Random Thoughts

That Other Story for Another Day …

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Jennifer Harvey

Yesterday marked 11 weeks that I have been completely off my anti-anxiety/depression medication after 7 years of being on it. I’ll be honest with you … I should have never been on it this long if I should have ever been on it in the first place and that is not my doctor’s fault.

You see I was given some poor advice coupled with the encouragement that I might lose weight and my young hurting heart took it. I asked for help as I was in a time of depression and struggling to make sense of some recent health diagnoses. I was 26 years old and all I wanted to do was sleep. I had no energy. I had been tested numerous times in the last two years for mono but it always came back negative. Anyway, after some concrete diagnoses, there were still some questions and deep hurts from other things going on in my world. Instead of seeking counseling, I sought a quick fix in the form of medication. Now, please know that I am an advocate for both … counseling and medication when they are given/taken responsibly. I would have been better off with speaking to a Biblical counselor, first, and then seeing if I needed some additional support. But I didn’t and Satan has used it against me for seven years.

How?

Well, in my heart of hearts I have felt defeated. I mean, I was going to be on medication for the rest of my life. I was numb. I would go months without crying then have an epic meltdown. I have never wanted to be one who lives for emotions but I was not moved by much at all. Pretty much anyone who knows me will attest to this.

IMG_7132These last 11 weeks have been some of the hardest weeks of my life. I am not kidding. I didn’t know if I was going to make it through the first few weeks. I didn’t like myself on the medicine but I hated myself off the medicine. I was feeling all the feels and my emotions were across the board. I get angry now. That’s a foreign emotion. I cry. I still made it through all of “This Is Us” without crying but now the commercials about how much it has meant to the viewers are making me tear up. What the heck? 

Satan wasn’t letting me go without a deeper fight either. There have been some dark spiritual warfare days. Nightmares. Dark conversations with people. Trying conversations with people. I got to a point my home was no longer my haven and that is a huge priority for an introvert. Utterly overwhelmed at times in a way I could not being to explain. I had doubts about whether or not I would still need to be on the medication. I mean, I am depressed and anxious, right?

But God.

It’s true … God will not call you where He does not lead you. I discovered He was already in the midst of every single situation I have experienced in the past 11 weeks. It took two weeks to wean off a medication that I was told is the hardest medication to wean off of. I had zero side effects. My depression? It was no longer there. My anxiety? Yes, it was there but I saw my counselor and after we identified what makes me anxious those attacks are gone. My home? When it wasn’t a haven the Lord led me to a place where I could find rest of a few minutes each week. Now that things are calming down, peace has been restored within my walls. My emotions? Yep, I still cry. But I am so thankful for my tears and that I can truly feel. I still get angry but I working on that whole “righteous indignation” thing. 🙂

What Now?

Well, I’m still in the midst of this journey. I still have anxious moments and I am finding areas of my life where Satan is wanting to claim territory so I am taking a step back from the social media world. And while I have claimed this before this time it’s true. I find myself comparing my life to others. I’m not jealous of what other’s have but I find myself being much harder on myself because I can see why God would choose to bless them over me. Such a dumb thought process. Therefore, this Summer, I am going to work through Neil T. Anderson’s book “Who I Am in Christ”, spend time in the Word and try to stay ahead in my two masters classes starting next week. I’ll still blog from time to time as I have a new series running through my mind on dating.

 

Further thoughts on comparison …

I do not pretend to know what it is like to be a young mother working full time, part time or as a stay at home mom. I do not pretend to know what it is like to come home from work each day to someone else needing your attention or wanting to tell you about how their day went. I do not pretend to know what it is like to be sick with cancer or grieving the loss of a child or spouse. I simply do not pretend to know what the majority of those in my life are experiencing. But … I can empathize with you because it doesn’t take much to feel compassion for someone who is hurting, tired, grieving or stressed. I believe one of the biggest problems in our culture today is the need to minimize or downplay someone else’s situation because it doesn’t compare to our own. Who are we to compare our problems with someone else’s? The reality is we can never truly walk in someone else’s shoes. There is only one person who has ever experienced every possible thing that can be experienced on this Earth … and that was Jesus … and He still didn’t sin. Some may have it together and other’s may not but we have to remember we (as in, believers) all have our own “crosses to bear” but we have two invitations issued to us in that burdened area.

  1.  If we want to truly follow Christ then we need to take up our cross, by putting our plans and desires to death. (See Luke 9:23)
  2. We can cast our burdens … the crosses we bear … on Him and He will give us His burden to carry which is far easier a load to bear. (See Matthew 11:28-30)

13 weeks ago, I was offered both invitations and I took it. And, by the grace of God alone, I am making it through and finding joy on the journey.

I love you all …

 

 

Advertisements
Random Thoughts

Words from Isaiah

Well, I wrote a different post yesterday but the Lord hasn’t released me to share it which happens from time to time. So, for now, I am “sitting” on that post and we’ll see how the Lord directs me to use it. Until then, I spent some time in Isaiah this morning and several verses leapt off the page at me that I had to share with you.

I’ll admit that I feel like I am in a perpetual waiting season in many areas of my life, especially after reading the very first articles I ever wrote from my time as a “senior editor” for a girls’ paper at my High School. The 18-year-old me had some words of wisdom for the 32-year-old me that I needed to hear again. It was a great reminder to keep seeking hard after the Lord in order to find my true fulfillment and joy in Him alone. A lesson that I believe will be something I learn for the rest of my life.

Anyway, here are the words that the Lord whispered to my soul this morning … may they bless you as well.

“But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name: you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames of will not consume you.” Isaiah 43: 1-2
 
““Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”” Isaiah 43:18-19
 
“I-yes, I alone-am the one who blots out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” Isaiah 43:25
 
“For since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who img_5407works for those who wait for him! You welcome those who cheerfully do good, who follow godly ways. But we are not godly. We are constant sinners, so your anger is heavy on us. How can people like us be saved? We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.” Isaiah 64: 4-6
 
“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” Isaiah 9:6-7
 
Thank you, Holy Father, for providing a Savior so that we could be restored to a right relationship with you through the repentance of our sins by the shedding of your son’s blood. Thank you that He rose victoriously three days later and that we have the hope of Eternity even on the darkest of days here on Earth. May I purpose to live with kingdom come purpose until you return.
In Jesus’s Name, I Pray, 
Amen
Merry Christmas!
I love you all!
Random Thoughts

A Time of Reflection …

“[ The Magnificat: Mary’s Song of Praise ] Mary responded, “Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For the Mighty One is holy, and he has done great things for me.” Luke 1:46-47, 49

fullsizerender-13As I start to look towards 2017 and think about my goals for the next year, I am in awe of what the Lord has done in my life over the last year. Tomorrow, December 17, will mark one year since I have had my tonsillectomy and I am so thankful I did so. I realized today that I have gone an entire year without being on an antibiotic. First year ever in my life! Praise the Lord.

While my recovery ended up being months long as far as regaining strength, due to losing more blood during surgery than the doctor anticipated, my throat healed within a month of surgery which was two months ahead of schedule. My fibromyalgia flare-ups have decreased significantly and my migraines have been less than what they were. I still have some things to figure out with my migraines but in many ways, it’s like a whole a new life for me.

IMG_1583
Verse for 2016

New life … that has been my theme for 2016. And, boy, has my family experienced new life as we welcomed my precious niece, Raelyn, into the world in November! She is absolutely amazing!! We also found out in September that my brother and sister in law are adding to their family. Brantley will find out next week if he’ll have a little brother or sister. Talk about new life!

 

I started a new position within LMU and have been reunited with my 4th grade Elementary teacher from Eaton Elementary whom I adored then and adore even more now. I truly feel like I have come home now.

 

As I think of where I was at mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually over the last year, I am humbled at His goodness and faithfulness in my life. There have been many tears shed as I thought I knew what was best for me but God had an infinitely better plan for me.

Some things are the same and some things have changed. I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me for the rest of 2016 and for the 2017 but I am thankful for all that He has taught me this year and brought me through. God is so good and gracious!

I am looking forward to a time of rest and fellowship with those that I love as we celebrate Christ’s birth.

fullsizerender-14

I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Random Thoughts

Making Sense of It All

I’ll be honest … I have struggled to know what to write over the last week. The last week has been hard here in East TN.

We started the week of Thanksgiving out with a horrible school bus crash in Chattanooga that saw the loss of 6 precious children. Then we had several horrible, senseless murders in Knoxville.

On Friday, I discovered my family’s storage unit had been broken into between the last time I was there on Monday til I came in that day. It had been completely ransacked. If my life were a Hallmark movie, then the police officer who came to check the situation out would have been a single, handsome and strapping man instead of a lovely woman. He would have felt a surge of protectiveness upon seeing my tear stained, yet somehow still lovely, face and felt the need to come back after his shift was over to help me with setting my unit straight. We would have bonded over our mutual disdain for thievery, almost broke up over some silly misunderstanding (how was I supposed to know that 1990s Miami Dolphins velcro wallet still meant something to him and that’s why he still carried it to this day … he didn’t want or need a new wallet? How insensitive!) but realize our love was stronger than that and be happily married by next Christmas.

If my life were a Hallmark movie, then the police officer who came to check the situation out would have been a single, handsome and strapping man instead of a lovely woman. He would have felt a surge of protectiveness upon seeing my tear stained, yet somehow still lovely, face and felt the need to come back after his shift was over to help me with setting my unit straight. We would have bonded over our mutual disdain for thievery, almost broke up over some silly misunderstanding (how was I supposed to know that 1990s Miami Dolphins velcro wallet still meant something to him and that’s why he still carried it to this day … he didn’t want or need a new wallet? How insensitive!) but realize our love was stronger than that and be happily married by next Christmas.

However …  my life isn’t a Hallmark Movie so instead I was left to pick up the pieces and deal with it as best as I could. I’ll admit that it really put a burr under my saddle. I just couldn’t understand why this would happen. Not that our family should be spared from something like this but it’s still so frustrating.

But all of this was put into perspective after the devastation my neighbors in Sevier County experienced at the hands of the wildfire and my neighbors in Polk County experienced at due to a tornado the next day.I mean, y’all, it’s been insane. People have lost their lives, their homes and for some their livelihoods.

I have struggled to wrap my mind around it all. I have thought back to my dream that I had a few weeks ago as that’s all I could think about on Tuesday night during the storms …”signs and wonders, the Lord is in control and He is coming back.”  I hope you are hearing that.

christys-rock

I have never been one to talk about the end times as I still have so much that I want to experience during my lifetime but I can’t ignore what is going on around me. Nor can I ignore the fact that for the first time in my life I have complete peace over the Lord’s return. While I do not know when Jesus is coming back here is what I do know … we have 3 communities hurting and in need of love. We have people who need to see what it means when the body of Christ unites together to be Jesus to those in need. The world needs to see how we love not how we “hate”. So, let’s do all that we can within our means and our abilities to be the Church that we are called to be to those in need and to reach a world that is lost …. because friends, the days are short and the hours are few but Eternity is forever. Some are facing an Eternity in a neverending wildfire and we hold the keys to keeping them from that … what are we waiting for?

He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”” Matthew 9:37-38

So let’s go … let’s be about the Father’s business.

I love you all.

image2

Single Life

Single in the Church

 

fullsizerender-11
#mamaskills

 

When I was a little girl, I had two baby dolls and they were named “Darlin’ and Sweet Darlin’”. They were my babies. If you asked me what I was going to be when I grew up I would have probably told you either a mama or a singer. Then on some days a mama singer! As I have shared before my plan was to get married by the age of 23, have my first child at 25 and be finished having babies (3-4, and I wouldn’t have put them on the ground face first … duh) by the time I hit my early 30s. Instead, I am single, 32, live in an apartment and have a dog! I am neither a mama nor a singer (at least not what I had envisioned).

Nothing, in my plan, panned out at all. Not even my college plans. My 20s included the death of many lifelong dreams and the birth of many new dreams. Dreams that I pray and believe are of the Lord and not strictly of my will. I still long for marriage but children are totally negotiable at this point in my life. I am pretty content with where the Lord has me and on the days that I am not it’s usually because I am too focused on someone else’s life.

However, I have realized there is a huge gap in our churches where singles are concerned and it’s something that I noticed years ago when I was in my early 20s. The Church, at large, doesn’t seem to know what to do once you are past the college and career age. I consider the college and career age to tap out at about 25. Everything the Southern Baptist Convention rolls out seems to be directed towards the college and young career group. Conferences and seminars are geared for this group, i.e. Passion.

I guess no one really accounted for the fact that more adults would be holding off on getting married whether it’s due to careers, finances, commitment issues or lack of dating options. So there’s a large group of people who are being overlooked within the Church.

Even with the churches that seem to have an active singles ministry, if you get to the core of that group it’s spiritually dry. You either have a singles social club or a literal small group of Christians committed to growing in Christ. Women are threatened by the possibility of a new woman coming into the class when there are only a few guys in the class so they often talk negatively about the class to newcomers or just don’t invite anyone. Or you get the singles that are strictly there to find someone to date and end up working their way through the entire group.

image1-1

I don’t know if this will fix the issue but here are few ideas I have:

  1. Stop giving everything a name. There was a time when every youth group and program had a name which carried over to the singles Sunday school classes. I have heard of PowerHouse, The Bridge, The Pathway, The Crossing, Crossroads, The Road, Landslide (JK), Landfill (JK), The Headstone (JK … but I’m guessing that would be a senior single adult class). We aren’t kids. Just divide by ages – names not required. J
  2. Once a month by rotating, each church in the area could share the responsibility with hosting a city-wide Singles Worship service by putting ego and competition aside … this would be something that is not catered to the college demographic but rather speaks to career-minded singles in their late 20s, 30s and 40s+ with solid preaching that also gives everyone an opportunity to meet other singles in the area. And please … no lame ice breakers. In fact, just avoid games altogether.
  3. Stop promoting marriage as the end all be all in the church. Yes, the majority of us do want to be married but for one reason or another (or in some cases, multiple reasons) we are not married yet. However, we have married friends and we know it’s not the ticket to paradise, endless bliss or total wholeness. We see the broken marriages. Some of us are a product of them. Some of us are called to be single. Singleness isn’t a disease and it won’t rub off on you if you are around us for too long. We are vital to the Church and not just to fill the roles parents are too tired to fill. J
  4. In the same vein … stop acting like singleness is a gift when you know you didn’t see it that way when you were single. Yes, we have “tons of time” to ourselves to do “whatever we want” … but that is a lot of time that we are by ourselves. It can be lonely. And there will be someone who will comment that “it’s better to be alone and on your own than alone in a marriage”. To that I say … loneliness is still loneliness whether there is a ring on the finger or not. Please do not downplay one person’s pain because of their marital status. We have all been called to this stage of life that we are in for a purpose.

It’s not Singleness<Marriage or Singleness>Marriage … it’s Singleness = Marriage.

  1. Teach on Biblical Manhood/Womanhood for Singles … I fully support the Church’s fight to save and support the marriages within her walls but there needs to be teaching on what it looks like to be in your 30s and 40s living a pure lifestyle. It’s more than not having sex before marriage. It’s more than not watching/looking at porn. I have been shocked by how many singles I know who view drunkenness, murder and abortion as sin but see nothing wrong with premarital sex or living with their mate outside of marriage. Hello? Have we ripped out 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 from our Bibles? Somewhere the wires were crossed in our youth group meetings that we missed the truths on what it means to truly live for the Lord. It’s not about “missing out” or being restricted by a set of rules but rather experiencing life abundantly the way God ordained it!

These are just some thoughts that have been running through my mind (the only part of me that actively receives exercise but that’s another story) over the last few weeks as I feel like I am a square peg trying to fit into a round hole within the Church. I don’t want to read another book geared towards singles on “How Not be Bitter that You Aren’t Married Yet”, “How to Stop Looking So They’ll Come” (The Field of Dreams version of singleness turning into marriage. The Hallmark Channel is fighting Netflix for the movie rights on this!), “How to be Content in My Waiting” or “How to be Better at Waiting When all You Do Is Wait” … I want to read a book about what it means to be the woman that God created me to be, right now, in the place that I am in … without having to skip over the chapters of praying for my husband and/or children that do not and may never exist. Someone write to me!

Someone write about how true beauty and allure is found in the one who lives a life of sincere praise …

Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God, for He is gracious and lovely; praise is becoming and appropriate.” Psalm 145:1 AMP

image2But until someone does write a book Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for Singles in today’s culture may I humbly suggest we turn to Colossians 3:12-17 for reference and put into practice what Paul writes?

“Clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones (His own picked representatives), [who are] purified and holy and well-beloved [by God Himself, by putting on behavior marked by] tenderhearted pity and mercy, kind feeling, a lowly opinion of yourselves, gentle ways, [and] patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper].

Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference (a grievance or complaint) against another, readily pardoning each other; even as the Lord has [freely] forgiven you, so must you also [forgive].

And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:12-17

I am committed to doing my part in making a difference in the lives of other singles … will you join me in praying that the Lord will show me what that part is and that I will be obedient to follow through with it? And if you are a pastor of a church and any of these ideas have sparked your curiosity then I would love to talk to you!

I love you all.

Random Thoughts

A Song for this Day

I am not big on trends.

I do not read the latest “it” books … ever … be it Christian or not.

I finally upgraded to the iPhone 6 last Christmas.

I still watch an occasional movie on the VCR in my bedroom … just the movies that I have yet to find on DVD.

I do have Netflix. I finally purchased that in the last year.

I am making strides to become more current. But I have my way of doing things and I like it.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when I stumbled across the “SING!” app. You know the one … the karaoke app that many are using. Well, as I was perusing through various songs, I came across “O the Blood”. I have always wanted to sing that song. So I did … in the quietness of my bedroom, I entered into the holy of holies and made this song my heart’s cry. It has been my heart’s cry every day since and will be my heart’s cry tomorrow morning as well.

O the Blood

Verse 1:
O the blood
Crimson love
Price of life’s demand
Shameful sin
Placed on Him
The hope of every man

[Chorus:]
O the Blood of Jesus washes me
O the Blood of Jesus shed for me
What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes the blood it is my victory

Verse 2:
Savior Son
Holy One
Slain so I can live
See the Lamb
The Great I Am
Who takes away my sin

[Chorus]

Bridge:
O the Blood of the Lamb
O the Blood of the Lamb
O the Blood of the Lamb
The precious Blood of the Lamb
What a sacrifice
That saved my life
Yes the Blood it is my victory

Verse 3:
O what love
No greater love
Grace how can it be
That in my sin
Yes even then
He shed His blood for me

[Chorus]

What a sacrifice that saved my life
Yes the blood it is my victory

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:6-11

No matter what this day holds … politically, professionally or personally, I am thankful to proclaim “what a sacrifice that saved my life. Yes, the blood it is my victory!”

I love you all.

Single Life

Season of Thanks: A Prayer and Two Dreams

In honor of Dr. Billy Graham’s 98th birthday today, I am sharing the prayer/poem that his wife Ruth Bell Graham wrote in her teens about the man she hoped to marry someday.

The Man I Prayed For
Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid
(as we’re inclined to do),
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like You;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius,
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high, dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight, whate’er his state,
whate’er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show, dear God,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man
I prayed for long ago.

By Ruth Bell

fullsizerender-10A few years ago, I adopted this as my prayer too. I have it printed out and framed in my living room as a reminder to myself to continue to pray for him, my future husband, as well as the empty picture frame that sits by my bed. I posted a picture of one of my many copies that I have of it in 2011 … 5 years ago … but I still stand by what I stated then. 🙂 I would like to say that I pray for him all the time but I don’t instead I bemoan the fact that he isn’t here.

Well, last night I had two very vivid dreams. The first I ended up in a “school musical” and for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was now, however, I was a last minute addition. Let me just tell you that I have never been in a school musical theater production. As much as I loved singing, the thought of getting on stage and acting in front of people mortified me. So here I am, in my dream, thrown on stage in a school production at the last minute but it was the backstage conversation that has stayed with me all day long. I ran into a friend who was deep in grief and admitted that they had been using musical theater (of all things) to fill the void of their lost loved one yet they were still empty. I found myself empathizing with them and admitting there have been many times that I have used various things to fill the loneliness in my life that is only meant to be filled by the Lord.

Instead of seeking solace in Him, I look to things to satisfy that only work for a brief time when what I am searching for is something more fulfilling. I’ll be honest … I use food to fill that void 9 times out of 10. I’m not a glutton but if I am lonely, bored or sad then I’ll eat something. For others, it may be shopping, alcohol, relationships, your children, drugs, social media, or TV. We all have various things that, in and of themselves may not necessarily be bad or they absolutely are, we allow to fill the needs in our lives versus the Lord. And let’s just be honest, when we turn to other things than seeking the Lord first it’s ultimately a form of disobedience because we are in essence making other things our gods.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?  I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.” Luke 6:46-49

We will never be satisfied with the things of this world or with the things that are of the Lord if the Lord is not first. It’s that simple. What kind of foundation do you want to build your life upon? Are you, like me, replacing the Lord with something? Seeking comfort in something other than Him and His word? He’s ready and waiting for us to return to our right fellowship with Him. We just have to take that first step.

In my second dream, I was sitting in a house high above a city with a large picture window. There were several others in the home with me when I looked outside and could see planes falling from the sky along with other catastrophic events happening. It was apparent that the Rapture was occurring. It was actually happening in stages. You know in movies when you see a wave of implosion slowly overtaking a city? That is what was happening in my dream but it wasn’t a scary situation. Those in the house were worried because we weren’t “taken” yet but I had this peace that it was coming and we needed to get ready. And that’s what I believe this dream was about … the Lord is coming back … it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are regarding the end times. He’s coming. He told us He is.

 “And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.  People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then everyone will see the Son of Man coming on a cloud with power and great glory. So when all these things begin to happen, stand and look up, for your salvation is near!”

Then he gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:25-36

Are you ready? Do you have everything in order in your house? Because He is coming. Now more than ever it is time to be about the Father’s business and share the hope we have in Christ with others.

So today … the day before the election … the day of Dr. Billy Graham’s 98th birthday … I am thankful for the Godly example of marriage he and Mrs. Ruth set for us. I am thankful for the hope of Salvation that he faithfully preached to the nations over his lifetime. And I am thankful for the hope and assurance that Christ is coming again.

I love you all!