Tuesday, November 22, 2011


This month has been an incredible month of both blessings and curses. The blessings have been "wow" moments for sure. You know the kind... where you don't even have the tip of your pinky in the situation, but then boom... it just springs upon you. Those kind of God's blessings are the best kind... perhaps they are the only true, genuine blessings -- untainted by human hands.

Now the curses. They have been unreal, the Twilight Zone kind of unreal. I understand I do not stand against any person, but a spirit that would love nothing more than to knock me down and eliminate me off the playing field. Permit me because this must be stated: that will not happen! And not because of me, but because of Him.

After several hits this month, timed of course on the heels of God's blessings, I absolutely confess the natural man in me wanted to crawl into bed and pull the sheet over me. And do you know... that is exactly what I did, but it was with the full knowledge I was landing in Papa's big lap, His arms surrounding me and the beat of His heart in my ear.

On the night of the last great hit, I put myself to bed. I would love to say I drifted off in peaceful slumber, but I did not. I laid in Papa's arms waiting for any word of hope from Him. The last time on the clock that I recall was 4:17 am. At some point I drifted off. What happened when I finally found sleep is stunning to me. One of the most vivid, lengthy dreams I have ever had lit my awareness.

I shared the dream with an elder sister of mine the following day whose spiritual antenna is both high and sharp. She's been in my life for nearly two decades. She shared her impression: "
the diamond....made me think of the deposit in your life that has come through times of pressure and testing. You were guarding it. And the wristwatch, your time, of course." There was much aggression in the dream to take both the diamond and my time from me, but the attempts failed. Praise GOD, they failed!

God's protective nature leaves me in a constant state of awe. It's not about me... it's not about what I can or can not do... it is WHOLLY what HE purposes to do, and that He aggressively and successfully protects without apology.

When God spoke Joy In The Morning into my heart many years ago now, He gave me a promise: "I, the LORD, am its keeper; I water it every moment. So that no one will damage it, I guard it night and day." Isa 27: 3

I have never seen JITM as mine. I never asked for it. I wasn't the one who dreamed it up. No, it was given to me to steward, but I never lose sight of the fact that it is His to do whatever He wills.

I have been accused of being many things in recent years, but my eyes are opened to see not the deliverer of the accusations, but the source of the accusations. Never forget the enemy uses people, often those closest to us, in an effort to stop us. I have developed tough skin... not insensitive skin... but tough skin. I'm able to take a lot, (often wishing this weren't the case!)... hand the pain of it to Jesus... and keep going. Why? Because He overtly enables me to cut the enemy off at every turn in my consciousness.

You've got to know who you are in Christ. It's not an option if you are going to successfully walk out your purpose because there are going to be many many attempts to get you to question who you are, what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how you are doing it. The nature of man is NOT for you, so don't expect applause if you truly are doing God's will, not even from your siblings in Christ. Jesus didn't get applause, so don't be foolish to think you will. Fully expect stumbling blocks and stones to be pitched in your path though. Jesus knew these elements well, and so will you if you are walking to please God and NOT men! But if you are firmly rooted in Him, all those voices turn to nothing but mere wind that may ruffle your leaves, but they won't knock you to the ground. Eventually the wind gets turned up to greater intensities in ever increasing efforts to stop your advances, but again nothing holds like roots in Christ. Nothing. They have held me thus far, and to those roots alone do I presently look to hold me where God has me.

Courage up, dear ones. I am a living testimony, with focus of purpose and confidence in Him, of His ability to sustain through some really hard hits. Make no mistake, confidence rattles people... and the enemy. As another dear friend pointed out recently, if we are in God's will, we should rejoice when trouble hits because it is a clear indicator the enemy is not happy. While I do not like the trouble he stirs up, I am fully confident that to a far greater measure he's not going to like the trouble God stirs up through this willing vessel. It's not the confrontation that thrills me, but rather the conviction of holding fast to Him and His precepts.

I pray most earnestly that God's Body wakes up to the confidence that is available to those rooted in Christ ... a confidence that rattles the enemy to pieces.

Apart from Him, I can do nothing -- but with Him, I might just change the world..... and it scares the enemy to death that I actually believe such a thing!

Are you rattling him today? Or is he rattling you? One thing is for sure; it's one way or the other...

Loving you,

Monday, November 21, 2011

"I Will Rise"

A song, a most vivid dream, and the word of Isaiah 40.... a triple blessing to begin the week. Thank you, Lord; thank you. I know with confidence, that come what may, it is well.

Take the time to read the following...
out loud if you can:

Isaiah 40:
1“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
Says your God.
2 “ Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her,
That her warfare is ended,
That her iniquity is pardoned;
For she has received from the LORD’s hand
Double for all her sins.”
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

“ Prepare the way of the LORD;
Make straight in the desert[a]
A highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
5 The glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
6 The voice said, “Cry out!”
And he[b] said, “What shall I cry?”

“ All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
7 The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”
9 O Zion,
You who bring good tidings,
Get up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem,
You who bring good tidings,
Lift up your voice with strength,
Lift it up, be not afraid;
Say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!”
10 Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand,
And His arm shall rule for Him;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.
11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.
12 Who has measured the waters[c] in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
16 And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.
17 All nations before Him are as nothing,
And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.
18 To whom then will you liken God?
Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
19 The workman molds an image,
The goldsmith overspreads it with gold,
And the silversmith casts silver chains.
20 Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution
Chooses a tree that will not rot;
He seeks for himself a skillful workman
To prepare a carved image that will not totter.
21 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
23 He brings the princes to nothing;
He makes the judges of the earth useless.
24 Scarcely shall they be planted,
Scarcely shall they be sown,
Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth,
When He will also blow on them,
And they will wither,
And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.
25 “ To whom then will you liken Me,
Or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high,
And see who has created these things,
Who brings out their host by number;
He calls them all by name,
By the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power;
Not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
And speak, O Israel:

“ My way is hidden from the LORD,
And my just claim is passed over by my God”?
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the LORD,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Milestone Achieved!

This past weekend I passed another milestone. A 10K run.... that's 6.2 miles!

I believe I have shared this before, but for the new readers, I'll briefly recap. A few months ago, I felt the Lord leading me into a season of physical endurance training. Before, I thought of myself as a causal runner, running a few miles a week just in an effort to maintain a bit of fitness.

After pulling up the program "From Couch to 5K," and working with that a few weeks, I ran my first 5K ever in September!

Following that race, that very weekend is a matter of fact, I was strongly led to explore the next milestone. It began by pulling up a half-marathon training guide online. When I took note that part of the training was a 10K race ... and that it was seven weeks out.... that got my wheels to spinning. So, I checked for local 10K races seven weeks out from my 5K race.... and sure enough... there it was, "right on time," the next phase to this season. And so it was that this past weekend I went out to pound some asphalt in my first 10K race!

When I run, it is an intense feeling for me. I was not born with the ability to walk, much less run. I fought back tears a few times as I ran yesterday. My life has been one challenging hurdle after another since birth, yet such a sense of gratefulness welled up within me that God has me on this journey at all, carefully leading me every step of the way.

One of the songs I listened to while running was Josh Groban's popular song, "You Raise Me Up." God truly may be the only one who knows just how applicable the lyrics are to me personally, hitting me deeply at my core every time I hear them:

"When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until YOU come and sit awhile with me.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up... To more than I can be."

Yes, Papa, YOU raise me up to more than I can be....

.... and I'll never cease
being profoundly grateful
that You love
this little sheep,
a sheep determined
to scale the mountains of life,
falling boulders and all.

And lastly, please allow me to share
this video with you.

I'm beyond THANKFUL that HE is with me!

Rise with Him, dear ones!
Rise with Him!

Never let the boulders of life
stop you from upward movement!


Monday, November 7, 2011

What Price?

"....questions were not for the lowly." (From "Across Five Aprils" - a story about the Civil War)

And they still are not. Where are the courageous ones today?

As I concluded reading "Across Five Aprils" to my son today, I saw spiritual parallels in today's climate within The Church. President Lincoln had hoped to restrict the evils of slavery to the region of the South. He attempted to quell it by methods of ignoring and containing it; hoping by these methods, it would simply die out over time. As he came to understand such thinking was naive, for evil has no boundary if truth does not stand up against it.

Are we so naive in The Body of Christ as to think the evils that we see at play among us are containable or ignorable in our silence and lack of action, too?

President Lincoln endured, along with the nation, a horrible time in American history. Thousands were lost upon the battlefields. Childhoods disappeared, never to be lived. Yet he signed his full name, an act that was out of the ordinary, to the Emancipation Proclamation on December 31, 1862 saying, "If my name ever goes into history, it will be for this act."

What will your whole name, your whole being, be signed to -- be known for? Will you leave a sizable mark upon the battlefield of history such that those who come after you will know you stood for something of value? Or will you slip silently away with fields not plowed, seeds not sown, and your voice not heard?

Yes, questions are not for the lowly.... and Truth awaits its soldiers.

There is a price to be paid for fighting, but there is a greater price to be paid for silence.

You will pay a price....... Question is which one will it be?

For me, there is only one Truth worth dying for, and I pray most sincerely God grants me the fortitude to go out of this world fighting for it. If I am to be known for anything tomorrow, may it be that I sought Truth and stood to defend It today.

Convicted to the core,

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Newest Ornaments!

Our family goes to a specific place to pick out a few new ornaments for our Christmas tree each year. Last night was the night of our special outing, and I thought it would be fun to share our newest additions with you.

Our feathered friend additions:

("Lenny" - as named by my dear daughter)

Eldest son's selection

Dear daughter's selection

Our youngest son's selection

And my selection -- front side

Back side:

I'm loving the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.
Can you tell?!

Blessings to you!