Matthew 17:20, my favorite verse. "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A Conversation with God

Pride is a destructive force that slips up on us, often, unaware. I recently noticed, that tucked away from the public eye, I had a problem--desiring the world's recognition over God's presence. 

I word it like that because in instances of wanting praise I was ignorant of God's existence. He was there, but in those self-serving moments I didn't want to recognize Him. Similar to when my child is trying to tell me something while I'm in the middle of a conversation. I hold my hand up to mean, wait a minute, while I listen to the rest of the story--or in many cases--finish telling my story.

Disgusted and shamed, I sought forgiveness and desired a way to avoid the trappings of my own flesh. Along with this prayer, I included how I yearned for my prayer time to become conversations with God. I didn't want to be the only one with something to say, I wanted to hear back from Him.

To my delight, He came swiftly to my side and guided me to Psalm 29:2, "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name..." 

And that is how I'll win the battle of pride. Each time my flesh is tempted, I'll draw on this verse and remind myself who deserves the glory. Thank God for His love and attention--and the power in His word!!

Friday, October 26, 2018

God and the Details of Life

Last Sunday as we drove to church a thought popped into my head. I think I’ll grab a peppermint. I sat a little perplexed over the thought as I try not to take in a lot of sugar so candies aren’t something I usually permit myself. Still, I thought I’d get one before service.

As we entered church, I spoke with my friend by the counter where pamphlets and peppermints were offered. I eyed them in the bowl and thought, do I really want one? However, for some inexplicable reason, I felt I should.

Once seated, I tired of seeing the candy on the seat beside my Bible and tucked it in the front pocket of my purse. Only a little later, did I notice the woman next to me quietly clearing her throat. I wondered if the peppermint had really been for her.

I eventually offered her the candy to which she gratefully accepted, stating she’d considered slipping out to get one but didn’t want to disturb the service and had asked God for help.

Isn’t it wonderful God not only cares about the big things but the small stuff too? He prepared me miles from church to supply a need to one of His children. 

God is good—all the time!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

A Godly Analogy through Ducks

Image result for free pic of ducklings

Yesterday I stressed to God that I wanted to share something about His working in my life everyday--even the days I stay home. He gave me this analogy:

We were blessed with two ducklings a bantam graciously incubated for a friend. Well maybe gracious isn't the right word as she rejected the second one. To keep the hen from committing a dire act, I separated the yellow duckling in its own box and provided a heat lamp for warmth. Although I held it from time to time, it was very weak, could hardly waddle and never made a sound. So we decided to add the other duckling to the box. What happened next amazed me.

As soon as the yellow duckling saw its sibling, it let loose a long chorus of peeps and, through a few falls, managed to waddle over and snuggle its sibling. Within a day and a half, it had obtained the same strength as the brown one, moving all around the enclosure and filled with evident pleasure.

Like the yellow duckling in its weakened stage, in the absence of Christ, we waddle through life without meaning, searching but never fulfilled. It isn't until accepting Christ that we're awakened. We suddenly have purpose and strength in abundance to do all He asks of us!

Thank you, God, for those ducks. Though they're now in the hands of my friend, they'll always remind me of how full my life is with You. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Living Out Loud for God

Yesterday’s experience…I left town and realized I hadn’t once looked for an opportunity to serve God. That corrected itself further down the road. I stopped for fuel and ran into a friend from school. I expressed my sympathy over his recent family loss, asked about his parents, etc. This naturally flowed into me asking where (or if) he went to church. Here’s the conversation:

Him--No. I probably should but I don’t.
Me--Do your folks?
Him--No, they never did. My grandparents went some.
Me--Well, do y'all believe in God?
Him--Yes, of course.
The last question gave him breathing room by including others, but now to get more personal.
Me--Do you know where you’d go if you died, I mean to Heaven or Hell? 
I asked this because lots of people profess believing in God but don't take the need for Jesus Christ seriously.
Him--(nervous chuckle as he's turning pink with embarrassment) I’d like to think Heaven.
Think? What about being sure??
Me--But do you know how to get there? By believing in Jesus and asking Him into your heart? I didn’t get to the remission of sins before he responded.
Him--Yes, Gina, and I’ve done that. He’s a little exasperated at me by now.
Me--I’m sorry if I’ve made you uncomfortable, but the way I see it, if we like someone we ought to ask cause it’d be a shame for them to pass not knowing God and to learn we did nothing.

We can either carry our faith like a banner, or we can be embarrassed by it. I stood up on Sunday yearning to be more for Christ and I’m excited by what transpired while talking to this man. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t uneasy. I felt calm and peaceful about the subject of salvation. I realize I took the man out of his comfort zone, but it was the love for my friend that propelled me. All I can say is, God, let’s do it again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What Will God Reveal Next

I want my faith to be as strong and natural as breathing. So I start out by praying for God to use me to do His work. I also often pray for Him to direct my day. This week I have several days to myself, but they’re not being spent the way I would’ve expected. Such as yesterday. Although I rejoiced at the heavenly reward my former pastor received, saying good-bye to loved ones isn’t always easy. No, I hadn’t planned a funeral into my day.

Today, I prayed the same thing, only to spend most of the morning without power, find a little snake residing behind the breakers in the fuse box, and then lock myself and my cell phone out of the shop. (I need to get an extra key!) The lovely thing is, these detours don’t upset me. Instead, I pause in the thrill of expectation, waiting for God to reveal what’s next. R

A Good Day in the Lord

Yesterday was a good day in the Lord.

I left to attend the funeral of my childhood pastor and the man who married me and Jerad 25 yrs ago. I asked God to use me however He saw fit …

This resulted in running out of gas a few miles from the station. I managed to turn the Jeep into a driveway where a man was working out back. I asked if he had any fuel to spare. He graciously emptied the last of his extra fuel, which accumulated to half a gallon into my tank and shook his head, stating he doubted I’d get very far. I replied, then I’ll pray for God to bless it the same way He did the fish and loaves of bread in the Bible. I left with a promise to return with payment and a prayer on my lips. Ten minutes later I did return to give him money for the fuel. He was thankful and said I needn’t have done that. I explained I had to. I take God very seriously because of all He’s done for me and I represent him in all I do. So yes, I did have to come back to pay him. This led to more conversation where I learned he sometimes went to church. That single word, “sometimes” held a lot of meaning to me. Enough that I’ll remember to pray for him often.

Shortly after I left, I nearly careened into someone as I made a bone-head decision to take the road I nearly passed rather than driving on and turning around. That was another Jesus moment as I nearly sent someone to meet our Savior—Ahh! After repenting of that, I attended the funeral, cried even though I know he’s celebrating, then went to town for groceries. I talked to every attendant who checked me out. One lost a brother a month ago—I said I’d pray for her family. Another couldn’t count my change back to me, but instead of insulting her (as evidently a lot of people do) I showed kindness and mentioned an area I lack in too—not being able to stop talking! Lol The last attendant I’ll mention has a story behind it.

As I was crossing the parking lot, a young lady approached me and said she was homeless and asked if I could give her some money. I said sure, let me see what I can spare. I had her walk toward the store entrance so I wouldn’t be away from the public eye since we didn’t know one another. I retrieved a bill and instead of reaching for it she waited patiently as I asked her questions. She stated she didn’t have family and sometimes stays with a friend, but since the friend had a husband she couldn’t always stay there. I asked if she slept outside which she responded yes, if she had too. Because women with children get into the shelters before singles, she wasn’t able to get help there.
This moved me and I told her I’m glad she approached me as it reminds me to be thankful for every blessing. I gave her the money and asked if I could pray with her. I got her name, held her hand, and led the prayer. Although someone brushed past us, she didn’t shy away but continued with me. Afterward, she said this reminded her she needed to get back into church. I hugged her before going into the store—something I’ve never done to a homeless person, but my heart was all in.

At the checkout, I asked the cashier what the city had to help the homeless. She immediately became aggravated that an elderly woman may have approached me because the cashier knew she wasn’t homeless. I explained it wasn’t the same person. I admitted to giving her money and had no regrets, for it’s like the Bible says, “When I was hungry you fed me…” She brushed this off and continued her tirade. I gently explained, “I know it’s a risk every time I give money to someone, as to whether or not they’re truly homeless, but I’m okay with that. And we often don’t realize how easily homelessness can happen. Such as the story I researched and used in one of my books about a family’s apartment being sold and the fact kept hidden from the renters until the day of eviction by the new owner. Homelessness doesn’t always mean the person is a deadbeat who refuses to better themselves. All I know is I hope to never experience it. I ended by saying, it’s a chance to pray for someone. So *** is her name. If you pray, please remember her.” It’s doubtful the woman will, but perhaps I planted a seed to the younger attendants standing by. We never know who we’re actually entertaining or encouraging.

But this I do know—it was a Grand Slamming Day to walk in the Lord!!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Spiritual Battles--in Dreams?

To tell the truth, this is not the first time I've had a dream where I knew the battle was spiritual and not physical and, therefore, rebuked Satan through Jesus' name. However, this is the first dream I was muted by a demonic force.

In short, in the dream I left the safety of my friends and family and climbed the open staircase to the next floor. It seemed to be a big motel with a large opening in the middle that let you see down to the first floor.

Image result for looking down several flights of elevator stairs

It was there I met a woman whom I actually know in real life but will keep her unnamed. (Oddly though, I've always felt guarded around her.) She suddenly became ... demonic is the only way to describe it ... and with inhuman force lifted me with one arm up into the air. Sensing within my spirit I was dealing with the devil I tried to call out in Jesus' name. However, another force welded my mouth shut.

At this point, I felt a surge of panic well up in my chest, but I knew not to give in. So I mentally cried in Jesus' name for the evil spirits to be rebuked. It was then my lips were freed and I could call out audibly. By this time, several of my friends and family had arrived on scene and in unison we were calling on the power of our Lord and Savior to bind Satan and his adversaries. It was quite the climax as I was still held in the air overlooking the long drop to the first floor and naturally, I woke up.

What does it mean? It's easy to assume it's God warning me from the woman mentioned. But is that all? That's for God to reveal, unless any of you think you have a Godly interpretation.