Thursday, July 28, 2022

The LORD Left the 99 to Go After the One - Me!

I'm sharing a testimony for the Glory and Honor of God Almighty:  




Tuesday, July 19, 2022 @ Debbie and Tommy Greathead's Life Group


I attended the Greathead’s Life Group last Tuesday night.  As Tony ended his teaching on the New Covenant, he read this statement from the homework page, “Those who express saving faith in Christ will not live in constant, deliberate sin.”


That statement sparked a tiny bit of something in my being at that moment, but I didn’t give it another thought. 


The Bible study time ended, and ministry began.  Tony asked if anyone wanted prayer.  Two women and a man wanted prayer.  After they prayed over the two women, Debbie came over and asked if I wanted prayer.  I told her, "No, I’m good.”   She came again and asked me; I said, “No, thank you, I’m good,” to which she responded, "But, I heard you say you wanted prayer.”  I said, “No, I didn’t.”  She said, “Yes, I heard you ask.”  She then told the gentleman to come forward.


After all the praying was done, I was saying goodbye when Judy came over to me, and she put her hands on my checks and said, “Leave the trauma here.”  Not knowing what she meant, I just said, “OK, thank you.”  She said it a second time, emphasizing the word “here".  I had no understanding of what she was talking about.  But, I politely thanked her, and I walked out the door.


As I walked to my car, I tried to recall the exact statement from the homework.  I couldn’t.  I drove 4-5 blocks when Holy Spirit surprised me by telling me, “Go back.”  Somehow I understood that He meant for prayer.  I turned the car around and went back.  


I parked and went in.  Most of the people had left.  


I went over to Tony and said, “I think I need prayer.”  With that, the flood gates opened, and I asked him about the closing statement he had read.  So we re-read it together. 


While he was explaining it to me, words exploded from my mouth. “Joe stood in the pulpit preaching every Sunday night; taught The Bible; did ministry work.  How can this be?!”   


By then, I was probably incoherent because I was wailing and doubling over as if something were being ripped out from within me.  Tony and Jerry started praying over me.  Deep from within my soul, remaining traumatizing pain and sorrow flowed like a torrent out of me.


Jerry held me like a loving father as I cried and cried.  He was Abba to me at that moment.  I felt safe. Secure. And somehow understood.  


Jerry then shared with me something God had once told him.  And instantly, our Father’s Words to him rang true to me, and I then comprehended about Joe.


Then, I realized my HOME ministering was also taken from me.  Another loss that Holy Spirit brought up to my knowledge at the moment. Through my sorrowful tears, I said, “THIS used to be my life (referring to the 20 people in the home for Bible study and ministry), and now I don’t have that anymore. I miss it, and I want this back!”  I confessed to Debbie that I was a tinge jealous.  “I want this back!”


Jerry and Tony prayed for God to use me and my home again.


I had never explicitly thought about the loss of my HOME ministries.  With all my out-of-the-home ministries, I had already grieved their losses and had already been healed.  But in-home ministries I had never specifically thought of.  


Oh, but Abba knew that area of my life needed to be healed.


When it was all said and done, and I drove home, I realized I had left “the trauma here” in the Greathead home, just as Judy had spoken to me.


Since I had no inkling during that evening of what was to come or that I even needed it, I realize now that Abba had gone after me.  He pursued me to bring more healing of trauma and to release what was down deep within me - deep sorrow that my home was no longer being used for His Glory and Kingdom.  


AND that “He left the 99 to go after the one” - ME!  Whoa!


Me!  Little old me!  The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY went after me last Tuesday night!  


He pursued me.  Tears of gratitude have not stopped flowing since then.  I’m so deeply humbled, thankful, and in awe of such Love.  


No man, no human has ever pursued me.  And I realize now that I’ve so wanted that - NEEDED that in my life - to know that someone cared enough for me to not let go of me, to pursue me out of deep love for me. 


As I type this, I realize I lost two very intimate friendships in the last year or so.  Neither pursued the friendship, which left me with profound rejection in my soul.  So, Abba pursuing me also has brought healing to that rejection!  Oh, Hallelujah!


Abba’s Love for me compelled Holy Spirit:


1.  To have Tony read that particular statement from the homework page;


2.  For Debbie to hear my voice saying, “I want prayer,” even though I never utter those words because I didn’t think I needed prayer, but Holy Spirit knew I DID, and He let her know it;


3.  To speak through Judy to “Leave the trauma here”;


4.  For Holy Spirit to audibly speak to me telling me to “Go back.”;


5.  For Jerry having shared God’s answer to him when he lacked understanding and needed an answer;


6.  Holy Spirit's revelation of the depth of loss in my life from my home no longer being used by Him;


7.  The revelation about God pursuing me and healing that place where rejection had settled in my soul, leaving me less confident as a woman;


8.  And The Scripture Mark 16:20: "...The Lord working with them and confirming The Word through the accompanying signs" was alive and active in the Greathead Life Group!  Oh, thank You, LORD! 


It was another Divine Intervention by God Almighty, Himself in my life.  Another miracle!  Unexpected and Suddenly, which is God’s M.O.  ANOTHER one for the books!


The number eight (eight things listed) in Scripture represents new beginnings.  Oh, Hallelujah!


I know I am adored by You, Abba, and I'm adorned with Your Goodness.  My heart bows before You, My LORD.  There are no words of thanksgiving in English.  Hear my tongues.  See my heart, LORD.  Save my tears in Your Bottle next to my name in Your Book - because they are tears of gratitude... I am so so grateful...Please use this testimony, Oh, LORD, for someone who needs to know You are The Miracle Working God in unconventional ways!  


Because of You, and Unto You, Always,


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Got Questions?

Have you ever doubted yourself on significant issues?  I have.  

As of late, I was beginning to think that maybe I had imagined something rather than it being a reality since I naturally have a vivid and active imagination.  I cried out to Abba to show me the Truth about a situation with a close friend.  

Yesterday, Abba did above all I could think or ask, blowing my socks off.  He masterminded a situation to prove to me, "No, Diane, you have not imagined this.  It is real.  It is truth.".  

In moments like these, gratitude oozes out of my pores.  I cannot contain my praise.  And when I genuinely run out of words to speak to my Loving Father, I ask Him to listen to my heart.

Never, in my 39 years of walking with The LORD has He not answered a question I pose to Him.  The majority of the time, He does not do so instantaneously.  But, eventually, He does - even if it takes years because I may not be ready or mature enough for the answer.  

He is faithful - and can be relied on - to answer us!
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, it will be opened." ~ Our Lord Jesus as recorded in Matthew 7:7-8
What does it spell if you take the first letters of ask, seek, and knock?  Yes, ASK!
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.  -  Jeremiah 33:3

James 4:2 tells us that we receive not because we ask not.  So, ASK!

Does He not prove Himself faithful and reliable to answer us?  YES, HE DOES!  Hallelujah!!!

So, if you need answers, persevere to keep on asking!   Seek His Face.  Knock on the Scriptures.  Cry out to our God, and He will answer you in such a manner that will blow your socks off!  

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Friday, July 8, 2022

The Wisdom of Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness; it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”       ~ Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Citites

Charles Dickens wrote his book in the 1800s.  

Surely there is nothing new under the sun.  

What he wrote is a truth.  This is our American society today.  And it can be said of individual human beings.  Our lives flow like the ebbtide of the ocean.  We go through different seasons.  Sometimes it is a season within another season.

And through all the seasons of bests and worsts, I still praise and worship The Lord Jesus Christ for what He did for me on His Cross.   I am so grateful for Holy Spirit's work within me which got me through each of these seasons of my life.  I am so, so grateful for Abba's Agape toward me.  And The Holy Scriptures...oh my Bible...

God's Word has always been an encouragement to me, a teacher when I need to be taught, a solace in my times of distress, and above all, my corrective tool when I do not align to the likeness of My Jesus.

For the rest of my earthly years, it will be the best of times, the worst of times, etc., etc.  And for the rest of my earthly years, God's Word will be an encouragement to me, etc., etc. 

Hallelujah!  Thank You, My God!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Sunday, June 19, 2022

In the Silence of My Heart

The Silence of My Heart

i self-silence in order to hear
in order to feel
in silence my heart taps into the Heartbeat of God Almighty.

For in Holy Spirit’s Whisper 
i learn 
i grow
i am assessed and corrected
i am acknowledged and praised
i am shown the ways of The Christ
i change.

i self-silence my heart
in the early hours pre-dawn
i sit silenced - waiting

Nothing else needs to be done
except to be still
In the darkness of the room
by the light of the keyboard
i see ever so clearly my heart

The good
the bad
the ugly
and the beautiful

Oh, the beautiful…
Such a lifter of my head your Heartbeat brings
Your Glory shines upon my countenance
and allows me to see as You do 
The beauty of Your daughter.
Thank You, Breath of Life within me
Thank You, Spirit of the Living God
for now my heart wants to sing.

You have shown me my worth
in the silence of my heart 
intertwined with Yours

i bow my heart before Your Heart
oh, King of Glory
Thank You for this morning’s silent interlude.
~~~
Have a wonderful Sonday today and may you take time to silence your heart and hear Abba's heart toward you. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, June 3, 2022

I Am Not an Airbnb

I am not an Airbnb.  Instead, I am a permanent home.  

Holy Spirit does not come and go like a paying guest in my life.  He has abiding residency and full access to my mind and soul.

Yesterday, I spent many hours writing and tweaking, tweaking, and tweaking a three-page letter to someone I was going to email.  It was an all-day project.

Still uncertain about the letter when I was going to bed last night, I asked Holy Spirit to instruct my mind during the night (Psalm 16:7). 

I was awakened fully around 3:15 AM this morning, knowing exactly what to write.  I got up, came to my laptop, and composed a five-sentence email.  I sat in my recliner, and I laughed as I was typing it.  My indwelling, permanent Resident did what I asked of Him.  So simple; so Him.  

I just had to give Holy Spirit Glory and Honor this morning.  

Thank You, My Holy Spirit, for instructing me during the night.  I trust that will start the dialog flowing.  Thank You for being so faithful to Your Word.  As Jesus relied on you, so do I.  Thank You for You being You in my life!  I love You and appreciate You.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, June 2, 2022

The Attitude Adjustment Chair

... What to write?...hmmm...

...

I am amazed - no, that is not the right word.  

...

To be honest, the word should be "annoyed".   

The LORD doesn't allow me to get away with actions, words, or attitudes that He may allow others to get away with.  He may not be dealing with them the way He does with me.  He may not be dealing with them at all.  I understand that, but...

I have been having a quiet pouting session: LORD, but what about him?!  

Because of my intimacy with Abba, His Spirit is quick to convict me and bring me to correction when needed.  Such has been the case this past week.  

So, I drag out my pouting session for another day.  Uh, how many days does this make it now, Jesus? 

I sit to blog and finally put my fingers on the keyboard, not knowing what to write about for this post when Holy Spirit brings His Word to mind.  Parts of John 21:19b-21:

He [Jesus] said to him, "Follow Me."  Then Peter, turning around, saw the Disciple Whom Jesus Loved following.  Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, "BUT, Lord what about this man?"  Jesus said to him, "...what is that to you?  YOU follow Me."  

Holy Spirit just reminded me of this discourse between Peter and Jesus.  Jesus tells Peter to do something, and Peter's concern is what about the other guy [John].  Sounds like a "Yeah, but..." to me.  Sounds childish to me.  

Sounds like ME...

Oh, brother!  

Can anyone relate?

I guess I'm right up there with Apostle Peter at times with my child-like attitudes and finger-pointing.  Typing Jesus' rebuke to Peter, the same Word is now rebuking me.

Holy Spirit is saying to me, "What is that to you, Diane?  This is between You and I.  Don't be concerned with My dealings with him.

My "Under the Shadow of The Almighty" chair
is Holy Ground


If I quickly say, Yes, LORD, will my angst go away?  Knowing me, no, it will not.  For I must go sit quietly with My LORD and truly repent of my bad attitude and for holding onto something I should not.  

Possibly, The LORD does not even have to deal with him.  Only me.  Ahhh!  That is a repulsive thought...

Only me???  BUT, WHAT ABOUT HIM?!

Oh boy!  I better get to that quiet place quickly!  My "Under the Shadow of The Almighty" chair - where I meet with My Abba - for now is my attitude-adjustment chair to reflect on my carnal, Peter-like attitude.




Because of Him and Unto Him,

 P.S.  Sitting with The Almighty did the trick!  Thank You, My Abba, for Your Patience with me, Your Undertanding of me, and Your Unfailing Love and Forgiveness of me.  


 

Monday, May 23, 2022

Dress "to the Nines"!

Most people take care in getting appropriately dressed for an occasion, whether it be to go for a jog, go to work, meet your spouse's boss, etc. 

But, do we stop to think about how our inner man should be dressed?

...Put OFF concerning your former conduct the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.  (Eph. 4:22)

But now, you yourselves are to put OFF all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.  Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with his deeds and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him Who created him. (Col. 8-10)

...and that you put ON the new man which was created according to God in true righteousness and holiness.  (Eph. 4:24)

To dress our inner man, we must:

Take off.

And

Put on.

If only it were as easy as putting taking off an old pair of pants and putting on brand new ones. 

It most certainly is not!

Take a moment to reflect on this bronze statue by Dean Allison.  This is entitled "Born Again".  When we surrender our hearts to Jesus, everything prior to that moment is gone and God recreates us anew - like a caterpillar into a butterfly.

It can take years to work out the "old man" once we come to Christ.  It can truly be a struggle, especially to keep those nasty old ways off!

We cannot possibly do it without Holy Spirit's Grace and Work within us.  We must rely on Him to overcome the things of our old nature that we may still struggle with.  In my experience, even those things I overcame a long time ago sometimes rear their ugly heads when I least expect them to.  And that is not a feel-good situation.  But, it does cause me to lay at the foot of Jesus' Cross afterward.

Holy Spirit, how I need You in my daily life.  How I need Your infinite Wisdom and Grace as I work toward being more Christ-like!  Train me again to put on Your Fruits and give me the desire to live within them every day.  Especially when my old man is right there to come forth without my bidding. Set a guard over my mouth and watch over my lips.  Nudge me before I'm going to let that old man of mine exalt itself over the knowledge of God and who I am in Him.  I cannot do this in my own strength, only in Yours.  Thank You, LORD!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Importance of the First Thirty

Three years of doing the work of the ministry Jesus had been prepared for.
30 years of preparation. 

Can you imagine how many times, Joseph and Mary must have looked at each other quizzically?  How many times did they whisper back and forth in bed at night concerning Mary's Firstborn?  How many times did they ask each other, and pray, "How do we raise this Child to prepare Him for what is to come?"

I think there may have been times when Jesus was chomping-at-the-bit to get started in "ministry work".  Especially in His teen years coming into adulthood.  I'm sure there were times He thought He was ready, until Abba told Him, "Not yet Son."

What did Jesus go through in those 30 years to prepare?  What kind of trials and tribulations did He experience?  I'm sure some of the same as ours.  

And in the midst of His preparatory years, His human dad dies.  I can see Jesus crying out to Abba, "Let Me heal him!"  "Let Me raise him up!  My mother needs him, my siblings need him.  I need him!  Abba, please!"  

Can you imagine?  The Greatest Faith-walker/Healer wasn't allowed to heal Joseph, the most important human man in His Life. 

I can imagine how Jesus must have felt.  Can you?

And I can think possibly this was the reason why when asked at Cana to turn the water jugs into wine, He thought, "Nope, My time has not come."  Jesus may have thought, "If Abba wouldn't allow Me to raise Joseph, why would He allow something as trivial as wine?" He may have thought, "This is not the way My Life's Ambition will start."  Yet, it was.

And maybe - just maybe - inner healing was happening when Jesus was told the news that His beloved friend, Lazarus, had died.  Maybe this is why Jesus prayed the way He did at Lazarus' tomb before He commanded Life back into his body:
And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people whoa re standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.
Could He have meant that God heard Him when Joseph died, but His Abba did not give Him permission?  Could it be that His Father allowed Jesus to raise Lazarus from his grave to bring healing to Jesus' Soul from the time He was denied that miracle for His dad?  

What specific circumstances - Hand-designed by His Father - did Jesus go through in those 30 years?  

What did Jesus learn from Joseph, the carpenter, that was preparing Him for the three years to come?  What did He learn hewing out the wood?  Did all Jesus think about was the Cross ahead of Him as His Hands caressed the wood He was handling?

Now here is my real question:  Were those 30 years any less important than the three years of ministry and His Crucifixion and Resurrection 

Preparation must be just as important.  

Think of all the examples we have:  Moses' preparation time was almost a lifetime of years.  And Joseph.  Noah.  Paul - 14 years of preparation.  Billy Graham.  Dave Wilkerson.  My pastor, your pastor.  Corrie ten Boom.  Elizabeth Elliot.  What "god awful" things did they have to live through before the ministry work, they were best known for, really began?

Then there is you and I.  Do you think all the trials and tribulations we go through are for no reason?  

I think there may have been times when Jesus was chomping at the bit to get started.  Especially in His teen years coming into adulthood.  Yet, Abba knew Jesus was not ready.

If Jesus needed 30 years of preparation before His Destiny could be fulfilled, how much greater is our need for years?

I left all my ministries behind in NY and in December of 2018 I moved - in obedience to God - down to NC, where it has been one physical trial after another.  A new experience of living life solo, a severe muscle tear to my hip, a wrist injury from two falls in one day, Paget's Disease with surgery to follow, a re-injury to my hip muscle, and just as that healing was complete (again), I got whomped with a severe case of COVID with a long recovery process.  Still.

Preparation?  As of late, I've cried out, "When LORD?!  When will you find me worthy to be used again in service to You?"  I believe I am still in preparation mode.  As much as I don't like it, it is part of Kingdom Life.

Thank You, Jesus - not only for what You did on the Cross for me - but for all Your years of preparation.  I want to have Your Patience and Endurance, LORD.  I want to be more and more like You.  If You could endure all Your trials and tribulations in Your thirty years, I can through Your Spirit, LORD (Zech. 4:6).  Whatever You are preparing me for, I accept, Abba. Holy Spirit, help me to learn my lessons speedily, LORD, for I'm not a young chick anymore.  

How about you?  Are you in preparation mode as well?  Maybe you didn't realize that all your trials were indeed for a grander purpose yet to be lived out.  Please feel free to share.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, April 8, 2022

The Faith-walker's Question

We are just a few weeks from Easter - the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. His rising from the dead is celebratory. But, what about the crucifixion part that leads us to that celebration?

What were Jesus' last weeks like? How did He prepare Himself for the torture and humiliation that lay ahead of Him? None of us will know the day or hour of our death. But Jesus knew His.  Knowing you will die is one thing. But knowing the physical pain and torment you will go through and the abandonment of those you are one with before that final breath is quite another. Oh, I cannot imagine.

Yet Jesus...

While in the Garden of Gethsemane, It was just He, His Father, His Spirit, and His host of angels standing ready to minister to Him.  I can picture them huddling around Jesus. These were their last intimate moments together before The Father would have to turn His Head away from His Son allowing Him to have the final human experience: abandonment.  Yes, the Disciples had already let Jesus down.  But, to be separated from His Father?  His God?  Because the crucified Christ stood in the gap and experienced separation from God as He was dying, that is something we will not experience.  Hallelujah!

It can indeed be said that Jesus experienced all that we humans do. We all experience being abandoned by someone we care about.

Yet Jesus...

In obedience to His Father's Will, Christ walked willingly to The Cross. He knew He would experience His last human experience.

Possibly Jesus was able to cope with the physical torture because He was going to experience something far worse.   He knew abandonment was coming. He had never experienced separation from His Father Whom He was One with. Not yet anyway.  

On His Cross, Jesus did not cry out in physical pain.

As the sins of every human being came upon Jesus, He did cry out as He experienced His God turning His Face away from Him.  THAT caused such anguish to Jesus' Soul that He questioned His God, "My God, My God, WHY have You forsaken Me?!" 

He experienced what we all do and questioned like we do.

On His walk to the Cross, I don't think Jesus could imagine what the fullness of what that moment would be like. I think being separated was more horrific to Him than the physical pain, and it caused Him to cry out in all His humanness - questioning His God.  

We have all been there. We cry out and question God through life's various trials and tribulations.  Why, LORD?  How long will this last, LORD?  Why is this happening to me?

Abba does not get angry when we question Him. He understands. He understands because His Son questioned Him.  Possibly Jesus purposefully did so, so we can relate and know it is okay for us too. Please don't ever think it is sinful or you are not walking in faith if you questionably cry out to God once in a while during challenging times.  Don't let the prince of condemnation tell you otherwise!

Jesus was the greatest faith-walker there will ever be, yet He questioningly cried out to God in His anguish.

As we come up upon Resurrection Sunday (Sonday), may we reflect deeply upon all Jesus - in His humanity - experienced for our sakes, and may it cause us to bow our heads and knees in grateful worship to the resurrected King of kings.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, March 31, 2022

In the Palm of Your Hand

I'm coming through three months of major health issues.  I'm finally capable of putting two written words together.  This is the first thing I wrote:


In the Palm of Your Hand

where I am safe and secure

where heartache is shared

and tears are collected


In the Palm of Your Hand

where my eyes are opened

and understanding comes

where Wisdom abounds


In the Palm of Your Hand

where deep breaths penetrate

my worrisome soul

where Peace is restored


In the Palm of Your Hand

where rest is found

where my soul rejuvenates

and the stressed body sighs relief


In the Palm of Your Hand

where My Abba lovingly gazes upon me

where Your Eyes ever behold me

and I’m reminded that I am Your child


In the Palm of Your Hand

I recount my blessings

where gratitude overflows

where thanks is given


In the Palm of Your Hand

my sin is brought into the Light

where, with a humble and contrite heart, my sins are expounded

where forgiveness washes me clean

In the Palm of Your Hand

between You and me

where I nestle into Your Love

where I know I’m worth loving


Between You and me

oh, what we share!

Abba, in Your Hand I reside

where You and I are One

Where nothing is between Us

Yet everything concerning me is between You and me

Comfortable in Your Hand, In Your Care

Between You and me

I am forever in the Palm of Your Hand.


Amen.


Because of Him and Unto Him,