecting so little and so receiving and seeing little of God’s power in their lives and communities.

After a wonderful Sunday where God moved through our church so mightily, I have been pondering His call on my life and how to apply His Word. I know now in part what God can do through prayer and I am confident in the Word and that He can do infinitely more….but there are times when I wonder how it will all come to pass in my own life since the roadblocks and closed doors and the “waiting” seems endless. Will I go to my grave reminding myself of what I have seen but wondering if I ever will again…and if not, why? Will these roadblocks turn out to actually be the steps to what has been prepared? Though I am a person that is pretty focused most days and committed still I wonder a lot.

I was thinking along these lines Monday morning and I felt my Father pose a question to me. He told me upfront that it was hypothetical but to take it seriously nonetheless. The question was this…Excluding praise and worship, reading my Bible and prayer and excluding all other human opinion, if I could do only ONE ministry for Him all the days of my earthly life, what would I do and why?

It was early so I had the time at 4:30am to ponder, but it wasn’t necessary. I immediately knew my answer. If I could only do one thing of service — I would feed the hungry. I know you may think I am talking feeding the hungry spiritually and that is there but I am actually mostly talking in the physical. I would feed the hungry real solid food and pray that God, in His mercy, would give me also opportunity and ways to feed them spiritually as He saw their need, and mine.

Why?

Because long before He told me to preach or pray, He told me “you give them something to eat” from Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:19, and Luke 9:13. When God spoke this to me, it was one of the first times I ever heard God speak directly to me through His written Word. It stuck with me. On looking over those years, I have found that from my obedience to “you give them something to eat” has come most of the miracles, signs and wonders that I have been allowed to see and from obedience to that command, I have been given opportunity to share the Word and pray with people and I have been able to see people saved. Real true lasting fruit. From obedience to that command, I have met people that live in their cars and in the woods and I have met former CEOs driving BMWs but arriving as hungry as the poorest of the poor. I have also met hungry ministers. I have been allowed to minister to those that have given their lives for the Gospel but found themselves being fed through my hand but in that moment of divine appointment (and I believe that is what it was), I found them there feeding me in such beautiful ways. Truly I tell you, from obedience to that command “you give them something to eat” I, myself, was fed and sustained by God and felt the presence and LOVE of GOD HIMSELF through them toward me. It was never just me allowing the love of God through me. He gave me love through them. I thought it was something I would be allowed to do forever…but then the season changed.

I find myself now in a season where this kind of ministry seems to have almost dried up for me and while I try to press on and I preach here and there, pray and try to remain faithful in what I am given for the now- there are days I still grieve for that season that was. Not because I miss a ministry or a place that once was so much…but because I miss the people and what they brought into my life. I miss the faith that desperation brings into a people. I miss the mutual need. God transformed my heart of prejudice and gave me love and understanding. He took my lonely heart and He gave me compassion and ears to hear theirs. In return so many of the people also accepted me and loved me. Once a month, as they were allowed to come for food, I was friend or mama or prayer partner. They were daily in my prayers and that kind of prayer always creates bonds. I look for them even still when I drive the streets of Gastonia and I am so hopeful when I don’t see them out there on a cold day. I made it a point to know their names, their children’s names, and their situations. I made it a point to know their hearts. I miss their hearts. I miss their hugs. I miss their stories. I miss how they bonded to others and how they helped their neighbors. They were rich in ways I think few know. They taught me more about ministry than I ever knew they were.

A verse that struck me this morning in these early hours with the Lord is this: Psalm 47:4, “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” I have always loved that promise. I have always asked the Lord for the nations but my inheritance is His choice. When someone leaves you an inheritance it is their choice as to what they leave each person. The poor and the poor in spirit are my inheritance…this I know.

I admit Monday morning I couldn’t grasp how God wants me to take care of this inheritance He has left me. But then….

Monday I had the opportunity to go to the food bank for Thanksgiving turkeys. Yesterday I had the opportunity to work in the food pantry straightening and stocking shelves. Today, Lord willing, I have the opportunity to help give Thanksgiving boxes to those that come to our pantry. Lord, send us the hungry, that we might be your hands and feet and give them something to eat.

Selah! [pause, and calmly think of that]