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God proved to me HE is REAL: #prayer

 

I spent what seemed like months looking for the records. I had two binders full of important information. Information that wouldn’t be important to anyone else, but was to me.

I searched my home high and low. I was purging, sorting and organizing. I generally knew where I kept the information I gathered but I felt like I was on a wild-goose chase. Not unlike when a dog chases its tail…I felt like I was going in circles. I kept looking in both the obvious and NOT SO obvious places. It was driving me crazy.

I started to go through “playbacks” in my mind. Trying to figure out where I might have taken it. I started thinking about calling up the places I had been to and people I had visited over the past few months. But, like finding a needle in a haystack I knew that would be futile.

Then I started getting shadow visions of these binders but I still couldn’t really tell where they were…

 

YOU HAVE POWER!

 

It was a Friday afternoon. I hadn’t started dinner and had made little progress on actually cleaning my house for the weekend. Still frustrated and at wits-end having not found the binders. I was ready to wave my “white flag.”

I realized I could search my house, time and time again – and I may not find them…EVER. At least not of my own will or accord.

I remember standing at the window and gazing out. Then, I dropped to the floor on my knees. In desperation I uttered these words ALOUD:

“Heavenly Father, I NEED help. I’m coming to YOU because I believe YOU can do something. I KNOW all things are possible with and through YOU.

I don’t know who to call and I’ve no idea where to start. I KNOW they are out there. I know they are hidden. Someone has them and doesn’t know it.

Please, Lord: I pray that wherever they are – YOU will have someone call me and let me know they ARE THERE! They will call and ask me to pick them up. I just don’t know where to start. Give me a starting point and lead the way.

I am LOST. This is out of my HANDS, so I give this to YOU.

In Jesus Name, Amen.”

 

I got up. I had come to the end of my rope on trying to find what I needed on my own. Exhausted as I was from relying on myself, I’d had enough. The reality was, if these binders were no-where around me, I’d never find them.

It would take an ACT of God to get them back. So, I “anti-ed up” and (foolish as I felt for doing so) decided to give God a try.

 

No Boundaries

 

Three days later, we were on a trip and I was “people watching” when I glanced down at my phone.

That’s when I noticed I had missed a call that was heading to voice mail.

I went to retrieve it but there was so much noise around me and reception was so poor I couldn’t even hear the recording.

Once I did access it, this is what I heard:

“Hello, My name is Susan and I’m calling because we just found two notebooks with your number inside. Please call us back if you want to pick these up.”

My jaw dropped. I frantically attempted to return the call but my feeble attempt went directly to voice mail. I left a message.

I think this was Monday afternoon. My mind raced while the rest of my body sat on “pins and needles” wondering what was to come!

I hadn’t received a call back by Tuesday mid-day and tried calling again. No one picked up. I couldn’t leave another voice mail and wait.

I searched out another number and called it. The phone rang: SHA-ZAM!

“Hello? May I help you?”

It turns out the number I dialed wasn’t the number for the public to return calls on. It was strictly an outgoing line. I hadn’t paid close attention to the message to know WHERE to return the call. I’d called back the number that was on my call log. The answering receptionist re-directed me…and this is what happened when she answered:

 

“Hi, I had a voice mail message that you found two notebooks that might be mine?

“Yes, Hello!”

“I’ve been looking for two books, but these are more like binders….”

“These could be considered binders, we just found them.”

“Really? Do you know how long they’ve been there?

“Well, let me look. Oh, yes, actually….it was May of 2012.”

“Did you say 2012, as in 2 YeARS ago?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Wow, I can’t believe it’s been two years…how did you find them?”

“Our company decided to upgrade its computer system recently and as part of the process we had to clean out our offices and upgrade the information we had. As we cleaned out our shelves, we found these books and when we opened the covers, we found your name and number. So, we called.”

“Wow…”

“Did you want them?”

“Yes, definitely!”

“Can you come pick them up?”

“I’ll be there Thursday..”

 

I hung up the phone and just stood there looking at my phone. Utterly dumbfounded at the chain of events that had just transpired.

There was no way I would have found those notebooks, books, binders…whatever you want to call them on my own. As much as I had searched for them it would never have happened.

It had NEVER occurred to me to engage God with this!

Two years had passed…and I was beyond knowing where to look or where to turn!

I know God is mighty and good, willing and merciful. I know prayer is powerful. I had NO idea how powerful. When YOU send prayers up, THEY are heard. They are received. You may not always GET the answers that you WANT but once you pray them – THINGS start Happening!

Here is how I know Prayer in The Spirit REALM works:

Matthew 7:7  “Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

He wants us to trust HIM. He wants us to challenge HIM with BIG prayers.

But our prayers NEED to be presented by praying IN HIS WILL.

 

The BIGGER the challenge, the more specific your petition: the more powerfully God can answer YOU and provide grace if YOU are in HIS Will. If you can agree to accept that HE knows BEST.

I knew God could answer my prayer/petition. I believed HE would.

Was my soul prepared for it? Was my mind?

Actually, NO. I knew HE could, but I was stunned by HIS provision!

It taught me that not only is HE in control, but HE can and does do what HE says.

If WE turn to HIM. If WE allow ourselves to TRUST in HIM.

If we pray BIG.

If We PRAY in HIS will, what could we really accomplish?

Being on our knees isn’t a sign of weakness.

Being on our knees gives us strength…God’s strength. It seems to me God’s strength is better, than my own.

What would it be like to have the power of God (through the Holy Spirit) as part of YOUR life?

What could you DO if YOU allowed God to transform you and your dreams and deepest desires??

What if you don’t….? Then today will be a day just like any other, as will tomorrow and the next.

If God will answer my simple, yet specific prayers for something “silly” – What ELSE can HE do that we haven’t ASKED for?

What have WE got to lose by not trying?

  • Answers
  • Miracles
  • Blessings
  • Wisdom
  • Clarity

God is GOOD all the time. And God is ALWAYS Good.

Are you ready to see what God can do in your life? I know I am!

 

Dear God,

Thank you for your mercy. I understand you can do great things. Help me find you amidst the crazy-ness of this world.

The clock is ticking. I want to know MORE about who you are. Show me. Empty me of me and fill me with YOU. Help me to become who and what YOU designed me to be.

Your Will for my life is what matters, allow me to shine your light into a world that is becoming increasingly dark.

Thank you for your gift and help us turn from sin and temptation.

We pray in Jesus name, Amen.

 

It is my sincere hope that you will give God a chance. It’s not hard, but sometimes the first step is the most daunting.

Just Try!

-Kenzel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Prophetic Reality – Where Future & Truth collide

 

 

“Training Day” on the WATER Continues

I stood lakeside on the dock. My life jacket on, awaiting instruction. I remember looking down at the dock when “it” passed through my internal field of vision:

Someone fell into water.

 

I didn’t think much about it; except, I really HOPED something like that wouldn’t happen to me!!

 

 

The day before had been experience enough. I’d managed to successfully tip a canoe in the water and “hurl” myself back in. I’d also managed to learn that God doesn’t want me to make my fears BIGGER than HE is. Though I learned that lesson, it’s going to take some time for the concept to “sink in.”

I know YOU and I both have fears. Fears that [are] unfounded; whether rational or not.

 

My instructor Mike had told me (after the incident, during dinner) that what happened had effectively put my body in a state of shock. More to the point, I was experiencing a mild form of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

I’m embarrassed for even admitting that. But in hindsight, I get it. The mind is a powerful tool. But our ability to trust GOD as well as use the tools HE has given us can make the power work either IN OUR FAVOR or against us.

 

When it was happening the day before, I didn’t want to believe I might be experiencing “shock.” Not that I would have even recognized what it looked like. I was fine, alive, breathing and “normal.” At least, that’s what I thought. But normal doesn’t quite cut it when I recall how and what went on. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my last post, “Canoe Part 2: With God in the Muck”

I tell the full story of a silly fear that turned into a real life lesson.

Onward.

 

The day before I’d passed two of the weekend’s three objectives:

  • Tipping a boat
  • recovering MYSELF out of the water and
  • helping to rescue another person out of the water.

 

This day, we needed to be able to take a canoe, tip it, “sink” it, empty it, recover it out of the water and get it ready for re-entry.

Simple.

Yeah – REAL- Simple.

Mike took us through the motions of what to do, how it looked and tons of encouragement. As a side note, the canoes aren’t all THAT heavy by themselves (empty of water). But they are a bit awkward and bulky. Not complaining, just sayin’.

I was still really excited for the challenge, I just decided I didn’t want to go first. You could say my nerves were still rattled and my confidence shaken.

My teammate jumped in the water and I helped her steady and sink the boat she needed to recover.

Sinking is easy. Trying to “right” the boat: turn and twist it to empty it and leverage it? Not easy, but not impossible.

(Here’s some advice. Upper body strength and arm muscles are a PLUS. If you already aren’t working out with weights – now might be a good time.)

The first time, we got no where and had to start all over. (And I thought Day One would be our biggest challenge…)

Melissa started over and I was ready to help her through the motions.

The “rescue” canoe was turned, emptied and flipped…I went to “grab” the edge of the canoe out of the water and help pull it (leverage it) over the one I was still sitting in.

I forgot to stay centered in the canoe….and low. I partially stood up and attempted to lean over and grab the edge of the canoe.

As soon as I touched the canoe and began pulling it up….

 

Everything. Went. Wrong….

 

The canoe I was in responded to the uneven pressure of my body weight. My upper body swayed the boat and my body swayed against it and OUT from UNDER me.

I literally reached out to grab the water as I hit the surface (no joke) and I yelled “NO!” simultaneously. Thankfully the water was still warm.

I rose to the surface gagging for air. And once I spit out all the lake water, I started laughing (I think).

As luck would have it, I was semi centrally located in the lake. But the wind had easily carried the boat we were to rescue toward a different area of “muck” that someone else had to retrieve. Now, we had two people in the water and two empty boats. It made for an additional challenge to finish our training. It was hard work. It was also exhilarating, which probably sounds crazy.

I’m not sure when I’ve ever had more fun. I was working with 5 of the best people I’ve ever met. The level of teamwork that weekend was extraordinary.

I’d spent more than a year scared of taking this class head-on. Who knew that I’d create so many awesome memories and learn as much as I did?

The strangest thing happened though as we closed out the day. I was back in the canoe and aiming for shore. But God had one more surprise up HIS “sleeve.”

He provided a defining moment, quite unceremoniously (I might add) that still JuST BLOWS my mind.

Utterly. Completely. Period.

I saw the image cross through my internal vision again of a

person falling in the water out of a canoe.

 

He showed me the replay: Of ME falling in the lake.

He’d given me a prophetic vision of myself.

 

I hadn’t recognize it at first. But it’s funny how HE works. I already knew the water was warm. I’d already been “tested” in the muck. The only thing I hadn’t done yet was tip my canoe without even trying. It wasn’t a class requirement but HE just wanted to have a little fun with me: In this case, “His WILL be done.”

As I continue blogging, reading scripture and praying; GOD continues to feed my soul with bits and pieces of HIS glory. As I indulge HIS calls to listen and hear, to open my eyes and watch HE simultaneously feeds my internal fire for wisdom, truth and clarity. Rather than running from HIM and fearing HIS power I’m giving in and allowing HIM to shape and mold me.

Suffice it to say, this prophetic incident was no accident. A “few moons” ago I started praying for God to give me “visions.”

I mean the bible talks about HIS people having blessings of visions and dreams poured out on them as we approach the Day of the Lord’s return. (Acts 2:17)

I’ve heard others talk of prophetic stuff, but I really don’t want to be a prophet. I don’t think have the “chops” for it. That also doesn’t mean I wouldn’t mind seeing visions or dreams or have a sense of what they’re like.

And then to have it happen —-

Granted, it was totally embarrassing.

But HE turned embarrassment into something absolutely beautiful:

I could laugh at myself.

I was laughing with God.

I learned GOD has a great sense of humor…it made me LOVE HIM even more.

He wanted to give me a simple introduction to the prophetic. But something that wouldn’t overwhelm me. Something that I wouldn’t understand or identify at first but would make perfect sense in the hours afterward.

Looking back it’s actually very cool. To see what HE sees through HIS eyes. He showed me what I look like and HOW much HE loves me. He showed me I don’t need to be confused (even if I feel it most of the time).

He also showed me the dynamics of a prophetic vision:

  • It’s intentional.
  • It has merit.
  • It has a message.

It’s also usually personal either about you or for your benefit or knowledge.

And finally to understand that a prophetic vision is distinctly different from a dream.

Prophetic will happen, it will come to pass.

A dream is something that could be prophetic but may not be.

But only through discernment can we understand the difference.

And if it’s from GOD…He will speak to us and make the message CLEAR.

Canoe Part II: With God in the Muck – “In The Center of It”

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“Mike, I dislike muck. I really can’t stand the stuff. It creeps me out.”

(The muck I was talking about was the green, grassy, “stuff” that is commonly found along the edges of a lake or pond.)

Mike was my canoe instructor and while I don’t remember much about his reply, I’m sure it was something along the lines of

“Well, it’s there. It’s kind of hard to avoid”

As much as I wasn’t thrilled to hear it. I knew it was truth. I just had to do my best to avoid it.

 

Later that afternoon

We jumped out of our canoe and waited for the other team to practice their maneuvers. Fortunately the water was warm…so hanging by the canoe (literally, by one arm) was actually really nice. At least, for the first few minutes.

“Mike, were getting close to the edge of the lake.” Mike glanced over briefly and continued with training.

I continued to hold onto the canoe. But 5 minutes (or more) went by and my joints and muscles started getting tired of one position. I decided to try shifting and reposition myself.

The gentle breezes had continued if not picked up and as such had caused the boats to float even closer to the edge; closer to the muck. Except I didn’t know just HOW CLOSE we were.

Instead of just switching arms and maintaining face contact with the canoe. I turned away from it.

I should have maintained boat contact. I should have. I didn’t.

The moment I turned my body and let go of the boat and I became my own floatation device – the gentle breeze swept me “muck-ward.”

I didn’t like that one bit.

I was wearing a “shorty” wetsuit and thought it would be protection enough. Until…

I felt a soft and mushy grass like substance “glide” against the calf muscle on my leg.

THAT WAS IT, that was all it took.

I jerked and gasped and then, I screamed.

“Mushiness” and I don’t mix. My jerk reaction caused me to lose focus from getting AWAY from the muck.

I jerked again out of sheer fear. But the more I reacted the closer I seemed to float “muck-ward”

My gut reaction had told me the jerking motion would set me free. It would help me escape. But as I was kicking and jerking to escape the muck, I sensed double trouble.

In my haste to vacate the grass, reeds and what-not…I felt something I didn’t like against my shoe.  A rope, a net…

My mind reeled as I fought against an invisible something I couldn’t see. The more I kicked, the more my foot got wrapped up in it.

Fear turned to PANIC. I was being “swallowed” by the muck and reeds and rope.

I’ve got to get out of here. I thought to myself. How do I get out of this?

My panic intensified. I could feel the situation worsening.

My muscles contracted. My mind flew in a million directions at the speed of light.

There was something going on behind me with the other boats but I couldn’t make sense of it.

I couldn’t hear much beyond the screaming between my own two ears: only my own thoughts of Panic. Fear. Isolation.

I swam harder and kicked like hell to get away from the net; to get OUT of the muck and mire and my FEAR.

I tilted my head from looking at the edge and the slope and the watery green mushy mess that was just shy of consuming me. I laid my head back – against my life jacket. I positioned my eyes toward the Heavens as if searching the sky, but I couldn’t open them.

My breathing was so shallow.

Breathe” – I heard.

So, I repeated the word:

“Breathe”

I heard myself say the word and continued to repeat it REALLY loud. Over and over again. As I repeated the WORD breathe, I could feel my foot escape the bonds of the netting and the grasses.

My heart raced. I felt it for the first time.

I was disoriented and my head spun as I tried to gaze around me. I looked at the boats and closed my eye.

Exhausted. Exhaustion. Whatever was left of me, I just wanted to float. Float and breathe and find calm.

 

AFTER-math

I swam to the dock ever so slowly, got out and laid down…

  • I couldn’t believe that had just happened.
  • I wasn’t sure WHAT had happened.
  • I spent the rest of the trip and training trying to piece together WHY that had happened?

I am good swimmer. A strong swimmer. How did that happen?

Another reality hit me. I knew that if I hadn’t had my life jacket on me, I would likely have gone under.

The basic water safety rules had kept me alive and safe, but I was dumbfounded by what had transpired. I’d been rendered speechless.

I reflected as the hours passed and got the answers in bits and pieces.

Here was the summary of what God shared with me:

  • You made your fear bigger than ME.
  • I AM (God) bigger than ANY fear.
  • Your fear would have consumed you, I made sure you faced it on MY TERMs.
  • You couldn’t have failed the test because you were wearing a LIFEvest.
    • the physical vest saved your life
    • your spiritual vest was refined during your learning process
  • Your fear was self-imposed and becoming over inflated.
    • it was holding you back
  • This happened to prove I AM with you whenever and wherever. ALWAYS.
    • YOU aren’t alone and NEVER will be.
    • That you can TRUST ME.
    • That I Love YOU
  • And yes, it was MY voice you heard.

 

Follow UP

I have been out on the water since then. I have assisted at an event and am looking forward to doing more.

What I’ve realized is THAT experience was a blessing in disguise.

I still don’t like muck. Yuck, Ick, Blech.

But what I recognize now is that my fear is a tactic of the enemy. See, I like being out on the water. I like canoeing and kayaking a lot. It’s a perfect combination of fresh air, sunshine and exercise to put my soul at ease.

But had I not faced that “trial by fire” under those circumstances, I might not know how to deal with a situation like that in the future. (Not that I want to)

Now, I have an idea of what could happen and I might be able to respond differently. I might be able to build on the lessons of that afternoon.

Training is a beautiful thing. Not only did I go out there and receive my level 1 canoe certification but I learned that GOD is BIG. He NEVER leaves my side.

Most of all our FEARS aren’t bigger than GOD even if they seem bigger to us.

The trick is are we willing to TRUST God enough to allow us “FEAR-growth” moments.

The LIFE we live. The life GOD has given you and I, is just as much about change as it is about blessings.

Do we face change alone and isolated or give GOD a chance to show us that with HIM on our team – ANYthing and EVERYthing is possible (Matthew 19:26)

Don’t let the sun go down on today or face your next trial without having Christ with you to walk you through it.

 

I really love this Chris August song. And I hope you’ll take a moment to listen to it. Cause I was trapped in the center of the MUCK & MIRE: But HE was THERE.

 

When it feels like I’m going crazy,
And it looks like nothing’s changing,
Come sun, come rainy day,
You are still the same…..

 

…..When I rise, when I fall,
You’ll be there through it all
At the start, at the end,
In the center of, the center of it….

 

 

 

 

God NEVER fails. SEEK HIM. FIND HIM. TALK to HIM. HE’s waiting for YOU.

Don’t miss HIS boat.

Blessings,

-Kenzel

Writer’s Wisdom: Letting go of “the dream”

 

 

 

“It’s time to stop running.”

“What do you mean, running? I’m not running from you.”

“I want all of you.”

“You have all of me.”

“No, I don’t.”

 

and that’s when the Holy Spirit got to work on me.

 

“Let go of the book.”

“But why? It’s the only dream I have left…”

“Whose dream?

“Mine!!”

“Are you sure?”

 

(Radio Silence)

 

“Lay it down.”

*Sniff*

“Lay it down.”

“The only thing I’ll have left to write then is the blog.”

“And do you remember why you have that?”

 

(Radio Silence)

 

“Lay it down, HE needs you to LAY it DOWN.”

 

So, I sat in front of my laptop and relinquished my childhood dream. I gave up on writing THE BOOK.

I felt a strange mix of sadness and grief, a bit of mourning and anger. I hadn’t understood WHY HE was asking me to DO this but somehow I knew I needed to comply.

Moments after, I was enlightened to the “why”

 

The Carrot and The Heel

 

I have lived 3 decades with the hope of writing a book. Something to honor my Mom with. I guess I figured it would be like a tribute to her.

But an underlying reason was to make her proud of me….and that was my downfall – for all the wrong reasons.

 

Proverbs 16:17-18 (NLT)

17 The path of the virtuous leads away from evil;
    whoever follows that path is safe.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
    and haughtiness before a fall.

I’ve said before that the enemy is cunning, manipulative and sly.

I’d never seen that the BOOK I believed I wanted so much was actually him, the enemy….dangling a carrot in front of me.

He’s obviously known this weak spot for a while because I’ve worn it like a ball and chain forEVER.

Honestly and freakishly, in the hours and days after I laid down, relinquished and presented this “desire” this “dream” to God – I felt the chains of a burden release. This happened last week.

In hindsight, I am speechless.

God asked me to start a blog. He didn’t ask me to write a book.

I WAS THE ONE who was led to believe that I should write a book – by my oppressor.

And he masked the dream so well….

See, many weeks ago I asked God to help reveal the unexposed sins in my life. To reveal to me, to help me see anything that was causing me to falter in HIS sight. Anything that might be an Achilles heel. Anything that was weakening me as HIS tool.

Please note, until now, I’d forgotten I’d even prayed that prayer. I guess God didn’t.

I’m not upset about THaT book. I’m actually relieved. I now see that what I thought was a “dream” was actually a carnal desire  – an illusion if you will. I really wanted to taste “authorship” and see my work in print. But without God’s guiding hand involved in the process…it was never going to flourish or bloom.

Satan knew my WEAKNESS but God knows what I NEED and what will both bring HIM glory and be a blessing for me.

So, until HE tells me, shows me or otherwise instructs…I guess this blog is HIS venue of choice.

Dear GOD,

Thank you for giving us “exit doors” and evacuation strategies (made possible by your son’s sacrifice). You continually prove to me YOU are a God of your WORD. I don’t know what you expect of me. But I know whatever YOU need me to DO – you will prepare me and equip me for it.

As your WORD states:

21 may he equip you with all you need
    for doing his will.
May he produce in you,
    through the power of Jesus Christ,
every good thing that is pleasing to him.
    All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

God is GOOD ALL the time, and God is ALWAYS GOOD

-Kenzel

 

Kendall’s Story: Part II – Resolving The Past

 

Twenty years later, she looked at the invitation in her hand.

Twenty years, already?

She put the invitation down and dismissed it.

She’d made a promise that she would go, that she wouldn’t miss it. Would her friends care if she skipped? Would they notice if she didn’t?

Did it matter?

 

“Geez, I don’t even know if I want to go!” Kendall thought aloud…I don’t want to make this decision.

Several months before hand, Kendall’s life had changed. She’d grown up as a “Christian” and fully  understood who Jesus was…a brush with death turned her life upside down/inside out.

That brush with death had led Kendall to cross over to a new life. Not physically, but certainly emotionally and spiritually.

She was what “secular society” called “Born Again.” The term never really made sense to her and hearing it in years gone by made her entirely uncomfortable.

But according to

John 3:  New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]

 

Because Kendall was a New Believer, she didn’t understand how much power she had by having the Spirit of God actually living within her. But she was about to find out….

Here she was a 40 year old mother of 2, folding laundry.

20 Years?

She’d done her best to push those years out of her mind. But, 20 years slip by fast.

Folding laundry was always such a menial task (at best) and was now a mindless activity with the reunion invite announcement sitting squarely in the the back of her mind. Even if the invitation was buried in a pile somewhere – it might well have been glued to her face.

A reunion had seemed so far off back then…the reality of trying to decide if she wanted to attend it was almost all consuming.

Now what? She thought to herself…

“ASK ME.” came the inaudible voice – The Inner Nudge

Kendall paused, cocked her head wondering what to think but proceeded to say a prayer aloud:

 

God,

I don’t know what to do. This is just a High School reunion, a social event. I don’t really need to go even though I made a promise to myself (so long ago) that I would…tell me what to do.

Help guide me in the right direction. I don’t want to go unless it’s your WILL and for your purposes that I do. I’ll admit it, I’m scared. I can’t do this on my own.

-Amen

 

There were lots of reasons Kendall DID NOT want to go to her reunion, but the biggest was she wasn’t sure she wanted to see him.

 

She continued to work hard at putting the milestone event out of her mind; which was all but impossible.

Until the following week, when her mind had traveled off in time and space. Still looking for answers.

“Go, You will be there for the right reasons. Take my hand, I will lead you.”

 

Kendall knew it was God’s answer…without Him even having to preface it.

She booked her tickets and made her reservations. She only had a week to wait….

Flying into the Northwest was an odd sensation. But as the plane approached Portland International Airport, she couldn’t tell if she felt more sick, nervous or either one…maybe neither.

“I AM with you.”

Kendall had intentionally not attended her 10 year reunion.

She’d always felt like a “fish out of water” and showing up at this event was no exception. Her presence here, now, revolved around God’s plan. If God intended to stretch her comfort zone… in addition to making her uncomfortable, He was doing a bang-up job.

Suffice it to say, She recognized hardly anyone, at least at first. Kendall had normally been the kind of girl who could say hello to strangers, be a friendly face and help to the new kids and make them feel welcome. Now, her fellow alumni were slowly but surely making the rounds and stopping to say hello to her. Talk about surreal.

The night was half way over with dinner having long been served and Kendall hadn’t gone near it. She might regret that later, but her nerves (so far) suppressed her appetite.

As she mingled through the crowd and left the banquet hall for fresh air and change of scene; she considered the possibility she might not see Tim before the night was through. Staring out a window that overlooked downtown, she listened to various conversations as people meandered through the hallways. For most of her fellow classmates, this was just another social gathering. A mixer – a place to see and be seen….

She turned and walked away from the view of city lights and headed back into the banquet hall. 10 steps away from her and walking directly in her line of fire, was a brown-haired, blue-eyed man. His facial features having changed significantly; he was no longer the boy in her memory, he was a man. She hadn’t realized who he was until it was too late.

His eyes penetrated hers and shot straight to her soul. Making her want to laugh, cry and gasp all at once, just like 23 years prior. But this time, things were different. Covered in the power of Christ, Kendall squashed the same emotions that had kept her chained for all those years and as she slowed her pace, so did Tim.

“How the heck have you been, Tim. You look great.”

“I’ve been great Kendall, Thanks. You look great, too” and the conversation continued with the obvious niceties of acceptable “small talk” for about 5 minutes.

Yes, 5 minutes.

They had never been friends. They had barely been acquaintances. But the first time Tim spoke to her, he’d asked for her picture. And Kendall had never given it to him.

Effectively she’d never finished answering her portion of his question.

Kendall sat at the table after Tim had left and and took a deep breath. She would have never recognized Tim had they not passed, face-to-face in the hallway.

He was no longer teenage cute; he was now GQ Handsome. Kendall could barely remember a word of their speed-of-light conversation but it wasn’t the scope of the conversation that counted. It had been her ability to initiate it, look him square in the face and shed the image she had of HER-Self as a t0ngue-tied high school kid. She had faced her LOsT and unrealized High School love head on and emerged a woman through those smoldering teenage embers – which had burned out long ago.

Kendall had been swayed by the powers of Spiritual warfare. The enemy wanted her to BELIEVE that Tim had all the qualities that she likely wanted in a guy. She’d been stuck in the past haunted by a ghost of his youth. But as much as Tim MAY have been a gentleman as a man, young boys can (and do) make mistakes. She’d felt dumped if not unintentionally ignored after one brief exchange. It wasn’t Tim’s fault…it wasn’t hers. The enemy had taken an opportunity to seize her emotions and manipulate her heart. The enemy had lied to her and tried to make Tim the fall guy. It was her first realization of what Spiritual Warfare could look like – the enemy had taken the upper edge – until NOW.

Kendall’s mind catapulted in light speed mode from 1983 to 2006. She’d just set those shackles free that had bruised her body and heart for more than two decades. Only to realize that even back in her teenage years, God had been protecting her.

Too young to get married, Kendall might easily have been tempted to sacrifice the most precious human thing she had (her virginity) out of what she perceived as love, too soon.

She wouldn’t be able to fully embrace a man’s love until she’d found and uncovered God’s Love for her.  It’s hard to fully appreciate God’s design when we don’t fully understand God outside a relationship with HIM. What she needed to know now was what a Man’s love for his wife would look like, truly feel like, and mean to her.

 

 

It took her about a week to realize and recognize why God had told her to come on this trip. Kendall hadn’t had any issues to resolve with Tim. They hadn’t been friends, they’d barely been acquaintances. The reason for the trip was more personal than that. Kendall had trust issues with God. She didn’t know what to expect, how to act or how to follow HIM. But this had been the first step.

He’d faithfully allowed her to set her false or misplaced feelings for Tim free. He’d empowered her to find the words to get beyond her weaknesses and make her words her strength. Getting answers from Tim about why he didn’t try harder to make “them” work wasn’t HIS goal. Tim was simply God’s tool to help Kendall see what she couldn’t all along. She could be brave and courageous. And if she didn’t have the strength to do it solo, God wouldn’t abandon her.

God would LOVE her as much if not more as any man ever could.

 

Dear God:

Thank you for protecting me from myself. How often have I traveled roads I didn’t belong on but you re-directed me back – to YOU. People we know and meet will come and go from our lives. You’ve taught me that. YOU are the only thing that is steadfast. You helped me put the chains of Tim behind me. You helped me to see more clearly how TRUSTing YOU is the only way to live. The only WAY to be truly free.

Thank you for your patience, for your guiding hand. For loving me and not giving up on me.

I pray that for all those who read this, they will see that our hearts don’t always speak honestly to us and you are not only the TRUTH but you are the LIGHT on a very narrow path that’s far too easy to stray from.

Thank you for your guidance. Cover us with your peace and help us to seek your wisdom and find clarity we long for.

-Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you sense it? A “Quickening” ?

 

For weeks (maybe even months) I’ve sensed it.

Beyond that I’ve heard it as if it were a whisper in the wind.

The word: “Quickening”

I know a lot of people are reluctant to talk about The End of Days or End Times or The Tribulation. I imagine it frightens them. When I’ve accidentally happened upon the topic in conversation I hear:

 

  • “I don’t want to think about it,”

  • “I don’t want to talk about it,”

  • “It’s never gonna happen, it hasn’t for millennia”

  • “If God was coming, He would have come by now.”

The hard truth and reality is people (surrounded by a comfortable culture) don’t want to think or talk about something that might compromise, challenge or cause them to forfeit creature comforts.

Look at the bullet points above. And then consider what you might have to DO if you found out you were terminally ill? You WOULD have to THINK, TALK and PLAN for what was imminent…for what was coming.  While mankind has been given a time frame of 120 years maximum to live….

 

Genesis 6:3 (NLT) | In Context | Whole Chapter

Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not put up with humans for such a long time, for they are only mortal flesh. In the future, their normal lifespan will be no more than 120 years.”

 

….not everyone gets to fully live out that amount of TIME.

Let’s cover a few bases here. Most people “Look” at The End of Days or “The End Times” as the End of Life. Granted the Book of Revelations is the last Book of the Bible. Appropriately so. The Book of Revelation is God’s Climax and Denouement to the Life we See. That doesn’t mean it’s the end of Life. God is Life as we know it and His plans are bigger (and always have been) since long before you and I ever showed up.

Back on Track: The word “Quickening”

The term “Quickening” came up in a phone call with a friend yesterday.

I’ve had this innate sense that time has sped up. It’s not something you can see on a clock or easily identify. It’s something that exists as an internal alarm.

I have friends who say that the Church, God’s people have fallen asleep. God warned this might happen and He specifically said at some point we would need to WAKE UP.

 

The Message to the Church in Sardis

“Write this letter to the angel[a] of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit[b] of God and the seven stars:

“I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.

“Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.

“Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

As many times as I have heard friends acknowledge that it’s important we WAKE UP it wasn’t until the point that I started to “sense” this “Quickening” that I realized – MAYBE there is more to what’s going on ALL Around us than WE want to admit.

Quickening is normally related to the time before a woman goes into Labor. It’s a time when the birth pains start.

Revelation 12

New Living Translation (NLT)

 

The Woman and the Dragon

12 Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.

But as time goes on and Labor goes on there is a “quickening” in events.

Things happen faster, more frequently. Strange things can happen. Shocking. Attention getting.

“The Quickening” and “Wake Up” calls aren’t meant to frighten us…they are (more or less) an alarm clock.

I’m pretty sure the cycle of Blood Moons officially ushered in the process. I’m not here to say WHAT the implications of the Blood Moons are but as an observer of what is happening ALL around the WORLD, something is going on.

Yes, it is easy enough to attribute all the phenomenas to science and the process of life. God knows THAT, He IS bigger than that.

If this is a “Quickening” of God’s timetable, and it’s His call for us to Wake Up…I have to ask if you not only believe in God, but if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior?

It’s not hard. But the word repent is a small word with BIG implications.

If and when God does Rapture His Church (be it pre-tribulation or mid-tribulation) will you be ready?

Here is a simple prayer to get you there:

Dear Lord,
I admit that I am a sinner. I have done many things that don’t please you. I have lived my life for myself. I am sorry and I repent. I ask you to forgive me. I believe that you died on the cross for me, to save me. You did what I could not do for myself. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life, I give it to you. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I will spend all eternity with you.

Amen.

 

Let me also say, there are scoffers out there. People who, as I mentioned above do not believe Jesus will come back for His Church. I have met and known many that feel this way or don’t want to believe it could happen in our lifetime.

 

I’m not saying it will….But, what if it does? What if it did?

What if there is a chance, no matter how slight…that it could happen?

I don’t want to see anyone perish, but it isn’t my decision….it’s yours.

May you reach out and accept God’s gift of Salvation.

It is FREE for the taking,

-Kenzel

Facing My Giants: Part II

 

Warning: This post may contain descriptive language about a “common medical” procedure.  Caution is advised

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24 hours had past.

In that time, friends had helped pray with me; to get past my fears. I’d cried, I’d slept but the bleeding induced from the abortion drug hadn’t stopped.

I scheduled an appointment and went in for a follow up.

I followed the nurse assistant into an examination room and was directed to prepare for an appointment just as I would an annual pelvic examination.

The Doctor walked in and the conversation ensued:

Dr: How are you feeling?

Me: Lousy. Tired and the bleeding isn’t going away.

Dr: Let’s take a look

So what proceeded to happen? The Doctor had to “inspect” me just like they would during a pelvic exam….only it didn’t end there.

She examined me and discovered the abortion pill hadn’t really done the job completely. She discovered “left over tissue” that had continued to make my body act as if it needed to rid itself of the foreign object.

Now, normally as uncomfortable as a “pap smear” is, it is just a light scratch sample of the ovarian walls. Ladies (and gentleman), this was DiFFerent.

I remember her picking up a tool (though I really wasn’t paying attention to it) and next thing I knew I was being cut away from the inside.

I CRINGED. It was not pleasant.

I CRIED. I knew the “left over” innards of my baby were being ripped from me. (The baby was long gone the night before, I’m pretty sure I saw what had been its remains as I’d endured the chemical nightmare earlier.)

I may not have been able to see the amazing miracle that had unfolded in the previous weeks of conception…but the ache in my heart and the scream from my soul cried out silently in heartache.

There is no measure of word, no empathy that can bandage up the moment the surgical knife detaches a Supernatural Power from a woman’s body.

Make no mistake, A woman’s womb, YOUR womb is a life giving, life breathing, life providing foundation. I have been forever changed by that moment. But I didn’t know why until it SLAPPED me in the face – without warning.

I walked out of the medical offices, slightly dazed – a bit confused. And riddled with emotions. Almost, numb.

I had the “exit” papers from that Dr’s visit in hand and glanced over them as I walked to my car.

What I saw made me sick.

Procedure: “Abortion”

To this day, 6 years later, I still see those words on those papers.

I was revolted. I had committed the one act of treason I’d never wanted to participate in.

Unwillingly or not, I’d just gone through the action of having an Abortion. I still cannot look at the words, or write them without wanting to fall to the floor in agony.

My baby would have just turned 5.

I know she or he is in Heaven. I know God loves him/her. But that ache, I’m pretty sure will never go away.

I try not to think about the loss. I try not to think about the part I played in having this procedure done.

But more than that, I think about the power of prayer and the power of God.

The power of Jesus to love that baby where they are at since I didn’t have the privilege.

The power of God and Jesus to walk me through my journey of forgiveness.

The power of God and Jesus to prepare me to write this journey segment to help others. Because although there are many women who are told abortion is simple, easy and not as painful as one might think….let me give it to you straight.

Any woman who has had sex has the potential to conceive.

Sex is both a gift and a miracle.

Conception and Pregnancy is also a gift and a miracle.

DO NoT be fooled.

EVEN though you may not be able to see inside your body. If you are pregnant, there is a living, breathing being inside you.

The act of Abortion will LIVE with you long after the procedure is done.

The memory of it, the idea of the child your body was nurturing and protecting will BE part of who you are FORever. Even if you try to wish it away. Even if you try to use Abortion to hide an accident or a mistake.

In the long run…your conscience is with you for life. Don’t be deceived by the simplistic concept of Abortion as an easy way out.

Abortion is the hardest thing you will have to face in your future.

Regret is costly, don’t let an abortion create a mountain of regret in your life

 

Heavenly Father, I have made a lot of mistakes. I have made one too many poor decisions. But, I am here now standing on you as The ROCK of my salvation and the provider of my peace, forgiveness and redemption.

I pray that any woman reading this, who is facing her past decision of abortion…that you will help her forgive herself. We need not be riddled with regret. You meet us and love us even as we work through our pain. Help free us from the clutches of the enemy and set us free.

For those who are considering Abortion…know that there are others out there. Know that you are not alone. DO NOT FEEL alone. Reach out and ask for God’s help!

And all God’s Children said, Amen.

Keep Shining Your Light!

-Kenzel

 

Facing My Giants: Part I

 

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I remember talking with some girlfriends in high school (1986?) when I was about 16 – give or take a year. The discussion was about pregnancy and abortion.

All I remember thinking at the time was, Dear Lord…I don’t ever want to have face a situation like that ever. To have to make that choice (between keeping a baby or aborting it). Please, I don’t want to have an abortion – EVER.

Fast Forward to 2008: Here is my story

 

Be Careful What you Pray for:

My children were 6 and 4. Although I was already past 35, I was still yearning for another child. I have always loved children. I grew up the youngest of four and even though I am nearly 10 years younger than my older sibling and 20 years younger from the eldest, at least I knew I had siblings. I knew they existed. Holidays and life in general were beautiful surrounded by lots of people.

I’ve often heard people say that the prayers we pray, that are in “accordance” with God’s Will for our lives are often fulfilled. Maybe not right away in all cases, but at some time or another.

However, the reverse is also true. We can pray for something we believe we earnestly want and not receive the blessing. Or, a prayer that goes against God’s will might be granted…only to have that fulfilled prayer turned into a life lesson. A lesson that will leave us with scars.

Onto the story.

So, I’d started praying for another child. I knew I was probably crazy to be doing so. And I was told point blank so by my spouse. While my first pregnancy was a dream; easy, pleasant and a piece of cake so to speak – My second was not. It was difficult. Completely opposite of the first experience.

So, while I was “mildly” surprised when I recognized I was expecting…I also was not surprised. I knew the moment it happened exactly what was going on.

I went to a pregnancy center near my home and had results confirmed. They also performed an ultrasound but asked me to return in a week to verify it…because my positive test was so early on in the waiting game.

I did go back a week later and that appointment lasted much, much longer….

By the time of my second check in, I was about 6 weeks along.

I looked at the black and white screen. I kept trying to make out the baby, it’s heartbeat..fingers or toes. But I’m not an ultrasound technician. I couldn’t make out anything. My anticipation was mounting. While I had prayed for a baby, it had been a week (or more) since they’d confirmed the baby’s presence. I had initially been shocked to learn my prayer had been answered.

Why would I be shocked?

If God is so good about answering our prayers and fulfilling our desires why wouldn’t I just be grateful? Because, I had been told long before that trying to do so would be a mistake. My last pregnancy had been so hard on me physically I had come to consciously accept I would only ever have two. That is until my heart got in the way. So, I had taken the last few weeks to work my brain over and accept the surprising news. Which I finally had…the previous weekend. And now I was both excited and joyous. I was finally going to have my dream of a “big” family.

And then – it all shattered into a million pieces.

The ultrasound technicians were left in a quandary. The baby’s heart beat that had been there during my previous visit had now disappeared. There was no sign of it.

 

Heartbreak

 

I now sat waiting for the Dr. to come in. I was finally waiting to find out the results from my 3rd ultrasound. And I was still hoping for the best….until I heard:

Dr: “You have mis-carried”

Me: “How can you be sure?”

Dr: “We can’t see the fetus?”

Me: “What if you can’t see it but it’s still there?”

Dr: “We can’t detect a heartbeat”

This was insane. I wasn’t ready to give up.

Me: “But I still feel pregnant”

Dr: “You will until your body stops producing hcg and you have a cycle to expel it”

Expel it? The scent of a horror movie was building in my mind.

In reality, I wanted to wait. I wanted this pregnancy to end on its own. I didn’t want to force this “it” out. What if the Doctor (and ultrasound) were wrong???

Me: So, what are you suggesting I do?

Dr: The pregnancy needs to be terminated.

I know I gave her a blank look, if not a look of devastation.

Dr: You need to have an abortion.

Me: What!?!? No! I am not having an abortion. That has never been an option in my book. There are no other options?

Dr: You can try using a pill instead….

And that is when she handed me a prescription slip; which read (in a nutshell) RU486.

If I was the type of woman who was known for fainting, this might have been the moment. But as it were, I felt the heat rise up behind my eyes, followed by a lake of tears. I’d heard of this “wonder” drug before. But in my case, I didn’t have to go looking for it. It found me.

I was ready to throw up.

That night, it started. And it sucked. Gut wrenching aches and pain; compounded by guilt.

Why, Why, Why?

The next 12hours were painful emotionally. Watching what my body was doing floored me.

How had man been able to find a way to take something fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) deep inside me…designed to be a unique being and turn it into a glob of (now dead) human tissue. The sight of that evening…of witnessing this drug at work was overwhelming.

I’d wanted a baby…but not at this cost. Not at the expense of having to witness the death of something that was supposed to be a miracle.

Dear God, What is your plan? I believe in you and trust my life to you. You blessed my soul with the knowledge of this child. Help me to understand….

 

 

But the journey was still not over yet and my ultimate compromise was yet to come.

Part II is next…..

 

 

 

What R U Waiting for?

“Though None Go With Me” — it’s a movie I’m sure none of you have heard of (thought I’ve been wrong before). It is the story of a woman in the 1950’s (?) whose aim it is to “get out” of the small town she has returned to upon graduating from college to see the world. I’d forgotten how much this story could bring me to my knees.

 

 

My life (in not so subtle ways) feels so much like “Elizabeth’s” and yet that would be just scratching the surface of the lessons I’ve been taught. I’ve watched this show at least 3 times and again by the time it was over I was subconsciously “SMH” (shaking my head).  I’ve been watching and witnessing the news headlines and all the is happening EVERYwhere around the globe. In doing so, my heart has felt completely overwhelmed. That is the lamest excuse but about all I have to offer.

So after the movie finished I pulled myself outside and spent an hour drying my tears working in the yard (cutting back tress and bushes) filling up my trash can and getting rid of all the dead branches, leaves and stems taking up space. Hoping to escape my destiny….when I realized – of course – that I can’t.

I can’t out run God

I can’t escape God

I can’t hide from God
I can’t think, breathe, eat or sleep without God being there.

And for that part I am grateful. I am grateful that for all my shortcomings, ugly habits, sins, warts and all…He will not and does not forsake me. He doesn’t leave me alone.

 

Several years ago…..He put me through a test. A test to see if I’d be willing to acknowledge Him and follow the path He’d planned. The fiery test lasted about 7 months (gotta love that #7).

The shock waves from that test c0ntinue to ripple through me each day. A reminder that I am His Child, protected and covered by his promise through repentance

Yeah, some of you who are reading might know what repentance is…and for those that do, you might even scoff at the concept.

Other’s may have never heard of it….SO: while repentance is asking God to forgive you of your sins it goes much deeper:

To repent is to adopt God’s viewpoint in place of your own…In itself, far from being sorrowful, it is the most joyful thing in the world, because when you have done it you have adopted the viewpoint of truth itself and you are in fellowship with God.   (I can’t remember where I found this quote but it is fitting)

Part of my “fellow-shipping” with God has been “watching” what has been happening the world over – think about some of the headlines

Blood Moon(s)

Solar Eclipses

Earthquakes

Floods

Missing Planes

Mudslides

Sinking vessels

Tornadoes

And the list goes on….

How can anyone think that the things that are happening are normal?

Tornadoes (no matter how small) are freakishly happening in California

Earthquakes are happening in Oklahoma

A plane is still missing from Malaysia

A mudslide in Washington State

Another mudslide in Afghanistan

Call it coincidence if you wish…but I tend to want to think of these as Wake-Up calls. There are some seriously strange things happening everywhere. No one has answers…although everyone wants to give excuses or theorize. That’s easy, but it’s not easy for those that are left behind in the wake of these disasters, trials, events.

What if this was the last blog post you ever got to read? What if any of the above events actually unfolded in your neighborhood and consumed your home, your family…you?

If you don’t make it out alive – do you know FOR SURE where you are going to end up?

 

My mother-in-law used to say often enough that she knew where she was going when she died. She said she’d be going “straight to h-ll.”

 

I wish I was kidding. I am not.

 

The day she died, she was going into surgery. She was obviously a bit nervous (if not scared) and asked, “Am I gonna die?”

I’m told the nurse responded, “oh, no…you’re going t0 be fine. Don’t let that thought cross your mind.”

But it should have! And if I had been there instead, do you know what I would have asked her?

“Do you know who Jesus is? and “Are you right with God?”

Get right with God….whether or not these are the last days – we all have numbered days here on earth. Spend your days wisely…

The theme of the movie “Though None go With Me” is based on a hymn derived from John 21:20-22:

Though None Go with Me

Still I will follow

No turning back, no turning back.

 

 

It’s time to stop running…what we’re looking for has been waiting for us all along. Are you ready?

God is calling you, he’s been waiting on you….so just say YES!

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I’m tired of running. If you are ready to have me and make me yours…then take me for what I am and turn my life around. I repent of my sins, both seen and unseen. I can’t do this alone. Help me find you and keep me close, protect and cover me, forever more. Amen

 

-Kenzel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter in the rearview: an everyday celebration

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It’s the 11th hour, literally, as I write this.

Easter Sunday is nearly over. and here I sit munching on a favorite snack: sliced & salted cucumber.

Yeah, not the best thing to do at this hour of the day. But I figure that it’s a better option than a pint of ice cream (which I do not have in the house anyway.)

I do have Easter candy around here. I hope to finish this blog post before it comes to that. I’d chew gum if I could, but gave up on that years ago. *Sigh*

Oops, cucumber slice…sorry.

So, back to the task at hand. This blog post.

 

Weeks ago I had wanted to write a post for Good Friday. No such luck.

Last Monday I tinkered with getting an Easter entry ready to go. Didn’t happen. I had an excuse, my neighbor died. His funeral in fact, is tomorrow. *heavy sigh*

I now realize with each death I am being “tested.” I know that sounds weird.

Yes, I’m being tested (so are we all) and all too often I feel like I am looking at an EpIC Fail: at least in my eyes… In God’s Eyes: maybe not.

Cucumber slice.

I am caught in a “time capsule” of life. A time capsule of God’s making.

He created me. He knows exactly what I am here for, while I do not. In addition, He is watching me with baited breath from his Throne.

That might seem creepy to some, but not to me. In fact, it’s mildly comforting albeit frustrating.

I wear His cross as a symbol of my belief in His sacrifice and mercy.

I belong to HIM. Yet, I fail Him everyday.

Even as I meander through this “maze” called my life.

Not unlike you, I am

  • flying
  • running
  • stumbling and
  • searching for my way to successfully navigate some really tough waters in a tiny row boat – and better yet, I’m doing so blindfolded – and it’s DARK.

“I don’t know who I am or where I’m going” I once said to my Godmother. I was in my teens or early twenties when I uttered those words and her instantaneous reply left me speechless on the phone: “You ARE a child of God and your are going to Heaven.”

I’ve never forgotten those words. But that is of little comfort when the storms swell causes the sea to rise… and all you can think about as those waters get choppy and you feel sea sick is:

Why am I blindfolded?

Why am I in a tiny row boat?

Why am I the one doing all the paddling?

While I may recognize I’m already “dog-tired” I don’t immediately realize that I’m trying to get control of a boat that isn’t meant to be controlled by me. I also can’t see that the storm I’m facing is too big and too powerful to face alone. The waves could drown me and capsize my boat!

 

Yeah, I am a little tired. I’ve been working diligently for more than 2 years to sift through piles of stuff and clear out excess. Don’t we humans just love to accumulate?

But I’ve come to recognize all this accumulation is a really BIG test. The accumulation has accrued because loved ones have died. I’ve spent 3 decades working on getting “tough” and recognizing death for what it is: The passage way from a sin filled life to peace and perfection with God in Glory.

I’ve managed to develop a fairly thick skin over the years because….well, that’s what God needs from me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hardened…I’m being prepared – and that’s all I know (for now.) That’s all He wants me to know, for now. And I’m okay with that. Inevitably He wants me to depend on HIM. And in the long run, I need to. I need the wisdom from His “macro” view point!

Not long ago (okay, get real, last week) I was feeling really frustrated that I have been a guest at so few weddings. I’m not kidding. I’ve probably been to less than 5 weddings in my life. On the other hand, I’ve been to so many funerals that I often feel callous about the funeral proceeding process. Again, I’m sure that’s gotta sound weird. But I hope not.

See, God wrote about death when He said in:

1 Corinthians 15:55-56

New Living Translation (NLT)

55 O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?[a]

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power.

And maybe that’s why I’ve developed somewhat of a callous over my heart. God allows our hearts, yours and mine to be broken just like His is.

He also stitches it right back together. Which is really, really good…because His stitches tend to make our hearts more resilient and able to tolerate the lessons He NEEDS us to learn. Death isn’t pleasant (and for the unsaved: it’s downright ugly) but death is downright necessary. It’s our FINAL test.

Cutting to the chase: death is NOT the end. We even avoid the subject of death. We may even avoid homes and people where death has “come knocking” – simply because it is an ill-fated reminder of what’s to come for us.

But what’s to come IS God’s greatest achievement in our lives yet. Because of HIS miracle in, through and with Jesus – this life is not ALL there IS. There is MORE. And that example is clearly seen when we take our bruised, battered, torn and broken hearts and LOOK to Jesus words in

John 19:30

where He says we have no reason to turn our back on facing our demise because “It is finished” AND that (in turn) leads the way to

John 11:25

when Jesus has come back to life, having conquered sin and death and HE says:

25 “I am the resurrection and the life.[e]

Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.

That is why we have Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. But most important of all is a reality that gets lost each year as Easter Sunday comes to a close.

Easter is 1 day. Easter is ONE day. EASTER IS A DAY ON A CALENDAR –

We should be living as if EASTER is EVERY-DAY.

 

As if Jesus resurrection NEVER ended just because His resurrection is complete. His good news for us is just the start. Death is the door way we must cross to see THE Light.

The Resurrection lead us to Pentecost. Pentecost is God’s living spirit that will abide IN US if we allow it. We can be a testimony about the amazing FEAT we have gained in what EASTER brings:

Hope for today! It’s time to ignite our light, to shine in the darkness as we WoRk our way HOME.

Prayer:

I long for you Jesus. I pray that in all we do: you will make our lives a living testament of who Jesus was and is. Help us to surrender, to allow you in..to mold us and make us NEW. Soften our hearts and help us to see that by surrendering we are really making ourselves stronger. Sanctify us and help us to feel your presence. Help us to find you in the midst of the storms we face.

Give us Peace and Grace, Grant us Mercy…..

I hope you had a blessed and joyous Easter Weekend!

Thanks for “hanging out” with me…and remember: You are LoVED by God!

-Kenzel