About Me

Friday, April 29, 2016

RED BASKET SERVANT

Have you seen those red plastic baskets some restaurants use to serve fries, chips, and chicken wings?
God showed me one as I cried out to Him to use me. The vision in my head was clear.  
 The basket had some pita bread, broken into pieces.

The Spirit impressed upon my heart as I prayed, You are the basket. You will serve me, be prepared. Now go to the Bible and study both stories on Jesus feeding the multitudes.





That night I read 
Mathew 14:10-21 The story of Jesus feeding the 5000 after the beheading of John the Baptist.
Jesus was heartbroken. He tried to go to a desolate place by himself but He was followed by people who wanted to be healed.  He had compassion on them, He healed them and then fed them.
Mathew 15:29-39  Jesus was on a mountain healing many. He was joyful; the people glorified the God of Israel because of all the miracles.  Then Jesus fed them.

As I prayed and compared these two stories the Spirit echoed in my heart,
Like Jesus, you will feed many. Whether you are in physical or emotional pain, in a desolate place, or on a mountain top.  No matter the circumstance, you are my servant. I will use you when I want and how I want.  Be prepared.
I thought of the red plastic basket in my vision.  It has no great value, but it held bread, the sustenance of life.
I hold The Word of God in my head and heart, which can nourish many.  The power of the Spirit at work in and through me can bring healing, conviction, joy, encouragement, and truth to the multitudes.

God has tested me as His servant.  
There have been times  I was so weak and tired, He called me to minister.  I did not want to, but He reminded me of the basket.  I was obedient and God was glorified.

My personal choice of service is encouraging  a group of ladies when God gives me the privilege to speak at a conference. 
This is my mountaintop experience.  
No matter when or where I serve, my Savior reminds me that serving in His power will reap rewards.  
Remember when Jesus fed the multitude, there were leftovers?
We are all vessels, like that red plastic basket.  
We are all called to be servants like Jesus.

even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many Mathew 20:28 ESV

He had victory, His service reaped eternal rewards.
We are part of that reward; because of this,
we are called to obedience by serving.
We are to be Just like Jesus.
 For those whom he foreknew he alsopredestined to be conformed to the image of his Son Romans 8:29 ESV

At times, I fail at being a servant, I think we all do.
But oh! the joy of being used by our great God to change someone's life. There is no experience like it.
Will you join me and seek to serve our Abba no matter what He calls us to do?
Have you served out of pain, fear or joy?
Please comment below.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

GUILT BUSTER

 
  Feelings of guilt battled the Word of God for control of my thoughts, one emotional morning.
     What is that flying in the air, I thought to myself.  I saw a flash of light in the sky.  I was on my way to work.  
Fear gripped my heart as I slammed on the brakes.  Other cars stopped.   There was something in the middle of the highway, and I almost hit it.  I caught my breath, prayed and then stepped out of my car to assess the situation.  To my left about one hundred yards away, in the median, was a red jeep on its side.  In front of that Jeep was a limp body lying in the grass.   The object that caught the morning sunlight must have been that jeep flying through the air.   I scanned to the right, about fifty yards in front of me was what looked like a bundle of clothes in the middle of three lanes of traffic.
Oh my, it is a man!  I gasped.  Thank you, Lord, for making me stop.
A month earlier I had earned my Emergency Medical Technician certification.  I knew what to do at the scene of an accident; I had the knowledge to help these guys.   I expressed my dilemma, Lord which body do I go to first
I walked slowly to the scene. I was so confused, scared and knew that God would help me.
 I obediently approached the guy on the road; his limp body looked like a rag doll
Now, as an EMT, I should have immediately immobilized the gentleman’s neck to prevent injury or further damage to the spine.   I did not.  I did, however, observe that he was unconscious and breathing.  Instead, I laid my hands on him and cried out to God. With my body shaking I prayed audibly asking God to intervene. I opened my tear-filled eyes to what looked like a movie scene.   I saw many confused people staring at me.  After my prayer, I looked to my right. To my joy and amazement, there was a man, shoulder to shoulder with me, holding the neck of the patient to immobilize it.    I asked this hero who he was. God sent an off-duty firefighter. When the police and ambulance showed up, they told everyone to leave the area.   As I drove away, I cried and interceded in prayer for these two men.   Little did I know that this day, April 19th, 1995 would go down in history as one of the worst days in America, hindering me from identifying the two accident victims.
      I could not concentrate at work.   My supervisor listened as I told him about my terrifying morning.   He encouraged me to call the police station to find out what happened to the gentlemen.
     East Greenwich Police, How may I direct your call?
 Yes, I would like information on the accident on RT 4 North this morning, I was the first on the scene!
 Hold on; I will put you through to the officer handling that case.   
 Thank you, I sighed
     The officer came on the line.  I explained to him what I experienced.  My heart beat faster and faster as I hesitated to ask the difficult question that haunted my mind for the last two hours,
Officer what happened to the man in the middle of the road?
 It had seemed like forever before I heard his answer. 
He is going to make it!  
 YES!  Thank you, LORD!
   I was so overjoyed and, for a moment, forgot that I was sitting behind a desk in a medical clinic.  I startled a few of the patients in the waiting room. 
 I held my breath as I asked the next question.
How about the man in the median?
 I am sorry, He died at the scene.
 My heart broke, and I burst into tears. I thanked the officer and hung up the phone.
  Lord, you asked me to go to the man on the road.  Why?  If I prayed over the man in the median, maybe he would have survived! 
   God did not answer my question.   To this day, I still do not know why God had me go to the guy on the road and not the one in the grass.  The guilt tried to rob me of my peace.
Guilt feelings had a grip on me, choking out the truth of the word.  
I knew God told me to go to the man on the road, so why the guilt?
This seemed like a pattern with me.  After I sinned against God and confessed, I still felt guilt.
Was I missing something?
The Word of God states
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus Romans 8:1 ESV
When Isaiah saw the Lord he felt ruined (Isaiah 6: 1-7), He shared his experience
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”
These verses were my mantra, but the feelings of guilt remained.
It took years to get the answer to my question.
Lord, If we are justified and not condemned, why do I still feel guilty?
     I sat in the pew of Hampton Falls First Baptist Church.  Our family had moved from Rhode Island to New Hampshire to take care of my Aunt Marion.  Life was arduous.  The effects of my chronic illness, along with my husband not working and my son having difficulties in school, occupied my mind.   
     One morning, my ears perked up when the pastor said, Sin leaves a spiritual wound that needs to heal.
     Did the pastor read my mind?  Did he know what tormented me?  Did he dive deep in my inner thoughts?  
Pastor repeated himself,
When we sin against our God, we have a spiritual wound that needs to heal. The feeling is the healing process, not guilt

The feeling is the healing, I repeated to myself.
If the congregation could hear into the spiritual realm, they would have heard my chains of guilt feelings hit the wood floor under my pew. 
I was free.  God was not condemning me.  I knew it in my head; now I know it in my heart. 
I wanted to do cartwheels down the aisle, but you don’t do that in a Baptist church.
Our enemy wants us chained to feelings of guilt. 
He schemes to immobilize us with lies.
As the truth permeated my heart, I began to focus on my Abba and not myself.   I claimed His promise: 
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 ESV
 The application of the God's Word is mandatory to win the battle and be released  from the chains of guilt, shame, and lies.

Do you need to be set free from the feelings of guilt?
Has the Word set you free?
Please share in the comments section.

Friday, April 15, 2016

HAPPINESS OR HOLINESS?

I thought God wanted me to be happy.  He is my father after all.  My earthly father was abusive. My Father in Heaven is a God of Love so why am I miserable?”
I found myself saying this to my roommate Dana.  I was surprised that it even came out of my mouth.  After all, I am happy.  Right? I am the daughter of the King.   I am redeemed by the Blood.  Everyone at church is happy. They think I am happy.
 I desired to be happy. 
 I went from experience to experience seeking fun and fulfillment.  
I went to Bible Studies, women's conferences, and Christian coffee houses.
Happiness was fleeting.
 How could I stay happy when deep down I was far from happy.  I was crushed, miserable and needed answers.
After three years of pretending (I wore the happy mask well),  I began to search the scriptures more diligently.

My eyes fixed on Ephesians 1:4
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.  ESV
Holy?  Isn't God the only holy one?
I studied more...

For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7 NIV

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 NIV


God called me to be holy not happy?   
The truth of the scriptures began to crack the facade I wore.
I prayed and meditated on the Word. Intense pain from my past began to come out of hiding.  
I did not want to hurt...but my aim was and still is...holiness   
"You must allow God to heal those hurts"  Dana told me during another discussion.
"Sin has left wounds and they go deep, let the Word of God heal you"
I set my face like flint toward my healing God.
The process of healing was difficult.
Healing was exchanged for joy...a joy so indescribable
 A joy that pierced any darkness and trumped happiness.
His holiness manifested in me turned my pain to joy.

God is fine with us having happy moments.  
 However, His aim for our lives is holiness.
I no longer live from one happy experience to another.  
I am a person filled with joy.
Joy knowing that my Abba Father loves me unconditionally, joy knowing that He is still working in me, and joy knowing He will never leave me nor forsake me.
JOY JOY JOY!
What keeps you from experiencing the joy of the Lord?




Wednesday, April 6, 2016

DRINK DON'T DROP


We dropped like flies. 
Orlando, Florida is hot in August. 
 Boot Camp graduation is a great time of celebration. As always, the pomp and circumstance lasted hours.   
Before the ceremonies, we ran 3 miles, ate chow (breakfast), showered, and marched to the ceremony field, all by 10 am.  
Many did not drink water.  I had a few mouth fulls in the shower.
We stood there, at parade rest, (feet shoulder width apart arms behind our back with hands tucked into the small of the back). 
We watched the graduates march by us. We knew in five weeks we would be the one's marching.
The intensity of the heat began to take its toll.


Thud!  Thud! Thud.  Three of my classmates were on the ground.  We were instructed not to help.  They were quickly whisked away as the ceremony continued.  
Thud!  Two sailors away from me my friend fainted.
I felt dizzy and nauseous,   
Am I next?  I whispered to myself.
I bent my knees as advised in our training.  My mouth was drier than a desert.  I needed water.

After the ceremonies, we marched back to the barracks and immediately drank water.  I could hear lips smacking in delight.
 I found my friend,
 Did you pass out? Are you ok?
Her still pale face and bloodshot eyes caught my attention as she said,
It happened so quickly, I was thirsty, felt dizzy; I thought I was going to die. I awoke, and the doctor gave me water. 
Have you ever passed out from thirst?

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,

as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Without water, my friend could have become severely ill or physically died.   

Spiritually we are dead without a drink from the Living Water. 
The woman at the well offered Jesus physical water.  His offer to her was life altering.

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water- John 4:10 ESV

In Bible times,  spring water was called living water because it seemed "alive" as it bubbled up from the ground. Jesus makes a play on words with the phrase "living water," He offers the woman water that will quench spiritual thirst. 
She drank of the free gift and it transformed her The hole in her sole was satisfied.  
Her conversion was evident causing a ripple effect.  The lives of those around her touched by the wake of her testimony.  (you can read more in John chapter 4

  The living water is the Holy Spirit.  

 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”  Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John 7: 37-39

Jesus is glorified; we have the Holy Spirit living in us.
So why do we feel dry?

The LORD will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring. Isaiah 58:11 NLT


We must draw from the endless supply of Living Water.

Ask the Spirit to strengthen you.

Have you felt spiritually withered? 
How did the Lord refreshed your soul?
 Please share below.