We met a lady yesterday at the Friendly’s restaurant in Wellington, her name is Miss Annie…she was a sweetheart. She served us, not only our food but she blessed us…She said she always says, “Merry Christmas and God bless you when her customer’s come in and when they leave. One of her customers was offended that she would say that to them…and they called, her boss…
Her boss said, “Sir if you don’t like it you can leave…she’s staying.”
Miss Annie said that her son was the pastor, of Life Church in Oklahoma…but, she has to get to heaven on her own…
Then she said, “You see those four ladies sitting over there?” We said, “Yes.” She said they are the Baptist ladies group. Then she said, “Fifteen years ago I served them and they all had their husbands with them, now their husbands are all gone.”
That really hit me in my heart…the realization that one day some of us are not going to be here…of course we all know that…we all have loved ones who aren’t with us physically anymore…
We miss them and wish they could be here…they’re in our hearts and memories…
But think about this…
Each day, God gives us the opportunity to wake up, be kind, be thankful, be together, and share time with each other…
We get busy in our tasks and complacent in our lives…but sometimes…when we least expect it…God puts a Miss Annie in our path…and we are awakened to reality…
Take some time today…and be grateful for who it is that’s in your life…don’t criticize or wish for something different…and if you don’t have anyone in your life to share a moment with…think about this…God is always with you….be grateful for Him…he loves you so much!!
This season is a time of reflecting and rushing about with a lot of stress…but just breathe…and if the traffic gets too much for you…or the lines are too long…or you feel sad and depressed…or the snow is deep and the car won’t start…remember Miss Annie and what she says…”Merry Christmas and God bless you!!”
–Marla Shaw O’Neill – December 19, 2016
A fire that burns, but does not consume
Mighty wind engulfs the room…
A desert bush, lit, and burns
This fire is Holy as He turns…
He speaks truth and commands…
Take off your shoes for where you stand
Tis Holy ground not sinking sand…
The fire which burns, but does not consume…
Will live inside of thee…
Ancient days but future blaze…will set on fire…
Men and women who desire…this promise I will give…
To all my sons and daughters…those who believe and live
In my appointed time…you’ll see…
Holy Fire with tongues unknown, their praises given unto me!
From every tribe and nation, these will glorify the King of kings…
~M. S. O’Neill October 30, 2017
Exodus 3:1-6 Good News Translation (GNT) One day while Moses was taking care of the sheep and goats of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian, he led the flock across the desert and came to Sinai, the holy mountain. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him as a flame coming from the middle of a bush. Moses saw that the bush was on fire but that it was not burning up. “This is strange,” he thought. “Why isn’t the bush burning up? I will go closer and see.”
When the Lord saw that Moses was coming closer, he called to him from the middle of the bush and said, “Moses! Moses!”
He answered, “Yes, here I am.”
God said, “Do not come any closer. Take off your sandals, because you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Acts 2:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV) Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:3-5 New International Version (NIV) They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.
In most cases doesn’t going to “Church” make us feel good? We come together with people, we sing songs together, worship together, hear the message the pastor brings, and we all pray together. That’s how church should be, right? Of course right. It’s a place where we seek the Lord’s presence and hope for healing and deliverance. It’s a place we learn about God and the Bible. For the most part we leave feeling that we are somehow better for being there and we feel encouraged and strengthened.
Then we pack up the kids to go home. Or we are single and we meet up with some other singles. Or we are retired and go out for Sunday lunch. That could be a typical Sunday in most cases.
So what happened to all that encouragement? Where did all the singing and praying go? Did the message we hear just fade away? Why did we leave it in Church?
It’s, as if, we dress for Church and when Church is over we take off our Sunday clothes and pack them away for the next Church visit. We put on our street clothes, maybe our mom and dad clothes, or our teenage clothes to hang out with our friends, or maybe our business-work clothes because after all we wouldn’t want to wear our Church clothes to the grocery store, or to work, or school, that’s just not the place for Church. I thought of this recently because I heard someone say, “This makes me feel like I’ve just come from Church.” Shouldn’t we be, the Church? Are we not the Church, “the called out ones?” The ones that Jesus told to Go into all the world and teach others about Him to live our lives pleasing to Him? The one who gave us His Holy Spirit and said, He would be in us and lead and guide us in all truth, all the time?
He is not a suit of clothes that we put on one day of the week and the rest of week put on another set of clothes.
The world is watching us. They are watching to see if we are authentic and real. Do we actually believe what we say we believe? Are we living, breathing, doing what Jesus would have us do? Are we showing kindness when someone cuts us off in traffic? Do we show others respect when they disrespect us? Do we yell at our children and become impatient when they don’t listen? What would our spouse say about us to others when we are not around? What movies or TV shows do we watch on a regular basis? Are they uplifting, non-violent, do they have to be censored if your young child comes into the room? Is your bible read regularly or is the Bible App you have on your phone obsolete? What about when you eat, are prayers said to bless your food in such a rush that you barely even know if they were said or not?
We say we are Christians but is there enough evidence, or any, to prove it?
Do you have a prayer time or devotional time? Or are you “too” busy for that?
These are questions that have been on my heart not to judge or condemn because heaven knows none of us are perfect. I certainly am not…but they’re just questions to think about. I’m sure all of us could use some soul-searching in these areas. Conviction is what Jesus wants not condemnation.
It’s great to go to Church, it is. But if you go just to “feel good” or out of “duty” and it has no lasting effect on your life…well then, it’s time to do some real, soul-searching in that regard.
As the Psalmist prayed…
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24 New International Version (NIV)
Let’s say you’re a Christian and you needed to talk to Jesus so you went to his house but the door was locked. So you knock on the door, and He comes to the door opens it, and stands there staring at you, but he doesn’t let you in, because he doesn’t know you.
Man/Woman: Hi Jesus it’s me, I need a favor from you. Can I come in for just a moment and talk to you about it?
Jesus: Who are you? I’ve never met you and we’ve never been introduced.
Man/Woman: What? Of course you know me I come to see you every Christmas and Easter. I send money and I sit on the third row at Church, sometimes.
Jesus: No. I haven’t ever seen you. There is only one way you can come into my house and since you’ve never accepted me into your heart I can’t help you. There’s lots of ways people try to come into my house. They try to buy my love. They try to talk their way in and when they get into trouble they cry very loud. But to be honest with you I don’t even hear them. Let me tell you this if you are truly sincere in wanting to know me. I suggest you find out how to have access into my house. There is only one way.
Man/Woman: But Jesus, I’m a good person. I tithe and I feed the poor and I just need a little favor.
Jesus: Unless you are born again you cannot enter my house. See these scars in my hands they were nailed to a cross for you. My side was pierced with a spear where water and blood poured out for you. My feet are scared where nails pierced them too, so that you could have access to my house. So unless you have asked me into your heart, and really mean it, unless you are humble and sorry for your sins, unless you say I believe you are the son of God, that you died for me and rose again, you cannot enter into my house.
Can you say that? All our good deeds, all of our begging, won’t get us into God’s house. The only way to get into His house is to know Jesus and he has to know you. If you knocked on Jesus door would he know you?
It may sound a little hard to hear this, but there is only one way…
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Proverbs 14:12 King James Version (KJV)
This is the way:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
And then you’ll have Church wherever you are!
~MS O’Neill October 25, 2017
I had a conversation with the Lord this morning.
I wasn’t speaking; He began to talk to me.
He said, I don’t tell you to read my word just to command you to read it. It is not my intention to cause you to feel guilt or regret if you don’t read it. I tell you to read it because I know it will help you. I had my prophets and my children write everything down for future generations so they would see and understand who I am. To encourage them and give them answers to questions I knew they would have. My word tells them how to have peace in trouble. How to overcome enemies and hard times; my word instructs, how to live life. How to plant and sow, how to have healthy loving relations, how to raise children, how to grow old, even how to die, because the body goes back to dust but the soul, your spirit, lives on forever. The words in my book are both spirit and life to those who truly know me and to those who want to know me.
The words, my words are written, so you can see and understand how to live a pure, clean, full life and with wisdom and grace. The struggles people had in ancient times (in earth’s timeframe) are the same struggles people have today in your timeframe. My words do not change. I am always the same. I tell you to read my word so you’ll be encouraged and have hope. I tell you how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that He will guide you and comfort you and instruct you in ways that will help you to be safe, and not harm you. My word teaches you how to treat others and how to pray for one another. I tell you about my Father God and show you His character, so you can get to know Him better. He knows you, but he wants you to know that He wants to know you. To become best friends. This friendship is not one-sided.
We are not a dictator, commanding you to do this and commanding you to do that. We are loving and compassionate to everyone; even those who reject us and deny us. I died for them too. Their eyes are blinded by death, but as Holy Spirit, draws them and they respond to His call, they will come alive just as you did.
We love you more than you can imagine. I am only asking, when I say read my word. I will never force you, that would go against your free will…We don’t want robots or indentured servants…We long for your hearts to love us because we love you.
I say, we, because God the Father, Jesus the son and The Holy Spirit are three yet one. I know it sounds complicated but that’s another reason we ask you to read the Word. It explains everything even a little child can understand. My children hear my voice and know me and will follow me. I am meek and tender in heart I guide gently but with a firm hand when correction is needed; just as you would guide your children. You learned it from us.
It’s like, if you knew someone was sick and you knew of a medicine that would heal them, not only the symptoms but heal the disease too, you’d be pretty adamant about them taking that medicine. That’s how it is when I say read my word. There is healing and deliverance in my words. They will not only satisfy the hungry soul, they will totally heal the body, mind and soul.
You have an enemy…he is jealous and bitter, full of hate towards me and because of that he feels the same way about you. He has already been judged by my father…he will not want you to read my word…he will put every stumbling block he can in your way to prevent you from knowing me…be aware and pray and keep your heart and mind on me by reading my words, by praying and by building relationships with other believers. My words are health to you and life.
People have made many translations of my words but Holy Spirit reveals to the reader; the listener; exactly what is needed. Ask Him to show you, He is the ready teacher to guide you in truth and right living. I adore you and love you!
I know your lives are busy and hectic, take time to be quiet in my presence, I will refresh you and give you peace.
~~MS O’Neill October 23, 2017
Psalm 119:105 King James Version (KJV) Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
John 6:63 New King James Version (NKJV) It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Psalm 107:20-32 The Message (MSG) Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life, your bodies feeling the effects of your sin; You couldn’t stand the sight of food, so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead. Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; he got you out in the nick of time. He spoke the word that healed you, that pulled you back from the brink of death. So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves; Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what he’s done—sing it out!
John 1: 1-5 Good News Translation (GNT) The Word of Life
In the beginning the Word already existed; the Word was with God, and the Word was God. From the very beginning the Word was with God. Through him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without him. The Word was the source of life,[a] and this life brought light to people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
Is the armor you’re wearing to big, to tight, to old, to rusty just too….Well, it just doesn’t fit?
Armor always brings to my mind, Knights of the Round Table with King Arthur and his mighty men of valor. It makes me think about the tournament of jousting and I think about King Saul and David. I also think about the Huge Armor you see standing in the corners of cold, dark, castles.
When I was about four years old my mom put a dress on me that had been starched and ironed. It was stiff and scratchy and it was a little too tight. I started to squirm and protest… “I don’t want to wear this I can’t breathe and it’s scratching me.” But Mom insisted that I looked so cute and I was going to wear it. Well being the strong-willed child I was, I ripped the dress off…it did not go well with me…Mom saw her little girl as being so cute, but she didn’t realize how much this dress was hurting me. It didn’t fit and I was not going to wear it. I laugh now but then not so much…
This morning in my quiet time this thought came to me… “Lord, this armor just doesn’t fit. It’s too big and too heavy, I can’t wear it!” It reminded me of the shepherd boy David, when Saul said to bring his armor and let David wear it to fight Goliath, the giant. We all know that story.
David wasn’t a solider he was a Shepherd….He wasn’t used to wearing big, heavy, armor or carrying a sword and a shield. His battles were fought wearing sheep skin clothing, carrying a sling, a rod…and a staff…His most powerful weapon was waiting in the presence of the Lord and listening to hear His voice…This was the armor he was used to. He kept a sharp ear out, and keen eyes open, to watch and to see when anything unusual tried to harm his flock. He was alert, prepared and ready for any challenge. He knew the God he loved and served was with Him…whether fighting a giant or trekking through dry desert places, or cold steep mountains, in the lowlands, in a deep, dark, cave…or in the halls of a palace…God was with him.
If your armor is not what you are used to wearing…If someone is trying to put their armor on you…just do as David did…don’t wear it…(although do it gracefully) lol!
The armor, God gives to each of us is not one size fits all…No it is specifically designed for each individual…tailor made, original, and only the one, who it is designed for, can wear it. If I try to wear your armor, I can’t, because yours doesn’t fit me and mine won’t fit you. God made us unique; one of a kind….The armor God designed for us, will only fit the one who wears it.
The armor He designed is strong and powerful it will protect us against the evil that we can’t see and will not be penetrated by anything the devil tries to throw at us. But we must Stand and keep standing, never lie down in the battle. The belt is made from his special material, truth…no lies, or deception, will be able to cut through it…Righteousness will protect your heart…the Good News will keep you steady on your feet, planted and grounded, nothing can knock you down…your shield will be the substance of faith…when the enemy shoots arrows of fire at you, Faith will extinguish them….Your head will be protected with the helmet of salvation, made from the blood of the lamb, and the sword of the Spirit which is the WORD OF GOD (is Jesus)…and last but not least this should always be done before any battle… (Ask) Pray in the Spirit all the time with all kinds of prayers and requests. (With a Humble heart but daring and courageous) With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people!!
This armor fits…because it is designed especially for each individual…put the Armor of God, on, with Him you will not fail…it’s a great fit, not too heavy, or too big, or too tight, it doesn’t scratch us or restrict us, it is comfortable and just the right size…Your armor is the Lord!!!
~M.S. O’Neill October 19, 2017
Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)
The Armor of God
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
When I was twenty I had my first son. I didn’t think anything or anyone could hold my heart like holding him and rocking him; feeding him and watching him grow. I would show him off to anyone who would listen. I took pictures of him and put them in photo albums. In the seventies there wasn’t any such thing as digital, I was a proud mama. When he spoke his first word, ma-ma, I thought I would go to the moon with excitement. He’d laugh and talk. I had no idea what he was saying, but that didn’t matter…this little person had come into my life and my heart was full of joy and new adventure. You know that feeling you get when you’re on a rollercoaster and it is slowly climbing up the track…you get to the very top, and it just, tips, over, the top, and SWOOSH….you’re traveling at rocket speed, down and around, and over, and under…and your stomach does a gazillion flip-flops but you love it (I know some of you are not a fan but when I was young I loved it.) You’re so scared, but it’s an exhilarating scared…that’s how I felt watching each new discovery my son made…Being a new mom, I wasn’t sure what to do, or how to tend to him, but each day would come and go and I’d learn new ways of being a mother. And so it was with each of my four sons.
And until I met my grandchildren, I thought nothing could top being a mom…until I was a grand-mom!!! What a wonderful name to call it, “GRAND-MOM!” It is more thrilling than a rollercoaster, more thrilling than one of those scary Haunted Houses they have now days…I wouldn’t really know about that because I would never, ever, go into one, like the rollercoaster for some, I am not a fan lol… they are just…too scary…but I can imagine how thrilling it could be. It’s kind of like raising kids…pretty scary…but the love and joy you get to give and receive from them… well, there is no way to describe it…if you’re a grandparent you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I never thought anything could top being a mom, or a grand-ma, until I began to ask for more of the Holy Spirit…When I was a little girl about six, I gave my heart to Jesus. I knew what I experienced was real even though I didn’t understand the Bible, or what grown-ups said about it. Most of the time they made things very complicated. Even now sometimes I don’t understand what “they” are talking about. No one understands everything about everything…Except the Holy Spirit. Now don’t shut me out. Listen for just a few more paragraphs. LOL! Remember that grand baby feeling I was talking about…?
The Holy Spirit is sort of like that only so much more. He. Yes, I said, He, is a person. Just like God the Father and Jesus the Son. The Holy Spirit has His own personality, character and he has a soul, same as God and Jesus. Read Matthew 12:18, Matthew 26:38, and Hebrews 10:38. These Scriptures talk about each one having a soul.
Anyway what I wanted to say to you today is that there is absolutely nothing more thrilling than when you actually hear the Holy Spirit speak to you for the first time. He’s been talking to you all your life, but you didn’t hear or recognize Him…And once you begin hearing and He confirms it to you. You don’t want it to ever end. Hearing Him speak is the most powerful thing you will ever experience in your life. No He doesn’t scream or yell to get your attention. He doesn’t practice wrong behavior. He is gentle and kind and He guides He doesn’t push…actually for me and I’ve heard other people say this too…His voice is like a whisper or a breath inside of you. It’s different than your thoughts, but like your thoughts, only good and pure and healthy thoughts. He brings comfort and peace like a gentle breeze on a summer’s day. I’ve never lived where it snows but I’d imagine if you were all snowed in and couldn’t get outside but your fireplace is lit and you’re all warm and cozy with a blanket and a nice cup of hot tea and all is quiet and serene He’s kind of like that…
He’s kind of like that feeling you get when you catch your first fish, or, kiss your first love…or watch your child open his first Christmas present on Christmas morning, the look on his face of surprise and happiness…and he squeals with delight, “It’s just what I wanted.”
The Holy Spirit is the best friend you’ll ever have. He’ll tell you secrets and stories about Jesus that will leave you speechless and in awe…He’ll shed tears with you when a loved one passes…He’ll lead you in a path that is always lit with just enough light so you won’t stumble or fall. If you will open your heart to Him and speak to Him and ask Him what He wants you to do, He will answer you. He speaks to our hearts and minds through His word and He calls us by name. If you want to confirm what He is telling you, open His letters that are written in His Book and you will find everything you need to live a good, full, rich and joyous life. Even in the difficult times He will never leave, He is always with us. We just need to be aware of Him, talk to Him; He is your best friend.
God bless you and remember this, you’ll know His Voice because it will always point you to Love…God’s Love! I Corinthians 13 will tell you how to Love the way He loves.
God loves All His children and you know what? God is as thrilled at watching us when we are learning new things about Him, as we are about watching our children. I can imagine God on that rollercoaster…arms held high over his head…laughing with excitement and thrilled as it goes…SWOOSH, over and under, around and around, riding on that rollercoaster with His very own children…knowing what He has in store for us…just over the next bend…and curve…How Exciting to know the Holy Spirit is riding on that rollercoaster with us and in us!
~M. S. O’Neill October 18, 2017
1 Corinthians 13 Good News Translation (GNT)
I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned—but if I have no love, this does me no good.
Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.
Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.
When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.
Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.
If you live long enough you learn to talk, walk, and run!
If you live long enough you go to school and graduate and some even go to college
If you live long enough you fall in love get married
you have kids, and grandkids!
If you live long enough you see a man walk on the moon
You vote and see your leaders fight and devour each other for a position they will regret later!
If you live long enough you experience loss of loved ones, jobs, homes and mates!
If you live long enough you discover that technology only dreamed about becomes reality and you wonder was it worth it after all?
If you live long enough you see your classmates grow older and think WOW do I look like that?
And looking in your own mirror sigh and wonder who is that stranger looking back at you!
If you live long enough you see a past of hurt and regret…but realize it is all forgiven and you do have the strength to go on!
If you live long enough your heart is filled with a strange bewilderment and love you never knew could exist when you look into the eyes of a grandchild and know a little-bit of you lives on long after you are gone.
If you live long enough you will one day experience death…that is yet to be seen!
There is more…so much more…If you live long enough.
~Marla Shaw 10/16/2010
How very fitting on this day that this is one of my memories from Face Book…Last night I had a dream I was in a very dark, completely dark room no light at all…I was crying out, “Mom, help me! Help me Mom! Mom, where are you?” In the dark I heard my mother’s voice say, “Marla, I am right here with you, don’t be afraid.” Even though it was still dark, just hearing her voice caused the fear to subside and I was safe, no longer afraid.
When I went to bed last night I was reading a book that Barbara VanderWiele Davies mentioned in our small group last night. It is called, “The God I Never Knew,” by Robert Morris…I went home and ordered it on my kindle…it is a wonderful book…He is talking about the Holy Spirit, how He is our helper…and so, what I understood was that when I called out for help…since my mother is now in heaven and no where I can talk to her in the physical…that it was actually the Holy Spirit saying to me, “Marla, I am here with you, don’t be afraid.” How awesome is that? We have a comforter, a helper who is always with us even in the dark! <3 The other thing is, is that I since my mama’s presence with me all the time too…she can’t help me, but the Holy Spirit can, and does…He is an amazing Holy Breath of God who leads us gently and reveals Jesus to us continuously if we will only listen to His voice and not be afraid!
~M. S. O’Neill October 13, 2017
John 10:27-28 King James Version (KJV) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Matthew 14: 27 (KJ21) But straightway Jesus spoke unto them, saying, “Be of good cheer. It is I; be not afraid.”