Friday, July 29, 2011
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
Thursday, July 28, 2011
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
P.S. Here is a great video!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
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
Saturday, July 23, 2011
(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
Thursday, July 21, 2011
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
Monday, July 18, 2011
I can’t move my arm. I’m having some kind of charley horse/muscle spasm going on in my shoulder. I can hardly lift it without shooting pain.
Whenever I get weird aches and pains I try to see the parable in it. Arm. Right Arm. Arm of the Flesh. Arm of the Flesh is…
Right. Got it.
When I was in the Way International, we all spoke in tongues. We all interpreted and we all prophesied. Someone would call on you to speak in tongues and interpret and you would speak in tongues and then give the interpretation. If they called on you to give a prophecy then you would give a prophecy which was basically an interpretation without the tongue. Always for edification and comfort of the body. It was done by two and at the most by three, in order and the spirits of the prophets were subject to the prophets. It was all very decent and in order.
That is how I learned it. One big thing was the not speaking in tongues without the interpretation in the assembly. That was a BIG NO-NO! Then it could be counterfeit – witchcraft spirits or tribal spirits or all sorts of demonic things could be opened up to by that one act of speaking in tongues without the interpretation. It was a really strong pet doctrine of mine. A stronghold if you will.
A stronghold is a seemingly impenetrable fortress, in our minds. It is usually caused by a doctrine that may even seem biblical or unquestionable yet can actually hinder the movement of the spirit of God in our lives.
So I told my aunt how upset I was by the prayer meeting on Friday night and especially the speaking in tongues without interpretation. I told her about how I learned it. She said, “That is true, but this other way is also valid. It is praying in tongues and it is just as valid as the other one.” She took me to the verses in Acts where people who got born again spoke in tongues without interpretation. I said, “what about the businesses, businesses, businesses part the Lord wouldn’t start with businesses!” She said, “He was just praying in tongues and then was saying out loud the things he was praying in tongues for specifically – like the local businesses.” Oh, I thought.
So I brought up every problem I had including the fact that there can be counterfeit tongues if there is no interpretation. She said, “That is true, there is counterfeits out there, but that is where you have to trust in the Lord. You are covered by the blood of Jesus and you also know better. Nothing demonic can get on you unless you allow it. There are some people that just follow every crazy thing with no discernment. We don’t want to be at the place where we are unteachable. Maybe this is why the Lord brought you here.”
Unteachable. Ouch. Good one auntie.
That night I lay in bed, struggling to get comfortable when every time I moved my arm the pain would wake me up. I thought about being unteachable and also what it would take for me to pray in tongues in a group of people. What would it take for me to put away the doctrine and look at this praying in tongues in a new way. A very wise woman I know told me recently that the Lord was taking me deeper in my faith walk. I realized that in order to break this stronghold, I would truly have to trust the Lord more fully.
The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. That is true, but if I am holding so tightly to the manifestation of speaking in tongues, if I am in so tight in control, then the Holy Spirit manifestations cannot be spontaneous, cannot be inspired and to “flow” as one pastor put it. The trust is that I can let go enough to let the Father move in me in that way, but trust that He alone will protect me from anything that is not of Him. Almost like those trust games where you are going to fall flat backwards and someone is going to catch you. You truly have to trust that person is not going to let you fall.
The cognitive dissonance of this has not quite settled in me yet concerning this. But maybe this IS why the Lord brought me here. Maybe I am not as screwed as I thought. I have more strongholds to battle here than I once thought, but that is good. Maybe this one doctrine has prevented me from seeing true moves of the Spirit.
It’s a walk my friends, and I’m going to fall here and there. Probably more frequently than I care to admit. My life is an open book here and you can reject me if you need to. I understand. How can the Lord fully open my eyes, if I am not first blind?
Please pray for me. Pray that these strongholds in the imagination of my mind can be pulled down, so that I can see clearly. Thanks for sticking with me.
Blessings in Christ
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
So yeah, I had a bad day yesterday. It didn’t start out that way.
First thing in the morning, my aunt found out that she got the financing for the beautiful mobile home that we had looked at. We went over to talk to the mobile home park manager. To me, there seemed like a lot of rules and regulations. It was a senior park so no babysitting the grandkids of course, but there were a lot of other rules that I thought were nonsense. I thought, why leave one nazi regime (apartment living) just to join up with another nazi regime (this place). But that is just me.
So my aunt was telling the lady how I had moved out from Oregon to help her move and that I am going to be staying with her while I looked for a job and an apartment. “Oh no!” the lady said, “she cannot stay with you, she is not a senior.” The woman went on to say that they had strict rules against that because some seniors wanted their grandchildren to stay with them while they went to college etc, and they just don’t allow it. My aunt didn’t like that, but she didn’t say anything more to the lady about it.
We did not get a chance to talk about it more until later that night. In the meantime she gave her 30 day notice at her apartment. So now I understood that I had only 30 days before I would need a different living situation, and not at least a couple months like I originally thought to look for a job and a housing situation. Now I know that the Lord is in control so please bear with my humanity for just a moment. So now with this idea that I couldn’t stay with my aunt like I originally thought, I was really looking forward to this prayer meeting we were going to. I thought maybe someone there would lay hands on me and prophecy over me with specific answers to my questions or at least some comfort and edification. I got answers all right, just not the kind I was expecting.
We got to the prayer meeting and things started out great. The prayer leader guy was reading the passages in Corinthians where it says that we are not to speak in tongues in the church without interpretation. I said Amen! But when he started the praying – what did he do but start speaking in tongues without interpreting. But it is actually much worse. Here is a sample of what he was praying, “(speaking in tongues, speaking in tongues) businesses! Businesses, businesses, businesses! (speaking in tongues, speaking in tongues) businesses~! Business men, businesses!”
I sat in my chair with my hands folded in my lap and my head bowed. I prayed. “O. My. God. Really Lord? Businesses?” Then the man went on in his prayer, “(speaking in tongues, speaking in tongues) Prisons! Prisons and Nursing Homes!”
(my friends I wish to insert here that – I wish that I was making this all up for your reading pleasure and entertainment – but this is the actual witness of events that I saw with my own eyes. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad, pathetic and scary)
I continued praying, “Really Lord? Prisons and Nursing Homes? What about prisons and nursing homes? This cannot be of you Lord.” At that point, all I wanted to do was get out of there. I prayed that they would not try to do any imparting or laying on of hands to me because it was all deception and not of the Holy Spirit. The guy called everyone down to the front for a big group hug, but I felt strongly that I didn’t want anyone touching me so I just said, “No thanks.” I know it probably sounds like I bring this stuff on myself, but here I was sitting out in the audience alone, saying, “Lord, is it just me? Why is everything so screwed up?”
Finally it was over and we could leave, but I had already established myself as the leper of the group. My aunt said to me, “It was the anointing! Did you feel it?” I couldn’t tell her that the only thing I felt was uncomfortable. Extremely uncomfortable.
Later in the car on the way home my aunt said, “For you we need to concentrate on the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the manifestation of speaking in tongues. “ I said, “I do speak in tongues. That guy read that verse about not speaking in tongues unless there is an interpreter and then he spoke in tongues without interpreting!” She said, “Oh no, one is the gift of tongues, the other is a personal prayer language – they are two different things.” I knew there was no arguing that twisting of scripture. That tradition nullifies the clear instruction of the scripture. I also knew then that I was totally screwed.
Now I do not blame my aunt. She just doesn’t see what is really going on. She truly does love the Lord and loves to pray. It is not her fault that she is deceived. Now I know the Lord is sovereign and I have been walking out in faith for the last several years and the Lord has ALWAYS gotten me out of whatever situation I was in. The Lord knows I am tied up on the railroad tracks and the train is coming. I know that supernaturally He will swoop in at the last minute and rescue me – but for the moment all I see is the train barreling down the track and hearing the train whistle blowing. All I want to do is scream. And scream and scream.
I know that someday I will look back on this time of my life and laugh.
So, just taking things one day at a time. The Lord knows the plans He has for me. Plans for Good and NOT Evil! I’ll let you know how that is going.
Blessings in Christ
Friday, July 15, 2011
It has now been a week that I have been in Casper. I was a little discouraged the first part of the week. I mistakenly thought that all my questions would be answered (as far as what the Lord's will for my life was here) instantaneously. I don't know what I was thinking, that the Lord would draw me a map or something? Well, the Lord doesn't work that way and I should know that by now.
But I do know some things at this point. My aunt needs to move within the next month or so. We have been looking at a couple of nice mobile homes in senior parks that she is looking into buying. I have more personal expenses here than I did at my parents house so I am beginning to feel I need to look for a job. So my aunt and I have sat together to pray in agreement that we are seeking the Lord's will in these areas and that the Lord will open doors for us - or shut them - and we will know what direction He wants us to go. I'm also thinking that I am going to need a car as well.
The Lord is truly amazing in that He knows our frame, that we are dust and can't see far off. He knows that we get impatient or discouraged and that is why He put so many promises in His Word for us to hold onto. I recently found a website that has some audios called Sigler Ministries. I scrolled down and saw one named Encouragement. I started to listen to it and the man on the audio starts out talking about Jeremiah 29:11! I said, Thanks Lord. I knew it was just the Lords way of reminding me that He is in control and has a plan for me. But that these things take time to set up.
I just keep reminding myself that trusting in the Lord means not being anxious or worried or impatient. But to rest in the knowledge that the Lord is sovereign and in control and will work out all things for good.
There is a strong Christian community here in Casper and my aunt is non-denominational and goes to several different churches as she feels led. Tonight we are going to this special prayer meeting at a church called Word of Faith Family Church but usually on Friday nights my aunts goes to another ministry that has musicians play and they minister to alot of homeless and street people that my aunt thinks may have some opportunities for me. We shall see. It is nice to be around strong Christians. My aunt has a strong suit in prayer and intercession and I feel already that I have learned so much from her about giving things to the Lord. She keeps reminding me that the Lord has me here for a season for a reason. I'm sure answers will be forthcoming.
Please join me in prayer for my aunt and her housing situation. Please pray for me to know about a job and a car. Thanks.
Blessings in Christ
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It is strange that my little comment that Jesus would save the Queen and Tony Blair yesterday actually upset some people. Why would that upset people? Is it because people believe the Queen and Tony Blair are high level Satanists?
“And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Cor 6:11
Many people who were once high level Satanists get born again and come to the knowledge of the truth. Wouldn’t we want to jump for joy at the prospect?
Is it because people believe they are Nephilim? I don’t know – they don’t LOOK like giants! Oh, maybe you believe that their blood is tainted with Nephilim blood like when the sons of God came unto the daughters of men and took them wives back in Genesis 6? Hhmmm, except who’s the sons of God now? US! We are the sons of God. Why would the sons of God in the Old Testament be evil angels but in the New Testament be us? Doesn’t make very much sense hermeneutically, since the Word interprets itself. So either the sons of God in Genesis 6 were men, or we are angels. You decide.
The lie that there are half-breeds among us tainted with demon blood is so ridiculous yet I believed in it too in my past. But that is why it is such a perfect trick of the devil. Once you establish a people as being less than human, you open the door for all sorts of atrocities. That is what they did with the slaves when this country was new. That is what Hitler did with the Jews during the Holocaust. That is what we do today in our battle against the rich oligarchs. Even these people that are supposed to be tainted with Nephilim blood believe it is true and so they are sold out to worshipping the devil with no hope of ever having a real relationship with the Father, or of understanding what Jesus accomplished on the cross for them. How very sad.
We put people into little boxes, into categories that we think define them and I have been just as guilty of this as anyone else. If we think that GENETICALLY a person is beyond saving, then we won’t bother praying for them and witnessing to them or GOD FORBID loving them!
Where does it stop? Why stop with the elite? What about Muslims or Mormons or anyone else that does not believe like “us?” What about the people in Guantanamo? They are deserving of torture according to many professed Christians, certainly Jesus didn’t die to save them as well? Why does the idea of Jesus dying to save all really bother so many people? It is because deep down, people worship their own selves and call it Christianity. If they think they are “saved” and everyone else is going to hell in a handbasket, then they can believe that they are special and better than anyone else.
The Pharisees knew the scriptures and yet with those same scriptures they justified killing the Savior. We are now the generation that calls hate love and separation unity. We hate homosexuals and muslims and say that we are good little Christians. Even the idea of really loving them and not condemning them is foreign to us when we Christians should be the ones who show the greatest amount of love to these people and teach others how to love. But alas, the love of many has waxed cold.
Pray for those elites – trapped in generational cycles of Satanism and abuse. They actually need our prayers more than anyone. Pray that as a whole Christianity will become more loving and abandon the spirit of Condemnation that now reigns in our modern churches. Pray to understand the love of God and how to love your neighbor - whoever that may be.
Blessings in Christ
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
A couple days before I left Oregon, I listened to a recent podcast from Chris White at Nowhere to Run website. He played a clip of a testimony from a man named Jon Courson. I'd never heard of Jon Courson or heard his testimony before but it really affected me. In the clip Jon was saying how the Lord had given him the verse Jeremiah 29:11 right at the time that his wife was killed in a car crash and how much that verse was something he was able to hold onto as he dealt with this horrendous situation. You can listen to Jon's full testimony here. I cried the whole way through listening to the clip but I never had a chance to get to listen to the whole testimony.
The Wednesday before I left I was able to get together with my youngest sister for a 'girl's night out.' We were waiting in the Dutch Bros drive thru so my sister could get a strawberry infused Red Bull and I was telling her this story about this guy and how the Lord had given him that verse right before his wife died etc. (there is much more to the story but you should listen to his testimony, I can't do the story justice, it should come from the source.) I couldn't even tell my sister the story without crying some more. Just that the man had to go through such hardships but the the Lord in his tender mercy gave that man just the verse he needed to see him through.
Toward the end of this recent bus trip I began to get discouraged. I'm sure I have the patience of a rock now but I was starting to stress out after 35 hours. All sorts of stupid thoughts were going through my mind. What if my cousins were mean to me like they were when we were kids? What if my aunt thought that I was a heretic if I believe that all men will be saved, even the Queen and Tony Blair? What if the pressure is more than I can handle and I have a nervous breakdown or become catatonic? What if they discover that I am just a big dork after all?
It was 12:30am when I called my aunt to come pick me up at the bus station. I desperately wanted a shower but I was so tired that I didn't think that I could lift up my hands in order to wash my hair. She showed me my room, gave me a hug and told me we would talk in the morning. "I'm glad you are here." she said as she showed me the bathroom. Right on her wall was hanging the verse Jeremiah 29:11. It was worded different than I had heard it in the teaching, but it was really what I needed to see at that particular moment:
"For 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." Jeremiah 29:11Thank you Lord for that.
The next morning I talked to my aunt and told her how much seeing that verse in her bathroom had meant to me. I also told her some of my concerns about the future. She said, "The Father has a plan for your life. You just need to be encouraged in the Lord because He knows the desires of your heart." Then she brought her portable CD player into my room and said I could use it anytime and that I could listen to any of her christian music CD's. It was amazing how comforting it was to listen to some music and remember all the good the Lord has done in my life and that He does have a future for me. And a hope.
(LOVE) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1 Cor 13:7)
Blessings in Christ
Monday, July 11, 2011
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28The Lord brings people into our lives for a reason. Sometimes He reveals the reasons to us – but most of the time He doesn’t. But whatever the reasons – revealed or not – nothing happens by accident.
So it was no accident that after an exhausting ride on the bus for 21 hours my phone rang. I had to dig through my backpack carry on in order to answer it.
It was Johnny.
I had actually been thinking about Johnny lately. Ever since my profound theological and spiritual paradigm shift, where it was revealed to me that all men would be saved through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Since I had met Johnny last summer and he committed the ultimate faux pas of grabbing me and kissing me like they do in the movies, I have prayed that the Lord would truly save him. I had told Johnny that I could not be friends with him because I really needed to focus on the things of the Lord, and I believed at the time that it was God’s will that I not be in contact with him. But even after that he still left messages on my voice mail and sent me text messages every month or so saying, “Come to Ontario. I miss you.”
So now that the scales had fallen off my eyes, I began to see people differently. There was a man on the bus ride with me who had tattoos on his face and a tattoo of a spider web on his hand. He was really nice. I actually talked to him a bit when we were stuck in the station for 13 hours. But what I had really noticed about him was his walk. It reminded me of the way that Johnny had walked. I wondered at the time if it was a gang walk or a prison walk, what was it about that walk? Something about it was this air of slow confidence that said, Yeah people, I’m here and you know it. Later he was sitting in the seat in front of me when we could finally head out again. A boy got on at the next stop and sat with him and I overheard the boy ask him where he was headed. “Hell if I don’t change my ways.” He answered matter of factly. I’m pretty sure he had answered that question the same way many times before.
I was still praying for Johnny every day, but now I began to ask the Lord – what about Johnny Lord? Why is he still calling me? Why did we meet? Why do I still think about him? My newfound understanding that Love conquers all and that we are to love people no matter who they are – because Jesus died for them as well – was making me question the legalistic way I had judged Johnny before. The Lord began to show me that here was Johnny: Grew up in the gangs of Southern Oregon, was in trouble all his life, tried to commit suicide by running over a cop with his car thinking the cop would shoot him, but it didn’t work out that way. Did 6 years in prison for that, was released from that prison just to be trapped in the bigger prison of Ontario Oregon, the middle of nowhere with nothing to do. He was seeking the Lord the only way he knew how – going from church to church and talking to the pastors telling them that he was trying to straighten out his life and know the Lord.
I always knew that the reason that I went to Ontario on that amazing trip last summer was to meet Johnny and to pray for him. At the time I thought, who is going to pray for Johnny if I don’t pray for him? But now the Lord began to tell me that it was ok for me to talk to Johnny and befriend him because he is a baby Christian that really needs some encouragement right now. Of course, I made sure to tell the Lord that I would need a confirmation that it was really from Him. I hadn’t heard from Johnny since April, so I told the Lord that if was really His will that it was okay for me to be friends with Johnny now, that the Lord would have Johnny call me again.
So now here he was, on the other end of the line. I told him I was going to Wyoming to help my aunt move and possibly help my 93 year old grandparents. I asked how he was doing and he said, “so it’s ok for us to be friends now?” I said, “yeah, I think so” So I got his address and told him I would write him a letter from Wyoming. He was pretty happy when we got off the phone.
I told this story to my aunt (who is an amazingly strong Christian and I have more to say about her in a later post.) She immediately felt led to put Johnny on our prayer list that we can pray for him that a man with the spirit of truth within him would find Johnny and be a mentor for him and disciple him. She told me, “Everything happens for a reason and there are no accidents with the Lord. It is good that you are here in Wyoming for a season, so you can be a friend but you are too far away to jump in a car and go down and see him. The Lord has a work in Johnny, just as He also has a work in you. Let’s just continue to pray for him.”
Now I am beginning to understand that the Lord didn’t want me talking to Johnny when I was so legalistic. He didn’t want me getting any of my legalism on Johnny and contaminating him, he’s had enough hardship in his life without that. So now I can encourage him in the Lord and see what happens with that day by day.
Pray for Johnny my friends.
Blessings in Christ,
Saturday, July 9, 2011
27 and a half hours on a bus with
55 other people
3 separate roadsigns with the words "crossroads" on it
2 medical emergencies from fellow passengers
13 hours waiting in the station for connecting bus
1 amazing Lord and Savior who was with me through it all and made sure I arrived safely in Casper -
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I am filled with excitement! Today I am doing up the last of my laundry and packing. I really wish I had that Mary Poppins bag that I was talking about since I may not be able to shut my suitcase when everything is said and done. Maybe I will have to cut some more stuff at the last minute. But it's all good.
Tomorrow my dad is taking me to the bus station around 9am and the bus leaves at 10am. I am taking my computer because the website says that they have wifi and plug ins for your computer on the bus. But you never know. I will touch base from the bus if I can, but if not, I will post when I can. Not sure what my internet access will be once I get into Wyoming. Please pray for me while I travel.
I talked to my aunt this morning who said that on Saturday my one cousin is getting baptized and they are having a BBQ after that we will go to. Cool, more BBQ's! My personal goal is to lose 80 pounds while I am in Wyoming - but even that is ordered by the Lord so I will leave it in His hands and keep working on that lifestyle change, one day at a time.
Love you all and we'll talk again soon!
Blessings in Christ
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
It was a busy weekend. My son’s friend from Idyllwild who is now living with his grandpa in Coos Bay came up to spend the weekend at my parents while my son was down. He did that last year when my son was here and we were joking about making it an annual thing. He is a good kid and he and my son and I all went down to Saturday market in downtown Portland. We also went to see the movie “Green Lantern.” Then we had a BBQ (again!) at my folks and my sisters and their families came over.
Sunday, my dad and I decided to follow my son back to Spokane since the van was not running 100%. It was overheating and my son concluded that it probably needs to have the radiator replaced, which was not going to happen this 4th of July weekend. So we were stuck driving no faster than 55 miles an hour and stopping every 30 miles to let the van cool down before continuing on.
During times that we were stopped my son would get frustrated. I would pray and sought the Lord about the situation as I usually do during times of stress (and non-stress!) The answer was, “sometimes the trial is not yours.” That made sense. The trial was clearly my son’s because I had brought a book and my embroidery and so felt that I was ok no matter if we were moving or not. So I prayed for the van and my son as we traveled. Remembering once again that the Father and Creator of the Universe is in complete control of my life, made me relax and enjoy the ride – no matter how long it was going to take.
We made it to Pasco when we decided to stop for the night. The next morning we headed out early while it was still cold outside and the van made it the rest of the way to Spokane without overheating. Then my dad and I turned around and headed back down and were home again by early afternoon.
Today my mom is treating me to a pedicure and then I will have my last day at work. My boss has been a good friend and it has been nice to be her personal assistant. I will miss her. She was funny and said that I was like Mary Poppins, my work here is done now I just open my umbrella and float off to Wyoming, to where the need is. I said, yeah, I wish I had a suitcase that I could stick an entire coat rack into!
So my van is taken care of, my car insurance cancelled and my job over. Tonight we are going out for sushi one last time. I’m sure they have sushi in Wyoming but it won’t be Sushi Hana sushi which may possibly be the world’s best sushi outside of Japan. No sushi I have had compares to Sushi Hana. I will miss it! Tomorrow I will wash all my bedding and clothes and then pack.
I have been praying that the Lord softens the road for me in Wyoming and been praying for open doors to love people and tell them the REAL GOOD NEWS. My wise friend Alicia said in a comment on her blog, “Wyoming could also be a place of ‘rest’. He does give us some resting periods – there will always be challenges wherever we are, but sometimes some of them are less than what we previously experienced, or sometimes worse – only HE knows what we NEED to accomplish what it is He wants to accomplish in us.” I have been thinking of that comment during stress moments the last couple days and saying to myself, “maybe that was a prophecy!” The idea has definitely given me comfort many times over the last week or so.
Rest. I like that idea. I still remember Micah 2:10 that I really felt the Lord gave me when I was to leave last summer. I still think it applies to my life today. “Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it will destroy you, even with a sore destruction.” This is not my rest. So maybe I will find rest in Wyoming. I hope so. Maybe the kind of rest that Naomi said to Ruth, “shall I find rest for you?” We shall see. Ironically the latest podcast from Voddie Baucham is on Ruth. You can listen to it here. I also read a great post from Stacey Robbins at Free Believers Network.
I’ll check in tomorrow before I take off. Rest in the Lord today my friends. He is in control.
Blessings in Christ
Friday, July 1, 2011
The Lord is so amazing the way He reveals Himself to us. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little. When we begin to see and understand the concept of Christ being formed IN us, then our eyes are REALLY open to begin to be able to see Christ being formed in others as well. Before we ever got born again, while we were YET SINNERS, Christ died for us. That is, Christ died for every single person on this planet, even if they don’t know it yet. Even if they are worshipping idols or thinking of themselves as atheists or buddhists or mormons or muslim or whatever. Ten lepers were healed, but only one turned back to thank Jesus. Only one leper recognized the SOURCE of his healing.
That is why, we as Christians – who understand what it is like to have a relationship with the Father and who understand that the Kingdom of God is within us – have to love those around us who do not yet know our Father and His amazing plan of redemption for the whole world through the finished work of Christ. We are to be ready with an answer for anyone who asks of the hope that is in us, that is – Christ IN YOU the HOPE of Glory!
What is more, when we decide that we will no longer judge people or be critical of them in any way, or expect that they need to agree with us on every point of doctrine - but ONLY LOVE THEM – then we begin to really SEE the Christ in THEM even if they are not a professing Christian. Being critical or judging others not only brings criticism and judgment on ourselves, but keeps us blind from seeing the “Christ in you” in those around us.
I saw Christ in my friend that I stayed with in Spokane, even though she is not a Christian. She has so much love for people and one of the reasons we are still friends after all these years is because every couple years she has called me to see how I am. She never says anything bad about anyone, and was such a wonderful hostess.
Last week her and several other people went to go see the band KISS in concert and she had posted a bunch of pictures on her facebook page of them all making the rocker hand sign and wearing KISS like make-up. The old religious holier than thou me would have maybe decided not to go visit her because of those pictures and I would have missed such a wonderful time and I would have missed a wonderful loving friend. I told her that I really believed the Lord arranged this opportunity for me to see her and she listened when I talked about the Lord and was very glad and thankful when I told her I would pray for her sick brother.
I felt this visit was also a preview of what things may be like in Wyoming. Meeting people and loving them and sharing the Lord and maybe jamming with them as well! There is no need for the “hard sell” or closing the deal as in religion’s idea of evangelism. We plant and we water – but ONLY God gives the increase. Either HE draws them now, or HE draws them later – but we don’t save anyone, only the Father through Jesus Christ saves people – and whether or not they are “saved” is not the most important thing. Making sure they are LOVED is.
My son is here and the battery on my van was dead. He got a new battery and it fired right up and will most likely be able to be driven back to Spokane. But we know and recognize that the Lord also ordered all these circumstances to His Glory and for His plan. There had been no-one to look at the van here to say what was wrong with it but if everything hadn’t happened the way they happened, I would not have been able to see my friend in Spokane and share the Lord with her, or see my son before I move to Wyoming or have been able to let go of the van in order to travel that much lighter. My Heavenly Father is so very amazing that I just want to cry in utter AWE at His tenderness and mercy and detail oriented care over all the details of my life.
Love people today, my friends. Show them the love of Christ and look for the Christ in them as you live your lives.
Blessings in Christ,