Elvis

5 pm: I parked my car and walked slowly towards the nursing home entrance. I wanted to pray over my cousin Susie and wasn’t sure how my Auntie Evonne and several other family members would react. I decided I would just pray quietly so it wouldn’t offend anyone.

I introduced myself to the first nurse I saw and told her I was looking for my aunt. She flashed me a huge smile “Oh you just missed them! Your aunt and her granddaughter just left for dinner 20 minutes ago, but they’ll be back.”

Yay! I’m alone and can pray in tongues now!

“Ok. I’d like to see my cousin Susie Johnson. What room is she in?”

“Hmmm I don’t think she is here. I think she is gone, but let me check her room”

As I waited for the nurse to return, I glanced down both long hallways looking for any sign of residents. It was so quiet that I figured since it was dinner time that they must all be in the dining room.

The nurse reappeared from a room with an armful of towels “ Yes. She’s gone.”

“Gone? For dinner?”

The nurse smiled ” No, no ….as in passed on. I think she left right after your aunt did, but you can go in and see her if you want. Room 102” Then she turned around and walked away.

I was like WTH? Passed on? Nurse Jackie just said “gone” like my cousin was only temporarily preoccupied. Maybe away dining on some gravy lathered mystery meat. Or in the shower. I then got on the phone to call my aunt and cousins to tell them that sadly Elvis had already left the building. Evonne replied “ Ok, well we haven’t ordered yet so it will be awhile”. What? Was I the only one distressed?

After the calls, I walked into Susie’s room and laid my hands on her feet and briefly prayed. I didn’t know about dead raising back then so I didn’t stay long. I finished my prayers and then apologized that I hadn’t gotten there earlier.

As I walked out Nurse Jackie waved to me and called out” Have a nice evening ! I’ll tell Evonne you were here!”

Today, I relayed this old story to my cousin Tom and we both started laughing! Like hysterically laughing! Isn’t that terrible! He said “they must see so much death that it no longer affects them.” Maybe.

I still wish I would have gotten there earlier. Time here is short. Please never pass up an opportunity to pray with someone.  Or tell them you and Big Sky Daddy loves them. Even if it’s by phone or text. Some day we will all leave the building and only the living will have regrets.

Make it a great week peeps!

Speak Up

I am a part of a weekly prophetic mentoring group that meets thru Zoom. This week, the leader asked if anyone wanted to share a time when they saw God working in their life. I decided to sit back as I wanted others to share as I frequently add to the conversation. God kept pressing me to say something and I thought it was just me. Nope. Going to drink my Cold Brew and be quiet. Finally, 10 minutes before the class ended, I gave in and told a quick story about bad boyfriends and how God wants us to wait for our Boaz. I started to prophesy to the single women in the group that God needed to pick out their next relationship and to stop grabbing onto the next thing who “looked” Godly. Time would tell if they were. Several people said, “Oh you are speaking to me! I needed to hear this”

One woman wrote in the chat that she had been waiting for me to say something as she knew I was supposed to. I thought really? Maybe that was the struggle in staying quiet.

What is the lesson here? If you think someone might have a word for you OR for the group speak up! Months earlier, in that same group, I said hey “so and so” I think you have a word for this person and it is JUST one word. He said the one word and then the rest rolled out and it meant so much to the recipient. We make this too hard. God is continually speaking to us ALL. Share what you are hearing.

Ha! Except for the time when a person told me God wanted me to join his MLM downline. I knew that was the “only $50 a month on auto-ship” devil.

Chips In The Oil

Recently, I was talking to a guy friend. Former boyfriend actually. I asked him if he had met anyone interesting and he said “no, my life is pretty boring lately. Besides, I have changed so much. I used to manipulate women with my sad stories and am just too old for the games now.” “Sad stories?” “Yes. I used to tell women how poor I was as a kid and then they would feel sorry for me and I would get sympathy sex.” “Oh really?” I nonchalantly replied as I quickly ran a scan on my memory hard drive. “Yes, one story I told was how we were soooo poor that we could not buy potato chips so my mother would peel a couple of slices off of potato and drop them into the oil so we could have a couple of chips with our lunch.

I started to laugh knowingly. Embarrassed, he asked if he happened to tell me that story too. “Yes, actually you did.” “Did it work on you?”  “No, I recall I told you that I was sorry you were poor and offered to buy you the biggest bag of chips I could find to make up for it.” He laughed” Sometimes, you are just cold.” I just smiled and thought…Not cold, it just took you a little longer to suck me in.

Now I am talking about a lovely man who just happens to be a non-believer. He does not know how to act or think any other way than the flesh. If you recall I just asked him if he had met anyone interesting and I never asked if he was sleeping with anyone. Now I know some of you are thinking but I don’t know those kinds of men. I only know GODLY single men who would never play games. But just because you found yourself a single “Christian” man doesn’t mean anything until he repeatedly proves it by his actions. Don’t be so naive to think that some Godly men aren’t tossing a few slices in the oil and calling it Jesus.

I know some single Christian women who cry about not having a man but never venture out to find one. They basically drive to work and back home again. Now unless a man hurls himself onto your windshield how do you expect to ever meet one? It’s impossible. Reminds me of the homebody roommate I had years ago who developed a strange crush on the Dominoes delivery guy.  Yep. Ordered it every weekend for over a year. Big world out there when you decide to participate.

Or what about the single women who continue to throw their lines into a limited pond? You know the ones. They go to church on Sunday, Wednesday and any other day it is open. They attend every conference, talk, or workshop, and all fight over the same 5 single men who are not available because they are also on the hunt and you ain’t her!

Then one day these women start to panic at living life alone and they jump at the first sighting of something that LOOKS Godly. You say well that is certainly not me but then you find yourself putting on something nice and starting to hit the groups you have never been to. You have traded a past life of hitting the bars for a church crawl so you can soberly scope out the available Godly talent. You are determined not to spend one more Holiday alone. You look around the room and observe the pack for a while. You ignore the speaker because you are too busy categorizing every male in the place. Hmmm, married, taken, too old, too young, crazy, weird, homeless, potential stalker, and then you see someone who appears normal and available. You watch from afar and are suddenly mesmerized by how he raises his hands and voice in worship. His left hand is ringless and you are encouraged. He occasionally pauses to flip open his bible and you know the Lord is speaking words of wisdom to him. He is not easily distracted and listens intently to the speakers. Your heart races and you think oh I want a Godly man just like him! One that worships and reads his bible! I can even bring him to conferences instead of going with my girlfriends. We can volunteer together and start a ministry and and and….. Girl wake up. Let me slap you upside your head right now before you get caught up in the trance. As soon as he bags you or his ideal woman he won’t be going to any more conferences. I don’t care how Godly he looks as only time will tell if he is just playing your game. The “I know you all are looking for a Godly man so I will gladly play the part” game. Are all men like this? No. But take the time to check it out. Just sayin.

Next time you spot someone new take a breath and pause before you get all tingly because he appears to be the man you have been waiting for. Or stop when fear grips you and you feel like you will live the rest of your days alone. So ALONE that you will probably lie dead on the floor for days with your face half eaten away by your 8 cats before anyone thinks to check on you. Don’t let that fear or panic control you so that you plan to grab the next available guy that comes along just because you are afraid you have no other options.

You shake your head and say that is not me but we all know how it starts…ha! Is he single? Yes? Really? Oh my! Single AND a Christian! This must be the one. I know Papa God said I would meet my mate in church one day. He is kind of cute but I would definitely have to dress him differently and OMGoodness his hair! He does need a woman. I hope he has a job. No? That’s okay we can start our ministry right away. What? He does? A good job? Yay, God! DING DING DING DING DING!!!!! Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Now I KNOW he is the one. Why else would God have me come here on this particular night AND me having a good hair day? Single, Christian, and a job! Yes, I could definitely make this work!!!!!

Slow down Ruth and wait for your Boaz. God may have some work to do on him yet. Or worse yet maybe some work to do on you. Gasp! Be open to being led by God, even if it means having to get out of your house, church, or nearest revival center to do it. There just might be some lovely man out in the world who isn’t quite a Christian yet. Remember you weren’t always quite the believer you are now. Or it might be someone you would never think would be your type. Or someone you already met or see on a regular basis and I am not talking about the pizza guy. Might be someone who would be perfect for you if you just gave him half a chance to prove he is or could be the Godly man you always hoped for.

Plant Parent

Many years ago, I belonged to a large church and there always seemed to be someone promoting their kid’s school fundraiser. I bought a live plant arrangement but didn’t pick it up for two weeks. Of course, by then, it was almost dead, and the parent told me she would refund my money. Nah, that’s okay, I told her and planned discreetly to discard it on my way out.

I then saw an older couple with their 40-something son, Billy, who had recently gotten out of treatment. He had moved back in with them and they were concerned, as he was extremely depressed. He felt like a huge loser who would never redeem himself in life because he had wasted so much of it with drugs and alcohol. The couple had asked us to pray for Billy, as he spent most of his day in bed, and they were afraid he was suicidal.

I smiled and waved as I passed them by and God said, “Stop and give Billy the plant. Tell him I want him to bring it back to life.”

I thought, Nah!. Why would God want me to give this depressed guy a dead plant? God persisted and whispered, “trust me”, so I finally turned around and handed it to Billy. “Yes, I know this is weird, but God told me to give you this plant and that you would bring it back to life.” Billy laughed, ” You mean resurrect it?” ” I smiled. “Yes. I’m serious.” I laid my hands on him and said a prayer for healing, and then I left.

A month later, I ran into this same family again after church. I was so glad to see a happier Billy, who was also sporting a new haircut and a sharp buttoned-down shirt. “Hey, Jeanne! I saved that plant you gave me and I now have it sitting in my bedroom window.” I thought he was kidding and figured the plant had died the next day. But as Billy wandered off to get coffee, his mother told me he tended to that plant every day. He was so touched that God had spoken to me about him, he was taking the responsibility seriously. She said she watched as he came out of his depression because he now had something to put his focus on other than himself.

God brought this memory back to me yesterday. I got teared up all over again. God is so amazing. He can take something so simple and heal through it. He can work through anyone and that means you and me! Next time you feel like God is asking you to do something “odd” feel stupid and do it, anyway. You might just be planting a seed or literally helping to bring someone back to life.

No High like…..

Tonight I was in a live zoom meeting and was distracted trying to listen while multi-tasking. At the end, Shawn Bolz was praying over us and God said “You need to hear this” and BAM……

The Holy Spirit hit me and I was just completely wrecked! My head fell into my hands and I couldn’t move as Shawn finished speaking. Then they announced the recording had stopped, but some people were still hanging on. I am sure, on camera, I must have looked like I was high or in a sugar coma :). I sat motionless, with my head down, for several minutes until I could reach up and shut my laptop. I then sat for another 10 minutes glued to my chair! Second time this week. Been a long time since I have felt a tangible Holy Ghost presence. It was an almost daily occurrence when I was a new believer.

While He had my undistracted attention He said:

“This is what you in Me and Me in you feels like in your flesh. It is overwhelming and your mind can’t comprehend it. It spills out of your heart or your spirit center and floods your body. I give my children this tangible feeling so that they know I am real and that I abide in them and they in Me. Hold this feeling in your heart. Imprint it on your heart. I haven’t gone anywhere. My spirit does not come on you, my spirit is always in you. In you. With you. Not beside you. You are in Me and I am in you. You won’t feel this 24/7 but that does not mean it is not TRUTH. It’s the Spirit’s truth.

I knew exactly what He meant even though I find it hard to articulate it now.

I believe we are all going to have more incidences of the tangible presence of the Lord. I still feel like I have had a couple of glasses of wine.

No high like the Most High 🙂

God’s Garden

One plants, one waters, one harvests.

We need to stop thinking that we have to do it all or we aren’t a true son. That unless, in a single encounter, we can make Jesus real, score a “sinners prayer” and build a Holy Spirit down line that we are failures!

Andrew was the first of the apostles to share his faith and bring another to Christ. Andrew’s testimony touched Peter who then went on to become one of the most influential apostles. Peter wrote 2 books of the Bible and brought thousands to Christ thru Holy Spirit signs and wonders! I don’t recall a book of Andrew in my ESV, but without Andrew there would be no Peter.

I’ve had people tell me there is no way they could do what I do. Nice pat on the back and I wish I could take more credit. But, I told God a long time ago that He had to land them in my lap and then light ‘em up. No guessing who He wants to chat with. Then fill my mouth with His words. His love. His healing. With no Mall Police escort out of the building. I am not kidding 🙂

You see I don’t like to be bothered when I am shopping. Or dining. Or getting a mammogram. If you know me well, you know that I get panicked in crowds. And the first thing I look for when I enter a room is the exit.

But when God turns on the light I get out of the way and He shines. Not me. I don’t have to do anything but repeat what He tells me.

Le Him decide what part you and I play in His garden.

Have a lovely week, Beloveds!
Andy

Jake

Months ago, I had some repairs done on my home. As soon as I met “Jake” my eyes lit up. Like I had just seen an old friend. I told Jake he looked familiar “Do we know each other?” “Nope.” I figured as time drew on that I would figure out where we had met. Jake was in and out of my house for several days and we rarely said more than hello. One day, I realized why he looked so familiar. God had a word for him!

I told Jake that he was going to be the father to his children that he never had. That he was a hard worker and I appreciated his perfection and attention to detail. That all of this came easy to him because God had given him these gifts and talents. That Jake would never have to worry about securing work, because of his craftsmanship and integrity which would walk before him and pave the way. That he had struggled through some issues earlier in his life, but that was all over with. God wanted to bring him into a season of ease and provision. I then told him that the woman he was with was perfect for him. That they would fill each other’s holes from the past and heal the hurt from all of the crappy relationships each had experienced.

Jake’s mouth opened. “Did Pete tell you about me?” (Pete is his business partner) ” No. God did.” He teared up and told me about his childhood and wanting to be a better parent to his children. Jake also had an engagement ring in his pocket that he carried with him everywhere so his fiancee, Natalie, wouldn’t find it. They had been together for 10 years and he had planned a surprise for the following week. Natalie thought they were driving to the airport to pick up his cousin, but instead, he was flying them out to California where he would propose on a beach. A lot of planning had gone into this and he was nervous about making their relationship official. He was so happy about the confirmation that he had found the one.

I told Jake, who didn’t know what a WOK (word of knowledge) was that I was happy that he didn’t think I was a nut case. “No, I am a believer.” He then pointed to a tattoo on the inside of his forearm that I hadn’t noticed before. It read John 3:16. How cool and what a great reminder! Jake, God not only wants his kids to have everlasting life with Him but also experience Him AND His kingdom here on earth.

I was reminded of this story today when I was thinking about how much Big Sky Daddy wants to speak to us even more than we want to hear Him. In fact, if we can’t hear Him for ourselves, He will make sure He gets the message to us through someone else.

Have a lovely week, Beloveds.

Love To Hate

Do you have anyone you love to hate? Or do you harbor un-forgiveness towards anyone for the pain they have caused you? To the point that anything they do becomes another reason to re-ignite those negative feelings or justifies your willingness in pointing out their flaws or mistakes? To anyone that will listen to you?

No? Are you sure? I had one of those people in my life, until just recently. I heard they were going to a conference to encounter the Holy Spirit so I asked a couple of people to pray with me that “Tori” would be whacked. So WHACKED that she would do carpet time and be laid out for a couple of hours until all of the stuff that ever irritated or hurt me would be healed right out of her. So she never does it again! Fix her Lord!

When I asked Tori how her conference went, I was surprised when she said it had been amazing. That she had finally just gave everything over to God to heal. All of it. That she had been profoundly touched and felt God in such a tangible way that it had been life changing. She started to cry and I could see a visible change in her. She looked softer and 10 years younger. I could see on a spiritual level that she was really free. I was overwhelmed with emotion and started to cry with her. She suddenly got up and said I need to hug you. Tori put her arms around me and we just stood there. Not saying anything. Just both crying.

If anyone, that knows us both, would have walked by and saw this, they would have thought Jesus had returned. Shared tears and hugs? Never in a million years! But God had other plans. I cried off and on, for most of the day. The Holy Spirit just kept hitting me over and over again. Not only was I happy for her, but I was happy for me. God suddenly removed 20 years of anger and hurt towards her. In a heartbeat it was gone!

Gone were 20 wasted years of loathing someone who had just as many issues to heal as I did. I just never saw it that way. She wasn’t evil, just in pain and hurting people hurt people. The beautiful thing was that I had just asked God last week to heal this issue between us, once and for all. I was willing to just give it all to Him. First time ever that I was ready to let it all go.

Isn’t it amazing what surrendering can do? Not out of fear, but out of trust? Trust that He can fix the impossible. And you don’t even have to wait until Jesus comes back. 🙂 He can do the impossible now. What do you need Daddy God to fix? Fix once and for all?

Don’t Exclude Jesus

A young person started asking me about God and formalized religions. Their main issue was that churches don’t involve their communities and embrace everyone. That they needed to offer something for everyone regardless if they are Atheists, Wiccans, Muslims, Buddhists, etc. I responded, “Do you mean like one big general church service?”

“Yes, so that everyone felt included.” Wow… God, how do I even answer that one?

“Well, Most churches have an outreach type of ministry where they go out in the community and help others regardless of their beliefs. Also, no one is usually turned away and can attend a service. But Christians believe in Christ and it is the central focus. So to provide a service to include everyone, and especially those who don’t believe in Jesus would have to leave Jesus out. So basically, the inclusion of all would be the exclusion of Jesus.”

Deer in headlights! You could tell this person had been brainwashed to think that Christians were hypocritical, self-righteous, and excluded others out of discrimination.

I continued, “Besides, if you were a satanist would you really want to go hear about Jesus? Wouldn’t you rather hear about Lucifer? Or the Muslims hear about Allah?

The Atheists? Hmmm… I think they’d rather just hit Perkins before the church rush got there.”

I got a laugh, and a lightbulb went off.

We ain’t all bad. We just aren’t giving up our Jesus to make ourselves look PC.

Joint Custody

Aggghh I feel like I have joint custody of a 92-year-old toddler. Yep. Like a 2-year-old with a more extensive vocabulary. My sisters and I take turns bringing or making our father dinner. One night, the kid’s meal is “too much” to eat and the next, he wolfs down a Culver’s Double Deluxe.

It is always a mealtime adventure.

Last month:
“This is really good! I’d like this more often. What’s it called?”

“Spaghettios, Dad”

Tonight:
“This is horrible, What is this?

“Spaghettios, Dad.”

“Who eats this stuff, anyway?”

“Yes, Dad, it’s like ghetto spaghetti in a can. I get it. Just trying to make you happy and you loved it last month”.

“It wasn’t this stuff”.

“Yes it was.””

“I can’t keep track of what you girl’s bring me. Just don’t ever buy it again. And don’t bring me a sandwich, like you did tonight, with a lot of stuff on it.”

“It was only turkey and cheese on toast. What was too much?.”

“Just make me a normal sandwich”.

“Normal as in no cheese? Or normal as in no turkey?”

” Hmmm, How about just plain toast Jeanne?”

“Okay, Check. I’ll remember a normal sandwich is just plain toast. Love you Dad. I need to leave now” (before I burst into flames)

“Ok, thanks. I appreciate you girls. And thanks for not arguing. You were actually nice tonight.”

“Easy to be nice dad, when you are nice to me.”

“Ok, but I still miss the arguing. Kind of boring. Maybe next time we can argue about something.”

Aggghhhhh. At least he doesn’t throw food on the floor.