Monday, September 25, 2017

Well, EXCUSE Me!

But, they all, with one accord, began to make excuses. - Jesus Christ, as recorded in Luke 14:18  
Excuses.  Excuses.  Excuses. To some degree or another, we all excuse away our behaviors and choices.  Humankind is like that due to Adam's first "she made me do it" excuse.  He said that to God Almighty as if God would overlook his disobedience because Eve had such persuasive powers over him. 

E X C U S E !


God did NOT accept Adam’s excuse.  Why?  Because Adam was just defending his offensive behavior.  He wasn't explaining, he was defending.

God does not accept our excuses either. 

An explanation as to why someone did or didn’t do something is one thing, but if they are just excusing away their behavior or choices, then no.  If there is no sorrowful conviction for the bad choices made, it is just an excuse.  

Almost four years ago God exposed my husband’s long-term lifestyle with his paramour and family.  When I confronted him, the only explanation he had was that he was “unhappy”. Yes, I imagine he was unhappy!  How do you juggle two families and their lifestyles while keeping it, and all the finances involved in supporting two families, a secret from the one for years on end?  

E X C U S E !  



I hear more excuses in church than I do anywhere else.  Reasons not to serve.  Reasons not to help someone.  Reasons not to tithe.  Reasons not to commit.  Reasons not to forgive.  Reasons to gossip.  Reasons to judge.  Reasons for intolerance to other’s behaviors or choices.  Reasons to kick the wounded. Reasons for betraying confidences.  


E X C U S E S ! 

I’m much more conscious of my own excuses now. I have no valid excuse for anything.  I stand raw and exposed before God.  If I make excuses, His Spirit quickly convicts me.  And then I’m faced with another choice: make excuses for my excuses or lay my heart bare before Abba and allow His Goodness to lead me to repentance and back into right-standing with Him.

Our society does not need more excuses.  It does need more sorrowful convictions over our behaviors and choices.  Because when we do, we are adorned with Christ-like beauty.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mums the Word

What is that gets us into trouble a lot of times?

Opinions.

My opinion vs. your opinion can cause arguments, detrimental judgments to be made, road rage, loss of friendships, etc.  Opinions have divided families, friends, church members, and this nation.

We live in the USA where opinions are clearly legal.  Verbalizing or writing our opinions is absolutely our right.  OUR RIGHT YES, BUT NOT NECESSARILY RIGHT. 

Why? Because it does cause situations to escalate, even to the point of war. Because each party thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong.

I heard someone say this recently:
"Lose your opinions and dive deep into the Law of Love."  
Give THAT some thought.  It's deep.

If we acknowledge that everyone has a right to their own personal opinions and we love each other in spite of the differences of opinions, then we won't lose friends, or act out in road rage, or get into arguments.  Arguments occur because we fail to acknowledge someone else's point of view.  We fail to hear.  We may listen, but always with our "But" in mind.  WE FAIL TO HEAR.  WE FAIL TO HEAR, WHEREBY, WE MIGHT HAVE OUR EYES OPENED TO A TRUTH.  

So, "mums the word", because I've learned over these decades that everyone sees/believes/speaks through their own circumstantial filters.

Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum. ~ Shakespeare ("Mum" means silence.)

Maybe if we valued the right for everyone to believe as they choose to and not try to dissuade others, we would have a less-divided nation, a less-divided Body of Christ right now.  We must pick and choose our battles.  Opinions do not win them, however.  You can win more by love, respect, and acceptance than being louder than someone else. There is no winning side to opinions. Afterall, opinions are just that: OPINIONS (a personal belief or judgment that is NOT founded on proof or certainty.)
Do not be wise in your own opinion.                                                 ~ Romans 12:16b
Because of Him and Unto Him, 




Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Awaken, Love!

Awaken, Love,
from Your slumber
Awaken!

Claw through, Love,
from life's debris enshrouding You
Claw through!

Shout out, Love,
Your voice has been silenced way too long
Shout out!

Free yourself, Love,
from the straightjacket heartbrokenness has encased You in
Free yourself!

Push through, Love,
to the surface
Push through!

Excavate, Love,
from the layers upon layers of dysfunction
Excavate! 

Resurrect, Love,
from the grave of deadness
Resurrect!

Oh, Love in me, be set free!


Love has been shed abroad in our hearts by God, Himself.  By Love, Himself.  (Romans 5:5)

It is up to us to allow Love free reign in our hearts, in our words, in our actions.  When desired - then and only then - will Love start to be set free from within.  And then, we truly will be Disciples of The Lord Jesus Christ.  Because He is Love.  He doesn't DO Love, He IS Love.  And so must we be to God's Glory and Honor.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Sun Bent the Horizon?

Perspective: the appearance of things relative to one another determined by their distance to the viewer; a point of view.  

What is your eye drawn to in this photo?  Mine is drawn to the bent horizon.

I've been told by my photographer friend, Don Case, that the horizon must always be straight for it to be a good shot.  I look at the horizon in this photo and the horizon seems bent to me.  How can the horizon be bent?

Well, it cannot be.  And it isn't.

Upon further study of this photo, I realize the horizon is not bent at all. The beach slopes upward from the water and the rays on the right side of sun gives an appearance of a horizontal bent.

From my perspective, it appears to be bent.

Isn't that how we look at the world around us and the people around us?  It/they appear to be one way, yet upon further study, the truth of the matter is it/they are not really what it/they appear to be. It is our perspective that is askew.

Lesson learned?  Do not make a hasty judgment of good or bad.  Take time to dig deeper into a situation or a person.  "You will know them by their fruits." (Matt. 7:16-17)  Sometimes the conclusions we come to are a bit skewed. Sometimes, they are right on the money.  Dig a little deeper and you will know. the. truth.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, August 7, 2017

I Am Woman

Women, American society has us brainwashed and deceived. During the six decades of my life, I've heard countless times that "a woman needs a man to complete her".  And for the three-and-a-half decades that I've been walking with The LORD, pastors have repeatedly preached that a woman's husband is her "covering".

Those are both lies!

One lie is used to dictate to a young woman that she absolutely must marry. Then and only then, will we be "complete" and happy.  The other is used to control women within the Church.

Nowhere - NO. WHERE. in Scripture do we find either one of those statements or truths.  Satan has perpetuated the twisting of Scripture (as he did in the very beginning in The Garden) down through the millenniums.

As recorded in Genesis 2:18, God, The Creator, said, "It is not good that MAN should be alone.  I will make him a helper comparable to him."

Women were created to "complete" the man, not the other way around!

In the almost four years that I'm alone now, I'm healthier (emotionally and mentally) and more "complete" than I ever was as a married woman.  The original design of who God created Diane to be is now emerging.  And God never creates something or someone only halfway. He created me complete.  He created me completely complete.

Being alone is almost thought of like a dirty word.  People feel sorry for you. "Oh...(there, there now: you poor thing) God has someone for you." For ME?  No.  I appreciate their heart and well-intentioned words, but I look at things differently.

GOD MAY HAVE ME FOR SOME MAN.  SOME MAN OUT THERE WHO NEEDS MY GIFTINGS AND MY STRENGTHS TO HELP FULFILL HIS DESTINY AND THE CALL OF GOD ON HIS LIFE - FOR KINGDOM PURPOSES, NOT FOR LONELINESS OR "INCOMPLETE" PURPOSES.  

WE WOULD BE AN EXTENSION OF GOD'S COMPLETENESS TO EACH OTHER. 

And certainly the only "covering" I need in my life is God Almighty, The Blood of Jesus Christ, and His most Holy Word.  What man could be a greater "covering" than that?!  That is just like Satan to exalt man over God. Just like the Father of Lies to twist and pervert Truths.



I am "complete".
I am "covered".
I am woman.  No need to roar. There is strength in my whisper.




Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Organics of the Matter

"Wait a cotton-pickin' minute!"  I used to hear that a lot as a kid, as well as, "Keep your cotton-pickin' hands to yourself!"

I never gave the "cotton-pickin'" part of those kinds of statements a thought.  Until today.  Many decades later.

Raised by a Nazi-mentalitied, "Most-Worshipful Grand Master" of the Masons' father, I now understand, 'cause I now gave it some thought - thanks to a movie I am in the middle of.

...Ugh.  It's like a knife in my heart...

So much of life is like that.  We don't stop often enough to give thought to important things all around us.  And words are important.

Last night at Victorious Overcomers, at my Step, I was asked about the meaning of a particular Scripture referenced in the Step.  The teacher in me got so excited!  As an expository teacher (line by line, word by word), every word in a sentence is important and when you pull a verse apart that way, oh, what revelation you get.

I wonder how many of us really stop and purposefully go over and over and over one verse of Scripture to gain an understanding of the full meaning of the words?

For the most part, as we read (and as you read this post), we just read to read, not necessarily study. Some people are skimmers, some are speed-readers and that's OK.  But, if we really want to grasp what the words are speaking to us, we must carefully and deliberately ponder the wording when something hits us. That's what God calls "meditating" on The Word.


The Word of God is just as organic as cotton is and is God's Provision for our lives just as cotton is. Where would we be without cotton? Where would we be without The Word?  I shudder to think.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Language God Speaks

What language does God speak?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?

To the Chinese, I'm sure He speaks Chinese.  To the Aussie, He has the Aussie accent.  To the New York Puerto Rican, He speaks Spanish mixed with The Bronx or Brooklyn accents and attitudes.

But, that's not what I mean by that question.  What language does God Almighty, Creator of humankind and the universe, speak?

LOVE.

His language is Love.

So what does the language of Love sound like?

Words that reflect His patience with us.
Words that are kind and have a compassionate tone to them.
Words void of an angry tone, even when correcting us.
Words not of Himself, but of us.
Words of acceptance and tolerance of us in spite of our sins.
Words void of thoughtlessness, therefore, they are very specific.
Words never spoken out of provocation.  And therefore, His Words are never rude or cutting.
Words that edify and build up, encourage and strengthen, comfort and heal even when they are              meant to correct us.
Words of nothing but Truth to lead and guide us through life.
Words of Life and goodness and hope.
Words of caring and concern.

Boundless, embracing, extravagant Love!  In spite of our failures, shortcomings, sins, and choices.  

God's language sounds the same to the Chinese, the Aussie, and to New Yorkers of any ancestral background.

He speaks the same language to all nationalities, denominations, and genders - no matter what their preferences may be.

If it is in the heart, it will speak

He speaks the same language to those who deny Him, who have hardened their hearts against Him, and those who curse His Name and malign His Character.

He even speaks the same language to Believers who think they have the right to judge, point fingers at, and "Bible-thump" others because their sin may be different than their own.

This New Yorker thinks we need to learn how to speak God's language.

The language of LOVE.

Because of Him and Unto Him,



Sunday, June 11, 2017

No Mountaineering for This Girl!

Photo Courtesy of Donald Case

As soon as I saw this photo this morning, a blog post began to stir within me.  Right away I knew it represented the human soul.  

                    the mountain range                      the flower field 
                    harsh                                                gentle                                   
                    dark                                                  colorful                   
                    cold                                                  welcoming           
                    hardened                                        free-flowing
                    immovable                                     transplantable
                    impenetrable                                 whimsical 
                    humorless                                       playful
                    loud like a silent scream              quiet and peaceful                                                                       looms in the background            out front for all to see

There can be two sides to all of us: what we allow others to see vs. what is the "behind-closed-doors" us, which can ever be looming in the background.  

If I center my eyes on the mountain range, it seems to overwhelm the landscape towering and powering over all else.  But, when I center my eyes on the flower field, the mountain range is so in the background that I hardly notice it.  

I do believe in MY soul, the "mountain range" is much more blurred at this stage of life and the "flower field" has emerged the dominating view of my landscape.  However, every now and again I sense the "mountain range" trying to pursue its original potency and forefront position.  But, daisies win out over rock.

Mountaineers gain mastery over mountains by ascending the walls of them.

Through diligent pruning to have succulent fruit bearing, the wildflowers of my soul are free and flowing in the breezes of life. Hopefully, bringing joy and welcoming beholders into the landscape of my life.  I don't have to scale the mountains of my soul to try and conquer them.  By focusing on the beauty and the quiet gentleness of God's Word, mastery over those mountains is attained.  It just happens.

Oh, Hallelujah!  Thank You, LORD, for showing me this today.  Thank you for Don Case's photography that You spoke to me through.  A quiet and gentle spirit (1 Peter 3:3-4) is the landscape of my soul now for which, LORD, I am eternally grateful to You for!  With all that I am, I thank You.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, June 5, 2017

Crimson Perception

The color red stirs up all kinds of emotions.  Red is a powerful "power" color and a mood-changing color.  

"It's the color of cupid and the devil, the color of love and hate. It brings to mind hot-blooded anger and Scarlet-Letter shame. It means luck in China, where bridal wear is red, mourning in parts of Africa and sex in Amsterdam's red-light district." (Scientific American)

And there are so many shades of red.  I love a deep blue-red.  When I was ordained I wore a deep blue-red dress.

We associate the color red with Love.  

My OneWord for this year has been "fullness".  I took it from Ephesians 3:16-19.  I desire to be filled with God's fullness - which, of course, is Extravagant Love.

Initially, as I was writing this post, I thought to myself, I want to be "wrapped" in red.  However, now I know I want to have red flowing from me; for God's Love to be so full within me that it overflows outwardly.

This is called an Osiria rose. Rare and hard to find nowadays. Obviously, it is a genetically modified flower.

The crimson inner layer of the petals coupled with the white of the outer layer has an absolutely stunning effect.

Years ago, when I was seeking The LORD's confirmation about whether or not a family member received Salvation on his deathbed, we ordered flowers to be delivered to the funeral home in another county, which had to be FTD'd. When we arrived at the funeral home, Joe and I sat down right next to a large basket of these roses.  (And this basket must have been one of about 50 floral arrangments that lined the three walls of the room.) They were absolutely stunning!  Joe and I marveled at them having never seen roses like this before.  As I went over to inspect them, I read the card.  They were from us!  As I read our names, I heard in my heart. "His sins are washed whiter than snow by The Blood of The Lamb."  (Ps. 51:7)  Confirmation!  A bit later that same night, I got up - much more confidently now - to present the eulogy.

Oh, how we are loved and therefore washed whiter than snow by The Blood of The Lamb of God.  We are adored and adorned by God Almighty.  Hallelujah! 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, May 19, 2017

Suddenly...Brilliance!

(This is an untouched photo of the sun coming through my window)

The LORD always speaks to me through Nature. On a day, a few years back after my life was shattered into a thousand pieces, I was up early in the pre-dawn hours sitting in The LORD's Presence, allowing Him to soothe my devastated, clouded up soul.  

I sat pouring out my heart with my tears for I had no words within me that could convey what I was feeling - experiencing.  All I knew of this dreadful situation was that my life was now shrouded in absolute mystery and darkness.  What is Truth about my situation?  That question became the cry of my heart for months. The more I sought Truth, the more Abba exposed the hidden secrets and the plots and plans that had been put into action against my life. Abba surely had my back.

That morning, I sat in His Presence a long time before I finally realized the sun had come up.  Not only was it up, but it was shining brightly through my east-facing window.  I grabbed my phone and shot the above picture.

The sun's brilliance flooded my living room and The Son's brilliance flooded my soul.  Oh, how Abba loves His children.  He is all around us, showing Himself strong on our behalf if we only have eyes to see.  

It was Abba who brought the depth of the sins to the light.  Was it difficult to wrap my head around those things as they were exposed? Absolutely!  Was I able - at that time when I was so shattered - to process it all?  Absolutely not!  I was a devastated, nonfunctional mess.

But, God, in His infinite care of me was patient and ever so lovingly kind.  He took me by my hand and led me out of the valley of the shadow of death.  In time, I began to process. In time, I came to accept the absolute unimaginable as Truth. And I saw ever so clearly how Abba had my back.  Not only during this time of exposure but the prior years when the plotting and planning were being formed against my life.  Yes, my enemy's weapon was formed against me.  But, it did not prevail!  Because God's Word is True and never returns to Him void but accomplishes what He commands it to do.

His Lovingkindness, extravagant Love, and the brilliance of His Glory was the shield around my back.  He had me covered.  And it took His Brilliance breaking through my clouds to show me how loved I was by the One Who Matters Most.  Oh, Hallelujah!  

Because of Him and Unto Him,