This week on Instagram I was posting pictures to guess where I would be going on my next adventure…it seems that the only people who correctly guessed were the ones I already told! Take a look at this collage of some of the pictures that I posted and see if you can find where I’ll be in the world.
If you guessed correctly, I will be going to Israel and Jordan (Indiana Jones and Petra). This has been a “bucket list” item for about forty-five years, a true heart’s desire. I’ve wanted to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to go where He was, to experience the Holy Land and its tremendous history. I am going with a group that will be touring the sights and also following the Holy Spirit to pray for the nation and hopefully to walk in Matthew 10:8, as the Lord leads*.
Most of the time that I am doing ministry I bring along my artwork; when traveling I make postcards to give personal prayers and words of knowledge for the people I encounter. Here are a few that I’m working on before I go. I pray over the cards to be anointed for the specific person that I meet, to encourage them in God’s great love for them, and it becomes a memory of what the Lord was speaking to them. I’ve run into people that I’ve done “art” for after 25 years and they tell me how much the “words” I gave them were significant to their lives. I want those encounters to be blessed and living for each individual.
Cards in process.
Sometimes I embellish them.
(The two following are just examples to show what a finished card would look like. I may write a scripture or a personal word for a person on the back.)
One Last Thing
To encourage you, my faithful friends, I posted this on Instagram today:
(Even little ol’ me at 4 – God had me in His thoughts.)
Just imagine…you were chosen from the foundation of the world to host the presence of a holy God, to live in such a time as this, and to do incredible things!
Think big and pray bigger!
God is speaking to your heart right now about the dreams, inspiration, and callings on your life.
Easter should be the greatest holiday. It is the day that Jesus paid it all and overcame death and the power of the evil one, forever and ever! His love for us gave us new life and access to our Father. There is no better gift than His gift of eternal life.
“He swallowed up death in victory; the Lord God will wipe away tears from all their faces; he will take the reproach from his people and the earth, for the Lord has spoken it!” Isaiah 25: 8
My first job was being the Easter bunny during Easter break; working for a department store in Honolulu. You can imagine how hot it was in that costume in the tropical heat. I made good money for a seven year old though. My older sister played the bigger bunny. It was so much fun…I even got to ride with the governor of Hawaii on the back of the limousine for the Easter parade.
My Easter Decor
The handmade wooden eggs that I decorated so many years ago…an Easter tradition.
Have a wonderful time celebrating new life with your family and friends!
Have you ever wondered about this scripture? Why would the Lord put such high value on teaching about greater love and laying down your life, especially for your friends? Could it be that we may learn the most important lessons in this life because our friends come in such varieties, and they are not the familiarity of family. Not one of Jesus’ twelve disciples was a close family member* and all of the twelve were so diverse and so different in personality, life backgrounds, strengths and weaknesses. Could there ever be a more motley crew? Lazarus, Mary and Martha were very close friends to Jesus, He wept when Lazarus died.
Friends are so important to our lives, they walk with us through hardships and heartbreak, through great rejoicing and successes. They are a deep necessity in faithfulness, encouragement, unconditional love, and loyalty, they are the ones we cherish and love with deep roots of commitment. We need friends to walk beside us, sometimes holding our hand through this journey. Sometimes friends fall into our lives, some we meet through mutual interests, and then there the ones that God sends our way specifically.
One day while spending time with the Lord and feeling separated from those closest to me; I began to pray. I prayed for a new friend that would be loyal and always there for me, who would never be too busy to not want to spend life together. God answered me in two days. You know the Lord has a sense of humor, right? He divinely smiles when He chooses the answers to our prayers. Well, He sent Janice into my life; she was one wild child, passionately in love with Jesus, though a little rough around the edges – a diamond in the rough. I knew instantly she was the one. (God is still smiling), Janice was not what I expected at all. She was a recovering 35-year drug addict, stripper, and male companion – things I couldn’t even relate to, but there is a fire for knowing God in her heart. Our commonality was Jesus. She has the most loving heart, a deep desire for learning more of the kingdom, faithful, full of joy, willing to do whatever God asks of her, a prayer warrior, and always there for me. The Lord showed me how much Janice is greatly loved by Him and my heart changed knowing that. I have never known anyone like her and I know that she will be a life time friend. Don’t judge by outward appearance, God looks on the heart, and He knows you better than yourself. So if He picks a friend for you, they will be perfect.
We need the companionship of a friend, if not many. We are not an island, but a community of believers who do life together. If you need friends, just ask the Father to send you the perfect people who will fill your life with fellowship and love. Of course, Jesus is the One who sticks closer than any brother or personal friend, who will never leave you or forsake you, who is with you always. You need both!
If you want to read an excellent book on friendship, that is so clear and thoughtful, read, The Power of a Positive Friend, by Karol Ladd and Terry Ann Kelly. Available on Amazon Kindle.
Here are some friend quotes:
We can never replace a friend. When a man is fortunate enough to have several, he finds they are all different. No one has a double in friendship. -Friedrich von Schiller
A true friend is the gift of God, and He only who made hearts can unite them. -Robert South
I have learned that to have a good friend is the purest of all God’s gifts, for it is a love that has no exchange of payments. -Frances Farmer
He who is true to one friend thus proves himself worthy of many. -Anonymous
Dear Lord, my friends have been to me, Interpreters of love divine, And in their kindness I have seen, Thine everlasting mercy shine… -Martha Shell Nicholson
A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Consider these scriptures:
♥ “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” -Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
♥ “Nolonger do Icallyouservants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; butI have called youfriends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.” -John 15:15
♥ “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” – John 15:14
♥ “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” – Proverbs 17:17
Some say that many of the disciples were Jesus’ cousins…I don’t know.
This post is especially addressing the women today. As I have found recently when involved with all sorts of women in the Body of Christ, in several denominations, the cry is always the same. It is a desperate yearning to be loved, accepted, and appreciated by those around you; to be understood in the deepest fathoms of your heart. Desiring to know that the unique design of your life really matters; your dreams, your hopes, and your vision. Women need to grasp and hang on to the trust in those around them with confidence and strength, returning back the love that dwells hidden in their longing hearts.
Jesus gave Himself freely so that we would know the depth, length, height, and breadth of His love for us. He accepted the outcasts and the hurting souls who needed His love the most. He identified with all of our suffering and pain, with His passion for our hearts to be united with His. Without that love we can do nothing. It sets us on a rock and a firm foundation and restores our souls to the purposes of which we were created. His compassion fails not. His love never fails. He will never leave you or reject you, despise you, betray you, or give up on you. You are loved with the greatest love of this universe and beyond. No greater love could have been given but the love He gave for you. Jesus says to you:
Get to know this love and the faithfulness of His promise to you. He is there waiting for you to come close, finding the fulfillment your heart longs and yearns for. Remember He is faithful. Be assured His heart can be your heart. Seek Him with all of yours.
We live in such a fast paced world with so many options that it can distract you from the simple truth of who we really are. Once in a while we need to stop and take a deep breath, then remember some of the things that made you fall in love with Jesus in the first place. Ransomed: Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice, He gave His life in exchange of yours. God came down in human form so that we could be reconciled to the Father, who originally made us to be in deep fellowship with His heart. Humankind rejected this love and sought to make the lord of the Earth their god. Jesus built the bridge for us to be joined once more, we just needed to cross over by believing in Him. His ransom paid the price to eternal life and hope.
Adopted: As new believers we became sons and daughters of the Most High God, with all the privileges, blessings, friends, relationships, and the great love that carries us. We are no longer orphans trying to make our lives work, but the Holy Spirit now lives in us to do the work of restoration and belonging. We are accepted in the Beloved, we belong to the greatest Kingdom as treasured children.
Freed: We are now free to be who we were always meant to be, our true selves…better and richer than we could have ever imagined. God’s ways are limitless and He gives us the freedom to live a limitless and awesome life…one where He imagines you at every moment to be complete and whole. He created us for His good pleasure; loved and adored by Him.
Blessings: God is good and His intentions are always for our well-being, so that we can enjoy the whole, wonderful world He has given us. We are truly blessed with what He paid for – your life to live abundantly with all spiritual blessings, great grace, and unfathomable love.
Take a moment and reflect on God’s love and great heart for you!