It’s been awhile since I’ve published one of our IWG Journals, but I’m feeling compelled by the Holy Spirit that now is a pertinent time to do so with so many seismic shifts going on all around us in various ways. Do you feel it? I’m not sure I’ll be able to pin-point it exactly, but I do know this: something is imminent and of great magnitude that’s shifting things on the face of the earth. I’m not predicting the Lord’s Second Coming, but we do know that at some point in the earth’s history that will indeed happen and of course, every day brings us a bit closer.
I think one of things noted significantly in my spirit was an article I just read this week. I will be very careful to try to state the story without a lot of details. But I was aghast as I read about a couple living together for a number of years—without the sacred sacrament of marriage—and who wrote a ‘Christian book’ about raising kids…etc, etc. How far have we moved from righteousness?! Are we walking the walk of Jesus and His holiness and righteousness, or have we shifted to the more popular worldly ways that do not adhere to the purity of the Gospel?
I was shocked to hear on the Rush Limbaugh show recently that the Pope has declared there is no hell. Unbelievable! I thought I couldn’t be hearing this correctly. So I listened for awhile and it was true. I’m still stunned, and even as I write this, there was a cartoon in the paper today showing the Pope sitting in his Papal chair holding a sign that says, “No hell.” And then it shows a priest before him holding a sign that says, “Hell no!” Has the pope never read the Bible?! Read More
At the beginning of this year, I felt I was to take a break from writing these monthly IWG Journals that I’ve been doing since my ordination 17 years ago. However, June is my birthday month, and I felt led to write one this month.
June of course, denotes the half way point of the year, so it’s time to take stock of what has already unfolded and be excited for what the rest of the year holds!
One of the most fascinating things about this first summer month is the emergence of the lightning bugs or fireflies. I always feel like a little kid with a giggle in my heart when I see these delightful little insects appearing all over our back yard with their glowing bodies. Our God is so creative! These little creatures go about in the dark blinking their little lights showing off their special gifting. It has reminded me again of the special gifting each of us has, if we would walk in it. God has been very creative with each one of us and it is wise to walk under His divine direction to bring Him all the glory for the unique person He’s created us to be. Read More
Each year when we dig through all the boxes of Christmas decorations, we always have fun looking at all the ornaments we’ve had through the years, recalling fond memories of lots of them given as gifts. There are of course, those very special ones handmade from our kids, grandkids, family or friends or the places from some of our travels. There’s so much fun and laughter recalling these happy memories, just as the photo above shows! That’s Mike and I with our oldest grandson 12 years ago. Oh, doesn’t time seem to fly by so quickly?!
All this has me thinking about something that was on my mind recently as I was trying to fall asleep one night. What came to me was that the best Christmas ornament we could really ever have is to ‘put on’ the Lord Jesus. What are we wearing before the world? What do they see in us? Is there anything in us that would draw the unsaved to us? Is there anything in us that would attract them to ‘Christ the Lord’ as the Christmas song says during this holy and awesome season?
The Word of God tells us in so many places what we ought to ‘put on.’ Read More
This is always a significant month for my husband and I as we celebrate our wedding anniversary. We were married in a simple ceremony in his parent’s home and it was the holiday season of Thanksgiving, so it was all quite cozy and wonderful. Lots of feasting and celebrating!
Feasting has always been part of most weddings. It’s significant that Jesus graced us with His first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. How wonderful! In the Gospel of John, chapter 2, it says in verse 3 that they ran out of wine and the mother of our Lord comes to Jesus to ask what He might do to correct this situation. Abstaining from wine is quite alright if that’s your belief, [this Journal is not about this issue], but scripturally speaking, Jesus Himself drank wine as it was a Jewish custom. Nevertheless, as is the ways of the world, they are always critical of the things of God. This is exactly what is stated in Luke 7:33-35 (also in Matt. 11:18-19) which says, “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, He has a demon!’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” The world will always be critical of your relationship with Jesus. Humans have a tendency to take a good thing and make it a bad thing. That’s why we need the Lord!
Going back to the dilemma of John 2, Jesus so wonderfully granted the request of His mother by changing 6 huge water pots (30 gallons each) into wine, and the headwaiter is astounded not only by the amount but of its superb quality saying to the bridegroom in verse 10, “you have kept the best for last!” Read More
So as the sun sets on each day, how is it with your soul? Have you been fixated on yourself, or on the Lord? Most certainly we must be about our earthly business in various ways, but it’s extremely important that we follow in the footprints of Jesus. He says in Luke 2:49, “I must be about My Father’s business.” We can do no less. We’re not called to self-indulgence, as so much of the world is preoccupied with, but to be diligent to His mighty Word in prayer and action. Therein is the comfort and the power for each day’s ‘stuff,’ no matter what that may entail. Cling to His Word in the Holy Scriptures. Devour it daily in increments of 5 minutes or 5 hours, whatever your schedule allows. But if we eat earthly food every day, how much more do we need to eat of His holy Words? Without His Living Breath, His Word, dwelling within us, we can become a wreck all too soon in so many ways. Most of us ‘have been there, done that,’ knowing all too well that we just can’t make it on our own in these trials of life. We need He who is larger than life. We need He who is our all-in-all as Colossians 3:11d tells us.
Having been in the battle of my life fighting pancreatic cancer for over two years, I have to say, I’ve been learning these things in a deeper and more profound way than ever before. It’s been a precarious journey with ups and downs. Sound familiar? Has your life been a seesaw of sorts? How does one stay stable? I don’t have all the answers, but one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that the Lord is my daily, hourly and oftentimes, my minute by minute keeper! And He’ll be that for you too! Read More
As often as I’ve been writing these IWG Journals, about 16 years now, I haven’t written too much about our endeared hermitages. As you can see from the photo above, for ‘first timers,’ they are delighted to see how quaint and wonderful these little one-room cabins really are. Let me be clear, they are not an entity of our ministry, but one that I found years ago that suited ever so perfectly my desire to be alone with the Lord for an extended period of time. I did find a place years ago that was 11 hours from our home here in Iowa. Talk about being desperate! It was a long drive to be sure, but one that I hold very near and dear to my heart. In the picture above, this is a similar place much closer to us, about a 4 hour drive. And believe me, it’s worth the drive! I’ve been leading women into this unusual and profound experience for over 25 years; my husband has taken the men from time to time as well.
In our Christian walk, it is imperative that we spend time alone with the Lord, reading His Word and communing with Him in prayer. Every believer ought to have that ‘alone time’ with the Divine Lover of their soul at the start of each day if possible. Of course, some schedules are not conducive to that time of day, but it certainly is imperative to have our daily times of fellowship with our Savior. A heart that’s on fire for Him really cannot stay away from Him and seeks His Presence in ever deepening ways. A hermitage will take you above and beyond that!
I can’t think of any better company than that of the Savior of my soul to bask in His Presence hour after hour in uninterrupted peace, quiet, joy, strength and glory! Being alone by yourself in your own private little one-room cabin, affords you the time to soak as long as you want. The daily rush of life is set aside for a few days, and it does indeed take awhile to get used to having quantity and quality time alone with the Lord. Many whom I’ve led into these experiences find they don’t quite know what to do with themselves for the first few hours or so. But after awhile, the often quoted scripture of Psalm 46:10 begins to take hold of their souls: “Be still and know that I am God.” Then, they can hardly get enough! Read More
Man, could I ever be stressed! Just when I think I’m getting a handle on something, it seems like everything goes haywire! Have you ever been there? I’m sure every one of us has. It’s certainly not fun and you try to figure out what went wrong. Some things that go awry for no apparent reason are just part of life and we simply need to learn to glean from these experiences instead of letting them take us down with a bad disposition. Who wants to be around someone who’s whining and complaining all the time?!
It’s all about perspective and attitude, and most importantly, our walk and relationship with the Lord. What we really need to do in times like that is to learn from the bad experiences and move onward and upward into new heights of revelation, insight and victory, not of our own initiative, but by depending totally on the Lord Jesus to walk us through the storms. Quite frankly, a lot of these testings and trials of life oftentimes lead us into something that we might not otherwise have experienced and thus grow in maturity. Yes and Amen!
And that’s exactly what has happened to me in my fight against cancer. I’ve learned not to be disappointed that I have to go through this, but rather — to be anointed ‘for a time such as this.’ In other words, how can I turn this into a positive? Life can be very hard at times, but we can take any adverse situation in our lives to the feet of the Lord, deposit them there, and watch how wonderfully He redeems it! Just as the old song says, there IS power, wonder working power, in the precious blood of the Lamb of God. Revelation 12:11 declares: “They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.” [My emphasis] So what we say, we get. Our words form our world. Are we whining or winning? Read More
Standing very close to someone, you can sometimes discover whether they practice good hygiene, or not; good breath or bad.Whether you’re in a crowded place like an elevator or meeting room, or someone standing close to you praying; you could be distracted because of these things. It’s not a particularly pleasant encounter, but it does happen on occasion. This month I want to share with you something that has captivated my walk with the Lord for many years. It’s the exhilarating closeness of God that we can experience through the encountering of His divine, holy breath upon our face! It’s so refreshing, powerful, encouraging, strengthening, and something of which we are all called to — to know an ever growing, ever deepening spiritual intimacy with God.
Have you ever considered what it might be like to encounter the Presence of God to such a degree that you feel His divine, holy, powerful Breath (or wind/soft breeze) upon your face? Wonderfully, there are different scriptures in God’s Word that speak of this very thing.
Let’s start with the first book of the Bible where we see how the Lord God Almighty after forming the man out of the dust of the ground, “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.” [Gen. 2:7] Right from the start, humanity was created to know the breath/life/breeze/power of God’s divine, holy breath. Man was created for very close relationship with God. It’s almost like a spiritual kiss or CPR — breath and life! Read More