Thursday, December 19, 2013

When I Thought Differently, I Acted Differently

Having a positive mindset had been so foreign to me growing up. I grew up with a spirit of suspicion, with a belief of hopelessness and failure and being punished for my actions continually. Still not sure how I developed that but I believe it was early on. I was used to being surprised with punishment and being led to believe I was different and inadequate and even inferior. So I only expected to fall short of everyone else, and still, from time to time, I'm plagued with these thoughts.

However, I recall my first experience with challenging myself to think differently than usual, at least if felt unnatural at the time, affirmatively about having the ability to do something that was a struggle for me. In this instance, I have always been the slowest hiker of anybody I was with. I could be out-hiked by anybody, and especially a group. I was always at the end of the group. It continually frustrated me and so I enjoyed hiking less as a result.

But on this one occasion I was hiking with a group up Mt. Masada. It was quite an incline. In fact, it was called the Snake Path. I felt weary, probably because of inadequate sleep to add to the load. I decided that instance to think to myself and not out loud, "I can do this, I can do this, I can do this." Then, I found myself looking up toward my destination. Every now and then I would revert back to the inclination of "I can't" and it would become difficult for me again. But when I tried to focus on "I can" the hike became easier. I even recall setting my gaze farther ahead of me as I climbed that steep incline. I still may have arrived later than everyone else, but I got up there in time for the sunrise without much feeling of weariness.

Then, surprisingly, and for the first time I can recall, I sprinted down the mountain like one of those sure-footed gazelles I had seen. I was down the mountain in a very short time and probably one of the first in our group. I usually hike slowly down a mountain because of not being sure of my footing.

It's funny to me now looking back now and realizing that this occurred in Israel, a land charged with God's presence, and I was there before I ever embarked upon a relationship with Him.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Forever Changed

I met a woman named Jill, another Jewish believer on AOL in a Christian chat room in the 90s. We used to visit over the phone. She was living in Knoxville, Tennessee, a single mom with two teens who were unmanageable. I used to tell her about the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. She would not buy it, saying she didn't think she needed it. Well, it's not a requirement for salvation but it sure adds to it.

Well, some time later, I spoke with her on the phone again and she told me of a peculiar incident that had just occurred while talking with someone on a park bench. She said that while she was talking, suddenly she began to speak in tongues. Wow, talk about a God-incidence!

I had never heard of anyone being filled this way before. I struggled with getting my prayer language. I had too much doubt in the way. I remember having prayer time every night with God and running out of words and almost going into a language I never learned but would somehow reason it away.

But for Jill, who was very intellectual, this was truly a miracle! She was a changed woman from that moment on, and God began to bless her and increase her since.

It's been years since I had last been in touch, but the memory of her has come back to me and I felt to share this. Someone else must needs this. This is your time, says the Lord. So enter in.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What Goes Around Comes Around

Today I brought in a bag of clothes to donate at my neighborhood Goodwill store. It contained things that I enjoyed maybe a time or two, although I liked them and it pinched a little to give them up.

I have noticed, however, when I do give and it feels like a sacrifice, I have managed to stumble upon some very nice items. Today I found a couple tops and some knit pants. It makes the value seem greater. Today I feel amply rewarded.

New Outfit

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How It All Began With God And Me

I was transcribing from tapes by John-Roger, founder of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness in Los Angeles in 1981 during my sophomore year at Colorado Mountain College. I was seeking truth and some sort of mentor at the time and I thought John-Roger was it, until I came across a couple things he said that caused me to question his authenticity. He said that "Jesus was not the only begotten Son first." I didn't know the Bible but somehow that struck a weird chord with me. The other thing he said was that he only had capacity to disciple a limited number of people. After spending a lot of money on his instructional material that left a lot of uncertainty about my investment. So my searching continued.

Meanwhile, during the time I was involved with this MSIA which I became acquainted with through an Insight Training Seminar which my father sent me to and paid for (and bless his heart for wanting to help me in a meaningful way), I was encountering several people who were challenging me about religion and to try Jesus. I was so afraid to because I felt it was exclusive and I thought I would have to give up being Jewish which I did not want to do. But one day the school receptionist Jan, who challenged me the hardest, told me to ask God to reveal to me the right way, even though I thought I had finally found the right way.

So that night I did. I approached God and said I think I'm on the right path but please show me whether I am or not. The following day or so, I encountered a small group of students, a dozen or so, sitting in a circle in the mezzanine on the floor, holding hands. I discerned that they were praying in the name of Jesus.

Then I asked God if I could be saved for a day to see if I want it. I asked this twice. Both times I heard audibly, "You either get saved for always or not at all."

I remember how timid I felt. But I approached Lee, a friend of Jan's, in the kitchen at school and called him out to the mezzanine to speak with him while nobody else was around. I asked him if there is really such a thing as Hell. He told me what the Bible describes as a "lake of fire." I told him "I don't want to go there. Let's pray!" And prayed we did. That was on Tuesday, November 3, 1981 around 10 AM Mountain Time.

I remember leaving that meeting with Lee as a different person. I didn't feel any different in my emotions per se but I knew there was a change on the inside of me. I sensed a golden glow like the sun shining from my inmost being. It was as though someone had removed sunglasses from my eyes that I was completely unaware of obstructing any light. I was also aware of two burdens being lifted from me: one of being a woman who had to prove herself strong and independent, and the other of being ashamed of my Jewishness. To my surprise, I felt more connected with my Jewishness than before and now was unashamed of it. As I headed for class, I was being greeted and acknowledged by people I passed by in a way I never experienced before. That was a miracle in itself too.

 I eventually abandoned the new age movement that I was involved in and became engrossed in the Bible. It gradually changed my way of thinking as I learned God's perspective. I have become a disciple of Christ Who never turns anyone away who come to Him. I used to think that all roads lead to the same place but found out they all lead to a place other than where I want to go. I found out Jesus is the real deal! No other spiritual leader or guide has done what Jesus Christ has done for humanity and there will never be another One. I have never gone back to new age practices now that Jesus is my Lord. I will not have it any other way.

Probably the two most significant events in my journey as a new Christian were the water baptism and the Holy Spirit baptism. The water baptism helped solidify my commitment to Christ and the Holy Spirit baptism added another dimension to my communion with God. Both were important steps for my spiritual growth and intimacy with God. Having my supernatural language has helped the Bible come alive with more revelation than before and has heightened my spiritual discernment and prayer effectiveness.

I recall eight years previous, being in Israel with a group and visiting Christ's tomb. Everyone else described an awe they felt while walking around in there but I never felt anything. I didn't believe in God then but was searching. Now I feel His presence in my life and in my soul.

I am very thankful for all who have prayed for me, among whom is my sister Pam, to come into fellowship with Jesus Christ!