Friday, April 17, 2015

April 17th

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.


Six years ago I had a dream that I could not forget because of its emotional intensity.

In the dream, I was in labor. I had been in labor for a long time and the baby had moved down to the birth canal and was ready to be born. However, I was terrified of actually pushing the baby out, because I was certain that I would die in the process- that the baby was too big, so I was out of fear deliberately holding back from giving birth, though this was painful and dangerous.

I was lying on my side on a table, and both my mother in law and my husband were there, one on each side. My mother in law was an older Asian woman and she was strong, stern, self-controlled, intense and principled. I knew that naturally speaking, she should be fed up with me and disgusted with my cowardly behavior, because in the course of her demanding life and because of the demands of her culture, she had long ago died to herself.

Despite all this she was patient and had put her natural feelings aside- this being yet another demonstration of her admirable and well developed self-control- and was only encouraging me, though this birth was like life or death to her, since this was her family, and the generations of her family was her life. I did not realize until that moment that she loved me, since she did not show emotions easily.

My husband's face had a great light, beauty and serenity and he was a man of limitless authority and ability. I had both love and fear for him, and both of these defined my life. It was amazing to me even then that he loved me and I belonged to him.

Even though I was crying out, “I can’t, I can’t, I’m going to die, the baby is too big and this will kill me,” the love in his eyes never changed and there was no doubt or dismay on his face.

As I lay there, feeling the birth pangs shudder through me in waves of fear and pain, I realized that the only way forward was to come to terms with dying. I would have to be willing to suffer whatever came, and to give my life in the birthing of the baby.

I pulled together what was left of my energy. The fear had not abated; I was still terrified to die and I felt certain that I would be torn in two, but I gave up my life and pushed right through the fear with everything that I was. It was as if I were pushing my own life away from me, or giving it up, in order to give birth.

In that one, long push, the baby was born safely. The baby was healthy, strong and beautiful and I was in no more pain at all. All my pain and exhaustion was gone and I felt nothing but relief- physical relief because the pressure and pain had let up, but mostly because I had actually been successful in giving birth.

My husband passed the baby to my mother in law and then he was given to me to hold and to delight in. I kept thinking, “I have given birth! I did it! I have a baby! This is my baby!” This was especially poignant feeling because in my waking life, I had been unable to become pregnant even with the help of medication, let alone give birth.

Three months ago, January 27, 2015

I was reading in bed last night and kept pausing to talk with Jesus, and finally I said, “Forget it,” and tossed the book aside. “I’m just going to spend some time with You.”

I hadn’t been lately because everything has just been too much and the anointing hasn’t been strong and I’ve accepted that and rested in faith, but I was starting to really miss Jesus.

I want you to come, He said. I miss you.

“I miss You too,” I told Him.

When I went inward, all I did was soak in His presence, clear and comforting, and worship and adore Him.

For some reason, my shoulder has been hurting me a lot lately, and I’ve been thinking about how Jesus’ shoulders were dislocated on the cross.

I can sometimes ease my shoulder into places where I forget about the pain, but Jesus was nailed into an agonizing position and couldn’t move. He was nailed down and outstretched and the agony must have been livid and unending.

“How were You able to endure that agony for so many hours?” I wondered, understanding a little better how terrible that must have been.

I was able to endure it because I was there for you, He replied.

I remembered again how three years ago, He said, will you be with Me in My suffering? And I had said yes, but it seemed that I hadn’t really suffered since then- not in the way I had assumed would happen. But I realized that life is long and no doubt as life goes by, I will increase in suffering through various trials and thereby learn more of His tender, loving and faithful heart.

Do you want that? Jesus asked me, interrupting my thoughts with His voice, which seemed to be amazed.

“Jesus,’ I said, with loving reproach. I searched His eyes with mine, holding nothing back. “Jesus. You know that I do. I do want that. I want to share in and to be with You in Your suffering.”

Then I was scared, because I wondered what on earth I was asking for, but I remembered Jesus- His loving heart, His tenderness, how He truly is the Good Shepherd and I put the fears aside and returned to love.

“I want to know You,” I said, pouring out the longing. “I want to know the way You think and act and what You feel and why You feel it. I want to know Your heart- I want to know You,” I cried, feeling the longing intensely and His love went through me like fire.

Two months ago, February 3, 2015

Woke in the night, Jesus very present and immediately I was with Him.

You are so beautiful, He said, which is something I would have tried to deny before, feeling as it was too excessive on HIs part, but now I knew how to respond.

“That’s not surprising,” I replied, smiling at Him in trust. “My Creator is Himself very beautiful.”

I love you so much, He whispered.

“I know that You do," I said, full of love and gratitude for Jesus. I could see Him quite clearly in the inner rooms. "I know because You came down to rescue me. It’s Your scars I love the most. Humanity looks very beautiful on You.”

Early in the morning, I kept hearing, “You will be like a diadem in the hand of Your God,” and I saw Him weaving a crown of delicate silver fibers and I was helping Him- He was passing it through His hands to my hands and I was passing it from my hands to His hands.

There seemed to be a long time of doing this and then I looked at it and realized that it was like the crown of thorns, only beautiful in an unearthly way, made of many fine strands of silver woven together, but not tightly, because woven ingeniously into them and held by them were red jewels like beads of blood and Jesus gave it to me- He set it on my head.

I stood quite still. The fact that this was like a crown of thorns was almost frightening to me. I could perceive that there were many layers of meaning to it, but what they all were, I couldn't tell. It was like bending over and looking down into a well.

I couldn't help but remember an earlier experience with Jesus that  I had been unable fully to understand and in that experience, I had seen and held His crown of thorns. Although I could not understand all this, I knew that it was a most precious gift, so we put it on a shelf for safe keeping.


Two months ago, February 15, 2015

I was thinking of everything going on, everything I had read on various websites and blogs about Jesus' strategies and plans for this time, and for countries and states.

But Jesus never tells me such things. He never tells me, "Jenny, such and such thing in this or that country or in the heavenly realm will be happening by My hand at this time."

“You are doing lots of other things out there...” I said to Him, my voice trailing away curiously.

Not with you, Jesus replied, peacefully. He had His feet up and was resting back against the couch, which is usually how I see Him.

“No, not with me,” I had to agree. “You never tell me directly or openly about any of those things. With me, You rest. But You are doing interesting things…” I added, hoping He might tell me something. For a while I had been wondering how Jesus would respond if I pressed Him for such things, but I hadn't dared.

Don’t pick up what is not meant for you, Jesus said gently. Be content in the way I have created you and do not try to be someone else. Haven't I given you your heart's desire?

“Yes, You know You have,” I confessed- I did not have to embellish, because it was the whole truth.

So now I know. I felt a kind of relief when Jesus put the boundaries down gently but clearly. It was restful.

February 28, 2015

I had reached the utter end of my strength and prayed, "Dear Jesus, I need Your help right now. Right now. I can't do this. Dear God, help me. Help me or I will fail."

And I had remembered His words and I clung to them with all my strength and I kept my eyes only on those words and looked no where else.

"This is Jesus sick, now care for Him!" I said, doggedly. "This is Jesus a stranger, now welcome Him! No one has greater love than to give up their life for their friend, now lay it down. You love Jesus- so love Him now."

Afterward, feeling as though I had been torn to shreds and bruised black and blue, poured out to exhaustion and holding on to the thinnest thread.

My cherished girl, My lovely one, Jesus whispered as soon as I was able to turn my attention inwardly toward Him.

Many times before, I had not managed so well and His grace had always carried me, but I had had a vision of selfless love through His eyes and I wanted to grow into it as I abided in Him. I knew the reason why I had been able to this time was because of His continuing work in my heart- I had grown.

"I did it! I did what You wanted me to do!" I said to Jesus, dazed.

I know you did; I'm so proud of you, Jesus replied, pouring out His love and praise without reserve, I think because I was still partially numb from the bruises. It took me hours to pull myself back together again.

"I am letting myself die!" I thought to myself in dismay, much later. "How can I do this to myself after everything that I've been through? I am letting myself die- first my own ambition, then my self expression and now my self preservation! How can I do this to myself?"

I cried as I spoke these words and I cried as I wrote them, because I could see and feel how with each step, things about me were withering up slowly, dying away and these things weren't bad, they were integral to myself. But I was increasingly turning my time, energy and creativity toward His will and not my own self expression, and I was not hiding myself away in safety or in pride, as I had before thought not only expected, but reasonable- prudent, even. Even a few years ago, I never would have understood some of the decisions I was making now.

I was so powerfully aware of this difference in my actions that I had to consciously bring to mind the reasons why I was behaving differently.

"I am choosing to let myself die," I admitted. "But this is a deliberate decision. I am doing this because I am a disciple of Jesus and so I am following His words. I am choosing to believe that my true self is found only, always and eternally in Him, and so I do not need to grasp at my life, to prove it or to defend it.

"Jesus also gave up His own life," I continued, deliberately bringing to mind the things I had learned about Jesus. "He did not say the things He wished to say or do things by His own will or on His own. He gave up His life to Abba and trusted completely long before He died on the cross."

"And whenever I manage to do this," I said, switching my attention to Jesus and whispering to Him, "I will not sit down at the table, feeling proud and entitled. I will remember that I am an unprofitable servant, for I have only done my duty- of course I am doing what You say! I am Your disciple. Your life is my life. That is expected. That way I do not forget that any beauty I have comes from You and belongs to You and is for You. That way I do not stumble and become proud by any beauty I might glimpse in myself."

Last month, March 12, 2015

Last night, was resting with Jesus, listening to the sound of the rain falling dulcet soft on the woods beside the open window. It was coming over me, how Jesus thought of the rain long before He created it, how He thought of it out of nothing. I was pondering this and in some way seeing Him as He rested close with Abba, dreaming of each thing, crafting it in His thoughts lovingly and then bringing it into being with such delight in it. And how beautiful was Jesus, how beautiful His heart, that He would create something so lovely as the sound of the rain.

This was a pleasurable line of thought, so I began to think of other things, one by one, that He had thought up, and then I remembered that Jesus had thought of me, and wonder filled me.

"And then You thought of me..." I said dreamily, lost deeply in this wondering.

And I loved you, Jesus declared.

Later, when the day was done, I called out to Him. "Hello, Jesus! It's me, it's me, Jenny!"

Hello, Jenny, He replied, His loving voice so clear.

"It's Your servant," I said further, opening my arms with joy. "It's the servant of Your heart!"

Oh My cherished, Jesus said, His voice overflowing with tender love.

This month, April 1, 2015

“Thank You, Jesus,” I whispered to Him, seeing the glowing beads of light strung down the screen of the window, illuminated by the early sunlight behind them. They were clearer and more beautiful than diamonds. They had a beauty that was alive and ethereal.

For you, Jesus said, with pleasure.

“It’s the extravagance of Your love that makes it so hard to believe,” I told Him, recognizing it suddenly. “It’s because You’re so extravagant.”

But the whole world is yours, Jesus pointed out.

This week, April 12, 2015

Went to Jesus, was caught up in love and could not speak for a long time, for the love that was outpouring.

"I understand now," I told Him, when I could pull my thoughts together. "At first, I thought the blog would be only about love, but I see that the Holy Spirit has been weaving in the suffering. That was the part I didn't remember. But if the suffering is included with the love, than it is rich in meaning.”

That's powerful, He said.

“Yes, that is a powerful combination. First there was faith, and then love and suffering… But I feel that I am wanting to hold on to some sections and I must be willing to let them go if they aren’t meant to be in there and so I must let go...”

Then I remembered the prayer I love so much, so I leaned against Jesus and prayed to Him with all my heart. “Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that I might perfectly love You,” I whispered to Him, with intent, and desire, knowing that I could not do such a thing on my own, but that I must do it through the Holy Spirit, “and that I might worthily glorify Your great name.”

I was caught up in such a surge of love from Jesus that I had to hold on to Him so that I wouldn’t fall down on the floor.

Then I thought of all the things I’d been remembering as I put the blog together and realized something and it filled me with laughter.

“You know what? You know what, Jesus?” I asked, laughing, looking up at Him. “You are just in love! You are just head over heels in love!”

You’re on to Me, He replied, His eyes twinkling.


Hear my prayer, O Lord; answer my plea because you are faithful to your promises. Don’t bring me to trial! For as compared with you, no one is perfect.

My enemies chased and caught me. They have knocked me to the ground. They force me to live in the darkness like those in the grave. I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.

I remember the glorious miracles you did in days of long ago. I reach out for you. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain. Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens; don’t turn away from me or I shall die. Let me see your kindness to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for my prayer is sincere. Save me from my enemies. O Lord, I run to you to hide me. Help me to do your will, for you are my God. Lead me in good paths, for your Spirit is good.

Lord, saving me will bring glory to your name. Bring me out of all this trouble because you are true to your promises.
-Psalm 143:1-11, Living Bible


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, that is, into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

This brings you great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials. Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold—gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away—and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

You have not seen him, but you love him. You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, because you are attaining the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
-I Peter 1:3-9