But really God… I can fix this one.. Trust me..

 

I ran into my victim a day or two back.

You know, the poor soul who’s life and esteem I ripped from stem to stern with my  “dominating attitude”.

Dominating?
Hmmm, maybe stubborn is the word… no, no, that’s not it either….

How about unsubmitted, disobedient, selfish, uncrucified not-quit-dead-yet flesh…

Ya, I hurt someone  deeply because I think I know better than God.

Because I can’t let my wants, my desires, my ME, stay dead at that cross. And I don’t keep my mouth and my logical understanding, from trying to run the show.

Well, I ran into that person the other day.
It broke my heart.
It was all I could do to stop shaking.

More than anything I wanted to grab them, hug them, put some Star Trek Mind Wiper thingy on them and erase every memory of all past iniquities.

But, alas… I think its finally sinking into my noggin that the harder I try to fix things, the worser it gets.

I can do nothing in my flesh.

There is nothing that I can say.
There is nothing that I can do.

All that person wants of me is to honor their request and vanish… poofity poof…

It is Easter soon.  I think alot about the Ressurection.
I know God is the God of the Ressurection.
I think He get quite a kick out of  ressurecting things.
And I am still counting on the God of the Ressurection to do what He does best and breathe life into what is dead.

I try to remind myself that God quite delights when I take my hands off of things.
That it pleases Him when I sit in quiet expectation, counting on Him to come thru for me.

If your heart is aching over strained and broken fellowship, regrets and remose, please, take hope.
There is so much hope. He is our HOPE!

God will not share the Glory.
If we are fighting and straining to fix something, He will not interfer.
He will lovingly sit and watch us dig our hole deeper and wider, until the hole becomes a grave, and that thing  insides dies.

He will watch patiently until we come till the end of our own self.
Untill we get to the very deep, very clear realization that we can do nothing of our own selves and we need Him and all of Him in all of us.

But He is the God of reconciliation. It is why He sent Jesus to that Cross.
His mercy is beyond description.

It will come.
I believe Him. I know Him.
I know His Heart and I know His love for me and my victim.

Reconciliation will come for you too.
I am praying that for you  tonight as I try not to listen to much to the empty hollow banging in my heart.

Easter is a season of miracles.
Death to life.
Thats what He is all about and I believe Him.

Time to dig into Key 1 and Key 2…. Oh how my Daddy loves me.

He loves me in my pain. He loves me in my lonliness. He loves me in my repentance.
He is also using this time to walk me and “victim” into a new place of healing, and death to ourselves.

So when that day comes, we can shout to the world LOOK WHAT GOD HAS DONE.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for anyone today who is wadding thru strained fellowship, disappointment, heart break.
God, you be the healer. God you are the restorer.
Thank you for the amazing work you are doing. Work that we may not know, may not see, but we don’t need to.
We know you.  We know you heart and it is beautiful.
I pray you touch my bloggie friend today when the darkness sneaks in.
When doubt and lies scream.
I pray that the truth of your word rises above all else.
Everything is possible!
YES!! This is possible.

And when our miracles happen, you will get all the glory and all the praise.

In JESUS Name,
Amen, so be it.

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If Fear is a Lie, What is the Truth?

 

Jo’s fear stomping this week.

Those creepy little thoughts and voices have no place in our heads and in our hearts, and we do not need to listen.

Time to walk in the confidence that God is the God who means what He says and does what He means.

How do you face your fears?
Head on or tail between your legs?

Do they sneak up in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep?
Immobilize you in  your hectic moments?
Ambush you when you are trying to savor a taste of joy?

Or are they just there  quiet but constant; a dismal hum in the background?

Are the fear of  paying the bills?
Keeping your job?
The kids? Your marriage?
Your health?

How bad does it need to get to get your step out of synch from God and your ear out of tune to His voice?

Fear and Faith are Reciprocals~

“inversely related or proportional; opposite”

North and South are reciprocals.
Life and Death are reciprocals.

In fractions, 3/4 and 4/3 are reciprocals.

The same thing but reversed.

Do you remember back in the day, when we had film in our cameras?
Do you remember how the black and white images on the negatives were inverted?

Reciprocals.

God, the Creator, gave us FAITH.
Satan, the Destroyer, perverted FAITH and introduced FEAR.

One or the other.  We can’t occupy both at the same time.

TRUTH ?  LIE?

Two other reciprocals.
Two little words that will direct your destiny.

God is Truth. His word is Truth.

NO Gray Zone with this one.
This must be settled in our hearts.

Satan’s biggest attack is against the Truth of God.
And His biggest Lie is the Lie that God WILL NOT or CAN NOT do what He said.

We need to choose.  Every day, every moment.

When fear comes careening in like a tidal wave.
Be solid in your foundation.
Know what you know and hang on to the ABSOLUTE SECURITY that God WILL DO.

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]
John 14:27

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for everyone whose eyes you have led here.
Father, today we choose to not allow our hearts to be troubled.
We speak to our hearts as Jesus spoke to the storm and we tell it to BE STILL.
Father, now at this moment, we will not allow ourselves to be agitated and disturbed.
We do not permit it!
Father, we receive your strengthening and we will not be intimidated, cowardly or unsettled.
Jesus has left us HIS PEACE and we choose to live every moment in it.
Father, you are faithful to your word. Your promises are yes and amen.
Father, I pray that for what ever situation my darling readers find themselves in, you would give them a promise. Father, lead them to a jewel in your word that they know is right from your heart.
I declare that their hearts are good soil for your word and it will bring an awesome harvest in their lives.
We thank you for all you are doing and all you are going to do.

In Jesus name.
Amen, so be it.

Feel free to comment and share the promises and verses God gives you so we can all be encouraged!

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Needing to do some more FEAR Busting?

Take a peek at these posts and bookmark them for the next time fear tries to sneak in:

Breaking the Mama’s Heart

Her eyes were dancing as she proudly announced her big news…
“Next year we are going to get a place together”

My heart skipped a beat, (ok, several)  but my face tried not to show it.

I hadn’t even met this boyfriend of 4 months.

Good grief girl! You’re only 18!
What in the world are you thinking!!

But the deep profound wisdom of Thumper the rabbit ran through my mind.
“If you can’t say nuthin nice, don’t say nuthin at all”

But really!
What is a mommy to do?!

My first response was self condemnation. It comes way to frequently to me.
I guess I’m an easy target.

Somehow, this had to be my failure.
Obviously I did not do something right!

The girl was raised in church,  we had family devotionals, she went to camp, youth convention…

Had I not made my opinion on purity and the importance of marriage clear?

I think there’s even a copy of I Kissed Dating Goodbye somewhere around here.
I think I even read it. I think we even read it TOGETHER~

But  the heartbreaking truth was that this child had fought me, and all that was important to our home for longer than I remember.

Every part of me wanted to writhe and flail.
I might have been keeping my tongue from exploding, but my mind was doing somersaults.

I wanted to grab her and some how magically, brilliantly enunciate to her how every choice has a consequence and usually sooner more than later.

I wanted to explain to her that living together is a death kiss to self-respect, honour and the relationship.

I wanted her to understand how passions of the flesh may be thrilling at first, but soon it leaves you an empty shell.

I wanted her to look at me, see the light go on in her eyes, and have her say “oh, thank you mommy… I never knew that”, kiss me on the cheek and go dump the boy.

But I didn’t. And she didn’t.

Truth was, she had heard this all before in the past 18 years, and she is choosing to see it as unimportant information for her life right now.

I may have been standing on the outside, but inside I was crumbling.

Ok, here I am.. I’m in a moment…I remind myself.

I want to scream, run and cry… but I don’t.

I’ve been trained.  I know my keys and I work my tools.

I remind myself of who the  God of the universe says my daughter is.
Those promises I had already put before my eyes,  I screamed them outloud in my heart.

This is her! This is the TRUTH!

Bible scriptures that I memorized since she was a wee thing, And I choose to believe it.

I remind myself of what God tells me about my family and his promises
She does have a destiny to fill and she is precious.

Next I remind myself how much I love her.
I love her so much I ache.

I love her so much that, since she moved out on her own, I lay awake at night think about how much I love her.
But still compared to my tiny love,  how hugely God loves her.

And him, Yes, him… This boy with out a face

This boy who has stolen my daughters heart, and bewitched her.

Yes, he too is loved hugely.
Loved beyond anything he could ever comprehend and now, for however long, he is part of my world.
Now, he must be loved by me. He is a son, a precious son, who also has a destiny but who does not know who he is.
He has been lied to and stolen from.

I find my heart softening.
God please provide me opportunities to help him learn who he truly is.
God please, use me to love him.

Yes, the opportunities will come.  God has promised me.
I have to love him, and  her, with all that is not in me, but with all that is in Him.
I have to be His hands and feet to do that. Can I do it?

This is my baby… this could be such a heart wrenching disaster for her.

Can I extend grace so that this boy can encounter a living real God?
Do I know this real living God well enough to show him?

Can I love her in my own personal heartbreak and disappointment.

Its His kindness that leads to repentance. Romans 2:4

I stood looking at this young woman before me.
She was standing beside the Christmas tree that I use to find her slithering under at nights, trying to peek at the presents.
The same tree that we sat around and sung songs,  prayed for each other and took communion.

While the wrestle inside seemed like forever, but it was only a moment, then peace rose up in me.

I was still in “Thumper” mode; Bless key #3 was working well; I’m keeping my mouth shut!
But Bless Key #1 and 2,  had been working quietly in my heart.

Yes, repentance will come.Yes, she will serve God.
Yes, he will encounter the hands and feet and love of God.

Yes, somehow in this and in my family God will get the glory.

What about Key #4 and 5?
Would I actually be able to love on and put this young man first?  Could anything possibly be sown into his heart that would touch him?  Can I, the protective mommy-bear do that? Or would I chew him up and spit him out?

Well, I will have to meet this young man first.
But now I find  myself strangely  excited.

I keep thinking of ways to bless him. Christmas was over. Was there anything under the tree for him? Oh Jo!!! How could I have forgotten!!
Is it too late to run out?

Out!  Yes, out!  Maybe start with an evening out?
Yes! Supper and a movie for everyone.
Brilliant! How fun!

I can’t wait.

That is what these keys do, folks.
They will change you. Right before your eyes. They will free you from anger and heartache.

You can have peace no matter what you are facing AND the tools to change what you are facing.

When you let these keys work your heart triumphs over anything.

It is power beyond anything on earth.

I didn’t condone her decision. I’m sure she knew I wouldn’t.
But I was humbled that she chose to be honest with me.

When my words finally came, I know it gave her courage as she left  to step out again into that big scary world she is trying to find her place in.

“Baby girl, I love you no matter what. Merry Christmas”

On a Fast Road to Hell

 

If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there anyway to turn him around in a hurry?

I still hear those words just as clear in my ears as I did that morning.
I can hear his thin, frail voice and I can see his eyes staring at me in absolute terror.
His face was hollow, and white with an oxygen tube out of each side of his nose.
Thomas clenched my hand with strength that should not have been in such a tiny body.

“Bob So-and-So had to go on oxygen and once they put you on that, its just a matter of time” Thomas informed me,
“If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there any way to turn him around in a hurry?”

My heart sank and as quick as it sank, it leaped for joy, “Oh yes, Thomas,”I grinned from ear to ear “ it is so easy and you don’t have to be afraid of anything ever again!”

Tears ran down his cheek.

We all have Thomases in our lives.
One day, when we expect nothing but they ordinary, they just walk in, and our ordinary has suddenly  taken on the resemblance of something  of purpose.

We aren’t quite sure what to do with them or why they are there.

But we do believe there is a reason, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that the reason isn’t about us.
God is the most purposeful being there is, whether it’s a someone or a something, when our lives are His own,  there is significance in the insignificant.

I met Thomas 9 months ago in the  spring.
He was a dear sweet unassuming man, but wise in the simple things of country life.
His sweetness had a humor about it that would make me grin ear-to-ear, a little mischievous, and brilliantly witty.
You would find your self caught between wanting to hug him or slug him.
Mostly I wanted to hug him.

Thomas was a man with little time on the clock. He had several heart attacks, and was in and out of the hospital regularly with close calls.
He was a man that did not want to die.
He was desperate to live and that is how we met.

Thomas invited me to be his nutritional consultant (the other hat I wear) to see if I could find any flaws and glitches in his diet that may be stealing valuable years of life.

I found Thomas, doing everything right, and then some.
He raised his own chickens, ground his own flour and dug the dandelions out of his yard for salads.

This man ate better than I did, and the brutal truth was that his 88 years old body was just wearing out.

On a professional level, there was nothing I could do for Thomas.
How badly he wanted to throw away the rainbow of pills that he was taking every day.

But as a nutritionist, by law, I could not even discuss his medical condition with him, just his food.

All summer, I drove out to visit Thomas and his wife, mostly asking myself why.
Sometimes grumbling to myself.   More often, however, just praying.
There was nothing I could say or do that would turn back this man’s days.

Only a miracle from God.

I explained that to him, but still he wanted to see me.

So I would drive out early on my mornings off for a house call. The one hour consultation would turn into a morning of tea and bran muffins, and I found myself telling him to put his wallet away when time came for me to leave.

I would tell him to keep doing what he was doing, and there was nothing I could teach him anymore;  my service was now a friendship.

He would smile delighted, and ask me to come back soon.  Come early in the morning, but not before 6.

I would leave, discouraged and heartbroken, like I was failing him, and thinking of all the “better” things I could be doing with my  one morning to myself.

Our odd little friendship continued to blossom.
Thomas would go into the hospital, and as soon as he was out, I’d receive a call from his wife, asking for a visit.

Visit we did.

My  son, who has a wonderful knack with the elderly, would come to.

Trevor would captivate them with all his profound 12 year old knowledge and dimples. Personally, I think the dimples charmed them more than his knowledge.
Trevor took a particular fancy to Thomas’s  chickens, and Thomas loved to share stories about “the flock”

Shortly before winter, “the flock” came home to roost with Trevor and mom, when Thomas and Irene decided to leave the farm for  an apartment.

Thomas was obviously displeased at the thought of leaving home and  of the apartments.  “All those people and all those germs”. But I never saw him complain or refuse.   He would just have to take more garlic, he would say.

I believe his love and support of Irene and her decisions was far to strong.
They would go together, what ever may come.

Thomas was  scared to die.
Although he made jokes about cheating death, it was breathing down his neck, and Thomas knew it.  Fear emanated out of him.

It was during these drives out to Thomas’ that I would let my mind work through my BLESS steps.

I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do, or what to say anymore.
But I did know that this man and his wife were in my life for a reason and I had to keep my heart ready.

Off of myself, my thoughts and my plans and ready for what ever God wanted to do.

The beauty of the 5 keys in  BLESS is that they prepare you to do that.

With these keys you are trained to  be ready for when the insignificant significant invades your world.

You are prepared, and while you may not know exactly what to do, you will have all the tools and guide lines that will lead you.

With BLESS I have learned to effectively give God my hands, my words and my heart.
And I trust that He uses them exactly as He desires.

Because of BLESS I can have confidence that I am making a difference in the live of everyone who crosses my path. Whether I ever see the evidence of it.

I know God did that in Thomas’ life.

I believed God would use me and speak through me and touch him. I let my heart open up to fall hopelessly in love with this little man and his wife, and trusted the love of God flowing through me to captivate and  draw them.

Because I now know how to BLESS, I know that every thing I do and say is seasoned with the power of life.

I was just planning to sit down and write a Christmas card to Thomas and Irene, when I received the news.
Thomas stepped into eternity yesterday. December 9, ironically my son’s birthday. My heart broke into a million pieces.  I shocked myself at the thought of how much I will miss him and how much I loved him.

Over the last few visits Thomas let me pray for him.  I think he realized only God could heal him, and prayer was his last option.

When he begged me for a way to turn him “from his fast road to hell”, I had the honour of praying for him.
Sadly, Thomas could never find the courage to pray with me.
It is a question that I will carry until I, too, walk over into eternity.

I must be real with you at this point, dear ones, there are many times when we may never know what God has done with and because of us.
We may very well have to walk out our own days wondering.

You will have nagging questions as I will always have that question in my heart about Thomas.

But what you learn in BLESS will anchor you to a confidence and a peace you have never dreamed, so that the questions never become unbearable.

Tears streamed down Thomas’ face and he marveled at the simplicity of the “good news’ and the saving love of the Father.
“Thank you” he smiled softly “now I have something I would like to give to you…. a hug”

Its funny how you always think you will have the chance for that one last visit.

I had mentally prepared one more appeal to convince Thomas to trust God.
But tomorrow is not something promised to any of us.

It is the one thing that Thomas has forever changed in me.

I am thankful for it.

I am humbled because of it.

I will never look at my minutes, days and moments the same.
They are an immense precious gift.
A gift that many would desperately do anything to have more of, as Thomas did.

Bless you Thomas.  You made a difference to me.

man feeding chickens

Excerpts from CHAPTER 1

Excerpts from CHAPTER 1

There is a moment in John 21 when Jesus looked Peter in the eyes,
and asked him several times “Peter, do you love me?”
There has been many a moment when Jesus, has sat me down,
looked at me with those same big beautiful eyes and asked,
probably in a similar tone, “Joanne, do you believe me?”

Just like Peter, I would respond,
most likely with the same over confident tone… “Of course LORD!!!”
As with Peter, He’d graciously ask a second time,
looking more intently into me…”Joanne, do you believe me?”
Like Peter, I’d reply a second time,” course Lord,”

Oh how those words have haunted my soul so often.
It’s a question that I wonder if I can truly answer.
Do I?
Do I really believe Him?

Finally, like Peter, I answer, confidence fleeting, as the words cross my lips,
“Lord you know all things… you know I do”


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There are days, most days perhaps,
when the bombardment will be relentless.
Satan, the enemy, whose purpose is to kill steal and destroy, the Father of all lies,
will be sitting on your shoulder, shouting in your ear.
Don’t believe THAT. Don’t trust HIM!

More than anything Satan wants to disillusion your opinion of God’s word.
Satan’s biggest lie yet, to the world, is that God did not mean what He said,
and that God will not do what He said.

The only weapon he has against us is the lie and the strategy of deception.
We defeat lies with Truth.

There will be many; many moments when you own intellect
will give you an endless list of legitimate reasons.
Logic, and understanding, yours and of course others, will try to negate your faith.
Your eyes will see only this physical world.
There will be times when everything will rise up against that faith,
everything in your flesh will scream and writhe.
Your mind will reject it.
You will think of every reason that it is not possible.
“Not this time, Lord. Certainly, not for me…”

 

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The truth was, I could not take my eyes off of myself and place them on other people.
I needed to know that I was going to be ok.
Call it primal instinct, primitive self-preservation.
Whatever it was, I was guilty as charged.

My thoughts and motives, as shameful as it is to say, were all about me and mine.
I was so preoccupied with me and my world that no one else’s existed.
I tried just pushing it to the side.

I knew my attitude was wrong, but it just overwhelmed me,
my stuff was always foremost in my mind.
As hard as I tried, it would just weasel its way back into the front of my thinking.

To be able to look beyond myself, so I could see all the others in front of me.
I needed some solid guarantees.

To be free of this, I needed to know that there were answers to my worries and prayer.
And that my “stuff’ was going to be “just fine”.

If I had that, maybe, I could rest my poor fretting self.


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I Guess Its a Compliment

 I guess it all means good things…

For all of you on the edge of you seats, abated breath, anxious anticipation for your copy of “May I BLESS You”
the hold up seems to be this…

I am just too wonderful!

Yes, its true.  The book could have been in your hands a week ago except for two things.

1.  Frankly, it is  just to long to upload/download.
NO!!!  Not because I am long winded!  But I wanted to make certain that you had everything you needed, nothing missing, nothing overlooked.
God is never stingy with me and I also wanted only the best for you and for Him.
You work hard for your money and I wanted you to get very penny’s worth! 

Friends, by ebook standards, this is one HUGE BOOK!

But I refused to chop and edit.  There is nothing in here that is not important. So, I have been busy as can be reformatting and mulling over every option to find an effective way to get it online and for you to get it off line.

Well, as of this morning, I can officially say, it is up, tested, tried and true!
WHOOP! WHOOP! WOO HOO!!

2.  Second problem.  I AM JUST TOO GENEROUS!!!!
Absolutely serious!  Hard as I tried, I  could not find a shopping affiliate
that would respect my 100% money back guarantee!

They all thought that it was absurd! Too risky.  Way over the top.
But it was what was dropped in my heart , and I believe that is exactly what He wants you to have.
Nothing is ever too absurd. Too risky. “Or over the top” when God is behind it.

Well, ok, maybe “over the top”…. But a little climb and leap of faith can be a good thing!

I am pleased to announce that, once again, God came to the rescue.
I found a wonderful little vendor site at www.paydotcom.com who are fabulous to work with and let me control the guarantee COMPLETELY!!

Between them and PayPal we are FINALLY days away from being up and at em..

I thank you for your patience and prayer during my adventure. 

Some how, I expected the writing to be the complicated side of this, little did I know!
  But God definitely knew.
He has kept it under control, on “His” schedule, and on budget. 

Somedays I feel like I’m just along for the ride.  😉

Yielded but UnStoppable

 God and I seem to be having a reoccurring conversation.
Honestly, it is more I that converses, and God polietly humors me and listens.

I rant and rave about why so many hold ups, how I am tired of snafu’s,  and doesn’t He remember my GRANDE announcement that the book would be released and in your hands this PAST WEEKEND!  After all, didn’t He think a THANKGIVINGS release date, sound great for PR?!?

Quietly, after the steam from my ears clear, He nicely reminds me that the PR and the Thanksgivings dig is really my ego slipping into overdrive.

God can do His own PR, thank you very much. 
And, God in perfected tact  sweetly reminded me that this was about His book and not my pride.  

Instead this is about Jo leaping out of her comfort zone.  Trusting Him, tuning in my listening to get the directions straight, and learning all sorts of crazy computer talents that I never thought I use in a million years.

Sigh.. yes this is why I love Him.

Only He can graceously reshift stinkin self centered thinking, and leave you feeling like you are on the recieving end of His favor and not His condemnation.  All these delays are for ME! So I can learn one more thing, so I can walk into webmaster world with one more tool in my tool kit. 
All these delays are for YOU!!!  So you can be assured that you will recieve a product designed and crafted by God Himself!
In the past couple days I have already had to redesign, add and edit a few things. 

All in the attitude, my friends. 

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.    Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

James 1:3-4