If You Only Had A Few Minutes To Live

For additional information on Salvation please follow link https://thejoyfulchristianministry.com/2017/01/26/prayer-of-salvation/

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God Sees You

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For years, I prayed the same prayer, yet it seemed to go unanswered.  Until now, but now it will go on without me.

As I laid my head to rest one night after yet another exhausting, discouraging day. I had been asked to do something, I desired to do for along time, but it is something that will require great sacrifice and fear.  Something, I will probably not even see the end result.  Causing me to ask the questions: “Do You see me, Lord? Do You even hear what I’m saying? Do you know how hard this is? Do You know what’s happening? Do you know what I am about to do?  Are you directing me Lord?” Then moments later, I felt a desire to read the story of Hagar.

13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[a] the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi[b]; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. Genesis 16:13-14

This surprised me because, as my ex-husband filed for divorce he said to me “Like Hagar, the Lord has taken you out of our marriage, for my ministry.”  Although, I knew this was not biblical, it still hurt and made me feel ashamed……until recently.  As, I was reading and meditating on the word, The Lord lead me to this passage.  Immediately, it released a flood of emotion in me.  I realized, the Lord was speaking to me about my present situation.

Hagar was forsaken by the very one who forced her into her circumstances.  She found herself alone in the wilderness, and yet God saw her, God noticed her.  An angel of God called to Hagar and said to her, “What’s the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” God then opened Hagar’s eyes “and she saw a well of water.That is why she named the well “the living one that sees me”

Here we see a beautiful example of the Lord’s heart towards Hagar.  I am so thankful for her example, where before I felt shame. There have been so many times, I have felt like her. Feeling forgotten, invisible, abandoned and wanting to hide from people and the circumstances that I have found myself in.  Just as she was forsaken by the very person who forced her into her situation, and found herself alone in the wilderness, after my divorce, I felt the same.

God wanted me to know this; “I see you, I have noticed you and all that you have been through, I am with you always.” Just as Hagar named that well “the Living One who sees me” this is confirmation that the Lord see’s our pain, and our sorrow.  The Lord had given me a message of hope in the hurtful words my husband had spoken.   Being put in this situation by his abuse, at no fault of my own.  I found myself alone in the wilderness of life, just like Hagar.  I was forsaken, invisible and hurt by a man, I loved for 20 years.

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Genesis 50:20

My heart was touched at the thought of hearing from my heavenly Father in such a sweet and gentle way. In the midst of running the universe, God saw fit to remind me that just because I didn’t yet know how He was at work in this present situation, it didn’t mean He didn’t know exactly what was happening. And that He alone was in control.

But, I can tell you this, there’s no greater joy than seeing throughout Scripture that the Lord deeply cares about what we’re going through. Hope and peace can be ours when we believe that in God’s timing and in His ways, He will answer.

This late-night encounter with God helped me refocus on my faith and remember that I can trust him fully, no matter how He desires to answer my prayer.  As difficult as your current storm may be, you are not alone. God is with you always. He loves you, and cares about what is going on in your life. He hears your cries and sees your pain. Moreover, He understands.  God is there … loving you beyond understanding, holding you up, and making a way where it seems there is no way. Reach out for Him today. He is a very present help in times of trouble

You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears. Psalm 56:8

The Lord was faithful to me, I desperately, needed to know, in whatever small way, that he sees me.  That He knew what I was going through.  That He sees me as I wrestle with my own shame and inadequacies.   I needed to know that He was acquainted with my weakness, fear and grief.  And he met me right when I needed Him most.  Hallelujah, He is a good and faithful Father.

What about you?  Are you weary? Are you like Hagar alone, frightened and with no hope?  Remember Hagar, a woman loved by God, whose child was cared for, a woman who had not escaped the notice of a loving God. And either will you!

Always Remember “the God who sees.”  Because, you can take comfort in knowing, You have a “God who sees” as well.

Lord, help me remember You not only know what is happening in my life, but You have a plan. Fill me with peace and the ability to trust You as I wait. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;” Psalm 34:15 

Suffering The Loss Of A Child

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As, I pleaded for the life of my son, and felt his body turn cold in my arms. I watched the life leave his eyes. My child.  Was Gone.

At the time, my mind could not make sense of this trauma. I have already lost so much. I just have to walk through it. This is just the way it is.

And so, it takes time. Lots of time.

At the time, I could not pray, but I could believe. I could not pray like I used to, but I could hold onto hope. I knew deep down that my roots go deep.  There was so much comfort in knowing my faith was strong.  “You don’t really know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”  This realization changes you!  It gives you a peace  knowing you have faced the worst and your faith not only survived but grew.

My dreams and my innocence were robbed from me that day. My hopes were completely and utterly struck down. My son was born and we watched him slowly lose his ability to live. I sat at his hospital bed, traumatized, helpless. He came close to death too many times. We fought and fought and in the end we lost. I surrendered him to the Lord, knowing he loved him more than me.  I realized it was not my fault. It was not God’s fault or his will. It is just a part of life, but it hurts.  A lot!

I was stunned that the story of my precious son unfolded this way.

When Casey was diagnosed, I saw the battle before us, I was weak and exasperated. But I prayed for Casey and leaned into my faith. But then, after his passing, I was anchored. I forged through. Both feet on the ground. Eyes on the prize. Until…until I felt the very God I was praying to, sit down beside me. I saw Jesus sitting with me holding me.

His death changed me. Everything froze. Time stood still.  It was like a slow motion movie, but it was my life.

One cannot speak into this unless they have walked this path. This territory is set before a few, and even then, they can only act as guides.

Today, I believe my words and my prayers carry weight and an authority. I believe in walking alongside others in grief, even as I myself grieve. I believe in giving a piece of my heart to others.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

God has not promised us an easy life. Far from it! He has promised His children that he will be with us through ALL those trials. Jesus meets us in the middle of the storm to build our faith and to teach us to worship Him in truth and spirit.  I can attest to this!

Suffering produces a reliance on God in the heart of the faithful. Suffering pushes others further from the Lord when their souls are unfaithful and bitter. In essence, tough times separate the wheat from the chaff. As we grow spiritually, God begins to show us His power and comfort as we go through the rough spots in life.

I have survived, and I am living life. I choose joy, I laugh, smile and act silly. I enjoy my family and friends, and I dance in my kitchen to music that is way too loud. As, his brother and sisters are starting there own families, I also cry, mourn the milestones he misses, I still miss my son and long for eternity when we will meet again.

 

 

 

 

A Letter To The man I Once Loved

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 My mistake was making you a priority, when I was your second choice.
Divorce isn’t something any woman wants, nor is it desired. As women, we long for intimacy. From a young age we dreamed of our wedding and what our husband would be like. How happy we would be. We desire to be loved, to be treasured, to have our hearts protected, and never harmed.
I remember when you asked me to marry you, the excitement and newness everything felt to me. I loved having someone open doors for me, the feeling of butterflies in my stomach, and having a smile that never seemed to disappear. You made me feel like I was on cloud nine and no one could take me off.

When I first met you, you were such a sweet person, extremely funny and charming. I could not find a single bad quality about you. The love and concern you showed for me made me feel over the moon, I had never felt so secure in my life. When you told me I was the love of your life, I believed you.  When you told me I owned every piece of your heart, I believed you.  When you told me That when I ministered to you after your breakdown and hospitalization, “No one has ever been there for me like you have, I will forever be in your debt” I believed you.  When you told me you thought I was beautiful, I  believed you.  When you told me you would love me forever, I believed you.  When you told me the Lord spoke to you, to marry me, I believed you.  Then we got married!  Dr. Jekyll became Mr. Hyde.  I didn’t believe you anymore.  But I guess the horrible treatment I received after we married made me forget all of the loving things you said.… I think you are just a better friend then you are a husband and step-father.  I just cannot for the life of me figure out why?  I just hope and pray, that you never hurt a women again, like you hurt me.

I remember thinking, this is the man I’m going to spend forever with. The one who will be my best friend forever. But then things started to change, your feelings started to change, you started to change in an angry controlling way. Everything that I expected and wanted, didn’t work out the way I planned and I was left confused as to why and in pain. (Matt 11:28-30)  28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

On the outside we looked like a loving couple, especially in our Christian circles. You appeared spiritually mature. You prayed eloquent prayers, participated in deep theological discussions, and often referenced Scripture to support your insights.  I did everything I could to establish the appearance of the godly partnership I so desperately desired.  I felt so duped.  Who was this person I am married to?

But behind closed doors, things were far from normal. Unable to predict when the switch would flip on your anger, I walked on eggshells. Without warning, I’d suddenly become the object of your uncontrolled, frightening rage. There was no escaping your anger.

Sometimes, I think what you did to me was unforgivable, But now that I have grown and regained my confidence, I forgive you. You know why? Because not forgiving you was keeping me down after you already tore me apart.

All my life I have let people walk all over me and treat me how they pleased and I never complained.  You made me realize NO ONE should ever treat me the way you treated me.

Although I could not see the pain that was hindering my growth in the Lord, I continued searching for reasons to make our marriage work. I couldn’t seem to let go, I laid in bed crying for hours replaying over and over in her head the memories that we had created, trying to relive the sweet moments that are no longer a reality and blinded by all the bad.  (Ps 71:20)  Though you have made me see troubles,  many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

I tried so hard to walk around with a smile on my face. Yet, I was screaming on the inside wanting someone to take my hand and tell me that I will be ok. and I will make it through this. (Is 41:3) I just wanted someone to share my brokenness with me without feeling like I will be pushed aside.  Wondering why as a Christian you are not broken like me?  You were my husband, you were suppose to protect me, you were the one that was suppose to cherish me, not destroy me.

 

But, The lord wiped away my tears, and covered me with a blanket of His love, warmth and comfort. He said, “ My daughter, though you may be hurting, joy comes in the morning. There will be a time when you will look back on this situation and thank me for saving you from something that was harming you and causing you so much pain. For I have something far better, something far greater for you, if you just trust Me.” (Jer 29:11) “I never wanted you to be treated like this, you are my beloved daughter.”  As I began to wipe away my tears and continue praying to the Lord, I asked for strength because some days are harder than others. I also prayed for courage because it’s not easy not knowing what’s to come. I asked for healing because what I’ve been put through, I never ever want to go through again.  And I pray no other women will be hurt by you. (Prov 3:5-6)  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct[a] your paths.
I understand that healing doesn’t just happen overnight. It is a process that involves allowing God to pull on the reins of my heart and patch up the wounds that once left me with empty holes and unhealed scars. It was then that I accepted that letting go of you, was better than being dragged around expecting to be picked up by the one that left me broken into pieces. (Ps 147:3)  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
It was then that I began spending less time worrying about what could have been and why our marriage did not work.  Why you decided to divorce me when you were the abusive one.  It was then that I started putting all my attention on the Lord, serving Him wholeheartedly. It was then I saw that the light at the end of the tunnel and felt myself start to feel normal again. It was then I realized that the pain that I went through, grew me in ways, I never imagined, and made me stronger. It instilled in me this other side of myself I didn’t even know existed. It was the power of learning to let go. Even if letting go meant losing something I thought I loved.
All of those nights of tears, turned into joy when I was able to move on and keep my heart guarded and protected. I know that I have to make sure every aspect of my life is totally aligned with God. I know my worth, I know what I deserve, and from here on out, will be able to love again.

I pray for you J.D, I really do, that the Lord will do a mighty work in your heart. That the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the damage you did to me and the children.  So, that then and only then can you truly repent and heal.

Lead Me Lord

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From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2

One thing I love about reading through the book of Psalms is that each Psalm usually begins with a heavy heart, and ends in praise and rejoicing. Psalm 61 is no exception.

If you’re in need of some encouragement this week, just remember, God hears you when you cry, and when you’re overwhelmed; all you need to do is talk to Him. He will lead you and protect you!

Lord, when my heart is overwhelmed, overwhelm me with Your peace.  Lead me to You, my rock.  Guide me to Your Word which gives me strength and refuge.  Help me not to run to lesser things.  Draw me to run to You first.  Help me get into the habit of taking my “overwhelmed” and placing it under your will.  Thank You, Lord.  In Jesus Name, Amen

My Road To Fitness

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After my divorce, I was in a slump!  I was in my late Fifties and out of shape.

My story is not all that uncommon, but it still feels pretty unbelievable (and by that I mean: terrifyingly unhealthy) to admit that I didn’t exercise for 13 straight years. I lived my life, woke up, ate food, and carried on without so much as breaking a sweat. No cardio, no conditioning, no heart-pumping movement or muscle-toning repetitions.  Oh, I would go for a walk every now and then, but not much more than that.

This lack of exercises was all the more surprising since I had been a regular exerciser all the way into my forties. I would jog every morning and cardio classes in the afternoon.  I even went line dancing every week, played coed softball and racquetball. Exercise was always a consistent part of my life.

After my divorce I decided I needed a change so one night I went with my son to the gym, I was running circles around the tiny little track and I started thinking. I knew at that moment that I needed to make a change and find a new way to challenge myself. I also had started to realize that I was very much living in a bubble, seeing the same people and doing the same things every day. And I wanted to do something to force myself to break that comfort zone and become more independent. So I promised myself that I would find a gym and start work with a trainer.

The next week I signed up for my classes.,  I felt anxious and weird like on the first day of school, but I did it! I went to a class where I didn’t know anyone and it was really, really hard. I kept going, and every time it was really hard I would tell myself, “This is why you are here.” I know it’s cheesy, but this was a huge turning point in my life and a really healthy step for me as a person and for my fitness.

That was exactly three month’s ago.

In order for me to be consistent, I decided to not think about what I haven’t done, or how much work it’s going to take to get to where I want to be. Don’t think about how out of shape you are or how terrible it is that it’s been so long since you last exercised. Over thinking is momentum’s enemy. Let the past stay in the past, and just do something.

I found it is really hard to make new friends as adults. So open yourself up to the idea that exercising can be a way to form new relationships. And here’s a secret for you — finding friends who enjoy working out is one of the best ways to ensure that you maintain your healthy routine. Before my fitness commitment, I was in a funk; I didn’t have many girlfriends. By starting this new journey, I threw open a door that has led to so many wonderful new friendships — wonderful not only because they’ve held me accountable, but also because they’ve pushed me to realize my true potential.

The best part of all this: you’ll see results everywhere. Put effort into yourself, be it through sweat or physical challenges. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Exercise sets off a chain reaction, improving not just your own physical body, but all elements of your life.

This is one of the best decisions I have made in a long time.

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Romans 12:1

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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Divine Appointments

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Divine Appointments

Have you ever had a coincidence, which was so special that it seemed like God was in it? A divine appointment is ‘a meeting’ which was inspired and God led. God is sovereign; He is all-knowing and all-powerful.

Sometimes God wants to bless us and other people. The possibilities of divine appointments are endless! If we are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, great things are possible.

The possibilities of divine appointments are endless! If we are willing to be led by the Holy Spirit, great things are possible.

The Scriptures say, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord.” After decades of walking (off and on, but mostly on) with God, I can tell you that seeing God set up these “appointments” is a thrill that is beyond comparison.

Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of divine appointments. Time after time God leads the faithful to cross another person’s path and great things happen!

Several years ago, I was running in the park one morning and felt God was giving me a prophecy for my friend JD. I began to pray on how the Lord wanted me to proceed.  I felt the Lord calling me to minister to him, so the next day I walked up to him and said “I don’t know what is wrong, but I know you are struggling if you ever need anything I am here” he looked at me with a look of shock, but said nothing.  The next day, I received a call from him saying “how did you know, I have not told anyone? I told him the Lord spoke to me.  He told me he had been struggling with the feeling that he had gone too far away from God and his sin was far too great for forgiveness.  He explained how he was being tormented night and day, but was too ashamed to tell anyone.  I was able to get him the help he needed and later realized he had not been eating in weeks and had signed everything he owned over to me.  If I had not intervened the doctor said he may have ended his life.

He was totally amazed that God would speak to me about him. It turned out to be a great encouragement to us both.  We were later married.  I know without a doubt this WAS a divine appointment.  I was thankful that the Lord used me and I heard His call.

Be open to God!  We just have to be open to what God is doing today and every day.
Pray and ask God to lead you into divine appointments. Many say a prayer like this, “Holy Spirit whatever you are doing today, let me be a part of it, I want to glorify Jesus and advance the kingdom”.

After praying be prepared if God has anything for you; He can do the impossible and the unexpected.

Throughout the Bible, there are many examples of divine appointments. Time after time God leads the faithful to cross another person’s path and great things happen!

My Divine appointment – Divine Intervention

Several years ago, One morning as I was running in the park I felt God was giving me a prophecy for my friend JD. I was resistant at first, but the Lord continued to nudge me. So, I began to pray on how the Lord wanted me to proceed.  I felt the Lord calling me to minister to him, so the next day I ran into him and said “I don’t know what is wrong, but I know you are struggling if you ever need anything I am here” he looked at me with a look of shock, but said nothing.  The next day, I received a call from him saying “how did you know, I have not told anyone? I told him the Lord spoke to me with a word of knowledge.  He told me he had been struggling with the feeling that he had gone too far away from God and his sin was far too great for forgiveness.  He explained how he was being tormented night and day, but was too ashamed to tell anyone.  I was able to get him the help he needed and assure him that God was able to forgive every sin he had committed.  He was able to rededicate his life to the Lord and attend bible college. I later realized he had not been eating in weeks and had signed everything he owned over to me.  The reality was If I had not intervened the doctor said he may have ended his life.

He was totally amazed that God would speak to me about him. It turned out to be a great encouragement to us both.  We were later married.  I know without a doubt this WAS a divine appointment.  I was thankful that the Lord used me and I heard His call.

Maybe you’re anything like me—I’ve been nudged by the Holy Spirit, but I rationalize away my responsibility to say anything. I wonder if the reason we see so little of the supernatural occurring in our lives is because we are unwilling to take the risks that come with walking and living by faith. We fear the rejection of man more than displeasing God.

Be open to God!  We just have to be open to what God is doing today and every day.
Pray and ask God to lead you into divine appointments. Many say a prayer like this, “Holy Spirit whatever you are doing today, let me be a part of it, I want to glorify Jesus and advance the kingdom”.

After praying be prepared if God has anything for you; He can do the impossible and the unexpected.

Dear Heavenly Father, open my eyes to see the people whom I pass today who need a word of encouragement, a word of acknowledgment, or a word of thanks. Help me to slow down enough to see the needs standing right in front of me. Thank You for giving Jesus as our example of how to care for a hurting world.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.