Friday, July 7, 2017

Made Alive

Every Friday afternoon I meet with some dear friends for Bible study. We are studying Ephesians. We go through each chapter taking a few verses at a time and reading and studying them to hear from the Lord. I Love how the Holy Spirit teaches us from the Word. This passage of Ephesians really touched and ministered to me. Here are my notes on Ephesians 2:1-10 using the NKJV, NLT and the Amplified Bible:

As I read through this portion of scripture I was refreshed as to my condition before Jesus and then after Jesus. I have often thought that I was not ‘evil’ before Jesus but I was a sinner. I did not do all that the Lord wanted me to do. I know I rebelled against my parents instructions; I know I did not always say nice things to others but I also know that I already had a love for others and wanted to help them. I guess you could say I was a normal little girl. I do not remember being mean or ugly or hitting people or hurting them. I did not cuss or talk bad about people; at least I don’t think I did but I did need a Savior. I was singing in the junior choir and I came under conviction. I needed Jesus in my life. I told the pastor and he helped me pray the sinner’s prayer. I was so excited and wanted to tell everyone! I knew things were different in my life. I don’t know why but somehow fear got instilled in my life and I lived for over 40 years in fear. Fear of doing wrong rather than a healthy relationship and love of Jesus, of God. I did not grow in my relationship with Him. I am forever grateful my mom took me to church where I heard the Word of God taught and preached but I still had trouble reading the Bible for myself. I just did not understand it. I knew I had to be good! I am so glad that knowing Jesus MADE ME ALIVE WHEN I HAD BEEN DEAD.  I was much older before I realized that I couldn’t be good enough to get into heaven.  

All these scriptures in Eph. 2:1-10 brought all my memories back. As a young wife I went to the altar several times but just did not feel saved; I did not have the assurance I needed. At one point I did get that peace and I did not question my salvation again. I began to grow in my relationship with the Lord when I began teaching the oldest ladies class of Senior Adults. What a privilege but a bit scary too! They had lived so long with Jesus and here I was so new in the Lord. They loved me and listened to my lessons always being encouragers and speaking blessings over me. Through my studies I began to understand (with the Holy Spirit’s help) the scriptures.
What stood out to me in verses 1-10:

V4 God is so rich in mercy, because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us.

V5 God gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him. By Grace, God’s unmerited favor (we did not deserve it) that we have been saved (delivered from judgment).

V6 God raised us up together with Jesus and made us sit down together, we have joint seating, we are joint heirs with Jesus in the heavenly sphere in Christ Jesus, the Messiah and the Anointed One.

V7 He demonstrated by this act the immeasurable (no limit) riches of His free grace.

V8 It is by God’s unmerited favor that we are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation through faith). This salvation is a gift from God. We can’t earn it. We can’t strive for it. Works won’t make it happen.

V10 We are God’s handiwork (His workmanship) born anew in Christ Jesus that we may do those good works which God planned before hand for us, taking paths that He prepared before. Living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.

Wow, I look back and see how His hand of protection was over me and He guided my steps to meet Charley at His appointed time for us to join our lives and anointing together for His honor and glory, even when we were not spiritually sensitive to know it was God’s perfect plan.

But it was and it IS God’s perfect plan! Praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What Does the New Year Hold for You?

We have learned after many years living this life of service to our Lord Jesus not to worry about the new year but to lay our life before the Lord and let Him lead and guide us in the New Year! Only He knows the plans for the year! Each year in our house church we pray and ask the Lord for 'our words for the year' and He will give us a word or phrase that will give encouragement and bring expectation for all the Lord has for us.  This year the Lord gave us 3 words between us.  He gave Charley the words: Restoration and Provision.  Father gave me the words: Restoration and Anticipation.  That was so amazing that personally without a word to each other, Father gave us the word Restoration. Now we have no idea how that will manifest in our lives this new year but it excites us greatly to think all the ways that restoration can take place.  So below are my notes from studying what these words mean. I pray my study will encourage and bless you. 

Restoration: Refurbishment, Renovation, Renewal  – Joel 2:25-27
25-27    The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. £It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.  Once again you will have all the food you want,
        and you will praise the LORD your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people of Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced.

Provision:  Delivery, Endowment, Establishment – Philippians 4:19
19For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance. 

Anticipation: Hope, Expectation, Eagerness, Looking Forward
 1 Cor. 3:11 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. 
Romans 3:21-23  21But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses£ and the prophets long ago. 22We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.23For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 

Charley's favorite song is below! Let the words bless and touch your heart and life! 

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
By: Edward Mote
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteous;
No merit of my own I claim
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils his lovely face,
I rest on his unchanging grace;
In every high and story gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
His oath, his covenant, his blood
Sustain me in the raging flood;
When all supports are washed away,
He then is all my hope and stay.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When he shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in him be found,
Clothed in his righteousness alone,
Redeemed to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
Hymn # 368 from Lutheran Worship
Author: John Stainer
Tune: Magdalen
1st Published in: 1836

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Whom Will You Serve?

  I am in a season now where Father’s promises are being fulfilled that He spoke to us many years ago.  We have encouraged each other to trust the Lord with all our heart and to walk in His ways daily being a testimony of His truths and His faithfulness.  No matter what is happening in our lives, He is Lord! His truth never fails, His Word never fails, His love is unconditional and His peace passes understanding.  During our last trip, I knew I was a bit anxious to be traveling again.  We had not traveled since last fall.  During May the weather is a bit unpredictable especially in Colorado.  I remember many times arriving at our destination on dry roads in the mountains and waking the next morning with 4 inches of snow on the ground and the most beautiful pristine world to see and enjoy! Well, this time it didn’t happen quite like that but we did have 2 blizzards while there. In one day the weather changed 4 times!! Amazing!! BUT GOD!! 

  We saw a miracle take place (we see them daily) and this one was unmistakable.  On our way out of the mountains we had a 10 foot long about 30 foot wide patch of MUD across the road that we had to cross.  Charley stopped the car, assessed the situation, ask Father for help, hit the gas and we flew across the mud WITHOUT sinking in a hole. It was as if there were two LONG boards across the mud pit and we drove across on the boards.  Well, Jesus walked on water and so did Peter.  We didn’t look at the pit but we said, Jesus HELP and HE DID!! That is the only explanation for us making it in our mountain goat car over the mud pit. Later we heard that the mud pit was knee deep and two cars got stuck in it. BUT GOD!! We rejoiced the whole way down the remainder of the road.  And that is just one miracle! We saw many lives impacted by Jesus on our 3 week journey.

  Our God is so faithful!! He knows the needs better than we do and all we do is say, Help us Lord as we make ourselves available to Him for His Kingdom Work.  We are no different than you!  When Jesus is your Savior, the Holy Spirit resides in you; He will use you too for His honor and glory!! Surrender your lives today to the amazing Jesus Christ, Son of God and Savior of the World. People are dying around the world because they will not renounce Jesus as Lord.  What would you do if confronted with death if you didn’t renounce Jesus?  Believe me I have thought a lot about this!  I choose this day to serve the Lord Jesus and just as the 3 Hebrew children said when confronted with the fiery furnace: “Shadrach, Meshach, and AbedNego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18  “AND Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, did we not cast 3 men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said to the king, True, O king. Look! He answered, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:24-25 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Mentoring by Example

This week we had an awesome opportunity to share on radio about the ministry and our walk with Jesus.  We were asked to share how the Lord uses us to touch people’s lives in our day to day walk.  We shared about ministering to pastors, leaders and missionaries as we encourage, love and bless them. Then we shared about going to the restaurant, store and gas station. We didn’t talk about church or evangelism or preaching but about the people we meet daily in various walks of life. I have to say we enjoyed it immensely.  What was so special was being able to share open and free what the Lord is doing each day through our speech and attitude.

In my last blog I spoke about the persecution that has come upon many Christians around the world.  The persecution continues.  What people do not hear though is how the Kingdom of God is flourishing IN THE MIDST of persecution. Read the Word of God, this has happened all through history.  God’s Word is truth and it prevails though all hell breaks loose, God is still on His throne and His Kingdom knows no end.  For years we have sung the song, One Day at a Time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking of you!!  We have prayer time each morning and we do not have a list written down of the folks we pray for but we do have it in our mind as Father gives it to us.  We always pray for our children and grandchildren and then Father gives us people to daily speak their name into His presence. We pray Proverbs 3:5-6, the Prayer of Jabez (1 Chronicles 4:10) and the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) also. Our hearts are so full as we speak their names and release them into Father’s hands. We KNOW that He hears, He answers, He knows their needs and He knows His perfect will for them.  Then in the evenings we have a written prayer list of over 3000 that we do the same way.  Father knows the intricate details of their lives.

In these days, Father is digging us deeper into prayer and the desire of our heart is to see all believers be people of prayer. It is not about going to church  and hearing people pray, but it is about being people of prayer every moment of the day all week long.  I can’t emphasize this part of our faith walk enough.  Do you believe prayer works? Do you know that our Father hears and He answers?  Oh dear saints of God, focus your eyes on Jesus.  Let this be your lifestyle from this day forward.  Be the CHURCH, BE the PEOPLE OF GOD; mentor others by example. Let the Fruit of the Spirit operate in your life and flow out to everyone you meet. They will KNOW we are Christians by our love! Let it be so!    Galatians 5:22-25: But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” NLT

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We Believe

How many of us truly know what we believe as we go to church, speak the name of Jesus and walk each day trying to be faithful to the cause of Christ. The news is so full of Christians being persecuted, but one story has really captured my heart and mind.  It is a story from Iraq and a story of families torn apart because they teach their children and others about the good news of Jesus.  The story I read told of children being asked to renounce their faith in Jesus and when they refused they were killed but the parents were left alive.  If a little child is not willing to turn their backs on Jesus to save their lives, what would we do? We have never really been faced with that choice in our western world.  Yes, I know you read about people being asked not to pray in public places or churches being attacked but these are all random acts.  I know that our leaders in government are trying to make laws that are prejudiced against Christians but these are not life and death situations.  What about the reality of what is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Africa and many other nations.  They are experiencing life and death choices and many are choosing death over renouncing their faith and trust in Jesus. Heaven is their home when they die.  Praise Jesus!! The Lord has had us praying for the persecutors.  Have you thought about that?  We know that it is Father’s desire that ALL be saved!  So while we pray for those being persecuted, we pray also for the persecutors!! We pray for truth to be revealed and deception uncovered and God’s justice, God’s justice happen!  Several weeks ago we attended a local church and heard for the first time a song that has captured our hearts because it is what we believe and we proclaim it to the rooftops.  The precious worship leader leads us with great passion and truth and we watch people around the auditorium lift their voices in admission of what they believe.  Now I cannot promise you that when they walk out the doors of the church they live what they believe in their daily lives but during that moment on Sunday morning with like believers around them, they lift their hearts, lives and voices to make a statement of what they believe.  I can only pray that if faced with a soldier holding a machine gun or a guillotine ready to be used, that I along with every believer in the world would do what those children done and say NO, I WILL NOT RENOUNCE MY JESUS!! HE IS MY SAVIOR AND LORD! Below I have the link to the song WE BELIEVE!! 

Please listen and worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, the SON OF THE LIVING GOD JEHOVAH.

Loving you and praying for you,
Charley & Karen

Monday, June 9, 2014


Heritage – anything transmitted from the past or handed down by tradition, something inherited at birth, such as personal characteristics, status, and possessions. (World English Dictionary)

  So much has happened since my last posting.  I will attempt in our ’we love pastors blog’ to update you on our personal journey as well as our ministry journey.  The two are pretty well inseparable at this point in our lives as you will find out the older you get.  I believe the Lord desires I share with you a personal experience we had this weekend.  We know a precious family who began a family tradition of honoring their children when they reach their 16th birthday. So far they have done this for 9 of their children.  They have 12 so only 3 more to go but we have had the privilege to be a part of several of these ‘coming of age’ birthday parties.  Each one has been unique and special as each child is also very special, gifted and anointed by the Lord for His purposes.  We are asked to pray and ask the Lord what to share with each child.  The most recent son brought forth the message of Heritage.  This young man has a Godly heritage but that is not always the case.  I want to share part of what we wrote and read over the young man being honored.
  Every person in the world has a heritage that comes from their family and they must choose whether to continue this heritage or change it.  Because we know this family, we know that they have chosen a Godly heritage based on Father’s Holy Word not only for the mom and dad but for them to pass on this Godly heritage to their children.  This son is at a place in his life where he must choose for himself. His mom and dad have chosen that ‘As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ‘(Joshua 24:15). We asked him ‘What are you going to do with your freedom of choice?’ Are you going to choose to continue the heritage from God and your family that has been placed before you or are you going to change? We, Charley and I, made a decision on this day to continue to pray for this young man that he will seek the Lord with all his heart, lean not on his own understanding, in all his ways acknowledge Him that He shall direct his paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).  As he follows this direction, he will continue the heritage that has been set before him.  He will hear God’s voice and God’s blessings will overtake him (Deuteronomy 28:1-2).
  Take a moment for yourself to read these scriptures and reflect on the heritage you have enjoyed through your life and choose you this day who you will serve.  This opportunity to share this with this young man who has turned 16 gave us a moment to reaffirm our own commitment to provide and pass on a Godly Heritage to our own children and grandchildren.  That has been our joy through many years but today, June 9, 2014 we choose to continue that lifestyle of telling not only our family about Jesus but others about His amazing love for them.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Implanted Word

James 1:21-25 says: “So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to.  If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself.  For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law-the law that sets you free-and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” NLT

While reading the book of James and discussing this passage of scripture during our house church one evening, I found myself reflecting on the garden I used to plant years ago.  I remember the process that happened when we tilled the soil, prepared the ground (hoeing and raking, removing the rocks and weeds) and made the rows for the seeds.  I remember also the waiting and watering that took place so that the precious seeds would germinate and grow.  When they first peeked from the ground the whole family got excited! Soon we would have beans, corn, onions, squash and tomatoes and our table would be filled with bounty.  But it is a process of preparation and growth.  The seeds had to be planted before the growth process could happen.  So it is with the Word of God, the message of the Gospel of Jesus, the TRUTH.  In verse 21 we are told that we must get rid of all the filth and evil in our lives (rocks, weeds, grass, etc) and humbly accept (receive) the message God has planted (the seeds planted) in our hearts.  That message is strong enough to save our souls.  It has grieved my heart for years to see people sitting in a service listening to the pastor feed the Word of God to them, seek to plant the Word in their life and hearts and then to watch them walk out the door and not do anything with it.  It truly was not planted for what is planted will grow and mature as it is nurtured, watered, fed the nutrients of a life lived for Christ, obeying His Word, studying His Word and acting out His Word through works of love and compassion.  I lived this way for years so I know how it feels to hear the Word but not do the Word.  What is faithful about that?  Our God is faithful! He does what He says He will do in our lives if we will seek Him with our whole heart.  If the Word is planted deep within our heart, it will come forth in our words and actions.  Do we live like believers in Jesus or do we live like the world?  Charley has told people for years, look at the Fruit of the Spirit and the Acts of the Flesh listed in Galatians 5.  Your life will line up with one of these.  Where are you today in your relationship with the Lord?  Jesus is coming soon to get His Bride, the Church.  Will you be with Him in Glory or will you be left behind?  Seek the Implanted Word in your heart and walk out each day with Jesus.  If you are going to talk the talk you must walk the walk. 1 John 2:6 says: “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” NKJ Walk, live, conduct yourselves daily, as Jesus walked.