Last weekend the Lord reminded me to not lose focus, that although so many people that I minister to have endured much heartache and pain, that He still wants us all to ultimately enjoy our lives. In fact, He wanted to bless me personally to enjoy some experiences which would bring joy to my heart. So many people have experienced harsh treatment from fathers or mothers, spouses, children, employers, etc., and although it is not fun to go through these experiences, ultimately the Lord wants to use your challenges that you had endured to help others to get through the pains of their pasts so they can crossover to enjoying the latter part of their lives. God wants to bless us with the desires of our hearts, whether simple things like eating certain foods, walking in nature, or singing to worship music.
This past weekend I have been staying in the Houston area as the Lord is having me do some ministry July 10 and 11 and to be interviewed on a TV station July 13. He knows that I love to help others to be healed from their past wounds, and that there are things in my own personal life that bring joy to my own heart. I love to go for walks with the Lord in nature and a couple of friends opened their home to me who live in a beautiful wooded area which includes not one but two lakes. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time walking down the road and being surprised to see deer walk across the road, in their yard and the yards of their neighbors. Seeing the sun rise and set around a beautiful lake setting brings such peace to my spirit. Listening to beautiful soaking music, taking an occasional ministry call from people around the world to bring peace to them on my walks in all a part of the Lord’s way of loving on me.
This past Saturday a new friend invited me to help her with her ministry (www.b2bministry.com) she founded that loves on youth and communities who have such a strong need for Jesus and to be loved on unconditionally. She brings hope and life through sharing a message of a relatable Jesus to many in the inner cities of Houston and some other cities in Texas. She provides healthy, loving relationships to teenagers and families in shelters, mental health facilities, foster homes and prisons. She provides opportunities for local Bible studies, church services, Christian concerts & events, bowling, trips to the beauty salon, parties and many other life-enriching activities. So I was able to help with loving on the youth and some of their parents at a local apartment complex as they had a pool party which brought out about a hundred people. They received food, live music with a DJ, games, even snow cones. But ultimately they all received and felt the love of Jesus Christ and that Jesus wants to help them, give them hope, and ultimately provide love and enjoyment.
Then Sunday the Lord wanted to bless me with enjoying a fun day with a friend who I have gotten to know over the past few months from a distant. We attended her Holy Spirit led church in College Station, TX and they had an amazing praise team leading us in worship. The Lord knows that I love to sing and worship and you could feel the presence of the Lord with the uplifting anointed songs that we sang. It causes my spirit to leap inside when I am singing as I can feel His presence so strongly when in one with the Holy Spirit.
The Lord also knew that I have always enjoyed walking around college campuses whenever I have a chance to enjoy them on my ministry trips. Last December the Lord rewarded me with my own private tour of Cameron Indoor Stadium on the campus of Duke University as I was able to walk out onto the basketball floor as well as sit in the stands, as no one else was in the place. Then the next day I was able to visit the Dean Smith Dome on the campus of the University of North Carolina and withing minutes the UNC mens basketball team came out to practice basketball (and later that season won the NCAA National Championship). So yesterday I got to take a tour of Texas A&M University. We were able to visit a very unique tree that was called the Century Tree which has limbs that are wide reaching and low to the ground and has much lore in history. I also visited their football stadium and got a very cool pic taken next to the statues of 12 students (they have a history called the 12th man which goes back to 1921 when a former football player was called upon at the last minute to fill in and be ready to play in a bowl game, so today the entire student body stands during football games, in case one of them needs to go in to play during the game).
But the main quest of our visit was to find their very friendly squirrels who have come up to people looking for food and will often times eat out of their hands. We walked around the campus for about an hour and had not seen one squirrel. It was quite warm (heat index over 100 degrees) and so perhaps the squirrels were all sleeping. After waiting, searching, calling out to them, and shaking a container filled with healthy chicken flavored dog food, alas…no squirrels were to be found anywhere. So we decided to walk back to my car and give up. As we were walking I stated “I can’t believe that we did not see one squirrel on campus the entire time” and then not more than a second later I saw something on the ground, next to the base of a tree. IT WAS A SQUIRREL !!! We tossed some food at it and it came towards the food, sniffed it, and then promptly laid down, sprawled on the ground.
Never in my life had I ever seen a squirrel laying on the ground like this one. It was almost like the squirrel was saying to us “I am not hungry you silly people…..I am hot, thirsty, and need rest.” At one point a breeze blew gently and the squirrel lifted its tail up and the tail blew in the wind. It was truly a funny moment in my life to see this squirrel just lay flat on its stomach as if to say…..”get a clue people….I am not hungry for food, it is hot and I just want to be cool – and by the way some water would be nice.” Fortunately just a few hours later it rained and cooled off the temperature and provided much needed water.
Throughout the day, the Lord reminded me that He simply wants all of His people to enjoy their lives. He has simple adventures that He wants us to experience in life, and even though there will be times of having to deal with people who have demons that cause them to be harsh, mean, controlling and deceitful to us, that ultimately He wants all of us to enjoy our lives. He wants us to get past our past hurts and pains, and to focus on the lighter things of life that bring us true peace, laughter and joy. He wants us to speak life, be positive, and like it says in Philippians 4:8 is to focus on things that are “true…noble…just…pure…lovely and of good report.” He also wants to give us the desires of our hearts.
So the next time you are going through a tough time in your life, go for a walk in the woods, next to a lake, on a college campus searching for squirrels, help out at a pool party, and just laugh, love and keep your joy on. Life is too short to worry, fear, complain, and dwell on your current circumstances and the past. Speak life over yourself, and watch your circumstances change. Enjoy the simple things in life that bring you joy and keep your peace on.