Saturday, October 13, 2012

God's Timing

I am waiting...our 6th grandchild will be born sometime within the next couple of hours and I find the significance of the date very interesting. You see, it is 11:30 pm on October 13. If it arrives after will be an interesting story of God's grace and His perfect timing. God's timing is something we really do not have a grip on. Ecclesiastes 3 states, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build." and in 2 Peter 3:8, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." Time just isn't the same in the kingdom realm as it is here on earth. So often, we can't understand why God is silent for so long when we need to have our answers quickly,why He tarries and delays when we feel He should move quicker. And yet, it seems timing is everything to Him. When Jesus heard that His friend Lazarus was sick and in need of healing, He did not rush to his side, but the bible says, in John 11:6, "So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days." This is something that we find difficult to understand, yet Jesus had no need to hurry. He knew exactly what He was doing. There was no rush, even when Lazarus' sister ran out to meet Him and tell Him that He was too late.....her brother, Lazarus, had died. She stated that if Christ had been there, he might have lived.....but Jesus was too late!!! In her eyes, once his heart had stopped beating...Jesus was impotent. Render powerless. Unable to perform a miracle. As long as their was life....there was hope. Why is it so easy for us to forget that in the supernatural kingdom, we all are ETERNAL beings (whether we are saved or not?) So although Lazarus was physically dead....spiritually He was still alive. Jesus knew this. Let me state for the record that Jesus is NEVER too late! Jesus is ALWAYS right on time. Again, we may have difficulty recognizing this in the earthly realm....but that is what He wants to teach us. When you get your mind wrapped around the kingdom realm...there is always hope! The lesson He taught us was that EVEN in the physical realm, when all hope is gone....Jesus IS our hope. I have always been a person who likes to be on time. I'm a clock watcher. We need the seconds...the minutes....the hours....the days....the months....the years. They help us stay sane in an insane world. But God isn't like us in that way. He isn't constrained by time. His timing is perfect. He knows the exact time whether it is in our realm or His. And that is why I started this blog in the first place. You was EXACTLY one year ago that Gina was told in the doctor's office that they could not detect a heart beat on the child she miscarried. It's little heart had stopped beating in the womb and she had to say goodbye to a little baby she never got a chance to meet. She saw it's ultrasound picture and knew it was a gift from God that was taken away from her before she even got to hold it. But....exactly one year later, on the exact is the birthday of my newest grandchild...a gift...and another miracle in the lives of the Raben's. Thank you, Jesus for your we will always remember and celebrate the life of TWO special children, one that is now in the kingdom realm and one that is here with us in the physical realm. Your grace is amazing....and your timing is PERFECT! Miss Kira arrived at 11:59 pm....I just got the call....mother and baby doing fine!

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Fight is Getting More Ferocious

As I is within 5 miles of our house. If the wind changes, well....OUR HEDGE WILL HOLD....because our God is bigger.....our God is stronger....our God is higher than any other power in the universe. We serve a mighty God....prayers are being lifted all over the surrounding area....we need rain.....we need this blazing inferno to stop. It's sad, but I have a feeling it is sort of how the end of the world will be....fires out of control everywhere and no one to fight them....left to run rampant incinerating everything in their path. We have no use for God until we need something from Him. How many have called on His name in this crisis, but have not spoken to Him in a very long time. Oh, Father....we repent of our selfishness and stubborness. We cry out to you in our fear and anguish...please forgive us. We need you always. In the good and the bad. Please form a hedge around our land, our family, our house....and keep us safe from the arrows of the enemy. Let no weapon formed against us prosper. Thank you...Save us Lord. As we stand firm in the enemy's attack! Amen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Attack Continues...But We are More Than Conquerers

As I write this, I am continuing from the last blog where I explained how my family was under attack from one of the highest demon adversaries. I can't even begin to tell you some of the ways he is trying to destroy our family, but I do know that he is mad as a hornet for some reason. As I write this, my youngest daughter, Jill and her husband, Vaughn, are in their second week of Chi Alpha ministry on the WNCC campus in Scottsbluff. It isn't an easy campus to get onto with a Christian ministry, so they have kind of an uphill battle. Last week they had their first meeting with about 15 attending. Saturday, they had a bowling party and about 20 attended. Tonight, Jill had facebooked saying that it was a great night of ministry on campus with nearly 30 attending. Her excitement was short lived. At 10:30 pm tonight, she called asking us to begin our spiritual warfare in prayers. The enemy had struck again.....while they were in their meeting, one of the boys in there group lost his home to a fire (during the meeting). Afterwards, they all went to have pie at a local cafe (17-18 of their students and them. Jill and Vaughn's pastor called and told them about the fire and they had to go try and find a place for this boy to stay. While they were trying to find a motel for him.... they drove back by the cafe and there had been a multi car accident involving several of their students. They were all in shock and a couple of them had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital complaining of neck and back injuries. One of them now does not have a car. Jill immediately called us, as she also believes that we are under attack. The enemy is like a roaring lion seeking to kill, steal and destroy. His time on earth is short and he fears our family's faith and ministry. He knows we are close to big spiritual victories.....Please continue to cover us in your prayers and the blood of Jesus. What a mighty God we serve! Greater is He that is in us, than He that is in the world! All praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If God is for us...who can be against us???

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Under Attack

My family has been under attack this month. It started with a lot of physical ailments and has progressed to an all out war on our family, health, careers, finances, etc. I started putting two and two together when I started noticing that many of the same physical symptoms Gregg and I had, started showing up in the people around me. (Sounds weird, I know) but I've been exploring a lot about healing and spiritual attacks....and this was definitely a spiritual attack. Immediately, my husband and I started a defensive prayer vigil. To make a long story short, during my prayer time, I asked God to show me the name of my spiritual attacker. I was given two words which I immediately wrote down on a piece of paper, then went back to praying. When we had finished our prayers, Gregg and I began to investigate the two words God had given me. I knew I did not have the first name quite right, as I had placed a question mark behind it and told Gregg that it wasn't quite right, but something close to it. The first name I had written down was Abadding ( I told him it could be Abadingdon...or Abaddon or something close to that. He said he thought that Revelation mentioned a demon named Abaddon (also known as Apollyon. Wow...that was interesting. He is actually the head demon of the Abyss and king of the locusts. The name Abaddon means destroyer. Fitting. The second name was Hadad. The complete name of the spiritual demon waging war on us was Abaddon Hadad. After researching Hadad in the old testament, we discovered that Hadad was the adversary of King Solomon. Again...very interesting. Adversary (Satan) King Hadad was opposing the King of wisdom. (Jesus). We learned a lot by exploring online also, but determined that our family is being attacked by one of the higher demons. Abaddon (of the 7th heirarchy.....Hadad (the 7th son of Ishmael. Okay, by now you are going to think I am crazy...but that is okay...believe me, I understand. Since our discovery, I can't begin to tell you of the things that started happening in my family's life. He is trying to take us down....trying to take us out. He is messing with our minds, our bodies and our extended family. Apparently, he is afraid we are very close to doing something dynamic for the kingdom of God, because he is trying to destroy our witness, our credibility, our marriages, you name it. We are in a battle....but praise God, we will be victorious. Romans 8:37-39 New International Version (NIV) 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Keep our family in your prayers as we battle the enemy. War is hard, and I am tired.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pet Flies and Singing Toilets

It's been a long couple of weeks! It seems that no rain, ever-over-the hundreds heat, and crappy health issues are plaguing our house. So maybe a little dose of humor at my expense is in order. After a Sunday night of a self imposed anxiety attack believing I was having a heart attack created enough fear and doubt in me, I decided it was time to go to the doctor....rather than the emergency room. Thus began all of the tests and crap that go along with it. My EKG was normal, but doctor ordered a stress test next. He actually thinks it is sleep apnea...not my heart....but thus another test. Now, I have been walking on the treadmill so was familiar with that....but again fear set in. I had heard horror stories about people dropping over dead from that test. Of course, when I got in there, my blood pressure skyrocketed. I had been walking on my treadmill at a .5 incline. They were going to start me out at a ten. Ha Ha Ha. Are you serious? I did great on the test and passed with flying colors, however I now have to take 2 little blood pressure pills a day. Monday night, I go in for my sleep apnea test...It sort of creeps me out to think about all these people sitting around watching you sleep....I mean, what if I scratch something that itches....what if I pick my nose....or pass gas...or some other horribly embarrassing thing.....for goodness sake....WHAT IF I TALK OUTLOUD IN MY SLEEP...I mean, I have some WEIRD dreams. On top of everything else, I have developed this hacking cough that will not go away! I sound like I should be going to a tuberculosis ward. They will have some fun with the squeals, squeaks, and sounds that come out of my throat now. I'll sound like an orchestra with all my vocal and other bodily instruments! Then, Gregg finally made a doctor appointment for his atrial fibrillation. It seems his heart decided to go for the finish line. It had to be bad for HIM to call the doctor himself. Doctor wasn't impressed with the speedy little devil and sent him to get a cardiogram today. They couldn't even get an appropriate reading because they couldn't get his heart down under the 95 beats. His was going 120 some continually, even in a restful state. Doctor said he was a stroke waiting to happen and put him on the same blood pressure medicine they gave me....also put him on Warfarin....which he is not impressed about. Hopefully, we'll know more on Monday, if not before. He's been living with this for 12 years now, but the last couple it is become continual, not just once in awhile. Wolff Parkinson White syndrome runs in his family, so hopefully he can have the ablation (sort of surgery) to fix it like his brother, nephew and niece did. We are also in the process of ripping up our carpet, as the carpet layers are coming tomorrow. Furniture is piled in all the other rooms, and it's like a safari to get to the kitchen. So.....after all this.....I decided a nice warm soaking bath in a dark bathroom sounded amazing.....I got the water nice and deep, nice and hot and poured in some aches and pains soothing oil and crawled in for a peaceful stress free time in the tub. Right??? Ha Ha Ha! Don't be absurd. That would be too easy. As I just got settled in.... a tiny little kamikazee fly decided to give me some company. He dive bombed me buzzing in my ear then landed on me long enough to illicit a flapping of my hands to shoo him away. This continued for the next five minutes with him skating on my exposed flesh while I tried to kill him. Why is it that a single fly can create such havoc with two invisible feet and an annoying buzz? He had just left me alone for 2 seconds when my singing toilet decided to give me a personal concert. It started warming up it's voice with a low continual whining tone, than increased it's pitch to a shrill shrieking shrew. It's been doing this lately....maybe it just wants someone to pay attention to it....give it a little pat on the lid, and a friendly handle shake. But, seriously.....does it need to serenade me while I'm trying to relax in the peace and quiet of a dark room and warm tub? It of course, would not shut up until I jumped out of the tub dripping wet and shook it's hand! I decided that I really didn't sweat the big things very trust is in God for those things.....But those small irritating things did not set well with me! Someone looking in would have thought I was a crazy lady...flapping the air, yelling and shaking the handle of a toilet telling it to SHUT UP! I think I need to chill....oh, by the way....the toilet is singing again as I type this. I might as well join it. Oh solo mi oh! Where did my pet fly go??

Friday, July 27, 2012

12 Wonderful Stories, What's Your Story?

It's been a week now since the shooting in Aurora, Colorado and I feel it's now time to share my views. I watched today as many were having funerals and memorial services for the victims of this horrendous crime. But it was interesting that one theme seemed to shine through in the midst of all the sorrow. No one would allow themselves to become hateful and bitter because of what happened. They all seemed to rise up and take the higher road. They wouldn't allow their loved ones to become victims.....but victors over evil. It's easy to see something like this and become cynical, believing that evil is running rampant and taking control of our earth...however, it seems that we witness incredible strength, love, and good in these tragedies, which proves that mankind still has a heartbeat....still believes in good....still rallies together to fight evil. As an author, I found it profound that the most important thing the families wanted to do, is to tell their loved ones' story. To immortalize them by sharing about how these lives, cut short, had made a difference. Maybe not to the world, but to those who loved them. Each of the 12 lives that ended that morning, had been so important to someone. Even the shooter, whom we don't really want to deal with, had people who loved him. We may have many years on the earth, or only a few, but even a newborn baby taken from the earth after a few hours of life has made a profound mark on someone's life. We are stories waiting to be shared. Do you realize that you have an effect on the lives of those who know you? Each and every one of the twelve played an important part in the lives of those around them. They were dearly loved and they will be soooo missed. None were well known or famous.....none had made life changing contributions to the world as a whole.... none had done anything newsworthy or noteworthy to earn the respect of the masses......but each one had touched lives and will never be forgotten....Some for their smiles, their kindness, their funniness and others for their acts of bravery in protecting others as they were dying.... And though, some madman may think he can take away our freedom by fear....though he may think he has earned his notoriety in such a heartless and cowardly manner....and though we get a closeup look at evil face to face.....the human spirit is undaunted, and undefeated! In fact, we rise up powerfully united ready to take on this evil force that tries to take us captive. You are vitally important to someone. Their story is entwined with your story. You influence the people you meet either in a positive or negative way. We need to spend far more time loving and less time worrying, griping, and working. We need to tell people they are important to us.....before time gets away from us....or is taken away from us. Are you pleased with the way your story is going? If you had been one of the victims....what would they be sharing about you right now? If the victim had been someone you love....what would you wish you had told them? It's too late for them. But if you're reading this, it's not to late for you. Don't assume people know how you feel about them.....tell them....hug them....enjoy them... One life makes all the difference. Your life makes all the difference. God bless all of the families who have been effected by this ONE man's sin.. Now turn to the ONE man who's death can change your life forever, Jesus Christ, and start rewriting your story.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rocking the Boat

Okay...I haven't been here since March...but when I came back, everything has changed. They say it's easier to use...I don't know about that. But it is what it is. Adaptation! I can do this! I guess that should be the topic of my blog. Change. The reason it's a good topic is that the last month has been full of change for us. I've told you before how much I loved church and my pastor. Well, he left. Gave two weeks notice and when we got back from our trip to Branson, we had 2 weeks left with him. I knew it was coming...just wasn't quite ready for it. Change. I think God is telling me I have become complacent and accepting of certain things, certain it's time to rock the boat. And boy did He rock it! During the time of His rocking the boat....we can hang on for dear life, or fall out and drowned. I prefer to hang on, thank you very much. I can't tell you some of the things that have happened in the last month (they involve others) but let's just say that it effected me in big ways. Sometimes, even though God is shaking someone else's boat, we are caught in the waves and undertow. Gregg (and the Word of God, plus the Byrds) reminded me that there is a reason for every season. "A time to be born, a time to die, a time to sow and a time to reap, a time to laugh and a time to cry." We like some seasons better than others. Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn...each serves a specific purpose. beginnings, anticipation. Fall....a time of reflection and preparedness for the coming season of Winter. Winter...a cold, harsh season that we're never prepared for when it drops it's icy fingers and grabs us by the hand inviting us to come with it and learn great lessons. Lessons are always learned in the winter season of our souls...but sometimes at great cost. Isn't it funny that some of us are in our soul's winter season while the summer sun is spreading her warmth upon us. And some of us are celebrating summer souls in the physically cold winter season. you see that word in a negative or positive way?? Nothing stays the same....everything changes. I believe we should look at change as an opportunity. God is rocking the boat....shaking our tree.....stirring the water....He's saying, don't get too comfortable...I have plans for you! one said it would be easy! But when you begin to feel your branches starting to shake or your boat starting to tip..take heart, and accept it as your opportunity to enter a new season of Spring, a time of new beginnings and new growth!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Purpose of My Life

I've been directing the all school play this spring and one of the gifts I get to witness everyday is this God given ability in each of my students to become more....does what I am saying make any sense?
You see, as a director or coach, it is our purpose to take the raw talent (or lack there of) of each student and slowly shape their performance into something more...something beyond what they believed they were capable of. I get to slowly cut through their inhibitions and fears, and right before my eyes, watch this inner strength and talent emerge. And when it surfaces, it is like magic. What a gift to me as a director.
It may not always be apparent to the audience that they are seeing something beautiful and magical take place, but to the director or coach, who has worked numerous hours with the student, it truly does amaze and leave me standing in awe.
I guess I could say that my personal motto or mission statement, what I feel God has placed me here on earth to accomplish, is to help others reach their full potential. To bring out the best of who they are and who they are meant to be, and help them to recognize and to bring into fruition the gifts that God has placed into them. Serving as a secretary of school seems to have been the place I have always ended up. We are sometimes led down paths that we didn't think was where God purposed us to be, but end right back where we began, only to realize that we are exactly where God intended us to be all along. For me, that seems to be associated with working at the school. And although I never went to college and never got my teaching degree as I intended...God has placed me in an environment where I have the ability to come in contact with so many lives every day and teaching is what I was always intended to do...just in a different way. Every day I have the ability to do what God has intended me to do all help build lives and to encourage those I come in contact with to become all that they can be. I AM a teacher. I use words and lessons to enable the people I come in contact with. I am overwhelmed by the awesomeness of this job that He has given me. How blessed I am to get to share in the beauty of building and shaping lives by the words I say or the comments I make.
At the realization of God's word that says I have the ability to bring life or death with my tongue. To bless people or to curse them. Oh, what a great responsibility. But, oh, what an awesome gift. To take God's seeda, His children, to nourish and tend them until they develop into the beautiful flowers He intended. To watch passion and strength emerge from the words I share from my mouth. Have you ever thought about the power you hold in your tongue? I have watched people blossom in front of my eyes as I watered them with my words, but I have also seen them wilt to the ground as I scorched them with my heated comments.
So many people ask, Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? And I believe that I found the answer to that question. Our purpose isn't about us...our purpose is about others. When we make it our purpose to edify and build up the people we come in contact with...we make flowers bloom and the world becomes a better place. Our words and encouragement birth future doctors, future inventors, future teachers, and future actors. We mentor others to become the best they can be and end up helping to create future mothers, future encourager, future givers. The possibilities are endless. We are helping the Creator of the universe, develop and raise His seed into a beautiful garden. Someone's words helped to develop Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, and Billy Graham. But someone's words also helped develop Hitler, Charles Manson, or Saddaam Hussein.
Use your words wisely. Use your tongue to bring blessings and inner beauty. Be an encourager and edifier. Bring out the best in those you deal with daily. A kind word can change the world.
I am so blessed. Thank you, Jesus, for showing me my true purpose through allowing me to direct this play. True character is built in frustration, laughter, and stress. Your wisdom and insight keep me focus on the right reasons I am directing this play. And the flowers are beginning to bloom!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Applauding Kirk Cameron!

Okay....Here goes! I'm sure this blog is going to offend a lot of people. But, it's time I get as politically incorrect as I possibly can. I can't believe that Kirk bashing or Christian bashing is acceptable behavior and taking a moral stand and having a conviction that God's word is true has become abominable in our world today! It is a sad day when a CHRISTIAN is bated into a controversial subject in an interview and than tells what he believes and why, only to become the butt of cruel and vicious comments by the media and the so called Hollywood Royalty! First of all, if I give a flying fig about what the Hollywood crowd thinks is acceptable and tells me is loving, I've made a BIG mistake....following that crowd is sure to lead to a path paved with sorrow, divorces, drugs, alcoholism, abortions, diseases and a wide road of destruction to the pits of hell! If we as Christians are going to be so bashed by having a moral opinion or standard.....then we might as well get hit with everything they can throw at us. They are going to ALWAYS call us unloving and judgmental...because they know that it bothers us as Christians when we think we are being misunderstood or unloving. But I can tell you now that I would rather be accused of being thought of as unloving by a bunch of liberal, radical Hollywood nuts pushing the homosexual lifestyle and agenda on the world, than to embrace something that is abhorrent and yes....UNNATURAL to God. Homosexuality is the biggest slap in God's face when He created LIFE producing beings to unite and become one. Homosexuality can NEVER produce life on it's own. I applaud Kirk Cameron for standing firm on his convictions as the insults and mud are hurled at him! They can apparently say whatever mean thing they want about Kirk, and it is alright to them. But taking a stand on homosexuality makes us unloving!!! Whatever!!!
Do what thou wilt! Satan's plan. Do whatever you whatever feels good. Forget that someday you will stand before the maker of the universe and have to give an account for the lifestyles you choose to lead. So, I'm standing up next to you Kirk! I too, am against homosexuality and abortions. I am politically incorrect. But in all honesty, Kirk, my blog only has 3 or 4 it's not as big a risk as it is for you! Just don't back down!
Remember, John 15: verse 18: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to this world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." and John 15: 21 "They will treat you this way because of my name."

And...if you happen to stumble upon my blog and hate it...don't read it. You don't have to agree with me....enjoy the freedom to disagree...I have a feeling, it won't last long!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


It's been awhile since I posted a blog and decided it was time I let you all know I am still alive and kicking.
So, I went to the movies this afternoon and saw "The Vow". It actually got me thinking about a lot of things. The movie is about a husband and wife who are involved in an auto accident resulting in the wife losing her memory of him as her husband. She could remember being engaged to someone else and so she reverted back to the person she was before she met him. She pretty much was totally different from the person he knew.
On the way home, Gregg and I talked about who we really are and where our identities really come from. For instance, I can't swim and am pretty much afraid of it possible that under different circumstances and different relationships....I would be an exceptional swimmer and love the water??? What if one of the Osmonds with all their musical talent would have been adopted at birth by someone with no interest or gifts in music. Would their natural ability to sing have surfaced on it's own regardless of their environment or the way they had been raised? We all have God given talents and interests, but how much of who we are is actually determined by our environment, parents, and culture. What do I really love....and what have I been told I love? What has been predetermined and what has been learned? How much of what we do or say is what we really believe and how much is determined by expectations and influences of others?
Have you ever really thought about what you would be if you were free of all judgments, fears, and expectations of others?
We ate at the Texas Roadhouse yesterday, and halfway into our meal they cranked up the music and all of the waiters and waitresses came out and line danced to the song. I watched their faces. Some were embarrassed to have to do it. But others were enjoying every minute of it and doing it well. They were FREE. It made me smile inside to see people who were not in bondage to fear and embarrassment. They were not held captive by the thoughts of others or fear of failure, or insecurities in abundance.
Too often we are stopped from being FREE by the voices in our heads that tell us we are too old, or too fat, or too inferior, or too ____________. You fill in your own blank. It doesn't really matter. We all have those voices in our head. I guess the point of all this is that far too often, we let these voices control our actions and in doing so....lose our own FREEDOM in the process. Jesus came to set the captives free. He came to give us life and give it to us abundantly. In actuality...I wanted to jump up in that aisle and dance with them. I wanted to experience the exhileration of a freedom that didn't care what the people looking on thought!! Maybe they would see my joy and laugh along with me instead of at me. But, alas...I sat there, not even allowing myself to drop the peanut shells on the floor because it just wasn't right to do so. At least, that is what one of the voices in my head kept telling me. Curse these chains of bondage...these blasted voices in my head that condemn and control.
Like the old song says, "I've gotta be me...I've gotta be me! What else can I be...but me?" What I'm learning is, that as soon as I grab hold of my identity in Christ and realize what I was created to be....nothing will be able to stop me! It's coming....and if you see me line dancing in the aisle of a grocery store, or singing off key at the top of my voice...or even wearing plaids and stripes will know that I've finally arrived. But if you think I've lost it or I'm stupid, or too old to be acting in such foolish ways....well, I really don't care.
Where the spirit of the Lord is.............there is freedom! In his sermon today, my pastor made a statement that I think we all should live by. You only need to be concerned about an audience of One! His voice is the only one you need to listen to! And seriously.......I think He is saying DANCE!