Exposed by Ronda

There are many thoughts that come to mind when you read or hear the word “exposed”. There are quite a few directions that one could go in discussing the word, both positive and negative in connotation. However, I am going to go with my first impression from the Spirit when we received the topic for this month. Hopefully, you will get a picture of what the Spirit is saying through what I am going to share.

The Road to Emmaus- Luke 24:13-32

This testimony of scripture is one the most peculiar accounts of the manifested resurrected Christ. The day of Christ’s resurrection, he appeared in visible form to several of his disciples. Most believers are familiar with the accounts: Mary Magdalene, Peter and John and the two disciples traveling the road to Emmaus.

Cleopas and an unnamed disciple are traveling to Emmaus, stunned by the recent events of Jesus’ death and missing body. (They were not absolutely convinced Jesus had resurrected). This account is so peculiar because the two disciples did not recognize Jesus as he talked and walked with them. The disciples could not believe that Jesus was unaware of what had taken place in Jerusalem. However, when Jesus began to explain to them why the events of the past few days were prophetic in nature and necessary- they still did not recognize him! He spoke to them about the Messianic prophecies that had to be fulfilled. He expounded the scriptures to them in a way that amazed them. Yet they did not recognize him.

This is very interesting. What was it about Jesus’ appearance made them fail to recognize who he was? Remember these were disciples.

The disciples did not recognize who he was until he sat with them and broke bread, saying the blessing over the bread! Once they realized it was him, he disappeared as quickly as he had appeared to them on the road. Why is this account in the good book? There are NO coincidences in scripture. EVERY WORD, JOT AND TITTLE has meaning and purpose. What might the Spirit be revealing through this resurrection sighting of Jesus? What might it have to do with the word “exposed”?

This post is a rumination of the scripture account. I am not sure why the account is included in scripture but as I ponder the account there are certain aspects of the story that seem interesting.

Is there a possibility that a disciple of Christ might not recognize him or let’s say his action in the earth? Scary thought but it is right there in scripture. They did not recognize Jesus. He had manifested in a way that was not readily discernible.

We are living in a time when discernment is a necessity. Even with this precious gift and the indwelling of the Spirit, there is still a real chance of imperfect perception or inaccurate

discernment. The two disciples did not readily recognize Jesus, but after he disappeared one said to the other…did not our hearts burn within us as he expounded the scriptures. Selah.

As the resurrected Christ spoke to believers who were without the indwelling of the Spirit, their hearts burned within them as thy heard his words. I kept pondering this, rolling it over in my spirit and wondering what about this biblical account speaks to being “exposed”.

Being exposed can be either a positive or a negative and it is seen both ways in this account. Jesus is exposed in a positive way and the disciples are exposed in a negative way. Jesus shows us that he has the power of the Spirit to conceal and to reveal. The disciples show us how easy it is for us to not perceive and have our ignorance exposed. The disciples remind us of how important it is for our perception to be based on the witness of the Spirit within. The burning on the inside of our spirit is there for a reason. As we see him as he truly is, the Spirit will bear witness with our spirit. And what if that witness is not there? Then proceed with caution because there is the chance of being exposed.

Everything that is hidden will be revealed.

Silence by Ronda

My first lesson about the value of silence came as a young mother of young children.  During those years, I was like most young mothers, searching for a moment to hear my own thoughts.  It seemed like back then those moments were hard to come by and I had to actually learn how to carve them out of the day for my own sanity and the safety of the entire family.  LOL.  I am just kidding. I hope you understand what I am saying.  Honestly though, I did learn that I had to set aside the time I needed because I was the adult, the mom.  So I learned, slowly.  I am happy to say that eventually I taught my children to do so as well. During the day we would have a time when we turned everything off. No tv…no video games…no talking. Coloring or reading books were the best options, but it was QUIET time.  Those moments were important and yet I don’t think I really had the full revelation as to why.  Back then it was an important discipline because of natural reasons…but I have learned that there is a spiritual aspect to silence that may be even more important.

A huge part of my learning included reading books about silence and solitude.  At that time in my life it was like a cold glass of water to my thirsty soul.  In silence, I discovered the things that most occupied my mind.  It was chaotic and that is putting it mildly. As a stay at home mom, I was always thinking of the next thing that I had to do.   This pattern of thinking made it difficult for me to experience the peace and grace that I knew was available for me in Christ.  However, the more I carved out time for silence and solitude, the more I was able to enter into a place of His peace and presence.  After much practice, it became part of my praying.  I wouldn’t simply spend time not speaking but being “fully present “ and silent in prayer-no words-no thoughts-just listening.  Listening is the spiritual aspect of silence as prayer.

I learned to listen and hear God more when I started spending time in silence.  Yes, I had to be diligent to take thoughts captive and keep my focused attention on Him.  Interestingly, hearing wasn’t the only fruit of silence.  His Presence was the most precious fruit. This presence isn’t the presence that comes from congregational worship.  This presence is a deep abiding knowing of His nearness, an awareness and consciousness.  It is discovering that He is always VERY near.  The secret place is always available because Jesus is the Door that makes His throne room available and His throne is right in my midst…in the center of my being.

So when I come to the Father through Jesus and am just silent, He is the main event. It’s not always about my needs or requests or intercession.  In silence, He is the One I have come for and He knows that I have come to just be with Him. No agenda. No pressing in. No work. I am just turning my love and attention toward Him.  I don’t even come for His manifested presence because I know He is there by faith.  I am abiding from within and becoming His habitation. When His manifested presence does come I am physically embraced by His love.

In some Christian circles it is called centering prayer or silent prayer.  More recently, it has also become known as soaking or prophetic soaking if music or scriptural decrees are used.  Regardless of the terminology or methodology, my experience has been that silence is more than golden.  It is a spiritual discipline that has helped me discover deeper intimacy with the Father.  It is now an essential part of my prayer life and I have grown in my stillness.  I don’t struggle to quiet my mind as much and I can enter in even if there is noise all around. Many of my most profound experiences with the Father have come through this simple discipline.

 

Here are a few scripture references about waiting silently before the LORD.

Psalm 23:1-3

Psalm 4:4

Matthew 11:28-30

Hebrews 4:9-11

Psalm 46:10

Isaiah 40:29-31

Psalm 27:14

Isaiah55:1-3

Luke 10:39

 

Here are a few books that helped me along my journey into silence.

  • Experiencing God Through Prayer by Madame Guyon
  • Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Breathe: Finding Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent
  • Listen: Finding God in the Story of Your Life by Keri Wyatt Kent
  • Rest: Living In Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent (I haven’t read this one but believe that God intends for us to enjoy Sabbath rest and I do enjoy most of this authors books).

 

We all have an invitation to come to Him in this most simple way as His child all because of Jesus.  Thank you Jesus.  Enter in.

Revelation by Ronda

The day before Peg gave us our topic, I was in Dollar Tree shopping for a few items, when I came noticed a small cross knick-knack. Well this particular one caught my eye because it had a scripture reference on it that wasn’t typical.  It wasn’t about love or faith or grace-it was about “things revealed”.  It was only a dollar so I brought it, not knowing that the Spirit was at work. I was simply shopping at the Dollar Tree.   Now, I have this cute lil cross with the words of Mark 4:22 sitting on my desk.  Needless to say, after I read the email from Peg, I knew that this wasn’t just about my quest for dollar deals.  It was the Spirit bringing something to my attention for a purpose and Peg had confirmed it!  So since then I have been meditating on this portion of scripture and the word “revelation”.

The scripture reads:

Mark 4:22 “For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light.”

And Matthew writes it this way:

Matt 10:26,27 “Therefore do not fear them.  For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Whatever I tell you in the dark speak in the light and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.”

From these scriptures we understand that hidden things are to be revealed.  By definition, a revelation is an unveiling of something.  So hidden things, things behind veils are to be disclosed, they are not to stay hidden.  Secret things are to be made known. So in the Kingdom of God one principle at work is revelation- an unveiling.  There is revelation, not revelations, because unveiled events in the Kingdom are connected to the supreme purpose and manifold wisdom of God.  So it is the Father’s revelation being unveiled first through His Torah and now through the Living Word, Christ Jesus.

In Hebrews 1:1-2 the Word says, “God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets has in these days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came and preached the Kingdom. He taught about what the Kingdom was like. He demonstrated the power of the Kingdom.  Many times He said the Kingdom of God is at hand.  He revealed to the disciples everything he was instructed to by the Spirit. In the Message Bible, Mark 4: 22-23 reads this way:

“We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open.  Are you listening to this? Really listening?

While He was here, Jesus commissioned his disciples to Kingdom service. He sent them out, twelve and then seventy, to preach and manifest the gospel of the Kingdom of God through healing the sick and casting out devils.  This mandate continues.

The Kingdom of God is a revelation being unveiled on a daily basis through Christ’s disciples. It continues to be preached and manifested through us as believers.  It is the manifold wisdom and mysteries of God that are being unveiled in the process.  Believers used to be more focused on escaping the corruption of the world, but now more of us are calling heaven to earth.  Jesus decreed in his prayer lesson that God’s Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  This is an example of revelation-an unveiling, a disclosure of what has been hidden.  It is like the curtain being pulled back so that the main event can be seen.

In the book of Revelation, there is a another clue in verse one.

Rev. 1:1 “The Revelation of Jesus Christ which GOD gave Him to show His servants.”

The “unveiling or disclosure” was given to Jesus so that it could be revealed to His servants. At that time, Jesus was sharing the revelation with John.  It is the revelation that God unveiled to Jesus.  The Son of God came to the earth and preached that the Kingdom of God is at hand. He started the unveiling and his disciples continue it.  The Kingdom is manifested in the earth through the power of the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ. So the unveiling continues because nothing is hidden except to be revealed. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit aren’t keeping any secrets.  We can all get in on it.  We can all do our part of unveiling the Kingdom.

So every act of obedience and every act of faith is part of the unveiling-the revelation of the Father’s Kingdom manifested in the earth.  Heaven touches earth through Christ’s Spirit-filled Body.  So the mission is the unveiling of the eternal Kingdom whose maker is God.  Our goal is not mere existence until we die or get raptured. We are here to preach the Kingdom, to reveal its existence and to share in the revelation. The wisdom of God is beyond our finite understanding and we only see through a glass dimly. However, we have the Spirit of Truth at work in and with us.  In first Corinthians chapter 2 we learn something about this wisdom.

I Corinthians 2:10

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God.”

I Corinthians 2:10-13 in the Message Bible:

“The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God-except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but He lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person to person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.”

We are part of the greatest story ever told.  We are citizens of an unshakeable eternal Kingdom that is being unveiled to us and through us.  This is all part of our Father’s master plan.  Beloved, be encouraged because the revelation, the unveiling continues and we each have a starring role!

From Virtue to Valor by Ronda

From Virtue to Valor

This month’s blog is author’s choice, so I decided to share about what I have been contemplating after reading an excellent blog article about the biblical role of women. While reading the article, I was intrigued by the fact that the word “virtuous” in Pro. 31:10 is not a full and accurate expression of the meaning in the text. According to my dictionary.com app virtuous is defined as: moral excellence, goodness, righteousness and conformity of one’s life and conduct and ethical principles and lastly manly excellence. When I started on this blog journey, I thought that the “virtuous” woman was a woman who discovers herself in the light of the Word of God. I think that is still true, however, with new light comes a new perspective.

The Hebrew word in the Proverbs 31:10 translated as “virtuous” in our bibles is Strong’s H2428 chayil. The word chayil is defined by Strong’s as strength, might, efficiency, wealth and army. In the Hebrew Masoretic Text, Proverbs 31: 10 is Eishet chayil mi yimtza? A woman of valor who can find her? So there we have it. Our KJV virtuous woman is a Hebrew woman of valor. In the original text the word is more closely translated as valor. According to dictionary.com valor is defined as boldness or determination in facing great danger, especially in battle, heroic courage and bravery.

So which is it, virtue or valor? More importantly, how does this contrast in translation affect our spiritual perspective as Christian women? In my brief time studying scripture from the original Hebrew text, I have found a picture of women that are more highly esteemed, especially in regards to their spiritual insight and leadership. I believe more and more Christian women are discovering a new, true identity in scripture that is not defined by the “traditions of men” that make the power of God of no effect. (Mark 7:13) I think this identity is more closely associated with being a woman of valor as opposed to a woman of virtue. It is definitely a work of God’s Spirit in us and upon us to empower us to fulfill His plan for our lives.

Virtue is no cakewalk. Honestly, except for the cleansing blood of Jesus, I don’t even make the top three definitions for virtue. And frankly, I am not that clear on what “manly excellence” is. That being said, the definition of woman of valor is personally more appealing. As a Christian woman, I want to be bold and determined. I want to walk in the character of Christ, that is His virtue not my own. I choose to be identified as a woman of valor, as opposed some poorly translated version of human virtue or manly excellence.

How does the saying go? When you know better, you do better. Since, I now have insight into the more accurate translation of the text, I want to encourage us all to embrace our God-given identity. We can all choose to see ourselves in the light of the Word as it is accurately translated. We can move from virtue to valor. We are women of valor because that is who Our Creator destined us to be. Many of us may not yet identify with that woman, but if we give the LORD enough “time”, He helps us to discover her. We are women who are strong and determined. We are women who are discovering our gifts and using them to glorify our Father. We are women who are partakers of the divine nature of Christ: His character at work in us by the Spirit. We are wives, mothers, sisters and daughters. We are servants and leaders. We are pastors and teachers; prophets and apostles.

We are women of the Kingdom who are part of the army of God.

Finally, as the author of that excellent article so aptly put it …as “eishet chayil”…we are a “force”. Those Hebrew words are Holy Spirit inspired words. It is what it is. Time for us to own it! As we move into 2016, as God ordained women, I pray that we each take our place in His Kingdom. Be encouraged Pro 31 women you are women of valor.

Grace and peace, Ronda.

Erasing God by Ronda

Take a moment and think about your last trip to your closest department, drug or dollar store. If you are like me you probably just ran in to pick up a few things to complete the week’s lunch or dinner menu and what do you find? Well before we get into the response, let me ask another question during this special time of year…tis the season but what exactly is it the season for? In most stores I frequent, you really can’t tell what season it is. I am always shopping last minute for Thanksgiving items like festive napkins or may be some seasonal side dish; only to find those items delegated to the very end of the clearance aisle after I have walked past all the Christmas décor. This is the world we live in.

 

I used to be one of those who enjoyed the Black Friday shopping sales. I would go out in the dark to hit my favorite stores just because I enjoyed the “tradition” of it. It was the marking of the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. I wouldn’t go “hog- wild” or anything. I wouldn’t even try to come close to completing my Christmas shopping. I just liked to snatch up those few great deals that seemed worth the trip. Well, I gave up my shopping tradition a few years ago when shop turned violent and people were getting shot. Most recently, the “Black Friday” shopping has turned into early bird Thanksgiving Thursday and that was what sealed the deal. So back to my original question: what season is it anyway?

 

In our secular and commercialized culture, it isn’t easy to determine the answer. More importantly, as a believer should I be expecting to find some exact marked delineation? I don’t think so. Although, there may have been a time when our culture actually embraced the biblical meaning of Christian celebrations, I don’t think we should be surprised by the changes that we currently see. Many of our celebrations have symbols of paganism that don’t really reflect biblical context, so where does the responsibility lie when it comes to maintaining a biblical perspective. I would argue, the responsibility is ours as believers. We can’t look to a secular society and expect that we will find a true expression of our faith or our God. Scripture says the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, neither can he know them. (I Cor. 2:14) We should be more introspective and look at how our own lives contribute to the problem. I started with not participating in the “Black Friday” shopping. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, however I do believe we ought to have conviction.

 

If we look to biblical context we will find that God has always wanted a people separated and consecrated to Him. A people set apart in the midst of cultures that were pagan and serving other gods – in the world but not of the world. The same could be said for today. In the midst of a society that has commercialized our Christian holidays, what can we do to restore our true biblical heritage back to our celebrations?   I am not sure I know the answer but I think a lot of it has to do with us not getting “caught up” in traditions that don’t reflect our faith authentically. Now, this is coming from someone who absolutely enjoys putting up our Christmas tree and decorations. It is a family tradition for us to have hot cocoa, a yummy sweet snack and sing Christmas carols! I am just sharing what this topic of “erasing God” provoked in my own consciousness. If you have read any of my other posts, then you know that I have been studying a lot about the Hebraic Roots movement. There is so much to be learned about our Christian roots and these topics are directly related to our holidays (supposedly holy days). I don’t want to get into a debate about it, but it is something to ponder. It is interesting to examine how much of our traditional holiday symbols are actually rooted in pagan culture and not true biblical celebrations. I don’t have a concrete solution to this problem. But it is definitely food for thought.

 

As a family, we have never acknowledged Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, but we do celebrate our holidays traditionally. As I learn more about Hebraic Roots, I will have to wrestle with the truth that is speaking to my own heart as I think we all must do. Needless to say, I am not expecting to “see” God expressed in a culture that is counter to His kingdom. I hope that as I walk through these seasons someone sees God in me and in His people by the manner in which we honor who He is in our lives. I pray that my family celebration is one that doesn’t blend in with the spirit of the world but rather testifies to a message of truth, by the Spirit of Truth.

 

So as we celebrate however we celebrate I pray that the God’s Spirit will lead and guide us to be a living witness to the truth that we believe. God is with us. He came as Emmanuel. He lives with us now as Holy Spirit. In the time to come, Christ will return and reign then at the appointed time God, as His Shekinah Presence will be with us all.

 

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

 

In all things give thanks…for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus. II Thessalonians 5:19

Rhythm by Ronda

There are those that have rhythm and those who don’t have it. That is the simple truth. I am sure we can all think of a wedding that we attended where everyone silently prayed for that person on the dance floor. LOL. I am thinking about one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes where Elaine is at a wedding “dancing” and everyone is enjoying it way too much! It is easy to spot someone who doesn’t have rhythm in dance because you can see the awkwardness and lack of fluidity in movement. However what about other forms of rhythm? How do we discern our own rhythm? I want to testify, it isn’t easy.

For the past several months I have been in the process of restructuring my business.

During this time I have been seeking new methods of implementing my plans. One day I came across some information on a gov’t sponsored grant seminar that was being held in North Jersey. I had come across the information at the last minute and decided I was going to make an attempt to attend. When I went to register for the event, I realized there was only one more seat available. Surely this meant that I was supposed to go, so I thought. It was going to be at an inconvenient time, nevertheless, I registered and started making arrangements to attend. To make a long story, short, when I arrived for the seminar, I found out that the seminar was not being held on that day. This was after I arrived a few minutes late and abruptly walked into the listed conference room only to interrupt some other training session! The information on the website and even the event information was incorrect! I spent a whole morning in traffic, a lot of traffic, only to get there and feel totally doped and disappointed. I called the gov’t agency office to let them know the information on the event was incorrect. The office representative was very apologetic yet at the time that didn’t really help. I felt totally out of sorts and couldn’t figure out how I ended up there on the wrong day. Why didn’t I get some type of witness or check in my spirit? What was I supposed to be learning from this? I didn’t get any of those answers then…. I had to take the time to sit and reflect. I had to reflect not just about that day but also on weeks and months of previous activity. What was I missing from the picture?

Finally I came to the conclusion that I had gotten off track. I was operating in my own timing and not in God’s. I was out of rhythm with Him. This is the simple explanation. I had to really pray about why I was out of rhythm. What was the cause or causes? What I realized is that, for me, there are several things that can get me off track or out of rhythm. It was important for me to acknowledge those catalysts and make efforts to keep those in check consistently. Now I am coming to all these revelations after the Lord had spoken to me many times about rest and observing a Sabbath. The Lord has encouraged me to pray about my time in the sense of offering it to Him. He sanctified time in blessing the Sabbath but we still tend to believe that it belongs to us. Our time here is really a gift, it is something we must steward wisely. It is not easy for me. I have to be very diligent. There are

many “times” where I have missed the mark like my little road trip. However, I am thankful for His amazing grace.

Even when we get out of sync, or our timing is off, or our rhythm and movement seems awkward and out of sorts Father God is gracious. He helps us get back on track and He shows us where we have stumbled. He is faithful. For me the difficulty can be in becoming too focused other things, all good but not His best for me. I also can become too confident in my own ability and not be dependent on His guidance. It is important to be dependent upon Him; totally dependent on Him even from day to day, moment to moment. It is easy to think that rhythm is routine but it is not.

In nature it is easy to see that Our Creator has a rhythm to almost everything. I think the ocean is a good example. The ebb and flow of the water and waves provides a necessary rhythm that affects our entire ecosystem. Those waves move rhythmically but waves look different every time. It is a rhythm but not a routine, a movement that is similar but with the necessary effect for the moment. There is a little book that I enjoy reading every summer called Gift of the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. It is a little book with a powerful timeless message. Ms. Lindbergh speaks directly to the heart of women in expressing the challenges of finding our rhythm and balance in life. Lindbergh, was a woman before her time in many regards, somewhat of a Renaissance woman. She is brutally honest about the challenges and the cost of trying to “ have it all” from a woman’s perspective. She makes these profound discoveries during a sabbatical at the beach, hence the title, Gift of the Sea. Her observation of the ocean and all its surroundings helped her see the importance of rhythm. It is a wonderful read that I highly recommend.

Here is a small excerpt:

What is the answer? There is no easy answer, no complete answer. I have only clues, shells from the sea. The bare beauty of the channeled whelk tells me that one answer, and perhaps the first step, is in simplification of life, in cutting out some of the distractions. But how? Total retirement is not possible. I cannot shed my responsibilities. I cannot permanently inhabit a desert island. I cannot be a nun in the midst of family life. I would not want to be. The solution for me, surely, is neither in total renunciation of the world, nor in total acceptance of it. I must find a balance somewhere, or an alternating rhythm between these two extremes; a swinging of the pendulum between solitude and communion, between retreat and return. In my periods of retreat, perhaps I can learn something to carry back into my worldly life. I can at least practice for these two weeks the simplification of the outward life, as a beginning. I can follow this superficial clue, and see where it leads. Here , in beach living, I can try.

So I guess what I am really trying to say is that rhythm is complicated and isn’t as easy to obtain as we might think. When we have it we know and when we don’t we sort of figure that out too. Hopefully, we can figure it out without too many casualties. Somehow I would like to think it is really part of the journey of faith.

There are many things that can make us have to push the reset button in life, some positive and some negative. Changes in life and seasons can require a change in rhythm. I think the important lesson is making the necessary adjustments with total dependence on the Creator of everything so that our rhythm is in harmony with His.

Seasons by Ronda

We are officially in the season of spring and most of us can agree that it has sprung. The evidence is the multi-layered covering of pollen on just about everything outside. When we observe nature, it is easy to see that our God has purpose for change, transition and transformation. Each and every year the changes in season are indicative of the cycle of life of all living things. There are seasons of birth, seasons of growth, seasons of transition and also seasons of death. In the natural spring, summer, fall and winter…or winter, spring, summer, fall are signs of death, life, growth and harvest.

 

During the past few weeks I have witnessed and participated in many seasons of life. Each happening or event was particular in its gift and anointing. As I experienced these seasons, it became evident and imperative that I recognize and acknowledge the gift of each season. Life is full of seasons. Seasons begin, continue and end. There is a season happening right now and everyone is in one both naturally and spiritually. The real truth is in discovering the gift and anointing that season is intended to impart.

 

SPRING=BIRTH. I witnessed the season of spring with my daughter attending her prom. It is a birth because it is like the blooming of a beautiful spring flower. My daughter is very timid and has a very meek spirit. I would not have expected her to attend prom let alone have someone ask and she accept (without asking me first I might add). I was excited about her willingness to open up to a new experience that was beyond her comfort zone. She is very timid in social situations and a prom, in my opinion, is like a baptism by fire! I knew from the things she shared that she now felt comfortable enough to open up and step out into new social territory. After all the preparations were made and the day had arrived, I was able to experience such a precious blooming that I was awestruck at the hand of Lord in the life of my sweet spirited daughter. She has entered a new season of her life and I knew that day that God had planned it especially for her.

 

SUMMER=GROWTH. I witnessed the season of summer with my sister at her college graduation. My sister is a nurse who returned to school after many years to earn a degree in nursing. She is in a season of growth. I have been a witness to the ups and downs of her journey; even sometimes privileged to offer encouragement and support.   I was blessed because I watched her discover that she really is an “honor” student. A geek is what she would say; just like her sister! She made a committed decision to not only finish but to finish well! HONORS. She has an excellent spirit! I was able to watch her discover new areas of giftedness; gifts that she never knew she had. We gathered to celebrate the professional woman she has become. I witnessed a precious gift indeed…another season…a new anointing.

 

 

FALL=TRANSFORMATION/HARVEST. I am a witness personally to this season. I believe I am in a season of transformation and change. Autumn is my favorite season because of the colors. I love earth tone colors. It is my favorite season for household décor too. I embellish the harvest theme all through the house. As I write…I still have a harvest tablecloth on my kitchen table because of the colors! In fall/autumn the leaves are changing and preparing for a falling away of everything they have known. I can relate to this process. When Father wants to bring us into another harvest I do believe there will be a season of change. There will be a season of falling away of what is familiar. A new harvest will require you to make room for it. The old patterns and processes have to go. A falling away. A new set of patterns and habits have to be put into place to receive this new harvest. It is difficult to understand how the Father does this. I believe He uses our experiences. Hopefully, we are connected enough to discern the work of His Spirit in the circumstances in our life. This helps us endure the difficulty of the process. It isn’t all-pleasant; a lot of it is difficult. The changes of the leaves are beautiful but the ultimate result is a falling away and a death. Yet the season itself is also a harvest. Think about the squirrels gathering up the nuts for the upcoming winter. Fall is transformation and change but also harvest and gathering. So as I go through this process of change, I don’t always understand the falling way of the familiar. However, I am confident there is a spiritual preparation, a gathering also at work. There is a gift that I am receiving. There is an anointing being purified. This spiritual preparation will ensure that I can receive and maintain my next harvest…so I willingly surrender MY leaves must change and fall.

 

WINTER=DEATH. This week (May 11-16) I had to go visit my oldest aunt in hospice. Soon she will be in glory. Now, she is only a few steps away from finishing her race here on earth. So many of the family are returning home to say goodbye and I went to see her so I could do the same. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her in the hospital. I remember seeing my grandmother the night before she passed and it was difficult. I decided it was important for me to go. I know my aunt. If she could say so…she would want to see me. I surprised myself. I am definitely a crier…but I did not cry right away. More than anything I wanted to be there in the spirit…in the moment…seeking His Presence. There were a few of us gathered together in her room. We all talked about different ways my aunt had touched us…encouraged us…loved us. I felt peace and I was thankful. I read a Psalm that the Holy Spirit put on my heart that morning – Psalm 84. It speaks of the pilgrimage to Zion. We are all on a journey and we will visit seasons in our lives. Our seasons are seasons of different sorts but each season is seen and known by Father God. In every season an important lesson to learn is that God is omniscient. He is Jehovah Shamah. He is Present. I knew that as I looked at my Auntie. Even when we can’t comprehend His purpose, He is present. I read Psalm 123 as well. Since I don’t fully know what this part of the journey looks like…I really can’t imagine… I wanted to remind my Auntie that the LORD is HER SHEPHERD even in the deepest valley. I wanted to put His Word in the room. She is never alone. I knew that because of the peace that I felt. All of us there together, remembering her and being grateful for her love and compassion. We prayed. We prayed for one another. I witnessed another season that day. My Aunt has had many difficult seasons in her life. Her battle with cancer is among them. However, this season is one of complete healing…not sickness…a dying to everything in this earth and awaking to joy unspeakable and full of glory. A passing…. to life. (My Aunt passed on to life on Saturday May 16, after I had already written this).

 

Every season of our life is known of God. Even when we suffer difficult or adverse consequences, I know that He is not alarmed. Father has His book. He knows our current page, the paragraph, the sentence, the phrase, the word…the pause and the period. He knew us before time existed. HE determined our appointed times. He is Sovereign. He alone is God and BESIDE HIM there is NO other. He sees us. He knows us. He LOVES us. In every season He is there. He will always manifest Himself whenever we seek him even in the darkest of seasons. He will let us know that we are known. He has seen our unformed substance. How Great is Our God!

 

 

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”

Psalm 139:16

 

“And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation “

Acts 17: 26