Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Paid in Full


It’s all about me? It’s all about you. But there must be something I have to do…. Accept. Sinner Satan sifted Love’s lamb lifted Holy Spirit gifted Except, except……. Savior sought, Battle fought, Blood bought, Redemption wrought, Accept. Savior’s shoulders strong Sweet salvation song Redeemed removing wrong Except, except….. Savior sought, Battle fought, Blood bought, Redemption wrought, Accept. It’s all about me? It’s all about you. But there must be something I have to do…. Accept.

Friday, May 4, 2018

ONE OF THOSE DAYS #2


A lovely lady from church and I are studying together - today is our usual day - last night we e-mailed and her roof was leaking - the roofers were coming today. I was sad we couldn't meet but grateful they could come this soon...
God going in the kitchen but found a wonderful e-mail with suggested verses to pray regarding the next election - I was praying and the Lord laid something on my heart i wanted to share with the sister who had send me the verses... was in here typing away and the power went out (mind you, I had two timers set for two different things I was cooking - the time was erased on one and the other was way past time when I figured it all out.
Lights came back on and I finished writing Carol... and my delicious lentil noodles were falling apart over cooked (and went into my casserole anyhow...) and wasn't sure it the almonds in the over were truly toasted. Got the nuts out - cooled them and was putting them in rubbermaid containers when I notices "nut debris" on the black, glass stovetop - you know how you automatically wipe things with your hand? Well my left palm then got burned on the burner where I had over cooked the noodles - I ran to the sink and turned on the cold, well water and left my hand there - pretty soon I went to the bathroom and got wonderful aloe vera all over the hand (I am a former burn unit RN - the palm hadn't blistered then but I expected it would...)
Now, what to do - I had prayed for the lord to heal my hand - but was also in the middle of cooking - I could see what the juice for the lemon chicken would do to my hand and what the aloe would do to dinner.... So I found a disposable glove that seemed to cover the bases and did some typing... Then managed to squeeze the lemons and get the chicken going.
Decided to share this with you....at times like this, I have learned to know the enemy has temper tantrums... when he is fighting this hard (or trying this much to distract) that God is doing something neat and I am probably doing something good or the enemy wouldn't be acting up so much... I think the scriptures Carol sent and praying for our upcoming election are very important and that might have started it all - I also think the time Linnea and I have been spending together not only blesses us but it touched God's heart.
I am just now looking at my left palm - which was very red and appeared like one of those burns which would develop blisters and be a mess for a number of days. It is a pale color and looks just like the right (unaffected) palm!! It no longer hurts and there is not one sign of the burn I suffered only a couple hours ago.. Praising Him who is, indeed, ABLE!!!

Spring is Coming to the Mountain Meadow





Sunday, April 22, 2018

Longing for Home



I quicken
At the beckoning of the wind
Gently, through jade leaves
It stirs a longing, yearning desire
Deep within my soul
To cross the eternal river
And go home to My Father....
Yes, now, Lord Jesus, even now.



Thursday, April 19, 2018

TALK IS CHEAP


Talk is cheap Some people say
But have they ever Paid the price?

(Pencil Praise Poems)


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Praying In The Spirit-Power Channel For Effective And Fruitful Prayer Life

This is by a dear writer friend - she's from Africa and said I could share this for your encouragement!

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Praying In The Spirit-Power Channel For Effective And Fruitful Prayer Life

Praying In The Spirit-Power Channel For Effective And Fruitful Prayer Life
Are you baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with tongues? Praying in the Spirit or speaking with tongues is God’s wisdom for empowering our prayer lives and ensuring that we pray in line with the will of God, thereby securing the Lord’s intervention and blessings. It is a weapon that the enemy can neither understand nor interfere with. This post encourages you to pray more in the Spirit.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God – Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV).
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit – Jude 1:20 (NKJV).
Praying in the Holy Spirit is very important for a powerful Christian living. It helps you to pray aright through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps you to pray very well when you pray with tongues. He helps you to pray the way and for the things you ought to. He intercedes for us with groaning which cannot be explained, He goes deep into the root of a matter to pray about it. The Spirit of God prays directly to the Father according to His will and so the Father hears Him expressly.
What happens when you pray in tongues?
  • When you pray in the Spirit, you move from the earthly realm to the spiritual realm where the enemy cannot interfere with what you are saying, since he can’t understand it.
  • You are empowered spiritually, because God praying through you will rub off on you His nature. It is just as when you stay a while where there is smoke; you end up smelling of that smoke, the smoke rubs off on you. God’s nature rubs off on you the more, as you spend time praying in the Holy Ghost. You will love and do great works like He does.
  • The day, things, situations work out according to the Lord’s plan since the Spirit of God has prayed about them through you. This is why it is advisable to spend some time praying with tongues to thoroughly take care of issues unknown to you before stepping out or making major decisions.
  • You build up your faith in God (Jude 1:20) and in His words. You will discover that you effortlessly believe God’s word and that you truly expect the word of God to be fulfilled in your life as it is written in the scriptures.
  • You become more sensitive to the voice and leading of the Father. When you pray in the Spirit long enough you will get to a point where you are absolutely quiet within you and you can hear the still small voice of God speaking to you.
  • Your wisdom and understanding of the scriptures are sharpened. As the Holy Spirit is praying the mind of the Lord through you, your mind is equally sharpened. You tend to reason like God and understand things explicitly, including the scriptures.

Therefore, take a decision to spend some time praying with tongues because it makes a great difference in what comes your way in life and how you respond to issues. The longer you pray the better your testimonies. However, you must pray in the Spirit believing that the Holy Spirit is praying through you according to the will of the Lord and that it shall be as He had prayed.
If you are born again and not baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking with tongues, ask Jesus to baptize you with Him, for Christ is the baptizer and He will. However, you may choose to go to your Pastor who will minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit to you. But, know that only Jesus can baptize you with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11). Baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers you to do exploit for God. Paul is a good example of someone who enjoyed the power of speaking with tongues.
Paul the apostle prayed in the Spirit more than the rest (1 Corinthians 14:18), no wonder he was so powerful, did great signs and wonders, had great revelations from Jesus and achieved a lot for Christ. He covered so many territories for Christ and wrote about two-third of the New Testament. Praying in the Spirit is a blessing, therefore key into it and derive all the blessings within it for you.
Jesus is Lord!
Ngozi Nwoke
Grace and peace of God be unto you.
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Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Blood Sacrifice

The Blood Sacrifice
Covered with the robe of righteousness
His blood poured out for me
Sinless God, our Jesus man
Tortured, bled and died to free
His wounded side for those not there
His heart, broken for you, for me
Not one bone touched, nailed on that cross
Raised up on the splintery tree
Penalty paid for liberty
Priceless freedom He gave
We need but ask forgiveness now
Our creator came to save
His wounds overflowed
Jesus' heart did break
Pierced by Satan's Roman spear
Killed. Scarlet flowed, An earth erupting quake.
Scattered disciples, Mary wept.
They entombed and buried Him.
The Lamb of God, perfect One
He who knew no sin.
He'd restored the lame
Given sight to the blind
Healed the sick
Touched the demonized mind
And these life deeds
Love freely gave
And then was
Sentenced to His grave
Red garnet, scarlet, flowing down
For crucifiers to see
Did death really win, that terrible day
Or did He die to set me free?
Luke 23:43-48 And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." Now it was the sixth hour, and there was darkness all over the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, He said "Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit." Having said this He breathed His last. So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God saying, "Certainly this was a righteous Man!" And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

IF you only pray when you're in trouble, 
you're in trouble!

Monday, March 5, 2018

DT Willer alias Hooney, Ginger Tabby of My Heart



 “What do you want for our 15th anniversary honey?” Mick looked at me attentively for my answer.
Not pausing to even take a breath I replied “I have always wanted an orange tabby….”(what I didn’t mention was that I’d always wanted a Ragdoll, Birman, Norwegian Forest cat, Abyssinian, Maine Coon cat….. are you getting the picture of why Mick sometimes, affectionately I hope, calls me “cat crazy”?) I heard then sputters and strange noises coming from the other side of the table where my hubby sat.

Fast forward a week…. “Honey, what would you REALLY like for our anniversary?”

“Hum, I think that would be an orange tabby…..”

“Do you really want another cat? I mean, isn’t three enough work?”

“I’d love to have a kitten to give these guys something to think about.”

“Are you sure?”

“Sure, I am sure.”

“well, I guess you can keep your eyes open for an orange tabby…”

Now the sputtering and strange noises were coming from MY side of the table! I immediately called our “cat lady” who fostered as many as 30 or more kitties at a time. Lois didn’t have any orange kittens. I began to pray too because I didn’t know if one more feline was going to make the rest of the cats go “tilt”. We didn’t need accidents, spraying or anyone going outside the box.

Pretty soon there was an ad in the paper for kittens. They were for sale for $35 each and had their shots. The price of the kittens was going to help get the two mother cats to be spayed. I called, they had my orange tabby. We made arrangements to go see him and then the lady called back.
“Another family came and the lady is interested in the orange tabby. I have decided I will take offers and whoever makes the highest bid can have the kitten…..”

“Ah, I am sorry but I don’t think we want to get into a bidding war, thanks so much for calling.”
I was letdown to say the least. Then I began looking at my calendar – 2 months ahead there was a darling orange tabby on the June photo. I felt like that was what our kitty would look like – he was a dark cinnamon color and a tiny kitten. No more ads to answer. I ran around with my kitty carrier in the back of the truck for the next six weeks. Our anniversary was fast approaching and I decided to drop by the Humane Society.

There were kittens everywhere. None of them were orange. Oh, there was a long haired slightly buff colored one and it was lethargic and had matter in its eyes – definitely didn’t look healthy.

I was headed for my truck and the phone rang.

“Hi, is this Marijo, the one who wanted an orange tabby?”

“Ahh, yes, who is this?”

“This is Mary the one who had the orange tabby that you and that other family both wanted. I don’t even know how I still had your phone number but I found it on a slip of paper on the floor…. Do you still want an orange tabby?”

“Actually I was just at the Humane Society looking for one, why?”

“Well the lady brought her kids over, they just picked a black kitten and the orange tabby is available again. They are weaned and just turned 7 weeks old.”

“Where do you live?”

Turned out she was very close to the Humane Society. I buzzed over and got to meet the tiniest little kitten I had held in literally years. Most of our rescues had been ten weeks to 5-6 months old. This little stinker looked JUST like the orange boy on my calendar. He proceeded to climb up my shoulder and sit down. He had not a shy bone in his body – never mind that we were having major company that night for a bar-b-que dinner and I was nowhere near ready.

The check was written and, of course, I had the cage ready. Our vet was more than willing to do a quick exam and we were headed across town to our house.

I locked the little guy in our master bedroom and bath. The guests started arriving and were congregation on the patio – some of the cat lovers had gone up to peek at the new arrival. One friend was SO allergic to cats she couldn’t even come into the house…

About that time Mick arrived home. He was amazed that I found my calendar kitty and went upstairs to cautiously approach this new arrival. My ginger boy bounded across the bed jumping up on Mick, so much for cautious. This was the first clue we had that perhaps purchased a dog in cat’s skin.
When I was tiny I couldn’t pronounce the word “kitty” so I said DT. A pussy willow became DT Willer….soon that became the name of our little addition to the family.

He unmercifully attacked Stormy Blue during that time when the girls were still hissing and swatting. He’d bite Stormy in the tummy and ears and chase him all over the house, up and down 2 flights of stairs. Stormy was a smart kitty and would take only so much of this routine – when he needed a break he’d simply get DT in front of him and put both of his huge paws over the little wriggling mass of ginger fur.
DT was the first little kitten we had gotten and the biggest handful. At nine and a half he is still jumping onto the top of the frig, chewing toilet paper to the “bone”, loving anything with plastic wrapping and destroying it unless I am armed with a water squirter. He stretches out and rubs (dog-like) our legs or back sides if he wants a hand out, which is anytime we are near food.

He grew up and is now our very tall and long 16# handsome boy – yes, he got even bigger than Stormy whose current diet has him down from 17# to a mere 12 ½#.

We are coming up on our 33rd anniversary this year and guess what is at the top of my wish list, a trip to Oregon to go camping just like we did on our honeymoon a quarter of a century ago, AND to rescue another kitten. (we now have 5 rescues and I will "hold what I got")






Monday, February 26, 2018

His Heart in You


You can’t change the world
You can change you
And maybe the ripples
Will go out into the pond, beyond.

Touching others with your choices
To hold, resist, become embittered
Or, to release, forgive, grant freedom
To those held captive in your heart

Poisoning, binding, ensnaring
Your very person to that bitter root
Or, opening yourself to freedom
Giving you wings to soar high, butterfly

Released from the binding cocoon
To glitter in sun drenched beauty 
Against God’s resplendent sky
Gloriously lifted high towards heaven

Drawing closer to His throne
Nearer to His heart
Becoming more like Him who is able
To recreate in you a clean heart, apart

To give you a heart of flesh
In trade for your heart of stone
Will you allow?
Will you yield to His gentle hand?



Monday, February 19, 2018

Sharing the Truth in Love Devotional (Words from the Lord Series)
Psalm 121:1-8 (NIV)
I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—  he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Psalm 51:6 (NIV)

Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.


1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…..

Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

James 1:12 (NIV)

 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

Prayer: Oh, Lord God, you have given us a treasure chest full of the tools of your Word. You teach us by your example how to use them. Those promises are so rich and full AND they are ours for the asking. What priceless jewels we have from You. Please help us to use them wisely and often we pray. In Jesus most incredible name, AMEN

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

SHARING MY HEART WITH A FRIEND

SHARING MY HEART WITH A FRIEND
We were taught back in the 60s that journalists were to be objective - present facts and give the readers (or listeners) the news of the day. Thinking even before that when they did news segments before movies back in the 50s -
The editorials were subjective and the editor could voice his or her opinion on a subject...
Yellow journalism was, well, sensationalistic and put out there to sell copies with outrageous stories which sometimes did not remotely resemble reality (like the "movie" magazines and later on, the tabloids - which you would think would be cause for lawsuits for slander)
Somewhere along the way - many of our news sources seemed to become more editorialized and, some, frankly put a spin or slant on their reporting to favor their choice (be it political candidate, or trying to sway public opinion one way or the other on any of a number of topics) It got to the point where we might find out later that what we thought were news sources were not showing us what really happened at all... spin, slant and flat out propaganda ensued.
Some of this was along political lines wanting to sway the public (the masses) but many times, if one observed there wasn't much difference between the "established" politicians in either party - they just wanted to stay in power, get their funding and not have anyone (whatever party) rock their boat. Also, many times they would promise the people electing them anything and everything but when they got to DC they would not fulfill their promises nor adhere to the wishes of those who elected them.
Many were globalists - wanting not peace but one world government, one world religion etc. (This goes along with what the Bible speaks about right before the anti-Christ takes power and sets up that "one world government...")
Many were part of various financial groups (you hear names like Bilderburger - not sure of the spelling) etc. Which would lead to those financial people being major players and in power..
Other groups - international - cost nations much money and did little in reality. A lot of groups say one thing and then do something totally different in the long run.
There have always been people motivations and things going on under the surface and behind the scenes throughout history. People playing one side against the other and taking advantage of situations.
No, I am not into conspiracy theories.
I have observed things in my lifetime (and know you have too). Some are that socialism or communism has not worked anywhere in the world except for a very few at the top who were in power. And that supply and demand, capitalism and allowing people to work hard and advance has seemed to be a pretty good idea, by and large.
I also realize that we all have perceptions that possibly do not line up with what is reality. We all have areas where we aren't seeing truth clearly.
God KNOWS. HE is ultimate truth, reality and wisdom.. the rest of us? Well, we are mere humans. Weak smile.
Our world view determines how we live and what we believe and how we conduct our lives and daily choices.
I used to have different perspectives than I do now - different tags, if you will. Had the views of my parents and was a republican then got enlightened - became an atheist and pretty liberal democrat - campaigned for McGovern (I wanted out of Viet Nam because I saw friends killed, coming home messed up and with missing body parts etc.) I was an atheist for 9 years and an alcoholic for about 9 years too - counting it all up...
I had an eternity changing encounter with JESUS... and HE turned my world up-side down. I dove into the Bible and began to realize so very much - God changed me - changed my world view, pulled me, feet first out of the bottle - (I had stopped smoking dope about a year before this which I think was God working on me even then) The scales came off my eyes and it was like I was seeing a lot of things clearly, for probably the first time in my life. The Bible speaks of taking away our sin and making us new creatures... aptly - there was no other way to explain it.
I, who would have had an abortion if I had gotten pregnant ( Tom did not want kids) was now seeing that it was not a blob of tissue, it was a baby (I knew that from my embryology class at ISU and seeing tiny ones who had been miscarried at 12 weeks but my mind rationalized it all away) I knew it would be wrong to take that little one's life simply because Tom didn't want kids... (no, I never did get pregnant in my whole life). Other things began to "look" different - and God changed me completely (some things rapidly and others more slowly for sure)
The Bible says if we ask God for wisdom He will give it to us (generously and not get upset for us asking) that has become one of my favorite prayers - Lord, please give me wisdom... there is so much to learn and "see".
I try my best to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying - apply God's Word to life and situations and "share the truth in love..." being like Jesus and making choices that will not break His heart... I mess up, I stick my foot in my mouth, I have selfish motivations sometimes, I am like that toddler with sand in her hair and skinned knees - BUT , God has forgiven me and HE loves me...what a reality to grasp... what unconditional love to walk in...
I want His will in my life because I have seen, over the years, where my own will takes me and mostly, it is not pretty... Who better to know what would fulfill my purposes here on earth than Him who knit me together in my mother's womb?
I guess I strayed from my journalism topic...I guess my bottom line in all of this? Who do I trust? that would be the Creator of the Universe - GOD (Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit - 3 persons and 1 God (in thought, word and deed) Nope, I do not totally grasp that either, but I do believe it - the Bible used 3 pronouns and ONE verb... the 3 are one in action and will.
I do not trust or totally believe "the media" (any of it) I definitely trust politicians about the least of any category of persons - sorry.
I have long time friends who are teachers (especially history majors) who do not seem to "see" history repeating itself or learn from history as you would think they might...
I'm sure I have relatives and acquaintances who think I am naïve, ignorant, brain washed by "religion", gullible etc.
My goal is not to be what and who other people think I should be but my life goal is to be what and who the Lord Jesus Christ "knit me together in my mother's womb" to be, do and accomplish here on this earth, before I die. I go by what is in His written word, I go by what He lays on my heart - little nudges which He confirms over and over. Those "checks" you can sense in your spirit when you are headed off into the wrong choices and direction; willingness to be corrected, encouraged and to ask forgiveness when you have blown it... HE is able - and me? Sometimes I can be obtuse and pretty darn puny... (that toddler with sandy hair and skinned knees) Does God smack me down and leave me there? Nope, He picks me up, loves on me and sets me on my feet, once again, to toddle forward. Always forgiving, always helping me go forward once again.
What is the bottom line? Darnd, if I know - I am tried tonight but wanted to share my heart with you.
I am glad we are friends - and really happy we can talk to each other - even thought sometimes we do see things through "different glasses". Our friendship means many things to me (we do have a lot in common) and our differences help me think and look and see more clearly - not only what you are sharing but also where I am coming from and why ( as I am doing in thinking things through to respond to you) This is good and we can both grow.
I think now I am getting to the rambling stage because it is past bedtime... so will close with a photo that is worth a thousand words... (smile) Love you my friend and hope we both have a refreshing night's sleep...
JO

Sunday, February 11, 2018

He Knows Your Heart



What does it mean for God to say that He knows our hearts? Our physical heart is that from which flows our life, our life blood. Without our heart we cease to exist. There is also a reason that a Valentine is symbolic of love, romance shown by giving someone a paper heart. Often our words can say one thing but in our heart we are possibly thinking something else. When we have something shared with us by our Lord Jesus do we say He whispered in our ear? Most often that still, small voice is thought of as whispering to our hearts. Even the phrase “getting to the heart of the matter” evokes mental pictures of getting past all the fluffy unimportant issues and going straight to the core matter. 

So, once again, I sense that my Lord is whispering to my heart:
Child, it isn’t always what you say but the heart from which it is said – I hear you. Stop and listen to Me. Read my Word and it will wash, renew and open up to bless you. You can’t always hope to know ahead or second guess but trust in My Name.

In Proverbs 4:23 we are encouraged to keep our hearts with all diligence, for out of our heart spring the issues of life.

2 Timothy 2:22 exhorts the reader to flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. That one sentence says so very much. On one side we have youthful lusts as opposed to what we should pursue, righteous, faith, love and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart, marriage counseling in just one verse. The word is incredible that way, isn’t it?

The banquet of life there for our “eating”, I think it is never too late to “taste of the Lord and see that He is good”. We can do that best by reading, studying and getting ourselves into His Word, the Bible.


Prayer: My dear Jesus, thank you for whispering to me, thank you that you help me to turn, to hear your still, small voice. Thanks so very much that you do look to my heart and not what is sometimes coming out of my mouth, or not coming out that should be….I choose to trust in you, my Jesus. Help me to purpose to spend more time in Your Word, getting to know You better and better each day. AMEN

Love Day is Approaching ~ Some Thoughts About Love for Valentine’s Day 2018



Love could be chocolate and flowers……Love is giving. Love is a commitment. Love should be forever but often times it is not.

Love is a choice. Let’s take a look at the “love chapter” from the best-selling book of all times:
1 Corinthians 13:4-15 (New King James Version)
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

WE place conditions on God’s love for us. It isn’t God placing conditions on His love. We become what we think other people think we are. We build barriers because we think we are inferior to them. We listen to the enemy. Most likely the other people weren’t thinking that about us to being with.

Love needs to be two way (returned) We need to give and receive. Sometimes we can’t receive because we feel unworthy.

1 John 3:18 (New King James Version)
18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

Condemnation separates us from God and it is a LIE. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit and it is the truth gently nudging us to look.

We think “if I measure up then I’ll be lovable”. This is not unconditional love from God.

Some people cannot receive unconditional love and will lash out at you. We all have met them and have them in our lives. They don’t feel “worthy” so dump of those close to them who think they need unconditional love anyway. It is almost like they feel they must punish someone who dares to care.

Philippians 3:10
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…

We can and must still choose to love. When we love unconditionally we are showing the love God offers to us. What a great give to give to those who are in our lives. Love, based not on who they are or what they produce or give us in return but love offered unconditionally. A mirror of that wonderful love Jesus gifts us with if we will but receive. No strings attached, he died on that cross for you and for me while we were yet sinners.

Could there ever be a greater love than this, the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate love gift given to us if we just reach out and accept Him.

This had given me something to look at this Valentine’s Day 2018 from a bit of a different perspective.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Gifts of the Holy Spirit and Fruit of the Spirit – I Had Much to Learn


It was a couple years after I had come to the Lord and shortly after I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. We were in our church service and a young man had just given a very encouraging “word” to the Body and I was shaking my head. But Lord, I just heard him talking about getting so drunk Friday night that he couldn’t drive home, how can You use him to give a word to the Body? Yet it seems encouraging and “right on”……

I talked to my friend who was more mature in the Lord and we discussed some things which led me to do a word study on the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit.

There are various places in the Word where the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are described and I will list one of them here:
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (New International Version)
 7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
And then there is the part about the fruit:

Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I began to think about all of this. Fruit involved branches and vines and roots. In the natural, fruit takes time and there is a growth process. Without a good root system and branches on the bush or tree there isn’t much hope of good fruit. I was living in an area famous for its vineyards; besides the good stock of plants there has to be great soil, fertilizer, sun and water for the crop to be a good one. There was much to think about here. For my spiritual life to produce fruit I needed to be in the branch and with good roots – attached to and getting nourishment from those.
Some other scriptures which came to mind were:


"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

And then there were those lovely verses about pruning that I just hated to stumble across when I was going through it but I knew they were valid and full of truth:

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

It was evident that for fruit to grow there had to be a growth process complete with staying close to God and in His Word AND having unfruitful things “pruned” our of my life so I could grow bigger and better fruit. It appears that the Fruit of the Spirit in my life was not instant and had a lot to do with my choices, yielding and growth in Jesus.

And I began to look at the gifts again. I must admit here that I had felt pretty special when my heart began to thump and I knew it was not me… and the Lord laid something on my hesitant heart to share out loud in a group. Actually there were times when the voice inside would say “wow, you must be pretty special and mature for the Lord to use you to bring forth a “word”… I already knew that was the enemy trying to trip me up with the same thing that got him kicked out in the first place, PRIDE. I was praying about that and the Lord really answered that prayer.

That still, small voice which belonged to my Jesus began a tiny dialog that went something like this:

Marijo, when someone gives you a Christmas gift what did you do to deserve it?
Well, nothing really because it was a gift. They gave it to me because they loved me and wanted to do something special for me.

OK, why do you think they are called “gifts” of the Holy Spirit? And why do you think that those they flow through are mature or special?

Now this was getting a little personal and closer to home… 
Ah, Lord where are You going with this?

Daughter, when I want to share in a group all I need is a willing one, one who will say YES at that moment and overcome hesitance and fear and allow my gift to flow through him or her. It really has nothing to do with that person’s wisdom or maturity.

Oh….. my…… floodlights began to light up my “thinker”. So, you could use me because I did say yes at that moment. You could also use that newly saved young man because he said yes, at that moment. Never mind that he had been drunk Friday night. Never mind that I had used “prayer request” as an opportunity to “share” some gossipy thing earlier that day.

Lord, lord, you really did answer my prayer about being a touch prideful because you gave me encouraging “words” for your body. But my goodness….
SO a gift is given to whomever the Holy Spirit gets to say yes at the time of need? It can be whatever gift you think is best for Your purpose at that point in time and it has nothing to do with the receiver but everything to do with You, the giver. You want to bless others and do it through a yielded, albeit, possibly immature and sinful vessel…..

At this point I could imagine my heavenly Daddy looking at me with a huge grin and nodding His head and thinking “yep” she is learning, maybe slower than some but she is getting it!

And the fruit, well the fruit do indicate a measure or maturity and becoming more like the vine who is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

At this point I could imagine my heavenly Daddy about to pop a button…. And all because this errant child with often times skinned knees caught a glimpse of lesson number one on page number one…..