Tuesday, November 19, 2019

When You Can Only Respond with Tears

"What a friend we have in Jesus"...I found myself singing this old hymn this morning.  I used to sing it as a child.

To have Jesus as a Friend is one thing.  To have a friend who is IN Jesus - who becomes Jesus to us in moments when we truly need it - is a blessing beyond measure.

I'm facing going to an orthopedic doctor for this injury this coming Thursday and I absolutely DO NOT want to go.  Going to a doctor is the last resort for me.

And going to a doctor in NC is like walking into the unknown on Mars.  It is worlds away from what I've known of medical care my whole life.  So, it's stressful to say the least under normal circumstances never mind with an injury.

I was on the phone with a friend this morning - a friend IN Jesus.  I was sharing my trepidation.  What he said to me caused me to respond with only tears.

"I'll go with you."

He lives out of state.

I thought he was joking so I made some kind of funny reply.  "I'm serious. I will go with you. Via the phone. I'll stay on the line with you as long as you need me to. I will be right there with you."

Tears.

What a friend I have in Jesus!
What a friend IN Jesus I have!
This morning, they were one-in-the-same to me.

Thank You, LORD, for being my Friend and for giving me a friend who is so deep in You, that He reflects You to me.  I know You will be in the chair in that doctor's office with me.  Thank You for not leaving me nor forsaking me.  I love You, LORD, and my trust is in You.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Personification of Grace

But by the Grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain  ~ 1 Cor. 15:10
The Apostle Paul had much to overcome in his born-again life.  Going from Saul of Tarsus, the mass murderer, to Paul the Apostle of Jesus Christ, was no easy feat.  Today, he would have been considered a serial killer before He met Jesus.  He was a mass torturer/murderer of those professing to be Christians.  That same spirit that was in Saul of Tarsus was in Hitler of Germany.

He had a reputation.  I cannot imagine the mental processes Paul had to work through.  Guilt and shame and his reputation.  I'm sure it took him years to fully understand and accept the Grace of God in his life.

Do we even fully understand Grace?

Most of us have a "past" of some sort or another; things we may not be proud of today.  The devil loves to bring guilt or shame back to our consciousness for he is the accuser of the brethren.  We know, better than anyone else could know, that by the Grace of God ONLY, are we who we are today.  God bestowed Grace upon our lives to lift us up and out of our pasts and give us a good future.

There are many Scripture references I could use here, but I will share just this one:  Titus 2:11
For The Grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Jesus Christ is Who brings salvation.  The Grace of God IS Jesus.  Not a thing.  Not a doctrine.  Not a portion of religion.   Just like Jesus IS Light and Peace, He IS Grace.

The scope of Grace is immeasurable.  It is above and beyond our finite minds to comprehend. 

Grace personified is Jesus.

I think Grace can be summed up this way:


Oh, Jesus, how can I say thank you to You for Your Grace in my life?  For changing me?  How, LORD?  How can I show my appreciation for You befriending me?  

"Live your life in such a way, that you continue to bestow Grace unto others.  May it be said of you: Diane/Grace, one in the same."

I bow before You with gratitude...Yes, my LORD, I will do my best.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, November 9, 2019

diane.thrive

Do you know what I'm talking about when I say a single word or phrase can open your eyes to Truth?  A Sermon-in-a-Sentence© can change your life.  I saw this on FB this week and it was a Sermon-in-a-Sentence to me.


I realized I've been in survival mode for 6 years now.  Literally.  And I've taken up very poor eating habits to help cope with all the trauma. 

It's time, Diane. It's time to THRIVE!  Survival days are over.  

God has given me a new life.  A do-over if you will.  Yes, a brand new life and if I want to thrive in this new life, then I must form new habits to replace ones I've lived by for the past 6 years.

OH MY GOSH!  I just realized something.  I have a secondary email address that I have had for years.  I use for junk kind of stuff and it starts with diane.thrive.  THRIVE.  Oh, my gosh!  Wow!  How prophetic. 

Oh, Thank You, Abba, for this "sermon".  Thank You for speaking to me through this little encouraging word.  Thank You for this new life You have given me.  Thank You for the email address I picked so long ago.  And I thank You, in advance, for the new eating habits I'm learning and Your Strength within me to undo the 6 years of bad ones.  I love You, LORD.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Word of The LORD Came Unto Me Saying...

Recently I got to thinking about my hometown in New York - Wading River.  What is it that I miss so much?  Why do I miss it so much?

I realized this morning, this is where I truly began my Immanuel (God with Us) lifestyle.  I disciplined myself to be God-conscious daily - moment by moment, even; to live in His Presence.  Just as Brother Lawrence entitled his book, I "practiced the presence of God" to the best of my ability.

My rental home stood 220 feet above the beach, high up on the Cliff overlooking The Sound.  The Sound is the body of water between the north side of Long Island and the state of Connecticut.  I loved looking out my living room picture window in the darkness of night - for the twinkling lights of homes on Connecticut's shoreline said hello to me.

God led us to Wading River to restore our souls.  Joe lost his business, and we lost our home and our ministry home.  It was a devastating time in our lives.  But, the peace and joy God brought back to my soul in that home were worth every moment we had lived through.

With each walk on the beach and each twinkling of lights from across The Sound; with each 4 AM rendezvous with God, and the turning of the pages of His most Holy Word, Him and I communed.  And He restored my soul.

God was with me in that home.  And the next rental.  And then in the house we owned after all those years of rentals.  All in Wading River.

In hiding, out on the East End of Long Island in a little town called Southold, We lived together.  God and I., His Presence in my daily life out there, is movie-worthy.  Extraordinary times of inner healing and the transformation from Joe's wife to who I was created to be began to take place in that small little rental house.

In that little house, I no longer "practiced" the Presence of God.  It had become my lifestyle.

...

What is happening, LORD?  Why am I writing about this? Why this morning, LORD?

...

"To remind you, My Diane, of Our relationship.  You, My Dear One, are not alone.  Right now, walking is a painful challenge, but you have become pain-conscious. Our connection got kinked by your physicality.  The same Immanuel on Long Island is the same Immanuel in Mooresville.  Here I Am.  With you.  Together as one.  Be not without Me."

(After tears flowed and I apologized to my Soul-mate, I bow my heart in grateful adoration.)

Thank You, Abba, for the blessing of knowing You as I do.  Thank You for wanting our connection so much that You directed my writing this morning.  And thank You for forgiving me, for wanting me, for loving-on me, for being my Mate. How blessed I am.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Garden Lifestyle



Picture a beautiful, sunny day; perfect weather with the kind of non-humidity you can take deep breaths of fresh air in.  It makes your soul sigh peaceably and creates a desire to be outdoors, taking time to stop to smell the roses or lay down in the fresh grass.  And the very best part of this gorgeous day is having someone to share its soul-enriching atmosphere with.  A friend, spouse, child.  Someone close to your heart.

That is what it was like in the garden-world God created for Him and Adam and Eve.  He created the perfect place for them to inhabit together.  A place where friends (Adam, Eve, and God Almighty) would live together as soulmates - the perfection of companionship.  A threesome in the purest sense of the term.
And they heard the sound of The LORD GOD walking in the Garden in the cool of the day... ~ Gen. 3:8 
I did a word study on the words "in the cool of the day".  It literally means "from sunup to sundown".

I don't think we have any clue as to what the beginning of human existence was really like.  I don't think our minds can image it - just like we cannot imagine what Heaven will be really like until it is experienced for ourselves.

God With Us = Adam, Eve, and God.  Always.  Forever.  A friendship that was so pure and Divine that we cannot imagine that either.  After all, it's only a verse long in Scripture.

Adam and Eve knew no angst, no anger, no lust, no jealousy, no offenses of any kind.  All peace.  All rest.  All love.  No perversion of their magnificent souls, which were created to be One with God.

God was the Soulmate of Adam and of Eve.  And with Him, they each lived in total completeness.  Wanting nothing.  Needing nothing.  Except for each other's presence with God.

That, my friends, is a picture of what God desires for our relationship with Him.  As it was in the beginning, so it can be for you and for me.  Today.

In this sin-fallen society we live in, we must work at having that kind of relationship with our God.  His desire for us is to know Him as our Soulmate, to know we are complete with Him at our side - Hand-in-hand walking through this lifetime "in the cool of the day".  Together.

That is His desire.  May it also be ours.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Well of Fortitude

If anyone would have asked me six years ago if I considered myself courageous, my reply would have been, "Nope!  I don't have a courageous bone in my body."  I never stepped out of the box I lived in.

However, I've learned some things about courage in the last six years:
1.  Courage lays dormant.  Until needed.
2.  And when it does manifest, in the middle of courage's manifesto it is not obvious to us.
3.  Hindsight allows us to see the display of courage's color and form in our lives.
4.  It takes true inner-strength courage to live an authentic life.  A "to-thine-own-self-be-true" life.
It takes great courage to be yourself and not allow other's opinions to shackle you to conformity.  Even in church.  Especially in church.

Every human soul desires to be understood and accepted in our differences.  But, at times in our journey called life, every being is not understood or accepted in one form or another.  We all experience it.

I cannot tell you how many people told me leaving NY was NOT God and I should come back.  I'm down here almost two years now and I still hear the same thing. 

It takes courage to resist popular demand.  Especially, when the demands come from those we love. 

I see courage in myself so plainly now.  It only took 60 years for courage to be awakened from its dormancy.  I am in awe of all that I have accomplished - alone - in these past six years.


The depth of the well of fortitude in each one of us is deep!  It's only when we have to dip into that well due to adverse circumstances, do we drink in courage.  It is there when we need it to be.

And the well of fortitude is called TRUST

Trusting in God.  For it is His Divine courage we tap into without being consciously aware of it.  The courage it took for The Son of God to surrender to torture and The Cross, is ours when we need it.  He gifts us with His courage to be and to do just because we trust Him.



Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Ugly Roots, Ugly Veins

Abba always uses photos to spark inspiration in me.  This morning He used this photo:
Photo Courtesy of Zach Reiner

I had just finished reading Pastor Bill's blog post reminding us to testify of the awesome things God does for us.  Well, his post, then this photo, results in this testimony:

Five years before I was born again into The Kingdom of God, I gave birth to my daughter. The morning after her birth, I was in the hospital shower and looked down and screamed from disgust and fright.  I had never seen anything like it.  It was something you would see in a horror movie. On both sides of my groin were massive, massive, gnarled protrusions.  

LONG story short: Ten days later they did emergency surgery on me after ten days of enduring Heparin shots in my stomach which did nothing to break up the massive blood clots.

The vascular surgeon explained the surgery but prepared me for death that was sure to come. "Rarely can anyone survive this kind of surgery.  Surely, a blood clot will break loose."  I refused surgery unless they allowed my two-year-old son to come and see me first.  In those days children were not permitted in hospitals.  Late that evening special permission was granted.  Very early the following morning, Michael was allowed into a special room that they wheeled me into. 

Long story short:  Then, I was taken into surgery.  

My husband prepared for my death that morning by bringing me the checkbook and asking me to write out the next month's rent check (since he didn't know how to do it).  I signed the check. He kissed me and walked out of my room.  No sympathy.  No compassion.  No sharing our fears or concerns.  No loving or even encouraging words.

I was alone.  As always.  

And as I was the whole night long.  Alone in that bed.  I cried and talked to God the whole night.  I made my peace with Him, seeking His forgiveness for everything and anything that came to mind.  I wasn't afraid of dying, as I knew I would go to Heaven but I wanted to be right with Him.  My concern was for my two babies that I would leave behind.  So, I discussed my concerns with Jesus that night and left them in His care.

First, I heartbreakingly said goodbye to my newborn daughter and handed her off to my mother's friend.  Then I said goodbye to my son and returned him to his Grandma.

From there, I went into surgery.  Me and The LORD.

I surprised the surgeon by surviving.  

He told me later that he never expected me to live but since I still had a beating heart, he did his best.  The surgery lasted much longer than it should have, he reported.  "You must have had a birth defect.  Never in my career have I seen what I saw in you.  All your veins and arteries were twisted, mangled, and fused together.  I could not even identify your saphenous veins in either leg.  I was so fatigued, that I finally just sowed you up.  DO NOT ever get pregnant again!  It will be your death."  

Two unplanned pregnancies followed the years after that surgery.  I miscarried both.  The third pregnancy was planned.  It was considered a "high risk" pregnancy but I trusted The LORD.  My son, Andrew James, was born.  AND I'm still alive!  Bless God!

The gnarled roots of the tree represent the gnarled veins in my body.  They can also represent the paths our lives take.  Twists and turns with consequences fused to those twisted choices we make.  Yep, life can be a mess sometimes.  But, when we trust God, the magic of miracles happens.  He is a loving, compassionate, all-forgiving,  merciful, and miracle-producing God.

Because of Him and Unto Him, I give the glory,

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Oh, For the Love of God!

I became an adult in the era of the free-love, hippie movement.  Woodstock, flower-power, communes, and psychedelic mind-altering drugs were a part of my generation. Many a "love child" were birthed during those years.  Today those daddy's would be called "sperm donors".

I was singing - rather passionately - in the shower this morning with Zach Williams as he sang No Longer Slaves.  And at one point, I found myself singing, "I'm no longer a slave to fear. I am a love-child of God".

And we truly are the Love children of our God.  Not the hippie "make love not war" kind of "love", which is not Love at all.  It was nothing other than unrestrained, lustful sex.  No.

(Credit: Unkown - I wish I knew)
We were visualized and designed in The Love. womb. of. Love. Itself.  God's love-womb long before we were conceived by our natural parents.

Lovingly created, He filled us with His own capacity for Love - Love that moves the mountains of pain, fear, anger, or mistrust in another's soul.  Love that creates beauty and uplifts.

The hippie generation was seeking real-deal Love but found nothing except the emptiness of carnality.  The copious amounts of sex didn't produce the Love they were so desiring.

Only a soul filled with God's Love can give the real-deal to another human being.  Only a soul filled with God's Love can give the real-deal back to God, Himself.

So let us be open to receive our Heavenly Father's unconditional, Agape Love for us.  Then may we change so that we can UNCONDITIONALLY Love God in return - expecting nothing from Him except to experience more and more of His Love.   Then, and only, then can we truly love the unloveable ones next to us. 

May we be known as ones who are Unconditional Lovers of God.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, October 21, 2019

Godwink and God Winks?


I suppose a wink can mean a variety of different things depending on who's winking at whom. And the circumstances surrounding that wink.  
                      
I've only been on the receiving end of one "affectionate" kind of wink but, a few times I have been winked at by men who turned out to be of questionable character and integrity. Therefore, I'm not too trusting of the motives of someone who winks.

Yet, every time I share one of the many remarkable stories of God's intervention and leading in my life, my spirit feels as if Abba has a smile on His Face and a wink in His Eye. Almost as if we are sharing an intimate moment.

Have you ever heard the word "godwink"? I never did until yesterday. It means an event or personal experience so astonishing that it is seen as a sign of Divine intervention, especially when perceived as the answer to prayer.

I've experienced many godwinks in my lifetime. And every time I share one of them with others, I feel as if God is winking with joy and approval. Almost as if He is saying, "Good girl! Thank you for sharing Us!"

How can I not share? How can I keep silent? I would do my Loving Abba a great disservice by being mealy-mouthed. And an injustice to others as well, for I never know what they may need to hear to bolster their trust in God.

So, when you are on the receiving end of a godwink, shout it from the rooftops. And know that God is winking at you in approval.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

My View of My Promised Land

I must write this to give God Almighty Glory, for I could never in my wildest imaginings come up with this!  Only God and I could have such a deep spiritual experience in planning my own burial.  He just absolutely amazes me with His Goodness!!!

When I was in Southold, NY in "hiding", planning ahead to when I would officially be a retired wife, I started to research info for taking care of the details for when I move from this earth to Heaven. I found the Carolina Memorial Sanctuary.  Oh, how I loved this place.  But, I lived on Long Island, so I didn't think I could be buried in North Carolina.  I kept searching for a place like this on LI.  Nada.

Fast Forward: I'm officially a retired wife and God moves me to North Carolina.

Fast Forward: I begin researching to take care of details for when I move Home to Heaven.  The first place I come to again is the Carolina Memorial Sanctuary in the mountains of western NC.  Oh, my gosh!  God brought me right back to this place.  I did find out on my tour that people from all over the country come here to be laid to rest.  I past one site that was a woman from The Bronx (NY) so I could have made arrangements while living in NY but I didn't realize that.

Fast Forward: Yesterday I traveled to the Carolina Memorial Sanctuary to "spy out the land" so to speak.

I was driven around the sanctuary in a golf cart amongst beautiful flowers and thousands of butterflies all around.  For an hour we are back and forth with explanations and Q & A's.  I tell her I'm ready to make my arrangements and I asked how I go about picking a spot.  So, she starts the trails again. I had asked The Holy Spirit to show me the exact (EXACT) spot.  Oh, and did He!

She turns onto another path route when I said, "Stop!  Can you back up a bit?"  She does until I say, "Stop" again.  I'm in the "Meadows" section (not near the stream which is what I wanted) with two mountains in the distance - one on either side of the path.  I kept looking to one side then the other.  On the left side, you could see a range of mountains.  On the right, I didn't see any.  But, upon The Spirit's leading, across the Meadow off in the distance was a line of trees with one split in between - almost as a separation.  There, through that split was the very top of a mountain.  (But, it's only the very top of a mountain...oh, OK, LORD, I said a little disappointed.)  But, I know my Shepherd's Voice.  This is where He was saying.

So, she gets out of the golf cart and walks into the meadow with flowers and shrubbery chest high and slowly moves about.  "Where, Diane?"  "Move to the left."  We did this for a moment or two, then "Stop!  Right there."  She did her measuring and GPS coordinates and then I chose the angle of the gravesite so that the line of vision was right through the split in the tree line to see the top of Pisgah Mountain.

Fast Forward to this morning: I google to see the meaning of the word "Pisgah" because it is such an odd-sounding name and this is what I found:

The word "Pisgah" is Hebrew, which means: to split; divide (as in the treeline!)

AND...
Get this!...

Pisgah Mount is a mountain ridge of ancient Moab, now in the country of Jordan NE of the Dead Sea.  From its summit, Moses viewed the Promised Land.  (Deut. 34:1)


WOW!   My socks are blown off!  


The EXACT spot and angle The Holy Spirit showed me allows one to see through the split in the treeline to view Mt. Pisgah.  (Where my promised land, Heaven, awaits me.)

I truly have no words...

Abba, thank You.  Thank You for Your Spirit leading me and guiding EXACTLY where you want this body to be laid to rest.  Thank You that our relationship is such that I hear You so precisely.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!  Daddy, I love You and so appreciate You!  Thank You! 

May all who read this be as amazed as I am and give You the praise that You so rightly deserve!  May the readers desire to know Your Voice as intimately and clearly as I do, LORD.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,