Selah by Andrea

When Jesus said, my sheep hear my voice and follow.  We can hear His voice today. He who spoke the universe into existence still speaks today.


Selah, consider this word, weigh it and see its value. David uses Selah as hear me and embrace the wisdom I have given you. Any time we stop and choose to consider His ways, His thoughts and the impact they have on our lives, we are hearing the Lord embracing us, growing us and knowing us.

I once heard a teaching that suggested we chew on each scripture until we have gathered everything it can give us. Our lives are full of moments to ‘chew’ on… times when we need to fully digest all that the Lord is giving us in that moment or through an experience. Only then can we fully receive the lesson of our lives. If as believers we know the Lord is with us, then we know He is teaching us, guiding us and directing our steps. In submitting our wills to the Lord, we must hear and agree, His ways are better than our ways. Our ‘amen’ must reach His ‘amen’ and then His will will be done.

I think that most of us are uncertain if our lives are in God’s will. It is helpful to examine our walk with the Lord and ponder the impact we’ve had on someone else’s opportunity to receive Christ. In other words, on another’s eternity. If our lives were spent sharing Christ with only a few people, how do we measure the value of an eternity? Just one is infinite.

Selah… consider this… close your eyes and pretend you have never read a book, heard a sermon or known anything about scripture and you meet Christ. You meet Him as He met Peter, James or Mary Magdalene. Think of yourself as the woman at the well. There you are at a well drawing water and this man tells you He has water that will never make you thirst again. Living water. Before this day, everything anyone has told you, is that you are NOT good enough for God and now, there God sits with you. He is looking into your heart and telling you He has water for you. Jesus went against all the conventions of His day, He spoke to a woman, she was not of His sect. She was considered unclean and yet He offers to her, living water and with it eternal life. Then Jesus spends two days teaching the Samaritans everything they needed to know about the kingdom of God. While we spend lifetimes and run ourselves ragged trying to learn that simple lesson, drink and you will never thirst again.

So I say, Selah, consider this… and when you are unsure of your salvation, when you thirst for more remember it is Christ who has accomplished your salvation. Its value is infinite and it was bought with a precious precious price. The most important part of scripture was love your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and your neighbor AS yourself. Think about this…. in it hangs everything the Lord ever spoke through the law and the prophets… and if you find you can not love someone, be kind.

God bless, andrea

Remember by Andrea

I remember few years ago, Jim Gilbert, did a few teachings on the altars of the bible. There are different types of altars some for sacrifices and some for memorials to honor, remember and extol the greatness of our God.  It helped me think about the value of memorializing events and experiences we’ve been through with the Lord. When we take a moment to reflect or recall the Lord touching our hearts, radically changing our minds, relationships or perspectives; we who are believers cannot afford to forget  such significant occasions. We still need altars, or feasts and memorials that exalt the Lord’s goodness. As believer’s our testimony consists of our personal transformations and of the reality of Christ in our lives. This includes those times we want to remember and some we might want to forget but that the Lord managed to use them for our good. I’ve known people who were saved while on drugs or prostituting themselves. It may be difficult to share their personal stories but there are times that just like the Israelites who built a golden calf while Moses spoke to God, we can benefit from sharing those times too.

       I often encourage believers to write down their experiences, not just in their own interest but for the benefit of other believers and for the generations that come. Life can often be much shorter than we expect and writings from our loved ones are cherished. The miracles that we’ve experienced should be shared, to teach, encourage and edify our friends, family and future believers.

       When I become aware and actually sense, I am a part of the body of Christ, His church, His bride – that is when I see how important each individual testimony becomes to the whole of her, the bride of Christ is the church. It is why I believe we need to set our egos aside and share from our hearts and the witness of Christ in our lives. We must share our stories of overcoming and in those stories is our defeat and Christ’s victory. They may not be pretty stories and there may be pain and shame in them but in Christ there is an eternal victory and that should be shouted from the roof tops.

       Our life stories often resemble the story of Israel, we were in bondage and the Lord set us free. We were once a people with no hope, who now have hope. Once a people with no future who now carry within us the seeds of eternity. How powerful is that? Should we share it with those who are still in bondage? Should we share it with the brethren? We believers all have a story with a sad beginning and an eternally happy ending.

       As I was considering how to write on this month’s topic, ‘remembering’ my 2 yr old granddaughter, Anaya Rose, was playing with my phone when I saw she was in the text feature and had written HAGGADAH.  Maybe autocorrect helped her. I don’t know. I only know I had never seen the word Haggadah but it seemed biblical so my daughter looked it up on the internet and there is ‘Haggadah’, the text recited at the Seder on the first two nights of the Jewish Passover, including a narrative of the Exodus.

       It is the telling of the story of their liberation told at Passover and sometimes at Purim. We believers understand that the Passover is a type of the coming Messiah, our Christ. In preparation for the Seder, all unleavened bread, even the slightest crumb is removed so the house is cleansed. This represents the cleansing of our selves and the willingness to be cleansed, from sin, through Christ’s blood shed on the cross. They tell the story of putting the blood on the door post so that the Death Angel will pass over them. Believers see this as Christ sprinkling our hearts so that the death angel passes over us and we enter into eternal life in Christ Jesus. The Seder, is a powerful story, the remembering of their liberation from bondage.

As Messianic Christians take communion, the wine and the bread, during the Seder, the prayer said over the first glass of wine is:

I will bring you out of Egypt,

I will deliver you from bondage,

I will redeem you from Bondage,

I will redeem you with an outstretched arm,

I will take you to Me for a people

       The Seder is considered a Holy Gathering of remembrance of the Exodus out of Egypt. Most Christians celebrate Easter, Jesus is the lamb of God, no longer would people have to sacrifice in the temple for their sin. Christ is our sacrifice, once for all. Just as the Passover lamb saved the Israelites, who believed God, from death. Jesus’ death saves believers from death by giving His followers eternal life.

       What if we each told our own ‘Haggadah’ each year? How would you celebrate your own deliverance from the bondage of sin? Your own exodus from Egypt. It is vital that we exalt the  Lord when He appears to us and we commemorate God’s favor, not with stones or in journals but in our hearts. For we are to be a people of gratitude, who walk in the light, who have so much to celebrate, our personal testimonies should be worn on our sleeve and we always need to be ready to give a defense for our faith. Whether it be our personal experience or an apologetic response. We believers are never to hide our relationship with Christ and our testimonies are just one of many tools for evangelism that we have at our disposal. You are a letter from Christ, the result of His ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

       Where are our altars? Did they happen in our home, in our church or in our hearts? We need to ask ourselves where are our places of remembrance where God revealed Himself to us?

       I intend to write my own Haggadah, to tell my own story of deliverance. I want to remember everyday the times the Lord has spoken, the times His hand moved so mightily over me, I truly say, “I will never be the same”. A Haggadah can be used over a meal, shared with friends in a prayer meeting, or told on any day we choose to make a day to celebrate and remember the greatness of our God that when we were once slaves to sin, we are now slaves to righteousness because of Christ Jesus who has set us free.

       I’ll need to include the times the Lord renewed my life. I was an atheist, dramatically saved and convinced of God with one simple prayer. I struggled with doctrines and my faith because the mormons (a cult) had come to my door. I thought God sent them. I was challenged and confused. After so much study and prayer, I cried out to God pleading, what is the right church, He spoke? “Why do you worry about how men dress me and not what it is “I” desire”. That so altered my walk with the Lord and taught me why denominations or doctrines are not His first priority and it shouldn’t be ours. I eventually left the LDS but I was never more saved than the first day I knew the Lord. I wasn’t saved by a denomination or a doctrine. It was the Lord Who saved me and it is He who keeps me.

        I’ll need to write down how I was addicted to drugs and miraculously delivered. Thank you Lord, how can I ever thank you enough?

       Once I fell into such awful regret for how I had spurned the Lord before I was a believer, my best friend had died and I simply did not know if she went to heaven or hell. I had been twisted and grieving for months. One day as I walked up to her grave, feeling so hopeless and not knowing how anyone could carry this kind of grief. “The Lord spoke  out loud,”as I have risen so has she”. I am crying now even as I remember, what a burden He lifted from me. The gratitude and love that washes over me as I remember the healing of that heartache.

        I have many more stories. We all have those experiences, let us try to share them with others. In this season of celebration and thanksgiving lets remember who we are most grateful to and who did more for us than any man in heaven or earth, Jesus Christ. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving everyone, andrea

Conformity by andrea


Conformity – ugh


When I first saw the word conformity I think my stomach rolled over. Sometimes this happens when I see someone else vomit, other times it is when something within me just has so much feeling attached to past events, my mind refuses to process it and I feel physically ill. Conforming is easy, not conforming is usually difficult. Difficult is what my mother would have used for my middle name if I had one. After 11 children she had run out of middle names so I have none.

One of my first remembrances of breaking from family traditions was when I was about nine years old, my father explained to me why black Americans were rioting. It was the civil rights era and I was being raised in an almost all white upper middle class town, Pitman NJ. He gave a lengthy explanation but what I recall most was, non-white people weren’t as smart as white people. He explained that at work he was a supervisor and he would tell these people to do something and sure enough if he told them to turn the valve to the right. He would come back and find they had turned them all the wrong way. I remember thinking, why would that happen repeatedly? Since the few black kids I went to school with seemed to be the same as all the other kids. I knew a few who were the top of the class. It took about 10 seconds for me to realize, they were doing it to get back at him for being so mean. These workers had organized a quiet revolution. If you won’t treat me as a decent human being, you will get what you expect and deserve. I knew they were making his life at work as difficult as possible and it was probably bc they were more intelligent then he was since he obviously had not figured that out. An intelligent supervisor learns to do what it takes to get their workers to produce. The only thing is, I could never tell my father this because he was also that mean to his own family. My understanding is that racism is built on making groups of individuals “the others”. The need to differentiate people who we believe are unlike ourselves is rooted in a need to heal our own damaged selves. The anger and hate is pointing outward, simply because it is too painful to point it toward the real problem, our own hurt.  As Joyce Meyers says it, “hurting people hurt people”. Racism is rooted in the need to feel better about ourselves. People who need to feel better about themselves must make the choice of improving themselves or tearing apart others to make themselves feel better and racism is about “the other” guy.  When I look out over the whole church, organized religion, I see a hurting society. Hurting people all too often hurting people. My thought is the church is trying to heal itself, by making everyone else “the other”. We have an ‘ism’ for every doctrine, dogma or perspective and tens of thousands of denominations to prove it. Instead of racism dividing our churches, we have factions who conform within their own faith communities. Sometimes over race, sometimes over doctrines.

This month’s blog is not about the evils of racism it is about what lies within us as a church body. Can we as a body see one another as part of the same body? Or do we need to see the “other”. Can we take from our collective psyche and relearn the paths we should go or will we remain mired in traditions and conformity. Are we willing to be conformed to the mind of Christ or will we seek healing in “the other”.

I’m asking, did Jesus come down out of glory so that we could go to church on Sunday and try to be good people. Sitting in our own little group of like-minded church goers. If that is all there is, then we are the equivalent of the religious system that crucified Jesus 2000 years ago.

We look no further than our Sunday services to see that we aren’t doing anything differently than my father did with the “other”. When we attend a church because it reflects our own beliefs, we encourage one another in our own beliefs. Rarely stretching ourselves to be prodded and poked by the Holy Spirit, to be taught His ways are not our ways.


Have we questioned what is taught in our church? in our fellowship? in our own homes? Why do we sit under one or two pastors who tell us what the Bible says when the scriptures clearly tell us how the Lord will teach us. Jesus never said, I must go so your pastor can teach you about Me.

John 16:12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

What happened to Jeremiah’s prophecy?

Jer 31:31

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

    “when I will make a new covenant

with the people of Israel

    and with the people of Judah.


It will not be like the covenant

    I made with their ancestors

when I took them by the hand

    to lead them out of Egypt,

because they broke my covenant,

    though I was a husband to[a] them,[b]”

declares the Lord.


“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel

    after that time,” declares the Lord.

“I will put my law in their minds

    and write it on their hearts.

I will be their God,

    and they will be my people.


No longer will they teach their neighbor,

    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’

because they will all know me,

    from the least of them to the greatest,”

declares the Lord.

“For I will forgive their wickedness

    and will remember their sins no more.”

1 Jn 2:27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit–just as it has taught you, remain in him.

2 Cor 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

I have a dream of a church that gathers in His Name, to glorify Christ and not our own beliefs. Where we share our beliefs and accept education, exhortation and encouragement from one another. Where there is no one head, who tells us what to believe but where believers encourage one another to believe. If we encourage one another to follow Christ, then and only then will we want to truly learn of Him and be conformed into His image. The image of Christ is His bride. That desire is something that grows within us, it is not something we visit on Sunday. No one can spoon feed you Jesus. Although, there are many gifted teachers who can give you spiritual food to chew on and be fed.

Why do churches have to birth new churches because of division within the body. If we celebrate our differences and a group has serious differences within a church. Encourage that group to explore the possibilities and birth a new work of God, instead of having a split that tears and wounds the body. The whole point of the church is to spread and grow, not to become bigger than the church down the street. When churches become too large, they are unable to meet the personal demands of the individuals so go and be at peace with one another. There is no our church or your church, there is one invisible church that belongs to Jesus Christ, whom is the Head.

I personally have found Peg and Jim Gilbert to be my ‘idea’ of the church body. Moving through and with other churches, other denominations toward the same goal, conforming to Jesus. Glorifying Christ. What that looks like and how that is expressed in our own lives is different and it is also fluid. I am not the same Christian I was 20 years ago. I have grown. But I have seen many fall to the wayside, unable to come to terms with what they see as heresy, unkindness or just plain indifference within the organized church body.

I have learned more about being a good human being moving through the 12-step rooms addressing addiction and co-dependence issues than I have from the pulpit. I have learned more about being honest with myself on a secular psychologists couch than I had from any pastoral counseling. Yet, I learned to put that together in the past few years by fellowshipping with other believers in an open and honest prayer group. With women who told it like is was and expected the same. I thank God for Mary Datz, Laura Williams and Tina Siberio. What great friends and soul mates they have proven to be. What a wonderful church body we could have if we all had friends like these, there would be no ‘isms’ no ‘others’ because godly men and women would challenge us to be as Christ to the world.

Sharing my problems and imperfections has allowed me to witness Christ in my life far more than anything else. This is me, I have trouble, I have pain and yes, I believe the Jesus can make something good come from it… I know because I have experienced Him in my life.

When at church and everyone smiles and dresses well and they are hurting but there is no place to take it. They have serious issues in their faith but cannot share it. They have questions but they can not be addressed by one man standing at the door shaking hands. Many believers have children who have lost their faith, how do we address this and how do we encourage one another in our own faith even as the world seems to be falling apart?

I have been inspired by reading great men and women of God who write: N.T. Wright, Scott McNight, Dallas Willard and so many others. My hope would be to inspire others through this blog.

Yet the scriptures also tell me:

Isaiah 2:22 

Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils.Why hold them in esteem?

We need to be encouraged in our relationship with Christ and we need to encourage others to do the same. They don’t need them to believe exactly as we believe. There is so much room for differing beliefs but only one Lord of all. Room for differing personalities but only one Lord of all. We can not take the scriptures and reduce them to a bunch of one liners nor can we cherry pick our way through them but we must take the whole of the scriptures and see God’s hand… His way of salvation, His plan of redemption and His great love for His children. If we as parents know how to give good things to our children, how much more has the Lord God have for us who believe?

And then I must add all of 2 Timothy 2 because sound doctrine is important but without God’s love it is just another religion, another writing…

2 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;

12 if we endure,we will also reign with him.If we disown him, he will also disown us;

13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. 21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

May the Lord richly bless you as you walk toward our mark… Jesus Christ. God bless, andrea

Relentless by Andrea

 I am struggling with trying to get my heart on paper after the events of the past month with the horrific beheadings of innocent American journalists, the cruelest persecutions of Christians, non-muslims and Yizidis in Iraq and around the world. I am tormented over families slaughtered, children’s heads hung on posts in playgrounds, one little boy named Andrew was literally cut in two. Women raped and enslaved by the thousands. Nearly a million people have been displaced and are running for their lives. The most appalling things are being done in the name of a god we do not recognize. Once again, I am forced to ask myself what would I do if I were given the choice of pay, die or convert. Many having no means to pay, they died rather than renounce Jesus Christ. Then I must ask myself, how do I respond in my own heart to these terrorists? What would I do?

     In the midst of righteous anger, I hear my Lord on the cross and He says, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”…. in this one statement, Christ demonstrates what our response to ISIS (Islamic State) should be, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”.

     So what should be the response of Christians to radical muslims who behead children, rape women and enslave people… Jesus set the standard. We who know the love and mercy of God must grasp what that love looks like when confronted by the most grotesque men, who hate us and our Lord. These are the same people nailing Jesus to the cross.

     When everything in me says, please bomb those monsters off the face of the planet, I find myself thinking how much they are like Saul. Righteously rounding up the heretics, stoning them to death, imprisonment or death. Convert or die! And I pray, Lord raise up a Saul in the midst of this horror…. raise up someone who knows blood lust and finds God’s mercy. Who will then, with all the zeal of these radical muslims, confront them with their atrocities and offer them Jesus…. this is the absolute relentlessness of God. Our Lord gave everything to save a broken world, to redeem a humanity lost and on a path to eternal destruction. Jesus raised a standard so high, we can only reach it with the power of God within, Christ said,”Father forgive them, they know not what they do”.

     Yes, God is that relentless in His pursuit of a lost and fallen world.  He loves us so much that before the foundations of the world were laid out, He had decided He would come in the form of a man, suffer and die for those who would choose to live out eternity within Him.

     When everything in me wants to see these monsters blown off the face of the earth, I think of a world with a long history of atrocities that pales in comparison to today. Yet, our Lord found  a way to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Even as they tortured and murdered believers who would bring them the good news, Christ loved them, died for them and wanted to share His life and death with them. He still says, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”.

     This year, in this country nearly a million babies will die in their mothers womb. Across the globe over a billion have died before their first breath. It will be sanctioned by the government and little is said about it… the greatest atrocities are often the ones that we ignore. No natural disaster, plague or man-made horror even comes close to our sins. I bring these two issues together to say we all have sin, some we consider worse than others. Is there any doubt that the Lord forgives the sin of abortion? No. I can have no doubt that He is ready and willing to forgive these barbaric religious extremists.

     ISIS refuses to be ignored and our nation may need to fight them and many may die. I only ask Christians to pray, not that they get what they deserve but that they seek mercy and receive salvation through Jesus Christ. That same grace He gave to us, I pray he finds a way to give to them. The absolute relentlessness of our Lord’s love demands that we pray for our enemies and believe for their redemption.

May God be merciful, andrea


Forward by Peggy:

There is only one post this month.  Andi has documented a slice of her life that is incredibly profound, and needs to be here on it’s own.  It is a privilege to post this, and I hope you are blessed by it.


Friendship  by Andrea

 The meaning of friendship shifts as we grow and mature. Every time I have sat down to write this blog I have cried. I know when this is happening the Lord is working on something more for me than anything I have to offer my friends.
     When I was very young, in grade school I had a few friends. As one of thirteen kids, we were born onto our own team. Our home was often distressed and chaotic. Although there were sisters I felt close to, I more often never wanted to be home.
     Then a friendly young girl moved across the street and for a few years this new classmate and I were absolutely inseparable. I had finally found someone who just wanted to spend time with me. I knew everyday where she would be because we’d be together. The best of friends, hanging out, sharing everything. Gratefully knowing someone who enjoyed my company. Companions, confidants and cohorts, we were as close as any two sisters could be. So when the phone call came that she was missing and I didn’t know where she was, I knew something tragic must have happened. Sadly, she had been raped, strangled and left on the side of the road on a beautiful day in March 1970. I was 15, totally unprepared for death and I now I was certain, there was no God. If there was a God, He had taken the wrong half of the friendship, it would have made so much more sense to have killed me.
     I reasoned that if there were a God, how could He be so stupid? How could He allow the beautiful half of us to die a horrible death and have left the angry ugly half to not only live but to live alone? Kathleen was everything I was not, she was gentle and beautiful. She was going to become a model. She was not impressed by popularity, wealth, good looks or peer pressure. We would walk through downtown Pitman and she would wave to the store owners and they all knew her by name. How could a God have taken her and left me? It was not fair, therefore there could not be a God. I had no choice but to live. I never returned to school. I got a minimum wage job and worked as many hours as offered. Working as hard as possible, leaving little energy to think. I had moved in with Kathleen’s family to help her mother (Floss) deal with her grief, we worked at the same place and for a few years all we did was work and grieve.
     Only Jesus brings life from death. In my anger toward God, there was a conversation being started, I was angry, He was not silent. I often heard words of comfort and knew there was someone out there. I was both unwilling and unknowing. I would not seek Him.
     When we had our daughter, Danielle, the real fear set in. What if this person I loved as much or more than Kathleen was taken from me. I would look into the face of this infant and know; there is a God. My husband and I could not have produced this angelic being without divine help. I also knew she was only here as long as this God allowed me to have her and I was grateful for that time. Whatever picture of love I held, was completely shattered by the entrance of this incredible little person into our lives. My plan was that if I ever had the phone call or found out she was gone, I would not stay around for the grief. I would as quickly as possible use one bullet. The only way for me to live, with both the unimaginable love and the crushing fear of loss, was to have an exit plan, I would never grieve like that again. In a strange way this plan gave me peace.
     Years later, I know my thinking about the circumstances of Kathleen’s murder were not God’s doing. It is His hand of grace that allows this desperate world to continue. Even as we may see evil all around. He is rescuing His creation and restoring the beauty of life. It is also true that He sees ALL things together for our good. That conversation that started with Kathleen’s death, eventually, became the conversation that made me ask the Lord to come into my heart. If He were real, I truly did want to know Him. With that one prayer, my life was never the same. Every challenge, now becomes an opportunity to see just how the Lord might transform our lives. Today, I try to see His glory and His healing even before I see the outcome. I know it will bring life, eternal life.
     Having grieved the loss of friends through death, change and choosing to break away when I felt a friendship unhealthy. I see friends like the chapters of a book, they are in your life’s story. It won’t matter how unhappy the ending, they are there. Friendships are meant to end or change. People marry, move, their lives fill with other relationships. Children become our greatest challenges to friendships but they add a new dimension to our lives we would not want to miss.
     If I could go back and reteach my daughter one thing it would be, choose friends wisely. They are times you don’t get back, your sorrows and joys. You will have those memories for the rest of your life. Choose love, choose well. I talked to her often about what to look for in a man but not in friends. Although, the most important feature in finding a husband is to find a friend. A friend who will stick closer to you than a brother.
      That is how I have often heard the Holy Spirit described, a friend that will stick closer to you than a brother. We should always look to Him as our friend. Not our task master, not just our teacher or provider but our friend. We are made in the image of a relational God. Our God is love. For someone to love there is an object of their affection, thus the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Our need for love is within us, the ability to love is within us. Friends and family are often God’s hand in our lives. A reflection of His holiness, a reflection of His grace.
     May you come to know His love, His strength and mercy, in such a way that you would want to spend time with Him. As you would your best friend. God bless, andrea
Jn 4:16 And we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love live in God, and God in them.

Listen by Andrea

     If you love someone you listen to them. Not just to their words but to the look on their face, the inflection of their voice, hand gestures and body language. If you care for someone they don’t have to ask you to listen. Your desire is to be attentive. If you love someone and respect them, then you want to consider what they tell you. In time, you know the meaning of a glance, a sudden hand raised, an eyebrow or the tone in their voice. How many of us have seen our loved ones  far away and known by the way they were standing, who it was or heard a voice in a crowd and recognized a friend we were delighted to embrace. That is the way it is with our Lord. We become sensitive to His voice, His gestures, His word. Like someone whose lover has gone off to war we have read and re-read His letters. Until we can almost quote them word for word. We often feel as if we know what He’d say or do and it may be very presumptuous of us to think we know the mind of God, yet in our zeal to be close to Him, we may be very guilty of just that… presumption.

      The part about presumption is why I struggle with ‘actively’ listening to God. I feel like I may get in His way. I think I may be presuming what I want to hear. What I do know is: when we know the Lord loves us, we also recognize He is listening to us. If He loves us, His desire is to have an intimate and loving relationship with His children.

       When I first received the word to blog was ‘listen’. I went to bed that night praying about what it means to listen to God. I thought of all the ways the Lord speaks to us. He speaks through His written word. Through His prophetic voice, or those believers with a prophetic gift. He writes His word on our hearts – I have spent years considering what that means. There was one time the Lord spoke audibly to me but please don’t tell my doctor, they get very upset about this kind of thing, no kidding. That night I woke up and I heard, “love is the beauty of the Lord articulated”. Wow. Envision our triune God. We are made in His image, in order for there to be love, there must be an object of affection. That same attribute existing within the trinity, exists within each one of us. Understand then, how we love our families, friends, neighbors, even our country, how that reflects the heart of the Lord. We often take it for granted but in societies where there is little love or charity and no Jesus. Life for most is hell on earth. Yes, He who spoke the universe into existence still speaks today. How many are listening, how many will turn their heads or incline their ear to hear what the Lord has to say on a matter. We Christians may often disagree or even presume but life and the world are better for those, even the unbelievers, when we the people incline our ear to hear from our Lord. 

       To listen to the Lord is to obey, to obey His word we must know Him. We must worship Him. To worship the Lord we need a revelation of who He is. I know God is light, in Him there is no darkness. He is truth, it is impossible for God to lie and He is love. The love of God is not fickle as humans are, but steadfast. God is holy, set apart, perfect, omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent and He is worthy. There are not enough words or enough of me to express what I feel and know within me about our Lord and Savior. Every time I go to write about Him, I feel like it is a feeble attempt to encompass perfection, an impossible feat for someone so imperfect. I pray the Lord give you a revelation of Himself.

      I have to admit this upsets many people but I am not a biblical inerrantist. I figure that over the thousands of years that the scriptures have been written, there was more left out then in. How much did the Lord say to Paul while he waited and learned from Him in Arabia? How much happened between the time each book was being written? Wow, think about it. I am a thinker but mostly when it comes to the Lord, I am a listener. I keep an ear out for what the Lord has to say on everything from where I live, work, play, travel or even eat. Sometimes, it wasn’t God speaking, sometimes it was just my want I heard. After many years, I’ve learned the Lord is patient with me and He likes me happy. Face it, everyone around me likes it a lot better when I’m happy, LOL.

      It doesn’t bother me if my interpretation of scripture is unsettled, as long as my heart is right before God. In the final analysis He is not taking notes from me, He will do it His way and I will graciously submit. It doesn’t matter if Calvin was correct about what scripture says or Arminius. It doesn’t matter to me if pre-tribulation is correct or post-tribulation. Christ comes when He will and not when we say. In my opinion, most theological arguments are about who is right and not about Him as Lord. It’s about who will listen to me and not about who is listening to Christ. I heard early on in my journey with the Lord, “why do you care how men dress Me and not what it is that I desire?”. It changed my walk completely and I have been blessed mightily because of that one sentence. Actually, I should always know when it is the Lord or me because I am one of many words with little power and the Lord is one of few words with much power.

       The last time the Lord spoke, I was in a prayer meeting and asking the Lord to touch us with His presence, just a crumb Lord just a little bit of Your presence sustains us… and He said, ”the Bridegroom doesn’t give His bride crumbs”. I know the next time I feel His presence there is change coming with it… a powerful change.

God bless, andrea

Grace by Andrea

Grace…. 31 years ago I truly fell into grace. I didn’t know I was looking for it but the Lord knew. As I was falling apart, I fell into the grace of God. Since that time, my knowledge of grace has expanded along with my understanding of the Lord, His cross and His ways.

Grace is no longer just about my salvation or about the gifts the Lord has bestowed on His followers. I see the grace of God as flowing over the earth with the glory of the Lord becoming the hope and healing of the nations.

I think most believers have seen what the gospel of Christ can do in the lives of individuals, and what it has done for the nations is just as miraculous.

The Word of God spoke the universe into existence and His word speaks to us today. He is our healer and the hope of all mankind. The scriptures read, the time will come when…They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Is 7:9

Heb11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

Psalm 33:6  By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

Today astronomers know the universe is still expanding. Billions of planets, with not a sign of life on any of them. Except for this one little planet, Earth. Although, many peer through extraordinary telescopes expectantly looking for new alien life some place out there. It is in fact, as one secular scientist said – “its as if we climbed up the highest of mountains and finally peered over the top, only to find a bunch of theologians had been there for thousands of years.” The voice of God…. how do we comprehend something so vast, so omnipotent, so self-perpetuating? It is no wonder that Jesus was presented to us through the heavens. His majesty the King of Kings could only be announced through a star, the star of Bethlehem. Jesus Christ, son of God, the hope of nations born in us.

I see the grace of God throughout history, wherever the gospel has been welcomed… the change is significant… hospitals and orphanages built, schools created, governments become more compassionate, legal systems responding to people, charities introduced. Likewise, wherever the gospel has been purged we see the opposite effect. Once thriving nations becoming all but dust. As history has shown us in the Middle East, once a center of innovation and triumph, all but dust today. We have witnessed the debacle that was the USSR. The very evil that would fight against the Lord destroys all that is around it. Because without God, there is no reason to take the individual into account; no purpose for our compassion. It would always be the ‘whole’ or state that matters.

The Lord has never forced us to believe, never forced us to follow. What kind of Being wants a friend who has been forced to love Him. Jesus calls us friend. If we are only friends through obligation, what kind of friend would we be?

I see the grace of God flowing through me, through my family, friends, neighbors, co-workers. It is the power of God to redeem, it is His love for us. And so it flows across nations, pulling down strong holds and releasing healing, the healing over the entire earth.

When, Jesus on the cross said, ‘Father forgive them’ He was and is saying forgive Andrea, forgive Tom, forgive Danielle, let my grace wash over them, heal them. Let it heal their family, their neighborhoods, their enemies. Father forgive them all.

Grace did not begin on Calvary, it began in the mind of God before the foundation of the world. It was in the garden, when God chose to form a man and woman in His image. The image of a relational loving God, who would one day have a people He would call “friend”. A people that would choose Him, choose love, choose righteousness and healing, from Him and through Him. Those people would bring His grace and healing to the nations, one friend at a time, one hospital at a time, one act of forgiveness at a time.  Like that star, His grace would shine into the darkness and be the light of the world. So the world through His love and grace would be healed, regenerated and restored.

Rom 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.


I’ve added Psalm 65, it speaks of God’s grace and the redemption of the earth. As we praise our Lord and Savior hold fast, He is the hope of all the nations.

Psalm 65

1 Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;

    to you our vows will be fulfilled.

2 You who answer prayer,

    to you all people will come.

3 When we were overwhelmed by sins,

    you forgave our transgressions.

4 Blessed are those you choose

    and bring near to live in your courts!

We are filled with the good things of your house,

    of your holy temple.

5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,

    God our Savior,

the hope of all the ends of the earth

    and of the farthest seas,

6 who formed the mountains by your power,

    having armed yourself with strength,

7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,

    the roaring of their waves,

    and the turmoil of the nations.

8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

    where morning dawns, where evening fades,

    you call forth songs of joy.

9 You care for the land and water it;

    you enrich it abundantly.

The streams of God are filled with water

    to provide the people with grain,

    for so you have ordained it.

10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;

    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.

11 You crown the year with your bounty,

    and your carts overflow with abundance.

12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;

    the hills are clothed with gladness.

13 The meadows are covered with flocks

    and the valleys are mantled with grain;

    they shout for joy and sing.

Destiny by Andrea

When Peg suggested “destiny” as our topic I wasn’t sure I’d have anything to share.  Our lives here in NJ, on the farm, are extraordinarily blessed for reasons I cannot comprehend. Then something happened this week that made me realize why destiny is troubling for me. My birthday just passed and my daughter had given me an iPod. I’ve had mp3 players and could never quite figure out how to download anything and thus I was surprised when Danielle told me that is what I had asked for hmmm.  So after a few days and a few outbursts and threats of throwing this thing away and exclaiming, “what kind of company makes things that are so difficult to work?”… ugh. It wouldn’t be so hard getting old if the stuff around me didn’t keep getting newer.  This thing is three inches long and an inch wide with these little tiny ear buds that blast a beautiful sound. Amazing.

     So I’m listening to this song.  Bryn Waddell’s, ‘Nothing but the blood’ and I am melting… my soul is crying out for a touch… only by the blood of Jesus and I am immersed in thoughts of Jesus, the cross, His blood that stands in my defense, His grace, and I am utterly undone.  Weeping and although I am sitting in my chair in front of my computer, I am spiritually prone before my Lord.  When my unsuspecting husband lays his hand on my shoulder and I scream. I mean I scream!!  I have this high startle response. My family is aware that it is never good to come around the corner or to scare me, it’s not funny when someone screams in genuine terror, even if it is a momentary thing. This is what my life in Christ is like… I am totally immersed in His grace, love, presence and then I look around at all the lost people, the hurting, the sick and the world crashes in on me and I am momentarily in terror until I get my bearings and then I adjust and once again I fix my eyes on Jesus and am reminded that the Lord is still on His throne and He is still Lord and King, over this broken and often terrifying world. 

     I am already living my destiny. I say this with tremendous enthusiasm and intensity.  I have been found and I am walking in the presence of Christ.  I am aware that most people think this is utterly insane. This Christian life is insane. There is nothing ‘sane’ about the Lord of glory coming to earth and even less sane about His presence in my life, but there He is and I know I am not alone. There are millions and millions of people who belong to this life in Christ… destined to spend eternity with Him and our eternity has begun. I think many people assume eternity begins when they die but that is not what I have found and it is not what I understand from the scriptures. The kingdom of God is all around us, we just need to step into it. Although in this life I am but a shadow of what I will be I know that I sit in heavenly places, that angels pray and sing and stand guard over me.

     I’m writing this so that people who don’t understand can get a glimpse and those that do understand can find the words…. When everyday can be a joy and a wonder because Christ has risen and we are destined to live and reign with Him. Hallelujah!!

    I am on a journey, it began in this corruptible body but will end in an incorruptible body when Christ returns to rule and reign over His new creation. As we eagerly wait, do not forget the journey has begun, I am living my destiny in Christ. 

    God Bless, may you know the joy of living in Christ our Savior, andrea

Frazzled by: Andrea


I personally believe that in a Christian’s life, there should be authenticity. It is far more important to be honest with ourselves, God and those around us, than it is to make a good impression. In fact, if we make a good impression while the truth would be otherwise; it may be personally damaging and spiritually corrosive. Eventually, what happens is the facade becomes more important than the truth. The consequences accumulate their damage, until the day when we either fall under the weight of our own myth or we answer to the Lord for our lack of faith.
I often share my personal life, not due to being self-absorbed. It is simply I have learned there may be a more suitable way to grow in faith than to overlook my shortcomings. In sharing, there is the hope of others avoiding the snare of insincerity. If I avoid authenticity because of pride, it undermines the very reason for doing this blog and taking the time to confide how I’ve learned to minister the grace of God in my own life.
I am reminded of the biblical story of Mary sitting at the feet of the Lord, hanging on his every word as opposed to Martha, who was trying to feed them, comfort them and care for them as was expected of a good hostess.
(MSG) Luke 10:38-42:
As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.” The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and it won’t be taken from her.”
Unfortunately for myself and those around me, I have always identified with Martha. Life tends to overwhelm me and when that happens it becomes about me. Clearly, Martha was doing what needed to be done and she had an expectation of her sister helping her. Think what would have happened if Martha had not focused on the kitchen and had been so in love with Jesus that she and Mary would have been at His feet. We may have had another loaves and fishes story in the bible? We will never know because Martha was probably frazzled! I am a ‘Martha’. For example the day I got the word for our blog I was getting ready for a prayer meeting, snapping at my husband because he was in the way and had the audacity to expect dinner…LOL.
It might sound harmless but in actuality being hurried, anxious and angry has done more damage to my marriage then any other personal failing. There is nothing Christ-like or spiritual about being ‘frazzled’. In fact, if I could find a one word antithesis for Galatians 5:22-24 it would be ‘frazzled’.
Gal 5:22 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

Fortunately, this subject brought up a few heart warming conversations with my husband about how sorry I am for my temperament and how much I appreciate the fact that he does not respond ‘in kind’ but remains gentle, patient and steadfast. Sometimes he too experiences being ’frazzled’ but for the both of us, it fizzles out quickly. God is good and as long as I bring my shortcomings before Him, He is faithful to forgive me. Thankfully, my husband does too. I am a blessed woman even while imperfect and all too often ‘frazzled’.

So today as I lay out my shortcomings before you and my Lord, I have an expectation of healing and growth. Many years of walking in faith has demonstrated to me the shortest route to healing is through the path of truth…

God Bless, andrea

Sojourn by Andrea

Sojourning through life

As I watch my husband grow older, I realize that I too am growing old.  I see my own daughter beginning to enter middle age. It is then that I realize that this life is but a temporary stop on the way to eternity.  We are all sojourning here on earth while we go about the business of life, raising families, working, enjoying friends and relatives. Yet, we are only visitors in this life, wherever we chose to dwell. What is on the other side of this life? For me it is a simple answer. The Lord knows and I trust the Lord.

I have often said that we cannot comprehend infinity bc humans are finite beings. There is nothing in my existence, that I have to compare, that allows me to fathom eternity. So I cannot comprehend a Being with no beginning and no end. As a teenager I often tried to grasp infinity. I would try to imagine this solar system and then what was past that and on and on.  I began to understand that I was not made to understand the things that only God knows. I must learn to be content to fill the time and space I have with things of value. Or with things of no value but those are my choices, there are no others.

People often complain about what they have not accomplished in this life. I ask them about their friends and family. Do they know the Lord? Our lives have value when we are the healers not the hurters. Too often, hurting people hurt other people. How do I fill my life in such a way as to do no harm and to be a healer?  I have my own scars, I do not wish to leave any on others.

Recently, I listened to a pastor give a sermon on tabernacling with God. It helped me form the understanding of my sojourn here on earth. Often I feel like an alien on someone else’s planet. My daughter spoke it so succinctly when she described, “it often feels like being a bride in the middle of a battlefield…” I understood exactly how she felt. Here we are waiting for the bridegroom while the wounded and suffering are all around.  Yet we must ready ourselves for the bridegroom as we sojourn in a land that does not want us, struggling to share the good news of life eternal and life more abundant here on earth. I find it frustrating that it seems as if the people I care the most about don’t understand the love, grace and majesty of living a life full of Christ’s presence. I enjoy many things that my secular friends do but nothing compares to the joy of seeing someone come to know Christ or be healed from a disease or comforted in trials. Nothing compares to having the Lord speak to you and touch your life. But if the Lord never did a miracle or never spoke to me He’d still be God. My understanding of Him does not change Him. He is not fickle and our salvation is not something we need to fret about even though it is the most priceless thing we possess. It is in safe keeping within our Lord’s great Book of Life.

Resting in the assurance of our faith is part of what it means to tabernacle with God, to follow the words of Christ and not the sermons of our pastor or denomination.  To have His name so deeply embedded upon our hearts that we don’t recognize ourselves anymore but only see Him and the only scar we care about is the one that marks where our heart was circumcised when we dedicated ourselves to Him.

We are all on a journey, we know not what path the Lord lays before us but we know it is the only one for us. There is no other that I would desire to follow, no deeper calling than the One that comes from above. Nothing more important to do than to share His love with another.

I smile as I look at my hands, no amount of cream will remove those wrinkles and knowing one day they will blow away like dust. From dust we came to dust we will go… and yet I am at peace with knowing that my journey was not in vain….