Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WRINKLES

Someone recently blessed me with the most wonderful words of evidence that our LORD is working in my life.  She told me that she’d been looking at who I used to be, instead of seeing me as I am now – a work still in progress but a bit further along the path than the place where she had unintentionally continued to see me. She was stunned to find out that she saw me that way.  And frankly, I was stunned to know she saw me that way, too!

I know this woman very well and love her deeply.  Her love for me is just as strong.  She is an amazing woman of GOD, a prophet who is given over totally to her relationship with our LORD.  She pours out her life on a daily basis for those He brings in her path.  She does not withhold her time when I have a need.  I've seen her deal with the rejection of loved ones and watch as she struggles to make ends meet with whatever she is given as a missionary. I have known her to go without food and necessities, praying and trusting GOD to provide what she needed. This is not a hard-hearted woman, beloved.  And I say all this so that you will be in remembrance of the fact that we can do all kinds of wonderful things for GOD and still not see things that we've tucked away inside…things that would surprise us to learn about ourselves!

When Holy Spirit opened her eyes to her, she apologized and asked for forgiveness from Him and me.  GOD was doing a work in her that completely affected my life, as well.  And so it is with all of us.

We are connected, Beloved.  Whether we really realize it or not, those words in scripture that say when one part of the body hurts, the whole body feels it. 1 Corinthians 12:15-26 (NIV) says, ‘15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.’

When we see others, what is it we truly see?  Is it a work in progress, just as we are all works in progress?  Or, has our enemy taken a picture of how things were and continued to hold it up before our eyes, such that it blinds us to the reality of the work of Holy Spirit in the life of the one we’re seeing?  Do we offer the same grace that we want extended to us?  Do we remember that each part of the body is important and more precious than we can possibly realize?  Do we come alongside of and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, doing all the Father asks of us to bless them?  Do we look at the lost, the lonely, fearful, unbelieving, different, unchurched people and refuse to see them as anything more than hopeless, helpless, rebellious individuals who will one day burn in hell?

I love knowing that GOD sees us through the eyes of Yeshua/Jesus.  I love knowing that He sees the end from the beginning and knows where He is taking us.  I love knowing that He is more than able to finish the work He’s begun and that His promise is that He will do the same in all of those who have made Him their GOD.

This body we’re in…this ‘Bride of Christ’ body to which we belong…it’s full of people with wrinkles in their garments and spots (sins) on their gowns…  But GOD is at work, helping us get ready to meet our wonderful Bridegroom, Yeshua/Jesus.  He’s not looking back, beloved.  He’s looking forward – to the time when we will be with Him.  He sees what He created us to be and knows the hunger in our spirits to get there.  

We both got a good laugh out of it.  She’d been told just days before by Holy Spirit that He was ironing out the wrinkles in her garment.  She asked me if I understood what those wrinkles might be.  The only thing Holy Spirit told me was that they had to do with things like relationships and teachings.  The good news is that the garment He showed was a pure white gown – so completely clean and white that it was almost blinding…  It was just a little wrinkly, but the LORD had a HOT iron He was using to get the wrinkles out.  I told her we both had wrinkles…and instantly saw a picture of a Sharpei dog in my mind.  You know, they look like this:

Displaying
We’re all a bit wrinkly, I guess.  But GOD is faithful and knows how to wield a hot iron to get us ready to meet Him.

So when you look – see the finished work the Master wants to do.  See the wrinkles gone.  See the gown sparkling.  See through eyes of love!  And ask Him on a regular basis – ‘Father, please show me what I need to see about myself, so that I may honor you in every way and change the parts I know how to change about myself.  I entrust the rest to You!  In Yeshua’s beautiful and glorious name!  Amen!
It’s just another way we war well!

Love you all!
Vicky

Saturday, November 15, 2014

THE REFINER'S FIRE



Hello, beloved friend.  Once again, I find myself sitting at the computer, waiting on the LORD for the words to share with you in The Invitation this week.  So many thoughts run through my head – words that would strengthen and build you up, as well as words that would challenge you to come up higher in your walk with our Beloved Bridegroom, Yeshua/Jesus. I believe the word He’s given me will bless you.  It certainly blesses me!

First of all…Never be satisfied with where you are!  Draw closer still!  Cry out to Him everywhere you are and listen to what He has to say to you.  Regardless of what some people may say, He absolutely still speaks to His bride today.  If He didn’t, He would be a liar.  His word says that He doesn’t change…  Therefore, if He spoke 2,000 years ago, He’s still speaking today.  If He performed miraculous signs and wonders directly and through His followers, He’s still doing those things today.  If He revealed things to His prophets back then, He’s still doing it today.  (Actually, all of these things I’m writing are written in His word, so this isn’t just some tangent – it’s scriptural reminders of the work and words of our fabulous GOD!)  With GOD, ALL things are possible.  Those are His words.  And I believe them.  How about you?

Precious child of GOD, stop fighting against the things He’s asking you to do.  His word is full of the things He wants from you – all of which are completely attainable.  Nothing is done by might or power.  It’s all done by His Spirit, remember?  Proverbs 3:5,6 says to trust Him – not yourself – with all you are and He will direct your path.  He promised to keep working in you until the day He returns to get you.  He said that nothing can take you out His hand!  He promises to be your Provider in times of need, your Comfort in times of difficulty, your Defender against the enemy, your Strength in times of weakness and your Peace in the midst of the storm!  He vowed that He would always be with you – never turning His heart away or abandoning you – His Beloved Bride – but staying right by your side in every circumstance in which you find yourself.  Whether good or bad, sick or well, sorrowful or filled with laughter, He wants you to know that you can always depend on Him to be with you and to be exactly WHO He says He is in you and for you.    

Let Him have His way in you with the least possible resistance from you!  You are going to be purged, purified and cleansed and it’s probably not going to feel very good.  Embrace those times, Beloved.  Know that it’s all for your good – this cleaning up the LORD does in you.  He is washing you down and building you up in humility.  He is singing over you and His banner over you is LOVE!  He will absolutely allow hard things to come your way, simply because of His abundant love for you.  He’s watching and testing and encouraging and blessing you all along the way.  Take it all in with your mind determined and your heart set on becoming and doing all He asks of you.  Show Him your love!!!

Tell me, how is it possible to be too close to the Savior?  How is it possible to turn away from the ONE who is so powerful and patient – so loving and strong and determined to make you the most beautiful bride of all time?  How could you ever say ‘no’ to that Guy?  I don’t believe that you can get too close or say ‘no’.  Neither can I. 

Trials may be fiery, but that doesn’t matter.  He knows when the temperature is too hot – and knows when and how to take you out of the furnace.  When you’ve made up your mind that He is absolutely all you could ever want or need – when your face is set like flint – you will sit in the heat of the fire and praise Him for His great goodness and love for one such as yourself.  You will joyfully endure the cross for the glory that is set before you.  You will cry out for Him to do all He needs to do to get you where He wants you… by His side for all eternity.

I leave you with this story I heard years ago…

There was group of women in a Bible study group studying the book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three, which says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”

This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.

That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.  She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up.

He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest to burn away all the impurities. 

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.

The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh that’s easy, when I see my image in it."

 Blessings, peace and strength to you!

Vicky

Saturday, November 1, 2014

WORSHIP GOD!

"I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg you in full view of {all} the mercies of GOD to make a decisive dedication of your bodies {presenting all your members and faculties} as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to GOD, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship."  Romans 12:1 Amplified Version (emphasis mine)

I have nothing new or profound to say to you, precious daughter of the Most High GOD.  You have heard me say it many times before and I will keep saying it until He takes me home.  FOLLOW YESHUA!  Love Him! Obey Him!  Make it the first thought in the morning and the last thought at night.  Pour all that you are into it!  You will find incredible moments of joy along the journey and deep moments of pain and brokenness as well.  You will have to bite your tongue and submit your will to Him at times when that is the last thing in the world your flesh wants to do.  You will stomp and scream and cry, perhaps.  That's okay.  At some point in time, if you will persevere, you will do less stomping, screaming and crying.  

And if you are not doing it now, there will come a time when you will dance in the rain while the enemy is screaming at you to give up, sit down, shut up and go away.  And when that time comes, you will laugh with a sound that comes from deep within your spirit, borne out of the love and faithfulness you've seen your Bridegroom/King, Yeshua/Jesus demonstrate in your life time and time and time again.  You will run and not grow weary, you will walk and not faint, because you will remember and know that our GOD is a CONSUMING FIRE!  

You will shout the battle cry to those who have given up - those who are discouraged or depressed or fearful or doubtful or whatever...  You will lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees that threaten to buckle at the challenge of the enemy.  You will know as you have never known before that our GOD is Mighty to Save!  He is Constant!  He is Deliverer!  He is Brilliant!  He is your High Tower!  He is your Defense!  He is Warrior GOD and He is coming, riding on the wings of the wind, on His stallion with His sword at His side!  He is NEVER going to give up and He will ABSOLUTELY do all He has said He will do! He will rule and reign and totally destroy everything that opposes the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!

You and I have a job to do.  We have the glorious joy of being His Warrior Brides, called to walk in holiness!  Called to prepare ourselves for His return!  Called to sound the trumpet to those who don't know Him yet!  Called to heal the sick and raise the dead - to cast out demons and cleanse the lepers!  Called to do all kinds of great stuff for our LORD!  Doesn't that sound wonderful?  It absolutely does.  Yes.  It.  Does.  We are not called to sit around and wait for Him to just snatch us out of here so we don't have to fight.  Nope.  Pick up your sword, Warrior Bride  It's time...

Worship isn't about giving an hour or two a week in a building with other believers, where all have gathered to sing some songs and hear a sermon.  Those are good things, no doubt.  But to worship GOD in spirit and in truth...  Read the verse in Romans 12:1 again...  Make a decision to present all that you are - ALL THAT YOU ARE - be a living sacrifice so that everything HE wants to do in you is more important than anything you want to do.  Give yourselves over to Him completely.  Every circumstance.  Every day.  That is your reasonable service - your spiritual worship. 

Make yourself hungrier for Him than you've ever been, Beloved.  Ask Him to fan the flames of love in you - flames that burn for Him.  Ask Him to make you so hungry for Him that you are not satisfied with the way things are.  Ask Him to help you see how to lay down your life for Him every single day from now on.  That is worship.  That is true worship...  Love Him enough to do what He wants.  No matter the cost.  That shows and tells  the GOD who created you that He is the most important and worthy being in your life.  Actually, it's telling Him that He IS your life!  And that is greater than all of the sermons ever preached piled clear up to the farthest star and back.  He doesn't want lip service.  He wants laid-down-lives service!  He wants totally surrendered men and women who prove their love for Him.  And He deserves it!

I encourage you, Beloved.  Stand in awe and wonder at the glory of our GOD.  Be fearless and faithful in your love for Him!  Go to war for your Bridegroom/King!  Stand up, stand firm, stand strong!  Stand in love!  War in love, Warrior Bride.  Love with abandon!  Love with abandon!  Love with abandon!!!  Answer the call to lay down your own desires and take up the desires of your GOD!  Give Him first place in all things!

His love for you is great, beautiful Warrior Bride.  His love for you is so very great!  So go ahead...WORSHIP GOD!  See you on the battlefield!

Vicky

Saturday, October 18, 2014

BEAUTY!

It's everywhere around us.  Look with new eyes, Beloved.  See how GOD has given us such a glorious world in which to live!  Look at the wonder of His creation.  It's a magnificent time of year - leaves changing to the most brilliant colors imaginable.  I love seeing the changes.  

I love knowing that we have a GOD who is the most fantastic designer!  He makes the trees sing with music and the grasses dance to the swaying winds that blow.  He makes the birds soar on wings that seem too fragile to carry anything at all!  He moves the sun across the sky, warming the cooler days with the reminder that HE is GOD, He is our breath and warmth and life and strength.  He is our comfort and our security, our refuge in times of trouble, our provider in times of need, our healer in times of sickness and our deliverer in times of adversity. 

He is all we could ever hope for and so much more than we will ever understand.  He is the power in the resurrection of Yeshua, the author of everything good and kind and wonderful.  He is so extravagant with His love that we are undone in His presence.  He is so mighty in His holiness that the weight of His glory can crush even the strongest man on earth.  He is beyond the scope of our imagination and outside of our ability to comprehend in all His ways.  He rides upon the wind and lives within the heartbeat of the unborn child.  He is mercy and grace.  He is perfect in every way, in every circumstance, in every part of His creation.  He is never-ending and always creating. 

He is steadfast and true.  He is not a man.  He does not lie.  We cannot see Him now, but we will one day.  If we walk with Him, we will be blessed to see Him face to face and to live with Him throughout eternity.  And we will be changed...utterly, completely changed...transformed into what we cannot know now, but one day we will know.  For we will see him and we will be made brand new.  He promised He would make all things new...  and I believe that as His children, we will be made new as well. 

For now, we live in this world.  We are not to be of it.  We are to be changed, transformed, made new in the life He's given us through His Son.  His work in us is not finished.  He is faithful to complete it, as it says in His word.  For now, He calls us to embrace the life we've been given - embrace it to the full - walking hand in hand with Him daily, loving those He puts in our paths, following Him into places that we would perhaps never choose to go on our own, but will go willingly because He loves and cares for those who are lost.  We will go because we love Him more than life itself.  We will go because He beckons to us, encourages and strengthens us for the journey.  We will go because He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  We will say 'yes' to Him, because He said 'YES' to the Father in order that we might be saved.  We will be hungry and thirsty and tired for him, because He is the Love of Our Lives...  We will worship and praise and honor and adore Him.  We will follow Him everywhere He leads us. 

And we will see the return of our Savior Yeshua one day.  Yes, indeed.  We will see Him come again in the clouds with His angels - with the sound of a trumpet - riding on a white horse with His robe dipped in the blood of the saints.  We will see Him and we will shout for joy and tremble for fear, hoping that He will come to take us with Him.  We will bow the knee, as will every creature on earth, and declare that He IS LORD.  We will cry with joy and shout with abandon for the One who loves us this much.  We will not be afraid to say what He tells us to say and to do what He asks us to do.  And if fear comes to steal our obedience, or if doubt comes to steal our trust and confidence in Him, we will look once again upon the glory of the LORD whose promise to us is that He will never leave nor forsake us, but will instead give us all we need to do all that He asks.  And we will be victorious, because the battle has been fought and won by our Lord and we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  Look at the beauty in the season.  Look at the designer who made it all.  Look with awe an wonder.  Never lose the childlike quality and beauty of awe and wonder for the LORD.  He is GOOD.  His mercy endures forever!

Beloved, He has called you by name!  Roll around, sing, run, jump, kneel, get on your face, shout, cry, weep, dance, clap, proclaim and laugh with joy in the wonder - in the BEAUTY of His love!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

FEARLESS LOVE!

Ooey-gooey feelings.  Sticky-sweet, syrup-y, sugar-y, honey-filled love.  That is the definition of love, huh?

Yeah. Right.

Okay, so let’s get real.  Let’s talk about what love IS.  We just defined what it is NOT.

Love is commitment.  Love is dedication, regardless of what feelings say.  Love is NOT blind.  Love is very clear-eyed.  Love says, “I will endure to the end.  I will stay and do what I need to do to humble myself and honor and bless the one I have said ‘Yes!’ to.  I will think more highly of that person than I do of myself.  I will bow low to the ground when what I want to do is stand up and scream – or walk away – or sit down and cry and just plain give up.  Love says, “No matter what, I am in this for the long haul.  No matter what you say or think or do or believe.  I am here and I will not let go.  I will not change my mind, just because things are difficult.  I will endure to the end.  I will not let the enemy win and divide us.  I will not go away just because you are thoughtless or selfish.  I will BE here, ready to do whatever I need to do to see you grow and succeed.  I will endure to the end.  Period.  Amen.  So be it.  And that is all. That is it.  That is all there is to it.” 

And by the way, I’m paraphrasing…  Yeshua said it all over the whole Bible.  Yes.  He.  Did.

This society in which we live is so messed up.  People have given in to the whole ‘if it doesn’t make me feel comfortable or agree with what I say, think or feel, or want to do, then I’m not putting up with it’ lifestyle.  ‘I have my own truth, ‘they say, ‘so if you want to be my friend, then don’t cross me.’  Humility and repentance are two words that are bitter in the mouths of many people.  Is it any wonder that everything is so wacky now?  I think not.

Wow.  Just wow.  And that’s the way it is.  Selfishness reigns.  Anger and frustration and violence and depression and rebellion are as thick as the air anymore. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say something along the lines of, “I believe GOD wants me to be happy.  I don’t believe He wants me to go through things like this.”  It’s everywhere…  It’s all over the Christian community as well.  And people don’t grow.  People think they’re going to get yanked off of this planet before bad stuff happens.  People think they were just put down here to basically enjoy life – having bought into the lie that says they are supposed to just be comfortable.  Uh-huh.  Yeah.  Right again….

Can you imagine a soldier being on a battlefield and refusing to fight the enemy, because she doesn’t want to get shot at?  That’s crazy!  We signed up for this war.  This is not a game, or a high school dance or a sorority party.  This.  Is.  War.

Well, let’s look at our example so we don’t look at things in the wrong light.  After all, we use the Bible as our reference, so let’s do that.  And let’s look in it at the Author and Finisher of our faith…the One we profess to follow.  Just know as I type this, I tremble inside when I begin to compare myself to Him.  But He is the ONLY ONE I am supposed to compare myself to.  Not my best friend and her idea of how things are supposed to be.  Not the pastor who has fallen into deception about even the word ‘prosperity’, thinking that we are to get rich, because that’s what Yeshua wants for us.  Not the famous preacher who says that we’re not going to have to ‘endure to the end’ (even though that is what Yeshua said), but rather that we are going to escape the bad stuff because Daddy GOD is going to take us to heaven so we don’t have to go through anything hard. 

Look at Yeshua/Jesus.  Most people don’t even want to call Him by his name.  They want to call Him Jesus.  But you know what?  That’s not His real name.  His name is Yeshua.  People struggle with that.  People want to have the kind of savior that fits their western culture spoiled rotten idea of who and what He is/was/said/did.  But that’s not what He wants.  He wants genuine LOVE.

I think I probably sound a bit intense today.  I think it’s because it’s time to get serious.  The LORD said that judgment begins in His house.  Well, that’s us.  So before He has to judge us, we’d better be judging ourselves.  How serious are we about Him and what He wants?  How willing are we to go through whatever we have to go through to PROVE that?  He defined love as doing the will of His Father in heaven…and His Father in heaven sent Him here to DIE for us…to suffer and go through horrible pain for us.  So the question is, (since we now know what REAL love is): How much do we really love HIM?  Is it more than we love ourselves?  We’ve got to examine ourselves and make the necessary corrections.  No more delay.  There is no more time for delay.  The time to change is NOW. The time to repent is NOW.  The time to stop being afraid of losing ourselves and our identities is NOW.  The time to grow up is NOW.  The time to stop being afraid and RUN, RUN, RUN into the battle is NOW.  So let’s do – let’s examine Yeshua’s life for a moment.  And let’s just look at the part where He was in the Garden before His arrest.

Do you think He wanted to die?  Do you think He wanted to be beaten – literally whipped until the flesh was hanging off of His body – until He was no longer recognizable?  Do you think He wanted to be spat upon and mocked and ridiculed, without saying a word?  Do you think He wanted to go through any of THAT at all?  Do you think He thought it was going to be fun to have every sin and sickness and disease put on His body, when He had never sinned in His life?  Do you think He didn’t want GOD to take it all away and come up with a painless and easy way to go through stuff to save us – a way that wouldn’t involve suffering in any way?  Do you think He was incapable of experiencing hurt and sorrow and grief and physical and emotional pain?
Do you think it was fun to be in so much stress that He began to sweat ‘great drops of blood’?  I understand from the tiny bit I’ve read that it is possible to do so when the body is in extreme EXTREME stress.  If that is true, can you even begin to imagine what He was going through?  I don’t think so.  I can’t.  No one can really understand that.  But, by the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, we are so glad that He did.  We are so so so glad that He did.  And He did it because of LOVE.  OBEDIENCE to the FATHER is true love.  There was nothing ooey-gooey about it.  It wasn’t ‘sticky-sweet, syrup-y, sugar-y, honey-filled’ love.  No. It was ‘down in the trenches’ love.  It was ‘rip your guts out, I’m sticking to this no matter how much it hurts or how hard it is’ love.  It was ‘I am in this for the long haul’ love.  It was ‘no matter what you say or think of me, I’m here – and I’m not going away’ love.  It was ‘I will endure until the end, because you are worth it’ love.  It was ‘genuine, faithful, devoted, steadfast, extraordinary, beautiful, pure, honest, persevering, dedicated’ LOVE. 

We all search for something and don’t see it right before our very eyes.  We get our little attitudes and climb up on our little soapboxes, telling others that we will not put up with the junk in the lives of other people and that endurance is not scriptural, unless it suits our own ideas of what that looks like.  But that’s not what Yeshua did.  Nope.  He didn’t.  HE ENDURED TO THE END.  And Beloved, you and I have the same assignment.  There is no depth in ooey-gooey, sticky-sweet, syrup-y, sugar-y, honey-filled love, because it doesn’t exist.  If you think about it, that kind of ‘love’ would draw flies and bees that bite and sting.  REAL love is solid.  REAL love is PATIENT, and KIND.  Love is written all over 1 Corinthians 13, but it is lived out in the life our LORD and SAVIOR YESHUA/JESUS.  Love conquers all.  Everything..

One last thing:  He said the servant is not greater than the master.  He said that it is only those who endure to the end who will be saved.  He said only those who do the will of His Father in heaven will make it there.  So, Beloved, we said ‘Yes!’ to GOD.  And now the question is:  Will we stay and do what we need to do to honor and bless and truly love the one we have said ‘Yes!’ to.  It means we die to ourselves, just as Yeshua did.  There’s no way around it.  Anything less is ooey-gooey sticky-sweet…well, you get the idea.


Come on, Warrior Brides.  Fearless love.  Let’s do this!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

PEBBLES ON THE ROAD

Today is an incredible moment in time. 

This morning as I considered what to write about this week for The Invitation, I saw a vision in my mind of a person walking along an old country road.  She had in her hand a bag that sort of reminded me of a satchel or perhaps a backpack.  As she walked along, she would occasionally bend over and pick up a pebble, drop it into her bag and resume walking.  She was not in a hurry.  There was no race to be run.  As a matter of fact, if she hurried, I realized she would miss many pebbles along the way.  And although she never spoke a word to me, (I was watching from behind her on the road), I understand that picking up the pebbles was a very important part of her journey.

Beloved, we live in a time where everything in the world says that we must hurry…  Our lives can often feel overwhelming simply because of the responsibilities we have and the work that needs to get done.   There are decisions that loom before us throughout our days and we may frequently find ourselves trying to figure out what to sacrifice and what to keep on our agendas.  The list can be endless and the tasks may feel daunting, so we try to prioritize and fit everything in that we possibly can.  And in the process, we have to ask ourselves…what are we missing?

I believe most of us realize that we are truly in the last days.  Time is running out and it won’t be long before everything in life changes in ways that we may never have considered.  The return of our LORD, Yeshua/Jesus, isn’t far away and there is a field out there, ‘white and ready to harvest’.   People in need of a LORD they know nothing about yet…Heart changes and lifestyle changes and repentance and salvations and baptisms are calling...  The wars, rumors of wars, family needs, relationship problems and everything else we have to deal with can feel not only intimidating, but insurmountable.  And in our own strength, we find that they are indeed beyond our abilities to handle.  We need help.  We need Yeshua/Jesus!  

The vision is a reminder of our loving GOD and His call to each of us...  Here is the understanding He imparted…

The road is representative of the journey in this life.  The fact that it was in the country indicates that it was away from the world, called out by GOD to a place where the hustle and bustle of the ‘rat race’ was not a distraction.  It represented a road or path of peacefulness and quiet.  There were no others on the path, because this was a journey with the woman and GOD.  And this was a journey that could not be hurried along, but must be embraced for the precious gift that it is.

And the pebbles…they represented the things she would gather to equip herself with ~ the pieces of The Rock ~ Yeshua/Jesus ~ as she spent time with Him along the way.  Each pebble represented one more part of Him ~ The Rock ~ that she chose to take with her; one more portion of all He had for her to learn about Him, His love, His desire for the relationship with her that only comes from intimacy, from time invested and love expressed between the hearts of two in love.

There is a call given to all of GOD’S people, to turn or return to Him, to walk in obedience and humility, to love GOD first and others as ourselves.  There is a call to go into all the world, to preach the gospel, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, cleanse the lepers…a call that reminds us that we have freely received from HIM and we are to freely, freely, freely give so that others may receive all of the blessings that we ourselves have received because of His abundant mercy and grace toward us. 

It’s a huge call. And the only way any of us will walk in the fullness of that call is to walk in the intimacy of the relationship with Him.   It’s a call that He wants to equip each of us to answer.  And because He is who He says He is, He will equip us, if we will be faithful to take the time to be WITH Him…to stop and pick up the pebbles on the road.
Beloved, all along the journey we should always maintain grateful hearts!  Hold tightly to the awareness and remembrance of His many blessings and goodness.  The breath of life.  The beating of our hearts.  The people who challenge and who love us.  The bread on our tables.  The mercy of our GOD.  The list is endless, because He is EVERYTHING and He is with us always…

The Rhythm of Eternity
Movement pulsates through time and space
Carrying the cadence of life with every beat ~
Taking the joys and sorrows ~ the struggles and jubilation ~
The energy of the song in the music of the heart.
Soaring with the ecstasy of breath and sound...
Mingling together, they ebb and flow across boundaries known
And unknown...
While endless horizons sought after arise...
Racing with unrelenting steadiness, each consumed by and filled with wonder
~ Breathless Wonder ~
Toward the One Who created every nuance...
Every swell... every peak...
Every second captured and held within the perfect Answer.
The pace is set...
Unveiling the precise moment of time when all of creation
Joins the chorus of honor and reverence...
Every knee bowing in perfect unison...
Every tongue freely confessing and every voice crying aloud
With a thunderous sound filled with worship...
And adoration...
Professing with undeniable knowledge the wondrous news that
Jesus Christ is Lord.
And so, through His amazing love we see
The Rhythm of Eternity.


Blessings to all of you, beautiful Warrior Brides. 
Love,

Vicky

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

ABOVE THE CLOUDS

He stands in the heavens with His arms outstretched, stars literally pouring from the palms of His hands.  Galaxies more vast than any mortal can even begin to comprehend are born with one thought from the unfathomable mind of the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.  Everything He does is glorious!  His creation is constantly displaying the majesty of The Holy One.  He has no equal.  He is Infinite.  Immortal.  Eternal.  Steadfast.  Omnipotent.  Omnipresent.  Omniscient.  And, He is always creating.  Worlds without end...  Always.  Always. ALWAYS!

'The heavens declare the glory of GOD; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech.  Night after night, they reveal knowledge.  They have no speech, they use no words.  No sound is heard from them.'  Psalm 19:1

I love to look at the sky.  It's always been one of my favorite things to do.  Whether it be filled with puffy white cotton ball clouds, huge thunderheads, the first light of dawn, the last rays of a beautiful sunset or stars that shimmer and sparkle against a velvety black night, all are stunning reminders of the very creative nature of our loving GOD.  I never find it to be dull or boring.  It's a constant declaration of the power and wonder of an all-consuming passionate and eternal Maker. And although the scripture in Psalm 19:1 says no sound is heard from them (only unheard by the human ear), those skies really do 'pour forth speech' day and night, proclaiming the eternal evidence of the existence and nature of GOD.

I have the same passion about trees.  I love to watch them sway in strong winds... Reminds me of the winds of adversity in life and how we are to be anchored in our LORD if we are to endure those troubling times.  I also love to see the leaves rustling when there's a gentle wind blowing.   It reminds me the breath of Holy Spirit, faithfully moving in and through our lives each day.  Those are some of the ways He speaks to me, reassuring and bringing me comfort when life is anything but comfortable.  They remind me that the One Who created everything from nothing, even created the nothing into which everything was born.   They are visible reassurances of the faithfulness, love, and tender watch-care of my invisible Father GOD.  What wonder lies beyond our ability to see with our limited eyesight! What peace comes with knowing that He Who set the sun in the sky and the moon into orbit can be trusted to always be GOD!  He has no equal.  He has no equal.  HE HAS NO EQUAL.

Beloved friends, our world has grown more and more unstable.  I will not glorify what is going on by dwelling on it here.  You don't need me to recount the works of satan and his devils, and I am not interested in doing so.  Instead, I will say this:  Now more than ever we must draw close to our LORD.   Praise Him.  Talk to Him.  Listen to Him.  Read His word.  Meditate on it day and night.  Pray.  Fast.  LOVE.  Give.   Labor while there is still time!  And never forget:  rest in Him.

When I say we must draw close to Him, I don't mean we should hide in our basements and wait for the end to come!  Heavens, no!!!  It's scary to think that there are people who claim to love the LORD but who are staying locked up behind closed doors so that nothing bad can happen to them - people who believe they will be contaminated by the world and may be in danger of losing their 'salvation' by association with the 'lost' people in it.  If you know someone like that, PRAY for them, for they are driven by fear!  They have fallen into horrible deception and don't realize that hiding is just another way of trying to 'save their own lives', not realizing that in the process of doing so, they stand in danger of losing their lives in heaven. 

What I mean is this:  we cannot afford to NOT reach out to the 'lost'!  It's part of our responsibility as the children who claim to love GOD!  You and I have been placed in this time because GOD chose us for this time.  We have much work to do!  The time is short and there are so many who still don't know Yeshua/Jesus Christ is LORD.  He said this in Matthew 10: 37-39,

"Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it."

Do you hear it?  He's saying we must be willing to follow Him at all costs.  At all costs.  AT ALL COSTS.

No doubt some of you reading this are dealing with your own troubling circumstances.  Maybe you have a relationship that seems to be falling apart...  Maybe you or someone you love is struggling with health issues. Maybe you have family issues that seem irreparable.  Maybe you've lost your job or your home - or a loved one.   Whatever the problem may be, GOD can walk you through it with His grace.  He cares!  He really truly cares.  And He has an answer.  He has a plan.  Hold on!!!

James 1:16, 17, (NIV) says, "Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."  He never changes.  Isaiah 43:19 (NKJV) says, "Behold, I will do a new thing. Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." 

To the human eye, it may seem that the stars are just randomly tossed in the skies.  That may even have been what everyone believed before the constellations were identified.  So you see, to us, they may look like there is no order.  But there is!  GOD is a GOD of order!  We cannot see the big picture of the heavens, but He can.  We cannot see the big picture for our lives or the lives of those we love, but He most certainly can.  He is VAST!  He is ENORMOUS!  And He is at work in your life every second of every day.  That beat of your heart you just experienced...He's telling you of His love with every beat.  That breath you just breathed into your little lungs...He's telling you of His great love with every breath. 

Look at the stars in the night sky.  Look at the clouds rolling across the day sky.  Watch the leaves on the trees rustling with the movement of the wind.  Hear the sound of Holy Spirit as He speaks to you through all of creation, announcing the words of the FATHER GOD, saying,

I AM HERE.  I AM FAITHFUL.  I AM ALL YOU WILL EVER NEED AND MORE THAN YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE.  I AM.  YES.  I AM.

Blessings,
Vicky

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Life!

 
It's almost here...  Spring!  I love this time of year!  Winter is spitting out one last blast of cold air, complete with little snow flakes and a dusting of the white stuff on the ground this morning, but I refuse to let that stop the joy and excitement that is bubbling up in my spirit today.  The gray skies and frosty winds won't deter my enthusiasm...  I KNOW it's almost here and I am ecstatic!

For those of you who have read any of my previous posts about the subject of the seasons, you already know that I am not a cold weather person.  That's pretty amazing, since we live in the Midwest and cold is just part of the package around here.  Every year, I have to brace myself for the season that is my least favorite of all...winter.  Even the word sounds cold to me.  Brrrr!

It seems this winter was colder and snowier and just plain meaner than most.  The temps were outrageous ~ so many days below freezing AND below zero.  At times, I just stood at the window, looking out on the arctic weather that encased us and reminded myself repeatedly that this too, would pass.  And as I sometimes do when the skies have been cloudy for days on end, I would encourage myself to remember that, beyond that gray blanket hanging over our heads, there was/is a sun that shines on and stars that still fill the night sky.

Some days it's easier to remember than others.  But I faithfully cling to the hope ~ the anticipation of the warm, sunny days filled with the sounds of birds singing from trees that will be covered once again with beautiful green leaves that sing and dance when the wind blows, a yard covered with a soft verdant carpet of grass beneath my feet and the sounds that carry me back on the wings of memories to a game of hide-and-seek or tag or Red Rover played with my brothers and sisters and all of the kids in the neighborhood. 

The sound of the neighbor's lawn mower as he manicures his yard echoes in the recesses of my mind.  Of course, those mowers were the old-fashioned kind...no engines, no gasoline...just the whirring of the blade as it clipped the grass, all powered by the human being that drove it through the suburban jungle called a 'yard'.  Oh, and the airplanes flying overhead.  Not  jets...airplanes!  And the sound of the milk truck as it came down our street...  We had such a nice milk man!  He delivered eggs and cheese and milk and I don't remember what all...  That was back in the day when milk came in bottles and butter was real and eggs were, too!  Ha! 

And delight of delights!  The Ice Cream Man!  For a child, it seemed the times were few and far between when we heard the bell on the truck announcing to all the neighborhood children that he was only a street or two away, so we'd better hurry and get our money and be ready ~ standing on the curb in front of the house, if we wanted him to stop so we could buy an ice cream treat.  Always afraid they would say 'no', but hoping that mom or dad would say 'yes',  we raced to beg our parents for a dime or a quarter to buy something from the Ice Cream Man.  Bomb pops and ice cream sandwiches and popcicles and oh my!  The list goes on and on and on!  The choices were always so difficult!  We wanted one of each!

We made mud pies and tried to get the neighbor kids to eat them.  We played 'Open Your Mouth and Close Your Eyes and You Will Get a Big Surprise'.  One time, we took the stuffing out of an old chair in the basement and put it in the next door neighbor girl's mouth!  She ran home, vomiting and of course, we had our behinds warmed by our dad.  Kids can be so ...  childish!  Needless to say, we didn't do that again!

Often in the afternoons, we played 'Tarzan and Jane', running through the yards all over our little subdivision...no place was off-limits.  Well, almost no place...  Anyway, we were little kids with giant imaginations, unhindered by fences or roads or stop signs...or barking dogs or anything on the planet!  We ran barefoot around the whole neighborhood, laughing and doing our own imitations of the Tarzan and Jane calls...at the top of our lungs, mind you...totally oblivious to the desire some of the older residents may have had for peace and quiet!  We were gloriously happy in those times!  And the skies were blue and the grass was green and the flowers were in bloom and the wind was soft and gentle...  What a time it was...

There were hard times, too.  Yes.  There were.  But GOD was always there.  There was the arctic blast of a divorce between my parents.  There were gray skies that covered up the sun's light when I chose horrible lifestyles and went down cold, dark and lonely paths of sin and rebellion.  There was loss and barrenness in circumstances.  There was guilt and shame and embarrassment and feelings of inadequacy far deeper than I can describe.  There were bitter winds of abuse and rejection and pain.  Just as there are in most lives.  So it was in mine.  But...G O D!!!!!!!

Yeshua/Jesus.  He was always there.  Standing beside me as the sun kissed my face with warmth on those sunny days in the neighborhood...  He was there, drawing me with patience and long-suffering toward His Son's Light when it seemed that death was the only thing that would stop me from continuing on the destructive path I chose.  He stayed with me in those bitterly cold, icy times in my life.  He waited and wooed me.  He spread the glory of His LIGHT - His LOVE - across the Midwestern plains of my heart and soul and lifted the garments of sadness, discouragement, hopelessness and despair from my cold-racked being, replacing them with the warmth of His Comforter...His Holy Spirit.  He brought the sunshine back into my life.  And it was a different kind of warmth and light.  For this was the Sonlight that will never ever EVER leave me again, regardless of circumstances or anything else.  He brought HIMSELF! 

So on those cold days in winter, there continues to be a warmth that has poured into my spirit and my soul.  Like the living waters He speaks of in John 4:10-13, He brought new life into me.  Oh, I still don't like winter as much as I do the other seasons of the year.  But I am grateful for every day.  Cold or hot.  I am grateful for each one.  Because my Father in heaven has chosen to keep me on this planet a little longer.  I want to finish well.  I want to complete the assignment He's given me to do while I'm here.  So I refuse to complain about the cold.  I choose instead to be thankful for whatever He puts in front of me.  And I will continue to rejoice for the new life and the new day and the gentle winds of His precious Spirit and for all that is set before me.  And I will thank Him and declare His goodness all the days of my life ~ winter, summer, spring and fall.  And when I see those little blades of grass peeking up through the ground and the buds on the trees and when I hear the sounds of the robin singing and see the blue skies and sunshine and white puffy clouds, I will always do a little happy dance in my heart.  My GOD is GOOD.  He is from EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING.  And He brings NEW LIFE to all who will embrace it. 

Enjoy FULLY this new day!  Blessings!

Vicky 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow Diamonds of Life

The snow is beautiful this morning. Cold, yes. But also sparkly and fresh and well, beautiful! Sparkly, sparkly, sparkly! I love to see the little snow-diamonds scattered all over the ground when the sunlight touches them in just the right way. Before the end of summer comes each year, I am already thinking ahead to the cold days and nights of winter. I confess, it isn't with eager anticipation, either. I guess you'd say it's with more of a sense of sadness. I'm not a cold weather person. And although I love the colors of the autumn months, it's always there...sort of lurking in the back of my mind...that reminder that the rich greens will soon be replaced by brown and gray...everywhere. Lush trees will turn once again into giant sticks in the ground and the verdant carpet that covers the earth in our land will be replaced with cold brown dead stuff. Even the thought that the warm temperatures will turn to chilly - or at times freezing icy-cold teeth-chattering and body-numbing air just makes me shiver on the warmest of days. As I said, I'm NOT a cold weather person. But, no matter what is going on - outside with the weather or inside of our hearts/minds/lives/circumstances - there is one thing I know: GOD is and always will be GOD and He knows how to get the sparkle - joy - snow-diamonds - to come forth in every situation. He created the earth - and all of the beauty it contains. The times and seasons are His. The days and nights are His. The goodness and mercy and grace and everything - EVERYTHING -it's all His. He IS the Creator. Nothing can exist without Him. Everything that has been or ever will be made - it's all composed of pieces and parts of things He spoke into existence. Yes, even the bad things. Even the cold cold cold winter. He makes all things beautiful in His time. In His way. Oh yes. He does. You may have stuff going on in your life that you don't like. There may be places in your heart that are cold from the hurt and disappointments and even the stain of sin that threaten to overwhelm you. But, dearest beloved child, GOD is able to work all of that out. Perhaps you are still learning to look up and live right now, in this moment. THIS moment - not those of the past or those ahead in the future. Perhaps you need to repent - change your direction and turn back to GOD. We don't know what the future holds, but we know the ONE who holds it in His very capable hands. So, beloved child of His, be encouraged! Whether it is to lift your burdens in a miraculous way or simply to strengthen you to endure as you walk through it to the other side, He wants you to remember that HE is GOD! Loving, compassionate, slow to anger, rich in mercy...all of it! HE IS GOD! And like the beautiful diamonds dancing in the cold deep snow, there are beautiful blessings tucked away in the depths of your struggles. Let the SONLIGHT of His love shower you with the peace that passes all earthly understanding. Spring is coming. New life is being born in ways you and I cannot see...hidden from our eyes, deep in the rich soil of our trials. So whether it will be snowy or balmy breezes that lie ahead, if we will just stay inside the warmth of His love, we will be able to more fully appreciate each sparkly little snow-diamond of our lives.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Forget and Remember!!!

Good morning, beloved friends. Keep your head up and your hands lifted in praise to Him.  Keep your heart attitude right.  Yes, I know it can be a battle.  There is so much going on in the world today and in the lives of people we know and love, but GOD never gives up on His children.  He's calling out to each one of us to press in closer to Him.  He
has the answers we need!  He has the plans that we can't see!  He has all of the strength, wisdom, power and resources that we could ever need to do what we've been called to do!  His strength is perfect!  His power is limitless!  His mercies are new every morning!  HE IS GOD! 

Don't ever give up!  Don't ever stop pressing in for the victorious life He has for you!  Don't ever think you can't make it!  Don't ever think you aren't worth the effort!  If you weren't, Jesus never would have died for you!  Remember that!!!

Remember the dreams He's given you!  Remember the hunger in your heart and the passion you felt for Him when you first knew Him!  He is your first love!  He has given His angels charge over you!  He has kept every promise He's ever made and He's not about to quit now! He knows the hairs on your head, the hurts in your heart, the dreams in your soul, the weaknesses in your walk, the loneliness, weariness and sadness you have carried and the grief you have borne...  And He says to you this day,

"I'M HERE!  I'M RIGHT HERE!  TURN TO ME WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART!  I WILL HEAL!  I WILL REDEEM!  I WILL RESTORE AND REPAIR AND REFRESH AND RENEW!  I HAVE CONQUERED THE ENEMY IN EVERY WAY!  NEVER GIVE UP!  I AM YOUR HIGH TOWER - YOUR DEFENDER AND SHIELD - YOUR PROTECTOR AND THE ANSWER TO YOUR EVERY NEED! I AM YOUR BRIGHT AND SHINING STAR!  I WANT YOU!  I HAVE WONDERFUL THINGS TO TELL YOU AND GLORIOUS THINGS TO SHOW YOU!  I HAVE MADE A WAY FOR YOU IN THE WILDERNESS...WHEN THERE DIDN'T SEEM TO BE A WAY AT ALL!  I'LL KEEP YOU!  I'LL DELIVER YOU!  I'LL BE RIGHT THERE WITH YOU IN EVERY BATTLE - DEFENDING, GUARDING AND EQUIPPING YOU! 

THE TIME FOR DISTRACTIONS IS AT AN END! HOW MANY VACATIONS DO YOU NEED?  HOW MUCH 'TIME OFF' DO YOU NEED?  HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU NEED TO EARN?  COME OUT OF THE WORLD IN EVERY WAY.  YOU MUST WORK IN IT, THAT IS TRUE.  BUT YOU MUST TURN FROM ALL OF ITS ADULTEROUS WAYS AND POUR ALL OF YOUR RESOURCES, ENERGY AND STRENGTH INTO ME, FOR THE TIME IS SHORT AND THE FIELD IS SO WHITE AND SO READY FOR HARVEST.

REMAIN IN ME!  REMAIN IN ME!  REMAIN IN ME!  LET NOTHING STEAL YOU AWAY FROM ME - NOT THE TELEVISION, THE COMPUTER, THE ELECTRONICS, THE MALLS OR THE FASHIONS OR THE JOB OR THE FRIENDS OR THE RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS OR LONELINESS OR HEALTH ISSUES OR UNFORGIVENESS OR FEAR OR WORRY OR DOUBT OR THE MONEY OR HOUSES OR CARS OR THE POLITICS OR THE WORKS OF DARKNESS OR EVEN THE PROGRAMS OF THE CHURCH! 

I WILL SHOW YOU THE TIMES, WAYS, PEOPLE, SEASONS, PROVISION AND DIRECTION TO GO.  EVERY TIME, I WILL BE WITH YOU.  EVERY TIME, I WILL OPEN THE DOORS THAT I WANT OPEN AND SHUT THE DOORS THAT ARE NOT FOR YOU TO GO THROUGH.  IF YOU WILL KEEP YOURSELF HUMBLE, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR ME TELL ON THE DEVIL WHEN HE COMES AGAINST YOU.  IF YOU KEEP YOURSELF HUMBLE, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEE ME DOING, EVEN AS MY SON YESHUA SAW ME - AND ONLY DID WHAT HE SAW ME DO.  YOU WILL HAVE EYES TO SEE IF YOU REMAIN HUMBLE! 

PEOPLE ARE STARVING FOR LOVE - FOR ME - FOR FOOD AND SHELTER AND CLOTHING AND HEALTH!  MY HANDS ARE FULL OF PROVISION!  HAVE YOU FIGURED OUT THAT I HAVE ALL OF THE PROVISION YOU COULD EVER DREAM OF HAVING?  DON'T WORRY ABOUT PROVISION ANYMORE!  DON'T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING!  JUST DRAW CLOSE TO ME!  STOP WORRYING ABOUT EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!  FORGET YOUR OWN PLANS!  MINE ARE SO MUCH BIGGER AND BETTER THAN YOURS!  REMEMBER!  REMEMBER!  REMEMBER!  I AM YHVH!!!  I AM GOD!!! I AM HOLY!!!  I AM WISDOM!  I AM ETERNAL!  I AM THE CREATOR!  NOTHING EXISTS WITHOUT ME ALLOWING TO EXIST!  YOU CAN'T UNDERSTAND MY WAYS AND I DON'T EXPECT YOU TO!  ONE DAY, YOU WILL SEE AND KNOW FULLY - NOT JUST IN PART AND THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY!  YOU WILL SEE AND KNOW ME AND YOU WILL BE ASTOUNDED BY THE THINGS I WILL SHOW YOU!  I AM ALMIGHTY AND ALL POWERFUL!  I WILL GET YOU WHERE I WANT YOU TO BE!!!  RUN WITH ME, CHILD!  LABOR WITH ME!!!  LAY DOWN BEFORE ME TO WORSHIP - THEN STAND AND RUN WITH ME TO WAR!!!  I HAVE THE BATTLE PLANS AND THE STRATEGIES YOU NEED TO WIN THE WARS IN FRONT OF YOU!  YOUR GREATEST WEAPON IS ME!!!  AND I LOVE YOU!!!"