Faith – A Poem by Deb

(from Tonja–Deb just shared this with me and I wanted you guys to be blessed by it. Also, be sure and check out her delightful art by clicking on this link!)

Deb wrote: “GOD IS SO GOOD!!! I wrote this 14 yrs. ago at 2 a.m. after 48 hrs of no sleep and thought for over 2 years now the last copy I had was lost forever (I have prayed many times for the words to come to me)and today going through some old pictures I made for Zach I found where I was doing a copy to frame years ago. First time ever posted. It was published when I wrote it on an online poem site, I was invited to come to Florida to read it but could not afford the trip. I lost the information in a move soon after. This was written over a many, many years before I began actively seeking a personal relationship with the Lord.):

 
FAITH
Faith is not something you find on the street. 
It’s something you find when you search deep inside and release all your anger. 
It’s when you take a moment out of your own life to notice a complete stranger. 
Sometimes we all go about our own lives without noticing everything that goes on around us. 
Until something like September 11th happens and reminds us.
Life is fragile, peace is not easily found.
Mankind can be beautiful, all you need to do is really look all around. 
We are all the same no matter what we look like on the outside.
We just have to have faith and learn to look past our differences, to look deep inside each person to the fragile feelings we all hide.
My faith is what keeps me going from day to day.
But sometimes you have to remember just to stop and pray. 
We can’t do any of this all alone.
You have to remember there is someone waiting for all of us in a place we can all call HOME…
Deb Azalea April 30th, 2004

Student Rights in School

Psalm 24:1 (The Passion Translation) David’s poetic praise to God[a] “\God claims the world as his. Everything and everyone belongs to him!”

Even as a teacher in public schools, many of these rights were hidden from me–till very recently. The couple I knew about and tried to operate in were definitely met with resistance from some people in direct authority when I taught. But JESUS IS LORD, and THE EARTH IS HIS AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF, AND ALL THE PEOPLES THEREIN–INCLUDING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Psalm 24:1)–THAT ARE FUNDED BY OUR TAX MONEY!!!

Here are 10 rights of students in public schools, from the Truth for Youth Bible!

  1. The right to meet with other religious students and to form Bible Clubs.
  2. The right to express your religious beliefs through signs, symbols, and clothing.
  3. The right to talk about your religious beliefs and share your faith with other students on campus.
  4. The right to distribute religious literature (Bibles) on campus during non-instructional time.
  5. The right to pray on campus alone, with others, and during graduation.
  6. The right to carry or study your Bible or other religious literature on campus.
  7. The right to do research papers, speeches, creative projects or talent programs on religious themes.
  8. The right to be exempt from activities that contradict your religious beliefs.
  9. The right to celebrate or study religious holidays on campus.
  10. The right to study religious themes, religious literature, and religious history.

If you have any questions about these, please contact 800 REFIRES, or 800-733-4737!

The Christmas Surprise

James 5:16 : Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (ESV)

I had planned a very quiet Christmas, with just my Beloved and myself, sleeping in, exchanging gifts, and having time to rest and do other things I wanted to do today.

But the enemy had other plans. He loves to try to steal our joy and interrupt our peace. Clayton and I were dreaming deeply last night when there was a loud pounding on our door. My darling daughter had stopped by to tell me my dear mom, a widow less than two years ago, who’d suffered many afflictions, was once again in the hospital. Somehow we’d been unable to hear the phone.

Mom had fallen and fractured her hip and pelvis, even though a caretaker was with her 24/7. Bless her heart! The ambulance had rushed her on Christmas Eve to the hospital, and there she lay. So I was up at different times during the night checking on her.

However, God is never taken by surprise! What the enemy means for evil, the LORD Who knows all things always works for good for us who love Him and are the called according to His Plan.

This morning, I rose and made her some delicious peanut butter balls that she likes, determined to go bring her some cheer on this Christmas Day.  As the LORD often does, I figured He might have other things in mind too, and I knew there were hurting people everywhere at the hospital. So I took a Christian magazine, some Jesus’ Christmas Tree bookmarks (JCT bookmark_TKTaylor ), and an invitation to our church New Year’s Eve service. I asked Him to show me whom to sow them to.

Mom let me pray for her but was hurting too much to read the magazine and even had me take her treats back home till later. I spent some time helping her, then felt led to visit the ICU floor, where my Dad had died less than two years before, and where I’d spent a long month with Mom before that.

As I entered the ICU waiting room, there was one man there, asleep. I quietly left the materials, then went to the bathroom across the hall. The LORD impressed me to ask the man if he needed prayer. He woke and said, ‘Sure!” I told him my husband and I were lay ministers and he said he was a local pastor too, and was there for his mom. He gave me details of her afflictions and he and I prayed together.  I told him at the end that I expect a good report, even if I don’t know about it till Heaven!

Then I handed him theinvitation to our church’s NYE service, which is the 29th this year. Perhaps he and his family will come. Anyway, I know this was the LORD–and it was His surprise gift to me. Later that day, I received some delightful and very thoughtful gifts from my Beloved husband. However, the gift of the LORD directing me to be a vessel through whom the LORD ministered to my dear mom and the pastor and his family was the very best gift of all!

Ask the LORD how you can receive more of the priceless gift of being a vessel through whom He works to bless others this Season that we celebrate the living Christ!

For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Flags for America!

The LORD opened my eyes recently to pray these verses over America!
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].
            Even more recently, I was honored to hear teaching by an apostle from South Africa, who said that she and her team pray and fast for America–for they know that what happens in America affects the world.
            So let us humble ourselves and pray and proclaim, and our good God Who founded and keeps and has had great mercy on our country will hear and answer!
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives].

 

Double Glory!

I love how the LORD speaks in nature and other things in His world (some call them “signs”). Him speaking this way to us is part of His Glory, His goodness– and He will speak this way to anyone who truly wants to see and know.  You can ask Him to speak to you–and to help you make sure you know it is Him. He is good, and His mercy endures forever. He will help you!

Yesterday afternoon I was headed home from my position where I teach at a public school over a half hour away. As I admired the clouds along the way, I saw a slice of a rainbow, high in the sky. It delighted me. “Thank You for the Covenant!” I said. “You are so good!”

I enjoy driving (most moments), especially because I can get quiet and listen to Him, pray, worship, and enjoy His beautiful creation. As I quietly prayed and worshiped, I enjoyed His peace.

He loves to delight me with cool things, unusual things, and I am always ready to see them.  As I drew near to the airport, which is right around the curve from my church, I saw two trains on the tracks–not a phenomenon in itself, but these were: Both were moving; with lights on, they were pulling many loaded cars–and they were parallel to each other; both headed the same direction, at the same time, only one was a few cars behind the other!

I knew this was a sign from my dear Daddy God to me about how He has double Glory for me (and you and everyone else)–if we will just believe and receive it!

Truly, this is the time for the double Glory–including double restoration; the restoration of what we should have had, and the restoration of ourselves to His original intent for us! The LORD is pouring out His Glory–as He promises us in Joel chapter 2 (and several other places!). Ask Him to help you believe and perceive and receive the double Glory!

          23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord, your God; for He gives you the former or early rain in just measure and in righteousness, and He causes to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, as before.

            24 And the [threshing] floors shall be full of grain and the vats shall overflow with juice [of the grape] and oil.

           25 And I will restore or replace for you the years that the locust has eaten—the hopping locust, the stripping locust, and the crawling locust, My great army which I sent among you.

          26 And you shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord, your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you. And My people shall never be put to shame.

          27 And you shall know, understand, and realize that I am in the midst of Israel and that I the Lord am your God and there is none else. My people shall never be put to shame.

from AMPC, www.Biblegateway.com

Check out Kim Potter’s article on “The Month of Kislev 5779″ for more about this, on her site for A New Thing Ministries!

 

Birds!

The LORD has been speaking to me lately, especially through birds! I am going deeper to discover what He is saying. Meanwhile, the birds have been getting closer — literally!

Today, I was having a joy ride (the REAL kind–where I drive and praise and worship Him and pray, just for the JOY of it!) after shopping a bit, enjoying the lovely light, praying, at peace–and a white crane came from my right and flew DIRECTLY across the highway RIGHT in front of my car!

It could not get any closer unless it had come inside, but of course the timing was perfect (only the LORD can do that!! LOVE IT!) and there was no danger. I just started laughing, DELIGHTED, and thanking Him that He is showing me IN DETAIL what I need to know! I’ve done some research and am getting a better idea…..if any of you have comments to add or insights otherwise on birds, please let me know!

Meanwhile, I am excited to have found this verse:

[Even the migratory birds are punctual to their seasons.] Yes, the stork [excelling in the great height of her flight] in the heavens knows her appointed times [of migration], and the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane observe the time of their return. But My people do not know the law of the Lord [which the lower animals instinctively recognize in so far as it applies to them].