Saturday, August 31, 2013

Slowing down to notice the little things....

I just love how the Holy Spirit will bring something into my thoughts, so that I can blog about it!  Just now I was remembering something that happened yesterday morning.  I was in the car line at school to drop off two of the children that I nanny.  As I approached the drop off place, I noticed a very small boy - he had to be a new kindergartner - standing, crying right by the road.  I saw him watching a car drive out of the parking lot and knew that it was his mom.  The sad thing was that no one seemed to be paying any attention to that little boy!  So as soon as my two charges had left the car, I swung out of line and parked my car.  I made my way over to the now sobbing little boy and knelt down by him.  I told him my name and asked his - Jeff!  And yes, he was in Kindergarten and he wanted him mommy.  I asked him if he would show me where his room was and he took one last look towards the road in search of mommy, and then agreed.  So I led him down to the kindergarten rooms and found his teacher.  I explained what had happened and wished him a great day and left. 

When I was driving away, I was remembering the day of the picture above.  This was Doug's first day of Kindergarten.  I was working full time during these years and my kids went to a home daycare.  This was also a new day care provider and a different bus stop.  So, after I took this photo, I got into my car to go to work, and Doug had a major breakdown!  He began to cry and begged me to stay.  But I needed to get to work.  I remember well, driving away with Doug running after my car. I can still see him in my rearview mirror.   I cried all the way to work!   Later I found out that Doug was fine the minute the car was out of sight and happily got on the bus.   I am sure that Jeff's mom was in the same situation.  I am just thankful that I was there to repay the kindness that our daycare provider (and big sister Gwen) gave to Doug that morning. 

Today I have been thinking about all of the adults and children who just walked right by that crying little boy.  I understand that everyone is very busy and that the car line is a well-oiled machine that doesn't give anyone much time to notice anything.  But still, I wonder how long he would have stood there.  Or even worse, tried to follow his mom's car.  Isn't it sad that most of the time we are so self absorbed that we miss the things that are happening around us?  I am going to make it a point to slow down and notice the little things.  This event was such a blessing to me.  I paid a lot more attention for the rest of the day, as I was going through my usual routine. 
  1. I noticed a lady crossing a very busy street with a walker near a Jewel store.  I prayed for her safety.
  2. There was a worker putting marks on the street that dropped a tool from his pocket.  I was able to open my window and tell him about this.  He was very thankful!
  3. I saw some really beautiful flowers that must have been in that yard I passed every day - and I had never noticed them.
  4. I noticed that there was a new store opening, and again, I hadn't even noticed before.
  5. During my morning walk, I found an amazing walkway that connects to a park.   It is shaded by wonderful large trees and has neat little bridges.  Great for my 20 month old buddy!
This is just a sample of the little things that I saw and experienced yesterday.  I needed to slow down.  And I needed to pay attention.  Just as I have been reflecting upon over the last days - I need to listen to that whisper of the Holy Spirit.  And I need to listen to Jesus.  So today, I have been moving a little more slowly.  I actually took an extra 10 minutes in bed this morning, listening to the rain.  It was very soothing!  And the best thing about this, is the peace that is filling my spirit.  So take a moment right now to just close your eyes and listen to whatever is around you.  Breathe in and reflect on the aroma.  Then open your eyes and look around and notice the little things.  And be blessed.

Thank you Jesus for these reminders to us to be your eyes and ears here on earth.  Help us to be aware of those around us who might need to see or hear you through our words or actions.  Give us courage and boldness to step out when we notice things that you bring to us.  Fill us with your peace Jesus as we walk through our days.  Guide and direct us Holy Spirit.  Thank you Jesus, for your great love.  Fill us with your life and your love.  Help us to effect our world - one small action at a time. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Back to basics...

I have been reading a book recommended by a friend after she read my blog post "Dreams of heavenly battles" from this past Sunday.  The book,  The Sword of the Lord by Kevin Basconi has been one of those books that I read page by page.  What I mean by that is, I read a page and then stop and re-read that page.  Then think about what was written on that page, then read that page again.  If I didn't have this book on Kindle, it would be marked up with highlighter and underlines and folded corners.  And I am only 1/3 of the way through the book!  I have already gone back to the beginning of the book and re-read entire chapters.  Just incredible.

Here's the thing......As I have been reading this book which describes Kevin Basconi's visions, I feel as if I am back in my own dream from Saturday night. And the thing is, it seems like it is causing me to remember in a deeper way, more about my own experience with Jesus.  Even though I don't know how this book ends, I am sure that I can recommend it!  The first 1/3 is great!

Today the message that was in page after page was EVERY PERSON MUST HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD FOR THEMSELVES!   Really, there is nothing else that is as important as this.  Over 20 years ago, I was blessed to be in a place that had this concept as a foundation of their ministry.  When there was prayer or ministry with a person, the FIRST thing that was said, was "what is Jesus saying to you?"  Today I am feeling so thankful for the years and years I have had with this concept. And I am understanding, in a deeper way, why I have felt so compelled to teach this "listening prayer" to children. 

I am convinced that this is the season of back to basics.  It is a time when Jesus is calling us all back to the foundations of our faith.  Worship, the Word (the Bible) and communion with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  And by communion I mean true communication - two way - talking and listening.  Taking the time to stop and let the Holy Spirit speak into our spirit.  Journaling - writing down the things that we are talking about.  Spending time with our God.  This is more than just a "daily devotion" - although that can certainly be a great place to start!  I am just encouraging you to go one step further......just stop and ask Jesus what he is speaking to you today.  And then listen!

And here is the truth-telling part of this blog.  Even after I had learned to listen to Jesus, I did not spend enough time just listening.  This is another reason why I am so thankful for this blog!  I have been spending much more time listening to Jesus as I consider what I am supposed to be sharing.

My challenge to all of you reading this blog today..... "What is Jesus saying to you?" 

Jesus, thank you for speaking to us today.  I am in awe of your plan and destiny for us.  You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  And yet, you care about each of us.  Holy Spirit, please encourage us to listen to Jesus as he talks with us.  Thank you for drawing us back to the foundations in our walk with you.   Amen

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Taking my own advice....

I think that I have mentioned (more than once) that I love to scrapbook.  I am positive that someday, I will see the full benefit of this putting pictures and words onto pages.  I am also convinced that I will see exactly what Jesus was intending as he led me into this hobby.  Well, my birthday is coming up in a week or so and I have been doing a lot of thinking about my age. And along with that, I have been thinking about goals - personal goals - both past, present and future.  I was thinking about going through some old journals to find some reminders of past goals. I was trying to decide if I have met any of my goals from last year.  Since it feels like this has been sort of a stagnant year, the answer to that question was no - no goals met.  I was feeling pretty discouraged. The prospect of even trying to come up with goals seemed daunting.  Then I happened on this picture.

This page is from a scrapbook I made for my daughter Gwen in 2004.  I am so thankful that I scanned every page of that book since I would have forgotten what I wrote.  I love the advice that I gave to Gwen on the pages of this scrapbook. 
              Don't define your life by your faith, rather let your faith shape your life!
              Be open to where God will take you as your walk your life journey.
              Don't be to comfortable where you are at because the Lord is always moving
                     forward into the future.
              Our faith will draw us with Him along that path.
              Be willing to move out of your comfort zone and into the future.
              Always see the hand of God at work in the present.
              Take time to look beyond what things seem like in the natural to see the
                      bigger, eternal picture.
               People are more important than things or places.

So I think that I have my new goals for the next year.  I love how sometimes the Holy Spirit inspires us to write something and then 9 years later, you get a glimpse of how important those words are. I am planning to keep these words where I can find them and see them often. 

Jesus, thank you so much! Thank you Holy Spirit for the inspiration for these words in 2004.  And thank you for helping me find them when I most needed them.  Jesus thank you for the amazing gift of my daughter Gwen. Jesus help me to keep these words in my spirit during the next year.  Show me how to live these words.  Holy Spirit, draw me out of that comfort zone that I seem to be stuck in, and help me to stay on yesterday's supersonic highway.  Amen 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Step on the supersonic highway.......

I don't quite understand it, but here I am with another dream!  I believe that there must be something that I need to hear and take in to my spirit.  Since I am not hearing while awake, Jesus has decided to show me in my sleep! 
So this morning I woke up, thinking about something that looked a lot like this picture!  I confess, the only place I have seen something like this is in Terminal 1 at Ohare airport - the famous people movers!  In my experience with those, they are not very effective since most people walk rather than stand still.  In any case, that is my only frame of reference for what I saw.  In my dream I saw a moving walkway that was quite narrow and seemed to be moving very fast. There were people standing along the walkway.  It was as if they were waiting for the parade to pass by.  Suddenly a few people came into view on the walkway.  They seemed to be totally unaware of the crowds watching them. They sped by me so fast that I could not focus on them.  I did notice that there were men and women and they were of all different ages.  After one group passed by, there seemed to be a lull when there was no one on the walkway.  I watched as several groups of people passed on the walkway.  Then suddenly I was ON that walkway!  I had the feeling that I was flying.  As a matter of fact I could feel the wind in my face.  I realized that while I had thought the walkway was flat, it was in fact traveling up and down.  I also could not see anything on the sides of the walkway.  The strange thing was that I felt totally stable.  I was not afraid of falling at all.  It was an amazing ride. 
Today I was reflecting on this very strange dream.  I wrote down how I was feeling when I woke up from this dream.  First it was GOOD!  I was having so much fun - and I don't like amusement park rides. Second, I felt totally safe and at peace.  Third, I was totally unaware of anyone else around me.  It simply didn't matter who was watching me or who was with me on the walkway.  Fourth, I felt exhilarated and full of life.  It was like being charged up!  Fifth, and most importantly, I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. 
There is so much here that I will be gaining insights in the days ahead.  Jesus wants to bless us and bring us to places of great fun and enjoyment.  When you are in the correct place, you are not doing anything!  Exactly like the walkway.  Jesus is responsible to take us to the places that we need to be.  And when we are on the way to that place, we need to be "blind" to the people around us.  How many times have I not gone somewhere or done something or said something, because I was afraid of what people would think?  Far too often.  On this supersonic walkway, I couldn't even see the people!   Amazing!  And I was standing strong, firmly planted in the foundation - Jesus the rock!  Even in the ups and downs and twists and turns, I was standing and at peace.  Yep, I want to be on that walkway!
Jesus, thank you for showing me your plan to take me where you want me to go.  Thank you for this dream of your high speed highway.  Help me to willingly step on to that walkway.  Jesus help us to all keep our eyes on you and let you take us along on this amazing ride.  Thank you for reminding me that YOU are in the process of moving me along, giving me your peace, and giving me joy in the journey.  Holy Spirit, draw all those reading this blog to step onto that walkway.  Thank you for amazing dreams and visions and continued revelation.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A broken shoe that brings revelation....

Can I complain a little bit here?  Can you believe that my "new" favorite drive home route (that I talked about last week) has suddenly become a disaster?  They just started ripping up that road for.....road construction.  UGHHHHH!  So, as of today, I guess I will just have to suffer through a longer drive home. 

On to the topic of the day.  Yesterday I noticed that my left sandal felt funny.   I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it - until I actually took a closer look.  The entire rubber sole of the sandal was split, all the way through to the insole!  These were not cheap shoes! And they had been new at the start of this summer.  For the last 4 years I have had to be extra careful about the kind of shoes I wear.  After a very painful bout of  Plantar Fasciitis, which took over 6 months to resolve, I really don't have any choice BUT to wear the right shoes.  I did a lot of research and found that for someone my age (!) it was especially important to prevent a recurrence of this condition.  So I watch for sales and just grit my teeth at the extra expense of the correct shoes.  So, here it is, nearly the end of the season and there are no sandals to be found anywhere.  Now this wouldn't be so bad if we were not in the midst of an incredible heat wave.  It was actually a record breaking 97 today and very humid. I was particularly disappointed to lose these sandals because they had been so comfortable!  In the midst of checking the internet to try to find the same shoes, I decided to look into getting a refund for these defective sandals!  So, I called the store and found out that they would take them back!  Even though I did not have the receipt or the box.  They were able to find my purchase through my credit card.  So today I made a quick trip to the store and was able to quickly and with no hassle, get my money back!

What a blessing!  I wasn't expecting this at all.  It was so neat to see that there are still some stores that value a customer's satisfaction and will make things right when a product doesn't perform well.  Unfortunately, this isn't the normal anymore.  Most stores have such a strict return policy that it doesn't pay to try to return something.  I was reminded of a time when Ken and I tried to return a $10 item that we had purchased the day before at an electronics store.   Even with a receipt it was an unfortunate experience.  First we had to go to customer service. After waiting in line,  they looked at the item and the receipt.  They then sent us to the counter.  Where we waited in another line.  Again, they looked at the item and the receipt.  Told us that we had to proceed to the "return counter".  Where, once again, we waited in a line.  Finally they issued us a piece of paper and sent us to yet another line, to actually finally get our $10 back!  Needless to say, we do not return to that store!

In the midst of this easy return, I was thinking about integrity.  That led me to research the definition of integrity:
  • possession of firm principles: the quality of possessing and steadfastly adhering to high moral principles or professional standards
  • completeness: the state of being complete or undivided
  • wholeness: the state of being sound or undamaged
Yes, this sounds like the God I serve!   He has firm principles and he is steadfast!  The triune God is the picture of unity - completeness.  The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are complete and undivided - in total unity with each other.  And Yahweh is totally sound!   I am so thankful that this whole episode with my shoe, actually led me to see and understand, in a new way what integrity means.  And more than that, to grasp another piece of information about the character of Yahweh. 

Jesus, thank you for using the simple things like a broken shoe, to help me understand a bit more about who you are.  Jesus, help me to take in the qualities of integrity that I have seen today. Thank you that you give all of yourself to us, when we give you everything that we are.  Lord, you are so amazing and I am so in awe of your great plan that includes helping me to understand this truth of integrity.  Holy Spirit, help me to hold on to this revelation and write it into my spirit, so that I can walk in your integrity.  And, Jesus, thank you for the store that accepted these shoes for return.  Bless them as they operate in integrity.   Amen

Monday, August 26, 2013

Where were you 41 years ago?

Okay - my question of the day?  Where were you 41 years ago today?  This is one day that I can actually tell you exactly where I was.   Most people will think that this is a really big day, like say my engagement.  But you would be wrong.  Forty one years ago today Ken and I went on our first official date. 
(This picture is only 40 years old, but I don't have any pictures of the two of us together from 1972!  And this picture IS of our engagement party -which was in 1973 )
 But back to our first date. Ken and I actually went to high school together and we had many overlapping friends.  I knew him quite well, but had no interest at all in dating him. And he would have never wanted to date me either!  After both of us had graduated, we got reintroduced at a mutual friend's house.  He asked me to go out, and the rest is history!  On our first date we watched the 1972 summer Olympics.  So Mark Spitz has a place in our story.  As silly as it might sound, I believe that I knew very early in our relationship, that I would marry Ken. 
Once again, I am so amazed at the working of the Lord to bring Ken and I together.  Ken's family moved to Elk Grove in August of 1967.  My family moved to Elk Grove in August of 1967.  We actually lived within two blocks of each other.  Before these moves, he lived in Kentucky and I lived in Minnesota!  So we would most likely, never have met.  I love hind sight.  It allows you to look back and really appreciate the things that you miss in the present.  Using hind sight also lets you see more clearly how Jesus is working out your destiny in the little things!
Yesterday I found out that, for no good reason, nothing that could be explained, somehow my email address had dropped off of a list that I have been on for quite some time.  So what???  Well, I have missed some opportunities to worship and pray with others because I have not gotten those emails!But because I took the time to look up a phone number, make a call and ask the question, I got back on the email list.  And I had an amazing time of prayer and worship last night.  While this was just a little thing, it was very important!
My point in all of this tonight, is that sometimes Jesus is the one who works things out in our life.  But sometimes we also have to act in order to get to that place of our destiny!  There needs to be a balance in this.  I am so blessed to know that Jesus is the one warring in the heavens for me.  And I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit pushed me to investigate why I didn't get those emails.  Unfortunately, there are many times that I don't heed the whisper of the Holy Spirit.  In those times I am sure that I have missed out on some things that might have been real blessings.  In truth-telling, I waited more than 8 weeks to investigate why I was not getting those emails!  Isn't that silly?  I missed out on the chance to have more time with the Lord.  My encouragement to you tonight (and to myself) is to listen for that whisper of the Holy Spirit. 
Jesus, thank you for working out our destiny and making the big things and the small things come together for us.  Thank you for the Holy Spirit and those sometimes gentle reminders that guide us onto the correct path. Help us to listen and then act, when we are prompted.   Yahweh, thank you for Ken and the past 41 years!  I know that you brought us together and have preserved our relationship. You are a great and wonderful God!   Thank you!  Amen

Sunday, August 25, 2013

dreams of heavenly battles......

Over the years I have had some pretty interesting dreams.  It seems that when Jesus really wants to get my attention, he will use a dream.  I guess I have fewer "filters" when I am sleeping so the message gets through to me quicker!  However sometimes it takes a bit of time to actually understand what the message is!  In the last couple of weeks I have had some of the usual back to school dreams - you know, the showing up to school in pajama dreams, or forgetting your locker combination.  My most vivid back to school dream last week was what I call a "nanny-dream" - my current version of back to school.  I had a dream that I forgot the way to drive the kids to school.  And then when I got to the school, I couldn't figure out the car line for drop off!  I was seeing the scene from the movie "Mr. Mom" in my head, when the main character is trying to drop off his son for the first time.  Over and over his son says, "Dad, your doing it wrong!".  And of course, he WAS doing it wrong.  You see, for anyone who has never done a school drop off/pick up line, there is a right way and and a wrong way to do it!  Fortunately for me, I have actually been doing the car line for 5 years now, so it is old hat.  But thanks to this dream, my heart went out to all of those "first timers" who were "doing it wrong!" 

My dream last night was far bigger than the car line.  I had a dream about a battle that is raging in the heavens.  There was a dark cloud hanging in the atmosphere.  It looked BIG and enormous.  There were words written on the cloud - words like pain, sickness, agony.  Things like hopelessness, depression and anxiety.  There were words of doubt and fear and anger.  I saw selfishness, pride, control, ego.  And together all these things made up one very big enemy.  The amazing thing was that the source of this darkness was coming from the earth.  It was coming from dark spirits that had wrapped themselves around people.  Some of the people did not know this darkness was even around them.  But there was a strand of darkness connecting the people to the big darkness in the heavens.   Then I saw the arrival of an amazing host of heavenly warriors.  These magnificent angels had golden armour and huge swords.  They surrounded the big cloud of darkness, and as if on cue, they began to swing their swords.  Each time that the swords made a mark in the cloud, I saw the darkness around the people on earth, lessen.  It was as if the evil was losing its grip on the person.  Over and over the warriors cut through the darkness and the clouds around the people began to lift.  I saw the cords from the darkness just snap as the angels worked on and on to dissipate the cloud.  There was a moment when the darkness was gone and the warriors swords stopped and then there was singing and rejoicing as the Son came out in full force!   There was golden light just streaming down.  Simply amazing.

Today, as I have been reflecting on this dream, I realized that the war was going on for ALL people on the earth.  It was not just for a select few - those that know that they are under some kind of oppression.  The battle was raging for everyone - even those that had welcomed the evil around them.  Isn't that a great comfort?  Many of us have loved ones who are walking in scary places and dabbling in dangerous stuff.  Some of us may know people who really don't understand how very real this spiritual battle is.  Yet, we can know that the Father has sent out his heavenly hosts to do battle.

If you have been sensing a dark cloud over your family or your home, enter into this wonderful vision.  See that Jesus is sending the troops to fight this battle.  It is not yours to fight. Keep pressing in to Jesus, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this truth to you.  Keep looking up at Jesus, until you see the victory that is his.  Enter into the rejoicing and bask in the amazing light. 

Yahweh, thank you for using dreams to remind us of your work in the heavenlies.  Thank you Jesus for sending forth the warriors to do battle, even when we aren't aware of the war and don't know that we need your help.  Holy Spirit, draw those who are suffering under these dark clouds, closer to Jesus.  Turn their eyes to the heavens, where their help comes from!  Thank you for the celebration that is ours to enter.  Hallelujah!   Amen

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A door opens and the way becomes clearer.....

You know how sometimes you just can't predict what a day holds? Well, today was supposed to be just a normal Saturday and we didn't really have any big plans.  So we went to breakfast, which is our usual on a Saturday morning.  We did a small amount of shopping and errands and we even drove into Chicago for a special sale.  After getting home and eating a quick lunch, I worked on some stuff for my second job.  I had a couple of phone calls and some text messages.  After dinner, my husband and I decided to take a quick drive to a local forest preserve to see a sunset. It was a beautiful end to this day. This sounds like a pretty normal but boring day doesn't it? 

Here's the best part of this day.  I have had an issue - a problem - that didn't seem to have any solution.  It is something that I have been thinking and praying about for a long time.  Like over a year.  Today, in the midst of the "normal" day, I felt as if a door was opened and suddenly, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel of this situation.  In the midst of the other things in my day, the Holy Spirit began to speak into my spirit some answers to the problem.  Just yesterday I felt as if I had a blank sheet of paper on this and today, there is a list of possible solutions.  I  realized that this is really a miracle!  This is one of those things that sometimes, we just miss the great things that God does for us.  When I was least expecting an answer to this, when I wasn't looking for the treasure map to get through the mine fields of this issue, that is when Jesus spoke into my spirit. The issue isn't gone, but now I feel as if the path is clearer.   

Today I want to give hope and encouragement to anyone who might have something that seems so deep and dark and impossible that you feel that it will not be resolved. Jesus is listening to your cry and he will answer. Nothing is impossible with God.  I think that part of my answer was in the "normal".  I refused to let the problem become so great that it covered over the normal things that are in my life.  And I trusted that there would be a solution or a direction that I needed to go.   

I love the way the answers to prayers come in the everyday things.  I love that we are surprised when there is a "suddenly" provided by the Holy Spirit.  I have personally received some pretty amazing answers to prayer that came "immediately" - including a dramatic healing of asthma.  But today, I am celebrating the miracle of an answer when I did not expect it. And I am celebrating in the process of the answer.   

Thank you , thank you Jesus.  You are simply wonderful.  I am so grateful tonight for the way that you bring wisdom and revelation and direction to get to solutions to problems that seem impossible.  Yahweh, bring your hope and encouragement to those who are in the midst of seemingly impossible situations.  Jesus it is your faith that we need!  Thank you for the light at the end of the tunnel.  Jesus, you are the light of the world.  Thank you for giving us your life and your light.  Amen

Thursday, August 22, 2013

unexpected results of a detour

So what it is about road construction that makes me think that those who plan these projects just don't have any common sense????  Why do they chose to dig up and repair several parallel roads that are main arteries at the same time?  And then throw in, that it is the first week of school and there are many new bus drivers on the road that are struggling with new routes and all of those kids!

Today I had an amazing drive home from work.  That is an interesting sentence!  My drive home is usually painful and long.  After having a TERRIBLE drive home earlier this week, (see paragraph number 1 - road construction everywhere) I decided to take a different way home today.  I have never taken this particular route because, in my head, it seemed longer.  I really thought it was a much longer distance.  But I was wrong!  In spite of the fact that there were actually non-functioning traffic lights at two intersections, I got home in 1/2 the time it usually takes on a GOOD traffic night. 

This has caused me to reflect this evening on what is sometimes so GOOD that comes out of a bad situation or event.  I know that I might never have taken this other route home, if it were not for that road construction.  And now I have a great new route that will save me lots of time and headaches.   I thought about taking a different route home yesterday, but it seemed easier to just go my usual way.  So I was extra tired and frustrated after spending an additional 30 minutes getting home.  

Isn't that crazy?  Why do we do things like that?  I have been thinking of the many times I have chosen the "normal" route or done the same old thing.  Even when I was frustrated and even angry, it wasn't enough to move me to make a change.  Yep, change is good!  Tonight I am going to celebrate making changes.  Instead of just being paralyzed into inactivity I will purpose to find a different way!

Yahweh doesn't want us to be stagnant and unchanging.  He is a great and awesome God that, while HE never changes, his Kingdom is always INCREASING!  And that increase means there are changes happening.  His river of life is not a stagnant pool of sitting water.  It is a life filled river that flows from the throne onto all of us and all of creation.  The Kingdom is on the move! Hallelujah!
And I want to be on the move also. 

Yahweh, thank you for speaking so clearly to me, in the midst of my mundane life driving in road construction.  Jesus, thank you for reminding me that your judgement for us is BLESSING and you have more for us ahead.  Give us all courage to take a new route.  To go a different way and experience new things.  Help us to be bold to step out and celebrate you Jesus.  Thank you for your love and care and concern - even in the smallest things.   Amen

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday Dad!

Today would have been my dad's 100th birthday.  I love that Jesus reminded me about this several days before it actually came.  This picture is obviously me and dad on my wedding day (which, by the way is almost 40 years ago!!!) I have loved thinking about dad and remembering things that are often forgotten.  The last thing that has been on my mind is how amazingly musical my dad was.  I am sure that many people who knew my dad never knew this about him.  In the later years of his life it wasn't very apparent.  But the truth is, he loved music and he was GOOD at all music.  My mom told me that in the early years of their marriage, my dad was the "go to" soloist for daytime funerals.  It seems that all the old folks in the church wanted him to sing at their funerals!  I have heard so many stories about my dad and mom singing during long car rides up to Lake Maud.  I, however, can't ever remember hearing my dad sing in the car.  Apparently my dad loved to sing with my oldest sister Karen, who also had an amazing voice. By the time I came along, Karen had already moved away from home.  (I remember my mom saying right after Karen died, that she was sure that dad and Karen were harmonizing up in heaven!)  Since I did NOT inherit that singing talent, dad never sang with me.  However, some of my best memories are of special family get togethers at one of my cousin's house, when we lived in St. Paul.  My cousin put on some of the most amazing dinners in the most humble surroundings.  I remember one particular holiday get together when there must have been at least 75 of us in this rather small house in Minneapolis.  There was an old upright piano and my dad sat down and started to play and sing.  Soon several of my cousins joined in on accordions and other instruments.  My dad could ROCK that piano.  I also saw my dad pick up a trumpet and a trombone and just play.  And he loved hymns.  His favorite hymn was "How Great Thou Art". 
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!
I remember being introduced to this hymn in Sunday School when I was in about second grade.  They had a "big book" with the words and really amazing pictures that we used during our opening service.  I begged to borrow that big book and took it home one week.  My dad loved it. 
As I said, I did not get that wonderful singing voice and I did not inherit the ability to play instruments.  But once again, I love seeing how much my kids are expressing these wonderful seeds of our generations.  Both Gwen and Doug sing and play various instruments.  I am humbled and really in awe of their abilities. Gwen sang and played flute and piano throughout high school and college. Whenever Gwen and I went to church with my mom she would always sit next to Gwen.  She said she loved hearing her sing!  My mom listened to Doug play jazz on saxophone and then go to his room and play drums.  She would say he was certainly like his grandpa!  And I am seeing that love of music in my grandchildren. 
Sadly, my dad and I never had a chance to really talk about Jesus or faith at all.  It is something that I regret.  But the fact that he loved that hymn so much, brings me great comfort. The words of that hymn are the story of the Bible.  Yahweh, the creator, Jesus the savior, and the Holy Spirit that brings a song to our souls.  I am convinced that my dad was following the path that Yahweh had for him. And I believe that he is, indeed, singing in heaven with my sister Karen.    
So, in honor of my dad's 100th birthday, I challange you all to talk to those around you about Jesus.  Have those hard conversations with people that you love.  Make sure that you take the time to listen and hear their stories.  Most of all, be willing to share your own story.  We have forgotten how valuable our testimony is!  Be a transmitter today, for me and my dad! 
Yahweh, thank you for my dad.  Jesus bless all those who hear that wonderful song "How Great Thou Art" and use that song to bring many to know your story.  Yahweh, you are great!   Amen

Monday, August 19, 2013

More about my dad - part two

Okay, so I was looking back on my blog posts and I have already mentioned many things about my dad.  But, in addition to the things I wrote about yesterday, and his building things (post about Lake Maud),  there is another thing that I always think about.  My dad loved photography.  I can picture him with his camera around his neck.  And I am so grateful for all the photos that he took. Most people my age are lucky to have a few pictures.  As I said before, we had BOXES of pictures. Here is a photo from one of those boxes..... 
This picture is exactly what you are thinking it is.  But look closely...........  Yes, that is scaffolding all over Mt. Rushmore.  This picture was actually taken during the construction of this national monument.  How many people have this kind of picture in their family album?  My dad was traveling around to various Montgomery Ward stores in the late 1930's and his route took him right past Mt. Rushmore.  I am so thankful that he had that camera with him and took the time to stop and take this photo.  I was so blessed to actually be with my dad on a family vacation in 1964 when we visited Mt. Rushmore.  I remember clearly my dad talking about taking this photo.  I couldn't imagine seeing this being built.  My dad also took spools and spools of movies.  I am also blessed to have these movies as videos (thanks to my brother Jerry for this very BIG project of converting these to videos that included having my mom narrate a voice over of the silent films - what a priceless project).  All of my siblings will remember those dreaded Christmas movies and pictures.  They were never done on Christmas, but usually just before we were taking down the tree.  I remember my mom telling me that often, the Christmas toys were already broken before we ever got the movie done.  My dad would pull out that huge light bar that blinded anyone in the room.  We all had to sit and pose and wave, and of course smile.  But I am so thankful for those movies. And the photos.  The good thing about those Christmas pictures, is that usually, we got at least one picture that included my dad. 
This is Christmas 1955 and I am the one on the stool. (By the way, that was a little yellow stool that my dad made and it was around all of my life.  As far as I know, someone in my family, now has custody of that little stool!)

There are two things that come to my mind as I write this.  The first is that people often say you marry your dad.  And in so many ways, I am seeing that this is true for me.  Ken loves all things electronic and he seems to have been born with a camera in his hand.  My dad loved Ken so much.  It was such a blessing to me that my parents really embraced him and made him a part of our family. So I suppose I can see how that saying might be true for me.  The second thing that is on my heart, is the entire photography thing.  Just today Gwen posted an instagram Iphone photo of my granddaughter Lia, with a really big and expensive digital camera pressed to her face, taking pictures.  I am convinced that Yahweh is really showing me something in all of this.  There is meaning and value in taking photos and preserving (think scrapbooking) our life experiences.  And I believe that it is a part of the plan and destiny for my family. I am so blessed to be able to look at my children and grandchildren and know that these traits of my father are living on. 

Thank you Yahweh for reminding me about my dad and bringing me to an increased revelation of your plan and destiny for me.  Thank you so much for the ways you have brought me to this time and place of understanding in a better way, more about my dad.  Jesus you have sown seeds into my life and into my children and grandchildren.  Holy Spirit, thank you for watering and nurturing those deep things in us.  Yahweh, help all that read this blog, to see what you have sown into their generations.  Bring greater revelation that gives hope, joy and peace for today.  Amen

PS - Final installment (for now) about my dad tomorrow - on the 100th anniversary of his birth. 


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thoughts about my dad - part one

So I woke up this morning thinking about the receiver/transmitter word from yesterday.  The first thought I had was that the concept of a "receiver and transmitter" is really very old-fashioned.  I mean who even really thinks about a radio or stereo any more?  I remember my brother having a "receiver" and speakers for his radio when I was very young.  I also remember him "transmitting" over his ham radio.  Now its all cell phones and satellites and cable TV.  What was really on my mind was my dad. I realized this morning, that Tuesday would be my dad's 100th birthday if he were alive.  All this thinking about electronics was certainly a part of the reason I have had him so much on my mind.  So, I have decided to share more about my dad over the next couple of days, in honor of his birth anniversary.  Every time I begin to tell my family stories on this blog, I stop and wonder if my versions of these stories would differ from my own siblings. The only thing I can do is tell the stories the way that I remember them and trust that in them, there is truth. 

(This is my dad, Harry A. Johnson, in 1931)

My dad was born on a farm in a small town near the intersection of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.  He was the 8th child.  I have already told a little bit of the story of his parents (see my blog post  "Modern Miracles").  He grew up working on the farm.  His siblings were quite a bit older than him, so some of them married and/or moved away from home when my dad was young.  He was especially close to his brother, Walfred, who was 20 years older than him. My dad was only 32 when his father died and Walfred was always like a father for him. I remember my dad talking about not being very happy on the farm.  He always told me that very early on, he knew that he did NOT want to be a farmer.  He wanted to go to school.  During high school he lived "in town" above a bakery and worked there to earn some money and go to school.  After his graduation he told his family that he wanted to go into "electronics".  Now my grandfather, still very tied to his Swedish ways, told my dad that he needed to stay at home and help on the farm.  He was sure that there was no future in these new fangled things like radios.  But my dad was determined to follow his own path.  I am sure that Jesus had a part in my dad applying for a job in Watertown, South Dakota, to be an appliance repairman.  My mom was a clerk in that Montgomery Ward store and remembers the day that she and her good friend saw the stranger come in to talk to the store manager.  She told me that he carried a bag that they thought looked like a doctors bag.  So they referred to him as "the doctor".   That bag held his tools and he was hired that day.  Wards would become my dad's home for his entire working career of 43 years.  The only time he wasn't working for them was during World War II.  And he met my mother that day.  Electronics were certainly my dad's life. One of my earliest memories was having a TV when we lived in South Dakota.  There was very limited programming and sometimes we could get a signal from somewhere and see a program.  But we had a TV!  We actually had a color TV in our house before there were any programs telecast in color.  I remember us all sitting around waiting for the NBC peacock to come on in color!  This was the early 1960's.  (We always joked that all we saw of the first color programs was my dad's backside because he would be hunched over adjusting the color settings in front of the television set.)  We had a "radar-range" oven also, before anyone had even heard of microwaves.  One of my favorite summer activities when I had "nothing to do" was to take the very large box of tubes and the big box tube tester.  I would sit for hours, finding the correct slot and plugging in those tubes.  Then flicking that switch and the tube would either light up or not.  Of course even the "bad" tubes were never thrown out.  My dad would always hang on to things "in case he needed them".  Nothing was "junk" to my dad. (When my siblings cleaned out the garage after my dad died, they all laughed when the only empty drawer on his tool bench was labled "junk".  Everything else was full!) These things were something that he knew that someday, he would use.  I am convinced that if my dad had been alive beyond 1985, he would have embraced the computer. He was always keeping up with whatever the new thing was in electronics and appliances.  I had a transistor radio in grade school and everyone in high school was jealous of my 45 record changer.  Yep, he knew about receivers and transmitters. 

What is so amazing to me about this part of my dad's story, is the strength and courage that he had to walk outside of what was expected of him.  He did not just go with the flow and stay on the farm.  He was willing to take risks and follow his heart.  What a blessing it is for me to remember these traits of my dad.  And it is such a blessing for me to see that these spiritual seeds have impacted my own children in so many ways.  I love that Yahweh uses everything to shape us and our lives.  I love that I can trust that the Holy Spirit will remind me of the ways that my ancestors were walking in their destiny.  And it gives me encouragement to step out and try new things.  To not be a "sitter" but to find ways to be a "transmitter". 

Thank you Yahweh for reminding me about my dad.  Thank you for allowing me to see and appreciate more deeply, the roots of my family.  Yahweh, it is so amazing to think about the ways that you have worked in and preserved my family.  Thank you for showing us all what we need.  Jesus, help us to continue to go deeper and to understand more clearly all that you are giving to us as your transmitters.   Amen

 PS -  I just had to attach my son Doug's graduation picture.  I can't get over how much he looks like my dad!   And watch in the next couple of days, for more of my dad's story!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Not content with sitting anymore!

This is a very old picture of our house.  The same house we have lived in since 1978 - which is when this picture was taken.  We were in the process of moving in when this was taken.  I had a somewhat surreal experience today.  I was walking back to the house after getting the mail at about 3:00pm on a Saturday afternoon.  When I reached the front sidewalk by our house, I just stopped.  The neighborhood was totally quiet.  There was not a sound from any direction.  There were no children, no bikes, no kids playing.  There was not even any lawn mowers or people working on their houses or cars.  Simply quiet. The mark of a "changing neighborhood".  Not the way some might think - but simply aging.  Now, to be fair, there are some children in our neighborhood.  In fact, right next door.  But they are not home much.  In the immediate 12 houses, the two preschoolers next door are the only kids under the age of 16.  When Gwen started kindergarten, there were 15 kindergarten kids picked up at the bus stop right in front of our house!  And that was just one of many stops in our neighborhood.  How times have changed.  I miss the noisy play of the kids riding bikes and skateboards up and down the block.  I miss the laughing and the running and the fun.   I loved to sit out front and watch the action on the block.  Some of my favorite memories are of that time, sitting!

Which brings me to today's revelation.  Today I was thinking about this year at work.  Both families that I work for are in the process of moving into new homes.  And both homes are undergoing renovations.   I am sure that Yahweh will be speaking to me about this in the coming months.  He is in the business of restoration projects!  But then suddenly I heard the words "You are not a sitter".  At first I just kind of thought, "No, I'm not a sitter, I am a nanny".  (Since I was thinking about work, this made sense.)  But then I realized what Yahweh was saying to me.  He was actually giving me some very important direction for my life.  And I love the way that he often speaks to me in word plays.  Then Jesus went on to give me some further direction.  I am not to be just a receiver, I need to be a transmitter.  This is actually what Yahweh wants for ALL of us.  We should not just be receiving from Him, without giving out.


I looked up the word transmitter in the dictionary.  Once again thanks to Websters online dictionary, I found that a transmitter is a necessary component of communication that broadcasts or sends out, to be received by others.  The second definition was, something that amplifies and modulates what it receives into a meaningful sound that can be interpreted. 

Yep, Jesus wants us to be transmitters of all that he is putting into us! We each need to take in everything that Yahweh is speaking to us, through His word, through others around us, through teachers.  But then we need to let the Holy Spirit in us, be the one that amplifies and/or modulates what we have taken in.  In that way our sharing with others will be understood and meaningful. The mistake that I have been making (and many others make) is to just be content with SITTING!  We just take in and take in.  We have learned to be good receivers.  But we haven't gone to that next level and learned to be TRANSMITTERS!  It does take practice.  We need to let the Holy Spirit remind us when and what to share.  But we need to be expectant and willing.    I am thankful for this blog that has allowed me to get some practice in being a transmitter.  And I will look for more ways to broadcast the amazing things that I have been receiving.

Yahweh, thank you for speaking to me in such a personal way.  You know exactly how to get my attention.  Jesus I love that you speak into my life and give me direction and guidance, even when I am not really asking.  Help us all to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit giving us directions and encouragement to share. Help us to remember to not just be SITTERS.  Give us your desire to be transmitters.   It is so neat that your plan is to use us as your transmitters!  You are a great and wonderful God.  Amen

Friday, August 16, 2013

Jubilation........ so much more than just Joy!

I woke up this morning with the word "Jubilation" in my mind.  I did not have a lot of time to think about this since I was going to spend some time with my grandchildren.  I left the house early and during the hour long drive, I got to thinking about that word.  Jubilation.  I just kept hearing it over and over.  I wondered about the meaning of the word, but more than that, I was wondering about what Yahweh was saying to me. 

So, the first thing I did was look up the word (thanks online Websters dictionary)...... Jubilation means - Elation, Delight and Triumph.  Okay -  all good, but what was I missing?  I couldn't figure out exactly what was going on.  I had a wonderful day playing with Lia, Ellie and Zeke.  We played outside.  We laughed and there were lots of hugs and kisses.  I am so blessed by these sweet children.  

I didn't think about this Jubilation word much, until my drive home.  I was turning the meaning over and over in my head..... elation, delight, triumph..... and then I realized that this goes so far beyond just JOY!  Jubilation is a step higher.  And then, just as I was starting to think I was understanding this, so clearly it came into my spirit......JUBILATION OF YAHWEH!   JOY!  There it is.  Joy is the elation, the delight, the triumph of Yahweh.  That is what true joy is! 

Doesn't it change this bible verse to think about JOY in this way....."Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the JOY ( Jubilation - elation, delight and triumph of Yahweh) set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."   Hebrews 12:2

It was for the triumph of Yahweh that Jesus went to the cross for us.  It was for the delight of Yahweh that Jesus went to the cross.  Yahweh was delighted that his eternal plan and destiny was being done. I have such a deeper understanding of  this Biblical joy, just from this one word.  Jubilation. 

So I will have a totally different and much deeper revelation of the word JOY.  It helps so much in seeing the difference between HAPPY and JOY.  When I think back over the times when I have felt joy, I can see that difference clearly.   There is a real and deep purpose in joy.  Joy seems to show up when there is more going on than just feelings and emotions.  In that Hebrews verse, Jesus had the feeling and emotions OF the Father.  That joy was the joy OF the father.  In those times of joy, I was experiencing the Jubilation of Yahweh. 

Oh Jesus, thank you for deeper revelation.  Thank you for continuing to speak to us today.  I just love that the word JOY means so much more to me tonight than it did this morning.  You are an amazing God that cares so much for us.  Yahweh, you are to be celebrated with Jubilation!  Help us to remember the deeper meaning behind joy and bring us all into the experience of true joy.  Amen

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taking out the garbage...

Today I was back to work - sort of - with just one of my little buddies.  I watched the youngest of my nanny kids - the 19 month old.  I haven't seen him since the first week of June, and for a little guy, that is a LONG TIME!  Additionally, his family moved into a new house during the summer.  So I got introduced to his new home and RE-introduced to him.  I am pleased to say that he knew me right away and didn't even cry when his mommy left for work. 

We were having a great time playing in the family room at the rear of their house, when all of sudden, he stopped dead in his tracks and RAN for the front door!  He had heard the garbage truck picking up the recycling from the curb.  He stood at the open front door, pointing and saying "truck - truck - truck".  It was clearly the highlight of his life to watch that truck.  After his nap, it was time for a walk to the park and some outdoor playtime.  On the walk, he was delighted that it seemed to be a garbage truck on every street!  He just squealed and laughed through the entire walk.  He would strain to look around the corner, hoping that there was a garbage truck on that street.  And he was mostly finding his hopes met.  For some reason there seemed to be a lot of garbage trucks in their neighborhood.  After the park, we walked home and went into the back yard to play some ball and slide on his little play set.  Once again, he went running for the front yard when he heard a garbage truck on the street out front.  After two trucks just drove past, I was reluctant to let him go to the front when, once again, we heard the roar of the trucks.  But I relented and we went to the front yard.  There were two garbage trucks just parked in front of their house. (I think that drivers were just taking a short break!)  Michael immediately just sat down on the grass - never taking his eyes off of those trucks.  I sat down next to him and for the next several minutes, he just stared at those trucks.  Finally, the drivers returned to their trucks.  On seeing Michael watching, they waved at him, and he happily waved back.  As soon as the trucks pulled out of sight, Michael was up and running to the back yard.  The show was over.  Isn't it great how such a small thing, can be so much entertainment for a little one? 

On the way home I was thinking about spiritually taking out the trash.  I am so thankful that Jesus is just waiting to take away the trash from our lives.  All we have to do, is take that stuff to the spiritual "curb" and place it in Jesus' waiting hands.  We don't have to wait for Sunday or any other special trash pick-up day.  Whenever we confess our sins, He is faithful and will forgive them and take them away!  And just like the trash, we can't get our spiritual trash back either.  He has taken them away!  There was a time when I didn't grasp this concept.  I knew that he FORGAVE me, but I missed the fact that he TAKES OUR SINS AWAY!  And the best news is that when he takes something from us, he replaces it with something of Himself.  When we bring him our anger, he gives us his peace.  When we have been selfish or cruel or unthinking towards someone else, he fills us with his love not only for others, but for ourselves. Satan does not want us to remember this!  He wants us to constantly be back in our sin.  So we need to not only TAKE OUT the garbage - we need to LEAVE IT THERE! 

Yahweh, thanks for the reminder of your great plan to remove our sins.  Jesus, you are always there to hear our confession and willing take away our sins.  Jesus, thank you for your amazing working that allows us to be filled with all that you are when we empty ourselves of sin.  What a joyful and wonderful thing this is!  Yahweh, bless all of those workers who drive those garbage trucks.  Holy Spirit, remind them that they can take out their spiritual garbage to Jesus.  Thank you Yahweh for the provision of work for me.  Bless the families that I serve.  Thank you today, especially for Michael.
Yahweh, remind people who see those garbage cans on the curb, to take out their spiritual trash! Amen


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Celebrating the seasons..

Summer is winding down and fall is almost upon us.  This week the temperature has been really "fall-like".  This morning it was 46 degrees.  That is down right cold for August!  This has been an unusual weather summer.  We only really had one stretch of moderately hot weather.   We are flooded with "back to school" ads and the school supply aisle at the stores are nearly impassable.  For me, back to school means back to work.  While I have enjoyed the summer off, it feels like time to be back at work. 

I have been thinking today about seasons.  I am very grateful that Yahweh planned for us to experience the ever changing weather and seasons.  There is a progression about this that, for me, helps me to know that there is something else coming ahead.  I am  always aware of the fact that my life is a process.  Sometimes this process has seemingly been stalled out (or even seemed to go backwards).  So, when I am living in the change of seasons, it is easier to  hold on to the idea that my personal process is ....... well PROCESSING!  I am so thankful that the Kingdom of Yahweh is always increasing.  And I am so grateful that we are all in the process of going on. The change of seasons reminds me that although I feel stuck and it may seem like nothing is happening, there is a PROCESS going on in my life. 

Last night I had an interesting dream.  There were fields of crops growing all around me.  There were fields of corn, there were fields of beans and fields of grains also.  Everywhere I looked there were just fields and fields.  As I was looking around, I realized that there were no roads, no houses, nothing but fields.  Everything was healthy and green and looked so wonderful.  There was also an aroma of freshness.  And then I heard a voice singing.....   The song was about the coming harvest.  When I woke up, I quickly wrote down the words.............
                    Green and growing, tall and strong
                    small seeds sown in the dark dark ground.
                    Plants sprang up and rain fell down
                    Soft breezes blow, crops all around.

                    Life filled water, flowing from heavenly springs
                    waters all the seeds sown by human hands
                    Sun shine and warmth bring forth great joy
                    Its harvest time all across the lands.

                    Reach out, reach out and find the place
                    Come on and join the race.
                    North or south or look west to east.
                    All around far and near, the harvest is here.

So now I will be looking around for the harvest. And celebrating that Yahweh has great plans for the changing seasons.  This is a reminder that no matter which season we are in, Yahweh is at work.  During the winter he is at work deep in the soil, preparing it to receive the seeds.  He works in the spring time when the seeds are sown.  He works during the summer when the sun and rain water the seeds and he works during the fall, when it is time to harvest. 

Yahweh, thank you for your great creation.  Jesus thank you for working in the seasons and in us!  You are an amazing God that plans everything and then bring revelation to us as we walk through our life.  Help me to see the harvest you are preparing for me and to remember that you are in charge.  Yahweh, please bless everyone preparing for this school year.  Be with the teachers as they are preparing for their classes. And Jesus, thanks for singing to me in my dream!  Amen                   



Monday, August 12, 2013

Motivated to Pray

After a long weekend of scrapbooking fun, I got home yesterday somewhat tired, but feeling that I had accomplished what I set out to do.  I had completed 53 pages.  Quite a lot of paper cutting and tape and glue.  And also lots of Jesus moments, as I blogged yesterday.  Then, just as I was getting ready to go to bed last night, there was another...... well, Jesus moment! 

I flipped on the television to check on the weather for this week and accidentally hit an unknown button on the remote.  I'm sure that you know this frustration.  So, I promptly started to switch back to the weather channel, and just as hit the button, I saw what was coming on that other channel.  So, I just as quickly, switched back.  (Before I talk about that program on that other channel, I need to again, restate that I am in a total truth-telling business on this blog.  I will not write anything that isn't the truth.)  As soon as I saw that the movie that was just beginning on that channel was "The Hiding Place" - the story of Corrie Ten Boom's life, I knew that this was surely a "Jesus Moment". 
I have read the BOOK many times, over and over, but I have never seen the movie.  The movie was made in 1975 and got wonderful reviews at the time.  Over the years I have heard that this is a wonderful movie. With the video of Corrie Ten Boom that I saw last week, I knew that there must be something that Yahweh was speaking to me. So, I sat back, intending to watch, knowing that Jesus must have some reason for me to see this at this time. 

I know the story.  I even know how it ends.  I know the history of the movie.  But as I started watching, it was just too much.  I can't quite explain how I felt.  But my heart was racing and my palms were sweating.  And it was BECAUSE I knew what was going to happen.  Because I know it is a FACTUAL movie.  After about 40 minutes, I knew that I could not watch anymore.  I turned off the movie.  So, today I have been trying to figure out what was going on!  Why was I so upset by this movie - a story I know well. 

As I was praying and asking for revelation about this event, I was remembering being at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.  And remembering seeing Corrie Ten Boom's name on the wall of people who assisted the Jews during World War II.  And then I was flashing to some of the conversations that we had during the scrapbook time.  Somehow we were talking about my father and my father-in-law and the time that they spent in World War II.  My dad was drafted and served in the navy from 1943 to 1945.  My father-in-law also was in the navy, but didn't begin to serve until 1945.  Both of them served in the Pacific and were not in Europe at all.  My mom was left at home with two young children during those years.  My brother was just 18 months old and my sister was 5 when my dad left.
 (My mom and dad, sister Karen and brother Jerry in 1943)
(Below, is my dad, in 1943 shortly after he entered the navy)

My mom moved back to her home town so that she could be close to her family.  I simply can't imagine living during that time.  She had no idea even WHERE my dad was at.  And there was no real news to speak of.  The only thing she often talked about was that there were so many other women in the same position, that she never felt alone.  Yes, I began today to see once again, how Yahweh has been providing for my family.  And I thought about my 93 year old father-in-law.  Thank you Jesus for what you have been doing in his life. Then I thought about Corrie and remembered all those names on that wall in the Holocaust Museum.  The hundreds and hundreds of people who listened to the Lord and helped the persecuted - the Jews, the sick, the disabled, the mentally challenged.  And I knew that this is a reminder to me that I can not just shut off the TV when I hear of Christians that are being persecuted around the world.  I can not pretend not to see the turmoil in the middle east - in Jerusalem.  I know what I need to do. Last week there was a call to join with millions of others to pray for the peace of Jerusalem on October 6, 2013,  There is a website at  You can read the post on this event at Elijah List.   I am convinced that Yahweh is encouraging me to get more involved in the what is happening around me.  So, be in prayer about your part in this call to stand for Jerusalem.  And look at the resources for this event. 

Thank you Jesus for speaking to me through my family and through television programs.  Help me to listen to your voice so that I know what part I am to play in events as they come to my attention.  Yahweh, your plan is to use each of us to fulfill your destiny in this world.  Thank you for showing me your provision and blessing on my family.  Holy Spirit, motivate others to hear your voice so that we can stand together for those around us who are persecuted or in need.  Thank you for the intercessors around me that already do this.  Yahweh, continue to raise up the five fold ministries in your body so that we can function as you have designed.  Bless all those who are planning and a part of the call to pray for Jerusalem.  Encourage them, give them creative ideas, and surround them with others to help.  Thank you Jesus.   Amen

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It is NOT about me!

In my last post I purposed to see all of the Jesus moments on my scrapbooking weekend.  So, here is my list of some of the moments...

1.  The hotel is one of the best we have ever used for our scrapbook events.  The room was fully prepared, even including extras like coffee, water and cookies!  I really see this as a Jesus moment when sometimes things are not so smooth.  As a matter of fact, our last event we had no tables.  This is a very important part of scrapbooking - we need tables to work on!  Since I coordinated this event, I had prayed for a smooth set up.  The staff were all wonderful.  Thank you Jesus!

2.  Once again, I am so blessed by this group of gals.  We have had so much great conversation, lots of laughs, so many stories and memories.  And we get to see everyone 's pictures.  Thank you Jesus!

3.  IT WAS SO QUIET!  Last night was so quiet in our rooms that we all slept well.  Sleep seems like something that should not be a "Jesus moment" but for most of this group of people, sleep is a very precious thing.  So a night of quiet and peaceful sleep, really is a God thing.  Again, Thank you Jesus!

4.  FIREWORKS!  Who would think that we would be treated to an amazing fireworks display on BOTH nights?  And it is AUGUST - (not the 4th of July)! And the Jesus moment of this is that several of us had not seem any fireworks this year on the 4th.  This is, again, a way that Jesus knows exactly what we need - even when we don't know that we need it.  The fireworks were so beautiful and went on and on.  And really did take our breath away.  It was so a Jesus thing.

5.  FACETIME!  What an amazing gift to be able to not only talk with my precious little grandchildren, but to SEE their faces.  Oh, how precious it was to hear "Hi Grandma!" and to see those faces pressed up close to the screen.  Thank you Jesus for the gift of live video chat.

Now for a very personal Jesus moment....  I am so thankful for the time to just be outside of my normal routine.  I know that my normal is not so busy or crazy that I should really need this, but I have been aware of just how "cluttered" my day to day really is.  I think you can only see that when you step away from normal for a few seconds and then look carefully at what you are feeling in that moment.

I have done a lot of "speaking to myself" this weekend.  And I know that Jesus is the one doing the talking.  As I have offered some words of comfort and understanding to others, I have been given comfort and understanding.  One of the biggest things I have learned this weekend from Yahweh is that everything going on around me is simply not ALL about ME -  "IT IS NOT ABOUT ME!" You know what I'm talking about here, don't you?  Those times when everything around you is in an uproar or when you begin to feel like the entire world is against you?  Well, in those times, it is more than likely NOT about you.  That big crisis or that gossip-filled office or all that Mella-drama in a family are more about the OTHER people in the situation, and not about you.  But satan just wants us to keep on thinking that it is all about us.  When we live in that place of condemnation and turmoil, it becomes so difficult to even think about seeing or hearing Jesus.  That is the exact place that satan wants to keep us.  Cut off from the presence of Yahweh.  So, in the next days, I am going to be doing a lot of reciting to myself......"IT IS NOT ABOUT ME!"

Thank you Yahweh, for this refreshing and life-filled time away.  Thank you Jesus for reminding me that in the ordinary times you are here with us and you are speaking through us and to us.  I pray a special blessing on my scrapbooking friends.  Bless their families (all the husbands who stayed at home, especially the ones taking care of all the children) and the homes.  Please remind me, Holy Spirit, that every situation is not about me.  You are at work around me, protecting me and blessing me.   Thank you!   Amen

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Jesus is in it all......

Today I have been preparing for a wonderful "away" weekend that begins tomorrow.  This is a special girls Scrapbooking Weekend.  Yes, I admit that I am a dedicated scrapbooker.  Scrapbooking is so much more than a hobby for me.  It is a relaxing thing that is also a creative outlet. It has been a time of listening to Jesus and gaining some amazing insights into the people and events as I put pictures and words on paper.   And more than that, I get to spend time with my daughter and daughter-in-law.

When my daughter Gwen was in college, she began to suggest to me that our "magnetic" photo albums were ruining our pictures.  As I have mentioned before, my photo's were all in albums.  So I set out to scrapbook 30 years - YES 30 years of pictures.  I began by choosing only about 6 to 8 pictures from each year - starting in 1972.  And I managed to complete a series of 3 books that have a page a year from 1972 - 1997 with just a couple of exceptions.  I did include an extra page in 1979 and 1982 when Gwen and Doug were born.  Then in 1997, I realized that this was far more than a few pictures a year.  This was the way I wanted to not only preserve my photos, but also journal and leave words with the pictures, so that the story would not be lost.  So now, in 2013, I will have 4 or more albums for the year!  Quite a difference. 

Gwen had begun to scrapbook around the same time as me - while she was in college.  I am so thankful that she encouraged me and pressed me to keep on with my seemingly endless project.  After she was married in 2001, I realized that I needed to go back and scrapbook my own wedding.  It was such a special project.  And I began a "heritage album" with many of the photos I have used in this blog, of my parents and grandparents and other ancestors.  Every vacation was also an opportunity to make a new album.  Needless to say, I have an entire bookcase full of albums. It wasn't long after Susie, my daughter-in-law started being at every family event, that Gwen and I decided it was time to hook her on scrapbooking.  So one Christmas we loaded her up with supplies and promised some "scrap lessons".   Now these 3 or 4 times a year weekends are simply a joy! 

Gwen has a group of friends who also scrapbook and so they are a part of these weekends.  Spending time in fellowship with this amazing group of young women is so life giving.    These women are committed to their husbands, to their families and to Jesus.  I am the "grandma" of the group, but I always feel so blessed to be included.  I have recently gotten one of my friends into this hobby, so she will be joining us this weekend also.  Nothing better than friends and family! 

I just love the way that Yahweh is a part of ALL of our activities - not just our church meetings.  I love that every single thing that we do, we do with Jesus in us.  I love to remember that the Bible is full of stories of people doing everyday things.  And Yahweh was speaking to them, using them, and accomplishing His plans through these people at ordinary times.  The disciples were fishing.  Paul was making tents. So many people just doing the day to day.  Sometimes we miss what Yahweh is doing in our regular activities, because we are not looking for Him or listening to Him.  So this weekend I am going to pay particular attention to those "God Moments".  And I will spend time listening for Jesus to speak.  AND I will accomplish a bit of scrapbooking - hopefully 35 or more pages!

Yahweh, thank you for friends and family. Thank you for creative gifts, for photographs that record our life events and ways to preserve them. Jesus, you are always with us because of your great plan to actually live IN us. What an amazing gift. Thank you for reminding me that you are a part of everything I do,  Continue to remind us, Jesus, to be aware of you acting in us and through us - in ordinary events.  Amen

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's in a name.....

Last night I had a dream about a very high waterfall.  It wasn't big - like Niagra Fall, It was really narrow, but flowing very fast.
This is a picture of a small waterfall in Rockford.  But I did think of this picture when I woke up this morning.  I know that Yahweh is speaking to me whenever there is water included in the picture.  Okay -  here is more truth telling!   One of the first times that I heard Jesus speak clearly to me, I heard John 7:38 -  "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him".  The Holy Spirit wrote that verse into me, and I knew that verse was significant for me.   Imagine my surprise, when months later, I discovered that my name -Lynnette-actually means "streams of living water" and the verse associated with my name is John 7:38!  To me this was confirmation that Yahweh named me.  He cares for me and he has a unique plan and purpose for my life. 

Back to the dream from last night...  I was standing at the top of the waterfall and the water looked so inviting.  I remember thinking about jumping in!  And just as I thought about jumping, I was sailing down the waterfall.  It was amazing!  I wasn't afraid and it was a wonderful ride.  Along the way, I was noticing that there were people all along the sides of the waterfall.  Some were standing and some were sitting on the grass.  It was such a pleasent scene.  And it felt like exactly where I was supposed to be. 

So today, I am much more confident that writing this blog, is exactly what I am supposed to be doing.  It is through this blog that I am able to let those streams of living water flow out from me.  I can write about the things that Yahweh is speaking to me.  And I can share with all of you, how great the plans and purposes of Jesus are for you.  He has a destiny for you and He wants to speak to you. So tonight I am celebrating "Taking the plunge" down that waterfall.  Because I know that Yahweh is in charge of this ride. 

Yahweh, thank you for speaking to me in dreams.  Thank you for your plans and purposes and destiny.  Jesus, you are speaking from heaven and we just need to be still and listen.  Thank you for my name.  You work in some of the most amazing ways.  Yahweh, work in the lives of the people reading this blog.  Help them to hear your voice and come into a better understanding of all that you have for them.  Amen