WHY SO MUCH PAIN?

 

After seeing, “I Can Only Imagine,” the movie, my biggest question to my God:  Why so much pain? Why the children? This song was born of such much pain.  Here is the response I received:

Joyce Meyer-Look at her ministry. She was sexually abused by her father.  She grew out of unimaginable pain.

Kenneth Hagin– Look at his ministry.  He was the modern-day father of faith. He was a teenager on his death bed.  His faith grew out of so much unimaginable physical pain.

Kenneth and Gloria Copeland– Look at their ministry.  They dared to believe God at His word and the grew out of the unimaginable pain of poverty.

Abraham-Look at Abraham. He was the father of faith.  He grew out of the unimaginable pain of being childless at 100 years old.  Abraham dare to believe God. He is the father of many nations.

Mike Burnette-Look at Mike (our pastor).  He grew out of the unimaginable pain of being fatherless. His family was asked to leave a church from a pulpit.   He dared to believe God and look what God is doing now.

Again, I asked.  WHY SO MUCH PAIN?  My answer was Satan meant it for pain. Satan meant it for destruction.  He comes to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10) That is his plan.  However, I, I AM, the Lord, turned the pain for gain, for life abundantly.

The conversation between the Holy Spirit and I continued.  “Now, Tammy, I have a question for you.” I heard this in my spirit as loud as if Jesus had been sitting right beside me and asking.  The question:

“Has any one person ever endured more pain than Jesus? He was born to die an unimaginable death for you.”

My Bible says that his accusers, the religious of the day, spit in his face. They struck him with their fists. The slapped him with open hands. They tied him to a post and beat him unmercifully. The soldiers stripped him naked and dressed him up like a king and made so much fun of him. The crowned him with a crown of thorns. Come on, think how painful just a splinter is.  They spat in his face again. They took the reed and hit him in the head with the crown of thorn on.  When this group finished making fun of him, they ripped of the robe which had to be excruciating if the blood had begun to dry.  After parading him through the streets, the reached Golgotha and then they nailed him to the cross. They didn’t smooth out the wood of the cross, so all those splinters were poking into his open wounds, too.  However, then the most imaginable and painful thing happened to him.  Jesus took all our sins on Him.  He did nothing wrong, but he took all of this for me and for you.  Why would he take the unimaginable punishment that we deserved? Simply, he loves us.

Thank God he paid the painful price for us. He was tempted with every temptation we would ever encounter but chose to live sinless.  The best news is that he OVERCAME death and was resurrected.  His resurrection tells us, it’s paid, and you are free.

He endured the pain so that we may reign with Him.

All of God’s people that I mentioned above, died to their old selves and were resurrected to their new selves in Christ.  They got a second chance at the life God had always intended for them to live. They exchanged the unimaginable pain for an imaginable reign.  The chose to believe God. Enduring the pain is training for reigning.  If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. 2 Timothy 2:12

If you have experienced unimaginable pain, it is not God.  His plan for your life is better. Choose Jesus.  He died for me.  He died for you. He loves you and you are so very important to him. There is nothing that you have done that he will not forgive. He died for that very mistake.  He gave his life so that you could have life.  If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; Look, all things are new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

 

MY FRAPPING GOD

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Let us come boldly, be unreserved in speech, speak frankly without concealment be free, fearless, outspoken, frank, blunt, flow and pour forth to the throne of grace; that we may obtain, take, make our own, claim and receive what is given…mercy(kindness, compassion) and find grace(unmerited favor) to HELP in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Help is the Greek word: boētheia: to aid; a rope or chain for frapping a vessel.

To frap:

  1. (Nautical) To draw together; to bind with a view to secure and strengthen, as a vessel by passing cables around it; to tighten;

Wooden ships were frapped by wrapping a strong ropes (4-5″ diameter) or cables around the hull of the ship 4 or 5 times. During violent storms and high seas, frapping would secure the hull. Frapping would ultimately save a ship and keep it from falling to pieces!

When we come boldly to our Heavenly Father’s throne of grace, we find strong cords of mercy and grace that secure our tottering hull of a body in our time of need, temptation or trial. God’s mercy and grace are our frapping in the storms of life that help us reach the other side and keep us from falling to pieces!

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FOCUS

It was raining cats and dogs. The thought darted across my mind to stay at home and not to volunteer at YAIPaks.   I replied to myself, “Not a chance! Stay Focused.” I got in my car and off I went. When I topped the hill to turn into YAIPaks, this sunset masterpiece greeted me from the heavens. Thank you Father. You are so faithful! 674397F0-5BA7-42AD-A951-322A279EED0E

I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

How I found YAIPaks

November 2, 2017

Dear Sweet, Precious, Almighty, Heavenly Father:

 You never cease to amaze me! Your ways are unimaginable. You have so intricately woven our lives, our journey, our divine appointments. La, la, la…always living amazed.

 Tammy

 Sunday night, October 29, 2017, my B.A.S.I.L. (Best Anointed Sister In the Lord), Kristi, called to tell me about her women’s ministry at church in Maryville, TN.  They collected handbags and put essential toiletries in them for distribution to the homeless.  No sooner did she leave the doors of the church, did she encounter a homeless woman in the church parking lot.  She saw the woman’s car full of all her worldly possesions.  The homeless woman had left a small opening in the driver’s seat which functioned as her living room, dining room and bedroom.  Kristi was saddened that she could not get back in the church and give the lady one of the bags they had prepared.  She initially drove away,  but was soon so moved with compassion that she could only turn her car around to go encounter the homeless lady.  Kristi prepared a box of leftover bakery cookies for the woman.  She picked out the very best cookies, a good assortment.  She wanted the lady to have the best of the leftovers, no broken cookies.

It was important for her to give her best to her new friend.

Kristi returned to the dark and lonely parking lot in faith, no fear.  In the past she would have called me to pray with her or to be on the phone with her, during one of her “Holy Spirit stops.” Not today.  She confidently became the hands and feet of Jesus. She went and ministered to her new friend, Sharon.

Kristi’s story of compassion stirred my inner man as only the Holy Spirit can do.  As Sunday night progressed, I knew I was about to be in another Holy Spirit whirlwind.  “Buckle your seat belt. Here we go!” I could hear the Spirit saying.  I thought I will call Mayor Jim Durrett in the morning.  I was sure he would know where the major concentration of homeless were in Clarksville, Montgomery County.  I thought I could at least make PB &J’s and delver them.  If the mayor didn’t know where the homeless were, he could direct me.

I was stirred. I KNEW I HAD TO DO SOMETHING!   Be merciful, as your Father also is merciful. – Luke 6:36 KJV

On Monday morning, October 30, 2017, after an anointed prayer time with Kristi where the glory of the Lord showed up, I spent some additional time in His Word.  It was then off to the Monday race.  I checked my emails. It did not take me very long to discover an email from the APSU Women’s Club.  Who was speaking at our next meeting on Thursday, November 2. 2017?  Sherry Nicholson was speaking about a HOMELESS ministry and how we could become involved.  La, la, la…only my God.

I went to the meeting. I was blown away!  Sherry stood in front of us and spoke for one hour as a confident ambassador of Jesus.  She passionately shared her mission as founder of YAIPaks.  What an incredible testimony she delivered on how God wove her ministry  together.

Sherry shared how YAIPaks was born.  She became overcome with compassion for a woman she saw on the street. The woman was sitting on a bench trying to comb through her matted hair.  Sherry also noticed a small stuffed animal in the woman’s basket of possessions.  She knew it must be of great importance to her.  Sherry told the story of how she and her children had been homeless for one week while escaping domestic violence. Sherry had also carried with her a small stuffed animal which was the only thing that she had that connected her with her birth mother.   Sherry said she went home that night, retreated to her prayer closet and prayed all night.  The Holy Spirit led her to pack her abundance of handbags with anything that would have been beneficial to her during the time she was homeless.  Thus, the Holy Spirit birthed YAIPaks.

I love that the Holy Spirt told both groups of women to extravagantly love the homeless. NO JUNK!

After Sherry spoke that day, I questioned her about serve time.  She explained the schedule to me.  She quietly whispered to me as she walked out the door, “We are serving tonight!”  I went home thinking I could volunteer on Monday mornings and see where God directed me.  I called Kristi later on Thursday to tell her about YAIPAks.  She had already ministered to Sharon again in the church parking lot.  She had given Sharon the very best packed bag that she could find.  I cooked supper and was excited that Kris was coming home early.  However, I kept hearing Sherry’s voice, “We will be there tonight!”

I soon realized it was time to GO!  Compassion had to take action.  God had put this opportunity in my lap.  I showed up at the YAIPaks warehouse.  The bees were busy.  Tracy gave me a tour and I began sorting clothes.  They distribute clothes to the homeless, too.

In less than four days, 96 hours, God had orchestrated my next journey.  And…where do the YAIPaks Team go to church?  Lifepoint, our new church.  And what did Kris and I have planned on November 5, 2017? We were starting Growth-Track with the purpose of determining where we could serve at church.

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Love my new assignment!  Who loves sorting and folding clothes? I do.  The Holy Spirit led me to pray over the items as I fold and sort.   This isn’t a job for the Kingdom.  It is mission!  Some sweet homeless baby, toddler, child or adult will be stepping into the article of clothing.  The anointing doesn’t wear off.  I pray that compassion and love will forever change their lives. We are the hands and feet of Jesus on the earth now, His ambassadors.  Changing lives for His glory is our assignment. Go make a difference.

 Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. – 1 John 3:16-18 KJV

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Glorify God

The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isa 6:3 NKJV

The distinction between sacred and secular is a false dichotomy. All things were created by God and for God—no exceptions. Every note of music, every color on the palette, every flavor that tingles the taste buds. Arnold Sommerfeld, the German physicist and pianist, observed that a single hydrogen atom which emits one hundred frequencies, is more musical than a grand piano which emits only eighty-seven frequencies. So every single atom is a unique expression of worship. According to composer Leonard Bernstein, the best translation of Genesis 1:3 is not “And God said.” He believed a better translation is “And God sang.” The Almighty sang every atom into existence, and every atom echoes that original melody in three-part harmony by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Super-sensitive sound instruments have discovered that earthworms make faint staccato sounds, while whale songs can travel thousands of miles under water. Lewis Thomas put it this way: “If we had better hearing and could discern the descants of seabirds, the rhythmic timpani of schools of mullets, and even the distant harmonies of flies hanging over meadows in the sun, the combined sound might lift us off our feet.” And some day they will. Glorified eardrums will hear this Scripture fulfilled: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!’” (Rev 5:13 NIV). Today make it your goal to glorify God in all that you do.  – Jentezen Franklin (Online Daily Devotional)

BABY BOY

God is Love. Pure unadulterated love. He loves you and I unconditionally.
He is so forgiving. He is full of mercy, grace and kindness.

Could you give up your baby boy to save the world? I mean your only child! I have two boys and I can hardly entertain the idea.
Could you give up your baby boy to pay for every sin, sickness, disease, wrong choice?
Could you give up your baby boy who chose to live a perfect life to pay for the sins of those who didn’t make the same choice?  Would you allow your baby to take the fall for others who chose to lie, steal, kill and destroy?  Would you let him be the scapegoat?  Would you let bully’s badger your baby boy? God did…

You have heard it so many times. Has it lost its meaning to you?  Read it again. Think about your baby boy.  You think you love him more than God loved, loves and will always love his baby boy?  I don’t think so.
For God sooooooo loved the world, that he gave his only one of a kind Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

My love renovation/restoration began in 2000 and then another significant remodel beginning in 2010. I studied and learned that God really loved me and it didn’t matter what I had done because it was ALL ABOUT JESUS.  It was and is all about what He did for me.  It is all about the love. It took 17 years to say “I am complete in HIM.” It is only because God gave up His baby boy that  I can live life abundantly now.    I can live abundantly because I know how much God loved, loves and will always love me.  Knowing God’s love completes me!  I ask again, could you give up your baby boy?  (Revised from 2017 post)

PRAY

How excited are you when you receive a call from one of your kids?  Don’t you enjoy when the conversation lingers, and they share with you the details of their lives?  Doesn’t it just warm your heart?  How about when they call and ask for simple advice, help or instruction.  This mother loves to hear from her boys any time of the day or night. I usually stop what I am doing to immediately answer their call. (They would say: “Sure, if she even has her ringer on.”)

How satisfying is it to help your children?  What a blessing it is to be a blessing to them.  Don’t you enjoy when you are able to meet their needs or better yet, you have fulfilled one of their desires.  How much more does our Heavenly Father want to do this in our lives?  He says, “Pray without ceasing!” -1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Call Me all the time, anytime,” He says!

If the Georgia Bulldogs were your favorite football team and Coach Kirby Smart gave you his cell number with the instructions to call anytime, wouldn’t you call him?  What if President Trump gave you his cell?  “Call me,” he says.  How many times would you have called him in the past year?  How about Tim Cook, CEO of Apple or Lowell C. McAdam, CEO of Verizon, if you had their cell numbers, would you use it?  You better believe that I would use the numbers.

As a Christian, how often do access your direct line to the very throne of the Creator of the Universe?  Grab hold of the fact that the Greatest, the one and only Creator, God wants to hear from you.   You have an all access pass!  He knows everything.  He has all the answers.  He is always available.  You will never have to leave a message. You will not get a busy signal.  He will not ignore nor decline your call.  He will not respond with a text stating: Sorry I can’t talk right now nor with can I call you later.

 [But] verily God hath heard [me]; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed [be] God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. – Psalm 66:19-20 KJV

Troubled?  Pray.  -James 5:13, Psalm 50:15, 86:7

Weary?  Pray. -Luke 18:1

Sick?  Pray.  -James 5:14,15

Worried?   Pray. -Philippians 4:6

Feel used?  Pray.  -Luke 6:28

Protection?  Pray.  -Psalm 18:3, 50:15

Temptation? Pray.  -Mathew 26:41, Mark 14:38

Salvation?  Pray.  -Psalm 18:3, Romans 10:13

Family member salvation?  -Pray.  Mathew 9:38, Luke 10:2

I hear you right now saying: “I don’t know how to pray. I will not do it correctly. I will not say the right thing.”

Your loving Father full of grace and mercy wants to hear from you.  Do your kids have to address you in a special manner? Do have to talk to your parents in a particular way?  No, is the answer.  God unconditionally loves you.  Nobody wants to hear from you more than God.  Call Him and often.  He is waiting for your call.  Do you know your prayers are so precious to God that he keeps them in golden vials, shallow bowls in heaven? (Revelation 5:8)

I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting holy hands, without wrath and doubting. – 1 Timothy 2:8 KJV

 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continually instant in prayer; – Romans 12:12

 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; – Ephesians 6:18 KJV

 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; – Colossians 4:2 KJV

 

WALK BY FAITH

For we walk by faith, not by sight: – 2 Corinthians 5:7

I read a devotional last year at this very same time.  2 Corinthians 5:7 was the focus verse.  The Holy Spirit took me on an intense three-day journey that shed light on what it means to “walk by faith.’   A year later, I can tell you that light is still being shed, almost daily, on what it means to walk by faith.

Here is what the Holy Spirit taught me by simply investigating  the Greek definitions of the words in the verse.

WE (We do it together. “We” includes God, Tammy and whoever I am walking with through the journey of life.  I used to think it was me against the world.  I thought I could do life and everything all by myself.  I need “we.”)

WALK (peripateo) make your way, progress, make due use of opportunities, be occupied, live, conduct one’s life, follow as a companion, tread all around

Peripateo is a compound of word of peri and pateo.

Further definition of peri:

We walk through, all over, about, concerning, all around, beyond, completely.

Further definition of pateo: We tread, tread under foot, trample, crush with feet, advance by setting foot upon foot upon foot and tread upon tread.  To encounter successfully the greatest perils from the machinations and persecutions with which Satan would happily try to thwart the preaching of the gospel; to treat with insult and contempt.

Pateo is probably from a derivative of paio: We strike, smite, to sting, to hit with a single blow.

So, we walk, crush it or hit “it” with a single blow, and encounter successfully Satan’s plans against us…

How?

BY (dia) preposition denoting the channel of act:  through time, through place, through means.

FAITH (pistis) belief, conviction that God exists and was, is, and will alwaybs be, creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of salvation through Christ who is the Messiah who was born of a virgin, died and rose again.

Simply, faith is believing that God is who He says He is and will do all that His Word says He will do.

NOT (ou) no, not, no never ever, we cannot, God forbid

BY SIGHT (eidos) external outward appearance, form, figure, shape, see, perceive.

What we perceive may not be the truth.  The Truth is God’s Word and what it says.

The world may perceive that you are in a dead in situation (body, life, work, marriage, children). The Word says in John 10:10 that “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy (my body, my life, my work, my marriage, my kids):  I (Jesus) am come that they might have life (body, work, marriage, kids) and they might have it more abundantly.  The word of God is always going to be in opposition to anything that the devil might feed to your thoughts.  The word devil by Greek definition is diablos which means prone to slander, false accuser, slanderous, liar.

God says: devil says:
Life Death
Whole Incomplete
Healed Sick & Diseased
Complete Lacking
Comfort Pain
Success Failure
Joy & Happiness Sadness & Sorrow
Blessed Cursed
Prosperity Poverty
Help Hinder
Truth Lie
Light Darkness
  1. You have a choice.  And, it is your choice!  Believe the devil and walk in fear or the best way, believe God.  Walk in faith and not by sight!  “Crush it, Girl!” is what this verse means to me.

I Got Paid to Go to the 2018 CFP National Championship, but…

I am from Athens, Georgia.  I am a-long time fan of the Dawgs and an alumna of the University of Georgia.  I have been going to Georgia football games since I was five years old.  Back in December, I was blessed by oldest son, Brayden, with 3 tickets to the 2017 South Eastern Conference Championship.  I took my very best friends from college, Pam Worsham and Bobbe Gillis.

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My ‘dawgs upset the Auburn Tigers and advanced to the College Football Playoff Semi-Final at the Rose Bowl.

When I returned home from that game on Monday night, I ate something and got food poisoning for the first time in my life.  It was horrible.  I was up all night.  I was very, very, sick.  To be honest, I was not in my right mind.  After being up all night and day, my husband called and asked if I wanted to go to the Rose Bowl.  An old friend who manages a travel agency had asked him prior to the SEC championship to help with a travel group that she would be taking to the Rose Bowl if Georgia won.  She had called to confirm and give Kris the travel details.   Kris’ flight and hotel accommodations would be taken care of.  He would also be generously compensated for his time.  She even offered me a great deal on a flight to Pasadena.  No brainer? Right?  It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see my Dawgs play in the Rose Bowl and to see the Rose Bowl parade. Let’s go!

The next morning, I was still feeling bad and out of my head.  I reconsidered my positive response.  We did not have tickets.  I understood the trip had been shortened from 5 days to 3 days.  I also understood that the hotel had changed from Santa Monica beach to Beverly Hills.  Hmm?  Kris was out-of-town on business.  I called him as he was getting in a cab to go to the airport to head home.  He was a little distracted.  Long story short, I thought he confirmed what I had understood.   Consequently, I told him to cancel my flight if he could.  Unfortunately, I later found out that I had misunderstood him and should have never cancelled my flight.

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Later in the week, after Kris arrived in California, my oldest son called.  He informed us that he had us two tickets on the thirty yard line, Georgia side, for the Rose Bowl.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to attend.  I turned down a free room, a cheap flight and ultimately, tickets to one of the best football games ever.  I blame the food poisoning!

IMG-4994(1)Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

As soon as Georgia won the Rose Bowl in double over-time, I went online to search for tickets to the National Championship.  The upper level seats were going for about $2800 each and lower level tickets were at about $4000 a piece.  I resigned then that I probably would not be going to Atlanta.

It was one week until the National championship, all Georgia and Alabama fans were in a roar.  A Georgia friend texted and said she was looking for three tickets. This is what I texted her and her response:

IMG-5210The week between the Rose Bowl and the National Championship ticked away.  Friday, January 5, came and went.  I still did not have a ticket and the game was on Monday, January 8.  I reasoned that I would not be attending the National Championship.  The family went out to dinner to celebrate my mother in law’s birthday.  When we pulled into our garage about 8:30 pm, Kris received several texts. I had a messenger message and an email.  These messages were all from our travel agent friend.  She apologized for the late notice.  She asked Kris to drive to Birmingham.  She wanted him to host a bus full of Alabama fans on a day trip from Birmingham to Atlanta to the National Championship.  She would pay him mileage to and from Birmingham, provide him a room after the game and compensate him.  AND…there was room for me!  I was elated.  I thought in my head, “I am going to the CHAMPIONSHIP and it is not going to cost me a dime to get there.”  Kris immediately said that he could not do it.  I sunk. Wait!  I thought.  Can I do it?  I have hosted many people through the University of  Tennessee and Austin Peay.  Can I do it?  He made the proposal to our friend and she said, “Of course, BUT…”

It was a big “BUT!”

If I hosted and if I got a ticket, I would have to leave the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter no matter what!  I would have to be back at the bus to greet the Alabamians.

However, if I hosted and got a ticket, the host compensation would help pay for my ticket.  I also would have a ride essentially to the front door of Mercedes-Benz stadium.  My trip would be paid for.  I had a choice to make.  I had until Saturday morning to decide.

Decisions! Decisions. If I found a ticket and didn’t host the bus trip, I would have to pay for my ticket and my trip.  I would have had to find a place to park and then walked to and from the game alone.  One of my friends from college had her own miracle occur that allowed her entrance into the game.  She was asked at the last minute to chaperone a high school band that would participate in the pregame show.  I thought I could meet her once inside the game.  I thought we might could even ride together.  We could hang out.  I could stay for the whole game and trophy presentation.

This really should have been a no brainer.  However, Saturday morning came and I did not know what to do.  Leaving after the third quarter would be difficult.  I called my Mom and told her the story.  She asked me why I was even contemplating it.  She asked, “Don’t you see God in this?  You can record the game and watch the end at home.”  I came to the realization, “I am getting paid to go to the National Championship. I have a round trip ticket to the National Championship. Duh ?”   God was moving on my behalf.

After I talked to Kris, it was settled.  I WAS GOING TO THE ‘SHIP!  He laughed and said, “You did not know that you would have to go through hell (AL) to get there!”  I still did not have a ticket, but I figured if God could put this amazing adventure together, He could and would find me a ticket.

I posted this early Sunday morning before I went to church and left for Birmingham.

IMG-5211I breezed to Birmingham around 5 PM after a short shop at Cool Springs Galleria.  I enjoyed a gyro for dinner.  I happily checked into my hotel that was decorated in red(not crimson) and black.  I turned on a Hallmark movie and just chilled.  It wasn’t long after I settled into my room that I got a call from Kris:  “I think our “APSU/UGA/AL” friend has you a ticket.  He is confirming.  I believe it will be face value!’’

I was blown away.  Kris had been looking for a ticket for me all week, as well as Brayden.  Kris was not feeling well on Sunday, yet he was relentless in his efforts to find me a ticket.  He has a huge network and he worked it on my behalf.  I am grateful for my husband!  He gave me the contact information of my ticket broker.  Sunday night , I sent this text to our friend:

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Monday morning, I awoke to this text from Kris:IMG-5212

At 12:00 PM on Monday, January 8, I left Birmingham with fifty of my new ‘Bama friends on a charter bus headed to Atlanta for the National Championship and I had a ticket waiting on me at will call.  My heavenly Father moved on my behalf.  By the grace, unmerited, undeserved favor, of my God, I attended the 2018 CFP National   Championship.

The first person I saw at the stadium that I knew was my favorite Redcoat, Mandy Gillis, Bobbe’s daughter.IMG-5085

I watched Bobbe be a back-up singer for President Donald Trump while holding the corner of the huge American flag in the pregame show.  (She is standing on the bottom right side 25 yard line.)IMG-5116

After pregame, there just “happened” to be one seat open beside me.  Bob joined me.  We missed our friend Pam, but we cheered on the ‘dawgs.IMG-5149

We watched them lead ‘Bama almost the whole game.  When I left late in the third quarter, the Tide had just scored with a new freshman quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa.  However, we came right back and scored.  When I sadly left the game, I believed that the University of Georgia Bulldogs would be the 2018 National Champs.  I thought it would be a long ride home for my ‘Bama friends.  After a fourth quarter comeback and an overtime win by Alabama that I still have not watched, my ‘dawgs were not able to bring home the trophy.

The best news at the end of the game was that the ‘Bama freshman quarterback who won the game for the Tide gave God all the glory!  He stated that all things are possible through Christ.  Both of our journeys to the National Championship game were courtesy of our heavenly Father.  After all, it was just a game, right? Ha. Ha. Ha.  It was the National Championship and Tua chose to give God the glory for the win before millions.  I choose to give Him the glory for all He is and has done, but today for planning my trip.  It was all Him moving behind the scenes on my behalf.  Thank you, Father! You are amazing!

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!