Saved, now what?

how to receive the holy spirit - good news unlimited on Image Of The Holy Spirit“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

John 14:26

Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples. This time was not always spent in walking, fishing, and telling jokes, although I’m sure they did their share of that. Most of Jesus’ time was spent in teaching lessons that the disciples would need after he left them. Lessons on how to talk with authority when you don’t agree with them, lessons on how to show love to the unlovely, and lessons on repentance when you fall short of God’s expectations.

I have a heavy burden for those who accept Christ and are not taught the “what’s next” of a Christian life. My burden was given to me from God and through that burden I wrote “From Self-esteem to God-esteem.” These words on paper are a guideline to listening to the Holy Spirit in the “what’s next.”

When we accept Christ as our Savior and acknowledge that he has forgiven, and always will, our sins, we are free. We are free to be whoever we want to be. But as we are told in Psalm 37:4 that if you, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” our desires will be the same as God’s. Dwelling in the relationship with God is where the Holy Spirit comes in, and also where we fall short in mentoring new Christians in their walk.

Our strength to walk with God comes from the strength of God in us. Jesus did not leave his disciples, or us, to their own devices. He left them with an indwelling Holy Spirit that provides a way to continue walking with Christ. The Holy Spirit teaches us as Christ taught his followers: talking, loving, and repenting. He gives us wisdom and understanding for living in a sin-full world. He  teaches us meaning when we read the Scriptures, and he reveals sin through discernment.

We should never neglect the Holy Spirit power in us. I spent many confusing years trying to do it on my own, because I was saved through a denomination that made me feel like the Holy Ghost was a dirty word. I didn’t realize that I had all that I needed right with me from the moment I accepted Christ to live a Christian life. I worked, I studied, and I did. And I searched for something I thought was missing.

What a revival we could have if we would only take the time to mentor Christians and show them through God’s Word the power against the world that we have inside of us. My pastor has been giving out the “From Self – esteem to God – esteem” book to new converts at the time of their salvation. But we need more. That book is only a stepping stone to helping each other draw on the wisdom, strength, and power of the Holy Spirit living inside each of us.

Who can you mentor today?


Cotton – candy promises

cottoncandymedThen the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand.  Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.”

2 Kings 18: 28 – 32

Ah, the promises of the world around us. The fleeting, disappearing promises of the world. Just like cotton candy, these promises disappear at the first hint of rain. We wrap our lives around the artificial sweetness of the world, layer upon layer of lies and empty promises. And then wonder where it went when the waters of life come.

And it is no different now than it was when Hezekiah was  leading the people of Judah to follow the one true God. The world (Satan) will put things in front of us that fit with our idea of comfort and stability. He will reach watch us and wait until he sees a weakness, a gap, where we have not altogether turned our lives over to God and he will pounce with a fierceness that we won’t even know what hit us until it’s too late.

Let’s look at Satan’s “promises” in the opening verses and see how many of them appeal to us.

  • “I can keep you safe from all your enemies.”  Satan plays on fear and anxiety, distrust and self – sufficiency. He will instill these emotions into our lives by pointing out the weaknesses in our leaders: in the churches, communities, families, government, and especially our homes. He will cause us to look at the failures, and we all have them, rather than the good that has been done through leaning on God. Just like in the Garden of Eden, Satan strives to bring doubt to our minds about God’s sovereignty and power. “Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me.”  But Satan can be brought down in this one thing. By pointing out the weaknesses in people, no matter what their rank in our lives, he is encouraging us to look to God and to trust in Him and the Word that He has GIVEN to these leaders. We should always rightly align God’s preached word with His written Word – the Bible.
  • “I will provide for your every want.” “Then each of you will eat of his won vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern.” Satan encourages “self.” Pride, annoyance with sharing, and fear of losing hold of life’s possessions are some of the tactics he uses to become greedy in holding on to what we own and not letting go. He promises that whatever you want in this life can be yours if you just kick the other person out of the way and grab it. Our families are splitting apart because fathers, and mothers, are working twelve to fourteen hours a day to “provide” for their families. Children are being raised in nurseries, preschools, and day cares from the time they are six months old and younger! And most of these are either public owned institutions where the Word of God is forbidden or private owned schools where the Word is limited to a denominational view. Where are the hugs and kisses of an involved Mommy when a child needs them? Love is not the issue; how we interpret that love is. Many mother’s must work outside of the home, but we must choose what is the better good for our children and spouse. And, please, don’t get me wrong, I know it is a tough world out there and money is not easy to come by. But there has to be a priority set. We must not let Satan determine what we “need.” God has designed the family to fill our every need. And it is not just the mother’s who are falling into the trap of living for their work, fathers are, too, if not more so. Gotta climb that ladder, gotta spend more time entertaining the client, gotta spend more hours at work. In my book, Submission is NOT a Four – letter Word, I wrote “God designed men to be the strong disciplinarians in the family and the reward is seeing their children grow up strong in the Lord and in their roles as men and women. Once grown, these adult children become accountable to God and His discipline….both men and women have the characteristics of God, but discipline of the children, the man is the strong one. The woman administers the rules of the house and disciplines to keep order, but it would take away from the woman another characteristic of God if she was the primary rule – setter and disciplinarian: that characteristic is nurturing the children.”  Where are our children going to see God’s plan for the family if we refuse to let go of our wants and put them first.
  • “I will make you rich.” Ah, we’ve all had the dream of living the “good life.” Plenty of “grain and wine; bread and vineyards; olive trees and honey; that we may live and not die. Back to the Garden of Eden and Satan’s first attack on the family. “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it (the Tree of Knowledge), your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  We are encouraged to “live for the world.” Don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, let me live life on my terms, make my own decisions on what is good and what is evil. And the world promises that if we do this, we will have wealth and prosperity. God says in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  In the world, we desire wealth, fame, fortune. In God, we desire an honest life, a true family, and righteousness. God will replace the worldly, destructive desires we have in following Satan, with healing, rich desires for living a Christ – like life.

We are called to be strong in the Lord and His way; not our way. We are called to live life following His Word as our fulfillment, not the cotton candy sweetness that Satan uses to appeal to our earthly comforts. We are to give up the artificial sweetener of the world and feast on the honey of God.


Hear it like it is! And kneel.

People at the CrossAnd now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.  For they are a rebellious people, lying children, 
children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lordwho say to the seers, “Do not see,”
 and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things,
 prophesy illusions,  leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.””             Isaiah 30: 8-11, 15

We are comfortable in America. Oh, I know that we often get our hackles in an uproar at some of the injustice we see: racism, hatred, unfair practices, and the like. But if we truly look at what upsets us we find one central theme: Self.

In Isaiah, God advises the prophet to write down plainly that we are to follow ALL of His statutes, not just the ones that make us comfortable. We are going to get our toes stepped on; only because God loves us enough to not leave us in our sinful ways. He has prepared every word for us to live by and He means each word. Isaiah wrote, at God’s directive, that these words will “stand until the end of time as a witness that these people are stubborn rebels who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.” He is talking to us in the forever.

We go to church expecting to be blessed, but we seldom go to church expecting to be admonished. When the preacher starts preaching about the evils of alcohol, homosexuality, unclean living, gossip, and dedication to God, we sit in our self – righteous pews and think, “Well, I wonder who he is pointing a finger at in this one!” By the way, I praise God for the preachers and teachers who tell it like God wants it told rather than bowing down to our own desires. There are so few. We want our seers (preachers, pastors, teachers, friends) to stop seeing visions and stop reminding us of what is right. We want to hear nice things; we want to hear that it’s OK to stray from the straight and narrow, “God will understand, because He is a forgiving God” we say to everyone. We have the “right” to live in sin, because we have eternal life through the salvation sacrifice that we accepted through Jesus Christ.

My Bible says in Romans 6: 1 – 5, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” 

Salvation is not a free – ticket to sin. Isaiah also reminds us that God sees what we do and His reply is, “Because you despise what I tell you and trust instead in oppression and lies, calamity will come upon you suddenly…you will be smashed like a piece of pottery.” 

We want our country to turn back to God and yet we are not willing to do what it takes to get America back on track. We pray for a leader who kneels and asks for God’s guidance each day, but then we quit praying and start doubting his every decision. We let fear take over instead of knowing that God has the bigger picture in place. Pray – Believe – Trust. We can’t let our own selfish ambitions, and this includes each of our heart – rendering concerns, to guide our relationship with God. We must constantly pray for our President, our Vice – President, our Congress, our Senate, our state and local leaders to make decisions based on communication with God. And we must trust God to hear and care.

The Word of God is given to us to pray through while we read. Read the Words each day and let the Holy Spirit guide those prayers. Speak the words aloud so that Satan knows you mean them. God knows the heart; Satan can only hear what we say. Can you imagine the power behind praying Isaiah 26: 1- 8 aloud for America, “In that day, everyone in America will sing this song: Our country is strong! America is surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. We will open our gates to all who are righteous; we will allow the faithful in Jesus Christ to enter. And God, I know that You will keep us in perfect peace, because we trust in You and our thoughts are ever fixed on You! We will trust in You, always, Lord God. You are the eternal Rock for America. We trust You to bring down the strongholds of Satan and humble the proud, bring down the arrogant cities and build up the poor and the oppressed. Today, Lord, we commit to righteousness for your Name’s sake. We know that You are a God who does what is right, and you will smooth out the path before us. Lord, we trust you and we will show that trust by obeying your laws. Our heart’s desire is to glorify  your Name. Amen”

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel (and America), says, “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

We must hear. We must trust. We must kneel.

Journaling 101: Therapy for MY heart, mind and soul

Journaling 101: Therapy for the heart, mind and soul.Good day to all! I have always been a believer that people learn by example. I’ve tried to limit the words that I use with my children as they were growing up (and even as adults), knowing that they would only listen to so many rules and would always listen to the actions that my husband and I take in our everyday lives. 

Having said that, I want to share a couple of examples from my own journaling over the past week. I pray that these writings will trigger thoughts in you that can be put down in your own Write to Life journal. 

4/11/2017 Tuesday Sitting on the back porch swing

Thank You, Lord God, for this time that You have set aside for me to be alone with You. As I watch the scene in front of me – the squirrels running in the yard and up the trees, the birds flying to and from the feeder, the rain falling softly all around me – I am reminded of Your great love. I have done sinful, unmentionable, things in my life, but You loved me enough to keep calling until I answered with my whole heart, mind, and body. I am Yours, Lord Jesus, to do with as You will. I am loved. I can never repay all that You have done for me, except to walk sinless as possible before You. To confess my inner sins each day, and to bow in worship to You is my calling. I need no other. I am made righteous through Your great love. I am worthy as a daughter of the King. I am holy, because You are holy.

My Father God, what would You have me to do today? How can I share Your love with the world today? I don’t know exactly what it means, but I am Yours – heart, mind, and body. Where You lead me, I will follow. Where You send me, I will go. And when You tell me to stay where I am to wait for You, I will stay.

Forgive me, Lord Jesus, for trying to “make things happen.” I know that You are the only sure way and I give my very life to You. I will slow my steps to walk with You. I will be still and know that You are God. And I will listen for Your still, small, voice above the chaos of this world.”

Wednesday, I got a call that my brother was being air lifted to a hospital about an hour away and it was critical. Over the next two days, we watched as his brain activity slowed down and we expected the worst. We started prayer chains, but I honestly didn’t know how to pray except for God’s Will to be done. I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday at the hospital, but went home Thursday night to pray and to take care of my own health needs. Here is my journal entry for Friday. 

4/14/2017 Good Friday Sitting on the back porch with the sun shining brightly all around me.

Our family saw yet another miracle today. For two days, we didn’t know if my brother was going to live or, at best, be brain impaired. This morning, Good Friday, he woke up at 4:30 AM and wanted to talk to his sons. Many Prayer Warriors were interceding for him, and I give God, and them, the credit, because I honestly did not know how to pray. I love my little brother so much, but to see him go through the trials that he has gone through his whole life, is hard to do.

But God is not finished with him yet and my prayer now, and always, is that my family would turn to Jesus, the Savior, Healer, and Redeemer. Speak to them, Lord, and cover each of them with Your saving Grace. In Jesus’ Name! Let them see that You alone were directing the doctor’s thoughts and actions when they didn’t have the answers. Show them without doubt that our brother is alive because of Your Healing Hands. Show Your glory in his healing, Lord. And bring them to salvation through Your cross. Amen

Sometimes my journaling just wanders. But as you can see, once you start, it’s like your heart takes over and speaks for you. That is where the healing power of writing takes place. It releases your inner thoughts and allows you to see and feel what you need to see and feel. I would like to suggest that you get a journal or diary in preparation for our next blog. This notebook doesn’t have to be expensive, but I would suggest that you get something that will be special to you. I get most of mine at Michael’s Crafts, they have a really good selection and they don’t take my grocery money to get one. Also, get a pen and a highlighter that you will use only for making entries into this journal. 

Until next time! God bless, 



Journaling 101: Therapy for the heart, mind and soul.

cropped-heartnotesoflife_logo1.jpgI luv to write. But most of you who are following this blog know that already. (BTW, I spell it “luv” because I believe that we use the term “love” way too freely and for things that we wouldn’t necessarily die for. But that’s for another blog.)

I’m not really sure how many segments will be in this Journaling 101 series, but I assure you, there will be enough content for you accomplish three things:

  1. Understand why you should journal.
  2. Get a grasp of how to journal.
  3. Open your mind to what to journal.

I guess I have always kept a journal in one way or another. When I was 10 years old I used to sit and write country songs that told my feelings at the time. I know you’re probably asking, what kind of feelings does a 10 year old have, right? Well, you would be surprised. I took the circumstances of my life, the disruption of my home life and turned it into a grown up version of betrayal and confusion. I even found an ad in one of my Mom’s “True Story” magazines asking for songwriter’s and I sent it in. Well, I got a refusal letter in the mail about a month later. Then I heard my song on the radio about six months later so that was the last time I went that route with my writing.

I would write poems and stories and hide them under my mattress, because the feelings in them were personal and I did not want to share them with anyone. As I grew up, I used writing as a way of managing the rejection that I felt most of my life. It wasn’t until I was divorced and raising a child on my own that I actually started organizing my thoughts into a sort of notebook. Don’t get me wrong, my writing wasn’t always the negative in my life; I wrote about my son’s first steps, first words, and first day of school. I also wrote about the day I met my husband of nearly 40 years and our first date. Writing in a journal is therapy for the heart, mind, and soul.

It’s not hard to get started writing, but it does take conscious effort. And there are many ways to journal. I have a friend who has been dealing with anger for quite some time and I suggested that he write down what he wanted to say to the person he was angry with, then tear the paper up, and throw it away. Just rip it up until there were just tiny, tiny, pieces of paper that look as if they have been shredded. The act of writing it down, for your eyes only, not only releases your anger into something tangible, but it also gets it out into the open where you can heal. I once read that unresolved anger is much like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It only hurts you.

Keeping a journal can be a way of offering praise for the blessings God has given to you. Just writing down five things a day that you are thankful for can help you keep your focus on the good in your life and enable you to live through the bad. Praising God is one of my favorite things to journal. As I do my devotions each morning, I ask the Holy Spirit to speak to me and as I write, He does just that. Sometimes I will start out praising God and then I find that my writing has changed to prayer for a particular person or situation.

Don’t force yourself to write one way or another. One thing I used to teach my high school English students, when they had a tough writing assignment, was to just start writing; the thoughts would follow.  You can do the same with writing in a journal. There is so much to write about, for your eyes only. You are the person you are writing for; no one else needs to read it. And the beautiful part is, you can go back and read through what was written in the past. I had five miscarriages before I finally carried our daughter. I wrote of the pain of loss and the joy of birth. And I can see, now, how God had His arms around me all the way.

I call keeping a Journal my “Write to Life.” Happy, sad, needy, fulfilled, rejoicing with God, or angry with God. Writing is therapy for the heart, mind, and soul. Stay with me as we explore Journaling 101 over the next couple of weeks. And, if you have any specific questions about how to Journal, please contact me and we’ll write it through!

Be blessed,


Thirty Days of Prayer for @realDonaldTrump – Day 15: Righteous fear

Hands together

“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”

Isaiah 8:12-13

Father God, as we move toward a new era of leadership for America, I watch with eager eyes as President – elect Donald Trump fills the leadership positions that will support him and his decisions.

Lord, I pray for each of these people that they, and President – elect Trump, will adhere to the truth and not give in to the falsehood of lies that America has believed and lived for so long. Let their eyes be opened to what is real and what is a ruse of Satan to deter them from leading as You want America to be led.

I pray that the conspiracy of Satan to diminish the power of this presidency will be revealed and that the fear and dread of the people who are affected by the changes to come will recognize that God is their only fear and that if they turn to Him for their answers, He will provide a way.

I ask, Lord, that Donald J. Trump will look to You and listen to your Holy Spirit as he moves forward with his choices and that he, too, will realize that the only fear he should have is to fear You as the greatest Power on earth.

In Jesus’ Name,


Thirty Days of Prayer for My Pastor – Day 7


“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

Colossians 4:6

Father God, thank you for our peacemaking, salty pastor. Thank you that he is not afraid to address the tough items, but also, thank You that he does it with wisdom and compassion for all of us.

I pray that he will continue to have grace in responding to complaints from church members when things aren’t done exactly as they think it should be or diverts from “the way it always was before.”

I ask that he be found blameless and innocent and to find favor with each of us that he serves. Help us, as the body of Christ under our pastor’s leadership, to submit to the leadership and authority that God has placed us under and to support our pastor with our prayers, compassion, understanding and respect.

I have seen our pastor in his role as the peacemaker and I know that he is key to bringing reconciliation to us when disagreements do arise. I ask you, Lord Jesus, to encourage him to use speech that is gracious and understanding. I also ask, Father God, that he would not be afraid to season his speech with salt, because, just as salt brings the flavor out in our food and acts as a preservative to storing our foods, so will the words that our pastor uses be flavored to bring out the best in us and will preserve his wisdom in the times to come.

Bless our peacemaking salty pastor, Lord, I ask in Jesus’ Name.