Wednesday, November 28, 2012

When Everything Goes Wrong!

I went to my usual place overlooking the ocean at lunch to unwind and write. As I sat my chair down I heard swearing and yelling. There was a young girl sitting on a bench that overlooked the ocean. She was on the phone. At first I thought she was mad but after a short time, I realized she just yells when she talks. I sat there trying to think of something to write about but all I could hear was her. I waited for a few minutes before I finally had to get up and walk further down the bluffs to try to get away from the yelling.

I found a spot a little further up the grass, it had a limited ocean view but was situated far enough away from the girl and not too close to a man who was also relaxing in a chair. Just as I sat down to begin my writing, the man who had been quietly looking out at the ocean got on his phone and seemed to also have a mega phone voice! Then the girl who was quite a ways away took it to another level and screamed, "I don't know what's going on! You need to talk louder I can't hear you!" It was like I had a stereo turned up with both speakers working too good! Just when I thought, "Is this a joke?" A man in front of me who had been working at the ocean front home turned on his leaf blower, the loud humming joined in with the yelling along with blowing dirt and leaves into the air around me. I could do nothing but laugh at that point. It was full surround sound...keeping me from any thought forming in my head other than, "My perfect lunch time is ruined!"

No, things weren't perfect; I was irritated and stuck in the middle of it! Just as my alarm went off signaling my lunch was over, the yelling girl, still on her phone, walked toward me and her car to leave. "Oh perfect timing I thought...NOW she's leaving! It's funny how life is usually like that and we fall victim to our "perfect plans," usually falling short. Even though it happens time and time again, we still allow ourselves to get upset and angry.

I stood up and reluctantly packed up my things; turning just in time to see an elderly lady shuffling along the sidewalk. I smiled at her, she said, "Beautiful day out isn't it?" "Yes it is," I agreed, as I looked out at the ocean. With that, Jean Rees came over and began talking to me. She told me about her life and her travels. She had worked at the library for years to keep her mind sharp. She also volunteered at the local theater up the hill in Newport as a treasurer. I knew I was going to be late getting back to work but I couldn't find it in my heart to excuse myself. She told me about her niece who was just diagnosed with breast cancer. I asked her name, "Julia," she replied. I told her I'd add her to the weekly prayer request I send out. With that she excitedly said she went to a church up the street and she wanted me to know that recently she put a couple of people on their prayer request. The first one was a lady diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 40, but miraculously after prayer, the doctors said it was a "misdiagnosis." Then she added a boy who had leukemia. He was treated and it didn't work, they gave him no hope. But after he was put on the prayer list, they put him on a trial medication and was cured. With a steady, knowing look...she said, "You can never have too many people praying for you." We walked slowly together across the street. Just before I turned to head to my car and she began to head up the inclined street to her home, I stopped, smiled, touched her shoulder and said, "It was so nice meeting you Jean, we'll be praying for Julia...prayer is powerful!" "Thank you," she said with a twinkle in her eye, "It is."

I took a few steps and then decided that I wanted to get a picture of my new friend for my story. As I rounded the corner, I looked to where she should have been because of her slow shuffle, she couldn't have gone very far but she was nowhere in sight. I walked a little further toward the curb to see past a couple of cars...nothing. Wow, that's weird I thought, where could she have gone? I quickly got into my car and turned around to look again as I passed the street and the alley. Nothing. I thought, smiling to myself, "Well Jean either lives in the mansion on the corner or she's an angel." You can bet I'm going to be looking for her next Monday!

Either way, my day had purpose. I now had someone who needed prayer. We need to be willing to look for the opportunities the Lord puts in front of us each day? Can you still look for the good in your day when everything seems to be going wrong? It wasn't my "perfect day" but the Lord always has a plan and His plans are always perfect. He has a purpose for you each day. Seek His will and not your own today!

"Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:4

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." James 1:12

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path." Psalm 119:105

"You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word." Psalm 119:114

"My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek." Psalm 27:8


Friday, November 23, 2012


We walked into the grocery store on Thanksgiving afternoon to pick up a few last minute items to take to the family dinner. Once inside, my husband asked, "Do you think we need a basket?" "Probably," I replied, "we have to get drinks and a few other things." I started walking toward the aisle, while he headed out to get a basket. All of a sudden I hear a loud clanking and rattling sound moving quickly toward me. I turned around to see my husband hunched over the tiniest know...the kind that the grocery store sets out for little kids to push and shop along side their parents. I started cracking up and said, "What are you doing?" He curiously looked at me and said, "You said we only needed a few things so I though this was the perfect size." I continued to laugh and said, "That's a kids basket!" He didn't seem to care and it made total sense to him, (a few items=a small basket.)

People laughed as he passed by and turned around to stare at the tough looking guy pushing the kiddy basket around the store. We continued to shop as I tried to stay quite a distance in front of him to let it appear as if he was shopping alone. Everything fit inside his little basket perfectly until he grabbed the last item, a large case of water bottles. He had to balance them across the top and carefully hold it as we headed toward the checkout line...passing the smiling onlookers.

In the beginning the basket seemed like the perfect size for the minimal items, but ended up being too small. Your life can be like that tiny basket. You may be limiting the Lord through doubt and self-defeating, destructive thoughts. Your basket of faith and trust may be too small. The negative things you are saying about yourself and others may be hindering the growth in your life.

The Lord has an abundance of blessings and love He wants to shower on you, He is your Heavenly Father. Are you allowing Him enough room to fill up your "basket"? Are you willing to seek a relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer and daily scripture study, allowing Him to renew your mind, body and spirit? Start speaking the life giving words of the scriptures over your life and all those you come in contact with. Ask yourself today, "Is my basket too small?" Don't limit the things the Lord has prepared for you.

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11

"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

" In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:19

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." Philiippians 4:8-9

Thursday, November 15, 2012

He Raised His Hand

The doors were propped open. The weather was brisk but sunny. The sounds of praise music pouring out of the church to those playing in the park. As we sang each new song, the music filled me up with joy, lifting my spirit which had been beaten down throughout the daily grind of my day to day work week. Other members of the congregation seemed to also be filled with the life giving presence of the Holy Spirit...carrying the burdens away through the joy of music.

I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye just outside of the open door. Standing there was a little boy with down syndrome about 5 years old. He was wearing a red baseball cap and looking directly at me. I stopped singing for a moment and smiled and waved at him. This sweet, happy, adorable little guy continued to watch me and listen to the instruments and the sound of our voices. Then he raised up his arm to the sound of the music. A young innocent little boy could also feel the Spirit of the Lord, inspiring him to raise his arm in praise.

Don't forget that no matter what your facing or going through...the Lord is working behind the scenes. He is seeking to draw you closer to Him. Teaching you to trust and have faith in Him. Do not hinder the Holy Spirit from working in your life. Let go of the things you are clinging to so tightly...the things that are weighing you down. Give them to the Lord, allowing Him the freedom to work all things out for good.

"The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace." Psalm 29:11

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." Romans 8:37

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Puzzling Isn't It?

Do you remember working on puzzles when you were younger or perhaps you still work on them? Each piece with its curved shapes and angles needed to be placed in exactly the right spot and position to complete the puzzle. This process can take days, weeks & even months depending on the size, number of pieces and difficulty of the puzzle. I generally liked puzzles that were not too difficult but challenging enough to keep my interest without frustrating me. I’d place a certain one down and then realize there was no way it would work because the shape of the other pieces could not fit or be squeezed into it. The best part of puzzling was being able to make a mistake and knowing I’d be able to fix it and eventually get it right. I became excited as each misshapen piece began to take form, slowly revealing the entire beautiful picture that had been hidden when all the pieces were piled on top of each other inside the box. It was a delight to know that each and every piece had a purpose, a spot, a place it belonged...eventually becoming what it was supposed to be.

 Life is like a puzzle. Each piece of your life has a purpose. Some pieces may not fit right at first...circumstances, bad decisions and choices you’ve made seemed to have misshapen your hopes, goals and dreams. Your perfect life picture is no longer visible. Things seem to be scattered. But that’s the beauty of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. You can start over. You can have everything put perfectly back together. Yes I do mean EVERYTHING. A relationship with Christ takes all of your misshapen pieces of life and puts them together piece by piece, day by day, month by month and year by year. Until one day, you begin to see what the Lord has for you. A perfect picture of a life once in shambles, put back together again. A beautiful portrait waiting to finally take form through Christ’s loving, forgiving, sacrifice of eternal love for you.  

Don’t let go of your hope. Your puzzle is still a work in progress. God’s given you a very difficult one because He knows that with His help, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. He has a good and perfect plan for your life. Each day is being carefully placed into the exact spot it needs to be to create the final picture. Enjoy today’s puzzle knowing that it fits perfectly into God’s plan for you! 

"We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction..." 
1 Thessalonians 1:3-5

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of  God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." 
Proverbs 3:1-6

"Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you."
Proverbs 22:17-19 

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Recently my mom was praying for a job. She knew she wouldn't be making the kind of money she used to make at her very stressful job...but with so many recent changes in her life she was ready to find a stress free work environment. She went on several interviews, all the while asking for prayer to receive the perfect job. A job that would put her exactly where the Lord wanted her.

After several interviews, she received an offer today and a promise from many others to be offering her a position within the next few days. Now she found herself in a dilemma asking, "Do I take the job which is significantly lower pay but somewhere I'd enjoy working or hold out for another offer that might be more money?" She was feeling very stressed and overwhelmed, asking the person to please give her a little time to make a decision. The employer however couldn't promise that the position would still be available. My mom knew she needed advice, she needed to spend some time in prayer, she was worried and didn't want to make the wrong decision. She took her chances and said she needed to wait to make her decision. With that, she began asking her older kids for their input, then she went to the One who could give her the absolute perfect advice and wisdom. She spent time in prayer. Waiting for the Lord to guide her in the right direction. She knew that Heavenly Father had a plan and that wherever He guided her she would go in faith and trust. She'd learned over the years that the safest place to be is in the will of God.

After much prayer, she felt strongly that she should accept the position. She called the hiring manager back the same day and asked if they would still be interested in hiring her? He then asked her to hold on a minute. When he came back on he said, "I need to talk to you." She thought, "Oh no!" He said, "I talked to another manager and we want to offer you a dollar more an hour than we originally told you." This offer came even though my mom was calling back willing to take the lower paying offer. She was so incredibly happy! She knew she had been blessed by listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and following where she was supposed to go, trusting in God. God blessed the entire mom starts orientation tomorrow!

Today, if you find yourself in a dilemma, a position of uncertainty, a state of perpetual confusion or worry, stop what your doing, put aside how things may look from an earthly viewpoint. Take your Scriptures and go to a quiet place to read and pray. Allowing the Holy Spirit to fill you up with wisdom, direction, guidance, security and an all knowing comfort that you are being guided to the perfect place, as you trust in God. Allow the love of Jesus Christ to fill you up, restore you, and lead you into all truth. The Lord is saying to you, "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me" Jeremiah 32:27 

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Recently I’ve struggled to find the joy in my day. Between my sickness, work and the rushing of everyday life, I seemed to have been slipping into a melancholy state, an overwhelmed feeling for no particular reason…just a general feeling of uneasiness. During these times in my life, when nothing seems exactly right, perfect or where I’d like it to be, I know that I need to rise above it. I am more than my feelings or fickle emotions, which seem to fluctuate moment by moment, minute by minute and hour by hour. I’ve somehow let the enemy sneak in and fill me with negative lies and thoughts. “Is anything ever going to change? Am I ever going to reach my dreams and goals? Is my life going to be stuck right where I am, no great accomplishment or achievement? You can’t accomplish anything because you are the worst procrastinator!”

Whoa…wait a minute! All the negative self talk is only serving to drag me down into a state of despair. God has called me and you to more. He wants us to know His truth. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37.  He has a plan that is perfect. He knows emotions can sometimes get in the way of TRUTH. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36.  His truth about whom and what you are. Truth about what is in store for our lives…if we can only stand strong in HIM. Does God listen to their cry when distress comes upon them? Will they find delight in the almighty? Will they call on God at all times? “I will teach you about the power of God; the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal. You have all seen this yourselves. Why then this meaningless talk?” Job 27:9-12
Alone, we are weak, given to self-defeating thoughts, feeling sorry for ourselves and depressed. The sooner we learn that we need to draw closer to Christ in those moments, not sitting in the pity party, but taking action. We need to pray to be released of the negativity, praying for God’s truth to fill us up, flooding our emotions and senses with HIS LOVE. Spend time in the Bible, just you and the Lord. Allow your mind, body and soul to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God’s wisdom. He has so much to teach and tell you, so much to share with you about what He has planned for your life. The more we struggle, the more we need to seek Him.

As I slowly reach a shaky, weak, worn out hand to Christ…He takes it, picks me up and wraps me in His arms, aware of all that I’m feeling, going through, and hoping for. I refuse to sit in a place of lies. I refuse to allow the enemy to keep me in mental chains and bondage. Each morning I will open the Scriptures and allow myself the necessary time to FEED MY SOUL. Then I will have God’s word speaking the things of faith, wisdom, trust and truth…lifting me to new heights, new adventures, new hope and most of all a new me in Christ!  

“Come near me and listen to this: “From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there.” And now the Sovereign Lord has sent me, endowed with his Spirit. This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” 
Isaiah 48:16-17

Thursday, October 11, 2012


"What's that?" I shouted pointing out at the ocean!

Let me back up and preface what I stumbled upon before I get into my incredible story...

I'd had a rough week, nothing seemed to go right and I was looking forward to the Labor Day holiday. My hubby and I headed to Balboa, stopped and grabbed a quick bite to eat and then headed to find a spot on a less crowded beach. I needed some serious relax and unwind time. I needed to get my thoughts and emotions under control. 

We found a spot all by ourselves and sat down to enjoy the waves crashing in front of us. The next thing I know, we were surrounded in a semi-circle by seagulls...both sides and behind us, leaving only the ocean view in front of us open. It seemed very odd because we had no food with us at all. I looked up and down the beach and they were only around us. I know that this would probably irritate most people but I've had so many amazing experiences with birds lately that it only serves to remind me of the scripture in Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
Young kids would periodically run up to chase the birds and they'd fly away only to return moments later. They sat quietly, not disturbing us at all just standing around us. My hubby also found this incredibly odd. I proceeded to tell him, "Maybe it's just God's way of reminding us that He's got us in the palm of His hand and we have nothing to worry about. He's taking care of these much more are we worth to Him?" We continued to sit silently as the waves billowed up, forming a turquoise tube before crumbling onto the shore. 
Now back to where I started this story...all of a sudden I see something dark and long pop up out of the water right next to the shore. "Did you see that? It was really big with barnacles!" I shouted in excitement.
It raised up again and we could tell it was a baby calf (Grey whale). It was so close to us that when the wave closest to the shore formed we could see his entire outline. 
I was so amazed, I jumped up and started following it down the shoreline, capturing pictures and video on my phone. A large crowd had now also noticed, along with a lady who had been called down from the Marine Safety Department who was also walking along following it. She said she had never seen a whale so close to shore. She had been following it for miles as it continued to head south up the shoreline. I followed the whale for a while continually snapping pictures before I realized I was pretty far away and reluctantly turned back. 

Then something incredible happened. I had walked about 50 feet back when all of a sudden I noticed the baby whale who had been traveling south for several miles had turned around with me. I looked out at the ocean to see it's head pop up and there we were, just the two of us alone staring at each other.
He ducked under as his small spout shot water up into the air before resurfacing to look at me again. 
(I later did research and found out it is called whale spying, they actually poke their head out to look at their surroundings.) 
I was in awe. I was speechless. It was a unforgettable, special experience where I couldn't help but stand there and thank God for His incredible creation. I thanked Him for His hand in my life and for this time of awesome and the whale. I found myself fighting back tears. It was a feeling of knowing. God...yes...God had His hand on me, the whale, the birds, the sea and the entire situation. 
The whale then swam off and went back out into the ocean past the pier
There is nothing too big, too difficult, too impossible, too outrageous for God to accomplish. He brought a whale to the shore for heaven's sake. The Lord is always right there with each one of us. 

Today, if you are struggling with a burden, a weight, a sorrow, a loss, an addiction, a lack of faith or trust in anyone or anything...please stop and pray right now. Ask the Lord to come into your life, situation, heart and mind. Ask Him to show you the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Ask for forgiveness, healing and a renewed mind and heart. He is waiting to step into your situation and your life "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Do you find yourself praying and then doubting? Do you feel that the problem you're going through will never get better? I know this has been an issue for me. I'll pray for change and then shortly after continue to talk about the problem in a negative way. I know this is human nature, to mull things over and over again in your mind, praying and then picking right back up where you left off.

I've been feeling very convicted in this area lately. I know that this is not healthy and each time I pray, laying it down at the feet of the Lord, allowing the Holy Spirit to move in the situation, I need to also pray for more trust and faith. Each time I start to talk negatively about the problem, I'm shutting the door on the Holy Spirit. I pray saying," Please help me." I wait for a while and then start to talk about it and worry what's going to happen. I begin to allow the enemy to move instead of the Holy Spirit. Soon I'm saying..."It's taking to long, maybe the Lord didn't hear my prayers or doesn't want to answer, what am I going to do now?" Once this negative self talk starts it sets a strong hold on my mind for the enemy to move in. To fill my head with doubt, lies, hurt, negative thinking and hopelessness. How can I expect the Holy Spirit to work when I'm not trusting? God always hears us. He always wants the best for us...HIS BEST is not necessarily our best.

According to one online website the Bible mentions Trust approximately 243 times. Faith is listed approximately 336 times. Doubt is mentioned approximately 400 times.

I think the Lord definitely knows that each of us struggle with doubt. He knows that this can be an area that trips us up. This can turn us away and head us off onto broken paths. The importance of praying for increased trust and faith (when added together is mentioned 579 times) opens the door for the Holy Spirit to move in and not only work in our lives and our problems, but also help to remove the doubt. It closes the door on the enemy. It sheds new light, peace and favor on the situation. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that you increase my trust and faith in You. I pray for Your Peace in the waiting. I want to let go of my burdens and allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through me today. Please help me to not continue to murmur, grumble and doubt the work you are doing. Help me not to continue to pick up the problem again after I've given it to You. Give me the wisdom to know that Your plan is always better than anything I can do on my own and in my own ability. Help me to walk through the open doors and trust You when the door closes that You have something better in mind for me and my situation. I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Feeling Trapped?

Two butterflies gracefully floated by as I sat overlooking the ocean on my lunch hour. I stopped and watched them fluttering about and then glide as the wind carried them off over the steep ocean cliffs. I marveled that only a short while ago they were crawling on the ground, confined to their limited surroundings.
You may feel trapped in the daily struggles of your life. But God has more for you. He wants to help you soar into all that He has called you to be. Don’t lose hope...don’t lose patience; for just like those butterflies, there is a work being done in the waiting and in the struggles. Think of it as being inside  a cocoon. You’re being stretched beyond what you thought you were capable of bearing. You’re being transformed into something so incredibly wonderful that when God says, “Fly my precious child,” you’ll be filled with His transforming wisdom and grace to accomplish all things He's placed before you. You will move out of the confining darkness and into His marvelous light.

Do not fight the process. Pray for His strength to see you through; then you can grow to your full potential, prepared to fly to new heights, a new creation in Jesus Christ!

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11

"The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. Isaiah 26:7-8

"Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up." James 4:10

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Does Your Life Need Emergency Repairs?

While driving to work I looked over and noticed a vehicle with bold red writing which said, "Emergency Repair." They were advertising for a business that will repair your broken things. Often times we wait till the last possible moment to call on a specialist. We'll try to do it on our own, hoping to muddle through...struggling to "fix it." We may spend hours upon hours feeling frustrated, angry, yelling and finally giving up.

None of us can be everything, know everything, or accomplish everything. Sometimes we need to accept the fact that we need help. We need to be open to receiving that help with the knowledge that an expert may be needed.

In life, Jesus Christ is in the business of "Emergency Repair." He is the repairer of souls. He is the one we can run too with any problem, hurt, anger, addiction, loss, etc. He is the much needed expert in our everyday lives. He spent His time on earth healing, fixing, saving and redeeming the lost and the broken. Who better to reach out to than the one who gave His very life for you? There is no other who can love you more, want more for you, or has given the most for you. Do you know that He is only a prayer away? He does not ask you to fix or change yourself on your own. He only asks that you seek Him and allow Him into your heart so He can help you overcome whatever you're facing. Give Him the authority to step in and make the necessary changes. He gave everything He had for you. He wants you to have nothing but the best. Do not continue trying to "fix it" alone. Run straight into the arms of your Lord and Savior and let Him handle the "Emergency Repairs" you need help with today.

"I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” You, Lord, took up my case; you redeemed my life." 
Lamentations 3:55-58

"And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you." Luke 24:36

"And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."
Luke 24:38-39 

"The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace." 
Psalm 29:11

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Mystery In The Castle

I'd heard about an old castle that sits along the shoreline of Laguna Beach CA. Wanting a little weekend adventure...we headed down the coast in search of it. It was a little tricky to find, nestled below the cliffs. We followed a trail hidden between two large beach homes.

As we rounded the corner and walked toward the tide pools we spotted it. A very narrow, tall castle right at the edge of the cliff. To my delight the heavy metal door at the back was open.

I wanted to explore and see what was at the top of the old wooden spiral staircase. I went inside trying to coax my hubby to come too, (he's claustrophobic & wasn't too excited.)
 He hung back as I quickly rounded the first flight of stairs, only to hear voices echoing below me, "You can't go up there...that's our home!" I heard my hubby say, "Ya right!" as he proceeded to follow me. "NO, REALLY...that IS our home!!" they shot back. I stopped, reluctant to head down...wanting to make a break for it up to the top and act like I never heard them. But I didn't. Disappointed and a little angry that my adventure was halted, I slowly walked down and out of the dark stairwell. Two young teenagers, a blonde girl and boy, nicely dressed, (with their standard Orange County expensive name brand clothing on) were waiting for us. I said, "What's up there? That's really your home? Is it one small little room at top or something?" I couldn't believe anyone could live in that narrow space at the top.

They laughed and said, "NO, DUMMY"...(okay, they didn't really say dummy but I thought their tone reflected it)'s a staircase that leads up to the top of the cliff and our home's up there," pointing to a large white house overlooking the cliffA little flustered at being laughed at and feeling dumb for having gone up there, I was happy to hear my husband say, with a bit of an attitude, "Well why don't you lock it then?" The girl said, "Because it only locks from the inside." With that we headed to the tide pools. Walking away to their chuckling behind us.

Well that was it...they had set me off. I started with, "Spoiled little rich kids!" and then proceeded with my best English accent "That's our home! You're not allowed up there PEASANTS!" My hubby laughed. We continued to explore the beautiful beach and I calmed down. Later, we headed back toward the castle to where we'd left our things on the beach when my hubby told me that a man who was now standing out in front of the door as we walked by said, "They'll find out what's up there when they get sued!" 

Oh no he didn't! That set me off again as I walked faster, but then caught myself for a moment and decided to pray for them to find Jesus Christ and that they'd allow Him into their hearts. Believe me it wasn't easy! By the time we'd reached the wall overlooking our things I'd started back up with my English accent comments again. A few minutes later, my hubby said, "Shhhh, the lady next to you is with them." There was an entire beach & she came and sat next to me?
Notice "Barbara" in the background getting ready to sit by me.

Yes...there it was, I was getting reprimanded for judging, talking about them and my attitude. Heavenly Father sat that lady right down next to me. I had an appointment with MYSELF! I needed to be shown that things are not always as they appear and that my poor, sometimes judgmental attitude was still lingering inside of me waiting to pop out.

Well I struck up a conversation with "Barbara," asking her about the castle. I nervously laughed as I told her that I just wanted to go exploring and had no idea it was private property. She was so nice and friendly. She told me all about the history. It had been built in 1926 as a way to get down to the beach from the dangerous cliffs. Bette Midler had once owned the house. They get a big tax break because it's a historic landmark. Her brother married the lady who owns the house. She told me about herself, her kids and mentioned her brother was an atheist.

So there it was...PRAYER for the lost. I had said a quick prayer for him in my anger, but he needed more. He didn't need me to respond in judgement...he needed love. In my pride and anger I needed to get over myself and show more of Christ in me to others. I needed to work on responding in loving kindness instead of reacting. I thought I'd become so good at this until...the castle. Sometimes when our old nature rises up, it's a reminder of the things you need to lay at the Lord's feet. Asking Jesus to take it out of you and allowing Him to help you change.    

Barbara and I sat talking for a very long time. She gave me so much interesting information and history on the castle and the home at the top of the hill. Much more than anything I would have found by reaching the top of the castle stairway.

The adventure I'd been seeking was more than what I'd hoped for. I stumbled, but was able to get up, brush myself off, learn, embrace, pray and remember not to see things through my own limited viewpoint. I need to remember to pray for God's widsom to see things through HIS eyes and not my own.
We are all a work in progress. We need the loving kindness of Jesus Christ throughout our day, to guide us into ALL TRUTH so that we can be effective and go out and do HIS WILL and not our own.
1 Corinthians 15:58
1 Corinthians 16:13

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

God Wants You To Know

Just rest in Me. Do you not perceive it? I am doing a new thing in you. Let go of the things that are troubling you and rest in Me. I am the Alpha & the Omega. The Beginning and the End. You will find rest for your soul as you seek Me. Return to your First Love. What you are lacking is time with Me. Allow Me to renew your mind body and spirit. If I care for the birds of the air, feed them and take care of their needs, how much more will I care for you.

Rest in Me. Find your strength in Me. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I'm guiding you to a chosen land filled with milk and honey. You will be safe and secure as you seek to do My will first; then all else will fall into place. Be diligent where I have placed you, for in due time you will receive your reward.

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:13-14

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:2

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:26

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:29-30

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

" The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—" Exodus 3:7

"Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:24