The Map Miracle
Years ago, I was so unbelievably lost, broken, hurting, and hopeless that I placed a huge map of the United States on the floor and stood on top of it figuring somehow I would land on wherever I was supposed to go since surely I couldn’t stay where I was any longer given the hopelessness of it all. You can imagine I didn’t find my miracle standing on top of that map!
I found that miracle when the Lord Jesus Christ came into my life. Quite honestly, it wasn’t until some years after encountering Jesus that I made an all out surrender to Him and handed my heart, life, and “map” entirely over to Him.
Today, as I write this, I am in a position of seeking and waiting on the Lord as I have been on the road several years for Him and my ministry work full-time helping people to find and forever follow Him through my streets ministry and my writing and video devotionals. I literally just looked at a map of the United States as I continue in my seeking Him and was astonished at what I discovered. Years ago, when I stood on that map, I wanted to find somewhere to go for my own sake. Now, I am 100% surrendered to wherever the Lord wants to take me FOR HIS SAKE. And for the sake of those who need love, help, prayer, and encouragement in finding and following Him.
It really is a map miracle, isn’t it? I am excited to see where He takes me next. All for His glory!
Father, please bring us all into a position of total surrender to you. Let our hearts and lives be entirely yours. Help us go to a place of deeper faith and deeper surrender. Help us to hand over the maps to you so that you choose the places, the people, the things, the details of our lives. May we all have map miracles, dear Father, whereby we learn day by day to submit ourselves entirely to you and to let your Spirit lead the way. May we go wherever you send us with your love and the Gospel message and the gifts you have given us and a desire to love and glorify you now and forevermore and to help others, too, to be entirely yours. Thank you dear Lord for answering my heart’s cry, AMEN!
“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Corinthians 5:15
Warning About Decisions
“Do you have clarity yet?” the Holy Spirit essentially spoke to my heart.
“No,” I replied simply in my heart.
“Then don’t make a decision.”
Plain and simple. Wisdom. From above. From the Lord. A warning really, isn’t it? I had been seeking Him about something significant related to my ministry work. I had kept feeling like I SHOULD do something already. Take an action. Move forward. Get on with it.
But the Lord stopped me in my tracks. With this message. When we seek the Lord, friend, should we make a decision before we have clarity? Or should we wait for the Lord, trusting He will speak to our hearts in line with His Word and let us know His will and timing for us?
Pray, pray, pray to the Lord. Seek, seek, seek the Lord. Then WAIT until you have clearly heard from Him. This is the best way to make a decision, isn’t it? Imagine the harm we can do, and my history can attest to it, when we run ahead of the Lord and don’t wait until we are clear.
Are you clear? Yes? Go forward. No? Pray, wait, hear, and obey. It takes faith and trust, doesn’t it? Let’s put our faith and trust in Jesus and wait for His Spirit to lead us forth!
Oh, Lord, help us in our decision-making. You know, Father, I tend to go high speed. I want everything done quickly. Now. Immediately. I want to please you so much, Lord, that sometimes I run out way, way, way ahead of you. Not that that pleases you. But I’m like a little kid so desiring to please her parent that she runs out trying to figure it out instead of waiting for her parent’s directions. Other times, Father, I run out ahead because I’m uncomfortable or unhappy where I am. No matter the reasons, Lord, I know the right thing to do is to wait on you. Help me, Lord, and help those reading this, to pray, wait, and trust and obey you. Help us to go according to your will and time. Help us to wait until we know that we know as best we can know that we have clearly heard from you. Lord, help us to make the right decisions. Led by you. For you. AMEN!
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:5-6
Beautiful to Behold
Ever get discouraged, down, depressed, disheartened, downtrodden, defeated, negative, unhappy, worried, etc. when you watch the news, listen to people talk, walk into an office, call a business, look at trash on the streets, see something horrifying, receive terrible news, etc.? I sure do! Sometimes I feel like it just sweeps me away in a tidal wave of ugliness, yucky-ness, icky-ness, hurt, etc. But there is an awesome solution!
Turn, turn, turn to the Lord. Behold the beauty and splendor and majesty and loveliness and joyfulness and amazingness and awesomeness of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bible. Turn your focus and behold the Lord. Nothing and nobody more beautiful and wonderful to behold in the universe than Jesus!
Turn, turn, turn your eyes and ears and heart to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Father, dear Lord, precious God, please remind us gently and mercifully and yet strongly because we need your strong love, too, when we are staring at the hard stuff of this world to turn our hearts back to you, sweet Jesus! You are glorious! You are beautiful! You are wonderful! You are marvelous! You are magnificent! Oh, to behold your beauty! Such a stark contrast to the ugliness and darkness that sometimes feels like it will swallow us up. Father, please be patient with us and forgive us when we lose our focus. Help us to return our gaze to you, sweet Jesus. AMEN!
“One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4
Shut Up Satan!
“Shut up Satan!” I exclaimed aloud.
Why? I have been listening to his nonsense for years and for much of that time done little and often nothing about it. Just kept listening. To his taunts, temptations, jabs, attacks, meanness, accusations, sickening ploys, awfulness, and on and on. Allowing myself to become down, discouraged, intimidated, frantic, panicked, depressed until I have gotten to the point of wanting to quit – life, relationships, ministry, whatever. Listening to Satan oftentimes instead of listening to the Lord.
That day, I put Satan in his place. Crushed under my feet. Fully aware his battle to destroy me and my ministry will clearly rage on. But finally standing up and being the woman of God the Lord created me to be. With Satan trampled underneath me.
Shut up, Satan!
How about you? Need to put the devil in his place? Put your trust in Jesus, surrender all to Him, read the Bible, and tell the devil to go to hell where he belongs!
Oh, Father, how it must break your heart to see how the devil goes after your children. But doesn’t it also break your heart Father when you see your children cower or even run the other way when the devil comes at them knowing full well you have given authority to your children to have victory? Please teach us the truth in your Word about our authority in you, Father, and give us the courage and boldness to stomp all over stupid Satan. Thank you Lord for helping us to have victory in our battles. To you Lord belongs all the glory. AMEN!
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19
I’m So Sorry
“I’m sorry,” I told my dogs. “I’m so sorry for all the times I’ve fallen short. I’m just so tired,” I told them.
Understandably tired. Twenty years of dog rescue with up to 19 dogs at a time many of whom had special needs in the later years. The later years of dog rescue mixed with ministry work. Now ministry full-time. On the road for ministry with 4 handicapped ministry dogs. No staff, barely any volunteers, no regular salary. Streets ministry around the country. Writing and publishing Gospel tracts, devotionals, and books and doing Video Devotionals. Plus the admin, the computer tech stuff like the website, Facebook posts, Good News Daily emails, printing and preparing a big bunch of the tracts and devotionals that go around the US to prisons, homeless shelters, etc. Usually on my own. Loved ones far away. In my early 50’s. Do I get tired? Overwhelmed? Stressed out? Understatement to say the least!
I was apologizing to the dogs for when I fall short. Regrettably extreme fatigue can make me more vulnerable to it. For when I lose my patience and temper, for the times I get rough with them instead of patient and loving. For not being the perfect dog Mommy though I go to exceeding lengths to which many would not go given their disabilities and extreme needs 24-7 for years.
“I’m sorry, Father,” I said, holding back tears. “For all the times I fall short,” I essentially said to the best of my recollection.
Terribly, terribly sorry for not being perfect. For when I fall into sin.
“Do you believe I have forgiven you?” the Holy Spirit spoke gently to my heart.
“Yes,” I replied. “But not because I deserve it,” I said. “Because of what you have done,” I so much as said.
Because of His death on the cross and resurrection. Because of His love, grace, and mercy. Because of His forgiveness. Because of His heart. Because I am His, and He is mine. Because He is Lord and Savior.
Oh, His grace! His grace! His grace!
My sweet dogs are so forgiving. But nothing comes close to the awesomeness of the Lord’s love and forgiveness.
I used to have trouble believing His love and forgiveness for me. Now I don’t. Because I know it’s not about me. It’s all about Him and His wondrous lovingkindness.
By His grace alone, I am forgiven. And in His love and strength, I press on. Trusting Him to perfect His love in me. Teaching me His ways. Getting a little rest here and there along the way. As He gently, kindly, graciously, sweetly, tenderly, and mercifully doesn’t give up on me but blessedly leads me on. Father and daughter, Lord and servant, we walk on.
Thank you, Lord, for your love, grace, and mercy! Thank you, Lord, for forgiving me! Forgive us all, oh Lord. Help us to be genuinely sorry over our sins. Help us to humble ourselves before you and plead for your forgiveness. Forgive us, dear Father, and help us to press on! Thank you, Lord, AMEN!
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16