Don’t You Remember?

June 24, 2024  (Post #73)

(From Journal #53:  May 12, 2023)

I’ve been reading Matthew Chapter 16 where You rebuked the disciples for not remembering the times You miraculously fed the multitudes and had leftovers of the fish and loaves.  I kept underlining “don’t you remember” because You said it 3 times.  

I took that to heart and started reminding myself  “don’t you remember?” all the times that You’ve been faithful to me.  I could never even list all the times.  And yet Lord, I wish I could honestly say that I do always remember and never get into fear, doubt and unbelief when tough times come and the next crisis hits.  

I’ve also been reading again about when You led the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land.  With all the spectacular miracles You performed over and over, they consistently grumbled and complained and did not remember Your faithfulness.

It’s easy for me to self-righteously judge these faith failures in the Bible and question how could they not remember when You did such BIG miracles???  Lord, I am just as guilty!  You may not have literally parted a sea for me to pass through, but oh how You’ve made ways for me when there seemed to be no way!  Over and over You have blessed me, healed me, helped me, protected me, provided for me, and even died for me!  

Forgive me Lord for every time I’ve forgotten to remember Your faithfulness.  We live in a broken and fallen world.  Trials and tribulations happen to us all.  I want my first reaction to not be panic and fear, but to listen for Your still, small voice in my head saying, “Margie, don’t you remember…?”

(Matthew 16:8-11):   Jesus knew what the disciples were saying among themselves, and He took them to task. “You men of little faith, do you really think that I care which baker you patronize? After spending so much time with Me, do you still not understand what I mean? So you showed up without bread; why talk about it? Don’t you remember that we fed 5,000 men with five rounds of flatbread? Don’t you remember that we fed 4,000 men with seven rounds of bread? Don’t you remember what excess, what abundance there was—how many broken pieces and crusts you collected after everyone had eaten and was sated? So when I speak about leaven, I am not talking about what we will eat for dinner. I say again, avoid the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  (The Voice New Testament)

Don’t Lose Your Mercy

March 3, 2024  (Post #72)

(From Journal #55:  March 5, 2022)

Yesterday and today were very stressful and yet You gave me a profound revelation in the midst of it all…

John was in a difficult mood yesterday. He wanted to go outside, which we did, but he wanted to try and do more than he was physically able. I know he’s mad and frustrated but I couldn’t risk him falling again. Losing his independence is so hard for him.

Then this morning, he wanted to take a shower. I asked if we could just wait until later. I was already dressed and needed to get him settled in his chair so I could run a quick errand. I can only leave him alone for short periods of time. But he insisted and didn’t seem to care how that impacted me. I was annoyed because I literally have to get in the shower with him to keep him from falling, which means I get wet no matter what. I got him showered, dressed, and in his chair. As I got back in the shower and began to squeegee, I thought about how I’ve not left his side in over 3 years. The physical and emotional stress of caretaking was taking its toll on me. I began to pray in tears of frustration and honestly self-pity.

As I was praying, I started to think of all the times the Bible says that You desire “mercy over sacrifice.” It was then that my spirit heard the Holy Spirit speak:

“I see your sacrifices. I know them. But don’t lose your mercy for why he may react the way he does. If you lose your mercy, then your sacrifices aren’t pleasing to Me.”

That really hit home. Thank You for this correction, Lord. He is suffering and feeling weak. He doesn’t mean to snap at me and feels bad when he does. Any sacrifice I’m making as a caretaker pales in comparison to what he’s enduring. Sacrifice should not include self-pity. I never want to forget this, Lord. Any time I start to feel impatient and unmerciful, let me hear Your still, small voice remind me, “Don’t lose your mercy!”

Matthew 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Matthew 9:13 – “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Matthew 12:7 – “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless.”

Hosea 6:6 – “For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

Pray “For” NOT “About”

February 18, 2024  (Post #71)

(From Journal #11:  October 26, 2007)

Lord, You gave me another amazing revelation recently as I was “praying” about some lingering issues John and I have been going through.  As I was giving You MY list of changes I wanted to see in him, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my spirit:  “If you would pray FOR him instead of ABOUT him, I can work with that.  You aren’t praying for changes in him for his sake, but for your sake.”  Ouch!

This truth hit me in the face.  I wasn’t praying for him, but grumbling and complaining about him and arrogantly telling You what should be done.  Selfishness and a controlling spirit were at the root of my so-called prayers.  The changes I wanted to see were really for my benefit and not his.  Lord, forgive me.

As I began to sincerely pray for him, for his walk with You, for the healing of emotional wounds and unforgiveness he carried, for his spiritual and physical healing, for Your grace, mercy and will in his life, my heart began to change.  I let go of some bitterness and unforgiveness of my own. As my prayers changed for him, the things I had wanted to see began to happen, for the right reasons.

This is such a powerful lesson, Lord.  Whether we’re praying for loved ones or even our enemies, the motives behind the prayers must truly be for their benefit and not our selfish desires and needs.  You did everything for…

Philippians 2:3-4   “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

James 4:3  “And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”

Luke 23:24  “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. “

A Father’s Hug

December 6, 2023 (Post #70)

Recently at church, I witnessed something so sweet between a little boy and his father during praise and worship.  I couldn’t help but see the spiritual parallel.

As the congregation stood to sing, the little boy tugged at his father’s arm to get his attention.  He then raised his arms in assurance that his father was going to pick him up, and he did.  The way that child rested in his father’s embrace was striking. You could see that he had no fear; he was completely confident in the security and safety of being in his father’s arms.  He laid his head on his father’s shoulder, closed his eyes and knew he was safe. His little body was almost limp in complete surrender and confidence.  I watched the father hug his son and yet still lift his other arm in worship to the Lord.  It was powerful to watch and yet they had no clue anyone was even watching or that their behavior could have such an impact on an observer.

As old as I am, I wanted to be that child. Growing up, I did not have that kind of fatherly relationship and experience.  I was envious not in a jealous way, but in a complimentary way. The past few years have been so hard, I just wanted to be like this little boy and have a father that I trusted in completely, who could hold me and make everything feel safe and okay.  I’ve felt tired and drained from trying to handle so much on my own.

As I watched with tears rolling down my face, I felt the warmth of the Holy Spirit telling me my Heavenly Father is always ready to pick me up, embrace me, and protect me.  And even though I didn’t get a physical hug from the Father, He gave me a big spiritual hug.  For that moment, I was a little girl safe in her Father’s arms and not this aging woman feeling scared and exhausted from handling things alone, uncertain of what’s to come next.  I don’t need to be afraid because my Father’s always there, ready to give me a hug whenever I lift up my arms.

Galatians 3:26  “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.”

Galatians 4:6-7:  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

Matthew 23:9-12:  “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.”

John 1:12:  “But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”

1 John 3:1:  “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are…”

Isaiah 41:0:  “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

The Gift of Time

August 21, 2023:  (Post # 69)

There’s nothing like losing a loved one to make you cherish and appreciate time.

If you think about it, time is our most valuable resource, and yet we have no idea how much of it we have.  We all tend to think we have a bountiful supply of time to do things later.  Sometimes, later doesn’t come.

I don’t have any regrets about the time I spent with John; but I do have regrets about the times I could have and didn’t.  If I could turn back time, I’d have watched some Pirates’ baseball games with him, or the Steelers, or some golf tournaments.  Even if I wasn’t particularly interested, I could’ve just been in the room with him to share my time and for us to be together.  Now, it’s too late.

It’s actually amazing at how much we all waste this valuable gift of time.  We burn our time on so many things that have no eternal or lasting value.  We waste so much of this gift obsessing about work, hobbies, sports, internet, video games, social media, etc., etc.  So often, even when we’re with our loved ones, they don’t have our attention…our phones do.

Now, when family or friends come to visit, I realize these are cherished moments.  And when they leave, I try to always remember to thank them for “the gift of their time.”  There are many things they could have done with their time, but they chose to gift it to me.  I never want to take time for granted again and I want to be a better steward of however much time the Lord will grant to me on this earth to gift to those I love, and to do His will.

Psalm 90:12:  Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Proverbs 27:1-Do not boast about tomorrow for you do not know what a day may bring.

James 4:14 …yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Ephesians 5:16…. making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Love = Truth

Post #68:  July 23, 2023

I heard this in church recently and it completely aligned with a revelation the Lord gave me a few years ago:  “Love without truth is deception.  Truth without love is destruction.”

The Lord gave me a visual about a person standing and holding a suitcase in each hand.  One suitcase was full of Love and the other full of Truth.  

What He showed me is that if we only tell people about the love of God, but omit the judgment of God, we are basically “loving” people into hell.  Yes, God is love; but true salvation requires repentance, a turning away from sin.  There has been such a “hyper-grace” message preached that people have no reverential fear of the Lord.  Sin isn’t really even talked about. They don’t feel the conviction or need to turn from their sin.  They “feel good” about living however they want.  They may do good works by man’s standards, but don’t live by God’s standards.  They have a false sense of salvation and therefore no fear of God’s coming judgment. It is never our works that save us, but our born-again spirit is a new creation in Christ Jesus.  Yes, we still sin in our flesh, but can no longer sin without our conscience being convicted by the Holy Spirit. 

Conversely, if we only tell people Truth without Love, then we come across legalistic, harsh and mean.  People feel condemned, shamed, and unworthy.  They run from God in fear rather than drawn to His love because they feel they can never “earn” salvation because of their past.  And salvation is NEVER earned! None of us can change on our own.  It is the power of the Holy Spirit in us that allows us to change and turn from our sinful nature. Truth without Love makes us Pharisees and chases people away from God and from receiving eternal salvation.

To share the gospel effectively, we must balance our suitcases of Love and Truth.

Ephesians 4:15:  “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ.”

John 14:23:  Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching.  My Father will love them, and We will come to them and make Our home with them.”

The Return

May 21, 2023

It’s been well over a year since I have posted on this blog, but thank God, I am returning! The last few years, the last 3 in particular, have been extremely hard. My husband died in March 2022 after several years of illness. The stress and exhaustion of caretaking, loss, grief, and trying to rebuild my life stymied my energy and motivation to write. BUT GOD… He has loved me and carried me through some of the hardest times of my life and once again is inspiring me to share our story. It’s only fitting that the next “wisdom” from my journals is about realizing that He’s still at work in us and for us, even when we think things are dead, there’s still life underground! As I move forward with this blog, I plan to change things a bit. I will share current insights the Lord gives me, and then continue to share my journey of hope in chronological order. For those of you who have followed me, thank you for your patience.


POST #67: (From Journal #10:  October 4, 2007)

There’s Life Underground!

I opened Your Word to Isaiah this morning.  Right off the bat, scripture was jumping out at me.  You are always there directing my path.  My ears will hear.  May my heart and mind always listen and choose what You are showing me.

Isaiah was talking of all the good things You replace for bad things in our lives:  “instead of briers, the myrtle will grow.”  Figuratively I get it, and literally I get it.  I see all the crepe myrtles that keep springing up in my yard.  May I see them all with fresh eyes – You replacing the briers in my life!  I remember last year after my ER visit in Atlanta while visiting Pam, coming home and working in the yard as an act of faith.  I dug up several “rogue” myrtles and replanted them.  

One in particular was so big and yet it seemed to die.  It was just a stick for so long.  I considered pulling it up because I assumed it was dead.  But then, after such a long time, I saw the tiniest bit of growth!  Now it’s growing well.  I got the lesson about how we don’t see things happening in our lives, yet “under the soil” You are growing the seeds that we’ve planted.  Now Lord, every time I see all these crepe myrtles spring up, I’ll know You are replacing briers!

This encourages me not to give up on the dreams and the callings I have felt you have for my life.  Just because in the natural it seems nothing is happening and the dreams have died, You are still at work!  There is life underground that I can’t see.  I just need to trust You, listen to Your directions, and watch for that little life to start pushing up out of the ground!

Isaiah 55:13:  Instead of the thorn bush will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.  This will be for the LORD’S renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.

Isaiah 30:21:  Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Divine Protection!

January 9, 2022  (Post #66)

(From Journal #10:  September 7, 2007)

Lord, last night you saved my life!  I know an angel was with me.  When I changed the light bulb in the library lamp which is set on a timer, the thing literally blew up on me!  My hand was inside the shade screwing in the bulb and the lamp exploded, began sparking, smoking, and spewing!  I’ve never seen anything like it!  

I jerked the cord out of the wall and it continued for several minutes.  The smell was awful.  I could have been electrocuted but I DIDN’T EVEN GET A BURN!  Oh, Jesus, thank You!  If You were not protecting “our tent” the house could’ve burned down with this lamp being on a timer and defective.  Not only was I not burned, I didn’t even get a surge of electricity!  Before when I’ve changed bulbs, I’ve sometimes gotten a shock if my hand got too close to the base.  Unplugging lamps before changing bulbs will become a must.

I set it outside in the driveway because I wasn’t sure how long it was dangerous and then prayed over the other lamps inside on timers.  Prayers of protection are powerful. Psalm 91 is real!  The enemy is always out to destroy us, so we can never let down our guard and become lax in praying for Your divine protection.

Psalm 91:9-12:  If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the LORD, Who is my refuge–then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. 

1 Peter 5:8:  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

True Beauty

December 31, 2021  (Post #65)

(From Journal #9:  August 2, 2007)

I watched a teaching this morning on 1 Peter 3:  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  

As he talked about the part where women should be more than their outer adornment, I believe the Holy Spirit gave me revelation about myself (and probably most women) on the whole “weight and beauty” thing.  I’ve got some extra pounds I’ve been wanting to lose, and yet haven’t, so I get into self-loathing and speak negative words over myself.  And the truth is, if I did lose them, I still probably wouldn’t be “happy” with myself.  Why is this?  It’s because most of us women are looking for validation of our value, worth, and desirability based on appearance and weight, and from the wrong sources, including our husbands.

While I know it’s not wrong for wives to want our husbands to find us attractive and affirm us, they can never give us what we need, and it’s wrong of us to put that burden on them or anyone else.  If we give anyone other than You the “power” with their words or actions to determine how we see ourselves, that is sin. We’ve made them an idol and given them first place in our lives.  At the root are fear and pride.  Fear that we’re not good enough; fear of rejection, fear of aging, FEAR, FEAR, FEAR.  And it’s so prideful to be self-focused all the time.  

So, what’s the answer?  YOU!  Only You can give us true affirmation of our worth. You created us in Your image. You love and value us so much that You died for us!  These bodies we are so quick to despise and criticize are the Temple where the Holy Spirit dwells in every believer.  Help me Lord to honor You by how I see my body and take care of it.  I want to be in the best shape possible as an act of worship to You, and not from a place of low self-esteem, vanity, and self-absorption.  True beauty comes from the confidence that can only be projected by someone who knows who they are in Christ Jesus.  

There’s always going to be wrinkles, gray hair, weight gain, shrinking stature, etc., with our natural, aging bodies.  It’s the inner man, our spirits, that never grow old. 

(Genesis 1:27):  So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

(Psalm 139:13-14):  For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20):  Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

(2 Timothy: 1:7):  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

Recovering With the Redbirds

October 2, 2021  (Post #64)

(From Journal #9:  May 1, 2007)

Finally had the hernia surgery a couple of days ago.  The doctor had blocked off 45 minutes, but it turned out to be 3 hours!  You exposed the darkness again; there were two more hernias behind this one.  Instead of 4 incisions, I have 20!  The pain afterward was excruciating.  They gave me 4 or 5 narcotics and nothing helped.  Finally they gave me some super anti-inflammatory and it stopped the pain, praise! Thank You for seeing me through it.

I’ve been recovering and resting on the couch in the sitting room.  Yesterday, I kept seeing a male and female redbird going in/out of the butterfly bush by the window.  Right there in the bush, not four feet off the ground, is a nest with three babies!  Their mouths were wide open and hungry.  Both the male and female took turns feeding them all day.  Oh Lord, what a beautiful gift!  I just love them.

Today, I’ve spent the past two hours just watching in awe. One of them left the nest and made his way far on the other side of the next bush.  He’s a feisty little guy.  When he first left the nest, I could see was scared and wobbly.  His mother kept flying in to feed the other two still in the nest, but he would not be ignored.  He followed his mother to the next bush and kept chirping at her!  (…forceful men lay hold of it…)  He must be the “Peter” of the three.  The other two watched him.  One seemed interested in getting out and the other kept huddling down in the comfort and security of the nest.  Lord, what a spectacular thing to behold.  How amazing are the works of Your hands?  Thank you for giving me a front row seat to witness this while I recover.

We’re not so different from the birds, are we?  We’re often too afraid to step out in faith and leave the secure nest.  The father and mother kept circling the bush.  They kept their eyes on him, but allowed him to venture out and try his wings.  They didn’t abandon him, but allowed him to grow and to experience life.  You do the same with us.  You ask us to step out in faith, but You keep Your protective eyes on us as we wobble along the journey and strengthen our legs.  We are not alone.  What a lesson, Lord!

I left the room for a while and when I returned I saw how far Peter had traveled.  I hope he and the others continue to call these bushes home and will visit often.  He’s quite a “chirper.” 

Matthew 6:25-26:  ”Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet Your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”

Psalm 34:15:  The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.

John 14:18:  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.