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.

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A Whitewashed Tomb


The Whitewashed tombs

As often as I speak to people about the Lord, I’m still amazed that so many just don’t get it. I will still be asked the question, “So what religion are you?

I explain, once again. None! I don’t follow a religion and I sure don’t claim to be holy.

Yesterday, I was working with a woman, who was telling me about some woman in her life, Her friend sounded much like a friend of mine. But this woman, seemed disgusted by her and made all kinds of moral judgments about her. Then she told me about her niece. Who happened to get pregnant. “I just don’t understand it. I’ve talked to her about sex and my sister and brother-in-law have gone to church with her every Sunday!” As if any of this was the secret cure. If any of that really works, then our society would be a reflection of this. The whole issue, of passing out condoms, going to religious ceremonies. Etc. It’s all so exhausting, and in the end, we’re worse than we ever were.

The woman told me another story of someone she had worked with, that ‘claimed to be a good Christian, yet she had cursed.” This is when I began to laugh. I realized that she didn’t really have a grasp on what makes someone a Christian.

Then she looked at me in shock, as we were talking about the shows which are on television. I said, “I absolutely hate the show, Jersey Shore. My daughter enjoys watching it though.” “Oh, I know, what is that junk?” I said, I told my daughter, “If  being promiscuous, and getting drunk was celebrity material, me and my friends should have all been famous, years ago!” “You told your daughter that?”The woman’s eyes, opened wide. “Of course, I did. I share my past with my daughter so she knows, that I realize what a mess I am.” I told her, but I could discern, that this woman, was still hiding her own.  She had already shared that she had the same boyfriend all through college, and thought she was going to stay with him, after she did the deed.  But she didn’t. So, to her, she had the moral, high ground. 

“I use this as a powerful tool for educating my daughter.” I told her. I want her to understand that I’m in no way perfect, and never was.How can I expect my daughter to share with me, if I’m pretending that I never sinned? Who can live up to this?”

When we try to act perfect, it’s too heavy a burden and line, for other’s to tow. And it is for us, as well.We set ourselves up as the judge and the jury. I told this woman that there was a guy my daughter had been involved with. I didn’t care for him, and I saw things right after my first meeting which disturbed me about the relationship. My daughter told me, “Mom, I have to learn things by experience, just like you did.” Ok, that’s a valid point, but I would say this is only when it’s a positive lesson. I responded, “A wise person, will learn from people who have gone down that road. And they avoid the painful consequences.”

Later, when she did, indeed, have trouble, I reminded her of this conversation. “Yes, I wish I would have listened,” she said. And for me, it was difficult to watch her suffer. But knowing the Lord, makes it easier to deal with. He has promised that He will make everything work out for her good. I told her this. He does this, in spite of ourselves.

Now, when I was sharing with this woman, I told her, “Look, when it comes to being bad, I was really good at it. But I am a Christian. And Christian’s aren’t different from anyone, in the sin department. In fact, Christ had pointed this out, just in case, the religious zealots, got it wrong. “We all have sinned and fallen short, of the glory of God. “Yes, I told her, every one of us.

The most difficult time that Christ had been with the religious people. Blinded by pride. We cannot even begin to see out need for Him, until we’re ready to acknowledge that we are hopeless. The sin, disease has infected ever one of us. I was beginning to ‘chip away at her own religious pride, as I spoke. Using my own examples, I could see her searching herself, as I spoke.

I had been in Jerusalem, just recently. And I was so impressed with the words of Christ which came to life. “At one point I stood on the huge steps of Solomon’s Temple, and the guide told us, “look to your left. You see all those tombstones? This is exactly where Jesus stood when he cried out against the Pharisees.” “Look at those tombs!” He said. “You are just like them. Whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones and corruption!” This was such a powerful word picture, as I saw thousands upon thousands, of these tombs. And I had learned from teachers many years before, that they would painstakingly, paint these white. So that they had a clean, pristine look.

Yes, this is what Christ was pointing out about these teachers. They thought they were hiding, because they were covered in this white paint. But how far from the mark, they really were. They were masking the truth. And the truth was, that they, were desperately in need of a savior. But by pretending, they were without sin, negated the sacrifice, which Christ made, with His own blood.

How many of us, still believe, that our salvation is found in some religious ritual, or the pretense of, “I’m better than you. Because I didn’t do that!” No, when I found out the truth, I had to look at myself, and say, I’m a disgusting mess in need of you, Lord!” He said, that, “Although your sins are as scarlet, I will make you white as snow!”

His blood, cleansed me and it is only in the recognition of this, that I’m saved. And this is by His grace. Nothing that I’ve earned, not that I ever could earn it.

Paul told us, “It is by grace that we’re saved. And where sin, abounds, grace abounds, much more. But he was also quick to point out, “Does this mean, that I should continue to sin, so that His grace abounds even more? Heaven forbid!” So, he wanted to show us that this understanding in itself, would lead to religious rituals, that man created, to reduce feelings of guilt. This is exactly what man does. We always want to believe that God needs our help.

Christ did this for us and His powerful point to His disciples was to allow Him to wash their feet. At first the pride in Peter, was appalled, that Christ would stoop down to wash his feet. But Jesus was making another picture for us to follow. “Unless you allow me to do this, you have no part in me.” He said. This is what we do, when we come to Him. We accept His sacrifice, which He made for us. Our pride must be broken, to allow Him, to wash us. He started with the part of the body, which was so symbolic of the dirt of this earth. But in reality, it is our hearts, which He cleanses and heals.

I reminded this woman that there isn’t any program that really works when the goal is rehabilitation. It doesn’t involve the heart of a person. It only involves works. But when we accept this salvation, it becomes a regeneration, which means, a new heart. It is a known fact that only, ‘faith based ministries,’ are successful in these dark places. The statistics have proven this.

So, sex education, passing out condoms, and these programs don’t change a person’s lifestyle. And the Lord pointed out that knowledge, in and of itself, is useless, and can only lead to puffing someone up with pride. But, wisdom, is the truth that can bring change. Yes, it is the only way possible. And we know that “The fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom.

I shared many things, with this woman, who was searching and I felt the Lord tugging at her heart. At one point, as I told her about my life and the Lord’s touch, she said, “You gave me goosebumps!” I could see the Lord doing His work. It certainly wasn’t me. I am only the vessel, and I love to watch the Lord answering the questions of a person, who is searching.

I look back at my life, and wonder how He could use someone like me, and He reminds me that, it is all of this junk that has made me fit for His use. He shows us this picture with His disciples. They were ordinary, sinful men, with short patience, bad tempers, and all kinds of junk. Just like me. This is why He chose them. Because we were to see the contrast between, these men, who had recognized Him, because of their need, versus the religious teachers and their pride. They never knew it was their own deliverer, standing before them.

In the end, I said, “It is only the need, which we’ve recognized, which makes us, Christian’s. When I was leaving, she gave me a big hug, and said, “it was so nice to work with you.” I told her, Yes, it was nice.” But I know, that today, the Lord had set an appointment for her. I feel blessed to be a part of the process.

“I Make All Things New!” Jesus Christ


 
I received news of my aunts passing, early this morning. It was mixed emotions which I had. She had created turmoil in our lives, yet the Lord does use all of these experiences to “work together for good.”
As a child who had experienced, much pain and separation, at such a young age, this particular aunt was the one, whom I held the biggest grudge. That is, until I became a believer, and the Lord healed my heart.
Yes, I was a small child, when I was thrust into an adult world. She was the last stop before the final ‘stripping away,’ of everything and everyone, I held close.
She would scream and yell at me, when I lived with her for a very brief time. I became the scapegoat for everything which was wrong in her life. I had just lost my young brother, and even though, it was quite traumatic for me, somehow I could take the blame for this as well,
I didn’t clean the house enough, I didn’t love my father enough, I didn’t help my mother enough. I had supernatural powers, which every child believes, when they suffer this kind of loss. We take all the weight of the world and bear it for the adults.
Of course, I had no idea, that this aunt had some problems. I internalized everything she said to me.
When decision was made, not to care for us, but to place us in a Children’s Home, I believed that was my fault as well.
Surely, there must be a reason, for all of this.
I shared the quarters with children, who had been physically abused. Some still wet the bed in their teens. Other’s just abandoned. How would I know that I didn’t deserve this special punishment?
My mother, was ill, and she was furious to find out that her own children, seemed to be ‘tossed out,’ like yesterdays garbage.
Yet, her sisters had no idea, what to do, and they didn’t understand the tenacity, which my mother had. This event made her more determined than ever, to recover.
 
Now, as I said, I did not process things as an adult would, so I had no idea, that this aunt had serious issues as well. All I knew, was that I was angry. All the terrible things she spoke to me, and the cruelty of her behavior, only exacerbated my anger, when I was in this home.
But the Lord “is close to those who are brokenhearted, and those who are crushed in spirit.”
Yes, it is true. I had a nurse who I remember, to this day. Rocking me in a chair as I wept, and consoling me with the words, “Your mother will return for you.”
I also remember having a Sunday School, which we went to on the grounds. I was given my very first bible at this school.  I still have it, and have read the words written on the cover many times. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey, Robert, the Sunday School teacher.”
Yes, we don’t always understand the impact we are having on a young child’s life, when we say and do these things.
But God knew, that one day, He would heal my deepest hurts in a most miraculous way.
 
I became a believer, and I started to see the things which I harbored in my heart, were a stumbling block, to the transformation which the Lord was going to bring about.
I started to pray for certain people, who I knew were assigned to me in a special way. Those who had brought the deepest wounds to my soul, would be at the very top of the list. The Lord reminded me, that I may be the only one praying for these souls, and if not, then the power of combined prayer, would be even more dynamic.
As I prayed, I was reminded that it really wasn’t about, ‘how I felt.’ This enabled me to lift them up to my Father, and release the anger, I had felt.
I knew when I took a step in faith, and this being the act of my will, the emotions would follow. As I could see a changed heart, I would perceive this person differently.
Well, with this aunt of mine, the Lord brought the visual picture full circle.
She had been such a painful part of my past, when my mother had her breakdown. After losing everyone close to me, the last person in my life, who was part of the decision to place my siblings, and I, in the home, was this aunt.
How many years, did I harbor this anger and hurt? I can say, for half of my life.
Then one day, after becoming a believer, it happened. This aunt called me.
Full of fear and extremely depressed, she had come down to my area of the country. She had lost her husband, spent a lot of money, while running, and systematically, ‘cut off,’ the communication with her own siblings and children.
Now she was calling me to come and help her. She had a breakdown and she was in a residence near me.
The thought first came, “Serves her right. The exact same thing has happened to her, and now she also lost her own children, by her own hands.”
How incredible was this, I thought.
Then the voice of someone close to me spoke. “Do you really believe that any of this is a coincidence? I mean of all the places for this aunt to be, in the whole world? She’s 15 minutes away from you? And not to mention, she’s in the same situation as your mother was.
Don’t you think, that the Lord is doing something?”
As much as I didn’t want to believe it, I had no other choice. If I were to plan a revenge, this would be similar, except the part about the phone call would have been played out in a different manner.
I would have instead, answered the call and twisted the knife. “Oh, you say you had a breakdown, like my mom did? Oh,, and you have no children to help you? Oh, and now you are calling me, the one child you tormented and placed in a home, oh so many years ago? Hmmm, that’s too bad. I’m very busy.”
 
No, I knew that this was not what the Lord had planned, when He said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”
I saw this as something He was doing for me. After all, I had been praying for her.
Now, I made the drive to see her. Still feeling the remnants of my childhood anger, I arrived at this little shack of a house. It held a few rooms and a cafeteria.
As I asked one of the nurses, where my aunt was, she told me she was dining in the cafeteria. She pointed to a small,, circular window.
“She’s right there!”
“I don’t understand,” I told her. “Where?”
She pointed again, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. It could have been that I was looking for the woman, who had always looked much younger than her age. Full of spunk, a full head of red hair, and wild as a young girl.
All I could see was an old woman with gray, unkempt hair. Much heavier than my aunt, sipping a spoon of soup, while hands trying to steady the shaky fingers, to her mouth, without spilling.
“That’s my aunt?” I was in shock. What had happened to her?
I realized at that moment, that I was filled with pity. I started to weep. All of the desire for any revenge, left my heart. All I wanted to do was give her a hug, and let her know everything would be ok.
Now, I realized that this was part of the Lord’s plan. Not just for her, but for me.
I sat with her, and listened to her tales woe. Knowing that she had been responsible, did not decrease my compassion. She was the ‘Prodigal Daughter,’ and I know that I have been her myself, many times.
So, I continued to grow closer to her, and pray fervently for her over the years.
I had gone up to pray for her since, finding out she had this heart condition.
I found in my bible, a prayer request listed from my church in 1989, for her salvation.
She was so blessed when I gave this to her. Just to know, I had been doing this for many years.
Yes, I have come to realize that the Lord doesn’t heal us, because we deserve it, but because we don’t deserve it.
This is true grace.
I reflected back on ‘Robert, the Sunday school teacher.’ And this experience which the Lord would one day use, for His own purposes. Who knew,if this aunt had placed me in this awful place, that I would be praying over her one day.
Yes, I am blessed.
 
Now, I heard from my cousin, yesterday, that my aunt had taken a turn for the worse.
I called and asked her caregiver, to place the phone up to her ear, so that my mother and I would be able to speak to her.
As my mother gave her words of comfort and love, I marveled at the things our Lord had done. But the ultimate healing is to be with Him. This was my message to her.
I reminisced of the fun times we’ve had and made her laugh  quite hard, as I recounted some of our experiences together. I told her to ‘hold on,’ to these funny memories, as the Lord came for her. Because it is true, the “joy of the Lord is our strength.
At about midnight, I received a message that my aunt had passed away.
I went to tell my mother, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen my mother cry like this. Even at the loss of her mother. Perhaps it is because of the long history with her own sister, and the fact that they shared the same womb.
I held my mother again this morning and was so comforted in knowing that I am with her, when she heard this news.
Yes, this is difficult, but I can say, “Thank you,” in spite of the circumstances. For the ones, who had given to the Lord. My life has truly been changed.
I will miss her, but the one thing I do know in this life, we will see each other again. In a place where there is no pain or sorrow.
Until that time, Rest In Peace, Aunt Dottie!

Stop! In the Name of Love!!


Here it is; the story of the woman scheduled for execution by stoning. Yes, believe it or not, it still exists. But although the Iranian’s still practice this, it is not found as a law in the Quran, strangely enough. As I posted earlier, it was in the Jewish laws and practiced thousands of years ago, but then everything changed. What happened to change this law? Grace had come, in the form of Jesus Christ.  He was the substitute. He took our beatings, “by his stripes we are healed.” He took the public humiliation and the death that was meant for us.(Isaiah 53) “The punishment that was meant to bring us peace, was upon Him!

Now there is an outcry from the international communities about this poor womans’ sentence. Of course it’s outrageous to believe that a culture can still practice such barbaric acts and especially for a sin, which seems to be the norm in our present day. In fact it is almost glorified in some cultures. The punishment truly does not meet the crime.

But, this shows you that people who have no hope, stand judged by the law. It is a terrible thing, and all who judge others by these laws, shall themselves be judged accordingly. Perhaps not on this side  of eternity, but the Great Judgment Throne, where they will see the only True Judge, our Holy God and without the Advocate, Jesus Christ, as the mediator, their pleas will be in vain.

We stand accused of sin. Period. End of Story. The punishment by our Holy God, who could not even look upon His Son, when He bore our sins….is death. But it is eternal death.

This is why we cling to Christ, the one who made restitution for all mankind. This is also why He could say to the woman, being dragged to her imminent death, “Where are  your accusers?”

Pray for this woman, and all of those who are still being subjected to these laws. Pray that they will see the truth and the grace that sets them free! This is love, “Greater Love Has No Man, than He lays down His life for a brother.”

This is what our Savior has done for us…all in the name of Love!

Another One Bites the Dust!


Woman, where are your accusers?

The words are often quoted from the story in John 8:7, “If any of you, is without sin. let him be the first to throw a stone.”

One of my favorite stories in scripture, as it points to the hypocrisy of us all. It brings such conviction as we see so many examples which the Lord was pointing out, in one experience.

First we see that the Lord was ready to teach the crowd, when the Pharisees and teachers of the law, dragged a woman into the midst of all the people. “They made her stand before the group.” (v3) As if that wasn’t humiliating enough for this woman. But at closer look we see their intentions were not so much to bring shame to her, as it was to trap the Lord and discredit him before the crowds He was drawing.

So now you see the pride of man, once again, welling up,and the scheming involved with this setup. Well, after all, they were the teachers of the law. And in accordance with the law, any woman caught in adultery, would be stoned. Ahh, this time they really had Jesus. Or so they thought. I mean, after all, if He was the great rabbi, the teacher, He must fulfill the laws, right?

Well, Jesus, being God, fulfilled the whole of the law. Remember, He didn’t come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. And now the first question would be, in my mind, “How did they know she was committing adultery, if they were not also sinning, by watching the act? First point and I’m sure something which crossed all of their minds, when He began to speak.

Now, they reminded Him, that “the law of Moses commanded them to stone such women.” (v5) I have to chuckle at this. When I think of these people quoting such things to our Lord. I have had people come to me and speak total nonsense, and even tell me this is written in the Bible. Preposterous words and ideas, never mentioned. They are convinced it is the truth, and I want to say, “What in the world are you talking about?” But I’m human, imagine what the Lord was thinking at times. Not only knowing all truth, but He is TRUTH.

So, He knew what they were doing and “Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger.” (v6) This is right before He uttered those profound words.

What in the world had He written? Whatever it was, it had a powerful message. It was not just the words He spoke, but the fact that He was giving a word picture, in the sand. It was so powerful that as we continue reading we can see, He spoke of the one who was without sin to start the process and He “again stooped down and wrote on the ground.” (v8)

It was at this point that they began to leave, the older ones first.In that order. At this moment the Lord was alone with the woman and asked her, “where are your accusers?”

The law also required two witnesses before a stoning could occur. Now she stood before the Lord and grace was given. “Mercy triumphs over judgment.”

What did He write? Many have pondered this, however, I believe the concept of the names and ages of all the men which brought this woman to Him. They were the ultimate authorities of the teachings and the laws. So it is without question that they knew what Jeremiah, the prophet had spoken.

“A glorious throne exalted from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary. O Lord the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the spring of living water. (Jeremiah 17:13)

I’m believing that these men did not immediately recognize their own blindness, or they would see that Jeremiah had stated their demise, quite plainly. However, I do believe that the Lord, had written something shocking enough that they dropped their stones, and it certainly would have been something which would fulfill prophecy. This would have  definitely scared them, to see their names and ages, written in the dirt. Especially, since it doesn’t seem that the Lord had known them, personally.

The fact that they left, in the order of the oldest to the youngest, perhaps speaks to the fact that He also had written their ages, and as the oldest seems to be the wisest, showed the understanding each had.

 He basically read their mail, just as He had with the Samaritan woman at the well. However, this revelation, brought shame and conviction to these men, in a way which pointed out their hypocrisy, legalism and sanctimony, which they used to destroy peoples lives, rather than to edify them. The beautiful picture is the way our Lord, extended His loving grace, as a means of leading her to repentance.

After the woman has escaped death, He tells her, “now go and leave your life of sin.” He fulfilled the law and showed the way out of this bondage to sin. It was His love, which  had the power to change her heart.

When we look at a ‘religious system,’ we see many who are still in the throes of legalism. Deceived into believing that they can somehow, fulfill the right codes or laws to allow them entrance into the kingdom of God. Our Lord showed us time and time again, this is an impossibility. “For it is by grace which we are saved, not by works, lest any man should boast.”

Although He was very clear when He spoke to the woman,”go and sin no more.” As Paul said, “What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase? By no means!” (Romans 6:1) Yes, he is adamant about the fact that when His grace is extended to us, He also gives us the power to turn away from sin.

Remember the legalist, will turn away from Him. The living water. But to those to whom the Savior has been revealed, grace has come, and with that the power of His Spirit to change the person. Now they can walk toward Him and turn away from the world.

Ask for His grace and He will open your eyes to the mercy He has poured out on you. This is the power He has made available to all men. A release from the captivity of sin.

I made spikes with red paint on them to give out at Easter,one year. I told people, it was symbolic of our Lord and His sacrifice for us. I had a vision of these men standing in the group with stones, ready to hurl them at this woman. In their other hand was one of the spikes, dripping with our Lord’s blood. After having a vision such as this, I wondered, how can any of us be worthy to throw a stone, when our sins have  been responsible for the nails, in His hands and feet?

AMAZING GRACE!

Surrender…It’s the Most difficult thing


And necessary for the healing of our souls. I’ve had deep tears in my soul. Since I was a child. One after another. It seems all I’ve ever seen was the back of a shirt and another cut made into my soul. A deep cut. Tangible. I cannot tell you how deep the wound of my father’s death left me.Watching his flannel shirt, walking away. At times I think, if only I could capture that moment. That one block of concrete sidewalk. That nano-second, with just the right words. I find myself sobbing into the night.Other shirts turning away, walking. Another cut. There it is. Yes, I feel it…no, there’s no bandage, no surgery. It’s just there. Last goodbyes, sometimes not.  The thoughts of loved ones that have left me standing as I watched them walk away. I have boxes of notes and letters from people in my life and I know that I have projected my hurt toward those who don’t deserve it, just because I want them to pay in some way. This is what the Lord tells me He wants me to let go of and He is working this out in my life. I’ve seen bizarre things as it relates to this, that I cannot even explain, but it is as if the Father certainly is working His plan for my good. But I also know that all of these things has made me have a profound compassion for others. I feel hurt to see others hurting. I cannot explain it It has always been this way.

When the Lord tells me to let go, I still find myself clinging tightly to my security blanket of hurt. It comes to me when I least expect it. I’m afraid, if I will allow myself to feel something  I’m just giving someone a chance to present their back again.When this grace made an appearance in an answer to prayers, I had not even recognized him. Having fallen so deeply into the world and so hurt by the attacks from those around me, I could barely see grace. He was full of beauty and so humble, yet I was arrogant and proud. My eyes were clouded by my own hurt. I refused to allow grace into my life. What a foolish woman I had become in my own pain. We must suffer to learn obedience. And true obedience is the fear of the Lord. Of course many times I ask myself, how could I not recognize what was happening?  I had no idea what it was and my heart was full of rebellion. A wild animal that had yet to be tamed and the Lord knew this. With no ones love to help me understand, I had been bruised and and beaten up by this world. I only knew how to “take care of myself.” The Lord had to show me that picture of grace in all of its beauty. This authority is not from man but from Him and it is not abusive in any way.

Now He tells me that one day my soul will be healed from all of this abuse. His promise is, “all things work together for good to those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose.” I will understand. I know that right now I do not. But I have had a taste of it. A glimpse. I was the one that had not recognized it when it had come into my life. But this is why the Lord tells us to surrender.

When we are ready; He doesn’t give us what we need until both hands are empty of what we’re holding onto.

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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