Chapter Seven ~ Whispers of Promise

Heartache is hearing her sentence . . .

Heartache is seeing your beautiful daughter handcuffed and taken to jail . . .
 

Heartache is not being able to hug her . . .

Heartache is answering your grandchildren when they ask if Mom and Dad will be with them for Christmas: “No, honey.”

And Jesus Whispered ~ 
Although the mountains around you are shaken, Kathi, and the hills are broken down, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor will my promise of peace be removed. I am the Lord who has compassion for you and your precious grandchildren.
 
 
 
The evening of the sentencing was especially difficult for all of us. After the children were sound asleep and I had knelt by their beds and prayed, I went back into their bedrooms, checking on them all through the night, whispering one word prayers to the Father: Bless. Comfort. Touch. Heal.  Moving about our home throughout those unsettling nights, I felt the presence of the One who never slumbers or sleeps.
 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(An excerpt from When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers ~ Chapter 7 ~ Whispers of Promise)
by Kathi Waligora .
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Water and The Word

Although I have observed this unsettling occurrence for years, I find it especially common during this election season. I write about this in a manner that does not reveal any political views I have. Absolutely none.

But during this election season, I am disturbed the most by one thing: Christians “watering down” the Word of God. 

I expect it from nonbelievers. It doesn’t surprise me – or bother me – or offend me. But it shocks me when it comes from the believer – from those who have supposedly trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior. 

God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And God’s Word doesn’t change, folks. It just doesn’t. 

All Scripture (God’s Word) is for us – in one way or  another.  We must apply and learn from the Old Testament, although we realize that God’s people, at that time, were living “under the law.” 

Then Jesus came. He brought the New Covenant. He brought us the offer of salvation. And He taught us believers how we need to live in today’s world.

God inspired His Word. Paul teaches us that it is living and active. It is sharp. It judges our thoughts and our hearts. It is a powerful piece of armor – a sword of God’s Spirit within us. We are commanded to put that piece of the armor on so that “when the day of evil comes,” we can stand our ground. And friends, that day of evil has come. I am not speaking of the election or political division (although we certainly find evil within it). I am speaking of the world in which we live. Although we still find much love and certainly we have great hope, one doesn’t have to look further than the evening news to see the evil around us. So we must be armed with the Word of God. Not so we can fight people – but so we can “stand.” (See passages below – Ephesians 6:13-17).

The Apostle James instructs us to not merely “listen” to the Word of God but to “do” what it says. How can we do it if we don’t “know” it?

The Apostle Peter tells us that we have the Word of the prophets. Let’s study those Words.

The Apostle Paul tells us not to distort God’s Word. 

Timothy admonishes us to avoid godless chatter and to correctly handle the Word of truth.

God, in his marvelous providence, gave us the Word – it is “God-breathed” and vital. It is for us. It is God speaking to us. In my writing, I refer to those messages as “Jesus Whispers,” because as I quieted myself before the Lord and dug into His Word, He spoke to me. God wants to speak to you. Directly. Personally. His message is of love and of guidance. Of hope and of comfort. Of peace and of a future!

The Word is life-changing!

We must let the Word of God  stir us, speak to us – in a gentle whisper or in a thundering voice. We must let the Word of God lead us, change us, and give us the wisdom God promises.

You might wonder where you can begin. You might  start with the passages listed below. Familiarize yourself with the power of God’s Word. Next, you’ll want to read and pray and review Psalm 119: it is all about the Word.

The Bible, God’s Word, is for each of us. The only “water” we shall put on God’s Word is that of Jesus, the Living Water. Let those streams of His Living Water flow from within us. Be “washed” by His Word instead of “watering down” His powerful Word. Drink of the Living Water – Jesus.

If you’re not sure you are truly a believer, please make sure. Click here and Learn more.

Want to begin to listen to God’s whispers? Or his thundering message? He wants to speak personally to you.

Start right here! Further reading: 2 Cor. 4:2; Eph. 6:17; 2 Tim. 2:15; Heb. 4:12; James 1:22; 2 Peter 1:19; 2 Tim. 3:16

Chapter Four

Thomas Griffith wrote, “Men fit themselves for hell but it is God [who] fits men for heaven.” For many years, although a  believer, I had seen myself as more fit for hell than for heaven. I was filled with guilt and condemnation. That wrong believing began to change as The Holy Spirit worked a wonder in my broken heart. Though I could do nothing to alter my situation or that of my daughter, God enlightened the eyes of my heart . . . as I listened to his whispers.

And Jesus Whispered ~

I call you ‘mine. I call you “my loved one.” You are the object of my mercy.

I read about it: “For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12)

Favor. Undeserved. Unmerited. But it was mine: the Favor of the Father. . . I had spent most of my adult life in condemnation and guilt ~~ never feeling good enough for God’s grace. But now, when I needed it the most, I realized, recognized, and received His amazing grace and His unfailing love for me and for my family. It was an awesome understanding that filled my broken heart. Almighty God had given me His favor.

And Jesus Whispered~

I bless you, Kathi, because you are righteous in Christ Jesus. I have surrounded you with my favor as a shield.

 
(Excerpt from Chapter 4)
Order When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers 
by Kathi Waligora on this site:
 
 
 

He won’t “unfriend” us!

Do you remember when you first heard of Facebook? I heard some women talking. “Are you friends with her?” they inquired of each other. At first, hearing the term friends in this manner was a foreign idea, but it soon caught on, and shortly, I discovered many new friends on Facebook: people I knew but rarely saw, family and friends with whom now I could connect more frequently, and some people I’d never even met before! I started using and enjoying Facebook – and gaining more friends!

Recently, I discovered that someone – actually, a family member whom I absolutely adore – “unfriended” me on Facebook.  

When I realized it, my feelings were hurt. (I wish I wasn’t so sensitive!) But it hurt me because Facebook was the only connection between us since we don’t live close.

Aren’t we Facebook/Social Media people ridiculously silly? We “friend” and “unfriend” people for so many reasons! I’ve seen a mother and son end their Facebook relationship over political disagreements. (I hope their personal relationship outside Facebook wasn’t affected!)

Some people use Facebook to connect with friends, some for political agenda, some to “air” their feelings – like writing in a journal. We all have our reasons and interests.

Facebook has given the word friend an entire new meaning – one we never considered prior to ten years ago. But  the word friend has been around forever and its true meaning was really established and confirmed by Jesus! 

Throughout the gospels, we find that Jesus used the word friend  in His ministry. He referred to those he taught as friend and used the word in His parables, as well.   He called His followers friend. He even called Judas, His betrayer,  a friend when Judas betrayed Him with a kiss. “Friend, do what you came for,” Jesus said. Imagine! Judas – a friend! It’s a baffling thought. But you see, although Judas didn’t receive Jesus as His Savior, Jesus had nonetheless come to save Judas, just as He came to save us all,  and each one He came to save is His friend. Amazing!

Jesus said that some referred to Him as a “friend of . . . sinners,” and this is where it gets personal. He was  the “friend of sinners,” and He is the “friend of sinners,” and that means  He wants to be a your friend and my friend! When we receive Him as Savior, that amazing, supernatural friendship never ends!

Jesus never unfriends us! Aren’t you glad?

Click here to learn how to become a forever friend of Jesus. 

“In five years, Lord, may this be nothing but a bad memory,” he prayed.

“The phone call came shortly after Ron and I were both sound asleep, early in the night, between a normal Tuesday and a wretched Wednesday. I jumped out of bed to answer. With Mama and Daddy in the nursing home, I was accustomed to receiving phone calls – day or night. ‘Doctor ordered a different medicine,’ or ‘Your mother had a fall.’ But I could see on the phone ID that this call was different. It was Jesse’s dad, Jake. I knew something was wrong – desperately wrong.

            ‘Kathi, this is Jake. Amber and Jesse have been arrested.’

            Please, God, let this be a nightmare. Let me wake up now.” 

It was a nightmare – a living nightmare, culminating  years of heartache and despondency. I couldn’t shake this nightmare, as I had those of my childhood – with splashes of cold water on my face and by walking around the house.  This nightmare persisted, and at first, I had no strength to fight it.

Within those first days, I spoke with my beloved former pastor, pouring out my broken heart, with the news of our daughter’s arrest – news that had shattered my world. He now lived across the country, but he prayed for me on the phone that day.  I still remember some of those words:

“In five years, Lord, may this be nothing but a bad memory.”

In my deepest despair, those dozen words encouraged me. Was it possible that a day might come when this pain would no longer permeate my soul – when only a memory of the pain would exist? 

That living nightmare occurred well over five years ago! And today, it is nothing but a bad memory!

It’s a long story, and you’ll have to read my book to understand how the Lord lessened my anguish, bit by bit, miracle by miracle – how the Lord broke through chains – my chains, my daughter’s chains. It’s an awesome story!

 Pastor Mills passed to heaven recently. I thanked him here on earth, and I’ll thank him again when I see him in heaven:  Thank you for hope – a hope I’ve come to know – a hope I now instill in others.

Friend, as I write this, I pray Ephesians 1:18 for you – that you might know that hope – that your worst nightmare will soon be nothing but memory, a memory God has healed. You can know the God who breaks away the chains, breaks down the gates of bronze, and cuts through the bars of iron!

Click here to read the Forgotten Man Ministries’ article about Amber and Jesse’s experience.

Click here to order When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers to read this amazing story and to learn how to find hope and encouragement in your troubles.

God bless!

Kathi

Contact me through this website. I would love to speak to your group and encourage you!

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This same Jesus

She thought she would be hired full time. But it didn’t happen.

Now she waits and wonders. What’s next?

This same Jesus . . .

They thought the healing would come by now. But it hasn’t happened yet.

They wait.

This same Jesus . . .

The woman sits alone in the dark, wanting the phone to ring.

She cries while she waits.

This same Jesus . . .

The test results aren’t back until next week.

He fights the fears and waits.

This same Jesus . . .

Others had waited and wondered. It was forty days after the resurrection. They had met with Jesus and they had seen Him taken up before their very eyes:

. . . suddenly two men (angels) dressed in white stood beside them and asked, “Why do you stand here, looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way.” (Acts 1:10,11)

Now I, too, contemplate  violets this same Jesus who

turned water into wine,

healed every affliction,

multiplied the loaves and fishes,

raised the dead,

had compassion for the needy and the sick,

was angry and wept when his friend died,

was beaten for our healing,

took our sins upon himself;

this same Jesus who

is always living, always saving, always interceding for me,

is the same yesterday and today and forever;

this same Jesus who

never forsakes the righteous.

Now I wait; for I can trust  –

this same Jesus.

My Road Home

My road home led to security, safety, and comfort – a place of acceptance and of unconditional love.

In the cold winters of Michigan, the road led to  warmth. Daddy stoked up the huge, round, iron furnace in the basement, and gravity drew the heat up the square-yard grated register in the middle of the living room, radiating the heat throughout the house.  When the thermostat, bracketed on the window trim outside the “picture window,” reached sub-zero temps, we were cozy inside. The long, cold drives from town, or from Grandpa and Grandma’s house were over once we saw the hill ahead and reached the end of our road home, where we found comfort in our big old yellow house.

Because I grew up in the country, of course I rode the school bus. And coming from either direction, the north or the south, the road home took me to a peaceful place , where Tippy, our collie mix, greeted me in the yard, and a place where I skipped up the porch steps into a house fragranced with freshly-baked breads and cookies or of a hot chicken pot pie, baking in the oven. My road home was the avenue to the promise of rest and refreshment.

I grew up, moved away, then settled once again at the top of that hill – this time, in a home, built by my husband and me – next door to the yellow house. In the summer, the road leads me to my place of serenity, amidst the greens of nature, the voices of birds, and the distant sounds of the bleating of sheep and the farmers working their fields. As it did throughout my childhood, my road home continues to bring anticipation of  security, safety, and comfort – a the expectation of a place of  acceptance and unconditional love.

Our driveway – at the top of the hill – in the autumn season.

But perhaps the most beautiful time to travel my road home is in the autumn, when palettes of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, blend with greens to create landscapes, ever-changing from day-to-day, sometimes from hour to hour.

When I reach that place in the road where I look ahead and see the hill, knowing that I’m nearing home, I’m reminded that the Lord  led me through another summer and another beautiful autumn. I’m reminded that He will lead me through the long, cold winter ahead. And I’m reminded that I can trust Him through it all because the place where He leads me is a place of security, safety, and comfort – a place of acceptance and of unconditional love.

My friend, perhaps you didn’t grow up with that place of security at the end of your road home. Perhaps you don’t have that place of acceptance and unconditional love now – at this time of your life. The place of which I wrote is not only a physical place but it is a place of rest and assurance that God offers to each of us. It is a place of security, safety, comfort – a place of  acceptance and of unconditional love we find when we belong to God the Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ suffered in your place on Calvary’s cross, so that you can have eternal life with Him, as well as abundant life here on Earth. Just reach out to Him through prayer, believing on Christ alone. Click here to learn more!

The Father loves you and wants to give you a place of security, safety, comfort – a place of acceptance and unconditional love!

Hope for the future; Joy for the present

My soul sank deeper each day.  Into a place I recognized but didn’t want to be. I tried to find a different place, a place of happiness, a place I hadn’t seen in over six years. But I couldn’t find it.

There is a place of joy. I know that place. It is pleasant place and one which sustains.  My soul, protected by my comforter, the Holy Spirit, exists in that place of joy. It is His promise. I don’t have to do anything to attain it. It is mine. But joy is quite different than happiness. I know.

The days passed. The weeks passed. The years passed. Until the point I could barely remember that place of happiness, that place I yearn for.

And recently, for a short time, I began to lose hope – the hope of healing for my grandson, the hope of peace for my family, and the hope of happiness once again.

One morning last week, I looked at my Bible, open from the night before, where I had been studying Psalm 73, reviewing and remembering God’s goodness in the midst of the oppression in the world and His faithfulness in holding my right hand and guiding me.

But that morning my eyes were drawn across the page to notes and highlighting made throughout the years, of chapter 71. My eyes fell upon the words I had written:

I will always have hope!

Psalm 71:14

 

And then He reminded me, as He whispered to me through His word,

“I am your hope, Kathi, and I have been since your youth. Even when you are old, I will not forsake you. I want you to reaffirm me to your children and to your grandchildren. Though you have troubles, I will restore you and will lift you up. I will restore your honor and will comfort you. Always have hope, Kathi, always have hope.” Psalm 71

And once again, I was strengthened by His Word. Not by my doings or by happenstance, but by His Word. I remember His faithfulness in the past, and my hope is renewed for the future. My joy is in the Lord and His faithfulness. My hope is in Him – the hope of healing, of peace, and of happiness.

The whispers are not for me alone; the whispers found in His Word are for you, my friend. You’ll find them in His Word.

Let the message of this song speak to you today.

 

Click here to order Kathi’s book, When Life Roars, Jesus Whispers.

Seeking. No, Needing, Solitude

Are you trying to spend more time alone with God? I am. As I’ve shared before, I don’t find it easy to do so. My excuse is probably a lifetime of multitasking. Reading and watching TV at the same time. Using my Bluetooth to talk on the phone while doing dishes or completing household tasks. Writing while watching the children play. Always something – rather two or three somethings going on. Not sure how or why it came about – how I got this way. I observe others quietly reading for hours at a time, napping on the back porch in the summertime, leisurely humming while fixing dinner. I covet that contentedness.

So today, I’ve made the effort to be alone with my Father, to read His Word, and to listen as He speaks to me. Today’s lessons – His whispers to me – were threefold:

a bit about family love,

a lot about compassion,

and a reminder about the importance of occasional solitude.

Here’s what His Holy Spirit taught me today:

I call him John the Baptist. I’m sure Jesus just called him John – His cousin, John. A cousin like none other, I assume, for while both babies were yet in their mother’s wombs, cousin John leaped noticeably when he heard the voice of Mary, his mother’s cousin, whom John’s mother Elizabeth referred to as “the mother of my Lord.” Mary responded to this honor by singing and glorifying the Lord God. Both baby boys heard their mothers’ voices magnifying God. Both baby boys were sent from God for specific purposes. John’s father was Zechariah. But Jesus’ father was Almighty God. A beautiful familial bond was set. The baby boys were born just months apart.

John the Baptist “prepared the way for the Lord,” baptizing people in the name of the Lord, whose “sandals I am not worthy to untie,” John said. Unlike those people John called to baptism, Jesus went to John for baptism.

Shortly after Jesus was baptized, John was imprisoned for his message. Scholars believe it was about 15 months later that John was then beheaded. When the Lord Jesus heard this news, He was undoubtedly grief-stricken: “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.”

Have you ever done this? In grief or in sorrow or in exhaustion, you’ve withdrawn to a place of solitude. Jesus did. But the Bible tells us that when he had arrived at the place of solitude, he discovered that He wasn’t really alone at all. A large crowd of people had followed him, along the shore. They were desperate for Him. I understand. Do you? I’ve been desperate for Him in the past. And I am desperate for Him now, as I write. a desperation I’ve had for years now. I do understand. And so does Jesus. I know this because of His response to the people who interrupted His desired solitude.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus saw this large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Then he fed them by multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish. That’s my Jesus,!. That’s your Jesus, beloved! Compassionate. Loving. Healer. Bread of Life.

After He met the needs of the people, He again sought solitude, this time succeeding. He went up on a mountainside. To pray, the Bible says.

To pray. I let that “sink in” to my desperate, multitasking mind today.

I don’t know how long He was alone in prayer, but I assume it was through the evening and most of the night. We read that along toward morning, He went out, on the lake, walking on the water during a storm, to meet, comfort, and teach His disciples who were in a water-drenched boat, tossing to and fro, thinking they were going to die. That’s my Jesus! That’s your Jesus. Teacher. Comforter. Savior. The Great I Am! The Son of God!

And it didn’t end. His ministry didn’t end when He was crucified. He’s still compassionate. He still comforts me. He’s still loving and healing. My teacher. My Savior. The Great I Am! The Son of God. The Bread of Life. That’s my Jesus. And if He is your Savior, that’s your Jesus too.

He’s the one who becomes family.

He’s the one who is compassionate.

And He’s the one who teaches me that occasionally I need to get to a place of solitude ~ to pray.

Click here to learn more about trusting Jesus as your Savior.


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A Little Bit of Jesus

Pharoah, the ruler of Egypt, the enemy of the Israelites, detested the words of Moses and Aaron regarding God’s plan for the Israelites. He referred to their words as lies and told his overseers to “Make the work harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.”[1] You might be familiar with the many plagues God put upon Pharoah and the Egyptians to force Pharoah to let the Israelites go – to leave Egypt. After plagues of blood, frogs, gnats, and flies, Pharoah agreed to let the Israelites go – but only a certain distance. “I will let you go to offer sacrifices to the Lord your God in the wilderness, but you must not go very far,” he said.[2]

Has the enemy, Satan, ever suggested similar ideas to you? He stirs you to find fault in your Christian leaders. He detests the Word of God they are preaching. Oh, he lets you worship – perhaps pray – a bit – but not too often. “You must not go very far,” he says.

He doesn’t mind if you go to church, as long as you don’t get “religious.”  “Don’t listen to those who speak God’s Word. They speak lies. You must not go very far,” he says.

It’s fine with him if you give a small offering to ministry, but he shows you many faults with giving a tithe or more. The church doesn’t use the money properly – or you certainly need the money for something more important this week. You can “give” next week instead. “You must not go very far,” he says.

He makes the Christian look foolish – you know – the one who speaks to others about being saved. The one who prays in public. The one who prays with the sick or the grieving. And he tells you that you would certainly appear foolish in front of others by revealing your Christian faith. “You must not go very far,” he says.

He causes you to be totally worn out on Sunday mornings. Your children aren’t obeying your directions to brush their teeth and get dressed. An argument is brewing with you and your husband. Going to church isn’t worth it. I don’t want to be a hypocrite, you tell yourself. “You must not go very far,” he says.

I’m familiar with these lies, as the enemy throws them at me quite often. But just as God willed Moses to lead his chosen people out of Egypt, He wills us to leave the burden of slavery to sin and follow Him, as Peter and the other disciples did when they recognized Jesus as Messiah, the one about whom Moses had written.[3] Once we belong to Him, He offers us abundant life.[4] The enemy doesn’t want abundant life for us, so we mustn’t listen to his lies any longer. He tricks us into thinking we’re just fine with a little bit of Jesus.

[1] Exodus 5:9

[2] Exodus 8:28, italics added

[3] John 1: 35-51

[4] John 10:10