Monday, July 14, 2014

The Secret to Life is to Look Up

Look: It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's Superman: What to do after tragedy hits---

Right after I lost my spouse to a sudden death, there is just something I noticed about the clouds.  It sort of reminds me of when I was a child lying on the grass with my neighbor boy and we were trying to guess what animal the clouds looked like.

When I left work, about 2 l/2 weeks later, the whole sky was lit up in orange over work, and there was a peace in my heart -- it was like "everything is gong to be okay." At times in life, I don't have that divine assurance that everything is going to be okay, like I had that day.   I like going boating on the lake because the clouds I noticed in the sky over the lake are so beautiful.  Whenever I see a rainbow it's the same thing.

I was talking to a man recently who was telling me that his father who was a believer passed away suddenly from an incurable blood disease.  His whole family prayed, but they still lost him.  I told him the same thing happened to my neighbor across the street.  Her husband was very healthy at 60 years old, and then had flu-like symptoms and her spouse died in three days in the hospital to a blood disease.  He said he also found out he was border line diabetic and he was talking about how his sister was having a hard time getting a job in this economy in South Bend.  He said they are both having trouble with believing in the goodness of God.

I was listening to this man talk on television how he was in a tornado that hit his home.  He plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars football team.  He said that he could not "hold on" to his girlfriend tight enough.  The tornado picked the whole house up and the five of them in a closet and threw them in fields and he survived after several broken bones, but his girlfriend died of a broken neck.  He said that even if he would have broken into his neighbor's house who was not home, and got in their basement, the house collapsed into the basement so they would have not been better off going next door to their neighbor's home.

I completely understand because I find it's very hard to hold on to several of my loved ones in life I had to let go to cancer and other deaths.

I was thinking about all this tragedy in life and I went into Target and I was asking where their Pharmacy was to fill a prescription for my daughter and the clerk showed me that it's directly in the middle of the store and if I just "looked up" I would have seen the big "Pharmacy" letters in red.

It's because I'm looking directly on the Horizon (my line of sight) in front of me.  Lot's wife looked behind her -- she did not have faith that God could bring her into a better city.   Abraham was trusting God for an eternal city so he and his son continued to live in tents.

By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:9-10

They made a movie called "Silver Bells" on the Hallmark Channel and it's about trying to get people to look up more at the wonderful architect in the city and the silver bells were over the door of a church, but no one ever looked up and noticed them but a boy photographer.

To really get through this life in tragedy, we have to start "looking up" and not at life and how everything in life is temporary, it's not eternal.  Jesus said that "heaven and earth will pass away" --- it's going to happen but his words are eternal.

Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.  Matthew 24:25

We are told when things start getting worse on this earth we are to look up.

Then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory. "But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Luke 21:27-28

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Life Is Totally Awesome (Not Worrying About the Rules)

I was sitting at church a few weeks ago and this little four year old boy was behind me singing, “It’s totally awesome” His dad said he had bought the new Lego movie. I took my future granddaughter to the movie, and I really enjoyed it. I especially liked the part about them being robots and having to follow all the rules.

If we try to follow all the rules all of the time, a person will be a miserable person. I've tried it -- living with a perfectionist, working a job for a perfectionist and being a perfectionist at one time.or another in life. I find with a perfectionist is that I can do 99 things right and they will focus on the one thing I do wrong.

Many people can't seem to wrap their minds around the grace teaching.  All we are saying is that the only reason we are breathing is because of the grace of God. Every blessing, every talent, and every breath I take is the grace of God. Paul said he worked harder than anyone, but it was not him, it was the grace of God in him.

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me--and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 1 Cor. 15:10

When I left my job I thought it was interesting that I was not commended on 12 years of staying late on Fridays, working on vacation and at home authorizing students to register. Starting with a new school when a lot of procedures and programs were not in place -- having to call to different departments and get training by the Graduate Office to figure out what i was doing since there was no instructional manual.

I was commended on making a couple of Thanksgiving meals for International students. An idea I believe that God put in my mind to do in the first place. It's very hard to take credit for an idea I know that God gave me.

I had to pray that the old turkey roaster would not conk out that used to be my mother's since I was getting hit with insecurity that the turkey would not be good. My manager said it was the best (moist) turkey he ever tasted. Maybe food is the way to a man's (manager's) heart.

When we go out boating, we have to follow the rules of the DNR, or we can get a ticket, but than I have my own rules is ten minutes on a wave runner. Invariably a new person will come or some couple will idle for a "lover's lane" and then they burn up all the gas while we are sitting on the beach in the hot sun.

Then I'm praying, "Father I forgive them their trespasses against me, even as you forgive my trespasses against you." I seem to be praying that a lot lately...LOL

That is why it says, "the law was a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ." Galatians 3:24. We are now under the law of love. God is sure teaching me a lot of patience.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Cor. 13:1-8"

Many people remind me of robots, including Christians. They just mimic like a parrot what their pastor said. It’s all from their head, not their heart. The Berean Jews did not blindly follow what Paul preached. It says that they “were of more noble character” because they searched the scriptures daily.

Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Act 17:11

When it says that “faith comes by hearing” and hearing by the word of God. Its talking about first hearing it with our physical ears and than our spiritual ears.

Many people mentally ascent to the word is that they hear it and than they don't act on it so it's meant to be heard first, understood by our spiritual minds (we have been given the mind of Christ) and than acted on.

We are told in James if we don't act on the word (obey it) than we deceive ourselves. When I find something in the word, I like to do it --act on it. It says to feed the poor so I go feed the poor, it says widows are given to hospitality. I've tried to take people in my home, but I find if people are not respectful of the rules of my house than it does not work well for me to take in people in my home. A person keeps me up all hours of the night talking loud, or smoking a cigarette outside. Rules are a "safeguard" and we do many things out of respect or love for another person.

I find it better when I give and do something out of love (an attitude of my heart) than a blind obedience. Even dogs and cats seem to have a mind of their own at times, but they do like praise, affection and attention from their master. Paul referred to himself as the "love slave" of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:1

It says that God "loves" a cheerful giver:
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor. 9:6-7

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

After Earth

I had been wanting to watch the movie, “After Earth” with actor Will Smith and his son. It finally came on cable.  There are many story lines in the movie I liked.  It’s about how the earth was abandoned because everything on earth became hostile to man.

His father tells him that fear is imaginary, that danger is real but fear is a choice.  It’s what makes him invisible to his alien enemy.  It reminds me of this saying, “Fear knocked on the door, faith answered and no one was there.”

The top commandment or theme of the Bible is not what one might expect.  Over and over we are told not to fear.  Jesus said the same thing many times.  He said that they put their faith and trust in God, put it in him.

"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. John 14:1

I talk to many women who have anxiety.  They have anxiety over a relationship.  What a man does or does not do (their performance). Anxiety over teen or adult kids (their performance).   If it’s dating, it’s when do they introduce them to their children and family.   I find a job interview has a certain amount of anxiety.  Anxiety over paying the bills.

Same with dating, at times it's become unnatural even for me when I had date night every Friday night which was going out for dinner with my late spouse. It’s one reason that some people try meetup or single social groups to meet people.   I met my spouse through a printed single’s ad – I already screened 24 people before I met him.

Now, when I get hit with those anxiety attacks which seem to be every date, I just remind myself that I’m only dating this man, that does not mean I’m marrying him.

I’ve had anxiety attacks through the years when I got up to lead worship or performed solos in school.  Doing it over and over (practice) help relieve those butterflies in the stomach.

“There is nothing to fear but fear itself?”  Not all fear is bad, it’s a warning to tell us that there is a presence of evil.  

When Elijah came to the widow she was fully expecting to eat the last portion of food, and then both her son and her were going to die from famine.  She was at the bottom of the barrel so to speak, her lowest point and expecting the worse before it happened.  What encourages me, is even though this woman was so negative, God sent her the best (Elijah) to meet her need and alleviate her fear. First Elijah spoke to her and than God spoke to her.

But she said, "As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die."Then Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son.

"For thus says the Lord God of Israel, 'The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.'"…1 Kings 17:12-14

The boy in the movie raced across a hostile world to activate a homing beacon that was in the tail of their aircraft that crashed landed from space.  It reminds me a lot of this current world as far as it can be a hostile environment to man.

Like in Australia there are killer spiders, killer jellyfish, the great white sharks, killer snakes, mountain lions, Than we are dealing with evil people at times.

There are some people that remind me of predators and then some people who remind of parasites.  Parasites live off of other people.  I don’t like to live off of people.  I like to be independent as possible and it’s hard for me to ask people for help.  The only thing we are to owe anyone is love. 

In one scene the boy is captured by a giant bird, and he tries to help the mother save her babies, but wild animals kill the babies.  Later in turn when the boy is freezing at night, the bird covers him with her feathers so he will stay warm.  Its reminds me of Psalms and how at times I’ve asked God to “cover me with his wings of protection.”

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

It makes me think how my security as a single woman has been threatened at times.  I know the enemy’s strategy.  My two former roommates told me they moved in my house because it was safer than being a single woman for them on the Westside of town than in the apartments.  Right when my roommate moved from her apartment some teenagers stole her suitcases out of her car on Halloween, but I prayed and she did got everything back. 

After the fall of man, many things have become hostile to us.  Sickness, disease and death broke out on this planet, Cain killed Abel although God told Cain that evil was trying to get a hold of him, he would not listen to God.  

Even the animal kingdom is under a curse and dies.  Its says the whole creation groans until the unveiling of God’s sons.  Even we groan at times in these limited physical bodies.  Jesus appeared right through a wall after his resurrection so his body apparently can travel at the speed of light.

that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. Romans 8:32

I liked the part where his wife tells the character played by Will Smith that his son needs a father, not a commander and chief.  I see the same thing in life where I need God as my heavenly Father, not as my commander and chief. 

God may be God to the unbeliever, but it says he has sent his spirit into our heart where we cry, “Daddy, Father.”  Jesus referred to God as Abba---Heavenly Father.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6

My daughter was looking through some old photo albums and family pictures and she was saying, “Mom it’s like the relatives have dropped like flies.”  I did not have to deal with so much loss like my daughters have had to deal with. I’ve seen a change in climate.   It’s sort of like this harsh winter, only our society is getting very harsh.

As a young believer, I heard we are to live like Jesus is coming back today, but plan on that he is not coming back.  I believe that is good advice as far as how we conduct our lives.  It talks about being sober.

Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world 1 Peter 5:8-9

Everything on the planet was trying to kill the boy.  We are told that Satan knows his time is short so he is like a prowling lion seeking who he may destroy but Jesus "is" the lion of the tribe of Judah.

I asked the Lord if there was anything I need to change about my life and I heard in my spirit, "I want you to be bolder."  I believe He means that I need to be bolder to confess his word.  That in times past I was on automatic pilot, but I need to be bolder in my faith and claim his word, say his word.

The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. Luke 12

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's a Pink Elephant

If I tell you not to think about pink elephants, than what are you going to think about? Pink elephants. It sort of reminds me of my mother baking cookies and after my smelling them, she tells me I can't eat one.

I meet several divorced men that seem to have pink elephant issues. They will say, "I believed marriage was for a life time, but after a 35-year marriage and only three years was fun, I'm only out to have fun, no commitments."

Kudos they stayed for 35-years in a bad relationship, but does that mean because of one bad relationship, we are going to have every relationship fail? Is that seeing ourselves as a failure?

How much energy does it take to believe something right vs. something wrong? It's changing our thinking to right believing/right thinking.  "As a man thinks in his heart so is he."

It sort of reminds me of a job.  Just because we have one bad manager at work does not mean that there are all bad managers.

As a single person, I think about certain things all the time. As a married person, I thought about some of the same things -- sex and companionship. Sarah and Abraham thought about having children a lot. Obviously, they decided to try with Sarah's handmaid.

Eve must have had a pink elephant issue in thinking about the tree of knowledge of good and evil. She added a section about "not touching" the tree that was not spoken by God.

But the neat thing about being in God's Plan B is His plan B is still good. Jesus was the second Adam and the New Covenant was better than the law. I woke up one morning and I heard in my spirit, "I have you on a detour road since your husband's death." So I'll take God's detour road over being out of the will of God.

Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." Genesis 2:16-17

The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" Genesis 3:2-3

Friday, June 6, 2014

A Mule or a Race Horse?

Many people like car racing and we just had the Indy 500 race here.  I like horse racing and I own the movies Seabiscuit, Secretariat, and Dreamer.  They did not invest that much money in California Chrome compared to other race horses, same with Seabiscuit. California Chrome has a good chance to be a Triple Crown winner tomorrow.

I have always loved horses and so did my sister.  We used to ride together when I was a small girl. My sister married someone who was raised on a farm and owned a horse, but he did not keep his horse when he joined the military and had to go to Germany for two years.   In school growing up, I checked out of the library every horse book I could get my hands on.

I loved to watch horse movies growing up. I prayed and wished at every birthday party that I owned a horse. Entered every pony contest at Hooks drug stores.  My parents let me have a bird, dog, cat, fish and a bunny rabbit but no horse.  My former husband was allergic to hay so it would have been dangerous for us to have horses, but I did get him to go riding for the first time in his life with me several times in California, Hawaii and around Indiana. 

I don't have a horse that eats grass, but I have three motorized horses that eat gas.  In junior high I had a friend who owned barell racing horses and they were a lot of fun, but she moved away. I just recently have been in contact with an old high school friend who wants me to come over her house and ride with her this summer. I like on the movie, "Heaven is for Real" the boy talked about how Jesus has a horse that is the color of the rainbow.

The story of Seabiscuit is interesting too as far as racing War Admiral where the owner claimed he was a perfect horse.  War Admiral was a Triple Crown Winner, and yet Seabiscuit had more heart and beat him.  The horse overcame the odds because it raced from the heart.  I keep that in mind as a I run the race of life 

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  Hebrews 12:1

When I was 12 years old I heard this sermon at church about how a mule sitting in barn does not make it a race horse.  It’s in the breeding; you have to be born a race horse.  Just like attending church does not make one a Christian, we have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God.

I realize that some people don’t see themselves as a thoroughbred race horse when they have been born again, but they still think like a mule.  My friend has a mule and they are very stubborn.  (as a man thinks in his heart so is he)

A woman wrote into a Christian television program how her husband is looking at pornography and is on dating sites.  Another one said her spouse was caught stealing from church, and they both wanted to know if they were morally bound to stay with a person that "claims" to be a Christian, but is continuing in sin. 

I can't believe these two men are continuing in God's word.  God's word will transform us.  Paul said, What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1-2

I’m Mrs. O’Neill, but I’m not currently enjoying the benefits because my husband is dead.  If we are dead to something than it means it has no benefit over us.  Sin is not to rule, reign or dominate us.  We are to continue in God’s word not sin.

For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14

Our sanctification or holiness is through God's word.  Many people focus on the outside and preach against sin rather than preaching the word (its cure).  It’s the word that penetrates the thoughts and intents of the heart.  It’s the word that transforms us.

Sanctify them (make them holy) by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Jesus told the woman at the well that the Father is seeking worshipers, True worshipers of God, worship in spirit and truth ---abiding in God’s word is the truth.  Jesus was full of grace and truth.

Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lord, I Want a Hall Pass From Being Single

I was in a funk last weekend, and God always has a way of cheering me up. I never laughed so hard watching myself in those Galaxy Quest actors. They were trying to figure out how to make their spaceship work only my spaceship is being single after being happily married.

Sometimes God uses people to cheer me up, but last weekend it was a movie. He is the “God of all comfort.” (Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 2 Cor. 1:3)

The part where the actor is trying to maneuver the spaceship through a mine field and he was shy about getting blown up by mines I can relate to. Then there are these mean demon looking children that keep saying over and over, “Rock, Rock, Rock” before a rock monster comes along.

Sort of reminds me of this dump truck that threw a rock the size of a baseball at my car window when I went to encourage a friend who lost his mother.

I was listening to the news about how they are killing and persecuting Christians and burning churches in Africa because Christians don’t fight back. It’s sort of the Hunger Games with Christians in that region. Maybe the “right to bear arms” is not such a bad idea?

Praying, praising, thanking God when things go bad, fasting, tithing, giving, confessing the word, wearing my armor, fighting the fight of faith, sanctification and holiness, it’s all a bit much on top of persecution. God, I want a hall pass from being a single believer.

Lord forget the Christianity, can I just be your child? Can it be about what I am not what I do? Can I be like those simple good aliens on Galaxy Quest where they have faith and trust that things will work out? The spaceship works, I've just not figured out how to use it correctly.

Maybe they mistrusted the actors because they only pretended. Can I crawl up in your lap Jesus like those children you said not to send away to your disciples?

My daughter told me, “Mom it’s all going to come out in the wash.” But the socks get lost in the wash! Either what we go through in life will break us or it will make us stronger. We may lose our socks.

Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22

I heard someone talk about being victorious in Christ . It’s in Christ. It’s not about our education, our ability, our intelligence, our stamina in order to make it through life.

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. 15:57

When it all boils down to it – it’s being for him, to him, through him, in him, it’s not us. We are co-laborers with God, but we have better deal as far as God does not need anything from us, we are the ones that need him.

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:36

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 1 Cor. 8:6

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Lazarus Experience (Freedom from His Mummy Clothes)

Two of my daughter’s attended church with me on Mother’s Day. The pastor had a single professional mother share her testimony. My daughter said she could relate more to what this person shared than a pastor. It’s hard at times to relate to a pastor and his wife as a single mother, divorced or widowed.

Jesus said “Lazarus come forth.” They had to take off Lazarus grave clothes and it’s not always easy to take off our bondages in life.

The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." Luke 11:44

Jesus waited for Lazarus to die for three days and then raised him from the dead. Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, “Lord, Lazarus whom you love is sick.” Next, when Jesus comes Mary and Martha are saying, “Lord by now he stinks.”

Yeah Lord, by now my life stinks, dating over 50 stinks and currently the job market stinks too. I could sure use some of your resurrection power!

I heard that 82% of Americans worry about money.

I'm doing better with less worry in life. I’ve got my former spouse as an example of his stressing over losing his job. Men are not good about expressing their feelings. David expressed his feelings to God and about him in the book of Psalms.

Most women will tell you what they think. I had this attitude when we were married, “You can lump it or leave it” after going through a divorce. I’m glad he never left me, at least not willingly.

Feelings are important, although we should not be ruled by them. There have been many times I did not feel like going to something and I ended up having the best time.

Jesus is actually moved with the feelings of our infirmities

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15

It tells us in the last days that men’s hearts will fail them for fear of things coming on this earth.

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. Luke 21:26

Back when I was in my 20's a friend asked me to fill in at a nursing home and play my guitar. I remember this woman who kept saying over and over, "Where am I going to sleep tonight?" "What am I going to eat?" She must have had dementia but I remember thinking, "Wow I don't want to end up like that when I am older." I've been around enough chronic worry and fear people.

I was a chronic worry wart at the times. I had that nesting urge when I was seven months pregnant and my spouse made a bad decision to move back to Tulsa, Oklahoma from Florida, and we ended up homeless.

A single woman took us in and we also did not have many baby clothes for our twins, but than a single man came forward who was going through a divorce and he had a bunch of girl baby clothes he gave us.

Things working out at the most critical time of my life and it broke the stronghold of worry over my life. It was a trap that I fell into. God covers our mistakes.

A man said he was stressing out over his life and the Lord spoke to his spirit to go to sleep and He would stay up and worry for him. We are to cast our anxiety on the Lord.

A couple years ago I was stressing over my children and I heard in my spirit, "Is my arm short that I cannot save and is my ear short that it cannot hear?" It’s easier when we put the pressure on God to work in a loved one’s life instead of trying to correct and change them. I found that same true in marriage.

I kept praying in marriage and I saw a change. I kept a good attitude and did not get bitter that he was indifferent to meeting my needs when I started going through disillusionment that sets in after I got married. It’s putting pressure on God to work on our behalf and takes off the stress off of us. 80% of third marriages end up in divorce and I figured we were headed for divorce with having problems with step children full time. Fortunately, I had a Christian spouse that sought to please the Lord.

I find some Christian type teachings brings me into bondage. What it all comes down in life it is knowing Jesus (being intimately acquainted with him).

There is no other name above Jesus. He is the author and finisher of my faith. Mary focused on her relationship with the Lord (sitting at his feet) while Martha focused on what she could do for the Lord (serving). I find I do better when I focus on more of my relationship with the Lord (my devotion) than my service. My service is out of my devotion. It’s very similar to marriage is serving my spouse out of love not out of duty or obligation it’s a joyful serving.

Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Psalm 100:2

It’s like Paul said, “to know Jesus and him crucified.” David also spent a lot of time with God in the shepherd field getting to understand/know the will of God.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Cor. 2:2
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; Philip 3:10