Lunch Money

One morning, as I drove around doing errands, God flashed an image of a young man who worked at a grocery store by my old apartment. God whispered, “Stan is a nice young man. He has a genuinely good heart.” When I arrived home, I realized I had forgotten to pick up drain cleaner. I got back into my car to buy some from a local hardware store about a mile from my new home. God said,” No. Go to the grocery store in your old neighborhood. Give that young man $10, tell him to buy lunch, and then tell him how I see him. How I see his heart.” Did I hear that right? I don’t know why I even questioned it. The truth was, I wasn’t too thrilled. The store was 20 minutes away, and I had been driving all morning! My hair was also dirty, and I had no makeup on, and I knew the store would be super busy right before Christmas.

I drove to my old hood and when I walked in; I didn’t see Stan cashiering. Oh well. I guess I missed it. Must have been my own thoughts and that cash burning in my pocket talking to me! I turned down the aisle to get the cleaner, and there he was. Standing right in front of the cleaner, unpacking stock with another employee. I don’t know why I was amazed that he was right where I needed to be and that the aisle was totally empty, even though the store was packed. God always knows how to set it up, so you just walk right into it.

“I don’t want you to think I am weird, but God told me this morning to give you $10. Buy yourself some lunch today.” His face lit up, and he suddenly looked upward. I could tell a lightbulb went off. It was about noon, and maybe it was time for his break. Or maybe he didn’t have any money. Didn’t matter, that was just an icebreaker because, of course, God didn’t stop there.

God told him how He saw him. Stan was a nice person with a big, genuine heart. That when he had children, he would be a good father. That he would be patient and encouraging and that his love for his children would help them become people effective in this world. He would be too, and his children would pass this on. Whoa! Sometimes God is a chatty daddy!

Stan’s face was lit up the entire time God spoke to him. His coworker stood silently nearby just taking it all it in. No one interrupted us, and the aisle remained empty.

“Thank you so much! I really really appreciate it. This means a lot to me. God bless you.”

“Yes, I know it does. God just wanted you to know that He loves you, sees you, and thinks you are amazing.”

What a super blessing it is to be used by God. That encounter made my day! I am continually humbled by how much He loves people if we let him through us. I am sure this young man will have an interesting story to tell his family tonight about a God who paid for his lunch and saw the best in him. With no strings! Without any come-to Jesus meetings!

I guess I need to stop being surprised by these encounters. That is just how my Daddy God rolls……

Fear?

The other day, my alarm went off, and as soon as I opened my eyes, I heard, ” My people live in fear because they do not know me.” Loud and clear! No mistaking who was speaking to me. Especially since I’m not a morning person, and I don’t even talk to myself that early.

I keep thinking about what He said. Not in a let’s get out the Bible and look at what has been written about who He is. Not that doing so wouldn’t be important, but I’ve been asking Him to show me who He is to me. I know He is love. That’s a given. We hopefully learn that when we’re 5. But who is He to me? What are my actual beliefs about Him? Not the ones I’ve been told I should have about Him, but the real ones. The honest ones. Maybe some really ugly honest ones.

If He can pull any string on this earth to send out angels, soften hearts, create opportunities, heal bodies and minds, and pull a rabbit out of His hat for any reason, why aren’t we going to Him? About everything?

What fears do we have about Him that get in the way? Or unbelief? What has happened in your past that makes you not trust? Or doubt?

Is it because of something man did? Or didn’t do?

Who are you equating God with?

Don’t bother trying to think about this on your own; ask God to reveal to you the truth. The truth of what is causing a barrier between you and Him.

He can handle it. You’re no surprise to Him.

Then ask Him to fix it. To heal it. To renew your faith in Him.

It’s time for us to get real and honest with God.

I’m tired of living in fear because I do not really know Him. Or who He is or can be in my life if I allow Him in. Totally, let Him in.

Are you?

You’ll Never Catch Me Coppers!

I looked up from my computer to see a County Sherrif’s vehicle pull up and park outside my place. I suddenly froze, held my breath and thought ” Yikes! What did I do now?” Then, I exhaled and laughed! What could I possibly have done or DO that would warrant…..well a warrant? Hahahaha!

Isn’t it funny that even though my crazy redhead days are over with, that I am so quick to condemn myself? Before anyone else does? Or before there is any proof of wrong doing? I think we all tend to do that. Or am I the only one who has some “situations” in my past? You know….the ones you are glad happened before Facebook and Instagram were invented?.

Peeps, not only do we need to get over ourselves, we need to get PAST our past.

I am getting too old for this crap. How about you?

Starbucks

It’s half priced cold brew at Starbucks today. Hate or love Starbucks I wasn’t going to miss out on a cheap brew! 

I ordered at the screen and reminded them it’s half priced Tuesday. ”Great! Yes we know! Pull ahead.” “Do I have to remind you at the window?” “Nope, come on up.”

So of course you know what happens. I drive back thru and ask them to credit me back on my app. I was super nice about it because my days of drive thru iced coffee blunder meltdowns are long gone.

A manager helped the young employee to credit me back as I smiled and patiently waited. This girl just stood back from the window and looked terrified. I think she was expecting me to turn into a Karen, start screaming and toss my drink at her. Too many Karen videos circulating lately of food fights at fast food pick up windows.

I’m too old to throw stuff or start screaming at strangers. Especially before my morning coffee kicks in 🙂

Be kind at the drive-thru!

Perfect Peace

Death in the family? Exposed to COVID? I was trying to think up a good lie to cancel my colonoscopy for the second time this year. “Lord, I’m worried; I just can’t handle any more crap :).” Big Sky Daddy laughs. “Who said it will be bad news?” I reluctantly put on my big girl pants, did the prep, and showed up 4 days later for my appointment.

“Adam,” my 20-something nurse tried to make small talk, but I was too terrified about more polyps showing up to be my chatty self. However, Big Sky Daddy started repeating, “He will get more training. He will feel more secure with more training.” Oh great. Adam is now going to pop an IV into a vein, and you tell me he needs more training? Nope this is all in my mind, and I think I am trying to distract myself from…….” training, training, training” Aggghhhh ok, ok Daddy God, you need to give me an opening if this is really you. Seconds later….

Adam: So, Jeanne, where do you live? I live close by, so it has been a BLESSING for me.
Me (Blessing?): Me too. God keeps telling me that you will get more training and feel much happier and more confident. Do you need training for something?”

Adam’s mouth dropped open, and I could see a light bulb had gone off. He doesn’t seem shocked that I gave him a word and thought it might be about ministry. He had found God a year ago, and it drastically changed his life. So much so that friends and family don’t know who he is anymore. Adam feels called to evangelism and wants more “training” in that area.

I continued with the word and told him that he also has a spiritual calling for evangelistic healing. He will lay hands on the sick, and they will be healed and turn their hearts to God. I told him about Praying Medic, and before I could consider how it might jeopardize his job, I asked him to pray over me.

Adam smiled, put his hand on my shoulder, and enthusiastically prayed that I have peace and a perfectly normal colon. He prayed for several minutes. Outloud! Even as staff walked by! I loved it. I calmed down, and moments later, an OR nurse came to retrieve me.

As Adam waved goodbye, I was glad I hadn’t lied my way out of the appointment. I would have missed this lovely gift today! Not only to openly share my faith with a stranger in a hospital setting but to go into a procedure I had dreaded unafraid and feeling God’s peace.

Thanks, Adam. You made my day perfect….inside and out 🙂

Remember To Ripple

A friend “Rita” once read a story on my blog about me giving a stranger a word from God in public. “What do you think they said later?”

“To God? Themselves? Or…”

“No, to like a friend or family member. Hell, I get excited when the person in front of me at Caribou buys my coffee. I tell everyone! I mean, don’t you ever wonder?”

“Hmmm, sometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall. Not to pat me on the back, because I nailed it, but wondering if it affected their belief in God’s goodness. That He really understands them. Or that He sees better plans for them than they do for themselves. Most of the time, I don’t ever run into them again.”

I recently recalled that conversation after I ran into a server, “Peg,” that I had given a word to last month. I was at lunch with a large group when I looked up to see Peg helping our server bring our meals to the table. Peg gave me a huge smile, said hello, and then squeezed my shoulder and whispered, “Thank you!.” A friend who had been with me when I gave Peg a word remarked, “Oh! She remembered you. Well, you are kind of a hard person to forget.” I laughed “She didn’t really remember me; she remembered God’s word for her.”

That made my day. I want people to remember God and how it made them feel. We all travel an unsteady and unpredictable road at times. It makes it easier when we don’t feel invisible to God. That the God of this universe cares about us as individuals.

Never doubt that your stepping out to give a word, laying hands for healing, or just being kind doesn’t make an impact. It causes a ripple effect, just like a free coffee at Caribou.

This week, make it a point to be God’s boots on the ground.

Don’t think you make a difference? We all heal this world, one person at a time.

Have a great week, Beloveds!

A Listening Heart

The other day I was missing my car keys. “I just had them! I am such an airhead!” My eyes were suddenly drawn to a dresser in my bedroom. The top was covered by a mountain of books, hair products, and a large pile of clothes I had just taken out of the dryer. ”

“Nope, can’t be there. I just tossed clothes on it, and I would have noticed them.” As I started to leave my bedroom to search for a more likely place, I heard, “ We’ve already talked about this. Look in the first place that comes to you, even if it doesn’t make any sense. How many times did you find a misplaced item in a spot that you kept hearing in your heart, but it didn’t sound logical? Then when you finally gave up the search, you looked in the place that didn’t make sense… and there it was found! From now on, look there first. I turned around, lifted the clothes, and there were my keys.

As I wrote this, I heard,” This is the difference between hearing my voice in your head versus in your heart. Your head will try to persuade you by logic, but your heart will know the truth and propel you to obey. Which do you follow? I will always lead you in the right direction, but you will get there more quickly and without stress if you can hear me in your heart first.”

“How do I do that, Big Sky Daddy?”

“Slow down and stop trying to do everything by yourself. “

“That’s it?”

“Trust.”

“I trust you.”

“No, you need to trust yourself that you really do hear me.”

And the beat goes on…….

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His Heart

I meet up with my friend Rick, a fellow redhead, frequently for coffee or lunch. Rick never minces words and I can always depend on him when I am looking for honesty or a swift kick in the back pockets.

I recently told him I have been getting a lot of WOK (word of knowledge) and prophecy for people. A few friends but mostly strangers. He reminded me that it might be because I finally accepted it as normal. Normal? Rick has told me numerous times that it is a part of me that I don’t need to scrutinize or push away and it might just be finally sinking in that I am hearing Him correctly.

I often tell Big Sky Daddy that if “this” is not from Him, to just take it away. Not only the words but the desire to share them. Then I realize I don’t ever have a conscious desire to do this. Especially not with strangers. Nor my doctors. Nor home repair techs, Pastors, or Police Officers. Y’all might not believe this, but I am not as extroverted as I might appear to be.

Years ago, I had someone tell me that I needed to read people’s mail or basically expose their hidden sins, or I wasn’t helping to redeem them. If I told them what God loves about them or how He envisions their future, I wasn’t moving them forward. I told her that God doesn’t speak to me like that about people. Besides, doesn’t Romans 2:4 talk about the goodness of God is what leads man to repentance? If God does have a word of correction the person will be convicted in their own heart. He doesn’t need me to shout it from the housewares aisle in Target.

So, of course, the negative voice in my head continues to recall this conversation and tells me I am doing it all wrong. But then my heart wins out and tells me that God loves His children so much that He wants to speak thru anyone who will share His good news. HIS GOOD NEWS, peeps.

Can you see why those who don’t know God are afraid of Christians? I recall years ago, meeting a group of people for lunch on a Sunday. A friend teasingly greeted me with “Hello Pastor, I hope lunch is on you today.” A young couple also waiting in line, heard this, suddenly looked rattled, and quickly turned around with their backs to me. I thought “Whoa! Did you all have pre-marital sex last night! Ha! Or what are you feeling guilty about? 🙂.” There was an obvious strong reaction to hearing someone called a religious title and it wasn’t joy.

Be the reason people want to know more about Big Sky Daddy. Be LOVE. Be HIM.

First Class

Years ago, I frequently flew for work and vividly recalled the first time I upgraded to First Class. After settling into my seat, I looked around at the rest of the passengers and tried to imagine what job title gave them the privilege of an overpriced seat. Everyone was starched and suited up, and I figured they were all CEOs or higher ups on the cooperate ladder. Most looked like they were preoccupied with work or getting caught up on sleep, so I leaned back, opened up my newspaper, and pretended that I belonged there too.

A flight attendant quickly started doting on me, “You look chilled, ma’am” She handed me a blanket and offered me coffee. I smiled, nodded, and thought, “Ahh……yes, I do belong here. Yes, I do!”

Moments later, a man rushed in and pointed to the empty window seat next to me.

He said, “Excuse me, I need to get in there as I think that is my seat.” I was somewhat annoyed as he did not wait for me to move out of the way and quickly scrambled over me and buckled up. This didn’t seem like any kind of class behavior to me, and I returned to my reading, silently hoping he wasn’t a talker. Too late.

He exclaimed loudly, “Hey, isn’t this great to be upgraded! I have never had this happen to me before. I wonder if we get free drinks and stuff.” I pretended not to hear him and acted like he was talking to someone else. Finally, I peered over the top of my newspaper and gave him a look that said, “Hush, peasant, you are disturbing the queen.”

This did not deter him. He continued to prattle on as if he had just won the lottery and wanted me to join in with him gleefully. I thought, “Dang! He is blowing my cover!” Was it that obvious that I was not one of the regulars in First Class? Was it that apparent that I was not one of the beautiful, classy, and important people surrounding us? 🙂

My facial expression must have clearly shown my irritation because he suddenly looked embarrassed and abruptly stopped talking mid-sentence.

“Oh, I suppose you must fly First-Class all the time.” It took every ounce of my momentary upgraded self not to say, “Why, yes. Yes, I do!” But, I leaned over and whispered, “Nope. My first time too. Just look annoyed and entitled, and you will get quicker service.” We both laughed, and for the rest of our flight, we pretended to be ‘SOMEBODY.’

As children of God, we are His chosen First Class. We didn’t get upgraded just because we became believers. We are in a special seat because we are His beloved creation. It is the acknowledgment of that truth that moves a person from a seat in the back to a place up front.

We never have to pretend or figure out how to act to fit into His section. God’s way of living allows a person to relax and enjoy the complimentary accommodations of His love, mercy, forgiveness, and acceptance. There are free seats available for anyone who makes the decision to sit there.

Along with First Class perks, you also get the best flight attendant ever. His name is the Holy Spirit, and He will help you along your journey. His faithfulness prepares the way, keeps you safe, and supplies all your needs, sometimes even before you ask. Like coffee and a blanket!

Feeling grateful today for an undeserved yet freely given First Class seat…..care to join me?

Keys To The Kingdom

I like to sit in a big comfy chair in my living room and drink coffee. Ok, I eat meals there too. I call it my dining chair! I also lay a blanket over it. Why? Because I am a messy eater and it absorbs any spills before it permanently adheres to my adult high-chair.

Last week, I misplaced my car keys and had to use my spare set. For days, I looked everywhere for them. It kept crossing my mind to look under the snack catcher blanket. But logically it could not be there. As fluffy as I am, I’d know if I was sitting on them! They’d be stabbing me in the back pockets!

Where could they logically be? I checked; jacket pockets, kitchen drawers, under my bed, on the floor, and through pants in the dirty clothes hamper. I kept thinking of all of the places they could be hiding. The only thing that kept coming back was the chair. No. No. No. Besides, I am too comfy to get up out of the chair to look. God just tell me where they are!

Finally, last night after I tore through everything again, I lifted up the dang blanket, and there they were. I had been sitting on them all this time….but you knew that was coming!

Now, why couldn’t I just look there in the first place? God quickly reminded me of how many times I had asked Him for help but the initial answer sounded illogical. Or too simple. Or maybe just too worldly. Like not woo woo enough. So I would set out to help myself, hoping that I would recognize when God was landing the answer in my lap.

As much as we think we are giving it all to Him and expecting Him to answer, we are really looking for a solution that sounds doable in this world. Allowable for where we are at. Something that makes sense or is in the realm of OUR CENTS. Or we may have learned not to take the first answer that comes along. Why? Because it’s probably from satan. That is some new baby Christian advice we need to forget!

Next time, look under your blanket first and remind me to do, as well. God ain’t holding out on you and satan is too busy running this country.