“Little Lady, you ain’t going nowhere ’till you breathe!”

One moment I was lying on a operating table with those awful bright lights over my head feeling as if I were being blinded, while the kind OR lady put an oxygen mask over my face saying, “Karen, Karen, Karen,” and Karen was getting fainter each time she said it.

The next time I opened my eyes, I was in the recovery room with a staunch veteran of her field who was scolding me pretty sternly, “Breathe,” she kept demanding.

I was utterly confused and asked, “Is it over? Can I see my husband? Can we go to my room on the floor?” I want to see my husband.” (Yes, these are the “covid” days when our loved ones cannot go with us all the way during surgery.)

“You ain’t going nowhere ’till you breathe!” continued the short, stout, stern nurse.

I was so utterly confused, “Ma’am, I am breathing, or I would be dead!”

Well, you ain’t going nowhere till you breathe more than six times in one minute. Oh…now I understood..I was not breathing enough?!”

I must have finally passed the “breathing test” because I did get to go to my room and see my husband, and he day after my neck surgery, we were able to leave the hospital for home but not without the spirometer to help “strengthen my breathing skills.”

He will wipe away every tear from thir eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4 ESV

Days later, I still can’t shake what the recovery room nurse kept telling me to do, and I keep hearing the words, “Breathe on me. Holy Spirit, breathe on me. Take thou my heart, cleanse every part, fill me with power divine,” from Edwin Hatch’s song in the old redback Southern Baptist hymnal.

Breathe on me. Yes, Jesus, Breathe on me. I want to be so full of the Holy Spirit that it spills out of my being with every breath that He allows me to take and into this noisy, chaotic world to give Him all praise and glory, for without Him, there would be no life.

Christ imparts His Holy Spirit upon us once we repent from our sins and surrender our will for His. I am quite greedy and “want more” as my two-year-old grandbaby will say. I believe that it takes work on my part to get “the more” of the Holy Spirit. I believe that I must stay in His Word, the Bible, obey His words, and pray to my Father in Heaven daily. When I don’t rely on God and His Word, I have found that I make a true mess of everything. I often have to be reminded to breathe in Jesus.

Everything about God is good and worthy of our worship. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He breathed into Adam’s nostrils in the garden of Eden, and Adam had life. John Piper in his article, “Holy Spirit in the Old Testament,” wrote that every breath we take and every chemical transaction in the cells of our bodies is sustained moment by moment by the work of the Holy Spirit.

His Spirit is always with me providing confidence. It teaches me, comforts me, and encourages me. His Spirit allows me to hear and be heard, and I pray that I fully understand and take action for every good deed that He has prepared for me to do. He gives me power to do extraordinary work and to never be fearful while holding on to righteousness because of what He did on the cross for me.

“Do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given to you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”

Mark 13:11b

Like the nurse in the recovery room had to remind me to breath, I have to daily take up my cross and follow Jesus. Let’s all turn to the Savior who gave His life for us, rose on the third day, and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven. One day, He will set up His new kingdom on Earth, and there will be no need of anymore surgeries or nurses who must remind us to breathe, for we will be completely whole with the Father of the universe who has redeemed us from death. Until then, I am so thankful that His Holy Spirit dwells in me. Salvation is forever. Praise God!

“And He said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

Luke 9:23 ESV

“So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”

Mark 16:19 ESV

Battle Plan

Victorious Life Prayer

(The words of this prayer were shared with me
from a dear sister in Christ.)

God of the Universe, thank you that you are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You have said that you will fight for me while I remain still, rooted in you. May I see your victory in my life. Remind me that there is no power greater than you. Nothing standing against me can prosper. Now may you the Lord of grace, show me favor at all times in every way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

1 Corinthians 3:16

Never forget that the battle has been won, and for those of us who have made Jesus Lord and Savior of our lives are victorious. Jesus defeated Satan when He was crucified on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead on the third day. But…since we are not in our eternal HOME yet, we must still battle here while on earth. All praise to God! We do not battle alone because His Holy Spirit dwells in His children. The same Spirit and strength that rose Jesus from the dead is inside of us, and we are never alone. He is always with us.

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgement.

Isaiah 54:17

I don’t know about you, but I want to be so full of the Holy Spirit that it oozes out of me. The only way I know to fill myself up with the Holy Spirit is to constantly seek God by reading His Word and praying. I have to guard my mind, eyes, ears, and all my being from any source that does not please Him whether it be music, television, or any other influence that Satan tries to use against me. Satan can have a way of waging warfare against us with many things of this world but never forget God’s promises are true.

Satan is a liar who loves to cause chaos. He wants us to think that we have to do things in our power. This usually makes us nervous, anxious, angry, and stressed among many other emotions. Knowing His Word is the best way I can think of to fight against the devil’s schemes. In the armor of God His Word is the only weapon of defense against the powers of this world listed. All the other pieces of armor are for the offense. One truth our Father’s Word tell us is that no weapon formed against us will prosper.

The best way to fight Satan is with God’s word and the only way to know His Word is to study and meditate upon it. In the armor of God His Word is the only weapon of defense against the powers of this world listed. All the other pieces of armor are for the offense. One truth our Father’s Word tell us is that no weapon formed against us will prosper.

When we know God’s Word, we can also pray God’s word aloud in order to bring praise and glory to our Father and to stand firm against the evil one’s schemes. I have shared some prayers below from a dear friend who sent them to me. These are her words, and I thank her for guiding me in the Walk of Faith.

Armor of God
Ephesians 6:8-18

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Victorious Life Prayer
God of the Universe, thank you that you are the same yesterday, today, and forever. You have said that you will fight for me while I remain still, rooted in you. May I see your victory in my life. Remind me that there is no power greater than you. Nothing standing against me can prosper. Now, may you, the Lord of Grace, show me favor at all times in every way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Powerful Name Prayer
Heavenly Father, thank you that you are the source of all true joy in life. The Bible says that you will do whatever, I ask in Jesus’s name. Hear my prayer in the name of Jesus for a breakthrough in my life. May you, the God of all grace who has called me into eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make me holy, strong, and filled with peace. To you be glory and honor forever through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Meeting my Needs Prayer
Loving Father, thank you that, by you, all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible. You have promised that those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Let me lack nothing as I look to you for every need and desire in my life. Pour out your blessing upon me. May I see your beauty, feel your love, know your wisdom and experience your power through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen

Fight for Me Prayer
Oh Lord my God, my eternal Father, thank you that you are my ever-present help in times of trouble. Help me to trust in what is unseen. Remind me of the truth of you power that You surround me and you are fighting for me. Give me favor and breakthrough in my life. You are the King of Ages, immortal, invisible, the only God. To you be honor and glory forever and ever through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Living In, Through, and For God

I am a middle school English teacher, so I guess you can also call me a “Word Nerd.” As I soak up God’s Word daily, I have noticed that the prepositions in His Word are very important when discerning meaning, and I understand that meaning can be different for each of us.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

He knows me. He knows you. He formed us. We are His creation. It is simple, so don’t make it complicated, friend. He knows the thoughts of my heart. How wonderful it is to walk with Him and talk with Him all the day long.

And those joints that He created in me are suffering because of our Fall in Genesis. I understand, “In this world [I] will have trouble.” (John 16:33) But I do really take heart of all joy and contentment because I know He has overcome this world and the troubles in it.

Therefore, each day with the Holy Spirit living in me, I know that He will live through me so that I can live completely for Him. With degenerative disk disease, some days are more painful than others, and on the hard days, I thank God for His Word that I call to mind to battle the pain of this world. Yes, I have learned and know full well that my joy is complete in the Lord, and I can be content in all situations, so not today, Satan-I have the power of the Living Christ in me!

My King is Coming to Rescue Me

Only God can satisfy me because when He created man, He placed Him in the Good and Perfect Garden of Eden. Therefore, my heart longs to be in the Garden of Eden. I praise God that He is coming back to stay here where He will let me rule with Him! Me? Rule with Him? This is true, and it is important to go to the truth and not to my heart because the Truth tells me that my heart is deceitful. The beautiful picture painted in Genesis shows me that God created me for a glorious and beautiful relationship with Him. Adam and Eve were with him-naked and unashamed. So what happened?

Eve entertained a conversation with a deceptive and conniving serpent who tempted her to look to a tree for what was wise and true. She already lived with the wise and true One. What if she had just run to the Father (I like to call Him-Daddy.) and asked, “Now what did You say, ‘Daddy,’ about this tree?” I think we would still be Eden, not cast out of it! No, we who believe and trust in Christ would still be living in what our soul aches for, perfection, but now we live on Earth and strive for a perfection that is and will always be out of our grasp until He restores this perfect Kingdom on Earth.

What is joy, friend? I believe that joy can only be found in God and is spiritual intimacy with God. Therefore, only in God will we ever find true joy. This is not my opinion but God’s sovereign and true Word-The Truth! God was not punishing Adam and Eve by telling them not to eat of the Tree of Good and Evil. He was PROTECTING them because He did not create us to carry the heavy weight of knowing evil.

As a result of looking to some THING rather than God for knowledge, Adam and Eve were cast out of perfection, and that is where we live now-between two perfect worlds, and in case we have not noticed-IT IS FAR FROM PERFECT HERE AND WILL NOT BE UNTIL THE TRUE AND REAL KING COMES BACK FROM HIS THRONE IN HEAVEN.

I don’t know the date or the hour as to when God will establish His everlasting Kingdom here on Earth, but I do know that His Kingdom will never pass away and will never be destroyed, and we who have truly made Him Lord and Savior of our lives will rule with Him.

Time marches on, and God’s Kingdom will crush any and all kingdoms that man strives so hard to establish. I know that my Father’s Kingdom will be here on Earth and will be an everlasting kingdom that will never be destroyed like those set up by man such as Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Striving to rule without Christ will never work. It will be defeated. All that will last are the righteous deeds of the Saints.

Let me assure you that Biden and Trump, Democrat and Republican have nothing on when the meek will inherit the Earth and rule forever with Jesus in Perfection-the way God intended it. He will come. He will restore His Kingdom. Earth will be handed over to the saints to rule with Him forever and ever.

I have hope today. I have joy today! I know that the curse that began in the garden with Adam and Eve will be obliviated. Nothing will compete with our worship in this New Kingdom. Jesus is coming back for His Bride. Let us then make ourselves ready by serving Him, not the world, daily.

Everlasting Love

It was a perfect, tranquil February day, and my 37th birthday was only two days away. I had just been on a morning walk and noticed that the tulips were already bursting forth around the farm with their signature yellow hue. My precious Granny’s mortal body was dying. I walked in to see her- not expecting any replies only to hold her hand and be near her. I was looking out the window by the hospital bed that she was lying in and telling her how pretty the family barn was even though it was quickly dilapidating. I was expressing to Granny how I wanted to “fix up” the barn. As I was talking and reminiscing about the good times growing up and playing in the barn, Granny rubbed her hands over mine. I had always loved the roughness, the scratchiness of the years of hard work as they rubbed over my younger, softer skin. That is when she said 7 words that I have never forgotten. She said, “I love you with an everlasting love.” I shook my head as in to tell her – “No, don’t say good-bye.” She simply just said, ” Listen I love you with an everlasting love.”

“the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”

Jeremiah 31:3 ESV

It has been over 10 years since I heard those words. Do I ? Did I ever know what that meant? Can people love with an everlasting love? I really doubted that at first, but I think so. One definition of everlasting is permanent or deathless. I still feel Granny’s love in the way I interact with indescribable joy with my grandchildren, with the manner in which I love my children and husband and look over our household, and even how I interact with my students, friends, and acquaintances on an everyday bases. I hear her saying, “You mustn’t do that.” I strive to live by the scriptures she quoted to me over and over like, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink. For by doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20 ESV

” See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19

Sadly, I never had the resources to fix the barn, but I was determined to be a good steward of what God had bestowed upon me. We had the barn torn down, but we did not let it go to waste. Just like God wastes nothing in us. On the contrary, we took the wood from that barn and created a new space by our pool to enjoy relationship and fellowship with friends and family. My son has used the wood to add an addition to another precious family home where he and his family live, and he and my daughter-in-law have used the wood to create a beautiful entertainment center that holds precious family photos. My sweet husband is in the process of building a farmhouse table with the precious, sentimental wood from that old barn full of memories of cousins and friends playing in the loft for hours on end. Generations to come will be able to sit around the table and “feast on God’s goodness,” not only nourishment for the body but love, laughter, and maybe even tears-which will be sweet nourishment for the heart and soul.

They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.”

Psalm 36:8

As I write this, my daddy’s sister, affectionately known as “Aunt Baye” is fighting covid-19 in a nursing home without us, those who love her so, as we cannot physically be by her side. But what peace it is to know God is there with her along with the precious memories of family and friends that fill her heart, mind, and soul.

Son and Daughter-in-Law’s inset entertainment center using wood from family barn
Completed edition to their home with some materials also being from the family barn

Yes, I do believe that earthly love still exists when we pass from this life to the next, but an even greater truth is that God’s children are His beloved. In other words, we are His treasured friend, and He, the infinite One, lavishes His rich love on us as He pursues us day after waking day. 1 John 4:8 tells us that He is love, and He cannot lie. He draws us to Him in a covenant relationship and pours out his tender love to us, so that we can rest or abide in this assurance and just BE LOVED.

Even though Granny is not here with me on this side of Heaven, I really do still feel that special love. But better still is the indisputable fact that I have One who will never leave or forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). So I continue on being loved and being filled with the fullness of God. I can rest alone in this cherished, rich love and grace.

“So, as those who have been chosen of God and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12
Work In Progress-Cook House/Pool House at our Home
The tin also came from the barn.
More of our work in progress-We will blame it on our age. 🙂 We don’t work as quickly or as skillfully, but I sure am proud of my son. I must admit that his awesome father-in-law helped him, and we have some neighbors helping us, as well.
Farmhouse Table in Progress

I Know in Whom I Believe

“The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies declare the work of His hands.” Psalm 19:1

Sunrise from my front porch 07/13/20

I love a beautiful sunset. A sunrise? Not so much….Not because it isn’t beautiful but just because I don’t like to get up early. But thinking on my Father’s glory, I wanted to watch the same great star that descended from my view yesterday begin its march across the sky today. The same One Who set the sun in the West yesterday, made it rise in the East today because He chose to.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Sunrise 07/13/20

I know that He is a Father of love and compassion. I also know that He is One of righteousness and justification. I cannot receive part and not whole. I know that He is coming back soon, and I want to be found ready, doing His will, obeying, and pleasing my Father not just for my eternal reward that I don’t deserve but because I love Him and have a relationship with Him.

The One who created all of this created you and me and knows the number of hairs on our heads. Why would we not want to spend time with Him, learn of Him and from His glory, and worship and obey Him?

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Psalm 136:7-9

I encourage you to sit with the Father today if just for a minute to delight in His love for you. Know Him. I beg you to know Him. Sit with Him. Study His Word. Give all praise and glory to Him. Cry out to Him for He cares for you.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7

Sunset from my backyard swing 07/12/20