This is a tribute to Nina, who was 15 months at the time of her daddy’s untimely death, and to her mother Evan. This is the story of how our lives intersected at an unforgettable time.
After the attacks on the World Trade Center, I went to NYC to volunteer at the Family Assistance Center (FAC):
The FAC had six different security points where everyone's belongings were searched, and identification was confirmed. I reached the final checkpoint which was located right outside the front door; they checked for my name on the volunteer list, but it wasn't there! I was stunned. They could not grant me access even though I knew the name of the supervisor and the organization where I had been asked to work. My beseeching only resulted in attracting the attention of a stalwart marine who discreetly tapped his sidearm making it clear to me that anyone who was there without the proper credentials would have to leave immediately. As I turned to walk away, I prayed. I couldn't believe I was turned away at the final checkpoint and didn’t know what to do but comply. Just then I looked up and saw a police officer walking toward me. Candidly I voiced what I was thinking, "Can you believe I came all the way from Atlanta to help and got turned away?" He thoughtfully asked what I was doing there and why I was trying to get into the FAC, so I briefly explained my situation. When he heard the name of the lady who was to be my supervisor, he enthusiastically replied, "Oh, I know her! I will go in and see if I can get her to get you on the list. Wait here." The officer re-emerged a few minutes later with a woman in tow and waved for me to come back up to the final checkpoint. Within a few minutes I was welcomed into the FAC! I was so excited and thankful to see how quickly God had worked on my behalf!
Once inside, the demeanor of the formidable marine surprisingly morphed into a very hospitable young man with an appreciation for lively humor. I was briefly shown around by the lady who vouched for me. The FAC was located in a huge convention center and every conceivable type of assistance had been set-up to help the victims. Services ranging from insurance to FEMA, mental, emotional and spiritual counseling centers, medical services, childcare, auto services, employment centers, and so much more. Each booth was staffed to help the victims and their families. I had never seen anything like this highly organized facility. The sheer magnitude of it all was overwhelming. On all the walls and at the tables, were cards, letters and flowers which people from all around the world had sent for the families. There were whole murals that children had colored or painted, and they were all on display. Free telephones, computer services, television, couches and chairs had been provided for the families use and comfort. Three hot meals were served daily, but there was always food available for them.
Food and drinks were also supplied for the police, firefighters, emergency response teams, and for all the workers and volunteers there. A separate area for these servants of the people had been set up where they could eat, talk to each other, and make personal calls, check emails and rest in private away from everyone else.
At this point it had already been 11 days since the attacks and tension was very high inside the facility where the families were concerned. Even though there was a great deal of publicity about all the money that had been pouring in from around the world to help them, it had yet to be released for us to distribute to the families of victims. All the workers and volunteers were acutely sensitive to the fragile state of the victims and their families, but our hands were tied. Normally, benefit money would only be given to injured victims or to the families of the confirmed deceased; however, the attacks did not produce a lot of injured victims or bodies. Without bodies to identify, death certificates could not be issued, and this certificate was what was required to get benefit monies.
Because of the special circumstances, an emergency meeting was held by the people in charge to determine the criteria for giving out financial aid. This was to include people who had directly lost their housing or jobs at Ground Zero. They also had to draft the necessary forms for us to fill out with the families. It was decided that a death certificate could be issued if a family member had proof that their loved one was in the WTC; though some distraught family members felt that if they did this they were, in effect, giving up on ever finding their loved one alive. If they would not fill out the form, there was nothing we could do to help them – other than offer the comforts of the FAC.
Since I had little else to do while the forms were being drawn up, it seemed prudent to get acquainted with the other services available. As I walked around, I came face-to-face with Michael Beckett. I was astonished! We had only met two nights before at Faith Exchange Fellowship where he had been invited by Pastor Dan Stratton to address the congregation. I had spoken with him briefly after the service to thank him for his encouraging and insightful message. Michael was a chaplain with Christian Disaster Response (CDR) and they had a booth in the FAC. Seeing someone I knew in this giant hall in New York City was astonishing to me! We visited for some time, and he was tremendously helpful in coaching me as to what to expect while working there as well as when I returned home. I learned that he and his wife had worked diligently to serve victims who have suffered disasters and to prepare the church to be ready to minister to hurting people in times of crisis.
When we received news that the funds were released, the team made a game plan and quickly went to work. Many people qualified for assistance and I was able to allocate desperately needed finances to some of them. They were all grateful for the help, as was evident by the change of their countenance. I was honored to release funds to these heartbroken people; however, my world was about to be rocked in a very personal way. My supervisor asked if I would be willing to fill out a death certificate, and she assured me that she would help if I needed it. I had been given no instruction how to do this, but everyone who had been previously trained to fill out this legal document was unavailable. She said it was this woman’s third trip to the FAC and hated for her to wait. I prayed asking the Lord to help me, and then told her I would do it. She gave me a quick lesson then called the young widow.
A tall, young, blond woman came with her mother. I invited them to sit at the table with me and explained I was a volunteer. I reassured them that we were going to get through the necessary paperwork together and get her the help she needed. They were both thankful for my assistance. They explained that they had come to the FAC several times, but didn’t have the required paperwork to fill out a death certificate. She told me that her husband was a carpenter who had been dispatched to install furniture on the 82nd floor of the #2 WTC South Tower that fateful morning. For days she had waited by the phone hoping to hear from him. He never called. It was clear she had gotten very little sleep since the tower's collapse on September 11th. She held the work order from her husband's employer along with all the other documentation she needed. The young woman and her husband had a 15-month-old daughter who was at the FAC in the daycare area with her grandpa. The young widow's parents had accompanied her there, but her dad had graciously offered to sit with the baby. The woman's mother sat at the table with us in a daze and offered help when she could but was really in a state of shock. I know she would have done anything to take away her daughter's grief, but it was clear that she herself was having difficulty coping.
After we finished the very difficult and distressing job of filling out the mountain of paperwork, I was able to hand her a check. What had seemed so wonderful earlier for those who had lost their jobs and housing, now seemed insignificant in the looming shadow of her loss. Her husband was gone. As I handed her that check, it seemed as though I was pouring an ounce of kindness in an ocean of grief. I apologized for not being able to do more; fortunately, the financial assistance did serve to encourage the young widow. She was clearly grateful.
When she turned to leave, she looked back at me and asked if I would like to meet her baby daughter. Her mother perked up at my invitation to see her granddaughter, and before I had time to really consider what this meant, I had already answered with an enthusiastic, "Yes, I'd love to meet her." As we sojourned through the FAC to where the daycare was located, I knew I was about to see a little girl whose daddy was just declared deceased. I couldn’t help but think of her daughter's future – what did all this mean for her? Thoughts of this woman and her fatherless child began to flood my mind and tragedy of it overwhelmed me. Not only did this woman, who I had been sitting with face-to-face for nearly two hours, have a long road of heartache to navigate, but I knew this little child had a difficult future ahead of her. It was not just about her father dying - though that was rough enough in its own right – it was that she would have to face the whirlwind of discussions and the political debates and leveraging that surrounded the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
A myriad of scenarios came to my mind, one thing was for certain - she would have to live her life without her daddy. He too would not see her grow up, nor would he be there to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. All their birthday parties would be missing one important guest. The same man whose death certificate I had just filled out. Grief was hitting me in waves and the closer we came to the little girl the more acutely aware I was that I really did not want to see her! I was unsure if I could trust my emotions at that point. I was feeling the anguish of this young widow's situation in a profound way. She interrupted my thoughts when she called out to an older gentleman. He had a small child on his knee playing with his fingers. The man turned and looked very relieved to see his daughter and wife standing there. They introduced me and he happily lifted the baby girl for me to see. She was adorable. She was clueless as to what this moment of time meant for her life. I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest it hurt so badly for them. As they were leaving, I could hardly talk but told them I would be praying for them. They thanked me and we said our goodbyes. On the outside I may have looked all right, but inside I was shaken to my core.
While at the FAC I filled out many forms to help people who had lost income, property or housing, but that was the only death certificate I filled out. Time has not erased the face of that young widow or her little girl from my memory, nor will their names leave me. I see that as the hand of God. If I had filled out a lot of death certificates, maybe their stories would have begun to run together and the details blur. This family's story is but one in thousands, yet in my heart this young widow and her fatherless daughter will not be overshadowed by the vastness of it all. Rest in peace Mauricio.
Do You Remember Where You Were On This Date 18 Years Ago?
Judy A Bauman
It was 18 years ago today that I was awoke by a phone call from one of the most vivid and horrific dreams I've ever had. It was of being an eyewitness to a terrible accident of a tanker truck. I can still see the man's face as his truck caught fire and smashed into a gas station! In the dream, I ran across the street to the 4th house (the first three had no chance) and pounded on the door and yelled for them to get out of the house. That's when I woke up to the phone ringing. A very good friend was calling me to chat (she had not turned on the news that day). I didn't know my husband had been trying to call the whole hour we talked. When he finally got through, he said, "Our country is under attack! Turn on the news!" He told me two planes had hit the WTC and I was thinking small airplane not jets. Like everyone else, I watched in complete shock and dismay!
After seeing the disturbing news, I called the high school my children attended and asked if I could come get them. From there we went to church where people had spontaneously gathered. That was where the Lord let me know there were martyrs on the unaccounted-for plane. I fell to the floor and wept. Once I could get back up, I told the others there and we prayed for their families because I knew they had already died.
I watched the news continually for 2 more days and saw something they Lord made clear. I knew I needed to get to NYC but had no clue how or what I would do once I got there. Though my husband was not happy with the prospect, the Lord opened the doors for me to help at the Family Assistance Center and dorm housing was provided. 11 days later, on September 22, 2001, I found myself walking around Ground Zero. The fires were still burning... 😢
Whose Perspective is Right? The Lesson of the Osprey and the Heron
Judy A Bauman
Pictured here are two beautiful birds. While they are clearly not the same species, they both eat fish so both live near water. One is an Osprey (aka Fish Eagle) and the other is a Great Blue Heron.
Last week, my husband and I were taking our little pontoon boat out on the lake, when I spotted an Osprey high in the trees. It really surprised me because I had never seen one in that vicinity.
My husband was navigating out into the lake when excitedly I said, “Look, Jeff! There’s an Osprey!” As I readied my camera for a shot of the stately bird, he corrected me saying, “That’s not an Osprey; it’s a Blue Heron!”
I said, “Jeff, I have it in focus in my viewfinder, and I am telling you, it’s an Osprey!” After we went back and forth a couple of times as to who was right, I got a clear photo and showed it to him. He said, “Oh! You’re looking up in the trees; I was looking at the shoreline.” He pointed and said, “Do you see the Blue Heron?” I looked where he was pointing, and saw it seeking a meal in the same waters as the Osprey.
I realized that this was an important lesson because often we know we are right, so we believe the other person is wrong; however, in this case, we were both right. We rightly identified what we were looking at but didn’t realize we were looking at different things.
Maybe you are trying to relate something to someone, but you are both looking from different perspectives or at different subjects. Sometimes we need to stop and make sure we see what the other is looking at, and conversely, they need to stop and look from our perspective. Just like Jeff and I correctly identified what we saw, yet we were not in agreement because we weren’t looking at the same thing.
This illustrates that we need to listen to hear and look to see. One thing I know is if I ask the Lord to show me what is going on from His perspective, I have a much better chance of understanding the circumstance.
May we hear what the Spirit is saying through this little life lesson.
A word from the Father’s heart to yours: Will You Embrace Your Destiny?
“I have called you to the nations* to a destiny and I am asking you now, Will you embrace your destiny?
“This is a time of new beginnings and you are called for such a time as this. Know that you were chosen to be in this day and in this time. There is a vast cloud of witnesses who beckon you to move forward in the power of My Resurrected Son.
“Do not come to Me with your list of all your inadequacies and tell Me why you are unable to line up your will with Mine. I already know you are unable and that is precisely why I called you! You must know that what is impossible with man is possible with Me. I Am that I Am! I Am sufficient for all you need. Do not say any longer that you are unable. That, dear child, has already been established!
“Will you will lay everything down and pick up your mantle, continually wear it, and go where I send you? I will give you everything you need when you need it if you will obey My promptings. As you obey, the provision you need will already be waiting for you on My path, so do not look at what you do not have as you begin to step out in your destiny. Have faith and know that I will provide for you. Shed the garment of doubt and clothe yourself in My mantle.
“Will you honor Me by quickly coming into agreement with Me when I ask you to do something? Know that I start with small things. As you comply with My Spirit in the small things, I can move you into the bigger purpose that I have. Do not despise small beginnings, dear one. I start there with everyone. Even Jesus had small beginnings.
“I have called you to a destiny; will you embrace your destiny?”
You ARE More Than A Conqueror!
“Will you honor Me by looking at what I can do instead of what you can do?
“Beware of the spirit of fear and timidity. Will you embrace the call on your life or not? If you embrace fear you cannot also embrace your destiny of faith in Me. When you embrace fear you are proclaiming that I am not faithful! You may not realize this is what you are doing, but it is. Faith cannot exist where fear resides. You must exterminate fear. My love fights fear! My love conquers fear! I set before you a choice. Choose faith or fear. I will give you the answer, choose faith!
“Fear expects Me to be unfaithful and to break My promises to you. Fear expects the worst before it has happened. Faith will cause you to see the miraculous through the eyes of your heart first and then you will see the miraculous right before your very eyes. You have to see it first by My spirit, then you will see it in the natural. You can attract what you fear to yourself, or you can attract to yourself what you hope for. The choice is yours. I give an established warning: Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it the issues of life flow.
“Know that I desire for you to expect the best before it happens. I desire that when you see a storm approaching, you will expect Me to move on your behalf. Doubt your doubts! I have called you to be MORE than a conqueror. What this means is that you can know you have won the battle before ever entering it. The Greater One lives in you. You ARE more than a conqueror because I have already won!”
Seeds Of DestinyProduce Fruit!
“I have planted in you seeds of destiny. Will you allow the Living Word to water those seeds? Will you allow the Light of My Salvation to shine through you until those seeds grow to bear fruit?
“My dear one, do you not yet know that I desire for you to have an entire orchard of trees that overflow with fruit? There is sweet succulent fruit to be grown, harvested and enjoyed. All of the harvest will be brought to My banqueting table. My banner over you is love.”
Your Faithful Abba
*Nations - ethnos, peoples, lands. We all have a sphere of people where the Lord has given us His power and His authority. Please pray and ask the Lord to confirm to whom you are called and where you are to go in Jesus' name. Wisdom is proved right by her children. God bless and keep you. JB
As I shared last week, the Lord showed me that the enemy is planning a strategic attack in what the Holy Spirit called a “Curse Bomb.” He also gave a strategy of prayer in order to counter that attack by praying for confusion to be released into the enemy’s camps. Please remember, the weapons of our warfare are not natural, but they are mighty in the pulling down of strongholds. Our weapons are praise, worship, feeding on His word and rightly dividing it, doing what He has asked of us (the righteous acts of the saints), operating in the fruits of the Spirit, as well as developing the gifts He has given to each of us. 1
Faith and Glory Bombs Released Over the Nation!
After sending out “A Call to Prayer for There is A Black Moon Rising,” 2 I received an email from a trusted friend and advisor. He shared that he saw faith and glory bombs going off all over this nation! I called to clarify what he wrote, and from what I gathered, the glory bombs that are falling are the Lord’s presence and they come by faith in Him to answer our prayers. May His will be done on earth as it is in heaven! Keep in mind that it is not about our prayers being perfect; rather, God answers from our expectation that He will move on our behalf. He loves us, hears us, and answers our prayers because of His goodness and mercy. Prayer is manifesting spiritually through faith and glory bombs. They are released through childlike faith and expectation in Abba Father!
Ask yourself this very important question: Going forward, what is my part in God’s plans? What is your part in praying for America’s God-given destiny that ‘the enemy of our soul’ is working to destroy? Remember our destiny is knitted together with Israel’s, so prayer must include that relationship. We all can pray and trust our Father hears us (because He does). Let’s partner with the Lord and be clear on our part in His plans and be obedient and boldly come to the Throne of Grace in our time of need. 2 Tonight is the Black Moon (as explained earlier 3), and our part is to operate in faith, continue praying for President Trump and all near and dear to him. Allow God to show us His glory as we come to Him in faith. Remember, we are not to curse the people, but pray for their eyes to be opened and for their salvation. 4 When they see the wicked ones see their “curse bomb” has been destroyed, they will try something else. The true enemy knows his time is short. 5 God answers our prayers as we seek His face. 6
2 Chron 20:21-24; 2 Cor 10:3-5; 2 Tim 2:15; Gal 5:22-23; 1 Cor 12:7-14
The Lord showed me back in April that the enemy is planning an attack in what He called a “Curse Bomb.” He also gave a strategy of prayer in order to counter that attack. At that time, the Lord only showed me a handful of people to send the message, but now He has asked me to share what He showed me this morning.1
The Vision of the Evil Workers and the Explanation I saw people running to and fro, frantically working to finish a project by the deadline. I asked, “What is it they are working to complete, Lord?”
He answered, “It is a weapon of mass destruction.”
I inquired again, “Is it a physical weapon or a spiritual one?”
He replied, “It is both. Satan desires to steal, kill and destroy in all realms, but this particular attack is aimed at a specific world leader. As you are aware, witches worldwide have unprecedentedly come together with one goal since Trump was elected, and that goal is to curse him on the New Moon each month until he is removed from office. They run to and fro because their curses (accusations, humiliations, badgering, mocking, threatening, etc…) have not succeeded. He remains in office by My hand. They have new orders and have been commissioned to assemble a ‘Curse Bomb’. Different covens and groups with evil intentions have orders to prepare this bomb’s components and bring them together at a specific time for assembly and detonation.”
Clear and Present Danger!
“I ask that the saints take this threat seriously because the time approaches for its assembly. While it is aimed at President Trump, its true target is the Church (Ecclesia). I have shown you the timing.”
“Yes, Lord,” I answer.
(Note: There are two New Moons in July! Similar to the second Full Moon being called a “Blue Moon,” the second New Moon is referred to as a “Black Moon”. I also noticed this coming New Moon is a “Supermoon” because of its proximity to the earth. This has a stronger effect on the ocean’s tides, and Scripture often depicts humanity as a sea. The second New Moon will occur at my location on July 31, 2019, at 11:11p.m. This time stamp caught my eye for its prophetic meaning, but also because New Age diviners superstitiously believe this to be a very spiritual and powerful number. They believe it’s their spirit guides and/or the universe trying to contact them.)
The Holy Spirit affirms my findings and adds, “Yes, but the time and day does depend on where one is in the world. In some places, it will be on August 1st, and the second New Moon will be on August 30th. This is important to note since this is a global effort on behalf of Wickedness in High Places.2 This means they have a full lunar moon cycle to assemble this ‘curse bomb’ for detonation; however, let’s not get bogged down in the details.”
The Golden Bowls
Then the Lord shows me something exquisite! I see a huge golden bowl, and though I see nothing else, I know it is in the Throne Room. There is incense in the bowl, but it’s not full. This bowl represents prayers that have gone up specifically to protect the president, his family, staff, supporters, businesses, and innocent bystanders from the ‘Curse Bomb’. The fact that the bowl is not yet full concerns me, so I ask, “Lord, why is this not full?”
The Prayers of the Saints and the Three-Cord Strand
He answers, “Because many who call themselves ‘Christian’ feel that I will do whatever I will do whether they pray or not, so they idly standby and watch. They don’t realize the importance of their appeals to heaven and what it is that happens as a result of their prayer. You have not because you ask not. The reason some don’t ask is because of their personal political preferences, but I did not command that you only pray for leaders in whom you agree. Paul issued this decree3 and he was under cruel Roman rule. There is no excuse! Get into agreement with Me and be part of what I am doing in the earth!
“In 2016, the bowls were filled up and the incense was poured out at the precise moment because I heard the cries of My people. Prayers have been poured out for three very strategic election outcomes. These were in Israel, America, and England. A three-cord strand is not easily broken. There are other key nations, and they are vital to My plan, but if these three were not braided together, the others would fail for lack of support.”
Orders to Move Forward
“As I have told you before (in Bringing Down Wickedness in High Places and Awaken to the Revealing), My people must awaken and be rousted to pray for instruction. The enemy has assigned different posts to various covens and cults, but I am giving counter assignments to thwart the devil’s plans. Receive your assignments with gladness and conviction; receive them with confidence that I will open the way for you where there is no way. You are more than a conqueror. Nothing is impossible with Me! Your assignment in the coming days may not look like what you thought, but it is not uncommon during times of war to be assigned unusual duties. This applies to war in the natural but includes spiritual warfare. The ‘Curse Bomb’ can and will be stopped by the prayers and obedience of the saints. As I have said before, when you have done all you can do, stand! Stand firm!”
If you would like me to send this to you, please email me.
Jewels from Judy: Bringing Down Wickedness in High Places
A word from Abba and an excerpt from Jewels from the River
Judy A Bauman
“There is a line being drawn in the sand, and unfortunately, many of my people have their heads buried in it! There is, and has been, a very deadly advancement being plotted against Israel, and the enemy is very antsy to see it unfold. The devil and his cohorts were shut down when they were felled from their high places in the White House.
“They believed they had it in the bag, but when Trump won, that plan crumbled. The wickedness in high places is not giving up or giving in, but he foiled their plans so exclusively that the hatred for him is unmatched. He has bought the Church (Ecclesia) some time to wake up and roust the troops, but it has not been easy. This is especially true when so many who are called by My name fail to see what I am doing through him. Do you remember what I said to My host of Angels and allowed you to record?”
I answered Him yes, and He asked me to share this specific part with you. This encounter was published in Jewels from the River, Awaken to the Revealing pages 162-163 under the subheadings “Jesus! Captain of the Angels” and “The Lord’s Orders:”
Jesus! Captain of the Angels
Reaching the base of the path, I see the Lord approaching. The Lord is wearing thick leather armor with a sword in its sheath. Though strong and fierce in appearance, it is also elegant and regal in its design. He’s taking long strides and there is an unusual urgency to His steps. As Jesus’ gait intensifies, the sword swings dramatically at His side in rhythm with His quickened pace. Beholding the glory and might of Jesus as the Captain of the army of heavenly hosts takes my breath away. Following behind Him is a garrison of angels. I curtsey low at the sight of the King and this heavenly multitude approaching me and stay bowed. The Lord commands, “Arise, and come with Me.” I stand, take His hand, and Jesus escorts me to a place to sit, observe, and scribe as He addresses His angelic troops.
The Lord’s Orders:
Though He speaks in a language unknown to me, I understand exactly what He is saying to the angels and carefully record His words. “This day marks a new day in the days of creation. Even rocks cry out for My return, but the time is not yet. Fullness must come to My own. They need time to awaken. They are sleepy as if drugged -- and drugged they are! Media has drugged them. Entertainment has drugged them. The world’s governmental issues have troubled the masses. They slumber because their hearts have grown weak from eating a continual diet of fear.
“I Am sending you out in force to roust the saints of God, My chosen and elect. Call, call, call, beckon, beckon, beckon the sons of God, both male and female, to awaken to the revealing. Shake them out of their deep sleep and cause them to ARISE! Give heed to My orders and follow My voice. We will witness the great move you have heard of from old. Creation itself will also be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Cause My Church, My believers, to awaken to the groaning that is deep within them for the fulfillment of their adoption as sons. Tell them, ‘Your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is seen upon you!’ Yes, the light will shine brightly, even dim lights, because of the dark days that are upon the earth.” Angels numbering in the thousands cheer the Lord. I jump up from my seat and cheer along with them. He is majestic; there is none like Him!
It is my hope and prayer that you receive what the Holy Spirit is revealing to us through this word and encounter.
“While many will say these are times of great peril, it is not unique for the day. Think of days gone by that were times of trouble for mankind. Like ocean waves, humans will rise and fall, come in and go out, push and pull at one another. Violence begets violence until violence is taken over by My love and peace.
“The media is in for a big change. Just as the Grackles (birds) tear up your feeders, the media makes a lot of noise that disturbs the airways. They trouble the people, and many are consumed in the process. The house of cards they’ve built to prop themselves up is coming down.
“Pray for those caught in the web of lies to be set free so that they see their ‘news sources’ for the liars that they are and TURN and follow Me. They need to hear the GOOD NEWS! Remember, I have called what many refer to as millennials, The Turnaround Generation. They need hope. They need the freedom that comes from salvation and deliverance. Pray that they will have not just individual but corporate deliverance.” ~ Abba
I pray this blesses you. There is another word He gave shortly after this about the day and hour we are in that I hope to get out soon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
As I awoke on Monday, I heard the Lord say, “Before you read anything this morning, I want to talk to you about My justice.” I sat with my journal and prayed for God’s insight, for forgiveness, and sang Third Day’s song, “Your Love Oh Lord.” When I sang the lyrics, “Your righteousness is like a mighty mountain; Your justice flows like the ocean’s tide,” I heard, “It is time to hear what I have to say about justice.” With pen in hand, I wrote what He said:
“Many cry out, ‘How long, Lord? How long will it be before we see justice?’ but child, they fail to remember I Am longsuffering concerning the sins of man. I want all to come to repentance and so I Am slow, oftentimes, in My coming. Yes, there are times when I am swift, but what many don’t see is how many chances I gave before My swiftness was seen.
“As in the days when My people were enslaved in Egypt, I gave Pharaoh many chances. Ten plagues was not my desire, but it reveals the depth of hardness of a person’s heart. Even then, he was unrelenting to the point of chasing My people into the sea. I give warnings to those murdering My people. I want all to come to repentance, but some are like Pharaoh who wants to see only blood. The blood they will see last is their own and then the judgment.
“Many times people call to Me to get them out of a difficult situation, but they don’t like My solution. My way out for the children of Israel was not what they ever could have imagined. Would a man pray to either be driven to the point of facing a fierce army without weapons or walking into the sea to get to the other side?
“I told the disciples they would be baptized into the baptism of suffering that I was. Do many understand that? Do many realize I was baptizing the nation of Israel? Look how they behaved afterwards. They tried to cover up their sin with Aaron claiming the calf just jumped out of the fire! When in reality they fashioned their idols from their own gold.
“So what does this have to do with you and with My Church today? I give warning to My Church to be led of My Spirit and not of their flesh because where My Spirit is, there is life and liberty. Where I Am is ignored, there is bondage and death. I want my people to be free: Free to rejoice! Free to live! Free to worship in spirit and in truth! Free to love! Free to follow Me!
Nevertheless, remember I lead where the hearts of man do not want to go, but it is the Way of Righteousness. It is the way of My Spirit. I will take you through the desert, through the valley, through the sea, around the mountains, to the Promised Land, but I will not take you an easy route. The flesh desires ease, and when it gets it, the flesh becomes slothful. That trap must be broken. It must be smashed to bits!
“The days are evil, but I will redeem them if you go My Way of Righteousness. I implore you to go the Way of Righteousness through the veil – through the Body of Christ, which was torn open so you can come boldly into the Holy of Holies in your time of need. Do not delay! I will bring justice and righteousness.”
Scriptures to ponder: Rev 6:10; Ex 34:6; Ps 86:15; Ex 9:34-35; 32:24; 1 Tim 2:1-4; Mark 10:38-39; Phil 3:10; Rev 19:19-21; Gal 5:1;Is 61:1; 2 Co 3:17; Ps 36:9; Matt 27:51; Heb 4:14-16; 10:19-21
Note: As I sat to write this post, a news alert came up that Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, where I reside, was signing the Heartbeat Bill, which prohibits abortion after a heartbeat is detected. Hallelujah for the justice of God in this hour!
In July 2000, after taking the Lord’s Supper in the home of our elders, we quietly worshipped God around their dining room table. There was such a sweet and powerful presence of the Lord, so we all sat in prayer and quiet adoration for some time. Suddenly, I heard a deep rumbling like an earthquake. I opened my eyes and the rumbling stopped. Looking at them, I saw everyone else still had their eyes closed in prayer. Thinking I must have imagined it, I shut my eyes and immediately the rumbling resumed! When I opened my eyes, the rumbling stopped. Everyone still had their heads bowed in worship, and it was clear that I was the only one hearing this alarming noise.
This time I closed my eyes and kept them shut when I heard the deep rumbling sound. In my mind’s eye, I saw a very craggy looking, rough wooden beam coming up through the middle of the table and knew it was the Cross of Christ! Though afraid, I was compelled to watch and see what the Lord was showing me. As it continued to rise, I saw the thorns twisted around, and then the top of Jesus' head. It continued to rise and I could see the nail-like thorns smashed into His bleeding head. Knowing what was to come next, I turned away because I didn't want to see anymore.
The rumbling continued and got louder as the Cross continued to rise. I was shaken to my core, afraid to look at it – at Him! The Holy Spirit gently beckoned me to reopen my spiritual eyes. When I did, I saw Jesus’ chest and arms extended out onto the crossbeam, but when I saw His hands nailed into the Cross, I became so grief-stricken and terrified at the gruesome sight, I turned away again.
Even though I had been praying to see Him, I didn't want to see Jesus like this! While I was tearfully pleading with Him to show me no more, I realized the rumbling had stopped. I looked again and saw the Cross directly above me. It was as if I was physically at the foot of the Cross at Golgotha! Jesus tenderly yet firmly spoke to my heart, "Look at Me." Slowly I looked, first seeing His feet nailed into the wood and then His muddy and lacerated legs. There was a mixture of dried and fresh blood running down them. Then I looked higher and saw the face of Christ beaten to a bloody pulp. His eyes were very swollen. I didn't want to look anymore; I couldn't bear it.
Then His sweet voice resolutely commanded, "Look at Me!" I looked straight at His beaten and disfigured face and wept. He slightly opened His left swollen eye and looked long at me. It broke my heart to see Him in such terrible pain and so close to death, but even at such a dark time there was a light in His eye that compelled me to gaze at Him. Then He did something that shocked me. He mustered a grin, winked at me, and said, "Watch what happens next, Toots!" Suddenly, a brilliant flash of light appeared and split the sky from one end of the horizon to the other, east to west. At that very moment, the vision ended and everyone else at the table spontaneously lifted their heads, opened their eyes, and started to praise God aloud!
At first, I wasn't sure what had just happened. I was especially confounded that Jesus called me “Toots” and wondered if He would say such a thing. Toots was something my dad and uncle affectionately called me when I was a child. This perplexed me, as I had not thought about that nickname for years. I knew this is not something I would ever think Jesus, especially from the Cross, would call me. However, the Lord used it to confirm this was a vision and did not originate out of my imagination. When I saw the flash of light, I knew it was the light of Jesus’ resurrection.
I will add here, to the glory of God, this vision happened four years prior to Mel Gibson's movie, The Passion of the Christ. When I saw that movie, I was so stunned; and not only because of its content, but because the actor looked exactly like Jesus in the vision! The only difference I could detect was that the swelling of the eye in the movie was the right eye and in my vision, it was the left one – like a mirror image. This was also a year before Third Day released the song, “Show me Your glory.” (I encourage you to look it up and give it a listen!)
It is my hope that this testimony edifies you this holy holiday. Happy Resurrection Day!
Jewels from Judy: An Excerpt from Jewels from the River
Recently, a trusted friend said that the Lord was calling me to write another book and I already know what it’s about and what to call it. (That’s because I thought it would be my first book!) I really love sharing what God has given me because I know His purpose is to encourage you!
Today, I posted a public post on Facebook (meaning anyone can see it whether you have an account or not) with an excerpt from Jewels from the River. It dawned on me that I should share it with my subscribers too!
This comes from a powerful encounter entitled, “Awaken to the Revealing.” (Pages 162-164). I pray it blesses you!
“Jewels from the River” excerpt “Awaken to the Revealing”
Jesus! Captain of the Angels
Reaching the base of the path, I see the Lord approaching. The Lord is wearing thick leather armor with a sword in its sheath. Though strong and fierce in appearance, it is also elegant and regal in its design. He’s taking long strides and there is an unusual urgency to His steps. As Jesus’ gait intensifies, the sword swings dramatically at His side in rhythm with His quickened pace. Beholding the glory and might of Jesus as the Captain of the army of heavenly hosts takes my breath away.[i] Following behind Him is a garrison of angels. I curtsey low at the sight of the King and this heavenly multitude approaching me and stay bowed. The Lord commands, “Arise, and come with Me.” I stand, take His hand, and Jesus escorts me to a place to sit, observe, and scribe as He addresses His angelic troops.
The Lord’s Orders:
Though He speaks in a language unknown to me, I understand exactly what He is saying to the angels and carefully record His words.[ii] “This day marks a new day in the days of creation. Even rocks cry out for My return, but the time is not yet. Fullness must come to My own. They need time to awaken. They are sleepy as if drugged -- and drugged they are! Media has drugged them. Entertainment has drugged them. The world’s governmental issues have troubled the masses. They slumber because their hearts have grown weak from eating a continual diet of fear.[iii]
“I Am sending you out in force to roust the saints of God, My chosen and elect. Call, call, call, beckon, beckon, beckon the sons of God, both male and female, to awaken to the revealing. Shake them out of their deep sleep and cause them to ARISE![iv] Give heed to My orders and follow My voice. We will witness the great move you have heard of from old. Creation itself will also be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Cause My Church, My believers, to awaken to the groaning that is deep within them for the fulfillment of their adoption as sons.[v] Tell them, ‘Your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is seen upon you!’ Yes, the light will shine brightly, even dim lights, because of the dark days that are upon the earth.”[vi] Angels numbering in the thousands cheer the Lord. I jump up from my seat and cheer along with them. He is majestic; there is none like Him![vii]
Instructions for the Day
One by one, the angels receive a rolled-up scroll containing their assignment from the Lord.[viii] At the same time, they are dressed in attire that will allow them to move inconspicuously among the people they are sent to help. Some are in business attire while others wear uniforms or casual street clothing. After receiving their orders, each angel salutes Jesus. Every salute is unique and expresses awe, adoration, and obedience of heart to God while also conveying a private message relating to past missions in service to their Commander. Their level of respect for the KING of kings is incalculable. Jesus also takes the time to express His appreciation by returning a unique salutation in acknowledgement.
Given the multitude of angels and the sense of urgency in the Lord’s voice, one would think this extensive interaction between Jesus and each angel is taking far too much time. In an instant, I receive fresh revelation about time. God is Omnipresent: He is everywhere at once, as well as in all times. Jesus is not in a hurry because in God is the fullness of time![ix] When the Lord completes His official business with the angels, these dedicated ones depart so fast, I cannot tell if they fly, run, or just disappear.
It was two days before Valentine’s Day 1997, and though my life looked wonderful from every angle, deep down I was miserable. I tried ‘to be a good person’ and live my life in a way that would be pleasing to my fellowman, but all the community works I was juggling did not fill the void in my soul. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and empty. Occasionally, I would get a glimpse of why I was so unhappy and what I needed – I needed the Lord! Sadly, I would quickly reject this notion because it wasn’t convenient to my lifestyle. Rejecting God was justifiable in my mind because I knew I couldn’t live up to His standards. Though I looked to the world for acceptance and comfort, I never seemed fulfilled. I was in a frightening and unwinnable battle.
The void began when my father suddenly passed away. He was only 43 years old and left behind a wife and three children, as well as his parents who daily relied on his help. Well-meaning clergy told us, “God must have needed him,” and that “he was in a better place.” This didn’t bring consolation to my grief-stricken heart. My sister, brother, and I were sent to live with relatives that summer. Though young, my sister was soon married and moved to her own place. My brother’s bedroom was the walk-in closet of our aunt’s teenage boys – placing him continually at their mercy. My bedroom housed the huge gas floor furnace in the unfinished basement. Night after night I would earnestly cry out to God from that room, “Why my dad, why me?” I agonized over the loss of my dad and listened for an answer, but none came. I also learned to listen for sneaking feet coming down the stairs in the middle of the night. It was a time fraught with dangers for my brother and I.
Meanwhile, my mother worked to stabilize our housing so we could come back and live with her. Unfortunately, her life was also full of snares, so it took more time than we ever imagined. Three years later, we moved into a home with her and the nightly threats and torment were over. Though I was often rebellious, we had many good times together. We traveled some and even spent an entire summer in Oregon. After coming back to our home state of Colorado, the unthinkable happened. Doctors diagnosed my mother with breast cancer. I never doubted that she would recover (because surely God would not ‘take’ her too). However, after a few years, and much suffering, she succumbed to the ravages of the disease. At her funeral I again heard from well-meaning folks, “She’s in a better place,” and “God must have needed her.” Really? More than her children? It did not sit well.
Deeply dismayed, my confusion turned to anger that burned hot against God. He seemed selfish and more like a big bully who was no different from Greek gods who threw lightning bolts or hit people with a huge hammer. I decided if God was so selfish that He needed my parents more than their three children did, I didn’t want anything to do with Him. I would live my life my way, not His! Anytime the subject of God came up, I was like a cornered cat ready to fight; my cynicism towards Christianity and disdain for Christians grew. Some would try to explain to me how the Lord was loving, kind, and good. I reasoned, if God were truly loving, why wouldn’t He have kept my parents from dying? If He were kind and good, why wouldn’t He just put an end to all the suffering and evil in the world?
This is where I found myself on the morning of February 12, 1997 – drowning in my own sorrow. Deep down I knew only God could rescue me. I saw on the calendar that it was not only two days from Valentine’s Day, but also the first day of Lent. Oddly, something went off inside me. It was HOPE! Jesus had been drawing me to Himself for months, and though I had been keeping Him at arm’s length, I could ignore Him no longer. God was throwing a lifeline into my Pit of Despair, and I prayed that if I clung onto it, He would be merciful and pull me out.
I found an old Bible and began to read in Psalm 107: Then I cried to the Lord in my trouble and He saved me from my distress; He sent forth His word and healed me and saved me from destruction! I fell to my knees, and thanked Him for His goodness. I repented of sinning against Him. Later I found in John 10:10 where Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” This Scripture immediately dispelled the lie that God had killed my parents. I saw the “thief” had come to kill, steal, and destroy – not my heavenly Father. Oh, friends, how might that have eased my suffering had someone shared that truth with me from early on?
In that moment, the Holy Spirit gave me great freedom, and peace flooded my soul. I knew Jesus didn’t condemn me but filled my emptiness with joy. He adopted me! As a child of God, I had a sense of belonging that I had never known. I began reading and truly studying the Bible. I saw it was like a beautiful tapestry that, through many authors over thousands of years, God had woven together. I could have never imagined it, but I found the Bible to be wonderful and freeing.
You do not have to be an orphan to experience the debilitating wounds from being abandoned or rejected. We each have our own story of how we’ve been beaten and battered. We have fought with discouragement, doubt, and unbelief. At some point, all of us have been, or will be, wounded by different tragedies and heartbreaks. Our heavenly Father’s desire is for all mankind to experience His forgiveness and abiding love. The most wonderful Valentine’s gift anyone could ever receive is to be adopted by the King of kings! Being reconciled to God is a gift that anyone can accept at any time.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
He gave His best so we can live abundantly. Every day is Valentine’s Day with Jesus!
For the past 49 years of my life, February 5th has NOT been a day to celebrate, but rather, a day to battle grief from my father’s sudden passing. Nearly every year, I would relive the events of that fateful night, and it was awful. The Lord has granted degrees of deliverance from the trauma after receiving His saving grace, but I learned the hard way that I needed to bolster my armor to prepare for this sorrowful anniversary. If I didn’t, the enemy would use my suffering to his advantage.
Last year, something wonderful happened on this date that was completely out of my control, and I didn’t learn of it until weeks later. Many of you know it took me a grueling four years to finish my second book, Jewels from the Harvest. It was in November of 2017 that I first sent it to the publisher, but there was a bit more work to do to get it finalized. In January, it was typeset for publication.
I told the Lord that I was sorry it took so long for me to write the book. I knew He had wrestled with me to get it done, but His gracious reply to me was, “It is exactly on time.” The Lord set me up for a special surprise because the final publication date 'so happened to be' February 5, 2018! When I saw it, in my mind’s eye I saw a huge fist hit the “devil of torment” so hard its teeth went flying before it hit the ground! It was a one-punch knockout blow!
Since I didn’t know the publish date last year, this is the first anniversary I can share this amazing victory. There has been no grief or sorrow; nor any preparation for a fight because I know it’s over. The battle is won and victory is complete ~ it is finished! I have joy and satisfaction knowing my Father always has a plan – even He seems to tarry, He is on time. As Habakkuk 2:3 promises:
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”
While 49 years may seem a long time, it is but a mist in the annals of time. God is revealing this number is significant and part of His gift. If I understand this correctly, 49 equals 7 Sabbaths of years, and consecrates the following 50th year of Jubilee. (See Leviticus 25, especially verses 8-10.) Jubilee is significant as it is a time of personal liberty, restitution, and living the simple life. This is amazing! I had to read that several times because it seems too good to be true, but God doesn’t lie.
Beloved, we are not to live complicated, distressed, fear-filled, or mournful lives, but lives blessed by God’s liberty and restitution. No matter what has been taken from us, we can find wholeness in the embrace of the Father’s love. How awesome is it that God pays attention to the details of our lives in ways to restore what has been lost to us. I pray you rejoice with me, and in that, you too receive personal liberty and restitution in all things through Jesus’ mighty name. Amen!
Hallelujah! Glory to God for His ways are not our ways!