My Glory Story: Praise God through the Pain, Part 3

The more time that I spent sitting at the feet of Jesus, the better and better my life became.

God blessed our family so much in 2016.  ­­Kris began a new job in his hometown of Clarksville, TN at Austin Peay State University.  I sold our house with the aid of the Holy Spirit in less than one week for full asking price.  God then miraculously gave us our dream house in Clarksville, another story for another time.  Brayden, our oldest son,  graduated from the University of Tennessee.  Parker, our youngest son,  mended from his injuries and excelled at APSU.  I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Washington DC in July with Kristi Stephens to be a part of Together 2016.  We prayed on the mall between the White House and the Washington Monument for our nation to turn back to God and for the upcoming presidential election.

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I also had a divine appointment with Steven L Miller, world-renowned photographer who has nine photos on permanent display in the Smithsonian Museum. The way he captures people in his photographs taught me to look at people differently.  He taught me to stop and really look at people and then the Holy spirit would give me discernment concerning them.  I also lost 51 pounds in the first half of 2016. You know about the great vacation at Atlantic Beach.  There are so many other blessings and then, my Glory Story. 2016 was a good year.  I went into 2017 with great expectations, believing for the best year ever.  The number seventeen in the Bible symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory.” I believed this would hold true for 2017.IMG-4856It wasn’t long after I received the Glory Heart pendant that I dropped it on the granite floor in our bathroom.  It broke into two pieces.  I did not get upset.  I simply super-glued it back together. The break of my pendant was symbolic to life.  I realized at that time that if I would trust God, he would always mend my broken heart.  Little did I know, he was preparing me for 2017.  God continued to teach me about Love, Laser Focus and His Glory.  He gave me Proverbs 4 as my 2017 focus chapter and it included my 2017 focus verses:

 Proverbs 4:9, 20-27 

 9 She(wisdom) shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.

24 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. 

Only God could weave Proverbs 4 together so beautifully.   The 2016 Waiting Year left and escorted in the 2017 Glory Year.  My January Focus Verse:

Isaiah 41:10  Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

And:

Psalm 27:1  The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Funny! Psalm 27 was my focus chapter last year.  Just a reminder.

I turned from the mistakes of 2016 to FOCUS in 2017.  Laser Focus, Focus, Focus, Focus.  I was determined 2017 was going to be the best yet.  Glory and focus were what I had been hearing since late 2016.

January 2017 started with me learning about curve balls.  I learned that they were thrown to entice you to take a poor swing.  I learned that the curve ball will deceive you by breaking one way or the other due to the spin.  (Just like Satan)  You can beat the physics of a curve and crush it; however, you must wait, relax and evaluate your stance.  I learned that to beat the curve ball you must keep your feet still and stand firm as you wait.  I realized that you must be prepared beforehand for it.  WOW.  If that was not a spiritual lesson.

I committed to a 21-day fast to start off the New Year focused on God.  January arrived, and I knew that I had a story to tell.  What the Lord did in those 21 days can only be described as “living amazed.”

January 12, 2017-February 12, 2017:

I shared my Glory Story and the good news of Jesus with over fifty individuals in some shape, form or fashion.  (This does not include my divine appointment with an unknown sister at Hobby Lobby and then with the same sister again in the parking lot of Lifeway.  This encounter led me to share my testimony with an entire church.)  It was AMAZING how God directed each story line.  Each time I shared, I was directed to present it just a little bit different.  The “story,” the good news of Jesus was tailored by the Holy Spirit to the individual that I was blessed to share with.  I was living amazed and walking out Psalm 32:8.  He was instructing and teaching me the way to go.

He taught me through my sister in Christ, Kristi,  that God is seldom in a hurry, but never late.  He taught me that time and space are irrelevant when you are traveling with Him.   He taught me that I have and all access pass to answers. He taught me:

1 Corinthians 2:9-10:

 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.

I used to be sinking, barely staying a-float, struggling, an empty cup bobbing along.  However, now, I honestly felt that I was finally out of the boat walking on water.  I was taught that if I kept laser focus on my Savior, Life Guard and Life preserver, I could stand and walk on the water.  I was living on purpose.  I was living out the Oceans Song by Hillsong.

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

January 17,2017:  First Warning

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Wherefore let him that thinks he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it]

January 19, 2017: Second Warning

The Ice Dream:  A very detailed dream and interpretation about the journey of walking by faith.

January 25, 2017:

I shared with my mother in law the glorious things God had been up to in my life for the past two weeks.  We talked almost every day and I had not talked to her in about a week.  She shared her concern for our family.  I shared why I was not concerned:

  1. My God has no big problems.
  2. My daily prayer and petitions for the family:  Ephesians 1, 2, 3!
  3. I knew who God was and we could count on Him performing His word.  She told me about a night of battle she had for our entire family the previous week.

January 26, 2017: Third Warning

Rick Renner Sparling Gem:  A Fight Always Follow Illumination

But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Hebrews 10:32

 I had been overwhelmingly illuminated.  The Holly Spirit just kept pouring into me.  I was overflowing.  The Holy Spirit gave me another dream that I have only shared with two other people.  It was very powerful and life altering.  Huge, Holy Ghost movie premier spotlights had been shined into my spirit.

And, during my morning prayer time, I went into all-out war against the enemy.  Fear was trying to enter.  I went to the feet of Jesus and fell before the Lord.  I pleaded with the Father.

“Father, if I continue believing and stepping across these faith lines that you continue to put in front of me, PROTECT MY FAMILY.  I pleaded that my family would be protected, shielded and that no harm nor weapon formed against them would prosper.  I need that assurance from You.”

January 27, 2017:  Assault #1 from the enemy

Between 6:30 AM – 7:00AM, I received a call that my nephew-in-law, Kevin Lawrence, had been in a head on collision.  Satan tried to steal his life.  Praise God! He walked away with only a few bruises.  I know without a doubt that my mother in law and I had interceded for him a week in advance and a day in advance.  My niece, Kayla Lawrence, said in a text to me, “I can’t say enough how much I believe in the power of prayer.  Everyday I ask Jesus to keep him safe on his way to work. I believe prayer saved his life today.”

I believe Jesus saved his life!

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January 28, 2017, early morning:  Assault #2

I received another phone call from another family member.  It was earth-shattering, heart breaking news.  I went for a walk to pray over this situation.  I was so mad at Satan for trying to attack the very family I had prayed over.  I did the stupidest thing ever!  I challenged Satan with a stupid question, “Is that the best you have got?”  Do not ever do this, seriously.

January 29, 2017:

The 21-day fast dedicated to the New Year of my Lord ended.  I listened to a timely sermon from Pastor Jentezen Franklin:  Break Up, Break Out, Break Through.

This was a sermon that encapsulated everything the Holy Spirit had been teaching me from January 19 to present.  He preached about walking by faith and fighting for our family.  He preached; don’t let your present trouble name your future and to remember to praise God in the pain

Joel 2:12-13  Therefore also now, says the LORD, turn ye [even] to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he [is] gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

January 30, 2017:

At the bottom of my journal page was this verse which showed me that God was with me out in the deep ocean of trials and troubles:

Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine. 2 When thou pass through the deep waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walk through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:1-2

January 31, 2017 thru August 2017:  Assault #3

PUNCH IN THE GUT.  My Lord, my Holy Spirit and my Comforter had been preparing me for a time such as this.  This period was a really, really, really, difficult season.  It was the great fight of afflictions after the illumination.  However, God is, was and will always be faithful.  The Lord taught me so much about the journey.  He taught me about going from glory to glory.  He taught me about unconditional love and forgiveness.  If I had truly listened and applied everything he tried to teach me in preparation for this prick, the season would not have lasted so long.  After taking hit after hit, I did not always choose the right response.  I did not stand up every time and attack with the Word, God’s truths about the situations.  I took the offenses; I tried not too.  I took my eyes of Jesus for a moment and did not immediately apply Proverbs 4 to my life situations.  I did not “ let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.” Proverbs 4:25   I unfortunately lost my focus.  Life was blurred.

January 31, 2017 (a friend shared a dream she had on January 26, 2017):

Verily, verily, I say to you: “Take the obstructive path for you have many great works ahead of you. I saw a pen writing. There will be great rewards for you in heaven. Amen”

She heard this statement three times in the dream.  Take the obstructive path was a phrase that I heard from three different people in January.  This phrase resounded through my spirit and helped me make it through this rough patch of time in my journey.

I could not have made it through without this word from the Lord:

 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely, he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, [and] from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; [nor] for the arrow [that] flieth by day; 6 [Nor] for the pestilence [that] walketh in darkness; [nor] for the destruction [that] wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. 9 Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in [their] hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I [will be] with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation. Psalm 91

Thank God!  He delivered me and showed me his salvation.  He is my Savior of ALL, all things and all situations!

I can now say:

For in my time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. 6 And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies’ round about me: therefore, will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD. 7 Hear, O LORD, [when] I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. Psalm 27:5-7

February 9, 2017

dpurg

March 5, 2017 from my journal:

Trials are inevitable, but our victory is assured. Stand confident in that victory.  God will not fail you.

[We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; … 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;  2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 17 

The Holy Spirit was gracious and merciful.  He gave me song after song to help me through 2017 and to act as salve in my wounds

March 13, 2017:

Thou Art a Shield for Me by Byron Cage  

Lord, how are they increased that trouble me
many are they that rise up against me.
Many there be which say of my soul
there is no help for Him in God.

But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me
my glory, You lift mine head.
But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me
you’re my glory, the lifter up of mine head.

 I cried unto the Lord with my voice
and He heard me out of His holy hill.
I laid me down and I slept
I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
But thou oh lord art a shield for me
my glory, You lift my head
But thou oh lord art a shield for me
my glory, the lifter up of my head

 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
that have set themselves against me round about.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
that have set themselves against me round about.

Thank You for lifting
thank You for lifting
thank You for lifting mine head.

When I Think About the Lord by HILLSONG UNITED

When I Think about the Lord,
How He saved me, how He raised me,
how He filled me, with the Holy Ghost.
How He healed me, to the uttermost.

When I Think about the Lord,
how He picked me up and turned me around,
how He placed my feet on solid ground

It makes me wanna shout,
Hallelujah,
Thank you JESUS,
LORD, your worthy, of all the glory, and all the honor,
and all the praise…

March 23, 2017:  My Frapping God

For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help (boētheia: a rope or chain for frapping a vessel: ) in time of need.  Hebrews 4:15-16

When a boat was in danger of sinking, the crew would strap ropes or chains around the hull to strengthen and reinforce ship parts that were under great strain.  Frapping would keep the ship from splitting apart or falling to pieces during a violent storm.   The writer of Hebrews was communicating an important truth.  God can sustain and strengthen our lives in order to withstand any storm.  Thank God that He is a Frapping God!  The Holy Spirit held me together.

March 26, 2017:

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APRIL 13, 2017:

I heard this song for the first time. This became my anthem because I could feel the pain she was singing.  I believe in faith that I am complete in Him.  However, he is still perfecting me so that I will become his reflection.  Until he returns, I am still…

UNFINISHED  by Mandisa

Not scared to say it, I used to be the one
Preaching it to you, that you could overcome
I still believe it, but it ain’t easy
‘Cause that world I painted, where things just all work out
It started changing and I started having doubts
And it got me so down

But I picked myself back up
And I started telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
He’s still working on me

He started something good and I’m gonna believe it
He started something good and He’s gonna COMPLETE it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I’m just unfinished
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished

I know His history and the kind of God He is
He might make it a mystery
But He’s proving I can trust in Him
And yeah, I believe it

So I can pick myself back up
And keep on telling me
No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
No, my God’s not done

He started something good and I’m gonna believe it
He started something good and He’s gonna COMPLETE it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
(Yeah)
I’m just unfinished
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through

Still workin’
Still, still workin’ on me
He’s still workin’
Still, still workin’ on me

He started something good and I’m gonna believe it
He started something good and He’s gonna COMPLETE it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished
I’m just unfinished
(I’m just unfinished)
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished

Still workin’
Still, still workin’ on me
He’s still workin’
Still, still workin’ on me
Oh, yeah
I’m just unfinished

July 16, 2017: (And yet another healing of the soul song)

NOT TODAY by Hillsong

Trouble won’t throw me, won’t break me
Won’t scare me no more
Fear must have thought I was faithless
When it came for my heart

‘Cause I got a song that will never die
I know Your love is the reason why

I’ll sing the night into the morning
I’ll sing the fear into Your praise
I’ll sing my soul into Your presence
Whenever I say Your name
Let the devil know not today

Tell me did the enemy panic
As You took up that cross
Tell me did the darkness cry mercy
As You rolled back that rock

‘Cause I know Your life is the life in mine
I know Your love is the reason why

I’ll sing the night into the morning
I’ll sing the fear into Your praise
I’ll sing my soul into Your presence
Whenever I say Your name
Let the devil know not today
Whenever I say Your name, JESUS
Let the devil know not today
Not now, not ever again

Your love stood down death
Crushed the devil’s head
Fear is just a liar
Running out of breath
The fight beneath Your feet
I’m standing on Jesus name
So let the devil know not today
Let the devil know not today, no, no
Not now, not ever again, Jesus
Let the devil know not today
Not today, not today

I’ll sing the night into the morning
I’ll sing the fear into Your praise
I’ll sing my soul into Your presence
Whenever I say Your name, Jesus
Let the devil know not today
Let the devil know not today, no, no
Not now, not ever again
Let the devil know not today
Let the devil know not today
Let the devil know not today

August 10, 2017:

Excerpt from my journal. This was almost exactly one year from when my Glory Story began:

Dear God,

Thank you for loving me even when I have just chosen to exist. Thank you for loving me when I did not love myself.  Thank you for loving me back to You.  Thank You for mercy, grace and forgiveness for my disobedience. Thank You for healing a hurting heart. Thank You that just like my Glory Heart that broke into two pieces and was repaired, You have made my real heart whole again.

I am not sure exactly where I went wrong. I got off Your path. Hurt is all I can pinpoint. I know that I must let go completely.  I must trust You, God, completely.  I want Your presence, Your Glory.  What changes do I need to make? Show me and let me receive a new beginning.

Only my God could love me back to His presence with such a special passage:

My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being formed in secret,
and intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth. 16  Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book, were all written the days that were appointed for me, when yet there was not one of them.  
Psalm 139:15 &16

Thank you, God, that when I started to sink and could only swim to the other side that you were with me the whole time, holding me up.  I continue to live amazed and complete in Him!  No, Him, no me.  He is the God of the impossible.

I asked God why I had to go through this trial.  His answer came to me in these two verses:

 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.  Romans 8:17

If I suffer through with Him, I may be also glorified with him. And…

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.  2 Corinthians 3:18

We are transformed into the same image of our Father, from GLORY TO GLORY.  We do not jump from the mountain top of being in His presence to the next mountain top of experiencing His presence, His Glory.  There is a journey from Glory___ to ___Glory.  The journey is the “to” between the glories.  The “to,” the journey is what He uses to transform us, to change us to become more and more like him.  His presence changes us. The journey with him changes us.

My desire is “that I would walk worthy of God, who hath called me unto his kingdom and glory.”  1 Thessalonians 2:12

I shared this rather long testimony of a overcomer with you because the word says:

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. – Revelation 12:11 

I hope my testimony will encourage you in faith.  I hope that when trials come your way that you know you can be confident in His word and His faithfulness.  He will bring you through and to the other side.  He is faithful that promised.

My prayer for you:

 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you complete, perfect, establish, strengthen, settle [you]. 11 To him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:10-11 KJV

What about 2018? Are you ready? Let’s go! All glory to God!

My Glory Story: Glory Revealed, Part 2

One year ago, December 23, 2016, I sat down at the feet of Jesus to study His word.  I chose to be Mary instead of Martha on this day(Luke 10:38-42).  I had several devotions that I usually read.  The devotions gave me a focus for the day or lead me in a direction of study. The Holy Spirit Brought me to:

John 17:22-26

 22 And the glory which thou gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou loved me before the foundation of the world

 I wrote in my journal:   WOW!!! Merry Christmas to me! God has given me His Glory! What?!  I still need more revelation on your glory in verse 23 and what that means exactly.

This scripture, this question and the God-answer that followed has forever changed my life. God took me on a year long journey teaching me about His Glory.  I began to study the Greek definition of the word glory:

doxa: opinion, judgment, view, opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone

  1. in the NT always, a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honor, and glory
  1. splendor, brightness
    1. of the moon, sun, stars
    2. magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
    3. majesty
      1. a thing belonging to God
        1. the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
      2. a thing belonging to Christ
        1. the kingly majesty of the Messiah
        2. the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty
      3. of the angels
        1. as apparent in their exterior brightness
      4. a most glorious condition, most exalted state
        1. of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
        2. the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Savior’s return from heaven

I looked for all the glory scriptures I could find.  If God had given me His glory, I wanted to know exactly what that meant.

Psalm 8:4-5 KJV

 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visit him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned (encompassed) him with glory and honor.

Not only had God given me His glory, he crowned me with His glory or at least he did in the beginning.  The glory of God was Adam’s clothing.  Adam’s whole being was glorious and radiated. Sadly,

 Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Adam chose to take off God’s glory and put on Satan’s lying rags.  BUT GOD, he had a different plan.  God himself stepped out of heaven, removed His Glory coat and put on man. Jesus came as a baby but a man, at the cross he bought back our right to don the glory.  I realized that  I got a new coat for Christmas this year;  it had been mine since salvation.  However, I did not know the full story.  Now because of Jesus,  God only sees me through Jesus in all His glory.

Why did he give us His glory? John 17:23 tells us…so that we may be perfect, complete,

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

We become like our father.  People call it a “spitting image.” We reflect the very image of our Father, His glory.  He also gives us His glory so that we will KNOW how very loved we are.

Next verse from the Holy Spirit on December 23, 2016:

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

Praise God.  He was all over me.  Let’s look at how very powerful this verse is. In the Greek, arise is quwm.  It means to rise, stand up, become powerful, come on the scene, to stand: maintain oneself, to be established, to be fixed, to be set; to endure.  Shine is owr (v) in Greek.  It means to be or become light; to be illuminated, to give light, make shine, lighten, like the break of day, set on fire.  Light, ‘owr (n) in Greek means light of day, light of heavenly luminaries (moon, sun, stars), day-break, dawn, morning light, lightning, light of lamp, light of life, light of prosperity, light of instruction, light of face (fig.), Jehovah as Israel’s light  Risen is zârach; a properly, to irradiate (or shoot forth beams), i.e. to rise (as the sun);

Glory! Glory! Glory! Can you see what a gift He has given us?

Man, separated from God for four thousand years, could now gaze upon God’s glory again, could now see God, could know God as He is and be reunited with Him.  “And the Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us, and we gazed upon his glory-A glory full of favor and truth.”  John 1:14  from Faith Food Devotions, Kenneth E. Hagin 12/24

I continued studying that early December morning and at 6:47 AM,  I raised my head just to meditate on this verse and everything the Holy Spirit was sharing with me about His glory.  I caught the faintest pink reflecting in the glass of my china cabinet.  I looked out my lunette window to see what looked like a cloudy day, but in fact, I glimpsed the faintest smear of vibrant, fiery pink painted in the eastern sky.  I could not really see the full sky, so I ran outside to capture this moment in a photo.  This was the Masterpiece that God handed me.

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Amazing, all of it! God’s timing! His revelation of His Glory.

Psalm 72:19, And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Then Isaiah 60:2, For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

And, Isaiah 60:19, The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

Psalm 143:8,  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.

This morning brought me the word of His unfailing love and His glory!   I was so overwhelmed with His presence, His Glory.  My Lord had just illuminated and flooded me with light about His Glory.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. – 2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV

And then I read, “shine” is like sunrise or break of day.  Sunrise is one of my very favorite times of day particularly at the beach.

This is just the beginning of the story.  What happened next is what we call, living amazed.  I suddenly remembered a picture that I had just hung over my bed on December 9, 2016.  I had felt an urgency to blow up this picture from earlier in the year, frame it and hang it.  I didn’t really like where I hung it, but now I know why the urgency and why it hangs over our bed. This is the picture.  It was taken August 17, 2016.

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The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy work. – Psalm 19:1

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. – 1 Chronicles 29:11

O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. – Psalm 8:1

We were blessed to vacation the week of August 14-19, 2016 at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.  Scott Wells graciously allowed us to use her adorable condo. I love seeing the sunrise at the beach.  Where we were vacationing, the beach ran east to west.  I could not see the sunrise in the east over the ocean.  However, if I walked about 1.5 miles from Tar Landing Villas to the point, Fort Macon State Park, I would be facing east and in position to catch daybreak.  I was determined to catch the break of  day.  I checked the time for sunrise and made my plans to pursue.  Here is an excerpt from my journal:

August 17, 2016:

…I know my theme this week is hear, listen.  I keep finding ear shells on the beach.

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I left the house at 5:45 AM. The sky was so beautiful by 6AM. I was determined to walk to the point at Fort Macon to see the sunrise over the ocean.  Not a soul was on the beach and suddenly one man appeared and passed me.  I eventually caught up and passed him because his back was obstructing the clear view in all my pictures.  As I began to photograph, where the sun was breaking the horizon, a cross shape formed. As the sun began its journey to takes its place in the clear, blue sky, the cross shape became crisper.  It was beautiful.  I could not take a picture of the sun where the cross was not present.

 I sat not only at the feet of Jesus, but at the foot of the cross.  A group of rocks jutted out into the sea, I took my place on one of the rocks to see the performance in the sky that I believe God had orchestrated just for me.  I turned on Oceans by Hillsong. I wept, I sang loud and prayed to our Father.  I sang the song over and over as I took in the masterpiece God had painted for me on this special day.  And, I meant every word of that song.  On the way back to the condo, I found three of the most perfect little shells.  Special, Special time!

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

This picture captured a defining moment in my life.  I had a divine appoint with my heavenly Father on that day.  He demonstrated His Glory to me on August 17 and again on December 23 with glorious displays in the sky and an overwhelming sense of His presence.  He would use this picture to illustrate His Glory, His Presence in my life every day because it still hangs over our bed.  However, wait, there is more. This is where you need to buckle your seat belt.

On August 10, 2016, I wrote this in my journal:

Holy Spirit Break*:   You are going to experience something /revelation at the beach and your life will never be the same.  There will be no turning back.

*Holy Spirit Breaks happen in the middle of my studies.  The Holy Spirit interjects and tells me something.  I treat it like a commercial break on TV.  However, when the H.S., intersects the flow of study, I know it is important and that I better pay attention.  I did not remember writing this until I went back to my journal to read about my time at the beach to write this story.

Now, let’s return to December 2016.

On December 21, 2016, I wrote this in my journal:

LASER FOCUS!!! JP: FIX YOUR EYES ON GOD’S UNSHAKABLE WORD –Don’t look at all the moving waves around you, look at the stable horizon far way.  Look at the stationary line and you will feel better.  Look to Jesus.

 Remember my revelation about God’s Gory happened on December 23.  He was connecting the dots and preparing to teach me about His glory in advance.

 December 25, 2016, Christmas Day:

Kris, my husband, likes for me to open his best gift for me last.  This year my best gift came in a small, neatly wrapped package.  When I unwrapped the square little present, the box read, Elliott’s Jewelers.  I immediately knew there was something special inside.  Elliott is a dear friend who just happens to be a custom jeweler, too.  I had no idea as to the contents of my perfect little package.   I opened it and I was surprised.  Even after I opened it, I really didn’t know what it was.  Kris went on to explain that he had found this heart shaped shell on the beach, Atlantic Beach, when he was running during our vacation back in August.  How very thoughtful. The tears began to flow like a river.  I love hearts and that was such a precious time with my God.  I loved it!  It was my Glory gift.

It was later Christmas Day that I started asking questions about when Kris found the shell.  We narrowed the day down to August 17, 2017!  How?  On the very same day that I walked to the point, Kris ran to the point and picked up the shell.  (He got a huge blister on his foot and couldn’t run anymore that week. He knew that he picked it up the last day that he ran.)  He picked up that one tiny shell of all the shells on the beach.  Usually, he would immediately give me the shell, but he tucked it in his pocket, brought it home and had a pendant made for me. The Holy Spirit led me back to my journal and this is the Holy Spirit woven together story that unfolded. Remember my earlier journal excerpt from August 17?

Look at the picture I drew on that day.  It is to the right of my shell pendant.  It is my shell.IMG-4089(1)Remember? I said that I kept finding ear shells.  I stopped t and looked through all of the shells I picked up.  They all looked like ears,  but none looked like a heart and an ear.

The Holy Spirit led Kris to pick up my shell on the same exact day that I had my experience with my Heavenly Father. It was a gift of love from Kris because he knew that I loved hearts, but more than that it was a gift of love from my Daddy!  What a plan!  Once again, God showed me how much he loves ME!  He cared enough to deliver this priceless treasure to me. Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders? – Exodus 15:11   This is my Glory Story! God presence overwhelmed me on August 17, December 23 and December 25!  Jesus is the most precious gift God could give me, then Kris and the boys to follow and of course my family and friends.  However, on August 17 after my experience at the point with my God, I had looked for the one perfect shell on my return to the condo.  I found three little shells, however, God delivered me the perfect shell a few months later on Christmas Day.  It is a constant reminder of His Love, His Glory, and His Presence with me always.  I also wear it and it is an icebreaker with many people. It allows me to share my Glory Story and the true Glory Story of Jesus with others.

This Christmas was not about presents, but about presence.  It was about God’s presence, His Glory with and on us and our presence with our family and friends.

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This is another picture from August 17, 2016. I felt like the rays were God just reaching down and bathing me in His presence.  One time, when Brayden was a very small boy, after observing the sun rays touching the mountain tops of east Tennessee, he said, “Mommy, that is how God slides down to earth.”

The voice of the LORD [is] upon the waters: the God of glory thunders: the LORD [is] upon many waters. – Psalm 29:3

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. – Psalm 57:5

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD [is] a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand [are] the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills [is] his also. 5 The sea [is] his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry [land]. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. – Psalm 95:1-6

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14 KJV

It took me almost a year to write this story because there is more, the story continues…

My Glory Story: The Journey, Part 1

I chose Jesus as my Savior long ago. I have not always allowed Him to be my Lord. Through the journey of life my Jesus has always been a focus.  If He had always been the focus, my life would have been much happier and a whole lot easier. I would have made better choices. I would have sinned a whole lot less and I would have been in God’s word a whole lot more.

December of 1998, we moved into what I thought would be our forever home. God rocked my world in September 1999.  Kris took a job, 3 hours away from this forever home.  We miraculously sold our home at our moving sale. (I need to write another story about how God has miraculously sells ALL our homes by owner…when He decides it is time for us move.) The boys and I followed Kris to Knoxville in January of 2000.  I was unemployed and at home with  two small boys, 2 and 5.  I didn’t know anybody. To say that I was unhappy about this move was a huge understatement.  I think I pouted about 3 years, not to mention the world was in unrest over the 9/11 attack of the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon in 2001.  I was searching.  I was wandering, making wrong decisions and in general trying to find the meaning of life.

One day, I was sitting in church and I asked this question, “If Jesus has all the answers, then what are they?”  I came us with this equation, J + ? = ________.   Sometime in 2002, the Holy Spirit led me to Colossians 2:10, And you are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power.  He completed the equation.  Jesus turned my questions, my life, my world upside down.  He finished the equation with this little drawing,  J + ? =  (see image above)

Over the last 15 years of ups, downs and all arounds of life, God has taught me what it means to be COMPLETE IN HIM. I have learned the most from the Holy Spirit and from studying God’s Word, the Bible. (How can you say you are in a relationship with someone and not spend time with them?)  I have learned from pastors. I have learned from other teachers. I have learned from books, cassette tapes, cd’s, DVD’s, uploads and downloads, devotions and even Facebook posts.  I have learned from dear friends and relatives.

My life took a radical turn toward my Jesus in 2010.  Kris was offered a double-your-salary opportunity in Memphis, TN. It was all way across the state.  It was six hours away from our life.  It was away from all we knew.  We, our family, had built many strong relationships over the past 10 years. It was six hours away from University of Tennessee and Tennessee football.  It was also six hours away from Maryville football.   My oldest son, Brayden, was 15 years old.  He had started as a Sophomore in 2009 for the Maryville Rebels who had won the last 8 out of 10 State football championships.  They had been to all ten championships.  He was a rising junior.  I cannot put in words the pain and torment this caused Brayden and us.  We considered allowing Brayden to finish his high school career at Maryville.  However, we would have been in the same boat with Parker 2 years later.   We even thought about letting Brayden live with some of our best friends and finish out at Maryville.  Thank God, we did not make that decision!

Then, there was Parker.  Sweet little Parker.  He had played baseball and attended church with the same group of boys since he was about five years old.  They were our family along with our Maryville football family. What were we to do?   I experienced many sleepless nights.  We had to decide and fast. Finally, after continually seeking God, He gave me a word one early morning in July of 2010.  It was “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will guide the with my eye.” (Psalm 32:8)   I put this in my spirit and banked on this word from God. We rightly chose to keep our family together and to move west.

God jumped through hoops and performed many miracles to get all the things in order for us to move within one month.  This included having the boys in two different schools in two different cities.  Brayden was admitted to the private school of his choice, Memphis University School and Parker would enter the Collierville School System.   Let me say that being led by God is not always easy.  As a matter of fact, portions of the six years in Memphis were hell.  To quote Charles Dickens from A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way …”Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

However, in my sadness and desperation, I knew the only answer was God and family.  I connected with a long- lost friend on Facebook who led me to study the Love of God.  I learned about a different God.  He was All Loving.  He was forgiving.  He was not condemning.  He was compassionate.  I learned that there was not one thing that I could do or say that would change His love for me.  My life began to change.  I began to accept me for me, but most of all who I was in Him, complete.  I learned that he paid a very high price for my salvation, here and now and for eternity.  His love just blew me away.  I had a lot of growing to do.  I learned to choose faith and not fear. I had lived much of my life in fear and anxious.  I learned both were sin and that I was trusting Satan more that God if I continue live in fear and not trust Him.  He put people in my path to pray with me and for my family.  We, all,  lost “friends” along this journey.  We also gained some new, invaluable friendships.  The young men and families of Memphis University School could not have been any warmer and welcoming to Brayden. Many of these men are still his best friends and roommates  I joined a group of women who prayed for the football team every week before the football games. What a blessing they were.  God had placed Brayden at MUS.   It took us a while to grow relationships in Collierville because we were so wrapped up in Brayden’s final two years of high school and all that goes with it.  However, the relationships soon bloomed in Collierville, too.  And, God had put Parker in Collierville for a reason, too.

One thing that surprised me most from our move was that God used it to heal a broken friendship in Maryville.  How did he do it?  We both underwent some pruning.  Our desire was to learn more about our Father, our Jesus and our sweet Holy Spirit.  God completely healed our relationship.  He grew us stronger individually and in Him.  He grew us stronger together in Him.  I now have a sister that I never had and a best friend in the Lord.

With every trial and every test, too numerous to count, God brought our family through and shined big in our life.  The move was hard.  It was so painful.  However, Brayden nor Parker would be experiencing the level of success in their lives that they are enjoying had we not made the move.  Many of you know their success stories.  We are truly blessed and living amazed in a favored life.  I will share about their individual success stories later; neither came without painful trials.

Fast forward to June 2013, my world was shaken again for a couple of different reasons and I didn’t know what direction to go.  However, once again, God led me to Psalm 32:8 and he promised he would instruct me on what to do and he did.  I made a commitment to read the Bible every day for at least thirty minutes.  I went from reading one devotional, to multiple devotionals.  I went from spending thirty minutes learning about my God to 2015, where I was spending hours with him.  I learned that I am WHOLE, HEALED and COMPLETE in Him.  He taught me Psalm 37. He taught me to believe and live out that word which ended in a friendship of a lifetime and  trip of a lifetime to French Polynesia.  The end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 was spent learning the lesson of waiting on the Lord.  However, when he decided to move, WOW!!!

Kris was offered a job back in Clarksville, TN in January of 2016.  Parker our youngest just happened to be playing college ball at Austin Peay State University. We would not have to travel three hours to see him play.  We would be living in the same city. Kris began his position at APSU on March 1, 2016.

I was left to sell the house and to finish my job as caregiver for my terminally ill, Ms. Violet.  However, Ms. Vi died February 10, 2016.  She left a huge hole in my heart, but God healed it and filled it.  Kris began working in Clarksville and I was preparing the house to sell.  I was afforded a lot of time alone with God.  I cannot begin to tell you how our relationship flourished.  It was amazing.  It was crazy.  I was “Living Amazed.” (My bff coined that phrase.)    If you choose to spend time in God’s word, it will renovate your life.  His word changed me from the inside out.  My drug of choice had been food.  It became insignificant in my life and through Him.  I lost 51 lbs.  I was able to put our house on the market and sell it by owner in just days.  We found our dream home in Clarksville in late February.  However, we kept looking for other houses because we thought that house was out of reach.  However, God had a different plan and blessed us with THAT house.  We moved into it in early June.

In July of last year, I went to Washington, D.C. with my dear sister in Christ.  We had the privilege to attend Together 2016.  We sat on the mall between Washington monument and the White House.  We prayed with tens of thousands of others about our Nation, the upcoming election and about the youth of our nation.  God showed me in DC how to really see people.  He showed me how to see their hearts.  It was an amazing experience to really see people and not just a person passing in this journey of life.  We got to love on people all over DC.  To say that the trip changed my life is an understatement.  I was diving deeper and deeper into my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  It’s so hard to put into words what was going on in my life.

In August 2016 Kris, Parker and I were blessed to go to Atlantic Beach, NC to stay at a friend’s condo.  This is where “My Glory Story” begins.

You need to know that the beach is THE place where I feel closest to God.  I can close out the world and just focus on my God and His majestic creation. I love to get up early.  I love to get up before the sun rises and spend time with Him.  I love to walk the beach and find shells in the early morning.  I love to chase the sunrise and the sunset. I love spending quality time with my family.  Many say the beach is their “HAPPY PLACE.”  It is most definitely mine.