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Archive for May, 2013

I’ve always assumed that anything I learned or otherwise experienced of a Divine nature was from God.  I keep reading people’s descriptions of feeling or knowing things via the Holy Spirit, though…  but how can they, or anyone, tell which facet of the Divine they’re encountering?  I haven’t seen anything that demonstrates to me that the Holy Spirit even exists, so the jury is still out on that one as far as I’m concerned, but let’s say it DOES exist;  what is its nature?  How does it feel or sound different than God?  Do the Holy Spirit and God divide up tasks in a consistent way?  I ask God to bring me some enlightenment in this area.

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I’ve been certain for ages that God wants me to go to seminary, and to minister in prisons.  As I’m sure is the case for most people, I didn’t know anyone with any connection to these things…  or so I thought.  I mentioned to the N-friend about seminary, and she told me that she has a niece who went to a seminary that she really loved in a neighboring state!!  I’ve asked her to get me some info about that so I can make a contact that will help me get local “spiritual help.”  That felt like a confirmation of what God wanted.  And then on 5-24 I got an email back from the K-friend, who I’d just told about the prison ministry thing, in which she said:

“I used to teach meditation at a men’s prison. I also used to bring 12 step meetings into the women’s prison and even sponsored a woman for a couple years behind bars. There’s nothing quite like being shut up in a room, alone, with a bunch of felons for the first time. Then it becomes perfectly natural. Some of my most gratifying experiences have been with prisoners. I’ve also been working on a creative writing program for prisoners; I just haven’t had time to launch it yet. I think you will love this work.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No one can tell me that people in my life (and I don’t have a big group of intimates) having a connection to seminary and experience working with PRISONERS, and never mentioning it until *I* needed guidance to pursue these things, can be accidental or coincidental;  this is God showing me how to start moving towards my goal by giving me people to talk to who can help me.

What prompted me to tell the N-friend about seminary (on 2-7-13)?  Feeling the first need to reach out to others when it looked like the D-friend might be pulling a disappearing act. What prompted me to contact the K-friend, who I hadn’t been corresponding with in a while, and try to draw her back into the meaningful zone of my life?  The D-friend sending me a kiss-off email.  This also led to me emailing some other friends that I’d stopped struggling to keep in contact with, and we’ve had some amazing “reunions” (in quotes because we haven’t seen each other, just talked on the phone, as they don’t live nearby).  I’ll need these friends restored to closeness for support for seminary and beyond, and to help me with all areas of my personal relations so I won’t get too dependent on 1-2 people again.

And, it has led to my roommate and I having another big leap towards recovering the fullness of our relationship, because he was so disgusted with her behavior that he felt some actual sympathy (of which he frankly has very little in his personality) and reached out enough to meet me almost halfway…  AND, he has now declared his intention to get my mother’s house ready for rental once the school year is over, which will certainly be nice after how long I’ve been waiting.

And…  this “severance” will also benefit me on several levels with the most important person in my life, whose return is feeling closer all the time.  In fact, my biggest concern about how we’d ever be back together was how SHE would react, and how I could make it ok for HER.

AND, it’s made me aware of how the D-friend was, as described non-coincidentally in JO’s sermon from 4-22, “Taking control of your happiness,” which was the last one broadcast before that kiss-off email came, a controller, a manipulator, someone who could not be made happy no matter how much I did for her, unless I was also giving her total control of my life.  When I saw that sermon, I immediately saw that it was a message about her, and I tried to talk myself out of it, because I was still hoping for things to work out the easy way…  but God doesn’t do things the easy way, He does them the RIGHT way, and for me to be emotionally dependent and yanked around by someone like that when I’m meant to LEAD, not follow, and when He simply does not want me to be treated with contempt, would keep me in a subservient, noxious situation which would prevent me from being and giving my best.  I had long since been pondering how I’d have to keep my seminary and ministry involvement, by far the biggest things I’ll ever do, SECRET from her to keep her from trying to dictate how I do them;  this should have been a BIG CLUE to me, and seen as part of the overall pattern of having to tailor my life to suit her as described in the previous paragraph, but since it wasn’t God stepped in to fix it.

That’s a ton of major benefits from ONE kiss-off letter!!  God is very efficient;  I’ve seen over and over how He tends to take a small action that creates ripples like a stone thrown into a pond, becoming a far bigger effect than one would have imagined.  And there may be more to come.  What’s certain is that this will cause me to end up far beyond where I’d have been had it not happened;  God’s blessings are astonishing.

Edit early 5-26:  Something I’ve loved the thought of for a long time is having a little herd of goats.  I had the urge to track down another long-lost friend, and discovered that she has…  guess what?!!  There’s ZERO doubt that God has arranged for me to get back together with these people!!

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(A sign is a clue about what God is doing or, much more commonly, intends to do, and a message is information that He gives us to teach or guide us.)

God DOES give us messages and signs;  JO always says so, and besides that it’s always been overwhelmingly obvious to me.  What’s less obvious is where that line is between a clear sign and wishful thinking, between a message and a random oddity or a coincidence. Here’s are 2 such gray areas for the past few days.

1)  I have had several comments from a visitor who has been falsely accused and is enduring great pain and distress from it.  I have been falsely accused recently too, so I have felt great empathy as well as sympathy;  it had a faint feeling of connection, too.  My new friend posted today that 5-23 is for some reason the date by which something needs to be done.  I will be seeing the primary people who MIGHT assist me today, 5-22, and I don’t know how long it will be before I see them again;  so, in my case, my “justice,” if it’s to come any time in the forseeable future, will also have to come by the 23rd.  Is this a sign that God will be settling this now, a message that I need to wait in faith as I have advised the commenter to do, or a coincidence?  I’m not much of a believer in coincidence.  This is the sort of thing that SEEMS like a sign, but I have to leave room for it to be a message, too;  I’ll know more later today.  Edit early 5-23:  neither one of us got our solution within the “deadline.”  So, it was a message, then, and our parallel situations still feel like a sign for the future;  time will tell.

2)  JO’s most recent sermon (I’m still working on it as I type this) was about keeping something in front of you to encourage your faith in the things you’re hoping for.  Many New Age and metaphysical paths advise keeping an image of what you want where you’ll keep seeing it (aka vision boards) to draw it into your life.  I have a stack of images in a place where I see them a bunch of times each day.  The topmost images for months now has been one of an outdoor furniture set made of ornately formed metal, which I saved because of the unusual color of the cushions;  I never had any thought of or desire to get this sort of furniture…  until a few days ago when my next-door neighbor put a set out on their front lawn with a “FREE” sign on it.  It was good-looking, and it’s pricey stuff, so we grabbed it.  Is this a sign that something that I’m strongly hoping for, that I already have a visual aid in place for, will come to me, or is more likely to do so, because of that visual aid?  Or a message that the New Agers are right, and that looking at images can draw things to you?  Or is it totally unrelated, just with odd timing?

And finally, something that God handled for me:  I’ve been having trouble for many months getting my account working on a site I get work from;  I’d used every trick I know to get around their efforts to prevent anyone from actually contacting them, used every email addy and phone # I could find to try to get help, but no dice.  And then, an hour ago, I suddenly got a boilerplate “we haven’t seen you in a while, come back” email from them, with a link to click to verify that I still want to do their work!!  This was certainly not the path back to functionality that I’d envisioned, but that’s how God works;  He always has another way, an unimagined, unexpected way.  I’m so grateful to have this handled!!

And is this a sign of other long-standing issues getting ready to be handled by God?  Time will tell.

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In “Pink cross, prisoner of hope” from 11-25-12, I described finding this image:

This is SO me!!

and wishing that my 1st cross would look like this one.  I eventually found it here:

amazon.com/Pendant-Necklace-Designer-Fashion-Jewelry/dp/B009V6103A/

and today it arrived.  It’s MUCH smaller than the pic, of course, but the idea was to have a cross that was very pretty and totally “me” but appropriate for something OTHER than a Vegas show, so the “real deal” is just perfect.

I don’t know if God was involved in that one, although He might well have been, by prompting me to seek it out rather than just thinking about it, but I credit Him fully with THIS one:  I sign up for a ton of contests and giveaways, so I get a ton of goodies.  One thing that has consistently eluded me is nail polish.  Every time it was offered, it was at the wrong time and I missed it, the site crashed and I never got through, SOMETHING, and we’re talking about YEARS of trying.  Once, I thought I had it, an allegedly pomegranate red shade from the company that makes that juice…  but when the package came they had substituted a plastic bracelet in that color instead.  Then there was the time I actually GOT a bottle of polish…  that was the exact color of a chocolate milkshake, so hideous as a nail accent (or for anything else on a human body) that only the goth teen I know would take it, and then she never used it.  So, I don’t count that one.  I don’t usually do the “come look at our ad ideas and answer questions for a 1 in a million chance at a prize” things, but I’ll do the occasional fast one for the magazines that send me stuff… and the 1st thing I saw when I hit my inbox Monday was an email informing me that from one of those very questionnaires I’d won a **$100**  gift pack from a major nail products company!!  (And, literally just this second, I refreshed my inbox and got another email from them confirming that they got my address confirmation!!  She gets to work early.)  I don’t know what all will be in this package, I’m sure they’ll feel obligated to send me their latest goofy product, whatever that is, but one thing it’s guaranteed to contain…  NAIL POLISH!!

Edit 6-5:  I got the goodies on 5-31.  It was mostly goofy stuff for much younger women, with ONE bottle of polish…  in a garish orange color I could never use, LOL!!  But THEN, God steered me to a nail polish giveaway yesterday, at a weird time that I normally wouldn’t be able to do, where the shades offered are classics that would all be good, no matter which one they send me, and I’m confirmed to get one…  so the “curse” WILL finally end.

Edit 6-13:  I got it today.  I opened the box…  and there was by far the best of the available polishes!!  No surprise there;  God brought me to a flourishing finish.  Look how hot this polish is (all the spots are because it’s shimmery/sparkly):

 

OPI-Jinx

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from JO’s sermon tonight:

studies tell us that we move toward what we consistently see.  you need to keep something in front of you, even if it’s symbolic, that reminds you of what God has promised.  if you’re single, and have a desire to get married, put an empty photo album on your table at home;  that’s where you’re going to put your wedding pictures.  when you see it, you’re moving toward it.  some of you are not seeing God’s best, not because you don’t have the faith, talent, determination, but because you’re not keeping the right things in front of you.  if you can’t see your vision, you’re not moving toward it. all over your house, you should have pictures up that inspire you, scripture verses that encourage you, mementos that strengthen your faith.  maybe it’s a key on your keyring for the new house you’re going to buy.  somebody asks you, “what’s this extra key for?” “that’s for the house that’s on it’s way.”  whatever you’re believing for, dreaming about, keep something in front of you that reminds you of what God has promised.  when Zerubbabel wanted to rebuild the temple, he laid the foundation, but people came against him and forced him to stop.  the prophet Zechariah said, “go get the headstone (aka capstone),” which was reserved as the final piece of stone for the building. it was symbolic;  it represented the finished product.

why was it important that he keep the headstone in front of him?  because every time he looked at it, it reminded him that God would finish what He started.  do you have your headstone in front of you, something that represents the final piece to your dreams?  when you see something long enough, it gets into your subconscious mind, and eventually drops down into your spirit, where you know that you know it’s going to happen.  maybe you’re believing to have a baby;  why don’t you go buy a baby’s outfit and put it in your closet where you can see it all through the day?  keep your vision in front of you.  you are moving toward what you consistently see.  is there anything that you see every day that reminds you of what you’re believing for, something that inspires you, ignites your faith?

Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

18 Where there is no vision, the people perish

with no vision, you’ll get stuck;  this is the reason many people have lost their passion, they don’t have anything in front of them that reminds them of what God has promised.  if you’re believing to move into a nicer house, find a picture of the house you really want and put it on your bathroom mirror;  let that seed take root.  if you’re believing to go to a certain college, buy the t-shirt and wear it around, get the coffee mug with their logo, put it on the counter.  every time you wear the shirt, see the picture, the baby’s outfit, say, “God, I want to thank You that You’re bringing my dreams to pass.”  let that be a reminder of what God has promised you.  what you keep in front of you, you are moving toward.  don’t have a small vision for your life, you are not inconveniencing God by believing big;  when you believe to do something great, set a new standard for your family, when you take the limits off of God, and say, “I don’t see a way, but I know You have a way, so I’m gonna believe to have these twins, my business, my charity will impact the world, I’m gonna believe to be totally healthy and whole”;  when you believe big like that, you please God.  it doesn’t matter what it looks like in the natural, we serve a supernatural God;  He is not limited by your resources, education, background, nationality.  if you will keep a big vision in front of you, God will not only do what you’re dreaming about, He’ll supersize it;  He’ll do more than you can ask or think.  the way our God is, His dream for your life is bigger than your own dream.

if you will stay in faith, God is going to supersize what you’re believing for.  if you will keep your vision in front of you, a big vision, and not talk yourself out of it, but just keep honoring God, being your best, God is going to supersize what you’re dreaming about.  He’s going to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond.  if you can accomplish your dreams in your own strength, talent, resources, your dreams are too small;  you’ve gotta enlarge your vision.  your destiny is too great, assignment too important, to have little dreams, goals, plans;  keep something big in front of you.  “I can’t even imagine ever doing that, being that blessed”;  don’t worry, you won’t be.  if you don’t have a vision for it, it’s not going to come to pass. some things seem far out, very unlikely;  but don’t ever say, “I can’t imagine that.” you see somebody that’s really fit, energetic, you’re trying to lose some weight, “I can’t even imagine looking like them.”   drive through a nice neighborhood, a beautiful house, “I can’t imagine living in a house like that, owning my own business, publishing a book”;  you are being limited by your own imagination.  you’ve gotta change what you’re seeing, do not let the enemy paint the pictures in your mind, use your imagination to see yourself rising higher, accomplishing your dreams, overcoming obstacles, blessed, prosperous, healthy, strong, redeemed, forgiven, well able.  don’t only have it in your imagination, but keep something in front of you that reminds you of what God has promised.

sometimes your family won’t be your biggest cheerleaders.  they may not encourage you;  you’ve gotta listen to what God’s telling you, and not what people are telling you. people may try to talk you out of what God put in your heart.  when you keep your vision in front of you, that is your faith being released, that’s why the scripture uses such strong language, “where there’s no vision, people perish, your dreams will die.”  if you can’t see what God’s promised you, you will miss the incredible things God wants to do.  maybe you need to lose 30 pounds;  put a picture up on your bathroom mirror of you 30 pounds lighter.  every day when you see it, don’t get depressed, and think, “I wish I still looked like that,” no, “Father I want to thank you that I’m losing this weight, that I’m healthy, fit, in shape, energetic, well-able, attractive.”  let a new image take root.  you may not be healthy right now, but you’ve gotta keep something in front of you that says you will be healthy; put pictures of you up in your house  from a time when you were healthy, scripture verses that encourage you, call your family in another state, tell them you’re planing on coming to see them.  don’t you dare plan on dying, we need you, your family needs you, this world needs you, make plans to live, keep the right vision in front of you.

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

one translation indicates, “they are subject to change”;  anything that doesn’t line up with the vision God placed in your heart, you need to see that as being temporary;  it is subject to change. you may be facing an illness right now;  the good news is, it is subject to change.  God says, “I’m restoring health unto you, the # of your days I will fulfill.”  let that vision take root.  you may be struggling in your finances, in debt, barely making ends meet;  that is subject to change.  God says, “you will lend and not borrow, whatever you touch will prosper and succeed.”   it may look like your dreams could never come to pass, all the odds are against you;  the odds are subject to change.  one touch of God’s favor, and He can take you from the back to the front, from working at the business, to owning your own business, from being given up on by medicine like my mother to being healthy and whole 30 years later.  everything that doesn’t line up with what God put in your heart, see it as subject to change.  that child that’s off course, he’s subject to change.  being lonely is subject to change.  not getting any good breaks, that’s subject to change.  people trying to pull you down, that is subject to change.  see it as temporary.  keep what God has promised you in front of you.  this is what Abraham had to do;  he had to start over, he lost everything he had worked for.  his nephew Lot chose the best part of the land, and he had to move on.  and then:

Genesis 13:14-15 (NIV)

14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.

notice the principle;  whatever you can see, God will give it to you.  the reason some people are stuck is that they’ve got their head down, focused on their problems, what didn’t work out, who hurt them;  God is saying, “look up from where you are, don’t sit around depressed, discouraged, get a new vision for your life.”  put some new pictures in front of you.  all that you can see, God says He’ll give it to you.  some of you think that your dream is too big, your difficulties are too great, it’s been too long;  but God is saying, “I’m still on the throne, I’m still going to bring it to pass.”  if you will keep a big vision in front of you, God is going to do something big in your life;  He is gong to release His favor like you’ve never seen before.  what you thought was over and done, God is still going to do.  what looked impossible, like it was over your head, God is going to suddenly cause things to fall into place, giving you the influence, connections, favor, wisdom.  don’t stop believing;  every time you see your vision, you keep thanking God that it’s on its way.  if you will do this, God is going to supersize whatever you’re dreaming about;  it’s going to be bigger than you imagine, He’s gonna take you places you could not go on your own, opening doors that no man can shut.  He’s going to do what medicine cannot do.  you need to get ready;  every dream, promise, goal God’s placed in your heart, it will come to pass, in Jesus’ name.

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Another poem

I heard this one for the first time today, and liked it immediately… and not just because I’ve been waiting in faith for a while now for my dream to come to pass.

 

Not Yet

Sometimes I ask the question,
“My Lord, is this your will?”
It’s then I hear You answer me,
“My anxious Child… be still.”

Sometimes I feel frustrated,
’cause I think I know what’s best.
It’s then I hear you say to me,
“My busy Child… just rest!”

Sometimes I feel so lonely and
I think I’d like a mate.
Your voice comes loud and clear and says,
“My precious Child… please wait!”

“I know the plans I have for you,
The wondrous things you’ll see;
If you can just be patient, Child,
and put your trust in Me.

I’ve plans to draw you closer.
I’ve plans to help your grow.
There’s much I do you cannot see
and much you do not know.

But know this, Child… I LOVE YOU.
You are precious unto Me.
Before I formed you in the womb,
I planned your destiny.

I’ve something very special
I hope for you to learn.
The gifts I wish to give to you
are gifts you cannot earn.

They come without a price tag,
but are not without a cost;
at Calvary, I gave My Son,
so you would not be lost.

Rest, Child, and don’t grow weary
of doing what is good.
I promise I’ll come back for you
just like I said I would.

Your name is written on My palm,
I never could forget;
Therefore, don’t be discouraged
when my answer is… “Not Yet!”

Author Unknown

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A poem from an old book that went back to my mother’s childhood and maybe further kept coming to my mind;  I remembered it as a woman being comforted after her baby dies by realizing that instead of having a sinful life he was safely with God.  I did a search using the bits I remembered, and DID find the poem.  I have no children, and can’t imagine what losing a child feels like.  I hope that anyone who is grieving and finds this post will feel comforted by this:

 

The dead babe

by Eugene Field

Last night, as my dear babe lay dead,
In agony I knelt and said:
“0 God! what have I done,
Or in what wise offended Thee,
That Thou should’st take away from me
My little son?

“Upon the thousand useless lives,
Upon the guilt that vaunting thrives,
Thy wrath were better spent!
Why should’st Thou take my little son –
Why should’st Thou vent Thy wrath upon
This innocent?”

Last night, as my dear babe lay dead,
Before mine eyes the vision spread
Of things that might have been:
Licentious riot, cruel strife,
Forgotten prayers, a wasted life
Dark red with sin!

Then, with sweet music in the air,
I saw another vision there:
A Shepherd in whose keep
A little lamb – my little child!
Of worldly wisdom undefiled,
Lay fast asleep!

Last night, as my dear babe lay dead,
In those two messages I read
A wisdom manifest;
And though my arms be childless now,
I am content – to Him I bow
Who knoweth best.

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from JO’s sermon tonight:

the moment God put a dream in your heart, the moment the promise took root, God not only started it, but He set a completion date.  God is called the author and finisher of our faith.  God wouldn’t have given you the dream, the promise wouldn’t have come alive, if God didn’t already have a plan to bring it to pass.  doesn’t matter how long it’s been, or how impossible it looks;  your mind may tell you, “it’s too late, you missed too many opportunities, it’s never going to happen.”  no, God is saying, “it’s not over, I have the final say, I’ve already set the completion date.”  if you will stay in faith, and not talk yourself out of it, it’s just a matter of time before it comes to pass. but some of you tonight, you’ve lost your fire;  at one time, you believed you could do something great, you had a big dream.  maybe you believed you could start that business, get healthy again, fall in love and get married, but it’s been so long, you tried and it didn’t work out, the loan didn’t go through, the medical report wasn’t good, now, the “never lies” are playing in your mind;  “I’ll never get well, get married, accomplish my dreams.” no, you have to have a new perspective;  the Creator of the universe has already set that completion date.  just because it hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen.  God has already lined up the right people, breaks, answers;  everything you need is already in your future.  now, you’ve gotta shake off the doubt, discouragement;  whether it’s been a year, 5 years, or 50 years, what God promised you, He still has every intention of bringing it to pass.  some promises, you’re not supposed to tell your friends and all your family members. they may not be happy for you.  they may tell you how it’s not gonna happen, and you’re too old and you really think you can do that?  keep it to yourself;  that’s between you and God.  the scripture calls it:

Psalm 37:4 (AMP)

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

the enemy has no new tricks; he uses the same type of lies on us today:  doubt, discouragement, “do you really think you’re gonna get well?  you saw the medical report.”  “do you really think you could accomplish those dreams?  you don’t have the funds, connections.”  no, let those thoughts go in one ear and out the other. God is saying to you tonight, “you can’t die yet, there are too many promises that have not come to pass in your life.”  what God started, He will finish.  people, bad breaks, sickness can’t stop it;  death can’t even stop it.  you need to get ready;   God is going to complete your incompletions, you will not go to your grave without seeing those dreams come to pass, even the secret petitions of your heart.  it may seem impossible, but remember, our God is all-powerful, He spoke the worlds into existence, and He has you in the palm of his hand.  God never created you to do something average, drag through life, unfulfilled, unrewarded, no, He created you to do something amazing.  He’s put seeds of greatness on the inside, whispered things to you in the middle of the night that seem too big, far out, impossible.  but God is saying, “that was My voice.  that’s My dream for your life;  it’s bigger, more rewarding.”

you may not see how it can happen, it may look like it’s been too long, but if you’ll stay in faith, God can still bring that to pass, He will finish what He started.  friends, you’ve gotta stir up what God’s put on the inside; life will try to push you down, steal your dreams, talk you into settling for mediocrity.  but I want you to have this new attitude;  what God started in your life, He is going to finish it.  will you keep believing even though it looks impossible?  will you stay in faith even though every voice tells you that it’s not going to happen?  God has put a promise in every one of you, but maybe right now you’re in the wilderness, you don’t see anything happening, you think, “I’ve been praying, believing for a year, 5, 10 years, it’s never going to work out.”  no, stay the course, keep believing.  you may be tired, discouraged, tempted to be frustrated, but don’t give up on your future.  stay on the high road.  our God is a faithful God;  it may be taking a long time, but what He started He will finish in your life.  how many times as we’re believing for what God promised us do we hear these voices:  “if you were going to get well, you’d feel better by now,” “if you were gonna get married, you would have met somebody by now”?

there will always be voices trying to convince us it’s too late, you’re going the wrong way, it’s never going to happen.  sometimes in life, the fog will set in;  you don’t know which way is the right direction, you know God’s put a promise in your heart, but every voice tells you it’s not gong to happen, you’re too old, you missed too many opportunities, you don’t have the connections.  in the foggy times, when you don’t see anything happening, that’s when you have to dig your heels in, and say, “God, I’m going to believe what You promised me in spite of how I feel, what people are telling me, how it looks.  God, I’m gonna keep acting like what You said is true, keep believing You’re on the throne.  I know you’re a faithful God;  what You’ve promised You will bring  to pass.”  it’s good to be happy for others, rejoice with them, but God doesn’t want you to just celebrate everybody else, God wants to bring your dreams to pass.  God wants to give you the desires of your heart.  He wants you to be celebrated.  Rachel wanted to have a baby so badly;  years went by and she couldn’t conceive.  she got discouraged, but just because we give up on a dream, it doesn’t mean that God gives up on the dream.

Genesis 30:22 (NIV)

22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive.

it doesn’t say that Rachel remembered God;  this is how much God wants you to fulfill your destiny.  God remembered Rachel, answered her prayer, and gave her a baby.

(I found a similar story in my Daily Bible Reading newsletter:

1 Samuel 1:19-20 (NIV)

19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her.20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”)

God is so loving, merciful, even when we become too discouraged to believe, God does not forget what He promised you.  you may feel like Rachel, your life hasn’t turned out the way you had hoped.  you prayed, believed, worked hard, put forth the effort, but it didn’t work out.  now, you’re kinda thinkin, “hey, I’m never gonna be happy again, I’ll never be married, never accomplish my dreams.”  no, God not only remembers you, He remembers the promise He put in you.  He knows what He’s destined you to do.  you may have already said, “forget it, it’s never gonna happen”;  the good news is, you don’t have the final say, God has the final say, and He says, “what I started in your life, I’m going to finish.”   that dream you gave up on, God didn’t give up on.  God doesn’t forget what He promised you as a child, God remembers the dreams, goals, things that you always wanted to do.  what God starts, He will finish.  you may not see how it can happen, it may look like you’re too old, you missed too many opportunities, it’s impossible.  no, God has it all figured out;  God knows how to connect the dots.  God is not ok with you fulfilling half of your destiny, God is going make sure you complete what He put you here to do.  God knows how to bring your dreams to pass.  “this all sounds good, very encouraging, but you don’t know my situation, I think it’s too late for me.”  have you ever felt like God showed up too late?  if He’d just got there a little sooner, maybe things would have worked out.  Mary and Martha wanted Jesus to come heal Lazarus, but Jesus wasn’t thinking about a healing, he was thinking about a resurrection.  a healing would have been good, but Jesus had something better in mind.

when the promise doesn’t turn out the way you thought, doesn’t happen on your timetable, it’s easy to get discouraged, and to feel like God let you down.  but the truth is, that means God has something better in store.  you prayed, worked hard, believed, but you didn’t get the promotion, the door closed;  don’t get discouraged;  that would have been a healing, God has a resurrection.  dare to trust Him;  He’s promised what He started in your life He will finish.  if you’ll let God do it His way, it’ll always turn out better than you ever imagined.  when we think, “it’s too late, it could never happen, I’ve missed too many opportunities,” God still has a way to bring your dreams to pass.  God never starts something that He can’t finish.  God is saying, “begin again, get your dreams back, hopes up.”  God has put some kind of promise in your heart.  maybe it’s been years;  you tried, it didn’t work out, you had some setbacks.  God is saying, “it’s time to start dreaming, believing, praying, expecting again.”  some of you wanted to buy that new house, you didn’t qualify for it, it didn’t work out;  that was 10 years ago, God says, “begin again.”  you knew you could break that addiction, but it didn’t happen, now you’ve gotten comfortable;  God is saying, “begin again.”  some of you had a big dream for your life,  you were gonna break out of the mold and set a new standard for your family;  but you had some disappointments, nobody believed in you, encouraged you, now you think it’s over.  but God is saying, “it’s not over, I have the final say, begin again.” you have seeds of greatness on the inside;  God wouldn’t have put the promise in your heart unless He already intended to bring it to pass.

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God is saying to each one of you tonight, “I’m going to complete your incompletions, finish what I started.  I remember the dreams I placed in your heart.  I’ve lined up the right people, opportunities;  it’s not too late, you haven’t missed too many opportunities, made too many mistakes.  begin again.”  get your fire, passion back.  and remember, if it doesn’t happen your way, keep the right perspective;  that would have been a healing, God has a resurrection. He has something better coming your way.  if you’ll stir your faith up, God is going to complete your incompletions, shift things in your favor, release a flood of His goodness, mercy, ideas.  you will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy, and become everything God’s created you to be.

Edit 5-15:  Today, I got the 1st-ever hit to the post “It is finished” from 4-5-10, in which I said:

“Tonight, for only the 3rd or 4th time since my conversion over 4 months ago, I noticed the listing for a famous TV pastor and watched his sermon. The topic? God doesn’t start anything that He can’t finish, that He won’t complete for you when the time is right.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Once again with this program, the specific addressing of my foremost current issue, the TIMING…  amazing.”

That’s either talking about THIS sermon, which as I write this is still under construction, or a conceptually identical one.  It’s beyond the bounds of coincidence that I got my 1st-ever hit to that 3-year-old post referencing this sermon NOW.  It’s a sign from God that the issues that I’m stuck halfway through WILL be finished, by Him, in the optimal way and time.

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I spoke to a beloved college friend for the first time in ages today.  He revealed that he has retired and will now focus on producing progeny with the younger woman he has married.  Here’s part of the email I sent him afterward:

“I was so happy to hear your voice today!! And about something else as well… which you probably won’t believe, but just in case you might I’ll tell you.

I was working on the computer, and talking to God under my breath as I do throughout the day. I was asking Him to give you beautiful, healthy genius babies. As sometimes happens, I felt “in the groove,” where I could ask Him something and get an answer. I have 3 sites bookmarked that generate random Bible verses. Without any forethought, I asked Him to give me a “birth-related verse” if He’d be answering this prayer soon, clicked one of the sites, and I do mean ONE click of ONE site, and with the entire Bible to choose from it gave me:

John 3:4 (KJV)

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

You’d be amazed at how often this sort of thing happens to me.  Again, I know you probably won’t think it means anything, and that’s ok.  I’ve attached a screen cap of the result I got, though…  just in case seeing is believing.”

Here is that screen cap:

john 3-4

YOWZA!!

There are about 31,240 verses in the Bible, including 137 that are actually unnumbered.  In the KJV, there are 184 verses containing the word “born,” and 27 for “birth,” including usage such as “firstborn” and “birthright.”  That’s 211 chances out 31,240 that I’d get a verse that would count as a “hit.”  That’s 1 chance in 148, which is %0.0675, aka about 2/3 of 1%.  Needless to say, this is not in the universe of coincidence;  it was my answer.

.  Does “born” appearing twice mean TWO babies?  His wife is a twin, so…  in any case, look for a baby announcement SOON!!

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I’m getting bogged down by the various stressors in my life, and the thought came to me, probably from God, that I should talk to some  friends that I haven’t spoken to in ages, by which I mean actual phone calls, not “talking” via email.  I emailed the 4 of them that I thought were the best candidates to see how they might feel about having our 1st talks in a while be under these circumstances, and when they might have a little free time to say something meaningful.  They all have histories of being slow to respond to emails, they’re not big on online stuff, but all 4 responded promptly and enthusiastically;  this in itself was wonderful.  One of them was able to talk right away.  The other 3 picked what for them was the best day coming up.  They were sent their emails late on Wednesday, and all 3 of them chose as the preferred time to talk, not any part of the weekend, but TUESDAY.  3 people who do NOT attend the same school, work in the same company, or live in the same part of the country, who have no commonality in their lives whatsoever to require to them to have the same scheduling preferences, all picked Tuesday.  Not weird enough?  How about this:  There is rarely a day on which I could not take a phone call, and those rare days would virtually all be on weekends, which is when socialization marathons would occur.  The first such weekDAY on which I would not be able to take a call in a very long time is… you guessed it, Tuesday (today).

When this many “coincidences” pile on, I see the hand of God involved.  He’s making it clear that I’m acting according to His will, and will benefit from these calls…  just delayed a couple of days, lol.

Still not convinced?  I also sent emails out to a few people that I have less of a history of closeness to, just saying “hi”and asking how they were doing.  One of them wrote back, I replied, and today she wrote again.  There has been ZERO mention of phones, calling, talking, needing to talk, absolutely nothing in this zone in anything I said to her.  Furthermore, although when she lived in my city many years ago we talked on the phone a lot, we’ve had only a handful of calls over the past 20 years, with the last one being over a decade ago (email is easy and free, with no time zone issues).  However, her 2nd email begins with this line:

“Great to hear from you. Still have the same phone number, xxx-xxxx? I still know it by heart.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!  Soooooooo, I guess I’ll be talking to HER, too…  why else would she bring up my # if she wasn’t suggesting a call?  WHY would she bring it up, period?  Whenever people do unexpected things for me like this, I know that God has exerted His influence.  I am SO blessed.

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