These Things I Know

This past week South Texas was ravaged by Hurricane Harvey. Many small cities and towns were demolished, and Houston is still underwater.

In the last few days two of my friends have lost family members and friends to drugs and car accidents.

This past month one of my former neighbor’s husband died of cancer.

It’s so easy during times of crisis to question why?

Why did some Texas towns get destroyed while others suffered mild wind damage?

Why did some houses get gutted while others in the same area remained untouched?

Why did Houston flood, forcing tens of thousands out of their homes?

Why did some people lose their lives in the raging waters?

Why did my friend’s gorgeous, accomplished daughter die of a drug overdose when other addicts are resuscitated, just in the nick of time?

Why did two young people lose their lives in a car crash?

Why did my former neighbor lose her husband to cancer?

To each of these questions I can honestly say, “I don’t know.”

Sometimes life hits us hard, leaving us swirling in a whirlwind of unanswered questions. If you are going through a storm or a season of loss, my heart goes out to you.

I can not give you answers to your questions.

But these things I do know…

I know that you are precious to God, and the same eye that is on the sparrow never takes its focus off of you.

I know that the One who parted the Red Sea is able and willing to part the impossibilities in your current situation.

I know that when you put your hope and trust in the One who promised restoration to the children of Israel, He will move Heaven and earth to restore your life.

I know that the One who declared, “it is good!” after each day of creation, will show you His goodness in the most amazing ways.

I know that no matter how violent the storm, or how intense the heartache, the One who opened His arms wide for you on Calvary is now opening His arms to hold you close to His heart.

I know that The Lord is loving and faithful, and that He will bring beauty from the ashes in your life.

Yes! These things I know!

Let’s continue to unite in prayer for all those who have been affected by the hurricane, and for those who have suffered other losses. For I know that the prayers of the righteous avail much!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie Boatright

Hurricane Harvey and the Body of Christ

Thursday night, while I was praying about Hurricane Harvey making landfall in Corpus Christi, the Lord spoke to me about Harvey, Corpus Christi, and the body of Christ in general. Since Harvey has caused, and is still causing, such mass destruction in other cities and communities, I have been hesitant to share. My heart and prayers are with all who have suffered and are currently suffering trauma and loss from this devastating hurricane.

 

 

Preparing for the Storm

 

Weather forecasters are predicting that Hurricane Harvey will be wreaking havoc on the Gulf Coast by early morning. Many residents have evacuated. Those who are staying to weather the storm are battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst, while hoping and praying for the best.

I have been through three hurricanes. One I was too little to remember, the other two I will never forget. Before the hurricanes came into shore, my parents made sure that we had candles and flashlights, fresh water, and enough food to weather both the storm and its after effects. They also had us clear any clutter from the yard.

I have learned to do the same when preparing for the storms of life.

Light- When Hurricane Celia’s high winds pummeled Corpus Christi in 1970, we were without electricity for almost two weeks. Thankfully, my parents had plenty of candles and a couple of lanterns to illuminate the darkness. Spending time in the Lord’s presence and keeping His promises (candles) in our hearts will illuminate our way when the “lights go out.”

Psalms 199:105 “Thy word is a lamp into my feet, and a light unto my path” (KJV). When I was growing up we often went camping. I hated going to the pit toilet in the middle of the night. On the “seemingly” mile long trek, I would point my flashlight directly in front of my feet so I wouldn’t stumble when taking my next step.  I also intermittently raised my flashlight and scanned the distance to make sure I was safe—and that I was headed in the right direction. God’s Word not only illuminates our steps to keep us from stumbling in the dark, but lights our path to bring us understanding and revelation about the present and the future.

Water- Our bodies are composed of more than 60 % water. No wonder we can get dehydrated so easily!  Since we can be surrounded by water and still be dehydrated (Just ask anyone who has been lost at sea) we not only need water—we need drinkable water. In A Shepherd Looks at the 23rd Psalm, the author, Phillip Keller, who was a shepherd by trade, explains what it means to be led “beside the still waters.”  Keller mentions how shepherds go to great links to provide good water sources for the sheep—even digging deep wells if necessary. However, even with all their effort, invariably a few sheep will try to drink from polluted puddles.  If you and I drink from the polluted water sources of the world, we will not be able to survive when the storms of life “hit us”. Jesus tells us that He is the “Living Water.” We must rely on Him to be our strength and trust in Him.

Food- After Jesus had met with the Samaritan woman, his disciples urged Him to eat. Jesus told them He had food to eat that they didn’t know about: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” John 4:34 (NKJ). Jesus also says in Mathew 4:4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”” (NKJ). You and I need to know how to “hear” God’s voice and walk in His will if we are going to survive the storms of life.

Clean up the clutter- Besides gathering supplies and boarding windows, my parents always made sure we removed anything in the yard that could potentially become a missile.  Before we head into life’s storms you and I need to do the same.  Unhealthy patterns and mindsets, including unforgiveness and judgment, can become missiles the enemy will launch at us when the winds start kicking up. It’s best to clean them up beforehand.

Thankfully, Hurricanes are preceded by warnings so there is time to prepare. That is not always the case when it comes to the storms of life. If we keep our hearts prepared by staying in God’s presence, reading His Word, listening to His voice, letting Him clear out the clutter in our lives, and resting in His love, we will be able to weather any storm—knowing that the One who created the wind and the waves, can also calm them. 

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

 

 

 

 

Tears of Joy

 

“…I woke up this morning realizing that I can not go on in my life any longer without inviting God along for the journey…”

After reading these words in an email I received the other day, I was so overwhelmed by the love of God that I cried tears of joy. I was literally laughing as I was crying. I wanted to shout! I wanted to share with the whole world what God was doing in the life of this person! I was so overjoyed by God’s goodness, that praise and worship automatically flowed from my lips. Thank you Jesus!

Nothing brings me more joy than to hear that someone has realized their need for the Lord and has chosen to invite Him into their journey. A journey given to God becomes God’s adventure given to us-An adventure of discovery, mystery, and destiny.

Taking hold of Jesus’ hand and letting Him take us down a new path, means discovering more of God’s heart and His ways. Isaiah 55:9 says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts” (NIV).

When I was younger I used to think these verses meant that God could boss me around because He was bigger than me. Now I realize that God’s ways are higher (better) because He knows what is best for me.

Some of the definitions for higher from the online Free Dictionary by Farlex are as follows:

  1. Having a relatively great elevation; extending far upward
  2. Advanced in development or complexity
  3. Far removed in time; remote: high antiquity.
  4. Of great importance
  5. Characterized by lofty or stirring events or themes
  6. Lofty or exalted in quality or character
  7. Greater than usual or expected, as in quantity, magnitude, cost, or degree
  8. Favorable
  9. Luxurious; extravagant
  10. advanced in complexity or elaboration (Copyright © 2003-2017 Farlex, Inc )

In my journey with the Lord, I have learned that His thoughts and His ways are far above anything I could ever think or imagine—He sees what I can’t see, and He knows what I don’t know. His ways are merciful, loving, understanding, powerful, extravagant, gracious, kind, and right. His ways for me are better than what I can imagine, and His loving thoughts toward me are more extravagant than I can fathom.

I tried to respond to the e-mail, but since the e-mail address was connected to a website that is no longer available, I am hoping this person reads this post and stays in contact.

If you read this, my friend, Congratulations on your new beginning! Welcome to the journey! Welcome to the adventure!

My heart is for everyone to trust in God’s ways and let Him direct their paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). If you would like to invite Jesus into your life and give Him your journey, I would love to hear from you! Please contact me at truthrejoices@gmail.com.

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie Boatright

 

 

Healing from Hatred

My heart broke as I watched the news clip about what had happened in Charlottesville. So many questions were  running through my mind. “How could people be so hateful?” “How could they be so deceived?”

As I stood in the kitchen pondering the motives of man, once again, God shined the searchlight of His love into my heart, and He began to ask me questions. Have you ever thought that you were better than someone else? Have you ever devalued another person, even the unborn? Have you ever hated?

Unfortunately, the answer to all three questions was “Yes.”

We cannot hate if we learn to separate. I, like many others, learned to hate at an early age. Instead of just hating someone’s actions, I judged the person as being the embodiment of evil. Hating them, gave me a false sense of power and protection. I now realize that my decision to hate only hurt me. It was part of the enemy’s plan to destroy me. (I John 4:20).

You and I need to love what God loves and hate what God hates. It is important to hate evil (Hebrews 1:9). I never liked being abused in my marriage, but I was determined to persevere in the midst of difficulties. I could not get free from the cycle of abuse until I hated abuse. God hates what hurts His children. God hates pride, abuse, prejudice, greed, lying, sexual immorality, and anything else that causes pain to us and to the people around us. But He dearly loves us! He loves us so much that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8).

We cannot hate unless we have first judged. When you and I judge someone else, we see them in the image of man instead of seeing them in the image of God. In the courtroom of our soul we become both the judge and the jury. Whether we are reacting out of fear, pain, or false belief systems, we justify our decisions and make agreement with the lies of the enemy. “Your sins are too much!” “You were created wrong,” “You have little or no value”. Seeing someone as less makes us appear as more—more righteous, more powerful, or more successful, and blinds us to the true condition of our souls.

Someone who judges is unaware that they are judging themselves. “Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 7:1-2).  When I used to look through the eyes of judgment, I assumed others were looking at me the same way. For instance I used to judge people who got divorced, until I was going through my divorce. I thought they had not prayed enough or tried hard enough, until I was picking up the pieces of a shattered life after fifteen years of praying and trying. In the same way, I believe that people who hate, often believe that others hate them, even when they don’t.

Judgment and Hatred brings death.  I would like to say that I don’t understand the mentality of someone who wishes another to die. But I would be lying. There was a time in my life when I prayed for my abusers to die. I now realize that my prayers were foolish. Deception, bitterness, and hatred will turn us into fools and kill our peace and joy. Loving God and walking in His ways, gives us His heart for others; being foolish causes us to trust our own hearts-hearts that are often wounded and full of ungodly beliefs. Whether these beliefs have been passed down generationally or learned in the classrooms of our lives, they produce death instead of life.

You might be reading this and saying, “I have never hated anyone” That’s wonderful! But if you, like I used to, have ever struggled with hating someone, I would encourage you to pray the following prayer with me:

Lord, thank you that you want me to be free. I confess that I have hated________. Forgive me for not seeing others as you see them. I realize that I can hate evil actions, but love people-no matter what they have done to me or to others. Forgive me for judging. I am not aware of other people’s wounds or the lies they believe. Show me how to have mercy as I fight for justice. Release me from the lies that I believe about you and your love for me and for others. Show me your heart and give me a heart for others, especially for the people I have viewed as being my enemies. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins. I acknowledge that my sins are no greater or lesser than those of anyone else. All sins carry the same cost-Jesus’ sacrifice. But I am also aware that some sins bear more earthly consequences and bring more pain than others. Give me wisdom about how to handle sinful consequences in truth and love. You are a good and merciful Father. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me, as you have forgiven me. I give you my heart. Cleanse me and heal me from all bitterness and hatred and fill me with your perfect love—love that empowers me to walk in truth, heals my heart, and renews my mind. In Jesus’ name-Amen!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

“So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself’” Luke 10:27 NKJV).

Photo from Pixabay

Heart’s Desires

   

I was a little apprehensive about sharing this, because I am still seeking more understanding. But this morning as I was praying I felt to go ahead. I pray that it will bless somebody.

Yesterday, while I was praying, I saw a vision. Most of the time when God speaks to me through visions I see a picture and hear an explanation in my mind, but yesterday was one of those rare times I felt as if I were watching an video.

In my vision I saw angels standing in line in heaven. They were eagerly awaiting their assignments. Many were warriors, but there were also a lot of messenger angels. As each angel stepped to the front of the line, he was given a piece of paper with specific instructions and told to “GO NOW!” The line was moving very quickly so I continuously heard, “GO NOW! GO NOW! GO NOW!…”

As the warrior angels were dispatched, I saw human warriors being equipped and raised up on the earth. The warrior angels were sent to strategic places around the globe for such a time as this.

Some of the messenger angels were given boxes with their orders. Others were given shovels.

The angels who left with boxes had two different types of assignments. Some had been instructed to deliver their boxes at this time, while the others had been instructed to hide their boxes until an appointed time. The boxes that were to be hidden were labeled HIDDEN DESIRES. They would be easily found in unexpected places at just the right time. The angels with the shovels were sent to dig up boxes that had been buried for a long time.

I saw the word HOPE

Many people, including me, were given AT THIS TIME boxes. I opened mine as soon as I received it. Hearts, birds, and candy floated up out of the box, along with the words HEARTS DESIRES. I was overjoyed!

Immediately, a towering wall sprung up out of nowhere right in front of me. It was so high I knew that it would be impossible to scale. I heard the words. “WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR MAN IS POSSIBLE FOR GOD!”

The angel then lifted me up and flew with me to the top of the wall.  As I looked down from my new position, I could see the past, the present, and the future, and I was given new understanding about some of the more difficult seasons of my life. There was no fear, pain, discouragement, or disappointment-only peace.

Looking down from the wall I could see the angels with the shovels digging up the boxes that had been buried for a long time. There was a marker at each place where a box had been buried. The markers read HOPE DEFERRED.

Whenever someone received one of the boxes that had been buried, they were immediately lifted to the top of the wall and placed next to me. I was also given a box that had been buried. As each one of us opened our boxes, the words HEART’S DESIRES, as well as hearts, birds, and candy once again floated up out of the boxes. But this time a second set of words also floated into the air –HOPE RESTORED. The HOPE RESTORED words began to get larger and larger, until they permeated the atmosphere.

Everybody on the wall received insight about past suffering and gained new understanding about God’s love. Most were given wisdom about how to proceed with God-given dreams they had given up on years ago. Many of the people on the wall had also been given AT THIS TIME boxes with new heart’s desires. Some would be writing songs and books. Others would be starting ministries or businesses. Some would be entering new relationships.

I could feel my heart expanding in my chest. I knew I was receiving more healing. As I looked around at the other RESTORED ONES delighting in the contents of their boxes, God showed me their hearts. Broken hearts began to mend, bitter hearts were filled with joy, and stony hearts turned to flesh. Everybody’s heart, including mine, was bursting with thankfulness. I heard the Lord say, “I am restoring the hearts of my people and gifting them with new understanding!”

May the Lord abundantly bless you!

Jeannie

Not Just Chocolate

The other day I read an encouraging article about chocolate. According to womenshealthmag.com the savoring of one to two servings of dark chocolate per week can enhance health. Yay! Who said healthy food couldn’t taste delicious? As I read about the health benefits of dark chocolate, I thought about benefits of spending time with the Lord. The following came to mind:

Chocolate is a comfort food. The Holy Spirit is the comforter. “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” John 14:26 (KJV).

Chocolate is heart-healthy.  The Lord heals broken hearts. “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” Psalm 147:3 (KJV).

Chocolate can calm anxietyGod’s presence reveals the lies behind anxious thoughts and transforms them with His truth.  “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32 (KJV).

Chocolate can reduce cravings for unhealthy foodsSpending time with God reduces our cravings for harmful or non-beneficial behaviors.For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),  finding out what is acceptable to the Lord” Ephesians 5:-10 (NKJV).

Chocolate can drop insulin levels.  Being in God’s presence drops our high emotional responses from past failures and traumatic experiences. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” John 14:27 (NKJV).

Chocolate can help prevent sunburns. Soaking in the presence of God will prevent our souls from being burned by rays of hatred, animosity, and condemnation.  “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly placesEphesians 6:10-12(NKJV)).

Chocolate quiets coughs.  God quiets us with His love. For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT).

Chocolate can help stop diarrhea. Being in the presence of God will stop verbal diarrhea. (I know this sounds gross, but there is nothing pretty about spewing hatred, bitterness, gossip, perversity, and condemnation.) “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell” James 3:6 (NIV).

Chocolate can improve performance.  Learning about our identity in the Lord helps improve all of our endeavors and relationships. “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” Philippians 2:1-4(NKJV).

Chocolate can enhance mental alertness.  Spending time with the Lord and in His Word gives us clarity and renews our minds.Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” Romans 12:2 (NLT).

Now I am aware of the health benefits of dark chocolate, I don’t have to feel guilty if I eat a few squares a week. But, even better, since I am aware of the sweetness of the Lord’s presence, I can partake of His guilt-free goodness without limits!

May the Lord abundantly Bless You!

Jeannie

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/benefits-of-chocolate/slide/3

Taste and See

God desires to speak to us, and He often does so through personal experiences. A couple of weeks ago, I posted my first youtube video. It was about a God encounter I had when I was surrounded by dragonflies. After I posted the video I realized that although the message was clear, the glare had made it difficult to see the dragonflies that were swarming in the trees.

Knowing that others would not be able to experience what I had experienced made me think about chocolate. Let me explain.

If the only encounter you or I ever have with a bar of chocolate is hearing someone else describe their experience, our understanding would be very limited. We might know what chocolate looks like. We may even be holding a list of its ingredients. If we are familiar with sugar, we would even know that it would be sweet. But unless we actually bit into the bar and personally tasted its distinct flavor and felt it melt in our mouths, we wouldn’t truly experience chocolate.

It’s the same with the Lord. The Bible tells us to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” You and I must have a desire for something before we taste it. When it comes to hearing God, it’s easy to try to live off other’s experiences, instead of tasting His goodness for ourselves. Don’t get me wrong. I love to hear testimonies! They inspire me. But if you and I only learn about God through the God encounters of others, we will never truly know God’s heart for us or learn how to hear His voice.

The Lord cloaked Himself in humanity so we could have an intimate relationship with Him. He wants to walk and talk with us every day. His beauty surrounds us, and so does His presence. But our vision is sometimes limited because of the glare.

Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary defines glare as (to shine with a harsh uncomfortably brilliant light) or (to stare angrily or fiercely.) Both of these definitions can explain why people are often blinded to God’s goodness and unaware of His presence.

If we believe that God is harsh, uncomfortable, angry, or fierce, we will either try to hide from Him, or we will exhaust ourselves doing good works to try to earn His approval. Both will keep us from tasting His goodness.

When the Samaritan woman ran to share her testimony, she didn’t just tell the town’s people about her Savior, she invited the people to experience the Messiah for themselves. “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?”John 4:29 (NKJV). The people followed her to Jesus. After Jesus had spent a few days with the townspeople, many more heard his message and believed: “Then they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but we have heard Him for ourselves'” John 4:42(NKJV).

God wants us to experience Him. Not just hear about Him. He wants to be our Father; not just our Creator. He wants to open our hearts, our eyes, and our ears so we can enjoy Him. He wants us to experience life with Him and through Him. Oh!  May we taste for ourselves and see…His goodness…His love…His kindness…His compassion…His heart! May we delight in Him. His presence is so much sweeter than chocolate!

May you be abundantly blessed!

Jeannie

Psalm 34:8 “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (NIV).