Sunday, December 31, 2017

Think Vertically

Photo Courtesy of Donald Case

Life can be a hot-mess sometimes.  Don't you agree?  It can be kind of like the tree on the left.  Sometimes it's hard to focus, as life draws us into multiple directions all at the same time. 


But, the straight vertical lines of the background trees are kind of like our communication with God.  A straight line from the hot-messes directly to The One Who Can Do Something About Those Messes.  All we have to do is focus in on Him.

As this year draws to a close, may the new year bring forth more clarity, faith, and joy even in the midst of any hot-messes you may encounter.  Think vertically.  

God bless you and Happy New Year!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, December 15, 2017

Singed Loveliness

Photo Courtesy of Gianni Zanato

The beauty of this white rose has not diminished because of its singed petals. It seems to, somehow, add to its beauty. It seems to define it somehow as it makes the petal's swerves and crevices more pronounced.

The same with you and I. As we get "signed" by life's circumstances, we have two ways of looking at that which has seemingly burnt us.  "Yes, I'm now disfigured" or "Look how unique I now am".  The singe-ing of our hearts and souls can cause a type of disfigurement or we can allow the searing to adorn us - adding loveliness to our souls.

It's always about choice.

I choose the latter.  How about you?

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, December 11, 2017

For Crying Out Loud

...Jesus, The Mediator of The New Covenant, and to the Blood of Springling that speaks better than that of Abel. ~Hebrews 12:24b
God told Cain that Abel's blood cried out to Him from the ground. (Genesis 4:1-16)  What were the cries of Abel's life-force? Vengence?

Think of Cain for a moment.  He had never ever experienced blood before. When he struck down his brother and Abel's blood spilled from his body, I can imagine how the red stuff must have shocked him and stiffened him momentarily.  But, with no police, no laws in place, Cain didn't think this act would bear consequences.  Until God Almighty tells Cain that Abel's blood cried out to Him. Phew...I can imagine how fearful Cain must have been, not understanding what we know about blood and DNA today.  Due to our revelations of DNA, we know that blood does "speak". 

So, Jesus' sprinkled Blood speaks better things than Abel's did.  What does His Blood say? Forgive, for you are forgiven? Believe, for My Eternal Blood was shed in place of yours?

We know there is a life-force in blood.  We know DNA speaks.

So, if Jesus' Blood is Eternal, it still has Life and It still speaks to anything we declare that Blood over.  There is an authority in His pure, holy, life-giving Blood. An authority which annunciates to whatever we are in need of.  It bears witness to the Goodness, Faithfulness, and Love of our God. 

Oh, yes, Jesus Christ's Blood is still crying out loud. Do we hear it?  Do we allow His Blood to speak into our adverse circumstances?  Into our minds as the enemy of our souls invades our thoughts? Do we appropriate His Blood - His authoritative, Life-giving Blood - over ourselves, our loved ones, and our circumstances?

Birth is a bloody mess.  Dying can be a bloody mess.  His "mess" is our solution, our benefit.  Thank You, LORD, for your Blood that still speaks over my life.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Mary, Can We Sit and Chat Please?

Mary, would you like a cup of tea while we chat?

I know you weren't at the foot of that Cross for your sake - for what mother could endure such horror?  You were there for your Son's sake.  Only the love of a mother could withstand such unspeakable horror so that her Child would know she was there with Him - enduring her own soul's torture for His sake.

Mary, mother of the Son of Man/Son of God, did you know when you birthed your Baby Boy that He was born just to die?

Did you understand what it meant when you were told a sword would pierce your own soul?

How did you endure witnessing such torturous treatment of your innocent Son without your heart imploding from anger and hatred?

How did you get through such inexpressible brokenheartedness?

Did you ever have regrets in the way you raised Him or things you said or didn't say?

At what point did He switch from your Son to your Saviour?  You, from mother to Disciple?

Oh, Mary, the questions I have for you...

If anyone can understand the brokenness of a mother's heart, it is you.

Mary, I do believe you would whisper to me, "Abba's Grace is sufficient to endure. His Grace overrides when nothing within self desires to go on, when grief is all-consuming, when there are more questions than answers, when anger for the brutality, betrayal, and abandonment of other human souls tries to consume you. Father's Grace is working in your life when you don't see it, feel it, understand it. For Grace means He infuses you with Himself one step at a time, one minute at a time."

More tea, Mary?  For I have more questions for you.

Diane, let's save the chat and tea for a future date when we are together. We will have all Eternity to share, for I have questions for you, my sister. As women, you and I are not too much different from each other. Just as I needed Abba's Grace, so do you to endure your life's circumstances. So does all mankind. That surely is the answer. The only answer.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Big Girl Baby Steps

Babies learn to walk by letting go and taking small steps. One foot in front of the other. Wobbling. Falling onto their cushioned butts. Getting back up and taking another small step until...they have walked across the room in Mommy or Daddy's arms.  All the while, Mommy or Daddy were cheering their little step-taker on.

                                             Trust is the result. 

And so it is in my "big girl" life. Venturing out into unknown territory can be terrifying. I double-think everything which only ends up producing nothing but uneasy doubt. Mental torture is what it really is.  

All God asks of me is to "let go" of my fears and doubts, and take a small step. A baby step. In faith. Inwardly, holding His Hand. One foot in front of the other, keep taking baby steps. And as I do, I realize I'm halfway across the room.

Keep stepping, Diane. I am here. You can do this. I hear Abba's cheering, ever out-in-front-of-me voice.

I may wobble; I may fall on my well-cushioned butt. But, if I get up and keep stepping, I'll eventually reach the happy-place end into Abba's waiting Arms. Arms which have been there all along. Right there. Waiting. to. catch. me.

 Trust is the result.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where Are the Safe-haven Christians?

A young man in my church took his own life some months back.   I am an Intercessor by nature and this young man had a special place in my heart.  He took his own life while on my watch so to speak.  I was devastated.

As an Intercessor, I am usually very intuitive as the masks people wear.  Smiles, joking around, and the "I am blessed" verbiage more times than not hides truth - pain and mental anguish deep inside a soul.

Why do Christians wear masks around each other?  Why the need to hide the truth?

Because most Christians are not a safe haven for the hurting.

Confidences are not kept, judgment rather than compassion is displayed, most are not deep enough into their relationship with God to manifest the gifts of His Spirit, and the art of listening with the heart is almost non-existent.

The bottom line is that today's American Christians (disciples of Jesus Christ)  are not Christ-like - most everything is of the flesh and not the Spirit.  Collectively, we are just a "good old boys club".  Not The Church of Jesus Christ.  Oh, dear God, have mercy on us!

So, masks will continue to be in place.  The hurting will continue to hurt.  Quietly.  Alone.  Desperate.  With a silent scream down deep inside them with no avenue of expression.

But, every once in awhile, a safe-haven Christian will have the opportunity to comfort and help a desperately hurting soul because they are known as such.  As was the case last night.  To God be the Glory.  To that safe-haven Christian, I am blessed to know you and call you friend.  Thank you for being real enough and Christ-like enough that you were called out to.  Thank you for being an Ambassador of Christ.  You made a difference in a life.  You made a difference in the Kingdom.  You made a difference to me.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Philanthropy 101

Live graciously and generously toward others the way God lives toward you.  ~ Matt. 5:48 
When I eat out with others, I often get shocked looks and sometimes, not-so-kind comments from those at the table when I leave a tip.  I tip generously.  My husband and I had always been like this since we were first married - even when we didn't have a pot to pee in.  Giving, helping others financially, and taking others into our home was our way of life long before we were spiritually awakened.  That's what CareVan was all about: helping others.  That lifestyle never changed over all the decades we were together.  And I've continued living the "giving" lifestyle even now that I'm a retired wife.

I've been pondering why am I like this.  And the only answer I have is just because I'm my Abba Father's daughter.

God Almighty is the most prominent Philanthropist that ever will be, and we are created in His image and likeness.  Therefore, shouldn't we also be philanthropy-minded?  Shouldn't we be doing whatever we can within our sphere of influence to help improve the quality of life of our fellow human beings?  By so doing, we show a little bit of God's loving, giving Character. 

A giving heart can help change a life.

Not too long ago I sat in a diner grabbing a quick bite to eat.  My server was all tatted up, had all kinds of piercings and a spiked hairdo, and I got the sensing I should leave a $50 tip.  Well, I must be honest, I argued with The LORD a bit.  "Now, that's a bit ridiculous LORD." "What if she uses drugs?"  (Afterward, oh, how I repented for my judging heart.) Long story short.  I did what He prompted me to do.  She ran to me as I was leaving with tears streaming down her face.  "I told God this morning that if He was real, have someone leave me a $50 tip."  I got to talk to her and hug her, and share a monumental moment in her life.  One that she will never forget, nor will I.  I was most honored to be used by God as He reached out to this young woman who had a searching heart.

I always thought philanthropists were only the super-duper wealthy people who give millions to charities.  I've come to the realization that I am a philanthropist.  I give what I can when I see or hear of a need.  And there are many, many people like me in this world, some I'm blessed to call my friends.  We are the quiet, behind-the-scenes, low-income philanthropists. We do what we can, where we can. In our own communities.  Making a difference one life/one family at a time.  Oh, Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, October 27, 2017

A Collaboration: His Photo, My Muse

A friend of mine, Don Case, emailed me a photo he took yesterday morning and asked me to write something to go with it.  So, I pondered the photo for a while early this morning. This is our collaboration:

The Colors of Life

life sure is colorful
Sometimes, our journey path is straight, with the end in sight
other times, the road is full of twists and turns which keeps us wondering, "Are we there yet?"
Sometimes, all we experience is ugliness
other times, all the beauty this life has to offer

the colorfulness of life is like the changing seasons
Stark white to foreboding darkness and all the in-between hues of oranges, reds, and yellows
what does your path look like at this moment?
Straight?  winding?  Dark?  bright?
it doesn't matter because colorful beauty is all around us whatever our path

for, truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Thank you, Don, for the invitation to collaborate. Your photo, my muse.  I loved doing this!  I sure hope you are pleased with the outcome.

And I hope all who read are blessed.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Those Darn Memories!

I'm feeling guilty.
I feel like I've been cruel to my dog.

Years ago, my oldest son, Michael, moved back home from Georgia and helped Joe start his business, Renewal by Andersen of Long Island.  Michael had a dog named Rockit.  So, she moved in with us too.  Michael would call Joe and I, "Grandma and Grandpa" when he spoke to Rockit.  So, we naturally picked up the same thing when speaking to either Rockit or Kodak.

Since the night God began revealing Joe's secret life and Joe just abandoned our family - almost 5 years ago - I never used the names "Grandma" or "Grandpa" again when speaking to Kodak.

I'm watching a movie tonight and a commercial came on.  For some reason, the words came out of my mouth to Kodak, "Where's Grandpa?"  Even I was surprised by them.

Kodak started looking around and then backed away from me and ran to the living room windows.  His head was moving back and forth as if trying to find him.  I burst into tears.  I kept calling him, but there he stood for about a half a minute until he finally just laid down in front of the window.

How do you erase 45 years of memories?  I met Joe when I was 19, the first winter after HS graduation.  Joe would always say, "We were kids."  Oh, we sure were! 

You don't erase memories but, you do stuff them.  Then suddenly, out of nowhere, there they are - invading your moment.  Without thinking, the words erupted from my mouth and when I saw Kodak's reaction, the tears streamed down my face.

Those darn, bless-ed memories.  They are mine.  For always.  And obviously, they are Kodak's, too.

"Grandpa" and Kodak at Grandpa's favorite place, Mattebella Vineyard, in Southold

Because of Him and Unto Him,

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?


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

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

Resurrect, Love,
from the grave of deadness

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.



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?


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


(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,

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Hug Is Worth A Thousand Words

Galatians 6:2 tells us to "Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ."  This is the only verse in the New Testament that speaks of fulfilling Law.  The Law of Christ is LOVE.

If we Love, we should be bearing one other's burdens compassionately as in this picture.  We don't need to speak flowery words or quote Scriptures or preach a mini-sermon to someone who is hurting. We certainly don't need to say, "Oh, so sorry, I'll pray for you" and then walk away.

A heartfelt, empathetic embrace will speak it all.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, April 10, 2017

Learning from The Master

On a road like no other, two of Jesus' Disciples met Him while walking to the city of Emmaus from Jerusalem, but they did not recognize Him in His resurrected state.

While walking with the stranger, they just chit-chatted away with Him about the events that had just transpired in the last few days. This narrative, as told by the Disciple Luke, is found in his book, chapter 24.

What I want to focus on is verse 27:
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Why didn't Jesus just say, "Hey boys, it's Me!"? or remind them of various things they did together during Jesus' ministry so that they would realize Who was among them?  Or operate in Words of Knowledge or Wisdom about them and so display His God-ness?

In God's infinite Wisdom, He shared Old Testament Scriptures with -them instead.

Jesus put emphasis on the written Word of God.  Jesus could have just reiterated, "I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life.  Remember boys?" The Disciples already heard those Words. What they needed to hear was the revealed Jesus Christ through the written Old Testament Scriptures, for The New Testament wasn't written as of yet. Every verse He shared with them pointed to Himself.

Old Testament Moses, born and died many hundreds of years before the birth of the Messiah, knew Jesus.  For it says in New Testament           Hebrews 11: 24-27:
By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him Who Is Invisible
Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Old Testament, had Divine revelations of Jesus Christ.  And you find Him pointed to throughout all of the Old Testament.

We cannot get the full picture of Jesus Christ and all He did for us if we only read the New Testament.  The Old Testament - from Genesis verse one to the end of Malachi - points to Jesus Christ.  It is so rich in revelation about our God.  Unless you discover and understand The LORD God Almighty throughout the Old Testament period, you will never appreciate the dispensation of Grace that Jesus Christ's death and resurrection affords us today. And then you may fall prey to one of the many, many false doctrines being preached and believed today, and/or the ways and means our society now dictates as normal and acceptable.

When it comes to Scripture, may it never be "out with the OLD and in with the New."

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lesson from Flora Grace

As the sun below the horizon begins to light up the pre-dawn sky, I'm sitting here reflecting on yesterday.  It was not a good day.  I guess I could say it was an out-of-control day.

Nothing in this life is really in our control except our own personal behaviors.

Flora Grace Barone was a professional musician, the only child of professional musicians.  As a tiny child, Flora was part of her parent's trio.  She was raised in clubs playing amongst the rich and famous. Oh, the stories she tells me....

As an adult, God called Flora to Africa.  She played and sang in clubs throughout the continent for a few years before her dramatic born-again experience.  In the early years of her faith, she still supported herself by playing in clubs.  The Frank Sinatra hit, "My Way", has always been one of the Trio's and her personal favorites.  Everywhere Flora played, this was the most-requested song.  One day, sitting at a piano in an African club playing and singing that familiar song, God spoke to her heart and told her to never play "My Way"  again.  This was the beginning of a surrendered life.

In obedience she never did.  From that moment on, it was God's Will alone in her life.

Fast forward through all her Missionary years in Africa to yesterday. Under Hospice care, the nurse had warned her the day before of what could take place if Flora got out of bed anymore.  She gave us her word that she would stay put. Well, the exact thing the nurse stated is what took place yesterday due to Flora's will to do things her way.  It was not a good experience - for her or for me.

Much later in the day, she humbly begged my forgiveness.  Tears streamed down the lined face of this elderly Woman of God. Her voice was barely audible as she said to me, "God has brought me full circle back to my beginning. I must never play "My Way" again."  Since I knew of how major the surrendering of her will in regard to that song was, I knew exactly what she meant.  And the Hospice nurse witnessing it all lowered her head as if in honor of such a Holy moment even if she didn't fully understand what Flora meant.

And it was a Holy moment.  The tears were not just for the trauma caused to me.  The tears were that she sinned against God by stubbornly doing things her way.  Once again, in that moment she surrendered her will.  Not Flora's will be done, but Hospices'.

Flora Grace Barone is truly a woman adorned with Grace.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, March 3, 2017

The Undeserving Extend To the Undeserving

The definition of Mercy is us not getting the punishment we deserve. The definition of Grace is us getting all the blessings of God that we don't deserve.  ~Joseph Prince
Mercy and Grace are freely poured out to us on a daily basis even when we are least deserving of them.  In essence, God has adorned us with these attributes of Agape Love.

Why?  Because He so adores us.

May we not be like the servant in the parable of the unforgiving servant, as recorded in Matthew 18:21-35.  Let us be like Jesus Christ to those in our sphere of influence - extending mercy and grace to the undeserving.

Is that difficult to live out?  Absolutely!  Why?  Because our flesh wants gratification.  Therefore, we must cause our flesh to bow its knee to our spirits.  "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."  Galatians 5:16 says, "I say then, 'Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.'"

It is do-able.  Make it your aim today to extend Grace and Mercy toward others.

Because of Him and Unto Him,