Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

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A True Story: The Heart of a Cat


It was early dawn. My husband who gets up before anyone else on earth, arrived in the den only to hear our 12 year old feral feline wailing and acting strange.  Opening the back door there she stood in front of him holding a 2 inch field mouse in her mouth as if to show him her gift of love.

Little did she know opening her mouth very wide to wail one more time the mouse fell out. He shut the door in an effort to keep the rodent from running inside. Maxi took off chasing him as if to say, “You are mine.”

Mark knew he had to stop this chase. Grabbing the cat after cornering this very frightened creature he brought her inside only to have her sit by the door and whine.

He hadn’t even had a cup of coffee yet.Mark and Maxi 2

Leaving her to her misery of the lost gift he made his early morning joe.

By the time I moved much later he told me of this great adventure.

The cat began wailing at me as if I would let her out. Somehow her instincts knew her prey was still around.

He and I went outside only to find the ailing rat in a hole on the right side of the back door. She runs out and begins to attack. The mouse escapes, running around the table, grill and into a side corner. Grabbing the cat once again we put her inside. She was not happy with her grandparents. Her efforts to once again show her appreciation for saving her life years ago was in the least futile in her eyes.  

By now I needed coffee.

We sat in the den watching tv and resting for a while. Too much excitement at 7am.

30 minutes later I went outside. Not only was the mouse still there, he was crouched behind my Swedish Ivy plant up against the brick on the left side of the door.

Mark attempted to catch him only to have the scared mouse run and fall right into the pool! Swimming for his life Mark finally caught him with the pool net. Giving him his freedom, Maxi ran outside to continue to search. 

She sniffed all around still believing she could locate her hard earned present. Her facial expression said it all.

“Why would you do this to me? I wanted to give it to you to show you my love?”

Isn’t that kind of like God?

Not that he wants to bless us with rodents but the abundance of his own love. Love that captures hearts like no other. Love that is supernatural and healer of all ills. Love that surrounds his people so overwhelming that once it hits you are never the same.

Maybe God feels like our cat sometimes. She gave us love only for us to throw it away. She exerted energy she rarely has these days to announce her gratitude only for us to deny it. She spent hours tracking for a gift we simply refused.

We can learn from our friendly felines the word, “devotion.” They seem to know what it means more than people.

God can take the size of a field mouse kind of love and make it grow.

So go catch a field mouse today and give it to God. It’s a start, and he will accept it with open arms.

Romans 8:38 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”


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You know that Bridge over Troubled Water?


Reading a recent article about Art Garfunkel, I was saddened by his words.

The year was 1970. The hit song, “A Bridge over Troubled Water” rang through the air waves internationally. The lyrics and music along with Garfunkel’s angelic voice gave it recognition, he and Paul Simon didn’t see coming. Instantaneous fame became their way of life. Even those with a crow’s voice like mine were heard trying to sing it.

I remember hearing it over and over with tears falling from my eyes. The words were so profound one couldn’t ignore their touch.

When you’re wearysimon-and-garfunkel
Feeling small
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all

I’m on your side

When times get rough
And friends just can’t be found
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

When you’re down and out
When you’re on the street
When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you

I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down

Sail on Silver Girl,
Sail on by
Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way

See how they shine
If you need a friend
I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will ease your mind

Who would have thought 45 years later the two musical geniuses, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel would remain apart by the very song that was meant to “bridge” people together.

According to the article and Garfunkel’s side of the story, he received the glory and recognition because he sang it; Paul Simon wrote it and was left out of the limelight for his talent and gifting.

The two became bitter, resentful and angry. Simon supposedly broke the two up. Garfunkel became a Math Teacher. Simon went his own way.

Growing up in the same place, they were in high school together. Simon who is a mere 5”2 inches tall and Garfunkel at 6 feet tall became friends as Art felt sorry for the short Paul Simon and became his body guard against bullying and ridicule for his height. I can relate although I didn’t have Art Garfunkel to back me up.

It was during this time the two began what would eventually become one of the greatest musical duos in modern history only to be halted by greed and jealousy.

This division is so relevant today it has become mainline.

People are fighting over the ridiculous.

People are angry over words that appear offensive even when they know it’s a lie.

America is divided by its own greed and jealousy to a point the bridge is almost broken in half.

Reading Paul Simon’s lyrics bring to heart a friendship of backbone, strength and courage to be there for one another in times of pain, darkness and when down and out.

But that is hard to find in these days. Humans have no way of bridging the needs of others without the bridge that is already built.

In 1970 I would have thought his words resonated any best friend a person could have humanly speaking. That may be true to a certain extent, but no one person or persons can fill that gap; not even close.

The bridge is Jesus Christ.

The connector is the Cross of Christ as the redemption for our sins.

He is the one who dry’s our tears, shines his light and eases our pain. He is the dream maker who sails beside us, in front of us and behind us.

Jesus Christ is the bridge upon which the foundation of the world is saved.

He is the bridge who laid down his life for every troubled water we may swim in.

And he is the only bridge that gets us across to the other side in victory.


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Oh, Woe is me….


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This will be my last post for a while.

My Dell laptop is sick. She has been through home testing with Dell agents and the decision was made she needs a hospital visit.

My hope was a new adapter would aid in the charge recovering to 100% but of course that didn’t happen. Now the doctor believes the motherboard is suffering and may need surgery.

As soon as I received this heartbreaking news, WITHDRAWAL SET IN LIKE MAXI POUNCING ON A MOUSE.

My beloved laptop is sitting on my lap as I type this post. The people at Dell have no idea what it will be like for us to be apart; and possibly a few weeks. Besides the many uses she offers I simply cannot write/blog on my phone or Mark’s ipad. At least they are substitutes to some degree until she returns.

I don’t believe in coincidences but after not feeling like writing this book I am supposing to be writing for the last year, I began to do so a week  or so ago. And then…..that was when I noticed it wasn’t charging completely. Hhhhhhhmmmmmmmm……….

However there may be a slight silver lining. God may be allowing us to be apart to break my addiction?

What is the saying, “you never know what you miss until you don’t have it?”

In that line of thinking I impose the great writer, the Apostle Paul.

I have had a picture in my mind of him sitting at an ancient desk in the middle of a prison writing the gospels. With his parchment paper, quill pen and ink jar he wrote some of the greatest books ever written.

He didn’t know what computers were. Nor pens and paper as we have today. Forget erasers or whiteout; he didn’t even have electricity for lighting. God supplied what he needed to pursue writing words that have survived centuries.

He probably didn’t miss what he never had. How can one miss what doesn’t exist?

Yet he managed to compose the Holy Spirit’s words in the simplest forms. I wonder if he had any idea of the magnitude of his prison sentence.

What appeared to be horrible conditions kept him in one place, under one roof without distractions to perform God’s will on earth. And without a Dell.

“I will be back.”


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It’s not just any weekend…..


This time of year is like none other. For me personally Easter weekend many years ago played a major part in the basis for my journey.

Reading in My Utmost for His Highest the other day it said,

“It’s not what you do, but who you are.”

Isn’t that at the core of the crucifixion?

Isn’t that the result of the Resurrection?

It is who we are in Christ.

Jesus Christ; after the fact is life.

If you allow yourself to ponder, think and truly recognize all He did for us on the cross, all the other stuff is mute.

 

 


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The Spiritual Warfare Crisis


You don’t have to look far to find spiritual warfare. Maybe its modern communication, technology or social networking but the devil is having his day; or so he thinks.

Whether war, kidnappings or brutality is the attack he is pulling out the best “guns” he has left in an attempt to capture the souls of God.

Persecution has become a totem pole of who can say the worst about their opponent as by evidenced of the election Nov. 4th.

Here in my own state of SC the disgusting, sick and radical lies made about Governor Nikki Haley and Senator Tim Scott backfired. Both won their elections by landslides. What the devil meant for harm for 2 Godly people turned against their accusers. Maybe and hopefully Americans are waking up realizing that getting away with “whatever” isn’t working. 

The fight has been going on since the Garden of Eden. The battle has been won but we humans must heed the truth of God’s word and apply it to ward off the flames of the evil one.  Why? Because Satan just doesn’t want to give up.

One main reason so much is wrong in the world has been a loss of teaching on “spiritual warfare.”  Well, we need it and fast.

Ephesians 6 is full of the Armor of God.  He sheds light on giving us his artillery, weapons and wisdom to “thwart” the enemies’ assaults.

One of the best ways to learn God’s word is to read the same verses over and over and over. Doing this for years is a constant learning experience as God manages to come up with something new the more we read them.  Words jump off the pages as if to come alive. (Hebrews 4:12)

My enthusiasm for the Amplified version of the Bible has grown especially since I really didn’t like it at first. However God can communicate no matter what version it is. Now I find myself soaking in the descriptiveness of this version. And for the record it is Joyce Meyer’s favorite and now I know why.

Verse 13-15 speaks of “standing” firm with God’s armor covering us.war

13 Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place].

After reading this for months God said,

“Check out the NIV version and compare the two.”

NIV 13 “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Immediately the Holy Spirit enlightened me.

“Stand your ground or Stand over, around and through  the crisis.”

My interpretation is it is a matter of persistent endurance; righteous patience and solid focus on Jesus.

How do we stand?

Continued…..


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Are you suffering with Christ?


 

The matter of suffering is questionable at best.

Most of it isn’t fun.equipped

Takes way too long.

Is often quite miserable.

So why does a good God allow us to suffer?

The answer may be more than one but the process of finding out is part of the answer.

No one understands suffering more than God.

Maybe God knew how much more horrible it would be for us to suffer completely had he not come up with the grandest solution.

Jesus suffered everything; all, the entire human race’s sin, vileness, evil.

What we go through is most likely minor, minute in comparison.

Maybe we suffer to carry other’s burdens.

Maybe we have pain in our bodies that is relieving someone else’s pain who is going through much more than we are.

Maybe God wants us to learn the intimacy of suffering with the Savior. Why?

It is our birthright in Christ.  We come into this world sinners only saved by grace and that grace is sufficient for our sorrows and distress. Yet through that grace we become new creatures in Christ. And since we become new creatures we will experience some of all he has experienced.

You might say, “Some things are not to be shared.” While that may be true from our fleshly standpoint, in Christ God wants to share everything with us.

Don’t start yelling that this is an admission of pain. No, it is the focus of walking through the deep waters with Jesus. It is learning the ability to take steps with him as he navigates the deep and dark by hearing, listening and heeding his voice to victory.

It is a closeness to his “Spirit” that strengthens our spirit in the midst of whatever we are going through.

When we reach the plateau of understanding God’s allowing us to suffer is for his purposes, his kingdom and glory, your faith has grown to a new height. This new level produces a “bigger picture” of what God is doing which in many respects may be equating his character with ours.

The eventual result is God perfecting his union with us.

cross

(Photo Header by John Randy Harrison)

 


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Seasons of Familiarity


 

 

“I’ve grown accustomed to your face……”face

What a “familiar” tune. I wonder if the writer, Alan Jay Lerner knew the gravity of such lyrics.

How often do we take for granted those faces so close to us?

Joseph knew it. His brothers were agitated by his presence. He was their father’s favorite; the “golden boy.” He angered his siblings so much they lied, betrayed and sold him.

David recognized it. He was just a young sheep herder. What did he know? Bringing lunch to his older brothers in battle he began asking too many questions about this “giant” which launched them into a fury of rage.

And what about Job? Who needs enemies with friends like he had?

These 3 men had some interesting commonalities:

They were surrounded with large families/friends who rejected, abandoned and mocked them.

They were treated with disdain and contempt for their inquisitive nature.

They were ignored by the very people they loved most in life; considered outcasts in their own surroundings.

They were dreamers with big dreams. Men of God who knew they had a purpose larger than life. Men who chose to seek the Creator to discover their reason for being here. Men who began small but ended in greatness and authority.

Simply put, they were different.

So was Joan of Arc

Thomas Edison

Mother Theresa

Martin Luther King Jr.

“Being familiar with someone else does not lessen the pain for those suffering. It is simply an inexcusable detraction of love, yet it happens every day.”

 Many throughout history have understood, felt and known the same differences. And with those differences came pain, suffering and loneliness. Why?

Because they knew they had a destiny and chose to find it. Their difference led them to desire the abundance God wanted to give them.  Their dissimilarities became incentives for their rise to become leaders and trailblazers for the Kingdom of God.

The difference in one human from another can pronounce their future; it is a prophetic force of wanting more than those around them.

But this force intimidates, agitates and speaks loudly the conviction of others.

It is misunderstood and uncomfortable to live with.

The truth is those familiar with the destiny of the David’s and Joseph’s is what can’t be seen.  Greatness, power and authority are invisible to the carnal eye but the presence of supremacy and muscle responds with the adversity of smallness.

Those who choose to live in the bubble of their own making never allow God to lead their lives as he sees fit. Comprehending Job’s ability to withstand the enemy fire remaining loyal to God or Mother Teresa’s heartfelt compassion for the poor and impoverished is a fearful state for the ones who never embrace their own difference.

Significance comes with risks.

Prominence comes with loss.

Distinction comes with rejection.

Merit comes with abandonment.

Yet only the serious “God” seekers will rise above the pain and agony of hatred and animosity from others to fulfill their destiny from Heaven.

What is your difference and what do you plan to do with it?

 Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

 

 

 

 


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I Beg to Differ (Conclusion) Prepare to Surprise Yourself


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Without realizing it, I grieved 4 years ago when we were told by the surgeon immediately after he had cut a foot out of dad’s colon, the next 3 days were critical.  Hitting me like a brick this wakeup call set in motion that God had allowed me time to prepare for his passing. I am sure that is not the only reason but I was extremely grateful.

Informing my husband and daughter months after this major surgery I simply wasn’t coping I embarked on the journey of letting him go.

The following is what God taught me. Hopefully his guidance here will help others.

 

Begin seeking God immediately about letting go of anything especially other people. In other words; hold people loosely.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you scriptures that will aid in giving you strength and whatever he thinks you need to deal with loss. Prepare.

Speak all that needs to be spoken. This is especially helpful for people who live away from those they love. Technology today grants no excuses for lack of communication.

Understand how temporary this life is on earth. We are truly passing through.  Pray for the salvation of those lost ahead of time.

Lean on Jesus. Place any fears, doubts, or worry at the Cross for him to replace with his presence and peace.

Understand our security lies in God alone; not people, places or things. If a “crutch” has been built, ask God to remove it and replace all protection, confidence and refuge in him. Get to the place where you go to God as your sanctuary.

Allow God to restore in our hearts that person in the perfection of Christ Resurrected. In other words he will become that one we lose.

 

The key is to seek and stay as close to God as you can.  These principles work not only in the loss of loved ones but many other types of losses.

I can promise you this works. The person, the child of my father that I asked to be at the day of his funeral showed up.  God gave me more than what I thought I would ever need. He endowed me with strength that I do not possess in my emotional and physical humanness. His peace and presence surrounded me when in the past I would have fallen apart. His compassion for knowing my loss was engraved in my soul. He knows what it is like to lose a loved one.

The difference surprised me.

The difference overshadowed any grief I had had in the past.

The difference made the present circumstances which had been a lifelong dread, very bearable.

The difference was all “Divine Intervention.”

The difference was all God.

All Jesus.


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I Beg to Differ (Part 1)


Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.

Isaiah 41:10

As many of you know I lost my father last week. 88 years on this earth is a long time, but God graced his family and friends by allowing him to be with us that long.

In truth, God saved my dad 3 times before he took him April 29 from possible death over the last 30 years.  Each was a miracle and dad bounced back resuming his witty sense of humor while recovering each time.

4 years ago we almost lost him after major surgery that placed him in ICU with a 3 day window of life or death. Remarkably, once again he awakened defying the odds that even his surgeon did not expect. Not only did he survive and struggle to regain his independence, he did it with a clear mind and his satirical funny side. He was a lifeline of upbeat drollness giving the hospital and recovery staff a daily lift.  And then he brought it home.

Dad was a product of consistent prayer and faith he and my mother had for their 64 year marriage.

I write this post as a tribute to both of them for their love for each other and the stable foundation they gave me with God in the center.

The thought of losing him during that time 4 years ago was not on my radar. Literally, I fell apart. Coping with daily life became an emotional drain which landed me in my doctor’s office full of anxiety and panic. My doctor and her nurse are dear friends of mine.  Understanding my inability to move forward we addressed the issues.

Once it all set in I knew it would take more than therapy and Lexapro to arrive at a place of accepting the inevitable even if God gave me a few more years with dad around.

What I discovered over the last 4 years challenges the phrase, “We can never be prepared to lose a loved one or a friend.”

In my next post, I want to share with you God’s provision, comfort and supply he gave me to not only get through dads passing, but exceed that which only God can do in us. I even surprised myself. 

I beg to differ that we can be prepared for the death of anyone. 

To be continued….