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A Shift In The Atmosphere

Seven months have passed.  Seven months since my grandmother has gone home to be with Jesus.  I feel the void.  I have felt it since the day she took her last breath.  I miss her so much, and I miss her prayers.  As I have taken some time to just focus on my daily devotions, I have missed writing.  Just sitting here in thought, allowing God to minister to my heart.  This morning I hear him saying, “There is a shift in the atmosphere.”  There is a change that is taking place, as the time of His return is drawing closer.  Pure grief kept me from sharing much of the last 24 hours of my precious grandmother’s life, but today I write.  Because something shifted, and it’s time to allow God to manifest the fruit of the shift.

My grandmother was a warrior.  One of those old fashioned, on her knees every single morning, dedicated and powerful warriors.  I spent a lot of time with her as a little girl.  She was a second mother to me.  She nurtured me and taught me about Jesus.  She fed me the word of God even before I could speak, and planted a warriors heart inside of me so that I would know how to fight when the battle grew fierce.  She taught me to praise, and sing, and love Jesus with a passion like no other.  I knew if I needed prayer I could go to her, and she would pray.  She always reminded me that she was praying for me EVERY SINGLE DAY before I even awoke I was covered.  Oh, how I miss her prayers.

The afternoon after her surgery, while she lay on that bed in critical condition.  The news was grim, and her pain was evident.  I stood beside her bed, stroking her hair as she had done mine so many times as a child.  I caressed her and told her how much I loved her, and I PRAYED!  I prayed for her with my whole heart.  Reminding her of the power of Jesus, and praying for peace in the name of Jesus.  I lovingly prayed for my prayer warrior who had prayed for me for over forty-four years.  I looked up and the room was empty.  I don’t know where everyone had gone, but I knew God had given me this time alone with her.  He had orchestrated this final time just for me, and now that I am able to I share this amazing gift with you.   After I prayed over her, I sat down in the corner, alone, and prayed for her.  I thanked God for her.  I just soaked in this time as the gift that it was.  A few minutes later my family came back in, and the nurses were getting her situated.  My mother was worried that I’d not eaten, so we all decided to go downstairs to get a bite while they did their tending to her.  Something prompted me to look back as I was walking out the door.  Grandma was sitting up in the bed, more alert than she had been, and she was looking at me.  I said, “Grandma I love you!” and even with the tube to the ventilator in her mouth, she said, “I love you too!” and the pure love radiating from her eyes will be a constant memory for the rest of my days.  She loved me fiercely, and was my BIGGEST HERO! I wish I would have told her more.  We never think we are going to lose our loved ones.  But as an example of how fast it goes, grandma went in 24 hours without us even being prepared that she was going to die.  She thought she had arthritis in her leg, but it was cancer, and 24 hours after finding out she went home to be with Jesus.

I went into the funeral parlor where they had her shell.  Her spirit was already with Jesus, but the image of who I’d known all of my life lay there so beautiful and still.  I caressed her cold forehead and told her how much I loved her.  She wasn’t there, but I prayed Jesus would let her hear.  I promised her I’d take her mantle.  I’d pray for our family, and be the woman of God she taught me to be.  I’d make her proud of me. But there was a shift in the atmosphere.  The older generation is leaving this earth, and sin is growing stronger and more accepted.  There aren’t as many prayer warriors who arise every morning to pray for their families, who fast and seek God to see mountains move.  Grandma was amazing.  She was the truest example of who I long to be.  I am growing stronger but yet I still grieve.  I am coming out of the haze that grief causes, and am determined to be all that I promised her I’d be.  Not just to make her proud.  But because I am in love with the one she introduced me to so many many years ago.  She gave me the greatest gift and left me with such a strong legacy.  I now have a lot to live up to, but oh what a joy to work toward being just like her. I want to be an old fashioned prayer warrior, and so I strive…. as I cling to the hand of the one who is created it all.

 

(c) Angie Counter 2017  “It’s Okay….”

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It’s Not Always Easy

Being a follower of Christ isn’t always easy.  There are times when it seems like you fade right into another battle without even finishing the one you are in.  You get tired, and you want to lay down.  You get weak, and you want to just throw up your hands and say “Enough!”  I know this all too well.  I was sitting at a red light one morning, and the battle was raging strong all around me.  I was so exhausted, I cried out to God.  I said, “God I can’t fight this battle anymore!”  As I sat there waiting for the light to change, I heard him ask me, “Angie, who fights the battles?”  I was shocked that he asked me this question.  I didn’t answer.  Then He began telling me, “You don’t fight the battles, I do.  When David stood before Goliath, it wasn’t him that was fighting, it was me.  Not his strength, but mine.  Not his might, but mine.”  All at once the songwriter in me began writing a song entitled, “Who fights the battles.”  I still sing this song quite often as a reminder that I am not fighting these battles, God is.  The giant may look to big to take down, but it isn’t my power or might that will bring it down in defeat, but God, and God alone.

We are going to face hard battles that leave us feeling the strong need to lie down.  We are going to have difficult days, facing difficult people and situations.  When we truly grasp hold of God’s hand, He then takes over.  God takes the helm, and we need only let Him guide us through what we are facing, as he defeats the enemy along the way.  That isn’t always easy, because the enemy will do whatever he has to do to keep us from truly connecting to God.  He will try to distract us with his lies, causing us to feel defeated.  This is when we have to take those thoughts captive, so that we can trust God enough to allow Him to fight for us.

No matter what you are facing, God is in control.  I want to remind you, as I remind myself, God is fighting the battles in our life, and we just have to hold on tightly to His hand, and allow Him to fight.

(c) Angie Counter 2017 All Rights Reserved.

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Extreme Makeover

     There are some days where I feel frumpy. No matter how I try to do my hair, or put on a little extra make up to cover the dark circles, I still feel like I’m a mess. After being sick for a few days, I returned to work. I walked into the restroom, took a quick look into the mirror that hangs above the sink. My eyes were dark. My hair poking out wildly from my quickly set up-do, and I thought to myself how on this day especially, I need a makeover.
      This morning a comment by a fellow writer caught my eye, she said, “God loves makeovers just as much as I do.” Wow! How many days do I wake up a mess? Struggling with the turmoil of life, and struggling to put myself even slightly together. I can just see my soul man all haphazardly put together, and I can’t help but chuckle, even though it is quite serious. When I need a makeover in my flesh, there is such a high price to pay. It isn’t cheap to go pamper oneself, but when we go to God for a makeover, it doesn’t cost a thing. His makeover is free. He can transform our spirit man touch by touch, and word by word. It only takes resting in His presence, as we allow the transformation process to take place. I can’t tell you how much this touches my heart. I know that there are times when I am a complete mess. I know that I need to rest in His transforming presence quite often. Sometimes I feel it more than others, and I know you feel that way too. We all struggle with keeping ourselves together, but this is the awesome part of living for God. He is a God of extreme makeovers. Moment by moment spent in his presence, He transforms us from a mess into a message. what a wonderful God we serve. I pray this blesses you as much as it has blessed me this morning. I know that sometime today I will look into the mirror at work and chuckle to myself. I know that I will see that mess looking back at me, but I will take a moment, raise my hand, and thank God that he is transforming me, and for that I have to give him the praise He is so worthy of.
(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*
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Be Careful What You Say

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I felt the presence of the Lord so intensely yesterday.  It started with a conversation with a friend, then my husband, and ending with another close friend.  It was a day where even though I wasn’t feeling well in my flesh, I was feeling stronger in my spirit.  During the conversation with my friend in the latter part of the afternoon, I shared something that had been bothering me spiritually, as I could see clearly how the enemy had stolen so much from me.  A couple of hours passed, and what happened?  The enemy used someone I once admired greatly to say something that he knew would hurt me deeply.  It worked for a little while, but only reinforced my desire to move onward from where I once was.  If I had any apprehension,  the last thread that held me there, was broken by her words.  I don’t think her intent was to push me further away, but what I saw in her words was an answer to the prayer in my heart.  I have been seeking direction, and while I’d spent the entire day allowing God to minister to my heart, this is the answer I was given.

Sometimes we have to be careful what we say to others.  There are words that can push people further away, when our intention is to draw them closer.

I have had a passionate desire to break out of the box that has held me captive for such a very long time.  I’ve seen more of God outside of this box, then I did in all the years I’d been inside.  The burning desire to reach out to others who have been where I’ve been, and are trying to find their way into the restoring arms of Jesus, I was never given the opportunity to do.  I had an awesome woman of God tell me that just as Jesus had to do, I had to leave my own country, because I’d never be accepted there, and so I am now moving onward.  With the power of God to lead me, and the mighty arm of God to uphold me.  As the prayer of St. Patrick says, “Christ above me, and Christ beneath me.  Christ at my right, and Christ at my left.”  Christ is my driving force that pushes me forward. As painful as it was to feel the last strand of chord break for me last night, I feel a freedom I’ve not felt before.  I have the freedom now to share all that Christ has done, and will do… outside of the box.

(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*

 

 

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Divided We Stand

I hate  to turn on the television, or read anything on social media.  The news is grim.  People are divided, and evil is running ferociously in the streets of America. I have watched as generation by generation, sin has gained more control of not only our young people, but many of the older generation as well.  Things that God said was wrong, little by little, has become more acceptable, covered over by a label of love.  Even though God said that He never changes, man has changed Him so that their sin can be acceptable.

Now we stand looking at a very broken America.  One where now that sin is being confronted head on, the evil screams with anger, lashing out to destroy anyone who dares say it is wrong.  We the body of Christ need to cry out to God like we never have before.  It is time we fight this war on our knees, for our families, for our children, for our fellow believers.  God we stand, even among this divided nation, we stand for you!

 

 

(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*

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God Is Just Good!

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There is nothing better than to be in the presence of God.  Nothing!

Yesterday morning I woke up with what felt like a boulder on my shoulders.  I was carrying so much worry, and the burden was just too much for me to bear.  My heart was overwhelmed.  I spent some time in prayer before heading to work, but as I was working the voice of the enemy taunted me.  I stopped at one point, and the worshiper inside of me began singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty.  Who was, Who is, and is to come.” over and over I’d sing, until I felt breakthrough.  I felt the rush of His spirit filling my belly with waves of living water.  I felt my heart about to burst, and I knew even as I stood there working, I was in the presence of God.  I knew my Heavenly Father was right there with me, so I began to speak faith.  My friend and co-worker stood there listening to me pouring out faith, scripture by scripture, and word by word.  I was standing on faith, because I know my God is faithful.

I could have made a choice to listen to the enemy telling me that nothing was going to work out in my favor.  I could have chose to believe his lies telling me that I didn’t have God’s favor, and I was on my own.  No!  I refused to believe his lies.  Scripture by scripture I took those thoughts captive, locked them away, and threw away the key.  I chose to believe what my Father says, even when I can’t see it.  Faith is such a powerful thing.  Before the day came to an end, God had moved, and what I’d prayed about not only worked out, but it worked out even better than I’d prayed.  That is the God I serve, and God is just good!

 

(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*

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Lead Me, And I Will Follow

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In the many years since I gave my heart to Jesus, there have been times where I have stood at a crossroad, wondering which way to go.  I’ve been terrified to make the wrong decision, while knowing that I couldn’t stand immovable, allowing fear to leave me paralyzed and afraid.  I know that there are times when we are to stand still.  I also know that there are times we can’t stand still, we have to move.  This is where this scripture comes in to play.  We have to trust in the Lord with all of our heart.  Trusting that when he says that He works everything in our lives together for our good, He means it.  When he promises to never leave us, He means it.  Now we have to take Him at His word.  We can’t lean on our own understanding.  We may not understand what He is doing.  It may seem like we are in the absolute craziest place we have ever been, but that is when we cannot rest in our own understanding.  No leaning there.  In all our ways we have to acknowledge Him.  Acknowledge Him as leader.  Acknowledge Him as protector.  Acknowledge Him as Father.  Acknowledge Him as defender.  In ALL of our ways, we have to acknowledge Him, and what did He say he would do?  He would direct our path.

So now standing at this crossroad, it doesn’t quite look the same.  Now when the choice of direction has to be made, I know that He will direct my path.  He will lead me where I need to go, and it will always be for my better good.  God doesn’t do anything half way, or without my best in mind.  Whatever He does is always to make me and my life better, or to mold me more into who He has called me to be.  I will trust in the Lord, with all of my heart.  I will lean not on my own understanding.  In all of my ways I will acknowledge Him, and HE WILL DIRECT MY PATH!  Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus!!!

~Angie

(c) Angie Counter *2017 All Rights Reserved*