Only on this side of heaven …

do we have the opportunity to choose faith.  Why is that so special?  Because the Creator of All has provided each of us the opportunity to give Him a gift that truly pleases Him and makes Him happy Continue reading

Sign on the dotted line …

Have you ever asked someone “Do you believe me?”

How did they respond to you?

What was your response to their response?

I’m guessing if they doubted you, your response might have been hurt, anger or frustration with a little  “why don’t they respect me” in the mix.

Where am I going with this?

Every moment of every day our Heavenly Father is asking that very same question to you and to me “Do you believe me?”

Like Abraham – our Heavenly Father shows us what is impossible and tells us “this is what I have for you, do you believe me”.

  • continuous, uninterrupted fellowship with Him because of what Jesus did, not because of anything we did or will do (Rom 4:4-5)
  • our every need supplied according to his riches in glory (Phil 4:19)
  • being blameless, above reproach and before God in love (Eph 1:4) “just-as-if-I’d never sinned” (Rom 5:9)

From that place of absolutely no conflict or discord between each of us and our Heavenly Father we get to live every moment of every day.  That is our launch pad to co-labor with our Heavenly Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit to release the kingdom of heaven on earth (Matt 6:10) until this place is as wonderful as heaven.

How?

By signing on the dotted line.

Faith is my signature and your signature on the contract ratified by the blood of Jesus.  It is an acceptance by both “parties” of sufficient payment for my “just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned” standing with my Heavenly Father.  I’d never seen that before this moment …. faith is my signature — agreeing with and appropriating the promises of the Father as true and as mine, fully paid for, irrevocable.

The terms have never changed, it was the same for Abraham as it is for you and me (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3).  Faith is our signature to take ownership and have put into our account what otherwise would be impossible for us to have.  Such a deal … such a reason to hope.

Faith Is My Signature.001

His mercy comes in like a flood

Mercy is not for the faint of heart

Mercy is not for the faint of heart

During our recent trip to California, we found the unmarked, one-lane road and drove the 2 miles to the parking lot.  We’d been told by the locals that Pfeiffer Beach was “the place” to watch the sunset.  My husband told me to go ahead as he put the convertible top up.  I was walking quickly not knowing how much of a trek it was to the beach and the sunlight was quickly fading.  I could hear the roar but where I was walking the trail was pretty closed in until … it wasn’t.

Right in front of me the waves came crashing literally through the rock into the cove of Pfeiffer Beach.  The power of the waves literally made me stop in my tracks and step back.  Was this a good idea??

The sheer power of the water colliding with the rocks was intoxicating and terrifying in the same instant.  It demanded respect, this beauty inundated with power that can literally wash away solid rock.  There was no stopping it.  Just like there is no stopping God’s mercy.

Moses asked God for His name.  God’s response was “Merciful, Gracious, Slow to Anger, and Abounding in Loving Kindness and Truth.”  Exodus 34:6

In Isaiah 59 Israel is in a real mess.  “Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.”  Not a pretty picture.  The prophet Isaiah goes on to tell us God realizes there is no one to rescue Israel.  So what does the One whose name begins with “merciful” do?  He chooses to extend mercy and save Israel Himself.

From the west, people will fear the name of the Lord,
and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
For he [Our Redeemer] will come like a pent-up flood
that the breath of the Lord drives along.
Isaiah 59:19

I don’t know about you, but until I saw those waves literally washing away rock and heard “my mercy comes in like a flood” I’d never thought of mercy as a powerful thing.  I had it more in the “meek and mild” category.  Not any more.

Where am I going with all of this?

Good question.  Do you have anyone in your life that you have over-protected out of love?  Perhaps tried to make their world a better place by not allowing them to experience the consequences of their actions or choices.  Let me be the first to put up my hand, actually I should probably put up both hands and my feet if I were more flexible 🙂

Whatever a loved one’s problem is, if you protect them from the consequences of it how can they heal, learn and grow?

Co-dependent is the “label” society puts on it.  Killing someone with kindness is how I have recently come to see it.

When I did see it, what my Heavenly Father showed me was this moment at Pfeiffer Beach and He asked me “will you surrender them to my mercy”? That seemed pretty scary to me.  Surrendering someone to that raw power.  But wait a minute if His mercy comes in like that flood, it also means His mercy cannot be stopped.  It will find a way through and it can carry away any blockage that gets in its path.   That’s a lot more than I can do for anyone.

If there is someone in your life that you are killing with kindness, may I suggest that you surrender that loved one to the mercy of our Heavenly Father and let His mercy wash over and consume them and you like the waves in this video?

Crashing sunset surf Pfeiffer Beach May 1, 2013

With thanks from my heart to yours

Does it seem like a year?  It’s gone by quickly for me.

I had no clue what to expect when I sat down and started to write last March about Unconditional Hope.  For that matter I still have no clue to what expect 🙂

But, I want to thank each of you who have read, commented and encouraged me this past year.

I started writing because I wanted to share the unconditional hope our Heavenly Father has poured and continues to pour into my life.  The surprising thing has been, when you give hope away, it returns to you.   Such a deal.

What a gift I have received to see how many have chosen to visit, read and/or follow my blog.  It has made my heart leap to be able to make heart-to-heart connections with people I’ve never met, as well as, with people I have met but never dared to let them see the real me before.

When I started last year I asked friends to pray that I would have godly courage to be transparent. God provided not only the courage, but with every step into transparency came more freedom, a bonus I had no clue was waiting for me.

So here’s to more unconditional hope for all of us, regardless of circumstance.

Shining through

Mesmerized.

Sunlight that shines through the clouds

Sunlight that shines through the clouds

As I walked this morning I could not take my eyes away from the sky.  What was it? What was calling to deep within me.  I just kept staring.

Unstoppable light

Unstoppable light

Then I suddenly realized where I was seeing the sun in all its glory, there was no break in the clouds.  In fact, the clouds were rather packed in like thick pudding that has sat too long and the top has begun to fold where it has set firm but the pudding beneath still moves.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anything quite like that before.  My entire walk I was engulfed in this consuming sunlight.  As I started to look around at the rest of the sky, what I heard is “this is a picture of your soul”.

There are parts of your soul that are “clear skies”; parts of your soul where the cloud cover is breaking apart;

A picture of my soul

A picture of my soul

and parts of your soul where something is blocking your line of sight of Me. Regardless, my light, my presence, my love cannot be stopped.  My ability to engulf You with My Presence is far greater than any problem you may face or faulty belief you may have about me.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God

Nothing can separate us from the love of God
Romans 8:38-39

Hard to argue against.

So how is your soul today?  Clear skies; partly cloudy; or socked in with cloud cover as far as you can see?  Or, perhaps a little of all of the above depending on the moment.

These images are as much for me as they are for you.  You know how I know that? I didn’t take my camera with me on my walk and yet I knew I was supposed to share this with you.  The revelation of what I was seeing came when I was probably at the farthest point away from my house.  I was thinking that at one picture worth 1,000 words, I was going to have to write a lot of words to make-up for the pictures I was missing.  However, the sky did not change the entire time I walked; while I was in the house searching for the camera and then headed back outside to try to capture what I’d seen and experienced.   So, I repeat – these images are as much for me as they are for you.

Wherever you are experiencing thick cloud cover — be it disappointment, discouragement,  heartache, sickness, hopelessness, despair — His love cannot be stopped by whatever it is you are facing and encountering.  You don’t even have to get above the clouds (like in a plane) to experience it; He can reach You right where you are and as you are.

Circumstances may try to tell you differently.

My last post I shared about the wonderful healing I am experiencing.  That is continuing, however, not without some challenges from the enemy.  What do I mean?

I’d been feeling great for a couple of weeks and went for a permanent crown at the dentist.  During the procedure something happened that caused such pain I jerked so hard I almost kicked my dentist in the head (seriously).  Neither he nor I have a good explanation for what happened.  That pain persisted for over a week and triggered some wicked migraines.  My “cloud cover” was pretty thick.  Yet in the midst I knew this was more a battle for my soul (my heart, will and intellect) than a battle for my body.

What would I believe? Would I believe that I had lost what I had gained and was silly to have believed it could be true that God was healing me?   Or, would I believe this was an opportunity to choose to believe that God had indeed woken me up at 5:15 AM on January 13th to tell me my testimony will be telling people how it is Jesus who has healed me and this dental issue did not negate that truth, but rather was one of those firey darts we are warned to watch for when we are doing all to stand firm.  (Eph 6:16).

I chose the latter.

Today, my sweet Heavenly Father literally showed me in the heavens what has been going on in my life.  His love, life, and presence engulfing me no matter what might be in my line of sight between me and Him.

Whatever the condition of your soul this moment, this day or any day may you be engulfed with this truth and hope:

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure)
that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities,
nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
Nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation
will be able to separate us from the love of God
which is in Christ Jesu
s our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

IF you seek me

Light in the darkness ... moonset over the Gulf of Mexico Jan. 27, 2013

Light in the darkness … moonset over the Gulf of Mexico Jan. 27, 2013

… you WILL find me.

Did you notice there are not any qualifiers on that?

It’s not you’ll find me if:

  • you’re perfect and never mess up
  • it’s sunny
  • you got a raise today
  • your family is happy and safe
  • you get a promotion
  • all your problems go away

It’s just “you WILL find me”.  IF you seek me, you WILL find me.  It’s carte blanche.  It is any time, any place, any situation.

Sometimes we just need to keep seeking/looking even when all seems dark … who knows you just might discover a moonset.  And you know what follows moonset right … the dawn of a new day.

Dawn of a new day

Dawn of a new day

Is that difficult for you to believe?  Maybe that’s why you are having trouble finding.

You’ve heard of rose-colored glasses?  Well that’s exactly what our personal beliefs are to each of us; the glasses through which we see the world.   Sometimes we need to get our eyes checked and get a new prescription so we can see what has been blurred from our vision before.

No worries if you find it hard to honestly believe that God wants you to seek Him and that if you do you will find Him.  No need to feel bad or hide.  Just ask a simple question of Your Heavenly Father – Reveal me to me Lord.

He’s just waiting to show you where an experience in your life set-up a distorted belief about Him.  He truly wants you to be set free from any misconceptions you have about Him that have been sewn into your life from other hurting people hurting you.

Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  What that tells me is when God makes a promise, He keeps it.  You can rely on it.  There is no shadow of turning with our Heavenly Father … the Amplified version of this verse (James 1:17) reads:

Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse].

Did you catch that — God never turns so that He is eclipsed from us.

What is it He wants us to find?  (Eph 1:18-20)

By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),”

What makes up our inheritance?

 the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness
of His power in and for us who believe,

How great is that power He wants us to find?

” … as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,
Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead
and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places].”

Yup – you got it — our Heavenly Father tells us to seek Him and promises we will find Him because He wants to flood our hearts with light, truth, and hope so that we may take hold of our inheritance which is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.

So here is where I draw on the prayers I’ve requested from friends to have godly courage to be transparent on this blog.

What has my seeking looked like?  Why did that first picture of the darkness being pierced by the setting moon strike such a chord with me??

My seeking took on a whole new depth and dimension 15 years ago when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.  The gloves came off.  I was angry and I was desperate.  Finally I was real with myself and with God and it has been quite a journey of revelation ever since.  I continue to seek; He continues to reveal Himself to me, and to reveal me to me.    My most recent “find” came when I least expected it … at 5:15 AM out of a sound sleep.  Yes, God’s ways are mysterious 🙂

It was a Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago and my alarm on my iPhone went off at 5:15 AM.  My first response was “oh great, I forgot to turn off my alarm last night”.  However, when I reached for my phone to turn it off and saw what time it was, I thought I don’t remember setting an alarm for 5:15 … uh … that would be because I didn’t.  On iPhones you have a list of alarm times that you have set previously.  There was no alarm set for 5:15 AM, and yet the alarm had rung.  OK God, You have my attention.

So I asked Him – what are You trying to tell me God.  I heard John 5:15.  I looked it up.

“The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus Who had made him well.”

I can’t tell you I honestly understood what was happening, but Mary’s example of agreeing with what the angel had told her even when she did not understand seemed like wisdom to me (Luke 1:35).  So, I did.  I simply prayed I agree with Your Word Father that it is Jesus who has made me well.   The best way I can describe what I was sensing/feeling is this was going to be my testimony too if I would just take hold of what God was offering me.

I told my husband about it later that day and he asked me what I thought was going on. I told him, I think God is telling me He has healed me.  I can’t explain it, I’m just telling you what happened.

The following day I went for dental crown work.  In the last decade any dental work has always been followed by a Fibromyalgia migraine … not so this time.  Actually the muscle relaxer I always take before dental work made me sick, like my body couldn’t tolerate it.

Later in the week a huge storm front moved through which would normally have resulted in my muscles feeling like they would tear if I moved.  No pain.

Are you getting excited here?  I certainly was.

That same week I went to see my acupuncturist for an appointment I had previously scheduled because I always need to see him after dental work.  During the treatment he looked at me and said “Something amazing or miraculous has happened here.  All the old patterns that have been present since I started treating you are gone.  All I see is a very new pattern a few days old that I think is stress related.”

I looked at him and said “I knew it!!”  He was seeing what I was experiencing; healing and the stress of a big project at work.  That big project meant multiple 16 hour days but when it was over — still no Fibromyalgia pain.  I was exhausted, but who wouldn’t be?

So, back to where I started “IF You SEEK me …. You WILL FIND me”.   Don’t give up no matter how long you have been seeking.  I’m living proof it is true because only the the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe  (Eph 1:19working in me could cause what I have been experiencing.

Worth a little seeking on my part?  Your part?  I think so 🙂 Don’t you?

Where else can you find a guarantee like this one?