The Lord’s Prayer

 

The Lord's Prayer - The full version. I also feel so empty when I visit a different church that cuts it short....:  :

 

Will you pray this pray for me and with me today? Rebecca Jones

Please enjoy Andrea Bochelli for whom I ask healing. Isaiah 53

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Many Sparrows / Remembering Billy Graham

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Jesus said we were worth many sparrows. They don’t toil or store but their Heavenly Father feeds them. And not one of them falls without Him knowing. It was never His will for death to enter the world, but since it did He knows each one.

Why should a God so great be bothered by the fall of a tiny bird? Why would He even notice? Have you ever heard people utter cruel words, insensitive words like it’s just a dog? Or you can have another baby.

God doesn’t think or act like that, even the worst of us can call on Him and be saved. Maybe, you were once just a sinner, just a label someone attributed to you like a tag in clothing. Maybe, you never got past that. You can. He will help you.

If He cares so much about a little bird. He cares more for you as a soul created in His image, gifted with abilities to overcome through Him and the power of His name. You are worth many sparrows.

If a Father so rich in mercy, love and grace, will reach out to gather up a sparrow and place it in heavenly nest with lots of flowers and butterflies, in a forever lovely and flourishing garden, with streams and plenty of seeds to eat, won’t He reach for you?

He watches over them and He watches over us. His eye is on the sparrow.  I know His eye is on me. And I love to watch the little creatures, so fragile like many of His smaller ones, I love to watch them look for food.

I often stand in the parking lot and and watch them with a french fry. I have even given them cracker crumbs from the car. I watched one little bird proudly sitting in his nest atop the grocery store. He picked out an ” O ” to live in. Watching as people came in and out there was bound to be a loose grape or a child dropping a banana peel. Maybe, someone had rented a movie and bought popcorn.

And there was a nice salad bar should someone have had to eat on the run and been messy. Sandwich shops down the way, a yogurt shop and fast food places all nearby, not to mention the grocery stores bakery. He hope someone would come out eating a muffin, roll or croissant, and maybe even spill a little juice. This sparrow had it made.

I’m sure people would think I was crazy to stand by the car and watch, three or four rolling in the dirt to bathe, and on the days there was a puddle happily playing and jumping. And plenty to drink. No cares, no worries, God was watching and like happy little children saying, Father, look at me. And you know, He does. He watches them and watches me watching them. Rebecca Jones

Please enjoy the fabulous Ethyl Waters. From her appearance at Billy Graham Crusade. As he has passed into glory, there is no mourning and no tears from me. I have memories of watching him as a child, perhaps not so much as an adult but he certainly impacted my life, just as many other sparrows. His book about angels was given to me by a sweet old lady named Nannie when I was 17 and it piqued my curiosity about them and how they interact with us in daily life. Many times that has been protection, comfort and rejoicing. I am sure angels are singing and Ethyl can sing this again and the Lord is saying ” Well done, good and faithful servant. ” While I have studied healing and have heard that Billy Graham had said that that was Oral Roberts calling and I’m paraphrasing, I am reminded that we all have different gifts, the same Spirit and one Lord. How wonderful if we could work past denominational differences and become soul winners, healers through Him that loved us. I am also reminded of George Beverly Shea’s rendition of  This Is My Story, and It Is No Secret and many more. May the Lord touch us all with His love and use us for His glory as He did Billy Graham.

 

Consider The Lilies

 

When Jesus gave us the story about how Solomon was not even arrayed in the glory of a lily, it is an interesting thought. Can you imagine the very King himself robed in royalty, gold and all his finery, not even as glorious as a lily?

I have a peace lily. I always enjoyed it in bloom, even though it was given to me from a funeral. I also read that they are good to keep in a bedroom. they purify the air somehow. So I suppose lilies are at peace with God and the just are.

We are always running around and striving when Jesus wants us just to be, to become conformed to His image. He depended on God on earth and wants us to. He wants us to rest, to relax, to sway in the breeze of the Holy Spirit. To be at peace like the lily. And not to be in need of them being sent to our funerals.

He wants us to have life and life more abundantly. The lilies depend on the the Lord, His rains to water them, His sun to warm them. To shine upon them and make them tall and straight.

There stems are the strong backs of dancer and their leaves the graceful arms of a ballerina. Their little white faces look to heaven and smile praise to their God. They wave and are at peace with heaven, fully enjoying His love and protection and living their life to the fullest.

Their joy is evident. Their peace is pure. Solomon worked for his wealth even though a King, he was in strife with many strange women, he betrayed the wisdom, that he had asked God for. He was disobedient to God.

How often are we in disobedience when we are worried and it does not help us in any way? Jesus says it will not makes us taller. It will not add to our lives but take away from them. It will not do any good to get up early or stay up late. We are the beloved. God is our provider and one who is just and reliable, faithful.

We should consider the lilies and believe Jesus, and not worry, but let Him give us rest. Rebecca Jones

 

 

Think On These

What should we be thinking about? Problems, worries? Let’s look at Phillipians 4: 8, what we should think about. We are to think things that are true, as opposed to lies. This may take some soul searching, and some study. We need to be aware of the enemy’s lies or we might fall for it. Noble or honorable, something that builds good character, admitting mistakes, making restitution if you’ve been over paid for example, the respect for others.

Suppose you are house sitting, you don’t throw a party and clean up. You don’t throw a party. Don’t water the plants on the last day. You dent a fender, leave a note. Right, there is a right way to think and a wrong one, one build you up, one will cause you to wallow in self pity. It is wrong to worry and  right to know who we are in Christ, and in no way wrong to speak good and positive words, blessings over ourselves and families. Not postiive thinking alone, but faith, hope and love. Pure, God’s words are pure, tried in the fire seven times. You can’t get better than that. Lovely, roses, butterflies, sunsets, rainbows.

Long eyelashes, falling stars, hummingbirds and cardinals, spring, I could go on. Admirable, there are many people we can find in the Bible with admirable qualities. War heroes, historical figures, church leaders, even a good friend.  Excellent, oh, Lord, His name is excellent, what a good place to start.

Excellence may not be perfectionism. Although excellence will put a gread deal of ourselves or our souls into our passions. Writing, for example. We may be excellent or exceptional writers, but there will typos even with spellchecker. Excelllents wants someone to benefit from the effort, not just praise for it, it is not self serving but seeks to truly benefit others.

Praiseworthy, not just music. If you bawl out your son for striking out and praise him for home runs. Be sure you are praising the effort of a B+, and show up for violin recitals. Children need the occasionasl reminders, not necessarily the baseball analogy but if you disciple or scold, be sure to praise as well.

Be sure to praise Jesus, for no reason, the same with family. Do it because you love Him and them. So let’s not worry, dwell on lies of the enemy or others, think better of ourselves but not get into pride. remember God’s word. And to be noble and praiseworthy. And never to forget the beauty of spring and the love of those around us. We can find at least one thing new to learn every day, to be thankful for or one kind word for another. And let’s not forget to strive for excellence in all we do. Rebecca Jones

CrystalStorms.me

An Audience Of One

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I read the audience of one line somewhere this week in a blog post I read. I liked it. I have seen people pleasing all my life. I have seen the run ragged, working your fingers to the bone and what do you get bony fingers. I have seen the butter uppers, yes men, and do anything to get ahead ofs, the walk overs, push overs, those who would trample over you and not look back. The people who will do it anyway, even when told not to and swear they didn’t.

Have you ever had someone come to your house when you said, ” Now, just isn’t a good time. ” ( My poodle was passing away, went to heaven that night. ) I have. I have had relatives back me off at Thanksgiving and women pass me almost chest to chest to get past me. Never again. Not anymore. I’m not a door mat. And I’m not mean. I was the nice girl who finished last even though Jesus wanted me to stand up for Him.

When I started understanding condemnation and accusations. I started standing up for me. It took a lot of reading, writing and soaking in the water of the Word like a spa bath, to let out all the toxins, for me to believe I was a Daughter of the King, God was in Me I Would Not Fail. I was loved. I was His Beloved. I was His Child.

He made me a new creature. I was crucified with Him. He prepared things for me to do. He went ahead of me, gave me the desire of both His heart and mine. I was free indeed. Because I didn’t feel free, didn’t mean I wasn’t. Because I was in pain did not mean He wasn’t healing me. It meant I had an enemy, adversary, accuser.

I had to overcome with my testimony and by His blood. That blood stands between the accuser and myself. I don’t have to listen to Him. I wanted to write. I wanted to work writing good television. It didn’t happen, it should have. I prayed for it. I know He answered. But I believed the accuser, and his lies,  God can not by the blood and body of His Son.

I’m not better than anyone, though I may not have been a big sinner. I don’t think I’m better or smarter. To the contrary, I know there’s a lot I don’t know. Do I deserve better? Yes. Because I let the devil put me under his foot when Jesus had come down on him. Some people thought when I wasn’t working or had a ” real job “, I was lazy, wrong. Most didn’t even know abouth my health deteriorating, mental and physical.

I caught accusations right and left, in my head, my heart and from others. I was ridiculed, but so was Jesus. Now, I stepped out in cyberspace, something I thought I’d never be able to do because of fear. More accusations. I heard how bad things can be. I have had nothing  but good experiences and expect to continue to. Regardless, of a few naysayers.

I have chosen to be Mary of Bethany, and worship at His feet. I tried waiting on people. I was the brother of the Prodigal not realizing the Father I had. I was the wounded one on the side of the road, but the priest passed me by and there was not even a Good Samaritan. I was the woman with the issue of blood and the one with the spirit of infirmity, but I was loosed.

I, like Mary, pondered it in my heart. Dreamed like Joseph, loved like Christ, forgave, I had too. So, I wanted to shine His love on others, first, He had to shine on me. And no matter what anyone may say or regardless of accusations. I am not a one woman show. I did nothing to be seen of myself. I am happy in the background, but if He wants me to be anything different, He will perfect it.

I am no longer the person I was nor will I be, I will keep growing in grace. And I don’t have to worry about how many people read something or books I may sell. He keeps the records, He can tell me later who  I touch, just as He touched me. I am not looking for an audience even though I have one. And a good one. A perfect one. One willing to accept the love of Jesus and His grace.

He is the most important to me. the love of my life Jesus, I play to an audience of one. Rebecca Jones

Don’t Let Anyone Take Your Crown!

 

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Every girl wants to think she is beautiful or special or smart, at least one of them if not all. I think most women are happy if they are gifted in one way, but the truth is we can have many gifts, talents or crowns.  I recently told a beautiful girl that she had gifts, she didn’t even know. Having known her a long time, I believe it’s because she only knew about Jesus and did not know Him, to use Bible phraseology, “fully persuaded. ”  Most of us think about ourselves and find something we don’t like. We might appear to have it all together, but we are a mess. The catch phrase ” hot mess ” is popular, but it sounds like a plate of army food to me. I don’t like hot or hunky, I like beautiful or handsome. And I believe true beauty comes from inside and is not just an outward appearance.

There are many good looking people, who could be anything from liar to cheat to serial killer. Narcissistic and controlling or even possessive. God looks at the heart, that’s a good idea for people too. And their words will betray them sooner or later. They might walk the walk or talk the talk, but eventually their true colors show. If you catch them in a lie, it’s probably a habit to them and they don’t see anything as wrong, they may even blame you.

But about the crowns or rewards, we as believers are able to earn, let’s not slack off and throw away God’s gifts, not for any reason or anyone. Our relationship with Christ comes first. Especially, in marriage or it will not last, even if you stay married you drift apart. I once had someone nice looking, with beautful, steely, blue eyes compliment me quite a lot. I walked into his office one day and he burst into song, “There she is, Miss America. ” Why? I don’t know, nothing ever became of our acquaintance.

I have to admit. It was a good feeling. We spoke a few times and he moved on. I think God actually moved him on. I prayed for him. I wanted the best for him. I even prayed the right girl for him. And though it would be years before I understood it all. I knew God had a plan. I wasn’t Miss America, but it was nice to feel like it for a while or to think someone thought enough of me to pay me that compliment. I don’t feel it was insincere. There was no deception about it, but would the devil have liked for me to make a wrong decision and give up on what God had for me? Sure, he would.

I have to admit being hurt by the idea, that I might have missed out on something. I felt a little foolish, too.  But God sent me in another dircection. One that was far greater, and even more than I could have dreamed of. I missed out quite a few things because I was not as discerning in faith. The Lord has blessed me with many gifts and crowns. I write to please the Lord and not people, if anything I say seems harsh, it is not meant to be. And certainly, not unkind.

But Jesus did not mince words either. He was often criticized and condemned. And all He did was good. So be careful as you follow Christ, don’t be easily deceived and don’t let anyone take your crown that you will be able to toss at Jesus’ feet someday.  That is something I can’t wait to do.

And one good thing is that in the beauty of Jesus, we can all be Miss America.

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. Revelation 3:11

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Beauty For Ashes

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What in the world is this about beauty for ashes anyway? Well, in the Old Testament people did it in times of great distress. It was grief, sorrow and anguish and even repentance as Jesus said. Buy why? What’s the signifigance? Many people were in mourning from Job to Jacob, when when he thought Joseph was killed, being presented the coat of many colors by a gang of brutish brothers.

Even Mordecai went into sackcloth and ashes, at the proclamation that the Jews would be eliminated by Haman. Also the city of Nineveh repented after Jonah finally arrived. And of course Jesus delivers woes to the cities also. It is a sign of mourning and also for a national event, a sorrowing or wailing.

One may rend their garments and put ashes on their heads. But God desires to give us beauty for ashes. In fact, He gives it spiritually, at the time of salvation. It’s just that we don’t always recognize it in ourselves, we don’t see, believe or what profess what God wants us to. We don’t think we are good enough to have God take an interest in us, our day to lives, but He is.

 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3

He wants to give us beauty for ashes, or beauty instead of mourning. Much like widows garb from Civil War days, sack cloth was woven black goat hair. He wants to give us the oil of joy for mourning. Of course the oil of joy  is a type of Holy Spirit. Remember how the Good Samaritan used oil on the man he rescued.

He wants to give you a robe of righteousness as a believer that we should already be wearing instead of sackcloth. A garment of praise, more along the coat of many colors, perhaps, or even white. We are His righteousness and the enemy fears  that. We dd nothing to deserve it, He makes us worthy, for He alone is worthy. God likes for us to believe we are His righteousness and say so, the enemy doesn’t want us to know.

He wants us rooted and standing tall, with uplifted palms. He wants us to glorify Him. For others to see His work in us. No longer sad sacks of ashes. He offers us beauty.And we can also be a crown of splendor in the hand of the Lord. Isaiah 62:3

Enjoy the music, Crystal  Lewis, Beauty For Ashes.

 

Precious Lord

Precious Lord, take my hand. This is such  beautiful song. We all need Him to take our hands and walk us through the valleys of our lives back over the mountains that we speak faith to but it is He who moves them. He must take our hands like a child and sometime we know they will run or lean or even drag a parent along. and sometimes they will run ahead and have to be chased down.

It’s good to know He will chase us down to catch us with blessings. In the meantime while we’re running ahead or on on, we can get ourselves into trouble. But He is always there when we call. The loving Father who will pick us off, dust us off and wipe our cheeks. He is ever kind and merciful, a Father slow to anger. He punished His own Son, Jesus, in our stead, so that we could have heaven.

He will take our hand and walk us into green pastures of rest in Him. This is a season of rest. We have walked through the valleys of the shadow of death, we were afraid of evil but stood fast in faith, and obeyed His voice to fear not. We are His pearls of great price and He has covered us completely, just as the oyster gives its life to make a pearl by suffocation, so did He on the cross.

We can lean on Him, adore Him, worship Him in a quiet stillness that the Holy Spirit will guide you into and comfort you in. The song says I am tired, I am weak and I am worn. Yet, He is our strength and through storms, literal or figuratively. He is there to calm us with His word, His peace.

It further says through the night, lead me on to the light. In Him there is no darkness at all, even though the Bible declares He lives in darkness, the far reaches of space, heaven to the north. He who hung the stars, can surely reach for me. He is mighty to save from any predicament, heal any disease, reverse any injustice.

I am your child, Lord. I called on you early in my life. If I ever let go of your hand it was never to run ahead of you but to do your will and please you. I did not know how much you loved me already and that you delighted in me so. I pleased you already. So today or anyday, whether I am joyful and brave or meek and lowly, if I’m out of control, I remember self control, and who is in control..

Even if I’m in panic or manic mode or just exhausted, take my hand precious, Lord. Lead me on. Rebecca Jones

This hymn was written in 1932 in Chicago by Thomas Dorsey, a man who wife died in childbirth, then the baby. Hopefully, Mr. Dorsey has been reunited with his family and will enjoy many performances of his song.  They are a little depressing but also joyful. But let’s expect good things from God.

He Is A Rewarder

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He ( or she ) that believes in God must first believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek HIm. Hebrews 11:6

Well, it is a given, you have to believe in God. Even if you don’t see Him. Just look around at creation, you should find it easy to believe. Oh, I know, ” What about lack, poverty and famine.?” There is also an enemy called the devil and man can be infleunced by him as well. Most of the ills of the world are from the fall of Adam and many evils man made, and women do bad things too.

But what about those of us who seek Him, who diligently seek Him? Those of us who are happy to sit at His feet and learn? He is a rewarder of us. And not just spiritual things. Though I know fasting can really move mountains at times, even partial fasts. It is not just spiritual rewards or heavenly rewards.

It may not always be money, either.  But that is certainly not to say it isn’t. He does give power to get wealth to establish His covenant in the earth.  Money is not the root of evil, the love of it is, just as the desire for lack of it is a false pride or humility. Though it was an acceptable teaching among Catholics and those in monastic life and perhaps still is. With all due respect, I disagree with that idea, I think faithful clerrgy could dispense funds wisely, while some higher ups that are not so pious may misuse it. It’s true of any denomination, corporation, even government.

But God gives wisdom and from His mouth we get understanding. We spent a lot of time at the New Year seeking wisdom. So we also know He gives wisdom, and that we are all blessed already with spiritual knowledge, we must learn how to use it, and also to contol our tongues. Self control is also a fruit of the spirit which we should all have working in us if the devil does not get to us and we let the Holy Spirit be quenched. We should be thirsty for His prescence and then we will be able to  receive freely the gifts He has.

Whether a reward is a child, a new home, paid debts or call to minister and the abilities to fulfill it. Whether you become famous or a financier, or just the PTA president. He has rewards that are for all of us. Sometimes, it may be as simple as puppy’s kiss on a tough day, or a box of cookies, or bouquet of flowers. But sometimes, it will overwhelm you. Rebecca Jones

Let It Go!

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Is something weighing you down? Are you carrying a heavy burden? A heavy heart? Does your back ache? Your feet hurt?  Your mind reel? I used to watch so many sermons mine was reeling. I used to say it was in a blender. Mine has several settings, including chop and crush.

Most answers are simple though if we will learn to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit, He has them all. I didn’t need prophecy, I needed healing and I needed love. I needed to depend on Jesus and rest at His feet instead of waiting on other people. I was serving instead of worshiping.

I was forever burdened by problems someone, else’s or my own. I used to say I was always putting out fires. And there would be times I was on fire for Jesus and I was making progress, but the enemy found a way to drag me back down. When I was exhausted, I was ill literally. If I was putting a dent into his darkness, those ridiculous retaliations were always cropping up, the bouts of bronchitis, being out of money, something breaking down.

Some people are carrying ” dead ” things. In ancient Rome killers were made to carry their victim until they too, died. These are the people who perfected crucifixion. And fed Christians to lions and coated them with pitch to burn as lanterns. Yeah! Not a pretty picture and neither was the Lord’s death. It was gruesome, hideous, but He is altogether lovely, gentle but powerful, sweetness itself, He is beautiful.

So why are we displeasing Him by carrying these things. Divorce – forgive – love as a believer – let it go! Lost relatives? Jesus knows. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach them. Rest in Him. Let it go! Grieving over someone or somehing you’ve lost? Grief was never meant to control you, if you have not overcome it, it is a spirit. Tell it to go in Jesus name. Let it go!

Have you lost a baby or had an abortion? Either way you weren’t to blame or can be forgivenAngels rock your baby, Jesus sings over them in a heavenly nursery. On the days it is a special occasion, ask Him to say hello for you. But let it go! Whatever wrong or crime you may have committed, His love is deeper, His forgiveness greater, because His sacrifice was so much more intense that we know.

Receive that love right now! Let it go! Whatever is weighing you down, holding you back, His grace is deeper. Do not disgrace His grace by not receiving it and walking in it. And  do not dare abuse it by continuing to sin and calling it grace.

He really wants to set us free. He was anointed to do just that, set the captives free. Don’t be someone who carries ” dead ” things. But He will breathe life back into dreams and even people, if you can not be afraid and believe. Remember, the madman ran among the tombs, tormented by demons. I like to think a small part of him had heard of Jesus and He heard a tortured soul cry out even across the sea, even a demonic wind would not stop Jesus. Nothing will.

I think a majority of people are oppressed. Not possessed. Some will do well on medications and that is good. But if you need help please contact medical professionals or reputable ministries. But don’t think you are powerless as a believer, call on Jesus, and roll that burden on to Him even as you seek help. Let me pray for you.

Father, in Jesus name you call the dead things to life, and I agree with you to restore lost hope, joy and peace. You even restored a lost coin. And many are in need. While many things have passed away and many loved ones,  I pray you restore good memories and erase dead ones, dead dreams, dead works, dead words, depression, guilt and shame and all lies of the evil one. I pray you call to life, health, wholeness and wisdom, and restore and replace dreams with your version of them. I call blessings. I speak life…and peace to the body of Christ. Lord they may not be able to but you are able, believers are washed pure in the water of your word and protected by the blood of your Son, maybe, they want to but can’t let go. In Jesus name and for His sake and glory, Father for them, ” Let it go. ” Rebecca Jones