April 29, 2014

Removing Deception

About ten years ago I prayed a simple prayer.  "Father God, please remove all deception from my heart and mind."

This simple prayer has caused a dramatic change in almost all areas of my life.   Many of the strongholds that have been broken in my life because of that prayer have caused me great pain as I let go of beliefs and patterns and 'soap boxes' that had previously been the very foundation of my life.  It has also caused me to disagree with a lot that's adhered to by many of my Christian friends and the organized religious church.

My family and I attended church for over 20 years, tithed faithfully, never missed a service, worked in the nursery, attended the prayer meetings, etc.  We were involved and considered one of the hard-working families of any church we attended.  My husband and I were in 'leadership.'  I followed all the rules and believed everything the pastor preached.

And then I prayed this prayer.

Today, I shudder when I hear 'church people' express the very things I used to believe.

Yesterday a friend of mine made a statement that usually wouldn't bother me.  I've heard these kind of criticisms before and just brushed it off.  But for some reason, this one got under my skin and hurt me. Something that I believe in because of my faith and leading of the Holy Spirit was called, "Stupid!!!!!!" by a Christian friend.  So contrary to my usual actions, I addressed it.  Not the difference in opinion - just being called, "stupid."

I know that I have in the past had the same attitude of seeing someone do something that I disagree with and immediately jumping to judgment.  And so for that reason, it's easy for me to not take offense.  But that doesn't change the fact that there are so many beliefs in the Body of Christ that are in agreement with the media and the world and not necessarily in agreement with the Word of God.  And Christians, sometimes even more than other groups, seem to feel they've reached a place of superiority and are comfortable making their 'judgments' on others.

So I would ask you to pray this simple prayer.  "Father God, please remove all deception from my heart and mind."  I'd like to warn you that you may in for a roller-coaster ride but God is perfect in His timing and His dealings with all our hearts.  He knows us better than we know ourselves and knows best how to change us from glory unto glory unto glory.  He is Faithful and True.  And I'm so very thankful that He continues to answer this simple prayer.

love and blessings~

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy , they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly , but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13

April 18, 2014

Summit of Rubies - The Seven Types of Blood that Jesus Shed

Jesus told us to remember Him in only one way; 

When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 15 And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God." 17 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes." 19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. 21 "But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. 22 "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!"  Luke 22:14-22

But, today, all over the world, people are remembering His crucifixion.  With that in mind, I've shared on my other blog, Summits of Rubies the seven types of blood that Jesus shed and how they have empowered us to live a life consecrated to God.

love and blessings~

The Seven Types of Blood that Jesus Shed

Several years ago I read a wonderful book by Ana Mendez Ferrell called,
Ana and her husband have received wonderful revelation from God about the power of the blood of Jesus by fasting, praying and taking communion.  

As it's Good Friday, I want to share her amazing insights with you.  Below is an excerpt from her book about the blood of Jesus that was shed for our salvation - 

Page 66 of "Eat My Flesh, Drink My Blood" (pictures from the movie, "The Passion of the Christ"

The Finished Work is Revealed in Each Way the Blood Was Shed

Each one of the seven parts of Christ's suffering in which His blood was poured out are doors to hidden mysteries that open and reveal themselves in fellowship with His blood   The cross in an infinite paradise of blood droplets, each one full of light and revelation. It is the entrance to the Heavenly City, to the dwelling places of the  Spirit and to celestial places.
Thousands of experiences of deep knowledge and revelation are before the believer who finds this master key, and dives into this river of light.

The Blood in the Sweat of His Forehead

Victory over all pain and suffering of the soul is found in those drops in the sweat of His forehead.  The power that submits our will to that of God is found there.  We can drink of those same drops, and make any desire that opposes God to submit to Him.  These are drops of blood that take us to unprecedented level of intercession.  They attract God's angels to help us  die to ourselves and assist us in passing tests of purification that, without His blood and His angels, would be impossible to get through.

Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done...And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.  Luke 22:42;44

The Blood that Flowed from the Slaps and Blows that Disfigured His Face

The blood that flowed from the slaps and blows that disfigured Jesus' face fives us triumph over pride and vanity, and rescues us from the yoke of reproach and rejection.  It gives us the power to endure when people humiliate and mock us.  It allows us to be like Him during the loss of our reputation.  It helps us to see the celestial and divine side found when the beauty within us has been destroyed in order for His beauty to shine through our being.  When the soul and the spirit are full of this beauty, men's words no longer matter.
Many times, God has asked me to love thosee who hae destroyed me with their mocking and reproach.  Drinking this blood has strengthened my heart in order to love and love and love again, where natural man no longer has that capacity.

Then they spat in His face and beat Him with their fists; and others slapped Him, and said, "Prophesy to us, You Christ; who is the one who hit You?"  Matthew 26:67-68

...They humiliate Israel's king, slapping him around like a rage doll.  Micah 5:1b

Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men.  Isaiah 52:14

The Blood Shed When Pieces of His Beard Were Pulled Out

His beard speaks of the priesthood. Through this blood we reclaim the lost priesthood that permits us to minister before His presence.  It is from Jesus' beard that His anointing descends upon His entire body, as it occurred with Aaron, the high priest.

It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even aaron's bread, coming down upon the edge of His robes.  Psalm 133:2

I gave back to those who strike Me, and my cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting.  Isaiah 50:6

The Blood Shed During the Whipping that Tore His Back

We drink the victory over all disease in our physical body as we drink this blood.  Just as Jesus took away our sins, He suffered in order to carry in His body all our sickness and pain. Jesus was never sick while He was on the earth.  He was a man without sin, and this protected His body so the devil could not touch Him.  satan can only touch fallen nature due to sin.  The prince of evil wnated to destroy Jesus with all kinds of sickness, but he could not.  When He was on the cross, Jesus covered Himself with sin.  This attracted to Himself all sickness and He carried it to death, through His own death.  This is one of the most powerful things that happened at Calvary and that gives us the possibility of living a life full of health.  It would be difficult for a body continually washed with the blood of Jesus to become sick.  God is calling us in this genereation to enter and possess all that Jesus did for us through His sacrifice.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ouselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.  Isaiah 53:4-5

When my husband and I are attacked in our physical bodies, instead of running to the doctor, we cling to thepower that is in the blood and in the flesh of Jesus.  We look at His wounds and His shed blood and we decree, believing with all our hearts that these wounds were not in vain for us.  He gave the death sentence to all sickness, and we should believe it and drink in that blood our won victory over all sickness.

The Blood Produced by the Crown of Thorns

This blood crowned Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.  It gave Him the victory over the devil's empire. He conquered the government of the earth.  This gives us the position of kings and the ability to govern with Christ.  This blood conquered strongholds in the spiritual world and in the mind of man.  By drinking this blood, we conquer our thought life so we can have the mind of Christ.  We appropriate for ourselves the conscience of Christ.
Jesus the man believed everything that was written about Him.  He knew that everything He was in His spirit had to invade His entire human nature until He became the Christ in His whole being.  He trained His mind to be subject to His Spirit in order for Him to see Himself as He really was. He was Christ, the Son of God. Likewise, through fellowship with His blood, we allow the truth of who we are to penetrate our mind, until we literally become everything that is written about us. 

...We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (through the weapons of the  Spirit). 2 Corinthians 10:5b (paraphrased)

And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.  Matthew 27:29-30

The Blood Shed from the Wounds Caused by the Nails

From this blood we obtain triumph over iniquity, over sin, over the twisted, crooked way of our footsteps.  This blood opens the way of righteousness, restoring the paths of our destiny.  It open roads to carry the Gospel where there is no path or any way to get there.

...By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the man, as He will bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11b

For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity. Isaiah 59:3a

It is the blood that also heals the earth contaminated with our iniquities.

On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.  Psalm 58:2b

The Blood Shed from His Side When Pierced by the Spear

Fellowship with the blood of Jesus is going to allow us to know Him intimately.  It will begin to transform us so that we are able to penetrate the most sensitive parts of His heart.  This is one of the greatest privileges to which a human being can aspire.  God will only open this part of His being to those He considers to be His bride.  His bride is the one who desires Him above all.  She goes wherever He goes.  She follows Him because of Who He is, and not becuase of what He can bless her with. 
John was the only disciple who had the grace to arrive at this depth.  He loved Jesus more than the others. He followed Jesus to the cross, while the others hid for fear of losing their own lives. The fear caused by the Roman army didn't matter to him. He just wanted to be close to his beloved; with his presence and with his eyes John wanted to the message, "You are not alone; I'm with You to the end. If being here will cost my life, with pleasure I'll die at Your side."

When I take Communion, many times I meditate in each one of these ways in which His blood was shed, and I make them mine.  In the cross there is so much richness. There are doors to inexpressible encounters with God.

I shared the link to Mrs. Ferrell's book above.  

love and blessings~

I'm linking up with:
Imparting Grace

April 17, 2014

My New Secretary

I've had "Aunt Thelma's desk" since she passed away about 22 years ago. She was a beautiful, Godly lady that helped raise my father-in-law and when she died, my mother-in-law gave us her desk.  I have always appreciated having it but have always wished that I could find a hutch to go on top to make it a secretary.  

If you saw my post a few weeks ago, I realized one day that I had a book case in the basement that I hadn't tried before and was so happy that it was the perfect size!
So I set it on top and it worked perfectly. 

I've been waiting the past couple of weeks for Mark to get time to put some crown moulding on the top and on the fronts of the shelves. He finished it this weekend and I've been priming and painting for the last couple of days.

I used Kilz 1-2-3 Primer that is supposed to work on any surface without pre-sanding. And it did. The first coat on the laminate book shelf dried looking a little like alligator skin but the second and third coat of primer smoothed out. It was great on the desk which had a very glossy maple finish.
Then two coats of white paint and...

I have my secretary!

I filled it with our collection of antique books and some other little treasures that have not had a place to live.

My husband found the butterfly on the ground years ago.  It had died and he brought it home and I framed it.  The antique letter holder I found in a little shop in Virginia. I love the little angels on it and the ink wells.

I've never had anything that I've loved in this corner before but now it feels like the perfect little niche for a romantic desk.

I smile every time I look at it!
I'm still 'tweaking' the living room and will be posting new pictures soon!

Love and blessings~

"It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it." Proverbs 10:22 

I'm linking up with these parties:

April 14, 2014

French Country Cow or Reupholstering an Ottoman

Hi all!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

I had big plans for the weekend - plans that involved sewing and sawing and drilling, etc. But, we had a wild thunderstorm here on Saturday and lost power and internet for a couple of days. We were very blessed not to have any damage to our house or property. A huge tree fell just one house up from us. It was large enough that it reached clear across the street and onto a neighbor's roof. There are lots of trees and signs and power lines down in our area. So we are thanking God for His grace and are so thankful that all we suffered was a little inconvenience.

With that all said, I've been 'tweaking.' I looked around lately and realized that I hadn't quite gotten my living room, dining room and family room looking the way I wanted them. I love all the white but I'm really missing color and print. All the fabric I ordered arrived and then I ordered some more. So, I'm a little behind my own schedule but will be sewing and posting the changes this week.

I had covered this little ottoman a few months ago when I started redecorating.  The size is perfect here but the fabric I had covered it in was now looking 'dirty' up against the pure white of the love seat and chairs.  I really like the French script on this fabric but it was also a little light-weight for upholstery.

I had wanted a burlap-like linen fabric but couldn't find what I wanted. We have no fabric store here in town and I have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest one. I ordered some fabric on line that I thought was right but it wasn't.

I had once told my friend jokingly that my new style was "French Country Cow."  And I've decided I'm going with that.  I had this burlap bag that I had covered a pillow with a while back but decided to use it on this little ottoman.
 I cut the seam that held the bag together making it one big piece.  Without trimming it at all, I placed it on the ottoman where I wanted it to go, flipped it over and using my staple gun secured it on the four sides so it wouldn't move.
I then went all around pulling it tight and stapling it in place. I didn't remove the other fabric first because the original fabric is a dark burgundy and the burlap is a loose enough weave that I was afraid it might show through.
Fortunately it's easy to slide the fabric under the edges of the legs of this bench. I tried taking them off the first time I covered it but they were screwed-on up under the original upholstery and I didn't want to take it completely apart.
 I continued stapling until everything was secure and trimmed the extra fabric off.
leaving it neat and clean underneath.
And there it is!  

I think if my bag had been bigger I would have just automatically centered the cow but I'm glad I couldn't because I like that it's off to one side!

I'm not going to show you the rest of the room yet.  I'm finishing my secretary, adding some new fabrics and a new piece of art.  Hopefully, I'll get this room done this week. Then the dining room and the family room are getting some tweaking next.

Love and blessings~

 "And He rode on a cherub and flew; And He appeared on the wings of the wind." 2 Samuel 22:11

I'm joining these linky parties:
A Stroll Thru Life
Between Naps on the Porch
Everyday Home
One More Time Events

April 9, 2014

Seasons of Salvation

Several years ago I was standing in front of my son's high school at 'Prayer at the Poles.'  He was sitting on the ground at the foot of the flag pole, playing his guitar and leading the students in praise and worship.  The ground all around us was covered in fallen leaves.

As I looked down, just appreciating the moment, a beautiful maple leaf caught my eye.
This is not my leaf.  My leaf had three distinct points.  It was gold in the center and the color deepened to a brilliant red on each tip.  It looked like fire.  And the three points made me instantly think of the three persons of God - Creator(Father), Word (Jesus the Son), and Holy Spirit.

And God began to talk to me.  He began to show me how the four seasons speak of His plan of salvation.

The amazing thing is before 'the fall of man', there weren't four seasons.  The Word tells us that a mist watered the garden of Eden and we know from the story of Noah's flood that it had never rained before. Dr. Carl Baugh, of the Creation Museum in Texas, believes that before the flood, the earth's axis was straight up and down.  The catastrophic event of a world wide flood caused the earth's axis to tilt and caused the poles to freeze.  (more in a later post)  This was the start of the seasons, as we know them.

It's amazing to me that even as the world was being destroyed permanently by sin and the flood, God was showing us His salvation in the changing seasons.

In Autumn, the leaves become the color of fire as they die and fall to the ground.  Many Christians think of hell when they think of fire but I think of the Holy Spirit.  It's the fire of the Holy Spirit that destroys the dross and sin in our lives.  Autumn represents the fire of the Holy Spirit and the destruction of sin.

When Winter comes, the earth is covered in the white of snow.  White represents purity.  Jesus covers our sin in His righteousness and the Word tells us that we are made as white as snow.  The earth dies, just as we die to sin, and are raised up in Christ.  Winter represents Jesus covering us in His righteousness.

Spring reveals the new life we have in Christ.  Jesus says, "Behold, I make all things new."  Our old lives are gone and we become a new creature in Christ.

Summer is a season of abundant life- in God's order of the abundant life that God has for us.  We bear fruit, we are pruned, we grow.  In Christ, we have abundant LIFE.

Everything in God's creation demonstrates His divine order.  It's not an analogy - He has made all of creation to follow His design.  It then would make perfect sense that even as the earth and mankind was being destroyed by sin that His perfect plan would be illustrated for us to see!

I don't think I've ever looked at the world or the seasons the same since He's shown me this.  This year we've had the worst winter in 40 years, breaking records for snow fall and low temperatures.  Jesus told us to watch the signs and pay attention to the seasons.  I can't help thinking that in His divine order we have seen an outpouring of His righteousness like never before.

love and blessings~

 " For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." Romans 1:20

A Stool for Levi and Rhynn

If you've been following my blog at all you know that my sweet husband has made us some beautiful tables lately.  After finishing one of his projects a few weeks ago....hmmmm...well... okay! After finishing one of his project THREE MONTHS AGO, he surprised us all with a stool for our grand children.  When Levi saw it, he promptly squealed, "Captain made me some stairs!"  lol

So, three months ago, I committed to painting the stool before bringing it over to Laura's for the babies to use.  She wanted their bathroom to be in an ocean theme and Levi's in love with 'Jake and the Neverland Pirates' so I said I would put Jake on the stool and mermaid on it for Rhynn.  Three months ago.

I don't know who's been keeping track of the time but apparently SOMEONE has - lol.  So I finally finished it today.

I started out (a couple of weeks ago) by sanding the stool well, making sure there were no rough edges to scratch Levi and Rhynn.  I then primed it and  painted it a solid blue.

I found pictures of Jake and Scully and a mermaid on line.

Then, using a pencil, I drew my images on the stool where I wanted them.   Because I used a pencil, I could erase and change anything I wanted to as I went.

I then began to paint.

Levi saw it when it was half way done and told me he wanted Jake to have a sword.  I added a sword to Jake.  :)
And here is my finished stool!
 One side is Jake - for Levi.  And the other side is a mermaid - for Rhynn.
The stencil I bought to put their names on turned out to be too big so I wrote their names free-hand.  I ran a piece of painter's tape along the top and bottom of each step to keep a straight line, drew the letters on with pencil and then painted them in.
I 'signed it' underneath - "Love, Captain and Gigi  2014"  That's what Rhynn and Levi call us.  Long story.  ;)

So...it only took me three months... but it's done!  I still need to spray a couple of layers of sealant on it to protect it from splashy baths but I should be able to deliver it tomorrow.

To Levi and Rhynn   Love, Captain and Gigi  2014

Love and blessings~

"But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children's children " Psalms 103:17

Joining up with these linky parties:
A Stroll Thru Life
Savvy Southern Style
Green Willow Pond
Ivy and Elephants
DIY by Design
From My Front Porch to Yours
Craftberry Bush
Common Ground