Papa has a Purpose for You!

I woke up with some words that the Lord had spoken to me. He gave me a list.

  1. Purpose
  2. Plan
  3. Position
  4. Promise
  5. Proposition

I always pay close attention when this happens, because I know He has something important to say to me. This is His encouraging word for all of us.

This is to all of us…His Dearly Beloved. [Read more…]

The Fragrance of Jesus

We are the carriers of the fragrance of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

When we have been impacted by the Holy Spirit, and we walk in worship, there is a fragrance given off as we move from place to place…as if the atmosphere around us is stirred…freshened.

It is noticeable.

People may not be able to identify it, but they will sense it…feel it. His presence emanating from you can cause dark thoughts to begin to experience light, sadness begins a journey to joy, irritation begins to become peaceful, stubbornness can relax, repentance flows , and reconciliation can begin.

All of this can happen because we have been with Jesus. [Read more…]

Unexpected Storm

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We don’t always see the storm coming.  Everything is fine one minute and then…there it is.  That’s how a storm started for me recently.  Let me tell you the story. [Read more…]

“Creation an Invitation”

Beautiful chamomile flowers in nature photographed in summer at sunset.

The Lord popped this phrase into my heart during a quiet time. “What is ‘Creation an Invitation‘ to?” I asked. Here are a few things of which I was reminded.

For one thing creation is an invitation to remember who made us, what we were made from, when we were made and why we were made. Read the first two chapters of Genesis to find all of the above questions answered. God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit-made us in His image. He made man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into the nostrils of the first man, Adam. God created the earth, the universe, all plants and animals and then His crowning glory was complete with Adam and Eve. This was accomplished in 6 days about 6000 years ago. Now we come to the why. [Read more…]

My Journey into Papa’s Love

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Larry and I were married at a very young age. We had both grown up in the church and received Jesus as our Savior at an early age. We spent 6 years in college and graduate school before Larry took a job at 3M and we landed in St. Paul in 1969. We had wanted to start our family, but after 3 years of trying, we had been told by doctors that we would not be able to have children. However, not too long after that I got pregnant with our son Jeffrey, who was born after 8 years of marriage. Words cannot explain the delicious joy that accompanied his birth. We had already applied for adoption, so we thought we would just ask for a girl and our family would be complete. Little did we know that God had another plan, and our dear, precious Amy was born 22 months later. [Read more…]

Remember the Covenant

Earlier this month we watched a Christian movie called Amazing Love. It is the story of Hosea, whose life was used by God as an object lesson to show God’s unfailing and relentless love to the people of Israel, despite the fact that time and time again they chose idolatry over loving their Creator who had chosen them to be His people. [Read more…]

Things That are Unseen

IMG_4294As we ask the Lord to reveal hidden things to us, to give us wisdom and understanding, I believe we are asking Him to lift the fog. There are things we want to see and know are already there, they just haven’t been visible to us. It is His heart’s desire to show us these things. Perhaps we haven’t been ready to handle the treasures He has prepared for us. Maybe there is transformation or restoration that must be accomplished before we can see more. The walk into the Kingdom is a wonder-filled journey and it will take a lifetime. [Read more…]

The Birth of a Book

Our Daddy in Heaven wants to communicate with all of His children, even as He did in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. Jesus came and declared the Father to us and restored communication.

One of the ways the LordLittle-Seeds-SM spoke to me recently was in a dream. I received the first few lines of a story three times in three separate dreams one night. The next morning I wrote down those words and then asked the Lord for more revelation. What unfolded the next five or six days was the story of a ‘little seed’ that was planted by the Divine Gardener and how the Gardener brought him into his destiny. [Read more…]

Grandma Rich’s Testimony

I want to begin with a little generational history to put my birth in the proper place.  None of us stand alone, but are part of God’s plan for the family in each generation.  I was born during WWII just a few days before D Day.  My parents were married 10 months earlier when my dad was a Private in the Army stationed at Camp Phillips, Kansas.  He was discharged a month later due to an eye condition that could not be corrected.  My mom was 18 when I was born and had a hurtful relationship with her daddy who had wanted a son when his second daughter was born.  Because of this rejection she had a hard time loving and receiving love from others.  Her daddy had lost his father when he was 5 years old from a duck hunting accident.  He died of pneumonia after swimming after ducks he had shot.  Grandpa finished 8th grade and left home to make his own way in the world.  So there were at least two generations of pain before I was born.

IMG_0934My mom in her pain wanted a boy, so she could give her daddy a grandson and then he would love her.  Enter me- an unwanted girl.  Now the 3rd generation was feeling unloved.  Two more ‘stinking’ girls were born to my parents in the next 7 years.  My mom was emotionally unstable-sometimes good, but often not.  Her words lashed out at me and sometimes there were other things that happened.  My dad in all of this was stable and loving, but he was unable to protect me from the constant barrage of unkindness.  I had a grandma and an aunt that often came to my rescue and I knew they both loved me very much.  I also had a sense that I was not the cause of my mother’s unhappiness. We were a Christian family and to everyone else I think we looked pretty normal.  I had accepted the Lord at age 8 and was baptized in a Baptist Church in San Diego, CA.   As I grew up I tried really hard to please my mom, so that she would love me.  One particular incident sticks in my mind.  When we had ironing to do we had to dampen the clothes and roll them up, and let them set for a day, because they had been line dried and were very wrinkled. Then we could iron them.  I came home from school one day to surprise my mom by doing all of the ironing. After I finished I hung everything in the closet, so there wouldn’t be any evidence of my surprise.  My mom was mad because I hung the clothes before they were completely dry.  My heart was devastated and I decided then and there that I could never please my mom.  This was the beginning of a stronghold.  I remember that even when things were good that at any moment everything could go the other way very quickly, so I felt unbalanced most of the time. One day I asked my daddy why he stayed with my mom, because she was also unkind to him.  I will never forget his reply, “Honey, I made a vow”. Oh, that every married couple could say the same thing.

I graduated from high school at age 16 and was the first person in our family to go to college.  I met my sweetheart at age 17 and we were married the day after finals at the end of my sophomore year.IMG_0944 I had just turned 19 and Larry was 20, so his dad had to sign for him as he wasn’t a legal adult.  We were so young and I can definitely say that the Lord grew us up together and kept us in His care over these 50 years.  We both stayed in college and got our bachelor’s degrees and then moved to Salt Lake City where I earned my Masters degree in Zoology and Larry his PhD in Physical Chemistry.  During that time we saw my parents occasionally, because we lived about 4 hours away.  Actually things went fairly smooth for us during this time.  However, when we moved to Salt Lake City, we did not find a church and gradually fell away from our faith. The Lord was gracious to bring us back after our children were born. After Larry graduated we moved to St. Paul, MN and Larry began a 32 year career as a research chemist at 3M Co.

We tried to start our family and after much frustration and numerous tests the doctors told us that we would never have children.  We applied for adoption, but then the Lord stepped in and gave us a beautiful son, Jeffrey.  Less than two years later our beloved daughter, Amy, was born. God got the final word and we were thrilled with our family.  However, I fell into a depression that did not lift for about a year and a half.  I placed my struggle on Larry’s plate thinking that if he just did everything right I would be happy.  I was asking him to fill the holes in my heart that only God could fill.  We decided to move to the country hoping that would make us happy.  Unfortunately we took our brokenness with us.  One day sitting at my dining room table in our little farm house near Shafer, MN I gave up my ability to run my own life and told God if He didn’t take over I would fail as a wife and a mom and I didn’t want to fail.  I was filled with warmth and knew He was there.  Then I heard in my heart,  “When Larry comes home, put on your lipstick, comb your hair, and smile.  I will take care of Larry.”  I understood that I was responsible to hang on to the Lord.  I couldn’t change my husband, but He could.  I could trust God to change me.  My depression left, never to return!!!

About that time the Lord began to speak to me about honoring my mother and father.  I didn’t have any problem with my daddy, but my mother was another matter.  She was very difficult to visit because she was full of unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment.  Every conversation was frustrating as she lashed out at everyone, including me.  She lied about me, accused me of stealing her money, and made it hard to even want to be around her or talk to her.  However, honoring your mother doesn’t have any clauses.  It doesn’t say ‘if she is kind, if she loves you, or if she makes you feel good’.  It just says to honor her.  I wanted to honor the Father and I asked Him to help me be obedient to His word.  Over the years I purposed to love my mom no matter what and to show her how much Father God loved her.  He filled me with love for her and helped me let unkind words slide off and to forgive her.

God was remodeling me one step at a time.  While reading Born Again by Chuck Colson, he talked about being filled with the Holy Spirit and I asked the Lord to give me everything that He had for me.  I was filled with great joy and in a short time I began speaking in tongues one day while I was worshipping.

Often we have holes in our hearts that He wants to heal that we don’t even know we have.  On one occasion I was reading an article about Princess Diana’s death in regard to her sons never experiencing the nurture of their mother.  I began to cry and I cried all day.  As I tried to figure out why I was in such distress, the Lord showed me that I had never been nurtured by my mother, because she wasn’t able to do that for me.  Her heart was too wounded. He healed my wound and set me free to be able to nurture my children and now my grandchildren.

As we began to walk in greater understanding of following the Lord, we felt Him asking us to sell our 80 acre farm and become involved with a ministry in Cambridge, MN.  After some going back and forth with the Lord, we put the property up for sale.  We had divided it up into three pieces that sold in 10 days.  We knew that God had spoken and honored our obedience.  The funny part in that story is that there was a setback in purchasing the property in Cambridge and now we had nowhere to live.  The Lord miraculously provided a farm that became our temporary home for six months.  We ministered at Chadashchay for four years.  We grew in the things of the Lord by leaps and bounds.  I taught at the Christian school that my children attended.

We moved back to the Twin Cities to help Larry’s parents who had moved from Colorado.  Dad was very ill and mom needed our help to care for him.  The Lord continued to order our steps. I was privileged to teach at New Life Academy for 13 years and loved teaching my children there.

Do you remember the beginning of a stronghold I mentioned in the beginning of my story?  Well, without realizing it, I carried this stronghold into my marriage and began to think that I could never please my husband.  This became a pivot point of struggle for me for 49 years of marriage, until one day I asked the Lord why I struggled with this untruth and He reminded me of the ironing incident.  I was able to repent and ask for His forgiveness for believing a lie for all those years.  Now that cascade of ungodly thoughts no longer plagues me or our marriage. My heavenly Daddy is so faithful.

IMG_0943My daddy passed away 10 years before my mom, so we visited her often. In the last year of her life we were there for her on eight occasions. During that year I struggled with hopelessness over my mom.  I couldn’t see a good outcome. But God revealed that hopelessness was sin and I was to trust Him for my mom.  He was faithful. On my last visit, my mom and I had the best visit we had ever had.  She was contented and not mad at the world.  We were able to go to the Dairy Queen, out to eat, take a drive, and I even stayed overnight at the senior living home-sleeping in her recliner.  Ten days later she had a stroke and did not live long after that.  While I was with her, I saw her laying down on her bed with her eyes closed and Jesus came and extended His hand and said “Elsie, come up here”.  She opened her eyes and raised up to follow Him.  How precious is that!

I am so thankful that the Lord has broken the generational curse of rejection and woundedness over our family lineage. The Lord gave me a great marriage and a wonderful relationship with my children and my abundant blessing of seventeen grandchildren.  I am so blessed, and He is so good.

Expectancy

 

Without expectation, prayer becomes routine.

Without expectation, worship becomes ritual.

Without expectation, witnessing becomes fruitless.

Without expectation, serving becomes duty.

Without expectation, relationships become lifeless.

Without expectation, intimacy becomes empty.  Ps. 112:1-9

Pastor Mike Smith

 

IMG_0701Father, fill my heart with eager expectancy-tippy toe, nose pressed to the glass, eyes on the horizon expectancy.  That happy, giddy knowing that something great is going to happen, kind of expectancy.  The expectancy of a child before their birthday, or the preparation before Christmas, a bride before her wedding, the last day of school with the promise of summer vacation, the time leading up to graduation, a big anniversary, or waiting for the birth of a child. Expectancy is wrapped up in gratitude, delight and knowing Your goodness.  You are a God of surprises.  You show up when we are just doing the routine things of our day.  Rebekah was going to the well when Abraham’s servant came with 10 camels loaded with gifts and an invitation to be Isaac’s bride.  Mary was going about her day when Gabriel showed up to tell her that she was chosen to be the mommy of Your dear Son.  The disciples were discussing the events of the day on the road to Emmaus when You showed  up to explain to them what had really happened that day and to reveal Yourself to them. 

Every time we seek Your face and pray, You show up.  Let us live on tippy toes, looking with anticipation, waiting for what You are going to do next.  We are filled with glorious expectancy because the whole earth is filled with Your goodness