Thursday, June 30, 2011

Side Quest - Spokane


Yesterday, I spent the first part of the day driving up to Spokane from Oregon. It is another example of how the Lord orders my steps in this life and makes a way in every circumstance. My friend from high school that I wrote about a couple weeks ago invited me to come spend the night. I decided to take her up on it and then pick up my son and bring him back so he can take the van.

The drive was about 6 hours and then I arrived at my friend’s house. We went out to Red Lobster for dinner and then came back and played the guitar! She is learning the bass guitar and showed me a couple of the songs she knows and I played the song that I know.

Her husband and daughter came home from the baseball game and her husband gave me a T-shirt from the team. Then he gave us an impromptu concert that was totally awesome. It was getting late and he had to work the next day so he kissed my friend goodnight. I said, “Thanks for the concert!...and the T-shirt!” and for some reason we thought that was really funny and started laughing.

Later we just shared what was going on in our lives and I had an opportunity to share about the Lord. She said, “almost you make me want to be a Christian!” I knew then, that one opportunity was what the Lord had brought me here for. It was a very nice night.

Today we made a music video! – So this is my very first music video. I was really nervous – but my friend is a master at making videos and she did a really good job making this video. So here I am:



Blessings in Christ
Linda

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bookstore...

On Sunday, before I was getting ready to go driving around with my sister, I came across a book online. The title of the book was, "The Misunderstood God." by - I think his name was - Daniel Huffin? Anyway, I don't even remember the blog I was reading that recommended it because it was a blog I have never been to before. So I wrote down the title and decided that we could stop at the bookstore while we were out running errands.

Now there are lots and lots and LOTS of books about God out there and once or twice I have bought them and sometimes they have been beneficial and sometimes they have been fluff pieces or lies and propaganda. But the man that was recommending it was HIGHLY recommending it and I thought maybe the Lord was really prompting me to get that book.

There is a great used bookstore here in the Portland area called Powell's Books. Ultimate best bookstore ever. I was looking for that book I told you about and a book on guitar scales. I know that I need to learn all the scales in order to be a good guitarist (also improvisation is really all based on scales.) So we stopped at Powell's. It is very interesting sometimes the way the Father will order our steps.

The misunderstood God book was not at the bookstore but I found this book from the picture called, "The Kingdom of God is Within You." by Leo Tolstoy. So I picked it up and kindof flipped through it and set it back down and continued to look through the shelves of books. But I kept coming back to this book. I started to read it in the aisle and it was SO MUCH about what I am going through right now as far as seeing the truth of God that is not being taught in the churches. I realized that Tolstoy's book was the real book that God wanted me to buy.

Now, I'm only on page 57 so far but right now this book is blowing my mind. Just as a confirmation to the things the Father has already been showing me. It's really too bad that Count Tolstoy lived and wrote this book back in the 1880's because it would be so nice to email him and ask him some questions. In one part of the book he is using an example that one doctrine that is unquestionable and that all agree on is the doctrine that at no time is it ok to fornicate. He would be really shocked today if he saw the rampant fornication and adultery going on in the churches today. But the jist of the book is how Jesus taught not to resist evil by force and that He negated the doctrine of an eye for an eye. Jesus taught that if someone hit you on the left cheek, turn to him the right cheek and if someone sued you for your coat - give him your cloak as well.

Tolstoy makes the point that the churches do not teach this and that is still correct even to this day. I attended a southern baptist church on Memorial day weekend and within that 1 hour and 15 minutes we watched a You-tube video of that song about letters from the front - heard a twisted teaching on that the levitical priests gave their lives in service to the people just as our service men give their lives in service to us. They also taught about how the priests picked up the stones out of the river and the ushers had a plastic container filled with polished stones they were calling touchstones. My aunt and cousin both took one but I said, "no thanks, I'm living stone free these days." Later when they asked me about it I just said that I'm living light these days and don't need a bunch of stones to weigh me down.

Now - I know that maybe this little church I attended was not always this way, but only because it was Memorial Day. I get that.

I had a friend that was a staunch believer in the doctrine of non-resistance to evil by force, but he also went around verbally assaulting people and then would say - shouldn't you just take it like a good christian? I guess he is right about that! I, myself, may not be ready for the truth of this doctrine, but I still gotta love my friend for his ideals, if not his bad application of it.

I'll let you know more when I'm finished.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Monday, June 27, 2011

House Update


My parents have decided to take their house off the market.

Apparantly while I was out shopping with my sister on Saturday, my mom had some sort of Nuclear Melt Down. The realtor had sent her an email with feedback from the young couple who had seen our house recently. They liked the house but complained that the master bath was "dated" and there was no granite countertops in the kitchen. I'm sure they have just watched one too many HGTV shows, but it really pissed my mother off. "I don't want people trapsing through MY house telling me my bathroom is dated! I KNOW it is dated! There is nothing I can do about that right now! WELL I have HAD IT, I don't have to sell my house right now" she explained.

My first reaction was to praise the Lord for His amazing timing in having me out of the house when said Nuclear Melt Down was taking place or my newly realized philosophy of non-resistance to evil might have gone completely out the window. My patience, long-suffering and tolerance level of adult-onset tantrum throwing has really been reached.

Then I thanked Him again for the confirmation that the door is really closing for me here as it is opening in Wyoming. Before, I was concerned that if I left for Wyoming and then my parents sold their house, I would need to come back to help them move. Now, thankfully, I can look forward to Wyoming without having to think of coming back anytime soon.

Thank you Lord.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Arnie

I've been busy this weekend with visiting and shopping. I've done alot of driving and for some reason whenever I was driving this weekend for extended periods of time, I started to think about this person from my past.

I'm sortof in a theological vortex at the moment and it reminds me of when I left the Way International cult years ago. Maybe that is why I keep thinking of this guy. When I was in "the Way" I would go out on the witnessing trips with a group and we would go door to door, telling people the good news according to the Way International. I made a fine cult member back in those days. I knew the ministry approved doctrines and also knew what happened when you left the cult.

Anyway, I remember the day I first met Arnie. We were going door to door witnessing one sunny afternoon and he opened his door to us. I can see his face perfectly. He had flaming red hair and soft blue eyes. He was very quiet and shy and humble. He had no idea how beautiful he was. He listened to us tell him "the Word" and he wanted what we had. He really did want to know more about Jesus and the bible and he was like a sponge soaking in everything we told him.

Ok. Maybe I was a little in love with him, but I never let him know that. As an elderish cult member, I decided to take Arnie under my wing, show him the ropes and what's what and all that. We became good friends. I took him to the way functions, barbeques and get-togethers and answered his questions to the best of my way-infested ability.

I told him about how WE had the truth and those people who left the ministry were turning their back on the truth. What fellowship does light have with darkness? That is why we don't talk to those people anymore. They have turned their back on God.

Arnie continued to read the bible and learn about God. He really did have a sweetness about him and an innocence. I really enjoyed just hanging out with him. He helped me buy my first computer because he knew all about computers. He told me that he'd gotten kicked out of art school because the head of the school told him that he had no artistic ability. I told him that was stupid! What did that guy know anyway?!

I was going to school to get my Associate's degree and I talked Arnie into going to school too. We even had some classes together and enjoyed visting and working on our homework together. It was nice.

Then came the day when the Lord opened my eyes to the REAL truth about the Way International and their cultish mind-control guilt-tripping manipulations. The Lord showed me that it was time to leave the Way. When I left that ministry, I also had to leave all my friends and people that I had known for seven years.

The first Monday after leaving, I went to my class and there was Arnie. I went to talk to him and he didn't want to talk to me. I was now Mark and Avoid and he was just doing what I, ME, What I had taught him to do. I had made him twice the child of hell that I had been. So I just looked at him and said, I understand - just remember how I treated you. When that class was over, I never saw him again.

I don't know why I keep thinking about him. I feel like praying for him, that he got out of that evil cult and maybe God has healed him and he is okay now. I'm sure he is okay, God is in control right?

Pray for my old friend Arnie. Please pray for me my imaginary internet friends. Thanks.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Summer of My Discontent

I am not perfect on this walk by any means. I have flagrant character flaws just like everybody else. I know there are Chinese believers being tortured in prison for their faith who would think my trials are a cake walk. So I began to pray that the Lord would help me to be content in all things, whether I was abased or whether I abounded. My Heavenly Father is not without a sense of irony.

Back in the day, I thrived on chaos. Give me deadlines and 30 hours to complete a 45 hour job and I'm your woman. I was addicted to drama and stress - it was like an elixer. The busier I was and the more that was expected of me, the better I did. But give me five days off, and I would start to feel panicky.

My mom told me I was like that as a child. I loved the routine of school but long days and summer vacation used to make me antsy. Too much time and not enough to do - would wear me down after a while. I'm still like that. I can make a daily routine up, you know: walk, practice guitar, listen to Russ Dizdar live at 3pm, clean the kitchen, do the laundry, etc. That was fine for a while, but after 10 months, I was beginning to wear down some. I realized that the Father was teaching me to be content, but thankfully, He is also so tender and merciful and knows just where our breaking point is.

His timing is perfect. If I didn't know that I was leaving here in the next couple weeks, being here would have crossed the threshold of tolerance for me. It would be unbearable now, but because a way out is on the horizon, it is bearable. Thank God for the promises He has given us. That what He has started, He is able to finish and that someday, Christ will be revealed in me, and I will be content with all things.

Please pray for me.
Blessings in Christ
Linda

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hebdomēkontakis


Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (hebdomēkontakis). Matt 18:21-22

Back in the days of Jesus, saying seventy times seven was almost like saying infinity. The word translated seventy times seven is the Greek word hebdomēkontakis and it also means countless times. As in, unable to count times. Seventy times seven was a lot in those days, not like now when a billion just doesn't seem like that big a number since we hear alot about billions these days.

And, inevitably, in His infinite wisdom and work of changing us into His image, the Lord Almighty puts people in our path, that require us to forgive them countless times.

Jesus then went on to tell a parable of what happens when someone doesn't forgive. They are turned over to the tormenters until every last bit of debt is paid. Matt 18:23-35. Unforgiveness is a sin that carries it's own consequences with it. If you hold a grudge (which is unforgiveness) it is like a seed against that person within your mind. A seed that grows and festers and becomes a giant of unforgiveness. The seed of unforgiveness becomes the tormenter of your mind. It is better to pick out the seed and toss it away in the form of forgiving someone right away, then to later battle it like an old enemy giant later on.

You don't have to necessarily say to that person "I forgive you." because most offenses people do against us, they probably do completely unawares, maybe they said something overly harsh that stuck to you that day. But to give that seed to the Father, because He is really the one that can help us forgive and be forgiving. Forgive at the point of injury and don't allow that seed to take root and grow into something horrendous later.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Monday, June 20, 2011

Van Update

So the car guy blew me off twice this weekend. I knew that was God's way of saying, don't have this guy come look at your van. So I called my son to tell him that I'm still not sure what to do with the van, even though it did start up.

My son says, "I'll buy it. How much?"

"I'd really like to get $500 out of it, but you can just pay me what you think it should be since it isn't running." I answered.

"Ok," he says, "Eight hundred."

"What?! No! Honey, it isn't even running." I said.

He said, "Mom! That is the coolest van and it is worth it. I know you wanted $800 for it and I'm sure I can get it running."

So it is really amazing how the Lord takes care of the little things when you really step out on faith and TRUST HIM. Now, not only am I going to get a decent amount for the van, but my son will come down over the 4th of July weekend to get it so I will be able to see him and visit him before I head to Wyoming. It's so cute - he is bragging about it on his facebook page saying that it has a 460 engine and can pull a house off of it's foundations. Secretly I wonder if I will be using the money to buy a vehicle once I'm in Wyoming, but we shall see what the Lord has in store.

It is quiet right now in my life. Yesterday we celebrated father's day with my dad and brother-in-law and ate BBQ'd ribs and strawberry shortcake. (no kidding so much for trying to lose weight!!!) It was nice to visit with my family and enjoy life. It is important that I am enjoying life, because I have been under a self-imposed law of touch not, taste not, handle not, giving up things that religion says is bad, when it doesn't say there is anything wrong with it in the scriptures.

I finally got one of my sisters to watch my all time favorite movie yesterday, "Kung Fu Panda." Frankly, I totally love Kung Fu movies. I always have. I love Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies and because of the "mysticism" involved in martial arts, have not allowed myself to really watch or at least ENJOY a good martial arts movie. I know it is really dumb. I got rid of my entire CD collection except for two instrumental CD's - The soundtrack to "the piano", and a private CD from a friend who played classical guitar. While we were driving around garage saling Saturday in my sisters van, I saw my old Pink Floyd "Wish you were here" CD. I said, Hmm, I should take that back. I didn't because of my suitcases already being too full.

I had originally gotten rid of those CD's because of the satanic influence in the music realm, blah blah blah. Now I understand satan has no power over me, and just because he may have infiltrated every strata of society, doesn't mean I can't enjoy the music that is out there. Not that I'm going to run out and listen to Lady Gaga and Marilyn Manson, I do have taste.

It may seem that there is a lack of meat here on my blog lately, but that is because the Lord is preparing me for the work that will be done in Wyoming. I believe very strongly that I will be able to share the hope that is in me with people there and help others to escape the bondage of religion and carnal christianity and to do the work the Lord has prepared for me. I have had thoughts of worry, maybe it will be a furnace heated seven times hotter, then I remember that the Lord will be with me in the heat and the work of revealing Christ in me the hope of glory will continue. The Lord only gives us what we can handle. Should there be tribulation in Wyoming - then I will thank the Lord for the peaceable fruits of righteousness that will be the result.

If you haven't watched "Kung Fu Panda" yet, I highly recommend it!
Blessings in Christ
Linda

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Fathers Day

I don't normally endorse secular holidays, but today is a good day to hug your dad. Forgive him for the past, no matter what may have happened, and start today with a clean slate. Love and Honor your father that it may be well with YOU and that YOU may live long on the earth!

I love you dad!

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garage Sales and Gyros

Some days are just living life.

My sisters took me out to lunch. They are excited for me to go to Wyoming but sad to see me go. I have really great sisters.

Then we drove around in the rain, going to garage sales. It was a nice afternoon.

Enjoy life today my friends!
Blessings in Christ!
Linda

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My stuff

Here is a picture of all my worldly possessions not including a box of quilting stuff that is going to stay at my parents and will only be mailed to me in a quilting emergency. The guitar is non-negotiable since it is the Lord's will that I learn guitar - but I got rid of my bedroll (except the first quilt I made and my very hard to replace gushy pillow. I can put the quilt in the pillowcase and take it on the bus as a sneaky carry on. I also got rid of alot of clothes that I actually wear, but then I remembered that if I need clothes in Wyoming the Lord will provide. It made it easier to get rid of the bulky sweaters that I will not be needing for several months.

So I am going to Casper Wyoming (YAYAYAYAYAY THANK YOU GOD!!!) I have bought a one-way bus ticket for $89 and I leave July 7th and will arrive in Casper Wyoming on July 8th. My aunt is very excited for me to come stay with her and help her move. She still doesnt know if she is moving to another apartment in Casper or moving to Greybull but either way she has to move from her apartment.

When I was talking to my aunt - she said that she thought it was very strange how the apartment and job interview in Greybull seemed to be arranged from the Lord yet everything else now seems to indicate that she is to stay in Casper (although she has not yet received a difinitive "NO" from the job in Greybull.) I told her I believed it was the Lord because if things had not happened that way while we were over there, my aunt would not have thought to invite me to come help her. So we both agreed that this is the Lord's will.

So I am still tying up the myriad of loose ends here. I have literally been working on going through my stuff and paring down, paring down. I do believe the paring down part is over. I have a box of stuff that I will be mailing to my aunt, stuff I use almost daily but can live without for a week or two until it gets there. I am getting together birthday presents and cards because everyone in my family has birthdays and anniversaries in July, but I will just miss them. I made some new business cards with my new address on, and the new phone number. I'm writing letters to people and calling so that they know I will be leaving. Whenever I leave here, I always prepare for never coming back. But this will be the 5th time I'm "never coming back" so I told my mom, Don't worry, the Lord has a way of bringing me back here one way or the other, so who knows, I may be back sooner than we think.

Just in case you might be thinking that my blog has gotten less controversial lately here is a nice controversial you-tube video. Watch it all the way to the end because things are not always what they seem!



I have been guilty of using the scriptures to tear others down. I hope you will forgive me. I want no thing between me and the Lord and want to love my friends and enemies and strangers. I believe I will have some great love opportunities out there in Wyoming.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quilt Update

I finished this quilt recently but it is a surprise gift for someone so I didn't want to post it - but I can't help it! It is my fifth and best quilt yet. I have named it a Mother's Love - but it is a secret name that I didn't actually put on the quilt.
I actually started another quilt too that has browns and dark reds and is completely random. But I laid it all out on the floor and I have started to sew it. I am trying to plan how I can downsize and yet take the minimum sewing supplies with in order to work on a quilt.

I think I am down to the bare minimum of possessions, but I feel I will probably do one maybe two more pare-down sessions. I am contemplating getting rid of my bedroll which consists of a small gray comforter, two pillows (one the best squishy pillow that I have had for years!) and my first quilt. I use my bedroll every night on the couch and everywhere I go (couchwise) I have used these items and then rolled them up into a small roll wrapped with a belt. I went to a camping store and bought a bag that I can put my bedroll into if I needed to take it on a plane as luggage. I could almost put the quilt into the pillowcase of the squishy pillow and use it as a carry on.

I looked into bus tickets to Casper Wyoming and it is only $89 dollars if I buy the ticket in advance. That is good to know for future reference. My mom asked if I even know where I'll be going with all this sorting and downsizing. I said no. But the Lord gives us plenty of time to get ready for the next phase. I'm just getting ready for come what may.

Please pray for clear answers on my van. It is completely cleaned out now and I'm calling the car guy later to see when he can come give me an estimate. Please pray for me to have clear answers on where I am going next or whether I am staying here.
Thanks!

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Confessions of a Hoarder

I come from a long line of hoarders. Which is why I can be so sympathetic when working with hoarders, I've been there. I got rid of a lifetime of accumulation when I first started this trip a couple years ago. Oh, furniture and dishes are fairly easy to replace - but it is the little sentimental things that are the hardest to part with.

When I first started out on the road in June of 2009 I had a little blue mini van. I had an air mattress in the back to sleep on and blue storage containers with cooking utensils and canned goods. I had several suitcases strapped to the top with stuff I just kindof felt at the time was unique and irreplaceable. Little paintings and nice clothes. I justified keeping the nice clothes in case I get a job, you know, I might NEED them!

Of course, this is Oregon. I know you people out there in Texas praying for rain, don't have the concept of the amount of rain we get here in Oregon. It practically rains every 20 minutes here and other times it pours. (ok, we may have a few clear days here and there, but most of the time rain rain rain.) So of course after driving in the rain for a couple of months, I took down the suitcases to readjust. Everything in those suitcases had molded. It was very gross.

I knew the Lord was trying to show me, that I wasn't going to need that stuff, but more importantly, that keeping that stuff was a product of unbelief. Deep down, I didn't believe the Lord would meet my needs.

When that van died I went through my stuff again. But I still kept all my canned goods and cook stove and little green bottles of propane. I was still in the surviving the post-apocalyptic world mindset and I was ready for the downfall of society. (sortof pre-madmax) Which is why I LOVED this van. It was so big and I could sleep rather comfortably. I did need all that stuff that I had then to travel and cook with and especially when I went down to Southern Oregon and lived in a Wal-mart parking lot for over two weeks.

Then this van broke down. It was okay, I wasn't using it at that point anyway because I was helping my parents go through their 35 years of accumulation in order to get their house on the market. Somedays were harder than others, but now my parents are seeing the benefits of living lighter and not having all this STUFF weighing them down.

I understand now why I wasn't getting answers from the Lord about my van. I wasn't yet ready to part with the stuff I had in the van and get my possessions down even further. So that is what I have been working on the last few days. I realize that I will not be riding out the end of civilized society in my van and camping out off the grid somewhere. The nature of my journey is changing. The Lord will provide me with whatever I need on this journey, but for now, it does not include tents and cooking stoves (and cans of Spaghettio's.)

The things of this world hold us back sometimes from the spiritual insight that the Lord wants to share. In order to really let go of those things, you need to TRUST that the Lord will provide. I feel I am finally ready to let go of these things, but still, the process is not without a certain amount of heavy sighing and determining what can be kept and what has to go. It is definiately a process.

Blessings on a much lighter side
In Christ
Linda

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Grim Reaper

There are times that I am so in awe of my Heavenly Father and how He directs my steps and arranges things in my life for His glory. He never ceases to amaze me.

I'd been feeling a little "what's my purpose in life" lately like I sort of talked about in my Twilight Zone post. When I was talking to my mom on the phone, after she told me that my aunt had not gotten the job, I had said, "Well, if it is the Lord's will for me to go out there, He will make a way. If He has work for me out there." My mom said, "He has work for you here!" At the time I kindof shrugged and thought, what work? In my stupid human brain, I have felt that I'm just ticking off the days, practicing my guitar, trying to exercise and lose weight and I have lost weight! The same three pounds over and over. Checking off the days of the calander with big red imaginary X's.

Several weeks ago, a friend from high school called to see how I was doing. She calls every five years or so, and she is nice, I like her but we always live several states away. She kept asking what I was doing and I was hesitant to tell her because you know why. She could really tell I was reluctant to talk about my life. Finally I said, "Fine - you want to know what I am doing? I am on a special journey from the Lord!" Although that didn't quite open any doors to share about God's word, I did have an opportunity to share a bit of my testimony. She said, "Maybe you can go to the Peace Corps or go to Africa for a mission trip?" I said, "There are lost people right here that need to hear about the Lord." She laughed and said, "I never thought about it like that!~"

I know that it is just the adversary trying to make me feel like I don't have a purpose - like the Lord doesn't really have a plan for my life (or worse that the plan is for me to slowly rot away in my parent's basement surrounded by quilts and guitar manuals. Oh and chocolate.)

The first night that we got back from Wyoming my sister stopped by. I was very happy when she asked if I would come over to farm sit. The plan was that she would come pick me up Wednesday morning and bring me back to her house and then her and her husband and my niece and nephew were going to go to the beach.

When my sister came to pick me up though, she was saying that her and her husband were not going to let my nephew (who is 18) go with because he was behind in his schoolwork. They still wanted me to come over so I could keep an eye on things (and maybe to add insult to injury by telling him he needed a babysitter.)

Now I have really have a soft-spot for this boy. He is my only nephew and I have prayed for open doors to share the truth of God's Word with him. I used to be the awesome gaming aunt who could discuss the latest Nintedo DS games or the Wii games and I was very cool. So my turning my back on all things gaming and turning towards the things of the Lord was quite the uncool thing to do.

My nephew had several pictures of the grim reaper on his walls that he had drawn. In times past I would use the pictures of the grim reaper to open a conversation about spiritual matters but they always seemed to turn into arguments. But then, I was a different person and didn't mind a good knock down, tear down argument.

So after everyone body left for the beach, my nephew was justifyable angry. He started to clean his room by pulling his mattresses off the bed and was making alot of noise. I went in and told him to put his bed back together and to stop throwing stuff around and gave him the "you want a piece of me?" look. He calmed down and said ok. He spent the next couple hours cleaning his room more quietly.

He came out and we talked about regular stuff. I told him that it really was out of love that his parents kept him home, that he really needs to finish his school work so he can graduate. He said, "I know, I know." Then he made this excellent chicken stir fry and I helped by cutting up the vegtables and it was really fun. I set the table and we sat down to a proper meal. I blessed the food and he was okay with that. I told him, "I'm really glad you are here. This is amazing food and this is fun. I would just be eating a turkey sandwich if I was here alone!" He said, "I'm actually glad too."

Later after we had cleaned up and I was sitting at the coffee table with my computer - he brought up the fact that we used to argue all the time, I said, (and I believe this was inspired by the Holy Spirit), "I think you only argued with me because you really want to know more about the Lord, but are afraid to ask so arguing with me was just your way of talking about it. You just took the opposite view of whatever I said"

Then the miracle occured. He said, "You know, I do have some questions." He sat down across from me in the living room and we talked about the Lord for almost two hours! I talked to him about God's amazing love and the fact that everyone will be saved in their order and that it is God that does the saving. He talked a little about the grim reaper. Not that he worships the grim reaper but he believes in the ministry of the grim reaper as an actual entity that takes people from this life to the next level. I asked, "what's the next level?" he answered, "Exactly" I laughed. The Lord will sort all that out later. I let it go.

My nephew told me that he had been going to a little church in town and that his parents didn't really like to talk about God. I told him not to worry about his parents, God will sort all that out too. He brought out a little book he is reading called "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan that he will let me borrow when he is done. Then he went back into his room to work on his homework.

I sat there for a few minutes praising my Father for the opportunity to share His love and Word with my nephew and prayed for the Lord to continue to work on my nephew's heart. I thought about my mom saying that I had work here too. I guess maybe I do. Thank you Lord!

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Twilight Zone

When we were still in Wyoming there was a time when everyone went to the store except for me and my 93 year old grandfather. We were watching tv and I'll have to admit, he's kind of intimidating so I was a little uncomfortable with our lack of conversation. The show Jeopardy came on. So we had a little bit of a competition by shouting out the answers to the Jeopardy questions. My grandfather is quite the history buff so he knows alot of the answers. But I know some stuff too and was able to answer some questions that he didn't know.

Then came a strange question. "a layer of the ocean's stratosphere and also a 60's television show". (I'm paraphrasing because I can't quite remember the exact wording.) My grandfather looks at me, but I just shrugged. I'm wracking my brain but I got nothing. Then Alex Trebek says, "What is the Twilight Zone." Wow, I shoulda known.

(While I was writing this blog post my mom called to tell me that my aunt did not get that job. My aunt was really upset about it because she had felt that the Lord had set up the job interview and the apartment. Now, it is not clear what she will do. But she has to move from her current apartment around August/September no matter what. I said, "maybe the Lord wants her to stay in Casper?" So I may still be going to Casper to help her move at some point. The Lord's timing is perfect so we will just take it one day at a time.

I forgot to bring my guitar (and my cell phone) to the farm so I am not happy about having to go three days without practicing. Hope my callouses hold up.) As I sit on the back porch looking over the valley - I feel somewhat like I have entered my own private twilight zone.

I once believed in the Rapture and I regularly sent my tithe to a man and his wife who had a rapture themed ministry. Of course the false doctrine of the pre-trib rapture also has somewhere in the doctrines that the bear of Daniel is Russia, and that Putin was probably the antichrist or at least AN antichrist. Or something ridiculous like that - I don't remember now. Many times the Father had directed me to send them money and many times they would write and tell me that the money came just in time - that sort of thing. I was on their email list. But the Lord was beginning to show me that the truth was not in the rapture doctrine. So one day I got an email from their ministry. It was of one of their followers going off on this rant about Putin and how he was so evil you could see it in his beady little eyes, etc.

I immediately emailed that man and told him to take me off his email list. He was justifyably shocked and asked me why since I had been a stauch supporter before. I told him that I no longer believed in the pre-trib rapture doctrine so would not be a part of his ministry any longer. That was true of course, but it was the hatred toward Putin that this other follower had spewed forth and was forwarded by the minister that really bothered me, even though I had posted pictures of Putin with his shirt off on this very blog with the words EWWWWW under it. So I was not without my own sin in that respect.

Next the Lord lead me to a website that talked alot about authority and submission, the Jezebel spirit and head coverings. At first I cried like a baby when I thought I was supposed to wear a handkerchief on my head. O. My. God. You want to know about persecution? Go from being a beer drinking, cigarette smoking, cussing, video gaming carnal christian chick to quitting everything and wearing a doily on your head! Oh no. That did not go over very well with the fam.

I just wanted to obey, but said, "Oh Lord! Have mercy on me I can't keep this thing on my head! It keeps getting caught in the bushes and slips down and I look absolutely horrible in it. It's really not me Lord." Thankfully He led me to Target where a hat that hadn't been there the day before that was really cool with patches and stiches that went outside the box was. "Ok Lord, I'll wear this hat as a headcovering." Phew.

So then I spent the next couple years under the law. Oh you know. Looking down my long legalistic nose at all those sinners out there. What?! Are you wearing earrings? The kind I use to wear? Is that make-up. Well, I'm not quite to the skirt wearing phase but my jean's are modest let me tell you. Under the law, I listened to all the "old testament prophets" Doom and Gloom baby, doom and gloom. Yep. Any moment God is going to judge all you 53 million abortion people with all SORTS of natural disasters and there is just not enough repentence in the world to save the lot of you. I, of course, will be tucked safely under the wings of the Father because not only am I one of the elect - but I am also wearing my special hat slash secret headcovering.

Oh Phooey.

Thankfully, the Lord began to show me Who HE really was. An amazing God of Love, full of mercy and long suffering toward us and that Jesus saved the whole world by his sacrifice and resurrection.

That of course, is where the twilight zone comes in. Now what? What do I believe now? What does the Word say now? I guess I'm no longer an evangalical or a pentacostal or a charismatic. Even though, I never allowed myself an actually label. I went to the Seventh Day Adventist church for a while and a independent pentacostal, but I never identified myself as an Adventist or Pentacostal. I used to say, "I'm a member of the Body of Christ so I guess I can go to whatever church I want."

There is a group that calls themselves Christian Universalists that I suppose I can identify myself with, but even they all have a bunch of different doctrines between them. Some of which I think tend to want to mix New Age and Christianity, which I think is a dangerous road to be on.

So once again, I'm not going to put myself under another man-made doctrine by giving myself a label. I'm going to believe the part of God's Word that is the simple truth. God sent His only Begotten son, not to condemn the world but to save it. Also. I have figured out that I really don't know anything at all. I thought I knew the truth when I believed in the rapture. I thought I knew the truth when I was under the New Testament law with it's head coverings and eternal torment.

I am now at the place where I have determined not to know ANYTHING but Christ, and Him crucified. Maybe now, the Lord can begin to teach me His truth.

Blessings from the Twilight Zone
In Christ!
Linda

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Farm Break

I am farmsitting for the next couple days while my sister and her family go to the beach for a mini vacation. My aunt still hasn't heard whether or not she has gotten that job, but we are still thinking that if she gets the job, I may still go out there to help her move. There is some loose ends I need to attend to here before I can really go out there. Mainly, my van.

Several months ago as I went to move my van, I was driving it around the block and it just died. It wouldn't start again. Almost a week later, I again attempted to start it and it wouldn't start. I called AAA and they came with a special tow truck for one ton vehicles like mine and towed it up to my parents house where it has been sitting ever since.

When we were coming back from Wyoming we had an opportunity to stop and see my son who is stationed in Spokane. I told him I really felt like it was time to have someone else come look at the van since he was not going to be able to make it down to Oregon to work on it. But my son was not very happy about that so he made me promise that we would do a phone inspection before someone else looked at it. He wanted me to listen for the fuel pump and if I didn't hear it then I was to switch tanks and try again and if I didn't hear the fuel pump again then it was an electrical problem.

So the day after I got home, he called me on the phone and I took the phone out to the van and went to start it. It started right up! My son started launghing and said, "I fixed your van!" Of course, I don't yet want to drive it without someone taking a look at it. My dad said, "Well, I wonder why it wouldn't start when we were trying a couple months ago." I said, "I think it was supernatural." My van not running meant that I didn't pick up and start driving to the other side of the country. There was a couple times when situations came up that, had my van been running, I would have gone places I do not believe the Lord wanted me to go. The fact that my van has started now, kindof shows me that it is time to deal with it.

So it is looking like it is time to get rid of my van. Even if my van was fixed, it is so expensive to drive it anywhere with the gas prices the way they are, that it is just not worth it for me to keep. If I go to Casper to help my aunt, then I can fly, and if I don't go to Casper, I can drive my parents vehicles which is what I have been doing anyway. I am feeling now is the time to deal with the van. Of course, that also means all the stuff I have been keeping in my van has to be dealt with.

I am going to give my tent and air mattress and all my camping (survivalist) gear to my son so that he can use it to camp with his friends. I've already gone through my clothes and I didn't have a lot before but I went from two roller suitcases down to one. But I've been feeling for a couple months now that I was going to go down to just a roller suitcase, my laptop, my guitar, my bedroll and my backpack. Even that seems like a lot for a plane trip, but that will be all my possessions when I am done sorting stuff out.

I may have my mom mail my quilting stuff to my aunt's later, but for now, I am sewing the binding on my current quilt and will probably try to plan my next one to take with. Last year when I didnt have a van I had this overwhelming sense of homelessness. Now, I am a different person and I know that no matter where I am, I am at home with the Lord. Whether that is at my parents house or the start of a new adventure in Wyoming. We shall see.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Monday, June 6, 2011

Things that Cannot Separate Us from the Love of God - PERSECUTION

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
Here in America, we still have freedom of worship. Christians are free to go to the church of their choosing and except for San Diego – can have bible studies in their home, without persecution or any kind of harassment. The thought police of this country are not yet scrutinizing people’s individual ways of worshipping the Creator.

Our Christian brothers and sisters in many other countries must hide their faith. Either their governments forbid the practice of Christianity or the local religions forbid any kind of conversion to Christianity. Many Christians in other countries are severely persecuted for their faith in Jesus. Some times it is illegal to own a Bible or to share their faith or even teach their own children about Jesus.

Here are some websites that track the current state of persecution of Christians in our world today, and where you can get more information to support these brothers and sisters in Christ:

Christian Persecution Info

The Voice of the Martyrs

2 Timothy 3:12 says that ALL that live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution and even in this country and especially in our own families we have been subjected to persecution in one form or another – and it definitely hurts when we have gone through it.

Thank God – persecution cannot separate us from the Love of God. When we are persecuted, we can count it all joy to be found worthy to suffer persecution for Christ’s sake.

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Things that Cannot Separate Us from the Love of God – DISTRESS

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
I’ve read the word distress many times, but I really did not know what it meant. This word distress in the above verses literally means – a narrow place. We would say – a tight spot, a jam or in the middle of a mess. The definition of distress from the Accurate and Reliable online dictionary has several definitions. The first definition was: “Extreme pain or suffering; anguish of body or mind; as, to suffer distress from the gout, or from the loss of friends.” Wow. I know about that last one. I suppose the idea that I bring that one on myself is debatable.

Other definitions include – having someone come and repo your stuff in order to pay a debt, a ship in distress from leaking water, psychological suffering. Basically it is mental anguish.

We all go through mental anguish. The good news is – our mental anguish cannot separate us from the love of God! Nowadays when I find myself in anguish about circumstances in my life – I turn them over to the Father. Here Lord, here is this problem that I just don’t know what to do about or how to handle. Please take care of this for me. Giving it to the Father, helps take away the mental anguish. He knows the end from the beginning on every possible thing in our lives.

Remember I said the Lord wanted me to write to this man in jail that I had had a falling out with? Well, the man wrote back and told me that it was a blessing to hear from me. I guess ex-friends are not always ex-friends forever. I bought a really colorful card to send him again so that the dreary walls of the jailhouse aren’t too depressing. Good things always turn out when we obey the Lord.

Distress cannot separate us from the Love of God!

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Things that Cannot Separate Us from the Love of God - TRIBULATION

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39
One of the most insidious tricks of the devil is to convince people that they can be separated from the love of God. God IS love and He is always with us. God was IN Christ reconciling the WORLD unto Himself and we have Christ IN us which is the Hope of Glory.

There is a lot of talk and speculation about the coming “tribulation” or GREAT TRIBULATION if you will. It’s like this scary boogieman that is coming to get us AT ANY MOMENT! Everyone is wondering – are we IN the great tribulation? Is it coming soon? What is going to happen in the great tribulation? Should we be buying guns and gold? Should we be stocking up on food and water? How will we survive this coming great tribulation?

The Word repeatedly tells us that tribulation is a part of our walk with the Lord. In fact as it states in the book of Acts – it is a requirement to have tribulation in order to enter the Kingdom of God.
Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. ACTS 14:22
The word tribulation was first used in the King James Version in the book of Deuteronomy. But when God said it – He said WHEN you have tribulation – not IF. “When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; (For the LORD thy God a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. Deuteronomy 4:31-32

Tribulation has a purpose in our lives and our spiritual walk. It reminds us how much we NEED the Father and His love and mercy in our lives. Like any really good parent, he wants us to obey His voice because He is trying to keep us from the consequences and hurt that sin brings into our lives. It is out of His extreme love for us that He tells us these things – that He will not destroy us, nor forsake us.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:1-5
Tribulation works patience which then works experience and then hope. Without tribulation there is no patience (which is a fruit of the Spirit), there is no experience and ultimately there is no hope! Tribulation is part of the process of manifesting your sonship and Christ being revealed IN YOU. It is a work of the Holy Spirit that causes the love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts! We are to glory in our tribulations because ultimately it brings in the peaceful fruits of righteousness.

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Romans 12:12

Another purpose for Tribulation is so that we can also in turn be comforted! “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” 2 Cor 1:3-5

We should welcome tribulations and trials because they are what eventually brings us into the Kingdom of God. We who come out of great tribulation will have washed our robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them white. Rev 7:14. Tribulation is never something that separates us from God’s Love – but will actually be instrumental in bringing us closer to Him!

Blessings in Christ
Linda

Friday, June 3, 2011

The accuser


And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. Revelation 12:10

I remember the first time I ever read that verse. I had a picture in my mind of the accuser. I saw God sitting on his throne up in heaven and the devil standing in front of God pointing down towards earth and saying accusations day and night. Later, I realized that the accuser accuses us in our mind day and night or he uses other people to accuse us right here on earth. Whenever I came across accusations in my life I always thought of that mind picture.

Now I realize that I did not get the true meaning out of that verse. The truth in that verse is the fact that the accuser is cast down. The important part of that verse is not the accuser. It is the fact that NOW is come our salvation, our strength in the Lord, the kingdom of our God and the POWER OF HIS CHRIST. The accuser has already been defeated! Whenever the accuser tries to accuse us in our daily lives - we can claim the promise that the accuse is cast down - and the Power of Christ reigns in our lives.

Have a good weekend my friends!
Blessings in Christ
Linda

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Little Pieces of Unforgiveness

As I was driving through some SPECTACULARLY beautiful country - I was thinking about my last blog posts. Why am I so irritated with my mom? It's not that traveling is stressful - I'm not feeling stressed.

I once had a boyfriend who was a deaf mute. Once he signed to me, "Are you mad at me?" Well, no. I'm not mad. What is the sign for annoyed? What is the sign for irritated? What?! What do you mean there are no signs for that? Oh. Ok. I guess maybe I am a little mad.

The Word says, "Be ye angry and sin not." Anger is a feeling. Feelings can't just be ignored or discarded. They need to be dealt with.

Oh I know. Dead men don't have feelings. But we are only metaphorically dead - not literally. While we still live in this flesh body - we still have feelings that need to be dealt with.

So I asked the Lord why I was so irritated. The Lord began to show me that not only was each incidence of irritation on my part - little pieces of unforgiveness - but they were miss opportunities as well.

Every time I was irritated - I should have forgiven her. Every time I was annoyed - I should have prayed. For my mom - that I can love her like Christ loved me and gave himself for me - and that she could be blessed, that she could be saved and that the Lord can heal her and open her eyes. I could have prayed for myself - that I can be more loving and forgiving and patient. I should have been giving thanks to my Heavenly Father for all the blessings He gives me on a daily basis. To thank Him for my mom and for this vacation and the beautiful countryside. I should be praying without ceasing - especially when I am felling annoyed or irritated!

Please pray for me my friends.
Blessings in Christ
Linda

Travelers

I really want this blog post to be called "Honor thy mother" because I am really having a hard time at the moment. Don't get me wrong. I love my mom. But she is NOT an easy woman to travel with.

When we stop at a rest area and everyone had gone to the bathroom, then she decides she will go. We have to wait so long for her to finish that I have to go again! My father and I are the drivers so we really need our sleep. But when she can't sleep at 3am in the hotel room, she turns on the light and starts to read. Thanks mom. Now we can't sleep either. When I say I am going to practice my guitar - she rolls her eyes and I feel just like a little awkward kid again.

I really felt like crying that I couldn't go with my aunt. I know the Lord has His reasons for me to stay at my parents house without a job, without looking for a job, waiting on Him. I beg the Father for mercy. I know that the Lord wants me to love my mom with that same unconditional love that I am to love Him and my neighbors with. To honor her - which is to cherish her. I know Lord - I am.

This morning at the desk in the Hotel, I found this little card that I wanted to share. It was a little prayer - which was both sweet and unusual:
“To Our Guests – In ancient times, there was a prayer for “the stranger within our gates.” Because this hotel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money-making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and hotel be your second home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be as comfortable and happy as if you were in your own home.

May the business that brought you our way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From birth till death we travel between eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those who know and love you best.”
That last part really hit me. I am a traveler. I journey for the Lord and I go where He sends me and stays where He wants me to stay. Currently - that is with my parents. So I will spend my time there as I have been. Praying and interssessing for those around me. Studying God's Word and practicing the guitar and waiting for the plan the Lord has for me.

and loving and honoring my parents. I love you mom.

Blessings in Christ!
Linda