Casting The First Stone


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I’ve often tried to imagine how the woman who was caught in adultery felt in the Bible.

I could envision a partially dressed woman being paraded around in disgrace throughout the streets of Jerusalem.

Surprise and horror as her secret was exposed for all to see. The terror surging through her veins as her blood quickly pumped adrenaline throughout her body.

Her mind trying to comprehend what she did, what just happened. The unbelievable becoming a reality as she was pushed and beaten by the religious leaders.

She was guilty and now she would pay the price. A public stoning as the Jewish Law demanded.

The justification of breaking the law needed to be played out to discourage anyone else from falling into sin. Death was the result of sinning and there was no other way out.

She could could hear the crowds gathering for her public execution, but something unexpected was about to happen. Love was about to knock the stones out of the hands of her accusers.

Jesus was there.

He was not there to condemn or judge her. He knew that she was guilty, but so was everyone else who held a stone in their hand. Each person there had a secret sin too. Jesus revealed that. He knew their indiscretions and that made it impossible to throw a stone. He called them out and they knew they were guilty.

Just because we haven’t been called out publicly doesn’t make us less guilty than someone blatantly committing a sin for all to see.

Jesus knew the law, in fact the law was written in His heart. However, the law Jesus followed was quite different than man’s.

He was about to rule from a place much higher than rules of this world. It was His grace that saved the woman. His mercy was extended to a broken and battered daughter. It’s His grace and mercy that saves us.

Somewhere along my walk into religion I started picking up the stones of accusations and some how began throwing rocks at people.

Before I knew God, the life I was living was filled with bad choices, so how could I point a finger at anyone else’s problem. I had my own stuff to deal with and that was more than enough.

It was only after finding Jesus that I believe I was starting to change. I got white washed in religious ideas that said I needed tell people all their faults. My belief was that I was helping them to see their sin sooner and that was going to expedite their transformation.

I was taught it was the churches job to do it and I now belonged to the church. The church had to tell the world how terrible they are acting. My job now was to be this bearer of this bad news. How else would they get saved?

Truth is I really don’t like conflict. I try to avoid it at all costs. Telling someone that their life is not pleasing to God always felt uncomfortable. To me, that’s not the good news I was hoping to share.

I began to reread the story about the woman caught in adultery. Jesus didn’t condemn, correct, judge or reprimand her. He quietly wrote in the dirt. No one really knows what He wrote, but whatever it was canceled a death sentence.

Jesus had a heart of reconciliation. The Father sent Him to show man a better way of living and it was through love. He was leading people out of sin by showing mercy, compassion and forgiveness. The extended hand from heaven redeeming a broken and hurting world.

God loves to show me just how alive His word the scripture is today as it was when it was written. He began to show me the identity of this brutalized woman, it’s us, “The Bride”. The beautiful Bride of Christ caught in deception. She is looking for love in all the wrong places. She is lost and feeling unworthy. The religious zealots are stoning her at each wrong turn she makes. Quickly they condemn her and ridicule her publicly. Their stones destroying the true vision of how God sees her.

How will she ever become who God intended her to be pristine, beautiful and flawless?

Jesus is preparing her gown and Holy Spirit is preparing her heart. Together they are working behind the scenes to make her ready for her grand entrance. Her dress is made of redemption. Her veil is a covering of Grace. She is carrying a bouquet that is an intoxicating fragrance of mercy. The shoes she wears are laced in peace and ring given to her is the promise of His love!

When I got this revelation I was floored! I needed to become a part of the great wedding party, because I am a part of the bride.

I had it all wrong, people already know that they are making bad decisions and I don’t need to rub it in their faces. My job was to bring “The Good News” that there is a better way to live.

My job is showing the Bride just how truly beautiful she is. Her Groom is madly, deeply and passionately in love with her. I need to tell her that, so she can walk confidently down the aisle and be received by her Groom.

That’s when I started to change my Christian walk. I decided as a representative of Jesus I wanted to be just like Him. I would love fiercely. I would be moved with compassion. I would only do what I saw My Father do. My mission was being His “Love Child”.

I would let The Holy Spirit handle changing people. That His job. In scripture it says, “As you yield freely and fully to the dynamic life and power of the Holy Spirit, you will abandon the cravings of your self-life.” Galatians‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭TPT‬‬

God had it taken care of it all. He sent Jesus to love and His Spirit to guide. He only needed me to share this revelation.

One day in prayer I asked God for His heart for all His children. After this, a great transformation occurred.

All those stones I had carried just dropped from my hands. I started to minister in such a different way because I was no longer a Servant, but a Daughter. My mission was simply to be the flower girl. I would simply walk down the aisle preparing the way for the Bride.

Dance With Me!


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I am such a huge fan of the show “Dancing with the Stars”. I have watched it for many years and loved every minute of it. There is something so magical as the couples intertwine on the dance floor weaving a tapestry of movement.

My love of dance began as a child.

My mother took my sister and I to dance lessons every Saturday until my pre-teen years. Whenever we would visit my grandparents the polka music would be playing in the background, without hesitation I would grab my younger sister and begin spinning her around the living room.

The 70’s introduced me to disco dancing. My girlfriends and I would practice for hours. We imitated the latest dance moves we learned from watching “American Bandstand” or “Soul Train”. In my 20’s alternative and club music kept my feet moving. We would dance so much that it was like a workout. It wasn’t until I was 25 that I would discover my favorite dance, the waltz.

My brother’s wife had been a dancer in a Vermont dancing troupe called “The Green Mountain Volunteers” and they were having a dance for peace. This was my first contra dance. Contra Dancing is kinda of like an old fashion barn dance with polkas, contra/square dancing and the waltz.

The best dancer there was Ted, an older gentleman in his late 60s. He also was a part of the dance troupe. I watched Ted the whole night, he was an amazing dancer. At the end of the night the band began to play the final song and it was for a waltz. Ted approached me with his hand extended. He asked, “May I have this dance?” I nodded yes and he escorted me to the dance floor. I sheepishly told him that I never waltzed before. His reply still brings a smile to my face. He said “I’ve watched you all night and you dance beautifully. You are a natural, just follow my lead.”

I grabbed his hand and off we went. It was like my feet just knew where to go. I could feel his arms moving me and directing me as we spun around the dance floor. When the dance finished Ted bowed and said “I knew you could waltz!” with a kiss on my hand and a wink of his eye, Ted walked away.

There is something that is so beautiful and intimate that is shared in a dance. That one dance forever brings a smile to my face. Since then I’ve danced at weddings including my own, but I didn’t waltz. The next time I would, well that dance experience would change me.

One night I was in worship at a church. The atmosphere was just in that sweet place where you become one with the music.
My natural eyes were closed as I prayed and worshiped. I began to open up my spiritual eyes and I immediately felt the presence of Jesus. I knew He was standing next to me. Suddenly, I imagined that He bent over and kissed my cheek. Giddiness took over as I tried to shake of the thoughts of Jesus ever giving me a kiss!

I began to push in deeper with my spiritual eyes. I wanted to experience everything that having a relationship with The Almighty God gave me. I wanted to allow The Holy Spirit to show me a world where the impossible becomes possible. As the darkness of this earthly plane began to disappear, it gave light to another dimension. Slowly I began to see something coming into focus and realized it was a ballroom.

I saw Jesus in the center and then He began walking towards me. I could see a big smile on His face as He was coming closer.
Now, this is the first time I really saw Him fully! In the past I could only see him from the neck down. He reached for my hand gently pulling me closer to Him and then I heard Him whisper into my ear “Dance with Me”!

I could see Him putting His hand out to take mine. Then, like in a movie I felt His hand pull me even closer. I could feel His other hand resting on my lower back. I could hear the music playing in the background from church. My body was still present in the real world, but my spirit was engaging into the reality of this encounter. I could feel that my spirit was drawing me deeper into this beautiful vision. The music slowly changed into one of my favorite worship songs “Good Good Father”, it was the perfect song for this special dance!

Jesus was the groom and I was His bride! We floated on the dance floor. It was effortless. I could feel myself lowering my eyes as I felt not fit to dance with The King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I could see the hairs of His chest glimmering with a golden light beneath His white robe. The emotions began to overwhelm me. How could I look up. I wasn’t worthy to see My King and all His Glory.

Jesus must have felt my unworthiness because we stopped dancing. For a brief moment time just stopped. My breathing quickened as I could feel His hands pick up my chin to look at His face! I was taking in all His beauty and splendor. The Groom wanted His bride to see Him fully as He is. There was nothing hindering my vision this time.

I looked hard and deep into into those eyes that pierced my soul. My mind was shouting, “look at His eyes, the color of His eyes remember them.” People who had encounters with Jesus always talked about the color of His eyes. I saw His eye color change from the deepest blue to the softest green and then back to blue. My heart was bursting through my chest as I was trying to decipher the color when suddenly I knew the color. It’s was love, that’s the color of His eyes LOVE.

I decided let go and allowed this vision to be more than a dream, but a real encounter! I was dancing with My Jesus. My greatest love and my best friend.

We twirled on the dance floor and I could see Jesus throwing back His head in laughter. His hair glistening with light and golden flecks. We both we started laughing and smiling as we spun around. We were having fun just being together. No pressure, no performance. Our dance was a celebration of finally coming together and meeting each other face to face.

This was more than a dance for me, but a dance for His bride(the church). He wanted her to feel loved and safe. He wanted her to let go and allow Him to lead her through the intricate spins and turns of life.

Jesus began to speak into my ear about this dance! He said,”Lisa, if you have a strong partner to lead you, than the dance is smooth and beautiful. The lead dancer will take control and guide the other with ease and grace.” He went on to say “If the partner will not submit to the lead dancer, then it’s pure chaos. The movements will be jerky and not fluid. There will be confusion as which way to go and inevitably the dance will come to a abrupt halt. The partners will become frustrated and the dance will have to stop.” I felt His sadness as this revelation took hold of my heart.

Jesus continued His lesson, “You see Lisa, waltzing is the same as your walk with me. You are My beautiful bride I want to twirl you on the dance floor. At times (you) the bride will fight to be the leader. You will want to control the way to go and when to turn. I Am The Groom and I will always try to show you that you can trust Me, but because of hurts and disappointments you won’t give Me the control. There are times that you do and we can dance.

There is so much joy that is released when we dance together. You feel beautiful and loved. It’s a dance of power, surrender and trust. It’s filled with joy and complete agreement of who is leading. That dance is effortless! All you have to do is just allow me to lead!”

This completely blew my mind and yet it made perfect sense.
Jesus wasn’t trying to be anything other than a good dance partner. He wanted to show me how beautiful partnering with Him could be. He showed me in a language I could understand, in a waltz and I finally got it!

Then in an instant the vision was gone. I sat there perplexed at what just happened. It made so much sense. It seemed so real.

I was about to dismiss it as my imagination running away from me when this woman approached me. She looked at me and began to speak, “Hi I’m Marie and I didn’t want to bother you during worship. I just need to tell you that I saw Jesus standing next to you and then He bent over and gave you the sweetest kiss on the cheek.” I was floored. I began crying telling her what just happened and knowing that Jesus showed Marie so I would know it really happened.

Since that encounter I have met many women who have had the honor of dancing with Jesus. Each experience I heard was so unique and very personal. The one thing that is common, all the women agree He is a great dancer.

So, now I ask you the same question that Jesus asked me “Do you want to dance”? If you do, then all you have to do is let go of your control and give it to Him.

He is coming for His beautiful bride and that’s YOU!

Now, just take His hand and let Him lead you in your dance of life!

Grab Your Paint Brush

The joy of creation!

You can see it in any child’s face. It doesn’t matter if it’s crayons, colored pencils, markers, play dough or legos. Children love to let their imagination free.

Go to any kindergarten classroom and just observe finger painting time!

Huge smiles emerge on each child as they run to put their smock on. The energy of this room has gone from a low hum to electrified! The giddiness of creation is overflowing and the teacher can feel it.

The paints are poured into each child’s cup. The instructions are given and the paper is distributed. The time has arrived to begin to paint!

Quickly the warm fingers dip into the cool paint. The classroom has now changed into studio because the artists inside them have been released!

Each child excitedly swirls their fingers into the paint and releases their imagination onto the paper. As each color is added the artist begins blending and shading the picture. There is no judgment, just joy. Nobody compares their masterpiece to another. Nope, each has their own unique vision and all is acceptable in finger painting.

When it’s finished each work is proudly displayed for all to see. The children look at each other’s painting and agree it’s great. The teacher encourages these budding artists to continue to create and when it’s brought home the parents proudly display their child’s picture.

Yes, children are able to do what has been instinctively placed inside; and that is to release their innovative ideas. In fact they are encouraged and pushed to release their talents.

As we change from children into adults, something shifts. Criticism and judgement from the world enters in. This onslaught of negative reaction to anything that comes from the left side of the brain hinders any creative expression we may have been given. The right side of the brain takes over and uses logic to quiet down the left. A saddened and disillusioned artist retreats into the secret place of their heart never to release what’s inside. The creative flow stops because we tell ourselves that it’s safer. There will be no judgment and we can’t be criticized if we never release that artistic side.

We hide ourselves away from showing any public display of our gifting. The excuses we make will begin to solidify that lie that whispers “you don’t have any talent.” We believe the lies of I can’t, I’m not good or I’m not creative.

That imaginative part of us slowly dies. We just bury it deep inside, beneath our tears, along with our dreams.

We can always reminisce about the freedom our childhood had given us. The uninhibited living that told our minds to be free and flourish. It was ok then, but not now. The old cliche of having to act like an adult. Grown ups don’t have time to dream anymore or there is no needs to do silly childish things like use your imagination. That is one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves.

If it’s true that humans are created in the image of God, that we are like Him, then we should accept the truth? We were created to create!

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

To not create is to go against our natural design. Our Father is a master creator. We are His children, so we carry His DNA, His creative genes.

Yet, so many hide their amazing talents away from the world afraid of persecution.

Fear is the creation killer.

The fact that most people are so afraid of the rejection that they don’t even try anymore. There are some brave individuals that fight through the fear and release their talents. They can’t contain what’s inside them and they have to let it out.

What if someone never told you that you couldn’t do it?

What if the music, art, writing or acting inside you was never impeded?

More importantly, what if someone told you that you were really good at something? Would you have continued to be artistically driven?

God started to really talk to me about the hidden dreams and talents locked inside His children.

I could feel His heart breaking at all the songs, movies, books, tv shows, paintings, ceramics, jewelry and clothing that would never see fruition.

God has a long list of things He wants released into our world.

It’s in your imagination where all these dreams are birthed. God places these beautiful seeds inside us and all we need to do is give them life. If we partner with God, Our Creator, then we can produce amazing things.

Think of the greatest works by famous artist, some weren’t truly recognized until after their death. Countless books were rejected numerous times before they became best sellers. Producers who risked everything to make a movie that would become a treasured classic. These men and women were creators.

The people willing to release what God gave them. They became the vessels He used to bring new creations into the world. Pushing past the fear of man, judgement, rejection or criticism all away. They knew that what was inside them had a destiny, it needed to be birthed and they began to push.

What’s inside of you needs to come out too.

No more excuses. No more delay.

If you love to paint, then paint. Sing out loud. Write those stories. Dance in your living room. Play your instrument. Let your inner child free to explore the possibilities. Create and release what’s inside!

The canvas is ready, are you ready to create? Your Creator, He is waiting!

Choose Wisely

There are moments in your life where a decision needs to be made. It’s a choice. It can’t be ignored or pushed away! The time is now and you will be forever changed.

I have had these life changing experiences since I began my walk with Jesus back in 2009. I was never pushed or forced to choose His way, but I was gently lead by The Father on to a new path of believing and thinking.

I’ve recently experienced the most challenging of times. The truth of do I really believe what God can do? Do I believe that He is calling me? The question that can plague our thoughts on any given day.

It’s a fork in the road we don’t expect, but it’s on the path we walk in relationship with God.

Doubt is the killer of faith. When we begin to doubt everything around us, that’s when we come to a crossroad. In that moment we become frozen.

No one can tell you which way to go.

We can turn to Our Heavenly Father and try to listen to what He says. The choice ultimately has to be made by us. We can go in prayer trusting for wisdom, guidance, faith or we can do it alone.

I think of the movie “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade”. The scene is set where a major choice to be made. Indiana’s father has been shot and is on the verge of dying. Indiana can save his father by choosing the right cup and letting his dad drink water from it. The cup is the one Jesus used at the last supper and has been guarded for centuries. This cup holds immortality in it.

Among the cup that Jesus used are many other counterfeit cups that are placed in around the real one. The cups are made of gold and lavished in jewels, however there is one cup that is ordinary and plain.

One represents life and the counterfeit will guarantee death. Indiana hit a fork in the road. Now, he had a choice to make.

It’s in those moments that we struggle for the right answer, the right antidote and the right cup.

We search quickly through our memory bank of information we have held on to. The verses, the teachings and testimonies of what God has done immediately rises up inside us. We start to delete the lies and begin compiling the truth. A deeper knowing overcomes all logic and we choose.

In the movie, Indiana remembers all the information that was compiled by his father. This was his father’s life work researching and finding the cup of Christ. He searches row after row of golden goblets, he pauses and then chooses. Indiana has chosen wisely and saves his father. In real life we don’t always have that Hollywood ending.

Life is hard.

We may not always believe that all the challenges we face are life or death, but in some ways they are. We don’t know what the repercussions will always be for a good or bad choice.

Walking a life of faith with God is a harder road to travel. To a believer, that means we are on a path that requires us not to look at the road with natural eyes, but with spiritual ones.

Many people who don’t understand God can call us crazy or fooled for living life that way.

This is what I can say. In my personal walk with God you can call me crazy, but this path is filled with adventure, passion, power and incredible love.

See, I don’t walk alone. I walk with God. He is my traveling companion. He is my GPS (God’s Positional System)!

The knowing that God is for me is my truth. It strengthens me to believe for more. The path I left behind is not as important as the new path I’m now on.

No regrets, no condemnation and no looking back.

I’ve made my choice.

Now, it’s up to you. You can walk alone or you can ask for a companion to walk with you.

God is good and He will lovingly guide you to choose wisely, but the choice is always up to you!

My Funny Valentine

It was subtle at first.

Soon it became obvious and then I looked for it.

All the messages God was sending me was becoming a sweet game we could play together. A kind of hide n seek of sorts. God would hide them and I would find them.

I always loved to look at the clouds as a child. I could spend hours just gazing into the sky watching the clouds form pictures. I could see so clearly the formless clouds slowly turning into a whale or duck. I was good at guessing what shape would be formed before it completely stopped moving.After I started spending time with God I began to look into the clouds again. My child like behavior was coming alive during my time in prayer. I would sit on my deck searching the sky for images when I noticed the hearts. It started slowly then I would just sit, wait and watch them form before my eyes.

I would become that little girl delighted by the formation of the clouds. I really believed that God was sending me hearts to tell me He loves me.

I told my girlfriends on a trip to Siesta Key, Fl that God sends me hearts in the clouds. Of course they laughed it off until I started to point them out. Each day I would show them the hearts. It began to change my vision into looking beyond what is in front of me and into searching for the hidden things.

It’s funny, what you start to look for you will find. I started to look for hearts!

That weekend at lunch I pulled out a heart shaped potato chip. My friends were as shocked as I was. The signs they were a changing. Now, it was becoming personal.

It was apparent that God wanted to make His love more evident. He knew how to touch me in the deepest place. He wanted me to know that He loved me deeply and He was going to show that love to me everywhere I went.

God started to place hearts in the most unexpected places.

The finding of hearts became more and more common to anyone that spent any time with me. My daughter, Sam began pointing out the hearts even before I had a chance to see them. One day I was pouring dipping sauce on to my plate and out formed a heart. Sam said, “Mom, of course you would have a heart.” I would find hearts on the ground in rocks and in pot holes. My eyes wouldn’t be searching for them, but my spirit inside of me was. I was searching for love!

I was growing more excited about finding the hearts. I guess I was love starved and I needed to understand why love was so important to God.

Love was something I didn’t really understand. I never understood the significance of the Valentines hearts. They didn’t have any meaning to me except I would smile when I would see them.

My parents showed me a broken version of what “I love you” meant. For them, it was I love you today, but tomorrow we will have to see. It was a conditional love. If you please me, then I will love you, but if you don’t you can be replaced.

I was in love with the concept of love. However, love was something that eluded me because I thought I couldn’t measure up.

The phrase “I love you” was something you said, but it was just that a bunch of words. It didn’t hold the value and importance in my heart that God wanted it to have.

I wanted to believe an “I Love You” from God meant so much more, it had to. In the Bible, there is a book called Song of Songs it apparently talks about this kind of love. To be honest, I read it, but I still couldn’t understand how it could relate to me. I saw myself as God’s child, but not His great love. He was going to change that because of the hearts.God would find such delight in sending me a heart when I didn’t deserve it. It was the moments I was angry or felt out of control that a heart would grab my attention. I would ask God, “How could you send me a heart after I acted so terrible ?” The quiet whispers of God would reply “I love you in your weakness.”

Washing dishes I would find a heart as the menial chores of life became an I LOVE YOU for being a good mother. Brushing my teeth or taking care of myself I would find a heart. God was saying, “I LOVE YOU for taking good care of yourself.”

Even cooking became a place of finding hearts. It was becoming a game for me or it was that gentle reminder that God was saying, “I see what you’re doing and I love you for doing it.”

Even when I was resting or just having quiet time, God would surprise me as only He could.

Having a facial I spotted a heart on the sheet I was laying on. While finishing a cup of tea at the bottom of the cup the tea leaves had formed a heart. He was always so creative with sending His love messages.

Yes, He Loved me when I was happy, but also when I was sad. Whether I was having a bad day or amazing day His love never changed because God is LOVE.

He doesn’t waste any opportunities to tell His children He loves them. Even the crumbs of a cookie can be used to express His love for a child.

The reminders were there. He told me in the sky, in the food, in the earth and in everything I did. I suddenly began to understand what love is. Love isn’t fickle, love remains, love endures and love forgives. It’s was all written in the Bible in the book of 1 Corinthians
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-5, 7-8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The reminders were all around me I only had to look for them. He diverted my attention ayway from the world’s definition of love and focused it on His heart of love for me. In the book of Song Of Songs I finally found a verse that I can relate to!

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. Song of Songs‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God was able to breakthrough the hurts, fears and trepidation that held me back from feeling love. True love, His love.

He pursued me and sent me valentines to prove His love. Special deliveries sent from God to make me His forever love!

He took every advantage to get my attention. Victory was His with each heart He sent. I’m devoted now to showing everyone God’s love for them. I’m all about being His love on earth that God now calls me His “Love Child.”

The valentines are still being sent as I continue to find the hearts. God loves to lavish His children with surprises for no other reason, but show them love. Some of the hearts were sent a long time before I was able to see them.

The best heart I ever received was on the paw of my dog, Elvis. Funny that I never saw it before. We were laying on the couch together when I found it. It’s was just another reminder “He REALLY LOVES Me”!

He Loves Me!

It’s was all about love! He always loved me and He was going to show me just how much.

It was my first women’s retreat ever. I was excited and scared at the same time. I was so new to the church, but something inside me said, “GO!”

I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew that God wanted me there. I didn’t know anyone that was going, and so this would be a big leap of faith in many ways.

I laid in my bed with thoughts of what was this going to be like. My husband wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea. I had just come back a few months earlier from a girls getaway weekend that was absolutely disastrous.

It was the same kind of scenario as the retreat, because I didn’t know the ladies that invited me to the get away weekend very well either.

I went on this girls weekend adventure full of excitement. I had always managed to fit in. You could call me a chameleon because I could adapt to any environment, that was until, that trip. I couldn’t fit in and I felt like a fish out water.

The one women pushed every button to make me feel unacceptable, inferior, shamed and uninvited. The funny thing was the one who hosted the entire weekend.

My husband endured countless phone calls and text from me during that time begging to come home. I was miserable and in tears. I just didn’t fit in and they made it known.

My husband must have had similar thoughts when I heard him from the other room call out, “I’m not coming to get you if you hate it. Are you sure you really want to go?”

My heart started racing as fear began to tighten its grip on me. I quickly began praying, “Lord, please protect me. Please don’t let me get hurt again.” My emotions got the best of me as I began crying. I heard His gentle voice quietly calm my nerves, “Don’t worry daughter, this weekend is all about love.”

As the tears streamed down my face I smiled and began to wipe the tears away. I got up and began to prepare for my trip.

I was carpooling down with a bunch of ladies, so had my husband drive me to the location where we would meet. I knew only one woman, but this other woman who I briefly had a quick conversation with one day at church kept popping into my thoughts. I didn’t know her name or if she was coming on the retreat. The only thing I knew is God put her on my radar.

We pulled into the driveway and much to my surprise there she was. She was the designated driver and I offered to be her co-pilot on this Holy Spirit pilgrimage.

The car ride was filled with laughter, stories and bonding with complete strangers that I now regard as sisters.

We got to our destination as one big happy family.

There were so many surprises God had in store for me that weekend. He arranged our rooms to be across the hall from each other. God had another lady write me a note, not only of encouragement, but it shared the deepest desires of my heart.

Yes, He Loves Me and He showed me in every possible way that He could that weekend.

I fell in love with these women. They became a part of my heart and my life. The bonds made that weekend became lifelong friendships.

God gave me a greater understanding about relationship with women. I was able to compare the differences I experienced between this trip and the last one I had been on.

He began to show me why I didn’t fit in on my first trip, and why I was a puzzle piece placed perfectly on this trip.

He showed me that I’ve been changed by His love. I couldn’t walk through life and not be affected by the hurting. I had a new compassion that would see past the exterior of a person and see their heart. Not only did my heart change, but so did my spiritual senses.

I was becoming a Kingdom kid!

Kingdom changed the atmosphere and brought heaven down to earth. In the Kingdom was freedom from judgement, ridicule and shame. My Daddy was teaching me as His daughter how these new principles would apply to my life.

The relationships that were blooming were all because Kingdom was His goal

I discovered that I was so miserable on my first trip because I was lying to myself. There was truth being placed inside me that was difficult to accept.

In the world is judgement, prejudice, anger, betrayal, condemnation, hurt and the list goes on. However, in His Kingdom, God brings a greater truth of who you are so you can live above what the world says about you. You now live with the understanding that He loves you and because of that you live Free!

That weekend was my freedom weekend. I started building these new relationships with women in a greater way because I knew who I was.

I cherish the memories of that retreat because it was a game changer. I became a new and better version of me. So when the world tries to tells me who I’m not, I just have to remind myself that I’m loved and I have a tee shirt to prove it!

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall

How many times have you looked into the mirror and winced at the reflection looking back at you?

If only I was younger, thinner, prettier or even looked different, then I would be happy.  We are constantly comparing our reflection to the photo shopped images we see in magazines and billboards.

We have a love hate relationship with ourselves. We love to hate on the things we do not see as perfect. Is the mirror our biggest enemy or could it be we are?

Women have, unfortunately been set up for failure when it comes to seeing real beauty in themselves and I have seen this first hand while working at the cosmetics counter.

The moment I would engage them in conversation about their skin, the self hatred would begin.

Oh look at my lines”

“I hate my skin” 

See these circles”

The endless words of self hate would pour out quickly and effortlessly.

It was so easy for them to see the beautiful models as perfection and themselves as flawed. Our cosmetics industry set them to desire to look like someone else. We have been taught that flawless is beautiful, so we better fix those flaws FAST!

I was guilty of the same things, until one day God shared a encounter at work that changed me forever!

A young lady from Ireland approached my cosmetics counter looking for some new makeup and beauty advise. She was sweet and completely insecure about her looks.  I asked her to take a seat and we engaged in small talk as I began picking out products for her to try.

Quickly the conversation turned towards God and His goodness. It began with a book that popped into my thoughts. I couldn’t think of the title, but she knew it because her cousin just gave it to her. I immediately knew God was up to something, but I had no idea what.

I was listening to her chatting away when suddenly I heard The Lord say in my spirit, “Tell her she tried to commit suicide on several occasions.” My response was quick, ABSOLUTELY NOT! Followed by “Get behind me Satan” thrown in for good measure.

It was only a few seconds later I heard that familiar voice speak ever so gently to me, “Tell her that she tried to commit suicide on several occasions.” I began shifting my thoughts from it’s the devil to, it’s GOD. I started to give all the reasons to The Lord why I couldn’t say this, when again the third time I heard “Lisa, tell her that she tried to commit suicide on several occasions.”

I swallowed back my fear and I began to gently tell her all that God was sharing about her life.

It was life filled with abuse and hurts. Tormenting images from her past had her believing the lie that death would end the pain.

As I poured out all that I knew, her eyes filled up with shock and amazement of the secret information that she thought no one in the entire world could possibly know!

Tears poured out from a beautiful woman who’s innocence was stolen. A distorted images was the reflection she would see each day, but God was about to change it.

I began to tell her that there were days she felt she was beautiful, but became disappointed when she looked at herself in the mirror. She looked at me with tears streaming down her face. I smiled back and said, “The reason you feel beautiful is because God sees you that way. He is the one that is telling you just how beautiful He sees you!”

At that moment she broke down and told me that no one knows any of this, not even the feelings of hoping to look beautiful. I know that this is God!

I prayed with her and after she quickly purchased her items. A big hug of love and heartfelt thank you was exchanged as we said our goodbyes.

I wiped away my tears and thanked God for this beautiful encounter.

No longer would look at women’s flaws, but I would begin to see the beauty that was hidden in each woman I would encounter. My barometer of beauty had changed, all because of a Father’s love for a daughter.

A Lesson In Love Grinch Style

Christmas is my favorite holiday!

I love all the glitter, sparkles and twinkling of lights. The drab becomes alive and magical. The ugliest tree can be transformed into something beautiful. Yes, Christmas has that magic.

I think one of the reasons I love this holiday so much is you can see old things new and you can dream like a kid again. One of my favorite traditions is to watch Christmas Cartoons from my youth.

Yes, Christmas is a very special time of the year. There is a reason for the season, but it may not be what you think!

Christmas has a magic in it because it is wrapped up in love, God’s love!

The Father wanted to show us just how much He loved us and so, He gave us the best present ever; that present was forgiveness wrapped up in Jesus.

If you don’t receive forgiveness or you never forgive, your heart becomes hardened kinda of like “The Grinch”!

In Dr Seuss’s beloved book “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” we can actually learn a lot about forgiveness in a very Seussical way. God began to unwrap “The Grinch” as only He can do!

The biggest problem with The Grinch was he had a small heart. In fact, according to the book it was two sizes too small. He didn’t understand love because his heart was damaged. It was impossible for him to give love or receive love because his heart couldn’t contain it. Why did his heart stop growing? It doesn’t say why, but I believe I may have some Heavenly insight.

In the book of Proverbs it says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” Proverbs 4:23

What does it mean to guard your heart? It means to protect it, nurture it and always looking out for possible danger. An unguarded heart is the perfect place for bitterness to enter. Bitterness causes the heart to get hardened or, theoretically, shrink because it can’t receive love properly when it’s been hurt.

When you get hurt emotionally by a person you have a choice to forgive or to withhold forgiveness. The choice is always yours to make, but God will always be there to help you to make the forgiveness easier.

Without forgiveness you heart will start to harden. It will get harder the longer you let the bitterness sit inside you. This will start to eat at your joy, your peace and eventually you will shut down emotionally. In fact your slowing allowing “The Grinch” to take up space in your heart!

The Grinch hated Christmas because of the noise. The laughter, the love and the singing made his heart hurt more. He couldn’t experience any of it and so he decided to hate it.

We all have had that moment where we have been so hurt badly that we do not want to participate in anything that can remind of us of the pain. We push it deep inside with a big “DO NOT ENTER” sign . In that moment just know you have been “Grinched”!

In the book of Ephesians it says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

God made a way for us to be forgiven by bringing His Son JESUS into the world. Because of Jesus we have been forgiven for all our sins past, present and future. All we need to do is just ask and then receive it.

True love holds no record of wrong. Love is described in book of Corinthians as this, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-5‬ ‭

The truth is, real love can soften even the hardest of hearts. When we become that love, that powerful agape love that God has for His children, we will see people change. It even changed The Grinch!

The Grinch thought he could stop Christmas from coming by taking The Who’s presents, decorations and food. He believed that it was material things that made them celebrate the holiday. Much to his surprise, on Christmas Day all The Who’s went outside and began singing joyful songs to celebrate that Christmas was here.

The music that rang through the sky was filled with love and joy. That sound was so powerful that the frequency did something to The Grinch. It changed his heart.

So, this Christmas give a present to all that you know. Take all the hurts and just let them go!

Forgiveness is a sound that you must be willing to make. Digging in deeper for the strength that it takes. Releasing the people and setting them free. This is the same gift that Jesus gave to you and to me!

Merry Christmas!

Thankful For The Leaves

One of my favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. I come from a family that found great pleasure in lots of food and great stories. Here is one of those stories.

Thanksgiving day at our house was always filled with lots of noise. The TV was playing “The Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade” and I was nestled right next to my dad watching it, Rik, my older brother, was picking away on his banjo and Tina, my sister, and David, the youngest brother, were both running around. Lots of chaos, that was us.

My siblings and I could feel the excitement in the air. My dad’s family was here celebrating the holiday. The smells coming from the kitchen let us know that dinner was on its way. All was calm until my mother realized she needed something from the store.

After the initial debate about who is going to go and do you really need it, my dad was the one chosen to go. Unfortunately, his car was blocked in by the all the relatives, so he needed to take my mom’s light blue Cadillac.

My dad got in her car and turned the key. The engine sputtered, but refused to turn over. Again he tried to start the car, but click click click was all he got. Just as he was giving up my aunt’s boyfriend, Jerry who happened to be a mechanic walked up the driveway.

“What’s wrong Bill?” Jerry asked. “The engine won’t turnover,” my dad replied. Jerry told him to pop the hood and he took out his mechanic’s rag to take a look.

“Hey, Bill, it’s the carburetor. Do you have some gasoline in the garage that I can pour into the carburetor?” he asked. My dad went into the garage and found a small glass baby jar and filled it with gas. He handed it to Jerry and proceeded to get back in the car.

The rest of the family was busy preparing the table for our meal as my dad and Jerry were working on the car. My aunt asked for Jerry’s whereabouts when suddenly, we heard cries from outside.

Jerry told my dad to start the car as he began pouring gas into the carburetor. A quick click and then a big poof. A big flash of light exploded that turned the hood of the my mom’s car into a pit of flames. Jerry realized that his rag had also caught on fire and so he threw both the rag and gasoline over his shoulder into the neighbor’s yard.

It was like a scene out of a movie. The flames quickly began spreading across the lawn. Shouts of help began getting louder and finally caught the attention of my grandmother.

My mother was pulling out the turkey and was heading toward the counter when she spotted the flames through the window. She began shouting “Fire, Fire! The neighbor’s lawn is on fire!” She threw the turkey down on the counter and grabbed her coat heading outside.

My dad had run into the house to grab the fire extinguisher. My grandma ran outside and was stomping out the flames with her boots. As the commotion became apparent, everyone ran outside and began stomping on the flames. We looked like a bunch of lunatics jumping around, smashing out the flames that wanted to continue to spread its fire.

My dad now had the hose and began to spray down the lawn. Anyone in its path got sprayed down but eventually the water finally put an end to the fire.

We all looked relieved as a major catastrophe was averted. We assessed the damages, now that the crisis was over. What then came to our realization was the huge black burned area of our lovely neighbor’s lawn. Thank goodness she was out of town and would never know how close her house was from catching on fire.

My dad looked at my mom and said “How are we going to fix this?” My mom is a quick thinker and she had a quick fix for our dilemma. She shouted, “Everyone grab leaves!”

We quickly began grabbing bunches of leaves and started covering up the blackened grass that now was half of the lawn.

Everyone was running around covering areas and precisely placing them to strategically hide the damages. When were finally done, we surveyed the lawn. All the damage was completely covered. We however, were a wet, sweaty mess.

Now, that the drama was over Thanksgiving could now continue. We went back inside, cleaning off the mud from our boots, and began getting ready for the great feast.

The conversation began to quickly flow as the plates were being passed from old memories to new one of who used the car last? That answer would be my brother Rik, because his car was not working. Rik reluctantly began to tell everyone that the engine caught on fire the day before. He didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to ruin the day. The sound rose from the table of laughter to yelling to laughter again. The eating continued and so did the stories.

My family wasn’t like TV. We were real and we dealt with the realities that life gave us. My family showed me that even in dysfunction you can find love. Yes we were loud, we argued, we would laugh, we would cry, we would fight, but most of all we created great memories that made great stories.

Just a quick follow up!

Back in 1996 I was honored to be a participant of “The Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade.” I was on “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” float, created especially for the anniversary of the film. The late actress Della Reese from “Touched By An Angel” fame sang the song “Pure Imagination” and I was a part of it. I managed to get on TV and my family watched. I became of part of of our tradition! I love how God fulfills childhood dreams!

Regarding the car, Jerry suggested that my dad drop off the Cadillac at his shop sometime the following week. My dad asked Rik to do it and that he did. Rik drove the Cadillac to Jerry’s garage. He parked the car right in front of the building and went in to see Jerry. Just then a semi truck lost control and smashed into the parked Cadillac, totaling the car for good.

Yep, end of story!

The Mermaid Who Couldn’t Swim

I saw her tattoo and immediately she started to share its meaning.

I have heard of Doug Addison and how he had a gifting to interpreting people’s tattoos. I thought how awesome that gift is and how it could be used to reach the lost and hurting.

I looked at the tattoo again. I asked Holy Spirit to pull stuff out of the image that could be used to minister the love of The Father.

The smile hid the shame, guilt, hurt and regrets of a life that was half lived. Her eyes were lowered to the recollection of dreams that were never birthed.

The bigger issue was I knew all this all too well because, as my sister, she was always a part of my life. I heard the stories and sometimes witnessed them first hand. I held her tight when the world around us was falling apart.

She had a destiny inside her that she had given up on. She had love overflowing and no one worthy to give it to. The life of disappointment was too big for her to repair and so she just gave up.

I looked at her tattoo again and asked God show me what it really means. The explanation of her design was simple and to the point: she was only living half of a life.

God began to unwrap the mystery of how she felt about herself through a simple piece of artwork. As I began to interpret what I saw The Holy Spirit gave me new eyes to see it.

First, I saw the colors. The blue showed she had gifts of prophecy and the flowing hair showed me The Holy Spirit was blowing a fresh wind over her. The colors in her mermaid tail had power(gold), fire(orange) and royalty(purple). The skeleton showed that death was trying to consume her, but not her beauty. That she still held on to like a warrior. I knew that the her heart represented love and it was revealed for all to see.

I asked God if there was something else. What am I missing and then He showed me that there was still a promise that she hadn’t let go of completely. That promise was love. 

Regardless of how hard her life was she still believed in the promise of true love. Just like in the story “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Anderson my sister was willing to risk it all for love!

She was not afraid of going into the deep waters of love. She was willing to swim into  those uncharted territories. The risk to her was worth it because she knew deep inside that God had someone saved just for her.