Saturday, March 23, 2019

Do We Do What Demons Do?

When we are thrown into crisis, when an unthinkable thing suddenly happens to us or our loved ones, when we get ourselves into hot water, what do we do?
We cry out to God.  In. absolute. desperation.  "HELP!  Do something!"  Our natural humanness wants someone - anyone - to intervene when we are helpless to change the situation.
And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.  But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it."   ~Exodus 14:15-16             
Moses' rod was the symbol of his authority.  Just as our oval office is a symbol of the authority of the President of the United States. 

Moses was crying out to God to save him and the Israelites from the right-on-their-heels army of the Pharoah.  They would have been slaughtered had the Red Sea not opened up for them to cross to the other side. 

But, God did NOT open the Red Sea.  Moses did.  Moses used his God-given authority.  Had Moses not cried out to God and just automatically did that, the Red Sea still would have opened up.  

Jump forward to the time of Jesus.  He gives His Disciples all authority, which was originally man's.  At the time God created Adam, God spoke forth the power and authority that was God's transferring it to Adam.  And that was that Adam take dominion and subdue (Genesis 1:26-28).  He tells us the same thing today.  Take dominion.  Subdue the enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy us.
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  And He said to themTake nothing for the journey, neither staffs...  ~ Luke 9:1-3
Jesus said not to take their staffs (rods).  Man no longer needed a symbol of authority.  They just had to walk in it.  We have to walk in it.

The demon-possessed man with a legion of demons inside him cried out and begged and pleaded with God (Luke 8:26-29).  Do we do what demons do?  God forbid, NO!  Demons need the Mercy of    God.  As Believers, we are clothed in His Mercy.

And His authority!

Desperate cries from an unbeliever or those young in their relationship with God and His Word, God acts upon - sometimes swiftly -  for the purpose of building faith.

But, as we grow in our faith, as our trust-relationship with The LORD deepens, He no longer expects us to cry out but to take action by using the authority He has declared is ours through His Name.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

When Love Broke Through

When Love broke thru
You found me in the darkness 
Wanderin’ through the desert 
I was a hopeless fool 
Now I’m hopelessly devoted 
My chains are broken 
And it all began with You 
When Love broke thru 
And it all began with You 
When Love broke thru 
This is the chorus of the Toby Mac song, "Love Broke Through".  It's one of my favorites.  Somehow this song centers me.  When I'm down on myself, when I'm confused, when I need to be loved on, this song centers me back to Truth: God Almighty Loves me.

He Loves ME!  

The thought that The Holy God of all this universe loves me no matter what I do or don't do; whether I'm good today or not; whether I meet in the quiet of the early morning with Him or choose to stay in bed.  There is nothing I can do or be to warrant His unconditional Love.

I seem to strive after love in the natural.  As a child, I strived for my parent's love and acceptance.  As a wife and mother, the same.  I never quite measured up. 

I truly do desire to experience what it is like to loved and adored by a man who allows the Agape Love of God to flow through him to me before I pass from this plane to the next.  Abba does give us the desires of our heart.  And so I wait.  Although, sometimes impatiently reminding Him.  Just in case He forgot.

I experientially know of His boundless love but yet, I can so easily lose sight of the fact that I am completely loved and adored.  So much so, that Abba has adorned me with His Love.  I'm clothed in His Love.  Surrounded by His LoveHis Love permeates my whole being.  His Love breaks through all my unlovable ways.  His Love breaks through all my striving.  

The chains of the need to strive are broken.  Because I am loved and adored by The One Who Matters Most.  AND SO ARE YOU! 

Thank You, my Abba.  Thank You.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Friday, March 15, 2019

Oh, For the Love of God!!

When I was a child - a  L O N G  time ago - my aunt used to exclaim, "Oh, for the Love of God!! " when she was surprised by something someone said or was frustrated.  That phrase came to mind this morning.

I was lying in bed talking to Abba about the challenges I've had every day since Tuesday night.  I led a new Bible study Tuesday night on how Jesus shows Love to us without using the words, "I love you".  I knew I'd be put to the test.  Walking in Love toward others can truly be a challenge when our carnal nature wants to take over and react and lash out. 

I did manage to stay sweet and non-reactive in all three situations.  But, it was a conscious effort on my part to do so.  My old carnal nature wanted to have its way.

This is The Word Abba brought to mind this morning in regard to it all:  2 Cor. 9:8:
And God is able to make all Grace abound toward you, that you - always having all-sufficiency in all things - may have an abundance for every good work.
We have an abundance of Grace towards us from God.
We have an abundance of Grace to be God-conscious.
We have an abundance of Grace to have the mind of Christ.
We have an abundance of Grace to walk in His Love-grace toward others. 

We just need to tap into that Grace. 
We need to DESIRE His Grace. 
We need to DESIRE to be non-reactive.
We need to DESIRE to stay sweet in spite of all the little things in life that can daily aggravate, frustrate, or hurt our feelings.

We CAN stay sweet spirited.  But, we need to work at it.  It's against our very flesh. our very nature. our very desire.

Oh, the sweetness of Love is the fragrance of our Lord!
For we are to God, the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  ~ 2 Cor. 2:15
Oh, Abba, I rely on Your Grace to keep me sweet.  I desire to be the beautiful, sweet fragrance of Jesus to those around me.  I desire for HIM to be known, not me.  I desire HIM to be seen, not me.  I desire HIS character to be made manifest in and through me.  Thank You, that by Your Grace alone, I did stay sweet this week.  So far, anyway...I know the challenges will keep coming. Oh, Grace of God, continue to abound toward me...May I continue to walk in Your Love-grace toward others, the way You do toward me. That is my heart's desire.  Because of You and Unto You.  I love You, my Abba.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

When Penned Words Speak

In my BC (Before Christ) years, I don't remember ever finishing anything.  I was not a "long-haul" kind of girl (except in marriage), even though I am very much a goal setter and an "end result" kind of girl.  If the end result seemed too far away, I caved.  I'd "quit".

In my AD years, I've had to work hard at finishing things because it seemed to go against the grain of my natural makeup.  But, the sense of accomplishment - when I carried through - was always exhilarating.

These last few days, my soul is screaming for its comfort zone - Bail, Diane!

This move God called me to do solo - to leave Long Island and move to a foreign land - cost me and those in my circle and sphere of influence much.  But, I was obedient.

Here I am, 14 months later, and everything in me screams, Bail, Diane!  Go back to Long Island.  Back to the safety and comfort of the familiar.  Back to the full lifestyle I once had of serving God's people.  When my Long Island friends say to me, "Come home, Diane", their words pull on my heart.

As I opened my eyes this morning, I laid in bed talking to Abba.  "Was I wrong?!  Did I not hear You correctly?  Was this move down here to this foreign land of the south really You, LORD?"

Silence.  Sigh.

I got up and made my coffee.  Turned on my fireplace.  Opened one of my devotionals.
Heidi Baker said this, "God says to you today, 'Finish your assignment.' However much you think you should be somewhere else, and however bad it gets, finish. He who began a good work in you will be faithful." 
~ Baker, Heidi. Reckless Devotion: 365 Days into the Heart of Radical Love (p. 47). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition
Thank You, Abba, for speaking to me.  Thank You for turning Your silence this morning into shouts of direction and encouragement.  I know that You equip me, as needed, in this new life down here.  I know that You will open doors of opportunity for me to dive into and once those doors open, I'll probably be begging You for rest.  So, in this now-season of rest, I WILL be patient, LORD.  I WILL remain faithful and steadfast.  I WILL rest physically plus spiritually in You.  And so I now tell my soul, "Be quiet. You are no longer a quitter.  You are a FINISHER!  Remember, after all, soul, you have been a faithful Disciple for the past 36 years.  You have never quit on God or His Word.  You have been faithful to stay the course. Soul, you WILL finish your race."

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, March 4, 2019

Revelation 4:11 Gratitude

My Abba gifted me with FRONT ROW seats! to Casting Crowns' concert this past Saturday night. 


Casting Crowns' music helped get me through the last 6 years of my very challenging life situation.

And there I was - front and center.  For me, it was not a "concert" but an opportunity to worship my Abba along with this worshipful band through the music and lyrics that helped shaped my victorious, overcoming survival.

I put the camera away and worship I did.  And weep I did.  From a place of gratitude and victory.  They will never know that their music is now part of my life's story and how God used their songs to minister Life back unto my broken soul. 

Thank You, Abba, for this gift that I will always treasure.  I do not take it for granted.  I do not take You for granted.  You are my generous Daddy and I love you.  Thank You for blessing me so.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, February 22, 2019

Adored, Doted Upon, Even Spoiled

I saw verses in Scripture this morning that never really stood out at me before.  This morning the words did.  And I realized what an adoring, doting Father we have Who loves to "spoil" His kids.
So it shall be when The LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers - to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - to give you large and beautiful cities which you DID NOT BUILD, houses full of all good things which you DID NOT FILL, hewn-out wells which you DID NOT DIG, vineyards and olive trees which you DID NOT PLANT...  ~ Deut. 6:10-11
I loved my home in Wading River, NY.  It was "me".  But, it was sold out from under me and my journey of being displaced began.  Until this past December when I found this little house in an old town called Mooresville in North Carolina.  It has become my NC Wading River.  I love my home. I love my town.  And I no longer feel displaced.  Abba has planted me.  And even though it is a rental, it is my home.

I did not have a "spoiled child" upbringing.  Nor was I a "spoiled wife".  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  But, I sure am being lavishly loved on by Abba.  He is the bestower of good, good things to His children; Who does so from a sheer motive of pure Love and Whose delight is to lavishly present gifts to His children.

And, as if my new home wasn't enough...

Yesterday, with tears streaming down my face, I asked Abba for a friend.  Since I moved to NC, I've made connections with some women at church but I've not seen any of them outside of a church setting.  Within an hour, a text came through from my wonderful handyman.  He and his wife invited me for Easter dinner.  So far in advance, that I knew it was Abba answering my heart's cry.  I didn't even know when Easter is this year.  I had to google.  Yes, way in advance.

And so I am reminded not to despise my small beginnings here in the South.  I've been planted here by Abba's Hand.  He is watering me and tending to my needs.  I so love my Daddy.  He surely is loving on me - even spoiling me - in a manner that only those who have lost much can understand.  He is The Restorer.  From my heart to Yours, Abba, thank You.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, January 21, 2019

Silence is Golden at 4 AM

"Lord, You are my soul.  I don't have a soul, YOU are my soul.  You are my SOUL."

I found myself repeatedly saying that to The LORD during my time with Him this morning and immediately I thought of and sang to The LORD the Righteous Brothers song, Soul and Inspiration
Lord, You're my soul and my heart's inspiration.
You're all I've got to get me by.
You're my soul and my heart's inspiration
Without You, Jesus, what good am I?  What good am I?
Truly, I am no good without Him. 

The last few days have been intensely stressful.  Yet, I sit in the stillness with my Love and all seems right in the world.  In these moments in His Presence, peace floods my being.  I don't know if today will bring an end to this stressful situation or not but right now, my soul is at rest.  How can it not be, when HE IS my soul?
Jesus, You are the calm in the midst of the storm.  And You reside and reign within me.  You don't calm me, You ARE the calm.  And I am in you.  And You are in me, therefore, calm is my soul.  Oh, thank You, my LORD.  Thank You.  My heart bows before You - before Your Stillness in the midst of this crazy storm we call life.

I love 4 AM with You, LORD.  I love Your Stillness.  Your Peace.  Your Presence.  This is OUR hour.  OUR meeting place.  OUR gathering place.  The hour our souls become so intertwined that we surely are one.  I love when we sit and converse.  I love when we sit and You are quiet and have no need to speak.  Silence.  Looking deep within each other's souls with no need for words - Oh, that is LOVE.  Heart to heart, soul to soul silence.  That is trust. 

Truly, I have no more words.  Hear my heart's adoration and appreciation, LORD.  Hear my heart's silence.  For the silence is filled with my love. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Saturday, January 19, 2019

On An Ordinary Day...

Miracles happen on ordinary days, in the middle of ordinary life, to ordinary people - people who, in other’s eyes, are not necessarily good enough to warrant a supernatural intervention from God.

John 4.

Jesus looks right into the Samaritan woman’s soul.  He sees layer upon layer of hurt, betrayal, pain, loss.  He sees the anger her broken life has left her with.  He sees her self-loathing, guilt-conscious soul.  

He REALLY sees her.  

Jesus, The Christ, speaks in a tender, compassionate, loving tone and mannerism.  Not harsh, as men in the past have dealt with her.  Nor the manner that the community of women surrounding her in her town did.  She was used to harsh words and a harsh life. 

Yet, there was a Man who did not speak as one who knew her life, for it was without judgment and harshness.  How could He know me - ME, the REAL ME - and not condemn me?!?  I am sure she didn’t understand she was in the presence of Divinity.  She was in relationship with Divinity, not religion, at that well. 

Miracles happen on ordinary days.  In the middle of ordinary life.  To ordinary people.  Suddenly, when least expected.

What this unbelieving Samaritan woman may have heard about the One True God was through religion’s perspective - about an intolerant, angry, punishing god.  She had heard a Messiah was coming but didn’t even understand what that meant.

Out of all the miracles recorded in Scripture, this one captures my heart.  For she wasn’t in need of sight, deliverance from demonic activity, or physical healing.  She was in need of self-love.

Only God sees into a human soul.  He saw the lack of true self-love and for the first time, she is treated with respect and dignity.  So, her soul responds to this True Love standing before her.  She runs through town proclaiming about this Man to the same townsfolk that treated her despicably.  

Her life is now transformed.  A town is transformed.  Never to be the same again.  And all it took was a touch of Love.  

You and I are carriers of that same Love.  May we ask Abba to bring a “Samaritan” across our paths and may we take the time to respond as Jesus would have.  
“A miracle did happen.  It happened that day.  Jesus is The Answer.  He is The Way.               A miracle will happen.  It will happen someday.  Jesus is The Answer.  He is The Way."           ~ Alece Ronzino @ age 9 from her poem Miracles 

And may we be carriers of miracles to ordinary people, on ordinary days, in the midst of ordinary life.  And all it could take is a little kindness, compassion, and respect.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

P.S.  Alece wrote that poem when her dad was backslidden the first time and had moved out of our home.  Her Miracles poem brought him home and eventually back to The LORD.  It was anointed and written in such faith, that it produced a miracle.  

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Oh, the Jot and Tittles

I would have lost heart unless I had believed I'd see the Goodness of The LORD in the land of the living. ~ Ps. 27:13
Do you believe you will see God Almighty's Goodness while still here on earth?  Not in the "by and by".  Now!  Here!  While alive on planet Earth.

The hope that God's Goodness will invade our space, invade our difficult circumstances is what keeps us going.  Without hope where are we?  If we don't believe we will see His Goodness made manifest, what is the point of praying?
Vs. 14:  Wait on The LORD.  Be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on The LORD! 
What is it we are waiting for?  (To see His Goodness)
How will He strengthen our hearts?   (By experiencing His Goodness.)

When we experience God's Goodness break-through into our situations, it takes us up and out of doldrums, our anxieties, our brooding and funkage. 

Moses was up on the mountain alone with God and he asked God one thing: to see His Glory (Ex. 33:18-19).  God responded by saying, "I will make all My Goodness pass before you..."

When we sing, "I want to see Your Glory", we are saying we want to experience God's Goodness for ourselves.  And He will not disappoint.  BUT for His Glory (Goodness) to be displayed, He will allow adverse circumstances in our lives.  And when God's Goodness invades our circumstances and explodes in our consciousness, we are strengthened to keep going.
So shall they fear The Name of The LORD from the west and His Glory from the rising of the sun.  When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of The LORD will lift up a standard against him.  ~Is. 59:19
In the original Hebrew, there is no comma after the word "flood".  If we read it according to where the English scribes placed the comma, it makes the enemy seem so powerful for we know how destructive a flood can be.  What if it we read as if the comma was after the word "in"?  It changes the whole connotation of this verse, which then aligns with the rest of Scripture.  When the enemy comes in, LIKE A FLOOD THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD WILL LIFT UP A STANDARD AGAINST HIM!  Who is more powerful now?

(Photo Courtesy of Donald Case)
The reassignment of that little comma (a jot and tittle) gives this verse a whole new meaning.  And what is that standard?  God's Goodness of which no evil can withstand.  God's Goodness breaks through suddenly. So wait for it. Believe you will see it manifest.  And let that hope raise you up today. 

Oh, this is my prayer for you, dear reader, that you will come to believe, know, and remember that God is a "good, good Father".  And as you experience His Goodness, go from Glory to Glory (His Goodness to His Goodness) being changed more and more into His Image (2 Cor. 3:18).

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Musings of This Photo

My friend, Don, shared a few of his latest photos with me this morning.  My reply was, "I hoped I'd be inspired to write through one of them."  As soon as I clicked those words on my keyboard, this came to me from this photo:

Photo Courtesy of Donald Case
"Nothing new, nothing vibrant.  Same ole, same ole."

And so I sit and write my musings from his photo.

Most of what I see and hear in "Christianity" today is cookie cutter.  Same ole, same ole...people not getting Word revelation or sharing experiences from being in The Presence of The LORD.  Cookie-cutter Christianity.  All the same color. Nothing new, nothing vibrant. Same ole challenges, same ole quoting The Word about those challenges but without the substantial, "This is my belief, and on this I stand come hell or high water!"

Colorless and wavering.

The Book of Acts is anything but colorless and definitely not cookie-cutter.  The Disciples definitely were undignified if their faith, worship, Word-talk, and revelation of The Word, Himself.

As I type I'm listening to Undignified by Matt Redman, which just so happens is what my pastor preached on this past Sunday.  He has challenged us to become undignified in our praise and worship.  I know in weeks to come, he will challenge us to be undignified in our faith and in our walks.  If anyone from Judah Church is reading, may we make this song our anthem during this month of Sacred Assembly?

This is my dance around the house music.  How about you?

And Don, once again, I thank you for the inspiration!  We are a collaboration waiting to happen...I'm waiting on you, my friend.  Let this be the year we finally do it!

Because of Him and Unto Him,