Thursday, November 16, 2017

What is God's Justice?

We hear a lot about God's mercy but what is God's justice? Many Christians cringe when Pat Robertson talks about God's justice and tells us that it is God's justice and his judgement when natural disasters happen.

A friend of mine and fellow blogger, Sarah Babbs recently wrote an excellent, well written blog about God's justice here. Sarah and I don't always see eye to eye on things but I agree with her in this article. She quotes Amos 5:24 about God's justice being like mighty waters and an ever-flowing stream. 

What I have come to realize however is God's justice doesn't always look the way I think it should look. Those "mighty waters" can bring conversion of heart for those who do not resist.

One experience that helped me see God's justice differently is a time I was on a retreat. There was a woman there who was not very kind. She was rude to me and I felt belittled by her. At one point I went into the chapel and cried out to the Lord. I heard him say, "Don't worry about Jane (not her real name). She's a Martha. I will take care of her!"

That evening, we had a time of praise and worship. The Holy Spirit ended up falling on this woman and struck her like lightning, sending her to the floor. She was on the floor for hours, wailing and she literally could not get up. I think God was sitting on her.

That wasn't necessarily my idea of what God's justice should look like toward that woman but it is exactly what needed to happen for her to have a change of heart. The Lord needed to get to the inner places of her heart and bring healing and that is what he sovereignly did.

Joel 2:31 talks about the great and terrible day of the Lord. It will be great for those who call on the Lord's name but terrible for those who resist him.

The Lord's mercy and justice are two sides of the same coin and you can't have one without the other. For those who open their heart to the Lord, his magnificence is merciful and cleansing. For those who resist, his magnificence is very frightening and painful.

Rosaries

If you haven't checked out my Etsy shop yet, you can check it out here. I have full 5 decade Rosaries and bracelets that can be used as Rosaries. I even have essential oil diffuser Rosaries and bracelets using lava beads that absorb the oils! They could make the perfect gift for Christmas, Confirmation, First Communion or Birthdays!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Would Jesus Eat with Harvey Weinstein?

I know I am a little late weighing in on this discussion. Instead of blogging, I've been focusing on my health. I took a LEAP test recently which is a blood test to find out what foods one might be sensitive to. I found out my body is highly sensitive to Cow's milk, sugar, buckwheat, cheddar, turkey, beef, coffee, most preservatives, and a host of other foods. I am working at cutting one food item our at a time in order to feel better and have more energy. I now understand why the Lord was telling me HE is my banquet. I am noticing however a difference after cutting out just a few of these items. I am also starting to be a connoisseur of hot tea. It's actually quite good!

Anyway, if you want to get inside my head, my title question is the type of stuff I think about. I don't really know for sure the answer. Even though Weinstein's actions were deplorable, it does seem like he has become a type of scapegoat. I say this even though I could easily say, "Me Too!" because I have also been the recipient of sexual harassment. Once, I even reported it at the job I was at and nothing was done about it. I remember the way it made me feel...completely belittled and ashamed. I remember not wanting to wear skirts anymore to work...but I digress.

To me, it is understandable why Jesus would have eaten and hung out with prostitutes; after all, they are hurting mainly themselves and often a victim. Jesus also hung out with tax collectors though, who were considered the ultimate scum at that time because they were also robbing and hurting other people. Even so, this doesn't seem as deplorable as someone like Weinstein or how about even a child molester!? 

You can see that having an encounter with Jesus caused the prostitutes and the tax collectors  to have a conversion of heart. Just look at Mary Magdalene and Zachhaeus. 

Are there some people however who are without hope for redemption? Are there sins that are just too deplorable to be forgiven?

I don't think so. As stated in Zachariah's beautiful prophecy in Luke 1:78 which we also call the Benedictus and is prayed by Catholic's through morning prayer, the mercy of God is bottomless! There isn't anyone or any sins that are so deplorable that God won't forgive if they turn to him.

Let's get back to the original question though..."Would Jesus eat with someone like Harvey Weinstein?" I think he would have if his Father put it on his heart to do so. You see, Jesus did what he saw the Father doing. I also know he didn't just eat and hang out with "safe" people. He hung out with people like Judas who even after hanging out with Jesus did not have a conversion of heart and ended up betraying Jesus.

When I first started following the Lord at the age of nineteen, I was filled with the Holy Spirit and my spiritual senses were heightened. I suddenly became very aware of what was in the hearts of those around me. I suddenly became aware of those involved in witchcraft, Satanism, pedophilia, etc... It was a little overwhelming at the time. I also think I misunderstood why the Lord was showing me these things. I thought he was just trying to warn me and keep me safe. The more I am becoming aware of the Lord's great mercy however, I am starting to realize these people are not beyond God's mercy or redemption. The Lord's love for them is no different than his love for me. If the Lord highlights these people to me, there is hope for them and instead of trying to stay away from such people, I am asking the Lord, what he loves about them and how I can reach them.

If you think about it, the ultimate justice would be for someone like that to turn to the Lord and have a conversion of heart and no longer want to hurt people anymore. Often, the victim is the one we focus on, understandably, but what if the people doing the victimizing could have a change of heart? All I'm saying is, Church, let's be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He just may call us to reach out with the heart of Christ to someone we would have otherwise considered beyond hope and redemption. Look at the story of Jonah. Jonah didn't see that there was hope for the Ninevites or that they were worthy of redemption. However, in the end, he obeyed God, brought the word of the Lord to them and they repented.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Finally Getting Answers

Back when I was in college I remember experiencing debilitating fatigue and muscle weakness. I thought I was just being lazy.

After I had my second kid, it got worse. Again, I thought I was just being lazy. 


There were days I couldn't even pull myself off the couch. One day that was particularly awful, I heard the Lord tell me that I had a physical illness. He also showed me some other stuff which you can read about here.

That began the long road to getting answers.

I started going to doctors, which was difficult because I don't like to complain. Some thought I was crazy, some thought I was just depressed, and none were able to find anything wrong with me.

Finally after my 4th kid, about 9 years ago, I saw a Rheumatologist who did the right blood work and it showed I had some kind of connective tissue autoimmune condition but it was non specific. He said I also had Fibromyalgia.

At least I had some answers.

Several years later, that Rheumatologist retired and I started going to someone else. He did my blood work and found nothing.

Meanwhile, my symptoms have been getting worse. I now experience pain in most of my muscles and joints along with the debilitating fatigue. It is also strange, because it is not everyday. It can also vary from the morning to the evening and the days I have flare-ups, I also experience a low-grade fever.

Not knowing how I am going to feel from day to day or even hour to hour, has at times made me nervous to make plans. I never know how I am going to feel. I usually have to remind myself that God always gives me the grace when I need it.

Sometimes I catch myself worrying what people will think. I look healthy, so I wonder if people just think I am lazy or passive because I am not involved in more. I've really had to learn to not worry what people think. I know I need to pace myself and only do the things the Lord is leading me to do. That is the only way I will have the grace and strength I need.

I started going to a new doctor here in Indiana. I told her everything I was experiencing. She really listened, seemed to care and ordered a massive amount of blood work.

I'm finally getting answers!

It turns out, I have multiple conditions that could be causing my fatigue: Hypothyroidism, low iron, low vitamin D, and yes, an autoimmune, connective tissue disorder. She also ordered some more tests to see if we can find out a more specific connective tissue disorder.

I am very encouraged! Not because I am sick, but because I am finally getting answers to why I often feel the way I do and I can start doing things that will help me feel better.

I know the Lord's heart for me is to be whole and healthy. I know he wants me to  live life to the fullest. I also know for every year I've had to live with all this, he is going to give me a double portion of his Spirit. He is going to restore the years the locusts have eaten. I rejoice in him for who he is and what he is doing! He will have the final say!

At the same time, the lessons I have learned from all this has been invaluable! I have learned to be tenacious and to persevere. I have learned to cling to and be dependent on the Lord in all humility. I have also grown in an intimacy with him that I don't think I would have experienced any other way.

Recently the Lord brought back to my mind something I heard when I took my daughters horse back riding. Before we got on our horse, we had an instructor teaching us how to ride. She saw that many of us had tennis shoes on instead of cowboy boots. She said we would have to be extra careful because the benefits of cowboy boots was it had a heal. The groove of the heal could help you stay more securely in the stirrups.

The Lord has called me to ride with him. Where he is taking me, I am going to have to make sure my feet are securely in the stirrups. He might go fast. I believe the Lord showed me the following:  The crook of the heal keeping the boot in the stirrup on one side is faith joined with humility. On the other, it is love joined with prayer.

We are coming into some amazing times! We are going to see some amazing things! Many are going to be called to participate. In order to keep up, and not fall off the horse, we are going to need to be firmly grounded and rooted in Christ. Now is the time to prepare and get ready by surrendering to the Lord's transformative work. He knows what he is doing! 

Let us rejoice in the process that makes us feel weak but in actuality, makes us stronger!
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - And he has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my grace is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Eye of the Storm

Whenever I intercede, I first ask the Lord how he is interceding regarding a situation. Jesus intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34). When Jesus was on earth, he also only did what he saw the Father doing (John 5:19). In the same way, I want to seek what he is doing and partner with him instead of getting in the way and praying the opposite of what he is doing. I also ask Jesus to show me where he is at in a given situation.

 As we see from the Gospel reading last Sunday in Matthew 16, Peter tried to stand in the way of what God was doing when he told Jesus he didn't need to die. Jesus told him, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do (Matthew 16:23)."


It is important to get in touch with God's heart and the mind of Christ.


I have been praying and seeking the Lord's wisdom regarding Hurricane Harvey, the wild fires in Montana and now Hurricane Irma. What the Lord showed me is he is not going to let the people affected, "hang out to dry". I looked up the meaning to that idiom and the first definition that came up was "not abandon to danger".


I also asked him to show me where he was at regarding these situations. 


With the fires, he is in the midst of the fire like he was with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3.


With the flooding in Houston, he is reaching out his hand, pulling people up. We even see this happening through other people because we are his hands and his feet. 


With Hurricane Irma, he is in the eye of the storm where there is peace and rest. Even if the storm passes over, refuge and protection can be found in the Lord. He can be found right in the center where there is a sense of calm.


Several years ago the Lord gave me an image of duct tape on a window along with an impression. What came to me is that some people put duct tape on their windows when a hurricane is coming. The duct tape doesn't prevent the window from breaking but it can keep the window from shattering. In the same way, God doesn't always promise that bad things won't happen and we won't become broken in the process but when we put our trust in him, he does prevent our lives from shattering and he is with us in the storm.



Romans 8:28 - All things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.

Let us pray:


Heavenly Father, we thank you that you are a good and loving Father! Thank you that you are with us even in the midst of the storms of life and you will not abandon your people in times of danger! We pray for the people in Houston and surrounding areas, that you would continue to rescue anyone that is in need of rescuing and you would provide for all their immediate and long term needs. Help them to rebuild, with you as their sure foundation. We pray for the people affected by the fires...be with them, protect them and provide for them. We pray for the people in the path of Hurricane Irma. Help them to seek refuge under your shelter and protection. Give them a sense of peace and calm even in the midst of the storm. Help them to place their trust in your majesty and loving kindness!


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Arrows in the Lord's Quiver

Right now, some of you are experiencing the Lord drawing you to himself. You have been like an arrow hidden in the Lord's quiver as you respond to the call, "Come away with me, my Beloved!" You have been called to a place of intimacy. Like an arrow being drawn back in a bow, you are being drawn back into the heart of Jesus. You are called to stay there and drink from his life giving waters until the right moment when he releases you.

Like the scene from the movie, "Brave Heart", where the enemy is coming closer and closer, but Mel Gibson's character, William Wallace shouts, "HOLD!" as everyone draws back their arrows, you are being drawn back into the Lord. 

Because they waited before acting, they had a much bigger impact and gained victory when they finally released their arrows.

In the same way, if we draw back into the Lord's heart, getting in touch with his heartbeat, we will have a much greater effect and will be able to hit the mark or bulls-eye more effectively when the Lord finally let's go.

When finally released, the fiery arrows of God's love will consume all those they come in contact with!

Isaiah 49: 1- 7 -  Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother's womb he has spoken my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor." 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Bullying at it's Worst

One thing I have been talking a lot about lately is the importance of knowing our true identity. It is important that we know who we are in Christ and we walk in the knowledge of that. Especially in this day and age, it is so important for Christians to be confident in who they are, who they are becoming and what they are called to do lest you be pulled in every direction.

If you are on social media at all, it doesn't take long to encounter people trying to pit one group against another and bullying others into activism. Even fellow Christians are partaking in this form of bullying.

If you are not confident in who you are in Christ, you could easily succumb to either being a victim of this kind of judgmentalism or join in with this type of judging of others. Somehow, even if you are not a part of either group pitted against each other, it could make you feel guilty for even being human when you read such rants. If you join in the conversation, it can feel like entering a den of vipers.

I don't know if I blogged about this before but the Lord once asked me if I wanted to be a fly on the wall and see the schemes of the enemy. What he ended up showing me was rather horrifying but to sum it up, the three biggest schemes of the enemy that the Lord showed me was to distract, cause anger, and cause division.

Perhaps it is time to step back and engage again in real life. It's time to be present to the ones closest to us.

Mother Theresa said, "If you want to change the world, go home and love your families."

Often, this is the place to start.

There are times in our lives where the Lord might call us to activism. There are other times in our life when we might be called to retreat, be still and grow in our relationship with Christ. And, in both seasons in life, we are called to love our neighbor, those closest to us, and everyone we come in contact with. That is the place to start. We change the world, one person at a time.

When called to action, often times actions speak louder and is more effective than words. Please don't project your own convictions and calling on others by judging them and looking down on them if they are not doing what you think they ought to do. You could actually be having the opposite effect.

It is easy to spout off judgments on Facebook or other forms of social media but it could do more harm than good.  There is a reason Jesus said to take the plank out of our own eye before looking at the speck in someone else's. Maybe we should pause and think about how our words will effect others. Will what we say cause a greater divide and fuel anger or will it bring about unity and peace?

Often we can have a greater impact if we are willing to practically love those around us by making little daily sacrifices than pointing out the sins in everyone else. Especially, if we are pitting one group of people against another, we are not advancing the Kingdom of God. All we are doing is feeding into anger and division.

We need to be discerning. Don't take on the false yoke of others or be bullied into action if the Lord is not calling you to action. Also don't join the mob mentality and attack. It is better to take a step back and respond to God's grace in a situation rather than be reactionary. Often times it is also better to give people the benefit of the doubt instead of being quick to judge.

The body of Christ has many parts. One day, I am sure, we will see the powerful things that happened as a result of cloistered nuns praying with great faith! I think we will be amazed that someone could actually have such an impact when they never even had a smart phone, access to the internet and never left their convent.
James 1:19-20 - Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. for man's anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.