Friday, May 30, 2014

Choosing a Big Heart of Forgiveness

Lord, I am choosing to have a big heart of forgiveness, a heart without room for offense. How many times do I say something and then think, oh, my, that could have been taken another way and I sure hope they didn’t think that I really mean…… as another member of Your Body has opportunity to give me grace.
I am choosing to have that forgiving heart with no room for the heart of stone. Offense would turn that heart of flesh you gave me, the one you paid so dearly for, the one which is alive and feeling to a petrified little nub. I really do not want to hang onto that offense and let it do THAT work on me.
Lord, please keep me teachable and tender. Help me to walk beside You. Yes, right beside You in the middle of 1st Corinthians 13, in that path of choosing to love.  I think I remember part of it, that part about not envying, not parading myself, not being rude, not rejoicing in iniquity…. Yep, that is really where I want to walk.  I do so need Your help because it is easy to choose the wrong way.
Each time I choose the wrong way I glance up, the scoreboard says ENEMY 2 JESUS 0. My heart drops. Am I really making scores for the other side?
Back on that path where it says love is not puffed up, doesn’t seek its own, and is not provoked, Lord, I think this might be one of those times when there are one set of footprints, Yours, with me safely carried through in your arms.
And then there is the part about thinking no evil.  I have tried to learn that things aren’t always as they seem. Please help me to extend this grace to my brothers and sisters, my very own family in the Body.
Love rejoices in the truth.  That means I have to know the truth.  From your word, from listening and buttoning the lips, from not always believing things shared as “prayer requests”.  Yes, I could probably start with not listening to some of those either, couldn’t I Lord?
But that love path doesn’t stop there, as much as I sometimes wish it did.  Oh, Jesus, You and I get to walk farther on and bear all things, all Lord? And believe all things, and I do not suppose You are meaning the gossipy things. Then we get to hope all things, that doesn’t leave much out, does it? And endure all things. Lord, that word “all” it is really  being used a bunch there, isn’t it?
Yet that love path we are supposed to walk doesn’t stop yet. Love never fails, boy, I sure do!
Ah, Lord, this is most difficult. Calvary really was all about me but now I am supposed to grow up and WALK with and like You. Yet as I read this and feel the impossibility of it all, I know that You will never call a son or a daughter to something they cannot do.  Something they cannot do without You. Something they can only do WITH You.
Thank You and please help me? Please lift me into Your everlasting arms and carry me through?

1 Corinthians 13

 1If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,[b] but have not love, I gain nothing.
 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
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(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.


Thursday, May 29, 2014


There is something I need to say to you

And I say it with all my heart

Even though you didn’t ask

I feel it plays a part…..

I know from experience

How these words can set one free

Because I’ve had these three little words

Given as a gift to me…..

So I hand them off to you

With my very open hand

The words “I forgive you”

Are given without demand…..

Sisters somehow scrap and fight

Over the strangest little thing

All of that is over and gone

When the words of forgiveness ring. 

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Forgiveness, What It Is and What It Is Not... Why Do It?

My friend and I were having tea at the kitchen table and she looked into my eyes and began her story.
“My mum brought her boyfriend home when I was 17 and still a virgin – she, she was drunk and she let him rape me……I got pregnant and then lost the baby……. I have never been able to forgive my mum…..”
I got out of my chair and went to hug her with tears streaming down my face. A mother who is supposed to be a place of safety, the teacher, the comforter of her children, the example…. I simply couldn’t understand. We were both sobbing as I prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to comfort and draw my friend ever so close to Him. “I just held her and let her cry and was saying “I am SO sorry, I am so sorry….”
Their relationship has been rocky over the years. Her mum is still an alcoholic and taking many things out on those around her. She is really negative about the Lord and the fact that my friend calls Jesus her savior.
After that time, when we were back to writing to each other, we’d talk about forgiveness.
We discussed about how it is not a warm fuzzy feeling but an act of your will to choose to forgive.
We talked about some of the reasons you should choose to forgive:
*bitterness coming from unforgiveness eats away at the person who holds it
*unforgiveness breaks God’s heart
*we might initially forgive in obedience to God
*by forgiving we release that person to the Lord to deal with
*forgiveness is freedom to the one giving the forgiveness
*to forgive frees one from the enemy
We also discussed what forgiveness is not:
*it is not necessarily giving our trust to that person, trust needs to be earned
*it is not an act leading to becoming friends again, although that could happen
*it is not a feeling, although feelings may follow; it is an act of our will
Forgiveness can also come in stages – maybe because the Lord knows we can only handle so much at one time. It is not uncommon to sense “I thought I had forgiven that person – so what’s this then?” That might not mean you haven’t forgiven, only that there is more to the ongoing process, a further relinquishing and letting go.
Some of the best mental health examples and solutions are spoken of in the Bible. I am listing them in two versions for those who would like something in more modern English than King James.
Hebrews 10:30
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (KJV)

Hebrews 10:30 

For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"and again, "The Lord will judge his people." (NIV)

Ephesians 4:26
Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath (KJV)
Ephesians 4:26
"In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (NIV)
Mark 11:25
And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (NIV)
With regards to Mark 11:25, it is like the law of gravity in a way. It is either functional or it is not. With forgiveness, if it isn’t functional on a horizontal level in our lives with us forgiving others then apparently it isn’t functional on a vertical level with us obtaining forgiveness from God. Perhaps it is something like electricity and the switch being off. That is not a place where I’d want to find myself.
Several years went by and my friend was looking at representations of Jesus during the crucifixion and the Holy Spirit began to move on her about forgiving her mum, she was able to. Her depression lessened and she sensed a freedom she hadn’t known. Her mum is still an alcoholic who is hateful to Christians, including her own daughter. They haven’t become bosom buddies but there is a liberty in my friend. Though her mother is in her 80s she could still come to Jesus and that is just what I am praying for.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Enable Me

With fine tuned ear focused
On You Jesus
I listen
A heart beating in sync
With You Jesus
I live
With voice singing praises
To You Jesus
I love
With arms hugging Your Body
Reaching You Jesus
I laugh
With fingers typing keyboard
Lifting You Jesus
I laud
With ceaseless songs playing
Loving You Jesus
I linger.
Wrote this today thinking IF He would help me SO much would be possible... that's where this flows from and my prayer asking the Lord Jesus Christ to "Enable Me". It really is and should be all about Him - each minute of the day - each step of the way. I find it is when I forget this and try to make it all happen on my own that I get into deeper waters than those I can navigate!
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Empty am I.
Please mend the breaches?
As I die
To me
Refill me
With You alone
Dear Jesus.
I plead,
And try to praise.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Closing Doors Opened Unwittingly into the Occult

I have always loved fireplaces and so had FuFu our mama kitty. Every time I began to get ready to make a fire she was right there in the middle of the whole process., first trying to get into the fireplace and mess with the logs and then to park her furry hide in front to soak up the warmth..
This particular day was strange in that Fufu saw me getting ready to light the books and she took off. I couldn’t see her anywhere….
I had been thinking about my astrology books, tarot cards and books like “Tibetan Book of the Dead” and the “I Ching”. Since I had asked Jesus to be my Lord and savior I had been examining my lifestyle and things that really did me more harm than good. I had decided the best way to take care of these books would be to have a little bon fire in the fireplace. I didn’t want to give them to anyone else because I didn’t want my friends influenced by things I now considered a detriment.
So, without the help of my fur ball, I grabbed the long fireplace matches we had used ever since we had fireplaces (several years). I got all the books placed so they’d be easy to light with pages flayed open and struck a match. It went out. I struck a second match. It went out.
About this time I sensed a very strong evil presence in the room. Nothing like this had ever happened before. It was almost overwhelming evil. I grabbed the third match and light it – the head broke off and went under the rocking chair starting the rug on fire.
For those of you who think Satan is in the category of Santa and the Easter Bunny don’t stop reading….
Being newly born again (not even going to church yet at that point) I called out the only prayer I could think of “Help me, Jesus, help me, Jesus”.
I had stomped on the fire and the scorched rug was no longer burning as I picked up the 4th match repeating “help me, Jesus….” This time the pages caught fire and burned vigorously. Each and every page burned. When the fire was all over out came mama FuFu.  I still don’t know where she had been hiding.
I had inadvertently plugged in to the wrong power source. Things I did and choices I made had opened the door to legally give Satan areas of control in my life. Those choices had led me down a pretty miserable path for some years and I was anxious to close those doors and “turn on” to the best power source, Jesus.
When I was thinking on that event and talking to some of my friends we came to the conclusion that the enemy was not happy with my getting rid of those books. They had been a way that I was snagged and reeled in. Hooked into things of the occult – things which plugged in where a relationship with the Lord Jesus was lacking and non-existent. Yes, the enemy was angry to be losing that foot hold in my life and I guess he thought I could be scared into backing off.
His tactics didn’t work that day and my newly claimed Lord showed up in a big way to protect me and help me do what I had started to do with that fire in the fireplace.
Lest I thought it was all just my imagination…. Mama FuFu showed me that day something was going on neither of us could see but she certainly sensed too. She never missed another fire-lighting as long as we had a fireplace and that was for two more houses after this one.
I also prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to break any ties I had to these things which were not of Him and to forgive me for opening myself up to them in the first place. I had never actually read either of the two books.
This was just one of many steps in being set totally free in Jesus.
Philippians 3:13
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead……
Isaiah 43:19
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.


Colossians 1:19-22 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I Almost Wasn't

Lifting sunlit eyes
Many faceted green
You wrought
When I was but
Womb bound
You brought
All Your pre-thought
To be
Together found
Sperm and ova united
Breath of life
You breathed
Holy Spirit ordained
Pre-held little one
Joyfully known
By the hosts
Of heaven
Before my mother
Had a clue
Cherished of God
Before my mother
Shed tears
Earthly sorrow
She made her choice
I was given life
To grow
And glow and know
What You planned
For two celled
Plans in time
And then Eternity
She’s with You now
And I thank her still
Her difficult choice
My life, my breath
As she exercised her will.
Jeremiah 1:5 (New King James Version)
 “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Psalms 139:13 (New King James Version)
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.



Tuesday, May 6, 2014



Have you ever awakened with your heart pounding, looking around in a panic or with heavy feelings that things are not right? Have you ever been really upset and then so relieved to figure out that you were asleep and now you are awake and what you were dreaming about is not real. Maybe it is time to go to the bathroom, whew.

I was having nightmares and the Lord took me through a process.  I was reminded of how Jesus faced temptation by the enemy and how he deals with it. He always used the Word of the Lord to make the enemy stop. “It is written….”

Matthew 4:7

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”

Matthew 4:6-8 (in Context) Matthew 4 (Whole Chapter) NKJV

Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

I used the above idea out loud in prayer before quoting some scriptures before bedtime. NKJV

Philippians 4:7

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. NKJV

Philippians 2:5

[ The Humbled and Exalted Christ ] Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. NKJV

I prayed that the mind of Christ was in me, whether awake or asleep, and that He was guarding my mind and basically told the enemy he had no right to be there – some other scriptures I quoted were:

Romans 8:1

[ Free from Indwelling Sin ] There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. NKJV

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind

Lastly, I prayed the scripture below and reaffirmed that the mind of Christ was in me and the enemy had no place and I was trusting Jesus to do the rest. NKJV

Philippians 4:8

[ Meditate on These Things ] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. NKJV

I was dreaming about people I had wronged before coming to the Lord. I had asked forgiveness, or in some cases was no longer able to contact with the person. The enemy was beating me over the head with condemnation and I would wake up feeling totally condemned. After praying the above, if I had a dream I would wake up and pray for the salvation of those I had nightmares about.  It all stopped really quickly.

Pray about this and see what the Lord opens up for you.

Lord Jesus, I pray that you would be with my sister/brother in a most mighty way.  That you would give her/him peace and sweet dreams. We bind the enemy in the most mighty name of Jesus and by the blood shed for us at Calvary.  Your mind is in us, while we are awake and asleep. Lord we love you.  Please set us free from the torment of the enemy.

Psalm 4:8

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. NKJV

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.



Saturday, May 3, 2014

The RN and the Orange Tabby’s Veterinary Vacation and Special Event

“Jo, come here, I think Hooney has a lump on his stomach." Mick had a frown on his face examining our orange tabby, the one a few light bulbs short of a chandelier, who happens to be his favorite of our four cats. Shhhh, please don’t let the others know.

This cat has a pudgy problem, in fact the three year old daughter of a friend saw his photo and immediately said “Mama, that’s not a tabby cat, that’s a tubby cat". However astute that child’s observation might be, this cat has never had “lumps".

A few days later we are off on a tiny vacation for this boy who never leaves the comfort of his castle, our house. I thought he was a good traveler. That must have been in the past, the ancient past.

I get him situated in the pet carrier which barely fits in the front seat. He has a kitty blanket and mini sand box, what more could he want for the 45 minutes trip into Woodland Park? I am  soon to find out. The yowling, caterwauling and angst begin before we have the truck door closed. It's nothing compared to the volume that he reaches by the time we get to our gate. I stick a finger through the side of the cage hoping to calm the boy down, he rubs and yowls ever louder.

If mommy’s here then she can get me out of this mess.

I speak gently in my best kitty soothing tones. The racket gets worse.

I notice the new foal of our neighbors – a pretty white baby near our mail boxes. OK that means we are 2 ¾ miles along with only 30 miles to go. Never mind that the speed limits are such that it takes 45 minutes, we can do this, can’t we Hooney?

Out on to the paved road I notice the other neighbor’s rescued zebras and his long haired Scottish cattle but will Hooney look, not even for a minute, he is too busy getting a raw throat. I scratched his chin again, at least he didn’t bite the hand that feeds him.

We pass the llama far., the black eyed Susan flowers are almost two feet tall making a huge carpet for yards and yards covering the whole ground out to the pond. It's stunning but this is not a moment to stop and dig for the camera. The rhythmic meows in the seat beside me continue at an ever noisier pitch. Yes, this is my very persistent boy.

Soon I get a whiff of eau de chat scat. For those of you who didn’t take French in high school, it is just as well. One sniff tells it all. This kitty who hasn't gone outside of his box in his ten years of life has just had a new adventure.

I pull over to do something, anything. Thankfully the 4 Runner comes equipped with paper towels and bottled water. I try. In the process I manage to get poop on the floor of the truck, in the door jam and then while closing the door…. Hooney has already done a wonderful job of getting it on himself as he laid down in it.

The windows are down as we drive on and on and on to the tune of a high pitched, traumatized and traumatizing howling.

I am early, must be the speeding in  hopes that this “vacation" will be over sooner if I get there quicker, it doesn't work.

I wrestled the large dog cage, kitty box, Hooney and eau de chat scat into the vet’s front office. There is an old English sheep dog who is happy, his wagging stump thumps at the sight of us. Hooney, who rarely sees an animal larger than his seventeen pound self was actually quiet for a second and then hisses.

The dog is called in and I get poopy, ah, Hooney out of the cage and do mop up operation as best I can with paper towels and water, having forgotten the kitty wipes in my joyful preparation for the trip.

What’s this, a purr? Amazing what mommy’s lap can do to fix the woes of an abused tabby.

The doc soon pokes his head out of the exam room “Marijo, you can bring Hooney in now"

This worked, having run his protester out of steam, Hooney actually lets the vet poke and prod without too much fuss. On the scale he was “seventeen and change" according to Dr. Volz who is fast becoming one of my favorite people.

“Well, I am 99% sure your nursing diagnosis is correct, fatty lipomas would be my thought too"

At least he is very reasonable in his charges. All of this to confirm what mommy suspected to begin with. Now, we have the trip home. Does caterwauling volume lower just a tad or is it simply through the filter of my relief knowing my “baby Huey, ah, Hooney" doesn't have a malignant lump and is going to be OK?

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.




Thursday, May 1, 2014

Are You Free and Clear, Able to Answer?

Debt Paid in Full
It’s all about me?
It's all about you.
But there must be something
I have to do.

Sinner Satan sifted
Love's lamb lifted
Holy Spirit gifted
Except, except.

Savior sought,
Battle fought,
Blood bought,
Redemption wrought,

Savior's shoulders strong
Sweet salvation song
Redeemed removing wrong
Except, except..

Savior sought,
Battle fought,
Blood bought,
Redemption wrought,

It's all about me?
It's all about you.
But there must be something
I have to do.
“Come to Me"
Enveloped the woman-child
Surrounded, re-echoed within her
Gently, intrinsically.

She was sad
As she recalled,
And while she cried
Yet didn't seek or go.

Surrounded with loss
She hurt from within
"Come to Me"
Echoing and re-echoing deeply.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.