Day 4 Victory

All I want to say about today is that God gave me a victorious day. Do you notice that I’m not posting my weight loss, nor my foods that I eat? That’s because I’m not measuring my success by the foods that I eat or the numbers on a scale. I’m not keeping a journal nor am I stepping on the scales each day.

My main focus is on obedience to the Spirit each meal, each day. After, all, Jesus is my primary care physician. I expect that His prescription will heal me completely. And when the time comes to help others, each individual’s prescription from God will be unique. Anyway, here’s the Word from God today.

Isaiah 1:18-20 The Message (MSG)

Let’s Argue This Out

18-20 “Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
    This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
    they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
    they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
    you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
    you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so.

Feasting Like a Princess with excellent health sounds like a plan to me. Don’t like the other plan…just saying.

It’s exhilarating to be successful at what God is speaking to me! Onward, upward.

Day 3 – Lost Battle

All was well in the morning. All went well in the afternoon. Except for the incredible craziness at work, I felt okay. Just okay. I had a headache in the background. Do you know what I mean? It wants to be a full fledged headache, but it comes just ever so slightly.

On top of that, the pressure of the day was intensified. Residents had many struggles that day and as the social worker, I’m in the midst of those struggles. It was a long, drawn out day.

I left at 5:30 p.m. and had a 40 minute drive home. I talked to God. I debated whether or not I was going to finish the two glasses of wine left in the bottle. Oh, I just want to go home and relax with my husband. I called him to tell him that I was on my way home and he was visiting our friends and neighbors. Great, I thought. I’ll stop by and we’ll chat for a bit.

So, I did. “Do you want a glass of wine?”, says my friend. “Sure”, I said. And the battle was lost. After about an hour of great conversation and two glasses of wine, we went home. And I finished the two glasses of wine in my refrigerator along with my leftover hamburger (no bun). Life is good.

I decided not to feel guilty or condemned. I enjoyed the evening. I was relaxed. God said, “Remember that the battle belongs to Me”. Oh, yea! My job is to put on the armor. And I know how to do that. Read what He has written and put it in my mind. And, stand and let God fight for me.

Onward and upward, I stand still and see the deliverance of God. I may lose a few battles, but the victory in the war belongs to me.

Day 2 – Wine

I don’t know how long ago I started drinking wine, sometime in the late 80’s. One night, Skip came home late from work and brought a bottle of wine and 2 wine glasses and we just celebrated being together. I enjoyed the taste, the relaxation and definitely the glasses.

As time went on, I learned more about wine and enjoyed it on special occasions. Still do. Whenever we took a trip, we bought two lovely wine glasses to remember the event. I have quite a collection of wine glasses from the past 4 decades. My favorite is a very small – maybe 3 oz. wine glass that is probably…oh, I don’t know – old. It’s red and very light and fragile. I like to use it when I’m taking the Lord’s Supper at home.

I’ve gone through several phases in my enjoyment of wine and even a phase where I thought that was a sin to drink wine. I love God and I don’t want to knowingly sin, so, I stopped drinking wine. Then, I asked God about it and He impressed upon my mind to study it in his Word. So, I did. There are 233 references to wine in the Bible. I’ve read every one of them and pondered them. I even looked up the original meaning of the word wine as used in each Scripture. But, that’s not the point of this story.

The first references in Genesis show the fallen nature of mankind. Sadly, we are told about Noah getting drunk and engaging in sexual perversion. The next few examples are the same, involving incest and drunkenness. Clearly, God warns us that drinking wine in excess can lead to inhibition and fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. However, God does not prohibit wine. There are examples of certain individuals who may not consume wine, but that is a direct command from God in each instance. If God speaks to you and you are convicted to not consume wine, then don’t. But don’t mandate it to another individual. That, like every other word from God, is personal and should be a conviction from God, not a religious mandate.

With that being said, I love the first miracle that Jesus did when He started His earthly ministry. At a wedding (celebrate) He turned water into wine. Here’s the encounter from the Message Bible.

John 2:1-11 The Message (MSG)

From Water to Wine

1-3 Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.”

Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.”

She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”

6-7 Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim.

“Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did.

9-10 When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”

11 This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

I’m certainly not a theologian and not even an expert on any subject in the Bible. But, I study and listen to what the Spirit is saying to me. So, I want to make it clear that God has spoken to me and has told me that wine has become an idol to me. Oh, I know, I blew it off too. But as I enjoy wine almost every night with my evening meal, I began to think about it more. It certainly has contributed to my weight gain. But, God, I said, I really love wine and enjoy everything about it. The taste, the relaxation, the glasses, the absolute pleasure of pairing a wine with a delicious meal.

Whenever I give up wine for a time period, the meals are boring. I don’t care about wine for breakfast or lunch or any other time, just with my evening meal. God was patient with me. This “discussion” has been going on for a few years with God. I really don’t believe that He is telling me to give up wine, but He is telling me something else.

In Song of Solomon 1:4 (again Message Bible), The woman says, “Take me away with you! Let’s run off together! An elopement with my King-Lover! We’ll celebrate, we’ll sing, we’ll make great music. Yes! For your love is better than vintage wine. Everyone loves you—of course! And why not?”

As much as I love wine and enjoy everything about it, God says that His love and (in another section of Song of Solomon) and kisses are sweeter than wine. “Ok”, I said to God. “I will leave the wine behind during this season together and spend more intimate time with You. I have great expectations that You will show me what You mean when You say that You are better than wine”.

So, that’s what He’s said to me on Day 2 of this Journey. Ascending. Onward and Upward.

Day 1 – It’s Saturday, June 1, 2019

I will be 66 years young this month.  God is calling me to a new journey, oh well, it’s a “been there, done that” thing, but it’s different.  This time, my motive is different. I’ve changed.  Some things may look the same, some will be brand new.  But, success is promised to me by Jesus. Complete and total success and bonuses to boot.  It’s about obedience rather than rebellion. His will rather than mine.  Taking the high road rather than the low road.  Feeding my spirit rather than my flesh.  And it’s not Monday, it’s Saturday.  I’ve done my last Monday.

I’ll explain.  The number of times I have started a new “diet” on a Monday I cannot count.  It’s been 40 years around the diet mountain for me.  It should have been a short journey, but my own rebellion and misunderstanding of Jesus’ power lengthened the trip.  Oh, too many days, months, years.  I am weary of the old paths that have led to failure.  If I must travel it one more time, I shall give up completely and die(t).  Today, I stand on the scales at 177 lbs.  I wear a 1x.  I was designed by God to weigh 105 lbs. and wear a size 5.  It’s overwhelming.

So, let the journey begin.  It’s one of ascension.  It won’t be a flat path, but rather a climb to victory.  And as one may guess, climbing a mountain rather than wondering around it will require a Guide.  I have my answer.  I have His promises.  The Last Monday is about going to a new level with Jesus and living in the supernatural provision of divine healing instead of mankind’s take on what it means to be healthy. Let’s discover what God says about being healthy. Here is a story that I’ve pondered for awhile.

Luke 8:43-45 The Message (MSG)

43-45 In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. 

Here’s my version:

In the crowd today, there is a woman who for 40 years has been afflicted with poor self-image, gluttony, obesity and unhealthy habits that she could not overcome. She spent every penny that she had on cures, new diets, gimmicks, doctors, tests, but nothing had helped her. Her past victories were superficial and temporary. She was weary, ashamed and downtrodden. This day, she slipped through the crowd of lies and touched Jesus’ robe. At that very moment, He gave her victory over the lies of the enemy and she was no longer ashamed but empowered. God has given her the mountain that she seeks.

Being born a female…

When I was a young, abused girl, I can remember questioning God (I did not know for sure that He existed, but I hoped that He did) as to why I wasn’t born a male. I clearly recall thinking that the abuse that I was suffering at the hands of men who should have loved and cherished my femininity, would not have occurred if I was a male.

For many of my confused young teenage years, I was mad about being a female, especially an abused one. God heard my cries and saw my suffering, even though I did not know it way back then. But, in my heart, I had no desire to try to be a male on my own whim; I guess that I was questioning God about my abuse deep down inside. I wondered why He allowed it.

I probably pondered it for many years; it’s a gray area these days, but revealing my heart and my journey can help someone. After all, at the chronological age of 64 at this writing, I’ve been privileged to learn a thing or two. Not that I think that wisdom comes with age because true wisdom comes from God at any age, but God has certainly given me more years to “learn the lessons of life”.

One day, many years ago, after a personal journey (later, I’ll write about it), I accepted Jesus as my Savior – knowing that I had, at the very least, broken several of His Ten Commandments. Understanding that if I broke even one, I was guilty of them all, it frightened me to spend another day without Jesus’ saving grace. All that I believed on that wonderful day in May 1981 at the young age of 28 years was that Jesus is the Son of God who came to this earth to take away a penalty that I deserved for being a sinner. I was changed forever – literally.

So, how was I changed? What happened inside of me and around me to change my destiny? My blog is about this incredible journey, full of wild and crazy adventures with Jesus and with other people in my life. It is my privilege and duty to share with you.

What would you say if God asked you what you want for your birthday?

When our children were old enough to understand the meaning of their birthdays, i.e., lots of presents, treats and fun, they were not hesitant about asking and expecting surprises, gifts and a special day of celebration from mom and dad and anyone else who wanted to join the party.  As parents, we secretly planned to give them the desires of their hearts as much as was in our resources and imagination to give.  We have fond memories of many celebrations.  Having four children and nine grandchildren, let’s see, with all of our ages, it adds up to a grand total of almost 350 birthday celebrations. Now that all of our children are living independently; our birthdays are celebrated somewhat quietly, but still uniquely. Mostly, they seem to involve friends and restaurants!

Every year, my husband, Skip, still asks me what I want for my birthday.  My past few birthdays have gone by with small requests and celebrations; but this year, God made a special provision a few weeks earlier.  We received a new credit card with a large sum of credit and no interest for one year.  In order to understand the extravagance of this, it’s important to understand that we have not felt the need to have or use a credit card in over ten years.  In response to his question, I answered with my desire to buy a brand new refrigerator and use the credit card.  Throughout the years, a refrigerator was a necessary item – nothing to get excited about.  We usually bought a good used model or an inexpensive model on sale.   No bells and whistles.  I mean, really, it was just a place to keep our food fresh and the choices were white or white mostly.

Anyway, this year, I was excited about this gift.  So, we began our due diligence.  We prayed for favor and wisdom.   We searched online, checking out the models.  We checked out Consumer Reports recommendations.  Oh, so many choices!  We went to several stores and wrote out the prices, pros and cons.  Finally, we found an exquisite stainless steel French door-in-door model with a pull-out drawer that can be a freezer or a refrigerator depending on our temperature setting and a large freezer with two pull-out trays.  Of course it dispenses water and ice (cubed or crushed) and lets me know the temperature of all storage spaces.  We delighted in our deal of a $4K unit for $2.5K!  Favor was given to us.  I eagerly anticipated the delivery of our new refrigerator on my birthday.  It arrived six days early!

The 29.7 cubic foot beauty sits proudly in our kitchen, gleaming from the reflections of the lights. It took Skip about 3 hours to move the old refrigerator and prepare the space for the delivery of the new one.  It took me 5 hours to empty out the old frig, clean it (it still worked just fine) for the next family and sort through the jars and containers to determine which items deserved the new shelf space.  Then, we moved the old frig onto the front porch and called a thrift shop to pick it up and be a blessing to someone else.  Finally finished.   What a blessing.  Thanks, Father!

I want to keep opening the doors and looking inside at the cool bluish lights and the organization, but after 60 seconds, it beeps at me reminding me that I’m keeping the door open too long!  In addition to the new refrigerator, Skip surprised me with 6 crab cakes and 5 Maryland Cream of Crab soups shipped directly from a favorite restaurant in Maryland.

It’s been a grand birthday this year.  I took a few days off work.  My daughter sent me a box of huge, sweet chocolate covered strawberries and my sister-in-law sent me a tea cookbook and a special license plate that says, “Jesus put the song in my heart”.  It seems like hundreds of people wished me a happy birthday on Facebook.  Quite different from the last few birthdays that I simply wanted to spend a quiet day at home catching up on lingering projects and enjoying the fact that I didn’t have to put on any makeup.  The lean birthdays enrich my soul and always draw me closer to God.

With our without the gifts bestowed upon me this year, my heart remains the same.  I’m joyful and grateful for my life.  But this year, God is stirring my heart for something different.

This morning as I celebrate 63 years on this planet, I sitting with God and thanking Him for these many years.  Of course I acknowledge that He gave me the refrigerator because He provided the extravagant provision for us.  As I was running through my many blessings in my mind, I began longing for the time when I will meet Him face to face and celebrate eternity with millions of loved ones.  Oh, what extravagance in Heaven and for all eternity.  I thought about something that I heard a few years ago.  A pastor spoke about a time when he was talking to the Lord on his birthday and God asked him why he didn’t ask God for a birthday present.  God brought it to my remembrance.

“Well, Father, what would I ask you for?  I already have the greatest gift a person could want.  My sins have been forgiven through Your Son.  I am your daughter-in-law and I will spend eternity with You.  What more could I want?”

I know that.  What do you want for your birthday?  Ask extravagantly, like your children used to do.

I had to think before I opened my mouth.  Should I really ask Him for what I’d like to have?  I don’t deserve…wait!  I am from the Royal Family of Heaven.  My Father is the King of kings.  He owns everything.  I have not because I ask not, He says.  Well, I thought, it’s a bit late for me – after all, I’m already 63 years old.  But, what would happen if I asked for everything that is in my heart?  I mean, our children did not hesitate to gleefully ask us for everything that was in their hearts.  Due to our parental wisdom and limited resources, they did not always get everything that they asked for, but that did not stop them from asking.  I have so many dreams still lingering in my heart.  I don’t know, but here goes.

Okay, Father, I want to be rich, really rich, like billions of dollars.  I want to spend the latter years of my life living extravagantly with no sorrow.  I want to experience a lifestyle of a real princess that I’ve only dreamed about.  I want to bless my family and many others with extravagant gifts.  I want to be debt-free and travel around the world.  I want to laugh a lot and share Your blessings with as many as will receive.  I want to be a Shaklee Senior Master Coordinator and receive the keys to that beautiful Mercedes from Roger and Sloan Barnett.  You know what that means to  me.  I want to be fearless, courageous, strong, gentle, loving and lovely.  I want the gifts of the Holy Spirit to flow richly through me.

I want to live like the Princess that You made me to be.  I want excellent health for me, my husband and all of my family.  What good is it to have great wealth without great health?  I want to write all the words that You have put in my heart and I want the books that you give me to write to change people’s eternal destiny.  I want to live in all the pages of the book that You wrote about me.  I want to see Your glory.

I want you to restore all that the devil has stolen from me and my family.  I want to live in a lovely, spacious home and have a few strategically placed condos throughout the world.  I want to be blessed with special people who will help maintain those homes and can be trusted.  I want Your anointing, Your favor, Your protection, Your power.  I want You to heal people through me.  I want to see people get up and walk who are bound in wheelchairs and beds.  I want my brother Ricky to be whole!  I want You to raise the dead through me.  I want to be like Jesus because You said that I should be.  I want Your Word to come alive in me.  I want to expose the lies of the enemy and see people set free from the chains that bind them.

I don’t want to spend one second in doubt, fear, rejection, sorrow, pain or suffering because You said that my soul is whole through Your wounds and beatings.  You said that You came to give us life and more life!  I want ALL that you intended for me to have.  I don’t want to be cheated out of one second, one blessing, one challenge, one promotion, one victory, one jot or tittle on those pages.

I want to hear from You personally every day.  I want to obey Your voice because I know clearly that it is Yours.  I want to hold Your hand and walk with You.  I want to sit high on Your shoulders.  I want to hug You and feel Your warm embrace.  I want intimacy with You.  I want my hands to be Yours to use as You will.  I want my body, my mind, my talents and Your gifts to flow and mingle together to accomplish Your sweet purpose.  I am Your Royal Princess and I want the world to see that You are real and extravagant.

I want all of my family saved from Hell and I want to be raptured with all of my family in these last days.  When I meet You and stand for my reward, I want You to hug me and say, “Well done, Georgia!”  I want to see You smile, throw back Your head and laugh delightfully because one day, I finally had the nerve to ask extravagantly.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment.  But if I could ask You for an extravagant birthday present, this would be it.