Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Read My Word!

Since my surgery I have been going for walks as often as I can manage it.  I use my walking time as my praying time and as my listening time.  A couple of weeks ago (4/24) God spoke during that hour long walk so clearly and was showing me in detail some things that I believe will come to pass in the future.  It was amazing to me just how clearly I was hearing Him that day and the images that were coming to me.  I felt like Moses coming down from Mt. Sinai when I came home.

Exodus 34:29 When Moses went down from Mount Sinai carrying the Ten Commandments,
 his face was shining because he had been speaking with the Lord; but he did not know it.

I may or may not have looked in the mirror to see if my face was shining, because that is how clearly I was hearing the Lord speak to me.  I thought if this is going to happen when I go walking I am going to be walking as much and as far as I can!   But since that day God's voice has been much quieter.  The voice I have been hearing is mostly my own.  To be honest I was a little frustrated.  I had been given these visions and I wanted to hear what the next step to fulfilling them was.  I asked, "God, where are You, why aren't You speaking, what is my next step to get from here to there?"  Plain as day I heard (in my mind), "Read My Word."  

"Oh. Okay."

I love a good topical Bible study, but to just sit down and read it, I have a hard time staying focused.  I went home.  I will read later.

The next day as I was walking I asked again, "What next, show me the next step."

Again, "Read My Word."

"Okay, I hear you.  Tell me what I should read then. Do I start in Deuteronomy?  It had that cool verse I liked, or how about Matthew?"

I no more than finished the "ew" in Matthew when He said, "Ephesians."  

"Okay, Ephesians it is."

I came home, went about my business and then last night opened up The Message to read Ephesians.  (I was recently given this version by my friend.)  Highlighter in hand I went to town reading it, all 6 chapters, in a row, without fading off and losing focus.

I am going to share with you the highlighted sections from the book, because, well, if you have followed my story at all, you will see how much of a God thing this really is.

*This is not the complete text of Ephesians, only the sections that I highlighted.

How blessed is God!  Long before He laid down earth's foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. 

{HELLO!  Right off the bat, WHOLENESS! through LOVE}

He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift giving by the hand of His beloved Son.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, we're a free people - free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds.  Abundantly free! He thought of everything, letting us in on the plans, a long range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for.

{Can I get a Whoot Whoot?! Does not my blurb about me even say, "who I am, well I am still discovering that myself."!}

 The Holy Spirit is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
I do more than thank. I ask - ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, teh God of glory - to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust Him - endless energy, boundless strength!
He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything.
You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live.  You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.
God didn't lose His temper.  Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us.  Then He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
We neither make nor save ourselves.  God does both the making and saving.  He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

{Seriously, at this point I feel like a black woman about to get all Holy Rollin' up in a church service as I read this!}

The Messiah tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance.  Then He started over.  A fresh start for everybody.
Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals.  through Him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.  This kingdom of faith is now your home country.  You belong here.  God is building a home.  He's using us all - irrespective of how we got here - in what He is building. He used the apostles and prohets for the foundation.  Now He's using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together.

{Totally channeling my inner black woman shouting out an "AMEN!!" Despite where I have been or what I have done He is building a home and using me to build it.}

The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of Him all their lives stand on the same ground before God.  They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus.  The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.  
This is my life work; helping people understand and respond to this Message.  It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details.

{Is anyone else choking back some tears at this point?}

God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.  And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.  My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. 
When we trust in Him, we're free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go!  Be proud!
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father.  Ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit - that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in.  And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love , you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.  Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!  Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!  He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.
I want you to get out there and walk 

{mmmhmmm, I know!}

Better yet, run!
on the road God called you to travel.  I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere.

 my words from 1/22/11 " Will my road to healing lead me to "home" or will it end up just being a road to nowhere?  There are those roads out there too...the ones that just end, with no connections to anywhere."}

I insist that there be no going along with the crowd, the empty headed, mindless crowd.  They can't think straight anymore.  Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.  We do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything - and I do mean everything - connected with that old way of life has to go.  It's rotten through and through.  Get rid of it!  Then take on - a God fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you.
Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Christ love was not cautious, but extravagant.  He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us.  Love like that.
Figure out what will please Christ and then do it.  
It's a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see.  
Wake up from your sleep, 
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!

Watch your step.  Use your head.  Make the most of every chance you get.  These are desperate times!  Understand what the Master wants.
God is strong and He wants you strong.  Be prepared.  You're up agains far more than you can handle on your own. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words.  Learn how to apply them.  God's Word is an indispensable weapon. Prayer is essential.  Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and your sisters.  Keep your eyes open.  Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. 
Pray that I'll know what to say and have the courage to say it at the right time, telling the mystery to one and all, the Message that I am responsible for getting out. 
Love mixed with faith be yours from God the Father and from the Master, Jesus Christ.  Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ.

* Bold text mine.  

Amen, amen, and amen.


  1. Wow. Preach it, girl! Your enthusiasm for the word is contagious. Keep at it! Keep sharing!

  2. I'll say! I hang on to your every word, sister. You have your Father's love, fearlessness, perseverance and boldness to speak the truth. Keep prophesying so that we can grow too!

  3. Karmen, isn't that just so what I needed to read/hear?! As I read it was just so cool and faith building. Thank you for your encouragement.

    Nonna, thank you so much. I am so glad you are reading! Let's plan a visit soon!

  4. I will "Whoot! Whoot!" alongside you, Karmen. "It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for." I often search for who I am in so many ways and places when it's right in front of me. IN CHRIST.

    It's amazing how God speaks, isn't it? The passages you highlighted, along with your notes of what God is speaking to us, are edifying, inspiring, and comforting. Thank you! And I wish you further healing.

  5. Thank you Trudy! It is in Him. I had heard that my whole life, I never understood it. This joy, this me, is a mystery to me. I cannot explain it, because I was given it. I did nothing to create it for myself. The only thing I can say to anyone is that they keep asking for God to give it (joy, identity) to them in a way that they can accept it. Amazing. Grace.

  6. Girl, you are ON FIRE! I love how God is speaking to you, moving you toward and in the word, and how in this book, he laid out so much of your past, present and future - your identity and calling - truly, truly amazing, he is. To think, your story has been tucked into these pages all along, waiting for the right time for God to light the match and send you out. Your joy, friend, is contagious, and I thank God for you and for the work of art he's perfecting in you. I love you.

  7. Thank you Amber. It really is amazing. It is exciting. I love you too. Thank you for being such an encouragement and a listening ear through all the parts of this growing story.


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