Spirit to Spirit

This morning I had a dream. I was in a large courtyard. I sat on the floor of the courtyard and watched as a man, a woman, and a child, he was about four years old, come into the courtyard. The woman was blond; she sat away from where I was to watch as her little boy ran around and play. The man looked exactly like my pastor, Pastor Scott. The atmosphere was dark it was either dusk or dawn I’m not sure which but there was a light misty fog around us but not thick. Pastor Scott looked like he did when he did the Batman series a while back at Journey Church, some of you know the series. He wore black clothes and his face was bearded, his eyes were dark as well as his hair. Not scary just solemn and quiet. He came over to the bench and sat down. I was sitting on the ground in front of the bench. I watched him closely as he bent over and spit on a black rock that was lying on the ground. I asked him, “Is that blood?” I looked him full in the face and could see that his mouth was also bloody but it wasn’t red it was dark almost black. I said, “Do you have a lung problem?” He just stared at me. Then I said, “They say I have something wrong with my lungs.” He looked at me with his dark eyes and said nothing. He got up and walked away.
In my consciousness, even though I was still not fully awake I thought about the blood on that rock and thought, ‘the blood of Jesus…’
Jesus healed us by His blood…
Then the Holy Spirit began to speak to me…He said, I do not come to you in the form of a man or an angel…I do not come to you as a bright shining light…I come to you in a quiet voice, Spirit to spirit…so that you will know it is me who is talking to you.
Spirit to spirit. That stuck in my mind. I knew it was Him who was speaking to me. I know because when I hear Him, He is always peaceful and gentle and there is a love that I cannot explain, comes from His Spirit to mine. Spirit to spirit.
I have not coughed one time since the middle of the night I know he is healing me. Praise God for His glory!! Amen! And the Z-pack has not been filled yet…all the glory goes to my Awesome Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus by the power of the Holy Ghost!!!
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10 King James Version (KJV)
When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you, From Jordan depths to Hermon heights, including Mount Mizar. Chaos calls to chaos, to the tune of whitewater rapids. Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers crash and crush me. Then God promises to love me all day, sing songs all through the night! My life is God’s prayer. Psalm 42:7-8 The Message (MSG)
I am not afraid….I know He holds my life in His hands…and I know He will not let me fall. No doubt, only Faith!
–Marla Shaw O’Neill April 4, 2017

The Lust of the Eyes, the Lust of the Flesh and the Pride of Life…

Tempted in the desert that day
Jesus fasted forty days and prayed.
Satan came to tempt the Lord…
But Jesus used the word as a sword.
Jesus hungry, Satan knew and began…
Change these stones to bread with your hand…
It is written, Jesus said,
Man shall not live by bread alone,
But the words spoken from God’s mouth alone.
Taking the Lord to the Holy City, Satan sits Him high on a pinnacle
If you are the son of God, cast yourself down, for it is written, the angels will not let you stub your foot or let you fall…
Jesus said, it is written, You shall not tempt the Lord your God…no way Satan, no way at all…
Satan still trying, the Lord, said, “All these Kingdoms of the world and their glory I will give to you, if you will bow down and worship me, at my, throne…”
Jesus standing his ground says, “Get away from me Satan, for it is written,
You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve…
Satan ran, he lost his nerve…
Behold, angels came and fed the Lord…
So when you’re tempted by lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh or the pride of life
Speak God’s word for when it’s heard, Satan will run away disturbed…
Jesus has said, “It is written!”
You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve!!
(Read Luke 4:1-13)
–Marla Shaw O’Neill
You see, Satan is the tempter, the deceiver, the Father of Lies, he will take you beyond the limits if you permit him too. He even knows the scriptures but always twists them for his benefit. Jesus conquered Him. Jesus gave us His Name to use with authority and power and faith and He has given us the Holy Spirit to reveal more of Jesus to us. Remember when Satan comes to tempt you speak the Word of God in Jesus name and he has to leave you alone at least for a season!!
Be strong! Be Bold! Be Courageous! In the Name of Jesus, Amen.

The Twilight Zone…

When you say, Yes Lord no matter what I will trust you…
You better be ready to back it up because you will be tried and tested…
Like the old television program, The Twilight Zone. In the words of Rod Serling …
“You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
These words fill my mind and it’s a little eerie. I remember watching this show many years ago and I’d try to think of other scenarios for the lives that were being shown in the black and white episodes… the stories always left me feeling strange and weird…if the people had only chosen something different but this was imagination, not real, right? This was the Twilight Zone.
The past few weeks have been rather like the twilight zone for me. Getting news of things I had no control over to change. Seeking God for answers and he answered. He showed me to be still and in that stillness asked me to trust him and to give him what I thought I could never do, but I did. And then the unsettling words of my doctor… “There’s something in your lungs that don’t sound right. Let’s get a chest x-ray.” Then came the follow-up. “You have a crackling sound in your lungs. There’s something there maybe it’s fluid let’s keep an eye on it and we’ll do another x-ray in a month. If it clears up all is good. If not well we’ll see where to go from there.” And so I enter the Twilight Zone.
Then the thoughts come, “What if?” You tell yourself not to worry, not to be anxious and to trust God. You look for signs that all is right with the world. But in our humanness the brain does not stop thinking just because we tell it too.
Being a woman of faith I know where my help comes from. I know that “No Matter What” means No Matter What…I will trust you. Even if my mind tries to tell me something different…I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I am in God’s hands…and as the Holy Spirit pointed out to me recently…when Satan comes to tempt you…Say, “It is written.” God’s word is the most powerful weapon we will ever use against Satan and his demons…It goes beyond what we think or feel. It goes way past the twilight zone.
God’s word is true…God’s word is Life…God’s word never changes and will not return void and is not in vain…God’s word is health and joy and peace in the Holy Ghost!
So if you are faced with any challenge in your life right now…remember when Jesus was in the desert and had fasted for forty days…Satan came to tempt Him with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the Pride of Life! He even tried to quote scripture. But Jesus said… “It is written.” After all Jesus is the Word!
Matthew 4:3-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But Jesus replied, “It is written and forever remains written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Him into the holy city [Jerusalem] and placed Him on the pinnacle (highest point) of the temple. And he said [mockingly] to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command His angels concerning You [to serve, care for, protect and watch over You]’;and ‘They will lift you up on their hands, So that You will not strike Your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall not test the Lord your God.’”
Again, the devil took Him up on a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory [splendor, magnificence, and excellence] of them; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written and forever remains written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” Then the devil left Him; and angels came and ministered to Him [bringing Him food and serving Him].
So in the life of a Christian we need never fear this world or the one to come or even another dimension…because faith is Spirit…and Faith pleases God!
So do not adjust your screen…
“You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind and spirit. A journey into a wondrous land of Heaven. Next stop, the God Zone!”
And that is where I will abide in faith knowing…God’s got me!! No Matter What!
–Marla Shaw O’Neill April 3, 2017

Do You Recognize Him

Bethany, east of the Jordan River
A man was questioned, “Who are you?”
“I am not the Messiah!
I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness…
My name is John, I baptize with water, but right here
In the crowd is someone you do not recognize.” (Matthew 3:26) 
Can you imagine being in a crowded place when all of a sudden,
A celebrity is noticed, someone everyone recognizes like, let’s say, Morgan Freeman.
He’s a pretty huge star. But on this day, no one recognized him. If people had known he was there in their midst they would have gone wild. They’d have wanted his autograph, and everyone would have rushed around him to get a picture with him. Excitement and cheers would have gone up because this famous man was in the crowd. But the son of God, no one recognized him in the crowd that day, because they didn’t know who he was. John came to announce that someone greater than himself was in the crowd, whose sandals he wasn’t worthy to unloose. Someone they’ve read about and talked about for centuries but when He came no one knew him… 
Jesus was in the crowd that day and he came to John to be baptized. John didn’t know he was the Messiah until he saw the spirit of God, like a dove, descend and rest upon him. God had told John that’s how he would know Jesus. John said, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. (John 1:32-33) NLT 
John baptized Jesus and when he came up out of the water, he heard a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17) 
Are you in the crowd today listening, watching but you don’t recognize the Savior? He’s standing in the crowd right beside you. Compassion on his face, there’s a longing in his heart just for you. He’s holding out his hand to take yours. He wants to talk to you and walk with you and tell you how very much he loves you. Do you recognize him? Don’t you have questions you want answers for? John is still speaking today and he’s saying, “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.” (Matthew 3:3) 
Even today people don’t recognize him, but he’s there…in the crowd.
He’s in the face of his children…when we speak a kind word or lend a hand to help our neighbor…he’s there at the bedside of a loved one dying…he’s there when a new-born baby takes his first breath. He’s there when you are crying in the night because you don’t know what you’re going to do. He’s there when you are sick and he’s there when you are well…He is always here. But if you don’t recognize him…you won’t know he’s here. 
There’s a way for you to recognize him…it’s simple and easy…and no all your trials won’t go away because you accept him. But I promise you, He has said he will be with you through all of them. He has given his peace in the midst of the trial. He has given His joy in the center of your pain. He will give you the Holy Spirit to help you, if you will simply open your heart and recognize who he is. God said, “This is my beloved son, in who I am well pleased.” 
The crowd is pressing in, the noise of the day is stifling…Do you see Him? There he is, there’s a woman at his feet…she knows him…and she knows that if she can just touch the hem of his robe she will be healed (Matthew 9:21)…She recognized him in the crowd, he is, THE SON OF GOD! 
–Marla Shaw O’Neill March 31, 2017
John 1:19-34
The Testimony of John the Baptist

This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.”

“Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?”

“No,” he replied.

“Are you the Prophet we are expecting?”

“No.”

“Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?”

John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah:

“I am a voice shouting in the wilderness,
    ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”

Then the Pharisees who had been sent asked him, “If you aren’t the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet, what right do you have to baptize?”

John told them, “I baptize with water, but right here in the crowd is someone you do not recognize. Though his ministry follows mine, I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandal.”

This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.

Jesus, the Lamb of God

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”

FAITH

 When life pulls the rug, out from under you
And it feels as if you’re falling into a bottomless pit
Don’t panic…don’t quit…
Don’t struggle
Don’t despair
Don’t fight it…
Fall and keep right on falling into His everlasting arms.
God’s got cha…He will not abandon you…
He will carry you all the way to the top…
There is nowhere God is not…
If you don’t know Him,
Well that’s another story for another time…
If you do know Him,
Have Faith in Him
Even if He takes you out of this world…
Free falling…
Lean back, throw out your arms…and fall…
Straight into His Arms,
I promise He will catch you…
It’s called trust!
–Marla Shaw O’Neill March 30, 2017

Wild Flowers and Purpose

I started out for a long walk and I came into this meadow. In the meadow I saw a group of wild flowers; they weren’t doing anything but standing in the thicket. I said, “Excuse me Wild Flowers, why do you just stand here? What is your purpose? You are multicolored, you all stick together as a family, and you have a large area of ground you possess. But I don’t see you work or toil, just what is it you do?”
Wild flower’s in their melodious soft voices spoke up in unison. “It may appear to you that we are just standing here and that we have no purpose Sir, but we’ve seen many things others have never seen and heard secrets and have watched as seasons come and go. We see the moon come out every night and the sun come up every morning…the rain washes us and the sun dries us and, we keep the soil from escaping into the brook. We’ve seen many a man and woman pass our way going nowhere and doing nothing. What is your purpose, Sir?”
I looked with surprise and said, “My, my, my, that is a lot of doing, now, isn’t it? I will tell you Wild Flower’s, I’ve walked many miles and I’ve visited large cities. I’ve sailed across oceans and flown in airplanes and talked to many people all appearing to be going nowhere. I’ve asked them what their purpose in life is and not one could give me such a detailed answer as yours. I really don’t know my purpose. But I’m beginning to understand something of a mystery. We as people are always busy but we don’t accomplish very much. Oh there are huge high-rise buildings and houses built on every available piece of land. There are hospitals and schools and governments to teach us what our purposes are…and still at the end of our very old age, we look back, and can’t really tell you why we were put here on this earth.
Some have learned to achieve degrees in college. Some have accomplished climbing great mountain tops. Some have the most beautiful talents in music and art and science…they’ve made discoveries in the oceans and in the Universe but leave feeling empty and incomplete. Wisdom doesn’t come from reading books; she doesn’t come from experiences in life. No, Wisdom is something that is rare and only comes from one source. And to get, Wisdom, you have to ask.”
“Well, Sir, we understand because that source you speak of has given us all we need. He has put our purpose inside us. We are content in who we are and what our purpose is. We don’t have to seek for an answer. The answer is inside us. And when you know who your source is, and that all comes from Him, nothing else matters. We are at home in our own place. Our life-span is not very long, but in that life-span, we live a life-time knowing our source and doing what we were created to do. That is Wisdom, Sir.”
–Marla Shaw O’Neill March 30, 2017
James 1:5-8 The Voice (VOICE)
 If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.
Wisdom, as James understands it, is the ability to live life well and make good decisions. Wisdom doesn’t come from old age or hard knocks. Wisdom begins with knowing and depending absolutely on God, who is never stingy when it comes to wisdom for those who seek it. He supplies all the wisdom we need when we ask. But when we try to go it alone—without God—trouble is around the corner.
The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded commitment to God. Those who depend only on their own judgment are like those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind. Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue them or bring them anything.The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.
The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

 

The Dance

Here put this on…
I heard someone say to me…
It’s your color for all to see…
Oh, it’s perfect; it fits you to a tee…
Twirling around and around as the skit flows wild and free
Stopping, suddenly, in the middle of the floor, I don’t recognize me…
Sunbeams dancing in through the window
A shadow spins, and I see…
His hand extended out to me, as I giggle with expectancy…
Taking his hand he turns me about, as the music begins to play…
In a tiny, little, room with dust and spider-webs about…
We dance to a waltz, in, and out…
Bare-feet on wooden floor
There is no feeling, and nothing more…
Than what I have in this moment,
Dancing with the LORD!
Lord, how can I tell you what you mean to me? How can I begin to express how much I love you and know that you love me more? I will live my life in surrender and obedience to your call. And when I lie down in blessed rest I will see you face to face and all will be revealed. (Holy Spirit, I ask that you speak to my Heavenly Father in the Holy tongue. Amen.)
–Marla Shaw O’Neill March 29, 2017
Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp. Psalm 149:3 New King James Version (NKJV)
Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Exodus 15:20 NKJV

My Hug from Heaven

This morning between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., I had an extraordinary dream…
I was in my mom’s house. Mark was standing in the kitchen and on the counter were several bags of coffee. It was a brand I’ve never heard of and Mark asked where it came from and what it tasted like. I said I don’t know I’ve never seen it before. It looked organic. LOL!
When we were growing up, my mom would get us up every morning to get ready for school. She’d make us breakfast and she’d make us coffee with sugar and cream. It was delicious. I could drink cream and sugar back then. Now I drink my coffee black with two Sweet n’low (the pink one). I know Sweet n’low, is not good for me, but I don’t care for the taste of any of the other sweeteners and there’s not a whole lot I enjoy anymore because of the diabetes so, allow me this one indulgence.
In my dream I was missing mom a lot. There was that empty feeling in the house. I went over to another counter and wrote her a letter. I told her that I missed her and that I loved her and many other things I thought would be interesting to her if she was here.
Then I opened the refrigerator and looked inside, it was bare. With only some kind of root looking things, some dried up celery, and not much of anything else. I wanted to make some pancakes but there were no eggs, no milk and no flour.
If you knew my mom you’d know she always kept her fridge full of wonderful food. She was organized and extremely clean. I’d say to the point of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) “Anything worth doing, was worth doing right” I heard her say this many times.
She loved people and she loved food. Even with the cancer, she made sure her grocery list was made out and that someone went to the store to purchase these items for her, so that her cabinets were always stocked with food.
As I closed the refrigerator door I turned around and there was mom. She was standing there smiling her big beautiful smile. She was wearing a vibrant red suit with little gold buttons and her hair was done. Mom always made sure she was dressed nice and had her hair done. She’d say, “We are Ambassadors for Christ.” She was a classic lady…reminded us of Grace Kelly, Princes Grace. Anyway she looked to be about forty-five and she glowed. Not like a bright light coming out of her, no…she looked natural but so happy. I ran and we embraced each other, there was so much Love coming from her…it was like being wrapped in a warm blanket. In our family our hugs are usually quick, with a little pat and then release. But this hug was captivating and when I went to release her…she held on…it was pure and total love that I felt…I never felt that acceptance before… there was no judgment or fear or uncomfortableness…I was filled with happiness, not sadness…and I was so touched by this love that I can’t even explain the feeling…it was just, total complete love…
It is a warmth full of grace, and nothing like I’ve ever experienced in this life ever…
Bob, your hugs come close but this was a hug from Heaven…
I thought well maybe she’s coming to tell me that I’ll be going home soon…because she died in July of 2016, and since that time, I’ve felt her presence many times but always with sadness and grief…and I’ve only dreamed about her one time and she was at a distance in a kitchen cooking. God letting me know she was happy and secure. This is the first time we’ve actually come face to face with each other since she died. And it was such a happy time.
Then I woke up and I had a smile on my face. I was secure and there was no grief at all…And I heard the Holy Spirit say to me…”You have nothing to worry about…it is not your time yet…I have a few more things I need you to do so you’ll be staying a while longer…then I was sad…LOL…because I’m totally ready…I’m ready to go home…I don’t want to leave Bob, or the family, I want to see my grandchildren grow up and share in their lives…but if God wants to take me then that’s OK with me too…
I know a whole lot of you are praying for me…and I believe that this dream is a result of those prayers…Thank you. Thank you so much.
And thank you Jesus for giving me this special gift this morning…
If the love that came through my mom was any indication of what heaven is like…then do not tarry…for I am more than ready to go.
But I’m also willing and ready to do whatever it is you have for me to do while I’m still here…
Because I’ll carry this new love with me forever…
Hugs will be different from now on…and the grief that I carried has lifted and I’m truly happy because I know my mom is happy and joyful and thrilled and pleased with her children.
Thank you!
–Marla Shaw O’Neill March 29, 2017

Laugh Out Loud…

 

Lighten up buttercup…
No time to sit and stew…
Life is hard,
Didn’t say it wasn’t…
Sometimes you get black and blue…
Sometimes you just have to laugh out loud…
LOL, LOL, LOL
Belly gushers…knee knockers, pee running down your leg…
Kind of laughter…
Laugh and the world laughs with you,
Cry and you cry alone…
So come on hit that funny bone…
Tickle me pink, and giggle girls,
Laughter’s great for the soul
Laugh ‘til it hurts
Snot out your nose, kind of bursts…
Knee slapping, head bobbin, nose snorting…
Hand slapping…
Laughter…
Now that’s what I call a party…
That’s what I’m after…
Roll on the floor…
Can’t catch your breath…
Bent over, can’t even walk out the door…
Curling toes…
That’s all I know…
A merry heart is what I’ve come for
Don’t be a dope…
Th-Th-Th 
–Marla Shaw O’Neill March 28, 2017

If

If I live, I live For My God.
If I die, I die for Him…
Will you?
Will you love him no matter what?
Even when your darkest night comes…
Even when you find no way out of the most difficult situation you could imagine…
Will you live for Him?
Will you keep his love and forgive?
Even when you are wronged? Tortured? Humiliated? Abandoned? Lied too? When sickness or death come…
Will you love him still?
Life is full of testing’s, trials, persecutions, regrets…
Life is full of mistakes and failures and waste and unkindness…
You, Child of God will you love him even if…?
If, will test your heart…
Are you willing to walk with Him to the end?
Because if you can answer yes, to these questions…and he’s proven your heart to be true…
Then there is nothing in this life that can hinder you, in your walk with Him…
You will be tested…that is for sure…But one thing I’ve learned in this life with Him…
He is always with me…always true…and will always be…
No matter what!!!
–Marla Shaw O’Neill March 28, 2017

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 New King James Version (NKJV)
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