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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.

nativity


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Heart


 

Lately God has been moving my heart to His heart. Not sure exactly how it started except I know what it feels like to be heart broken. I also knows what it feels like to have God put it back together, over and over.heart

Many blog posts I have referenced David. David as a young man the sheep herder and David as a King. Up until now I have mostly thought of him as a complex character with a variety of faults that measured His integrity and abilities.

How could a man go from being just a humble boy to an adulterous murderer yet hold on to the calling of God? Well, David did. But it wasn’t without much pain and anguish over his own sin and the misery he caused many.

The answer has nothing to do with him but the mercy and grace of God. It was all God that gave David his fighting ability to the musical talent within his soul to becoming a great king. In the end I think David knew this but the journey was long and hard.

But what stands out to me more than all of that together was the phrase that God described him. David was a man after God’s own heart.

God looked at David from the soulish heart of affection. Even as he committed some horrible crimes God forgave him as he laid on the floor for a year in repentance. In fact his kingdom servants and advisors worried he was never going to get up.

How many of us have done that?

I have to wonder what conversations went on between David and God. What all did he learn on that floor?

My opinion is his heart evolved into a heart for God that became his crowning achievement.

The sheep herder became a warrior.warrior

The great warrior became a hero.

The hero became a King.

The king became God’s humble servant.

And God’s humble servant became a man after God’s own heart.

I am more convinced than ever before, David left us the example of what God wants more than anything.

He is after our hearts. He wants our hearts to mesh with his. He wants us to seek Him personally, affectionately and continually so that we walk, talk and love as Jesus did.

God is more interested in the state of our hearts than what we can do for him. Why?

Because out of that heart connection the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)

And what we speak can change the world.

loving-hearts

 


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The Great Commission


 

In the circles of Christianity we hear of God’s commission he gave to us through Jesus Christ.

The disciples had 3 years to learn from Jesus. One- on- one, group and large crowds of teaching material right in front of their own eyes. The day they met him individually, changed history.

The question of many including Christians in modern times is,Bible-Jesus-Disciples-Mary-Magdalene-History-Channel

“The miracles, deliverance and healings during Jesus ministry and the disciples after he ascended into Heaven, ended when they died out. Those supernatural gifts no longer exist.”

If that is true, then none of us would be alive today.

The greatest problem with society today is unbelief. And that is not limited to the truth of God’s word.

Recently, in the midst of the chaos in my personal life God brought two of the sweetest Jehovah Witnesses to my door. My reputation with most of them has been they don’t come back after visiting me one time. Somehow the real truth of Jesus Christ sends them running the other way.  One Elder who purposely showed up after a couple had “mission-ed” me told them in front of me I was evil and to never return.

Explaining to these two women most JW rejected me, they vowed that was not who they were as a church and apologized. I didn’t need an apology for the truth but they were embarrassed their own had acted so rude.

We really hit it off. Inviting them in the first visit we had a wonderful chat. It was a “divine appointment” even though they had no idea it was for them. Honestly, I can’t tell you what I said because the Holy Spirit flowed through my words like a river of fresh water. It was apparent because the girls were receptive, yet dubious.

Always traveling in pairs as part of their mission, one is a seasoned member and the other is a trainee. One of these girls had been a life- long member; the other left the Baptist church 6 years ago to join which is indicative of the mainstream churches’ problems.

Believing as many that God quit healing people when the disciples of Jesus died out, they were no different. Our discussion was cut short and they had to leave but promised to return. And they did but with other questions they had for me. I am waiting for them to come back because I really enjoyed their company and felt they were overjoyed with our meetings.

God is an answer waiting to happen. Praying for a verse, word or anything to explain miracles of healing, casting out demons, deliverance, and supernatural mysteries Jesus and his disciples performed continue today was my mission. I have no doubt this is real and occurs today. I have witnessed it and will re-iterate if I had to live the rest of my life on this earth believing otherwise, what would be the point in anything?

Matthew 28:20-21 (amplified) Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).

And there it is. Jesus says, “Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you”.

What did he command the disciples to do?

Mark 3: 14-15 “And He appointed twelve to continue to be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach [as apostles or special messengers] And to have authority and power to heal the sick and to drive out demons:

Matthew 10: 1, 8 “And Jesus summoned to Him His twelve disciples and gave them power and authority over unclean spirits, to drive them out, and to cure all kinds of disease and all kinds of weakness and infirmity. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and drive out demons. Freely (without pay) you have received, freely (without charge) give.

healing

 

 Jesus told the disciples to teach the good news which included salvation, healing, casting out demons, etc. Matthew 28:20 Jesus tells his disciples to teach them (or others, us) to observe what they did commanding us to do the same.

Jesus is clear in that scripture he has given authority down through the ages of people to repeat his commands of all he did and more during his ministry.

Then why isn’t the modern church obeying him?


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Heather McCoy update!


The following is the link to the TV appearance that was supposed to be a few months ago but happened 5/14 on the Balancing Act on LMN with Heather.  It is wonderful and our Heather is a true inspiration. If you think you are having a bad day, listen to how her days have been since she was born. 

 

 

http://www.thebalancingact.com/

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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….


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Catch that Fear


 

Most people have at one time or another been caught completely off guard.

You get dumped. By a text message. Or Email. But still dumped.

The phone call came you weren’t expecting.dumped

The pink slip was in your mailbox.

The doctor’s diagnosis isn’t what you wanted to hear.

How many times can one take the SAT? The Bar exam?

When these moments occur how do we usually respond or react?

The list of adjectives could be long, vile and/or rated R. We could weep, throw things or move to another country. Some might actually answer those texts/emails with “I am dumping you.”

Others could get a 2nd opinion. Take the tests over and get a prescription for Lexapro.

 Isaiah 41: 10 “Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

 But, what if, yes, what if you were right in the middle of getting caught completely off guard your perception of what you see or hear in the natural all of a sudden becomes a supernatural revelation of wisdom that what you are being told isn’t true?

What if you spiritually see a word in front of your eyes that is indicative of your present circumstance?  The word is flashed before you almost as a blinking light.

What if in the moment you are stuck in a firestorm of fear being thrown at you and a thought of your next move comes out of your mouth that you had no idea you were going to say?

And what about that “dumping” or pink slip you just received? Maybe it is a sign something better is out there?

Psalm 34:4 “I sought (inquired of) the Lord and required Him [of necessity and on the authority of His Word], and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”

God goes beyond our 5 senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste by allowing those who closely follow him into the spiritual world he lives in.5-senses-cards

The enemy is blasting us with fear.

He shows up when we are alone, kicks us while we are already down and sets up “fear” assaults to distract us, stop us and move us away from God.

His “fear” attacks come in all forms such as threats, flattery, gossip, wrong diagnosis, job loss, poverty, illness, confusion.

The latter, confusion has become a satanic drop shot. Busyness and coordinated efforts to fill our lives with useless activities, people and wrong direction has unleashed disorder and misunderstandings leaving even the closest of friends as enemies.

Get and stay close to God. Learn to hear him or how he speaks. Understand he doesn’t do anything the usual way. Look beyond your senses and perceive him supernaturally.

You might find yourself catching the fear before it catches you.


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“Passover” Armor


 

I listened to a 3 minute video yesterday by Rick Warren. No matter what you may think of this man, his family endured the worst year of their life in 2013. Their 27 year old son Matthew who had suffered mental illness most of his life decided it was over. After committing suicide the Warren’s took a 3 month hiatus. The video is a significant tribute of how God held him together. His appearance was remarkably charismatic. He smiled and spoke with confidence and grace. He was a father who misses his son, but a man who knew how and where to go for the help he needed to deal with such a tragedy.

Ephesians 6:11 “Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. (Amplified)

We all need each other at different times in our lives and especially when our hearts are broken.
But no one can give us what God can.

The “Passover” is one of the best examples of God giving a prevention method to his people before the enemy hit. Those who listened and acted were spared the horrors of the “Angel of Death.”

As Pastor Warren spoke he told of how his family had given every possible medical and psychological attention to their son for many years. Supportive prayer was the ultimate therapy. But Matthew chose to wear the armor of someone else instead of his own.

King David was evidently a small guy; Saul the King of Israel was a big man.  Before David took it upon himself to kill the “Giant” Saul offered him his armor.  Sorry, but that would be like my husband giving me his clothes to wear.

1 Samuel 17:38 “Then Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail.” (Amplified)

We are not meant to wear another person’s armor. David knew this because he knew the Holy Spirit was with him long before he faced the Philistine.  He knew he should follow God’s leading, not wear armor that would fall off of him.

As we fast approach Easter, the Passover is like a shield of covering to all of us. The protection God gave in Passover was settled at Easter.

Understanding this awesome gift is only done by going through our own crucifixion based on Jesus’ death and resurrection. Surrendering sin, confessing our hearts desire to be more like Jesus allows the Holy Spirit to take up residence within us. God never meant for him to be a guest.

Once done the Resurrection life of Easter should enter and occupy every area of our lives. Then God will be able to fill us with his holiness.

Does your armor fit?

If it doesn’t then you must have the wrong designer.

th5WB217VS

 

 

 


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How to Throw a Successful Pity Party


shame

 

Inspired by Ellay’s Space, a blogger who wrote about her own quandary of throwing “pity parties” she shed new light on the subject.

http://anxiousandawesome.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/crap-happens-date-edition/

Admitting she had them it was time for a change. What a confession! Most people will have a pity party about their pity party.

Years of illness, heartbreak and “burn out” gave me the opportunity to further my knowledge of how to throw countless and lofty “pity parties.”

Self-pity by definition is indulging in one’s own sufferings, hardships and difficulties as self-absorbed unhappiness.

The source of pity is often found in the sandbox.  Throw it at those you dislike who bully you into feeling sorry for yourself. When you can’t steal your siblings toys or get the same bicycle your friend did down the street, it is a loss of “human rights” not to weep, complain or throw sand in the name of selfishness.

Having mastered this great art in our younger years we move into adulthood; only now we aren’t throwing sand.

The list of civil liberties is almost anything;

⇒Your best friend steals your boyfriend (you were ready to dump him but you don’t want her to have him either)

⇒An uneducated idiot gets the one job you wanted; forget buying that new car

⇒Your marriage falls apartwhine

⇒That friend you had? Just dumped you for a better model

⇒Illness hits you blindsided and you wonder how this could happen to me.

WHY CAN’T I EVER WIN?

Does this sound familiar? The following are assets to a celebrated pity party:

∗Amplify the pain. Whine and moan over all your losses announcing to the world your “heap of troubles.”

∗Remain gloomy. Live in darkness. Throwing graffiti isn’t permitted.

∗Complain to the homeless man.

∗Send a letter to Gweneth Paltrow confirming you know exactly how she feels.

∗Stay in your pajamas all day as a requiem to your position.

∗Sit on the floor and repeat:

        “Everybody hates me. Nobody loves me. Think I’ll eat a worm.”

∗And whatever you do remember the basis for your party is to get as many as possible to simply feel sorry for you.

Getting to the heart of self-pity is understanding the destructive nature it presents. There is nothing good about it. It is a root of depression and fear. Like so many of its friends, despondency, rejection, gloom, anguish, etc. the seed of self-pity sinks deep into our character and nature solidifying a pattern of narcissistic behavior. In other words, “it’s all about me.”

 

What does God say about self-pity?

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”

1 Thessalonians 5: 8 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

God says it was and never will be all about us.

In fact, it isn’t about us at all.1003520_705847879441919_5093802_n

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Analysis Paralysis and the Amplified Translation


Since changing from my past NIV Bible Translations to the Amplified (which I had to since I tore the others up) I have discovered some interesting verse differences.

Preferring an NIV I must admit the Amplified is growing on me.  It is wordy, descriptive, a longer narrative than other translations. However, the potential of understanding certain sentences or phrases in verses is broken down for the reader to comprehend more of what God is saying to us.

Romans 8: 6-8 are in this category.

“Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].” (Amplified Bible)

The words that struck me are “the mind of the flesh which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit.”

Revelation.analysis

Many people are or have tried to make life decisions or choices by sense and reason only. While it may work temporarily or in specific situations it isn’t a recipe for success.

Reasoning leads to analyzing everything from point A to Point B leaving nothing out in between.  Dissect it, break it down, and tear it up piece by piece. Cover every angle, curve and side until there is nothing left resulting in making no decisions at all.

In Psychological circles this is referred to as Analysis Paralysis. Old wounds surface causing the analyzer to go overboard to disprove the initial wound or a present application of the wound. In other words, reliving a trauma that was never dealt with or removed.

Analysis Paralysis forms from certain deep seeded pain, low self-esteem and worry.

Sense can be sight, touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Common sense is perceiving, understanding or judging that which is reasonably expected by most people.

Both can become obsessions or used in part for acquiring major goals in life. Again, these are not complete on their own nor do they promise positive results.

The Holy Spirit is the glue for the other two that holds it all together. God meant for his saints to connect the 3.
Anything independent of the Holy Spirit is subject to large voids, mistakes and negative consequences.  

God filling us with his spirit is truth, life and the best guide to keep us out of trouble.

Now how good is that? 

albert


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Shortcuts


Red tape.Cut-the-Red-Tape

Paper trails.

Careless spending.

Needless effort.

Time wasted.

Stress inhibitors.

Instead of going the long way around for answers
why not just cut the corner and go to God first?

He is in the business of shortcuts.

Americans tend to go over, under and in circles to find out what God already knows. After all he is God.

Paperwork is a necessity up to a point, but much of it has been overloaded with junk, regulations and non-essentials.  Thank the good Lord for email, scans and signaled media in the air. At least we might save some trees.

This is one more diffusion from the devil. “Keep em’ busy so they won’t have time for God!”  And we fell for it, hook, line and sinker.

Maybe God had a better plan all along; if only we would ask him.

For instance:

The physician discusses your needs and riddles off a list of tests needed to be done to find out what the problem is and how to treat it.  Your insurance or lack thereof’ doesn’t cover most of it so out of your pocket goes your savings to the tune of thousands of dollars.

To find out you need acid reducers?

 

The auto repairman tells you that noise will require hundreds of dollars of tests.

Only you needed a new battery.

 

 Here’s a true story.

Glasses were foreign to me until I turned 40. Reading was my issue so OTC was fine. By age 50 normal wear and tear put me in glasses 24/7. Dr. Christina set me up with my first pair. A few years later after my eye exam she stopped me and said,

“Has anyone ever told you about the freckle in your eye?”  Completely blind-sided (lol) by her question my reply was,

“No. What do you mean?”

Dr. Christina, “You have a very large freckle in your eye. Just like ones we have on our skin. Nothing to worry about but thought you needed to be aware of it.”  Fine by me. I went on my way.

Insurance changed and she was not in my network so I had to go to a different eye doctor due to the cost.

After a long term try with contact lens, I told the new doctor that wasn’t going to work for me due to allergies.  Months to try new pairs he forgot to dilate my eyes the year before.

When he did, he looked at me with literal “shock” on his face.

“Did you know you have a very large freckle in your right eye? Can you see?”

“Yes….”

He arranged for me to go to an Eye Specialist for tests.

“Why do I need to do that? Dr. Christina told me not to worry about it?”

He thought it needed checking.

Against my better judgment I went. After 2 hours of eye drops, an eye sonogram and who knows how many photos I couldn’t see! Fascinated by the results the nurse had to show me what it looked like. Every one of them asked me “and you can see with that in there?”

For all I knew I may have been born with it.

The specialist entered the room while I was trying to get my focus back.

“All is well. It is just one of those strange phenomena we rarely see, but no problems. Let us know if you ever want to get your glasses here.”  And he walked out.

Once home I looked at Mark and said, “That was entirely unnecessary wasn’t it?”

A few days later the good ole” doc called to tell me he had the results from all those pictures they took! “Well, it turned out as I hoped it would.”

My reply was, “you knew before I went that was the outcome. I just wasted thousands of dollars, time and stressed out energy to protect you. You only sent me to do this because you were afraid I was going to sue you.”
Dead silence. That was the last time I ever spoke to him. Not long after that he left town for lack of business.

After years of medical testing and doctor visits for female problems that came up with “you need a hysterectomy but your insurance won’t cover it” I learned some big lessons.

Much of it was unnecessary and based on fear.  Most of it was repeated so my doctors could get insurance reimbursements simply for the visit.

The Holy Spirit nudged me for years, “no, you don’t need that.”

If God wants to spare us of needless and unwarranted trouble why not listen?

Who knows what or who he might save us from?