Thursday, June 28, 2012

Healing Rain is Coming Down

Dear Reader,

I have friends who are not feeling well, and I have several friends who have family in Colorado's fire zones.  I know how terribly scared I was last year when the fires were getting close to our house here in Texas (blogs from September 18 and 21).  We have prayers going up to God Almighty to bring the healing rain and to keep His wings of protection upon those who are in the middle of the firestorms in the west.  He graciously hears our every prayer and although not always what we want to hear, answers them.  Place your trust in Him today that your loved ones are safe.  Do not let the enemy have power over your thoughts, rest in His peace, and know that He is God!  And that nothing is impossible for God!

So if the mountains are bare, and the soil is heated through, if the only thing left is ashes, then there is a place to start.  When all else is gone, all that is left is Him. 

If your body has turned against you, if it is everything you can do just to get up, then get up for Him.  If it hurts to walk, remember that this pain is not for eternity, and that there is healing rain.  Remember that you will always have all your needs met.  Even if the only need is to start again, one step at a time.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Prayer

You renew my soul, Oh Lord!  You heal my brokenness and bring new life into my bones.  You are like springtime in my heart!  The dead of winter is banished and the light of a new risen sun brings warmth to my soul!  My spirit screams with joy, "Lord, I am Yours!  Live in me!  Live through me!  Let the world see Your beauty."

You are the Bright Morning Star bringing light into my dead life!  You are my Hope!  You kiss away my sorrow and place joy in my heart.  You encourage me when I am weary, and open my blind eyes that I may see Your never ending, all consuming love for me!

I am not worthy of Your favor, yet You bless me again and again!  You have lifted me out of the depths of Hell and brought me to Your side!  You walk hand-in-hand with me through this desolate and unforgiving world.  You reveal to me that I am special, I have been chosen for a time such as this.  As my Teacher, You are relentless in Your desire to instruct me in the ways of the Kingdom.  You grieve each time I stumble because I didn't study Your Word and found myself broken and shattered by my sins of pride and loathing and self righteousness.

But You still don't leave me nor do You forsake me.  You are ever present in my life, even when I feel I can 'go it alone.'  Thank You for forgiving me of my arrogance and for gently bringing me back to the road of righteousness. 

Each breath is a new blessing, and each step I take with my eyes towards Heaven is a step closer to being an example of You.  Thank You for opening my eyes to the truth that I am not promised Heaven because of good works or something I could have done, but because I turned my life over to Jesus and was forgiven my sins.

Thank You that I am saved by acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and Savior, by wholeheartedly confessing that He came from Heaven to live as a man to be the last High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, to be the Sacrificial Lamb, to take my sins, the ones I already committed and the ones yet to come, for I am imperfect, and to die for me!  For me, a sinner!  I confess that You rose again after three days and with glory and honor fulfilled the promises of God to give me back my inheritance, to sit eternally by Your side in Heaven!

Thank You Jesus!  Thank You for giving me freedom!  Thank You for being my Savior, my Teacher, my Healer, and Deliverer.  Amen.

Thank You for mending my broken heart and broken body. Thank You that the more I seek You, the more I find You,  and the more I find You, the more I love You!  I am Yours!  I am renewed!  I am refreshed!  I have tasted the Living Water and the Bread of Life!  My soul sings in joy!  Hallelujah Jesus!  I love You!

"The Lord is with me always, even unto the end of the world."  Matt 28:20
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Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's Father's Day!

 Dad and I 1957.                                                                                   1958

To all of you Dads out there, Happy Father's Day!  I hope that you are enjoying today and the honor that it brings.

Today I would like to honor my own father, who sadly isn't with us anymore.  My father was born to poor Irish immigrants who boarded a ship to America in 1913 shortly after getting married in Dublin.  He was the sixth of seven children.

One day on his way home from school he heard he paperboys shout, "Extra! Extra!  Read all about it!  Lindbergh kidnapping ladder found in Bronx!"  Eight year old Patrick Doyle ran the several blocks to 222nd Street and was awestruck by the clamor going on.  Police and reporters were everywhere, all consumed with the biggest news of the year.  The Crime of the Century had recently happened, when Col Charles Lindbergh's 18 month old son was kidnapped from their farm near Princeton, NJ., and now the police had found the ladder used to commit the awful crime in the garage of one Bruno Hauptmann.

Young Patrick was smitten with the reporters, all wearing fedoras with their press badges in the ribbon above the brim.  They were shouting and writing in shorthand all the details the police chief passed on to them.  Then off they ran to pay phones to call the details in to their respective newspapers - Hurst, Daily News, NY Times, The World, The Mirror, The Star, The Herald, and papers from New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. 

That was the day that little boy decided that he wanted to be a crime reporter someday and cover the biggest stories in the city.  He saved money to buy a typewriter from a pawn shop and started out making a newsletter for the neighborhood merchants, being paid with groceries.  Once he had a taste of the experience, there was no going back.  He was hired by the NY Daily News in 1947 at 23 years old.  From his first story about an abandoned baby to solving a murder, to airplane crashes, a policeman shot and dying in his arms, to Son of Sam to John Lennon's murder, he reported over 20,000 murders in his career.  He was called Inspector Doyle. Robin Moore, a good friend, used his name in The French Connection.  He was touted as The World's Greatest Crime Reporter, and won numerous awards in his career.  He was even in the 1981 Guinness Book of World Records for covering the most murders.  He knew five presidents, and had an especially nice relationship with Richard Nixon.  His friends were James Cagney, Henry Ford II, Aristotle Onassis, and hundreds of others.

Dad at work, 1947                                                                   With VP Richard Nixon, 1956

But to me, he was my Daddy.  He was 5'11, thin and had striking green eyes.  When he wasn't sitting in front of a typewriter on the living room coffee table, pounding the keys, he was out doing the weekly grocery shopping.  On Saturday nights he and my Mother would get all dressed up and head into the city sometime after 11pm.  He was a handsome man, and I was so very proud of him. When he almost died because of ruptured stomach ulcers and spent 10 weeks in Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, I myself cried a million tears and said thousands of prayers.  How could we not have Daddy anymore?  He survived several surgeries, and thank God, he came home.  I was just a child, and loved him more than I can write.

Englewood Cliffs, NJ Boat Basin 1963                                             Dad and I, 1972

As I grew up I understood his concern for our welfare.  Plenty of times it was an annoyance answering the questions every time I wanted to go somewhere (where are you going, who are you going with, when are you coming home, how are you getting there) but he covered crime six nights a week and loved us tremendously and I believe it would have killed him if anything had happened to any one of us.  I didn't always see it that way growing up, but being a parent I grew to see the sacrifices he made being the sole breadwinner for a family of seven. 

My Dad died in a one-car accident on the last day of his job at NBC.  He was going to be moving down to Austin, Texas where he had bought a beautiful home and my mother was waiting for him.  He was only 62 years old when a seizure took his life.  His funeral was beautiful.  It was Veterans Day 1987, and the New York City Police Chief asked my Mother if she would like policemen for pall bearers.  She was thrilled knowing how much the police meant to him.  The hearse came up from the west side of Manhattan that chilly November 11th, passing through traffic lights all the way to Fifth Avenue where we circled around St. Patrick's Cathedral and came to a stop out front.  The steps of the church were lined with policemen from different precincts in their dress blues, and once his flag-covered casket was removed from the hearse by six policemen, they all stood at attention and saluted.  It was the most overwhelming moment in my life, one only surpassed by the birth of my daughter.

My favorite memory of him was him holding me while we sleigh rode down a hill in upstate NY in a cardboard box when I was about four years old. 

I was so proud of him!  He would speak to the students in my all-girl high school, and he would take me to Madison Square Garden and Broadway, and Yankee games.  He worked hard on our house, nurturing gardens that brought him peace, away from the crime-ridden streets of lower New York.  He was my hero.  It is him on the cover of my first book, A Christmas I Remember.  The story is, in a way, a tribute to him. 

I miss my Dad, but I know that he is with the Lord.  He was a good man, a hard working man, a man who loved and revered God, and loved us all tremendously.  He was crazy about my mother and would show her off every chance he got.  Thank You, God, for the 31 years I had with him.  Please kiss him for me.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June 14th, What a Great Day!

Three things have stayed with me on this date for 45 years. 

Today is Flag Day.  In the United States, we celebrate Flag Day on June 14.  It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, which happened that day by resolution of the Second Continental Congress in 1777.  The United States Army also celebrates the United States Army birthday on this date; Congress adopted "the American Continental Army" after reaching a consensus position in the Committee of the Whole on June 14, 1775.  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.  Our beautiful flag has been carried by the bravest of Americans through swamps and rivers and deserts in foreign wars.  Her colors wave over the USS Arizona, she flies on top of ships and buildings, even sits proudly on the moon, and still commands respect.  I love our flag.  It is a beautiful symbol of freedom and strength.

Today is my dear friend Bobbie’s birthday!  In 1967 when I was just 11 years old, my family moved to the next town.  Bobbie was my first friend.  She was a year older than I was, and had a slight southern accent; they had come to northern New Jersey from Mobile, Alabama.  She had long blonde hair in pigtails that went all the way past her waist.  She did not wear shoes, and she loved life.  She was the second of six children, the oldest daughter, and was everything to me.  I don’t think she ever knew how much I depended on her and needed her.  Anyway, for a few years she was my very best friend in the universe, and although we haven’t seen each other in about 40 years, I think of her every year on this date.  Happy Birthday, Bobbie, I love you!

Since this was recorded a year after we met, I thought I would put this in.  Remember this Bobbie?  The quality isn’t great, but the times were!

But the greatest thing about today is that today I am 25 years old in Christ!  This is the day that I turned my life over to Jesus and was born again.  I have never wanted to go back to life without Him.  When I was baptized five years ago my entire life changed.  Some people worry that they won’t be able to have fun anymore if they choose a Christian life.  I have had more fun now than I ever did before, I have the funniest, and most sincere of friends, I know that I will never be alone again.  Funny, I don’t feel even as old as 25!  Living a life devoted to Jesus has made me feel younger and younger.  I’d say I’m about 18 now.  I can see myself doing all sorts of things someone my age would shy at.  I am going to Heaven someday, and there isn’t anything that can change that!  So Happy Birthday to Me!!  God bless you, dear Reader, have a beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Working out my Body and Spirit

On our walk this morning, my husband and I were talking about exercising.  As you know, I started exercising recently.  I do some weight training and core strengthening exercises in the morning before our one-mile walk.  I recently started at lunch, at least 3 days a week, to go to the gym and walk/run 2 1/2 miles.  A few days a week I go back after work and walk with my best friend.  So I am getting more and more into a routine.  There is not so much change in my physical outward appearance yet, but then again, there is a lot of damage to correct.

My husband mentioned that exercising is a lot like our walk in Christ. He said we strive for that perfect body, or to know Jesus intimately, but we will never fully achieve either one.  There is no such thing as the 'perfect' body, and to know Jesus is a lifetime discipline.  We have to have the desire to attain each one, and we have to be deliberate in reaching our goals.  We will suffer aches and pains, or trials and tribulations along the way to reaching our goal.  But we can't give up, because with each exercise we do we grow a little more strong.  Do not let this discourage you, instead know that you can relax and enjoy the workout of your body and spirit.  Run the good race!  See the finish line! 

Our problem in both situations is that we want immediate results.  We didn't get out of shape physically or spiritually over night, so the renewing of our body and mind will also take time.  But we need to keep going, the results are wonderful!  With each step that we take, each weight that we lift, if we think, "Lord, I know that this will help me to live longer and healthier, and thank You for giving me the strength to help You here on earth."  With each parable we read, and each book of the Bible we study, we can know that we are doing great things for our spirit man.  We are toning our fighting muscles to defeat the enemy with nary breaking a sweat!  We will fill out the armor that God has given us and be beautiful warriors of the Lord!

I want Jesus to be my personal trainer.  As I run around the track, I get weary, and I say, "this one is for You, Lord" and I go the extra lap.  I picture Him there giving me encouragement.  Strengthening my body and getting back in shape will make me more able to accomplish what He wants me to do in this life.  It will keep me able to lift my arms in worship and help his other children.  I want Him to be my personal trainer in my spirit.  I listen to the Holy Spirit and obey.  I want to know Him as much as I possibly can in this lifetime.  I want to commit myself daily to knowing Him more.  This is a marathon, not a sprint. 

"When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, and when you run, you will not stumble." Proverbs 4:12

Friday, June 8, 2012

My New Book

Dear Reader,

I just wanted to put what they call a 'teaser' out to you today.  I am writing my next book, which is on the topic of trusting God.  Many of us seem to have a problem with trust, I certainly did, but I am getting better every day.  This book will share the ways God has proven Himself to be true to me and possibly others.  There won't be anything fancy about the book, and I'm not sure how long it will be, or who the target audience is yet, all I know is that it is something God wants me to write, and yes, I trust Him.  He will tell me all the details later.  For now, I am to just write. 

Perhaps there will more teasers as time goes on.  Depending on comments, I'll see what I can do. Have a blessed weekend, dear Reader!

Here goes:

"He gave me a look and started to eat.  A smile came over my face as I sat there looking at him, and I said, "You know, Promise, one of these days you're going to trust me and give me a big fat kiss right on the face!"

Almost immediately I heard the voice of God inside me say, "You know, Deirdre, one of these days you're going to trust Me, and you're going to throw your arms around my neck and kiss me on the face!"

Wow!  All I could do was smile again, shake my head, and say, "I got it!"  And I did.  I heard the truth, which was to trust Him, and it did set me free."

© dft

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Are You Under Attack? No, Never!

What are we saying when we state that we are 'under' something?  When we say we are 'under the weather' we mean that we don't feel well.  Apparently the term originated in the days when traveling involved an extensive time aboard ships.  During bad weather, passengers would get seasick due to the rocking and rolling of the ship.  Passengers would go below deck to avoid the bad weather, and where the movement of the vessel was less.  Therefore, under the storm, or bad weather.

We as Christians tend to say "I am under attack" when we ask for prayers to fight depression or illness.  When we are in a battle with the powers of darkness, we say we are 'under attack'.  I have said this myself many times.

But the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance (John 14:26) that we are not under anything the devil has, is, or does!  We are only 'under' God's grace and His divine protection.

We have authority and dominion over the powers of darkness in Jesus' name (2 Cor 5:21)!  He descended into Hades for three days before rising to Heaven, and while He was down there praying for our sins, He took the keys back from Satan (Rev 1:18).

The devil can not ever be over us.  Never, never!  We are seated in heavenly places with Jesus (Eph 2:4-6)!  Our spirit man is alive and well with Jesus!

This 'body' man is being attacked, yes, but NOT from above, only from beneath.  We must remember that we have authority, close any gaps in our defenses with the full armor of God, and keep shouting the Word at the devil.  We have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony! (Rev 12:11)

Be encouraged, dear Reader, that you have the final say in whether or not you allow the enemy's assaults to get to you.  Oh yes, he will keep attacking, trying to wear you down and take your mind off of your authority over him, and to keep your thoughts away from what is holy, and righteous, God Himself!  Smile and let the enemy know he has to look up to see the soles of your feet (Lk 10:19)!  We have victory in Jesus' name!  Hallelujah!

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you."  John 14:26 NKJV

"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."  2 Cor 5:21 NKJV

"I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.  Amen.  And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."  Rev 1:18 NKJV
"Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you."  Lk 10:19 AMP

But God was merciful! We were dead because of our sins, but God loved us so much that he made us alive with Christ, and God’s wonderful kindness is what saves you.  God raised us from death to life with Christ Jesus, and he has given us a place beside Christ in heaven.  God did this so that in the future world he could show how truly good and kind he is to us because of what Christ Jesus has done."  Eph 2:4-6 CEV