Recovering With the Redbirds

October 2, 2021  (Post #64)

(From Journal #9:  May 1, 2007)

Finally had the hernia surgery a couple of days ago.  The doctor had blocked off 45 minutes, but it turned out to be 3 hours!  You exposed the darkness again; there were two more hernias behind this one.  Instead of 4 incisions, I have 20!  The pain afterward was excruciating.  They gave me 4 or 5 narcotics and nothing helped.  Finally they gave me some super anti-inflammatory and it stopped the pain, praise! Thank You for seeing me through it.

I’ve been recovering and resting on the couch in the sitting room.  Yesterday, I kept seeing a male and female redbird going in/out of the butterfly bush by the window.  Right there in the bush, not four feet off the ground, is a nest with three babies!  Their mouths were wide open and hungry.  Both the male and female took turns feeding them all day.  Oh Lord, what a beautiful gift!  I just love them.

Today, I’ve spent the past two hours just watching in awe. One of them left the nest and made his way far on the other side of the next bush.  He’s a feisty little guy.  When he first left the nest, I could see was scared and wobbly.  His mother kept flying in to feed the other two still in the nest, but he would not be ignored.  He followed his mother to the next bush and kept chirping at her!  (…forceful men lay hold of it…)  He must be the “Peter” of the three.  The other two watched him.  One seemed interested in getting out and the other kept huddling down in the comfort and security of the nest.  Lord, what a spectacular thing to behold.  How amazing are the works of Your hands?  Thank you for giving me a front row seat to witness this while I recover.

We’re not so different from the birds, are we?  We’re often too afraid to step out in faith and leave the secure nest.  The father and mother kept circling the bush.  They kept their eyes on him, but allowed him to venture out and try his wings.  They didn’t abandon him, but allowed him to grow and to experience life.  You do the same with us.  You ask us to step out in faith, but You keep Your protective eyes on us as we wobble along the journey and strengthen our legs.  We are not alone.  What a lesson, Lord!

I left the room for a while and when I returned I saw how far Peter had traveled.  I hope he and the others continue to call these bushes home and will visit often.  He’s quite a “chirper.” 

Matthew 6:25-26:  ”Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Psalm 34:15:  The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.

John 14:18:  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Wrestling the Serpent!

March 3, 2021   (Post #60)

(From Journal #8:  February 27, 2007)

I had a dream last night that in turn called to my remembrance an encounter I had with a snake years ago that is a testament to this dream…

In the dream, it seemed as if John and I were in a hotel room, and someone else was there, but I don’t know/remember who. (I’m thinking a guardian angel?)  Someone was trying to break into the room to kill us!  They had tried to kill us before and I remembered how we’d been kept safe and I was explaining it to this person and told them You would protect us, but we had to fight back and “armor up” but I knew we’d be okay, and we were! “Victory before the battle…”

My encounter with a snake was after I’d just seen the movie “The Passion of the Christ” which was released in 2004.  This happened even before I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  The spiritual significance of this encounter has revealed itself many times.  Snakes never announce themselves; they sneak in.  We have to be on watch and deal with them when they expose themselves.

I let the dogs out in the morning and went outside with them.  I was in my PJs and barefoot.  We had a koi pond and I went to check the skimmer.  As I had my hand in the water, I saw from my peripheral vision a snake head in the pond!  One of my bassets was drinking from the pond!  I was afraid the snake would strike my dog.  I jumped up and got long snippers that would reach and clip plants in the pond. I reached and managed to get the snake’s head in those clippers.  IMMEDIATELY, that snake came out of the water and wrapped itself around the shaft of that tool!  Freaked me out.  I was afraid to drop the tool for fear it would strike me or the dogs.

I realized I had to fight.  I began to squeeze those clippers as hard as I could on that serpent’s neck.  The problem was, I had a bad case of tennis elbow.  At that time, it was hard and painful for me to even squeeze a dish cloth. But as painful as it was, I knew I couldn’t let the serpent get away.  I thought of the movie and how Jesus ultimately crushed the serpent.  So I began to pray and kept squeezing that snake that fought me hard.  The Lord gave me strength to keep fighting.  After about 20 minutes or so, the snake finally quit fighting me; I’d killed him.  When I finally let him out of the clippers, I measured him and he was 31 inches long!  To me, that was huge.  This wasn’t just a victory against a natural snake in my pond.  This was a spiritual victory against an enemy that would come to attack my health and other areas of my life over and over.  I must always be on guard, confident that You are my protector.

Genesis 3:1:  Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made….

Psalm 91:13:  You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

2 Corinthians 2:11:   …lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.

1 Peter 5:8:  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Ephesians 6:10-11:  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 

Revelation 20:2:  He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

Just be the Brush

December 13, 2020   (Post #56)

(From Journal #7:  October 9, 2006)

Lord, as I struggled to “see” what needed to be done on this painting, the Holy Spirit spoke the most powerful and beautiful words into my spirit.  This is what I heard:  “In the spiritual realm, you are My canvas.  In the natural world, you are My brush.  Just be the brush.”  Once I heard that, I realized that I am not responsible for how this painting turns out.  You are the Artist; You just want me to be Your brush.  You showed me that I am a painting, a spiritual canvas You work on.  I’m also a physical brush You use to paint pictures for others.  Every time I got stuck, frustrated and tense, I’d hear You saying, “Just be the brush” and I’d relax, get out of my head, and just paint. We are artists together.

You’ve guided my eyes and my hands and we’ve gotten so much done.  I know it’s Your strength, not mine, that has seen me through.  I was so leery of not only painting glass, but on such a large canvas.  But You pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to trust You alone, and of course, You didn’t let me down.  The confidence You are building in me is great – but it’s not confidence in myself that “I alone” can do anything.  It is confidence in myself that I can do anything You’ve called me to do as long as I rely on You.  I designed my own labels for the wine bottles and even added a cork lying on the table.  Today, I signed it!  We got this done in 9 days!  Glory to You!!!  I’m really pleased at how it turned out, and I named it “A Pearl from the Vine…”

I’ve questioned so many times how could You use me to be a blessing to the Kingdom?  And now, here You are helping me paint a picture to raise money to fight cancer!  May this painting be anointed and bring a huge sum to beat cancer!  AMEN!

Philippians 4:13:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Ephesians 2:10:  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Colossians 3:23:  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.

Isaiah 64:8:  But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay and You our potter; and we are the work of Your hand.

The “Waking” Hour

May 24, 2020 (Post #41)

(From Journal #3:  January 8, 2006)

For the past several nights, like so many times before, You’ve wakened me at 3:00 a.m., inviting me to spend time with You.  I don’t know the significance of this hour, but it seems to be “our time.”  It’s as if You and I are the only two in the world awake, and I have You all to myself.  Even though I am tired, the quiet time is so special and I am not distracted.  Some of the biggest revelations you’ve taught me have been in these early hours. The Creator of the universe loves me and wants to spend time with me.  Forgive me for the times I chose sleep over time in prayer with You.

I am glad I have not drawn back from You during this health battle.  No matter what has come against me, I have not run from You, but to You. That is the victory. Running to Jesus is always a victory!  You are my protector and I thank You.  Without You, fear is an enemy; but with You, fear is cast down and defeated.  I will not fear!

During our time this morning, I read a scripture in Isaiah I’ve read before and highlighted.  In the margins I’d written, “Lord, I want a teachable spirit.”  How true. I do want a teachable spirit.  I confess and repent for all the times I have stubbornly resisted being taught, or for refusing to change.

Isaiah 50:4-5:  The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the Word that sustains the weary.  He wakes me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.  The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.”

Matthew 26:40-41:  Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What?  Could you not watch with Me one hour?  Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Prison Break

March 1, 2020   (Post #29)

(From Journal #2:  September 5, 2005)

This mystery pain in my right side continues to bother me?  The doctor ordered x-rays and an ultrasound and things were negative, so I’m very grateful.  I will continue to pray and stand on Your Word which gives me strength.

I’ve been studying the book of Acts lately.  When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, they prayed and sang hymns to God, which ushered in a miracle!  Even though their circumstances were bad, they continued to stay focused on the Lord.  The other prisoners were listening.  We witness to others when we don’t lose faith in times of crisis and hardship.

Acts 16:26 says, “Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.”

Wow!  There is so much in this.  First, I see that more than one foundation was shaken before the prison doors opened.  This shows me there can be more than one issue holding us prisoner in our lives and keeping us from freedom.  But God suddenly shakes us and breaks those foundations so that we can be free from the bondage we’re in!  Praise God!

All at once the prison doors flew open and everybody’s chains came loose.  When I am free, the chains of those around me come loose too because I do affect others by both my bondage and my freedom!  It’s not all about me…

Acts 16:27-34:  And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”  Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.  And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes.  And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.

Don’t Miss the Rainbow!

February 23, 2020   (Post #28)

(From Journal #2:  August 16, 2005)

Yesterday Lord, You gave me such a beautiful sign and revelation. I’ve been having this strange pain in my right side which is concerning.  I got up and walked outside.  The sky had become very dark and ominous and the wind was blowing.  It was very threatening.  I stood in the breezeway and looked at those dark clouds as they hung very low and seemed to envelope my home and me.  They were symbolic of the heaviness I’d been feeling. And then, I saw it!

A rainbow was right in the middle of those black clouds!  It’s You, Lord.  You’re the rainbow, the promise, the covenant, the hope!

I had to be looking to see the rainbow.  Its pastel colors were so delicate they appeared to be overshadowed by the clouds.  However, once I saw it, the colors were bright to me and the clouds became secondary to the Light!  Oh Lord, thank You for reminding me and showing me that You are always there, never leaving, never forsaking.  No matter what comes against me, You are there – the Light, the rainbow, the promise, the peace, the everlasting, ever-present hope.

Genesis 9:13-16:   “I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.  It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”

Ezekiel 1:28:  Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.

Psalm 105:8:  He remembers His covenant forever, The word which He commanded, for a thousand generations…

Attention, Please!

February 8, 2020  (Post #26)

(From Journal #2:  August 12, 2005)

The CT scan back on July 8th was great; thank You, Jesus!  The lymph nodes continue to shrink as the Word eats away cancer.  So, I scan again in November.

Things have been busy this summer and I cannot believe I’ve been away from the journal for so long.  I’ve also allowed distractions to interfere with my study of Your Word.  But then You did what all good parents do:  You corrected me! You brought Proverbs 4:20-22 to my spirit and showed me I had not been attending to Your Word, and You were right.  

I know Your Word.  I believe Your Word.  I speak Your Word.  But lately, I haven’t been getting it before my eyes and in my ears enough.  I’ve been neglecting and not prioritizing my personal Bible study and haven’t been listening to the great teachers I like to follow.  I can’t “coast along” on what I know.  I must attend to Your Word to keep learning and for fresh revelation.  Also, I haven’t been “rejoicing in the Lord always.” I’ve been whining and complaining and focusing on the wrong things.  Forgive me, Lord.  Thank You for loving me enough to discipline and correct.

Proverbs 4:20-22: “My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”

Hebrews 12:5-6: …“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.”

Proverbs 3:11-12:  My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction;  For whom the Lord loves, He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Philippians 4:4:  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:  Rejoice!

Victory Before the Battle!

December 31, 2019 (Post #22)

(From Journal #1:  March 22, 2005)

Yesterday I had treatment #3.  The doctor said I’d be scanned again 6 weeks after the 4th treatment.  I’m praying for no more treatments needed! 

I read the book of Joshua and I continue to see the Matthew 11:12  “forceful men lay hold of it” revelation portrayed in the Bible.  When You told Joshua to cross the Jordan River, the river only parted AFTER they stepped into the water.  Action was required before the miracle.

At every battle, You told Joshua, “Today I have given unto you….” BEFORE the battle began.  It was spoken as a “done deal” BUT they still had to fight the battle in faith!  Lord, this is HUGE!  If we believe we have VICTORY BEFORE THE BATTLE, then we fight from faith and not from fear!!!  This is a game-changer for every battle we face in life.

This helps me so much in this battle against non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  I HAVE the victory.  You are with me, but the battle must still be fought.  I just have to fight from faith and not from fear.  Jesus!

Joshua 3:15-16: “…and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away…”

Joshua 6:2-3:   And the Lord said to Joshua:  “See!  I haven given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.  You shall march around the city all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once.  This you shall do six days.”

Joshua 8:1:  Now the Lord said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai.  See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.”

Don’t Forget to Remember

December 6, 2019  (Post #19)

(From Journal #1:  March 6, 2005)

I’ve been reading Matthew, and Matthew 11:12 jumped out at me:  “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.”  I am struck by the phrase “forceful men lay hold of it.”  I want to meditate and study this, and pray for revelation about what You want to show me, Lord.

John the Baptist was referred to as Elijah in Matthew 17:11-13.  Malachi 4:5 prophesies “Elijah” will come before the day of the Lord.  This is John the Baptist.  After Malachi, there were no prophets for 400 years.  In order to understand Matthew 11:12, I felt moved to study Elijah in 1 Kings 17. 

Elijah meets a widow who thought she was totally defeated.  She was gathering sticks to make a fire in order to prepare a tiny “last meal” for her son and her, and then to “die.”  He told her not to be afraid, to go home and do as she said, but first make a small cake for him, and then make food for herself and her son.  Elijah told her she would not run out of flour or oil until the Lord sends rain.  She did what Elijah told her and her supplies did not run out for many days.  This is in essence an example of tithing.  If we obey the Lord and put Him first, He will use whatever resources we have, no matter how small it seems to us.  He will magnify and multiply for as long as is needed.

Later the woman’s son became sick and he died, and she blamed Elijah!  But she is the one who had spoken death into their lives.  Elijah took the boy and cried to the Lord three times and the Lord brought him back to life!  Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.

Even though she had already seen and experienced a miracle from God, she did not really trust and believe.  When her son got sick, she did not remember His faithfulness in the past.  Trials come in our lives. We have to remember what the Lord has already done and have faith in Him to do it again. 

I Know What I Heard!

November 24, 2019  (Post #18)

(From Journal #1:  February 26, 2005)

I saw the doctor yesterday and my bone marrow is clear!  Praise You, Lord!  We went over treatment options.  We’re going to do an immunotherapy treatment called Rituxan.  I am so grateful not to do hard chemo and radiation!  I prayed for the doctor to have Solomon-like wisdom and I trust You are working through him.  I will take this treatment in faith.  There isn’t much data since it’s a new concept to take this drug alone, without chemo.  God’s data is perfect and I trust You, Lord.

The most amazing thing happened!  As I’ve been reading Your Word, Matthew 10:27 really spoke to me about the voice I heard whisper in my ear after surgery:  “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”  And then, I started thinking about how Jacob wrestled with the angel of God and the angel touched his hip and wrenched it, leaving him with a limp.  As I meditated on Matthew 10:27 and this story of Jacob, I asked You if this pain in my shoulder was a confirmation for me to KNOW that what I heard whispered in my ear was in fact an angel, in spite of the diagnosis I had received?  I literally felt the warmth of the Holy Spirit in my body and then the pain was gone!  Lord, thank You!

I’ve been condemning myself for even telling anyone about what I heard since the diagnosis came back as lymphoma, and that I am a “bad witness” for You.  But You have given this amazing confirmation as to what I heard.  I may not understand, but I still believe the lymph nodes are benign regardless of the diagnosis.  I don’t care what anyone thinks.  I believe You and only want Your Name to be glorified as healer.

Hebrews 10:23:  “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

Hebrews 11:1:  “Now faith is the substance of what we hope for, the evidence of what we do not see.”

Isaiah 7:9:  “…If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.”

Psalm 119:116:  “Uphold me according to Your Word, that I may live; and do not let me be ashamed of my hope.”