Isaiah Six One

Exiting our public library one day in 2006, with so much on my mind, I almost hadn’t noticed Isaiah walking right past me, and I might not have if he hadn’t shouted to me “Don’t you know today is a day the Lord has made? Why do you look so down?”

Of course that made me smile and Isaiah and I began to talk. He didn’t have to talk much before the smell of alcohol reached my nose, yet he was coherent. I found out he went to Ebenezer Baptist Church, and that he swept the floors there on ocassion.

He then asked me for money, which I did not give him. Side note. I do have somewhat of an experience with alcoholism. Alcoholism was in my own family, and I drank for many years.

I knew not to give Isaiah money because it would be like filling a bag with holes. “Silver and gold have I none but such as I have I give to thee” I told him. Then I asked if I could pray for him. He said “alright” so I took Isaiah’s hand and began to prophesy into his life, and calling forth the new wine that the Lord wants to offer, and desires for him. That his life be filled with the joy of the Lord and he walk free from his little fermented friends. That he become the beautiful creation the Lord intended for him.

“You’re still not going to give me money, are you?” I told him I was not, but that our meeting on this day meant that I was going to see him again soon. The Lord sent him across my path ‘for such a time as this’.

I let Isaiah know that I had to leave to pick up my husband, I was meeting him for lunch. He asked me if I had children and I told him I had two but they were older.

I said goodbye and got into my car to pick up Richard at his workplace, only a block up the road. I arrived in front of Richard’s place and there was Richard waiting, but there was no parking space for me. I told him briefly I was late because I met a man named Isaiah, and then told him the story of our encounter. I shared that he asked for money but I was not to give him any. I had to drive around the block to find a space and when I did, I walked back to meet Richard.

He said “Guess who I met?” “I don’t know, who?” “Isaiah.” “How did you know it was Isaiah?” “Because he approached me and asked me for money and his breath smelled like alcohol so I took a shot at it and asked him ‘Is your name Isaiah?’ and I think it sobered him up a bit.” Then Richard said he asked him “Didn’t my wife just tell you we were not going to give you any money?” A dawning of recognition hit Isaiah and he asked Richard “your wife got two kids?” and Richard nodded. Isaiah just walked away and said “dang”.

I knew that was confirmation that Isaiah and I would run into each other a few more times. I’ve ministered briefly to Isaiah about SIX times since. (Remember that) He would always smell like alcohol, but each time he was coherent and very friendly. He could hold a conversation.

On Monday night, June 30, he was troubled. (Remember the date) It was raining heavily and there he was, talking to Richard, as Richard was waiting for me to pick him up. I called out to Isaiah “Hey my friend, what are you doing out in the rain?” And he came up to the car window, pulling at his jacket. “Get me out of here! Get me out of here” I asked him “Where is here, Isaiah?” “Alcohol. Get me out of here. Get me out of here”

Richard got into the passenger side and told Isaiah we needed to go. Isaiah stood there and then said alright, and started to walk away. I told Richard I couldn’t leave him.

“We have to stay with him. We have to pray with him. We can’t leave him.” Richard told me he prayed with Isaiah already. I said, “I can’t leave Isaiah. We need to minister to him. Are you with me on this?” He said yes.

I parked the car and jumped out and we pulled Isaiah closer to a store front that had a place of shelter from the rain. Isaiah was carrying two bottles of Gatorade and a bottle of gin in his bag.

Isaiah said “I’ll be right back. I have to use the **ithouse.” Richard and I let him go do what he needed to do, but we knew he was sneaking away. We followed him to see he was dipping into his bag. We told him we were here to help him but he had to get rid of the alcohol. “I can’t. It’s too hard” he would say. Of course it’s hard. “We are not here to tell you to throw this away and do something that you will not be empowered to do by the Lord. We’re here to tell you that WE are not going to help you tonight unless you take this first step. Do you want to be free tonight Isaiah?” He said he did. “Then throw the bottles away” “But it’s too hard” And this dialogue went back and forth a few times when I felt I needed to get away to grab him a bite to eat. I went around the block to the Subway and called a few friends. I contacted Deborah Letourneau, the Director of the Healing Rooms in Hurricane and Charleston, and she advised me that Abner Suarez was preaching at Valley Christian Assembly in about an hour from the time I called her. After getting Isaiah a Subway sandwich, I went back to find both of them on the park bench.

The rain had stopped now and Isaiah’s head was on Richard’s chest. “I love you man. I love you.” Isaiah kept saying to Richard. But Isaiah started to turn nasty on me. “Who are you?” Then he turned to Richard. “Is this your wife?” His face contorted and he started speaking crudely to me. “WHAT EH VERRRRR” he repeated every time I tried to open my mouth. He would not let me speak, and then the attacks were intense. He began to tell me just what he would like to do to me as he stared at my body parts. I did not flinch. I could see Richard was very uncomfortable but he knew I was having internal dialogue with God.

I put my head down. “Lord what do I do here? What stone do I pull out of my bag today?”

Then Jesus whispered to my heart “Ask him where the ones who love him are”

Through all his demons talking, I kept calling “Isaiah. Isaiah. Isaiah” But his demons continued to talk junk. I stared right into Isaiah’s eyes and spoke to THE DEMONS. “I don’t want to talk to you. I want to talk to Isaiah and I am not budging from here til I talk to Isaiah”

Isaiah looked at Richard. “She’s tough. Ooooh she’s tough”

“Isaiah, where are the ones who love you?” Isaiah got quiet. Richard told me that Isaiah had just told him he had a brother named Jeremiah, who died of cancer and that was when he turned to alcohol. It was his twin brother. Twin brothers – Isaiah and Jeremiah. This young man had a praying mama. I looked at Isaiah, and started to talk to him like he was a little boy.

“Isaiah, where is your momma?” Isaiah started to cry. “She’s dead” I put my lips out and made a pouty face.

“Where is your daddy?”
“He’s dead too”
“Where are the others who love you Isaiah?”
“They’re all gone”
“Jesus loves you Isaiah”

“Awwwwwww dont start talking junk to me.”
“Isaiah, you are called by God you know. He has a plan for you”

“Awwwww dont, please don’t start with that”
And as Isaiah was crying, he was resting his head on Richard’s chest. He looked at Richard. “I love you man, I love you. But she, she BROKE me. She BROKE me.”

And Isaiah continued to weep.

“Isaiah?” I asked him “Do you want Jesus to set you free tonight?” He said “I do. I love Jesus. I do.”

“Then take your bottles and throw them away”

Richard told me that while I was at Subway, Isaiah let him throw away the bottle of gin. I said to him “What’s in your Gatorade Isaiah?” He said “Gatorade, that’s all” I told him to throw the bottle away, we’d buy him some new Gatorade. I told him he’d have to throw those bottles away if he wanted our help.

“Its’ hard”

“I know. But it’s getting late and I have things to do. I can’t be playing with you. If you are not ready, then we have to go. Do you want to get set free tonight?”

“I do.” “Then you have to throw those bottles away. Isaiah handed the gatorade to Richard and Richard headed toward the trash.

“Richard,” I said. “Isaiah needs to toss those bottle, not you”

Richard handed the bottle back to Isaiah.

“You have to do this yourself Isaiah”
Isaiah got up and headed towards the trash.
A “friend” of his came by and asked for the bottle. I might have said no, but I didnt care. It wasnt his friend’s time tonight. Isaiah gave his friend the bottle and his friend walked away drinking it.

Richard and I put Isaiah in the car and drove to VCA. He said to Richard “She was right. I had alcohol in those bottles. This is so hard.” Then he looked at me and said “You don’t understand. I smoked crack.”

I said “No, YOU don’t understand. So did I”

The only difference between Isaiah and me, was that I had an intervention of the Lord. Isaiah needed one too. We pulled into the parking lot and took Isaiah in. He was still telling Richard he loved him. Familiar faces were there. Kim Hager, to my surprise, had been asked to worship. Kay Lowther was there – he ministers healing throughout Charleston and in the Healing Rooms at Charleston. Teri McGee and her daughter, Meghan were there. They are ministers at our food pantry. Isaiah sat in the same pew as Richard, and I sat behind them. He was loud but I whispered into his ear that this was not the time to talk. He needed to listen to the music. I was like his mama with a plastic spoon ready to whoop him if he got loud.

Richard’s ministry to Isaiah was also just what Dr. Jesus ordered. I believe that Isaiah did not know the love of a father. He looked like a little boy just buried on his daddy’s chest. Richard carried the love of his Father all over him. Isaiah then stretched out onto the pew and fell asleep. At the end of service, I woke him up and asked him if he would like to go up to the alter. There was someone who would like to pray for him. He said yes, and as he staggered up to the front, Richard and I needed to hold him back because he was anxious to get up. Once there, Abner laid hands on him and Isaiah fell. Tears streamed down his face and several others then laid hands upon him. Ministering to him the love and forgiveness of the Lord. When Isaiah came to his feet, he called up to Abner “I love you in the name of Jesus” Then he looked at Richard “I love you” and then he looked at me “I love you. You are tough.” “She’s tough” he said to Richard.

Shortly before he left, I was reminded of the day I met him, at the library when when he called out to me “Don’t you know this is a day the Lord has made?” I said to him “Isaiah, your brother was named Jeremiah. This means to me that your mother was a praying woman and she knew your calling. God has heard your mother’s prayers. You are going to go out into these streets and set others free. You’ve been called to the kingdom ‘for such a time as this”. He nodded. Richard and Isaiah then left to get a motel room so that he could get a restful sleep, and I stayed behind.

Tuesday morning at 7:45, Richard knocked on Isaiah’s motel room door. Isaiah answered the door and greeted him with a hug. There were two beer bottles on the night table. Isaiah said he met two men there, shortly after he was dropped off at the motel, who had some beer with them. I was disappointed but I KNEW he was touched by God.
We had not seen Isaiah for a long while since that night.
A year later, we were driving by that same spot where we had our time with him on the bench. I heard a man call out. “Hey! Hey!” and I looked over and it was Isaiah. He held up a large fast food cup. “It’s tea! No alcohol!”
We stopped the car to go see him and he said he was clean and sober from alcohol and was waiting for the bus to take him to his recovery group.

“I’m 6 months clean and I am going to get my pin tonight! Will you drive me there?”

That was the greatest news. I was so happy.

I said “Six months?” Then I started calculating when that was. I realized that it was July 1. So six months prior was February 1.

Then, it hit me again. We originally saw Isaiah on June 30 of the previous year and his freedom from alcohol began SIX MONTHS AND ONE DAY from the day we dragged him to church and he was touched by God.

Isaiah 61

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

A year later we were driving through the city. We saw Isaiah again. He was standing outside a church. We stopped to see him and he said “I want you to see something.”

He took us to the gardens around the church. “I’ve always wanted to be a gardener and the pastor of this church allows me to be the gardener. As long as I remain clean and sober, I can keep it up.

His gardens were beautiful. We were in awe of what God had done in Isaiah’s life and that he found support and accountability.

A friend of his walked up to him and said “Are you going to introduce me to your friends, Isaiah?”

She was a church member and confirmed to us that he was truly delivered. Clean and sober.

His garden was beautifully tended to with love and care. The soil was worked and nourished. Like Isaiah.

Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its bud,
As the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth,
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

In This Moment

In this moment 
I have Peace 
In this moment
I have Joy 
In this moment 
I Release 
The presence of God 

In this moment 
I choose Grace 
In this moment 
I choose Love 
In this moment 
In this place 
Is the presence of God 

And these moments 
Add to minutes

And these minutes 
Add to years 
And these years 
Become infinite

When each moment 
Is with God 

In this moment
He’s your Answer 
In this moment 
He is Truth 
In this moment 
You’re His dancer 
Following the feet of God 

Perspective Often Comes After the Fact

Today is the 3rd anniversary of mom’s death. Hard to believe it has gone by so quickly. When I am not thinking logically, I find myself saying “where is mom?” Especially when I’m feeling like I need approval which is weird because approval was not something mom gave me often. Everyone in the world, yes. But not me. She wanted so much more from me and often made that known.

Mom’s senior high school photo

So, why? Because she was mom. I am a very independent person. I do not live my life to please people. I LIKE people to be pleased but I don’t live my life to please people and that was always an issue with mom. She often thought of other’s who did and wanted to know why I didn’t? She would think of all her friends’ daughters or women at church who had good paying professional careers, and say “why can’t you be like so and so?”

It absolutely unnerved me and often caused us to not speak to each other. When I graduated from college with some credentials in the natural health field, and when I became an author, I couldn’t wait to tell her. But the natural health field is not medical. I was not a nurse like my brother Michael, and I was not making money as an author. Anyone can be an author, right?

But, at the end of the day, it was because she thought I was SO smart, that she felt my choices in life didn’t match how smart I was. I could have been something. And she only wanted the best for me.

What I miss is not so much approval, but I sometimes miss that impetus in her voice that pushed me to be better, even though I didn’t choose relationships or careers she thought I was capable of being in. Only she was able to trigger that drive for better but while she was alive, I could not see that. I saw it as I was her biggest disappointment.

I just miss HER.

That trigger which drove me to push for better was more a need to please mom. But even in that, I ultimately could not.

I learned a most valuable lesson. Perspective is often after the fact. I WANTED to please mom. Though I am independent, I really wanted to please her.

It was because of our friction (my need to please her and never could – her need for me to fill a role I also never could) that she ultimately found peace through Christ. And I miss her, but I know where she is and I know I will see her again.

Perspective Change

I overheard a store employee say “I don’t get paid enough to take this crap!”
I wanted to ask “How much do you need to get paid to take crap?”
Many blogs are written and memes made about attitude. I was looking at a few this morning.

Then I read this this morning:

Psalm 18:4 The pangs of death surrounded me,
And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.
The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

Then the earth shook and trembled;
The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken,
Because He was angry.
Smoke went up from His nostrils,
And devouring fire from His mouth;
Coals were kindled by it.
He bowed the heavens also, and came down
With darkness under His feet.
10 And He rode upon a cherub, and flew;
He flew upon the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness His secret place;
His canopy around Him was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.
12 From the brightness before Him,
His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire.

13 The Lord thundered from heaven,
And the Most High uttered His voice,
Hailstones and coals of fire.
14 He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe,
Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
The foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Lord,
At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.

Attitude without perspective is just a shallow front. Attitude is outward while perspective is inward. Perspective is what is seen that helps shape the attitude.
David saw beyond the earthquakes, the pangs of death, the debauchery and deception around him. He saw through the fog and the fire and beyond the lightning. He heard a Voice in the thunder and roaring waters.

He saw the Almighty God.

Today it is cold and rainy with patches of fog. I expect to see God.

ReMember Me

While strolling through the Psalms this morning, I was stopped here. I read through in one version then in another, not really sure what I am supposed to see.

No, I don’t feel as close to God these days – at least when compared with earlier days.
No, I don’t feel as filled with delight and wonder as I did over a decade ago.

I could think of all kinds of reasons why I don’t, but none seem to be “it.”

Except one. One thing drags me down farther than anything else. My lame feet. I literally have lame feet. Filled with arthritis and pain, nerve shocks that lift me off the ground when I walk and toward the end of the day cause my legs to be so heavy I cannot lift them.

Okay two things – but I can’t write this publicly. God knows the pain of loneliness that can only be remedied with a companion to talk to. I don’t mean friend or counselor. I mean companion. What happened to my companion?

Well maybe there is another. CompanionS. And I cannot be public with that either. God knows.

Then I think “If only my feet and legs would work, none of this would matter. I have resources and skills and talents. My own work would praise me like the Proverbs 31 woman’s works praised her!”

But my feet and legs don’t work and I am filled with struggle day in and day out.

“ReMember Me” I hear Him say
“ReMember Me in the cool of the day”
“ReMember Me with each step you take”
“ReMember Me for the Kingdom’s sake”

“I will ReMember You”

This is deeper than just thinking of Him.

Those words “ReMember Me” have to do with healing of my own body, and healing of His.

Body parts cannot act independently of themselves without getting cut off at the knees.

I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
My hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing;
My soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled;
I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah

You hold my eyelids open;
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I have considered the days of old,
The years of ancient times.
I call to remembrance my song in the night;
I meditate within my heart,
And my spirit makes diligent search.

Will the Lord cast off forever?
And will He be favorable no more?
Has His mercy ceased forever?
Has His promise failed forevermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah

10 And I said, “This is my anguish;
But I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
11 I will remember the works of the Lord;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will also meditate on all Your work,
And talk of Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is in the sanctuary;
Who is so great a God as our God?
14 You are the God who does wonders;
You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have with Your arm redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 The waters saw You, O God;
The waters saw You, they were afraid;
The depths also trembled.
17 The clouds poured out water;
The skies sent out a sound;
Your arrows also flashed about.
18 The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind;
The lightnings lit up the world;
The earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was in the sea,
Your path in the great waters,
And Your footsteps were not known.
20 You led Your people like a flock
By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

A Pure and Spotless Bride Makes Herself Ready

Remember Annanias and Saphira? They lied, they died. Pretty harsh to many people’s standards, right?
Yes it is but God is just.

God was establishing a church in the time of A & S, and He was establishing a righteous church – of course I mean a people, not a building. How far from holy have we fallen?

Well He has not changed and is cleaning up His church. He is coming for a pure and spotless Bride, without stain or wrinkle. We are not there, but we will be by the time He is finished uprooting tares and separating the sheep and goats.

Here is a time to sharpen your sword, clean up your act, repent of your sins and fall to your knees.

God the Father, desires a pure and spotless Bride for His Son. It is all about Jesus, Yeshua. It is all about A King. Everything created is in Him, for Him, by Him, through Him and about Him.

Psalm 17 Prayer for our Potus and our Nation

A Sunday Psalm | Anne Mateer

Hear my prayer Oh Lord for our President, it is a just prayer, it is a righteous plea. Hear the cry from my fingertips which you have acknowledged so many times before.
Hear my prayer for our President which does not come from trigger fingers without consideration. Let his vindication come straight from You, may Your eyes see what is right.

You have probed his heart and you have examined him and tested him. You have forgiven his transgressions and have strengthened him.

You have found that he has planned no evil and has not transgressed against you and your plans.

Though he is accused of bribery, it is his enemies who try to bribe him. He has kept himself from the ways of the violent. His steps have held onto the path you have laid out for him and he has not stumbled.

I call on You my God for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer for our President and our nation. Show me the wonders of your great love, You save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes.

Keep us as the apple of your eye; hide us neath the shadow of your wings from the wicked who seek to destroy us, from mortal enemies who surround us and are among us.

They have closed their callous hearts and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked our President down, have put a bounty on his head, and his enemies are numerous who surround him. With eyes alert they seek t throw him to the ground.

They are like a lion hungry for prey, a crouching lion in fierce cover.

Rise up Lord, confront them. Bring them down with your sword and rescue him from the wicked. By your hand save us from evil people who seek to destroy us for their gain.

May what you have stored up for them fill them and may they be gorged on it; all those who follow them.

As for me, I will be vindicated when I see your face and when I awake I will see your likeness.

Neither Shall You Touch?

Reading A Book Under A Tree 4K HD Desktop Wallpaper for 4K ...Touching something is part of the process of free will.  Take away the touching and you take away the free will.  God never said “you shall not go through the process of deciding whether to obey My command or not.”

The trouble is not the process of decision.  The trouble comes when you actually hear the Word of God and choose to ignore or disobey it.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”

vs 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat;

vs 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”


All Roads Lead To God

153 best images about Christianity on PinterestYou’ve heard it before.  “All roads lead to God.”

We are quick to point out how this is not true – the only way to God is through Christ!

Not exactly.   Look at the scripture again.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus is the way to God the Father.
Jesus is the Truth of God the Father.
Jesus is the Life of God the Father.

A Father is loving.
A Father is patient.
A Father is merciful.
A Father is kind.
A Father is slow to anger.
A Father is rewarding.
A Father is life-giving.
A Father displays everlasting love and gives life-giving gifts.

To know the Father, we must know Jesus.

But, there are other aspects of God that we must know.

Romans 11:22 tells us to consider the goodness AND the severity of God. 

If we don’t choose Christ, we will still meet God.  But this will not be God, the Father.

Revelation 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life.   And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

One group of people will be judged according to Christ’s works through them, and another will be judged according to their own works because they rejected Him.

So when you hear that all roads lead to God, you may want to describe the destination rather than argue or debate.  Telling someone they are wrong is not a way to help them see.  Telling them how right they are may get their attention more effectively.

Midnight Son

Image may contain: ocean, sky, cloud, twilight, outdoor, water and natureThe 11th hour
Is an hour of trust
When the signs around look dim
It is in this hour
That we must
Look only, only to Him
The jailers may put you in prison
Your feet may be stuck to the floor
But the midnight hour is almost here
And release is at the Door –
Not only for you but for all who see
Your praise for the One you adore!

Acts 16: 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.

28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”