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If humans are patterned after the image of God and if God has a soul and a spirit; a heart and a mind, then we have those components as well.
Many people have been taught that the soul and the spirit are the same, but they are not. Scripture is very clear that the soul and the spirit are distinct aspects of the human being. There are many scriptures supporting this. Here is one:
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23
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Smiles and blessings to you all,
(Leave a message when you call. So many spam calls these days, we don’t answer unless we recognize the number. So leave a message).
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This is Part 3 of the series on transition.
It’s been awhile since I have written because I have been happily nesting in our new home. And, yes, there is a crazy story about finally getting here because we are NOT in the sadly neglected house mentioned in the previous article about transition. So many lessons learned during this amazing (and amazingly stressful) transition that I can’t think of a single title that begins to cover them all.
It has been a year since my mother passed away and my transition into a life without a living parent began. During this year, I managed to survive settling her estate and moving into a much larger house to accommodate my adult son. Jay is intellectually challenged and really needs a space to call his own. Sam and I thought we had found a house that would suit all of us. It was a gorgeous old girl, but it needed lots and lots of expensive work.
Finding a house that would work for us all, that we could afford, wasn’t easy. So we felt really blessed when our bid was accepted. But then things started going crazy. The closing date kept being moved forward because, unbeknownst to us, the sellers were in bankruptcy. I grew more and more anxious as time rolled on until finally, after another night of tossing and turning, I completely disrupted our plans by calling our agent and asking if we could look at some other houses. It was the call she had been waiting for apparently, because she immediately canceled our pending contract (we got our earnest money back) and set up appointments to view other properties.
This all happened without Sam’s knowledge. He had gone birding (shorthand for bird watching) with some of his buddies, leaving me alone long enough to hear from God without interruption. (I live in a busy, noisy house. Even my two cats are noisy … and opinionated). As soon as I made the call to our agent, the peace of God came crashing back and resumed its rightful place. I had missed that peace.
So what was Sam’s reaction to my high-handedness, you ask? He was profoundly relieved one of us had made the call. Because, you see, he thought I had my heart set on that house AND I thought he had his heart set on that house. We wanted to please each other so much that we ignored our anxieties, forgetting that we are supposed to seek the peace of God … not satisfy the whims of our spouse.
Lesson Learned! Seek the peace of God, stupid! I mean really! How could we have forgotten that? It is so very basic. And if you are tempted to correct my confession, please don’t. Just don’t. Nothing is more stupid that a human doing their own thing. Let’s be honest about it. That is why we need the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Lesson Learned! God will yank you back from the ledge if you will show just a little bit of gumption. The day before I cancelled our contract on the grand old lady, I was overcome with the oddest sensation. I felt like a bride conflicted about her upcoming wedding. I really didn’t want to marry my fiancé, but didn’t feel like I could back out because of all the time and money invested in the ceremony. Plus, I couldn’t disappoint everyone or bear the embarrassment! I felt trapped!
God had nailed how I felt about marrying that old house. But I still had to make the call. I had to risk missing out on a wonderful house. I had to risk disappointing and upsetting Sam, Jay, the sellers and our real estate agent. I had to risk following God.
Lesson Learned! Following God is worth the risk. Two days later we found our house! It’s not perfect, because nothing is this side of heaven, but it is near perfect for our needs. The moment we walked through the door, all three of us felt the presence of God and his assurance that this was it! We moved in about three months ago and I have been busily nesting ever since. So fun!
But what if I hadn’t followed God? We would be spending our little bit of money putting on a roof instead of buying an awesome sofa. We would be having a HVAC unit installed instead of kitchen counters. God would be patiently walking us through the challenges of fixing up a sadly neglected house on a budget. In other words, we would be learning our lessons the hard way. And one day, down the road, we would face another risky decision that required us to choose between following God or following what had been set in motion.
Let me pray for you (then I’m going to paint my new – found it on the roadside – coffee table).
I pray that God will give you the gumption to follow Him, no matter the risk. And I pray that He will give you ears to hear clearly when He calls you to those kinds of decisions. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.
And remember! Seek his peace!
Hugs and blessings to you all,
(Leave a message when you call. So many spam calls these days, we don’t answer unless we recognize the number. So leave a message).
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
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I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. Exekiel 34:26
The wife of one of my long-ago pastors told a story about her rude and cranky neighbor. After a run-in with this neighbor, she reported being shocked at what had poured out of her mouth, finishing up her story with these wise words: You don’t know what is in your bucket until someone kicks it over.
Transition is good at bucket kicking. That in-between stage of “one foot in what will be and the other stuck in what was” is a stressful place. Uncertainty, impatience and anxiety spills out of our inside bucket, sometimes in a flood; sometimes in a trickle, but out it comes during times of big change.
My mother passed away in September 2017. Being without a parent has been a difficult emotional transition for me. There is no way to describe it except to say it is a very odd and disconnected feeling.
Settling my mother’s estate has been a long and challenging process, requiring me to meet and interact with relatives, lawyers, stockbrokers, real estate agents, estate sales managers, auction house movers and so on. Then, when her house sold, the closing date kept shifting around. I felt like I was chasing a broken egg across the kitchen floor. All my prayer appointments became maybes. (Thank you to all those I pray with for their patient understanding). My settled, predictable life became very unsettled.
When my mother’s house finally closed, I grieved it, unexpectedly. I had no idea what that house meant to me until I walked through it one last time. This was the house where I had visited my mother for 30 years. The house she loved. The house she died in.
So what did Sam and I do in the midst of this life transition? We bought a house! A big beautiful, sadly neglected house that we could in no way afford unless it had been sadly neglected. And guess what? That closing date is shifting around! AND the sellers are in bankruptcy, which was NOT disclosed at the time we made our offer. So, we don’t know for sure when we will be moving or even if we will be moving. And there is an enormous amount of expensive work to do on our new house. What were we thinking?!?
So here I am suspended in transition, painting the windows of our current house, getting it ready to go on market. And like a tired cranky child riding in the backseat on a too-long road trip, I’m asking the Lord: Are we there yet?
Here is how I’m handling TOO MUCH transition. Heads up: it’s not pretty.
What’s going on besides transition?
Help! Is there help with transition?
Let us pray together as we grow together, that our buckets will contain less and less of the nasty stuff and more and more of the good stuff. Because, while we are in this fallen world, our buckets will get kicked.
This time of big transition has been emotionally upsetting AND beautifully humbling. Any notion that I was a spiritual big shot full of faith and confidence is long gone. I still need a savior. And I have learned that when the challenge is big enough, what is in my bucket is going to spill out.
I bless your journey wherever you may be.
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in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
So, your neighbor has once again delayed mowing his grass until the dandelions have gone to seed. Your teen just used up all the hot water taking another hour-long shower. Your spouse doesn’t appreciate you. And the dog ate your new couch. Sunday’s sermon was about loving your neighbor, but you’re just not feeling it. What to do?
You try praying to see the situation from God’s perspective. “Lord, let me see with Your eyes.” The next thing you know, you’re yelling at your family and looking into rehoming the dog. So much for God’s perspective.
How about the sermon instructing you to have God’s heart for the lost? You pray: “Lord, give me Your heart for people.” That works until someone shoves their overloaded grocery cart in front of you in the express lane. Or a store clerk is rude. Or someone jumps you about your political views. Next thing you know you are thinking everyone needs to go to hell! So much for God’s heart.
Why doesn’t God answer when we ask for His eyes and His heart? He doesn’t answer because you and I are not capable of seeing or loving the way God does. If we saw everything the way God sees it, our heads would explode. If we loved people the way God loves, our hearts would stop. We simply do not have His capacity. So these kinds of prayers go unanswered, leaving us frustrated with ourselves and, if we are honest, with God.
So what do we do when we desperately need His help navigating challenging situations and loving people? A small adjustment to your prayers will make a huge difference.
Instead of praying for God’s perspective, pray like this: Lord, help me see that person or situation the way You want me to see it.
Instead of praying for God’s heart, pray like this: Lord, help me love others the way You want me to love them.
You and I cannot see or love the same way God does because we are finite and lack His capacity. But we can ask Him to adjust our perception and our love for others appropriately, according to our capacity and according to His will. These prayers do get answered.
Hugs and prayers for you,
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Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14
For six days, the Lord created the heavens and the earth and all that’s in them. Then He rested. I know that most Bible teachings focus on that rest day – how and when and what’s too much and what’s too little and do we still have to observe an official Sabbath day or is that the law … yada yada yada. (You should google it. All the controversy will make your head spin).
I personally believe that the Old Testament day of rest is a little picture of the true rest that we find in Christ. In other words, we don’t have to worry about breaking the rules when we don’t rest on Sunday – or Saturday, as the case may be – from sun up to sun down. We can pick another day to relax because our rest is not in a natural day, it is in the person of Jesus Christ who has delivered us from all our desperate struggles to make ourselves pleasing to God. In Jesus and His completed work, we rest.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
So enough said about that because I want to look at the other days. The six days that God worked. If we are to rest one day, doesn’t that mean that we are supposed to work six days?
Have you ever thought about the fact that no natural creature, except humans, intentionally and unnecessarily works? They gather food and do what else is absolutely necessary for survival. Only the image of God (that’s us) is enough like God to work with some other goal in mind. Humans commonly get together in order to solve a problem or improve something. Let’s say they decide that the traffic traveling from Point A to Point B is heavy enough to warrant the construction of a new bridge north of the old bridge. So, they hire consultants and engineers who draw up plans and hire staff to construct a new bridge. Only people do that kind of thing.
So, when you work, no matter what kind of work it is – washing dishes, emptying the litter box, bagging groceries or removing gall bladders – you are behaving like the image of God. This means that work – all work from low to high – is holy.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord … Colossians 3:23
So, what does all that have to do with angels and housework? In September 2017 my mother passed away. The task of preparing her home to be sold had fallen to me. The day before, an auction company had carted off all of her remaining possessions, leaving me with a few cleaning supplies in an otherwise empty house. I don’t live in the same city, so when I discovered that the large vent covers of her HVAC unit needed to be taken off for a serious cleaning, I didn’t know what to do. The only tool in the house was a paint scraper.
I had already spent days going through her things, arranging for most to be sold; others to be set aside for family members. I had scraped up paint splatters, scrubbed bathrooms and windows, cleaned out the refrigerator and the fire place. I was weary and sad and overwhelmed. I missed my family. I was waiting for the real estate agent to come by. Then I was going home. I didn’t want to drive to the store to buy a screw driver.
So, I asked my angels a question: Are you guys able to help me clean these HVAC vents? Next thing I know, I have used the paint scraper to remove the screws holding the vents. I then washed, dried and reinstalled the big heavy things as if I were an expert at home maintenance (I am so not an expert). Looking at the sparkling clean vents, I wondered. Hmmm? What other ordinary tasks could the angels help with?
Housework is not my favorite thing. I like a clean house but making it clean isn’t fun to me. I remind myself as I scoop the litter box and wash the dishes, that all work is holy, but still … housework is not my thing. So, Sam and I were scheduled to host our small group which meant cleaning the house. Wondering if my angels could help me with the housework, I told them, “Angels. If you are able, help me clean this house.”
The next thing I know, worship music is belting out from my iPad and I am sitting on the floor hand-vacuuming the rug. Let me just say that, as a rule, I don’t voluntarily hand vacuum rugs. But here I was happily vacuuming away. I had been cleaning for hours! And I was full of energy. At 8 p.m. I finally thought to tell my angels they could stop helping me!
Curious to learn if enlisting angel-help for ordinary tasks would work for others, I passed this information to my buddy, Janie. Janie is getting her house ready to sell, so she wondered if her angels would help her paint a bedroom. Keep in mind that Janie is well into her sixties and a widow living alone. Janie reported that the room was painted in record time!
All of us face tasks that are too hard, high pressure or just boring and repetitive. But what if the angels want to give us a hand with our work? Wouldn’t that help to make work the joy that it is meant to be?
I invite you to try this, keeping in mind that work is holy. There is no honest work that is dishonorable. Not if Jesus can dress himself as the lowliest slave and wash dirty feet without losing His identity or self-respect. So enlisting the aid of your angels to accomplish your tasks in no way dishonors them.
Just keep in mind that angels are servants and soldiers. Servants and soldiers do not take initiative. They take orders. That means that you must tell themwhat you want them to do. If you want them to help you with your housework or yard work, tell them to help you. If you want them to help you complete your paperwork or homework, tell them.
I don’t understand how spiritual beings such as angels are able to help us with natural tasks, but they are and they’re very good at it. If you decide to lighten your load by employing your angels, would you take a minute to shoot me an email about it? You might have discovered something angels are able to help with that I haven’t thought to try.
the Lord your God will bless you … in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. Deuteronomy 16:15
Hugs and blessings,
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The Anti-Holy Spirit Spirit
I wish I had shared this with you before the recent shooting in Florida. Here it is now. Please pray as the Lord leads you.
The Lord has been talking with me about three high-level evil spirits that have recently been super empowered to do great harm here in America.
Here they are:
1. The spirit of unexpected, sudden, premature death. (Usually violent).
2. The spirit of extreme division (Remove a person or group of persons at any cost – violently if necessary – and everything will be ok).
3. The spirit of obfuscation. (Intentionally obscuring and making unintelligible the truth. This goes beyond confusion. It makes the truth incomprehensible).
Whenever a group of people agree that certain evil actions are necessary to protect themselves AND when that group of people is willing to do whatever it takes to keep themselves safe, these kinds of high-level spirits become empowered to do great harm.
My intercessors think that this empowerment is coming out of Washington D.C. (and possibly Hollywood) as people scramble to escape the consequences of their actions.
Our first strategy to counter this evil spiritual activity is basic repentance. Pray like this:
Father God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, I repent for myself and my ancestors for ever cooperating with, agreeing with or empowering the above spirits, knowingly or unknowingly. Forgive us for ever being willing to do anything, no matter what it is or who it harms, to hide our actions and escape the consequences of our actions. Please forgive us. In Jesus’ name I ask this.
A second strategy appears to be this:
Offering the Lord childlike, joyous praise when asking Him to destroy the plots of these evil spirits.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32
Stay in joy, dear ones.
Please share so others can know to pray.