Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wish you were here...



I am sitting on the couch in my pajamas in my parents living room. It is almost like my life in Wyoming was just a dream I had last night. No matter how much time I am away - it always feels like home when I come here.

I flew into Portland International Airport early morning Saturday and my father picked me up at the airport. It was raining - which made me laugh. Some things can always be counted on.

Saturday was spent shopping with my sisters and of course: Sushi.







Yum! Oh yes - now that is how sushi is supposed to taste. After this we went to Washington Square mall. We got a lot of shopping done but boy was there a TON of people there - I thing the correct word was THRONG! I can't remember the last time I saw so many people. We had a good time.

This morning my father found a monster crossword puzzle but we think that if we work together we can fill it all in. Just like old times.


Already the time is flying by. The trip will be over before I know it. I will savor the moment.

Lots of love my friends!
Linda

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Macaroni Jesus


I try to be all things to all men. I tend to fail miserably in that endeavor quite often. I think that if beer had been around in Jesus’ day he would have been a beer drinker. Jesus was not pretentious – and wine was the only thing to drink in those days. But I can just imagine that he would have been drinking beer with all those publicans and such.  

I went out for a beer recently with a girl from work that I really like. She is an RN and originally from Canada, and I know that she is not a Christian. It’s not that she is an atheist or anything like that. She just doesn’t know anything about God. She told me that her family growing up never went to church, never prayed or anything. She said that the only thing she remembers from her childhood about God was when a friend invited her to vacation bible school and they glued pieces of macaroni onto construction paper in the form of Jesus’ face. That was the closest thing she had to a religious education. The only other experience she had was when her son wanted to start going to church and his friend’s mom called my friend to berate her on her lack of spiritual direction for her son. I can’t remember the exact words the woman used but I was horrified when I heard it. It was hateful. My friend told the woman that her son could make up his own mind, but it certainly did not grow any desire to know God in my friend. Why would it – when God is then portrayed as this angry hateful kid’s mom. 

Phillip said to Jesus, “Show us the father.” Jesus answered and said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father”. John 14. As sons of God we are the only way people can see the Father. I want people to know and understand the truth – but it is not up to me. I can plant or I can water but only God can give the increase. There are those that have no love of the truth – first they will trample on it and then they will turn and rend you. I read an amazing blog post lately that really put my mind at ease in this category:


The Lord will draw all men to himself and will save all – each in his own order – and it has nothing to do with me – the Lord will accomplish it in His timing and not a second before that.
Here is another blog post that I really enjoyed:

 
Lots of love my friends!
Linda


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Man Without Minutes

I have to say - the whole dating game can be so disappointing. I met a guy that I really liked and we talked for four hours on Friday night and everything seemed great with tentative plans to get together with our bibles and his agnostic friend and find out once and for all if there is a Hell or not. Then, he blew me off and did not return my emails - which was so very brother in Christ of him. So when I realized that I had been blown off - I was having a conversation with the Lord. Why have the guy call me in the first place Lord? What was the point of that - so I can once again experience rejection? How long Lord, before the right guy comes along?

Of course, I was having this conversation with the Lord at my desk at work and the "getting my hopes up once again just to have them come crashing down hard" was sort of spilling out with tears of frustration. A girl I work with caught me crying at my desk and asked me what was wrong.

"Nothing" I said, quickly trying to erase the evidence with a kleenix.

"Liar! tell me!" she said as she stood at my desk.

I told her about talking to this guy and how I thought it was a great conversation and I liked him for a while before he called me and now he was blowing me off and that it actually hurt and how if he hadn't called me in the first place I would have been fine. "I mean - I thought we had this great conversation. It was four hours! He ran out of minutes twice."

"see Linda," she said, "There is your problem. There are plenty of men out there - good men - who never run out of minutes."

I laughed. It was so what I needed to hear at that moment. She gave me a hug and went on her way. A man without minutes - yes that is what I need!

Lots of love my friends!
Linda

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful


I have a lot of things going on in my life right now that I am thankful for, but nothing I can really blog about. As with all of life, I have good things going on and bad things going on and a good day is when the good things outweigh the bad. But I also understand to be thankful for the bad and the trials in life because that is where we grow. I am making new friends and fairly content with where my life is – and those things that I am tempted not to be content with – I give to the Lord and pray that he will make me content. Thanksgiving is this week and I will be spending it here with my aunt and cousins and then I will be going to Oregon for the week of Christmas. I am looking forward to seeing my family but especially eating some decent sushi because I’ll tell you – the sushi sucks here in Casper Wyoming. Yet, maybe even that is a good thing since it would be that much harder to diet if I had decent sushi available. I’ve lost 23 pounds so far and looking forward to getting down to my goal weight, although I’m giving myself a little bit of a break through the holidays.
May the Lord bless you through the holidays!
Love in Christ
Linda

Monday, October 29, 2012

Doug


My next door neighbor's name is Doug. The house he lives in actually belongs to his sister and he is basically the caretaker. Johnny and Doug became fast friends while Johnny was here and they drove around in my van. A lot of people think that Doug is black - but he's not - he just has a really dark tan from working outside all the time. Doug is a major alcoholic and one day when I came home from work for lunch - I found him passed out on his front lawn. I tried to get him to get up and get out of the sun but he wouldn't. I ended up calling 911 because I was concerned he was going to get sunstroke. I don't think he has really forgiven me for that.

On Sunday when I came home from the store he said that he had something for me. I waited as he went back inside to get it. He came out with a jar filled with mystery contents. I asked if it was spaghetti sauce but he said that it was chili. He said that he made too much but that he used vegetable juice instead of tomato juice in his recipe and that it was a little tangy. I thanked him for thinking of me and went inside. I'm on a diet so I can't really eat chili and I was trying to think who I could give this chili to.

Today when I came home from work I found a note on my front door. It said:

"Linda,
Don't eat the chili - I've been up sick all night
                                  Doug"

that was really sweet.

Lots of love
Linda

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The accuser


It's been an incredibly difficult couple of weeks. I have been accused of several things at my job that just aren't true, like making too many personal phone calls and other non-provable lies. Luckily my one boss that really loves me and appreciates me knows they are all lies. I've had a series of attacks happen, not only in the personal realm, but it seems like attacks are coming from every side. I had a problem with the ATM at work, it wouldn't give me any money but then it took the money out of my account so I had to call the bank and fill out a bunch of paperwork for them to investigate. Friday was the culmination of two weeks worth of ever increasing shit and I told the girl that I share an office with that I felt I was on the verge of a nervous break-down since I didn't believe I could continue to remain calm in the midst of all I had to deal with.

I went into the bathroom to re-group and pray. Lord, really? Is it just going to keep getting worse and worse? When will I reap the good things if I faint not, because I really want to faint. But I don't faint. I keep going. I trust. I trust the Lord is going to really deliver on the promises He has promised me.

I'm walking home and on the way home I find this little charm. It just says Believe. I guess that bottom line - trust is believing that what the Lord has promised - He is able to deliver. Sometimes I just say, "Lord, thy will be done." and call it good.

I am so lonely and tired. I'm tired of always being accused and tired of always being alone. I have some people who read this blog because they love me and some people who read this blog are just looking for something in order to accuse me and condemn me. Oh yeah - you know who you are. Do you really think your accusations of me are from the Lord? Maybe you should do a check-up from the neck up.

Yet, my job is giving me the perfect opportunity to face my accusers. To know that what they are accusing me of is false. I have had to stand up for what the Lord has shown me and stand up for what I know is right and have had to lose many friends and relatives along the way. And I'd do it all again if I had to. I would rather do what the Lord wants and have everyone in this world hate me than to compromise one principle or one truth.

Tomorrow is Monday. The start of another week and frankly, I really wish I did not have to go and deal with more accusations and more stress. But this is where the Lord has placed me to learn the lessons He wants me to learn and to wait for the promises He has made for me. He will give me the strength to face the day.

Lots of Love

Linda


Sunday, October 21, 2012

silence


And then he was gone.

It is the first time I have had the house to myself in two months. I wrote in my journal for the first time since August 28. I got on my hands and knees and scrubbed the kitchen floor. I worked on my homework while I listened to the Martin Zender/Dan Sheridan show. I made my lunch and ate it and made my lunch to take to work tomorrow. I made the bed in the bedroom and made the bed again in the living room. I've grown accustomed to it being there and I don't yet have the heart to take it down. I swept. I dusted. I vacuumed. (okay I may have lied about dusting.) I washed the dishes and then watched as the water swirled down the drain. I forgot a pan so I filled the sink again and washed it. I took a nap all curled up with my hoodie on. I cried a little.

But I know it was the right thing to do. There is more to the story than I am posting - there always is. But I know the Lord is in the little details as well as the big ones and He is in control of my life. I am reminded of the verse the Lord gave me when I first came to Wyoming. Jer 29:11:

"For I know the plans I have for you. Plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

There is a card tacked up on my wall that says "Our God is a God of hope and we know that nothing is impossible to Him."

Thank you Lord.

lots of love
Linda

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Moment of clarity


I love Johnny.

I really, really do.

It started as a realization in the back of my mind. A shade of reality that I knew I did not want to face. We didn’t even have any kind of fight really. Just;

A moment of clarity.

Johnny was not going to fit into my life. 

Maybe I knew it from the moment he got off the bus. Maybe I’ve always known it. You can take the boy out of prison, but you can’t always take the prison out of the boy. The way he stands, walks and talks all scream hard time. He would always be an ex-con, a felon, and it would prevent him from truly being successful in life. He really has turned his life around and has vowed that he will never again get in trouble like that. But no-one would ever be able to accept him in my life. They would always be asking why I was with him. I haven’t even told my aunt or my cousins that he is here in town because they would raise all kinds of fuss. I talked to Johnny about the idea of him getting dressed up and going to my work Christmas party at the Country club, with the CEO and all my bosses – and he knew that it would not be a place he wanted to go. Awkwardness personified. 

He came into the living room and asked if we could talk. I said sure and he sat down next to me and held my hand. “Maybe I should go back home.” He wasn’t being an asshole, he was being honest. I loved him even more at that moment, for his maturity in knowing what I knew. That we were not right for each other. I started to cry. Partly because I knew we were breaking up for the last time and partly because I knew that once again I would be waiting for someone that may never come. That I would be alone again. My head was making this decision but my heart wanted Johnny, even more for the kind way he was handling all this.

There was a time when I would have followed my heart. I would have MADE it work. I wouldn’t have cared what anyone thought or what red flags may be around. The more Johnny and I discussed this and the more we shared our feelings with each other, the more we both knew the truth. I would not be able to fit in his life either. It would be wrong for me to quit my job and leave my little house and furniture behind and move to the armpit of Oregon to work at the onion-packing plant. We would always be struggling for money. His children would hate me, but I could try hard to make them like me and try to make a life.

No. Oh my God. No. 

It was decided that when I got paid in a couple days, I would buy him a ticket home. He offered to keep working at labor ready until he saved up enough, but there was no point in waiting. It was going to be hard enough to wait a week, and if we waited too long – maybe our resolve and maturity would crumble and we would be unable to go through with it. No. It was better to do it sooner rather than later. 

I gave him the Johnny quilt. Even though I love that quilt and it is warm and beautiful and I will miss it. It is right for him to have it. We talked about how glad we were that he came out here, how the Lord was giving us some much needed closure. Because a part of him would always be wondering if there was a life out there for him in Wyoming and a part of me would always be waiting for him to show up on my front porch step. 

Now we know, and our relationship is healed. We will always be friends and I will answer his texts and phone calls to see how he is doing. It is going to be okay.

Lots of love

Linda

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Knight in Shining Armor Test


As in the nature of tests, I can’t tell you what the REAL Knight in Shining Armor Test is without compromising the test itself. So I’ll just say that there is a knight in shining armor test and only I and the Lord and my cousin Wendy know what it is.

As we pulled up in front of my house, the next door neighbor shouted to us that the brake light on the van was out. Johnny told me that we should take care of that tonight. I said, “I can’t get it fixed right now, I don’t have the money” thinking I would need to take it to the shop. 

Johnny said, “It only costs a dollar for the bulb – I can get it.” 

I stopped and looked at him. “Oh! You mean you are going to fix it?” I mean, you aren’t going to tell me to Google it or call triple AAA or God-forbid how to fix it myself?

“Sure!” Johnny laughed, “It will only take a moment.”

As a woman that has always had to do it all myself it was such a relief. “Thanks!” I said. 

He walked around my apartment – making assessments. “There is a light bulb out in the bathroom and the bedroom.” I knew about them I just hadn’t gotten around to taking care of them. “I will fix them tomorrow” He said. He even showed me that my porch light was half way filled up with dead bugs. “Ewww!” I said, “I have never even looked over there!” He added cleaning that out to the list. 

We spent all of Saturday running errands. We went to the Laundromat and the grocery store and he insisted on carrying in all the groceries and the laundry. I go grocery shopping and to the Laundromat every week by myself and its lonely. It was nice to have someone to go with.

He tells me that I am beautiful. Now. Not 80 pounds from now. He tells me I’m a good woman and he is lucky to have me. He puts his arms around me and I feel safe. I close my eyes and hope this moment never ends.

Till next time

Lots of love

Linda

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Walk of Faith

I called to make an appointment for Johnny and me to go check out the ministry place where I thought he would be living. We made an appointment to go meet the man at 4:30 the next day, but I was not very peaceful. Johnny did not grow up being taught about the Lord. In jail he came to know the Lord and when he got out he sought the Lord the only way he knew – go to all the churches in town and talk to the pastors about what they could do to help him walk the straight and narrow and know the Lord. 

I have seen the Holy Spirit work within Johnny and within our relationship. It was the Holy Spirit that told Johnny to turn his bike around all those years ago in Ontario and invite me to his church. It was the Holy Spirit that told me to run away when Johnny kissed me because the Lord was protecting Johnny from my extreme legalism. It was the Holy Spirit that told me to finally text back when after a year he was still texting “I’m sorry”, and it was the Holy Spirit that brought Johnny to Casper. 

Johnny knows the Lord the way he knows Him, and in so many ways – his trust in the Lord is like the faith of a child. Johnny knows he’s a man with a past and knows the Lord is looking out for him and has forgiven him and he prays every night. Should I take a man whose faith is like a child and shove him into a box-like Christianity where your spirituality is judged on how many hours you read your bible and how many bible verses you memorize? The Lord has not opened my eyes to the truths of all being saved and love covers a multitude of sins for no reason. Shall I take a man whose relationship with God is spiritually innocent, without a head full of bad theology and legalism and make him conform to the traditions of man? No. I think not. 

So I told Johnny I wasn’t peaceful. Even though before he came out here we agreed that he would go into this program – now I felt very strongly that this was not the place for Johnny. We were sitting in the van outside the house where the appointment was and I said, “We will go in and hear what it is all about but unless we are convinced otherwise – I’m not going to be a rag and force you to go, even though that is what we initially agreed.” Johnny grinned and said, “Ok, and I won’t be a rag and say I told you so.” 

We went into the meeting and I listening to the man talk about all the rules and regs and “we don’t watch TV, we listen to Christian music” and I knew again, that this was just not the place the Lord wanted Johnny. Not that there isn’t a reason and a spiritual purpose for places like that and they can do so much good – I just really knew that this was not the place for Johnny. So I asked the man if we could try some other options and if it didn’t work out that Johnny could come back at a later date, and the man said yes. We left feeling relieved but also knowing that if the situation changed, he could always do it later. 

So without a plan, we knew that it was time to once again trust the Lord to see where He would lead Johnny. One door is shut; it will be interesting to see what other doors the Lord will open.

Till next time

Lots of love

Linda



Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thief of Hearts



I waited at the bus stop with my van engine running. It was cold out and I laughed at the song on the radio – “should I stay or should I go now – if I go there will be trouble – if I stay it will be double”. I watched as he got off the bus and walked towards my van. He’s gotten older, and maybe a little heavier. It is amazing the difference a few years can make. He is only a couple years older than I am but he wears his hard life like a thick winter jacket and it shows in the deep lines on his face. Wow, this is the man who has been whispering in my ear the last 2 years. 

Johnny. 

It had been a long time since Johnny had called. Usually he calls every three months like clockwork, although I almost never take his call. Get over me already I would think as I would ignore his text. July came and went. I thought at that time that maybe Johnny would have just shown up on my porch, but he didn’t. Oh well, I thought, he will never come to Wyoming. At the end of September I thought to myself, well it’s been over 5 months – maybe I won’t hear from Johnny any more. I may have felt a little sad about it. 

Now here he was, sitting in my van – the SAME van from before, when we first met. He had called me Saturday morning to ask if he could come to Wyoming, like he needed my permission to come to my state. He asked if we could start over. I still didn’t believe he would come out here – but he told me he would be on the bus Monday. Monday afternoon he sent me a text: “I am on the bus – I’m coming out for real” Later he sent another text:, “122 miles – God is bringing us back together again”.

Yeah, because God has always been involved with Johnny and I. He introduced us after all. Now, after everything that has happened, here he was again, like nothing had changed, but everything had changed. We were not the same people we were before. We were more grown up, wiser and life had kicked the crap out of us a little bit more. 

I made him no promises, but that we could start over being friends. The Lord always covers all the bases when He deals with me so it was again ironic that this annoying girl squatting in my living-room made it easy for me to tell Johnny that he couldn’t stay with me. There is a local ministry in town that takes in men in transition and I know the pastor. I called over there and they currently have room for 5 extra men so they have plenty of room for Johnny. Johnny agreed to move in there to get his foot in the door.
What’s that saying? What a difference a day makes? I guess we shall see…

Lots of Love

Linda

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Qatar



On Monday my son turned 22. He was travelling to the other side of the world. He is in the Air Force and made Senior Airman rank early. He is a natural in the military – just like his father. He was deployed to Qatar.
I hadn’t heard from him so I tried calling his cellphone. I left a message but I felt I needed to have some urgency. Finally I left him a message on his Facebook page to contact me. Moms worry – it’s what we do.
Today I got an email from him that he is 8 hours ahead and doesn’t know yet what his address will be. Ironically he is on Skype – so I guess it is time for me to buy that new computer so I can talk to my son.
I know the Lord is protecting him and that is a good thing. Pray for his safety.
Lots of love
Linda

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Worse Things



Once again, I have gotten myself into a pickle in the name of goodwill. An acquaintance from the singles ministry got kicked out of school and had to move out of her dorm. She was going to be moving to Douglas (45 minutes away) but working here in Casper so I told her that she could stay at my house one or two nights a week while she was working. I set up a cute little bed area in the living room. I was actually looking forward to coming home and visiting a friend.

It was nice the first couple days, but then it began to dawn on me that instead of this girl staying one or two nights a week she had moved in completely. Every day my living-room looked like a cyclone had hit and every day she brought in a new box of her stuff. When she finally was going to go to Douglas, I told her that she needed to take all her stuff with her because I did not have the room to store it.

Then two awful things happened. The woman she was supposed to move in with in Douglas changed her mind and decided that she could not move in with her, and then this girl broke her foot. So now I was officially stuck with her. At first I really felt bad that she broke her foot and couldn’t drive or look for a job or another place to live, but when I come home from a stressful day at work, I have to first pick up the mess she has made before I could relax in my own house.

I realized that God really does have a sense of irony when He deals with me. Summer is over and it will soon be winter and I have been lamenting for months how I “hate coming home to an empty house.” Well, thank you Lord! I now understand that there are WORSE THINGS than coming home to an empty house.

Pray the Lord finds her an elsewhere to go so that I can have my little sanctuary back. In the meantime – I wrestle daily with my desire to scream at her to get the blankety blank out and my desire to seek the Lord to see if it is His will that she be there for a season. Not to mention that I feel like I just want to kick her out and leave the singles ministry altogether. Not quite sure anymore why I am involved now that everything has turned to crap. Before this happened I was hanging out with everyone, helping her move and thinking – this is just like a family (all warm and cozy). Now I think – yeah, this is just like a family – a dysfunctional one where once again I’m deceived and used and kicking myself for having offered any help. You give an inch and they take a mile. I told her she had one month (which was far more than I wanted to; having been tricked the way I have), and there is still two weeks left. I’m not sure I will make it because it really sucks having her there.

I believe this is a test. One that I am flunking. Given to hospitality anyone? Does that include a near-perfect stranger taking over your house? Where does love fit in this – that is my daily battle.

Please pray for me.

Love in Christ

Linda

Monday, August 27, 2012

when it's quiet and i'm all alone....


I go to quilt websites!~ I am a sucker for a good quilt. Above is a picture of my latest quilt - I betcha thought I wasn't working on any, huh! Well, I really should work on this more than I am, but I pick it up here and there. This is just the topper of course, and the picture does not do the colors justice. It is black and white and deep purple and then it has this really beautiful fabric with little brown dots on it that I originally bought to make a shirt with my sister, but we never got around to it before I came out to Wyoming. If I time it right and really start working on it, I may be able to give it to my friend for her Christmas present. I really wanted a dark brown flannel for the back, but I may just end up piecing the back with fabric that I have.

Here are my favorite quilt websites:

Blue is bleu

Patchwork Pottery

Red Pepper Quilts

Crazy mom Quilts

Lots of love!
Linda

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Walking worthy


It's Sunday night and I can't get to sleep. That is usually God's way of telling me I need to get up and write this blog post. Had a rough week and not too happy with myself. Why I feel I need outside validation - I just don't understand, and just when I start to feel ok with my life, I do something that reminds me why I hate myself and why I always seem to burn the bridges in my life. On the other hand, I prefer black and white. Gray areas mess with my head far too much.

Next week should be brutal at work and my class takes up more time than I thought it would. I am learning alot, but I was deeply considering going back to school next fall and get my Bachelor's degree. But this class is really teaching me that, I do not believe I can handle school at this time. I barely have the energy to get out of bed, let alone write essays on stem cell research and other subjects I have no desire to write about. So my pitch to my bosses and my plans to attend Franklin University in 2013 will just have to be taken off the table at this time. Unless something changes between now and then.

Which is good, really. If the Lord really wants me to go back to school, then it would happen, but I was just looking for direction and now I do not believe that going back to school is the direction the Lord wants me to go in.

So in seeking some sound direction for my life, I decided to really read what Paul has to say. I wanted to find out chronologically when Paul wrote the epistles and read them that way. It was strange that I could not hardly find two websites that agree with when the epistles were written. Some sites said that 1st and 2nd Thessalonians were the first to be written and some said that Galatians was written between 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. But most agreed that 1st Thessalonians was the first epistle that Paul wrote to the believers.

So I read the first two chapters of 1st Thessalonians this morning. There was some things that really stuck out to me. First off, Paul and Silvanus and Timothy were the local leadership writing this epistle to the church (the believers) in Thessalonica and the very first thing they say is, "Grace be unto you and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." The Grace and peace are FROM GOD to us. He is always bestowing grace and peace on us, even in the darkest of times. Then the leadership reminds the believers of three things that they (the believers) were doing, "your work of faith, and labor of love and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God our Father." Because those three things are the staple of the believers life - faith, hope and love (with the greatest being love.) I really think that I want to delve more deeply into each one because each one is so important in and of itself.

Then verse 4, "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God." Right off the bat, Paul is letting the believers know that they were chosen by God. Election is very important and not as a way to lord it over non-believers - but something to hold in high esteem and understand the great privilege it is, something to be thankful for and to aspire to.

They reminded the believers that when they worked among them, "how holily and justly and unblamably we behaved ourselves among you that believe." and I knew at that moment that I was not behaving holy or justly or definitely not unblameably. But the very next verse tells the believers what they needed to do, "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." Ah yes, that's the ticket.

It is not that we are under the law, touch not, taste not, handle not. It is that we choose to walk worthy of the HIGH CALLING of God! I know, maybe that seems so simple, because doctrinally it is simple, but practically not so much.

I am in a position recently, where I have a leadership role in the local 35+ singles ministry. A position that I truly believe is where the Lord is opening doors for me, and I'm not even getting the basics of walking holy, justly and certainly not unblameably. Not that I was looking to be a leader, but if the Lord wants me to be a leader, it needs to be the holy, just and unblameable kind of leader like a parent with their children. One thing I have learned, in life, in the military and even in the workplace, the best leaders, LEAD by example. I have to say, that I am definitely falling short of that.

I didn't go to Sioux Falls this weekend. It was really too far to drive, and I saved $500 or so by not going. But a part of me really wishes I could have gone. Oh well.
I'm finally feeling tired and I have to work in the morning. Hope you all are doing well.

Lots of love
Linda

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lazy Friday and a Post-Apocalyptic View

For the first time in months I am caught up with all my responsibilities at work. Above is the view outside my window as I have watched the demolition of the west wing in preparation of a new building. I felt like I was watching a live transformer movie of machines punching the walls and grabbing huge piles of metal in their mouths. It is amazing to watch such systematic destruction.

It has been a good summer. I have been super busy at work, but it is nice to have it finally calmed down a bit.

The girl who lived downstairs from me moved out in June. Thank God because she was awful and would scream obscenities at me through the vents in the bathroom whenever her apartment had no hot water or she was too hot or too cold. We are not on the same water heater so the fact that she was taking a cold shower had nothing to do with me. It was a relief that she was gone and the day after she moved out I put my lawn chairs on the back porch to claim the best spot for storm watching. Right in the nick of time, when someone that I would not want living below me began to be interested in the downstairs apartment, the apartment was rented to a man who works nights and is hardly ever home. God is so merciful to me.

I’m taking a medical terminology class starting Monday, so I will be busy with that as well. Tomorrow is orientation in the morning and then after that I will be going to Douglas, to the State Fair and watch the Rodeo with the single’s ministry and then on Sunday I am going to the Renaissance Fair with a friend. Next weekend I will be driving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to go to the scripture weekend even though it is a 9 hour drive. I’ve been watching the You-tube videos from the Sacramento conference and I feel I should go and hear these teachings before winter comes and there will be no more opportunities like this for a while.

Spiritually, the Lord is still teaching me and showing me things even though I don’t always understand it. I am thankful that I do not understand everything because back when I understood everything – I didn’t understand a thing. If you know what I mean.

Hope you all are doing well.

Lots of love

Linda

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sioux Falls, South Dakota



Here is the latest email I got from Martin Zender and Company:
August 12, 2012


Hello Everyone,

This has been an exciting summer, with more conferences than usual. We just returned from an amazing conference in Sacramento,complete with all the teaching, learning, fun, joking, and fellowship that typically happens when body-of-Christ believers gather in groups.
Here's a link to one of Martin's talks from last weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBRdIDFomTg

Here's a link to most of the speakers from the 2012 Sacramento Scripture Conference.

http://www.youtube.com/user/CharlesRut?feature=watch

The next conference is later this month:

What: First Annual Midwest Concordant Bible Conference
Where: Path to Life Fellowship and Outreach Hall
Location: 5209 W. 41st St. Sioux Falls, SD, 57110
Dates: Friday to Sunday, August 24-26, 2012
Speakers: Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr. and Martin Zender

Schedule:

Friday night: 7 p.m., Testimony night, Q&A with Clyde and Martin.
Saturday morning: 10:45 to Noon: Speakers Clyde and Martin.
Saturday afternoon: 1:30 to 5:00, both speakers and Q&A.
Saturday night: Bonfire and fellowship at Dan Baker's home.
Sunday morning: 10 a.m. to noon: Speakers Clyde and Martin.

Hotels nearby to the meeting hall:

Days Inn, 605-361-9240
Red Roof Inn, 605-361-1864

Other hotels:

http://hotelguides.com/south-dakota/sioux-falls-sd-empire-mall-hotels.html

If you are able to attend, please, contact Tom Sargent for more information, at 605-941-9150 or tsargemo@sio.midco.net.

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.

May God bless you!

Grace and peace,

Rebecca, Martin, and Kelly

I'm possibly going to this - although it is short notice for planning. Have not yet made up my mind - but I have the money and it sounds like another great time in God's word.

lots of love
Linda

Monday, August 6, 2012

Full Circle


Guess what? I got my old van back right here in Casper Wyoming. My son had it shipped out to me because he is getting ready to be deployed to Qatar and he wasn’t using it anyway – having two other vehicles. Amazing how the Lord preserved that for me. The other little car I had died recently so this is great timing.

Other than that, things are ok. My social life is picking up so I am not spending so many nights home alone. I’ve been helping with the single’s ministry at the local church and have met some great people. I’ve noticed the Lord protecting me from situations that I am not even aware of – until after I realize that if the Lord had not intervened it would have been much worse.

I sometimes think about Elijah and wonder what he did for those three years that he stayed at the widow’s house. Did he freak out and wonder what God had planned for him? Maybe people were much more patient back then.

I’m just working a lot of hours and having dinner with friends here and there and that is about it. I still miss the open road but there is a season for everything and I am still where the Lord has placed me, even if it doesn’t make for exciting blog posts.

Hope you all are doing grand.
Lots of love
Linda

Monday, July 23, 2012

when I was Spike


I'd like to introduce you to an old friend of mine. A friend from my past. Spike. Played by James Marsters back in my Buffy days.

I first found Buffy the Vampire Slayer during season 4. I was in an apartment that only got two channels. Channel 49 - WB at the time and Channel 13 - the sci-fi channel. I had two little kids at the time and not much of a life outside of work and child raising. I started watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer - when she was just starting to get involved with Riley. But Spike was there and even then you knew that there was a connection between the two - Spike and Buffy that is.

So when I got my first computer the first thing I did was go to Buffy the Vampire Slayer websites. It was a little naughty since I was still in the mind control cult of the Way International. There was nothing in the Christian circles I hung with that said it was ok to watch Buffy.

The first Buffy website that I came across had this thing where you could send a virtual postcard from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to whoever you wanted. I decided to send one to myself - from my old email address to my new one. By some bizarre twist of fate - the postcard I recieved was not from me - but was from a man named Andrew. Andrew and I began a Buffy based correspondence that would change my life.

It is strange how the Lord could use something as bizarre and far-away from Christianity as Buffy the Vampire Slayer to bring me closer to Him, - but that is not where I am going with this at this time.

I moved to Southern California - probably close to the real Hellmouth and had a relationship with Andrew. I can not even go into all the details that happened there, but at the time Andrew and I were like Spike and Buffy. I was Spike - because Spike loved Buffy even though she never really loved him back. But Spike was willing to take what he could get - little tiny crumbs of affection - even though he always knew that she would never love him back.

Fast forward to now. For years I never watched TV - being so legalistic. I got rid of all the seasons of Buffy I had on DVD to go out on the road for the Lord. The Lord is not without a sense of irony because now it is all coming back to me.

So here I am - rewatching all those old episodes of Buffy and especially the episode where everyone was singing. "Once more with feeling" is the name of the episode. But it brought to my memory how I was Spike. I remember how much I loved Andrew (buffy) and how much he didn't love me back.

I don't know what else to say. I'm not Spike anymore - but a part of me is tempted to be. To love someone that hard again and not have them love you back - to be willing to take crumbs from that person in the name of love. But as much as I can still see the Spike in me, I also know that to trust the Lord with my heart - means that somehow - someway - someone will love me back. It will not be like Spike - unrequited love.

I don't live on the Hellmouth anymore. I'm in Wyoming now. I will trust the Lord to accomplish the impossible,because He is the only one who can.

lots of love
Linda

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Spirit of Rejection – A Two-Handed Game


A dear friend of mine loves to quote from Eric Berne’s “Games People Play”in regards to the mind games that people play in life – the patterns of social interactions. Eric Berne uses the term two-handed game or three handed game in reference to how many people may be involved in each pattern of behavior. My friend is not a Christian, and although I believe that Eric Berne has some great insights into people’s behavior – he doesn’t understand the underlying spiritual basis for everything that happens in this life.

The spirit of rejection almost always begins its influence in childhood. Most of the time it could be that one or both parents rejects the child in either a real – or perceived way and the rejection manifests itself in the form of physical, emotional or verbal abuse and/or neglect. The child begins to believe that he/she is unloved and/or unlovable, and their sense of self-worth is deeply affected. The child then compensates by trying to “win” the affection and love of the parent(s).

The child will either turn to perfectionism – where they will endeavor to please the parent(s) by excelling in school, or sports, or other similar activities, or they will rebel concluding that their parents are somehow right about them – so why try to do anything but fail, or it will be a combination of the two. If unchecked, the child will carry these coping mechanisms into their adult life.

In adult relationships, where there is a spirit of rejection at work, this same child – will inadvertently seek out partners who have similar qualities to the parent(s) who rejected them. They will first seek out other adults who will reject them and then try to win their affections or “make the other person love them” through various means – including manipulation. The pain of rejection is made that much worse by the fact that the rejected party tends to believe their personal worth and value is wrapped up in the other person’s opinion of them. Thus rejection becomes a devastating experience.

Rejection is a two handed game because it involves two players: the rejecter and the rejected. We tend to sympathize with the rejected because everyone has experienced rejection to some degree in their life and we all know how much it hurts. But more often than not – the rejecter has also been influenced by a spirit of rejection. (This is not true of every case where someone breaks up with someone or otherwise “rejects” them. I am talking about toxic relationships that are part of a pattern of rejection – rejecting and being rejected) Just as the “rejected” tend to become involved in relationships where they will be rejected – the “rejecters” tend to be involved in relationships where they will reject the other.

So it is an ongoing game – because it continues in a circular manner.It is not that one outright rejects the other and it ends there. It is a process of rejection, getting closer, pushing away, getting closer, rejection, etc. That is why some people get in and stay in relationships with someone who has made it clear that they are unavailable either physically or emotionally. The rejected may feel they are in a relationship where the other person rejects them, but will not let them go either. The rejecter needs the rejected to stick around to be continuously rejected or the game would come to an end. The game continues because the pattern is so familiar and they are both unaware of the spiritual influence involved in these patterns. So the rejecter is just as much a victim as the rejected because they don’t know that there is a pattern of behavior – let alone be able to break it. Sometimes the one who is continuously rejected – becomes the rejecter – rejecting someone else before they get rejected once again. – It is a vicious cycle.

In the area of games, Eric Berne states that when one person begins to realize the game (especially as they become delivered from that spirit of rejection and God reveals the pattern to them and they begin to heal) the other person will play harder. Thus the player will go to greater lengths to get the other to get back into the game – or they will find someone else to play the game with, thus solidifying the rejection.

The real key to deliverance from a spirit of rejection is Love. Our God is a God of Love. First off – to recognize that a person’s self-worth is not tied to another’s opinion– another’s rejection or acceptance. God has accepted all through Christ Jesus. Second – to understand that in order to break these cycles of rejection – love has to be unconditional. Those that are trapped in these toxic relationships tend to think of love as a means to an end. Either they will try to make the person love them back – thus validating their self-worth – or they will love people selfishly, such as loving their own ability to love that person, or their idea of that person instead of truly loving the person.

Breaking life-long patterns of behavior is not easy, and the Lord is able to open people’s eyes to these toxic patterns. He is able to deliver people from spirits of rejection. Nothing is impossible for Him.

Lots of love

Linda

Monday, June 25, 2012

Love - Sees No Fat

photo credit

When I was a baby Christian I had a list of things I wanted in life. The first two were:

1.) Lose weight

2.) Find a good husband

Well, here it is, 20 years later and those two things are still on the top of the list but now I am 70 pounds heavier than when I first wrote those goals down.

This year I have tried 3 different diets each one completely different from the other. One was a low-carb, high fat, high protein diet so I cleared all the bread and cereal and peanut butter out of my house. But I could not reach ketosis for one reason or another and just could not sustain the restrictions. So I switched to a low-fat diet that used points. I had to constantly be thinking about what I was eating and planning meals and keeping track of everything but I was annoyed at some of the point’s values for some things. 2 crackers were 4 points and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter was 5 points. Next was another diet based on diabetic exchanges. Again fail.

Well, I started to consider why I kept failing from a spiritual point of view. Like anything in life that could be considered a giant – I sought the Lord for why I have had no success in losing weight.

I started with the scriptures. I pondered the reason that Jesus said, “Give no thought for tomorrow – what you would eat, what you would drink and what you would put on.” I began to see that my constant dieting was making me fat. I decided that I needed to put a stop to all the planning, all the weighing and measuring and guilt and condemnation and the daily routine of standing on the scale and seeing no results or worse – the slow creep up. To remind myself that there is a spiritual reason we are not to be constantly thinking about this stuff.

But I really began to see - like the above verses – that I would never be thin until I stopped seeing the fat in others, a very bad habit that I did not even realize that I had. Don’t get me wrong – I realize that those verses are talking about spiritual matters and I get that – but I also know that sometimes these things still apply in the physical realm. I realized that my obsession with my weight translated into an obsession with the weight of others. Just as I hate the fat in myself – I hated the fat in others and it was usually the first thing I noticed about them. I suppose part of it is our culture and the way we equate beauty with being skinny, which is unfortunate, but that does not excuse my part in it. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. I needed to stop hating fat and stop hating my body.

So these were exactly the things I was agonizing over in my mind when I went to hear Clyde Pilkington and Martin Zender and Sean Marting teach in Colorado Springs. The very first teaching – given by Clyde – was a reminder that the Lord created us just the way we are. That we are flawed by design – and reminded us of the verses in Jeremiah when he went down to the potter’s house and made something on the wheel and then marred it in his hands and then made a new vessel. I realized that I am fat by design. I always suspected that it was God’s will for me to be fat because God knows how boy-crazy I am and if I was skinny and cute I would not be able to resist the attention I would get. I felt that my fat was somehow armor – protecting me from carnal men. But as I sat in the conference I thought, Oh my God! What if it is God’s will that I will always be fat? That I reach 400lbs? World record fat lady!? I couldn’t shake the idea and I started to cry.

There were some women that talked to me at the break and they really helped me to feel better.

The next teaching was from Martin Zender. He taught that the first three verbs in Genesis set the pattern for all things. The first one is Created. God Created the earth and it was very good. The next one is became. The earth became without form and void. Yes, I know that some people try to say that Satan came down and ruined it. I say, scriptures don’t say that – that is just a tradition. Since the potter is the one who mars the clay – most likely it was God that caused it to be without form and void. The third verb was moved. (Actually Martin called it vibrated instead of moved, which was very intriguing to me.) God moved and made it a better earth. Martin taught that it was the pattern throughout. Joseph gets the vision of ruling over his brothers – then he gets sold into slavery, wrongly accused of rape, spent some time in prison etc. then finally raised up. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, us. It is the same in any story written. First the introduction of characters – then horrible stuff happens to them – then they overcome in the end.

Then Clyde taught on our freedom in Christ. Our liberty! He talked about how Paul talked on two specific subjects to re-iterate our freedom; eating and respect of a holy day. As children of God – we have been given freedom from ALL bondage by Christ. He used an example of a city dog on a chain always straining to be loosed and when he finally gets free he runs all over the place. But a country dog – you can’t get him off the porch – he has the freedom to go where ever he wants but he just hangs around in one spot. It is the bondage that makes us do the things we would not do. The minute you say, don’t think about monkeys – that is all you can think of.

Ironically in Romans 14 – he that is STRONG in “the faith” (that faith that we have been freed from all bondage) believes he can eat ALL things – but he that is weak in the faith – eats salads. Oh. My. God. Really? Was it really that simple? I realized that being Fat was bondage – but the world’s solution to being fat – dieting and exercise – was ALSO bondage. But I am made free by Jesus Christ. So like anything else – I must put it in the Lord’s hands.

Just like when the Lord told me to quit my job (have no income) and learn to trust that He would meet all my needs – the Lord is telling me to stop dieting and let Him be in charge of my body – Trust Him to deliver me on whether I will lose weight or not because the Lord LOVES a good paradox. He that loses his life shall find it and he who eats shall become skinny. Nothing is impossible with God.

Lots of love

Linda

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A few things

I am having a good time in Colorado Springs. I will post more on that later. For now - here is a great video to ponder.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

First Person Shooter


photo credit

In preparation of the coming Zombie Apocalypse, it is important that I know how to move and how to see my surroundings – especially behind me. Having never held an X-box controller before I found the task more daunting than I would have thought. My friend assured me that it takes some getting used to. “It is all about finesse,” he said, “keep your thumbs on these two buttons at all times. The left one moves your legs and the right one lets you look around.” We were eating pizza and having fun. It was a nice distraction from real life for just a moment. Because in truth, there are worse things than zombies.

My refusal to jump into the middle of a tug of war over a little girl has had far reaching ramifications. Before this week, even long before I came to Wyoming, the Lord told me to stay out of this thing. All along I have told both parties that I would not be on either side, but as emotions run high and this thing is beginning to come to a crescendo – they each want me to come in on their side and choose – who would be the better parent. So then one party decides to lie, alleging that I said, so and so, and the other party wants me to call the lawyer and dispute it. But I know, once I talk to a lawyer for whatever reason – then I’m involved and someone is going to get hurt. There are those that think that family loyalty dictates I should hurt the other party, but I need to obey God, rather than man.

Unfortunately for me, my refusal to take part was seen by the 2nd party as an automatic support for the first. Thus began the name calling and the guilt and shaming tactics. People who said over and over how much they love me, turned on a dime to now hate me. Even my aunt here in Wyoming, who really should have stayed out of it – entered the dispute against me. When I reminded her that this was the spirit of God in me telling me to stay out – she replied, “I don’t believe it is the spirit of God – I think it is just Linda.” That hurt.

But the Lord is my shield and buckler. He wrapped my heart in bubble wrap and all the name calling and fiery darts were not allowed to penetrate. He protected me from the devastation and hurt that this kind of situation would once have caused me. I also thanked him for the education. These people only loved me conditionally, only if I bend to their will – and in the long run, it is better to know.

So I prayed for these people, saying, “Lord, forgive them because they know not what they do.”

Good luck to those of you who are out there, where shooting zombies is a better alternative than what is going on in your life. Good hunting.

love and zombies,

Linda

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Religious Views

At an undetermined time on Saturday, June 2nd, my only son updated his Religious Views on Facebook to read Christian.

Whoo hoo! way to go my son!
lots of love
mom

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Colorado Springs conference


Well, I was unable to go to the Sacramento conference I wrote about last time, but then thankfully - there is one being held in Colorado Springs, which I am planning on driving down for. here are the details:

June 1, 2012

Hello Everyone,

As promised, here are the final details for the June 2012 Colorado Scripture Conference. So far, we've had RSVPs from people in Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, and Indiana. We are so excited to meet you!

In addition, we have added a third speaker, to include Martin Zender, Sean Marting, and Clyde Pilkington, Jr. All three of them will bring messages from Scripture to inspire, comfort, and bless you.

We will have dinner and fellowship at the home of Kurt and Rita Hufford, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., on Friday evening, June 22, 2012. If you plan to attend this dinner, please, e-mail Rita at krlt86@msn.com for the Hufford's home address and directions.

On Saturday, June 23, we will have meetings from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., at a facility co-located at Lewis-Palmer High School, 1300 Higby Road, Monument, CO 80132 (with a view of world-famous, 14,110-foot Pikes Peak, America's mountain).

(From I-25, north of Colorado Springs, take the Baptist Rd. exit, go east (right), and take the first left at the light onto Jackson Creek Pkwy. Go 1.8 miles, then turn right at the light, across the street from the YMCA. Enter the parking lot to Lewis-Palmer High School, and follow the parking lot toward the right, to the modular building on the southwest side of the school with a sign: Tri-Lakes Senior Citizens Center. Note: When using MapQuest, Google Maps, or cell-phone navigators, use the address or the name of the high school, as the senior center will not show up on navigators.)

Coffee, tea, and snacks will be provided during the meetings. During meal breaks, most people head to nearby restaurants, such as Willow Tree Café, Chili's Grill and Bar, Rodolfo's Mexican Grill (fast food), 3 Margaritas (sit-down dining), Jasmine Garden Chinese, Rosie's Diner, Subway, McDonald's, Taco Bell, Arby's or pack your meals and picnic on the school grounds or in the senior center.

Nearby there are several coffee/tea places, such as Starbucks, It's a Grind, Wesley Owens and Serrano's. There's also a Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage close by in Monument.

Breaks for lunch and dinner on Saturday will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. A break for lunch on Sunday will be from noon to 1:30 p.m.

On Sunday, June 24, we will have meetings from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at same location: Lewis-Palmer High School/ Tri-Lakes Senior Center. Although the meetings will end at 3 p.m. (for the sake of out-of-state attendees who must get back to work on Monday), we will have fellowship and hang-out time at the Hufford's home (6 miles away), from 3 to 6 p.m. There will be ping pong, air hockey, foosball, horseshoes, croquet, bocce ball, snacks, and lots of friendly people.

Some nearby motels include:

Sundance Mountain Lodge, 1865 Woodmoor Drive, Monument, CO 80132
Phone: 719.481.6000. A rustic, Colorado-owned lodge.
http://www.sundancemountainlodge.com/index.cfm

Fairfield Inn and Suites, 15275 Struthers Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
Phone: 719.488.4644. A chain hotel, built a couple of years ago.
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/cossm-fairfield-inn-and-suites-colorado-springs-north-air-force-academy/

There are also numerous motels in north Colorado Springs, about 10 miles away, including:

The Academy Hotel, 8110 N. Academy Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO, 80920.
Phone: 719.598.5770. Newly renovated, full-service hotel, close to restaurants and shopping.http://theacademyhotel.com/

At the conference, free R.V. parking will be available (at the Hufford's house).

If you will have special needs during the conference, please, e-mail Rita Hufford, at krlt86@msn.com or call her cell phone at 719.235.3570.

Please, reply to this e-mail to RSVP.

We hope and pray to meet many of you, face-to-face.
God bless you all!

Grace and peace,
Rebecca, Martin, Rita, and the Colorado ecclesia


I've already requested June 22nd off so I am planning on driving down to attend and then driving back on Sunday. I am really excited. I have never been in Colorado except for Denver airport which doesnt count. So if you are really interested in going, you can email mzender@martinzender.com to RSVP. Hope to see you there!
lots of love!
Linda

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hope


It is strange, but I am finally beginning to see why hope is so important. Hope is based on trust. Without trust – as in the kind of blind trust you must go through when you turn your life and your will over to the Father – without that – you have no real hope. Faith is a part of it as well, because Faith is trust. You are trusting that the Father is going to bring what you are hoping for to pass. You have faith that the Lord will bring it to pass. I understand the concept of trust more than I understand what faith is. Because the opposite of trust is betrayal and the opposite of faith is unbelief.

Ironically – and these things always trip me out when I come across them – one of the very first times hope is translated in the bible – it is in the context of hoping for a husband. (Ruth 1:12) A feeling I am well acquainted with – and have had my own struggles with unbelief and lack of trusting in the Father in this area.

I have recently been spending some time with another of my single girlfriends who is having relationship issues. I told her what my prayer was – that the Lord will bring me that good, godly husband, and protect my heart from anyone else. It reminds me of not looking for work when the Lord told me not to. Had I gotten a job out there in Oregon – I would have missed this great job here in Wyoming. I am feeling the same thing as far as dating goes. I believe the Lord is guarding my heart and showing me not to settle, but to let Him be in charge of my relationships. Whether it is His will for me to be single, then to help me be content with that, and if it is His will for me to be married – that He will bring that man to me and that I will be patient, and that He will protect my heart from all the rest.

Waiting in Hope.

Linda

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cleaning House



I have been wrestling with myself. I am the enemy. I am double-minded and unstable in all my ways. The spirit rules by day –but at night the flesh becomes a giant and overcomes me. I know why I am alone in my house. My house is my mind and I am manifesting all my old man habits once again. Jack has returned and brought friends. The Lord is showing me that this is where the battle will take place; the battle to rid the land of giants and stand as a victor in Christ – an overcomer.

But to be an overcomer – you must have something that needs to be overcome. I was recently reminded that it is the struggle of the butterfly as it emerges from the cocoon that helps it to be able to fly – and it is through much tribulation that we inherit the Kingdom of God. When we become Sons of God, then we know true suffering – because what I would not, that I do. The flesh is powerful – strong, it deceives and seduces and justifies itself. Every thought must be brought into obedience.

It starts by cleaning house. Wrapping up all the lusts and temptations and putting them in garbage bags and hauling them out to the trash. It is cleaning up all the viruses and naughty bookmarks and putting them in the recycle bin and then deleting the contents of the recycle bin. It starts by making a conscious decision to awake to righteousness and sin not. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can overcome giants.

Please pray for me my friends.

Lots of love,
Linda

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Will of the Father



photo credit

I’ve been renting a car on payday. There is an Enterprise Rent-a-car within walking distance from my house and for only $9.99 a day I can rent a car from Friday – Monday. It sounded like a really good solution to my lack of car dilemma until I realized I needed to pay an additional $21 per day if I wanted to be insured.

To finally drive a car after so many months of being driven around by others was a breath of fresh air. I could drive to the FireRock – best restaurant in town – and have some lunch. I could drive to Kohl’s and use my 20% off coupon and stop at a garage sale on the way. I could drive around the East side of town, where my aunt never goes, just to see what there is to see. But mostly, I could get out of the house, where the quiet was too loud and my loneliness was literally choking me.

This weekend – having a car was especially wonderful since I had an opportunity to meet some really amazing people outside of work and hang out with them. To my surprise I met someone who understands the spiritual journey I have been on to seek the Lord and His will for my life. Someone whose first reaction was grace and understanding instead of automatically thinking I was a nutcase. Being able to drive the rental made that possible.

Unfortunately, it also dawned on me this weekend that I could not afford to continue to rent a car every other weekend and still be able to save up for a car. With a sinking feeling, I began to understand that this was going to be my last weekend to rent a car for a while. It was becoming a need for me to have a car – for sanity purposes – and I was just going to have to knuckle down and save up for one.

That afternoon as us girls were sitting in my aunt’s livingroom, my cousins were trying to give their solutions. My one cousin said, “There is a really cute white car near my house that is for sale.” I said, “How much?” she said, “I don’t know but it is really cute.” My other cousin said, “Maybe you should just get a new car already” I answered, “I’m not going to buy a new car and make $250 to $550 a month payments.” My aunt then says, “you could lease?!” I sigh. Then later my aunt says again, “don’t forget to pray about God’s will for leasing..”

I finally said, “Look, thanks for all the ideas, but lots of times the Lord has brought vehicles to me for free, or at least for me to buy outright without monthly payments. I don’t think it is the Lord’s will for me to have a car right now, because if it IS His will for me to have a car – a car will present itself.” At that moment – that is what I truly believed, that if the Lord wanted me to have a car – then He would bring me a car – simple as that.

Strangely when I came home last night, I was really tired and did not feel so bad being home by myself. My social life was beginning to look up with my new friends and I had this peaceful feeling. God is in control and He is going to take care of all my needs. I turned on my computer to check my email before I was going to go to bed early.

The phone rang. It was a man’s voice. “This is Stephen” he said. It was my cousin Stephen who NEVER calls me. He lives here in town. “Hello Stephen,” I said. “What can I do for you?”

He said, “I would like to give you my little silver car.” I was shocked, “Well, let me give you some money for it.”

He said, “No, it needs new tags and a tune-up so you can use your money to get those things. But it is running and it’s a good little car, I’m just going to get a new car and would like to give you this one.” I thanked him and we talked a little more and then we hung up. He has a couple things he wants to do on it and then he will bring it to my house later on this week.

I guess it IS God’s will for me to have a car after all. Thank you Lord!

God is good my friends! Lots of love!

Linda

Friday, May 4, 2012

Where there be giants

(I'd like to say that I really hate the new blogger. It is not user friendly!)

I have now had some time to dip my toe back into the world to see what is still a sin and what is not. And then there is the verse that states; Happy is the man who doesn’t condemn himself in the things he allows (Rom 14:22). Certain categories I am not really tempted in. I’m not tempted about money. All the things I have reacquired since being here, I would give up in a heartbeat if that was the will of the Father. I have lived in the wilderness, trusting the Father for my daily bread and my bills being paid. My aunt reminds me when I bring it up, that I have learned the lessons of the wilderness – but now the Lord wants me to learn other lessons.

When the children of Israel first came to the Promised Land – with the exception of Joshua and Caleb – they all cried and were terrified at the giants that occupied the land. It was so bad in fact and their fear was so infectious that they all had to wander around in the wilderness for an additional 40 years until all those fearful and those that stirred up fear in others died out. It took 40 years for the group as a whole to get to the place where they were ready to take on the giants.

The Lord is beginning to show me the giants I have in my land. I have tried to deny their existence even though there were flashes of them throughout my wilderness walk. Have you ever watched the movie Fight Club? If you’ve watched it more than once, you begin to see that there were flashes of Tyler Durton even at the very beginning – but you were a little caught off guard and not quite sure if you really saw something. The flashes of my giants were a little more pronounced than that, but I wrote it off as a one-time thing (that kept happening again and again of course.)

In the book of Revelation there is a place where the beast that rises out of the sea has power over the SAINTS and is able to overcome them. Paul had his thorn in the flesh (not his soul or his spirit but in his flesh.) Some say Paul’s thorn in the flesh was the fact that he was going blind, or the thorn in the flesh was people (as in the messengers of Satan), but I say, the scriptures don’t really nail that detail down completely so we don’t really know for sure what it was that Paul sought the Lord three times to be delivered from. I’m sure to Paul it was a giant.

But the interesting thing is – David did not beat the giant Goliath in his own strength. He beat Goliath because he was fighting in the name of the Lord and it was the Lord who delivered Goliath into David’s hand.
Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands. 1 Sam 17:45-47
The battle is the Lords. It is not ours. 2 Chronicles 20 is another good example. The Lord fights these battles and He and He alone is in charge of removing the giants out of the land. Our part is to seek the Lord in the fight and not to compromise. Sometimes that is the hardest part of all, because compromising with our personal giants because we think they are too big to be overcome seems like the only choice. They are too big for us, but not too big for God. Nothing is impossible with God.

Lots of love and giant-fighting

Linda