The High Places

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12 KJV
I listened as Bob read out of the Bible some scriptures and the word High Places echoed in my mind and wondered what it meant…
This morning I was praying and I was holding my Bible and I opened it to read and I found myself in Ezekiel 43 verses 1 through 7. I get to the end of verse 7 and it there it is it jumps out at me ‘High Places.’
Ezekiel 43:1-7 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Return of the Lord’s Glory
He led me to the gate, the one that faces east,  and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice sounded like the roar of mighty waters, and the earth shone with His glory. The vision I saw was like the one I had seen when He came to destroy the city, and like the ones I had seen by the Chebar Canal. I fell facedown. The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.
While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from the temple. He said to me: “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel and their kings will no longer defile My holy name by their religious prostitution and by the corpses of their kings at their high places. 
So I stopped reading and did a little research and this is what I found. There is so much more to it than this, but this is what God put on my heart.
High places, in biblical times, were places of worship on elevated pieces of ground. High places were originally dedicated to idol worship. (Numbers 33:52; Leviticus 26:30)
But I also found that not all high places were dedicated to idol worship. They played a major role in Israelite worship. The earliest biblical mention of a site of worship, later called a “high place,” is found in Genesis 12:6-8. Where Abram took his son to be sacrificed and traditionally it later is said to be the place where this “high place” was where the temple of Jerusalem was built.
Jacob set up a pillar to the Lord at Bethel. Genesis 28:18-19, and Moses met God on Mt. Sinai Exodus 19:1-3.
Joshua set up a stone pillar after crossing the Jordan. Joshua 4:20. They “came up.”
I Samuel 7:16, Samuel the prophet visited the high places regularly.
God’s people would forget what God said, and would begin to practice pagan ways of worship. The Canaanite’s would worship idols in high places. (Judges 3:19.)
When something is elevated and lifted high everyone can see it from a distance. On a hill or tower or high-rise, a mountain-top or, like, people of authority in high positions they make decisions for the masses. Leaders, nations, kings, these are seated in high places. Lets take a more personal look. What are some of the high places, idols, in our own lives?
Self, money, position, materialism, dreams for self-gratification, politics. Maybe it’s a sport or an animal, we just have to have. Or maybe it’s a person, an actor, or a celebrity. A car, or a home, or food, or drugs and alcohol, something that controls us, something we put before everything and everyone. What is it that we idolize that has become our god?
I’m writing those who say they are followers of Christ Jesus. When is the last time you took inventory of your heart? When is the last time you did something for someone else with no strings attached? When is the last time you gave up some of your time or money to help someone or a cause, without anyone knowing about it, but God? What are our  high places, of worship?
Scripture says that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Is our body clean, do we have pure thoughts and motives? Is our heart humble before God and man? Are we seeking our own glory? Do we cause pain and shout obscenities to those we are supposed to love and cherish? Do we cut people off in traffic and feel superior to those less fortunate? Worse, are we killing the unsaved thinking we are doing God a service? Is lust and pride the high places we hide thinking no one will see? Are we loving our neighbor as our own selves?
What are your high places? Ephesians says we aren’t wrestling against flesh and blood, that would be, people. We are wrestling against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in HIGH PLACES. (It’s a spiritual battle)
You can’t see them with your natural eyes, you are not even aware they are there whispering in your ears, but they are there. The prejudice, hate, murder, curses, envy, and strife against one another, jealousy, injustice, and it goes on and on. We are being manipulated and deceived not by who we can see, but by those evil ones that we can’t see. Jesus gave us the power by the Holy Spirit to discern them and to bind them and cast them out. We the “Christians” must be aware of this war…Praying and fasting, is the only way we are going to win this battle. The lost are not going to do it. They are the ones we are to be praying for, fasting for, so that their hearts will turn to God.
WAKE UP! It’s past time to get in the fight. You are in this war whether you won’t to be or not…search your own heart before God and see if there is anything that displeases Him…then get rid of it and pray a heart pounding, earth shattering, repentant prayer before God so that he will hear you and turn his wrath away from you and your family and turn it on the evil forces that are raging…If you could see into the invisible realm you’d see a war more fierce than anything in this world…it is real!!
The only way our Country is going to change for the better, is if we the people, bow our hearts to the living God and turn back to him and live a life that Honors God. Then God will hear our cry and answer! We have been born for a purpose, many are called but few are chosen…are you one of the chosen? You can only know that if you seek God. The reaper’s are reaping…the sickle has been swung…please heed the call…
This is how we fight the evil in the High Places…
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 King James Version (KJV)
And…
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Ephesians 6:10-19 King James Version (KJV)
 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20New International Version (NIV)
I love you, but most of all God loves you and wants the very best for you, his children. Be alert, be aware. Let the High Places of your heart exalt the living God and follow Him! Amen!
When you look to the High Places, let it be the place where Jesus dwells and makes intercessory prayer for us. Then join Him in prayer and fast and pray for all human kind.
~Marla Shaw O’Neill August 21, 2017

The Neglectful Gardner

It was late when I walked into the garden…
Weeds had grown around the flower-beds and the dirt was cracked and dry…
Neglect had shown its ugly head and in disbelief I cried…
Lord, I’m sorry for not tending the garden the one you sent me too
I was tired and lonely in the garden I wasn’t thinking of you…
I didn’t want to take the time to water and fertilize, to prune and love
the precious earth that you said was mine…
Little creatures of every kind have taken its toll on the beautiful vines
What once was tended with loving care,
Has become weeds and tares…
Forgive me Lord; I’ve been selfish and unkind, living my life my way, not thinking of
The garden that needed my time…
The ones who will never bloom, because I decided, to walk on too soon…
The ones who died of thirst, because I didn’t want to care for their wounds…
The ones who were young and the ones that were old…left all alone with no care,
They withered beneath the scorching sun, you had chosen me, but all I did was run…
I’m sorry Lord, for all I’ve done…
I bow on crumbling ground and ask you to forgive me…
I will take up this task once more, to tend the garden where you sent me…
I’ll work and plow and dig in the dirt, with hand and sweating brow…
For this garden is yours after all…I won’t ever again let you down…
The roses they will bloom again, and the honeysuckles scent, will rise in fragrant adoration to the one who gives them life…
The fruit trees and honey bees will awaken at the sound
Of little birds singing, in their branches will be found…
New life will spring up and the sun will warm the flowers…
I’ll give to you, my all, dear Lord, and in every waking hour…
This garden will flourish and come alive…I promise they will survive
I’ll take my place in the garden Lord; the harvest will be many…
And you will walk among the grounds of a Garden where there won’t be any…
Briars or tares or weeds, oh no…just beautiful flowers from tiny seeds
Springing up to you, in glorious deeds, of fragrant lasting love…for thee!
~Marla Shaw O’Neill August 18, 2017

The New Born

 I was lost in a world I did not know
Only a child filled with shame and woe
Left behind with no one to care;
Just a child, alone, who dared…
To travel on Street Desire…
A balancing act upon a wire
Hopeless, defeated, poor and weak
I had no voice, I could not speak
Faceless, nameless, no one discreet…
Until one day this man appeared
A light in the darkness, he said, “Do not fear…
I’ve come to take you home, with me, where life is good
There’ll be no more tears…”
Standing in the sunlit room…no more heartache no more gloom
In the presence of love I find
A Street called, Love Divine…
I took his hand and as he held mine…
Savior, Yeshua said, “Come and dine.”
Now golden streets are where I walk
Robes of white washed in the blood…
Songs of praise and joy and love…
I’m a child, new-born, with God above.
~Marla Shaw O’Neill August 17, 2017
Matthew 18:3-5 The Message (MSG)
For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.

 

Earth-dwellers

 I looked and I saw
Coming out of the depths of the sea
A creature destined for destruction and to deceive
Earth-dwellers who are lulled to sleep while living lies of lust and immorality
Beasts of prey they devour their young
Unaware the serpent had come
Blinded eyes with materialism; “give me more” is what they sung…”
God sent warnings but the earth-dwellers would not heed…
They loved their lives and evil deeds…tattooed on head and hand they took the Mark of the Beast and wed…Satan’s bride were these.
Killing all who opposed the Beast, they said…. “Let’s take these righteous and remove their heads…”
Then plagues of blood-water and stings of killer bees, fell on the earth-dwellers but still they would not heed…the war was fierce with Satan in the lead…
Then from the clouds a shout was heard like the roar of many waters and Jesus was seen…
Riding on his majestic horse, sword drawn and shield held high…He cast the devil from earth and sky bound and thrown into the dark abyss…
For a thousand years war would cease…
Are you an earth-dweller…or, do you belong to the Price of Peace?
~Marla Shaw O’Neill August 17, 2017
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. Revelation 19:19 King James Version (KJV)
 

24/7

As a Christian we cannot fight with carnal weapons. We can’t over-throw this enemy with talk; this kind comes not out but by prayer and fasting! For our weapons are spiritual. Spirit must fight in the Spirit. For our enemy is in the evil dark world they are evil spirits not seen in the visible world. They are deadly. Only in the name of Jesus and by his blood can we fight them. Draw near to God resist the devil and he will flee.
Speak Gods Word out loud…for His Word is powerful…
God created all things…man sinned and death came. God sent prophets but they were stoned, set on fire, beheaded, the enemy killed them.
But God could not and would not be silenced…
God sent his son, Jesus, the enemy again tried to kill him. But Not This Time…Jesus stepped out of the tomb and conquered Hell, Death and the Grave!
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in us…and to teach us how to live for God through Jesus His son.
You are going to see evil increase on this earth as never before…the battles you are seeing…the threats are going to become realities…It has to come…
If you don’t believe we are in the last days that was spoken of by John in the book of Revelation, believe it!
We cannot afford to play around with our salvation. We cannot afford not to pray and fast. We must use discernment we must become wide awake. The enemy is not playing. He is not sleeping. He has called forth his legion to penetrate our walls to kill our children and to destroy our nation…RISE UP CHILDREN OF THE MOST HIGH GOD! RISE UP MEN OF VALOR AND FAITH…DON’T BE CAUGHT SINNING…THE ONLY WAY WE ARE GOING TO OVERCOME IN THIS BATTLE IS TO BE SATURATED IN PRAYER…FULL OF THE WORD OF GOD…ALERT…PUTTING ASIDE EVERY THING THAT WOULD BLIND US OF THE ENEMIES ADVANCES…
GOD HAS SENT OUT THE CALL…WARRIORS OF PRAYER AND FASTING… PEOPLE…TEACHERS…PASTORS…PREACHERS….EVANGELISTS…SOUL WINNERS…MOTHERS…FATHERS…CHILDREN…HEAR THE CRY OF YOUR GOD…AND ANSWER…

PRAYER IS NEEDED 24/7…

God has his children all around the world in an attitude of prayer…don’t quit…don’t give up…if you feel like you’re all alone and no one cares…do not be discouraged…we are all one in the Spirit…God is with us…Jesus is interceding for you right now…
Stay battle ready…the ALARM IS SOUNDING…Stay in the fight not in the flesh but in the Spirit of the Living God…
Doubt has to go in the name of Jesus
Lethargy has to go in the name of Jesus
Fear has to go in the name of Jesus
Sickness has to go in the name of Jesus
Lying spirits have to go in the name of Jesus
Hate has to go in the name of Jesus
Destruction has to go in the name of Jesus
Religious spirits have to go in the name of Jesus
Rebellion has to go in the name of Jesus
Racism has to go in the name of Jesus
All evil groups, clubs, organizations of demonic influence has to go in the name of Jesus
I call forth Peace and Love and Hope and Help in the name of Jesus
I call for The Anointing of the Holy Spirit and Repentance and Restoration and Transformation TO COME FORTH in the Name of Jesus…
I speak in the Authority of the Name of Jesus Christ to bring unity and truth into the lives of all people. That God will Arise and all those who are His will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways and God will hear our prayers and heal our lands…LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED…In the Name of Jesus amen and amen!!!!
Sackcloth and ashes was a sign of repentance, and great sorrow, that people would fast and pray so that God would see their hearts were sincere and not destroy them and their land. Even the animals fasted.
This is what it’s going to take. If we want to see God move in a mighty way like he did in ancient times then we must be willing to show God we are serious. You may not believe what I’m saying. You may think it’s silly or crazy…but I’m telling you right now I am dead serious.
When the doors were shut on the ark…it was too late to get serious then.
Don’t wait until it’s too late…
Get alone with the Lord and pray…ask him what he wants you to do then wait and listen for him to speak to you. He will.
If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, ask him to come into your heart and change you and be the Lord of your life. Start living for him now!
Everything that’s in the Bible is true.
Please I’m begging you don’t shut the Spirit of the Lord out.
You right there, right now, reading this…God is talking to you or you would not be reading this…
Seek the Lord with all your heart. The time is right now, not later…Go to God let him reveal Jesus to you and live for him and share him with everyone you meet!
The decision you make right now will affect your life and the lives of your family forever.
Pick up the Bible and read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. See the life of Jesus unfold as you read his word and let it get down deep within your heart.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
See! I am coming soon. I am bringing with Me the reward I will give to everyone for what he has done. I am the First and the Last. I am the beginning and the end. Those who wash their clothes clean are happy (who are washed by the blood of the Lamb). They will have the right to go into the city through the gates. They will have the right to eat the fruit of the tree of life. Revelation 22:12-14 New Life Version (NLV)

Arise My Love And Come Away

Speechless, breathless
No words can express
The depth and heights
Of these feelings within
The sky not wide enough
Nor oceans abyss
Can compare to this love
I’ve found
Who are you my Prince
That you should take note
Of a peasant such as I
No material goods
Of much worth to give
I only have myself you see
Your voice is like a rolling thunder
It burrows my soul and brings me to my knees
I’m in awe of such a one as thee
The words you speak are like honey
They send rivers of thrills to my soul
I shutter and quake at the sound of your voice
What splender…what ecstasy
Do you not see what you do to me
Do you not feel what I feel
Let me never recover from this wonderous dream
It is more than I deserve
My heart waits patiently for thee my love
No other can take your place
For in your eyes I’m lost at sea
No rescue or life-boat for me
Prayers long spent have come to pass
No more tears or sadness will grip my heart
Broken years are mended I’m complete
Finally you’ve come to take me home
No more doubts, no more loneliness, no more fears
Time stands still in this sky so blue
You are my sunshine, you are my love, you are mine.
~Marla Y. Shaw 8/2012

The God-Fearer Warrior

 

 She stood her ground and did not run
Face like stone she faces the sun,
Feet planted on solid ground…
God-fearer, Truth bearer, World shaker
Soul winner, ever proclaiming Yeshua-follower
Not backing up, or falling down, running towards
Holy ground…slaying demons who dare to growl
They run in terror at the sound
Of the name of Jesus, His Spirit found
In one small girl homeward bound…
Fighting with words of prayer and grace…
Faith secure as she looks into the face…
Of the one who set her free…
She lives to fight with all her might…
She will not give in, nor face defeat…
God-fearer…strong and brave…
Taking souls back from the hellish grave…
On solid ground she takes her stand…
Listens to, her Lord’s command…
Sword drawn, shield in place…
She wins, holding his outstretched hand…
Battle won!
She rescues souls, one by one!
~Marla Shaw O’Neill August 15, 2017
Isaiah 50:6-9The Message (MSG)
The Master, God, has given me a well-taught tongue, So I know how to encourage tired people. He wakes me up in the morning, Wakes me up, opens my ears to listen as one ready to take orders. The Master, God, opened my ears, and I didn’t go back to sleep, didn’t pull the covers back over my head. I followed orders, stood there and took it while they beat me, held steady while they pulled out my beard, Didn’t dodge their insults, faced them as they spit in my face. And the Master, God, stays right there and helps me, so I’m not disgraced. Therefore I set my face like flint, confident that I’ll never regret this. My champion is right here. Let’s take our stand together! Who dares bring suit against me? Let him try! Look! the Master, God, is right here. Who would dare call me guilty? Look! My accusers are a clothes bin of threadbare socks and shirts, fodder for moths!

 

 

The Favor

She sat on the cold metal table, numb immovable. She couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t move, she tried desperately to comprehend his meaning.
“What? What did he just say? I have…I have can… cancer? What do I do? I have to get home. No, I can’t tell John and the girls this just isn’t a good time. Not now! This happens to someone else not to me, there must be some mistake.” She began to shake, tears streaming down her face with horror and disbelief.
“I see his mouth moving but I can’t hear what he’s saying.” Suzan tried desperately to understand but she was in shock.
“I know this is difficult to hear but we need to start radiation and chemo right away. First we have to do a PET scan. Because of the location in your throat it is impossible to operate. Today is Monday; we will schedule your appointment for this Friday at 8:00 a.m.” Doctor Beck took Mrs. Martin by the hand.
“Suzan look at me.” He handed her a tissue and a glass of water. “I’ve known you and your family for fourteen years, I know this is very hard to take but you are a strong woman it won’t be easy but it is treatable. The survival rate for this type of cancer is very high and with your faith and family support I know you can do this. We’ll do everything we can to help you.”
Suzan looked into Dr. Beck’s eyes and listened intently. “Oh Dr. Beck this can’t be happening. Jackie is graduating college in two months and my grand baby is due any day. John has been looking forward to taking me to Israel this summer. I know I have nothing to complain about, it could be worse but I never in a million years expected this. How can I possibly tell my family this news? This is what I want you to do for me Doctor. I’ll go through the test and start the treatments after the baby is born and Jackie graduates. If you’ll give me until then, I’ll do everything you say without a fuss.”
Doctor Beck said, “Suzan this is nothing to play around with even though it is a slow-growing cancer it needs to be dealt with immediately. But if you promise you’ll keep your word to have the tests done now, I’ll see about postponing the treatments for a couple of months. However, I’m telling you as your doctor you cannot wait a minute longer. It’s totally your decision, Suzan. It can cut off your air supply and you’d suffocate. Do you understand what I’m saying to you?” Dr. Beck looked her square in the eyes and waited.
“Yes Dr. Beck, believe me I understand but I’m not going to let this interfere with the plans John and I have made for our family. I won’t have them worrying about me. God has brought me too far to let me down now and if he wants me to come home I’m more than ready. And one more thing Dr. Beck I don’t want John and the girls to know yet. Promise me you won’t say a word.” Suzan held her breath and waited for the doctor to agree.
“It’s against my better judgment but if you keep your end of the deal I’ll keep mine. Let’s go and get everything set up. We can at least get the PET scan done.”
Suzan left the doctor’s office and headed to her favorite place to pray. There’s a prayer-garden at the church, a sanctuary of peace. Tall oak trees canopied the walk ways, and bronze guardian angels watch over you as you walk beneath their wings. Little birds chirp nearby and a cool summer breeze brings refreshing to the spirit and the soul. Suzan took a deep breath then crumbled to her knees to open her heart to heaven.
“Holy father maker of all living things you gave me my life and you are the only one that can take it. We are here for just a short while and I’m so thankful for the time you’ve given me. I’m thankful for my husband of 30 years and for our two daughters, Mercy and Jackie and soon a grandchild. You said children are a heritage of the Lord and I appreciate what you have entrusted to my care. I’m not asking you to spare me from this awful thing growing in my throat I know I can do all things through you because you will strengthen me. But I am asking that you will grant me a few more years to be with my family and to see my grandchildren grow up. Everything is in your hands and all things must pass through your hands when it concerns your children. So I’m just asking this one small favor Papa God, give me grace and mercy to endure. Amen.”
Mercy had a beautiful bouncing baby boy they named him Israel John Shea. Jackie graduated with honors and would start teaching next fall.
“John I need you to call the girls and ask them to come over for dinner tomorrow night I’m making their favorite spaghetti and meat-balls and tiramisu for dessert.” Suzan said with a determined smile.
“WOW what’s the occasion? You usually make that on a weekend is it someone’s birthday?” John could never remember dates.
“I just want the family to get together I have some news I want to share with everyone and I think dinner would be the best way to do that. Tell them they cannot cancel and I will not take no for an answer.” John knew when she used that tone there was no getting out of it.
“OK honey, I’ll call them right now.” John dropped his newspaper and reached for his cell phone.
“Thank you sweetheart I have an errand to run I’ll be back in about an hour.” Suzan picked up her purse and keys and quickly left the house.
Upon arriving at the doctor’s office Suzan signed in and took a seat. Sitting next to her was a little girl she looked to be about 8 years old. Her hair was completely gone she looked at Suzan with big brown eyes and smiled.
“This is your first time here isn’t it? I can always spot the newbie’s you’ll be OK, don’t worry. My name is Sherri spelled with an “i” at the end. All my friends call me Lil Miss Angel not because I’m so cute and sweet but because I’m little and I’m an angel. This is my third month of radiation, mommy drops me off for an hour then she comes back to get me, she knows I’m in good hands. I’m not afraid I’m a big girl and you know what? I have a best friend he lives right inside my heart. You know what his name is? It’s Jesus and he told me I didn’t have to be afraid at all.” Suzan listened in amazement and thought, “This little girl is my hero!”
Sherri told Suzan all about the cancer growing in her body and how the chemo made all her hair fall out but that it would grow back. Then she told her about her best friend and how she sees him in her dreams and how one time she saw a beautiful bright light and it took her to a place where the sky lit up with radiant colors, covering everything in hews of lavender and yellow; green and red; orange and pink; a place only little kids would dream of and you know what else? The air smelled like summer time after a fresh rain. I didn’t want to leave. Did you ever chase a rainbow Miss Suzan? I was in the rainbow.” Her face was glowing.
“And you know what else, I went to heaven for a visit and Jesus sat me on his lap and told me all about how the world was formed and then he told me that I was sent to my mommy and daddy for a very special purpose. Mommy and daddy needed a little angel girl to brighten up their life and so he sent me.” Sherri got real quiet and then took another breath and said, “Jesus said I’d have to come back to earth, it wasn’t time for me to go to heaven yet. He smelled just like wildflowers and honey. He gave me a great big hug.” Then he said, “Sherri I’ll see you again but it will be when you’re very old in earth years. Then I woke up and I began to get better.”
The nurse came to the door and called out. “Mrs. Suzan Martin?”
“Sherri honey, you are a very special Lil angel thank you for telling me your story you have given me great hope. I’ll see you next time OK?” Suzan stood to go. Sherri smiled real big and reached up for a hug.
The girls arrived at the house at 6:30 p.m. “Mom, Dad we’re here.”
Suzan was just putting the dinner on the table. “Come in. Where’s my grandson?” Mercy handed Israel to his Grammy and then they all settled around the table.
“Dad said you have something you want to discuss with us what’s it all about?” Mercy said as she reached for a bread-stick.
Suzan took a deep breath and began by saying. “God has all wisdom and all things are in his hands. That being said I need to tell you that I began radiation therapy today.” John dropped his fork and the girls just stared.
They all started to speak at once. ”Why didn’t you tell us? How long have you known? What’s the radiation for?”
“Calm down, I know this is a shock to all of you but I just couldn’t tell you with the baby coming and the graduation so I waited that’s all.” Suzan said, kissing Israel’s cheek.
John spoke up first, “Well, tell us the details what kind of cancer is it and why didn’t you tell me?”
“You know that lump on the side of my neck the one we thought was because of a cold?  I had Dr. Beck look at it and the tests came back positive for cancer of the tongue. It’s about the size of a nickel. He said the survival rate is very good for this type of cancer. I have to go for radiation for five days and chemo once a week for six weeks. I’ve cried and prayed and now have peace. Especially after what I saw today at therapy I have a lot to be thankful for.”
Jackie ran to her mother and threw her arms around her. “Mom whatever you need me to do I’ll be right here for you.”
“I know you will Jackie but you have your new job coming up and I don’t want you distracted, if I need you I know how to get in touch with you. That goes for you to Mercy. You have your hands full with little Israel, don’t worry your dad and I can handle this.”
“They made a mesh mask to cover my face and neck I look like Darth Vader only it’s white. It fits over my entire head then they strap me down. I have to lie perfectly still so they don’t miss and fry my eye.”
Mercy gasped and said, “Oh Mama that’s terrible how can you joke about it? I would be devastated. And I know how claustrophobic you are.”
“That’s why I hold a small medallion of Jesus in my hand the whole time and I pray without ceasing. The worst part is that the mask is so tight over my face, it is very difficult to breathe and it makes me feel extremely anxious. But I asked my heavenly father to give me grace to stand it and for a merry heart to endure it. I just hope I can stay positive until I’m completely well again. Then I want us to take our trip to Israel.” They embraced each other and bowed their heads to pray.
Suzan suffered the pain of burns in her mouth and could not eat or drink so they put a feeding tube into her stomach. The chemo and radiation took its ugly toll on her. John held her as she vomited every morning. They cried out to God for mercy. She kept losing weight. Nothing the doctor gave her could sooth the burning in her mouth and throat. But they persevered. And then it was over, at least the radiation and chemo was over. The doctor ordered another PET scan which determined that the cancer was gone but so were Suzan’s taste buds. Her mouth was raw she couldn’t eat or even drink without pain. She went from a size 16 to a size 6. She tried desperately to eat but it only caused pain. The only thing sustaining her was the nutrition drinks and even those made her sick. Then they decided to go visit the little angel girl. Sherri’s hair had begun to grow back with little blond curls. She was cancer free.
“Miss Suzan, we’ve gone through enough pain and suffering don’t you think?” Sherri said as she picked up a small book from the table. Then she handed it to Suzan. “The Favor,” was the title of the book.
Sherri said, “Miss Suzan, Jesus has a favor he wants to ask of you. But first you have to believe that he wants you well. Do you believe?” Suzan frail but bright-eyed smiled and said, “Oh yes Sherri I believe.”
“He wants you to visit the children that are listed in this book. They don’t have long to live in this life but during the time they have left, he wants them to know him. He knows you know him and He wants you to share His love with them. Can you do that?” Sherri asked with a bright and cheerful smile.
“Yes Sherri I’ll go tomorrow.” As Suzan agreed she felt a warmth flow all through her body, strength filling her limbs and saliva filled her mouth which had been completely gone.
“Oh my, I feel wonderful. John the pain in my mouth is gone and I can swallow I never realized how wonderful spit could be.” Suzan began to laugh out loud. Thank you Jesus!”
It has been three years since that miracle day and the encounter Suzan had with Lil’ Miss Angel. She met and shared Jesus with over 1000 children who had terminal cancer but they left earth with Jesus in their hearts. Are you ready for the favor?
My mother was diagnosed with tongue cancer last year she has lost so much weight and still struggles to eat and continues to lose weight. But her faith in God sustains her. She’s 81 years old she is a cancer survivor. I dedicate this story to her.
Mom had the ultimate healing and went home to be with the Lord in July 2015.
~Marla Y. O’Neill ©2013

Build a Bridge of Faith, Hope and Love

 The ravine is wide full of rocks and debris
Danger and disaster is waiting there, you see
Turbulent waters, undercurrents too
How will we reach the other side?
We could build a bridge; me and you…
Who are you kidding, we are only two
A bridge of faith that’s what we’ll do…
Come on now, friend, and let’s begin…
You’ve given me hope and with that I will send…
Word to the village they have lots of men…
When Noah built the ark God gave him the design
If God can do it for him, then I’m sure we can find…
Men and women with a vision who will make the time…
God wants bridge builders of faith, hope, and love…
Then we’ll see God’s favor flow from above,
It will bridge the gap over the perilous ravine…
For faith is a bridge, of things hoped for, and evidence of things, not seen.
Love is the glue, hope holds us up; faith pleases God, when it’s seen in me and you!
~Marla Shaw O’Neill August 14, 2017
Faith in What We Don’t See
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. Hebrews 11:1-2The Message (MSG)

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 The Message (MSG)

Every Masterpiece Has at Least One Flaw

I was sitting in my doctor’s examination room the other day and while I was waiting I looked at a painting she had hanging on the wall as you can see above. The frame was a window-frame with chipped paint, I love it. The painting is of an old run down country fruit and vegetable stand. There are baskets of apples sitting on the ground and smaller baskets of vegetables sitting on some old planks in front of an old store. The floor is dirt. It reminds me of something you’d see in an Amish community. Where passersby can stop and buy their produce.
When the doctor came in I mentioned how much I liked the painting and she said, thank you, but it’s not one of her husband’s paintings. She said he’s a very good artist and she has several of his paintings in some of the other rooms. She said if you look close you can see the perspective is off and they’ve painted shadows in the wrong places.
Later I thought about that…I thought, you know she didn’t see what I saw…she was looking at the flaws and errors in the painting. I was seeing a little country produce stand. It was quaint and made me feel nostalgic and peaceful. I wasn’t’ worried about the flaws.
Lots of times all we see are the flaws in things and in people. We miss the genuine smile…the story in the eyes…or the heartache…we see color or the physical characteristics and we judge without seeing the authentic, true person. All we see are the flaws.
It’s sad that we always go by our first impressions when we meet someone. And sometimes we are right, but lots of times we can be quite wrong.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t be our best. But I learned that even the Amish when they make furniture or sew or make a quilt they will put a flaw in their work on purpose just so they won’t have pride.
If a diamond is too perfect and has no flaws it is said to be a fake.
Our flaws are what make us unique. My uncle used to hate his freckles until one day his class had a freckle contest and he won…what he thought was a flaw actually made him a winner.
What we see as flaws are really blessings in disguise. So next time you look at someone or even yourself and all you see are the flaws, look again, look passed the flaws and see the person who is hiding on the inside just wanting to be accepted and loved just like you.
We may not be of much value to some people but to God we are a treasure, flaws and all.
~Marla Shaw O’Neill August 12, 2017
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
This is the message that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Jeremiah, go down to the potter’s house. I will give you my message there.”
So I went down to the potter’s house and saw him working with clay at the wheel. He was making a pot from clay. But there was something wrong with the pot. So the potter used that clay to make another pot. With his hands he shaped the pot the way he wanted it to be. Jeremiah 18:1-4 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
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