Sunday, October 16, 2011

A moment of internet access!

I am at my aunt's house with my computer so this is the first time that I have been able to post to my blog. The Lord is showering me with physical blesssings so much that I can hardly contain it. My job is going well and my one boss brought me amazing burgundy leather living furniture. I just found out on Friday that a different boss is giving me a bedroom set - so slowly but surely my house is getting set up.

I am still hoping to have internet access at home sometime in November - so thanks for hanging with me.

the Lord is mightly to bless and take care of all of our needs. Thanks for your prayers and I will hope to post a real post soon.

lots of love!
Linda

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Little Yellow House


I was able to rent the little yellow house last night. Isn't it cute? I don't have any furniture - and it may be awhile before I have any, but the Lord will make sure I have what I need, He always does. So I may be moving in here and there until this weekend when I officially stop living at my cousin's house. I do not know yet if I will have internet access so I will check in when I can, it may be November before I can afford to get internet at my house if I can't find some wifi to jump onto. So I may be offline for several weeks, but I could use a bit of a break as well. I will post again soon.

lots of love!
Linda

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ode to Johnny



Ode to Johnny

sleep escapes me
my eyes are closed
i try to remember
a kiss stolen
when i wasn't ready
oh how i wish
i could turn back time

i can see you
in my mind
lying on a picnic table
black shades and
big smile
johnny come lately
the park where we met

a fire is burning
inside my chest
i am afraid
for the world
earthquakes and eruptions
should we ever be allowed
to kiss again

take heart my johnny
the time is coming soon
i will bring colors back
with me to ontario
when we are together
i pray the lord
my johnny to keep

it is quiet now
i am breathing in
breathing out
waiting for you
when the door is opened
i want to put my finger
on your tattoo

- by Linda Stevenson

Sunday, September 25, 2011

For Dips and Others

Saw this sign yesterday and my aunt was kind enough to pull over so I could take this picture. We went to see apartments yesterday. The first apartment was a studio for $485. The outside of the building had paint peeling off and the hallway carpeting was all ripped up. My aunt whispered, "slumlord" as she indicated that she was not going to bother going up 3 flights of stairs to see this apartment.

She was right not to make the effort because it was pretty much awfulness personified. The kitchen was a joke with a tiny stove shoved into a corner on a diagonal and a HUGE utility sink with no place to stack dishes. I pretty much decided against seeing any other apartments this realty company had to offer after that.

There was another apartment that was furnished for $600 - $550 if you don't smoke - which I don't. We went to see that one, but it also was pretty bad. But it did have furniture and I thought that if I got some sheets to cover the furniture and the little bed that I might be able to live there since it was only three blocks from the hospital. The urgency of the situation was getting the better of me.

My aunt thought the place smelt like pee.

I couldn't smell anything.

She said I wouldnt feel safe around all the drunks and possible meth addicts and downright icky people that might be living there.

I didn't feel unsafe, I thought I could live there until I got a car and could move somewhere else.

My aunt finally got exasperated with my making excuses for the dive and said, No Linda! The Lord did not give you this great job so that you could live in an awful apartment with furniture that WHO KNOWS WHAT! has taken place on! or BUGS! The Lord has something else in mind for you and you will just have to be patient about it.

We drove around for another hour looking to see if there were signs in the windows, we got some numbers and made some calls but just got machines, so we called it a day and went back to her house for BLT's.

She dropped me off at my cousins early in the afternoon. My cousin wanted to go drive around some more and look around some more so we did. Strangely we drove right past this sign again and saw a house that had a sign for rent in the window. When I called the number the answering machine message said that they had an apartment for show around the corner that was $750 a month with a $500 deposit. So we drove around the corner and here was the CUTEST! little yellow house. The door was unlocked so we went inside.

It was huge! It was the top level of a house that was converted into an apartment with another apartment in the basement. But it had a huge bedroom and a huge livingroom/dining room and a huge kitchen. Plus it was all vintage looking with arches for doorways and little recessed mirrors in the living room, and hardwood floors throughout. I loved it! So did my cousin and she said that she would pull the $750 out of her savings and let me borrow it to pay the rent until I get paid again on the 7th. The message said to fill out an application and leave it on the kitchen counter. Well there were no applications except mine. I said, I think I'm getting this house. My cousin said, I think so too, this one or the first one - we will have to look at that one too. So we have been praying about it and we are going to pray again today when we all get together for prayer. This house is 4 blocks away from the hospital.

The Lord is mighty to take care of the details in my life and He will find just the right place for me. Thank you for all your prayers!

Lots of love
Linda

Friday, September 23, 2011

TGIF


Wow. Where did the week go? Both the apartments I looked at got rented by people other than myself. Which is ok. I got paid today so I was unable to rent them anyway - and they both had some ghetto type issues to them. But the Lord is big. I mean REALLY big and if He brings me a good apartment the way He brought me a good job, I will be truly set. My cousin's new husband is moving his son in Oct 1st so the big hint is that I need to be out of here by then although the words are, "I don't want you to feel rushed..."

Right. I don't want you to feel rushed but if you could get out of here as soon as possible that would be great. Oh well, I never wanted to move in here in the first place, but was sortof forced to at the time. Pressure is what turns coal into diamonds my friends. So I should be a veritable ROCK by the time this is over.

I almost cried at my job yesterday morning. The girl who is supposed to be training me is deliberately NOT training me so once again, I am at a job where, having been thrown to the sharks, will either sink or swim. Thanks, I prefer to swim and Thank God for my ability to figure things out. My work and the quality of my work will prove me in the end. But I did go to the bathroom and pray that the Lord would take all the pressure off me and make it so that I didn't cry. My eyes watered, but no actual tears fell. Thank God. This is the type of stuff that makes me hate working in the secular realm. Yet, this is where the Lord has placed me for a season so Sie La Vie.

Thank you for all your prayers. Please pray for me to get into a decent apartment soon.

Lots of love!
Linda

Monday, September 19, 2011

stuff




There is alot going on in my life. I really love my new job, but I've been starting around 7am and going until 5:30pm or so due to the fact that I do not have a car and so must work around my cousin's schedule.

I was discussing the idea that if I wanted to get a car and also go see Johnny for Thanksgiving - taking into account the amount of paychecks I have between here and there - I was not sure if I would be able to move out until January.

My cousin's husband said, "JANUARY!!" and gave me the dirtiest look, so I decided that the apartment would have to take precedent over a car. I looked in the paper and there is actually an apartment available two blocks away from the hospital for $500 a month. If they were to allow me to pay the deposit in later paychecks, I could possibly move into the apartment on Oct 1st. I would have no furniture for a while and would probably have to eat at the hospital cafeteria for a couple weeks, but the location and rent is perfect and I could walk to work and for-go getting a car until I had saved up some money.

The Lord's timing is perfect, so He will open the doors for this apartment if it is His will. In the mean time, blog posting may be sketchy for a while.

Please pray for me my friends,
love in Christ
Linda

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sorry guys...

My new job is really awesome and really exhausting - so it's pretty much been work and sleep for me this week. I will hopefully be able to post again soon.

love in Christ
Linda

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Kingdom of Heaven Part 1


Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:3

The word blessed in the above verse is an adjective that really means happy. The word poor is the Greek word Ptochos which means poor, needy, beggar. According to Thayer’s Lexicon it means, “one who slinks and crouches, often involving the idea of roving around in wretchedness.” Roving around in wretchedness – wow! It goes on to say, “but it always had a bad sense until it was ennobled by the Gospels.” So it was always considered bad to be poor, until it was cool.

So in other words, “Happy is the poor and wretched and lacking in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

It’s a contrast to those rich men that will find it hard to get into the kingdom of heaven:

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Matt 19:23-24.

We need to look at this spiritually and not carnally. It is not really talking about wealth, although that is a part of it. The rich man, believes in his wealth and believes in the carnal world around him and cannot see spiritual things. The rich man, as noted by the rich young ruler who went away sorrowing in Matt 19:22, was unwilling to get rid of his possessions in order to really follow Jesus. Sometimes it is required to get rid of your possessions so that you can clearly see spiritual things from the Lord – but many people in the bible were rich, like Joseph of Arimethia, Abraham and Job. It’s not so much riches and wealth – but what they represent.

The reason it is so hard for a wealthy person to understand the things of God is that they believe that their wealth and their possessions are what brings happiness and understanding. They cannot see past that in order to see spiritual truths. The poor in spirit, those walking around aware of their wretchedness – they are seeking spiritual truths and they won’t let anything from the carnal realm stop them. Theirs is the kingdom of heaven, because the kingdom of heaven is available to all who will follow Christ and who seek after spiritual truths.

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs IS the kingdom of heaven.

There is more to the Kingdom of Heaven, but that is all I have time for today.

Love in Christ
Linda

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Heavens Were Opened


And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matthew 3:16-17

The above verses do not say that the clouds were opened and some sunlight shown down on Jesus. It says that the heavens were opened unto him, as in REVELATION! I never got that before because traditionally, like an old Renaissance painting, I always pictured that verse as saying the sky opened and the clouds parted and a little dove flew down. But this was a vision that Jesus was having, and the revelation of what the heavens really mean was revealed to him, and his understanding was opened. After that, Jesus began to teach about the Kingdom of Heaven.

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4:17

The Words Jesus spoke were Spirit and they were Life.

Anyway, just a little nugget to chew on for now. The concept of the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God is so vast, that I have only begun to understand the depth of it.

I start my new job today. Please pray for me!
Love in Christ
Linda

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It Is What It Is


There is a certain relationship in my life that does not make any sense to me at times. I have tried to end it on numerous occasions and the other person has tried to end it, yet somehow, we are still friends. My friendship with this person has been a constant up and down struggle and I have asked the Lord why it continues and what purpose it serves. Is there a future? Will it end? Why is it still going on?

"It is what it is" was the answer I got.

The more I thought about that, the more profound it seemed to me. It is what it is actually explains a LOT about this life. So many things do not make sense, so many questions seem to not have an answer. But if I just accept it - whatever that may be - as it is - as it presents itself to me - then that in itself is the answer.

That is also how I can look at people sometimes. They are who they are. I can only accept them, right where they are, and who they are and love them where they are. Should I think, in my infinite wisdom that that particular person needs changing - well, I'm welcome to pray for them, but ultimately, I need to love and accept that person for who they are and where they are at, at that moment in time. No more, no less.

My life is what it is. Where the Lord has me at this moment is what it is. What the future holds cannot be found out today no matter what I do, or think, or struggle with. Because even the future is what it is. It will be revealed soon enough.

Please pray for me tomorrow as I start my new job.
Love in Christ!
Linda

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Loving Strangers


I went to my new HR department at the hospital where I will be working. I filled out all the forms to be employed in the United States, W-4 and I-9 and others. I was told that I needed to bring my shot records. I know that I last saw my shot records back in Oregon. I have been carting them around in my "important papers" file for years and years, yet it was not in my important papers file that I have here. So I actually think that sometime back in Oregon when I was cleaning out the file and tossing old federal tax forms etc, that I looked at that shot record and concluded that since no-one has asked me for it in 20 years and since I highly doubt I will be taking any vaccines anytime soon, that I can just toss it. That sounds like me and yes, I am an idiot.

I spent the afternoon meeting people and everyone I met, seemed very important to me. It's kind of a new experience for me since before I was NEVER a people person. But now that I am endeavoring to love the people that I meet, the people that I meet seem WAY more interesting than ever before.

I had to go to another company in order to get drug-tested. The guy who drug tested me was tall and bald and had a tattoo on his arm. His eyes were dark blue. He said he knew where Sherwood and Tigard and Portland were and that he knew this guy named Garcia there. I said, "Ed?, that was killed in the military a few years back?" He looked at me with a big grin and shock and said, "Yeah!" So we talked about the rain and landmarks and how it totally sucks you can't get Tillamook Ice Cream out here in Casper. I asked him what his name is and it is Alan. It was like we were already friends. He said maybe he would see me around. I said, yeah, cuz it seems like a small world today!

The nurse that helped take my health evaluation was named Peggy and she also had blue eyes and was very intense and very nice. Since I don't have any shot records, (I told Peggy that I must have lost them in the move and not that I may have deliberately tossed them. It's not really lying because I can't remember deliberately tossing them, I just think that's what I may have done) they were going to just take some blood and check them for antibodies. They have mandatory flu shots here but she told me that they pay extra so that their shots are mercury and themerisol free. Good to know.

I explained to the two men in the lab that my little veins like to collapse the minute anyone thinks about poking me with a needle. I may have intimidated the new guy but the other guy wasn't afraid and actually got some blood first time out. Normally they have to poke me three or four times before they get blood out of me. I had a healthy respect for the lab guys now.

So that was all for today. I am to go back at 7:45am on Monday the 12th for my badge and my TB test. I will actually be starting the new position that day after lunch and will do the rest of my orientation on the 19th and 20th because they are desperate to get me in there and trained. I'm excited. I'm really looking forward to all the people I am going to be able to meet. I am looking forward to making friends and I know that the Lord will place people in my life for refining and His purposes.

You know what? Loving people is not as hard as I thought it might be. I think I am really going to be good at this! : )

love in Christ
Linda

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

5 am


I am getting up early this week to test my morning routine before I actually start work next week. My cousin leaves for the hospital at 6:45 so she can be to work by 7am, but my schedule will be 8-5. So until I get a car of my own, I will have to try to work within this schedule. I am still trying to walk, do my exercises and practice my guitar and shower all before I have to leave the house. My cousin asked why I don't just do it after work. It's because I know myself, I won't do it at the end of the day.

So as it stands right now here is my morning schedule:

3am - phone alarm goes off and I snooze it until:
3:30-4:15 - read the bible and do my journaling
4:15-4:30 - check email
4:30-5:00 - practice guitar
5:00-5:15 - online
5:15-6:00 - walk and do exercises
6:00-6:15 - online - eat oatmeal
6:15-6:45 - shower and get ready
6:45 - leave for work with my cousin

Now this schedule will be adjusted once I get my own car and then also, my cousin tells me that they give a 20% discount to hospital employees at the local athletic club. There is a really nice athletic club close by that has both an indoor track and a pool, so once I get settled in I can join it and then do all my exercises straight after work, or something like that. I like the idea of maybe taking some water aerobics classes. I am still hoping to lose weight while I'm here. I have lost close to 10 pounds so far, but that also means I need to make sure I get my exercising in.

Ok - that's my 15 minutes online. Now for my walk.

have a good day!
love in Christ
Linda

Monday, September 5, 2011

Loaf N Jug


Now that Casper Wyoming and I are going to be such good friends, I thought I would post about one of my favorite places here. Yep. The Loaf N Jug. Although we have similar venues out there in Oregon, the Loaf N Jug is a staple of life in the mid-west.

I did an extensive search of scriptures and found that it is NOT a sin to have a 44oz. fountain drink of diet pepsi from the Loaf N Jug so I usually try to indulge at least once a day, sometimes twice. It is $1.49 for an original, but if you save your cup you can get a refill for only $.76. Ahh, the small pleasures of life.

I finally got the last $500 from the sale of my van. The Lord was working on an extreme series of events that kept me from actually receiving the money for over a month, just in case I would have already purchased a bus ticket back to Portland. As it was, I got it just in time to buy some nice clothes for my new job.

My aunt and I had a coupon for $20 off of $100 from J.C.Penny's so we went shopping yesterday. We walked into the shoe section and I saw a FABULOUS pair of black leather boots that were not only extremely cute, but would be very functional for me to wear to my new job during the winter. They were originally $90 on sale for $50. I went to ask the saleslady if they had size 9. Nope they were all out of any sizes higher than 8. My aunt said, "you can order them." I said, "No, I think the Lord is telling me not to get them." We went and paid for the clothes I was buying and at the end of the transaction, the saleslady handed me a coupon for $10 off my next purchase of shoes! So my aunt said, "that means you have to go order those boots!" So I ordered the boots and got them for $40. God really is good my friends.

I broke the news to Johnny that I got the job. He congratulated me but he was pretty quiet and I know that deep down he felt disappointed, just like I did as far as this part. Because that means it will be at least 6 months if not longer before I can see him. But that is in the Lord's hands. It is the Lord that is keeping us apart at the moment because the Lord knows that at this moment in time, Johnny and I are such horn dogs that we would be unable to contain ourselves should we ever be allowed to be in the same room with each other. Sorry, but it is the truth of the matter. There are no accidents and I believe the Lord is working something out there and by the time we do finally get to see each other, we will hopefully be more calmed down. Anyway, I am really trusting the Lord on that part. We shall see.

I am so thankful about this job and my aunt has been using it as a testimony to how amazing the Lord is at all the different churches we have been going to. I mean - this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the Lord is really showing that He has a purpose for me here beyond moving my aunt after all. I go in to fill out paperwork on Wednesday and then officially start the job on the 12th. I am getting up early this week to get my body used to having to be somewhere at 7:30am again. I am trying to work out how I'm still going to get my exercise and practice my guitar, but I'm sure I will come up with a solution somehow.

The Lord is showing me extremely meaty amazing things about heaven and the concept of heaven, but so far, I have not really been released to write about it. When I try to write a blog post I sit with a Word document open and the title written and stare at a blank page. So I am waiting on the inspiration from the Lord and what He would have me write about it, and it may end up being a mult-part post. But in the meantime, I feel such peace and joy, just finally having some answers and direction in my life, you have no idea.

I'll keep you posted my friends!
Love in Christ
Linda

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Future and A Hope - God is Good



Everyday since my job interview last Friday I have woken up with a different idea on what the future held for me. One day I would wake up and say - I'm not getting that job, the Lord probably wants me to go back to the rain and the traffic and I can get a job out there in Portland. The next day I would think - well if I go to Ontario Oregon and see Johnny then it is more deserty and maybe the Lord will open up a door there for me. This morning I wake up and think, it would just be better for me to get that job and get an apartment and a car and save up some money and go visit Johnny and get my teeth fixed and make some friends. Thy will be done.

I just got the call. I am the new Executive Secretary to the CFO of one of the top hospitals in the state of Wyoming. I will be making $44,000 a year which is more money than I have ever made in my life. The Lords plans for me ARE good, and He is paving the way for me to have a FUTURE and a HOPE! This is abundantly above what I could ask or even think and I am so very thankful to my Father at the moment.

The process that the Lord has been taking me through was to get me to the point where my heart was ready to recieve good things. I was so used to the "afflicted path" that I had no joy, I was so used to the "suffering" that I was unable to believe that there was any good coming in the future - even though I clung to that Jer 29:11 and the promise that the plans of the Father for me were good. Boy howdy, Good is an understatement. Excellent and blowing my mind are more like it.

Thanks Father, for your promises and sweet care of my life!
love in Christ
Linda

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Legalism Beyond Legalism


As I sit at the center of the multi-directional fork in the road, I reflect upon what the Father has been working on in me since I came to Casper Wyoming. People who are under the law – cannot see that they are under the law. Legalism is a dirty word and no one wants to be labeled a Pharisee. When I was under the law, I pointed my finger at the Seventh Day Adventists because they believed that the Sabbath was on Saturday and therefore they did no work from sun-down Friday night to sun-down Saturday night. They also STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you don’t eat meat. To me, they were under the law.

When I was under the law, I pointed my fingers at the Catholics because they were the leading examples of idolatry outside of the Hindu religion. O how I loved to point my finger at “others”. That is a favorite pastime of someone under the law. How do I know I was under the law? I didn’t. Not until the Lord began to show me the difference between being under the law and being truly free born in Christ.

I thought that I had been delivered from the law, until I was confronted with the manifestation of speaking in tongues in a different way then I had been taught. Because my mindset on speaking in tongues was so set in stone, it was probably the hardest thing I have yet to overcome in this spiritual journey. To allow someone the opportunity to speak in tongues (with or without interpretation), to worship the Father in spirit and in truth, the way that person was being led to operate was a milestone for me. I had a one-way in which to operate speaking in tongues mindset that had to literally be dismantled in me, in order to see that the Lord is not legalistic in that manner either.

O I know that a case could be made from scriptures to do it this way, or to do it that way – and depending on which way you interpret it from the scriptures, you can be a Pentacostal or a Baptist or a Charismatic. It is all the various ways in which scriptures can be interpreted that cause all the divisions in the body of Christ. It’s not the scriptures fault, of course. I don’t know that there is a remedy for that, in which all the Christians in all the denominations will suddenly come to agreement and unity and put away their differences.

Then of course, there is hell. What happens after you die? You go to heaven or hell right?

Wrong.

After you die, you lie in the grave until you are resurrected.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. Ecc. 9:10

That is why death is called sleep in the New Testament, because it is like sleeping.
These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. John 11:11-14
Also read 1 Corinthians 15.
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
Why would the dead in Christ rise if they were in heaven floating around? They aren’t in heaven floating around after they are dead, but they are dead, like sleeping people who have no knowledge of things going on around here.

Heaven does not mean what we have been taught, just as hell doesn’t but that is a another blog post for another time.

But there are some that cannot receive this. Intellectually they believe in the resurrection, but they also believe that when you die, you go to heaven, or if you were bad, you go to hell. If you were consciously alive after you died, why would you need a new body anyway? Couldn’t we all just be spirits? Ah, but the Lord is giving us a new body because we will be resurrected, except for those who are alive and will be changed. Yet even this is far too complicated a subject for one blog post.

The key to getting all the legalism and doctrinal “laws” out of your system, is to seek first the Kingdom of God, to love God and unconditionally love those around you – friend and enemy alike. Love is the end of the law and the fulfillment of the law.

Love in Christ
Linda

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Voice of the Lord


When my cousin's daughter (who is 9 years old) wanted to get baptized, she asked her parents what they thought about the decision. My cousin and her husband told the girl to pray about it and see what the Lord said about it. So she prayed about it and she felt the Lord said ok to being baptized.

The pastor asked the girl - "What did the voice of the Lord sound like?"

She said, "I don't know - but it was CLEAR"

I thought that was a wonderful answer.

Waiting for the Clear Voice of the Lord -
Lots of love
Linda

Monday, August 29, 2011

Moving Day


Saturday was moving day. There were about 12 of us, including 4 strong men with a truck and trailer who moved the heavy furniture. It went fast. We started at 9am and were done and eating sandwiches by noon and everything was moved into the new apartment. My two cousins and I stayed until 4 and helped unpack all the boxes and find places for my aunt's stuff. We were totally wiped out when we were done.

I woke up with muscle spasms in my lower back yesterday. I prayed for healing and for those muscles to relax. My aunt and cousins and I all went to church because my little niece was getting baptized and then we all went out to eat. My aunt said, "Since I have to work this week, you want to come over to the old apartment on Wednesday and clean it for me and I will pay you?" I said, "Can we do it on Monday instead? Maybe I will be starting my new job on Wednesday?" My cousin got a big grin on her face and said, "Yeah! We are believing that she is going to get that job."

So later today I'm going over to clean my aunt's old apartment, even though I am still having painful muscle spasms. I will just have to do the best I can.

These muscle spasms kind of remind me of some of the things I have been going through lately. Just because it hurts, doesn't mean I can stop and take it easy. The things that need to get done, still need to get done. I'm still at a crossroads in my life and no amount of crying and praying is going to really be able to change the outcome. If it is the Lord's will for me to return to Oregon, then that is where I will go, and if it is His will that I stay here - than I will stay here. But I'm surprised that I still have trust issues. I am surprised that after all this time, I still don't trust that where I am - and where I am going to be is the Lord's will and that He is in control. I am horrified to admit that a part of me still believes that if it is the Lord's will for me - that somehow that means it is going to suck.

Somedays I actually think I am crying because I am mourning the loss of the illusion that I have some control over my life. I have no control over my life and that fact has been so obvious to me, especially the last couple days. I was resigned to go back to Oregon - almost looking forward to it - when this job interview came out of nowhere. Every time I had a job interview before, and didn't get the job, we said, "Well the Lord has something better in mind for you." Now I think, there is NO better job for me in this state but this job. Now I feel like I almost HAVE to get this job, because if I don't, then what was the whole point of the interview in the first place - for another hope deferred? That would suck! It would have been better for me to go back to Oregon without this stupid job interview to get my hopes all up.

But I don't know yet if I'm going back to Oregon or if I'm getting that job and staying here and let me tell you - the suspence is KILLING ME! Then there is another part of me that doesn't even want to post about these things on this blog. Maybe I am mourning the loss of being a know-it-all legalist with an answer for everything and a good rant about all those blind guides out there. Even the false prophets out there that I spent such an enourmous amount of blog space pointing my fingers at - now I just feel sorry for them as they wait for comet elinin to come destroy the earth or that the yellowstone caldera will blow or the new madrid earthquake will come and God's supposed judgement will finally have happened - even they will be saved and we have to love them too. Because deep down, I'm a better fighter than a lover.

Yet, I am a member of the body of Christ. Am I an eye? A nose? A big toe? I don't know. What is my purpose and where am I suppose to be? Why - right where the Lord has me - that is where. I'm here in Casper and I have helped the people here. If the Lord sends me back to Oregon - then I will help people there and if He has me stay here and work a real job for a season - does that mean my journey is over? That what purpose my life had will be changed - and I will just be a regular non-special egyptian again? I think not.

Some days there is no deep revelation and insight into spiritual matters. Some days it is about cleaning the toilet and vacuuming and wondering if the boy I love, loves me back. Some days it is about lonliness and heartache and somedays it is about cute bunnies and joy in the Lord. Oh how I wish I really trusted the Lord, so that no matter where I am or what I am doing, I am content and super spiritual and every word that comes out of my mouth is grace and salt and light. O how I wish I was that girl. Somedays I wish I really knew how to end one of these blog posts. Somedays I guess I just have to stop typing and push "publish post"

love in Christ
Linda

Friday, August 26, 2011

I am so

getting this job! I'll find out for sure next week!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where the Wind Blows


Every day is an exciting adventure in this journey we call life. Plot twists and turns and from one minute to the next – we do not know what the future will bring:

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

The word for wind in that verse is pnuema – the same word for spirit.

Last May, while I was in Greybull, Wyoming with my parents, the Lord began to put on my aunt’s heart to look into moving to Greybull to be near my grandparents. She had a job interview with the local counseling center – a possible position in her field had opened up – and also found a great downstairs apartment for only $450 a month. The idea that I could stay and help her move was put on both our hearts. It all seemed like the leading of the Lord.

The job and the idea of moving to Greybull all fizzled, so then we knew that the Lord had not opened doors there like we thought. Yet, a door was opened there. The door for me to come out here to Wyoming to help my aunt was still open. But now I would be helping her move in Casper and not up to Greybull like we had originally thought.

The first place my aunt looked into was a mobile home for sale for $45,000. My aunt really loved it and thought that maybe it would be better to buy rather than rent. This mobile home was located in a senior park and the owner was willing to work with her. As she made some phone calls for financing, one of the people who worked at the bank said that his sister owned a mobile home at that same park for only $36,000. So we went to see this new mobile home. It was much nicer than the first one, and less expensive so she decided that maybe the Lord was leading her to get this one. We were praying daily that we could know the Lord’s will, that He would open doors and close doors. She was able to find a lending company that would lend for the purchase of a mobile home. Everything seemed like it was a go from the Lord, so she put an offer on the mobile home for the asking price $36,000.

But strangely, the people selling the home rejected her offer, and we were back to square one. Continuing to pray, we looked at other mobile homes, but my aunt was now less inclined to buy since the mobile home parks had a lot of control issues, and she wanted to have more freedom. She began to look into apartments. We went to see a few and then there was one that seemed perfect for her, except that the landlady knew everyone’s business at that complex and had mentioned to my aunt, “If you need to babysit your grandkids, maybe you could do it at their house.” It still seemed to my aunt that it was the Lord so she decided to meet with the landlady to give her a check for the deposit and sign the lease.

Yet, when my aunt got there, deposit in hand, she had such a check in her spirit, that she started to cry. She told the landlady that she was not able to make a decision at that moment. In the car, on the way home, my aunt was crying and seeking the Lord and saying, “Lord! What is wrong with me? What is your will, why is this happening?” Three days later, around the corner from that apartment, was an identical apartment owned by a different landlady for $25 less a month, plus they paid all the utilities, plus it had an attached garage. That was the apartment that the Lord had really opened up for her that was, by far, the best of all the situations that had presented themselves before then. Every step of the way seemed like the right one to us, yet the Lord had other ideas. When all was said and done, the Lord found the perfect situation and He ordered our steps, although it was a believing process, and spiritual lessons were learned along the way.

I am once again at a crossroads. So far I have been on 7 job interviews with no job offers. Some of those jobs seemed like they would be perfect for me, but then I did not get the job. I began to think that maybe the Lord was showing me that I should move back to Oregon. In fact, there seemed to be so much evidence (or seemingly confirmations) that I called my parents and told them that I was considering moving back. I am waiting on this check from my son for the van. It was literally supposed to be here a month ago, but it has been stalled for one reason or another. I could use that check to buy a bus ticket back home and also to mail some boxes back. Every thing seemed like a go from the Lord, that my work of helping my aunt move would be complete in a couple weeks so I was considering buying a bus ticket so that I would be heading back to Oregon on September 15th. It all seemed like the Lord’s will, that is, until yesterday.

Yesterday, I got a call from the hospital here in town. I had applied for an Executive Secretary to the CFO position there and they wanted me to come in for an interview. I was completely surprised of even getting an interview and the job pays $40,000 a year. Not that money sways me, because it doesn’t, but I do have some needs at the moment that cost money, a car, quite a bit of expensive dental work that needs to be done, among other things.

So literally, it could go either way. The Lord will either open a door here in Casper and I will get this job, or He will open doors for me to head back to Oregon and I will have opportunities out there. The amazing thing is – I’m ok either way, because I know now, probably even more so than before, that the Lord is going to take care of me either way. I won’t know if I will have a job offer for at least a couple weeks. We will continue to pray for the Lord’s will to be done, and that the Lord will open doors for me and let me know where I am to go next. In the meantime, I am content. The Lord has shown me time and time again that His plans for me are good, that He is going to give me a future and a hope.

Where that will be – only the Spirit knows.

Lots of love in Christ
Linda

Monday, August 22, 2011

Being in the Moment


My phone alarm goes off at 4:30am. I hit the snooze so I can stay in that awesome dream I am having. I talk to the Lord about the coming day, that I can know His will for me and that I have the energy to carry it out. I pray for the people in my life and I pray for Johnny, who seems to be on my heart and mind a lot these days.

The alarm goes off again and I get up and walk upstairs to let the dogs out. I guess one of them (probably Sweetie) couldn’t wait until 5am and pooped in the mudroom. Grr. Oh well, I clean it up.

I let the dogs out into the back yard. I put food in their dishes. Misty comes in through the doggie door, she is a long-hair wiener dog, who is black. Sweetie is a long-hair wiener dog too, but she is multi-colored. Sweetie is also old and blind and has snot running out of her nose all the time. Gross. I give her a little pill wrapped up in a doggie treat. Misty gets a treat too so she isn’t jealous. I am watching the dogs and my cousin’s house for her this week while her and her new husband go to Texas for their honeymoon.

I make coffee for the first time in this coffee maker. I guess I didn’t put the pot all the way in because coffee went everywhere and so did the grinds. I clean it up and put it in the trash can. Later, I bump into that trash can and it falls over spilling coffee grounds all over the floor! I clean that up too.

I get my mp3 player on and my running shoes and go out for my daily walk. I have scoped out a nice walking route that takes 20 minutes to do. I’ll walk it again later so that I get in 40 minutes of walking a day. I am listening to Gary Siglar do a teaching, but sometimes I listen to Russ Dizdar or Chris White. There are wild bunnies hopping around people’s yards here. You never see wild bunnies in neighborhoods in Oregon – just out in the boonies. I saw 4 different bunnies today. They are so cute.

People’s sprinklers are making tiny rainbows as they water the lawn. It reminds me of how the Father always takes such good care of me, and that I need to remember to be thankful and to be in the moment. The future will come and the Father will take care of that too.

Later, I hear thunder and I take a blanket out onto the front porch and watch a spectacular lighting show. I see the flash of lightning and then I count, one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four – then I hear the thunder. Wow, a close one. I really wish they had great storms like this in Oregon. The storm takes about 45 minutes to go over head and then it goes away and you start to see blue sky again. So weird.

I am enjoying this time alone in a beautiful house, but I feel the winds of change again on the horizon. The Lord is planning another move for me again. I will tell you more about that soon, but for now, I am thankful for the beauty of every moment and I know the Father has good plans for me, where ever I am.

Take time to enjoy the little blessings in your lives. Pray for the people in your life and walk in newness of spirit. The Lord is in control of EVERYTHING – and we just have to trust Him.

Lots of love!
Linda

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

North Casper


I’ve been living in North Casper for the last month and a half. It is the bad part of town or as the locals call it: ghetto. There are leash laws here, but in this part of town, people let their dogs roam free. I have encountered more than one on my daily walks.

A couple weeks ago, some teenaged boys who live a block or so away from here, spent the evening doing drugs and breaking into cars. One boy was 17 and one boy was 16 and they were best friends. In one of the cars they broke into, they found a loaded handgun. Later at one of their houses, goofing off and being stupid boys, the 17 year old accidentally shot the 16 year old, killing him instantly. Now this boy will probably face being in prison for the rest of his life. Horrible and tragic and when I saw this young boys picture in the paper, I just started crying and praying for him. One life over, one life forever changed. God, how much I hate this stupid evil world sometimes.

Thankfully, today is my last day in North Casper. My cousin is picking me up in a couple hours to take me back to her house in East Casper, where the dogs stay in their respective back yards and there isn’t meth houses next door with paint peeling off of them. My aunt will be moving to East Casper next weekend.

I’m trusting the Lord for my daily provision and I know that every day – where He has me is where I am supposed to be. I’ve been applying for jobs and I have had 7 interviews but no job offers. I am praying that if it is His will for me to get a job, He will open doors. I signed up with a temp agency, but I’m not so sure I’m supposed to have a secular job just yet. My lots of job interviews keeps my aunt happy, and we have been praying for the Lord’s will – so that is all I can do for now. As I said on a comment recently, my ability to predict the future is at an all time low. I understand now, that it doesn’t matter yet, if I am to stay in Casper for a season, or go to Ontario, or anything. Today, I am going to my cousins house to house sit for a week and help my aunt move during that time and that is all the future I need to know about. The future will come and bring with it more adventures and more uncertainty.

But there is no uncertainly with the Father. My life is in His hands and I am in His will because this is all of His will that He has revealed to me. I can rest in the knowledge that when it is His will that I move again or get a job or a car or an apartment – then He will reveal those things to me at that time. I will just live in Today knowing the Father is always with me and has good plans for me.

Today, I am walking in newness of life and the newness of the spirit and not the oldness of the letter (Rom 6:4, Rom 7:6) I am right where the Father wants me to be.

Love you all!
Linda

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Just checking in

I just wanted to get on real quick to let you all know that I am super busy at the moment. I am moving in at my cousins house on Friday because I will be housesitting for her next week as she goes to Texas, but I will also help my aunt move into her new apartment - so we just decided that I would move in with my cousin until I can get my own apartment. My life is in the hand of the Father, so we are trusting Him for my provisions.

So I will be blogging when I can. Hopefully soon.

love you all!
LLinda

Monday, August 15, 2011

God is Sovereign


A close friend sent me an email this morning. She told me she was tired and didn't think she could go on anymore and then I was unable to get a response back. It may be too soon to tell, but I am very concerned that my friend may have done something drastic. But, I don't know where she lives. Only the state and that particular state happens to be pretty big. Probably takes a couple days to drive from one end to the other.

Pray for my friend. My friend is in a very bad place and the adversary is trying to convince her that it is not worth going on. But that is a lie. God has a plan for each and everyone one of you and you are the image of God. Never let anyone tell you different. So please pray that my friend is just offline for a while and not something more. Also, take the time today to find out where your internet friends live - like city and state and not just state.

Thanks for praying
love in Christ
Linda

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mercy is Better than Judgment


There was a blog the other day that I was reading. The man who writes the blog considers himself a minister of God. He met a man that he believed was mocking God and when the man asked the minister to pray for him, he refused, believing that this man was not deserving of prayer because of his ungodly attitude. I was heartbroken when I read that.

The fact that the man asked this minster to pray for him at all, shows that he at least acknowledges the fact that he needs prayer and the Lord. The Lord has chosen US, his sons and daughters to be the ones who show the lost who God is. Unfortunately for that man, the God he was shown was one who looks on the outward appearances and attitudes and condemns them, and forever separates Himself from that lost sinner.

But that is NOT who the true God is. The true God would have mercy on that poor lost man, who knows ONLY what the world has taught him. The true God would love the sinner and especially those that oppose themselves in their ignorance. The true God would have had mercy on that poor man, and said, "God loves you, even if you don't know it or appreciate it." God would forgive that man seventy times seven times, or so many times it would be beyond our human ability to count.

I do not even judge this particular minister. He is blinded by the same legalism that blinds the pharisees. The pharisees would say everyone who was not them was a sinner, and they could not see that they themselves were the biggest sinners of all because of their lack of love and compassion. This minister built a case against this man, a case in which the minister was justified in his condemnation of this poor lost man. This minister believes that his judgement against this man is God's judgment against this man. I'm sure the man believed that too. How very sad.

We are not to judge the lost, but love them and speak grace to them and not condemnation. There is ENOUGH condemnation in this awful evil world. We should endeavour to love people like Christ loved them and NOT condemn them, even if they are guilty - just like the woman taken in adultery. Jesus could have condemned that woman, but He didn't. Why? Because God is in the business of mercy more than judgment.

Be merciful to the people you come across in life today my friends. Love them that oppose themselves and are guilty. Forgive them and love them and don't hold their sins against them, because there may come a time in your life, when you need mercy and forgiveness. What goes around comes around.

Love in Christ
Linda

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Plans Confirmed


The theme of this journey to Wyoming has definitely been Jeremiah 29:11. Before I even got here the Lord had put that verse on my heart. When I first walked into my aunt's house that verse was on a little plaque on her bathroom wall. She ended up giving me that plaque when we packed up her stuff in anticipation of her move.

Yesterday, my aunt and I were in a Christian bookstore looking for a gift for my cousin's wedding. I was just wandering around looking at stuff and saw a little stand that had a bunch of journals on it. I pulled one out to look at it, and on the front cover it said, "For I know the PLANS I have for you." Jeremiah 29:11! Wow. It was just a nice little confirmation once again that the Lord is still in control and has good plans for me, even if nothing seems to be happening at the moment.

My aunt found an apartment that is very nice and suits her needs and also has a garage that she was specifically praying about. We will be moving her over the next month. I have confirmation that I am to settle into Casper for a while and get a job, apartment, and eventually a car. I will be spending some time here, to see what the Lord would have me to see. I am trusting the Father that His plans for me are good. I have a job interview on Thursday.

My cousin is getting married tonight and my grandma and uncle and his wife are coming to stay at my aunt’s house tonight. There is a lot of things going on here, things I can’t go into detail on this blog, but my aunt and I have been praying a lot and doing spiritual warfare. I am beginning to see that a lot of my past walk has been works based, even though I did not see it at the time. It is not about what I am doing, but about the Lord and what He is doing, in my life, and the lives of those around me. I am learning to cleave to the Lord in His grace and mercy in my life, and trust in HIS PLANS for me, and not my own.

I see things differently now, and the legalism that was once who I was, is being purged from my system. Trusting in your walk and your works, is still legalism. But everyday brings new challenges and new awareness. Thank God for His amazing tender mercy in how he is dealing with me.

Love in Christ
Linda

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Be Strong and of Good Courage


Three times the Lord told Joshua to be strong and of good courage before he was to lead the people of Isreal into the promised land. Today, the Lord wants us, His sons and daughters to also be strong and of good courage:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Eph 6:10

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim 2:1

I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:14.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. Psalms 27:14

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. Psalms 31:24

When our hope is in the Lord, He strengthens our heart, and wants us to be of GOOD courage.

The word courage from the dictionary reference website here is defined as, “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”

It means fearlessness. Perfect love casts out fear. Fear is our biggest enemy because he who fears is NOT made perfect in love. If we have areas of fear and the one that I personally battle with lately is FEAR OF THE FUTURE – then we can pray to the Father to become fearless. To be filled with all strength in the Father and to have good courage.

Lots of love
Linda

Monday, August 8, 2011

Purpose of Heart


In Acts 11:22-23, Barnabas when he came to Antioch the first time, it says, "when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord."

We sometimes have to purpose in our hearts that we will cleave unto the Lord no matter what is going on in our lives around us. We especially need to cleave unto the Lord when under extreme stress and anxiety. Sometimes we need to make a decision to delight in the Lord so that when troubles come, we cleave unto the Lord first thing.

The plans the Father has for us are GOOD, and NOT EVIL. Purpose in your heart that you will cleave unto the Father, come what may.

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalms 37:4

But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Psalms 37:11

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand. Psalms 37:23-24

Love in Christ my friends
Linda

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Big Scary Bugs

(Ok, ok. Maybe not actually size! But close! Definitely close.)

Okay the last few weeks, my aunt and I have been having a battle against some AMAZINGLY FREAKY-ass bugs. Above is a picture of the first one we came across.

My aunt said if I cleaned her apartment she would give me $25 every two weeks so that I had a little spending money. So one day a couple weeks ago, I went into the kitchen with the view to sweeping and mopping, but what should I see creeping slowly across the kitchen floor but the above bug! I took a picture of it because I didn’t think anyone would believe how honking big this bug was. I get goose-bumps every time I think about it.

So I grabbed a paper plate and coaxed the hideous creature to step onto it, all the while imagining the bug flying towards me and eating off half my face. Luckily it stayed on the plate until I could throw away the plate and then quickly I tied the garbage bag and walked it out to the dumpster across the street. Phew.

Later when my aunt came home I showed her the picture and regaled my heroism in my battle against an unknown adversary. She looked at the picture and said, “I’ve never seen a bug like that.”

A couple days later, the second battle of the bugs occurred. This time my aunt was alone when she came across another bug, just like the first. She told me that she was not going to bother with paper plates and just grabbed a rolled up newspaper and hit it and hit it until it stopped twitching. I was horrified! “You killed it?” I gasped, “Oh my God, there will probably be some evil bug karma now (even though I don’t really believe in karma). I can’t believe you killed it!” So we knew something was on.

The next day I went to have a bowl of oatmeal. I keep my container of Quaker oats and the container of whey protein that I put in my oatmeal and the brown sugar, all in a plastic bag on top of the refrigerator because it is handy. When I brought down the bag, the bottom of the bag ripped and the contents fell out onto the floor. As I bent down to pick the stuff up, here was one of these bugs! It was dead, so I had no idea if the bug was in the sack before it ripped or just happened to be on the floor when the contents spilled out possibly killing it instantly. I shudder to think of it slinking around my breakfast bag.

Then a day or so later I went to wash the dishes. The little plastic tub that we wash dishes in was already full of soapy water so I reach in to grab the sponge and one of those bugs was stuck on the sponge! I tried to shake the bug off the sponge into the garbage but it was dead. It must have drowned but it was unshakably stuck to the sponge so I threw the bug away sponge and all. Later when my aunt got home from work I lifted up the lid to the garbage and showed her the bug stuck to the sponge. She said, “Lets bag that up so I can show my friend Sue and she can tell us what kind of bug it is.” I was all queasy fishing out the sponge with the dead bug stuck to it, but phew, got it put into a plastic bag for analyzing later.

Sue came over and we were moving some boxes out of the storage room when I noticed one of those same bugs dead on the sidewalk. It seems that someone went before me and decapitated the little fellow because its head was about three inches away from its body. I said, “Sue, come over here and see one of these bugs and tell me if you know what it is?”

So she walks over and what does she do? She steps right on the head! “EWWWWW!” I exclaim, “You stepped on the head!” Yuck. So she bends down and peers at the body and says, “That’s a Mormon cricket.” I thought, Yeah, Mormon. I told her I thought that they looked like a scarab and she said that scarabs are crickets which was something I did not know.

This brings us to today. I went into the kitchen this morning and noticed that there were not very many dishes to be washed, so I decided that I would wait until after I had breakfast to wash the dishes. There were a few spoons in the strainer and a bowl so I put them away. Then I heard a strange noise. It was kind of like a hissing noise. I wondered if there was air in the pipes or something and peered into the sink. Something caught my eye in the silverware holder of the strainer. I heard the noise again. Hiss, hiss. Inside the silverware holder was one of these bugs. Hiss, hiss.

Oh. My. God. Did you just hiss at me?

Sure enough, that bug’s body was moving in time with the hissing.

Hiss. Hiss.

OH THAT IS IT!!! I grabbed the strainer out of the sink and banged it over the garbage. The bug was out of the strainer but I couldn’t see it in the garbage bag. But I could hear it…

Hiss. Hiss. Hiss.

I was MORT-I-FIED! So I tied up that bag and walked it out to the dumpster but I could still hear that evil hiss coming from the bag. UGH. So that is the sixth occurrence of these bugs and as we all know, six is the number of all things scary.

Phew, I am getting goose-bumps just relating this horribleness. Have a good day today my friends and DON’T FORGET THE BUG SPRAY!~

Love in Christ
Linda

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Tarnishing Of A Brother’s Reputation

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. Psalms 52:2-4

Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.

They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.

But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. Psalms 64: 3 -9
There is a law of reaping and sowing in effect. What we sow we SHALL reap, no matter what. Maybe if we discover it, the Lord may have mercy on us and not make us reap what we sow, but that is the exception to the rule.

Last year when I found myself in the middle of no where with NO money and NO gas I met a man who was kind to me. He didn’t have any money to give me, but he had a food stamp card and bought me some food. He found me a place to park my van, where I could sleep for the night. He liked me and tried to hold my hand. I was extremely focused on the Lord at that time so I told this man that I could not be in a relationship. We shared meals together. He found me some work and we worked together. We had a disagreement about an NA meeting, but then later after that, when I was crying he tried to kiss me.

I then proceeded to tear this man down and tarnish his reputation in order to justify my position as the heroine of the story and for dramatic effect. It wasn’t hard. He was a felon, so I magnified that point. It doesn’t matter that I actually believed my position on the matter, I was convinced that I was in the right and found a verse that justified my position by further making this man out to be the bad guy. I’m sure you know by now that I am talking about Johnny.

This man was in prison because he got drunk and did something reckless and stupid for which he paid for it by sitting in jail for six long years. He didn’t grow up in church and doesn’t know anything about the Lord, so he just did the best he could to do the right thing. He kept calling me and wanting me to come back down to Ontario to see him. But I resisted because I believed all the horrible things I had said about him. I believed he was an enemy trying to get me off the straight and narrow. I believed it because I was so legalistic that I believed that anything I really loved was somehow a sin and therefore had to be resisted at all costs.

Johnny got drunk and did something reckless. Maybe some of you that read this blog all the time, know that I myself got drunk a couple months ago. I posted as much on this blog. What most of you do NOT know is that when I got drunk, I called Johnny. Of course, I don’t know what I said to him, but he definitely made a renewed effort to contact me after that. I think he would be horrified and definitely would not want to be with me if he knew all the awful things I have posted about him on this blog.

God is not without a sense of irony. For God Himself opened my eyes to the truth. That God was the one that introduced me to Johnny, and it was God who kept that door open all this whole year so that when I began to see that not everything I loved was a sin, that Johnny was still there. But now, of course, everyone hates Johnny. My family, you all, etc. And why do you hate him? Because I made you hate him. Now that Johnny and I are getting together in a really good way – in a God sanctioned way – what I have sewn has come back to haunt me, to bite me in the ass. Oh people, understand – Johnny is NOT the bad guy.

I am.

So this is my public apology for all the bad things I said about Johnny. None of it was true. Well, it was true, we did have a little fight and he did try to hold my hand and kiss me – but I twisted those things to make them seem ominous and evil when they were really innocent. I can’t undo it, but I did delete those posts from last year and I am posting this apology so that you can know the truth.

Be careful my friends. Watch every idle word you may speak against someone, they could all come back on you. Speak grace and not condemnation, because you never know if you have to eat those same words later on.

I’m not so sure I want to keep blogging. So much of what I have posted in the past is legalism and a great way to elevate myself. I don’t believe that way anymore and I truly regret tarnishing Johnny’s reputation the way I did. I can’t take it back, I can just try now to make it right. Richard, understand that if you are going to beat me up with your comments – I’m not going to post them.

I hope you can forgive me.

Linda

Monday, August 1, 2011

Divisions


Three times in the gospel of John, it states that there was a division among the people.

The first instance is in John 7. It starts when the Jews began to talk about Jesus. Some say, “He is a good man.” And others say, “Nay – but he deceives the people.” Many of the people said, “Of a truth this is the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Shall Christ come out of Galilee?”

So there was a division among the people because of him. John 7:43

The Pharisees sent officers to take Jesus, but then later the Pharisees came upon the officers and said, “Why have ye not brought him?” The officers answered, “Never man spake like this man.” Then answered the Pharisees, “Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who know not the law are cursed.”

Jesus Christ IS the TRUTH. The people who saw Jesus for what He was – the TRUTH, believed on Him, but the Pharisees would not acknowledge that Jesus was the TRUTH because they found a way to twist the scriptures to prove their point against Him. In this instance it was that the Christ would not be from Galilee.

The second and third instance was in John 9 and 10, right after Jesus had opened the eyes of the man who was born blind. He was saying that He was the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep. Then:

There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? John 10:19 – 21

That word division is the same Greek word that was translated “rent” in when you put a new piece of cloth on an old one the “rent” would become worse. It’s the Greek word schisma where we get the word schism. It is symbolic of the idea of one piece of cloth being torn. I Corinthians also has three instances of the same word division.

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions (schisma) among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 1 Cor 1:10

In 1 Corinthians, the context of the divisions, were that the believer’s were divided over who their leadership was. They had missed the point. They were beginning to follow men instead of following the leading of the spirit of Christ within them. So that Paul has to state, “Is Christ divided?” The answer would be no! The body of Christ is not divided but one body. Yet within the Corinthian church of that day, they were divided. Paul states why they are divided:

And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions (schisma), are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 1 Cor 3:1-4

They were divided because they were still carnally minded and not spiritually minded. Bottom line was, they were spiritually immature and could not get past the carnal mind to grow up into the truth. Even so, how does one become un-carnally minded? The carnal mind is blinded from the truth of spiritual things that are understood by the mind of Christ.

At the same time that Jesus was opening the eyes of one that was born blind – he was reproving the Pharisees because of their spiritual blindness. Seeing they see not. There are two things that blind people’s minds to the truth. The god of this world, (2 Cor 4:4) or the reading of the old testament when not rightly divided or seen through the accomplishments of Christ:

But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 2 Cor 3:14-15

It is the Lord who opens people’s eyes and it is the Lord who leaves people blind. The carnal mind is enmity against the mind of Christ. When the blind men were sitting on the side of the road and heard that Jesus passed by, they cried out for him. When the people reproved them, they cried the louder. Then Jesus came and gave them sight, or un-blinded them. So it is available to cry out to the Father to have our eyes and minds open to His truth and to understand the old testament as it relates to the New covenant and the mind of Christ.

Unfortunately, most people do not know they are blind, just like the Pharisees. It is the Father’s will that the body of Christ be with out divisions. That there be no schisms in the body. The Father is opening the eyes of the blind all around us, the vail is being taken away. Cry out to Jesus to receive your sight and heal your carnal mind. You already have the mind of Christ.

Love in Christ
Linda

Friday, July 29, 2011

Soldiers of the Light



My aunt lives in a pretty seedy part of town, which is one of the reasons why she is trying to move. A block away is a plain white building with a cross on the side. Normally it is quiet but on Friday nights it is filled with music. The name of the ministry is "Soldiers of the Light." Friday's they have Christian bands play or sometimes a teaching but each time it is a little different. We have gone the last three Fridays and it is really enjoyable.

The local baseball team is called the Ghosts (as in Casper - get it?) Tonight they are playing on the home field and afterward they had a fireworks show that we could see from my aunt's front door.

It has been an exciting week. My aunt got offered a different job so that she will be working Mon-Fri 8-5 instead of the crazy schedule she had been working. An answer to prayer. I had a couple job interviews this afternoon, but I am applying at GameStop tomorrow and that is the job I really want, but it is all in the Lord's hands and He will order my steps here.

Tomorrow my aunt and I will run errands and look at more apartments. So far, we haven't found the right one to move. My aunt is not ready to give her 30 day notice by Aug 1st, but she is still hoping to give her notice by Aug 15. We are having a garage sale next weekend so we will be working on getting that ready most evenings next week.

I have to get my B string replaced. Seems there is a worn spot on the string that is making one bad note - it just happens to be a note used all the time, which I guess explains the worn spot. I didn't know a guitar string could get worn down in just one spot.

Just a little update.
Take care out there.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who am I?


My name is Linda Stevenson. I have brown eyes and brown hair that is beginning to turn gray. I wear glasses and without them I am nearsighted and can’t see far ahead. I weigh 221 pounds and I’m 5 feet four inches tall. I have an Oregon driver’s license and two sisters. I have two children and an ex-husband and one grandchild. I have an Associate’s Degree and was a plumber in the U.S. Air Force.

But none of those things are me.

I am a spiritual being. I am a son of God. I am an epistle, known and read of all men. I labor in order to present EVERY MAN perfect in Christ. My past is behind me and I am stretching forth towards the mark of the high calling of God. I am skinny and beautiful and kind.

I love video games and if it is the Lord’s will, I am going to get my dream job at GameStop where I will sell video game equipment to the masses. If it is the Lord’s will – I am going to play the new Zelda game.

I love Johnny and I have resisted him long enough. If it is the Lord’s will then I will go and visit him as soon as I can.

I can come boldly to the throne of God because He does not see me, but only sees Christ in me – the hope of Glory.

Where I walk is holy ground. Jesus died for my sins so that I can be free from sin. He died for EVERY MAN, whether they ever know it or not.

I am the salt of the earth. I am a light in this world.

You are too.

From now on I will endeavor to speak only spirit and life into people that they may be encouraged and grow in Christ. I will only do the Father’s will. His will is for me to love Him and love my neighbor. So that is what I’m going to do.

Much love and blessings in Christ
Linda

P.S. Here is a great video!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fervent Prayer


Not sure if I told you this story already but here goes.

When I was a baby believer I met a boy at a bible class in Indiana that I really liked. When I got back to Oregon, I got it in my head that I wanted a chance to go out with this boy. I started praying about it. Now at that time I did not know the Lord like I know Him now. I knew OF the Lord but didn’t really know Him personally. Nevertheless, I believed the bible and I started to pray for this boy to move out to Oregon and I would have a chance to go out with him. I prayed night and day. It became part of my daily routine. I didn’t really believe that this particular prayer would be answered, but that did not stop me from continuing to pray.

Seven months later, I went to my regular bible study that I always went to on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and here was this boy! He was at MY bible study! Because I never really believed that all that praying was actually going to be answered, I was in shock that this boy was at my bible study. I thought it was a miracle! Like a gift-wrapped present from God Himself. So I did end up going out with him.

Nobody hurt me like this guy.

It was THE most painful relationship I have ever had. I was devastated when all was said and done and it took me YEARS to get over him.

So I learned some very important lessons with that experience. First, God does answer prayers. Second, be careful what you pray for.

My aunt is a great example of fervent prayer. Every Sunday, her and my cousins (her daughters) get together to pray. It takes a couple hours because first they talk about the needs in the family and what things need to be prayed for and then my aunt writes it all down in a prayer journal. It is a really nice time to fellowship as well. Then when we think the list is complete, we start praying in agreement for everything listed. Plus it is nice to look at things we have prayed for in the past to see what prayers have been answered. I have really enjoyed this time because I have really wanted to have this kind of prayer fellowship in my life.

So this Sunday we were talking about the needs of my aunt and cousins and wrote those things down and of course, continuing to pray for little baby Blake. My aunt said, “Ok Linda. Your turn. What do you want me to write down for us to pray for you specifically?” I answered, “Let’s just draw a big question mark and pray over that!” Everyone laughed but I was actually kind of serious. The Lord knows what that question mark really represents and I just want to pray that His will is accomplished.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16.

That word fervent actually means worketh. The same way that the phrase “worketh in me mightily” is in the following verses: “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Col 1:27-29

It’s a verb. An action on my part. I am beginning to get some answers that I have been seeking from the Lord, but the Lord has also been putting it on my heart to pray for these answers and the future in the same way I once prayed for that boy. Non-stop until I see the answer. Of course, being me, I said, Ok Lord, but it better not suck like it did last time! No sucking this time, just fervent prayer until I get the victory. What an amazing Father we have.

Please pray for my big question mark.
Lots of love
Linda

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hope Deferred


(Little baby Blake is home now and doing well. Thank you very much for your prayers. He is currently on a monitor that is tracking his breathing but we are hoping that he is over the hard part and will be fine from now on. Thank the Lord!)

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12.

It’s been a hard week. I had hoped I was going to get that job that (in my mind) would have been perfect for me. $15 an hour plus it was in walking distance Monday thru Friday 8-5 with 401k and dental and health blah blah blah. So I was very disappointed when that guy didn’t call like he said he would.

My aunt got a call from the owner’s of the mobile home she was in the process of buying. They decided not to accept her offer because they were unwilling to get the appraisal that the lender required.

So in an instant – both my aunt and I were sitting there stunned. The plans surrounding the buying of the mobile home, the timelines and the paperwork and even our plans for that day – all fell to the ground. We had prayed that we only wanted to do the Lord’s will and specifically prayed that He would open doors and close doors in accordance with His timing and perfect will.

We understood then, that the Lord had closed those doors. I like to say, “Well, that means the Lord has something better in store.” But that doesn’t mean that I handle the grief part well. The heart sick part is something that I am becoming intimately familiar with.

I had another good interview Friday and they said they would let me know either way by middle of next week. My aunt and I spent the day driving around the other mobile home parks in Casper. We have an appointment to see a different mobile home tomorrow although this mobile home is both older and more expensive than the one she was going to buy before.

I am very thankful that the Lord has confirmed the verse Jeremiah 29:11 for me, it is something I can hold onto, every time my hopes come crashing down once again. “I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord “Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

In the meantime we have been cleaning out closets and packing up stuff. We packed all the pictures on the walls in my aunt’s bedroom and the bathroom. My aunt gave me that little plaque with the Jeremiah 29:11 verse on it, since that verse seems to be the theme of this leg of the journey. We still don’t know how long the Lord will have me here, but it forces us to live one day at a time and to not worry about the future. I need to keep my feet on the ground and not keep getting my hopes up and my own expectations on what is going to happen, because nothing is working out the way that I expected it. That in itself is a spiritual lesson. Cling to the Father and be anxious for nothing, giving no thought for tomorrow.

Please continue to pray for us my friends.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Patience


At dinner with my cousins the other day, one of my cousins said something about praying for patience. I said, "You know, if you pray for patience, the Lord will usually put you in situations where you will have to wait!" I should know, I am waiting right now.

My aunt was approved for her financing this mobile home, but now we have to wait until we can get all the various paperwork together, and stuff that the seller has to fill out. I applied for some jobs and immediately got appointments for three job interviews. I went on one job interview that seemed perfect for me and the phone interview and the face to face interview went great and he said he would call me back by that evening or at the latest the next morning. So I waited for the phone to ring. Wouldn't you know he was a big fat liar and not only didn't call me but blew me off entirely! I hate that! It is so unprofessional. But we know it is the Lord protecting me from working for a jerk. I have another job interview at a different place scheduled for 11am tomorrow.

I got a letter from Johnny. He says that the three days I was in Ontario were the best three days of his life. Yeah, they were pretty special to me too. I am glad the Lord has given me the okay to be friends with Johnny again. I wrote about the Lord and told Johnny that he was the salt of the earth and that he was a light in this world and that if he reads the words of Jesus he will see that it is true. I am encoraging him to continue to seek the Lord for himself and maybe the Lord will lead me back to Ontario again some day. I guess we will wait and shall see.

My cousin's daughter had a baby 10 days ago, but in the last two days the baby has stopped breathing twice. He is in the hospital for observation and we are praying for him to be ok. Please lift him in your prayers - his name is Blake.

So we are waiting on the Lord - to see what His will is for us and little by little, more is revealed to us. I still need patience since whenever I get anxious or worried that things are not happening fast enough, I know it is unbelief that the Lord is not going to come through for me. I know that waiting is good, because it makes me more patient and more trusting that the Father knows what He is doing and will take care of everything.

I can't wait.

Blessings in Christ
Linda