Pure Grace

I have been waking up for nights on end. The voice of my father, whispering to me. Crying out in anguish at his unrest. I had made the final discovery at all that has been done to desecrate his wishes and his desire for me to right these wrongs.

He knows me, more than anyone, and this is why I believe, it fell upon my shoulders to make this right. Yet, he also knew, my immediate response would be anger. My brother, describes me as, “the pit bull.” I was born under, the symbol of the scales. Yes, justice is what seems right, but I also know that, it isn’t always in balance, without mercy.

If that was the case, there wouldn’t be a prison large enough, for mankind, as we all would be guilty as charged. Didn’t we all have a hand in the crucifixion?

To Be Forgiven

I sometimes find myself envious of those with no heart at all, as they are oblivious to the things which disturb me. I cannot turn off my feelings and at night, I hear the spirit world come alive. The crying of my father is unbearable to me. The pain which has been caused as a result of all of this.

About two years ago, I felt something happening which caused my feelings of hurt for him, to be resurrected. I didn’t quite understand it. I pulled out his Will. My girlfriend had come over to help me sift through documents. I said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but I feel he’s trying to tell me something.” Although he had been gone for quite some time, I felt as if I had just lost him. Something very unsettled in my spirit. I felt myself grieving in my spirit.

She certainly saw that his wife was unscrupulous, from the documents and as evil as one could be, but I couldn’t possible know what it was at that time. I just felt something in my spirit. And it seemed I was grieving his loss, and he wanted me to know something which had been hidden. Something unfinished. Something which needed closure.

Last week I found out. It was right in front of me all along. But it seemed the Lord had not wanted me to know until it’s proper time. Because He knows I would more likely have had a breakdown right then and there, or just been ready to go to the highest court in the land. Which wouldn’t do any good anyway.

No, because, when the highest court is corrupt, what can man do? My father’s blood is crying out for justice. He wants rest for his soul, and he has been deprived, and because of this, I have also been deprived of this rest. No man can understand this, unless they have experienced this very personal experience. To lie awake at night and listen to the painful whispers of a loved one asking for simple wishes fulfilled, so that they can sleep.

But I knelt before my Lord, after being told, “this is impossible,” by someone to remedy this situation.And He reminded me, “what things are impossible with man, are possible with God. You are going about this the wrong way. Nothing can be accomplished with a heart full of anger. Did I not speak to you that I will not move, “by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit?  So anger is not the answer. For this was not the heart of your father, nor is it the heart of your heavenly Father. If you want the answer, look at the attributes of the Holy Spirit. ” Well, I know the answer will always be found first in love. And this is a difficult lesson in the midst of my own pain. But it is in the measure which will be returned as it is given.

The Lord sends his ministering angels, nonetheless, as a friend came knocking at my door, in the throes of my pain, to bring me a shirt, she had purchased. It was almost a matter of urgency. I felt it was the Lord, sending someone to check on me, as I was in such crisis upon my discovery. Feeling such despair and there was my friend with her son. An emergency call from heaven. A lifeline that I needed when I was sinking.

A few days later the Lord began to remind me, that it was my father and mother who taught you the meaning of grace. An your brother did when he lay on his death bed. And I thought of my sweet, angelic brother, Chris. As he lay, dying of Aids, I never forget his words to me. I was so full of anger toward the person who had taken advantage of his childlike innocence. “I’m not mad at him,” he said.

After I accepted Christ, I understood, how Christ-like, those words, were. A lesson in true grace. Yes, if we were all held accountable for our deeds, we would be executed. I know.

My Heavenly Father tells me that there is nothing man has done, which cannot be fixed. And Christ already made the way. He has removed the obstacles and given me the answer. The answer is grace. He has shown me what must be done to solve this dilemma. Oh what messes, the enemy creates for man. “The thief comes, to rob, to kill and to destroy, but I am come to give life, and life more abundantly.”

Upon discovering this strange rumblings in the heavens, I began to pray. I knew there was warfare taking place, but didn’t understand. I thought it was related to many other things. But the Lord has brought clarity. He brought the angels to help me in my battle. I know who they are. Although I’m a human with a foolish heart, they’ve tried to redirect me. To get me refocused. The incredible pain is where the enemy wants me to reside. I refuse to allow myself to stay there. I cannot. My soul is in shreds and I hear the swords of the battle above me. That fire in my soul is passed down from generations and I have to put an end to this. It is a prayer I offer up to the Lord “deliver me from evil.” I remember Daniel and his battle.

“Do not be afraid Daniel. Since the very first day you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words, were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of  the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days.”

I know what this kind of attack is and I’ve lived it since I was a young girl. If people don’t believe in the spirit world, they cannot wage warfare. But, my father spoke to me, because he knows, I have spiritual ears, which can hear. It is like the undercurrent in a river. We see the water flowing, yet the raging current is what has the real power to carry anything away, without being seen. A person that says, “This isn’t possible, because, I don’t see it, is a fool. They will step into this calm water and be carried away by its pull, just as they are, every day.

My life has been full of pain. But I will not let this define who I am. I will not let this be a legacy of bitterness and unforgiveness. But I will choose to walk in grace, as I carry out my father’s will. I want mankind to know the Lord is a just and merciful God, anxious to forgive and not waiting to punish us.


The Simple Life

My brother is just so funny. I feel blessed to have him in my life. He makes me laugh so hard.  It’s wonderful for my mother to share this time with him too, since he had been living apart from her for many years.

I’ve noticed that he and the other people with special needs bring home beautiful pictures. The other day I was looking at this picture and I said, “Kevin, this is not yours. You’ve taken someone else’s picture by mistake.” He promptly picked up a pen and crossed out the other persons name and wrote his own name on the top! Then he said, “There you go.” As if life is just that easy. Take what you want. I wonder how many times he’s seen that done I thought. “Hmm,” I said. “He’d make a great attorney!”

My mother and I were laughing so hard at him. In his world forgery was nothing. If you like it, make it yours.

I looked at all of the artwork and started looking at the things in my home. I realized that life is just too short to collect things. The beauty of simple things that the artwork my brother produces, is better than anything one can purchase.

I sat in my living room and was sad when I noticed a small cardboard box which held the belongings which my mother was left with after being moved from her home. I took a picture. I cried to think this was so important to her.The Barbie dolls which she used to knit clothing for. No one could believe that she could do this and it was something that she took great pride in. The little Charlie Brown that plays music. The pictures. I managed to get the bronze shoes from my brother Dennis who had passed away as a baby. These she somehow never lost in all of her shuffling through the years. It is difficult to see my mother’s life reduced to a cardboard box. But then I look around and feel the weight of all the things in my life holding me down. I don’t want anything in my life. I can’t stand things holding me back from what is important. I hate greed and what it does to people. It hurts me to see what it has done. I don’t want to take care of things. Although I love looking at my brother’s pictures. And my mother’s things. It’s cute, but we all have the propensity to collect. So I want to bring joy to other’s by giving.

Now I got my mom into a pottery class to learn something new. She was making me laugh with her antics. When the teacher told her to “pinch her pot,” she said, “What?” “Yea, I said, “That meant something completely different in the 70’s!” Now she’s learning a different skill at 82 and she’ll be able to make new memories and so will I.

I realized that life is not about owning things. In fact the more time I spend with my mother, the more fleeting I see that our time is on this earth. I see that those who have robbed and tried to fill their lives with things, are missing the most important qualities.

My mother and I listened to my brother talking last night. He was telling us about the lipstick that he was going to give his girlfriend at school. He was going to put it in his purse. It’s really a fannypack. He crams all kinds of stuff into that purse. Sometimes I’ll check it just too unload some things. It’s so stuffed full. I just have to see what he’s carrying around and it’s funny. Pictures of things unrelated. I try to connect the subjects, but can’t seem to and move on. The objects make no sense,but they amuse me.

The keychains that I have given him have all found a place on this pack. I have actually had to remove some,because it has become unsafe. The weight of this is ridiculous. And the fact that one of them is a round basketball for coins, makes it hilarious with his gait and when he bowls, underhanded, my son made the remark that it’s a good thing I didn’t give him the bull’s you know what, to hang from this pack, or it would be quite a sight to behold, when he bends down to bowl! This visual just made me crack up.

He is very animated. And when he tells us that someone threw up at school it’s hilarious. He is over the top. I don’t think it happened the way he tells us and at times, I only wish I could place a hidden camera on him. There was one day that he told me that one person threw up and another girl was told that “she stinks and needed to go into the bathroom,” while the teacher was spraying the bathroom. And later, he said the same girl was his girlfriend. My son, who is not easily grossed out, said, “Come on, I don’t want to hear this! You’re girlfriend stinks!” And my brother as proud as could be, said, “Yes, she stinks! Right?” Wow! That’s unconditional love at it’s best! And, all I can say is, those special education teacher’s work very hard, and deserve pay raises!!! Treat them well. They’re very special people.

But,people like my brother are also very special and he keeps me centered. I sometimes find I’m taking him for granted and when I come back to him, I find humor in his simple words and beauty in the world around him. It is just what God was trying to point out to all of us and the reason He told us that “the meek would inherit the earth.”

Look at what a mess we have made of all of this. Greedy people have tried to use people like my brother for selfish gain. I’ve had people say, “They look at your brother like a throwaway.” That has brought me unspeakable pain.” Yes, even at his birth they thought he wouldn’t live. But God had a different plan. And his plans were to bring men to repentance through my brother. Yes, my brother who is so innocent. Who would take an art project and cross someones name and sign his name, would do this with anything. He knows no difference. He tells me everything costs “a hundred dollars.”

But who cares? My brother puts everything in perspective. Whether it a billion dollars or a penny, in his mind it’s the same price. Just as the value of a soul is worth more than everything. And as the Lord has said, “Woe to the man who gains the whole world, yet loses his own soul.”

Words In Sand

I was thinking about a story in scripture today. It always resonated with me, because of the profound message which the Lord was trying to convey. And when I see people trying to act ‘all religious,’ I immediately think of the woman caught in adultery.

I absolutely loath many portrayals of Jesus, since they take away from His most human side. Yes, He was God in the flesh, but the flesh, is the part that intrigues me most. He was the example. And if He didn’t go around acting superior and holier than anyone, why should we?

Today, someone was telling me about a teenager’s phone calling him, accidentally. This is a person, who goes to church all the time and loves to talk about the misdeeds of everyone else.  They said, “he had such a potty mouth. His friend and him, were talking and I could hear them cursing. I just thought it was terrible. Meanwhile, I know this person is just as bad. Him and the other person, had recorded the call and played it to each other, and talked about the whole episode, as if it was an unforgivable offense. Now he thought, I would agree, that this was just horrible.

I looked at him and said, “You know, it’s not the outside of a cup that makes it clean.” Reading the discourse in Matthew 23, is a picture of the anger, which Christ had at this hypocrisy. He speaks to the blind leaders. The inside is what needs to be clean. Then the outside will follow.

This guy, just didn’t get it. He stared at me with a blank look. I was pointing out that this is not significant, since none of us are perfect. Without calling him out too much, I hoped he understood, that I wasn’t saying, “Oh who care’s if the kid was cursing?” But  my bigger question was, “Why were you listening? Isn’t that an invasion of his privacy? And then you recorded and played it for someone else?”

Then the natural story that came to my mind was, the woman in found in the Book of John 8. When I read, there are always certain words that seem to pop out at me. For example; v3 standing the woman before a group, was humilitating enough. But being caught, in the act of adultery, even more. Imagine this woman’s circumstances. The punishment for this sin was, death by stoning.

But isn’t this what these men wanted to do to her? Flaunt their superiority and decimate her character. And in the end, have the grounds to end her life. But it begs the question, how did they actually catch her in the act? If, they had not been spying on her first?

Ah yes, the argument today would be for the sake of having the proof to accuse her. But now, look at what the Lord does with this information. H bends down and starts to write on the ground with his finger. How odd. Yes, most people would ask, “Why was He doing this?” But to some of us, we wondering, what was He writing?”

I think that He may have outed,  some of those people, without giving names. Perhaps He wrote their, secret sins, in the sand. But the most obvious, was His calm demeanor, during this whole situation. I am impressed with the time He took to respond. It seems, a great deal of time. And He took a break from His writing. He straightened up,  to utter the famous words; Let any one of you who is without sin, be the first to cast the stone.” This is when He stooped down again.

So, it seems He began His preliminary message, and He stood at eye level to the people He was addressing. And this also allowed the best vantage point, along with the group, read His writing. But then he gave them more time and it may be, to include more of the members. He stooped down to write again, which seemed to give the maximum amount of impact.

Now in verse 8;  At this those who heard, began to go away, one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.” This is when He asked her, “Has no one condemned you?” She answers, “No one sir.”  “Then neither do I condemn you.” But the last words to her were, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I think about the message of redemption in this story. Condemned to die, because of her sin. The enemy of our soul, is called, “The Accuser.” One of his many titles. And he works through humans to constantly remind us of where we screwed up. What we’ve done wrong. How far we’ve missed the mark.

But Christ came to shed His blood as an offering on our behalf. This sacrifice is the greatest gift of love. His blood has, “cleansed us from all sin.

Our sins are like those words, written in the sand. The Wind of Truth, had blown and the sand shifts. It fills in all those areas of darkness and words that condemn.

He cannot lie. He has already told us, “That as far as the east is from the west, I will remember your sins no more.” This always fascinates me. We are human, and although we try to forgive, we can’t really ever forget. It’s not possible. But for God, it is. So, as I’ve heard it said, “if He’s forgotten, why do we keep reminding Him?”

This is the time of the year to reflect on the awesomeness of His sacrifice and what it really means. Passover, Resurrection Day. It is all about Redemption.

Thank you Lord for your great mercy!

Who Is This Sinful Woman Who Touches Him?

He came for the sick

No matter how many times I’ve experienced this, I still have people who have the wrong idea of how much I have to be grateful for. I remember living my life with no thought of tomorrow. I also remember being angry at the circumstances when it came down to certain things like my brother’s and their disabilities, and the other hardships that some people had to endure as opposed to others. Shaking my fist at God and challenging Him to prove His existence, He certainly did that and more. I asked all the questions that came with that; “How can a loving God allow all of this, and what is the ultimate purpose and plan” He would show me that His shoulders were big enough and the heart of a loving Father is to protect and love His children and to prove that love, and He has made a promise that if we ask, He would surely answer our prayers. How would I know that it was by the ultimate sacrifice of His very own son that He had to prove that love? 

To find out that His love for me was the truth all along, and that this love was the most incredible sacrifice that anyone could be expected to ask, I was exasperated. Not only was I left in shock, but I knew I was beyond filth. Yes, when I look at my life, I realized by reading the account of Mary with the alabaster jar, that I made her look good. I can picture myself  bent over the feet of Jesus and sobbing. I know how sinful I am sick, all the time, and this is what makes me run to the cross. I fall on His grace. I can’t do it. this is how I know I’m sick with sin. It  is what made me realize that I needed Him.  

Now, I think some people still do not understand the message of the cross. The way up is always the way down; Luke 7:36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisees house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. The she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, He said to Himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is-that she is a sinner.” Jesus answered him,(and I’d like to interject, if you’ll notice, Jesus read his thoughts.) That should have been alarming enough to the guy. “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me teacher.” he said. 

“Two men owed money to a certain money-lender. One owned him five hundred dendarii,and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more? 

Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,”Jesus said. 

v47″Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven-for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little, loves little.” 

This woman was the sister of Lazarus and the Lord said her name would be remembered forever for her faith and humility. It is the fact that she realized her need of the Savior that made this so moving. 

Yes, this story is so powerful and I read it an think, my gosh…that’s me. I can almost see the people sneering and hear the mocking voices. “Geesh, how can that woman be religious, do you know all the stuff she’s done?  That’s how so many people see followers of Christ. The brokenness, of Mary was seen as some kind of ‘show,’ and brought scorn. Her ongoing witness that she carried as the joy of her forgiveness, brought even more mocking.We are told to take this and share with others, what has been so freely given to us. However, you will find many will speak to you or about you, as you should be ashamed.  This is the Pharisees words for, “How canJesus really be the savior and let someone like this  represent Him, when we know all about her?” Well, that’s the whole point of the story. Jesus just loves sinners. And His blood was shed for us. We just have to see our need as Mary did, on her knees. 

I remembered speaking to a very good friend of mine who had not accepted Christ yet. She was visiting my home and another friend of mine was visiting from Wisconsin and she was a believer. As this particular girlfriend spoke, she said, He’d never want me if He knew all the things that I did.”She had a sadness about her, as if she had some dark secrets that could top anything that the Lord had seen or heard. It’s as if she really believed, He just died for the righteous ones, whoever they might be. (God help us all, if that’s the case!) My girlfriend and I looked at her and laughed and said, “are you kidding? You are the one He came for! What do you think we’ve done? Come on! Look at us! We’re no different except that we realized that we needed Him.” She seemed elated at this news. “Yea, you know, I don’t think I’m so different from you. Except your faith.” 

“No, I told her, Once you turn your life over to Him, He’s the one that gives you power over the rest. That’s when you start to see changes in your life. This is the truth that sets you free. And you know the truth, because the truth has the power to change you. You cannot get that from any drug, or sex, relationship, power or money. It is only through a relationship with Jesus Christ the living God. 

It’s the only thing that is eternal. So even if your relationships, careers, incomes, etc.. comes to an end, He will still be here for you. 

But He wants you to know that it starts by being broken. At His feet. Knowing you’re a sinner, saved by grace. Not holy. Not righteous. Don’t mock others that have found Him, like the Pharisee did. Because this was an indication of a person who had no ability to have compassion because of his own lack of understanding for forgiveness. Which means he truly didn’t understand how much he had been forgiven. 

The day I understood the meaning the magnitude of my sin and cost of this was when I saw the death of my own brother and the gift that the Lord had given me by an answered prayer. He told me in another prayer that He wanted me to go to people like my brother and give back as a gift to Him and in so doing it I felt it was giving to my brother. But the Lord says,”when you’ve done it unto the least of these, then you’ve done it unto me.” Each time I have gone to one of these people, I have seen the Lord’s hands in some way and felt it could have been my loved one.  It is all because I am grateful to the Lord for having forgiven me for so much and I know that I couldn’t begin to pay back anything for the debt I owe. 

In the end, Jesus Christ died for all of us, even the mockers. They mock what they don’t understand and Christ told us that they would do this. He told us that if they hate us, they hated Him first. These are the ones that we pray for. That the light would shine on them and the veil  would be removed from their eyes. The enemy blinds them into believing that they must be good and follow the rules, when the fact is that we are not good, and that’s why Jesus said that Mary Magdalene’s name would be immortalized for her act of faith and love. Weeping on the feet of our Lord, which would be nailed to the cross, and anointing them with oil. Then to dry them with her hair. I only wish it could have been me. I wonder if they could have pulled me away from him…for my sins…they’re many.

The Heart of Our Father

To Be Forgiven

This love is the love that reached down from heaven and gave his only son for us. What kind of love is this?

I’ve had strife in my own family and everyone seems to think that they have an exclusive entitlement to this pain when it comes to hurt and suffering. When it comes to the loss of relationship or divorce, separation, rejection, etc. But no one ever seems to remember what the Lord has done for us. That we turned our backs on Him. That we rejected Him. Oh, yea. Some would say, that’s not even real and they will go about the whole Easter thing, giving their kids baskets with chocolate eggs and rubber tasting chickens and celebrating whatever it is they’re celebrating. To them it’s just another holiday. Not a holy day at all. A day to make crafts or something. The whole meaning is lost. The fact that our God gave His life? Thats just a myth to them.  So it’s  really just another pagan holiday to them and they’re passing down to their kids. Then they wonder when they make those beautifully colored eggs, Then it’s no wonder that they don’t really have a relationship with their kids, or if they do, why the family is such a mess. And even if they have kids, the future fallout will be quite telling. The Lord commands us to “teach our children of His ways.” When we decide to do things our own way and things fall apart, we turn around and blame God, or worse, act as if He doesn’t even exist.
Well let’s take a look at God’s Word, the author of all relationships and see what He says.
In Malachi 4, He speaks about the Day of the Lord, which is coming soon. The family is important enough that He speaks of sending his prophet of a sign of restoration. verse 5; “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,and the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse”
Now the reason it is referred to as the “great and dreadful day” is because for those who are  obedient to the Lord, it will be great, but for those, who are not, it will be dreadful.
As He says, He will strike the land with a curse.
When you see this is written before the Lord had come to this earth, we understand that the heart of the Father is to bring reconciliation.
Remember that it was “His only begotten son, that He gave to us.”  For those of us who are parents, it is an unimaginable horror.
But yet, we must now come to this conclusion. The Lord wanted one thing when He sent His son to this earth to be a “ransom for us.” To reconcile us to Himself.
So when He speaks in Malachi of the prophet “turning the hearts of the children to the father, it is not only to reconcile the earthly but to our heavenly Father. This is what Christ’s mission was all about and the reason He became sin.
When I heard of my loved one’s tears for his being ‘cut off’ from his children, I felt a sadness for him and it made me cry in my prayers to the Lord. He reminded me of the same rejection that He felt when He hung on the cross and He felt abandoned by His own Father because all of my sins, and the sins of others were cast upon Him, the spotless Lamb. His Father, being Holy, could not look upon sin.”About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”-which mean, “My God, my God,why have you forsaken me? When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah”
If you understand Passover, you will find this interesting to note that simultaneously, the lambs had been offered in the temple at the same time and was bound on the altar. This was to be a perfect, unblemished lamb, one per family. The High Priest performed the sacrifice in the Most Holy of Holies and this Lambs death would come at the same time as the death of the Lord, at which time the High Priest would speak the blessing over the lamb, “It is finished.” Just as Christ proclaimed of His own sacrifice.
At the Passover table there is always a seat for Elijah the prophet and the door is opened every year to see if he has arrived.
Now the prophet Malachi had spoken of the Spirit of Elijah before the return of the day of the Lord. This is the spirit of reconciliation.
The Father’s love for us is this great and He desires relationship with us, just as much as we cry for relationship with our own children. In fact this is why He has given us the experience of pain and brokenness, so that we can understand what this means to be restored.How He feels longing for us.  and why He sent His son to die. It was this important to Him. He made a way for us to return to Him.The curtain was torn that day in the temple, symbolizing the free entrance for us as children, by the shed blood through His Son. We became heirs to the throne because of Jesus Christ. No longer separated by sin. “but you received a spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry Abba, (daddy) Father. “
He stands  waiting with open arms of love. But He is the only one that can offer this.
When our relationship is restored to Him, then our other relationships will be restored.It is His promise to us.
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

The Groaning of the Spirit

In Romans 8:22 we are told that “all of creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

In verse 26 it says, “in the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Last night, all night long, I experienced this. My left side hurt me. I was in excruciating pain, as I was diagnosed with bronchitis and my left lung was hurting every time I coughed. Yet I found myself having dreams of sorrow. And I was hearing the wind blowing outside my window, and the Lord reminded me of His own side being pierced and the blood and water that ran out. All the sorrow He experienced at that moment. Everything in his heart as it spilled out from his side. All the sorrow of the world.

Each time I woke up I heard groans from my own mouth and thought this was the Spirit pleading to the Father and tears were coming down from my cheeks. Now this has happened to me before, but last night it was one episode after another. At one point my daughter was walking down the hall and I actually thought she heard me. I wondered what in the world was causing me so much sorrow and at one point I remembered thinking of a man I pray for every night before I sleep. I believe he thinks he has committed the unforgivable sin. I think it was the reason for the confrontation by the two girls the other day. They were in some way, representatives for him.But the Lord has assigned me to certain people within the framework of my own company and uniquely linked me to them. A few of them have been threaded from my past as well. The Lord has used many incidents, both good and evil to knit all of us together in this, ‘coat of many colors’ This is how God works. Some has been identically linked to my father’s death. Nothing in the Lord’s plans are ever coincidental. They are always perfectly orchestrated and in His timing. Everything is meant to bring us to the place of understanding that we are not beyond our need of forgiveness, nor are any of these sins  “unforgivable.” Man has a way of not being able to “let themselves off the hook,” in life. Because of the lies of the enemy and this is what keeps them in the darkness. They seek absolution and it is the one thing that seems out of  reach. They are deceived into a false system of religion until the end. At some point a person begins to buy into the lie that, they always have time to cop a plea at the last breath. Who wants a life like this anyway? That isn’t the ‘abundant life’ that Christ had promised.

This is why I have been linked in the chain to these people. It has been keeping me up at nights, and groaning as verse 27 states, “And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Whatever the Spirit is praying for these people I know  it is breaking them, and it brings sorrow.

I have had many wicked spirits trying to stand as a human shield in efforts to stand in my way and almost discourage me, but it won’t work. I know my calling. I have been through a lot in my life and the enemy deceived me for a while. Yes, he almost made me run in terror, but I won’t forsake the ones I’ve been called to, so he can just flee now.”Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.(James 4:7)

 “He who wins souls is wise. (Proverbs 11:30) So I keep praying, “Lord give us time. Let them know they are forgiven. Let them stop trying to justify themselves and know that you’ve already done that for them.”

The Greatest of These Is Love

Love Never Ends

Yes, I am a work in progress. I never realized how far from the mark, I’ve really been. Well, if anyone thinks they have arrived….you haven’t! And the Lord will certainly show you that.

When I think of Love, I had a clouded understanding. I am learning that I wasn’t even close. Yet, I am getting there.The Lord tells us that we are going “from faith to faith and from glory to glory.” All I can say is; Be careful what you pray for!

I had forgotten prayers offered up, long ago. I let my suffering cloud my vision and the Lord allowed this as well. He has pruned me. A painful process to be sure, but necessary to bring forth the fruit of His spirit.

I doubt that many recognize this as it’s happening. Since it is a process, it is slowly happening as we live and try to walk as He desires us to walk.

Today, as I was praying, He spoke a word to my spirit. He pointed out an amazing concept. These things always seem to make sense and as if it’s something that we should already understand, yet, understanding and applying any principle, as you know, are worlds apart.

This is the word that the Lord had spoken today;

  • Grace, it opens the door to forgiveness
  • Forgiveness, it leads us down the road of love
  • Love, she sits on the throne of righteousness and she will make right every wrong

“Love covers a multitude of sins.”

I was mulling this over in my mind and was reminded of a few things in my life. I had thought of my childhood. I had already been devastated by the loss of my youngest brother, my parents divorce, and the loss of our home.

At this point I watched my mother deteriorate into an emaciated woman. I had no idea what was wrong with her, but I knew it was serious. As I watched her frame, whittle down to 94 pounds, I felt such incredible terror. I was helpless and felt if we just kept the house clean, she would be ok.

As she became more ill, it was clear that she needed medical attention. She finally checked herself into a hospital, as she secured a place with our neighbor. The woman had her own 5 or so kids to care for. In a small project home, we all crammed in. This woman had accepted us as her own and decided to go the distance. What an angel.

However, little did I know; my aunts had decided we belonged with family. They had a meeting and split us up. We went to various relatives.

At the time, I became ill and no wonder. The particular aunt I was with, did not like the idea of me and my brother being in her home, since she was extremely stressed out.

She was very impatient and especially given the fact that I was ill. She made cruel comments to me. The relatives had gotten together and decided we would all have to go. They placed us in The Children’s Home.

Traumatized once again, as I’m surer my siblings were. I felt so much anger toward the particular aunt that had me, that I couldn’t see ever having the ability to forgive her. After all, we were only children. I had an angel working in the Home. She was a nurse and she would rock me in a chair as I cried. I would say, “I’m never going to see my mom again.” and she would reassure me that I would be with her again. I remember Baby Love, by the Supremes, playing as I would rock in that chair. She gave me the love that a young child needed at that time. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that she offered her love to, but I felt special. The Lord used her to bring comfort to a host of hurting children.

My mother did recover and mostly because of the knowledge that her children had been placed in a home. To this day, I hate grapefruit juice and the smell of oatmeal, because it was the breakfast that we had been served, every morning.

Years later, after becoming a Christian, I began learning about forgiveness. Not having a complete understanding, I was about to have the lesson taught in another complete picture. A parable come to life.

I received a call from my aunt. The one that I was still holding in my anger cell. She had come to the state that I live in, on a quest for fun. She had spent all of her money, made her children angry enough that they would not speak to her, and now had a complete breakdown.

“Why call me?” I was still feeling the hurt and pain of childhood stinging my heart. “Serves her right,” I thought. I mean this is the same circumstance for her, except that she has alienated herself. As I spoke this, I was reminded by someone…”Do you think of all the places she could be in the world, it is a coincidence that she is 15 minutes away in a home?”

No, I agreed, this is an incredible coincidence. Which was painfully obvious that it was not a coincidence at all. God was moving His hand I supposed, but why? “Ok, I’ll go and see her. Whatever God wants.” But I sure wasn’t feelin the love.

As I walked into this place, I asked where my aunt was. “Oh, she’s having dinner in that room.” The gentleman pointed to a door with a small round window in it. As I approached, I saw through the portal. A mass of people at a table. I peered closer. Which one was my aunt? She was a striking woman who appeared younger than her age. Surely I would be able to pick her out of a crowd like this one. As I studied the faces of each person, I saw a woman who bore a resemblance, except for the fact that she was about 60 pounds heavier than my aunt and her hair was gray. My aunt had a beautiful head of red hair the last time I had seen her. The woman was eating very slowly and shaking while trying to bring the spoon to her mouth. The man came up alongside of me, as if he’d read my mind. “That is her.” All of a sudden a wave of emotions came over me. I started to cry. All these years of anger and to see it come full circle and the punishment I had so desired, had now given birth to compassion. “Lord, I don’t want this for her.” Now the Lord was beginning to show me that in all my anger, if I could have chosen a punishment, it probably would have been similar. Oh, how many times had I wanted her to experience my pain? My mother’s pain? And yet, now….I couldn’t bear the sight of this.

I went in to visit and all of my anger slipped away. It seem almost as if it had been a fire extinguished. It was as if the Lord had taken a hose from the water of life, and sprayed in one gushing shower. I felt a need to reach out to her. To help her. “Please remove this Lord. ” I felt myself asking for His mercy for her. That was about 20 years ago.

I had just visited her again. She has had a lot of hurt in her life, yet I will never feel anger toward her again. I have nothing but compassion. This was the gift that the Lord gave me. The forgiveness wasn’t for her, as much as it was for me.

Grace….it opens the door to forgiveness. Did she deserve it? Yes, if grace by its definition, is unmerited favor. We deserve it because we don’t deserve it. If that makes any sense to you.

I am at once aware of the meaning of my suffering. It is developing in me, the character of Christ. I am to be a reflection of Him. How foolish I have been. Staring me right in the face all along. The very things that had caused my pain, had also blinded me to what He has been trying to teach me.  And what is required of me  if I am to learn these lessons? He’s already told us. A baptism of fire. Suffering to the point of our death. Our death to ourselves. Our death to our desires, which is the opposite of what the world desires. So it is no longer me who lives, but Christ who lives in me.

I had thought of another picture. A beautiful picture and as I said, the Lord always speaks to us through what is natural. If we have eyes to see.

My friend Grace. I knew her when we were both in second grade. Right after coming through the trauma’s of my young life. I met Grace. She was perfect. She was the best at everything. Teachers pet. Best singer. Best athlete. Grace…was wonderful.

Grace was the one who delivered the news of my boyfriends death.

Grace became lost. She moved out of my life. I was searching for Grace on the streets of a city and her address didn’t exist.

The mire of this world, killed Grace. She died years ago as I was also falling into darkness. Sad that I couldn’t find Grace years earlier. I asked the Lord why? I had only heard of her demise, as I was leaving my hotel in this city. Why couldn’t I find Grace? I asked.  “It is in my time,” He reminded me. “One day, Grace will return to you.

Now, I am beginning to understand. Grace did not die. She is resurrecting…from the rubble of my life. And Grace now reigns in my heart.

The door swings wide open…all we have to do is walk through!♥

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