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Saturday, January 30, 2016

LOVE

Love is patient, love is kind...When I look at this picture I think of the personal love the Father has for me. I wrote last week about Joshua Tree National Park. I am excited to include this account of my day at the park.
My daughters and I were driving through the park when suddenly we saw in the distance the picture below. I stopped. It really felt surreal. We all thought we were imagining things.  At first we noticed the sky and thought there is a storm in the distance. Then we saw a faint rainbow. The expanse of the area was so mammoth this photo could not do it justice. we all agreed something supernatural was occurring. There were three rainbows at one time. they were faint but they were there. i was like we have to capture this! but the rainbows were faint. i actually asked at one point "God is this like a personal show for us?" Within seconds the rainbows got so bold and brighter in color. ugh! we have to capture this! well as you can see we did not capture in photo. But as we drove away we each commented that this is forever etched in our heart and minds. FOREVER! Things like this do not happen everyday. But i don't know about you i really needed this in my life. a moment of reassurance of the promises God made to me. He is alive! he lives! Have you gotten to the place in life where you just feel empty? like you ask yourself what is going on? I have been? but then this happened.God watching over us. it's like he saying "make me the center of your life. i will make sense of things that don't make sense. just hang in there. wait. you will see." I never regret waiting. never. because when he is the center then this occurs and i have no doubt he is here with me.
the bible has accounts just like mine. take for instant shadrach, meshach and abednego going in the fire and the king asks "there is four in the fire, who is the fourth?" Penticost, The Transfiguration -  Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. While he was in prayer, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes became blinding white. At once two men were there talking with him. They turned out to be Moses and Elijah—and what a glorious appearance they made! 
What does all this mean? Stop asking why is this happening to me in life and ask a new question "Does God really exist and if so does He love me? Show me God." The answer is the photo below. He loves me and cares, I just got to hang in there. Skeptics. I hate when others think my story is overspiritualizing. i say don't read the bible then. the bible has supernatural stories full of supernatural unexplainable accounts. but that is the beauty of God. He is God. He can do anything. He wants to show-up for all us. He fills me with hope. He gives me the faith to believe. He gives me grace to continue on. Next time your down, look around. Miracles occur all around you. A baby. Someone smiling at you. A rainbow. Focus on something to be grateful for. That's what keeps me going. I would love to hear God accounts from you. Anybody got any?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

SUPERNATURAL

They were all together in one place. Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.

When something happens in the world the social media goes crazy and possibly a story goes viral.

Can you imagine if the story above happened today? Hopefully whoever was there would have caught it on their smartphone video to help the world understand what happened. 

Back in biblical days we know there was no social media only word of mouth. Can you imagine saying I never spoke french before but now I speak perfect french. People would think your sort of crazy. Or even telling how you got to the spot where this gathering was and how you knew you were meant to be there.

I hear these buzz words christianese, soft-self the gospel story, give it the light version, be more seeker friendly, don't overspiritualize.  

Some of the stories in the bible contain heavy spiritual lessons, hard sell and pretty direct language. The stories come from prophets, teachers, judges, scribes and Jesus himself. 

I was just wondering if people out there have comments on this subject.
When something happens in modern day, some have said it is a coincidence or you made it up. 

But the supernatural has no bounds or limits. Does anyone have trouble telling God stories and you find others thinking your crazy? Have you stopped telling your stories because of the negative feedback?

Anybody out there who is shy in telling God stories because the world tends to not want to hear them or you get negative responses so why say them?

I'm kind of hoping we will encourage each other. How we came to Christ. How God speaks to you is important. 

There is no shame in telling our stories or sharing the gospel. If we able to share it is a gift. A gift to talk about our savior and how he works in our lives.







Monday, January 18, 2016

GIFTS

I read this scripture today.

A widow's son was raised from the dead. Jesus told her "Don't cry."

The observers who were filled with awe praised God and declared "A great prophet has appeared among us." God has come to help his people. This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

I have had a lot of time alone in the past months. I was in a place of filling my schedule with my thoughts and work. I stress "My" thoughts. Interestingly I quit everything. Let me make it clear. I didn't quit on my family, God or my home. I just quits "Work." 

I am so tempted to fill my time with anything. The loneliness can be hard but after much time I realize that the loneliness is good. The pain is hard but I just know God is here. He is with me and everyday is a gift. For now I must just be quiet.

Back in November 2015 I found a discipline of St. Ignatius. What I mean his way to find his way to the heart of God. At the beginning of the day or the end of the day I do a time of "Examin." I play music or get quiet and just reflect on the gifts of the day. I began to see God in a new light. From the smallest of things I saw God. From seeing my daughter smile. Or someone enjoy art. That is a gift. When I read scripture and make a personal connection that is a gift. That means I experienced God. He showed up. I didn't need someone to be raised from the dead to see God. I see God in moments. 

Do you experience that?
I love Zephaniah 3:17 he rejoices over me with gladness; quiets me with His love; he exults over me with singing. 
If He gave peace to Zephaniah he can show me peace. Our scriptures are full of the promise of inner peace. That's what matters. 

I have to be honest. There was a couple close to me that weren't getting along. It disturbed me. I got a little caught up emotional so I decided to text some close friends and ask for prayer. I know I must trust in the power of those prayers. What came out of the those prayers? I woke up the next day earlier than usual with this song on my heart "Jesus at the center of my life." I have not played that song for years or heard it recently yet It was on my heart and I was fighting getting up and paying attention to it. Then I reached for my phone brought the song up on youtube. The first singer who sang that song that was on the play list was Israel Houghton. I said to myself "No, this can't be." Let me explain. Israel Houghton had come to our church the weekend before and I missed the service. I felt a little guilty that I didn't attend. I didn't know he sang that song so I clicked play. It was beautifully sung and it reminded me that nothing else matters but Jesus at the center of my life. My heart truly exploded with love that I played it like three or four times. 

During the playing of the song I experienced so much strength in the Spirit. I knew things would be okay. I heard in my heart "Elaine, you missed church but i can bring worship right here in your room, anytime any place. I am here." It meant so much that God exalted over me with singing. He let me know the Spirit was moving about to help and all I have to do is pray, worship and enjoy the peace. 

I went on with my day filled with power. It is so true. God came down to help us be alive in the Spirit. 

I'm focusing on being Spirit led not Elaine led.


Pray, Jesus I want you to be the center of my life. From my heart to heaven be the center. Nothing else matters. Strengthen me to allow this transformation to happen. From beginning to the end. Amen.

After thought. Found out Israel sang this song at the past weekend service. Why do these things happen? I say to myself, dah, you have asked that Jesus show up. He wants to make himself known and real!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF8IfktCgqk
listen for yourself.

He is above and beyond anything in our life. Above our pain, loneliness, worries, anxieties, relationships. Above it all.




Thursday, January 14, 2016

SIMPLY THE BEST


I HAVE BEEN ENJOYING DRAWING THIS PICTURE FOR THE LAST SIX WEEKS.
I PICKED THE PICTURE RANDOMLY OUT AT ART CLASS.
AT THE FIRST GLIMPSE OF SEEING THE ORIGINAL PHOTO OF THIS PICTURE I JUST WAS DRAWN TO IT AND COULD NOT WAIT TO DRAW IT.

THE MOST OUTRAGEOUSLY COOL THING HAPPENED RECENTLY. MY FAMILY PLANNED A TRIP TO PALM SPRINGS. MY DAUGHTER SPENT SOMETIME RESEARCHING THE AREA AND CAME UP WITH AN ITINERARY OF THINGS TO SEE WHEN WE ARRIVED. I NEVER QUESTIONED THE ITINERARY FOR I SIMPLY LOVED THE IDEA THAT I WOULD JUST GO WITH THE FLOW AND SHOW UP AT EACH ADVENTURE. FIRST UP, JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, I HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT AND DID NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE PARK. WHEN WE ENTERED THE PARK MY EYES WERE DRAWN TO THE THOUSANDS OF TREES ALL AROUND ME, JOSHUA TREES. THE TREES IN MY DRAWING!  COME ON THIS IS A COINCIDENCE, RIGHT?

MANY WILL HAVE THERE OPINIONS ABOUT COINCIDENCE BUT I JUST HAVE TO BELIEVE IT IS NOT ONE. YOU SEE I HAVE BEEN ON A JOURNEY TRULY SEEKING THE LORD WITH MY HEART, SOUL AND LOVE. I KNOW JESUS IS GOD WITH ME BUT I JUST NEED TO SENSE HIS PRESENCE. I PRAY THAT PRAYER LORD I TRUST YOU. YOU PROTECT AND GUIDE ME AND PROMISE TO BE THE ONE TO SUSTAIN ME.

FOR ME THIS REPRESENTS THE WHISPER WITHIN ME. CALLING ME SOFTLY TO HIS HEART. SOFTLY STATING "I AM HERE WITH YOU, I TAKE THE WORRIES OF YOUR DAY. I'M HERE. I'M REALLY HERE. TO GIVE YOU FAITH, HOPE, TRUST AND MY LOVE." MY ABBA FATHER WANTS TO DO THIS SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS TO SHOW ME HIS LOVE, HIS DESIRE TO BE MY COMFORTER FOR EVER. IT MEANS HIS SPIRIT WALKS WITH ME GUIDES ME AND TALKS TO ME. IT IS VERY PERSONAL.

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THOSE IN THE HALL OF FAITH FROM THE BOOK OF HEBREWS HAD ENCOUNTERS LIKE THIS. THEY KNEW WITHOUT A DOUBT THAT JESUS WAS EVER PRESENT IN NATURE, IN FACT ALL AROUND THE RANDOM APPEARANCES OF GOD HELPED THEM TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN TIME OF PAIN. WITHOUT THE ENCOUNTERS MY TRUST IS SKETCHY. YOU KNOW LIKE A WAVE I WOULD BE TOSSED TO AND FRO.

THIS ASSURANCE MAKES ME STEADY. MAKES ME STRONG. IT'S REAL. IT'S GENUINE. IT'S VERY PERSONAL. IT'S COURAGEOUS. IT'S BOLD. IT EXCITES MY WALK AND ENERGIZES ME TO GO ON.

THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN EQUAL THE POWER OF THE WHISPER. THE INTIMACY OF CONNECTION WITH AN ALL KNOWING GOD WHO CARES FOR ME. IT TAKES AWAY THE WORRIES OF THE WORLD AND REASSURES ME THAT EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY.

OH HOW I NEED THAT.
OH HOW I CRAVE IT.
I AGREE WITH THE PSALMIST DAVID WHO DECLARED "IT IS BETTER THAN LIFE." THE EVIDENCE THAT GOD EXISTS IS BETTER THAN ANYTHING. IT IS FREEING. IT FILLS ME WITH HOPE.

I CARRY ON TODAY WITH THE MEMORY OF THIS APPEARANCE. THE ADVENTURE.
I WRITE BECAUSE MY HEART TELLS ME TO.
I WRITE BECAUSE MY HEART IS FULL OF DESIRE FOR ALL OF GOD'S CREATION TO EXPERIENCE THE LOVE AND THE POWER OF GOD. TO SHOUT IT FROM A MOUNTAIN TOP WOULD BE SO COOL.


FROM MY HEART TO HEAVEN JESUS IS THE CENTER. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.
LIKE THE ISRAELITES FOR EVER HAD THE PICTURE OF THE PARTING OF THE RED SEA, I HAVE THE PICTURE OF THE MODERN DAY MESSAGE TO ME THROUGH THE JOSHUA TREES.

IT IS SIMPLY THE BEST. IT'S THE STRENGTH FOR MY JOURNEY TO CONTINUE. HIS PRESENCE HELPS ME. GOD PERSONALLY GOES WITH ME. HIS PRESENCE IS MY DAILY DESIRE. IT DIRECTS MY FEET ON A PATH THAT IS SWEET. IT IS FULL OF PEACE.
PEACE A WORD THE LORD KNOWS I NEED.
PEACE DOES NOT MEAN EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE IS PERFECT, THEREFORE I HAVE PEACE. NO, IT MEANS HE IS CARRYING ME. HIS PRESENCE IS HEAVEN TO ME.

WHEN I WRITE THIS IT IS LIKE I GOT A SHOT OF TRANQUILITY.

MY FATHER IN HEAVEN I PRAY FOR THE SOUL READING THIS RIGHT NOW. MAY THEY EXPERIENCE GOD IN A NEW WAY THAT GIVES THEM SATISFACTION IN LIFE SO THEY TO CAN CARRY ON. THANK YOU FATHER FOR BRINGING THIS PERSON TO THIS BLOG. HOLY SPIRIT PLANT A DESIRE IN THE HEART OF THE ONE WHO READS THIS. LORD SHOW THEM YOUR HOLY PRESENCE IS BETTER THAN ANYTHING. IT IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS.

THANK YOU LORD FOR THIS PERSONAL REMINDER OF HOW SWEET YOUR PRESENCE IS TO ME. THANK YOU FOR BEING SO GENTLE AND HUMBLE WITH MY HEART AND SOUL.