Being Homeless

I noticed her as I dropped of some in a bin. She offered to help, I said,  ” That’s okay. ” As I closed the trunk and got back in the passenger seat she approached the van. She told me she was taught tell the truth and to never lie, because telling the truth shamed the devil. So her mother said, not a bad thought. And he should be ashamed.

The woman proceeded to tell my mother and I about how she had been homeless a month, and sleeping at a store, whether out back or on the bench she sprang from I don’t know. She showed me her shoes. Told us she needed pants and a shirt. And even offered to let us call her boss to confirm she now had a job.

Now, my mother and I try to minister God’s love but we don’t make a habit of picking up people. I was about to offer to buy her some pants, when  my mother handed her a bill. She thanked us and was saying she wanted to buy herself a little food. I told her about a women’s shelter and she said it would too far for her to walk to work. She assured me she would be fine until she got a paycheck and promised to get herself a room.

I hope this wasn’t a ruse. I’d like to that that we passed a little test from the Lord and aced it. Or even the angel unaware, which I believe had happened to us. Once a man came out of nowhere and ask my mother to pray for him. It was at a gas station. She did, and just as quickly as he came, he was gone. Either he could walk very fast or he had wings. And once when I was contemplating giving up the writing career and was hating beauty college, a woman should up and encouraged me, saying she to was a writer. And a children’s writer, I do that too.

Most of us will never know what it is like to sleep on park bench. To be freezing cold or hungry. We don’t have to watch for thugs who will beat us up, rape or murder us. We won’t be wandering around mentally ill. We won’t be so addicted to drug or alcohol that we live under a bridge and dumpster dive for scraps. We will never have to steal a pair of shoes or a loaf of bread.

We will never know the sound of coin hitting the bottom of a tin cup as we have hit rock bottom. We will never know what is is to have fought for our country and been riddled with memories and night terrors, and suffer PTSD, long before anyone had a name for it. We will never push a shopping cart in worn sneakers and a ratty, tattered, sweater. We are more like to be pushing a strolling in heels and a cardigan sweater.

We will never know it is like to be a homeless teen. A widow, put out of her home. A man who loses his wife and everything else besides. We may never lose everything we own. Our pets are pampered and theirs are homeless, mongrels who eat from trash cans, still man’s best friend. We will never know the stares, glare s or mockery or wonder what the whispers are about.

We will never be cursed and asked why we don’t just get a life or a job. We may never get hit, beaten, or spat upon, but Jesus was. He knew no sin but became sin for us. The devil should be ashamed but he will never be unless we, like Jesus, destroy his works and put him to shame.

I read that homeless are not the problem, they are the result of the problem. And what is is the problem? Not government, churches, believers who should be in prayer, who are the hands and feet and heart of the Lord. Finally, He had a place to rest His head on a cross of shame so we do not have to be.

I hope their is a place for every battered woman or child, homeless man or woman or teen one day. A place to learn how much Jesus loves them. I know there are people who don’t want to change but for those who do there is a way. His name is Jesus, and has room in His Father’s house. Rebecca Jones

The woman in the boho clothes is obviously not homeless, but she is holding onto her coat, and is front of a wheat field ready to harvest.

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Back To Basics

School has started back, I hear the mothers sighs of relief after a summer of camping, vacations, swimming, numerous trips to fast food places and pizza runs or deliveries. The nightmare of laundry piles higher than usual, more popcorn  and cereal lying around waiting to be vacuumed. I might imagine you jumping for joy.

But then reality sets in and there are back to school clothes, running over homework, hoping you haven’t forgot what you learned. Making lunches, waiting for the bus, carpools, PTA or soccer practices. And you may even be a homeschool mom, and I know that is a lot of work. But when we get the time for ourselves, we might take it easy, relax and take a breath, and get some studying of our own done.

That’s sounds like a good idea. In reality, God needs first place. We should be ready to give Him the first few minutes of the day regardless of the season. I have heard the first five, but I often pray, even waking myself praying in the spirit and needing a drink of water.  I may have an odd schedule at times, not your basic 9 to 5, although once it seemed like 7 a.m. to 1a.m. but like everyone else, I have things to do. Now, I work smarter not harder. And that is by prayer and by giving God priority.

If you had asked me before, I probably thought that I did. But truthfully, the enemy was running me ragged. So I purposefully decide to seek Him first, and let it all fall into place. My health is better, I am stronger spiritually. I am an over comer, by faith. So what is faith? Let’s get down to basics.  Ask. Believe. Calm Rest. Receive.

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

It is not enough to hear a sermon on Sunday. There are so many ways to study today, even on a phone. Share verses with friends, go to a Bible study. Listen to worship music. Keep His Word in your ears and it gets in your heart. Praise and pray out loud.

Faith is believing what we don’t see, yet. Hebrews 11:1 We have to act like is answered, agree with God on it. Some people think this is lying or pretending, wishful thinking. It is not a game to God. He knows that you are lining your confession up to Him. No, you don’t have to tell everyone everything or stop taking medicine or going to the doctor. But you can claim healing because of Isaiah 53.

Without faith it is impossible to please Him, Hebrews 11:6 It is not only not likely to please Him it is impossible. But don’t go disqualifying yourself like I once did. I was trying to fix it myself. I blamed myself, and that was wrong. I had heard some wrong teaching, I tried to have great faith. God knows.

And this little girl at the chalkboard has the right answer. Love one another. John 13:34 I love reading the book of John, also 1,2, and 3. John refers to to himself as the disciple Jesus loved. Maybe none of the others ever even thought of that. Peter was loud and swearing, Judas was busy plotting. Peter was eventually restored, I don’t know if Judas was forever lost or never received from Jesus, or if he could have repented. It was true of Adam also, but fear has a deadly grip. And none of us are immune, without Jesus and it still takes the righteousness confess to back it off.

So I’m going after love. John understood that. Jesus may never have singled him out but he understood Jesus in a way that made him the last living disciple and he was able to pen Revelation from exile. His writing is filled with love. Who has it, who doesn’t. God doesn’t have it, He is it and He wants to give His love to us. How can we hate our brothers or sisters in Christ and say we have love, and notice in Christ. We don’t have to love everything everyone does. And though we love enemies, we have to shun evil and not corrupt our morals. That’s why He sent Jesus. To teach love and discernment.

We need to read 1 Corinthians 13, Psalms, Proverbs. And study the gospels to see how Jesus loved and healed, how He dealt with conflict and avoided sin even when confronted. We can follow the Holy Spirit through the writings of Paul, and see how Jesus is revealed in the third person of the trinity.

Whatever we study or read or journal or sing. We want to give Him first place. And we want to get back to school ourselves and then back to basics, ABC, ask, believe, choose. It is up to us how we start the day or the school year. We want to get off to a good start. So we can ask Jesus, believe Jesus, choose to let Him have the first few minutes of the day and He will go through it with us and kiss us goodnight as well. It may sound simple, but it is back to basics. Rebecca Jones

Push Back!

Have you ever felt like the devil was pushing you to your limit? Me, too. It’s not hard to get hit with a bombardment of things to do, people who disagree, add a sickness or financial worry, some sort of family crisis, and you are pushed. You can go only so far with so little sleep, and work so hard, deal with so many disgruntled people, crying children, hungry husbands. You get the idea. God gets the idea, He says rest. Rest in Him. His Word, His promises. P.U.S.H. pray until something happens. And rest.

If your being pushed and shoved, in a tug of war, tossed  to and fro, going this way and that. Push him back! Push him way back! The devil is a liar, and while I read about those embracing his lies about them, recognizing them as true until they became a believer and fighting through, I refuse to give him an inch, he takes the mile. Or as I have heard, give him and inch and he will be ruler.

There is only room for one ruler in my heart, Jesus. And His grace is sufficient in tough times, even at wit’s end. When I was really so distraught before during illness, I thought fighting for healing was my idea. I really think now, it was His. It’s better to turn our hearts toward Him and let Him guard and rule over them, with His perfect peace.

How do you push him back? Push the devil away with the Word, with praise, with worship and rest. If you have to cry your eyes out, do it! Pour you heart out to God. If you have to cut out something to rest and give God first place, do it! Nothing is worth losing your peace over. You can get so far before depression, even nervous break downs can loom on your horizon. Push him back!

If the devil is over running you with thoughts and worries and keeping your life in turmoil, Jesus reminds you to let not your heart be troubled. And don’t be afraid. F.E.A.R. False Evidence Appearing Real is a major weapon of the devil. But we are His righteousness because Jesus died to make us so, and that scares him. And he really is afraid of us because Jesus is behind us.

The devil will certainly remind you of your past, he will bombard you everyday with lies, that you not really forgiven, but you know if you asked Jesus into you heart, believe the Son of God died and rose again, professed Him aloud and you are doing your best to live for Him, that that is a lie. The father of lies, lies. When he speaks to your mind or soul, he’s lying. Even if there is a ring of truth about your past, something you did that the blood of Jesus covered, forgave or will forgive, he’s lying.

And he is the accuser, he accuses falsely both night and day. When I took my Communion early in the morning, I heard the criticism of it because I was eating a breakfast bar, and not taking more, first. Jesus knew I took it, that faint far away nudge, a fear, the false evidence appearing real is the accuser. Why would Jesus be condemning me over Communion? There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus. Roman 8:1, He could but He doesn’t or won’t, He corrects, not criticizes and will always love you and be beside you to help you. He will not push you like the devil will, so if he does, push him back with praise, and if you have the gift of a prayer language use it. That is a powerful shove and ask for angels to be charged for you. No force on earth anywhere will push him back like God’s love, so be obedient to it. Rebecca Jones

The Lion of Oakland

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I grew up in Atlanta. I used to live near Oakland Cemetery. This lion sits there as a memorial to the end of the Civil War, it commemorates the unknown soldiers. My great great grandfather was one of them. He left his wife and son and went to war. he returned a changed man, frost bitten, battered and hungry. He survived by faith, he was a man of faith.

He told stories, of the cold and the hunger and the battles. But much of it he kept to himself, I can only surmise that the reason is just the sheer horror of watch men die, day after day, on both sides. Slavery, economics, politics, industry and agriculture all played a part in it. It was a struggle in birthing the country we know now, a bitter and bloody one, not a pleasant memory, but history none the less.

While great great grandpa was away, his wife was said to have had to shoot a yankee who broke into her house. She fled with her son and when she returned all his baby clothes and diapers were bloodied or been shredded and cut for bandages.

And another story from grampa Samuel is that he and some others were hungry. They marched past a house where a woman waking cooking. She had lots of food, they asked for biscuits and she would not feed them. That night, they returned and stole her chickens and turkeys and cooked them in a pot all together because they were starving. No matter the re-enactments, memorabilia, movies. It was not the best time live in, nor the good old days.

I have always loved this lion. Since I first saw it as a child. I think it is because of Jesus being portrayed as the Lion of Judah. The Oakland Cemetery lion lies upon a flag, a musket and cannonball, I believe there are more carvings also. His face is sad, sorrowful, as if mourning not only those killed but the war itself, the strife, the bitterness and hatred, the greed, the division of His children, north or south black or white. His mouth is open slightly, is He weeping? Like Jesus wept?

What kind of people sell people to other people? Ask Joseph about his brothers. Slaves about their brothers. Children about the traffickers. And ask Jesus about Judas, He called Him friend as he kissed Him in betrayal.

This lion is at rest. Not a racial symbol or divide. It watches over Atlanta. It watches over Oakland, the Lion of Oakland watches over the dead, just as Jesus does those who knew Him, just as He watches over Atlanta, the United States, the North, the South. The world.

One day the Lion of Judah will rule and there will be eternal rest and joy in His kingdom. My great great grandfather is supposed to be in the mural painted in the Cyclorama which was recently reopened after years at Grant Park, I couldn’t point him out. Nameless, faceless soldiers. But not to Jesus.

And neither are we, our war, His war, is not against people but with the wicked one. So instead of fighting each other, turn your heart to Jesus and away from him. While some may want to tear down monuments, we can build each other up in faith, hope and love. I hope the lion stays put, until Jesus says otherwise. For he is but a symbol, a protector, resting over the graves of a bygone day and harming no one. And he is brave and fierce hearted against hate. Don’t tear him down, don’t hate him, He is a reminder of the only one who can and will end wars one day, Jesus, the lion of Judah, He’s giving us a little more time to learn from history. Rebecca Jones

When Love Looks Like Hate

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We have all seen the riots, the angst and anger of elections, the political disagreements, religious differences, the violence, just the news in general. And we’ve all heard the line that haters gonna hate and black lives matter.

Let me tell you that it is true. People who hate will hate and black lives, white lives, unborn lives, life matters to the one who gave His for us. That said, I have to ask the question, why? Why do people think that the gospel of good news is hate?

Don’t you know that Jesus came to save, to destroy the works of the devil in the life of a believer. I love poetry. I hate rap music. Maybe there are Christian artists, that’s their choice. Just because I don’t like what you do or say, isn’t making me hate you. It means I strongly disapprove of profane lyrics that are insult to God, and women.

I believe in creativity, music, art and talent, but I believe in a Creator who set boundaries, not because He hated us. No! He sent Jesus to the cross for us. Even the most foolish or foul mouthed, minister or murderer, anyone can be redeemed. But we are called to be set apart, we don’t have to do what everyone else does.

So you wear leather, have an earring, a stripe of pink hair, everyone goes through phases. I wore boots and a cowgirl hat for a while. I might be taken aback by appearances, there are things I dislike, but I don’t hate you, nor fear you. Am I going to approve of sin? No. God sent Jesus to die for you, I’m telling you that, whatever your race, religion or background. He made the deepest sacrifice anyone ever made in the history of the world for you.

If love looks like hate to you because people tell you about sin, or seek to correct bad behavior or attitudes, then you  are mistaken, the Bible says you deceive yourself. I once saw a man in a red cape, either a devil worshiper or thought he was, pull off the hood to let someone pray for him.

I tell you the truth in love, is what you do worth losing your eternal soul? A God who loves you and a friend like me will tell you the truth and have to stand back and give  you use of your free will.

But I can tell you, He’s not looking at what you look like, He will judge you sometime but right now, today is the day of salvation if you would hear Him. He looks at your heart. Is it broken from childhood. Angry, bitter, unforgiving, even unbelief gives you an evil heart. Maybe, you were not even abused but just didn’t fit in. Could it be that you were called to stand out? Is that why you’ve turned away from accepting Jesus as Lord? Is it the fear of missing out? If you miss heaven, you will regret that forever.

Surely, you’re smarter than that. A guy in a red cape was. It’s not to late to stand up and out for Jesus. Your story can have a happy ending. I believe you are smart enough to hear Him, receive Him, be delivered of whatever holds your heart in check, keeps you awake at night, makes you walk the floor, drink, do drugs, be promiscuous. The devil is a liar, the best lie he tells is that you have plenty of time. I have seen people rich and poor die at 23.

Don’t be one of them. I will love you enough to be on my knees, asking God to intervene, for holy angels to encamp around you, and if necessary for Jesus to hold you Himself. I love you enough whether I hate what you do or say to do that for you, I don’t care what you have had pierced, I know the one who was pierced for you. He suffered and took your place in a hell while entombed before the resurrection. He will judge the quick and the dead, would you insult that kind of love by calling it hate?

I think you’re smarter that that. You can do better than that. You are a chosen vessel and can stand out to honor God. His ways are merciful and higher than that, His love deeper than that. Don’t disgrace His grace, come and let Him love you, and He will make your life whole, and you will be free indeed. Breathe freely, perhaps for the first time in you life.

I don’t have to tell you what sin is, you probably already know. Maybe, you enjoy it, are good at it, could care less what I say to you. Maybe, you hate this post. If you hate me, you’ll be hating Jesus too. But we still love you enough, that my words are here, and His are in the Bible, in red, in the book of John, it’s filled with love.

And I can promise you, that it depends on your perspective, but that kind of love never looks like hate. Rebecca Jones

A House Divided

I’ve seen it happen to people too many times.  Jesus warns us. Do we not take Him seriously enough? He is the truth. A house divided will not stand. Although Jesus has been accused of casting out the devil by the power of Beelzebub, He turns to them and says that even the devil knows if he casts out devils, it divides his house. If the devil’s house or kingdom can be toppled with confusion and chaos, disagreement, sin, every evil work, what about ours?

Jesus is truly the only hope we have to keep our house in order, clean and swept? Like the widow with the lost coin, He will help us to recover anything we have lost. Jesus warns about demons, how they leave and return with seven worse than before. That it is important to let go of anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness. Let go of what causes you to walk in anything but what the Holy Spirit would have you to, the fruit of the Spirit.

Jesus knew that all the spirits that tormented people would leave at His command and even ours using His name but that if there was no attempt to change their ways, no infilling of God’s Word, or no filling of the Spirit, that after a time, the spirits would return and make the situation even worse. But the devil is not casting  himself out. And he will not divide his house.

Jesus also tells a parable of a man who builds his house upon the sand, a foolish man. When the storms of life came and battered the house, it came crashing down. It was demolished. It could have been a literal storm and a literal man that he was talking about, but it was also a metaphor for life. Jesus is a master storyteller. And on the other side, He explains that the other man built his house upon the rock, when the rains came pounding in a sideways spray or like the hurricanes we’ve seen. The house held. The house on the rock stood firm. That’s why the psalmist writes saying to lead me to the rock that is higher that I. Jesus is our rock.

Let’s look at a verse that is from Jeremiah concerning Israel, but hope of restoration. Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you. Again I will  build you and you shall be rebuilt. Jeremiah 31:3, 4

And here is the story from Mark 3, Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath and here come the Pharisees.  A crowd gathers and the disciples could not even eat. His family comes after Him, they think He is crazy. But He perceived their thoughts, verse 22…

And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”

So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?

 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.

In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.

Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter,

but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”

He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”

A lot of people are unsure of spiritual gifts, Jesus understood, but He also know that He was sent to save and heal, if only we could believe. Now, people want to lump the devil into superstition and many dismiss Christians as crazy, but they thought that too. The devil isn’t doing miracles. Oh, you may have heard that the Anti-Christ will, but we are not there and that is just a final deception of those who will not believe in the first place, there will be some saved during the Tribulation, it’s a lot easier now. Just believe and ask, follow Jesus a and he will always be near. I must add about blasphemy, many people worry about that sin, this was specific to the people He was addressing, we as believers, know more about the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Believers should not worry about this, the enemy will put that fear in you to avoid receiving. But I would caution, if you don’t understand, don’t say anything.

He knows it takes two be in agreement, to walk together. His yoke is easy and His burden light, and He is the rock to build upon, if the gates of hell would not destroy Peter’s ministry, it certainly will not destroy Jesus. He is the place to build your house, and it will be a true home. Rebecca Jones

Don’t Let The devil Drive

A piece of advice ladies, don’t let the devil drive or you will be a wreck. I just could not resist this analogy that this thought brought to mind. I had a dream about my aunt, she was letting someone drive her, a seven yr. old, his sister was there, as they barrel on, she appeared unconcerned. It was like she was coloring and crocheting or whatever she does and ignoring the, completely.

When I told her she laughed and asked who they hit. It never got that far but I was able to tell her she was allowing this boy to drive her, and in truth, he loves to annoy her when she is watching him. I told her not to let him get to her. Usually, the driving dreams are either personal ministry, ministry, or even big ministry. Major ministry.

I won’t relay the entire story. However, a friend in ministry had one of the dreams. She had a nice new car, ( she and her husband both need one, so let’s pray for that ) and this was an expensive one. But in her dream other people were driving it when she didn’t want them to, they had destroyed inside. And she was angry. She ordered these people out of her car.

Her dream was prophetic. Her ministry was being hijacked by someone else, either on purpose or unknowingly, she was allowing something some had done or said to creep in. Something was bothering her in her spirit. In the dream, she took authority. She had to do the same in the natural.  God had shown her how in the dream. Prayer would show he more and her nice new ministry got back on the road. It may be that she’s driving an old car now, but God sees what she’s doing as an expensive vehicle of His making and he wants her driving, not others, nor the devil. God is in control. Let Him have the wheel, and steer you to safety.

Driving dreams are pretty common among believers. Although many do not know how to interpret them. And you do have to be careful. I have had several. Usually, they have been that I was being driven the wrong way by someone, even into a storm. I would be yelling, ” You’re going the wrong way! ” I knew exactly what that dream was about and who.

Once, I had a dream about a cousin, a believer, he was driving a white car. ( He drives a red truck. ) Where I used to live, the was a narrow little road behind our house. It went the length of the block, to another street, a left turn took you to a dead end, a right one, down a hill.

In the dream, he was on the narrow street, ( the straight and narrow ), but suddenly, he was going the wrong way, past my  backyard driveway. I was crammed in on his left and and took the wheel and turned him around. This was a totally spiritual dream, and I have no way of knowing what it was about. There wasn’t any need to call him or warn him, I took care of it in the dream, I turned him around. Or really, the Lord did, I was just able to pray in the spirit for him.

I had not heaviness or urgency that he was in any danger. Whatever it was, a bad decision he was about to make, somewhere he should not go, the Lord straightened it out, in a dream. The Lord drives him, not the devil, he’s not a wreck. This same cousin, ran over a gray snake in his driveway. The same color as the driveway, at night. I don’t know if it was poison or not. When he stepped out, he could have stepped on it, but it was squished.

His brother also was on the freeway, the Lord prompted him to move over. He did, the car behind him hit the one in front of him. Glass went across his car and he was able to get out and help the lady in the front car. She was scared but not hurt, when the paramedics arrived it was one of his friends. The Lord was driving, not the devil, he missed the wreck, and the others were not hurt badly. It wold have been worse had he not moved.

This was a fun post to write, let’s run over the devil. Let’s squash him like a bug on the windshield. Let the Lord drive and be in control of your life and you won’t be a wreck, but the devil sure will. I heard one dream about no one driving, and the interpretation was that the Lord was driving. I don’t want to be a backseat driver if that’s the case, He knows every twist and turn, He could even navigate Lombard St., I’m not sure I could. Leave a comment if you like this post, Honk if you love Jesus! Rebecca Jones

Lombard Street, the crookedest street                                                                                                                                                                       in the world. San Francisco, California