Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!!
It's the ending of another year and so I decided to combine November's newsletter with December's. Many things have been going on that detained me from writing, but I'm back now and in full swing! Praise God that when we go through things "this too shall pass" happens!
Christmas Letter for you! Click HERE.
Looking into 2010
Wow, 2010 is fastly approaching. Who would have thought that 10 years has past since we crossed over into the next century. But here we are. God knew who would be on this planet at this time, and he chose us! I remember Tom telling me once, "I would have liked to have lived in the western days." Then I said, "Yeah, but then you'd be dead.." He said, "Oh, yeah." We are so happy that God has chosen us to live in these last days. Truly the most amazing time of all history, and we are ALL privileged to partake. So I encourage you to seek God out every single day of your life, watch and pray as the Bible says, and be ready in and out of season to help and loves those around you.
Starting in January (Wednesday nights) at Westside Church in Placerville, CA. I'll be facilitating and teaching an on-going session called, "Pathway to Wholeness, 13 R's to Freedom." It's going to address all areas of life and how to find peace and freedom while going through things. We will deal with past and present issues and help equip individuals with the Word of God to combat all the obstacles set before them. This will not only include addictions, hangups and habits, but also relationships, and how to be restored, as this is the key for all healing. For more information, contact us.
The more people do for themselves the farther they get from God.
Tom and I were talking one day about being close to God and how to do that. We realize that God is always there, he doesn't move and he never changes. So if that's the case, then of course, we are the ones who moved. And then he said, "The more people do for themselves, the farther they get from God." I believe this is true. We need to completely rely on God for everything, even breathing or brushing our teeth or taking out the garbage. The scripture comes to mind, "In him we move, and live, and have our being." We cannot do anything without him, and when we try, we are "without" Him!
A Damascus Road Experience
God always prepares us for our Damascus Road experience. So what is that you ask? Well, take a look at Paul. He was knocked off his horse, saw a huge white light, and went blind for a bit as the Lord redirected his path. It was when Paul's life changed as he was converted and transformed in his heart to love and serve the very God he was persecuting. Well, we may not go through something that dramatic, but we will all experience this to some degree. Well, Tom and I did, and it was even on our very own road in front of our house that we were hit with such a change in our life. But like I said, He prepares us. Before all this hit, Tom was just saying how he is finally feeling good. He didn't have a headeach, no aches and pains in his body, he felt pretty fit. That is his walk with the Lord. And I was feeling strong spritiually, ready to take on anything. I had been praying the weeks before for God to clean me out even more... well, we both got to take a "mid-term" test. Later Tom said, "Why couldn't the test be written?" You'll see what I mean as you read this true account of our Damascus Road experience.
We had been helping a family in our neighborhood. They have 4 kids, 2 girls and 2 boys. I've had visits with the kids and got to know them and love them. But they were a troubled family. Right away I saw things that just didn't look good. How the parents were raising them wasn't the best for the kids and it was hard to watch. Tom and I decided to stay out of their lives. However, that wasn't God's plan. Because we were thrown smack dab in the middle of this situation.
One night the older boy needed a place to sleep. He didn't want to go home, and since I only lived next door to him, the parents agreed he could spend the night. He was very confused that night, saying all kinds of weird things. We prayed and did address some spiritual issues he had going on. He seemed to be okay after that. The next day when I woke up he was already gone and I assumed he went home. Which he did. But little did I know what was really going on behind the scenes. He was demonstrating irratic behavior, speaking with another voice, and saying horrific things to his parents. Then the next thing he began chasing them around the house with knives. One thing led to another and they ended up in our front yard. Tom and I were taking a nap in our downstairs bedroom and didn't hear anything going on, not until we heard someone running through our house. Tom jumped up and took off upstairs saying,"Someone is in our house." I ran up behind him and saw the back of a kids head as he ran away from the house. It was the boy I took in the night before. Tom realized that he came through our house, went into Tom's locked safe and stole his gun! Tom took off after him, and I grabbed my car keys and drove behind. What I saw was hard to believe. The boy and my husband were in a struggle. The next thing Tom got him to the ground in a neck hold and told me to call 911. Their struggle continued as the boy demonstrated extreme animal like behavior and threw my husband off of him but Tom was able to get back on top again. He knew this wasn't the sweet boy that lived next door, something terribly happened, something took him over. But all he could think of was keeping everyone safe. The boy didn't have the gun on him, as I searched him, but Tom wasn't taking any chances.
The police arrived and took the boy away. However, not before I prayed over him and cast out a devil. He was truly possessed, not oppressed! He wasn't himself. After I cast out the devil, the boy regained his compure and looked at us like, "what is happening?" But at that point, the police took him into custody. Actually, later we found out he didnt' remember anything that happeend, only snippits of memories.
That day Tom and I changed. We saw evil face to face and got a healthy reality of the battle between good and evil. As we talked things over, we realized that there are people all around us that are being decieved and used of the enemy. Some to a harmful degree, others to lower doses, but people are being tormented more than we know. We felt that God is taking us to another place in life to help those in these types of situations. This boy has a long way to go. He has to be ministered to with love and compassion, something he didn't get at home and therefore his condition. We "think" people who proclaim to be Christian's have it all together, but we are finding out more and more that is not the case. It is true that perfect love casts out fear and torment, and if perfect love isn't there, then fear and torment is. This boy demonstrated fear and torment. Result of not being loved.
In ministry, most of those I minster to are Christians! Many have demons and have told me so. Many just need to learn to forgive themselves and others. Others need to understand and receive God's love personally. The bottom line is that we realized that only God and His love and mercy can heal a situation like this. That nothing that we experienced or see in this planet is greater than God. He allowed Tom and I to be a part of this situation because He knew He could count on us. Tom wasn't afraid. He saw danger and stayed the course. He stared the enemy right in the eyes, and yet wouldn't let go. He knew that if he didn't hold on, that he was coming after me. As the boy even threatened to kill him. When the police arrived they told Tom that he saved many lives that day. We saw the reality of fight between good and evil that day with more clarity. Tom even said that He didn't give the enemy the time of day, but when he was staring down at him on that road, he saw that kingdom first hand. But Tom is tight with the Lord and God gave him the strength to subdue him! Praise be God who is higher and greater than anything on this planet!
This was truly a change for us. Tom decided that he wanted to attend church more regularly. And the Lord used this experience to get at any doubt and unbelief in my heart toward Him. See, a few days before all this I had asked God to get rid of anything else in my heart that shouldn't be there. And he showed me that I still had remnants of doubt and unbelief. So He used this event to increase my faith. For me, I was actually knocked down and the wind knocked out of me because of the intensity of what happened, but I managed to get back up in the power of God's might, and forge ahead. I had to focuse on God more than I ever had because the enemy was coming at me with all kinds of evil tormenting thoughts. I was to the place I wanted to move from my home as soon as possible. It was hard being in there knowing that kid was in my house the night before and cased the joint. It was a premeditated assult. So the enemy was bringing up 'what if' images and causing me to fear. But I knew that I had to get the upper hand, and I pressed more into God and what He thinks. It took a week because God was getting ALL the doubt and unbelief out of my heart concerning Him... and He did! Praise God. It was touch and go for awhile, but I came out on the other side. My peace is back. My joy is back, and even greater than it was before.
This was truly our Damascus Road experience.
Through this experience, we were strengthened in our faith and got a deeper and clearer understanding of God and His presence. We got a deeper understanding of the kingdom of darkness. We got a deeper understanding of our call on our life on this planet. It truly changed our life forever. We are looking forward to other ways we can serve God, serve man, and love one another. We are looking for ways to prepare our heart for the things coming on this earth in the months and years ahead. We are preparing our hearts for the Lord's return. It is more real to us now, and that the battle that has been waging since the beginning of time is still here and in full force. The enemy knows he has but a short time, and the days will grow more evil, as the Bible says. But it's not time to fall into fear, it's time to seek God and allow Him to purge us of anything that is blocking Him from using us. To get rid of those things that are not of Him. When things like this happen, what comes out is what we are made of. What are you made of when your car needs repairs? What are you made of when you lost your job? Those things that come out is what God wants. In this situation, doubt, fear, unbelief came out of me, and so that's what He took. He ministered faith and love to me and purged those things that were "squeezed" to the surface. We need to let God do His job and clean us up at any cost. We need to allow God ton deliver us and strengthen us and prepare us to be used of Him. We know the bottom line isn't about what happens in our life, it's how we respond to it. It's the battle between good and evil. We all need to discern this and be ready.
Final note: I personally learned that each and every person on this planet needs to experience love. It's love that will drive out the enemy from a person's life. When we love them, their sorrow will leave! 2 Corinthians 2:5-9 says that if anyone causes you grief to love them and do good to them, the result will be that you help that person and even help yourself! Because in doing this, you are even keeping the enemy away from you!
But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
It's Hard to Look Humble When You Are Sitting in First Class!
I got the wonderful experience of flying first class to Alaska. It was very nice to say the least. During this time I began reading a book on humility. A book that the ladies group I participate with at church decided to read. I remember sitting there reading this book while those in 2nd class passed us by to get to their seats. I didn't know how to "act." Do I look up at them and smile? Do I not look at anyone? What? So I didn't look at anyone, just kept looking down. I realized that wasn't the right thing to do either. But I had to laugh at myself because I didn't know how to "act."
Then on the way home from Alaska, I sat in coach. So it was my turn to pass through the first class people. It was different for me, I didn't feel "less than" when I walked through. I smiled at those who looked up and even said hello, how are you doing? It was tremendous. I learned that day that it's not "acting" humble, it's "being" humble.
As I shared this with my husband, I realized that there is a difference in acting and being humble. Acting humble is trying to figure out how to "appear" humble, even proclaiming some things. But "being" humble, you don't need to say anything and there is no reason to justify either way, it never even enters your mind. I have a long way to go.
Tom would always say, "If you have to proclaim what you are not going to do, then that's exactly what you are going to do." He said people who proclaim is destine to fall. Scripture backs that up, pride comes before a fall... Hmm... something to think about.