Tag Archive | Faith

His Sheep Know His Voice.. Rememberances and Connections

Oh boy, it has been awhile since I have been led to write again on this blog. I told you all that when I got back to it in January of this year, the Israel trip was jelling to be shared. However, the prophetic events unfolding so fast… truly had me just trying to listen, hear and make sure that I was hearing Him… Yeshua ( I must admit it is hard for me to refer to Him as Jesus now ) but will likely go back and forth on that.  In these days it is critically important that we hear HIM and maybe for many of us that is just it how do you know? These are simply my experiences and I am not so holy, far from it but definitely disparate for our Messiah and the intimacy of a deep relationship.

A few months ago I was sound asleep, a deep sleep when suddenly I heard my name being called. ” Carla ” a familiar voice said to me.  So gentle but commanding too and I sat up and nudged my sleeping husband and said “what do you want?” He sleepily grumbled what are you talking about. Insistent that my husband had called me and then realizing he had not— I knew that it was time to get up and pray. So into my “prayer room” where the computer sits by the window so I can see the sky and in the dark there– I said Lord was that you? So I prayed and prayed for and about everything I could think of from family, the ministry and Israel into the night watches.  The next morning I called my friend Shirley who is age 78 and is a true woman of intercession and the reading and teaching of the word of our Lord. She is my spiritual mentor . We prayed together for the Lord to give me the revelation of what I heard.  Two days later in the wee hours of the morning when I had gotten up to pray —it came precept upon precept. From scripture reading and prayer, it was quietly revealed to me ” My sheep know my voice.”  I know that sounds so simple but let me tell you, it meant the world to me to know the Creator of the Universe, Master of the stars , the One who was and is and is to come– would take the time to make sure I knew this.  There is deep reason as I felt it also meant He wanted to be sure to have me listening for the “assignment ” just for me in these last days.  We are all on assignment, something our Lord has just for us to do and to be busy about what gives Him the glory.
Then an explosion of prophetic events as foretold in His word are happening like  lightening  and it can be hard to keep up!
Events so precise in their connection to the shadows and patterns in His word from the foundation of the world– what a glorious time to be alive and see it all unfolding.This precision of events really hit home for me especially this week. June 1st is Jerusalem Day when the celebration of Israel capturing Jerusalem over 44 years ago is celebrated and remembered.  Is it a coincidence we have the 44th President who is going against the Most High God in pushing Israel in all ways ? On June 1st in 1981 my brother Doug was tragically killed in an accident which forever impacted my family. 
I will not forget the phone call receiving such news and being alone at home, no care with little Olivia age 18 months and no way to call her Dad who was in night classes.  My immediate need was to know if my brother was is in Heaven as I was not sure he was saved. This was a burning desire in me. So I prayed and prayed about it. Please Lord– I can accept this if you will tell me where Doug is. Two weeks later back from southern Indiana where all my family and all those who really knew him were, in the night I was woken up by the crying out of Olivia and uttered to God , oh please let her go back to sleep because I don’t want to think about this anymore.  Suddenly it was like going from a cold place to a warm place and I heard ” Do not let your heart be troubled, he is in a safer place than you can possibly imagine.”  This feeling seemed like a long time but was just seconds and I woke my husband to ask if he had heard the voice. He had not.  Do you see a pattern here?  So excited I called my parents to tell them, I knew where Doug was! My Dad took it all in with a catch in his voice, my mother said” Why would he tell you and not tell me?”   All I knew is that I heard His voice. It gave me perfect peace.   It is very thrilling to me now to know that my brother went to be with the Lord on a significant day in history.. June 1st.

Back then my little girl was learning about Jesus as it was in all our everyday conversation. She used to yell out the window when I would put her in her room for time out… ” Jesus help  me.”  She was learning to call on her Good Shepherd and learned well as tonight now a mother herself called to tell me a sweet story about Eila Grace our little granddaughter who is just age 3.  
Eila was praying tonight and asked Jesus to save all the people who don’t know Him. WOW– a child doing this with such pure faith , it brings tears to my eyes.  Seeing the Holy Spirit in this little girl is a rich and treasured blessing.  Her Mommy and Daddy read to her in the womb from the Bible.

          Eila Grace age 3

Psalm 139

 13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

They are continuing this practice with Asher Benjamin now 16 months.


I pray this also continues with Lily new grandchild in her Mommy’s womb to be born to our son Reed and his wife Erica in about 2

months.

Lily at 30 weeks

I  These days I feel deep in my spirit it is

our called duty as His sheep to do all

we can to call all those lost sheep that the Lord places in our paths to the Good Shepherd.   I know this is a great part of His last days assignment for me and I pray for the boldness to do it… after all He made sure I heard His voice. May I always be humbled to listen well..

Are we listening?  The clock is ticking…

Home, Heart and Holidays and back to share…..

The year 2010 has proven to have been a tremendous blend of wilderness and mountain top experiences colliding with one another so that candidly well yeah,  I was overwhelmed by them. I suppose many of you like me cannot quite fathom we are on the cusp of 2011. How did time go by so fast? A favorite saying of mine is that God has speeded up time and that is why it seems we cannot keep up. In fact, there is some proof of that but ( sigh ) that is quantum physics and I am not gonna go there….maybe I went to Purdue University but my gifts have never lain in that arena. However it seems to me that His grace has shortened the days for a whole lot of reasons.

I cannot let 2010 go by without giving great praise to our Almighty God! My heart is so full of joy today as the blessings of this year are remembered in my heart. The Lord did something very special for me these last couple of days and that is He reminded me how much He loves me. ( us ) It is too amazing for words and just the intimacy of time with Him during the 4th watch this week has been deep and rich.  It is so simple and perhaps that is the mystery of it… He just wants us to seek Him, believe He was the one who was and is and is yet to come.  The Master of this great universe, choreographer of the dance of the stars, and the dancing light in my grandchildren’s eyes… sent His SON down from Heaven to become flesh so we might understand who He is. This is the journey we as believers are on is it not.. to be diligent seekers of going deeper to know, believe and have a relationship of who He is.  That is my heart’s desire as I grow older and learn more every day how much my life needs to be about this one true thing.

John 1

The Eternal Word

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it

This morning was an amazing one… the release to write this blog again came at long last. This morning the was full of joy as up alone taking in the dawn of day seeing the brightest star on the eastern horizon, the night slip into day with it seemed all of creation singing! Birdsong outside my window as little wrens, redbirds and yes even blackbirds rejoiced in the melting NC snow to dart in and out of less freezing weather.  My heart was full of worship and my spirit in awe of the answered miracles that I had awoke to find in email that the Lord had performed for the ministry He has called me to. ( that is another testimony and a blog to come ). So I took in the morning with song, a snuggly dog, warm blanket and an excellent cup of coffee and I celebrated the reality of being in a place where I could worship Him in abandon.  A blessing not to be taken for granted and my prayer is that me, my family and fellow believers stand for this privilege.  In retrospect, I celebrated this past year with it’s intensity, challenges and deep blessings. We lost two family members in 5 months ( both of Tony’s parents who died exactly on the same day 5 months apart. The difficulty of public persecution on a personal level as a ministry leader, the challenges that followed in rebuilding the ministry internally  with the finest team ever and  the sweetness of what resulted by the power of prayer, and the faith that develops stronger in such circumstances. I am thankful. Then there was my husband Tony’s knee injury and surgery inserted in the midst of our pending trip to Israel. This trip had been a life long dream which again by the grace of the Lord and prayer .. we went and while there learned our son Reed and his wife Erica are going to bless us with a grandchild to become our third.

Many of you who correspond with me regularly or who happen to be close friends and family know that it has been my desire to share all about the trip my husband Tony and I took to Israel.  Until this morning, I did not have the release, I was waiting on from the Lord to attempt to share what we saw, felt and understood by being there.. I pray with all my heart that all these riches still processing in my heart and mind can be put into words.

So beginning this first day of 2011, I am going to commit to do this till it is all chronicled as a life changing experience.

May God bless you richly this New Year and may we all occupy well as we long for His return.

Selah

Exploding watermelon, God’s the breaker.. a Word picture in everyday living

From watermelon.org

Okay– this is a variation of posts I have written but as the Lord has me on a Sabbath of sorts ( sick at home ) it is from this place that this morning He showed me some insights. Our loving Abba, I find has a great sense of humor at times when speaking to His beloveds ( me, you and all who seek His embrace ).

Yesterday was a “day” it seemed the enemy of our soul wanted to vex me at every turn. I really was feeling lousy from a undetermined summer bug. My need to just be and ‘rest” was thwarted by many things having to do with the ministry, that the Lord has me leading.

For example a wire transfer to pay a “communication” bill was sent to the wrong account because the vendor gave us the wrong account number.  Our bank got it back but because I was not in the office, a voice mail was left and alas..  I did not respond. Hence the result was that many of the communication functions for the ministry were going to go down. You see the vendor did not get their funds– a firm grip on the obvious but mind you, they were offended and cut us off. YIKES!

What to do now? Pay again to resend the next day and pray for favor with the vendor who ( thank you Lord ) agreed to put us back online before the wire was resent.  Incoming darts–shields up!
So– ( this was just the smallest thing that went south  just to give you a flavor )

So I after that little skirmish went into the kitchen to get some water and what do I see but the watermelon so lovingly purchased for my granddaughter to enjoy–had blown up– literally!!!!

Having  just bought this fine specimen on Saturday at Harris Teeter, it was not old but apparently “hidden” was overripe fruit. An island of sticky goo was making it’s way across my counter tops. So with the help of my son in law who had taken me earlier to the bank to sign papers ( too dizzy to drive and help assist with other pending issues ( wire transfer failure ) the birds and squirrels and maybe even the hordes of deer ( eating my roses, hydrangea and flowers up ) had an unexpected feast.  So not all wasted from this fruit!
Later, I discover  my usually clean counter tops are covered in dishes stacking up that are not of interest to me in my summer bug state– have a coating of watermelon slime– sticky city! The counters, tea maker, sugar bowl, all dishes on the counter, and the floor. This morning as I remedied the rest of the sticky mess via vinegar based cleanser– after my early morning devotionals–some insights began to form in my mind.

I started this blog with those in mind and meanwhile spent sometime in prayer with my friend in Christ, and mentor Shirley. As we were praying — the Lord revealed more and more the significance of this blow up.

The watermelon seemed to me — a harvest of sorts “bursting ” forth with a harvest of seeds. I have been laboring in prayer over the needs the ministry of Yahweh Center Children’s Village for the children– seeds being sown in the promise of a great harvest. Deep and fervent prayers and praise for the daily needs to be met.  Even more lovely in thinking this busting is that this watermelon was bought for a child.  My grandchild– a child of covenant.

Children of the world by Olsen

The Lord has been walking me through a different level of faith one where there is a newer growing revelation of Him as the substance –the evidence of things not seen is His Word. ” Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is  the substance of things hoped for the “evidence’ of things not yet seen ( emphasis mine )

Shirley brought to remembrance the scripture from

Matthew 6

Do Not Worry


25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

The Lord was reminding me that He was the breaker …that a whole fruit full of good seed had been given out to His creatures… the birds, the deer and the squirrels. That their daily bread had been supplied and in this ” Word ” picture,He is reminding me to see Him making all things new.. old wine-skins bursting because new wine– was coming. This watermelon was a metaphor for so many things in the spiritual realm — the Lord of the Harvest breaking through in His timing–suddenly!

God had me mindful of “watching ” to see what else He was doing.  Out my kitchen window were 3 deers– a full generation coming up to find substance. A doe, a “yearling” and a fawn.  Each eating from the tree of life for them out in the open in the “light” not at dusk or dawn but in the light of the sun.

Then this morning… early dawn when up praying for so many things and praising Him– out in the eastern sky the cloud pattern was of a dragon in an opening of sky being surrounded by 3 larger cloud images appearing as warriors. I cannot miss His message to me and to all of us..if we choose to see.

He is breaking forth with the fruit of our seeds,( faith ) providing our daily substance and in the light of His Son….. the covenant for generations is given grace and redemption. If we believe He is who He is, surrounding us with His heavenly host. Upholding His word from  Genesis to Revelation. Our loving Heavenly Abba, who by the power of His name is the defender of His children seeking us to see the spiritual is more real than the natural. Drawing us to a higher place in trusting Him.

I admit to being a learning candidate desperate for Him. This like watermelon is good for the heart.

Selah…

Let us learn to hear the Shepherd's voice, come and believe ~

Facedown… to see His glory….the awe of it..

I have been waiting for about 2 months now for the release in my spirit to release this post. Prayerfully and with my heart and spirit still full of it, I have been waiting… and tonight after replying to an email from my kindred friend and sister in Christ,  Charmaine ” Garden Girl” http://runningfrombabylon.blogspot.com/  and some discussion with my daughter Olivia Adair http://livadair.wordpress.com/ the breakthrough finally came to share this.  With all humility I hope to share in a way that gives God the glory … for it is HE who is the Good Shepherd.

For those who have been reading my blogs, you know  that I have been in a season of some persecution personally involving the ministry the Lord gave me a vision to develop and lead over 23 years ago which is Yahweh Center Children’s Village. http://www.yahwehcenter.org  Should I have expected this ?

Probably, as this ministry  is  about healing children and God’s name  is on this place ..  but I was blindsided. You see , I work on the concept of being a giver.  I am a mercy person and also one that believes in accountability for when folks agree to be part of ministry—- that it requires hard times and faith times and respect for authority.  My heart is for people and  when I share the Word of God it is for encouragement and edification . How do we grow without being nourished and fed by it? But then it is all about perspective of the life as believers.  This is the great purging of  the ” church” and who we are and who we are not in Christ.  The worst of us —the chaff being shifted from the wheat. The deep cuts of pruning. He seeks a vineyard with fruit and we cannot grow without the purging.. ouch!

The scripture of the Lord in the Bible is precious to me– not something that I use for “manipulation” but the enemy knows that is my heart.. so that particular accusation  deeply pierced my heart.  Oh, but wait.. that is the point is it not ?  By circumcise of our hearts we get His heart. These are hard lessons. I do not profess to be a “perfect leader” but I do try with all I know how to do to seek Him of how to lead.  He is developing the gifts of spirit and the fruits of the spirit in me and to develop my faith in a deeper way.

What breaks our hearts “breaks His too”. How other people view this is God’s business and it is not my battle. Meanwhile, this caused me to learn a lot about sedition and rebellion and witchcraft and what this all really means… for we do not wrestle with flesh and blood.  This thing was much deeper than I understood. See  Rick Renner at

http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/refuel-with-rick/20100718/

Learning hard …about the walk we agree to when we go with Him. We must decrease so He can increase. That part is what is the struggle and so our Shepherd leads and sometimes the sheep scatter with sheep in wolves clothing lingering about.  I can take the wolf out in the open but it is the “hidden” ones that blew me away. I am prayerfully working on seeking Him to be a wiser shepherdess.

Pushing all vulnerabilities to the side– yes I have been broken and  “face down” in this time.  It has been a time for me of deeper intimacy with the Lord–leaning not unto my own understanding ( working on that daily ) and the most troubled and blessed of moments of learning what this journey of being called to His purpose really means.   This has involved all kinds of things– a myriad of emotions and trying to hang on to Him when it seemed He could not hear me at all.  But I find that is the beauty of it… the place where when all is still and lonely .. . He is deeper still.

The enemy of our souls knows just where to go for our weak spots-– and also how to try to use accusation as a weapon of self doubt and to attempt to quench the only real hope we have… the relationship with Jesus and our faith in our Abba Father through the Word and the power of His name.  The strategy is to break our confidence and wear down our faith by using our faith and His WORD against us.  Doubt and whispering, the relentless murmuring.. the issue of the ages.  What I have learned is truly very simple ,so simple it is almost too hard to grasp. It is that when we are weak, He is strong and when the enemy comes in like a flood… He raises a standard against it.

Isaiah 59:19
So shall they fear The name of the LORD from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.

The details of all what went on are not even worthy of sharing– it is literally a narrow place  but a place that the Lord puts His children through to help us be a more worthy lamb for the Shepherd to lead.

Psalm 23: 5

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell[a] in the house of the LORD
Forever.

I know as He has told me when trying to understand it all; it is for me as a leader myself to get me ready for things that will be revealed to me and others as we grow in the fruits of the spirit in these last days.  My heart is so full of praise for  friends, intercessors, ministry supporters and amazingly people I don’t even know who prayed.  How can I ever thank you

Oh my the power of prayer… how can we even grasp the supernatural factors in prayer. Moments when the calm of the storm around me was like a warm blanket — I could feel it surrounding me– the united prayers and hearts of believers who cried out in prayer.   Prayer is a gift for those you are praying for … an offering.  I read and do my devotional time with

Kathleen Dillard of  ” Prayer Central ”

http://prayercentral.net/devotionals/in-his-name

Kathleen says it this way….

Jesus is the Rewarder. He answers prayer and brings blessings on our obedience. He is generous, and we can never out-give Him. Consider these Bible verses, and let your faith be strengthened.

Scripture:
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please [Him], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and [that] He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.”

Matthew 6:6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

Ephesians 6:7-8 “With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So now the reason for this post — to share how the Lord gave me in my dark moments a gift I cannot ever forget. He showed me His glory!!

One night right when all the hullabaloo of this “warfare” was at a fervor pitch from events from the day. I was down in my kitchen table just sobbing. It was late and my husband was in bed and I was so broken and literally crying out to the Lord, that I woke up my husband.  He came downstairs, troubled and to comfort me.

Unbeknown to me, my dear friend Shirley was praying for God to show me His glory.  The next day the prayers of so many were wrapping me moment to moment through unbelievable events coming in like a “flood”….

That evening when home about twilight– suddenly the light outside changed into a golden and crimsom  hue , I cannot adequately describe. Still cannot.

It was if the sky had turned to liquid gold… but not just the sky but the atmosphere. It was about 8:30 PM and it was as if someone turned the lights on– I got up from where I was reading and ran to look out front— the wonder of what I was seeing immediately had me on my knees in praise.  It seemed as if the heavens had opened and I truly thought maybe Jesus was coming..  and I worshipped!  Then I called to my husband to come see and he did but it seemed not so remarkable to him. To be very candid, it seemed like there was something strange that he was not seeing what I was. So I was praying Lord–what did I see?

I then got a phone call from my daughter, Olivia who had been out walking their dog  and she mentioned being outside and seeing the most incredible light and then coming in to put my granddaughter Eila to bed, she reported that Eila age 2 had said” mommy close the curtains, it is too bright, I don’t like it “.

So buoyed by our conversation– I keep seeking the Lord on it and He revealed it was His Shekinah glory. This lead me to a search which I found at this link…

http://www.hope-of-israel.org/glory.htm an excerpt from this is with bold emphasis mine

Throughout the Bible YEHOVAH God speaks of His desire for an intimate relationship with His people. The “Shekinah,” therefore, refers to the presence of YEHOVAH that was — but is not now — physically manifested in the time-space continuum. It could be seen. The presence was A VEHICLE OF THE PERSON OF YEHOVAH GOD IN THE THREE DIMENSIONAL WORLD. Solomon’s understanding that YEHOVAH cannot actually be limited to Temples on earth because of His eternal nature can be seen in I Kings 8:27 —

The writer goes on to share also the following:

Whenever that presence was physically manifested, it was frightening to those who experienced it:

When Moses had ascended the mountain, the cloud covered the mountain. The PRESENCE OF THE LORD [“Cavod YHVH”] abode [“shakan”] on Mount Sinai, and the cloud hid it for six days. On the seventh day He called to Moses from the midst of the cloud. Now the PRESENCE OF THE LORD [“Cavod YHVH”] appeared in the sight of the Israelites as a consuming fire on the top of the mountain. — Exodus 24:15-17.

Writes Fred P. Miller: “Earlier, the seventy elders had gone up into the cloud and actually saw the “Shekinah” glory, and they were so afraid they asked Moses never to take them again. As far as they were concerned, they saw God! You can only imagine their hair on end and their wide-eyed appearance as they came down from the mountain exclaiming ‘We saw God! It was terrible!'” (Zechariah and Jewish Renewal).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The frightening of seeing the glory of the Lord helped me understand why Eila was “afraid and didn’t like it.  Putting this all together had me ” facedown” the awe of what I had been privileged to see… too precious to formulate. And even more a playing out of a covenant…. think of this my daughter and granddaughter saw it. Not my husband nor her husband but the 3 of us.She is my offspring and Eila the first of a direct generation…

And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
Genesis 17:6-8


Lessons in the heart.. ” You are for Me”

Here I am in the last moments of the day up here  in my “quiet place ” tending to my emotional wounds of the day and well yeah, frankly feeling lonely, misunderstood and having the proverbial pity party. Maybe I have good reason for this foray into this emotional indulgence but when I took it up a level to include the Lord in my concerns, teardrops turned into prayers.

One of my favorite quotes is the following:

You can draw near to God even though you cannot say a word. A prayer may be crystallised in a tear. A tear is enough water to float a desire to God.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon

Amazing how God reminds us in those bare and broken of spirit moments in life just how much He understands our feelings. After all His Son was sent here to earth  experiencing in the flesh the range of emotions. What a lesson He is teaching me about the “cup of His suffering ” … my minor earthly glimpse that has overwhelmed me. How much His heart had to have been broken by those who would so dismiss, mock, despise the Lord our God.. the Master and Architect of the Universe.
Boy… does that give some perspective to what He wants us to understand about walking with Him and yet He did the amazing thing.. He loved, and forgave and understood giving himself totally over to the will of His Father.

I confess to not being in the most loving spirit as I remembered the day and some of the thoughtlessness that was encountered in real life living that deeply hurt my feelings.  Invisible my feelings to others it seemed..

So in my little office  looking out at the night as it falls and having the blessing of iTunes and all of my favorite music before me I opened up my email. My emails  came flooding in which included some amazing teachings from folks who are fervent believers and seekers of Jesus  as well as notes from friends brothers and sisters in Christ. Many of whom, I have never met but have a deep fellowship with in the Holy Spirit and the trust, kindred spirit that has developed over the years . Likely some of you reading this post are in that group and others understand exactly what I am speaking of.

In my perusal of my emails,   I was  seeing the prayer requests of some in very deep need.  So with my “sufferings’ placed aside for reaching out-– the supernatural effort of encouraging others lifted my spirits.

Soon a change happened in me .

By listening to songs of worship, praise  and the effort to look up scripture for those I am praying for and with… some are members of my family who mean so much to me and are a blessing daily in my life–others whom I have not met but in “spirit” and sharing … He worked  on my heart.  His loving presence exchanged the place of “self” which regardless of what our  cultural  feel good “Church” is teaching is not what Jesus taught at all.  He taught that we must decrease so He might increase..

Chip Brogden teaches amazingly on this in “The School of Christ http://www.TheSchoolOfChrist.org  in this article

http://theschoolofchrist.org/articles/he-must-increase.html

He .. Jesus , Yeshua HaMashchiah , knew all the range of emotions and yet He took the full cup of suffering.  Truly I don’t want to  drink from it.. willingly but in His love and example He supernaturally imparts Himself into our hearts.
He is for me , for us.. the fruits of the spirit waiting for us to pick them up and develop deep roots in my ( our ) hearts. Roots deep enough to feed faith and wrapped in the daily fertile soil of His word and continual prayer.

So as I pray tonight for those who need it (including me ) … He uplifts my soul and whispers to me… that He knows..

Psalm 119:25-48

25 My soul clings to the dust;
give me life according to your word!
26 When I told of my ways, you answered me;
teach me your statutes!
27 Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works.
28 My soul melts away for sorrow;
strengthen me according to your word!
29 Put false ways far from me
and graciously teach me your law!
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
31 I cling to your testimonies, O Lord;
let me not be put to shame!
32 I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart! [1]

From Daily Light….

The chief Shepherd.—“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. . . . My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.—“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”—“I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.”—For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Heb. 13:20; 1 Pet. 5:4; John 10:14, 27, 28; Ps. 23:1-3; Isa. 53:6; John 10:11; Ezek. 34:16; 1 Pet. 2:25

Selah and blessings on the journey….

Better than a Halleujah…the melodies of life part 3

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The trip to Indiana and our return back to North Carolina will be forever seared in my memory.  Actually the choice of the song theme for this post comes from the heartache which was to yet come. Still coming to terms with all that transpired, the amazing love of our Lord, His awesome power is the real message in the melodies of life that became as real as breathing. How little did we know the demand to catch that breath as the day unfolded…

My husband and I forged a plan of how we were going to manage the zany back time travel to NC.  The great “deal” for the airline tickets came at the less than optimal time to fly.. of course all of this depends on your point of view.  My family’s home is 95 miles or so from Indianapolis where we needed to be on board at 5:30 AM.  It did not make sense to go up and stay in a hotel near the airport as we would need to still get up so early in order to check the rental car, and get our selves checked in an hour ahead of time. So we decided to get up at 1:30 AM with the car already packed except for our carry on things and hit the road north to the airport.
Right when my husband had risen because of his alarm , he was in the other room when his phone vibrated with a missed call.  Getting calls at 1:30 AM is not the norm, so my  husband was startled to see that his youngest brother had called to let him know that his mother, Verda had been taken to ICU and that all the family had been alerted. Verda, as you may recall in my other posts is using only 10 percent of her heart and has to go each Monday for treatments at the closest hospital.

We knew the Doc had told her that she did not have much more time but then amazingly a new experimental procedure was available at Charleston, SC at the Medical School.  There was a glimmer of hope for her, and for my father in law, Jim; their marriage spanning 61 years.

So we were on alert not yet quite understanding what was yet to come.

How amazing that our wake up call by the alarm on the phone to leave for a flight would come at the same time of a family emergency. We got in the rental car and drove through the cool night meandering through sleepy towns all the way to Indianapolis. Towns, I had passed through frequently while in college at Purdue University on my way up and back.  Sweet little towns like “Beehunter”, Freedom and Spencer, where one of the remaining covered bridges still holds court. Memories of these towns brought back so many memories of songs that were popular when in college.. the melodies of life. Signs everywhere letting travelers know that in Indiana the Tea Party was alive and well as was the independent spirit for freedom, Constitution and faith, Christian faith…

We made each connecting road perfectly along with the right exit to the rental car drop off and once in the airport with very little time to spare, the US Air counter already full of travelers waiting to make their way.  Having slept little we were in need of some coffee but no time till we could get closer to the gates.  The whole time, I felt a consuming need to apply the blood of Jesus to ourselves, family and for the flight crews and passengers.  Praying and glad to be heading home.

Watching the people in the airport– seeing people who seemed happy, people who seemed sad and seeing the faces of reunion and all the unknowns played out in this melody of life which included the robotic voice talking on the speaker systems telling all to not leave packages unattended, and to realize the rules as per Federal regulation.  Wondering and praying over the people passing by. Surreal this exhausting trip long gone  the little farm towns and landscape changing by the minute once airborne.

Once on board, we were looking forward to being back in Wilmington by 9 AM and at our house and our own beds.  Our little dog Quigley had been in the watch care of our son’s childhood friend; who had kindly house sat for us and watered my new spring flowers and got the mail. We spoke with David earlier letting him know we were back in town and it was okay to leave. He had shared that Quigley was okay but sad, missing us terribly and would lay whining at times for us.   So when we pulled up– he was face at the window with his favorite toy in his mouth dropped for joyous barking at our return.

We decided to quickly unpack as we had washed all our clothes before leaving and then settle into our recliners

and just relax. Quigley jumped up in my lap back and forth from my husband to me and contended after much ear stroking. We had been checking with all the family’s cell phones in SC and could not get an answer. Then upon calling the ICU were connected to Aunt Rita and told to come quickly.  Truly startled and home less than 30 minutes with the understanding that we had a 3 hour drive, we threw things into the suitcases we had just unpacked. Our little dog overwhelmed with seeing us do this– the high anxiety of my husband’s fatigue and fear of not making it in time to see his mother alive… had us in a foggy frenzy.

We were in the car, calling back David our wonderful housesitter who said he could come back that night.  Then on the phone with our daughter, and trying to connect with our son and others who needed to know.  Our prayer in the car, please Oh God, please grant us favor to see Verda alive.. praying for healing, praying and praying.  Suddenly so thankful for those crazy early flight times so that we would get this news while on the ground and able to take control of car travel. Oh Thank you GOD!

My husband’s face etched with the trauma of it all… my feeling sadly guilty that he had worked so hard all week and that my parents needs had taken him so far from his mother.   The time seemed endless and we kept praise and worship music on for the power of it.  My staying awake, vigilant for my husband whose fatigue was so obvious.

We got to the hospital and raced up to ICU only to find a waiting room full of family. Beloved maternal and paternal  aunts, uncles, two brothers and an array of cousins.  The situation spoke for itself and we were greeted by the rock of the family, my  husband’s aunt Rita, a retired missionary from years in Brazil, Guiana, Trinidad but not ever truly retired as she is ever a servant for the Lord. A community sub-stainer of salt, light and strength. She is a very dear sister in law …more a sister to Verda.    She is my husband’s father’s  sister  There stood  his uncle Arnold also the support and encourager to the family.  Another aunt, Verda’s sister who married his father’s brother who has since died–  there are double cousins and strong family ties.

All who love Verda.

It hit us clearly she was possibly dying. Prayers floated up — prayer for the will of God, prayers for a miracle, prayer for Jim whose heart was breaking.  Close family allowed in.. the sons, wives, Jim and with wisdom efforts by the nurses in ICU and others urging to keep so many out of the room.

Verda there trying to hold on.. cold to the touch as her organs were shutting down.  His mom hearing my dear husband say he loved her and hearing her say she loved him too and my being able to pray over her and with her. Telling her that our children wanted her to know how much they loved her. Her on 8 percent of her heartworking able to say, I love them too…
Thankful and utterly overwhelmed that he was able to see her still alive, my husband stroking his mother’s face and hair. His Dad weeping in his wheelchair with oxygen attached, which is his routine now.  Watching this play out in disbelief. The hope in prayers reflecting one of my favorite quotes:

“You can draw near to God even though you cannot say a word. A prayer may be crystallised in a tear. A tear is enough water to float a desire to God.”

– Charles H. Spurgeon

Hope being intermingled with sobs and the spoken out loud acceptance by some that nothing could be done.  Our request that no negative be spoken in the room but the word of God.  This very painful melody of life…  yet the way the Lord had gone before this .  A favorite sister in law of Verda’s who is a widow many years now losing her husband, Verda’s brother  many years ago— already coming from Atlanta, a planned trip to see  her before her health had taken such critical downturn.
Their arrival a sweet reunion and the timing with Verda’s rallying a bit, and her able to recognize and speak to them. The many conversations in the waiting room, the bravery of Jim ( James Olin ) to try not to dip into despair.

The day passing on — the waiting and finally the agreement for us to leave, so she can sleep and the plan to return early in the morning.  The drive to the house and walking in to it — Verda’s roses the Queen Elizabeth’s pink in full glory, more radiant than I had ever recalled seeing. The essence of her everywhere.  Rita, tired, managing emotions too being strong and making sure all had a place to sleep. Tony and I staying with my father in law.  Hoping he can sleep– he is utterly exhausted. The concern that the oldest brother is still traveling from Missouri and a long way to come.  Praying for him to be safe and to get there in time….

The prayers of my husband — quietly upward in fervency as hard as he can..

We are so tired we go to bed going to shower in the morning early. I cannot sleep mid night needing to use my air-card with my laptop so I can use my daily devotionals. I am hungry for this time with God, needing my daily 4th watch time with Him…

My computer “suddenly ” having a screen that is flipped so that you  have to pick it up like a book to read it… Not being able to do anything to fix this and feeling so frustrated. It was a form of spiritual warfare– I needed my Bible time and teaching.  Back to bed.The next morning very sleepy and not getting up as early as normal for me.  My husband already showered and my attempting to do that, but helping to put out breakfast for Jim.  My husband cooking eggs and all of us — joined in this ritual of family around the table , so odd she is not there.  Then the phone rings and we are told to come right now!!!

My father in law in a virtual panic, with air hoses flying heading out the door, my husband getting the van with the wheelchair lift ready. My rushing to pull on clothes wishing so much, I had taken the shower the night before. Not important now but what is… stopping to hand pull some of those roses blooming with a vase from the porch as I go by– just in case Verda is awake enough to enjoy them.

Knowing I had a vision of her while praying holding her little boy Myron who had died in her arms at age two from Leukemia.  Knowing but hoping…

Tony’s ( my husband)  brother and wife along with Rita all rushing to get to the hospital about a half- hour away. Tony going on ahead with his Dad and my following behind his brother. Prayers and prayers while driving and trying so hard to find a Christian station while looking  for one– a song from long ago comes on ” The Mother and Child Reunion by Paul Simon. I am listening to this song remembering the vision of Verda with Myron while praying thinking how remarkable this song would be on now…

Mother and Child Reunion

Words & music by Paul Simon

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a motion away, oh, little darling of mine.
I can’t for the life of me
Remember a sadder day
I know they say let it be
But it just don’t work out that way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again

No I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
But the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a motion away, oh, little darling of mine.

I just can’t believe it’s so,
and though it seems strange to say
I never been laid so low
In such a mysterious way
And the course of a lifetime runs
Over and over again

But I would not give you false hope
On this strange and mournful day
When the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a motion away,
Oh, oh the mother and child reunion
Is only a motion away
Oh the mother and child reu-nion
Is only a moment away

The day was glorious — picture perfect with no humidity and the streets of Camden SC dressed in spring finery, birds singing the melody of life…

Arriving at the hospital a full parking lot– then praying for a space, getting one and all us moving fast- my father in law and Tony already inside. Seeing the nurses in ICU looking at the roses in my hand looking kindly at me when I ask if I can use their sink to fill the vase with flowers.. they exchange glances.

Stepping into the room and realizing she has already died and my husband and James did not make it in time by 2 minutes..  my seeing my husband and his brother in tears, my dropping to my knees and holding my father in law’s hand while he is saying he cannot make it without her.  He is so fragile, looking at me saying,” what am I going to do “… my praying with him and saying you will make it only with Jesus then seeing my husband who needed me..

Her passing on April 27th at 8:30 AM to the arms of Jesus walking the streets of Heaven. The mother and child reunion only a motion away.

The love, tears and shock of a waiting room of multi generations.  Our own children who were on their way to tell their grandmother goodbye.. getting the news and realizing they needed to turn back home, with their children , her great grandchildren with Asher never have met her. Our last shot of her with Olivia ( daughter ) holding Eila ( great granddaughter ) and Erica ( daughter in law ) and me with them and Verda. This was taken on Christmas Eve for their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 2008.

The rest a blur — the sadness, the reality, the emotions of the ICU staff who loved her too. The sister breaking down.  The young Pastor who was did not know Verda but had been asked by her brother to come in and pray with the family.

The final goodbyes in her room and James not wanting to see her like that again, but waiting to leave.  Going back to the house, where he says ” Oh my girl , you are everywhere.”  Comfort and pain rolled into the range of emotions…

Food, family, decisions, funeral plans  the ebb and flow. The missing brother who will find out when he calls his wife to check in. He does not have a cell phone and has physical challenges driving and driving.  We later learn that he was driving about 10:30AM the morning she died and suddenly he hears music and is puzzled as he does not have a radio on. Then pulls over shuts off the engine and hears music “singing ” for a few minutes.  This brother saying it had to be angels.. and I like to believe in my spirit that Verda was among them comforting her son … the melodies of life.

My husband and I decide that we will go home to get our clothes and he will come back in the morning and I will stay at home for a day, and follow on the morning of the funeral with our children and grandchildren.

We leave Kershaw, SC to go back to Wilmington. Tired, sad and when almost to the Cape Fear River bridge.. we both see it at the same time– eyes in the sky. I try to take a picture but it is gone. Then we turn on Christian Radio and hear this haunting melody “Better than a Hallelujah ”  and we both are captivated by it  A love touch of grace, mercy and compassion all in a series of events.  As we grow closer to Wilmington we see the burst of great light the prism of a bright colored rainbow just behind the clouds.  He is showing His covenant with us and for us…

Arriving at our house to our waiting children who have dinner ready, our happy dog, loving grandchildren and the news that there were triple rainbows out in the front of our house which were captured by camera. One brighter than another… His love coming down..

Then our daughter writing a beautiful tribute to her grandmother called of  ” Songs and Shells” at her site ” A Work in Progress “http://livadair.wordpress.com/

Upon reading it that next morning and calling my husband to alert him, I was forwarding it and perhaps they would want to consider it as part of the funeral. Later our lovely Olivia reads it after Rita does a wonderful eulogy reminding us of what we already knew. What a special woman Verda was.  While reading, the very personal memories, the sharing touching the other granddaughters and it hits their emotional core and the tears are flowing. Her memories echo theirs too…  A video played  of family during the visitation. Oh how we remembered.

We then gather this family that Verda has left behind, this amazing legacy on earth of her life as a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, great grandmother, role model .  She had 5 boys, now one she is reunited with and the the ones remaining giving her and James 13 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren.
The family eating together afterward at the house  of Rita  where there is food and more food shared by 4 generations.  Our granddaughter Eila grace playing with another little girl Ella who matches her in age and verbal skills both being held at one point by their ” Papa’s ” my husband and his cousin who is a double cousin and whom both look so much alike..

The swapping of stories, recipes,  among the low hum of the best of family conversation in the worst of circumstance while gallons of ice tea and the love offering of the ladies of Buffalo Baptist Church in food graces the tables put up where space allows.
We see her everywhere. This amazing lady — Verda in the faces of those left behind, my husband, my family …. the melody of life.. knowing she is saving a place for us . The fleeting smell  of her roses drifting across the street and across our memories…  the melodies of life.

We will miss you …

Psalm 139

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot attain it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with You.

19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!
Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men.
20 For they speak against You wickedly;
Your enemies take Your name in vain.[c]
21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
24 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting
.