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The Marvel of It All


 

Joseph. The man we tend to forget. The man who had to decide to do the unthinkable.

Bringing to my attention his supporting actor role in the most important birth in history, I felt as if I had left him out of much of the casting. This wasn’t done to belittle his career but the focus was elsewhere.

Mary was a chosen woman. One with an appointment like none other. How would any man be able to live up to the standards of the mother of the Son of God? How would any man be able to do what he was asked to do without some hesitation on his part?

Granted, Mary’s role wasn’t easy by any means but neither was Joseph’s. Over the centuries Mary has been given the lead actor’s position in a drama only God could have written, but Mary couldn’t have fulfilled her heroic purpose without Joseph.

One might refer to Joseph as the back-up guy, or Mary’s support system.

First he had to accept her pregnancy without understanding it. But who would believe such a story?

He had to fight off crowds of accusers for the lie she supposedly was telling.

He lost friends. Coworkers. Acquaintances.

How does a soon- to- be groom explain to his family his betrothed is pregnant by another man?

Yet, Joseph stood against the odds and accepted Mary as his soon- to- be wife in the midst of a presumed scandalous affair.

And Joseph thought this was the hard part.

After God revealed to Joseph in a dream Mary was indeed telling the truth, he would embark on a journey no other man has ever taken.

Matthew 1:20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.

How does a man protect the mother- to- be of the Lamb of God?

How does a man walk on foot across miles and miles of treacherous terrain leading his wife who is in her last trimester of pregnancy carrying the Light of the World on a donkey?

And then how does a man who probably had never witnessed a woman giving birth aid in giving birth to the King of the Jews?

Not only were these all “firsts” for Joseph, but he had no other place to take her but a smelly, old hay filled manger with cows and goats watching.

Was that what Joseph had planned for his new bride?

Was this the scene he wanted his legacy to be built upon?

Was this Joseph’s idea of a birthing place for the Prince of Peace? The Anointed One? Emanuel?

My thinking is he never had time to fully comprehend the enormity of it all before it happened.

They had to leave town immediately to escape Herod’s henchmen.  

Joseph didn’t have time to find a Marriott Hotel for the birth; he had to take what was available.

And babies are born on their own schedule. Joseph wasn’t given a crash course in midwifery.

Had God given Joseph a heads up a few years prior to this extraordinary story, would he have skipped town?

Would he have asked, “God, I’m not the man for this job, please find someone else?

If Joseph had thought it through would he have understood the magnitude of his calling?

If he had let it all sink in would he have taken on the fatherhood of the child who would one day be his Savior?

Joseph, the quiet man standing in the shadows probably spent the rest of his earthly life pondering the marvel of it all.

Matthew 1:16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

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2015: My Year from Hell and How God rescued me (Part 1)


 

It was never my intention to stop blogging, but life got in the way with twists and turns I didn’t know existed.  From major Strep throat in the spring, to a busy summer of work along with the worst reaction to medication ever in my life to the virus from Hell, I am ready for this year to be over.

Suffice it to say I have had literally the worst sickness of my life. After 2 doctor visits and many tests run the diagnosis was a virus. Don’t let anyone fool you into believing a “virus” is something simple to get over.  I have been in the bed for 6 weeks and still in and out of it, but getting there.  Top this all off with a kitten we adopted that in the first 6 months of his life has torn the house up!

One main reason for not blogging is the virus has made me so dizzy at times I can hardly stand up much less do anything else. As time has gone by, that is diminishing and I am so thankful to God for his healing.

The good news was all my tests were normal. Unfortunately, there is no medication for a virus or a quick fix. If there had been I would have been all over it. Believe me when I say I have never felt this bad in my entire life. To be writing this right now, is a major plus to say the least.  As Joyce Meyer says, “I am not at all where I want to be, but I am not where I was.” That is my theme.

On the other side of this miserable coin is the love of God. The fact my tests were normal is a miracle considering I thought they would hospitalize me to start with.  Forget driving, feeding myself or doing anything worthwhile; I have done nothing but rest. Doctors’ orders.

However, while resting my new GalazyS6 phone came in handy more than I can say. Not only is a copy/paste app the greatest comfort while one lies in bed but God’s words splashed all over it is truly the only way I got through this.  I was too sick to read from my Bible which I love to do but my phone became a positive substitute.

Hours of laying alone I have quoted healing scriptures over and over until I would fall asleep. Days and weeks of crying when I didn’t have the strength to cry God’s word gave me hope and peace. Minute by minute I discovered the power in God’s word simply by meditating on it. The more I soaked myself in God’s word even in a state of total lethargy, the words proved themselves to be true and work.

A simple few steps from my bed to the toilet I would pray myself there.

The energy to get to the kitchen for a few bites of food of which I lost my appetite completely God’s word gave me the strength to live off of bananas, toast and applesauce. I am small but lost 5 pounds the first 3 weeks I was sick. I can’t afford to lose weight.

Moments of sheer misery when the dizziness and nausea would come in like a flood, God’s word was all I thought about. God get me through this. God get me through this.

I just read Jennifer LeClaire’s article from Charisma magazine about the very issues of being in “hell” while others around you are complacent and misunderstanding of your pain. Of course she brought our dear brother “Job” into the picture who is a prime example of one who is attacked and beaten not only by Satan himself but those closest to him.

I am in no way subjecting my husband or daughter into this rigid scene of battle because God supplied them both for me during this time when I needed them the most. They have been my lifeline besides God.  But even in their case, correctly diagnosing my distress for so long has been difficult for them. There is really much to be said about “walking in someone else’s shoes.”

From God’s perspective, I believe his permissive will in allowing me to go through so many years of hardships has been to teach me compassion, empathy and love for those who are hurting. These last 6 weeks have opened my eyes to understand those in nursing homes, hospitals and sick in bed for long periods of time how they feel and the loss they experience. I can honestly say I know it for myself now.

If I hadn’t known for absolutely sure God wasn’t ready to take me, I would have been begging him to do so, but He has other plans. Even my dear friend in Christ, Larry Nevenhoven prophesied this to me which has given me much hope to move forward.  He also reminded me God’s grace is sufficient to get me through this. Well, I had to find out what that meant. And I did. Maybe not exactly what I wanted to hear while in a dungeon of despair and lifelessness, but evidently God did.

One would never imagine the call of healing yet, the one who is sick knows better than those well, what health is. God’s supernatural grace and power is the only reason for it all.

As I feel I am moving into a state of recovery I must admit during these last 6 weeks all I knew was God. Whether it be from desperation, misery or a pit of depression even in my weakest moments I was crying out to God.

I truly know now what it means when you have nothing else but God, God is all I need.

And it doesn’t hurt to have a phone that lets you play scrabble in between God’s words.

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Pentatonix: The Little Drummer Boy


If you haven’t heard this version of “The Little Drummer Boy” please do. It gives me chills.


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“For the times they Are a-Changin”


Bob Dylan wrote that song in 1963; it was released in 1964. Times were a-changin but not for the better.

Did Bob Dylan know the Supreme Court would outlaw prayer in public school as he wrote those lyrics in 1963?

Around the corner in August of 1969 arrived Woodstock. As a student in high school the rumors were “who is going to Woodstock?” It was the hall-talk, locker-jargon and classroom disruptions. The festival was the “place” to go according to the druggies and rock-n-rollers.

Looking back Woodstock was a festival made in hell organized by Satan himself. His deceptive influence had ushered in a generation of hippies who drank, smoked anything that could burn, free sex and ugly clothes. In the last few years those ugly clothes made it to our stores once again bringing back the memories of that mud filled event.hippie wardrobe

I didn’t understand what could be so great about going to an outdoor sing-a-long on a dairy farm with no showers, few outhouses and 3 days of simmering heat. The smell must have been rank. The trash was probably piled high of used drug needles, empty beer bottles, cigarette/weed butts and leftover ugly clothes from those who ended up naked. And attendees left announcing they had been a part of the greatest music event in history.

Was God there? Did he attend this music fest of youth subculture?

Probably. But for different reasons.

He was there answering prayers of many parents of those who went.

He brought his angels to ward off demons of death.

He made his presence known to the devil himself as a warning.

2012 marked 42 years since that 3 day bacchanalia.

And the times they are a-changin once again and it has nothing to do with Woodstock.

Sept of 2009 marked a major era of what the Jewish calendar calls the Ayin Season.

There are shifts occurring in the atmosphere. We will be given new vision or open doors that were not there before. God will give us the ability to see above that which we have not seen before.

What have we experienced over the last 12 months? A barrage of corruption gone wrong.

Benghazi attack
IRS oversight scandal
NSA spy scandal
Associated press investigation: James Rosen
ATF Fast and Furious
GSA scandal of abusing $823,000 of tax payer funds
Solyndra
War on Christmas
(To name a few)

Do you think these fraudulent and dishonest accounts came to light all by themselves?

And what about the men who died in Benghazi? Or Fast and Furious?

As the devil turns up the heat, God is pouring on loads of Holy Spirit fire to stamp him out.

Psalm 34: 15 “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.”
The shift is almost tangible. The air is filled with a new kind of warfare; a battle of supernatural proportions with the “Commander” (Isaiah 55:4) of all humanity leading the way.

According to this Jewish era, this season will bring with it a fresh guidance from God. He will mark the ground before us with his own steps. He will release power unknown before by bringing his people to doors of opportunity.

We will come to closed doors of our faith, health or strength only to be told to open it. On the other side will be strength, might and authority unleashed upon those who follow the “Power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1: 24)

Could it be the “Rewarder” of the faithful has heard our cries? (Hebrews 11: 6)

Could it be the “Spirit of Truth (John 14:1, 15:26, 16:13) is blowing a wind so forceful people will be knocked over by the love of God!

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved

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Law? What Law? (Part 5) Grace, Grace and more Grace


Antipas has captured, beaten and chained “John the Baptist” to a pole in a smelly, dusty dungeon. Fearing competition, Antipas wants information about this “Messiah” John has been preaching about.

He approaches him as a scathing mocker about to bully his enemy. Antipas asked this “forerunner of the Messiah,”Jesus-baptism

“So where is this Messiah coming from? When is he coming?”

John looks up at this son of Herod and with a smirk on his face replies,

“He’s already here.”

Yes. He is. Some 2000 years ago John spoke those words and today they are as true as they were then.

Jesus is alive; breathing the Holy Spirit of grace to each and every one who follows him.

His birth was the beginning of the transformation from the Old Covenant of Laws to the New Testament Covenant of the blood of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 3: 6 “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Grace was born when Jesus was resurrected.

The unmerited favor of God; his divine assistance or kindness given to us as a gift. We have done nothing to deserve it. Grace is favor with God through his son Jesus.

If you are like I was, the term “grace” wasn’t in my daily vocabulary. Not because I didn’t like the word, but understanding its true meaning had not been on my to-do list.

But once it is understood, humility takes on a whole new meaning.

The feeling is indescribable. Smallness becomes reality with a covering of unearned affection. Truth becomes a shield through the helplessness we suffer daily. Acceptance releases the strings tied to our sin. Independence is once and for all a thing of the past.

Grace is taking that walk down the Via Dolorosa.

Grace is following his blood stained steps as he carried his own cross.

Grace is believing Jesus did what no one else could ever do.

Grace is the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-4)

We are no longer judged by the law. We are viewed by the “Eternal God” our “Everlasting Father” through the pain and sweat of the one he sent to redeem us, past, present and future.

Grace is an overwhelming love that God established in each of us through Christ. He is rooted and established in our hearts through faith giving us power and strength from Heaven above. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

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The law no longer applies.

The law could never fulfill what we needed.

Grace did and won.

“It is Finished.”

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Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


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Law? What Law? (Part 4) “The Rulers of this Age”


Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy making wise the simple.”law or grace

Perfect words written by an imperfect man. A man who became King and messed up big time.

The lineage of David would bring about the Messiah, “The Lamb of God.” His coming was prophesied more than once in the Old Testament.

The birth of Jesus came along at a specific time and place as God ordained. How he came up with the schedule is anyone’s guess.
However with it came the writing of the New Testament.

The event marked history bringing with it correction of the Old Testament laws. God ushered in through Jesus the only way evil could be defeated.

For many doubters understanding God came down from Heaven and became a man through a virgin birth is ludicrous. But the blood had to be “holy and pure” and that could only come from God himself.

1 Corinthians 2:8 speaks of how the “rulers of this age” didn’t understood the wisdom of God. If they had they would never have crucified him. In a word God “duped” the enemy.

Many today believe everyone is under God’s wrath or judgment. If that were true Jesus would be dying over and over for our sins even for those who have accepted him.

Romans 8:7 “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law nor can it do so.”

Those who reject God also reject his laws which is where his wrath and judgment appear.

Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

History completely changed when Christ was born. 33 years later his death and resurrection became the focal point of our existence.

The depth of what Christ did for us is unseen by many which is tragic. Not only did he save us from “hell” he gave us himself.

What does it mean “he gave us himself?”Christ is the end of the law

To be continued……

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved