I Assigned Him Three Angels Two Weeks Ago….

FLGIMGS1000000101_-00_America-the-Beautiful-Graphic-plain-Downloadable-Image_3

For 5 years I gathered up my 3 grandchildren and taught them about Jesus –every week.   They were 4 and 6 years old when we began.  Christopher was 6.   He was such a sponge… soaking up all he could about Jesus, heaven, and living in the Kingdom here on earth.    The  letter is his proclamation to get baptized.   IMG_2564

So, their Papa, me and their dads, baptized them in a Jacuzzi. They sang, “Let’s Go Down to the River”…..IMG_2571

As Chris grew physically, he grew spiritually as well. He was very deep and spent a lot of time studying and talking to God.    I was privileged to live close by and got to be a part of all my grandchildren’s lives.  

Chris and I have a bond.  I was there when he, my first born grandson, was born.   I remember driving to San Diego in the wee hours of the morning to get to the hospital to watch his birth…..the sun was rising and I looked up and God spoke to me.  He said this child would be blessed and do great things, just as sunlight beamed down on my car, and I felt His presence and his peace.   7373750-sunrise-in-the-summer-at-small-overcast

Chris faced a life of trials that no young man should have to face, but he always kept his composure and his faith and had a perseverance to move forward….even when he was stuck in life he always found the courage to find a way out.

Then came the day he announced to his family that he had sought God for a long time on the course his life was to take, and he knew he was being called into joining the Marines.     I wanted him to join anything BUT the Marines.   His Mom and I cried.    I knew he was going to be entering a time of endurance like never before.  But he was adamant that was where he was to go.     Fear and pride were mixed together  watching him pursue this career.   marines-symbol-eagle-anchor-earth-97748951

So, I prayed…and prayed…and still praying.   But not in fear.   The Lord spoke to me as I was praying Psalm 91 over him.   He said,

“You have been praying over my son since he was born, Dixie. Those prayers are still in effect, and I assigned more angels to Christopher 2 weeks ago. “

Stunned I said, “Wow, Lord, thank you!   How many?”

81aa11c0a2c58d757d107cfd4c302d81    He said, “Three for now. They are with him every minute.  At night they are standing on either side of his bed, and one at his feet.”

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” Is. 65:24

So, he left for boot camp 2 weeks ago with those angels.   Of course, I am tempted to worry, and to fret, and to doubt.   It’s hard to let the ones you love go and trust God is faithful to cover them, encourage them, and protect him.

Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” Heb. 1:14

But, you know what?   That is what living in the Kingdom is all about.   You have to be diligent.  You have to stay close to Jesus, and you have to persevere.

And you learn how to let go.

Faith is NOT feelings. Think about that.

Your feelings may betray you, but never allow them to rob you of what is more real than your feelings….your faith.

I wrote Chris a letter before he left reminding him that the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead, dwells in him. And that power is there to call on when he has reached the end of his own strength.   He smiled when he read it and said,

“I know, Nana.”  

Are you praying and believing for someone you love very much.   Remember,  we worry about things that we can’t control.   To walk free of anxiety and fear, we have to lean into Him. 

Listen!!

0006948_abide-with-me_1000For He is speaking all the time.   He promises to NEVER,  EVER leave you no matter what.

And when there are trials and hardships, He is still there, in our suffering, making Himself known.

He says angels are there for us…”for those that are heirs of salvation”…

So, do you use them. Or, at least have an awareness, that they are assigned to you.   Believing what you cannot see?

As my children and grands grew, Psalm 91 was my go to whenever I feared for them or worried about them.   As soon as I prayed that Psalm, I felt his peace and reassurance that His word does not return to him without accomplishing what He wants and offers us. 

Now, my daughter, Christopher’s mom, will not close her eyes at night without praying that word over herself and her loved ones. 

He is our peace.

When my father, on his death bed, told me he couldn’t forgive ME for exposing him for molesting me and my daughter, I was stunned. This didn’t fit my picture of him repenting before his death and telling me he loved me and was sorry for what he did to us.   No, instead, he blamed me for telling ‘our’ secret and exposing him for who he really was.   I was alone in the room with him, speechless.  At that moment I felt the overwhelming presence of Jesus, sitting in the chair with me.    I, seriously, felt him lean over and whisper in my ear, (I actually felt his breath on my ear),  and he said,

Dixie, you are not alone, I am right here. I will never leave you.”   

Jesus-By-My-Side-342x200And I had such a sense of peace.   As shocked as I was at my father’s sense of entitlement, narcissism, and unrepentant heart,  on his death bed, to actually still be blaming me for his crime that changed me and Heather forever… I felt removed emotionally…. and the presence of Jesus was so tangent that I walked out of the hospital room that day with a smile on my face.  Those were the last words with my father before he died.  But the presence of Jesus enabled me to totally let him go.

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” Ps. 34:5  

In all of our turbulent lives He promises to be there and there is no limit to His presence…you can be mindful of it every day and press in and live in the supernatural…or you can choose to ignore it.   But if you ignore it you will be missing out on  the abundant life He offers….

 akiane-kramarik-jesus-painting  Psalms 91…..Lord,

I thank you that because I dwell in the shelter of You, Most High God  I will find rest in the shadow of You, my Almighty.  This I declare about You Lord: You alone are my refuge, my place of safety; You are my God, and I trust You alone,   For You will rescue me from every trap  and protect me from deadly disease. You will cover me with Your feathers.  You will shelter me with Your wings.   Your faithful promises are my armor and protection. I will not be afraid of the terrors of the night,  nor the arrow that flies in the day. I will not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,  nor the disaster that strikes at midday.  Though a thousand fall at my side, though ten thousand may be dying around me,   these evils will not touch me. I will open my eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

 Lord, I will make You my refuge, and I will  make You,  Most High,  my shelter,   no evil will conquer me; no plague will come near my home. Thank you for ordering Your angels to protect me wherever I go.  They will hold me up with their hands  so I won’t even hurt my foot on a stone. I will trample upon lions and cobras;  I will crush fierce lions and serpents under my feet!

 Lord You have said You will rescue those who love You and You will protect those who trust in Your name.  When I call on You, You will answer;  You will be with me in trouble. You will rescue and honor me  and You will reward me with a long life and give me Your salvation.”  Amen!  

dixie1

Life Coaching is open now for the Summer….If you need help in this season of your life please contact me through the web site or this blog!!

 

 

Church and Fast Food…What Do They Have in Common?

drive thru We are so fast paced in our country.  And we have incorporated this into our relationship with God.  We are a fast food nation.

We want instantaneous answers, overnight transformation, speedy growth.  We want drive up and drive through service.

But God desires to speak to us daily through His word.  He wants to have direct conversation with us.  When we only rely upon others to feed us on Sunday mornings, we are relying upon the processed word; what we are being fed by someone else…not the pure word that God speaks directly to us.  It is great to share the word with others and hear their insights, but if that is all you rely on and don’t commune with Him yourself and listen to His voice for yourself, you are eating processed foods, spiritually, and it is not enough to sustain you or show you how to walk in the Kingdom every day.

Now, physically speaking,  the healthiest natural organic foods are whole foods… not processed foods.  

organic-vegetables2Our bodies need choice fruit and vegetables straight from the vine.  Processed foods make the body sick.  They lack vital nutrients and contain impure additives and dyes that have no value to our bodies. Though filling, they are toxic and do nothing but promote disease.

It takes work to go get good, healthy food.  The planning and cooking and just the overall inconvenience of having to take the time to eat it.  It is so much easier to run by the drive through and eat something that tastes good and fills us up, but is killing our healthy cells.  We can deny it for a while, but when we get physically sick we either let our addiction for fast food kill us or change our ways.

In the same way, it takes time and persistence to walk with Jesus every day and to pursue Him with all your heart.  Going to a building on one day a week and thinking that is enough for true Kingdom living is deceiving ourselves.

It is not enough!

The collective body of Christ is sick from eating processed foods, spiritually speaking.  They have been doing it so long that they do not know how to eat and drink freely from Him…to meditate with Jesus, to spend time with just Him.  They think just going to a church institution will be enough.  But then they wonder why they go back to a defeated, mundane life the rest of the week.  

drive through churchWe eat fast food on Sundays and then wonder why we are starving and miserable the rest of the week.  Yet any minute of the day He is standing there waiting for you to listen to His whispers in your heart.

It takes an investment in time, deliberate focus and purpose to eat well.  As it is with our body and natural food, so it is with our spirit and spiritual food.

The pursuit to find any formula that can be applied to produce His righteousness and provide me with New Testament church life or even grow my trust, is foolish.

It will fail, time and time again, until in the end we come to realize that this reality only comes through a growing friendship with Him.  The more I know Him and the more I see His hand at work the more free I will be to trust Him and live in His kingdom.

Any time we choose to follow someone else’s formula for success, or an agenda no matter how well intentioned, we will end up living by our own limited wisdom.

The invitation to this Kingdom is to follow a person.

Jesus doesn’t give us the way; He is The Way.

He doesn’t have life; He is The Life. 

He doesn’t just speak truth; He is The Truth itself.

Everything about His kingdom begins and ends in Him and we experience that through a growing friendship with Him.

To grow in this life, I am continually cultivating my relationship with Him.  I intentionally spend time with Him as I grow in my awareness of His working throughout my day.  I have a running conversation with Him about everything in my life and express my desire to follow His will at every turn.

I try to saturate myself in the word to learn how He thinks and acts.  And it is important to join in what God is showing others by what I read and listen to, and the conversations I have with others I gather with on this journey.

This means letting go of the lies of shame and the demands for performance that drive us from him and find our security in His devotion and love for us and let that transform us.

For me, it has been great freedom to realize that I never had the power or wisdom to accomplish God’s purposes in my life, and how losing confidence in my flesh actually freed me to live more dependent on Him and more grateful for His working. 

What a joy to wake up in the uncertain adventure of life and not be distressed at what might happen today, because He is with me!  I can’t explain how wonderful that freedom is.

How could fast food Christianity ever produce this?

The pattern in everything is this:

The greater joys are obtained through struggle and difficulty and pain—things you must force yourself to do when you don’t feel like it—while brief, unsatisfying, and often destructive joys are as inviting as a big old feather bed and down comforters.

God, in great mercy, is showing us everywhere, in things that are just shadows of heavenly realities, that there is great reward for those who struggle through and persevere (Hebrews 10:32–35).

He is reminding us almost everywhere to walk by faith in a promised future and not by the sight of immediate gratification (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Each struggle to overcome becomes a gigantic flag to us saying, “Look ahead, past the struggle itself, past the temptation of the puny, vapor joys to the great, sustained, substantial Joy set before you!”

See your Father pointing you to the reward he has planned for all who endure to the end. (Matthew 24:13). 

Transpose it from reluctance to a reminder that God is calling you not to indulgence but endurance.

Then lay this weight aside and run with faith the race he has set before you.  God will meet you with the grace you need (2 Corinthians 9:8).

jesus and meAnd the thing is: This light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17–18)

In the Pit of Greatness…But I Have a Leak!

leaksI am beginning to see this pit I am in as a kind of  “holding ground” that promotes His work in my heart with great intensity.   Each time Joseph was thrown into a pit it placed him in a position to achieve higher Kingdom purposes.  I think that is what this is about.  The pit of greatness!!

 joseph-pit-slide

Is God saying…

 

“I want my sons and daughters to endure every test faithfully so I can strategically place them in positions to reach my people.” 

You know this rings true in your heart, even if your head wants to run the other way from, yikes, testing!!!

Are we willing to say, “Lord, I’ll gladly go wherever you want me to?   

 Do we pray, “Lord give me your eyes so I can see what is ahead?”  

 We say we hunger for this kind of faith, but do we really?  We don’t want to just occupy a space on this earth.  There has to be more, right?  We want Him to work His purposes in our lives, to impact the Kingdom of God.

 

But I know many believers who are afraid to dream  in faith; who would rather stay in their present pit than risk a move to higher ground,  For with that move comes testing.  

 That sacrifice of comfort that involves the unknown ahead, frankly, scares us to death.

 So we hang on to those familiar “friends” of  mediocrity and compromise.   We would rather stay with the destructive patterns and darkness in our lives than be willing to accept and  move out into the unknown in faith, Because we don’t totally trust Him to have our backs and take care of  us in what could possibly be ahead.   Or maybe we just fear pain.

So, we try to fly under the radar.  And we are ineffective in the Kingdom of God, so we won’t be a threat to the enemy, so we won’t get tested.  

Sometimes God has greater ideas and plans for our lives.  In fact, He always does.  More than we think we are capable of doing.

God has been  stripping away the old wineskins and creating  new ones in my life.  I wish I could say it has been fun but, not really.   I want to live a life of leisure and fun and accomplishments, without the testings of my faith.  But, wow, can I really have  genuine faith if I never have to walk in the dark for a while to see what I am believing for?  I think not.

It says in Psalms 119:105…

His word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. 

Sometimes all I can see is the lamp illuminating my feet step by step so I don’t stumble on a tree stump (which I have literally done and it isn’t fun), but I can’t see further than 3 feet ahead of me even with a flashlight.  But He promises to light my path even when I can only see my feet.

 We want the maturity and accolades but without the testings to mature us.  When you see someone that God is using mightily and find yourself envying their life, be careful.  Are you willing to walk in their shoes awhile to see what has been burned out of them with fire, to make them what you see today? 

OS Hillman said, “When God called the Israelites from their place of slavery they had to walk through the desert. There is no way to earn a living in the desert. So God provided manna each day for them. Sometimes He even brought water from rocks. They had to experience a new way of gaining provision that was not rooted in sweat and toil. God had to demonstrate His faithfulness as Jehovah Jireh to His people.”

This is where I am at.   We are more than provided for every day in this juncture of our journey of no work coming in.  And there is manna from Heaven.  That isn’t even a concern anymore because, truthfully, He has proven again and again He knows right where we are and He provides miracles of abundance every day.

But, interesting enough, I still find room to feel sorry for myself.  I still want security and assurance about the future.   I want to make plans.  I want to know if I will be living here next year at this time.  treasures-in-heaven

I want, I want, I want.  Yep, that’s me. 

So, I return to the love of my life,

Whisper the name of Jesus.

People whom I love and who love me deeply are not able to satisfy my longings for security.  Friends have tried to fill me, my husband has tried to fill me, but they couldn’t do it.

But, as Stasi Eldridge puts it, “I have a leak.”  My pipes are broken.  My needs of filling these enormous holes of insecurity can only be filled by Jesus.  I can’t put that kind of pressure on those that I love. He has to do it!

Just about everything I have learned in life has been the hard way.  You would think I would get used to it and just go the route I know best by now.  But in my humanness I still find myself feeling depressed before I realize I need to return to my Love, Jesus, to fill me up again.  He is actually the only One who was ever meant to!