Pleasant Words

    untitled (27)Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.  Proverbs 16: 24

Pleasant words – words that encourage and lift up, words that minister life and grace and love and mercy.  Heard many of those lately?  Spoken many of those lately?  Sometimes, I have to admit, I am careless in my speech.  I speak from habit and convention.  People ask, “How are you? and I say “fine” whether I am or not.  And no one seems to really care.  And I think what difference does it make?

The woman at the counter at Walgreen’s knows me better than that though.  I can’t dismiss her concern; it is genuine.  I find myself being honest with her and she is honest with me.  We are both in pain more hours of the days and nights than we care to count anymore. How refreshing that honesty is and it opens the door for pleasant words to flow back and forth.

Because we can be honest with each other, I can encourage her and she can encourage me.  It is a pleasant exchange, but Proverbs would lead me to believe it is much more than just that.  It is actually sweet to my soul and healing to my bones. And hers.

It is good for us to have those people in our lives who speak pleasant words and it is good for us to be those people in other’s lives.  Who, but God, knows what kind of healing we could bring to others just from saying pleasant words?  What about you?  When you aren’t “fine”, do you have someone you can receive encouraging words from,  someone who is open and honest with you?  Can you be that kind of person to someone God puts in your path today?

Lord, forgive me for the times I have been careless in my speech.  Or worse, forgive me for the times I have been indifferent.  Help me to minister to others with pleasant words.  Help me to speak to myself with pleasant words.  Help me when I am harried, or anxious or in pain to remember that one word can make a difference if it is spoken in love and it is pleasant.  Amen.

Parting Words

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And He (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation…  And these signs shall accompany those who believed; in My name they will … lay hands on the sick and they will recover.  Matthew 16:18

These were Jesus’ parting words to His disciples.  Some have called this the Believer’s Bill of Rights.  I have read different commentaries on this and there seems to be some disagreement as to whether or not this is for all believers or just for those disciples.  I’d rather not get into that.  I would just like to share a testimony if I could.

Our son at two year’s of age developed a hernia which required surgery to fix.  We didn’t have insurance or the money to pay for the surgery.  I asked a group of kids from my day care if they would lay hands on John and ask Jesus to heal him.  They were willing and one little girl who was three prayed, “Jesus, please make my friend John all better”.  I have shared this testimony earlier but I wanted to share it again as a reminder that we who believe have been given a commission.  One part of that commission is to lay hands on the sick, believing for their recovery and leaving the outcome in God’s hands.  A three year old girl heard that word, believed that word and laid hands on my son, prayed and he was healed.  The hernia disappeared.  He never had that surgery!

I recently left my son in Montana to stay with his sister for two weeks.  Even though I would see him soon and we had phones, I still wanted to have good, loving, wise parting words.  I didn’t really have any, but I thought about it for a while.  All I came up with was I love you, I will miss you, call when you want and have fun.  Like I said, I didn’t really have any.  But they were important to him and to me.  I tend to think that Jesus who knew He was leaving and has all wisdom, probably thought carefully about the parting words He wanted to leave with His disciples and to us.  And among those words were this promise – that if we lay hands on the sick they will recover.  Oh, I know, some will say that was for then and what about my dad or me or….?  Been there, done that and don’t have the healing to prove it.  I know personally that sometimes laying on hands doesn’t bring the recovery we are expecting.  But that doesn’t change Jesus’ words and it shouldn’t change our response to those words.  I can’t answer the why questions but I have learned not to ask them.  Why is not as important as Who.  What about you?  Is your faith in healing growing dimmer or stronger?  Are you willing to keep believing or just throw in the towel?  Are you asking why or looking at Who?

Jesus, I’ll admit, sometimes it is hard to keep believing when healing doesn’t come.  It is tempting to change my mind about You or Your word.  Or to just think that maybe its me and I am not worthy of healing.  I know these are all wrong ways of seeing this situation, open my heart to the right way of seeing as I keep my eyes on You. I don’t know why, but I know Who and I know that You healed my son and I am grateful and I thank You now for my healing.  In Your name, Amen.

Watch Those Promises

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Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my Word to perform it”.  Jeremiah 1:12

God doesn’t give His word lightly.  He doesn’t make promises and then change His mind.  I have learned the hard way how difficult it can be to keep promises.  My son reminds me from time to time of promises I’ve made that have slipped my mind.  They don’t slip his mind, let me tell you.  He definitely watches over my word to see me perform it.  I am held accountable for what I promised and I have learned not to make promises anymore but to just say, we will see when the time comes.  That drives him nuts, but it keeps me out of trouble.

God’s memory functions better than mine; He remembers His promises.  He actually watches over His word to see it come to life in us, to produce what He sent it to produce in the appropriate time.  Somewhere it is written that we need to put God in remembrance of His word but I think it is more likely that we need to put ourselves in remembrance of what He has spoken.  That’s where memorizing and confessing scriptures can help us.   Here are just a few of His many promises:

Proverbs 1:33
“But whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

Psalms 46:1
 GOD is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Nehemiah 8:10

Greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world.  I John 4:4

Goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Psalm 23

I, the Lord, am your Healer.  Exodus 15:26

Whatever you may be going through right now, I encourage you to find what God says about it.  Let His word sink deeply into your heart and meditate on it.  He is watching over it to perform it in your life, to help you through the times you’d rather not have to go through.  Pick a promise that speaks to you, that touches you deep in your heart and hold on to it, knowing that the God who spoke it meant it, He can be trusted to keep His word.

Faithful God, how I love Your word.  It is my meditation all throughout the day.  Thank You for watching over Your word to perform it in my live and in the lives of my loved ones.  You are so gracious and kind and merciful to even consider me and my needs.  Like a child believing his parents’ promises, I am believing Yours.  I trust You with the timing of them coming to pass in my life.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Rest Area

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Jesus says  “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  Matthew 11:28 (Message Bible)

We just returned from a road trip to Montana and were so grateful to see rest areas provided.  It was great to get out of the van and stretch our legs and chat with other travelers. Bing dictionary defines rest as: stopping of work or activity: a state or period of refreshing freedom from exertion.  Our activity was driving and stopping for a few moments helped us continue on.  What’s your activity that is wearying you?  When I was first introduced to word of faith and the message of God being my Healer, I was presented with a list of things to do for my healing – confess healing scriptures to build my faith, listen to healing teachings, go to healing services, meditate on healing, etc.  These are good things, please don’t hear me wrong.  I did these things and did not get healed, so I did them some more and still didn’t get healed.  Perhaps, you know someone who experienced the same.  The problem for me doing these things was that they became a work – a form of religion without the power. I got tired, worn out, burned out on it all.  Seems it wasn’t the yoke Jesus had in mind for me when He said, “Come away with me and you’ll recover your life”.  He offered rest, real rest.  Rest feels like peace and it is in that peace that we recover our lives.

Because I write about diving healing, I get comments from time to time from people who are disappointed in God and in faith healers and tend to change their theology to match their experience and resign themselves to living with pain or illness or disease.  Can I just say that resignation and rest are not the same things?  Bing dictionary defines resignation as: unprotesting acceptance of something: agreement to something, usually given reluctantly but without protest.  Religion and resignation leave out grace – the unforced rhythms of grace.  Instead of religion and resignation what if we respond to Jesus’ invitation and simply come to Him.  What if, as He says, that by keeping company with Him, we will learn to live freely and lightly?  This blog is my journaling of that response to Jesus.  My daily coming to Jesus, meditating on His word and reflecting on His goodness have brought a measure of healing I couldn’t find anywhere else.  Am I totally healed?  No.  Will I keep coming to His rest area?  Yes.  What about you, could you use some rest today?

What a healing Jesus I found in You, what a healing Jesus, You refresh, restore, renew.  What a healing Jesus for such a time as this, arise on healing wings, Son of Righteousness. * Amen.

* these words are from a song written by:  Mary Brown

Free At Last!

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Since then the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.   Hebrews 2: 14-15

Jesus took on flesh and blood because of His desire to share in our humanity.  He took on the yucky things about being human – sin, sickness, disease, lack and even death, so that we could be set free from them. And free from the fear that comes with them.

 Ever notice when you are facing something scary – a new diagnosis, another round of tests, a new symptom, a financial turn, a relationship problem, when the doctor calls and says, “we need to talk” how quickly fear comes in, how loudly it can scream?

A little girl I worked with was scheduled for dental surgery and for the week leading up to the surgery she kept saying how scared she was about it all. I kept trying to encourage her and told her how it won’t be as bad as she fears but I nothing I said calmed her fears.  When she finally had the surgery done, she was so relieved.  It didn’t hurt like she thought, in fact, she said she hardly had any pain at all!  Her fear was greater than the actual surgery.  For me, that is always the case.  My fear of some impending doom has always been greater than the actual event.  I have heard fear defined as:

False Evidence Appearing Real.

A smoke screen.

We read in Eccelestiates that there is a time to be born and a time to die but we don’t have to live our lives in fear of death.  Every kind of pain, sickness, and disease are forms of death and God dealt with death when Jesus died on the cross and three days later rose to live forever. Death has lost its sting, we are free at last!  Yes, one day we will die, but until then by His grace, we can live without fear of what tomorrow holds.

Jesus, thank You, for taking on my humanity and all the yuckiness that sometimes means.  Thank You for carrying the burdens I can’t and for releasing me from the fear of them.  Help me to walk in light of that truth and when fear comes against me, whisper to me “fear not”, remind me that You are my pathway to peace.  When I think of how much You love me, I am in awe of You all over again.  Amen.

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Just Close Your Mouth!

The other day, I was around several other women and all at once we began sneezing. It was the weirdest thing.  Two of the women started talking about their allergies and I listened for a few moments.  I started to put in on that conversation actually thinking I could trump them with all the allergies I have been diagnosed with but then I realized something.  If I am healed, if I believe that has been taken care of and it is a done deal, then the words that come out of my mouth should reflect that belief.  I thought of all the times I had spoken words calling them my allergies and had pretty much accepted that since I had had them all my life, I would no doubt have them for the rest of my life.  I kept my mouth shut and reminded myself that they aren’t my allergies – they belong to the devil and I will no longer sign for that package every time he tries to deliver it.  Healed is healed and while sometimes I have symptoms in my body that would tell me otherwise, I have only to look at the beaten body of Jesus to remember that by His stripes I am healed and the words of my mouth need to line up with that fact, not with these symptoms.

Our confessions are important, we are created in the image of the God who spoke the universe into being.  Our words have creative power.  My sister’s pastor is fond of saying that we are the prophets of our own lives.  How true!  Jesus didn’t say we would have what we feel; He said we would have what we say.

Proverbs 18: 20 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit”.  What fruit are you eating? What did you speak into existence?  What package did you sign for?

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Remember the saying from the movie “Bambi”  – if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.  Well, my paraphrase of that would be – if you can’t speak words of life and healing, just close your mouth!

Father, help me to speak words of life.  Help me remember that my words have power and help me to use them wisely.  Help me also to remember that these symptoms are not “my” symptoms and that Jesus took care of those symptoms on the cross.  Thank You that because of Jesus I can walk in divine health.  Amen.

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Now Choose Life!

I woke up the other morning in a terrible funk.  It was 1 am and I had difficulty returning to sleep.  The problem was severe pain in my left hand.  Enough pain to nauseate me and keep me awake and cause me once again to question divine healing.  I have been reading a book entitled “You Can Be Healed – How to Believe God for Your Healing”  by Billy Joe Daugherty.  He was our pastor in Tulsa for five years.  I loved him and loved that church. The problem in those early morning hours was one that had been darting in and out of my mind for days.  One of the last chapters in the book is called “How to Live Longer”.  He wrote about Psalm 90:10 which says’ “The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years” and numerous other verses that promise long life. He talked about making our words line up with the Word of God and building our faith and such.  He wrote about how death is our giving up our breath, not succumbing to disease that takes us out early.  All good stuff.  All Biblical stuff.   The stumbling block to me that week and that early am was just this….  Pastor Billy Joe died before he was 60 of cancer.

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As I lay there that morning my thoughts ran like this – if God didn’t heal him, a pastor, who devoted his life to ministering to people, ushering countless thousands of people into the kingdom of God and witnessing miracles of healing too numerous to count, then what chance did I have of being healed?  I am a homemaker, a mother, a wife, a grandmother.  My greatest success in a day is getting dinner done and not leaving the kitchen totally trashed.  And some days even that doesn’t happen.

I continued along in this line of thought no doubt because of pain and low serotonin until I started building a case against me being able to receive healing from God. But when I got out of bed that morning I opened my devotional and read this verse: Romans 8:32 -He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

I gotta say it brought me to my knees and to my senses.  God is not holding back on me.  I can’t answer why I still have so much pain when I believe (most of the time) for my healing.  And I can’t answer why Pastor Billy Joe died before 60 but I do know that I can choose to look at the stumbling blocks that cause me to doubt or I can look at the promises God gave me in His Word.  But I can’t do both.  The choice is mine.

untitled (8)In Deuteronomy,  the people of God are given the choice of choosing life or choosing death.  Seems like a no brainer, but God knew it wasn’t.  He gave the answer, choose life.  “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”

Looking at the unhealed, cataloging the pain,  listing evidences that would tell me that God doesn’t heal today or won’t heal today is choosing death.  Looking at the promises of God is choosing life and the choice is mine.  Today,  I choose life. Among the first words Pastor Billy Joe’s wife Sharon said publicly after his death were words spoken in connection with diving healing.  She said, “I still believe”.

In spite of the pain that would tell me otherwise, I too, still believe.

Father forgive me for doubting Your goodness and Your willingness to give me all things?  Even healing.  You didn’t hold back Your own son and You are not holding back on me now.  Help me to look beyond the stumbling blocks and the unanswered questions so that I can fix my faith on You and goodness.  Amen.

Healer or Healing?

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“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” – Matthew 6:33.

For the past 4 years, I have been in pain and suffering from intense insomnia, racing thoughts, depression, anxiety and if that weren’t enough, severe arthritis in my knees, ankles, and toes.   I have been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica and chronic pain syndrome was prescribed high blood pressure medication, morphine, steroids and sleeping pills.  After declining all the above treatment options, I called my sister Janice.

She and her husband are nutritional consultant gurus and started me on a path of healing through nutrition.  Going this route for healing takes time, not just the time to wait for natural cures to work,  and time to figure out which of the natural cures are going to work for me, but time to do what is necessary for that healing:   preparing fresh veggies, making foods from scratch to avoid processed foods,  determining food sensitivities and allergies, juicing, finding the right supplements, exercising, studying to understand what she is telling me and why  and still doing everything else I was attempting to do before in my roles as mom, wife, sister, employee.   I do these things because I want to become well, so much so that, in all honesty, becoming well has become like an idol to me.  I am focused on it, probably obsessed with it and now becoming well has become like an all-consuming god.   I tell myself that being a good steward of my body is godly and question how can I serve God and take care of my family if I don’t first take care of myself and these things are true.  But there is a higher truth and that is that God is my Healer.  Somewhere in the midst of seeking healing, I lost sight of the Healer.  Not so much because I doubt He is my Healer; that truth is settled in my heart as I have received several miraculous healings by His grace.  No, I lost sight of Him because I didn’t seek Him first.  I was too busy taking care of me and focusing on all the things I need to do just to get through this day and one more probably sleepless night.

Today when the pastor talked about worship, I knew that no matter when or if my healing manifests this side of heaven, God is worthy of my worship.   He is worthy of my seeking Him first.  Sometimes, I’ll be honest, I sought Him out for what He can and will do for me and I think that is ok, after all,  He says He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.  But lately, I have wanted my healing more than I have wanted my Healer and that is not ok.

His word says that if I will seek Him first, He will add all these things unto me.  I am not sure what all these things entail but I sense that if I diligently seek Him, some of the “all these things” just might not matter so much anymore.

Jesus, I know You are my Healer.  Forgive me for the times I have placed my faith elsewhere.  Help me to balance out all the things I need to do in my day for my family and for my health remembering to put You first.  Thank You for showing me the things I need to do for good health and for granting me the grace to do them.  Amen.

Do you need healing?  Can I pray for you?  Please let me know.

reprinted from my blog godhappenings.wordpress.com

Fickle Feelings

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When my daughters were young, one of them used the word feelers for feelings.  We thought it was cute and never corrected it, in fact, we all adopted that word.  When someone was hurt, they would say “that hurts my feelers”.  For young children it was cute to confuse feelings with feelers, but for an adult, it isn’t so cute.  Antennas or feelers are used by some animals to guide their path; to help them find their way.  It’s how God made them.  For me to use feelings as feelers though is not why God gave me feelings.  Feelings are a part of being human, good feelings and the not so good, but they aren’t intended to be what guides our life.

In the years since I became a Christian, there have been times when I have not felt saved, or redeemed or forgiven or even worthy of love. But feelings are not what guides my faith. The truth from the Bible is that I am saved, redeemed, forgiven and worthy of love only because of what Jesus did on my behalf. I have to take that by faith regardless of how I feel. In the same way, I have to take by faith that my body is healed regardless of the feelings it may have at the moment. So when pain rears its ugly head, I have to remember the truth and that is that Jesus is Jehovah Rapha, the God that healeth me!  The feelings I have are not the truth; feelings are fickle and subject to change.  God’s Word is the truth and if He says by His stripes I am healed, then I am healed and these feelings have to line up with that truth.  And I believe they will.

What about you?  Are you being led by feelings and not by faith?  Are you feeling unworthy, unlovable, unforgiven?  Can I just say that feelings aren’t a reliable guide to the truth about ourselves, but God’s word is and it changeth not.  God changes not.  He is the same – yesterday, today, forever.

“Being healed is being saved in a physical sense.”  F.F. Bosworth

Jehovah Rapha, my God who heals me. How merciful and gracious You are to me.  Thank You for Your unchanging Word, for Your unchanging character and Your unchanging love for me.  Thank You that my body lines up with the Word of God and I am healed.  Thank You that whether I feel forgiven or not, Your word tells me I am.  In Jesus’s name. Amen

reprinted from my blog  godhappenings.wordpress.com

Pray for Others

…and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.   James 5: 16

Without trying to take anything out of context, can I share with you how I started my day?  I woke up ten minutes before the alarm went off and lay there thinking about my day.  Then I was prompted to pray for people – not the usual prayers I offer up for my family and friends, but prayer for a totally different group of people – people I may never meet this side of heaven – people living in abusive homes or having just left abusive homes.  I know that must have been God prompting because I wouldn’t go there at 5 am on my own.   I didn’t pray long but felt peace and got up and went about my way.  It wasn’t until I was halfway down the stairs that I noticed something unusual.  I wasn’t in pain!  I was walking down the stairs without leaning into the handrail and experiencing no pain in my legs.  O happy day!  That has not happened once in the past 4+ years.  Not once in 4+ years!  It felt so good I walked back up the stairs -pain free and not dragging myself up by the handrails.  O happy, happy day!

I had just read this verse in James yesterday and honestly it didn’t stand out to me – then, but I started thinking about that part of the verse after this experience this morning.  I have prayed many times for many people, what was different today?  I don’t have an answer; I do know though, that these were totally unselfish prayers.  You know and I know that sometimes even when praying for others, that our motives serve us.  If our spouse gets saved, healed, delivered, it benefits us.  If our child gets turned around, it can’t help but make our life easier.  The prayers this morning had absolutely no pay-off for me at all.  Maybe that’s what brought the relief from pain, I don’t really know.

DSC05349When I arrived at work, I saw this more clearly.  I was fixing a mobile I had made with the kids using old CD’s, yarn and sticks.  I used it to show them how interconnected we all are with the people in our center.  Even the people we don’t know or like.  I showed them how one CD (representing a person) could upset the entire balance of every other CD (person) whether we mean to or not.  Our actions don’t happen in a vacuum; they affect other people.  Today when I looked at it, I wondered is this what James was getting at?  The interconnectedness we are to have with other people, so much so that if one is sick, that affects us all.  And when we lift up one person in prayer, we lift up ourselves as well.  Maybe my healing, your healing, depends upon my prayers, your prayers, our genuine, heartfelt, unself-serving prayers for others.  What do you think?

Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me how connected we all are, how much You desire for us to move as one.  Forgive me for my self-serving prayers and the countless hours I have spent thinking only of me.  Lead me to pray for others, help me to be obedient to do as You direct, help me to be a part of the healing You desire to bring to others.  I ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.