Thursday, August 29, 2013

Transported To Lumberton

My friend, Cathy and I went to see a writer buddy of ours for the weekend. We traveled from Spindale to Lumberton where Jamie lived and then on to Wilmington for the girl’s weekend away. Friday and Saturday we had a wonderful time shopping, laughing, eating and seeing the sights. When Sunday came though, I knew we needed to get our friend Jamie back to her church by 9:45 am because she had to sing in the choir. We got up early and wasted no time getting ready. Yet in spite of our best efforts to get away by 8:15am, we were not able to leave until 8:30 am. We packed the car and I put the address into Rosie (my GPS). Rosie said we would not arrive until 10:00 am. Ok, I thought, we’re going to get there late and I hated to disappoint Jamie. So…I said a simple prayer, “Lord give us traveling mercies back to Lumberton and Lord…(feeling bold) transport us if You will. We are late and we could use Your help getting there on time. Amen.”

Not long after we had started our hour and a half trip, the low fuel light flashed on my dashboard. We should have filled up last night, I thought. Knowing there was no way I had enough gas to make the trip, I stopped for fuel. Feeling defeated again, I pumped the gas and prayed again, “Lord please help us.” When I got back into the car, I checked Rosie for an updated time of arrival, 10:10 am. Suddenly a scripture flashed through my mind, John 10:10.

“...I have come that you might have life
and have life more abundantly.”

Ok Lord, I thought, there is no way I can make up the time we have lost. It is in your hands. I will accept what you provide. I started the car and off we went.

When we were about 20 miles from our back roads destination, something unusual began to happen. Minutes started melting off of Rosie’s estimated time of arrival. I began to wonder what was going on. Nothing else seemed unusual. More minutes melted away. What’s going on Lord? I asked. No answer. More minutes melted off. When we finally arrived at the church, it was 9:43! That was 27 minutes faster then what Rosie herself had said AND 2 minutes faster than our original planned time to arrive. The Lord had transported us on time. Stunned and overflowing with joy, we popped out of the car praising Him for His wonderful answer to our simple earnest prayers. WOW, Lord! Thank you!

Later, while I was studying the scriptures for confirmation, I asked the Lord where was He during this event. He answered by showing me a vision of the side of my car. A large angel the length of my car was flying near the roof. I could see the air moving so fast past the angel and car that it looked as if we were traveling at a high rate of speed. That was all the confirmation I needed.

Some may choose not to believe or explain my excitement away. However, I believe we are coming into a time where God is waiting for us to advance our faith and accept miracles like this in our everyday lives. For those who are willing to believe, training has already begun. The time we have left to proclaim the gospel is short. For me, this incident was actually the second transportation in the last 2 months. The first one I questioned. The second one got my attention. I don’t know all of what God has planned for the future. But, I am excited and expectant. I want to do the great works He promised us. I pray each of you will become expectant, expand your faith and advance too.

Scripture references: Acts 8:39, John 6:21, John 14:5-18 
Recommended reading: Transported by the Lion of Judah by Anne Elmer

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Is Jesus Your Savior And Lord?

I don’t need Jesus as Lord over my life. 
I have Him as Savior and that’s all I want

These were the words I heard from a friend not long ago. As I pondered their implication, my heart broke. I sought the Lord in prayer and intercession. The Lord responded with a vision and a word of wisdom.

What I saw was the narthex of a small church with several people standing around. Two were whispering to each other while another kept to himself. One was sitting in a chair reading a newspaper. One scared and indecisive woman bit her fingernails while she paced back and forth in front of the double doors. I could see there were rays of light coming through the small windows in the doors. The handles were on the outside ready when anyone of them decided to enter. As I looked through the windows, I could see the glory of Jesus towards the front. Many were singing and raising their hands in praise. Others danced with joy. I felt the love and faith the people inside had for their Savior and Lord.

Then the Lord said,

“Yes their sins are forgiven. However, they are still choosing to be lead by the enemy’s wisdom instead of learning to renew their mind and rely on My Word. I long for them to trust Me fully and live in My Presence. I want to show them how to overcome and live in victory as Lord of their life. For those who are willing to turn towards Me, I will show them the abundant life they so desire.”

Receiving Jesus as our Savior in our life takes a God-given measure of faith. But, accepting Jesus as Lord takes a willingness on our part to develop that measure of faith into total trust. When we are unwilling to risk learning more about kingdom living, then we will live far below the victorious life that Jesus fought and died to give us.

Instead of walking by faith, we will continue to depend on ourselves. We won’t seek His word for wisdom or others for godly counsel. We convince ourselves faith development is to hard. Stress and fear will plague us. After we have unsuccessfully struggled through a challenge, we then begin to wonder why God had not been more helpful, forgetting we shut Him out earlier.

Jesus desires to be there to help us with every aspect of our lives no matter how big or small. The question is: Do we want His kind of help?

Today, think about where you stand with the Lord. Is He Savior and Lord of your life? Do you want Him to be? Then, think about what you need to do to get where you would like to be? Choose wisely. God awaits your commitment and choice.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
Romans 12:1-3
New King James Version (NKJV)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Witness To God's Wonderful Works

As the Hospice donation truck backed up at my garage door, I knew the first phase of the garage cleanup had been completed. Two guys jumped out of the cab raring to go. Tyler was a young college student who didn’t mind the hard work. I told him he would go far, if he kept that good work ethic. Charles was the older black guy who could still work circles around any teenager. He claimed working hard kept him youthful and I agreed with him.

Those two working together, made my heavy boxes seem like they were pitching beach balls at the pool. I was amazed. As they continued to work, they asked about my wooded property and commented on its beauty. I told them how God had prepared and made a way for me to buy this property over twenty years ago.

“I can tell you are a believing woman.” Charles replied with a smile.

Gauging their interest, I said, “Yes sir, I sure am. Let me tell you about one more God experience I have had recently.” They kept on packing while I told them about the storm parting on the interstate for my friend after a prayer. (Blog Post: Friends Forever)

As Charles listened, his smile grew bigger and his eyes lit up. All he responded with was, “For Real! Wow! God is good!”

As I finished my story, they finished with their loading and closed the truck door.

“Well, I just wanted to bless you guys today. Know that God is on the move to help His children. Look to God in faith and know He wants to bless you too!

“You sure did bless us mam, you sure did. Charles replied.

Thanks!” they both said as they hopped back into the truck cab and drove off.

As I sat back down at my desk, I pondered the completed job and the fruitful witness. Joy flooded my soul. The Lord popped in with these words,

“That is the idea! I long to bless you abundantly so you are able to go out and glorify Me by telling others. When others witness your joy and the fire in your eyes, they will come to know the truth about Me. Tell them about my favor and my provisions. Tell them about my protection and healing. The retelling of My wonderful works to believers and unbelievers alike will not only kindle their faith in Me but keep yours glowing brightly too.”

God is ready to bless us with more then enough favor to see us through the toughest situations. However, before you get started, there are three questions you need to ask yourself.

Have to received Jesus as your Savior and Lord?

Are we willing to ask and believe according to His word?

When you are touched by His generous faithfulness, will you salt your conversations to glorify Him?

God’s will is to bless all His children. Come, believe, and taste His goodness.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Jackson And The Firm Foundation

As I approached the intersection near my house, I noticed a dead cat on my side of the road. It looked just like my cat, Jackson. In a split second, I not only noticed the cat looked like Jackson, but it also had a blue collar like Jackson’s as well. My heart sank. 

Jackson as a kitten.

Oh no! It can’t be. Not my Jackson! Would he have come this far from home? No, Lord, No!

I pulled around the block and parked. I thought about going home first but then I didn’t want to have to come back. Determined to be courageous, I walked around the corner. I asked Jesus to make me strong to face whatever I would find. I prayed with gusto with every step. I also reminded Jesus that yesterday I had read where He had given us power to raise the dead in His word. I don’t know what I would actually do, but I was preparing my faith to act.

First, I looked at the cat and its resemblance to Jackson. Then I made myself look at the collar. When I saw the collar was darker blue with little paw prints, I knew instantly it was not Jackson. Relief flooded my soul.

As I walked back to the car, I prayed for the family who had lost their pet. Then I thanked and praised God the dead cat was not Jackson. It was then, I heard the Lord speak,

“Mary Jane that is what is really within you. When the trial came, you turned to Me, you prayed, and you reminded me of My promises to you. Your firm foundation is secure in Me. Now walk forward in peace.”

All of the sudden I had a totally different reason to praise Him as I rejoiced in the victory. My hands flew up in the air but I didn’t care who saw. God had just revealed my true heart and assure me of my firm foundation in Him. I needed that assurance to move forward in faith and defeat the enemy’s lies that had creped in lately.

Sometimes, when we question what is deep within our hearts, God shows us what we need to know through our everyday lives. The true state of our heart’s foundation is revealed, when what is within us, is tired and tested. Our maturity in Christ will be evident in our action and reaction to stressful situations.

What is your foundation based on? The Word? Or the World? It is very risky to wait until you are in a trial or temptation to start with the right material. Trust has to be poured and cured or it will crack under pressure. Stressful situations will reveal what we believe to be true. Thankfully, God is willing and ready with no condemnation to help us move forward no matter what we may find.

 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:20