Tag Archives: Lord

Bible Bite: Mark 4:41

Standard
Bible Bite: Mark 4:41

A Bible Bite is a little tidbit that I run across that irks me and controls my thoughts until the Holy Spirit helps me to break through the miasmas to teach me some lesson. 

During Paula and my bible study, we were talking about standing stronger by walking in faith (Day 27 of the 28-day study).  I grew increasingly distressed during the scriptures of Mark 4: 35-41.  Jesus had been teaching using several parables (vv. 1-34) at the side of the Sea of Galilee.  As night fell, He told the disciples they were going to go over to the other side of the sea and they all hopped in a boat.

As they sailed, Jesus slept in the aft of the boat and a wind brewed up that whipped up the waves so forcefully that they were crashing over the sides of the boat and threatening to capsize.  Yet, Jesus slept.

The disciples woke Him up concerned that He was going to let them drown and He got up and rebuked the wind and the sea with, “Silence, be still!”  He turned then to the disciples and asked, “Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?”

What amazed me most was the next verse, Mark 4:41:

“And they were terrified and asked one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Terrified?  Why were they terrified?  I didn’t get it.  The disciples had been with Jesus for a while at this point and had seen miracle after miracle.  What terrified them now?

And they asked each other, “Who is this then?”  How could it be that they forgot who Jesus was?

Part of the keys are in Jesus questions.  First He asks, “Why are you afraid?”  I love being on this side of the situation.  We’re reading about an incident in the Bible and have the benefit of being able to take a global view. Do you (like me) often find yourself shaking your head at what some Biblical one is doing or saying at any given time?  I do that until I realize that in some way I’m just like them … ahem … and then keep reading to learn from these Saints who have gone before.

“Why are you fearful” (my HCSB states)?  Why are they fearful?  Jesus said when they got into the boat that they were going to the other side.  Surely He knew the boat would be caught in a storm, but He wasn’t worried because He fell asleep.  (Another aside: I like to see Jesus’ humanness here – He slept because He’d been teaching all day and was tired.  The Son of God gets tired. I love that little bit of insight.)

But back to the question at hand.  In Warren W. Weirsbe’s Exposition Commentary, he notes, “… for the greatest danger was not the wind or the waves; it was the unbelief in the hearts of the disciples.” Further, “It was their unbelief that caused their fear, and their fear made them question whether Jesus really cared.  “We must aware of an evil heart of unbelief.” (Heb 3:12).1

“Do you still have no faith,” Jesus asks?   Jesus asks these questions as a way to test the disciples.  Just how far have they come?  How much do they or don’t they believe?

How often do we continue to wonder if God is really all that He says He is?  How often are we shown His grace, His mercy, His faithfulness, His very deity, and still we forget the works He has done?  Can we be that stiff-necked?  That hard-hearted?  Nincompoops to the core?  Yep.  And still He loves us!  Still He’s patient with us and He who started a good work in us will carry it on to completion. (Phil 1:6)

It was true that the disciples had seen Jesus’ many miracles. They’d seen him cast out demons, heal people, and forgive sins but now – Weirsbe ends the section this way, “Now they discovered that He even had authority over the wind and the sea.  This meant that they had no reason ever again to be afraid, for their Lord was in constant control of every situation.”2

Is Jesus your Lord?  Then we must understand completely – we have no reason to ever be afraid.  Ever.

That, my friends, is freedom.

—————————————————–

1 Warren W. Weirsbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary: New Testament Volume 1, 2nd ed, (Colorado, David C. Cook), 125.

2 Weirsbe, 125.

 

ScripturePicture ~ Psalm 8: 3-4

Standard

 

It’s one of the questions I wondered aloud to My Guardian (aka: The Lord).

Ps 8-3 LG

Its something I don’t think I’ll ever understand this side of Heaven.

I remember a time when I was mentioning to an unsaved friend that Satan had been pestering me in my dreams.  I told her that I was going to have to remember to ask God to keep me safe from him while I slept.

She said, “You really think God cares about your dreams?”

“Yes.” I stated.  “He loves us so much He cares about every little thing that affects us.”

Something to remember when you think you have no one to turn to.

Turn to Him and speak.

He’s listening.

 

Cross to Bear ~ 2

Standard

This story started on Friday.  If you missed that, you’ll be lost today. So here’s a quick link to pop back and catch yourself up!

As I placed the nozzle back in the pump, I walked around the back of the car and my newest decal loomed large … a reminder of who’s I am and whom I’ve just disgraced …

† = ♥

I hung my head in shame and slid back into my car.

In my head I replayed what I said to the station manager.  Was that anyway to treat another human being?  What did that outburst say about me as a Christ follower?  I shook my head in disgust.  Some witness!  Paul can survive beatings and floggings and stonings and I can’t persevere through an argument without coming unglued.  I still have so much to learn!

By the time I was ready for bed that evening the weight of the sin-millstone around my neck was palpable.  The incident and the implications of the fallout weighed heavy on my mind for the rest of the day and I knew I couldn’t go one more minute before I had to get down on my knees that night and cry, begging forgiveness from my Lord and Savior.  I went to bed with a beautiful peace on my heart, but still mortified by the way I had acted that day.

The ever-present oily pit of black goo roiled in my soul.  I imagine it to be a pool of sin sloshing back and forth in my soul.  Sometimes it lays dormant for a while, other times it bubbles up and leaks out.  Now, I don’t want you to think that I’m in a constant state of consternation – far from it.  I fully accept the grace God affords me after I repent and ask forgiveness for my sin.  My heart and spirit are somehow lighter knowing He forgets my sin “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 (NIV).  It’s just that as I come to love the Lord more and more I am ever so much more saddened when I sin.  I know I hurt His heart.  I know I disappoint Him.  All sin is an act against God.  I love how Jerry Bridges puts it in his book Respectable Sins:

“Even though our hearts have been renewed, even though we have been freed from the absolute dominion of sin, even though God’s Holy Spirit dwells within our bodies, this principle of sin still lurks within us and wages war against our souls.”

Even though we are believers, we have a tendency to evaluate our behavior by how it relates to the society in which we live.  Since as Christians, we’re usually operating at a higher moral standard than those around us, it’s easier to get caught up in feeling good about ourselves and how we behave – even though we are sinning all along.  We must watch out for that trap.  Can’t you just see Satan grinning with joy?

Unbelievably, I hadn’t even read Day 14 when the incident at the gas station occurred.  As I opened up the bible study the following day I couldn’t help but see my sin all over its pages.  Convicted over and over again (but not condemned because I’d already received forgiveness from God).  Unfortunately, there were other recent incidents where I had opened my mouth inappropriately and these occurrences tugged at my heart.  I hadn’t confessed those to the Lord yet.  I’d pushed them aside as acceptable sins.  The bottom line – would I ever learn to keep my big yap shut?

Kay asks, “If I want to live this life (a life sold out for Jesus), am I willing to pay the price?”

Am I willing to really come to grips with my inability to keep my mouth closed when it isn’t necessary to speak?  Am I able to look with such love toward others that a critical thought never enters my mind again?  It’s certainly become a prayer of mine.

Think this week about your cross.  Or at least one of them – because I know I have many myself!  What can you, once and for all, give up to Christ by next weekend?  What can you cut out of yourself like fisherman gutting a newly caught snapper – all for the sake of Jesus?  I don’t think we have time to waste, my friends.  Jesus may arrive at any time and I want to see you on that narrow path with me!

She Lied

Standard
She Lied

This is part six of a series on prayer asked and answered however, this post is the finale of the second act which began last Monday and continued Wednesday, if you need to return and catch up.

Over the next few months Lisa and I found each other on Facebook and I got to be a part of her life watching her son flourish and listening to tales from her job.  At some point I started seeing pictures of her and her son with her family, her son playing with his grandfather, trips together to exotic places.  I thought to myself, wait a minute, I thought these were the brutally, abusive grandparents?  There were spa trips with her mom while dad watched her child and professions of love for him on his birthday and father’s day.  The crux of all our prayer and concern was because she was a single mom with no family to turn to.  Now it seemed we had a very happy and well-to-do family that didn’t seem at all to be as she originally painted them.  I’m all for people changing but …

Should I be praising the Lord for a remarkable turnaround?

I started to wonder, could the whole thing have been a lie?  Did she just play us to get situated in a new apartment with money, food, and possessions?  We’d even fed her out of the women’s ministry emergency pantry – had she taken food that could have helped someone truly needy?  I asked God these questions, never receiving a clear answer, and continued to watch her life unfold on Facebook and at church.

Over the course of the following year I discovered that she actually had run from a bad situation in her previous marriage.  The ex-husband had committed adultery and was still attempting to get full custody of their child and other friends had been involved in transporting her to court.  Yet there was still no sign of an abusive relationship with her parents.  Lisa willingly and often put herself and her son in their home and continually posted pictures of her happy family.  I wondered if I should confront her and prayed, asking God that same question.  Still, no answer.

Sometime later we ended up at the same table for a function at church.  She sat next to me and we began to reminisce about when we’d met.  I pulled up my phone and retrieved the original blog post I’d written about her (essentially what you read on Monday and Wednesday of this week) and watched as she silently moved through the blog, reading.  At the end she gave me back my phone.  “That was a different time,” she said quietly, her head down.  I nodded and waited for more, kinda hoping for some inkling of regret or modicum of remorse and got nothing.

You, dear reader, are the first to hear the rest of the story.  Well … except for Paula.  I told her the rest of the story last week and it’s because of her that you’re hearing about it now.  Why?  Because as I was telling her the story I was thinking to myself ‘We may have been sucked into her tale of woe, but God doesn’t get duped.’

Why would God have provided all that He did for a liar and a cheat?

I’d asked Paula if she had an answer to that question and that’s when it hit me – to grow our faith.  The faith of everyone involved in God’s miraculous answer to prayer.

He grew Lisa’s faith by showing her how He works in the real world.  How she may have come out of a hopeless and loveless situation (and she did) but here were people who actually cared about her.  Godly women who didn’t know one iota about her dropped everything over the course of four days and with the help of the Lord, took care of her and her son.  The amount of love she felt had to have been overwhelming.  Other than the fact she was a young Christian, I had no idea where she was in her Christian walk at the time of our meeting.  Now I can see that she might have been having severe issues with her faith as her marriage had broken down.  I do know that she became a stronger woman of faith over the past few years.  Perhaps she had to witness the selfless love of others to get her started on that journey.

The entire situation also strengthened the faith of nine other women (and untold others on our periphery)  who got to be used by God to help the miracle play out.  From the moment that we prayed Ephesians 3:20 in the Spirit on Wednesday night until the last $20 bill came to me on Sunday morning, God continued to amaze and confound and astound.

Could it have been that all along?  That we all needed a big dose of faith-building?

Oh yeah … and I never did miss any of the money I spent on Lisa.  God has a marvelous way of altering what matters in your life.

So, what’s going on in your life where you need to pray the Ephesians 3:20 prayer?  Let me know so I can pray for you!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Stronger in Answered Prayer

Standard

This is the third part of a post that began on Monday and continued Wednesday. Feel free to step back in time to catch up.  We’ll be right here when you return.

How much stronger can your faith be in answered prayer?  STRONG.  Maybe even Orlando Strong or Boston Strong or NYC Strong.  We should just call it USA Strong since our strength as a people is one of the identifying characteristics of Americans (even though this administration would rather just apologize for it).  We are strong and we’re not going to let a bunch of whiney jihadists following the alleged writings of some pagan god destroy the love that we have for one another.  OK – that’s my political speech for today.  Let’s get back to answered prayer … and for all of you praying that God would destroy (or turn) the terrorists, your prayers have already been answered.  Read Revelation.

When I was in the hospital facing an operation that might uncover that the worst of the worst diseases, cancer, had invaded my body; I knew a lot of people were praying for me.  A huge group of people at church, ladies I didn’t even know yet at Bible Study Fellowship, friends and their friends, blog readers (whom I count among my friends!), family, and (I would later find out) my parents friends and fellow country club members.  That was a whole host of people.  And you know what?

I felt every prayer.

Every. Prayer.

How?  Because before and after the surgery I felt as if a blanket of love had enveloped me.  Even when I awoke in the Recovery Room with my doctor’s hand gently laying on my arm, his little face smiling at me, and his warm eyes glowing – delivering the worst possible news – I still felt awash in a blanket of love.  OK, that could have been the drugs, but I don’t think so.  Because the same feeling persisted over the next few months as I went home, recuperated from the surgery and open wounds in my belly, and then started chemotherapy to kill what my doctor’s hands couldn’t.  I was buoyed by prayer and the warmth of a lot of love.  Praise Him that He hears the prayers of His saints.

Even when I sat in a hospital for 11 days and still hadn’t received a visit from any pastors in my church I prayed that God would send me a man of the cloth to talk to and pray with and within minutes the hospital Chaplin was at my door.  Praise Him!

Even when I wound up back in the hospital when a hematoma had burst under my incision and I had to receive a wound vacuum to help close the open wound, it didn’t look like it was going to happen.  I put a call in to three mighty prayer warriors to pray quickly to right what was going wrong.  In less than 15 minutes the situation became 100% positive.  The nurses said they never saw such progress.  I said, “You must not know my God.”  Praise Him for answered prayer!

All along this journey I (and others) have prayed and we’ve received answers to our prayers.  Although not always what we’ve prayed for or wanted.  I certainly didn’t want cancer, or an open would that would persist for six months, or weird salt & pepper curly hair, or neuropathy in my feet so bad that my toes feel perpetually stubbed.

But prayers always go answered.

Remember in Daniel 10 when the angel Gabriel told Daniel that his prayers had been heard immediately but he’d been fighting against Satan to get to Daniel with the answer and even needed Michael’s intervention to make it happen.  In some cases we might still be waiting for an answer to our prayer.  In others, and probably more frequently than we care to admit, it could be that we just don’t recognize the answer because we’re so set on what we want rather than God’s will for us that we don’t see it.

I remember a counselee talking to me about needing financial assistance.  There were several things happening in her life that could be covered easily if she’d only had more money.  She (and I) had been praying for a few weeks for a new, better paying job for her.  About four weeks into our sessions she came in really distraught that another interview had gone without a job offer.  It was getting down to the wire and she was getting more and more frustrated.  After we prayed again, we spent the rest of the time discussing the good things that were happening in her life.  As she spoke I got the sensation that I should be making a detailed list.  At the end of the session I was almost laughing out loud.  All of the “little good things” that had happened had removed the need for her to get a new job.  God had answered her prayer – just not in the way she thought she needed it.  Among other things, her two grown boys had both gotten jobs and agreed to pay $100 a month each to the household, her older son had taken on his responsibility for his car insurance, her father had gifted her with new tires for her car, and a neighbor had a garage sale which netted her a couple items she so desperately needed.  God didn’t want her in a new job.  He wanted her right where she was and had met her needs – almost to the penny.  He is so amazing!  He cares so much for us.  Why do we forget that?

For now, if you don’t have one already, why don’t you start a prayer journal?  I have a little blank book and on the right page list my prayers and leave the left, facing page blank to record the praise when the prayer is answered.  Seeing the request and the answer laid out in this manner will go a long way to strengthening your faith.  I can guarantee that you will be surprised about how God answers prayer time and time again.

Now … I promised my Ephesians 3:20 story and I see I’m well over 900 words.  To tell this whole story would be another 1,000+ words.  So I regret I must leave it until next week – BUT – I don’t regret for one instant getting to talk longer about answered prayer!!

That really just thrills my heart.  Thank you, Lord!

Praying you have a wonderful weekend with answered prayer of your own!

Respite

Image
A version of this poem originally ran May 20, 2013

St Pete Clouds branded

Thank you Lord, for this beautiful day.

Oh how I long to see you return on the clouds,

holding out your hand

beckoning me with a smile.

I turn my face upward

yearning to be with you

breathless in the waiting.

And then with a snap,

        an audible sound

my feet leave the ground.

As if the world had stopped holding me,

relinquishing me

knowing it could not contain.

Knowing that I was made to soar with You

into the heavenly spaces.

I breathe deeply filling my lungs with clean cold air

refreshed ~ renewed

ready to begin the rest of my life with you.

Filled to beyond measure

the joy the love the peace

that knowing You can only bring.

I open my eyes and

though I remain on solid ground,

I smile, the future secure.

Thank you Lord

for this respite …

for my coming Heaven.

~ Felecia Clarke, 2013-16

He is Holy

Standard

We’ve just finished up the study of Revelation through BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and I can’t really contain myself.  Firstly, if you’ve never been to a BSF study, and you find yourself a quart low on studying the Bible, get yourself to one (a study of John will begin on September 12)!  BSF headquarters are based in Texas but the study is offered worldwide and over 500,000 people participated in Revelation at the same time.  You can find out more, and where there is a study in your area, here: http://www.bsfinternational.org

I found BSF through a friend who fortunately invited me last year for the study of Moses.  It came at the right time when my educational options were limited in my church and I was desperate for some comprehensive Bible study.  I got just what I needed in BSF.  It’s a long and detailed study that is perfect for delving in deep and hearing volumes from God.  He has taken the time to speak to me in each of the two studies I’ve been involved in and I’ve been thrilled.  You really can’t go wrong when you hear God speak.

This past year God has really been working on me to understand His sanctity and studying Revelation just brought everything to a head.  I was really struck by His unfathomable holiness.  It’s led me to examine how I think about Him and whether I fear Him like I should.  I think it’s easy for us to put God in a human-sized box.  Partly due to our general humanness – He is so vast, we just don’t know how to comprehend Him so we bring Him down to something we can latch onto; and partly due to the songs we sing these days … the Jesus is my pal – type songs.  Well, Jesus may be friendly toward me, but He’s not my pal and I don’t wish to think of Him like that.  He’s my Savior.  My King.  My Lord.  My Judge.  Putting Jesus on a friend level does Him a disservice … it limits him, cheapens Him.  None of my friends can die for my sins.  None of my friends can heal me.  None of my friends can facilitate my eternal life with the Almighty Father.  And, I hate to say this, but sometimes I’m not a very good friend.  I know, hard to believe, right?

God is so far above what we can imagine.

Chip Ingram asked recently on his program ‘Living on the Edge’, “Which Jesus are you worshiping?”  I probably screwed up my face when I heard that line … thinking “wha?”  But as he started explaining I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement.  He asked a pointed question (my paraphrase), “Do you worship the Jesus that walked around Judea with 12 other guys doing miracles here and there, or do you worship the Jesus that was arrested and crucified on a cross, or do you worship Jesus as He is today?”

You see, Jesus as He is today is explained very beautifully in Revelation 1:13-16.  He wears a long robe with a gold sash and has hair white as snow, His eyes are like fire, His feet like burnished bronze, His voice like cascading waters, His face shines like the noon-day sun, and His mouth yields a sharp two-edged sword.  Friends, our Lord Jesus is no longer the God-man who roamed the countryside for three years and He no longer hangs bruised and bloody on a cross.  He is a warrior!  Our warrior!  The Ancient of Days, the Almighty, holy, faithful, true, and the victorious conqueror over evil.

History is good to know to complete the picture of Jesus, but we need to worship Him as He is … today.

 

Divine Appointments ~ 2

Standard

This is the second half of a post that began yesterday and which you can find here to get caught up.  ~ F

Much praise was sent heavenward after the results of the biopsy were in and as I acknowledged God’s infinite wisdom to put Paula in my life.  What I didn’t know then – was that I wasn’t done.  I’d initially gone to the doctor in February to check out some unusual bleeding and an MRI showed that it was now my uterus that harbored something suspicious.  Surgery was slated and pre-op testing began.  It was an EKG followed by a stress ECG followed by a Heart Cath to discover that I had a 100% blockage of the artery they call the ‘widowmaker.’  A stent was immediately placed.  I returned to church to wait out the month before we could perform the surgery (due to the stent).  During this time a beautiful woman with long strawberry blond hair had started sitting near Paula and I in the front row. We quickly welcomed Lydia into our little group and discovered she was a nurse by trade as well as a prayer warrior for the Kingdom.

A month later I was undergoing a hysterectomy and since no one had really mentioned the “C” word in my presence, we’d been praying that my bleeding was simply caused by a renegade fibroid cyst (which I learned can sometimes masquerade as cancer).  It didn’t matter to me that my surgeon was the head of the Oncology GYN department or that I’d seen the words “suspected uterine cancer” as a diagnosis on some blood work. We all wanted the best possible outcome and I had such a peace about the whole situation that it simply didn’t matter to me what they discovered inside me.  You know that peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7)?  I had it – big time.  Thank you, Jesus.

It wasn’t until I awoke in Recovery that I learned that the doctor had gotten most of the cancer with the surgery (having to perform a complete hysterectomy and grab as many lymph nodes as he could) but that some lower pelvic lymph nodes remained that couldn’t be excised and there seemed to be some cancerous cells moving toward my stomach. Chemotherapy would be my next stop.

Paula was instrumental in helping me through those early months; preparing me with her first-hand knowledge of chemo and later radiation therapy, gifts of ginger drops and peppermint oil to help with nausea, a CD with healing Scriptures, warm fuzzy socks, and prayer – prayer – prayer.  Lydia’s nursing skills got a work out as well because when I was on the operating table I also received a hernia repair that hadn’t closed properly.  We were blessed as Lydia came to my aid helping show my Mom how to clean and change dressings as well as handle the wound vacuum until the visiting nurses could step in.

Then when I could physically return to church, the three of us created a little prayer huddle continuing to pray for each other.  The months have flown by for Paula and me and we have become a constant support to each other.  I don’t know how people without God in their lives can make it through a bout with Cancer and I don’t know how they could do it without a support system.  I had so many people praying for me and surrounding me and my family with love that it was palpable.  I believe I literally felt the prayers.

God knew that Paula and I would survive these trials better with each other, and He was right.  How blessed was I to have these two women enter my life at that time?  Our friendships continue to grow and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for us!

Now it’s your turn.  Tell me about a time when you were involved on either side of a divine appointment?

Feel free to remain anonymous if you wish.

Choose Your God

Standard

The first part of this tale began last Wednesday.  If you want to catch yourself up, you can do it here.  Don’t worry, we’ll be here waiting for you.


 

When I first heard that there was something suspicious in my right breast.  I fell on my knees before God asking Him to come to my aid, to walk with me, to receive and be confident of His glorious peace.  He gave it … instantly.  I was almost immediately calmed and feeling as though a blanket of supreme peace and endless love was surrounding me.  Then the weirdest thing happened.

It was as if I knew deep down in my bones that the peace came from acceptance … from making the decision to be totally reliant on God.  And almost as suddenly I realized … clearly understood … that whatever the outcome of the biopsy, I would be fine because my King and my Savior was with me.

It reminds me of a time a few years ago when I was relocating from Arizona to Florida where, in the middle of the great State of Texas, I got tangled up with a semi-tractor trailer.  Somehow he’d lost control of his rig and suddenly the massive truck was drifting quickly into my lane.  I had nowhere to go but into the grassy median … at 85 miles an hour.  I immediately called on the name of Jesus in furious fashion to save me from impending doom – kinda like, “Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus save me!”  Certainly it was only through Him my car didn’t roll and after I’d reentered the highway, I proceeded off the next exit to spend some time thanking Him and collecting my wits.

In hindsight, Jesus had me safe the entire time. There were so many things that could have gone wrong and didn’t (obstacles in the median removed, a sudden lack of other traffic) that it was obvious He was in full and complete control.  But one of the most interesting outcomes to that incident came a few hours later when I fully realized that if I hadn’t made it, I would have gone to heaven, and that would have been all right.

When you realize that you are not afraid of death, your whole world changes.

I got the biopsy done and everyone rejoiced at the news of no malignancy.  Yet, the doctors weren’t done with me yet.  The day before my biopsy, I’d had a pelvic MRI.  It now seemed that two masses had taken up residence inside me.

On one hand, I already knew something was wrong down there.  My original trip to the doctor was because of pain and bleeding so when they found the breast issue in a routine mammogram, it was insult to injury.  A courtroom sidebar that was eventually ruled in my favor.  “Step back.” I envision the judge saying afterward, because we’re not done.  The main culprit was now being led into the courtroom.  The trial is being called to order.  Will I again experience victory?  Be found blameless of all charges?

Pre-op testing begins.  This doctor, that doctor. This test, that test.  All to discover that we still know nothing … and won’t know until the criminals are cut out of me and examined in the operating room.

“It’s suspicious,” they say in quiet tones.

It was while I was awaiting more blood work that I found myself glancing through the doctor’s orders and found a diagnosis she had written … endometrial cancer.  I shake my head and look to God.

‘She’s not the boss of me,’ I whisper with a smile.

I think I feel Jesus wink.

And then the dreams begin and evil lurks to take my mind off my Savior.  To tear the fabric of my faith just enough to allow his lies in to aggravate my peace … which is His peace.

I try to remain faithful and find it’s a lot easier to cling to your faith when you know who you’re battling.  Certainly no friend or family is speaking lies into my ear.  It is only one.  The only one who believes he has the right to intervene, to tear down, to destroy.

I awake from the dream I mentioned in the last post.  A dream with a dear friend in it who passed into the arms of Jesus two years ago.  She won’t look at me but I notice she is younger, strikingly beautiful.  I gesture to her and see the cigarette in my hand.

Awake!

I’m upset that the devil was in my dreams … again.  And that is when I start to contemplate the interlopers in my body.  In the pre-dawn dark my mind begins to generate the questions that will disturb God’s peace.  Why are the masses there?  Will I live through the surgery?  Will they be found cancerous?

A non-audible voice unexpectedly bursts my concentration.

“Whom will you serve, Felecia, them or Me?”  The thought chills me to my core.

“Choose your God.”

I shudder realizing how easy it was to slip into anxiousness and begin to weep.

“You Lord,” I whisper into darkened room.  “Only You.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is more, of course.  The Lord has not finished ministering to me yet; and the ways in which He chooses to do so are remarkable.

Please join me on Monday for the rest of the story … at least this side of the pending surgery.

Have a glorious weekend!