Little Doses of June

A Little Dose of June

A lie ( i.e.insecurity, feelings of not being "good"enough, belief that if anyone really got to know you they would see that you are unlovable, unwarranted fear, inferiority,self blame, etc. ) is nothingness; it is completely dead and has no power over you unless, however, you believe it. If u believe it, then it will gain power,life, and vitality. It will take on personality as if it were alive. But it's not real. It a nonentity, a nonexistent thing . That's why we must take every thought captive and not allow any lie from the enemy to come into existence.  It's within our power to do so. Make up your mind today to reject all lies so that you live a life of truth and realness and most of all peace!

A Little Dose of June

Forward

For sixteen days this past July, 2012, I was honored to lead a seven member mission team to Uganda, Africa. It was the first foreign missions trip for my entire team. What we saw and experienced was amazing - the starkest of financial poverty coupled with an abundance of spiritual blessings given to us by the Ugandan people, and especially the Lord. It made for an unforgettable experience! What I learned in the village of Jinja over and over again is that God loves us all no matter what race, gender or creed we may be; and the immeasurable power of the Holy Spirit is simply profound. 

While In Uganda, I had the opportunity to write three letters that described our experiences. Given our very busy, almost hectic schedule in ministry, there was very little time for penning my thoughts. But as God provided little moments of leisure, I would grab my computer and begin to transcribe letters for the Holy Spirit. It was as if the Lord was urging me to communicate His thoughts and desires with ALL. Father transformed my heart through these collective experiences. I pray that these God given letters will bring forth a passionate awareness of His love for you, as well. That is why I share these letters with you now. Here is the first.

Letters from Uganda #1

July 15th, our first day here in Jinja, Uganda and my missions team of seven, plus the two missionaries we met there, quickly hit the ground running. After over 28 hours of flying, layovers and ground transportation that started the previous Saturday, we arrived in Jinja around 3am early Monday morning. By 11am, a few short hours later, we found ourselves on our way to visit a major slum area called Masese. It all seemed so surreal being halfway around the world in Africa and then suddenly, with a bird’s eye view of this “typical” African village, being thrust into a world I could have never imagined.

As our team bus rattled along toward Masese, our eyes beheld unfamiliar sights of extreme filth, trashed surroundings, and sickly, dirty and impoverished women and children. When we arrived in Masese we noted that many of the children there were wearing no underwear, none of them wore shoes, and all were spotted with sores and random cuts. Yet through broken bodies and tattered and torn clothes, these children smiled and pushed to crowd around us just for a brief hug or kiss. It must be how celebrities feel when mobs of people beg for their attention.

As these children circled around us, I didn’t have enough hands or arms to go around – there just wasn’t enough of me to give all these children the love they needed and yearned for. Our entire team had children in both arms and had many other children hanging onto our legs and waists. I was more overwhelmed than I have ever been in my life. I didn’t cry – which I fought as hard as I’ve ever fought not to – because I knew these babies just wanted love and so desperately needed all I had and then some. Every member of my team jumped right in and was holding, loving and playing with the children. We soon gathered the children in a large circle, over two hundred in all, and played games and sang songs with them.

Shortly thereafter, Tina, the on-site missionary, asked me to join her and a local pastor, Andrew, in ministering to the 70 to 80 women who had gathered together. We sat under the shade trees and listened to Tina teach these abandoned women how to encourage one another God’s way. She asked them to start memorizing Scripture, and as she spoke Pastor Andrew translated. Tina also introduced me to these spiritually hungry women and informed them that we’d be back on Friday and I would be teaching them on healing. I remember being a bit overwhelmed and intimidated by the idea of teaching women from such a foreign place, and by foreign I didn’t mean proximity. 

Tina then asked me to pray. Since I had never prayed using an interpreter that unfamiliar, uneasy feeling of intimidation blanketed me again. Of course I prayed, and when I began those feelings melted away and I felt such closeness to God and His people. Here I stood on the red clay of Jinja, in the Masese slum village, praying for these Ugandan women and singing and dancing to the Lord. How radical is that?

Our Father really does love all the children...”red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world”....and you and I are His children too!!! Today I have gotten a glimpse of what it's like to be loved and adored, without conditions, no matter what I've done or who I am. These children just plain and simply loved me with an absolute kind of love, the kind He, our Father gives! It was so cool to get such a tangible sense of God's love toward us through the unconditional love freely provided by this group of impoverished children. Day one and I’m the one being taught how to love Father's way. What an awesome experience!

A Little Dose of June

A few weeks ago, I kept my Grandchildren while visiting family and friends in Florida. I have to admit I've learned MUCH from my Grandson McCabe during such visits. I have gained a renewed appreciation for all of God's creation, even the overlooked and seemingly unimportant things of this world, when seen through Caby's eyes. I've also seen what God's total acceptance of any and all people look like when Caby meets strangers. And it's always such a welcome surprise for me to get a tangible glimpse of God's love by simply watching Caby in action.

Each evening during my most recent visit, when it came time for "night night", Caby urged his Grandma "Buggy" to lie down next to him and pray him to sleep. I, of course, couldn't resist! So, I would stretch out next to him and attempt to pray this innocent baby boy into a peaceful slumber. Caby, with absolute love for his Grandma, would immediately wrap one of his little fat baby arms around my neck while tightly holding on to my fingers with his other hand. Then, to satisfy his intense need to love me, he would intertwine his legs around mine. As I closed my eyes to pray aloud, aware that I was tightly wrapped in Caby's love, I felt his tiny sweet lips on mine. As I prayed, he kissed my eyelids, my nose, my cheeks and my lips as if it were totally normal to kiss and pray.  

Immersed in this all encompassing love, I prayed to Jesus thanking Him for this sweet innocent child, a true blessing in our lives. At that moment, I felt the Lord say to me, "June, this is just a tiny fragment of my love for you, of how I can't get enough of you, my daughter. If you ever doubt My love, or struggle with My being there for you, think back to this moment with Caby. Let the love he's poured out remind you that I love you even more than this precious child loves you; and remember, I never fall asleep! I am always kissing you, hugging you and holding you tight; and I will never let you go!" In that instance, God made Hebrews 5:13 come alive for me. His promise to "never leave or forsake me" was confirmed in an awesome, tangible way that I will never forget. His love is real, incredibly powerful and wonderfully overwhelming!

A Little Dose of June

A few weeks ago my Grandmother passed away and I was asked to say a few words at her funeral. Grandmother and I were very close, so I agreed and knew exactly what I would say. But something was looming. That something was my intense fear of speaking in public. I’m using the past tense “was” as I am no longer claiming any fear, hence…the verb WAS. I knew I had a message from God to give to Grandmother’s family and friends, so I wasn’t going to let anything stop me from doing that; even this great fear of mine. What I didn’t know was how God would choose to help me overcome this obstacle of fear!

A few days before the funeral service my upper lip swelled as if I’d been hit with a right hook; a fever blister had blossomed and no matter what I did to it, it just got larger and larger. On the day of the funeral, just a few minutes before the service was to start, my husband looked at me and said, “Oh my, June, your lip is bleeding!” The surprise in his voice captured my attention and again diverted all my thoughts from what I was about to do. I quickly wiped the bleeding lip with a tissue I had in my hand and reapplied lip-gloss in a feeble attempt to hide this crimson wound. At that point, the Pastor ushered the family into the chapel for the service. As we settled into our seats, I knew it was almost time for me to tell Grandmother’s story. As I looked down to say a quick prayer asking the Holy Spirit to speak through me, I gasped at what I saw! I had a golf ball size hole with an inch wide run all the way down my pantyhose to my knee! And I was wearing a dress! Even my hand wasn’t large enough to cover that mess! In that moment, I found myself laughing hysterically at all the sudden chaos; but there was no turning back or anything that I could do about it. So, I walked to the front of the chapel and up the stairs looking for a podium to hide behind; all the while praying that everyone’s vision would be impaired such that they couldn’t see the swollen lip I was sporting or the gaping hole in my hose!

In the midst of all my chaos, as I began to tell Grandmother’s special story, a sweet calm came over me and the words, HIS words, began to flow from deep inside me. With HIS presence all around me, I told of my last visit with Grammy; how the Lord had prompted me to talk to her about HIM and how I had asked her if she was saved? Thankfully I was able to affirm to all her friends and family that Grandmother was indeed with our Heavenly Father at that very moment. I even told of how she got a little miffed at me for having asked that question. And that allowed me to tell how I loved that spiciness in Grandmother, a spiciness that was so much a part of who she was. I relayed to everyone how on that last visit we sang old hymns and prayed together. And I told of how awesome her prayers were, for she talked to our Father just like a little girl would talk to her loving Daddy whom she trusted for everything!

As the stories flowed from me, I never stammered, stuttered, nor even once felt a tinge of fear. My lip was still red and swollen and the hole ever present in my stockings; those were “Godly” distractions that occupied my mind and kept my fear away. And as a result, God’s message came through loud and clear. I allowed HIM to use me to speak to all who were there about HIM, about how He forgives us of all our sin and loves us beyond our wildest imaginations. My point is this; He chose this tattered and torn and fearful gal to speak about His strength, His way and His love. 1 Corinthians 1:27 says, "But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty." So don’t ever think you are unworthy or incapable, and never let your fear get in the way of spreading His Word. My dear, I’m the perfect example that He does it all in spite of us. He uses our shortcomings for His glory! Yes and Amen!

A Little Dose of June

I attended a small birthday celebration last night and was struck by the story my dear friend Debbie shared with me. We were talking about how difficult it can be to integrate in-laws into your family, especially if your backgrounds are extremely different. Debbie told us that when she married, she and her mother-in-law, "Mama Rose", did not get along...at all! Debbie said they actually had contempt for one another. This went on for 6 years. Finally, her husband's best friend took her aside and lovingly gave her this scenario. He said, "Debbie, if Mama Rose were paralyzed and had to be pushed around in a wheelchair, would you take the time to push her across the street if she needed to get there, even as aggravating as she is?"  Without hesitation, Debbie said, "Well, of course I would." The family friend clarified that Mama Rose was not saved and as a result was spiritually crippled. He showed Debbie that she would have to be the one to extend the olive branch, always, or at least until Mama Rose came to know Jesus. At that very moment Debbie said the scales were lifted from her eyes and she began to see Mama Rose in an entirely different light; an epiphany moment for sure. Almost instantly, God put a love in Debbie's heart for her Mama Rose. She said she found herself calling Mama Rose for lunch and even telling her that she missed her. Many joyful years later, Mama Rose was diagnosed with cancer. It was during this time that Debbie became Mama Rose's best friend. When Mama Rose drew her last breath, she crossed over to life eternal for she had been shown the love of Christ and accepted Jesus as Saviour through her daughter-in law, Debbie. Changing your own perspective can literally save a relationship and a life!

A Little Dose of June

Recently my two year old grandson McCabe came to visit for several days while my family and I were at my Mom and Dad's home in Florida. Noticing the ABC magnets his great grandparents had on their refrigerator door, "Caby" quickly proceeded to rearrange them by shoving each one between the opening of the refrigerator and freezer doors. After careful placement, Caby discovered that all his magnets were stuck between the two doors and he couldn't retrieve them. Quickly, frustration seemed to get the best of our grand baby and he would say, "Uh-Oh", with such bewilderment as if to ask, "how did this happened?" Hearing his addled "uh-oh", I promptly opened the refrigerator and scooped out the hidden magnets, placing them back on the front of the door for Caby's pleasure again. Without hesitation, Caby proceeded with the same exact routine, a routine he repeated over and over again. It was almost like he couldn't figure out how or why the magnets had gotten there, even though he was the culprit! This puzzled me as I listened to him exclaim his seemingly innocent, "Uh-Oh's" time and time again; yet I knew somewhere inside our Caby Baby, he knew exactly what he was doing, but he trusted his "Buggy" and "Boss"(our Grandma and Grandpa names) to save the day...and we did.

As I watched this drill play out before me, I couldn't help but think how true it is of us adults as well; we make our own messes most of the time. And when the damage is done, we throw open our arms and exclaim,"Uh-Oh" as if we had nothing to do with our problem, then look to God and others to clean up our "adult ABC magnets". Ring true for you?  It does me; unfortunately many times over. Remember the LORD compares us to sheep and we will do dumb things until we are made complete upon our true day of "Life"; the day we join Him in heaven.  But we are called to holiness, righteousness and obedience to HIM; therefore, our "Uh-Oh's" will be no excuse. So, let's commit to do the right thing and make our "Uh-Oh's" become our "Don't do it  No Mo's!" 

Interestingly, Jesus said in John 10:7,10 "...Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep...If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture."  We were the savior for Caby, being able to return his ABC's, but Jesus is our Savior offering a much greater gift; life eternal with HIM!        

A Little Dose of June

Each time I go to visit our two year old Grandson, Caby Baby, I take him for a walk outside. I have to do everything “under the sun”; meaning, read the Bible, eat all meals, drink my morning coffee, sip on a glass of ice cold sweet tea, and even talk to my dear friends and family on the phone, OUTSIDE!  So, I’m sure to pass this love of nature on to the grandchildren as I have already succeeded with my children.

On a recent visit, my husband and I decide to take Caby for a walk toward the local beach area near his house. As we begin our journey to the sea, Caby abruptly stops, reaches down and from deep in his gut shouts “WWWOOOWWW!!!”, for all he was worth, as he picks up a dead leaf. I didn’t say a stunning butterfly nor a brightly colored caterpillar; hardly not, I said a dead leaf. Over and over again, our little grandson was picking up dead leaves as fast as his little baby hands would let him. Each time he preceded his discovery with, “WWWOOOWWW!!!” 

Watching my grandson’s spectacular response to the routinely overlooked decaying foliage, I gave pause as my mind pondered what it meant to be “WWWOOOWWWED!” by God’s forgotten creation.

A couple of weeks later my husband and I went out to a dear friend’s memorial; for it would have been his twenty- third birthday. As I stood at the monument, I prayed for the precious family that had suffered much loss, and asked God what I could leave as a “special” remembrance at the grave site. I looked down and saw many dead leaves and stones. Then It clicked…the dead leaves…Caby being so “WOWED” by such a trivial thing.  Ever so gently and reverently I bent down, grabbed the large dead leaf beside my foot and placed it on the memorial with a stone to hold it securely. And with immense respect and all the adult voice I could project, I bellowed, “WWWOOOWWW!!!” For I knew at that precise moment, our precious friend who had crossed over to LIFE eternal had yet to stop saying “WWWOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!” since his awaking in Heaven!

We left amidst tears of pain, yet a supernatural peace had found us through the innocence of a child’s appreciation of all of God's creation; even that of a dead leaf. Our Caby had shown us a little bit of Heaven right here on the pavement of Earth. 

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Mark 10:15)



 

A Little Dose of June

This past July, my hubby, Jim, and I decided to hike a mountain not too far from our home. Ignoring the fact that the temperature exceeded 98 degrees and leaving water and maps at home confident that we could complete the hike in about an hour, we set out to have fun; and so off we went!  At first it was awesome, as the path was canopied by beautiful old hardwoods and the views were magnificent.  But after having wound around this mountain at least once, and having expended a great amount of energy in our brisk, almost straight uphill climb, I suggested to Jim that we start making our way back down.

At that, Jim gave pause; he was not certain as to which way to go. but after taking a moment, he confidently pointed to the right as I was walking left.  I acquiesced as I really had no clue as to where we were.  What I didn't realize is that he didn't either; for my husband's path took us further up the mountain! Our legs aching and burning, our feet sore with blisters forming; we completed the second hour of this steep mountain hike without water or, to my surprise, a cell phone! When I suggested to Jim that he call for assistance, he told me he didn't have his phone. Jim NEVER goes anywhere without his cell phone. Anytime he leaves the house, it is attached to him like it's a permanent appendage. So, as we continued  around this mountain like the Israelites wandering the desert, my anger toward my husband flared.

I started to snap at him for not taking his phone, but I heard a quiet voice say, "be kind,June". I knew it was the Lord; so I bit my tongue and continued in this vicious circle of trails, paths and now all too familiar turns. We kept trying his suggestions and somehow ended up in the same place, just more exhausted than before.   Again, my flesh wanted to lash, for I was now blaming all this heat, physical pain, and inability to call for help on my dear hubby. But, the voice again came to me saying, "June, enjoy the beauty of this hike; pace yourself and BE KIND!" I thought all kinds of things I wanted to complain about, but instead, I shut my mouth and actually said, "This is kind of fun, if it just wasn't so hot." I smiled and kept on walking. 

After what seemed an eternity, we finally found the right path out. Then, as we were making our way off the mountain, Jim suddenly stopped, bent down and said, "June look at this; I think it's a baby hummingbird," it was about the size of a quarter and very much alive! Stunned I stood there and began to cry. I explained to Jim that as a little girl, given the opportunity to make a wish, my wish was always the same, I wanted a baby hummingbird. It had been many,many years since I had told anyone that wish, but the Lord knew had saved that baby bird just for me to see up close and personal. We found the staff at the nature center and showed them the baby bird. They were amazed, telling us they had never seen a baby hummingbird in the wild - confirmation that this WAS a gift to me from God. Given the rarity of the find, they promised to do their best to help find it's nest.

As we drove home, I thought back to how we can get so agitated with one another, especially our spouses. I then thought about how my precious FATHER GOD had guided us through that mountain, and had even kept my mouth closed. as a result of my obedience in not showing disrespect to my husband, I believe I received my childhood wish; a good and unexpected gift from above!  Obedience is not always easy, but it WILL bring unexpected rewards.  How is God prompting you to be obedient?

A Little Dose of June

If you find yourself battling depression, cancer, suicidal thoughts, disease, hopeless situations, addictions, or anything that holds you in bondage, then listen up, for I have stumbled upon an excellent source of hope and victory in 2 Chronicles 32.  Have you ever heard of King Sennacherib? ME either!   He was THE man to be afraid of.  He bragged, rightfully so, on what he and his fathers had done to "all the peoples of other lands?"  He also questioned where the god's of those nations were when he utterly destroyed them.  He challenged King Hezekiah's, God by saying, "How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?" 

King Hezekiah "did what was good and right and true before the Lord his God."  Because of this loyal obedience and unshakable faith he had in God Almighty, Hezekiah when faced with his "cancer, depression, addiction, BATTLE", was delivered  from his enemies! 

Look at what was done to Hezekiah and then how he reacted.  He was threatened with a real threat by a vicious, evil, victorious, undefeated king!  Does your situation appear hopeless?  Hezekiah's did and more importantly, he was constantly reminded by evil King Senna of how many lands and people he had massacred and destroyed,all the while providing multiple examples to the king.  Hezekiah did not let his words stick.  Instead, he encouraged his people by reminding them that with King Senna "is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles."

Right before the Lord sent His angel to cut down every mighty man of valor in King Senna's  camp, God-fearing King Hezekiah PRAYED!  He joined  with the prophet Isaiah and cried out to God.  He picked a man whom was faithful and obedient to the LORD and together their petitions were heard! 

I hope this true account of a very real formidable enemy and his demise will open your eyes and increase your faith in the area that has you in turmoil.  For He is the same God, yesterday, today and forevermore!  

A Little Dose of June

I went to Florida recently to spend time with a dear bedridden friend. I couldn't wait to see her and neither could my daughter. Before we got to her house, we ran by Publix to get the makings for lasagna that I would prepare later. 
 
After spending the whole afternoon together, I retreated to the kitchen to prepare dinner, while my 15 year old daughter stayed in the bedroom with my girlfriend, Pete, chatting it up. I rushed, ran and hurried to finish the dinner so that those two wouldn't miss me too much. I just knew they were in the room twiddling their thumbs without me.
 
Once I got the lasagna in the oven, I burst in the bedroom thinking they would drop the "nothing' that they were doing and greet me with excitement!  Much to my astonishment, they didn't even look up at me or even glance in my direction. I thought to myself, "could it be they didn't even know I was gone?"  I tried to talk of my cooking escapades, and was quickly interrupted by my daughter saying, "Mom, we were in the middle of something, don't interrupt us!"
 
I retreated back to the kitchen to actually finish the dinner I had begun, when a revelation washed over me, "Junebug, relax, and enjoy exactly what you are doing at the precise time you are doing it!" Don't wish away, stress over or waste any moment you have...even the cooking part! 

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