No One A Stranger

Today, God reminded me as I sip hot coffee that not everyone will be warm today. I recall one Friday night, my bud Gretchen and I were invited to speak to a group of homeless men at an inner city shelter. A requirement for getting a bed for the night was sitting through some music ministry and a little preachin of the Good Word 🙂 Let’s just say, we had a captive audience.

I was terrified, to say the least. The majority stared out at the ministry team with blank expressions. When it was our turn to speak, I told them at one time I had lost everything and schlepped around on people’s couches for 6 months and felt terrible about myself. That I wasn’t going to pretend that I could really relate to what they were going through, but that I knew God really loved them, right now as there were. Gretchen spoke about a broken tooth being miraculously repaired when she couldn’t afford a dentist and how God cared about our every need. No matter how small.

We then invited the men to come up to get hands laid on for healing. Many came forward and we had some WOK and prophecy for them too. I was surprised at how quite a few wanted to be touched or hugged and cried when God spoke through us with a word of love or encouragement.

Later, Pastor David, who invited us, told us that normally most don’t walk up for prayer. That the men were obviously touched by our transparency and authenticity. We were being real with them! We weren’t preaching at them and just wanted to show them love. The Father’s love.

The homeless may be addicts, mentally ill or had a bad turn of luck. But…..please remember they are someone’s son, brother, husband or friend. Instead of turning away, maybe hand them some money or stop and talk for a moment. Or pray with them. The weather will soon get colder and there won’t always be a bed or space for them.

Not asking you to take them into your house. I am asking you to treat them like human beings. Be terrified and do it anyway.

Be Present

It’s been a stressful week. Month. Ok, year.

Sometimes I feel like I can’t handle it and would rather just launch from this dimension. Ever feel like that?

Then I am reminded that a lot of why I am still here is for others. Maybe you realize that too? Helps me to let the small stuff go. I feel the most alive when I see God moving thru me to heal others. That He is real, alive and well and loves YOU! . I love helping to change the way someone views Him!

So how to get out of my own way? The best way is to purpose to stay in the present moment more often. The older I get the less time I spend lamenting about the past. I don’t care where I or you have been. It’s just a bunch of old gossip 🙂 Now it’s just struggling not to worry about the future instead of enjoying what is right now.

Staying present and worry-free can feel self-indulgent. Irresponsible. Childlike. Like we aren’t being productive or proactive. But the truth is all we have is this moment. And if we spend it holding on to the peace that Big Sky Daddy has a better plan for us it’s hard to stay tweaked.
Just saying. Try it.

Next time… pause and notice what is going good around you. What you are grateful for.
Very grateful for my wonderful family and friends tonight. My heart feels full and complete.

Enjoy this moment Beloveds!

Laying Down The Law

“Hi, I’m Ruby! I was startled as a young woman jumped in front of my wheelchair. ” I am here to take you down to surgical registration.”

Kathy, my sister, and she began to make small talk, and Ruby mentioned she had to leave this afternoon for school and was expecting rain. ” I am going to school to be a dental hygenist as it pays more and then will use that to pay for law school.

As the elevator doors opened, ” God whispered, ” She was created to help others in legal matters.” “Can you say that again, God?” I was still stressed out from just having a wire driven through my breast and an armpit piped full of radioactive dye. God continued,” I have a word for her. I’ll tell you when.” Great. I’m in the middle of a busy hospital, my sister Kathy already thinks I’m a little wacko 🙂, so you can figure it out.”

As we got inside, I said,” Hey, I don’t want you to think I’m weird, but God just gave me a word for you. You were created to practice law, Don’t worry about money or time. You will just walk right into it.” She laughed and told us as a kid that she was obsessed with the OJ Simpson trial and knew at that time she wanted to practice law. Kathy nodded, “Me too.” ‘The elevator door then opened, and she rolled my wheelchair into the hallway and put on the brakes. She looked through the glass doors to the registration staff, “They can come out here as you are in a wheelchair.” Then turned back to me to hear more.

I continued.” Do you know what a word of knowledge or prophecy is? “I sure do. I was brought up in a Pentecostal church. And…..” A person from registration walked towards us, and Ruby said, “don’t worry, she can wait. I want to hear this.” There were now so many people in the hallway that I had momentarily blocked myself from hearing God by the distraction, but Ruby waited patiently.

Finally, I blurted out. “This is going to sound like I am reading your mail, but God told me that you can be very suspicious. Very mistrusting of people, but this will work to your advantage. You don’t always like this about yourself, but this makes you very analytical. You can see many sides of a situation. What you see as your mistrust not always being good, it will actually be your gift, making you a great lawyer. You were called to do this.” Ruby’s mouth dropped open, and I could tell a lightbulb had gone off. ” Does this make sense to you, Ruby?” Why yes, it does! I could see she was still shocked as the elevator opened to move her on elsewhere. “Thank you for telling me this! I really needed it today.”

Days like this make my faith even stronger. Perhaps Ruby’s too.
God is everywhere. Your circumstances will never stop Him from speaking or moving thru you.

Love Never Dies

I sat on the edge of my bathtub and sobbed. Am I losing it? I can’t stop crying lately. I am physically and emotionally overwhelmed with decisions I need to make, upcoming surgeries, a new job, and I am still grieving Dan. The last thing I needed was 2 large cracks in my bathtub. My imagination ran wild with water gushing to the wood below, causing mildew and thousands of $ in repairs.

I stood up, put my head against the bathroom wall, continued to cry, and wished I could call Dan. “This bathroom needs some color, and a few inexpensive upgrades will make your place look less like the 1980s.” Two years ago, he painted these walls purple while I was at work and hung up a new light fixture.

My Dan could build or fix anything, and I had a reminder of him in every room of my house. Especially my purple bathroom! I recalled one day when I couldn’t figure out how to take down a ceiling light fixture. He laughed, “That’s why you have me!” as his 6’3″ self quickly reached up to remove it and replace a bulb.”

“God, I miss Dan so much! I wish he was still here. He was my rock. I know he is busy in heaven, but I hope he thinks about me sometimes. I wish someone would bring me some more orange flowers as a sign that he does.” Then I felt stupid about wanting a sign. Aren’t I a bigger believer than that? Besides, haven’t enough people brought me orange flowers since he died? Maybe people just do it because they think I expect it. If people did it out of duty then it would mean they were no longer from Heaven.

I continued to cry the next day as I wandered around my home, avoiding the cracks. Grow up, Jeanne! Call a handyman! God started to whisper, “you can fix this. It’s not that hard. Get your sister to help” Carolyn phoned a heartbeat later and was surprised I was so hysterical. “Geez, they are just cracks!” But she soon drove over, and I stood frozen in a corner of the bathroom while she easily epoxied the crevices. God whispered, “See! Was that so terrible”  No, it wasn’t, God. What is bad is feeling all alone and not having Dan here to go through life with me.” God continued, “But you’re never alone. You just think you are”.

The next day my friend Christine drove over to hang out for the afternoon. “Hello!” She yelled out as she came thru my back door.  I looked up to see her arms were loaded with stuff.  Is that what I think it is?  I squealed, “Did you bring me flowers?”  She handed me a bouquet wrapped in paper, “Yes, but the flowers are the weirdest color combination. I don’t know if you’ll even like it. It’s orange roses and purple lilies. Who would put orange and purple together?”

I know who would …. and they are perfect!  Love never dies, nor leaves you alone.

Lord direct my steps and my oil change!

“Such pretty red hair! Baby, do you got you a man?”

I cringed as several other workers in the oil change bay snickered and rolled their eyes. Apparently, Playa Paul had a schtick that the ladies had to endure to get their oil changed. This harassment lasted as long as the service did and he gave me a card with his number on it before I drove off. I felt slimed, said nothing and I vowed I would never go back. In fact, I never liked going there anyway. The male employees were always loud and yelling back and forth calling out service orders like they worked for the Seattle Fish Market. It was never a calming experience but there was nowhere else to go that didn’t require leaving your vehicle all day. After I started buying Toyota I gave all my oil biz to the dealership.I recently tried to book an oil change with the dealership online but there was a 10-day wait! I opened my mail and there was a $20 off coupon from this chain I had avoided for 15 years. The location was only 5 miles from my home and the coupon enticing, but the bad memories surfaced. I argued with myself for several days and God whispered “It’s ok. You need your oil changed” and I found myself driving over.

I was greeted by a soft-spoken younger woman who was training someone in. She went through my oil change options and when I declined any filters before she offered them she did not push me to buy. In fact, she showed me my engine filter and said it looks ok but keep an eye on it.I still tried not to make eye contact as I did not want to be talked into anything else. But God started to tell me about this woman as I watched her walk around the bay. “She is a manager, but I have more for her. Tell her.” I finally called her over and said” I don’t want you to think I am weird but God just told me that you are called for more than this position. You will be promoted and become like a regional manager or training manager or something else. You will help to heal the brand’s image. God wants so much more for you. He wants to use you in a larger capacity for this company. Start asking to be promoted” Her mouth dropped open and she said ” I am open to that. In fact, I have been asking to get promoted for several years. They already know that.”I went on to tell her how God saw her skills at her job and then God gave me a word of wisdom for her. “They like you here, they don’t want to lose you. To get promoted you to need train, someone, to take your place who will continue to instill your values and work ethic in others. If you can do that, they will trust that you can move on and the place will be taken care of” She smiled and pointed out the two people who could perfectly replace her.

As I drove off I said “congratulations on your upcoming promotion.” She smiled “Thank you!” Not only did God speak a better future into this woman’s life but it healed my negative memory of this brand. It also stretched me to follow Him regardless of what my past experiences have shown me. We can all be stubborn and protective of ourselves even over minor past issues. Ask God to heal you of every past bad experience no matter how small. He is constantly moving us forward and healing us in very simple yet profound ways of things that hold us back.

Speak to me!

Recently I was going thru a struggle and was overwhelmed by a feeling of helplessness. Yes, I know about authority and dominion but the lies were getting the best of me. One night, I tossed and turned and watched as the clock neared 3 am. I finally screamed in my head “GOD SPEAK TO ME! WHY AREN’T YOU SPEAKING TO ME ????” He whispered, “No, you talk to me.” I was surprised because I thought I was talking to Him. Before I could defend myself,, He responded “No, you are not You are speaking to everyone else but me.”

So I started to unload my fears, anger, and what-ifs to Him. I suddenly felt supernatural peace and dropped off to sleep. The next day I woke up and started to speak to my mountain.We go to everyone else about our issues and He needs to be the first one! Unload to Him first. Even it is about your anger towards Him and the injustices going on in your world. He can handle it. If you can’t start speaking to your mountain right out of the gate lay it at His feet. Get it up and OUT so you can start disputing the lies.

Continue reading “Speak to me!”

The Love Seed

Friday ramble…..There is a middle-aged woman I will call “Milly”, who is a Messianic Jew. She can’t talk to her Jewish friends about her belief in Jesus nor her Christian friends about why she hasn’t just become a Christian. It’s been 20 years and no one really wants to hear Milly’s explanation, they just want her to choose a belief system that they feel comfortable with. Milly doesn’t ever want to talk about religion, she just wants to talk about how amazing her life is because she believes there is a power greater than herself. That’s it. If we can’t agree on doctrine, can we at least start by agreeing on the goodness of God? God or Godhead?

Years ago, I frequented a consignment shop. The owner, “Lisa”, was a Buddhist Jew. I wasn’t sure how that one worked and neither was she. Before her divorce, she was part of her husband’s “”Christian church” that was more like a cult. Dresses, no make-up, men are the ruler etc. When she left him, she left that version of God behind because it was too painful. For several years, the Holy Spirit would frequently send me to Lisa’s store to pray over people. “No, I have laundry to do! I need a shower! I ……” But He would put my shoes on and drive me over to the store, anyway. It got to the point, that when I would walk in Lisa would say “Girl, you are scaring me! I knew you were coming and they are in the back. One has the flu and the other has back pain!” Women would come into the store and start talking OUTLOUD about their health issues. Lisa saw numerous people healed over the years and I didn’t have to say one word about my non-denominational beliefs. Not to her or those who needed a touch from God. The power of God in action changes hearts. Not a list of man-made rules. Can we just let the Holy Spirit do His job?

God spoke to me several days before a group of us met two Muslim women (mother and daughter), after church. They did not want to attend our service but would meet us afterward for lunch. God told me the teenager was very creative, emotionally struggling, and used art to express her emotions. That she had a kind heart but felt misunderstood. He reminded me that I had an extra art kit filled with colored pencils and markers that I should give her. We had a lovely lunch with them and the young girl was visibly touched when I handed her the gift, but even more so when I relayed what God had told me about her and her future. There was no come to Jesus meeting or sinners prayer, just a love seed planted by the goodness of God. One plants, one waters and one harvests. Can we just love on people and not have conversion as our end goal?

This weekend….meet people where they are at with God’s love. That includes your family. No talk of politics, religion, or flu vaccines. Lamb or Ham…..just try to be nice 🙂 If you can’t be nice at least bring pie.

Or better yet share a story of God’s goodness in your life. Hard to argue with that.

Blessed Passover and Easter, peeps!

The Dying Have Their Own Agenda

“The dying have their own agenda”

The night before Dan launched the hospice nurse sat us down for her “hard talk”. She told us “The dying have their own agenda as to when they are going to leave this world. So if you’re someone who is going to feel guilty or cheated because you weren’t there when they take their last breath, you need to get this. They might leave just when you step out of the room. Don’t wait. Tell Dan tonight how much you loved him, share good memories, and it’s okay to tell him that you will miss him but that you will be okay. It may not seem like it, but he can still hear you.”

I was glad for her frank talk but I thought he can’t be leaving this soon. Just that morning, another hospice nurse had told us that Dan had probably 4-6 more days. I had to go back to Minneapolis, for a day, but maybe he would hang on until I returned. Besides, I didn’t even know what to say and didn’t want to break down. He had told me earlier in the day that I needed to be his “positive reinforcement” and to believe for his healing.

Several hours later, I slipped into Dan’s room and sat on the bed. I leaned down close to whisper in his ear so a group in the next room couldn’t hear me. Lord please help me to say goodbye.

I was surprised at how easily my feelings for him poured out of me. I told Dan I loved him and was grateful for every minute I had gotten with him. I shared some special memories of him and our trips and asked forgiveness for not always being a pleasant redhead 🙂. I shared that I had never felt loved by anyone as I did by him and that he had helped to heal a big hole in me. I cried as I told him that I would miss him terribly, but that I would be okay.

I sat back up and looked down at Dan’s face and saw one large beautiful tear coming down from his left eye. I knew he had heard me and I wanted to hold onto that precious perfect moment forever. The presence of the Holy Spirit had filled the room and I could feel His eternal love for both of us. I was sad, but yet I felt joyful as the realization hit me that I would see Dan again.

The next morning, I briefly stepped out of his room to dig something out of my purse and Dan left. Like, I am not waiting around for you to find some gadget in that Bermuda Triangle purse of yours. The purse he bought me because my old one wasn’t “big enough”. I was like WTHeck? I was just talking to you!

I am so glad the hospice nurse had given us her hard talk. I may have mistakenly thought I had more time to think of the perfect way to say see you later….

Please don’t wait to share with someone how you feel.

Someone needs to hear this…. you can do this and I love you!

Always On Time

As Dan and I waited for our lunch at Applebees, a young couple walked in and sat near us. The woman was striking with very black hair and large dark eyes. I tried to turn back to our conversation but God had other plans as He continued with WOK and prophetic downloads. “Ok, ok. I am on my way Daddy God.” I wasn’t in the mood and felt self conscious as I got up to give the word. I was glad the place wasn’t busy as I stood in front of their booth.

“Excuse me, I am not trying to evangelize you and just wanted to tell you what God just said to me about you.” I told her that God had told me she was beautiful inside and out. She was kind hearted and He desired that she live a life of peace. That He wanted to take her out of a life of drama. That her life would be interesting and fulfilling if she would be willing to be open to new people and new experiences.”

She looked shocked “Who told you this?” “ God did” I glanced over at her companion and by the huge grin on his face I could tell that I had just read her mail.

“Again, I am not trying to evangelize you and…..”. She smiled “That’s okay. Thank you so much. I needed to hear this.”

I went back to our table and our meal was served soon after. I noticed she glanced over at me numerous times and wondered what she was thinking.

Maybe this experience for her was the start of many other “interesting” non-drama experiences and I prayed that it was.

Always step out. Always. I have never had a bad experience sharing God’s love and encouragement. I believe it is because God has already supernaturally prepared the receiver’s heart to receive. God’s word always seems to be right on time.

You are known by God

Our server was a cute young girl with a huge smile. She dropped off menus and sped off in the opposite direction. God whispered “student”.
God I think every young person working in a restaurant is a student. That must just be me! I turned back to the menu and several minutes later, Dan said “Our server must be a manager, she is just running all over the place.” I looked up to see her on the opposite side of the large room. “Student” I heard again. Nope, thats got to be me. She probably is a manager. She served our meals and when she came back with the bill I heard again. STUDENT. Ok, Daddy God I hear you!

“Are you a student? You have 6 months left?”
“Yes, how did you know? I am a nursing student”
“What! Yes I want to work with babies. Seriously, how do you know?”
“God told me. Your clinicals will be easier now too. Not like the mental health one you just had”
Her mouth dropped open. God seriously had her attention and obviously her class schedule.

God went on to tell her how much He loved her and that He had her back. That this Fall she would be so happy she chose this profession and that she would know in her heart this was her calling. I assured her that He was the perfect parent and not critical and demanding perfection. She stood at our table in awe at how much God loved her that He would speak through a stranger.

She went on to tell us how she loved school and nursing, but that her father was not happy that she just wanted to be a nurse and adamant that she further her studies to become a nurse practitioner but she wasn’t interested. How she felt bad about how she had strayed away from God this past year and had just recently changed her ways. That she really missed that connection with Him.

God told her that He loved her just as she was. I opened up my bag and pulled out a $20. “Here, He told me to give you this.” Dan, who had been sitting quietly, pulled out some cash and added to her tip which almost equaled our bill.

She was delighted at the big tip, thanked us and said she couldn’t wait to tell her mother later that night what we had told her. “Great! God loves you so much and knows who you are. We could have gone anywhere but He sent us here tonight just to tell you.”

She stood at our table for several more minutes and just smiled at us. I could tell she wanted to stay longer and talk but it was time to move on. Dan turned to me and said “How do you do that?” I don’t know, but it isn’t any skill I have. The easiest times are when I just repeat what I hear God say and try not to put the pieces together myself. At some point you just get out of the way and realize it ain’t about you, boo.

Never doubt that your interactions with others are insignificant. God is always speaking to us. All of us. But, we can’t always hear Him ourselves. Help someone hear Him this week. Spread His love.

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