Powerful Passion

The other day I was walking out by the lake, listening to a  minister preach.   He spoke about Peter, His zeal without wisdom.  As I was listening and pondering… I heard someone yelling. I took off my headset and realized there was a fisherman in about about 20 feet from the shore, he was catching something and so excited about it. He was going on and on,  yelling and cussing with excitement  but I couldn’t see anyone in the boat with him. Then I realized he had someone on the speakerphone and it sounded like she was his wife.

I thought to myself… I bet Peter was like him.   He didn’t care what other people thought.

He was passionate.



The Substance of Kings and Queens

6941790_orig.jpgI was walking one day, and God began speaking this word to me.  I quickly recorded it, and transcribed it.  I did some research and added that as well.  I hope it blesses you!

Testing brings promotion, but it ONLY brings promotion, if you actually PASS the tests.

Otherwise you will just stay on a merry-go-round of disobedience, a grinding of the millstone, blind and bound by your own wayward ways. Around the mountain over and over again, just like the Israelites did for 40 years, you will never enter the promised land.

So the key to advancement, is obedience.

God is looking for those who will obey him, no matter what. Those who fear Him. Those who will do the will of the Father. Those who know apart from Him, they can do nothing. Know they really can’t do anything.

God needs obedient servants.

Saul wasn’t obedient. He wasn’t. There was a time he was, but he became more and more disobedient. I think the sin of pride got in the way. What else would cause us to be disobedient to God? Maybe fear, a lack of faith, doubt, wanting to please men above God…but I think, in Sauls case, it was pride.

God called it, through Samuel, rebellion…said it was as witchcraft.

Obedience requires humility. It requires knowing who God is, and who we are NOT.

Do you know what God said about David? He said he would do everything I ask of Him.

Acts 13:22
After forty years 22God removed Saul and made David their king. God spoke favorably about David. He said, ‘I have found that David, son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ 23″God had the Savior, Jesus, come to Israel from David’s descendants, as he had promised.

That’s the substance of Kings, that is what set him apart from his brothers.
That is what made him God’s choice to rule Israel…
Lets look at the moment when God confronted Saul with his disobedience.

1Samuel 15:17 Samuel said, “Even though you don’t consider yourself great, you were the head of Israel’s tribes. The LORD anointed you king of Israel. 18And the LORD sent you on a mission. He said, ‘Claim those sinners, the Amalekites, for me by destroying them. Wage war against them until they’re wiped out.’ 19Why didn’t you obey the LORD? Why have you taken their belongings and done what the LORD considers evil?”

20″But I did obey the LORD,” Saul told Samuel. “I went where the LORD sent me, brought [back] King Agag of Amalek, and claimed the Amalekites for God. 21The army took some of their belongings-the best sheep and cows were claimed for God-in order to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.”

22Then Samuel said, “Is the LORD as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience? To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice. To obey is better than sacrificing the fat of rams.

23The sin of black magic is rebellion. Wickedness and idolatry are arrogance. Because you rejected the word of the LORD, he rejects you as king.”

He reaped what He had sown.

24Then Saul told Samuel, “I have sinned by not following the LORD’s command or your instructions. I was afraid of the people and listened to them. 25Now please forgive my sin and come back with me so that I may worship the LORD.” 26Samuel told Saul, “I will not go back with you because you rejected what the LORD told you. So the LORD rejects you as king of Israel.” 27When Samuel turned to leave, Saul grabbed the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28Samuel told him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today. He has given it to your neighbor who is better than you. 29In addition, the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind, because he is not a mortal who changes his mind.” 30Saul replied, “I have sinned! Now please honor me in front of the leaders of my people and in front of Israel. Come back with me, and let me worship the LORD your God.” 31Then Samuel turned and followed Saul, and Saul worshiped the LORD.

Saul chose to obey people, not God. Even after he said he was repentant, he was still concerned about how he would look in front of the leaders, and israel. He wanted Samuel to honor him, but, he couldn’t. He wasn’t being obedient to God.

He did not do what God had asked and killed Agag.

34Then Samuel went to Ramah (High Place), and Saul went to his home at Gibeah (hill). 35Samuel didn’t see Saul again before he died, though Samuel mourned over Saul. And the LORD regretted that he had made Saul king of Israel.

Samuel never saw Saul again…but later, Saul did try to speak to him through a witch. He was thirsty and hungry for God…but he could not find him.

Rebellion is the Food of Fools

Think about that…

Rebellion is the food of Fools. The prodigal son was rebellious, and eventually found himself feeding pigs, and so hungry, he wanted to go face first in the the pig fodder. But when he finally came to his senses, he rose up immediately and went to his father, he thought to himself, at least, as a servant, I will eat better there.

11Then Jesus said, “A man had two sons. 12The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the property.’ So the father divided his property between his two sons. 13″After a few days, the younger son gathered his possessions and left for a country far away from home. There he wasted everything he had on a wild lifestyle. 14He had nothing left when a severe famine spread throughout that country. He had nothing to live on. 15So he got a job from someone in that country and was sent to feed pigs in the fields. 16No one in the country would give him any food, and he was so hungry that he would have eaten what the pigs were eating. 17″Finally, he came to his senses. He said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more food than they can eat, while I’m starving to death here? 18I’ll go at once to my father, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and you. 19I don’t deserve to be called your son anymore. Make me one of your hired men.”‘ 20″So he went at once to his father. While he was still at a distance, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son, put his arms around him, and kissed him. 21Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I’ve sinned against heaven and you. I don’t deserve to be called your son anymore.’

He never got to say the 3rd thing…”Make me one of your hired men.”‘
the father interrupted him. Because a son, is a son, is a son.

22″The father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s celebrate with a feast. 24My son was dead and has come back to life. He was lost but has been found.’ Then they began to celebrate.

What were the pigs eating? They were eating Carob pods.

Carob plants are plentiful, so they could be fed to pigs. Sweet and full of fiber, Carob pods are ground into flour and used to make a cocoa (chocolate) substitute. It is less than the best. It was what is believed to be what John the Baptist ate in the wilderness, to sustain him, because it is sometimes referred to as the locust tree. Bread made from Carobs, is called poor man’s bread, and so carob pods and its flour are associated with humility.

In that moment, the prodigal son longed for the pods. He was hungering for the bread of humility, and saw his choices were a poor substitute for the good food of his father’s house. Even the servants ate better. So he was hungry for change.

His rebellion led him to serve pigs, and then to long for their food. In the bible, pigs are the most unclean and abhorred of all animals. Their meat was not eaten.

A fool is like a pig

The bible says, to not throw your pearls before them, because they will trample them and tear you to pieces.  Fools repeat their folly.

2Peter 2:20People can know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and escape the world’s filth. But if they get involved in this filth again and give in to it, they are worse off than they were before. 21It would have been better for them never to have known the way of life that God approves of than to know it and turn their backs on the holy life God told them to live. 22These proverbs have come true for them: “A dog goes back to its vomit,” and “A sow that has been washed goes back to roll around in the mud.”

God is looking for Conduits.

God promotes those who pass the tests because he needs people who listen and obey. God wants to get His stuff done.

Jesus prayed…Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. How is God’s will going to be done without obedient children he can count on to listen and obey.

Only one way it can be done. It is not going to be done by a bunch of rebellious, prideful disobedient children. So God promotes those who pass the tests, who listen and obey, because He needs people he can trust to do all that He asks of them. Even unto death.

Let that soak in. Every disciple, that walked closely with Jesus, except John was martyred. Every disciple that walked closely with Jesus…was martyred for their faith in Jesus.

But, today, in America, people can’t even stay at a church because someone looks at them funny, or sister Susie sat in their seat. Or pastor Paul didn’t give them a hug the right way after the service.

They’re just so easily offended. We are a bunch of babies. I have been guilty of it…probably why God gave me this word…LOL.

So many people are chomping at the bit to be in ministry. They want the praise of men, like Saul did. And so many places will open their doors, and they say, come here, we will take your money, and we will send you to the nations. Sometimes, people actually ask me to support them, so they can go. Married people, married men, asking me, a single woman, who works SO she can be sent…to support them…so they can go.

And it is right there I want to insert a big screaching tire sound as I slam on the brakes….NOOOOO, I want to scream. No no no.  Wait a minute.

Who sends people? Who raises people up to be apostles. …to go to the nations. Who does it? Who decides that?
God…God decides that. God does it. It is HIS business. Anything other than that is out of order. It is not biblical. It is setting people up for failure. And playing God.

David’s family did not recognize the call of God on his life. They were ignorant. God looks on the heart…ONLY God can see someone’s heart.

So many people, who can’t even pay their bills, because they can’t keep a job, are going on mission trips..asking others to pay their way. Blows my mind…and the church is sending them, through ministry schools. But shouldn’t those who are sent be first completely qualified…even before they are invested in.

When people go to these schools, and pay for the right to do something…only God should send them to do, how is that any different than what Simon the former Sorcerer wanted to do? “Hey, I will pay you, give me your power.”

Let’s look at it, and how the Apostles responded.

Acts 8:18-23 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”
24Then Simon answered, “Pray to the Lord for me so that nothing you have said may happen to me.”

Did you catch that? They said NO…because your heart is NOT RIGHT before God!

No….it doesn’t work like that. It is like what they did in the catholic church…paying for salvation…you can’t pay for an anointing and a calling. You can’t buy that stuff…the only way it happens is through obedience and testing. Yes. Only through passing the tests.

Why would you want to be “approved” by a “school” that is asking you for money? I can’t even go to a Christian Counselor who charges for ministry. I have tried, and I cannot get peace in it. Because…the bible says, freely you have recieved, so freely we are to give. I NEVER ask for money to pray for people. How could I? It is HIM, not me, who does the healing!


Look at Joseph, he was an amazing, obedient son. And he was tested, and tested, and tested. And he passed the tests. I mean, can you imagine, being in prison, as long as he was, and then having your bosses wife, who no doubt was a beautiful woman, throwing herself at you, and then you running the opposite direction, leaving your clothes behind? Who does that now a days, who does that in this country? or Anywhere? Who does that??? That takes some kind of resolve…and love of God.

He was a young man. He was all alone. He could have had his way with her. But he did not. He passed.  She wanted to rape him, but when he stood up for righteousness, she cried out, “he raped me!” When you stand for truth, you will be accused of the sin in the other person’s heart.

So, from there, he went back into prison, for more testing.

That’s the kind of people God uses, because He knows, if He tells them to do something, even if it seems ridiculous. Like when He tells them to build an ark, when they have never even seen the rain, they are going to build it.

Or when He tells them to take the very promise they have waited for their whole life, and then sacrifice it…even a child…on the altar, they will go immediately, without question, and do what He has asked of them. “Come on Son, we have to go sacrifice,” without any doubt, without any argument, without any hesitation. Without logic…or “let me pray about it…” then call 5 people and get 3 of them to agree…

No…you have to have the kind of relationship with God that when He asks you to do this thing, that makes absolutely no sense, YOU DO IT…
No hesitating, no arguing, no bucking…Just DO IT!

People want to be in ministry, and they think they can just get buy the credentials, and I’ll be an apostle. Like fast food. Let me go through the drive through and get my credentials…so I can go. No…
God desires for us to live a LIFE of submission to the KING, but how can you submit to someone, if you cannot even hear them speak?

How can you submit to the King when you can’t even hear His voice?

There’s a process. You have to get on your face before God and you have to cry out to Him, you have to seek Him with all your heart. You have to pass the tests, pass the test, pass the tests…over and over and over.

Look at Heidi and Rolland Baker. Everyone is like WOW…they are so anointed, powerful and productive…
Such a blessing to the body of Christ. But do you know what makes them most beautiful? It is their submission to God. They are doing exactly what He told them to do. They are completely given to Him. Completely submitted! And they constantly do what God asks them to do. And they do it with love and grace. Because they’re tempered.

They have been through so much they’re tempered.

Tempered glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering puts the outer surfaces into compression and the inner surfaces into tension. It takes the pressure, and increases in strength. It becomes less dangerous to people…because it doesn’t shatter. It would have to be hit really really hard to even break.

You can’t stand in a place of leadership unless you have been tempered. Trust me. God sent me out to do ministry and sometimes, it was all I could do to stand at times. The first opposition came against me the VERY first time I went to paint. You would not believe the ridiculousness that is in churches sometimes. It is so easy to get offended, so easy to get worn out just from the junk you see. Especially someone as sensitive as I am. It was HARD. I kept asking God. Why are you sending me. I am too sensitive, this is too difficult for me. I can’t handle this. But He did anyway, He made it obvious. So I went.

But eventually, I had to stop for a season, because I was wounded. I was broken by it. I needed healing. I needed rest, and I am praying now, for someone to stand with me.

The question I would ask anyone wanting to be in ministry is,
How low are you willing to go? How low can you go? Because that and only that will determine how high you will be promoted in the kingdom. It will unilaterally determine the level of responsibility and authority you will carry in the kingdom.
Nothing else. It is about going low.
Going low means, passing the tests, being responsible, doing the hard things, laying on your face for God. Serving, being faithful…being willing, listening and obeying.
Yes Sir, yes Sir, yes Sir…

A New Reputation

Simon, a Pharisee invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his house and reclined at the table.

A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating there, so she came with an expensive alabaster jar of perfume.

Yes, a woman with a bad reputation brought a jar filled with perfume, maybe she knew…

A good name is better than perfume, (Ecclesiastes 7:1a)

As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. (Song of Solomon 1:3, 12 NIV)

She poured out costly perfume, on the feet and head of The One Who’s Name is above all other Names, but yet…was accused by the religious leaders of being a glutton, alcoholic, devil worshiper…yes, by the Pharisees, who were all about how they looked to others.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.”

He couldn’t see…he did not have eyes to judge.

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor. (Matthew 7:1-5 MSG)

Then Jesus turned it around and showed him how it felt to be picked apart. And how to have eyes to see.

Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke-Acts 7:36-39, 44-48 BOOKS)

But the Pharisees never learn…

That set the dinner guests talking behind his back: “Who does he think he is, forgiving sins!”

Even so, this did not stop Jesus from loving the one in front of Him.

He ignored them and said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” (Luke 7:49-50 MSG)

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the young women love you!

Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse. 2Cor 2:14-15 MSG

And then Jesus gave her a new reputation…

“Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Pruning the Fruitful

Since I was a little girl, Gardenias have had a special place in my heart.

One of my neighbors used to have a bush by the road, and sometimes at night, I would walk down and pick a couple.  I blame this compulsive behavior on my mother, because I remember as a little girl, seeing her constantly sneak blooms off of Gardenia plants no matter where she saw them.  Her obsession was so bad, she would even have my dad stop the car for her sometimes…so she could run out and grab a fragrant bloom.    I can still see her long fingers holding it as though it was a treasure. I remember watching her bury her nose in the blossom and how it would make her smile.

My Maw Maw, my dad’s mother, had huge Gardenia bush by her front door she’d grown from a cutting she’d taken off a shrub in Florida.  Her and my Paw Paw loved to drive down south to visit relatives there.  It had enormous blooms, and the fragrance was intoxicating.  Oh how she babied that evergreen, as her prized possession, and would cover it if there was any chance of a frost.  My Maw Maw has gone onto be with the Lord, but, before she did, I took a cutting from her bush, rooted it, and ended up planting it right beside my front door too.  It is close to 6′ tall now.

One time in a meeting, a man came up to me and said he had a word for me.  In the word, he told me God called me a flower, and he was listening for the specific flower, and then he said…you are  His “Gardenia Girl.”  That was one of those kinds of words that was so incredibly specific, and precious, you knew it was God;  it was rooted deeply in my identity.   He described me like the flowers, tender, fragrant blooms that would bruise easily, so I must be handled with care.  Since I studied horticulture, one thing I do know about Gardenia bushes though, is in the right semi tropical environment, they are a hardy ever green plant.

When I first began to paint for the Lord, He encouraged me through that same rooted gardenia bush right outside the window where I would paint.  I know that sounds weird…but He did.  He talked to me about the buds that were forming.  The first day I painted He told me to look out the window, and it was covered with opened blooms.  And my gardenia bush that year had more than a normal amount of blooms.  I was fascinated with them…and would weep as I photographed them after the rain, when they were heavy with drops…or when they were drooping because they needed rain.  God was ministering to me through them.

This year, I was out of town a couple of weeks, during the winter, and we had a heavy freeze.  I realized in the spring, I had lost a lot of my bush.  I kept waiting for in the spring for the blooms to come, but late in the season, I only found one deformed bloom, when usually the bush would be covered.   I was doing some yard work, when I found it, and I saw that it would need a good cutting back for it to look good and bloom next year.

Before I left to minister recently, I cut off some of the more straggly branches, but had the thought, it is so bad, I need to get out the hedger and really take it down low.   It is scary to just chop on something that you have babied for so many years, especially if it has sentimental value.

As I was gathering up the couple of cuttings, I had the thought.  I am going to root these and make some more bushes.  I mean, that is how I got this bush to start with.  It was such a powerful feeling, the thought of ALL the blooms I would have to enjoy.  One of my favorite things I studied in horticulture, was the ways of propagation; not just seeds, but tubers, bulbs, grafting, tissue culturing…etc.  So, amazing how God created everything to reproduce.  So, I put these cuttings in a vase with some ivy vines, and forgot about them, when I got home, I had the thought to change the water, and low and behold, there were already roots on them!  I was so excited, gasped, and then God spoke:

“This is what is next.  It is time to reproduce.”

In 1996 or so, I saw an art school in my quiet time.  I walked through it, and drew it.  The next day, I went to church and a visiting evangelist said, some of you are having visions and you have even drawn it.  I was like…wow!!!  Then he said.  “And God wants you to know it is going to happen.  That was almost 20 yrs ago.

I thought it was interesting, because I also got this word from a sister, before I left to minister, before I saw the roots on the cuttings:

“I hear ‘change of venue’, new creativity full of lavished love from the Father’s heart. A new room opened up to you: this room with white clothed tables full of beautiful colored jewels and different creative mediums for you to take and enjoy. No limit to the creative beauty. There’s such a refreshing breeze blowing through, that the white cloths on the tables are gently fluttering in the breeze”

And just the other day, I had a vision. I saw a fisherman in a river, and then I was looking from His view, and under the water were all these butterflies.  At the meeting where I had ministered, Jason Upton talked about learning to breathe under water, because God is like an all consuming ocean.  Since I have been ministering, I often see people with butterfly wings on in the spirit and that is how I know they are artists.  I think the vision was more confirmation that it is time to start a river, like the evangelist, (or fisherman) told me…and reproduce.

It says in the word, that God prunes the unfruitful, but He also prunes the fruitful…to make them even more fruitful.  I started to realize, that maybe He even uses those clippings…and roots them…to make even more new fruitful plants.

Praying now to know where and how He wants me to do this…
I have been looking at a location for some time.  So, just waiting for a door to open…
I know My Jesus will open the door for me and provide all I need.
He is a gentleman, so He likes to pay for everything, and open doors for his Bride,
…that is how I will know it is Him.



David was sent…

When God calls you and anoints you, 
then you can be sure He WILL SEND YOU!
AND if HE sends you, then you can be sure
You WILL have the victory!!!!

It is amazing to me how Samuel was sent to anoint David, but Jesse had to send for him, because he was not even included in the 7 sons Jesse first presented to Samuel.

Then David was anointed King in front of his brothers, and “At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified.” God sent an evil spirit…to torment Saul, then He sent David to play it away. David did not have to do anything. Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.” Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul. David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man. Saul sent word back to Jesse: “Thank you. David will stay here. He’s just the one I was looking for. I’m very impressed by him.”

But David continued to go back and forth from the sheep to the king.

The next scene, Goliath is tormenting the armies. Once again, David is sent. Jesse, David’s Father sends David to the front line with food and asks him to check on his brothers that are in the army. David makes sure his sheep will be cared for and God makes sure he is in the right place at the right time. When David gets there and hears Goliath mocking God, he asks about what will be done for the one that kills the giant. The brother accuses him of evil doing…but David wasn’t. He was serious. “What is it with you?” replied David (to his brother). “All I did was ask a question.” Ignoring his brother, he turned to someone else, asked the same question, and got the same answer as before. Then, again, David was sent, because the things David was saying were picked up and reported to Saul, so Saul sent for him.

David tells Saul he wants to kill the giant. Saul tries to discourage him, but David said, “I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”

So then, David is sent again when Saul said, “Go. And God help you!”

AND the next part just makes me want to SHOUT!!!!!!

Goliath mocks him, and David answered, “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel’s troops, whom you curse and mock. This very day God is handing you over to me. I’m about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there’s an extraordinary God in Israel. And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!”

That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply. The Philistine crashed, facedown in the dirt.


When God calls you, anoints you, then He will SEND YOU!  AND trust me, you WILL have the victory!

Three Crosses, Two Thieves, One Choice

There were two thieves beside Jesus as He died on the cross.

There were also two others, criminals led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  And they divided His garments and cast lots. And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine,  and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.” And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:


Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ,save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.”  Then he said to Jesus, “Lord,remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

The one thief defended Jesus to the other one who kept railing against Him, mockingly telling Jesus to save Himself… 
It’s interesting to me that when people are confronted with their sinfulness, they do one of two things they humble themselves and repent or they pridefully attack the one bringing the truth; looking for fault, deflecting the responsibility, or changing the subject…but…ultimately they are just harming themselves, because they’re missing an opportunity for change.   Humility is the threshold, repentance is the key that unlocks the door.

There were 2 thieves on crosses, beside Jesus as He died.  They had the exact same opportunity…but only one walked free with Jesus in paradise…while the other went straight to hell, still bound with his sin.

The thief that was repentant and said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingly glory!”

How precious…and like a cool refreshing drink of water that must have been to The Lord. This man’s belief in and defense of Him…saying “this man has done NOTHING wrong!” …when the crowds, soldiers and other man were still accusing, cursing and tormenting Him.

It was right afterwards that the earth trembled, it got dark…the temple veil tore and Jesus cried out, committing His spirit to God.

I wonder, what happened after that?

I can imagine seeing Jesus in the spirit, helping that repentant thief down off the cross, putting his arm around him, welcoming his new brother and friend into His kingdom…and then…arm in arm…side by side…they walked together right into paradise.   Jesus was always serving, loving, accepting, comforting and saving others…even in the last moments of his tortuous death.

All while the other thief was being led into utter darkness by demons, bound by his pride and inability to repent.  Still carrying his sin.

How did that humble thief end up on the cross beside Jesus?

Who knows why that man was a thief? Maybe he stole because he had a family to feed…There are “good” people, who do bad things and “bad” people who do good things.

But he had to have had some knowledge of the Messiah, he was surely humble enough to realize he was a sinner that needed saving, plus his heart was good enough to see and know who Jesus was…and knowing this made him courageous enough to defend Him.

It’s interesting to me, that he ended up beside Jesus, and watched Him…as he was tormented. He definitely had a front row seat, and fellowshipped in His sufferings, in a way that none of us ever will.

You have to wonder sometimes if it was the grace and mercy of God that allowed him to be put on that very cross…right then…right beside Jesus…Maybe he’d been offered the opportunity of salvation over and over again…but this time God made sure he would finally get saved?

There are choices in life.  Choose humility, choose repentance, and then choose Jesus!

Appointed Time of Liberty

This is a long testimony, but so amazing. I pray you will take the time to read it, and God will encourage you as you do. I am excited to celebrate this season of resurrection and share the promise He has given to all of us!

In early January, I went to Bethel, a church in Redding, California for the premier of Heidi and Rolland Baker’s documentary “Compelled By Love.” Part of me was afraid to go, because I have a weight problem. Beni Johnson, one of the Senior pastors there is so fit and into health, I imagined everyone there was in shape and I would stick out like a sore thumb. It has been such a source of shame in my life for over 25 years. When I got pregnant and was not married, I gained so much weight, even though that was also when I got saved.

So many things just fell away, drinking, drugs, other sins became unattractive, and I had no problem letting them go, but it seemed I began to use food as a comfort. I tried over the years to get it off of me, and could lose some, but then I would just gain it back again. So I decided, while I was at Bethel, I would go to their healing rooms and ask them to pray for this weight issue. I asked them to pray that God would show me the roots…or heal me…whatever, I just wanted to be free. When they prayed, I knew God had done something, because I was touched in the spirit as they prayed and wept. I also felt something release and leave me.

After I got home, nothing much changed, I was still eating emotionally and compulsively. So one day I was crying in the shower, praying, and I was saying to my body, “I am sorry I have not loved you. I am sorry I have abused you. I am sorry I let men abuse you. Please forgive me for not loving you.” When I got done praying, I heard the Lord say, “Contact Beni Johnson, she has keys for you.” I argued with the Lord and said, “What? I am just some random woman that lives on the east coast, she is a very busy woman, and she doesn’t even know me. I do not want to bother her.” So I just let it go.

Later that day, Beni posted her status on Facebook, and it came across my newsfeed. It was like she had written it just to me. “You need to look in the mirror and say, “Love wins here!” Stop abusing yourself, you are a work of art.” I was undone, and I took that as my confirmation that I had heard God correctly, and I WAS supposed to contact her. So with much fear and with many tears, I wrote to her. I poured out my heart. It was gut wrenching and painful, but, I was telling her my story.

Then, surprisingly, she wrote me back! She said I was “spot on!” and suggested a book for me, encouraged me to just take “baby steps.” She said that my weight was probably trauma weight. I thought, yes, maybe from being pregnant and not married, I could see that. The book elaborated on it and said it is usually rooted in fear.

I couple of days later while I was working, I met a naturopathic Dr. during one of my stops, he had a huge store full of natural health items, and spent some time talking with me about my weight issue, then later that night, I got food poisoning. I suddenly became very aware of my stomach. I was so sick and I could feel the poison all through my body, and God began to show me, in many ways, I had been poisoning myself with food. So, after that, my food choices began to change.

Then about one month later, I went to be with the Lord on a Monday morning, and He said…and this is scary to say, because what if I am wrong? What if I didn’t hear Him and I am just wanting something so badly I am making it up?
…but, I believe He said, it was my “appointed time to be set free” from my weight issues. He said…He had “heard my cries”…and “there is an appointed time in ME for liberty” and “TODAY” was my day. I wish I could say I jumped up down and praised Him, but I did not, I just listened and tried to hope.

So, He kept asking me if I believed Him, and said He could do what no man could do, not even me. He said I had to believe He had set me free. It required faith, and it would take me 6 months. While He was speaking to me, He also showed me a butterfly in a chrysalis. He was saying…that there is an appointed time for the butterfly to come out of the chrysalis, and I too, was about to get my wings.

He has always used the monarch to encourage me that one day I WOULD be free from my weight issues. I used to have a weight loss blog called “Becoming a Butterfly” and when I ran my first 5k, I iron-transferred a pink Monarch onto the back of a t-shirt to encourage myself. He also reminded me how I could not paint until He came and asked me to do it. Even though I already had everything I needed to be able to, I still could not put the pieces together, but once He had painted with me, then there was no stopping me. He said, it will be like that, it will be miraculous. He said when people asked me how I did it, He said, “Just tell them I set you free one morning.”

So, the next day, a spiritual mom wrote me and asked for my address, she said God had told her to send me something. I gave it to her and then I asked her,”I think God did something big for me, can I share it with you?” When I finished, she started laughing, she said, “THAT WAS GOD!!! Wait till you see. He dealt with me so strongly about sending this to you. It will confirm what He said to you.” She was amazed and I was curious. She also asked if the number 6 meant anything, and later I remembered God had said it will take me 6 months to get the weight completely off!


I got the present a couple days later, and in the box were 6 butterflies made of feathers, with glitter on their wings!!! There was no denying what God had said to me then. Maybe I could hope, after all.

A couple of months ago, I was invited to paint at a women’s conference, in Wilmington, NC, so I had been seeking Him about what to paint. Then hit me, I know what I will paint, I have to paint what He has told me He has done for me. To make it official, so, I went to look and see if it will work for the conference, and I discovered the conference was called “LIVE FREE!!!!”

THEN I had another huge revelation!! The conference was to be in the same city where I lived with and was abused by a man sexually, mentally and verbally before I was saved. He cheated on me with everyone, and called me fat all the time, even though I had a beautiful healthy body. He was truly sadistic and cruel towards me, and sadly, because I had no self esteem and was desperate to be loved, I just took it, and stayed with him. It seemed I would put up with anything to be loved.

It was right after I left him when I got pregnant, got saved, and gained all the weight. I realized…THAT was the REAL trauma, not the pregnancy. That man had cursed me, BUT God was telling me HE had just set free from it!!!!

Wow…so then I knew,

God was sending me back to that VERY same city where I was put under bondage, to paint at a women’s conference…
AND I was going to paint myself getting FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!

These are some of the scriptures He led me to during this time:
For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hurries toward the end, and won’t prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won’t delay.
Habakkuk 2:3

For everything there is
an appointed time,
and an appropriate time
for every activity on earth…
Ecclesiastes 3:1

God has made everything beautiful in its (appointed) time.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

He gave me some very simple baby steps, so I am starting. He said it will be different this time. People will be amazed, because the weight will just fall off. Sure enough, the weight has started coming off quickly and I have not even put all the steps into place yet, but I am working towards them!
I am excited, and still almost afraid to hope, but with all that has happened, it surely seems like Him.

How I was at Bethel church, and received prayer for this problem, then how God led me to Beni Johnson, my spiritual mom’s prophetic gifts, being asked to come to the VERY same city where satan had cursed me through that cruel man, and to top it all off…the conference being called LIVE FREE!!!! It just seemed too coincidental not to be God.

Once I got to the church there were more confirmations. The pastor’s wife got up and shared her testimony and she had been through abuse as I had, even more severely than me. I found out from one of her spiritual daughters that she loved butterflies, God uses them to encourage her. I had no idea, but what a joy to find out!

The last speaker, an Evangelist at the conference, came over to me after I shared about the meaning of the painting with the congregation, and she prophesied to me, it was so powerful and encouraging. She said I will be completely free and I WILL look like the woman in the painting!

So much of the conference was about becoming a new woman and even the mention of coming out of the cocoon, before I even painted the wings on the woman!

I hope when people see this painting, they’ll be encouraged to shed the old and become a new Creation in Him! To draw close to Him and seek Him with all their hearts! He hears and He cares!!!
Symbolism: The butterfly has long been a Christian symbol of resurrection, for it disappears into a chrysalis and appears dead, but emerges later far more beautiful and powerful than before.

As a symbol of Christ’s resurrection after three days in the grave, the butterfly is seen especially around Easter. But the butterfly is also a symbol of every Christian’s hope of resurrection from the dead.
Related Bible Verses

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44

For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:52b

Remember the word you gave me.
Through it you gave me hope.
This is my comfort in my misery:
Your promise gave me a new life.
Psalm 119:49-50

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

~ Resurrection: Resurrection body separates from the grave, or Earth, and rises into Heaven
~ Sanctification process: Separation from world, consecration to God (Acts 26:18)
~ Separation from the World: Orange is a separation barrier in the tabernacle. It corresponds to the wall of linen around the Tabernacle that symbolized separation from the world. Only the believer who is serious about the Christian Life will pay the price of leaving the world behind to follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Marriage: Forsaking all others (1 Cor 7:4)

has a lot of negative meanings…
but the good ones were
~ Health – Leviticus 13:37, Song of Solomon 1:5-6; 5:11
~ Humility

Wisdom in Waiting

tic tac clock
I was saved 25 years ago. Right after I was saved people began to tell me that I had an amazing call on my life. They would say all these wonderful things.  I loved it because I wanted God to use me so badly.

But, it would be many many years later before I was able to actually get up and speak in church.  That was wisdom and I’ve learned many things, by waiting on God:

You have to be healed before you can be used. Hurting people hurt people. You need that time for God to make you whole before He can send you.  For me, it took years and years. And I’m still going through healing…
Guess it never really stops.
The key to healing is humility. Don’t think you don’t need healing because I haven’t met one single person that didn’t.  I think about a pot or vessel with a tiny fissure…how it can crack under pressure. The vessel needs to be strong and whole to carry the glory.

Develop good character, with the fruit of the Spirit displaying in your life.  David after he was anointed king was chased by Saul and David had opportunity to kill Saul but he wouldn’t even touch him. David had the character of a King.  Do what you say you’re going to do. Be faithful when no one’s looking. Do things because it’s the right thing to do not to be seen by men.

Learn to weather the storms. Being in ministry is extremely testing. You have to be nice when you don’t feel like it. You have to be gracious to people who aren’t very gracious to you. Before God promotes you he will humble you. And for me…when he did, I just wanted to die, because it was that hard.  But you need to know how to rest in the storms and have faith to make it through the winter seasons.

You need time to study the word. You need the faith that comes from hearing the word. You need discernment because you become a bigger target. You should study to show yourself approved.  I go places now and I speak…often times I’m thinking I wish I knew the word better so I could just quote scriptures and their addresses.

You need times of testing to grow in your grace.  I love how David said he couldn’t wear Saul’s  armor because he hadn’t tested it. There’s a season of testing that which you were called to. I remember casting demons out of people in my kitchen or at work. I remember God having me stop and prophesy to people in the grocery store or walking at the park. I led so many people around me to Christ. I was even told if I said Jesus again at a job I would be fired. I quit that stupid job. I was doing what was in my hand to do but I wasn’t trying to overstep my bounds… Or my sphere of authority.  I also started painting after I was saved because I had a desire to do it even though I’ve never done it before in my life.  God would bring people to me and they would ask me to do commission paintings for them even though I never had any classes.

You have to learn to wear your armor.  When God would use me to do something miraculous, people would come against me like crazy. Especially the religious. In the 25 years God prepared me I learned not to let it hurt me.  I learned to not take it personally. To just see that it was the dark spiritual realm coming against me through people who had not been made clean.  Some of the worst attacks came through people that God had used me to deliver. I’ve had my hand bitten by so many people that I tried to love. But you just learn to pull the snake off your hand, wipe the dirt off your feet and move on.

When God did ask me to serve him, I cried and I argued with Him, because in the 25 years I went through so much heart ache… I really didn’t want to go through more pain.   People misjudge you, they compete with you, they attack you, they are rude, hateful…. They will suck the life and nice right out of you…

The biggest fear for me was I wouldn’t have enough love…. I constantly feel inadequate in this area.

So I’m just saying this to encourage you to wait on God to send you. Don’t be in a huge hurry. Do what’s in your hand to do.  Use your time of preparation to really get ready.

When God does promote someone around you…be encouraging to them. Don’t be a Saul to a David. Don’t take it personally that you were not chosen.   Don’t think that their promotion has anything to do with them… Instead look at yourself and see what ways you can improve as a servant of God.

If it was God then it wasn’t their choice, trust me.
if it wasn’t God they won’t have a healthy ministry and it won’t last anyway.

My Hope Deferred

When you wait as long as I have for a husband…trust me…you have gone through and experienced more emotions than most…
It can be quite the emotional roller coaster…
Up and down, in and out…yes or no…?

I get so many words about my husband and more advice than you can even imagine.  Let go and he’ll come, fall more in
love with Jesus, God won’t bring him until you are satisfied with Jesus…join dating sites, stop looking and he will find you, go out there and find him…date, don’t date…I could go on and on.    One person even told me his name and the exact day he would come.  Well, guess what?  He never did.  What was that person thinking?  They surely did not hear from God on that one.   I tell people, it is like you are always hoping for a real Christmas, but every morning you wake up and Christmas never comes.  You start being unable to hope anymore.  You think, maybe Christmas is for everyone else but me.

Some days I think…and people have actually told me…I will never marry.  Sometimes I agree and think God has told me to remain single…but then I have a dream where a man and I become one as Jesus touches us.  Other times I have so many encouraging me “hold on sister…he’s coming.”  Good things come to those who wait…really?

They say “if you have a desire to get married…then God will definitely bring you a husband!” Which I’m not sure I believe… Where does it say that in the Bible?  Many times God did not give people what they desired.  I had a desire to have more children and it didn’t happen.

So…they tell me things like he’s going to be a really good one.  A warrior/worshiper that doesn’t need armor.  He will be pure like me…others say he will be opposite.   Again…I could go on and on…lol.  I wish these words meant something…but honestly…they are just words at this point…lol.

I hardly ever talk about it publicly…because it is a great source of sadness as well as a huge disappointment in my life. It has also been one of those areas where I’ve been very vulnerable and so I’ve been hurt a lot by deceptive people.

I have seen all my siblings as well as my very own son get married before me.  I have relatives on their 2nd marriages and have seen many of their kids marry.

When I was younger, and a single mom…I used to sing at weddings and then I began to do wedding flowers for extra money.  Recently I photographed a friends wedding as a gift.  While all of these are a joy to witness…at the same time…each one hurt.  Oh how I longed to be chosen to be someone’s wife…and to have a father for my son…and more children…but the years went by…one by one…and he still has not come.

But on the other hand, there is a good side…because of my lack of companionship…
the Lord has truly become my Husband.  I am intimate with Him in ways that other women and men who are happily married may not have experienced.  So for that I’m very grateful.

So, I say all this to say…be careful what you say and “prophesy” to single people.  You might think you are helping…but…it is really not helpful if the word you give is NOT from God.  Hope deferred really CAN make the heart sick.

I have had a couple of single friends in my life who were waiting…for a very long time when one day suddenly God gave me a deep intercession for them.  Afterwards, I did tell them… “God just did something amazing for you and I believe you’re getting married.”  I knew it because of my intimacy with God…because I wept so intensely as I felt His heart for them, and their longing for a spouse.  And guess what?  Sure enough…they did…within months they met their mates! 🙂

In the 90’s I also had a singles’ Bible study for Christian women and our main purpose was to pray for our mates to come.  They all got married within a year or two…but not me…

I think possibly because the desire in me is so deep and I have waited so long, that God has given me a special grace to
pray for single Christians???  Honestly I don’t know…I’m not sure why He honors my prayer for singles but He doesn’t answer mine for a mate of my own.

But I do know that I understand how the Lord longs to be with us…because I long to be with my very own husband that way too… ❤

God’s Reasons to Prune Us

I studied Horticulture, and so I love the gardening analogies in the Bible. Lately I have been thinking about God’s Reasons to Prune Us.
They are so similar to pruning fruit trees.

Correct and incorrect pruning of an apple tree.

God Prunes to…

Increase Fruit Production

  • Some fruit trees produce blossoms and then fruit on spurs, which are bud-like outgrowths on branches. Pruning promotes the development of spurs that will bear fruit the next year. Young, vigorous trees may produce too many spurs, or poorly spaced spurs that you need to thin. This keeps the tree in balance. Balance is important in ministry too. We want zeal, but we need wisdom and caution too.

To Open Us Up

  • Trees need full sun and wind…and people need the fullness of the Son and the wind of the Holy Spirit blowing in their lives.
  • Close-set branches need to be pruned to open up the tree. This creates good air circulation within the tree, which helps prevent diseases.
  • Vigorous trees often produce branches that are too close together or even cross each other, and a tree can actually shade itself too much…actually blocking the sun. The sun is important to keep a tree healthy and free from mold. It also helps ripen the fruits, increasing the red color in red apples. Which makes them more healthy. We have to keep ourselves open to God too. We can’t crowd our lives with activities and not spend time open before God. Sometimes God has to cut things from our lives so we will seek Him!

To Strengthen

  • Crops that are too heavy can break limbs, especially on dwarf trees.
  • Pruning helps keep a tree from getting overwhelmed and having limbs break.
  • This is the same in our lives. We have to be careful to have good boundaries and know what we can or can’t carry in life.  Jesus’ burden is light and His yoke is easy.

To Help with Harvest

  • Trees properly pruned are much easier to manage at harvest time, and there is less chance of damage.
  • Unity creates a power and ease for harvest time!

To Remove Hindrances or Distractions

  • Pruning bearing trees is critical to maintain healthy fruiting wood. Remove weak, “shaded-out” wood, diseased or dead wood, watersprouts and root suckers.   These parts actually take away from the branches that are producing the fruit…
  • Sometimes there are relationships or activities that have to be removed from our life because they are blocking God…they will actually keep us from getting all we can from Him.

To Prepare for a Season of Growth

  • There’s a season that is best for pruning too, it is usually best done in late winter or early spring, while the trees are still dormant. Sometimes God will take you through a season where you have to be very still, and before you come out of the season, or right as you’re beginning to blossom, He will begin to cut things from your life. The word says, humility comes before honor.
  • With a young tree, it is best to trim them during summer. Probably because a young tree hasn’t known the winter season yet, that’s more for the seasoned Saints. Pruning for a young minister is more to get them established.

To Shape

  • Maintaining the proper shape is important for fruitfulness, health, growth, strength and ease of harvest. Older trees are well established and their pruning is more for maintenance and asthetics.

To Renew and Re-establish

  • Pruning older trees invigorates them. Older barren can often be brought back into fruitfulness simply by pruning them to encourage new growth.

To Keep Healthy, or for Healing and Cleansing

  • Damage may occur from harvesting or harsh winter weather, like ice and heavy snow. Check the bark for small holes and signs of insect infestation. Rodents often chew small branches and bark, so prune these branches. We need to keep watch of our spiritual health. Sometimes ministry can be hard on us, we get wounded or hurt. We need to make sure we deal with the pain as soon as possible.
  • See that no bitter root springs up…

To Establish

  • First year tree whips are small and unbranched, usually about 12 to 18 inches tall. They have to be pruned right after their planted in summer when the lateral buds have grown into small leafy branches about 3 to 4 inches long. An upright branch had to be chosen to become the central vertical leader, and allow selected lateral branches to continue to grow from the leader as scaffold branches for the mature tree. This early pruning helps determine the ultimate shape of the tree.
  • Pruning a new ministry right away is like training up a child in the way he should go…it establishes a strong a central vertical leader or a rod in us!  

Confident and Obedient


I don’t think Joseph was prideful. I think he was confident and obedient, I really don’t like it when people accuse and judge him like that. They don’t know his heart, and no where in the bible does it say he was prideful. It is curious to me when people think that…wonder why they would?I think he KNEW he was loved, because he was Rachel’s…who was his dad’s favorite wife. She was the wife his father had worked so hard and long for…the one Jacob wanted all along, not the one he was tricked into marrying. Rachel was the wife that was barren for so long, and prayed and prayed to God for a baby. I think Joseph was a manifestation of all those prayers, so he was blessed by God. I think because of that, he was favored by Jacob…and hated by his brothers. His brothers who had a mother that was never loved by Jacob.
I believe Joseph was a good boy, and that is why God chose to speak to him through dreams…and to ultimately use him to rescue his whole family. I think He was created with that purpose in mind, and God was just showing him his destiny so that he would not faint when he was judged, hated, mistreated, sold into slavery, rejected, lied about, imprisoned, put in chains, and hurt by those that should have loved him.
Joseph was confident.  Confidence is not arrogance or pride, it is trusting God loves you, no matter what, and therefore you are willing to be vulnerable, and share your dream, especially because God gave it to you!  Confidence is willing to be vulnerable and love even those that would reject, or hurt you. Vulnerable to love and serve others.Pride is trusting in ourselves, guarding and hiding.  Self protecting.I think Joseph WAS obedient, and HE KNEW he was supposed to share that dream.  I believe God planned it that way, because then, when all was said and done…
His brothers and father would KNOW it was ALL GOD’s will and doing…because He loved them. this is from the movie about Joseph…and I just love it…it is one of my very favorite songs…

God can turn any life around in an instant! Choose Wisely!


Rahab the harlot was an Amorite gentile who put her life on the line and betrayed her own country to help hide and harbor 2 spies. She hid them on her roof under heaps of drying flax, and let them down to the ground with a cord. She then told them to hide in the mountains for three days and she put the scarlet cord out the window as they had told her to. She also made them promise to bless and save her and her family, once they were free. 

I am guessing in addition to working at the family Inn and being a prostitute, she also made fabrics from the flax she was drying, and maybe even the scarlet cord she put out the window. The red cord that would notify the soldiers when they attacked her city, that she was a believer; just like with the blood, painted on the doorposts, they would pass over her household.

Later she married one of those spies, Salmon, who was a Prince in the house of Judah. She went from being a heathen to a lady married to a leader in the community. She also gave birth (or was the ancestor of someone who did) to Boaz who married Ruth. 

Ruth was another gentile woman that gave her life to help someone besides herself; her mother in law, Naomi, a believer in God, 

Both women were Jesus’ ancestors and rewarded with good husbands…salvation and a redeemed life for their unselfishness towards God’s people.

Rahab is the only other woman mentioned in the Hebrew hall of faith, besides Sarah.

Choose this day who you will serve and bless!!!

Peace I give you!

Yesterday, I prayed for a woman that had been suffering with fibromyalgia. I wanted to encourage her to pray through some things that might’ve caused it. Sometimes it’s related to unforgiveness towards a father or husband that did not or won’t provide for his family.

As we spoke she mentioned that she was abused by a family member. She had never had any healing or deliverance from it…so with her permission, I asked if there were any parts in her that wanted to talk…and sure enough, there was a seven-year-old. She began remembering a really traumatic moment with the abusive man. Jesus came and ministered to her as we prayed through the trauma. 

Afterwords I asked her if there was any place for the 7yr old, where darkness was still around and she said there was a closet. She didn’t want to open the door so Jesus did for her and inside there was a scary skeleton of an animal. 

She told me she had been to 60 different schools as a child and never could have friends and the one cat she did have that was her one “friend”…someone in her neighborhood shot and then her dad had to put down. 

It was as though this skeleton represented her inability to have or keep friends. It was a lie. I heard the Lord tell me to encourage this seven-year-old part of her to prophesy to that skeleton to come back to life like in Ezekiel when he prophesied to the dry bones. So she did and when she did it actually became a dog that she loved even more than the cat!!!! She had not even thought of him! She laughed with joy!! And I marveled at the goodness of God! 

When we were done praying Jesus looked at her and said He gave her peace and it was a gift. I thought that was interesting and wasn’t really sure why He had said that.

Later that night I was looking at the root causes of fibromyalgia and I found a website that said the antidote for it was……..peace!

God is amazing! I can’t wait to see how this woman’s life is going to be different from this point forward!!

Oh yes…I also want to say, I got permission from the woman to share this…and she said she is feeling much better today and hopeful for her complete healing! 

Forgiveness, Time, Distance

Forgiveness should be given to everyone…time with you, to people who are truly repentant…and distance should be made between you and those people who are not.

I believe in forgiveness. Yes, I believe we’re called to forgive one another, but there has to be a balance. Jesus wants us to be a strong people, with good common sense, a healthy people who love themselves enough to protect their souls and teach others right from wrong, not enable them to sin against others.

So, when somebody, especially someone who calls themselves a Christian, does not love you and continues to hurt you…sure…you can forgive them, but then you can also sever all ties…and remove them from your life.

It’s ok to get as far away from them as you can…and protect yourself. It doesn’t make you a bad Christian it makes you wise. We don’t have to be martyrs in our personal relationships, that’s not healthy…

Jesus didn’t hang out with the devil…because he was his enemy…

David hid from Saul because Saul was trying to kill him. Sure, David still loved Saul, and he forgave him, but he also had wisdom…and protected himself.

There is such a thing as a martyr complex…or a victim mentality, and it causes people to stay in unhealthy abusive relationships and churches. It is not God, and it does not glorify Him. A lot of times it is done to avoid taking responsibility for your own life, or to glorify yourself, to prove how spiritual you are…but trust me, it does not, it is actually codependent, masochist and sick…and makes you look like a fool.

You can lay down your life as a missionary, because God told you to…and preach to people that will kill you, beat you, mock you or imprison you…that is not what I am talking about. You can choose to be around unbelievers that do not love you and reject you for the sake of the gospel…in order to win them to the Lord…again…not what I am referring to.

I am talking about people in the church staying in unhealthy situations with other believers, who are abusing them…and saying it is God. It is NOT God. Sometimes love must be tough, and you will have to take responsibility, and change so that the other people will learn and change.

Boundaries are of God. Expecting those you are in a personal relationship with to treat you in a way that is good and healthy, loving and honoring, respectful and courteous…is RIGHT…and it WILL glorify God!

Unsafe People

Do you find you pick friends that end up hurting you? People you think will be safe because they say they are Christians, but turn up acting like the devil…lol?

We have a responsibility to guard our hearts and use wisdom in selecting friends. Here’s a list of traits to look for to help you avoid unsafe people.
(List 1-11 from “Unsafe People” by Cloud & Townsend, Christian counselors. The rest are ones I learned the hard way  )

1. Unsafe people think they “have it all together” instead of admitting their weaknesses.
2. Unsafe people are religious instead of spiritual.
3. Unsafe people are defensive instead of open to feedback.
4. Unsafe people are self-righteous instead of humble.
5. Unsafe people only apologize instead of changing their behavior.
6. Unsafe people avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them.
7. Unsafe people demand trust, instead of earning it.
8. Unsafe people believe they are perfect instead of admitting their faults.
9. Unsafe people blame others instead of taking responsibility.
10. Unsafe people lie instead of telling the truth.
11. Unsafe people are stagnant instead of growing.
12. Unsafe people are insecure and do not know who they are in Christ, so they compare themselves with others and compete with them.
13. Unsafe people are not teachable.
14. Unsafe people are quick to be critical and judgemental of others, but blind to their own faults.
15. Unsafe people will try to weaken you spiritually by encouraging you to sin or tempt you to step outside of your personal convictions.
16. Unsafe people think they are right all the time.
17. Unsafe people have a hard time encouraging others.
18. Unsafe people are full of guile. They are crafty, have a plan and are always working that plan.
19. Unsafe people care more about their image and looking good than their character actually being good.
20. Unsafe people live double lives, acting one way with some people and a different way with others, and because of that they have a hard time being transparent with anyone. They will say they are “private” but what they mean is they can’t be honest or truthful because they are deceiving people.
21. Unsafe people justify themselves, instead of humbling themselves. They are haughty and proud.
22. Unsafe people like to dominate others, or posture themselves over them. Lording over instead of serving out of a pure heart of love. That way they can control them and use them as pawns to help accomplish their selfishly ambitious goals. They don’t care who they hurt along the way.

Are there any unsafe traits you would add to this list?

Give ME a Drink

A while ago, the Lord spoke to me about the women at the well.  I wrote about it here.

But this was the essence of it:  You have looked to men to try and satisfy your thirst, but IF you just drink from ME, you will not thirst again.  You are hungry, but your food is to do the will of the Father.  If you take this sparkling coat, and choose to be my Bride, wear it for me daughter, I will put living waters inside of you that will heal many and I will use you for my glory.  Don’t be disappointed, trust me.

In December, I was setting up the night before I was to minister, and on the way home, God began speaking to me again about the woman at the well.  He was saying that the reason He asked HER for a drink when He met her, was because she had always been a taker.  He said, after she met Him, she became a giver.  I knew that word was for me.

The next day before I spoke, a friend came and wanted to introduce me.  He is a prophet.  He said he had a word from God for me.  He told everyone that I had suffered so much in my life, I had dug a well in the Lord.  He said but God had also dug a well in me.  He said that he saw my mouth wide open, God was pouring Himself in me and out of my belly was flowing living waters.  He said, many just go…but others are sent from God.  He said I was a true “sent one.”  I wept.  He did not know what God had said to me the night before.

I just got back from a trip to Bethel, in Redding.  When I was there, I noticed, many of the people I spoke to were being touched by the Holy Spirit.  Some of them were physically reacting, others were crying.  It was visible.  I on the other hand, was not really feeling anything.  It made me curious, so I asked God…what was going on.  I was worried…  He said, “remember, I made you into a giver now…you are no longer a taker.”  Wow…

He is so good how He confirms things to us.  I am excited about all the drinks I will be giving.  I want Him to pour Himself into and out of me!!!  I pray He uses me to heal, set free, deliver and save many by His Spirit and for His glory!  In Jesus’ Name!!!

Prophetic or not?

Saturday soapbox, sorry, I’m about to step on some “prophetic” toes.
(sorry, unedited, but wanted to just put it out here.  I will fix it later.)

So come on, let’s leave the preschool fingerpainting exercises on Christ and get on with the grand work of art. Grow up in Christ. Hebrews 6:1 MSG

Dr. Bill Hamon defines prophecy as:

…simply God communicating His thoughts and intents to mankind. When a true prophecy is given, the Holy Spirit inspires someone to communicate God’s pure and exact words to the individual or group for whom they are intended. It is delivered without any additions or subtractions by the one prophesying, including any applications or interpretations suggested by the one speaking. To be most effective, it must also be delivered in God’s timing and with the proper spirit or attitude.

Prov 30:5-6 says: Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.

The gift of prophecy edifies, exhorts, and comforts (I Corinthians 14:3); there is no mention of the word prediction here. It helps us build up or strengthen; and should lead us to the Word of God. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come (John 16:8-11).

Prophecy is divinely inspired and anointed utterance; a supernatural proclamation in a known language. It is the manifestation of the Spirit of God – not of intellect (I Corinthians 12:7), and it may be possessed and operated by all who have the infilling of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 14:31)

Intellect, faith, and will are operative in this gift, but its exercise is not intellectually based. It is calling forth words from the Spirit of God. The gift of prophecy operates when there is high worship (I Samuel 10:5-6), when others prophets are present (I Samuel 10:9-10), and when hands are laid on you by ministers (Acts 19:1-6).

The word prophecy means to “bubble up, to flow forth, or to cause to drop like rain.”

To prophesy means to be able to communicate with God, to hear Him speak, or see something, like a dream or vision, and then share what he gave you, so that other people can know the will of God.

So when you claim to be prophesying then you better be saying something God told you to.
It should also be clear so others can understand it.

So, if you’re not doing that…then you are not being prophetic, right?  You might be a teacher, inspiring, or a worshiper…but you are not prophetic.

If someone is claiming to be prophetic, then they should ONLY speak what they hear God saying.  I prophesy to a lot of people and I can tell the moment, I step out of what God is saying and I have to backtrack and strike that word.  I see, hear, smell, know and feel things in the spirit…all by the Spirit of God and all from God.  Not by my imagination, not what I want to say, and not without purpose.

God is direct, when He speaks, it always has a purpose.  The word God sends forth will accomplish what God is sending it forth to do.

Prophesying is for edification, building others up, giving direction, confirmation…etc.  Sometimes it is for exposing secret motives of the heart, so that things can be torn down and rebuilt.  It can be a word of wisdom or knowledge, a dream or a vision, but It always lines up with scripture and leads people to it.  It should also glorify Jesus, not the giver…or their gift.

Prophesying should be concise, it is like shooting an arrow, or cutting with a knife, so you can’t just throw words out there without careful precision.  It is dangerous and reckless.  Not to mention dishonoring to God.  Sometimes words are sent to guide someone into their right position in Christ, to direct them where they need to go (Acts 13:1-3).  You must get the “directions” from God, not your soul.  You MUST not be a blind guide, you must have eyes to see, to help others know the way.

The Bible tells us that we are to “Despise not prophesying, because it is important in the church.

It brings life, like it did to the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37:1-4).  It gives spiritual vision, which brings hope. The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ (Proverbs 29:13,18).  It edifies, exhorts, and comforts (I Corinthians 14:3) and brings revival and restoration (Acts 2:16-18).  It also can guide you to your right position in Christ go (Acts 13:1-3).

Prophesy should be judged.  We are called to “Prove all things.” I Thessalonians 5:20-21. When a prophecy is given, we are to test it and hold on to what is good in it.

Seven Ways to Judge Prophecy

1) Judge them by their fruits (Matthew 7:16-18,20).

2) Who does it glorify?  The person giving the word, another person, or Jesus?  (John 16:14; I Corinthians 12:3; I John 4:1-2)

3) Does it line up with Scriptures? (Isaiah 8:20)

4) Does it come true? (Deuteronomy 18:22) Some prophecies are not of God even though they may come to pass. The benchmark remains that all prophecies should exalt the Lord Jesus.

5) Is the word direct and concise, or disjointed or confused? True prophecy is line upon line and precept upon precept (Isaiah 28:13).

6) Does it release people into liberty, or put them into bondage? (Romans 8:15)

7) Does it bear witness with your spirit? (I John 2:20,27)

In the light of this, what is prophetic art then?

1) It should come from God.  Therefore, the person that painted it should be able to tell you how God gave it to them, what they heard or saw, and EXACTLY what He was saying.  Some people think they can just step into a calling and say “I’m a prophetic artist” when God never called them.  When they cannot even hear or see anything in the spirit.  They should not say, “what is the Spirit saying to you?”  That is also not biblical.  The prophet bore the responsibility of declaring the word EXACTLY how God gave it to them.  It was not up to, nor should it be open for another’s interpretation.  That is not God.  If I just handed somebody a prophetic portrait that was nothing but swirls and colors, and asked them what they thought it meant, that would be contrary to the Word of God.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2) It should say something.  The work should be done with excellence, and skill, painted in a way that people can interpret what is being said.  Some of the art that is being done and being labeled as prophetic art is nothing but abstract art.  Honestly, it makes no sense.  It’s without form, it’s without a voice, it is just a bunch of colors and swirls and different shapes. That is not prophetic art, that is immaturity. If you stood up in church and spoke in tongues, claiming to speak for God, but you did not interpret it, or no one else did, then you are out of order.  That is not biblical.  God says if you are going to prophesy, people should know what God said through you.  If you’re called to do prophetic art you’re going to say something with your art, and you will know it came straight from God because it’s going to be Him speaking through you and you illustrating what He showed you.  God doesn’t send forth his word without purpose; that is not the way God works.  (Isaiah 28:13)   I cannot give someone a word in tongues and say…be blessed.  No, I have to make it clear if I am going to give someone a word, what I hear God saying.  For the person or congregation to receive the word, it must be interpreted.   Art is no different.
3) It must be concise.  It should be concise and plain.  Deut 12:32 says: See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.  Rev 22 ends with a strong warning against adding to or subtracting from that prophetic word. Rev 22:18-19 says “Warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”

From these scriptures, we see that God is serious here. He insists that we accurately represent Him when we speak for Him (or prophesy). The delivery of a prophetic word is not the place to exercise our creative skills (2 Peter 1:20). Instead, prophecy is the place to clearly and accurately reflect what God wants to communicate (2 Peter 1:21).

If I have a word for someone, I will speak it very clearly, and if it’s a vision, I share the vision to the best of my ability.  I think sometimes we have to be careful when we see visions, trying to interpret it, when all were supposed to do is share the vision.  And the person will know it’s God because it will mean something to them.  When I give someone a prophetic portrait I can tell them exactly what I saw and what I believe God is saying but then I’m always open to hear what they believe God is saying.  I tell them what I saw first though, sometimes I don’t even know the meaning of what I’m seeing even though I know, that I know, what I’ve seen…sometimes they know exactly what it means, when I do not.  I am just the messenger.  God is the one speaking.
4) It should have a purpose.
When a prophetic word comes forth, it should have a definite purpose.  When a good pastor prepares a sermon, he studies, and seeks God, and then he develops a message that teaches, encourages, edifies…etc.  He doesn’t just get up and talk about random topics that do not mean a thing.  That would be confusion.  God is a God of order, not chaos.  It would not serve a purpose.

Prophetic art vs Worship art
Someone can be a worship leader in music, and never get one prophetic song.  A prophetic song is a song where you hear it in the spirit and sing what you heard.  A worshiper is just as anointed…and just as precious…and ministers too…but just in a different way.  One is not better than the other.

Not being a prophetic artist is nothing to be ashamed of…it just carries a responsibility with it.  One type of artist is not better than the other…but there are clearly outlined rules for something to be called “prophetic” in the bible.   If you are someone that is called to prophesy, I think you will agree with this.  Because, if you are going to call yourself a “prophetic” artist, then your art should be saying something others can understand, and it better come from God…not from you…otherwise…it should just be called worship art…

By claiming to be a prophetic artist, you are saying…God gave me this, and told me to paint it.  If there is no clear word from your art, then that is not God speaking.  True prophecy is line upon line and precept upon precept.

When I was first being invited to come and paint for conference I would pray before I went. I would seek God with all my heart, ask him what he wanted to “speak,” through my painting, at the conference…and I would get a word usually in the form of a vision.  Sometimes it’s just a direction by God, but I usually know before I get to the meeting, exactly what I’m painting.  Now it comes more naturally for me, the Lord has told me to paint what is in my heart.  I follow my peace.

Just like if I was called to just prophesy verbally to a church, I would seek God before I got there and I would have an idea of what I was to speak.  Now maybe when I started to speak, it may expound, because God may add to it, but God will always give you that seed to start you.

When I do spontaneous prophetic portraits, with someone sitting there, I have no idea what I’m going to paint, just like if I’m getting a personal prophetic word…a lot of times I don’t know until I begin to just pray and then I will hear God speak.

But if I don’t get anything from God there’s nothing I can do…if I say, this is from God, when it isn’t…then that is being a false prophet.

One thing about the prophetic, is this is important to remember is this. The FINAL purposes of God are always positive, not negative.  Sometimes those that are prophetic are called to deal with sin and weakness so that it can be replaced with what is right, true, effective and positive.  Just like this message, it might be necessary to “root out” and to “pull down”; but the final purpose is always to “plant”. Some of thing we are we are doing, we may need “destroy” and “throw down,” but the final purpose and plan of that is to “build”, and to build well!

Cast One Line, Catch One Fish, and the Temple Fee is Paid in Full

The Coin from the Fish’s Mouth by Otto Elliger

When they arrived at Capernaum, the temple tax men came to Peter outside of his house, and asked, “Does your teacher pay the temple taxes?”

Peter said, “Of course.”

But as soon as they were in the house, Jesus confronted him. “Simon, what do you think? When a king levies taxes, who pays—his children or his subjects?”

Peter answered, “His subjects.”

Jesus said, “Then the children get off free, right?  But so we don’t upset them needlessly, go down to the lake, cast a hook, and pull in the first fish that bites. Open its mouth and you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to the tax men. It will be enough for both of us.”

What an amazing story.  Jesus heard Peter talking to the men, even though He was in the house.  He knew Peter had defended Him, but He used this as an opportunity to confront, encourage, and teach Peter.

Jesus was saying, “I don’t have to pay a temple tax because I am the Son of God, and neither do you Peter, because you are too.  We are children of the King.  Therefore, we are above the law, superior to it, but we will be subject to it, and obedient to it, because we do not want to offend those still living by it.  We are free, but we will be bound, as not to be an offense.”

Peter had been fishing all his life from the very place Jesus sent him to go and catch the fish.  Jesus had told Peter, when He called him, He would make him a fisher of men.  Don’t you think Peter was thinking hard, standing on that shore, preparing to throw in the line?  Jesus said, cast your line, not a net.  Isn’t that interesting?  Only one line that would hold only one fish, not a net that would hold many fish…just one line, and one hook, and one cast.  And miraculously, on the VERY first attempt, Jesus promised him that he would catch a fish, and not just any fish, no, it would be THE EXACT fish…that would have enough money, in his mouth, to pay taxes for both of them.

Jesus could have just made the money appear in Peter’s hand, or his pocket.  He could have just taken the money out of their treasury, but for some reason it was important for Jesus to TELL Peter to “fish” for it.   To trust Jesus and do what He said and for him to cast that one line.

Jesus was proving, He was the Son of God, and ruled over creation, but He had left His heavenly throne and come to earth, to live as a man, to save others.  He was saying, I have power, and I am ultimately in control, but I will play along with the rules of this lower place, so not to cause another to stumble.

I think maybe the fish represented Jesus, He was the Word, and the word came from Jesus’ mouth, to Peter, like gold.  “And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.”  Psalm 12:6

Jesus was saying He has paid the penalty for all of us.  It is as simple as just casting that one line, and it will surely bring up, the ONE fish that has everything that you will need in his mouth to pay everything you owe, every penalty, every tax.  Jesus is the fish, or the one man in the sea of humanity, that had the ability to make us free from the penalty of sin and death.  To pay the temple what we owe.  Jesus was teaching Peter how to be an evangelist, by showing him Who He was.

“Does your teacher pay the temple taxes?”
You have no idea what you are asking…of course He does, actually, He will pay the penalty for us all!

Oh yes, Peter, I will make you a fisher of men.

Be nice, until it is time to NOT be nice.

Love confronts, and changes things, fear runs away and enables.

Boundaries are healthy and they are godly. Running and hiding from conflict, will get you no where, but running full speed, head first into it will set you free.

Conflict happens. People will push you, and yes…take a mile when you intended to just give them an inch…but…only…if you let them.

You need to figure out how far is too far, because it’s important to know exactly where your boundaries are and at what point is someone is making you uncomfortable or stepping over the line. There is a thin line between being nice and letting someone take advantage of you, so you need to get to know exactly where this line is, so you can know when you need to deal with it.

By always being nice, we actually do others a disservice. When we fail to establish the necessary boundaries in our life that are essential to happiness and success, and if we always turn the other cheek, we actually enable the abusive. Trust me, someone will always be willing to hit you, if you are always willing to let them, some people just prey on people like that.  The most healthy way to handle things, is to establish that it’s not ok for anyone to hit you in the first place…because they know you have self worth, and will not tolerate it.

There are big consequences for not establishing boundaries in life. Letting people take advantage of you costs you; it erodes away your sense of worth and identity. When someone does something to you that you aren’t okay with, but you are still nice to them and don’t deal with the problem, it will eat away at your self esteem and confidence. When you learn to put your foot down and become vocal about your limits, it can be invigorating. You will gain a sense of self worth that is only achieved by standing up for yourself.

When someone crosses one of my boundaries, I have no obligation to be nice anymore, I actually have an obligation to take action. I need to do what needs to be done to preserve my peace and personal identity. This does not make me mean, it makes me healthy.

But remember NOT “being nice” doesn’t mean you HAVE to be mean. Often times a strong tone of voice, or a simple “no” will accomplish your goal of establishing a boundary with someone. Very rarely will you have to be rude to get your point across that you won’t tolerate someone’s abusive behavior, or a lack of regard for your wishes. Learn the power of “no;” it is often the simplest way to establish a healthy boundary in any given situation.

A great example is an effective parent disciplining their child; they are not mean, but they are stern in establishing limits, and this helps the child become a better person. Disciplined children are a joy to be around, and it creates a peaceful environment for the whole family. Limits are extremely important to living a happy life for all parties involved in any situation.

Yes, it’s possible to be nice and still not let anyone take advantage of you; this is the balance you want to achieve. Know your self worth, that you have rights too, and don’t let anyone take them away from you.

People often mistake kindness for weakness, let’s show them just how wrong they are. Meekness is actually strength under control.

Love confronts, and changes things, fear runs away and enables.

Embrace Your Small Beginnings

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, Zechariah 4:10a

Don’t despise the days of small beginnings because that is exactly what makes you into who you will be, and leads you step by step into your destiny.  When God saves you, He has a purpose for you, and you can trust Him, that those plans are good!.

Remember, David had a slingshot. What if he had always wished he had big sword, or the King’s armor? What if he had hated his slingshot instead of embracing what God had put in his hands?   He would not have learned to kill lions or bears and eventually the giant!

What if David had complained or grumbled about being a shepherd, instead of loving those sheep, and protecting them?   When that was the very training ground God used to teach him how to be a King and watch over God’s chosen people?

What if David had resented tending those sheep all alone at night?  When that was the very place where he sang to God, and played his harp under the stars.  Just think, it led to all those psalms and prophetic songs we now enjoy!  And it was anointed too…because it would sooth the savage beast in Saul!

What if he had never been so dishonored by family?  See, honor was important to him… because as a young boy he never had it.   If he had not known dishonor, he would not have hated it.  Hated it so much so, that he would confront a giant, and then kill him because he was dishonoring his God!!  Yes, see, when no one else would stand up for God’s honor, this young boy did!

Don’t despise where you are…you are going somewhere.
I say, learn to embrace it!   Let it shape you and mold you.
Squeeze every drop of oil or wine you can get out of it.
How can we be doubtful about our future?
When it ALL has purpose, and God will use it all for good.
Trust me, He will not waste a bit of it.

Small beginnings are good beginnings!