If a tree falls…

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it,
did it fall?

And likewise, if a “Christian” acclaims to be “Christian” and no one around can hear “HIM”, who’s s/he working for… really?

Faith and Works …

14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? …
26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead. 

… James 2

A tale of two trees

This post started in a completely different direction yesterday [If a tree falls...], or so I had thought anyway.  As I had gazed out the kitchen window last evening, I took particular notice of two certain trees which struck me by their appearance, and I thought…

Here are two trees, both living and breathing in the Sun’s light, but one appears taller, fuller, and more pronounced in stature then the other.  “Lord, what does this say about the bigger tree and what does this mean for the lesser?”  I thought there was more favor for the bigger tree and how it showed itself strong for all the eyes to see, and less for the leaner and oddly shaped tree because it was different in its presentation and stature, appearing to deliver less fruit.  I found myself pondering on all these things and what they could mean.  So as it is the case with me, I held this thought up before God and found His answer in a direction I was not looking.  My question… “Does this shed the light on or speak to one’s witness Lord?”

‘Naturally’ I continued to see things in my own light, until…

Immediately my mind went to a recent picture I had posted of the two trees and the Sun rising between them, positioned and appearing like a candle flame…

  [When I see a candle, it speaks "unity"]

In my search to locate this certain picture in my picture library folder [or... for a better or more relevant one to post here], I found a treasure [at least to me]…

  Here’s the shift…
I could not take my eyes off this picture I had taken, and others from the same folder much like it.  At first I thought better of the fuller, bigger, more pronounced tree, until I saw the heart wrapped up in & embracing the Sun, in the now… ‘not-so-less’  tree.  And ‘more so’… how this tree in season, moves faster to the next, to fulfill its reason and purpose for living, breathing, & producing in the Sun.  Oh my God, “THANK YOU”, what a gift!

 Can you see what I see?  Doesn’t it almost look like the tree ‘with heart’ is dancing?  … I DO!

“When they entered, he [Samuel] looked at Eliab [a son of Jesse] and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  [1 Samuel 16:6-7]“

“… Now he [David, the youngest son of Jesse] was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.” [1 Samuel 16:12-13]

 ‘At first I thought better of the fuller, bigger, and more pronounced, until I saw the heart wrapped up in & embracing [The Son], in the now, ‘not-so-less’ one. And ‘more so’ when one is seasoned… moves faster to the next, to fulfill its reason and purpose for living, breathing, and producing in [The Son]. Oh my God, “THANK YOU”, what a gift!’

There’s no barking up the wrong tree with God… ;)

 i am @ least!  Until that day…
…  jams4JESUS

Much to my delight this morning, my daily devotional & Scriptures from Dr. Charles Stanley and the InTouch.org ministry… appeared before my eyes.  I am confident in saying that 1 Samuel 16 was a gift from God for me… for today.

Now that’s a statement! 

1 Samuel 16

Samuel Goes to Bethlehem

1 Now the LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.” 2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? When Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’ 3 You shall invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for Me the one whom I designate to you.” 4 So Samuel did what the LORD said, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and said, “Do you come in peace?” 5 He said, “In peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’S anointed is before Him.” 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 9 Next Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “The LORD has not chosen this one either.” 10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen these.” 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, “Are these all the children?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and behold, he is tending the sheep.” Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.”

David Anointed

12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward.

~

James 2
Faith and Works …

14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.


Love how the Sun’s light shines through the heart of the now ‘not-so-less’ one. :)

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The Fire, continues…

“Little did I know at the time, that behind the scenes, God was causing all things to work together for good, to those who love Him, those called according to His purpose.”

The Fire Changes EVERYTHING!

The Fire really had changed EVERYTHING for me that day, and everyday since.  It has taken me four years just to tell you this much.  And as you can see, there is “much”.  I do apologize for the length.  As it is, I’ve revised it numerous times already and I’m probably not finished [sleeping on Him usually provides me a different perspective by morning.  And so it was the case, this morning.]  If you read this post yesterday or even earlier in this day, you’ll probably find it different, and hopefully “better”, today.

In all honesty, it was the journey from this fire, that has opened my eyes to see God’s wonder working power, and also, how He orchestrated [and still does] all events and people to work together for His good and plan-full purpose.  I am still amazed today by it all.  Starting within days and continuing to the present, God has brought people into my life or highlighted the ones already in it, that confirmed not only the messages from the fire, but a perspective to where I was to go from there.

Here is a very small remnant of how good our God really is– to those who love Him, those whom He called [even that day]…

A few months after the day of the fire, the volunteer fireman [my school buddy from the first roadblock -  see "The Fire Changes EVERYTHING" for a frame of reference], actually made his way through the church one Sunday morning, shortly after the service had ended.  [He did not attend there- or anywhere to my knowledge, prior to the fire.]  I don’t know his reason for being in the area or at the church that day, but he made it all the way through the sanctuary to speak to me, passed everyone else, and requested that I pray for his sister who now had cancer.  What a privilege!

I had just shared with him at a benefit that we both volunteered at [about a month after the fire and for the fallen fireman at the Farm Petting Zoo], of how I saw the Lord working at the fire and where I thought his fireman friend was now.  [When I was driving around and praying for the Lord to save him the day of the fire, I felt as if the Lord had done just that-- pulled him off, up, and out of the fire- Himself.]  My fireman friend then shared with me the details of the fire I had not known.

The fireman that died [who was considered "close family" by all including the owners of the farm, and was also scheduled to be in the family's wedding party within a few weeks], was one of the first to respond at the scene.  Because of his close ties to the family, he personally wanted to go up first and check on the fire status [even at a risk to himself]… out of love & loyalty to the family.  Unbeknownst to him or anyone, there was a dangerous sleeper-like fire rekindling and waiting to awaken at an opportune time.  [I know an enemy like that!]  So when he had reached the top, it exploded.

When my friend told me all these things, I knew what I’d saw was real.  The fallen fireman never really fell to his death.  The Lord took him in flight… “Jesus saves!”  My fireman friend said “I hope you’re right.”  [He must have seen something in what I had said, because within a short time, he was asking me to pray for his much loved sister.]  “Me too!” I said.  And “Thank You Jesus!”

The Fire, continues…

A month after the fire, the first day of the two-day benefit for the fallen fireman, I attended a women’s conference in the morning before heading to the benefit to volunteer.  It was called “A day of encouragement”.  [I know I needed one at the time.  My days since the fire had gotten seemingly worse than better.  "Be fully aware of what you ask for-- He just may give it to you."]  The details and what occurred at this [sadly misguided] conference will have to be told in its own post or chapter.  If the speaker’s plan for this conference, along with her actions, were orchestrated to bring about tongues of fire, the wrong fire was captured.

An excerpt–

“Here I was, a nobody in a guest church for ‘a day of encouragement’, with my hands over my ears, and my head bent down between my knees, waiting for ‘the fiery crash’… crying “Oh God, make it stop!”  [To me, all that I heard, sounded more like an airplane engine trying unsuccessfully to start, having been fueled with the wrong power source.  So when it eventually started moving -- it wasn't "good".]“

But- “we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

And so He did!  I had met a woman right after the conference had broke for lunch.  [She, as it turned out, happened to work at the farm's Petting Zoo in the summers.  But I did not discover this until after my breakdown.]  She was seated near a pastor’s wife that I knew and loved, so when I broke down [rare occurrence] and shared some of my scenes from the fire that were still open wounds to me, this woman shared and comforted me with hers.

I do not remember the details of her story, except for this- she could not get there either, so she had prayed her heart out for Jesus to save them.  All of them, because she was their friend, too.

The Fire, continues…

There have been hundreds of events, and even more people, that have blessed me and have testified to God’s omnipotent grace and power over [and from] just one fire, that for me… changed everything.  I had met people at that time that I now serve alongside of.  So many have blessed me that I would be negligent in trying to name  them all.  And I could no more attempt, to do or speak justice, to the multitude of testimonies that have come out from the fire.

I will say this, that even after all that the owners of this farm had been through [especially my friend who not only lost her 99 babies, her dear fireman friend - who was like a son (she initially had to be hospitalized for the trauma), and her own Mother dying the second day of the benefit]… our God reigned!!!  So many people flocked to the Lord from that day forward.  “Hallelujah!”  It’s like watching a fire ignite and spread– brushed, fanned, and powered, by a totally & amazingly different source. — an ignition by the Holy Spirit.  “Wow God!”

I can say hundreds, because on that benefit weekend alone, that’s how many attended, were touched, and where tens of thousands were raised [money too].  ;)

I’d prayed to God [begged actually] for Him to bring people into my life whose hearts “bleed like mine for Jesus”, and He did!  It was like watching a tapestry of people, piece by piece, add to a bigger more colorful picture.  Yet, we all bled, read, and appeared red.  [Kind of like coals when they are on-fire.]

To tie this all together… Just last Sunday, I heard a message that has resonated with me all week.  From this Scripture in Romans 12…

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This is what I took with me from the sermon [specifically addressing the parts that pertain to these two posts and the fire]…

Back in His day, and the time in which Paul wrote this, every household would bring what they had or what they could, to the center of town and added their contribution to a massive fire pit [or altar?], to fuel the fire.  So everyday, someone from each household would venture to town to give… and receive.  They would bring a basket with them that was to be filled with the coals and embers that were created from the cooperative fire, and return home carrying these coal-filled baskets on top of their heads.  This basket of fuel would serve to warm their whole house and everyone in it.

So what we are to make and take away from this Scripture is not a curse ["Yah, take that you horrible person.  Serves you right for messing with me!"  Or... "Be judged all you who didn't join me for prayer at the fire."], but instead, how God [even through our pain], can challenge us to rise up and cause all things, including this one- as a heartwarming, self-less, Jesus-focused, “good” witness, and an amazingly grace-full blessing.  [["God Bless every body!"]]

“And from this day forward,
I could not settle for lukewarm
ANYTHING!”

I’m thinking today, that the fire on April 11, 2010 that had changed everything, was more like a baptism by fire, as I stood around the fire, in that beloved Baptist church.  Fire, water, and “Holy Spirit reign”…  I guess this makes all of them for me now. 8-)

I often ask for His baptism– all of them. If it’s the fire that clears away the chaff, the sin, whatever stupidity that exists in me– so be it! I want it GONE! Sure it’s painful, but I have never, even once, walked through the fire alone. He is present in the midst of the flames with me.  And although I don’t look as good or unsigned as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, I do pray I’m getting closer  –with Jesus. 

16 John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  [Luke 3:16]

I know that I should fear the fire, but I honestly don’t. Matter-of-fact, I’ve been drawn to it.  I revere it.  I am warmed by it.  I am mesmerized by it.  I’ve grown to appreciate it.  I find power in it.  And I can’t keep my eyes off of it [Him].  

♪ Come be the fire inside of me.  Come be the flame upon my heart.
Come be the fire inside of me… until You and I are one. ♪

“If you make Jesus your everything,
then He’ll be EVERYTHING– for you!”

The Fire, continues…

♪ You won’t relent until You have it all.
My heart is Yours! ♪
…  jams4JESUS

♪ I don’t want to talk about You, like You’re not in the room.
I want to look right at You.  I want to sing right to You ♪…

Video Favorites:
Set a fire…
You won’t relent until You have it all. My heart is Yours.
Come like a rushing wind.  Come like a fire again.
Come like a burning flame.  Have Your way!
Have Your way!
The fire continues…

Lord, I need You!
Break Every Chain
Broken Hallelujah
Hands to the Heavens
Forever – Alive Again
Build Your Kingdom Here
And All The People Said Amen

I’ve been singing “Set a Fire down in my soul that I can’t contain that I can’t control- I want more of You God…” for days now & everywhere I go. I have repeatedly asked the Lord, “If there is any wicked way in me ‘take it’, cut it out’, ‘tell me’ [so I'm aware of it], and yes, even apply the coals.  Take the coals from Your altar and burn out whatever isn’t Yours [I'm aware now of the pain involved].  Do whatever You must do… better is one day in Your court than a thousand elsewhere”.

 

Isaiah 6 (NKJV)

Isaiah Called to Be a Prophet

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!”

And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

So I said:

“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;
Your iniquity is taken away,
And your sin purged.”

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

And He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

10 “Make the heart of this people dull,
And their ears heavy,
And shut their eyes;
Lest they see with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And return and be healed.”

11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?”

And He answered:

“Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant,
The houses are without a man,
The land is utterly desolate,
12 The Lord has removed men far away,
And the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 But yet a tenth will be in it,
And will return and be for consuming,
As a terebinth tree or as an oak,
Whose stump remains when it is cut down.
So the holy seed shall be its stump.”

 

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The Fire Changes EVERYTHING!

“And from this day forward,
I could not settle for lukewarm
ANYTHING!”

Old MacDonald had a farm, and on April 11, 2010… it was on “FIRE!”  I know this because two miles down the road, was my church and I was there.  It was a Sunday.  And exactly one year prior to this day, was Easter Sunday 2009.  I would know this too, because just one day before this particular Easter [on April 11, 2009], I thought I had been married at a Wedding feast at Cana [well at least that was my intended theme, 'the best for last'].  But sadly I was mistaken, and this proved not to be the case.  [This will be it's own post/chapter.  I am currently still on the scene, enduring and taking part in the clean-up operation from all the fall-out...]

“And from this day forward,
I could not settle for lukewarm
ANYTHING!”

What I’m about to tell you now has been so painful to discuss, that it has taken me this long to write it.  But still, I’ve been very aware that this day and time in my life… God has caused all things from it to work together for good.  I know I love Him and that He calls me.  And on this particular day, the Lord threw me an evangelical birthday party.  The problem for me was– I didn’t know it yet.  “Surprise!”  It really was ‘one of those days’ that left me feeling stunned, numb, burned beyond recognition, invisible, and abandoned.  Like a building had collapsed on me, and there I was- seemingly left for dead [at least somebody was] or just left to go it alone…

The fire changes everything!

It was one of those crazy, hectic Sunday mornings [actually all Sunday mornings are for me- the enemy has a plan too, you know].  As usual, I was trying to get myself and my two children ready, to attend the same church [I so loved] that I’d thought I’d remarried in exactly one year prior, with the man I thought I’d married in it, along with his three kids.  This particular Sunday was a little different and set apart from the others because after the service would be the annual dinner and annual business meeting.  Dinners are always cool but business meetings… not so much.  [It was a rude awakening for me the first year I was a member.  "Christians" behave no better in these meetings then any other business or group of people that I've encountered.]

“And from this day forward,
I could not settle for lukewarm
ANYTHING!”

I had prepared and was bringing two large pans of meat lovers lasagna for the dinner, which was a pretty big deal to me.  The running joke in my family and to all who know me is “If burnt offerings are your thing, I’m your gal.” :P  But, when it comes to homemade lasagna- I’m pretty good.  [Although, since this event, I have not been able to bring myself to make it again.]  I’m sharing this because my lasagna is what got me into the doors of the Fire Hall to hear the sound of the alarm and the need for prayer & divine intervention.  The church was under renovations for an addition, so the annual dinner and business meeting was to be held across the road, a very short distance, at the Fire Hall.

I walked into the Fire Hall fully loaded with lasagna and delivered it to the kitchen.  The fire alarm had gone off before we’d got there and again when we were.  There were a few firemen still inside as I arrived and having known one of them [his children attended the school where I was a guidance counselor] I asked him what was going on.

What I already knew was, a friend of mine’s family farm, which ranged from a children’s petting zoo to one of the best farms in our area, had a fire just a couple of days before [three I think], where 99 baby calves died in the fire.  This alone, I knew, my friend would have found devastating.  So my heart sunk when I heard from my fireman friend that the fire had reignited.  When I asked if everyone was ok, I was told that there were injuries but they couldn’t tell me more.  They left in a hurry and I, myself, felt that same “rush”.

 I tried to rustle up everyone I rode with to hurry with me to the church [across the road a few house lengths].  I could not get to the church fast enough.  All those past & recent discipleship charged, Holy Spirit rising, & “greater works than these” sermons, messages, “Christian” events, Presbytery “Words”, Bible studies & reading, and even my daily devotionals that I had been hearing, reading, digesting, and preparing for, had come to life right before me.  “Todays the day” I thought, that we could take ‘all that’ and practice what we’re preaching, open those gifts, put our faith to the test, and our love in motion.  “Yes” with Jesus… greater works they’ll see.

So this was all I could hear from this point on…

“Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.” … Jesus  [Luke 7]

12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. [John 14]

13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. [John 15]

I’m through the door of the church and I am at this point, at tunnel vision to find the pastor.  I knew not to focus on all the smoke or diversions that could distract me.  [During this certain period of time, my recall's somewhat foggy.  Like I said, all I could hear was an alarm, the Word, and "charge".]  When I reached the pastor, I’m sure I interrupted him.  I was that focused and figured what I had to share trumped anything they had.  I told him what I knew about the fire- that was, and the one happening right then.  I mentioned that we should “go” [although I had no idea what to do, other than pray, upon our arrival to the scene].  I must have been talking very fast because he said he didn’t know what was going on still.  I quipped back with a shorter version and then said “there it is, what are we going to do about it”.  [I'm sure my determination at this point was probably perceived as disrespectful... because it probably was.  I am "very sorry" for my entry and delivery now.  This could have been the deal breaker in getting others to join me.]

I remember this part like it was yesterday, because I told them [others had gathered around by then] and they didn’t hear me.  I specifically asked ‘what are WE going to do about this’ and all that was done was a request by the pastor to pray for the farm down the road that was on fire again.  So the people stopped talking long enough to hear a two minute or less prayer holding hands in a circle, and that was it.  I could not tell you even then, what he prayed.  As far as I was concerned I was already out the door.

 [I'm sorry, I am still a little singed by this.  I know now the hard lesson, assignment, and even the blessings from this were for me, but the feelings I had going through it all, and being isolated from all others, are still pretty raw.  These weren't just any people, they were friends & "family".]

So out the door I went.  The only people who asked to go with me, were my children [11 and 8 at the time], but not knowing what I was getting myself into, I knew it would not be safe for them.  It was in their best interest to remain at the church– with all the rest of the people.

 I was given the keys to the van and I was on the road.  I reached my first roadblock in less than a minute because it was just outside of this very small town.  I had passed the Fire Hall on my right as I left, still completely focused on the task at hand… getting to my friends [known & unknown] who may possibly need my help.  [Why I thought I was so special, I don't know.]  It still amazes me to this day, how passionate I was to get there.  This urgency to ‘enter that burning building’ to rescue someone had not been this strong before, or even this great a part of my repertoire of service.  Especially, that I did not know who it was that was injured.  It just didn’t matter, because everyone qualified as a potential “save” this day… and every day since.

 I’d been praying for this!  For so long it seemed, I’d been asking the Father to put me to work, to preach the word, to fulfill my destiny with Him.  [I said all those things knowing I was not there yet- I just couldn't feel it or its need]  And also, that He would show me how to really love people, that He would show me who to love and to soften my heart, that I could bless them with it.

For all that was said of me, would be true.  “People will seek you out.  They will invest much into evangelism.  You will need others to help in discerning [who is real] through this process.  You are an evangelist!”  [at Presbytery 2007]  This was the first and there has been a whole lot more “word” since then, but honestly, it all just seems to add to my “fail” or regret list, having failed to get ‘er done.  [All except for two-- one was based on a deposit of the Spirit in Acts 10 and the other, one of my personal favorites... Isaiah 61.]

At the first roadblock, I was blessed to see a familiar face.  When I did my school counseling internship, as I was pursuing my Master’s Degree and state certification, I had the pleasure of working with this gentleman who was employed at the school I interned in.  I know one of his many responsibilities included that of bus driver.  He was an integral part of the school district and the community, of which I also lived.  He was always very kind to me whenever I saw him at school or out and about.  This day was no exception.

He was very forthcoming with any information he had, but he, like me, was at a roadblock station about a mile away.  What he knew he gave me.  The silo that was part of the original fire from a few days passed, had rekindled and there had been an explosion [some of this information was relayed to me back at the fire hall].  He knew at least one was injured pretty bad, but that was all he knew.  He didn’t know who or what the extent of the injuries were [for some reason now, I think he may have said it could've been a fireman- I'm still fuzzy about this].  All I do know for sure, was that he said he could not let me through.  He, unlike the next guy I would encounter, did not say “only essential personnel” were allowed through.

“If only I was a pastor, a first responder,
a medic, a fireman, on the rescue squad
[or even part of a church congregation],
maybe then I could get there?  Maybe then
I would be essential… a somebody
worthy of admission?”

I could tell my old school buddy felt bad about it.  I know he had a job to do.  He told me I could detour around by taking the road to my left, but something inside me said to go back to the Fire Hall and take the road that circles around to the right.  So to the right, I went.  I happened to notice a vehicle stopped at the intersection by the Fire Hall.  I can’t remember now if I stopped long enough to tell them what was going on, but for some reason I’m sure I did.  They were headed over to the church with their family, and I journeyed on by myself.

I couldn’t help but notice how different everything looked as I drove around to the next blockade, even though this was familiar territory for me.  I’d lived or owned a house in the area for a couple of decades.  This particular township included a quaint,  touristy village set in a beautiful harbor, equipped with a historical battlefield and barracks.  This farm of which I’m speaking, and its Petting Zoo, located just outside the village, is notorious and well loved in its own right.  But all the beauty and usual significance of the area and the farm went right out the window as I drove around on this day.  All I could do was pray, so pray I did.  With a multitude of tears streaming down my face, I talked out loud to God for His divine intervention.

I’d arrived to the next road intersection and roadblock, passing the Petting Zoo to my right [This zoo was a family favorite.  Even before our children were born, my husband and I would frequent it.  And after they arrived we would take them every year.  It was a family tradition.]  Driving by this spot usually makes me smile, but not today.  Just passed the petting zoo on the left [corner], was the barn and silo that still held the smoke from the fiery re-ignition and explosion.  A young over confident NYS trooper [I'm sure young enough to be my son] stopped me from turning down the road that faced the farm.  I rolled down the window to see if I could get anymore information or state my intent to help, when I was directed to continue on my way- only essential personnel allowed.  He was very short with me and said he didn’t know anything [which I had no problem believing].  Still, I pressed him, giving him what I already had been told, and it was then that all of a sudden he knew something– “I think it was just a farm hand.”

I drove away feeling worse than I already had [I didn't think that was possible at the time].  The words of this young pretentious trooper still resonated in my mind… “only a farm hand.”  I thought “How dare you insult me, like I’m the shallow one and easily appeased by lies.”  &  “What does a person’s job have to do with the value placed on their life anyway?”

I kept driving on and thinking “would they [the church] have come if it was the farm owner, a fireman, a rescuer, a doctor?”  “Would they have come if it was me?”  “If only I was somebody, anybody, anyone other than a nobody, then I would be there and not by myself?”

All I could think about was how I was going to get in there [like it was my sole mission and this was my field].  I had no clue as to what I would do if someone welcomed me in, but I so had to keep trying and trust that what I would need, I would have when I needed it.

I was praying more fervently now, because when I was in the process of rolling up my window as I was leaving the trooper [second] roadblock, I heard him tell one of his buddies who’d just pulled up that they were calling in the helicopter for an emergency transport.

“Oh my God… I can’t get in there, but I know You are!  Lord please save him, whoever he is.  I don’t know his reality, but You do.  Please God, touch his heart and make him Yours and help all those who are standing there with him- touch them too.  Save them too.!  God, I know You’re there!!!”

And this Scripture…

“O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
today let it be known that You are God in Israel
and that I am Your servant and I have done all
these things at Your word. 37 Answer me, O Lord,
answer me, that this people may know that You,
O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their
heart back again.”
  [1 Kings 18]

And what about… “the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them. 23 Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me. [Luke 7], “greater works than these” and even… “Jesus heals!”

After praying, crying out loud, and praying more [and when I say praying, I'm just talking to God], I began to think of people who might be able to help me.  As I look back now, I think this whole thing was a little strange even for me.  It is true that I am not who I was.  Now I have a heart bent toward chasing the hurt & wounded souls [many times at the hands of "Christians"] because the fire really had changed everything, but back then this was all in my head.  My heart was just coming around.

So I found solace in thinking of others who could help me gain access.  My husband of 18 years came to my mind as I rounded the half-way mark on this tour of duty.  [He was the first, the best, the only husband I've truly ever had - I guess I should just avoid wine altogether, especially when at Cana ;) ]  I thought surely he could get me in and would help me.  After all, we were still friendly toward each other [and not just because of the children].  And considering all his professional media connections, his plethora of volunteer work and charitable events to help anyone or any group in need, and especially for a friend… I was sure he could & would help me get to where I was going.  He knew this farm too, these great people, and he himself had family members [his cousin's children] die in a house fire a few years before this.  [He did the benefit for that.  He would be passionate about this too.]  But something stopped me in my tracks.  I suddenly knew to head back.

I reached the last stationed roadblock, right back to where I’d started.  I had come full circle around the mission field.  The Lord had impressed upon me that I had prayed all around it.  And… “I did what I could!”

I rolled down my window to merely ask for an update at this point, and found a different volunteer fireman manning it.  I played back to him what I already knew, including the helicopter, and he said to me “one is so bad, he’ll never make it by air.”

“Oh my God…”  And then the Lord said “Come home!”

At this point I thought my heart had been ripped out of my chest.  [I'm still amazed today at how much compassion and drive I had for this unknown soul.]  All I could do now was head to the church.  It was then that I remembered something God showed me several months, if not years, before this.  It was a vision where I walked up behind a seated person [very short hair so it could have been either a male or female], I laid my hands on the person’s shoulder, and said “Jesus Heals!”  This thought gave me great hope because now I was on a mission to write “Jesus Heals!” on my tithe check in the memo section.  For some bizarre reason, I thought this was a big deal at the time [remember it's annual dinner & annual business meeting Sunday].

And thankfully, it proved to be just that– and not with amount of money, but by words.

So I walked in the front door and sat just outside the sanctuary to write out my tithe and “Jesus Heals”.  What happened next threw me.  I looked at my check, as if to proof read it and in the memo section it read “Jesus Saves!”  [Say what?... I didn't write that, but it was right there in print.]  I had no idea why this happened at that time [although I would quickly find out], but I felt that it was acceptable for the time being.

The church and congregation were still in worship when I arrived, but I felt so out of place and distant that I honestly could not engage.  The betrayal was so strong to me at that time that I sincerely just wanted to leave but knew I had a long day ahead of me there.  I do remember getting such a strong message for a young woman I saw across the isle that I went to her and spoke it.  I could not even have told you that day, what I said to her.  [She remembered though, because months later we connected on Facebook.  She told me that the very same thing was delivered to her a week later in a Presbytery that I did not attend- due to my burnt status from the fire.  God had sent me on another mission (also painful) in a different direction-- or maybe I was just running away.  I can't even tell you the answer to that now.]

I couldn’t get over how people could continue to go about their “Christian” business and not feel that something really bad was going on around them.  Someone’s in peril, dire straits, dying.  Someone needs our attention and His intervention.  “Why am I the only one seeing this?  And why do I feel like I’m all alone, as I stand here in this crowded room?

Now were getting to the really bad part…

I do not know how much time had passed, when all of a sudden there was an interruption from the back of the sanctuary with this announcement…

“The firemen have come to ask for all the pastors, because a fireman has died!”

“Oh my God… why weren’t they [WE] there?”  And this slid out of me immediately following… “Be judged!”  [I sadly understand now that this utterance was a curse.  I sincerely want no ill will to happen to anyone, especially people I care about, but there it was, already up & out.  The very next Friday evening I had attended an Isaiah 6 concert, instead of the Presbytery, so I guess I didn't run too far away & got to the place I needed to be.]

I was livid!  I could barely move and yet I still had hours to go here.  Some pastors [& want to be's] left for the farm, and then the rest when the firemen came a second time saying they needed more.  [The fireman who died just so happened to be a local hero, in two states.  His funeral had to take place in the school building and was televised just to meet the demand of people attending.]

They attempted worship, but could have been singing Mary had a little lamb, for all I heard.  It wasn’t working so the decision was made to head over to the fire hall to commence with the meal & the meeting to follow.  The remaining people were praised for their flexibility and understanding for allowing their service and the annual dinner/business meeting to be interrupted, cut short, and any inconvenience they may have suffered. ["GAG!"]

“And from this day forward,
I could not settle for lukewarm
ANYTHING!”

It somehow all came to a head for me when I heard the trumpeting of “good works” as the pastors or leaders returned from their trip to aid the grieving firemen.  I thought “How dare you!”  [But I'm sure now, that what I had heard and what the others heard, would've been completely different.  It depends on where you're standing.  I was sincerely not in a good place at the time.]

So there I was, feeling like I was in the middle of a really bad movie, with no one to share the misery with or feel comfortable enough to sit next to.  It got to the point where I could no longer breathe inside.  I was asked a question but quickly said “I’m sorry, I’ve got to get out of here.”  I ran outside and began crying out loud to God again.  I did not understand why any of this was happening.  “If only I was somebody, anybody, maybe then I could make a difference.”  When out of nowhere, I heard Him say “This will be the last time you will be a no body!”

I’d learned several painful lessons on that day, but the one that blesses my heart the most, even to this day, is–

He doesn’t just heal…  “Jesus Saves!”

And I can prove it… 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it

… Jesus   [John 14]

To be continued and still under construction…

While I’m Waiting - featuring scenes from FIREPROOF

The Fire Changes EVERYTHING!
… jams4JESUS

Isaiah 61 (NKJV)

The Good News of Salvation

61 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks,
And the sons of the foreigner
Shall be your plowmen and your vinedressers.
But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery for burnt offering;
I will direct their work in truth,
And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,
And their offspring among the people.
All who see them shall acknowledge them,
That they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed.”

10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

John 15 (NASB)

Disciples’ Relation to Each Other

12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.

Disciples’ Relation to the World

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. 25 But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

26 “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, 27 and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

John 14 (NASB)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.” Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Oneness with the Father

If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Role of the Spirit

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe. 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; 31 but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.

An excerpt from Respectfully submitted…

“As I was writing this [♪Old MacDonald had a farm♪... eiei Oh my God...], I realized that the location to where I had poured out my heart…

“O my God… I fail You at every turn… if You Lord want a website, You are going to have to build it Yourself, miraculously implant this ability in me, or place someone in my path to teach me.”,

…I was driving on a two-mile stretch of road leading to “Old MacDonald’s Farm”.  These fields and this farm will always have a place in my heart and in my field of mission and dreams [God gave me the back field behind the church, only the owners don’t know it yet ;) ].  A family of friends, a ‘roll-over’ accident in faith, a devastating explosion illuminating ‘on-fire heroes’, solo prayer warriors, unseen miracles, an evangelical birthday, and numerous testimonies of “♪ we’re gathered together ♪”, were found in this certain place.  Praise the Living God.  And why wait four months and then the harvest… for the fields are white!”  I respectfully submit.

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“Here am I… Send me please!”

 Following the tragic suicide death of a 16 year old local high school student [his name was Daniel], who is alleged by his parents to have been ‘bullied to death’ [see news article at the end], I’ve been moved to…

“Here am I… Send me please!”

I am not one to be bold enough to speak or comment on social networking sites, and yet, not be willing to step in, step up, try to be part of the solution, or put into action what I preach.  So today, my originally scribed March 12, 2014 draft- becomes a post, where I would like to offer myself up, to your service…

I would so LOVE to assist & serve on any team, committee, or task force, for any school or community service, that would have me

Worthy of a side note–

Speaking of recent [special] forces… Spirit Wars @VBS New Life 2013 was a God-Send for me!
[--And if you would like references to my performance and counsel, I will refer you to The Green Team (11/12 year olds) who I was honored to serve!!!]  

And speaking of Spirit… On the third day of “Spirit Wars”, past & prior incidents of bullying and suicidal thoughts were brought up by the students and addressed in our group (and all I had for students in the group that day, were only a handful in number); all this from processing this Scripture alone-

Submit therefore to God.
Resist the devil
and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God
and He will draw near to you.”
–James 4:7-8 

Some of my opening questions were “What does this Scripture mean to you personally?”  “What have you faced from the enemy and what did you do about it?”  I prefaced that ‘some may say that you haven’t experienced life enough yet to answer these questions, but I’m not one of them.’  I know & think differently…  “I know each one of you, has something to say & offer!!!”
[For all I've seen & heard in public schools and from youth in the last few decades, I should have seen this coming, but even that day, I was amazed.  These were 11 and 12 year olds!]

The letter, continues—

At present, I feel as though I am a voice crying out from a wilderness experience, and can identify & fit in rather nicely with the students, staff, and the families that are in the trenches right now.  I have worked [& lived] for decades fighting against the likes of child abuse, depression & suicide, bullying, addictions, violence, poor social skills, communication & relationship issues, etc…

I have earned a Master’s Degree and NYS credentials as a Counselor to operate in public schools and have worked for nearly two decades in them, including an active service on Crisis Intervention Teams, with several deployments [that involved incidents of both suicides & murder], throughout area schools.   I did this when working as a Student Assistance Counselor through The Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council.  These specific issues cut to the very core of my purpose [and His plan] for me.  [This will be partially addressed in a post that follows this one... "I can't stop there!"]

“So Please, let me serve you?”

If you were to include me, I promise that I will do my very best to assist you, the students, the staff, the parents, the community, and beyond.  And if all involved are not acclaimed to be in a better shape after than they were before, then I will gladly bow out.  No harm no foul!  All I’m asking for is an open door and an opportunity to help you to help make our living and learning environments- healthier ones.

The Bible for School Lunch Time Magazine
April 2, 2007 Edition
Page 40 – 41

Personally, I don’t believe it’s right to expect or rely on public schools to address or take care of moral issues, or think it even fair to ask.  I believe “the local church” [each of them together], need to intervene, step in, step up [Thank you New Life Christian Church & Campus Impressions!], and get on board [Noah did build the Ark before its occupants were delivered]… the way God intended & purposed them to.  AND THEN– the community, the schools [& even the government] need to ALLOW THEM.

Schools have been bombarded with unfunded mandates for as long as I have been in them, soaking up already designated time, money, and resources that were intended for teaching Core Curriculum. The schools and professionals therein, are already overburdened with the tasks they were hired to do in the first place.  I can see where there will come a time, when they [schools, etc.] will have no choice but to accept the help that is offered to them.  And…

I believe that time is NOW!

Once inside, we need to go to “the experts” to find out what is going on.  “Just who makes up these experts?”  They are the students, staff, administration, parents, and the community.  I believe if we want to know what’s going on with people, on the inside & out, we need to ASK THEM!

Here’s a start…

“What do you know about bullying already?”
“What do you see, hear, and feel about it?”
“Have you ever been part of a bullying incident?  Where did you fit into it?”
“What did you learn from it and what would you do if you encountered it again?”
“Where would you go for help if you see something you know to be wrong?”
“Who could or would you tell?”
“What’s a ‘tell’ & what’s a ‘tattle’?  Is there a difference?”
“What do you think should happen to those who bully or try to get others to?”
“Have you, or anyone you know, ever tried to hurt yourself [or another], or even just talked about it?”
“Do you, or do they, have a plan of how to do it or get it done?  Who could you talk to if you did?”
“What would you say to someone that wants to hurt [or kill] themselves?”
“What are some examples and observations you’ve seen or witnessed that you can give us so we may help you & the students?”
“How do you think we can help your school, your classmates or your students, YOU?”
“Do you know the difference between ‘a drama bomb’ [my daughter's term] & a real live one?  Do you want to know so that you can help each one?”

[The attention seekers often distract away from the ones who really need the counseling & intervention, not only serving to be counter-productive, but often destructive.  If someone needs attention, we should give it to them in a way that is constructive, beneficial, and empowering... attending specifically to each student and their respective needs "as well".]

And… “In what ways do you think we can help the parents, the school staff, and the community… to understand, get involved, & “HELP”?”

Here comes my most favorite part.  Working with & Training up all those experts [students], who are highly influential in making a difference all around them.   I had once called them my “PALs” [Peer Assistance Leaders] when I was working with student groups throughout the schools I was employed or interned in.  I would sincerely LOVE to get these PALs back up & running.  Then, even long after we [the motivators & trainers] are gone, these empowered students [by the way this includes ALL OF THEM], will continue to model, serve, and protect all that they have helped to create.

[A large number of my current Facebook friends are former students.  They represent some of the finest individuals, positive peer role models, and 'persons of integrity' that I have had the great honor to work with.  At the risk of sounding parental… “I am very proud and privileged to have witnessed the fine adults that you’ve become!” -- I hope you know who you are! ]

As most of us adults know—Bullying, Depression, the risk & completion of Suicide, Poor Social Skills, Maladaptive Behaviors, Addictions, Ineffective Communication, and Relationship Issues don’t stop with childhood or end at home.  It spreads & permeates throughout the life of the individual… effecting the core of their being & influencing [negatively] those around them.  It may very well take more than the whole village [& church] to raise a child– with the moral integrity to respect oneself, to treat others with that same respect, and then “go” out and serve their communities- by teaching and modeling, for all the others around them -an honorable and moral code of ethics.  This is an all encompassing and time consuming endeavor for certain, but I believe our youth, our [and God's] future investment, are well worth the effort!

I, for one, would like to ex-nay on the negative [just giving “lip-service” or social networking quips], but rather work toward positive solutions… ones that effect & process through the individual’s life in such a way that everybody wins.  I believe it starts very young… in the home, school [Pre-K and up], church, the community, and each individual.  It will be a huge undertaking!  But I BELIEVE our youth, our families, our communities and beyond, are “worth it”, don’t you?

I would be honored to join a team of professionals who desire to assess, connect, educate, implement, deliver, train, provide follow-through, and intercede on behalf of young people- TODAY!  If you were to ask me, I would go further than just educating on anti-bullying, but would include all the “preventions” and “Divine Intervention”.

I may be able to help.  I come to serve [and I wouldn't come alone]!

“How may I assist YOU?”

 Respectfully submitted,
… julie

[I sincerely hope this moved you too!]

I think it has become too easy to just say “we’ve done our part to educate on bullying prevention”, and then conclude with-”our work here is done”.  And seriously, let’s not overlook the graver side of this story- suicide.  Whether it is claimed, determined, or proved that Daniel’s death was the direct result of bullying or not, he is no longer with us.  This should give us great pause & cause… for concern.  And move us!

As long as there are people out there that would rather die to get out of here, then to persevere through their pain, I’ve got to try… “To speak for the masses, defend the defenseless, guide those who need guiding, and provide an atmosphere that excludes isolation.  To give hope where little may exist…
Let there be vision– to see the forest beyond the tree, the future beyond the present, the success after the failure, and a testimony- that’s Alive to tell -&- “read all about it”.
[Modified Career Mission Statement]

I don’t have all the answers,
yet always willing to learn.
I can’t do everything, but I so know One who can & does.
The One of which I speak, trains us up in The Way we’re
to go; speaks only The Truth; and made it His assignment
to offer His Life- for our death.  And His name is “Jesus!”
I hope today’s the day, that
I’m allowed to share Him!!!
If we want to beat this, or any
problem, it takes unity to make
it happen, a united people – one
student body at a time, “under God!”
I believe in Miracles!  I do, I do, I DO!

So please allow God, back into our public schools.

And if there is room for me…

“Here am I, send me please?”
…  jams4JESUS

“Here am I… Send me please!” is actually a forerunner post.  It represents my willingness to serve.  This next one “I can’t stop there!” will hopefully illustrate my readiness & preparedness [from both God & man] for the job.  And although “I can’t stop there!” follows today’s post, it actually serves as the background and history leading up to it and the confirmation of why it was published at all.  By my last post, I hope to have made my case of why me, why now.  How at first with man, now “with God”.

This is 16 year old Daniel’s story, as told by his parents…

http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/Parents-Looking-For-Justice-Over-Bullied-Sons-Suicide-249343011.html  [Newzjunky to Facebook]  :’(

“God Bless YOU!” … Remember, it is not THE END until God says it is!!!

On an end note… Having just watched “The Book of Daniel” movie by Pure Flix [The same production company that brought you "God's NOT Dead"  over this past weekend as a limited release, that is now #2 in the country], a particular quote that Daniel repeats in the movie has stuck with me… ‘I will only speak to you the Truth.  If you would rather not hear it, I would rather that you ask me nothing!’  With that being said, if you would rather not hear the Truth from me, I would rather that you ask me… ‘nothing’!

The real 1st Book of Daniel…

Daniel 1 (NASB)
The Choice Young Men

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego.

Daniel’s Resolve

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.

17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.

18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. 20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.

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Showered with Grace

“And at that very moment, I am on my knees or huddled over in a hopeless mess- speechless, and completely amassed in the mercy, grace, and holy presence of Almighty God.”

“I’ve showered with Grace!”  Hard to imagine one’s shower or bathroom as a sanctuary, I know, but He just so happens to be in mine… call it what you will. ;)  But first, before I let you in to my private bathroom, I have to tell you how this post got there ahead of you.

Every year, beginning yesterday [St. Patrick’s Day] until today March 18, I pause to remember that 9 years ago my 3 sisters and I gathered together in a hospital room and spent the night saying “good-bye” to our mother.  To have all of us there, including the sister who took the brunt of the abuse & suffered the greatest hurt, to me, was amazingly gracious.  I still “Thank God” for all that, today!

My Mom really wanted to get it right in life, but she never really could.  Be it the head trauma from a childhood car accident, losing her baby brother to pneumonia, the addictions [alcoholism, smoking tobacco, etc…, which resulted in failed health and a long-term hospitalization [captivity] complicated by strokes & paralysis], the end of her nursing career, the failed marriage [she never remarried], the loss of friends & family, the abusive childhood stories, and all the insanity that goes with it…  Yes, be it or all of it, leaving in its wake an unhealthy mess and her appearance as the poor daughter, wife, mother, sister, friend, co-worker, patient, and even Christian… still one thing remained-  and His name is “Jesus!”

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“ [Matthew 5:3]

Surrounded by Methodist pastors and mostly born-again Christians in her family, Mom knew the Truth and loved Him.  She had gotten up close up and personal with Him when she was very young, and although her life didn’t reflect it much- Jesus too, was with her.

Even I have days, when I wonder how I can say this.  I have spent a lifetime trying not to be her.  My mother could have, and probably did, burn the ears off a brass monkey or two or three, on either side of her love affair meetings with Old Mr. Boston.  But, on that day, the day she went to live with Jesus, through all the emotional baggage and physical pain she suffered [lung cancer from decades of smoking cigarettes and congenital heart failure from the decades of alcohol addiction], not one cuss word, foul mouthed curse, insult, negative slur, or even a frown—no not one!  She was amazingly peaceful, smiley, and the life of the party.  When lucid, she looked at each one of us with her now, not so threatening ‘big eye stare’, to try and tell us each something.

At this point in time, I had only been reading my Bible again after decades of not, and I was still currently un-churched.  But, for some reason [I didn’t fully understand at that time] I needed to know right then, so I asked  “What do you see Mom?”  “What are you hearing Mom?”  “Can you see Jesus?”  -over & over and every time she would look up, sometimes even trying to raise her half sided paralysis body toward the ceiling and murmur “Oh, oh, oh!”   And her response to me was always the same- she would turn and look at me intently with her eyes appearing to be with me, yet fixed somewhere else.   She really tried to speak, but no one in the room could understand her.  We advocated with the nurses for pain meds and were told she wanted to be “awake for us girls” so she endured more pain then was necessary.  Still no peep from her- no not one!

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed! …

On a lighter note ["I know I need one right about now"], I’ll share a very special moment that happened on the way home from the funeral.  My husband was driving, and our six year old daughter and three and a half year old son were in their car seats in the back.  [Both of the children happened to be with me in the hospital when Mom passed because their dad couldn’t watch them.]  It was very quiet in the car, when all of a sudden my daughter who is now whimpering says  “Mom, do you miss your mom?”  No sooner did she utter the words, when out of the mouth of the babe [my son], we hear “Sissy, she’s with Jesus!”  [I could almost hear him say “Duh” at the end!] 

After Mom had left for Heaven, my husband came and picked up our kids and I went home to shower and change.  I was all alone and feeling the effects of the lost sleep and emotional roller coaster I was still apparently on.  As I entered the bedroom to get a change of clothes-  out of nowhere, with no remote control to be found anywhere, the television turned itself on from the other side of the bedroom.  The cat on the bed jumped up rather perturbed because he was sleeping peaceably until the rude awakening.   And involuntarily, almost like a reflex, I said “Hi Mom!”; my knees hit the floor and I sobbed.

“And at that very moment, I am on my knees or huddled over in a hopeless mess- speechless, and completely amassed in the mercy, grace, and holy presence of Almighty God.”

I get to be the oldest of the children in my family.  There was this running joke among my sisters that no one ever is allowed to see me cry.  If I actually did [cry], it was always planned and had to be in the shower.  “That is so not true!” ;)  Let me just say at this time- “I am not who I was!” Now… I have no plans and I’m crying all the time.  :D

I think you sort of know by now where I’m going with the grace, but as for the shower… I’m getting there.

Growing up as the oldest and also the recipient of the parent child role reversal in a dysfunctional family system, was rough [assuming the role of the parent], but it wasn’t without perks, either.  One of which, was watching late night TV.  Whenever Mom wanted company watching the tube, she would wake me up after all my sisters had fallen asleep to watch it with her.  I loved watching monster movies back then [not so much now, real life seems to imitate all that for me now].  This was the one thing I recall, that I truly enjoyed doing with her.  In these times, it almost seemed like life [and Mom] could be good, better, and maybe even a tad bit perfect.

“Hi Mom!”  ‘And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to His purpose.’  [Romans 8:28]

So why am I telling you all this now [9 years later] and how does all this fit into my shower?  You’ll have to step into my bathroom to get my answer.  “That’s right!”  My “Restroom”  – The site of daily sights, sounds, humble submissions, for crying out loud, worship, from His Word to full messages… there I find God!  [He would have to possess a huge amount of supernatural grace to see and hang out with me in the shower.  Not a pretty sight!]

Two days before Christmas 2013, I had something happen to me in the shower that completely arrested my thinking and challenged me to stop seeing grace for what it was, but rather Who it is.

I was preparing to go to a family get together [Christmas & my Dad’s Birthday Party] and I was already not in a good place.  [Too much & too long of a story for this post.]  So still not in a great mood and at this point rushing, I get into the shower and go to reach for my sample size shampoo bottle and lo and behold it slips out of my hand, onto the bathroom floor and rolls over to the sink that is a couple of feet away.  Without even thinking, “That did NOT just happen!” flies out of my mouth.

Ok, even you can surmise by this point that I was not in “a good spirit” going into this and I surely wasn’t at the moment I said “That did NOT just happen!”

Then, all of a sudden as the last word [“happen”] had left me, that same shampoo bottle began its journey back to me across the level floor to the shower, where I could then reach it.  I picked up the shampoo bottle, somewhat in shock.  [Although I shouldn’t have been-  Crazy, miraculous, out-of the-box, and out-of-this-world is usually how I roll with The Holy Spirit.]   Then, I suddenly grabbed my chest and fell forward like I was having a heart attack.  As I was hunched over sobbing [hard to hit one’s knees in the shower], and crying out loud to God, I was completely overcome…  with Grace!

“And at that very moment, I am on my knees or huddled over in a hopeless mess- speechless, and completely amassed in the mercy, grace, and holy presence of Almighty God.”

I could not move, nor could I get over the fact that as bad as I am, the true emptiness in the words I speak, all my failed attempts to get Him right [and I would so love to get Him right], that seemingly always turn out bad, combined with all the nothingness I have to offer Him… He still loves me, cares for me, forgives me, cleanses me [even the hairs on my head], and showers me with Grace.  And I began to sing…

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed! …

I understood at that moment that [with faith] I really could say to this mountain “move” and it would be moved  – or – to that shampoo bottle “That did NOT just happen!” and it was [almost] like “it didn’t”.

When in the shower, I was reminded of my mother again, as I began to sing that old beautiful hymn “Amazing Grace”.  [I had discovered through the arrangement process of her funeral that it was one of her most favorite songs and one of two sung at her funeral.]  It hit me pretty hard in the shower and I almost did hit my knees to the floor again, as it happened.  For all the horrific things my sisters and I endured in our childhood, the cuss words, this, that, and the other things, at the hand [& mouth] of Mom—Jesus had enough grace for her too.

“It’s NOT about us!!!”  It’s not what we’ve said, done, or gone to -or- not said, done, or gone.  It’s all about Jesus!!!  What He’s said.  What He’s done.  And how far He’s gone for each one of us.

I KNOW my mother loved Jesus!  Her faith for Him was child-like.  Her delivery stunk at getting Him across to others, but her heart was in it and she meant to do it right.  If it were not for my mother and her parents, I would never have stepped foot inside a church or received any religious education from Sunday School in my formative years.  This education by-the-way, helped to form my understanding that suicide was not an answer and that hurting others or bullying was not His answer either (“Do unto others …”), to love everybody and do good, that I was a sinner saved by grace, that the wages of sin are death, but… God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.   I even have a Bible with my name engraved on it to prove it [I had to recite John 3:16 out loud to earn it. ;)  So I often tell my Christian friends & family that my name is written [engraved] in the Lambs Book of Life.]

Granted, I often wanted to gnaw off my limbs to get out of there [church], but was made to go anyway [Thank God & my mother!].   Church back then was certainly not what it is for me today, but even then I thought “I’m good!”  “I’ve got my room deposit slapped down for Heaven.”  “I’ve got a Bible with my name engraved on it.”  [Well back then I was a whole lot more “good” then I am now, but still my theology was bad & foolish.]   It wasn’t until seven and a half years ago, that I had made my prodigal voyage back to the church.  But I learned something new this time- that amazing grace says  “It’s really not about me, my mother, or even YOU.  It’s about His amazing & unmerited favor for us.  For all my mother was- there’s Jesus.  For all the things she wasn’t- there’s Jesus.  She was too weak to make it in this life on her own and He knew it.  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:3]  There is only one reason and one reason only that my mother is in Heaven today… His name is Jesus [and she knew Him]!  [I’m thinking she saw Him too, in that hospital room.]

What makes this message so personal, so special, and so current for me on December 23rd and even today is that His love, mercy, & grace never fails, He meets us right where we need Him, and always right on time.

Quite late, the night of the 23rd of December, after my children and & I had returned home from the Christmas and Birthday Party, I had a message waiting for me to call the daughter of my best [childhood] friend.  My close friend was much more than just a friend to me.  She was a sister.  And more than that, she had a mother and a sister that had adopted me as one of their own too.  This was my family by choice, I practically lived there.  It was most certainly my respite from my own family’s storms.

It was often the four of us.  My friend had lost her dad to a heart attack when she was seven and her sister was three and a half.  Their [our] mother never remarried so when my friend got married and moved out, her younger sister and her mother grew much closer, her sister almost to the point of dependency.  It was an enormously sad day when my friends mom [& mine] passed away 15 years ago December 21st.  I will always remember the day [even though I sadly could not be there] because I had just had my first child and was still in the hospital.

I called immediately, praying the whole time because I knew “this can’t be good!”  It wasn’t!

In speaking with both my friend and her daughter [for hours], it became crystal clear to me why the Lord had delivered to me, just hours before, a very real message of Grace to share- from the shower.

The painful reality of my friend’s sister [& mine], having never recovered from the loss of both her parents, put her Dad’s rifle [cherished by both girls because that was all they had left from him] in her mouth and died to get out of here.  She had a history of physically abusive relationships that had left her with traumatic brain injuries and seizures.  Even the one she had at the time of her death had threatened to kill her if she left him, and she was leaving him.  [She was planning to come back up North to be closer to her sister and her family.]  On top of all this, the alcoholism and other poor choices didn’t help.

But, if we have learned anything up until now… It’s not about us!  It’s about Jesus!!!  So all these things she had said, done, or how far she’d gone really didn’t count.  In the end, it was her love for Jesus that mattered when it mattered most.  Months before this terrible day, she was back in His Word, asking her devout Christian sister questions about God and keeping the faith, and even my own [biological] sister could testify that she’d witnessed the day my sister-friend had given her life to Jesus.  “Hallelujah!”

Although, I believe He had her at… “her love for Jesus”.  [I have found that it is our need (those left behind), to search for some evidence of faith to hold onto, while we are still here- wondering where they are.]

There is only one way, one truth, and one life to reach the Father in Heaven- and His name is Jesus!  But I have discovered… that there are many ways we find ourselves, finding and moving in with Him.

There’s only one reason and one reason only that any of us shall find our way to Heaven and His name, again, is “Jesus”!

Showered in Amazing Grace!
…  jams4JESUS

And at that moment, I am on my knees or huddled over in a hopeless mess- speechless, and completely amassed in the mercy, grace, & holy presence of my Almighty God, I remember  Mom, my sister, you & me and I’m singing [especially best in the shower]…

Amazing grace! how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
and grace my fears relieved;
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed!

The Lord has promised good to me,
his word my hope secures;
he will my shield and portion be
as long as life endures.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The world shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun refuse to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Shall be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
than when we’d first begun.

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“R.I.P!”

“So when I get to WHERE I’M GOING, that for you, there will be no shadow of a doubt or an occasion of worry.  When now you see me and then you don’t… KNOW… that when I am not here with you, I am [in Love] with Him~ there.  I have little to tell you about my life, but HIS life will take an eternity to share.”  So…

Rest In Peace!

I was flooded [again] this morning with so many emotions that I thought I would [or even should] die.  No, not in a negative sense [you can't threaten me with Heaven ;) ]… but rather, a divine conclusion.  8-)

Today’s a celebration of life for a friend, but more noteworthy, he was a mighty [in love, humility, and faith]… man of God.  And it is at this point, that I feel compelled to give you my take on his [Rev. Gary Berry] obituary, and also mine.

For my friend, Gary… 

In knowing Gary since we were both young, I think I can speak from the heart on who he was and where he is today.

Gary is known to many as a wonderful brother, friend, husband, father, cousin, boss, colleague, pastor [Woodville Church was blessed to experience a sincerely humble servant of the Living God], and the most notable- a “son” to The Father.

But what stands out to me today is who he was as a man of God. Gary didn’t walk away from an opportunity to roll up his pant legs and get his feet wet, cuff up his sleeves and get his hands dirty, go face to face with anyone who needed to see a friendly one, open his heart to anyone who could sure use one, offer an ear to whoever needed to be heard, nor did he shy away from those who were desperate, and needed to hear of HIM.

Gary remains in the ‘top two’ of the men I know here, who were truly the most humble of God’s servants. Gary did not speak or preach from a platform or above people. Gary spoke volumes, as he loved & lived- with & among the [Lord’s] people. [Even to the ones, who didn’t know they were His… yet.] God has truly blessed you Gary Berry, and in the process… me too. Gary, you really did “preach your heart out”, gave it your all, your best, your all time best, to your last! “Well done” friend! [I'm sure this is not the first you're hearing of this.]  Thank You Lord, for Gary!

Probably not an “acceptable” forum or deemed “popular” to do this here [first submitted as a Facebook post], but I’m saying & doing it anyway…

I can think of no other thing, at no other time, that would honor or pay more respect to Gary’s life then to say “Yes” to “Jesus” and His kingdom in Heaven, [at nearly the same moment in time that Gary is perfected into it].

There is only one way to the Father in Heaven & His Name is “Jesus”, but I have found that there are many ways we find ourselves… seeking, being found, & moving in- with Jesus. Please don‘t be afraid to ask or knock at any hour.

There are many that I know [including myself- I would be honored!] who would love to talk “Jesus” with you. You don’t have to set foot in a church, walk one day in Christian service, or be officially led through the salvation prayer to see, hear, know, be rescued, healed or saved by Jesus. The thief on the cross that asked Jesus to “remember me” didn’t & he is with Him in paradise right now. But, you do have to cry out to & accept “Jesus” in your heart for the save, and please note, this should be no later than “the end”. And as the thief on the cross- don’t allow this memorable moment to go unnoticed… tell everyone in front of you. “Why?” Because you will so love to.  :)

Gary was a man who- ‘when he loved, he really loved you & when he hugged, he really embraced you’.  I think Gary would so love it, if we would “pass it on”…

GOD BLESS… EVERYONE!   [And Gary, please tell Jesus I said “Hi”.]

“R.I.P!” began as a post titled “R.I.P”… The same yesterday, today, and forever on May 14, 2012, but has been revised [11/13/13] and updated a few times since.  I think that, as those of us who seek their lives to be a living testimony — we revise or update our ‘opened-book’ lives, our last will & testament [of Him], our new-birth announcements, and even ‘altar’ our service plans [& obituary] from time to time… to reflect how far we’ve come with Him - for such a time as this.

This morning, and a few before it, I have had the feeling that “today’s the day!”  Any other time I would say “Hallelujah!”  But today, I think if I should die before [or even after] I wake, the life I’d leave behind, would play out more to others… like an epic “fail” then that of a Love Story.  I am saddened to think of “how much more… for Him …I desire to do” and couldn’t.

So I want to make myself very clear at this time, just who I am & who I’m not.  What my life is [seeing how I believe in being "present"] & what it is not.  And I’d like to start with what the sum total of my life- isn’t!

I can tell you from where and who I have come from, my relations, my associations, what colleges I attended, where I worked, who I married, who I gave birth to, my churches & charities, and where I reside now.  But to me… it’s not enough.

I could allude to many of my successes and failures through the illustration of my life endeavors, and tell you of how I persevered and where my priorities lied.  But to me… it’s not enough.

I can tell you of the people I loved, the sights I’ve seen, the places I served, the people and things I cherished.  But to me… it’s not enough.

I can even leave a trail of how God caused all things to work together for good in my life  -with His Love, Miracles, Divine Intervention, Mercy, Grace [Unmerited favor], and in His Strength.  But to me, just telling you… is just not enough.

Throughout many seasons, places, and areas of my life the Lord has impressed upon me this statement… “I can’t stop there!”   And with that being said… neither can I.

“Here am I”

I was born, raised, educated, employed, married, and currently lived in NNY with my two beautiful children.  I am ecstatic with the blessings and gifts that God has given me, to include the good, the bad, and the sometimes seemingly ugly.  All have matured, stretched, refined, restored and transformed me to the person I am [or was] for this day… now & forever called, justified, sanctified, glorified, HIS.  If you look at me, having summed up my life, I pray you see that I lived extravagantly where it mattered most.  And if you remember about me that I was too passionate about Jesus or spoke too much of Him to you, my apologies… for you.  I know I am right where I am supposed to be… now.

Beyond all this, I look to you and ask…

“Has my faith gone before me and announced the Who & What I’d worked for?”
“Do you know Who I had chosen to spend the rest of my ‘long life’ with?”
“Had you witnessed the real fruit of my labor and thanked God for His divine intervention?”
“Had my love been loud enough that you heard & know that YOU’re the LOVED ONE?”
“Had I told you with volume the blessing you had brought to my life and how I treasured this good part in my heart?”
“And had I told you all these things in certainty, giving all the credit to the true source [Jesus] of my inspiration?”

“What exactly have I impressed upon you with regard to the HIM who sent me?”
“What difference have I made… that made all the difference in the world to you?”
“Where ‘you and I’ fit in with Him, have I stressed this with the utmost importance?”
“And when I saw you hungry, did I feed you what I had; or when thirsty still, did I draw you to the [best] water; or had I known that you were lonely & in need, did I follow through with friendship and prayer?”

“I PRAY IT SO!…”

For the very best that I can give you, comes from Him… as I rest in peace.

So when I get to WHERE I’M GOING, that for you, there will be no shadow of a doubt or an occasion of worry.  When now you see me and then you don’t… KNOW… that when I am not here with you, I am ‘in Love’ with Him ~ there.  I have little to tell you about my life, but HIS life will take an eternity to share…

To my children & loved ones…

I LOVE YOU ~ GOD BLESS YOU!

If you miss me [and 'when it is your time' & God’s]… you know where to find me.  I’m with Jesus!

“I do” will & bequeath- me to You!
…  jams4JESUS

 And I can think of no other thing that would honor me more or pay a better respect then to say “Yes” to “Jesus”!
Today’s the day!

27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” … Jesus  [John 14:27]

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” [Hebrews 13:8]
His Will never changes!

♥  R.I.P. ♥

This post has come a long way since May 11, 2012, and although it will not be completed until the day of Christ Jesus, it begins again for me each day and continues… until that day!

“I rest in peace!”

If you do not know the God I serve, or even serve another, I ask you…
“Where will you go when you find yourself at ‘the end’ of you?”
“What does your self-fulfilling dream or prophecy have in store for you, when you actually ‘buy the farm’?”
“And even now, ‘what has your god done for you lately?’”
“When you are no longer present, what will your absence say?”
“For all those you leave behind, how will they know you loved them enough to spend eternity in Heaven with them or even the way in which to go?”
“And how will they know that when they are here & you are not, that finally… you rest in peace?”

If there is still breath in you, it’s not too late…

MAKE TODAY THE DAY! … Love, Jesus

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Jesus alone… delivers Christmas!

If you are hurting, grieving, lonely, addicted, or afflicted [I know there are many], with what feels like no place to go, no one to share with, no feast to enjoy, no home to find rest, who are dying to get out of here, or even all of the above, please know…

You haven’t gone so far, said or done too much, or reached the point of no return home.  You will never be able to hold a candle to as far as He has come, speak with as much truth, do as much good, arrive at a place where He can’t find you, or could possibly make it Home without His way, His truth, His life in you.  It’s not about you & me!  It’s about Jesus [Just like Christmas].  He is Grace, Mercy, Deliverance… God!

Immanuel… “God in us”

What are you waiting for?  Come Home!!!  You don’t need a church or a Christmas Service, all you need is Jesus!  That’s it!  And when you don’t know what to say, just say “Jesus”.

‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to them and will dine with them, and they with Me.’ [Rev. 3:20]  Love, Jesus

Merry Christmas!
…  jams4JESUS

My Christmas [& all the year through] offering to you…  I am a very poor substitute in comparison to Jesus, but if you need to talk… I’m available!  [Comment below that you are interested in more contact information.] 

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“C” for yourself @ Christmas

In looking on my local news channel for the “Closings & Delays” list tonight, I was both saddened & challenged at the very same time. This list contains a bucket load of churches in the NNY area that have canceled Sunday services tomorrow, which is completely “understandable”… due to the weather.

The Sunday before Christmas is traditionally thought of as the Christmas Service where friends & family, including many who may not see the inside of a church at other times, gather to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, [or go at the very least, to appease their family members]. So what to do for those “C” & E’s [Christmas & Easter only attendees]? How will they celebrate with, focus on, and hear about Jesus if there is no way or no one to share the true message, meaning, and reason for the season with them?

So I share with you all now, a familiar way that I [& my children] go to church on Sundays, when there is no other way to get there…

http://newlifenny.churchonline.org/ ~ New Life Christian Church and iCampus Services at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, 11:15AM, & 12:30PM.  See you there!  ;)

#NNYICESTORM UPDATE for Sunday, December 22, 2013…

From Watertown Newzjunky… “The State of Emergency for Jefferson County will be in effect until further notice. Due to the nature of this weather emergency we are unable to predict the duration of this emergency.  Please remember that the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has issued a no unnecessary travel advisory.  Please watch the Jefferson County NY Fire & Emergency Management Facebook page for the most up to date information. #JEFFEOC#NNYICESTORM “

From Pastor Kirk Gilchrist at New Life Christian Church:

“We are canceled today as there is a “no travel” advisory by the Jefferson County Sheriff. Please be safe out there.We will have our CHRISTMAS SERVICE on Christmas Eve at 5 P.M.”

8-) YEAH!!!
[We can cancel a Christmas program, service, or activity, but nothing & nobody can cancel Christmas!]

NEWLIFE-Christmas1

JESUS still reigns, regardless of the weather!!!  Let’s all pray for His power!  8-)

GOD BLESS YOU ALL & MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!  ♥

…  jams4JESUS

Thoughts that came to me this morning as I started a post titled “The Evidence of You”, nestles in nicely here…

“The wise men saw great signs from above but needed to follow the lead set before them; to see the evidence of all that the prophets told of the coming Messiah… for themselves.  The shepherds heard the angel from on high and quickly advanced toward the great blessing of seeing and meeting with their Savior who has now come into the world; born in a stable, a place that’s both accessible and approachable to all, including them… and to them first.”

“And even me Lord, who has believed by faith, but over and over, still needs to see You, hear You, feel You, know You, and often with just You… for myself.”

So I ask… “Lord, isn’t this the ultimate goal, that from the beginning to our very end, that the evidence of You be seen and found, and especially… for all to see?”

See Jesus for yourself… this Christmas.

#NNYIceStorm 2013 pics…

NNYIceStorm 2013 pic 1

NNYIceStorm 2013 pic 4... COOL Looking

NNYIceStorm 2013 pic 2

NNYIceStorm 2013 pic 3... Up close and personal

Up Close & Personal!

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately… When all the others slip away or depart, all the things [that we take for granted] are stripped from us, and the “Help” we’ve grown to rely on can’t get to us~ “What then?” I believe, that it is in these times, that our focus and attention are that much clearer, perspective is changed for the better… to the people and things that matter most. God! Family! Country! And today, this includes my
Jefferson County!

“GOD BLESS us everyone!!!” [He's still on top of all this & He
doesn't slip.]  8-)

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