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……

Repent?

You are now a new person in Christ!

You are free from your past TO act like it! FREE TO ACT LIKE IT. Not.. SO you better act like it.

It’s an invitation …..not a beat down.

Doesn’t matter if bad memories of your exploits surface again. (And isn’t that usually the case when you feel good about yourself, things are going right or you’ve met someone new?)

Keep telling yourself you are NOT that person any more. That version of yourself was somebody else. Someone you used to know and who you no longer associate with.

Anyone brings up your past behavior just respond “I am not that person any more. Why are you bringing it up?”

Stop looking in your rear view mirror or in old journals unless you have a testimony or it brings God glory!

Every moment is a new start peeps. New you. New opportunities. Regardless of what happened a minute ago.

That is what it means to repent.

Someone needs to be reminded of this today. Whoever you are… I love you!

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?

Flight Confessions

I’m reading Mary Karr’s The Art Of Memoir, and in one chapter, she wrote about getting stuck next to chatty strangers on airplanes. She would rather be trapped with a talker who is painfully or extremely transparent than one-note boring. That transparency is always more interesting than a person who wants to present a glorified “image” of themselves. I agree.


For several years, I frequently flew for work and it was mostly uneventful. My seatmates mostly kept to themselves, and I was only occasionally annoyed. Like the kid who kept kicking the back of my seat. And the nervous passenger that gripped my arm during most of a bumpy flight. Or the woman who snored while continually passing horrendous gas during an overnight flight back from Vegas. But rarely a “talker”.

I recall one trip where a passenger dumped the details of her torrid affair on me like she was in a confessional. Her story lasted the entire flight, and it was more riveting than reading the in-flight magazine. She thanked me as we unboarded, and I just smiled back. It’s easy to listen to someone’s drama if you never have to hear it again. Or again. Or, again, with 20 other versions and no real desire in hell for a solution. Y’all know what I am talking about. With a stranger’s confession, it’s one-and-done unless they ask to Facebook with you. But that is highly unlikely if they just spilled incriminating evidence.

I am writing a memoir about a period in my life, and it’s very freeing, actually. it’s more liberating to be transparent and not give a rat’s ass than trying to create and maintain some image to make ourselves look less imperfectly human.

Besides, it takes a lot of work to be anything other than yourself. Even yourself “in Christ” will be unique and not like any other….just less airplane drama.


Have a great weekend, peeps!

Fake Peace

Do you ever feel like you have fake peace? Like you are forcing peace?

I’m at peace. Really!

I’m at peace, dammit!

I’ll just keep spewing bible verses and telling myself I am fine.

At least if I don’t really believe it, I will look good to the people around me. Can’t let anyone know I am struggling.

That feels more like resignation than peace.

Godly peace sometimes feels warm and gooey. Or light and airy. Or you just know that you know that you know….even if everything around you says you don’t. And at times, it is as simple as the quick release of emotional pain or fear.

Fake peace feels like a “go with the flow” snow job.

How do you shovel yourself out? Or, as my Iowan friends say, “scoop” yourself out?

Relationship with the Father. When He feels real to you, the peace becomes real AND easy!

Repeat after me: Father, show me that you are real! Show me how you have been working in my life lately that I may have minimized or overlooked.

Show me the details. Remind me of the smallest details that wouldn’t impress anyone, but I will know it was you.

God’s Timing

When looking for a partner, I have read that you attract what you are rather than what you want. This means you will attract someone at an equal level of your current self-worth or your woundedness. It probably explains why a lot of relationships don’t work out. One person heals and then leaves the unhealed behind because they are no longer a fit.

But what if you could attract who you want or need, even if you are less than your best self? Hmmmmm

Years ago, I met a couple who had recently married. I asked how they had met, and they told me they had been friends for many years. One day they attended church together and, during communion, looked over at each other and realized that they were meant to be together and married two months later. Whoa! I know another couple who worked for the same restaurant chain but in different locations. They had met but hated each other. One day they collided at a work event, and both suddenly knew they were to be married and now have a houseful of kids. Hate to marriage vows? It sounds like the plot for every Hallmark movie I’ve ever seen!

Maybe God intervenes when it is His plan, and it doesn’t matter how much healing you need. It overrides anything in the natural.

Ten-plus years ago, it was common practice at conferences to tell all the sad, lonely singles to pray, write a list of traits you wanted in a mate, and tuck it away in a bible. You were calling those perfect mates into existence! Like a holy version of manifestation 🙂. You weren’t supposed to ask for a hot blonde or tall dark and …. but rather Godly traits. Ha!

So tonight, as I cleaned out some old books in my office, I found my Godly spouse wish list. It must have been at least 15 years old! I was surprised when I read through the 26 traits that every single one was my Dan! Every single one. Even down to the “much taller than me, brown hair and brown eyes.”

God wants to give you EVEN better than the desires of your heart. Maybe your timing isn’t right…..BUT HIS IS!

Just ask Beloved. Just ask.

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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