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Jewels From Judy

Monday, August 19 2019

A bird standing on a branch

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Whose Perspective is Right?
The Lesson of the Osprey and the Heron
Judy A Bauman

Pictured here are two beautiful birds. While they are clearly not the same species, they both eat fish so both live near water. One is an Osprey (aka Fish Eagle) and the other is a Great Blue Heron.

Last week, my husband and I were taking our little pontoon boat out on the lake, when I spotted an Osprey high in the trees. It really surprised me because I had never seen one in that vicinity.

 

My husband was navigating out into the lake when excitedly I said, “Look, Jeff! There’s an Osprey!”  As I readied my camera for a shot of the stately bird, he corrected me saying, “That’s not an Osprey; it’s a Blue Heron!”
 

I said, “Jeff, I have it in focus in my viewfinder, and I am telling you, it’s an Osprey!” After we went back and forth a couple of times as to who was right, I got a clear photo and showed it to him. He said, “Oh! You’re looking up in the trees; I was looking at the shoreline.” He pointed and said, “Do you see the Blue Heron?” I looked where he was pointing, and saw it seeking a meal in the same waters as the Osprey.
 

I realized that this was an important lesson because often we know we are right, so we believe the other person is wrong; however, in this case, we were both right. We rightly identified what we were looking at but didn’t realize we were looking at different things.

Maybe you are trying to relate something to someone, but you are both looking from different perspectives or at different subjects. Sometimes we need to stop and make sure we see what the other is looking at, and conversely, they need to stop and look from our perspective.  Just like Jeff and I correctly identified what we saw, yet we were not in agreement because we weren’t looking at the same thing.

This illustrates that we need to listen to hear and look to see.  One thing I know is if I ask the Lord to show me what is going on from His perspective, I have a much better chance of understanding the circumstance.

May we hear what the Spirit is saying through this little life lesson.

 

Posted by: Judy A Bauman AT 03:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 05 2019

Jewels from Judy: A Day to Celebrate!

Judy A Bauman

February 5, 2019

https://www.thefathersloveim.org/jewels_from_judy_blog/view/2335/a_day_to_celebrate

For the past 49 years of my life, February 5th has NOT been a day to celebrate, but rather, a day to battle grief from my father’s sudden passing. Nearly every year, I would relive the events of that fateful night, and it was awful. The Lord has granted degrees of deliverance from the trauma after receiving His saving grace, but I learned the hard way that I needed to bolster my armor to prepare for this sorrowful anniversary. If I didn’t, the enemy would use my suffering to his advantage.

Last year, something wonderful happened on this date that was completely out of my control, and I didn’t learn of it until weeks later. Many of you know it took me a grueling four years to finish my second book, Jewels from the Harvest. It was in November of 2017 that I first sent it to the publisher, but there was a bit more work to do to get it finalized. In January, it was typeset for publication.

I told the Lord that I was sorry it took so long for me to write the book. I knew He had wrestled with me to get it done, but His gracious reply to me was, “It is exactly on time.” The Lord set me up for a special surprise because the final publication date 'so happened to be' February 5, 2018! When I saw it, in my mind’s eye I saw a huge fist hit the “devil of torment” so hard its teeth went flying before it hit the ground! It was a one-punch knockout blow!
Since I didn’t know the publish date last year, this is the first anniversary I can share this amazing victory. There has been no grief or sorrow; nor any preparation for a fight because I know it’s over. The battle is won and victory is complete ~ it is finished! I have joy and satisfaction knowing my Father always has a plan – even He seems to tarry, He is on time. As Habakkuk 2:3 promises:

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”

While 49 years may seem a long time, it is but a mist in the annals of time. God is revealing this number is significant and part of His gift. If I understand this correctly, 49 equals 7 Sabbaths of years, and consecrates the following 50th year of Jubilee. (See Leviticus 25, especially verses 8-10.) Jubilee is significant as it is a time of personal liberty, restitution, and living the simple life. This is amazing! I had to read that several times because it seems too good to be true, but God doesn’t lie.

Beloved, we are not to live complicated, distressed, fear-filled, or mournful lives, but lives blessed by God’s liberty and restitution. No matter what has been taken from us, we can find wholeness in the embrace of the Father’s love. How awesome is it that God pays attention to the details of our lives in ways to restore what has been lost to us. I pray you rejoice with me, and in that, you too receive personal liberty and restitution in all things through Jesus’ mighty name. Amen!

Hallelujah! Glory to God for His ways are not our ways!

Posted by: Judy A Bauman AT 08:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, June 07 2018

 
 

Jewels from Judy: Lessons from a Woodpecker

Judy A Bauman


https://www.jewelsfromjudy.com/jewels_from_judy_blog


Earlier this week, I posted some photos on Facebook of a male Red-bellied Woodpecker dutifully feeding his juvenile offspring. I observed that one fledgling was already going to the suet feeder on its own, while the other would chirp and flutter its wings to signal its hunger. This one constantly followed its daddy from the tall poplar tree in my yard, to the feeder and back again. I enjoyed watching the loving care this doting father was giving to it.

On Tuesday night, I was sitting on my deck on a very important phone call. Suddenly, I saw a resident hawk dive down onto something in that large tree, and then flew with it to the ground. I couldn’t clearly see what it was, but heard the sound its prey made; sadly, I was sure it was that juvenile woodpecker. Immediately, the daddy woodpecker swooped at the hawk to its rescue, but the hawk took off with its prey held tightly in its deadly grip! Other species of birds immediately came to help. Blue Jays joined the woodpecker in pursuit, and together with some other birds, they made a loud cacophonous noise. I looked on as they chased the hawk in vain, and soon the sky soon grew grievously quiet.


After I finished my call, I diligently searched for the young woodpecker in the tree, but deep down I knew it was the victim. I tried to remain hopeful that I would spot it, thinking perhaps instead of the juvenile woodpecker, an unwanted rodent had become hawk’s meal. Of course, that was unlikely given all the birds that pursued the hawk after it attacked. As I continued to watch for the fledgling, I saw the daddy come to the feeder, get a mouthful of suet, wait, and look at all the familiar places his baby would land. Sadly, his little eager eater never came.


I have seen this happen in nature before, and normally I’m very practical about it; however, this incident upset me tremendously! I could not get a grip on my emotions and wept as if I had lost a loved one. I kept telling myself that it was ridiculous to carrying on as I was, but the grief overwhelmed me. I prayed and asked the Lord why I had such a strong, exaggerated reaction to this event. I believe He has showed me several important things, which is why I am sharing this with you.


While seemingly a small thing, it was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. The night before, I had watched two hours of the evening news, which I normally strictly limit. I was shocked at the number of people in my city (ATL) that have lost young family members this week to senseless acts of crime, auto accidents, and drownings. I have felt badly for the parents, family and friends, and in every case that I heard about, there was a common theme. Like the daddy woodpecker, there didn’t seem to be anything the parents could have done to prevent it.


As our children grow, it is impossible and inappropriate to be with them at all times. We can keep guard for their safety, but there is a point where they have to start watching for themselves. Unfortunately, something can happen that tragically takes them from their loving family. This is when we must join in, as the blue jays did for the woodpecker, and pray for the grieving parents, family members, and community. The Father hears our prayers and He will comfort those who mourn. That is His promise!


The Lord revealed something else through my grief, and that is His deep grief when the enemy snatches a little one from Him. We know it’s not because He is too weak to keep it from happening. He’s God!!! These things happen because He’s given mankind freewill and He will not take it from us – even if He sees we are making poor choices. That is huge!


Peter warned that we are to be sober and vigilant, because the devil is like a roaring lion seeking to devour. It is not God’s will for us to suffer theft, to be killed or destroyed. Jesus came to give us life in abundance. From this, we can easily discern what workings are God’s, and what things our adversary causes. Anyone saying that God brings premature deaths, diseases, and calamity (to teach us a lesson, humble us, etc...), is mistaken. They are not receiving that message from the Lord or from Scripture. Reject what they are saying, as they do not know the true heart of the Father’s love or His faithfulness to those whom Christ gave His life. God cares for the birds of the air. How much more does He care for us? He is our Father, our Provider, our Healer, our Ever-present help in times of trouble (and so much more).  


As I sat this morning to have my coffee, journal, and study, I looked out the window and it blessed me to see the other fledgling. This one approached feeding time differently than the one that was snatched. It had observed its daddy go to the feeder, and it did likewise. This one learned to feed itself. The other one made a lot of noise, constantly fluttered its wings, and made a scene. While it got its daddy’s attention, it also caught the hawk’s watchful eye. We see which one survived.

The Lord was showing me through this how we often rely on our pastor or others feed us spiritual truths. While it’s natural to want someone else to feed you when you are young, there is a time to learn how utensils work. We have to grow up and learn to feed ourselves spiritually, and rightly divide the Scriptures. How else can we know if what we’ve been taught is the truth instead of a gray, dim, or twisted version of it? We must learn to “be still and know that He is God” and that “He is the Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The anointing resides in us by the Holy Spirit for the expressed purpose to teach us all things; but we must guard and develop it. This is the Lord’s will and I pray we walk in it. Amen

 

In the Father’s abiding love,
Judy A Bauman


~
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
~

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

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Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

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2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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1 John 1:26-27 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

~ Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.~

Posted by: Judy A Bauman AT 04:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, September 13 2016

The Battle Belongs to the Lord 

By Judy A Bauman


http://​www.thefathersloveim.org
 

Trusting in the Lord
Many Christians, including myself, have had to declare with regularity, “Lord, I trust You!” We have read and heard teachings that “The Battle Belongs to the Lord!” However, we tend to do two things. One, we either fight until we are exhausted and at the end of our rope; or we sit back and do nothing and purport to be trusting God in the matter. I don’t believe either are Scriptural.

A principle wrongly attributed to Scripture is “God helps those who help themselves.” This statement is attributed to Aesop and later Benjamin Franklin. However, when we study the Scriptures, we see that there is truth to this idiom. God helps us, but there is action required on our part. Many examples come to mind, but let me just share these with you.

Send In the Praisers!
In 2 Chronicles 20, the people of Israel are backed up into a place they cannot escape the three great armies coming at them. Any one of the armies were big enough to annihilate the Israelites, but these wicked armies came together to make sure they wiped Israel off the face of the earth. (Where have we heard that before?) A prophet spoke up after they all had fasted and prayed, and said, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Did the Israelites lay around, eat popcorn, and wait to see how God would swoop in to save them? No! However, they did gain wisdom to do something out of the norm. Instead of sending the army out in front to fight, they put the praisers in holy attire and those worshippers went IN FRONT of the arm!* You see in this passage, the enemies of Israel were prepared for the fight, and King Jehoshaphat also readied his army; however, the king sent the praisers out and they SANG and PRAISED GOD! This was NOT the order of things! In the ears of their enemies, this singing was heard as a declaration that the victory was already won. Because of that, the enemy armies suspected treason and were self-slaughtered. God used the praises of His people to set ambushes against their enemies! Had Israel done nothing, how could God have sent confusion into the camp of the enemy armies?

What Are You Giving the Lord?
Like the loaves and fishes being multiplied by Jesus to feed the people, God multiplies what we give Him. If we give Him nothing, there is nothing to multiply. A million times zero is still zero.

Building Projects Face Obstacles
In Nehemiah, we see another example of how God fights for us. The Israelites are rebuilding the broken walls and gates of Jerusalem, but come under great persecution while trying to work. In chapter 4 verse 9 it states, “But we prayed to our God and because of them we set up a guard against them day and night.” In verse 20 he says, “Our God will fight for us.”

At that point, do they lay back and see how God is going to do it? No. They carried on the work with half the men holding spears while the laborers worked with one hand and held a sword in the other! They worked from dawn until the stars came out and did not even chance changing their clothes. The work was so spread out, they had a signal worked out that if they heard the blowing of the trumpets, they were all to rally together for protection. Nehemiah said that when they rallied, “Our God will fight for us.”

Our Armor
Some would say that both of these examples are men doing something, and they did, but they did it with prayerful insight. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:10 to “put on the full armor of God”. We are to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might,” but we do that by dressing for battle and learning how to use those spiritual instruments of warfare. We have to act on what God shows us. James 2:20 states that “faith without works is dead,” so clearly action is required to prove out our faith. The key is to work in the strength, timing and manner the Lord reveals.

What to Do
Though there are many more examples of God fighting for us in Scripture, in every case, there is action taken by the believer. There is a time to pray and seek God’s face, there is a time to prepare, there is a time to fight, and there is a time to rest. Wisdom dictates which process we are in at any given point. The only way we can know is to seek the Lord and then do what He reveals. May peace make the ruling in what concerns you.

In the Father’s love

Judy A Bauman



 

*(This by the way is why no one should be on a praise team or in a choir unless they are called to do so. Praisers who do not understand they are standing between the enemies of God and the church are in a very dangerous place. If you are called there, you know you have God’s grace.)





~

Posted by: Judy A Bauman AT 12:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, August 31 2016

Are You Hungry for the Things of the Lord? It’s time to Eat!

By Judy A Bauman


August 31, 2016
 

After a productive week working on “Jewels from the River II,” I had a very vivid dream. There was a tiny house that I evidently owned and had rented. The occupant had moved out and the house was empty except for two aquariums filled with fish. One tank was big for the tiny house and stretched nearly the full width of it; the other was an average sized fish tank. The numerous fish in the larger tank were big (4-5”) for fresh-water aquarium fish. They were healthy, but hungry. (I have had reoccurring dreams for years where I realize I have fish that I have forgotten to feed. There is always food for them; I just have to give it to them. I have asked the Lord repeatedly what these dreams mean, but for the most part, I haven’t had clear understanding.)

There was something really wonderful and remarkable about the fish in the large tank of this particular dream. These fish had the faces of animals! They weren’t named after animals, like the lionfish, but actually had a miniature version of the face of an animal on a fish body. They were truly unique and beautiful. The first fish I saw in the large tank had the face of a male lion with a furry mane! I saw face of a bighorn ram on a fish – complete with large curled horns. There was an eagle’s face that had feathers, a zebra whose face and body were striped, but it had a long zebra nose. One looked like a goat and had such a sweet, innocent looking face. There were many more, but the last one I saw had the face of a horse with brown eyes, and long mane. They were all so amazing!!! The tank was full beyond capacity and each fish was different; however, they all seemed to live in unity.

I knew they were hungry, but was unsure what to feed them. They looked like they would each need a specialized diet. Then I looked over at the smaller aquarium and saw hundreds of goldfish in it. They were also hungry so I gave them flake food and they all readily ate it. I turned back to the fish in the large tank and saw feeding pellets on top of the hood. I put a good amount in because I knew there were a lot of them and they were ravenous. While contemplating whether I should give them some more, I woke up.

I shared this dream with my husband and a couple of friends, mainly because it was so vivid and amusing. However, through this dream, the Holy Spirit gave me a revelation about these “aquarium” dreams I’ve had over the years. Jesus used fish as an analogy for believers. (“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4:19)

Here is what I believe the Lord showed me: The reason these fish were so vivid and unique in the dream is that they represent us, the Church. God’s people are to be spiritually vivid and unique. We need the Father’s “daily bread” to sustain us. (Through food in the natural, the food that feeds us by studying Scripture, teaching of the Word, prophetic words that speak directly into our lives, and last but certainly not least, the promise of God’s covenant through remembering the Lord’s sacrifice by taking the Lord’s Supper. This is not so much about taking elements of communion as it is receiving JESUS. We must have a personal relationship with Him. We do not want to hear the Lord say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you...”)

The Fish (us) that I saw in this dream were vastly unique and marvelous creations of God, waiting for something they could eat that would give them sustenance. They were God’s delight and eager to receive something that would give them strength for the day. All I had to do was to put food in the water and they would eat what they needed. (We all have those we are called to feed, and others who are called to feed us.)

One Scripture that has always stood out to me, is found in Revelation 3:2, where the Lord admonishes, “strengthen the things which remain”. I do take the whole of that Scripture very seriously and I hope you do too. God is strengthening each of us by the power of His Spirit, but He doesn’t strengthen us void of the Church. He has called each of us into His service. Will we choose to put our hand to the plow, or lay back and assume someone else will do it? Remember, the foolish virgins in Matthew 25 did not go in because they did not invest in the needed oil. We need to be generous with our resources when it comes to the things of God.

There are seasons of rest and rejuvenation, but there are also seasons of clearing the land, weeding, uprooting, tearing down, building up, planting, watering, and harvesting. I am seeing and experiencing the change of the spiritual season we are in and rejoice for it! So many are losing hope, and we need rise up, dust ourselves off, and say, “Not on my watch!”

Let me pose some simple but very important questions inspired by a message my pastor recently gave:

  • Where is God calling you to serve and to whom?
  • Have you or anyone else identified your spiritual gifts? (Not sure? Go to: http://www.spiritualgiftstest.com/spiritual-gifts)
  • How can you use those gifts to build the kingdom of heaven?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What are your skills?
  • What is your personality? Some people are more comfortable being behind the scenes, where others want to be personally involved. Whatever your personality, God has a place for you.
  • How can you incorporate your life’s experiences to best serve God’s people?

God is building something and we need to focus on what unites us and not what divides us. We live in a time that people are very polarized, but it is important we keep our eyes and ears in tune with the Lord. His ways are not our ways, and to Him, obedience is better than sacrifice. Be like the wise virgins and invest your time, talent, and resources into the work of the kingdom. Do not miss the opportunities that come your way to feed the Body of Christ and those who don’t yet know Jesus. We are all hungry, we all need to eat!

In the Father’s Love

Judy A Bauman

If you would like to hear the series my pastor has given recently, go to http://riverstonechurch.com/sermons-2016 and listen to The Nehemiah Project. 

Posted by: Judy A Bauman AT 04:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, June 19 2015

Take Heart!

Do you feel completely overwhelmed by life? Don't feel alone. You are in good company! There are many cases of people in the Bible feeling discouraged to the point of wishing for death. I strongly encourage you to speak this over yourself, “Take heart! The Lord is near and His awesome redemption power is at hand!”

The Bible reveals that God’s people were constantly getting themselves into trouble and needing God's mercy and unfailing love to get them out of it. Often times the people would run from what God had spoke to them to do, but God brought them back with His Mighty Hand. Are we any different today? We humans may have a lot of “advancements” in life, but we all need God. I am so glad there are examples of people’s struggles all throughout Scripture. Otherwise, we would all think it was a cakewalk for those who passed before us. Here are a few examples I share in the hope of encouraging you today:

Joseph - His father dearly loved him, and because of this, his brothers were so jealous that they plotted to kill him. Instead they sold him into slavery. They told his father that a wild beast had killed him. Joseph later ended up in jail for not agreeing to sin against God and spend 14 years in jail; however, God did not forget him there. Joseph walked in such integrity that he was not only released, but given great power and many blessings. He was not only able to save his father and brother's from starving, but the entire population of people survived because of his insight from the Lord.

Job – Here was a man who suffered nearly every calamity known to man. All his children died in an accident, his servants, livestock were either killed or stolen by his enemies. All this took place within a few hours. His first act was to fall to the ground and worship God! This left me with my mouth hanging open. I doubt that would have been my response, but praise God it was Job’s. Then the devil was allowed to further torment him by giving him an ailment causing him great distress. His wife's advice was to curse God and die. Most of his friends accused him of offending God when the opposite was true. The long and short of the story of Job was that he loved the Lord and didn't fall into the trap of the enemy which was to curse God.

Moses – Nearly killed at birth, lived like a king, but then murdered an Egyptian soldier and fled to the dessert. He spent the next 40 years there before even beginning his ministry, which led millions of Hebrews out of bondage. Many examples could be given about Moses’ reliance of God.

David – Had relations with a married woman, got her pregnant, and then tried to hide it by getting her husband to come home and have relations with her. He could not take comfort from his wife knowing his fellow soldiers were on the battlefield. Then King David sent him back with written and sealed orders for the troops to fall back from pregnant woman’s husband so he would be killed. Talk about abuse of power! Then David did not even repent for a year afterwards. However, God loved David. The Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart. WHY? Because God knew David truly loved Him. While David suffered in his lifetime for his iniquity, he was also greatly blessed.

Jehoshaphat – the enemy was coming to destroy the nation, so he called the people to fast and pray. The Lord spoke through a prophet that the battle belonged to Him. God said to stand firm and watch. King Jehoshaphat had a job to do and that was to trust God at His word. His job was to believe that God would defeat the great multitudes coming against him. He ended up on his face before God in worship when most men would have been arming up to do battle. He called the worshipers to go before the army, and because their enemies suspected treason by their allies, the enemies were self slaughtered! Not one survived! It took three days to bring in the booty.

Esther – She was prepared to please the king and saved her entire race. However, it could have cost her life. She fasted and prayed for three days, and had all the other Hebrews and all the animals fast and pray as well. The Jews were saved and the gallows built to hang her uncle were used to hang the one responsible for the evil plot against the Jewish nation!

Matthew – He work for the Romans to collect taxes from the Hebrews and was hated among his own people for it. It is likely even the other disciples were wondering why Jesus called him. His gospel is foundational in our understanding of the Jesus’ teaching on the kingdom of heaven.

Peter – He was constantly being corrected by Jesus. One time Jesus actually said Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Just before Jesus was killed Jesus told him that he would deny Him three times. Peter said that there was no way! Yet that is exactly what happened. When Jesus arose from the dead he sent word to the apostles and Peter with a special mention for Peter, because Jesus knew that he was deeply grieved. Like Job, Peter was tested of the devil and passed the test. When he returned, he strengthened the brethren and you and I are tested and strengthened likewise.

Paul – This man killed Christians in what he believed was a service to God! God saw his heart and appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul, then Saul, did not consult men, but got still before God and studied himself approved.

What all these people have in common was that they were not able to save themselves, but God redeemed their lives. Many of them struggled fiercely. God's power was made perfect in their weakness. There are many other excellent examples of how to rely on God when it could not look worse. Just as Lazarus was raised from the dead, we need to understand that we have the power of the resurrecting God living on the inside of us. He can and He will bring us back to life. We need to take off the grave clothes, and go forth in the confidence of the Lord. Amen

In the Father’s love,

Judy A Bauman

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 01:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 05 2014

44 Years Later

Today I want to share a personal testimony with you. Given my topic, it’s interesting to me that the title of one of my last posts was: “Too Many 4s to Ignore.” It so happens that it was 44 years ago that my father suddenly passed away. In the past on this date, I was constantly bombarded with images and memories of what happened that night. It had been imprinted in my memory, and if I didn’t hit the rewind button in my mind to play over and over again on this date, the enemy of my soul would replay it for me. It was dreadful. Trauma often does works on people in this way. Perhaps you too have had something similar to this that has continually plagued you. I pray my testimony will bless and encourage you.


After I surrendered my life to the Lord, the grief and heartache began to heal; however, I still felt like I had to prepare for war starting around Christmas to the date we buried him (February 9th). Some years were better than others, but there was a fierce, ongoing battle for my emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing over the terrible loss of my dad. This stress often caused physical issues to crop up too. In a dramatic way, God had revealed Himself to me as the Father to the fatherless, and I wanted to share that love with others. This is when the Holy Spirit let me know God called me to go to nations, not only teach, but impart the Father’s love. When I started The Father’s Love Int’l Ministries at the Lord’s prompting, this whole thing again became a targeted area.

Just after I was given the mandate from the Holy Spirit to write my book, something extraordinary happened. I had four (wow – there it is again!) four short visions. They were glimpses of my parents since their passing. The first vision was of my dad fishing in heaven and what he did was so out of character for him, it caught me by surprise. So much so, that I have a hard time describing the emotional response I had from it. I remember getting up and having so much joy from seeing he was in heaven that I was making a sound I had never heard before. It wasn’t laughing or crying, but a strange combination of the two. It was something different – something wonderful!

The next morning I sat with the Lord and asked Him if He would show me something for my brother and sister that would help them the way He had helped me the night before. Lo and behold, He did! For my brother it was a private thing that dad had done with him (shaving). This was not something I was privy to, because they were “the boys of the family” and did it when us girls weren’t around. When I told my brother the whole of what I had seen, he rejoiced! He explained their cherished time together to me in detail, and I was so happy that God had shown such a personal and special thing.

For my sister, He showed me something our mother had been working on for her. For as long as I can remember, mom hated to sew. She wanted to have the skill to do it, but sewing frustrated her to no end. What I saw her doing shocked me. She was sewing a beautiful blue gown for my sister! I shared this with her and it was a great surprise to us both.

Then I saw something my dad had been doing for me all these grief-stricken years, and it absolutely shocked and stunned me. It was the greatest gift, and I never could have imagined such a thing. (God really can give us more than we can ask or think!) I saw an out-building and my dad standing by the door. I looked inside and it was a beautiful woodworking shop with many tools. Most I recognized, but others I didn’t. It was so amazing it makes my eyes tear up just thinking about this marvelous gift. I saw we would make tables together and they would have jewels, shells, feathers and light inlayed into the wood. It seems even music came from them at certain times. It was absolutely stunning to see such a heavenly workshop. Knowing it was mine sent me over the moon! I love working with wood, but allergies have kept me from it. When I saw the shop, it was as if the oxygen was sucked out of the room where I was sitting! I “leaked” with joy for days!

Then I saw my mother across the road jumping up and clapping – spinning around in joy that I had seen this great gift awaiting me. I also knew the reason she rejoiced like this was that she saw how much I suffered as a child when my dad died, and how when she was dying I stayed by her side as much as possible. She knew I was grieved by her failing health too. In the vision, she was happy to see that I was assured that she and dad were with the Lord.

Both my parents looked young and happy. I was so overwhelmed and filled with joy and gratitude that I knew the grief that I had suffered for so long was forever shattered. How could I ever grieve again as I had? I know that was just a glimpse, but it was enough to hold me for this lifetime. Now when I think of my parents, I think of where they are and how they are preparing a place, alongside the Lord, for their children. Truly, death has lost its sting. God has so much more for us that we can’t even imagine.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

God’s ways are surely NOT our ways. His thoughts are far above ours. Amen! It is my prayer that this personal testimony has been a blessing to you. As I said before, there are “too many 4s to ignore!” 44 years ago, my dad went to be with my Father. Hallelujah!

Ministry Note

It is my hope that you will remember the ministry and the trip to Uganda set in May. The message I will share at the pastor’s conference is developing, and I will share it with you as soon as the Father releases me to do so. If the Lord is calling you to stand with us, please give as He directs. Go to www.thefathersloveim.org to donate. Thanks so much for your thoughtful consideration.

In the Father’s love,

Judy Bauman

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:27 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 06 2013

There is Purpose in the Process!

Today I was reading a post on facebook about what David did while “waiting” to be king. Thinking on the life and times of King David, and about the processes he went through long before being crowned king, I can’t help but think about “the process” we must go through in life before the promises of God are fulfilled. Many of us who belong to the Lord are going through a time of transition. Like in birthing, it is a narrow and uncomfortable place to be. Pregnancy is a great example for us because we know that if a woman gives birth too early (even though she may be ready for it to be over) the baby will have difficulties surviving. So it is with the promises of God.

Maybe you are waiting to hear a specific prophetic word for your life to give you direction. Perhaps you have had a prophetic word spoken over you that has not come to pass. Some of you may be so tired of receiving prophetic words that haven’t come to fruition, that if you hear one more, you will gag. However, it is important to remember David was anointed king long before actually becoming king. He wisely trusted in God’s timing and did not try to usurp King Saul’s authority. How many of us would have believed that after being anointed king by the prophet, it would be fulfilled immediately? At the very least – much sooner than it was! But here is what we must remember: David spent a lot of time alone in the wilderness tending sheep and worshipping God. He was used to waiting; he was used to seeking God’s face. The question is, are we? Have we received a promise but have our own timing in mind? I can’t help but think of Abraham having to wait all those years for his promise of a son to come to pass…but that is another story! The question is – what will we do while we’re waiting?

In the Father’s Love

Rev. Judy Bauman

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, September 10 2012

Eleven Years After 9/11 – a testimony of the one year anniversary
 
Last year, on the tenth year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I shared with you the testimony of the Lord led me to volunteer at the Family Assistance Center in New York City. Today I will briefly share my side of what happened the following year at the first anniversary at New York City’s memorial.
 
Around July of 2002, I felt a strong urging that I was to go back to NYC to help the families of the 9/11 victims. In a somewhat vague vision I saw myself doing something I truly had no idea how to get accomplished. I saw a table lined with reading materials and a red banner over it that read, “Prayer”. I saw myself with an apron that identified me as a worker. I had no idea how I would get a table, reading materials and a sign to NYC - let alone afford it! I didn’t even know if their city ordinances allowed that sort of thing. I told a friend about my vision and about a month later she happened on a request from YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in NYC asking for volunteers to come pray for the families of the victims. My son Ryan wanted to come with me, so the two of us traveled to NYC.
 
My son and I were the only ones there who had no idea who or what YWAM was or what they did, which was a shock to everyone in the room. We got a crash course on the dos and don’ts of YWAM ministry from the founder, Loran Cunningham! We were then sent out the door with a portable table, reading material to give away, aprons and a banner to display that read, “Prayer Station” – and the banner and aprons were red! I was stunned by the whole thing! But it got even better.
 
Ground Zero in lower Manhattan was where the memorial took place and it was restricted to families and authorized personnel only. The YWAM teams were all randomly assigned to locations around the closed-off area. Ryan and I were assigned to work with a lovely couple who were leaders that had flown in from Australia to help out. The four of us ended being stationed exactly where the families exited the platform of the memorial after their loved one’s name had been called!  We were very careful to respect their space as it was a very intense time of grieving for them. We gently let them know we were praying for them and many stopped for prayer. It was such a blessing to be there for them at that moment.
 
The next day, September 12, 2002, the “9/11 Memorial” at Ground Zero was to open to the public. It was a very busy day in the City. When we arrived at the location where we had been the day before, it was so windy they decided to move us. Our new location, and I am not joking, was the Ground Zero Plaza! We set up our table and prayed for people all day. There were visitors from around the USA that often turned down the prayer when asked, but when I explained this tragedy hurt all of America, most quickly agreed to receive prayer. As we prayed, many would begin to weep from the depth of pain and sense of helplessness caused by this horrific event. It was a great opportunity and I was honored to be a carrier of the Father’s love in that situation.
 
I share this so you can see how God can work – truly in mysterious ways. When He shows you something He wants you to do, even though it often doesn’t make sense, He has a way of causing that thing to come to pass as you seek Him in it. As King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 3:5-6
 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. NASV
 
God bless and keep you, may His face shine upon you,
Judy

Ministry Note: If this ministry has been a blessing to you, please prayerfully consider partnering with us. You may contribute online by credit card at www.thefathersloveim.org or send a check or money order to:
 
The Father’s Love Int’l Ministries
P. O. Box 1573
Flowery Branch, GA 30542
 
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.
 
May you be blessed in the Father’s love!
 

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 11:56 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, September 11 2011

This short story is a testimony of the Father’s love after 9/11/01
I dedicate it to all who lost loved ones in those attacks - especially Nina and her mother, Evan.

Will We Remember?

Walking through the ash and debris near “Ground Zero” in New York City (NYC), I clearly remember, and will never forget, the surreal magnitude of the scene. On September 21, 2001, I had flown in to volunteer at the Family Assistance Center, but a local Christian woman offered to first accompany me to the site of the World Trade Center (WTC). As we emerged from the depths of the subway into Lower Manhattan, a horrible stench met us. Pungent smoke permeated the atmosphere from the fire, which had been burning since the attacks. Everything was covered in a thick layer of white ash. Stores stood motionless; their merchandise looked more like monuments than everyday goods. A cacophony of wailing sirens and deep growls from the machinery echoed off the city walls. The nation looked on as frantic workers cleared the wreckage searching for survivors.

Under the safety of a temporary corridor, the throng moved like one giant body. It collectively came to a halt as people gasped at the horrendous panorama of the WTC’s skeletal remains. Some observers had to steady themselves. Many wept. Shocked by the magnitude of it, the ability to hear, think, or feel had left us. All we could do was look at the ruins and destruction set before us, then at each other with tears of disbelief.

Several city blocks away from the daunting work at Ground Zero, some of Lower Manhattan was open to the public. My guide pointed out the building where her church had been located. It, along with many of the buildings at Ground Zero, had destabilized foundations. Authorities were determining whether repairs were possible, or if the structures around the WTC would need demolishing. We stopped to pray for her church and the surrounding buildings. When we finished praying, we looked up and were shocked to find no one else was in the vicinity! It was eerie. The surrounding buildings sheltered us from the noise, causing “the City that never sleeps” to be unnervingly quiet! In a hushed whisper, my companion revealed she was a native of NYC and had never experienced such deafening silence.

We slowly walked, block after block, taking in all we saw. What we witnessed in this deserted area left its mark on my soul. Many vehicles sat abandoned in the streets, while others in parking garages had anomalous objects, like office equipment and pieces of furniture, surrounding them. One car was so violently jolted out of its parking spot; it hung outside the third story of the five-story garage. Sorrow hit our hearts like a dagger when we realized the owners of some of the vehicles might not have survived. Shrouded with thick ash; the City was indeed in mourning. We did not touch anything, and even though we felt grief, the peace of God was tangible.

What I witnessed in the rubble of NYC reminded me of the overwhelming ruins of my own life before I asked Jesus to rescue me. For years, I rejected His help. He had been there holding out His hand, but I refused to take it. I knew I didn’t deserve God’s love, but He loved me anyway! Just as those in NYC carefully removed each bucket of debris from Ground Zero, so did the Redeemer of my soul remove the ash from my life.

Many people have asked me where my loving God was on 9/11. I can safely say He was in the same place He was when Jesus went to the cross. Nothing in our lives surprises God. He knows the cost of giving mankind the gift of freewill. Some use their freedom to hurt innocent people, as the terrorists did on 9/11; others, like the public servants of NYC, use it to help souls in need, even at the cost of their own lives. I pray you realize Jesus bought and paid for your sins with His own life. He chose to take your punishment. It is for the sake of freedom Christ set us free! All things are new when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior. There was an outcry for us to remember 9/11. It would seem memories fade. The Good News is the Lord never forgets His love for us. Will we remember Him?

In the Father's love,

Judy A Bauman

Copyright ©2014

Posted by: AT 12:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, February 04 2011

A Teaching On “The Perspective of Heaven”

Since January 1, 2011, Daystar Church, where I am a member, has been enjoying “40 Days of Adoration”.  This was spearheaded by an encounter Bob Hartley had with the Lord concerning 2011.  Daystar’s pastor, Johnny Enlow, has encouraged us to join in a conference call each morning for a time of adoration to the Lord.  Daily we focus on specific names or attributes of God.  This time of adoration has created an atmosphere of worship to the Lord.  Even though you may not have read Bob’s word or participated in the calls, I believe this teaching will be a blessing to you.

There is one small part Bob shared at the beginning of his encounter that I would like to address in this post because, to me, it will bring greater understanding to the other parts.  Please understand this is my interpretation of this specific part of Bob’s encounter.  I have never written a post on something someone else has received, so this is an unusual “Jewels from Judy”.  This post more closely reflects how I teach than how I write, which is very different from one another.  As always, it is up to you to discern if what I am sharing is of the Lord.  May the spirit of the prophets be subject to the prophets!  Amen!  

Excerpt from Bob Hartley:

This encounter has been progressive, and was taken to a whole other level as I was taken from a view of 30 feet above the earth to five million miles in the heavens. I've had dreams of waves that would try to crash over the Body of Christ and I was only 30 feet above the ground, while the waves were 70 feet, and I and others were drowning. The Lord said, "I have measured you in hope and you have come up wanting. The way in is to adore, adore, adore!"

My Interpretation:

When I first heard the distances the Jesus showed Bob, I had to laugh.  It truly tickled me.  There has been a lot I have shared in past writings about seeing from the perspective of heaven in my encounters with the Lord, so this was lovely confirmation from the Father.  When Bob saw the view at 30’ above the ground, the waves at 70’ and then the view of 5 million miles in the heavens, I believe the Lord was giving him, and us, a visual (mini-movie) of three spiritual realms.

Let’s break these distances down and examine them more closely. 

What is the view of 30 feet above the Ground?

My interpretation is that the 30’ height that Bob saw from is the earthly perspective. This is a height you can see a fair distance (depending on the terrain and tree line).  I believe this is a visual illustration that shows spiritually where we are when our eyes are focused on praying for our earthly needs (food, water, clothing, homes, jobs, cars, etc…).  Jesus said pagans [unbelievers, idol worshipers, gentiles] seek after earthly things – what to eat and what to wear; but He made it clear to us that the Father knows of what we have need.  We are to store up our treasure in heaven.  Jesus taught us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and then all the things we need will be given to us.  That is the promise of God, not man. 

As believers we are to see with the eyes of understanding so we can know the hope to which we’ve been called.  It has been my observation that this height is where most people get stuck in prayer – which is why Jesus warned us not to pray this way.  Bob Hartley’s dream of the Body of Christ drowning here seems to confirm that praying at this level is a deathtrap.

The Lord gave me a word for a church a few years back that has really resounded in my heart.  Since then I have shared this with many congregations.  The Holy Spirit said,“Let the sound of your prayers match the sound of your praise.”  All too often we go from joyful, thankful, adoring, praise and worship to prayers of “woe is me” and “the world’s going to hell in a hand basket”.  Telling the Lord everything that is wrong, and everything we want Him to do, in prayer conveys an ungrateful heart to the Father.  The one praying often wonders why their prayers aren’t answered.  It is often because they are operating with a double-minded heart.  (I know I have done this many times, so please don’t receive any condemnation as none is intended.  My hope is to share a better way!)  We need to operate with the mind of Christ so when we pray we can pray with confidence knowing what we ask for is the will of God.  As we pray, “Father, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” we conform our will to His. We must learn to trust the Lord.  Even if the prayer’s answer takes more time than we thought, we can have confident hope – knowing God’s will in the matter will help us fight doubt and unbelief until His promise is fulfilled.

We are to come into His courts with thanksgiving and praise.  We are to magnify what He is doing and what He has promised He will do.  All of God’s promises are “Yes” in Christ Jesus so the church can respond, “Amen!”   The Lord is not honored when we are going through motions and jumping through hoops before we bring a petition to Him.  He already knows what we need and our religious antics to try to get God to do what we want will not move Him.  It brings no joy to the Father when we drone on and on about all the bad things going on around us.  Anybody can see the bad and talk about it!  What level of spiritual maturity does that take???  We are created in God’s image, the Father of life – the Holy and Anointed One!  We are His voice and we are His Light-bearers!  We are to proclaim the light in the dark situations seen, not state the obvious darkness covering the earth.  We have clear direction in Isaiah 60 that we are to arise, to shine – for the glory of the Lord is upon us.  We already have the prophetic word that darkness covers the earth and gross darkness on the people.  Our calling is to BE THE LIGHT-CARRIERS of GOD! (lightcarriers)  We are to be radiant and proclaim God’s promises.  We are to speak the word of the Lord and declare what is supposed to be happening at the 30’ level – not state the world’s obvious problems, troubles and woes.  As Jesus taught us, we are to pray for the Father’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

If we look from the earthly vantage point, which I believe Bob saw as 30’ high, then the 70’ waves will overwhelm us every time. 

What are the five 70 foot waves?

Seventy is very significant number as it is 7X10.  Seven is the number of spiritual completion and perfection while ten is the number of perfection of divine order.  It should be noted that seventy is biblically tied to Jerusalem.  70 AD is when Jerusalem fell to the Roman Empire.  I have no specific understanding what this means today for the Holy City, but I do know Jesus asked us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.  So pray we must!  Though these were known to Bob Hartley to be troubling waves, the Lord expressed His desire to “turn the Valley of Challenge into a Door of Hope.”  The Bible has given us plenty of information to recognize what to expect before Jesus’ return and every prophetic word in Scripture is always coupled with hope. (See Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 2 Tim 3, 2 Thes 2, Rev 19)

This 70’ level represents the spiritual realm above the earth, and in our own strength (the 30’ level) we will never overcome it.  Because fear often grips our hearts and the hope we should have will likely be overshadowed by fear.  The devil and his demons are known powers and principalities that operate in this realm – sometimes referred to as the 2nd heaven.  Biblically Satan is known as the prince of the power of the air, the one who rules in wickedness in high places.  Many spirit-filled Christians who practice spiritual warfare have actually gotten stuck in this realm and it’s why they are suffering horrific defeats.  We cannot stay at this level – we must come up higher.   We have to see what God is doing.  When we focus on what the devil is doing – talking about what he’s doing and all the evil happening around us – we are in effect giving him glory. 

It is easy to see the earthly woes and what the devil is doing, but the Lord is always doing something greater that rarely can be immediately seen.  This is where our faith and hope [earnest expectation] in Christ must take a hold of our hearts!  It is seeing what cannot yet be seen – the substance of what is yet to come.  It’s being able to believe more in what God has said than what our eyes can see, our ears can hear, and all our senses can comprehend.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He was taken to the pinnacle of the temple and on top of a mountain.  While this reveals the authority Satan has in high places, this isalso where the angels of the Lord do battle against the devil. The prince of Persia resisted the angelic messenger 21 days in this realm from reaching Daniel until the angel Michael stepped in to help.  Daniel was like any normal man during this time – sick with mourning to the point he could eat only a little bland food.  He had to get God’s understanding (His perspective).  When Daniel finally did, he was strengthened again.  Before that he was overwhelmed.  We can learn a lot from this heavenly encounter! The “prince of Persia” has again reared its head against Israel.  The spirit of Esther must arise to defeat the spirit of Haman.  (ariseesther)  

The Lord told Bob Hartley there are 5 Great Waves coming in 2011.  Even as I write this there is another terrible uprising in the Middle East and all news channels are reporting on the “Exodus out of Egypt”.  A volcano is creating havoc in Japan as it spews out ash and rock; and another crippling “monster” winter ice storm has hit huge portions of the USA.  Australia has suffered great floods and now a huge cyclone has hit the northern side of that great nation.

The “waves” that affect individual nations, churches and lives may vary, but each one will be too big and will swallow us up if we do not come up higher. 

What is the five million mile view and how do we get there?

The five million mile view is the perspective of heaven – also known as the 3rd heaven. Why would God want to give you His perspective?  He loves you.  HE loves you!  HE LOVES YOU!  Jesus died to bring the Blood of the Lamb to the Mercy Seat and He did this because God loves you.  (John 3:16)

The best Scripture I know of which teaches us how to get the 5 million mile view and why we have permission to do this is found in Hebrews 4:14-16:

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

The Bible teaches us how to get from a 30’ earthly perspective to a 5,000,000 mile perspective.  Jesus is inviting us to see from His heavenly vantage point and not from the view of our problems! 

How do we do this?  “Adore, adore, adore!” 

One of my all time favorite Bible stories is the testimony of Israel’s victory in Second Chronicles 20.  Back when I was a new believer, it opened many doors of revelation as to who we are in Christ and the power that is available to us through true praise and worship!  In short: the sound of victorious praise coming from Israel brought confusion to their enemy’s minds.  The armies that were set to destroy Israel suspected each other of treason and they ended up killing each other!  This story holds the very essence of victory in praising God!!!  He inhabits our praise and He is our Vindicator.  As we come seeking our Father in adoration and thanksgiving during threatening times, the enemy is fraught with confusion.  When we hope in God, when all hope seems to some to be lost, this is when we are brought five million miles into the heavens!

The apostle Paul also gave us some wonderful insights as to our right to have God’s heavenly perspective in the book of Ephesians.  He teaches we have a hope to which we have been called, and that we are seated together with and in Christ Jesus.  Paul revealed that when Jesus sat down at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places, the Lord was FAR ABOVE powers and principalities and rulers of darkness.  Everything has been put under His feet.  He revealed that “the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”  We can’t crush Satan under our feet if we are below him.  To get above the devil we must go to the Throne of Grace!

My own encounters with the Lord (Jewels from the River) have come after spending large blocks of time loving the Lord and telling Him how much I adore Him.  When we come to Him with a heart of worship, we gain His vantage point because we have set our minds and hearts to seek Jesus.  These writings capture the hearts of their readers because the Lord paints a scene that our minds can understand and grasp.  He has created a story painted using words that each person can then be taken to the River and see what the Lord has been so gracious to share with me.

I enjoyed how the Lord's explaination to me why He chose to give Bob Hartley this specific number of five million miles.  Five is the number of grace and a million is a number the Lord used to make a specific point.  As it turns out, we cannot actually get our minds around what a million looks like because we have a difficult time comprehending great numbers.  To give you an example, I looked up how long it would take a person to count to one million.  According to my source it would take nearly 23 days of doing nothing but counting.  This is an example of the Lord using a hyperbole – which is an exaggerated figure of speech that is more symbolic than literal.  A Hyperbole can push our imagination past our mind’s ability to comprehend.  In effect, Jesus forces us think in ways past our normal thought processes!  When telling parables the Lord used them all the time, but He never used a hyperbole without a reason.  The objects of His exaggeration always had a purpose, as does the five million mile view He gave Bob.

It is my hope that you will read and study out these Scriptures, as I know the Holy Spirit will continue to teach you in and through them:

Matthew 6:19-34, John 14:30; Ephesians 1:18-23, 2:4-7 and 6:10-18; Colossians 3:1-3; 12-17; Philippians 4:4-9; Romans 16:20; Daniel 10:12-14, James 1:5-8; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Second Chronicles 20:1-31; Isaiah 40:26; 60:1-5; Psalm 3:6; 34:1-22; 68:17; 121:1; First Samuel 18:7

Bob Hartley’s 3 part word can be found in total at:

http://www.thefathersloveim.org/2011_from_the_lord_s_porch_swing___bob_hartley

Blessings in the Father’s love,

Judy Bauman

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, September 11 2008

Will We Remember?  Or Have We Already Forgotten?: A testimony of the Father's love in New York City after the World Trade Center Attacks on September 11, 2001

As I walked amidst the ash and the debris near the World Trade Center (WTC) site in New York City, I clearly remember, and will never forget how the magnitude of this surreal scene stamped itself into my heart. 

It was September 21, 2001.  When I emerged from the depths of the NYC subway, I was met by a horrible stench. The conflagration emitted a pungent smoke, combining electrical, metallic and organic elements in a terrible concoction of odors that permeated the atmosphere. Every store both small and large stood motionless - all the merchandise gloomily enshrouded with a thick layer of white ash. The frantic work to clear away the wreckage in hopes of finding any survivors was in full force, and a cacophony of wailing sirens, rumbling trucks, and deep growls from large machinery echoed off the city's walls.

The immense destruction of the WTC dazed and sickened me.  Heavy black smoke continued to rise from the skeleton of the once gigantic center of trade. The crowd moved like one giant body that collectively came to a halt and gaped at the horrendous panorama set before our eyes.  Gasps could be heard over the clamor.  Some observers tried to steady themselves so they could take pictures, but everyone stood shocked by the magnitude of it. Many wept.  It was as if the ability to hear, think or feel had left us. All we could do was look on stunned, first at the destruction set before us, then at each other in disbelief. My eyes met with another onlooker we shook our heads and shared a tearful, mournful sigh. Everyone shared the anguish of the moment.

A police officer startled us out of our stupor as he blew his whistle, waved at the crowd and hollered for us to keep moving.  As I walked along with the crowd, who moved as if in slow-motion, I raised my voice over all the noise and commotion so the officer could hear me and asked him in all sincerity, "How are you doing?"  He shouted back the short response, "I'm hanging in there."  Looking him in the eye I firmly stated, "Thank you for all you are doing," then added, "The whole country is proud of you!  God bless you!"  The crowd joined me in thanking him and he seemed genuinely surprised and humbled by our support.  He slightly lowered his head and modestly replied, "Thank you."  I asked him how many children he had and gave him something to give to each child when he got home.  It was a small card with a picture of a large warring angel holding fire in one hand and a spear in the other while standing guard over a sleeping child.  It had a prayer on the back of it along with Psalm 91:11 For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways."  (Only as I write this do I see God's perfect hand at work in this Scripture reference.)  He placed the cards in his cap and then his cap firmly on his head as he thanked me.

A similar scene was repeated as I continued to walk around the worst hit area of NYC known as "Ground Zero". This police officer's response reflected each of the exhausted servants that I spoke with while in the City to volunteer at the Family Assistance Center (FAC).  Although I had come primarily to help the families of the victims after the September 11th attacks, it seemed I had also been appointed to bring comfort to the officers who were victims in their own right.

Earlier that morning I had waited at the Dunkin Donuts across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal for Kim Baldwin, a woman I had met the previous night during a midweek church service at Faith Exchange Fellowship.  We had made plans to go downtown and take a look at the damage; but our main mission was to pray over the burning site.  Pastors Dan and Ann Stratton's congregation were meeting in a hotel in Midtown, as they had previously been located in a high-rise right across from the WTC.  Their whole building had been condemned and they were not allowed back in even to get their church records.  All the businesses in close proximity to Ground Zero faced this frustrating dilemma.  For these pastors it was particularly trying because the contact information to contact each person in their congregation was unavailable.  Fortunately they were able to confirm that none in their flock were hurt or killed even though a Bible study was being conducted on Wall Street at the time.

As I waited for Kim, coffee in hand, I sat next to an officer and struck up a conversation with him.  He was the first of the many officers I met while in NYC, and it was his story that galvanized me to their plight.  It encouraged him that someone was genuinely concerned about what it was he had been facing, and the personal effort he was putting forth to help stabilize the city.  He shared that he had been working double shifts because they had lost so many officers.  His unit alone lost 37 men and women.  I asked him how his family was coping with the tragedy and he told me that he had only been home long enough to catch a short nap, shower and come back into work.  This father of three had yet to see his own children since the dreadful attacks, and he did not know when he would.  While he maintained a tough NYPD persona, I could see that on the inside he was shaken to the core and beyond exhaustion.  This was too common a story.  None of the officers I spoke with had the benefit of a day off since the attacks and each was suffering tremendous grief from losing so many of their comrades.  Before leaving the coffee shop with, Kim, my new friend, prayer partner and guide, I thanked the officer for sharing his story with me.  I gave him three warrior angel cards for his children, and blessed him not only for his service to NYC, but to the whole United States.  

After Kim and I had come out from underneath the subway system and suffered the initial shock of seeing Ground Zero, we walked around praying over the City.  The methodical search at the site was strictly guarded, but there was one corridor open to the public that was still several city blocks from the center of this solemn work.  We continued on our journey and Kim pointed out the building where her church had been located.  We stepped aside to pray for its survival.  Its foundation had been destabilized and authorities were determining whether it could be repaired or if the building would have to be demolished.  When we concluded our prayer, we looked around and realized there was no one else in the vicinity, and suspected we had wandered into a restricted area by mistake.  In such a big city, with so much commotion going on all around us, it was very strange to suddenly find ourselves alone on a quiet and abandoned street! We kept moving.

What we witnessed in this area left its mark on my soul.  There were many vehicles abandoned in the streets while others were held captive in parking garages by anomalous objects like office equipment and pieces of furniture that were strewn around them. One car had been jolted out of its spot and was partially hanging outside the third story of the five story garage. Everything was caked with thick ash, evoking images of the Israelites covering themselves in sackcloth and ash while in mourning. Like a dagger, sorrow hit our hearts as we realized that some owners of the vehicles we saw may not have survived.  We did not touch anything. As disturbing as everything was, both of us were completely at peace. At specific locations, we would scout the damage, pray and then move on; but as we exited an area, we noticed that there was a check-point for anyone coming in to where we had just come out.  We would go around to another zone, scout the damage, pray and after we left there would be a checkpoint to get in!  This took place a number of times.  It was not for the lack of security, but it seemed our access was given by a higher authority.  It was as if the Lord Himself was taking us in for reconnaissance. 

Then I remembered a prophetic prayer spoken over me before I left home for NYC.  The one praying stated, "The Lord is going to send you and another person into Ground Zero as Stealth Fighters to inspect and intercede over the ruins."  While standing where my shoes were covered in the ash of destruction, I strongly sensed the Lord saying that He was giving us a promise similar to the one He gave Joshua.  His promise being that where we placed our feet was ground being taken for the kingdom of God. This very Scripture was confirmed during a service later that week, when it was read by Pastor Dan at Faith Fellowship.  He further urged his congregation to walk around the city's ruins and pray over it.  Kim and I rejoiced!

That night, when we returned to Time Square, people were lined up on either side of the street waving flags, clapping their hands, and crying as trucks carrying monstrous machinery were being driven in to help remove the mountain of rubble.  The truck drivers and construction workers, the heroes of this impromptu parade, were bewildered by the outcry of affection, and many were moved to tears. The amount of love and gratitude that emanated from the people really was overwhelming.  This City which had always been known as a hard-hearted town was now transformed into the most loving place on earth.  You could tell New Yorkers that you were praying for them and they would thank you.  They received blessings from God with eagerness and would readily return the blessing.  There was conviction of purpose and desperation in their voice.  American flags flew from almost every apartment and office window.  Kim, who was a NYC native, pointed at them and commented, "On September 10th you would have never seen these flags in people's windows!  This is a new - New York!"  There was such an astounding sense of the community's united commitment towards one another - it was as though New York City truly had been reborn.

It was late when I finally laid my head on my pillow in my little dorm room where I was hosted at Metro Baptist Church.  I slept like a baby.  Outside, at the same height as my window, was a busy highway leading directly into the Port Authority, and though the honking and commotion was constant throughout the night, it was like soft music to me as I slept.  I was part of the city and was at peace with it.

The next morning, I walked the mile or so from the church to the Family Assistance Center (FAC).  FAC had six different security points where everyone's belongings were searched and identification was confirmed.  I reached the final checkpoint which was located right outside the front door, and was nearly thrown for a loop! They checked for my name on the volunteer list - but it wasn't there!   I was stunned.  They could not grant me access even though I knew the name of the supervisor and the organization where I had been asked to work.  My beseeching only resulted in attracting the attention of a stalwart marine who discreetly tapped his sidearm making it clear to me that anyone who was there without the proper credentials would have to leave immediately!  I complied.  While there may have been many ministry opportunities in NYC, I was certain I was not there to have a personal testimony of prison life.  As I slowly turned to walk away, I prayed that I didn't believe the Lord had brought me to NYC to be turned away.  I asked Him what He wanted me to do.  Looking up, I saw a police officer walking on the sidewalk toward me.  Candidly I voiced what I was thinking, "Can you believe I came all the way from Atlanta to help and got turned away?"  He thoughtfully asked what I was doing there and why I was trying to get into the FAC, so I briefly explained my situation. When he heard the name of the lady who was to be my supervisor, he enthusiastically replied, "Oh, I know her! I will go in and see if I can get her to get you on the list. Wait here." The officer re-emerged a few minutes later with a woman in tow and waved for me to come back up to the final checkpoint.  Within a few minutes I was welcomed into the FAC!  I was so excited and thankful to see how quickly God had worked on my behalf! 

Once inside, the demeanor of the formidable marine surprisingly morphed into a very hospitable young man with an appreciation for lively humor. I was briefly shown around by the lady who let me in.  The FAC was located in a huge convention center and every conceivable type of assistance had been set-up to help the victims; services ranging from insurance to FEMA, to spiritual counseling, to childcare.  I had never seen anything like this highly organized facility. The sheer magnitude of it all was overwhelming.  On all the walls and at the tables, were cards, letters and flowers which people from all around the world had sent for the families.  There were whole murals that children had colored or painted, and they were all on display.  Free telephones, computer services, television, couches and chairs had been provided for their use and comfort.  Three hot meals were served daily, but there was always food available for them. 

Food and drinks were also supplied for the police, firefighters, emergency response teams, and for all the workers and volunteers there.  A separate area for these servants of the people had been set up, where they could eat, rest, talk to each other, and make personal calls in private. 

The attack on the City had powerfully affected the entire country, and all the workers and volunteers were acutely sensitive to the fragile state of the victims and their families.  Our jobs were to help them get whatever assistance they needed.  I was assigned to help victims who had either lost their jobs or apartments get financial aid through the 9/11 donations.  Even though there was a great deal of publicity about all of the money that had been contributed to help them, it had yet to be released for us to distribute. At this point it had already been 11 days since the attacks and the tension was very high.  Normally, benefit money would only be given to injured victims or to the families of the confirmed deceased; however, the attacks did not produce a lot of injured victims or bodies of loved ones. Without bodies to identify, death certificates could not be issued and this certificate was what was required to get benefit monies.  Because of the special circumstances, an emergency meeting was held to determine the criteria for aid and to have the necessary forms drawn up.  It was decided that a death certificate could be issued if a family member had proof that their loved one was in the WTC.  However, the greater hurdle for families to get over was for them to have to fill out a form stating that they believed their beloved was indeed dead. This created a psychological issue for already distraught family members, who felt that if they did this they were, in effect, giving up on their loved one. Therefore many of them would not fill out the form and we were at a stalemate. 

 Since I had little else to do, it seemed prudent to get acquainted with the other services available.  As I walked around I came face-to-face with Michael Beckett.  I was astonished! Meeting someone I knew in this giant hall was unimaginable. We had only met two nights before at Faith Exchange Fellowship where he had been invited by Pastor Dan Stratton to the platform to encourage and provide godly insight for the congregation.  In conversation I learned that Michael has worked in many disasters and was there as a Chaplain for Christian Disaster Response International.  He was tremendously helpful in coaching me as to what to expect while working there as well as when I returned home.  Michael ministers with his wife Helen, at the Fountain Worship Center in Topeka, KS.  They have a heart to prepare the church to be a place ready to minister to hurting people in times of crisis.

His heart for the Body of Christ is to know how important it is to get involved with the local officials in disaster preparedness.  He urged us that if we would be willing to open the doors of our churches to be used as shelters, we could be given great opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus in times of tragedy.  Michael revealed that there is a tremendous opportunity for each of us to help hurting people if we will but take the time to prepare ourselves.   I believe this to be a great battle cry in light of the fact that none of us know when or where we will face calamity.  We cannot forget what happened in America on September 11, 2001.  The Lord Himself warned that there are catastrophic times to come.  We must remember and ready ourselves! 

(Here is a link to their website if you would like to know more about how to prepare yourself and your church: http://www.fountainsflow.org ordisastertraining).

When we received the news that the funds were released, the team made a game plan and went to work.  A large number of people qualified for assistance and through the 9/11 funds, I was able to allocate desperately needed finances to them.  They were all grateful for the help, as was evident by the change of their countenance.  It seemed as though the finances came straight from heaven, and I was honored to be at hand to present checks to these heartbroken people.  However, my world was about to be rocked in a very personal way.  My supervisor asked if I would be willing to fill out a death certificate.  I had little, if any, instruction how to do this, but everyone who had been previously trained to fill out this legal document was unavailable.  In hindsight, it is an understatement to say that it would have been very good use of our downtime to train me for this task!  I prayed, asking the Lord to help me, and told her I would do it. 

A tall, young woman came in with her mother and I invited them to sit at the table with me.  I reassured them that we were going to get through the necessary paperwork to get her the help she needed.  They were both thankful for my assistance as they had come to the FAC several times, but did not have the required paperwork to fill out a death certificate. She told me that her husband was a carpenter who had been dispatched to install furniture on the 82nd floor of the #2 WTC South Tower that fateful morning.   For days she had waited by the phone hoping to hear from him.  He never called.  It was clear she had gotten very little sleep since the tower's collapse on September 11th.  She held the work order from her husband's employer along with all the other documentation she needed.  The young woman and her husband had a 15 month old daughter who was at the FAC in the daycare area with her grandpa.  The young widow's parents had accompanied her there, but her dad had graciously offered to sit with the baby. The woman's mother sat at the table with us in a daze and offered help when she could, but was really in a state of shock.  I know she would have done anything to take away her daughter's grief, but considering the odor of alcohol emanating from her pores, it was clear that she herself was having difficulty coping. 

After we finished the very difficult and distressing job of filling out the mountain of paperwork, I was able to hand her a check.  What had seemed so wonderful earlier for those who had lost their jobs and homes - now seemed so insignificant in shadow of her loss.  Her husband was dead.  As I handed her that check, it seemed as though I was pouring an ounce of kindness in an ocean of grief.  It was just not enough. It was merely a piece of paper with writing and a few numbers on it.  I wanted to hand her the husband whom she longed to have and hold, but all I had was a piece of paper of little comparable worth.  I felt so powerless.  How could it compare to the warm embrace of her husband?  And what of her daughter's future? Clearly this and any other monies that came to assist her could not compare to her daddy's hugs. These thoughts flooded my mind.

Fortunately the financial assistance did serve to encourage her as she was clearly grateful.  When she turned to leave, she looked back at me and asked if I would like to meet her baby daughter.  Her mother perked up at my invitation to see her granddaughter, and before I had time to really consider this, I had already answered with a wholehearted, "Yes, I'd love to meet her."  As we sojourned through the FAC to where the daycare was located, I knew I was about to see a little girl whose daddy was just declared deceased. The tragedy of it overwhelmed me.  Not only did this woman, who I had been sitting with face-to-face for nearly two hours, have a long road of heartache to navigate, but I knew this little child had a rocky future ahead of her.  It was not just about her father dying - though that was rough enough in its own right.  It was that she would have to face the whirlwind of discussions that surrounded his death. The thoughts haunted me that she would be brought up under the shadow of her daddy being a casualty of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  As a myriad of scenarios came to my mind, one thing was for certain - she would have to live her life without her daddy. He too would not see her grow up, nor would he be there to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. All their birthday parties would be missing one important guest.  The same man whose death certificate I had just filled out. 

The closer we came to the little girl the more acutely aware I was that I really did not want to see her!  I was unsure if I could trust my emotions at that point. I was feeling the anguish of this young widow's situation in a profound way.  She interrupted my thoughts when she called out to a man with a small child on his knee.  The little girl was playing with his fingers. He turned and looked very relieved to see his daughter and wife standing there.  They introduced me and he happily lifted the baby girl for me to see.  She was adorable.  She was clueless as to what this moment of time meant for her life.  I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest it hurt so badly for them. As they were leaving, I told them I would be praying for them.  They thanked me and said their goodbyes.  On the outside I may have looked all right, but inside I was deeply rattled.

My continued prayer for them is that they would know that their heavenly Father loves them deeply and that He will never leave or abandon them. Their loss has not escaped His attention.  None who have lost loved ones have escaped His attention.

Many people have asked me where God was on September 11, 2001.  God the Father was in the same place as He was the day His Son Jesus was nailed to a cross.  God gave us each free-will and He has never taken that gift away.  We each have the choice as to how we will use our free-will. Even now, He gives us each the choice. There are those in this world that will use their freedom to hurt innocent people as some did on 9/11, but others, like the servants of New York City, will use it to band together and help those in need - even if it costs them their life. 

After the young widow and her family left, I went back to my supervisor and asked her if I could take a break and she agreed I needed one.  Dinner was being served when I got there, and I thought that was exactly what I needed - some hot food.  I got a plate, but as I sat down to eat I could feel myself begin to shake.  My body felt like an earthquake inside!   Next to my table was a makeshift wall where they kept the kitchen supplies.  I quickly went behind that curtain and I wept as quietly as I could.  I did not want any of the police officers to overhear me.  They may have looked tough on the outside, but I could see their anguish and guarded against adding to it.  I recognized that the Lord was giving me many opportunities to minister to them and I was not going to allow my sorrow to infiltrate their down-time.  This was the only place that they could go and have some quiet; this is where they had a moment to call their loved ones; this was where they could sit on a couch and just zone out.  My bursting into a crying fit was counterproductive to that purpose.  It was common to hear crying and even loud wailings of grief where the families were located, but the conversation was soft where the officers, firefighters, workers and volunteers ate.  There were tears, but they were very controlled.  Behind that curtain I prayed and prayed for God to touch me and give me His peace.  He gave it.  I went back and ate a little and even ministered some to a detective at the table. 

While in NYC I filled out many forms to help people who had lost their livelihood or home, but that was the only death certificate I filled out.  Time has not erased the face of that young widow or her little girl from my memory, nor will their names leave me.  I see that as the hand of God.  Had I filled out many of them, maybe their stories would have begun to blur.  This family's story is but one in thousands, and this young widow and her fatherless daughter can easily be overshadowed by the vastness of it all.  Our heavenly Father sees us each as unique individuals and treats us as such, and I do believe it is His will that we understand the personal side of tragedy.  In the weeks and months to come, long after I returned home, hundreds of these long and painstaking forms had to be filled out by many heartbroken family members.  I tip my hat to the workers that continued day in and day out to help the families through that process, as it was a very weighty and arduous document to pen.  Even if the stories began to blur, I know they each have loved ones that they will never forget.

It had begun to get late that first night at the FAC, and I had no idea how I was going to get back to the church dorm where I was staying.  Most workers had left.  I had walked there, but that was not an option for my return.  As I began to get concerned, I heard the Lord clearly say that I was to stay there and work as long as they were open.  He promised that He would safely get me to my little church dorm.  That brought peace.  My purpose in NYC was clear and this reassurance from my heavenly Father helped me to regain my focus.  There were still many people who had been waiting there for days seeking assistance. I intended to stay as long as the supervisor would allow me and help as many of the families as I could. 

When it was time to leave, I asked an officer what he recommended I do.  He quickly talked to a man getting into a taxi and then he waved at me to ride with him.  It ended up that I was sharing a taxi with an intern who worked in Mayor Rudy Giuliani's office.  I told him how proud I was of the mayor and how he had really pulled not only the city together in its hour of need, but the entire country as well.  He was very gracious.  I especially remember the story he told me about how the Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair, and his wife Cherie, blessed them with their visit.  The elegant demeanor of Mrs. Blair had made a huge impression on the mayor, his staff and particularly this young intern. They were all very grateful for the Prime Minister and Mrs. Blair's love, support and concern for America and for New York City.  I shared a poem I had written while waiting for the 9/11 funds to be released and he took a copy to give to the mayor.  Soon I was back at my dorm and sleeping peacefully again on my little cot.  The remaining days of my trip were a blur and the next thing I knew I was back on the plane heading home. 

As I reminisced on what I had witnessed in NYC, the rubble of 9/11 reminded me of the ruins of my own life before I asked Jesus to rescue me. For years I had rejected His help.  He had been there holding out His hand, but I had refused to take it.  I too had a mountain of rubble that had to be cleared away one bucket at a time.  Fortunately, He was willing to do the necessary work even when I really didn't see how my life could be redeemed.  When I surrendered my life to Christ, I asked Him to take it - literally. I wanted Him to just take my life and let me be with Him. There was so much wrong with me I truly thought death was the best solution. I could not bear the thought of disappointing Him. I knew as long as I was alive there was a really good chance I would let Him down.  I did not have a death-wish - that was not it at all - it was just that I saw the depth of my transgressions and I did not see how that would ever change.  However, just as the firefighters vigilantly and carefully removed each bucket of debris, so did the Redeemer of my soul remove the ash and broken things in my life. 

When someone has been rescued from destruction, naturally there is a deep gratitude towards the one who saves them.  This is how I feel about what Jesus has done in my life.  He rescued me.  He has championed my life and that is why I do not hesitate to say with gratitude that I belong to Jesus.  I stand amazed at the miracles He has done and continues to do in my life.  Even when I fall and stumble in my faith, He is there to lift me up and give me the strength to trust Him.  He continues to help me up and saves me from destruction. 

Jesus is the only One that has the ability to take every broken piece from our lives and make us whole.

The Lord warned that there would be wars and rumors of wars, but as His ambassadors we are to share His Gospel and minister reconciliation to God to all peoples.  He would that none perish.  So often the Body of Christ wastes its efforts giving personal opinions on worldly matters when it is called to pray and proclaim the Father's will on earth as it is in heaven.  All such opinions will whither like grass.  If we would spend our energies searching out His will and proclaiming that, we would be a much greater force to be reckoned with than any military power.  The weapons of our warfare are not natural but they are mighty!  We need to remember and not forget that.  We need to remember that we have been reconciled with the blood of Jesus. Let us be of one mind, the mind of Christ, and stand for Him who sits eternally on the Throne.

I pray you realize that what Jesus did on the Cross was to pay the ransom for your freedom with His very life.  We are called to a resurrected life in Christ.  Will we remember Him?  The Lord never forgets us.

In the Father's love,

Rev. Judy Bauman

Written August 2006
Revised September 11, 2008

Scripture References:
Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 24:6; Mark 10:45;Romans 6:4-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; 10:4,5; Colossians 1:20; Titus3:1-3; 1 Peter 2:13-17

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 14 2008

A Valentine from Heaven

It was two days before Valentine’s Day 1997, and though my life looked wonderful from every angle, deep down I was miserable. I tried ‘to be a good person’ and live my life in a way that would be pleasing to my fellowman, but all the community works I was juggling did not fill the void in my soul. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and empty. Occasionally, I would get a glimpse of why I was so unhappy and what I needed – I needed the Lord! Sadly, I would quickly reject this notion because it wasn’t convenient to my lifestyle. Rejecting God was justifiable in my mind because I knew I couldn’t live up to His standards. Though I looked to the world for acceptance and comfort, I never seemed fulfilled. I was in a frightening and unwinnable battle.

The void began when my father suddenly passed away. He was only 43 years old and left behind a wife and three children, as well as his parents who daily relied on his help. Well-meaning clergy told us, “God must have needed him,” and that “he was in a better place.” This didn’t bring consolation to my grief-stricken heart. My sister, brother, and I were sent to live with relatives that summer. Though young, my sister was soon married and moved to her own place. My brother’s bedroom was the walk-in closet of our aunt’s teenage boys – placing him continually at their mercy. My bedroom housed the huge gas floor furnace in the unfinished basement. Night after night I would earnestly cry out to God from that room, “Why my dad, why me?” I agonized over the loss of my dad and listened for an answer, but none came. I also learned to listen for sneaking feet coming down the stairs in the middle of the night. It was a time fraught with dangers for my brother and I.

Meanwhile, my mother worked to stabilize our housing so we could come back and live with her. Unfortunately, her life was also full of snares, so it took more time than we ever imagined. Three years later, we moved into a home with her and the nightly threats and torment were over. Though I was often rebellious, we had many good times together. We traveled some and even spent an entire summer in Oregon. After coming back to our home state of Colorado, the unthinkable happened. Doctors diagnosed my mother with breast cancer. I never doubted that she would recover (because surely God would not ‘take’ her too). However, after a few years, and much suffering, she succumbed to the ravages of the disease. At her funeral I again heard from well-meaning folks, “She’s in a better place,” and “God must have needed her.” Really? More than her children? It did not sit well.

Deeply dismayed, my confusion turned to anger that burned hot against God. He seemed selfish and more like a big bully who was no different from Greek gods who threw lightning bolts or hit people with a huge hammer. I decided if God was so selfish that He needed my parents more than their three children did, I didn’t want anything to do with Him. I would live my life my way, not His! Anytime the subject of God came up, I was like a cornered cat ready to fight; my cynicism towards Christianity and disdain for Christians grew. Some would try to explain to me how the Lord was loving, kind, and good. I reasoned, if God were truly loving, why wouldn’t He have kept my parents from dying? If He were kind and good, why wouldn’t He just put an end to all the suffering and evil in the world?

This is where I found myself on the morning of February 12, 1997 – drowning in my own sorrow. Deep down I knew only God could rescue me. I saw on the calendar that it was not only two days from Valentine’s Day, but also the first day of Lent. Oddly, something went off inside me. It was HOPE! Jesus had been drawing me to Himself for months, and though I had been keeping Him at arm’s length, I could ignore Him no longer. God was throwing a lifeline into my Pit of Despair, and I prayed that if I clung onto it, He would be merciful and pull me out.

I found an old Bible and began to read in Psalm 107: Then I cried to the Lord in my trouble and He saved me from my distress; He sent forth His word and healed me and saved me from destruction! I fell to my knees, and thanked Him for His goodness. I repented of sinning against Him. Later I found in John 10:10 where Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” This Scripture immediately dispelled the lie that God had killed my parents. I saw the “thief” had come to kill, steal, and destroy – not my heavenly Father. Oh, friends, how might that have eased my suffering had someone shared that truth with me from early on?

In that moment, the Holy Spirit gave me great freedom, and peace flooded my soul. I knew Jesus didn’t condemn me but filled my emptiness with joy. He adopted me! As a child of God, I had a sense of belonging that I had never known. I began reading and truly studying the Bible. I saw it was like a beautiful tapestry that, through many authors over thousands of years, God had woven together. I could have never imagined it, but I found the Bible to be wonderful and freeing.

You do not have to be an orphan to experience the debilitating wounds from being abandoned or rejected. We each have our own story of how we’ve been beaten and battered. We have fought with discouragement, doubt, and unbelief. At some point, all of us have been, or will be, wounded by different tragedies and heartbreaks. Our heavenly Father’s desire is for all mankind to experience His forgiveness and abiding love. The most wonderful Valentine’s gift anyone could ever receive is to be adopted by the King of kings! Being reconciled to God is a gift that anyone can accept at any time.

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

He gave His best so we can live abundantly. Every day is Valentine’s Day with Jesus!

Revised February 12, 2016

A Valentine from Heaven

It was two days before Valentine’s Day, and though my life looked wonderful from every angle, deep down I was miserable. I tried ‘to be a good person’ and live my life in a way that would be pleasing to my fellowman, but all the community works I was juggling did not fill the void in my soul. At the end of the day, I was exhausted and empty. Occasionally, I would get a glimpse of why I was so unhappy and what I needed – I needed the Lord! Sadly, I would quickly reject this notion because it wasn’t convenient to my lifestyle. Rejecting God was justifiable in my mind because I knew I couldn’t live up to His standards. Though I looked to the world for acceptance and comfort, I never seemed fulfilled. I was in a frightening and unwinnable battle.

The void began when my father suddenly passed away. He was only 43 years old and left behind a wife and three children, as well as his parents who daily relied on his help. Well-meaning clergy told us, “God must have needed him,” and that “he was in a better place.” This didn’t bring consolation to my grief-stricken heart. My sister, brother, and I were sent to live with relatives that summer. Though young, my sister was soon married and moved to her own place. My brother’s bedroom was the walk-in closet of our aunt’s teenage boys – placing him continually at their mercy. My bedroom housed the huge gas floor furnace in the unfinished basement. Night after night I would earnestly cry out to God from that room, “Why my dad, why me?” I agonized over the loss of my dad and listened for an answer, but none came. I also learned to listen for sneaking feet coming down the stairs in the middle of the night. It was a time fraught with dangers for my brother and I.

Meanwhile, my mother worked to stabilize our housing so we could come back and live with her. Unfortunately, her life was also full of snares, so it took more time than we ever imagined. Three years later, we moved into a home with her and the nightly threats and torment were over. Though I was often rebellious, we had many good times together. We traveled some and even spent an entire summer in Oregon. After coming back to our home state of Colorado, the unthinkable happened. Doctors diagnosed my mother with breast cancer. I never doubted that she would recover, but after a few years and much suffering, she succumbed to the ravages of the disease. At her funeral I again heard, “God must have needed her.” Really, I thought, more than her children?

Deeply dismayed, my confusion turned to anger that burned hot against God. He seemed selfish and more like a big bully who was no different from Greek gods who threw lightning bolts or hit people with a huge hammer. I decided if God was so selfish that He needed my parents more than their three children did, I didn’t want anything to do with Him. I would live my life my way, not His! Anytime the subject of God came up, I was like a cornered cat ready to fight; my cynicism towards Christianity and distain for Christians grew. Some would try to explain to me how the Lord was loving, kind, and good. I reasoned, if God were truly loving, why wouldn’t He have kept my parents from dying? If He were kind and good, why wouldn’t He just put an end to all the suffering and evil in the world?

This is where I found myself on the morning of February 12, 1997 – drowning in my own sorrow. Deep down I knew only God could rescue me. I saw on the calendar that it was not only two days from Valentine’s Day, but also the first day of Lent. Oddly, something went off inside me. It was HOPE! Jesus had been drawing me to Himself for months, and though I had been keeping Him at arm’s length, I could ignore Him no longer. God was throwing a lifeline into my Pit of Despair, and I prayed that if I clung onto it, He would be merciful and pull me out.

I found an old Bible and began to read: Then I cried to the Lord in my trouble and He saved me from my distress; He sent forth His word and healed me and saved me from destruction! I fell to my knees, and thanked Him for His goodness. I repented of sinning against Him. Then I found where Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” This Scripture immediately dispelled the lie that God had killed my parents. I saw the “thief” had come to kill, steal, and destroy – not my heavenly Father. In that moment, the Holy Spirit gave me great freedom and peace flooded my soul. I knew Jesus didn’t condemn me but filled my emptiness with joy. He adopted me! As a child of God, I had a sense of belonging that I had never known. I began reading and truly studying the Bible. I saw it was like a beautiful tapestry that, through many authors over thousands of years, God had woven together. I could have never imagined it, but I found the Bible to be wonderful and freeing.

You do not have to be an orphan to experience the debilitating wounds from being abandoned or rejected. We each have our own story of how we’ve been beaten and battered. We have fought with discouragement, doubt, and unbelief. At some point, all of us have been, or will be, wounded by different tragedies and heartbreaks. Our heavenly Father’s desire is for all mankind to experience His forgiveness and abiding love. The most wonderful Valentine’s gift anyone could ever receive is to be adopted by the King of kings! Being reconciled to God is a gift that anyone can accept at any time. 

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”

He gave His best so we can live abundantly. Every day is Valentine’s Day with Him!

In the Father’s love,

Judy

The following is a longer version written in 2007

A Valentine from Heaven
A personal testimony from my heart to yours

It was February 12, 1997, and from every angle my life looked wonderful; however, deep down I was miserable.  When I woke up that morning, I realized I had come to the end of myself.  I didn’t simply have a hole in my heart; there was a vacuum sucking the life out of me.  I had tried in every way to “be a good person” and live my life in a way that would be pleasing to my fellow man, but the community works I was juggling did not fill the void in my soul. Though I had the right idea, I didn’t have the right motivation for what I was doing. At the end of the day I was still empty and longing for something, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was I needed.  Every once in awhile I would get a glimpse that what I needed was the Lord, but in my “sorrow” I had rejected Him, so I had nowhere else to look but to the world. The more I looked to the world for comfort, the emptier I became.  Instead of filling me, I seemed to have a perpetual leak. It was a terrible cycle that I could not seem to escape!
                                                    
My “sorrow” began when I was 10 years old. My father passed away suddenly at the young age of 43 from Rheumatic Heart Disease. Night after night for at least a year afterwards I would cry out to God, “Why did You take my dad?” “Why me?”  I felt I must have done something wrong to receive such a terrible punishment.  My deepest desire was to hear God, but I never seemed to hear an answer.  
 
Six years later my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.  My belief was that God would not “take” my mother too, and because of that I never doubted that she would recover with treatment. Three years later, at the age of 48, she succumbed to the disease. I was deeply dismayed and in a state of shock and disillusionment during the months she suffered with that terminal illness with no signs of healing.  When she passed away, my anger against God burned hot. I was literally spitting mad at Him and anytime someone brought up “God” or “Christianity” – I was like a cornered cat ready to fight. I angry at Him for taking my parents and was very cynical toward Christians – believing they were weak-minded fools.  I figured if that is what He was like, I didn’t want anything to do with Him. I would live my life my way! 
 
One reason I had the impression God “took” my parents is because of what well-meaning people say to comfort a grieving family. For example, “God needed them more than you.” or “They’re in a better place.” No one taught me what Jesus said about such things:
 
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
 
Because I did not know this truth – that Jesus came to give life, I held onto the lie that God had killed my parents.  I would hear from some say that God was kind and loving, but then I would wonder why He did not stop such a horrible thing from happening to my family. I would see at all the other terrible things happening in the world and wonder why He wouldn’t put an end to it all.  I saw God as a big bully just looking for someone to pick on – like the Greek gods: Zeus, throwing lightning bolts at people who displeased him, and Thor, hitting them with a huge hammer.   Why would I go to someone like that for help or comfort?  In my anger I turned away from the True and Living God and gave my affection and attention to the world.  I accepted its consolation and looked for approval there. This is where I found myself the morning of February 12, 1997 – empty, miserable and not knowing what to do.
 
As it so happened, I looked at the calendar and noticed it was the first day of Lent. Lent is known throughout the Christian world as a time of reflection and often personal sacrifice prior to the commemoration of Jesus’ death and subsequent celebration of His victorious resurrection. When I was a child I remembered adults giving up things for Lent - only to see them renege on their commitment a few days later. Consequently, I never saw the importance of participating myself. 
 
However, when I saw it was the first day of Lent something went off inside me! Something was very different about this Lent –I wanted to change, but honestly, I did not know how to initiate it. Deep down I knew that God was the only One who could help me and it was the opportunity I needed to declare my heart’s intentions to the Lord.  He had been drawing me to Himself for months, and though I had been holding Him at arm’s length, I could ignore Him no longer.  I had accepted Jesus as my Savior in 1982; however, as a seed that grows fast in shallow soil and withers in sun, so my faith wilted in the heat of persecution.  On February 12, 1997, I made a vow to Him and hoped He would be merciful to me again.  I looked for my Bible packed away in a box and as I flipped through the pages I asked, “What is it I need, Lord?”  The word “healed” came to mind and I found a Scripture that stood out to me. As I read it I was amazed – it was my testimony!
 
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble and He saved this from their distress. He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy. Psalm 107:19-22 (Emphasis mine)
 
I understood in that moment that Jesus was there to set me free. He was not there to condemn me.  The Holy Spirit opened up revelation to this Scripture’s meaning and I saw it so clearly. I understood exactly how I had gotten into the condition I was in and I understood exactly what I needed to do to escape it.  I cried to the Lord!  I repented of sinning against Him and being disobedient and rebelling against His Word. (See verses 10-16)  
 
A great freedom and peace flooded my soul. This was a powerful time for me and I enjoyed a sense of love and belonging like I had never known. I knew I had been adopted by God and would always be a child of the King of kings! I received an amazing revelation of His love that all of us can enjoy if only we ask!!! In that moment when I looked up and whispered for help, God swooped down and saved me. The Lord didn’t use my wounds against me but caused them to bring about aministry of reconciliation for the lost to return to God.  Experiencing the love of the Father is what so many people in the world are missing; it is the revelation of this love that He has given me to share. 
 
You do not have to be an orphan to have experienced the debilitating wounds from the lack of a father’s love, touch or encouragement. Our heavenly Father desires for us to experience His perfect love. He wants His love to be perfected in us. (See 1 John 4:13-19) It is the power of our resurrected King, Jesus the Christ, the Son of the One and Only Living God – the Creator of all things who gives us the ability to have victory. It is my joy to share with people all over the world that God can, and He will, turn those things in life that Satan means for our destruction into something of great value and worth. As an ambassador of God’s love, I share this truth with confidence because I have experienced it myself to the glory of the Father. 
 
Jesus swooped down that day and rescued me; He carried me up on His wings of love and continues to do so to this day. Each year at this time when we celebrate Valentine's Day I think about how the Lord touched me with His love - the most wonderful Valentine's Gift from heaven. The greatest thing is for you to know God's love.  Being reconciled to God is a gift that anyone can accept and every day is Valentine’s Day with Him!  
 
Perhaps the Lord is speaking to you right now about returning to Him. He is waiting for each of us to turn our eyes upward so that He can deliver us from destruction. His is willing to meet us where we’re at. Jesus died to deliver us from the evil one! He loves you and there is nothing you have done that His perfect sacrifice cannot cover. Love covers a multitude of sin. (See 1 Peter 4:8)
 
In the Father’s abiding love,
Rev. Judy Bauman

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, May 11 2007

Hello!

Last night at our home church the Lord had me play a 4 minute section of a teaching done by Bobby Conner.  It is from, "Keys to the Anointing." (Track 7)  He states that the Lord revealed to him that we are to be like the Zadok priesthood and teach the people the difference between the holy and the profane.  Bobby Conner asked the Lord a very significant question.  He asked God what was profane to Him. The Lord said, "Anything that man is doing that I did not initiate.  Profane is what is empty, worthless and without any eternal value." 

When I heard this I sensed it was not just a word for believers.  Something that is profane to God is ANYTHING that man (mankind) initiates without His leading. If I understand this correctly, this means that any decisions we make in our lives that we have not sought the counsel of the Lord; the Lord sees it as profane. 

Because of this, I sense that we are to take another look at the exhortation the Lord gave me for 2007.  This word was originally sent out in five parts, but I am sending it out now in one part for you to study it in its fullness. The Scripture references are key to understanding what the Lord is saying in this season in preparation for the harvest of the harvesters.  The Lord will no doubt speak much more to you as you read each reference along with it.  

More than ever I am convinced that we are to walk in the purity and holiness of the Lord - not out of works to try to get His love - but because of the love, adoration and devotion that pours out of our hearts toward Jesus for all He has done for us.  This has been confused in the past with the Law of Works but what I am speaking of is the Law of Love.  We must put off the old man and walk in the newness and refreshing of our King!  We must walk in the light as He is in the light and not grieve or vex the Holy Spirit.

God is looking for pioneers, He is looking for revolutionaries. He seeks those who are dissatisfied with anything that is not FULLY led by God's Holy Spirit.  He is looking for people that know THERE HAS TO BE MORE!  They know it because they read their Bible and they can plainly see there IS MORE.  The Lord is looking for the harvesters to go to the ends of the earth and become seed for the great harvest.  He is looking for those who will train this up-and-coming generation to not love their lives so much as to shrink from death, but we cannot lead the next generation in something we have not walked in ourselves.  We have got to get in step with the Lord.  We have to get into His timing - into His cadence. 

This is not some new thing; this is foundational because it is how the Lord calls us each to walk before Him.  Amen?  I pray you are blessed.

In the Father's love,

Your friend and sister,

Judy Bauman

'2007 - The Year of Cadence' click on  http://www.etpv.org/2007/tyocad.html

Because of the blood of Christ we are fellow-citizens of God's household - being fit and carefully joined together,
Becoming a holy temple to the Lord. It is in this dwelling where we are joined together that God lives by His Spirit.

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 11:52 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, October 23 2006

Why Are We Christians?

Is it by grace that we're saved or is it what we do?

Let us discover God's character and person NO MATTER WHAT!

Let us discover the truth, the way, the life - Jesus - NO MATTER WHAT!

As far as God is concerned - the pressure is off.

Why?

Is it because of His law?

Is it because of His Liberty?

Don't pursue the idol - pursue God!

GOD WANTS YOU - NO MATTER WHAT!

There is a fork in the road - which way do you want to go?

Old way -------- The Law of Linearity, pressure to do what you should be doing, live by rules, do things (read the Bible, pray, serve, etc.) to get results - to get God's attention and approval. Do things 'right' so you can be right in God's sight. This way looks for ways to get things from God. This way never delivers. You have to do A to get B. Draw near to seek God's hand not His presence. If you are looking for what you can get out of God - blessings - START OVER! This makes Christianity about what you do and not what God's done

New way------- Law of Liberty! Hope! It is a desire that values God's presence over His blessings. This way knows that it is Christ who set us free from the bondage of sin and the law. This is a ?come to God dirty and let Him clean you' invitation. This is a Father/Child relationship of trust and love and DEEP and RICH intimate knowledge of one another. On this road we draw near to God because we want to know His heart. This is a ?better hope' not necessarily a better life ($, fun, worldly gain). Having God in your life is what makes life better! Then we desire to do right because we KNOW the Father's heart and we want and desire what the Father wants and desires.

Let's ask ourselves:

Why am I a Christian?

What am I living for?

Are we really loving or are we trying to get our own way? (With God and/or man)

What must I do to be a better Christian?

Hebrews 7: 18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. NKJV

18 The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; 19 the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way - Jesus! - a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place. MB

Drawing near to God is the better hope. Jesus is the better hope! The Galatians got into bondage by trying to get to God by obeying the Law of Moses - the Law of Doing and they were deceived. They hadn't even been raised in the law and yet they we corrected by Paul who said they had been bewitched! (See Galatians 3) The word tells us the law was weak and unprofitable. It was given to teach us that we needed Christ to save us because we can't save ourselves through obedience to the law. If we break only one little part we are guilty of breaking all of it!

Jesus fulfilled the Law and all its requirements. He writes His word on our hearts so that we will never separate from Him. So when we try to live by the Law of Moses we are saying to God that Jesus' sacrifice isn't enough and we need to fulfill it. You can see why Paul came down so hard on the Galatians! Romans 6 is a great chapter to read about this too. Here is a snip-it: 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!

This is because Christ set us free from sin and to go back to it would be like placing yourself in jail! You would be placing yourself in the enemy's lair! To walk like that would be like going through life in a coma. We can't take both roads! We can't live with Christ and with rules of the law. We are used to being ruled, but we can't put new wine in old wineskins.

This will set you free!

John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

We can come to God free! Jesus fulfilled the requirements. He did the work. The selfish life is behind us because we have been given the awesome gift of knowing God's heart! We can throw our checklists away and live a life of grace and peace and love in Christ Jesus!

Do people see grace and peace and love when they look inside of you?

This is a teaching that came from my notes taken over the past couple of Sundays along with some thoughts from me. I thought it would bless you and encourage you in your walk with Christ. In all that we do, may we do it to glorify God the Father. Be blessed as you are a blessing to me!

Love in Christ

Judy

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, January 01 2005

Some Thoughts on New Years Resolutions

The Lord spoke very clearly to me concerning New Year's Resolutions.  It is my prayer that what He said will also help you.

This is what happened:  For several months I had really been searching and asking the Lord questions like, "What am I missing?"  "What is hindering me?"  Then as I was reading the newspaper, I came across an article about how to make New Year's Resolutions.  It said that keeping our list of resolutions to 1-3 things will help us from being overwhelmed.  My weight has really been a preoccupation of mine, so I thought, 'I know, I will have just one goal and it will beto get into shape!' 

My well-intended thought was disrupted by a still small voice that said, "No! Your one goal will be to spend more time with Me in the secret place."

It dawned on me that anything hindering us from what God has asked us to do cannot continue when exposed in the presence of the Lord!  It must let go!  As we cooperate with God, whatever it is that has kept us from His perfect plan for our lives will be revealed.  But only as we submit to God in the secret place.  This means to simply go alone to God the Father in the name of Jesus in prayer and praise; read His word and listen to His voice.  (See John 10:27 or better yet, verses 1-30

Thank God there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ!  The law of sin and death condemns, but the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets us free.  When we fail, He loves us where we are at and helps us from that point.  He will never leave us.  Thank God He will walk us through every challenge in life and not abandon us!  (See Romans 8)  Thank God His mercies are new every morning!  (See Lam 3:21-26)

I believe the Lord would say to you and to me that whatever our New Year's Resolutions are, we must lay them down before the Father. He will break our chains in pieces, shatter the gates of bronze, and cut iron gates to set us each free! The God of heaven and earth anointed Jesus to proclaim liberty to the captives and open the prisons to those who are bound.  Anything that is keeping us in bondage, any type of bondage, the Lord wants to set us free from it.   (See Ps 107:10-16, 19-22, 43 and Is 61:1)

As Jesus taught us in Matt 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and all else will fall into place.  God knows our needs.  Let us seek His face first.  Let us be still and know that He is God.  After all, He knows how to part the sea!  He surely knows what we need!  You may be hearing in your spirit that it is time to fast and really seek His face. Seek His wisdom in this and follow His instructions.  (See Ps 46:10; 2 Chron 7:14, Prov 8:17; Jer 29:11-14, Luke 11:10; John 10: 3-5)

May you thrive in the secret place of the most High God in 2005 and beyond.  Arise!  Shine! For your Light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!

God bless you in your journey with Him,

Judy Bauman

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 11:41 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 12 2004

Submit Yourself To God

Submission is not a dirty word!!!!  I find it amazing the difference in my attitude when I submit myself to God.  I have actually been crying when I sang and praised Him because inside I hurt so much.  Eventually that gloom had to leave because I wouldn't give into it. That is how wonderful our loving Father is to us.  I believe it works like this:

God's Mission

SUB

(Sub= to get under something like a

Sub-marine goes under water)

Get under God's mission

Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee

Why?  Because when you are turned toward God the devil has to look into God's light to get to you, and the devil can't stand God's light.  He only thrives in darkness.  He will try to come against you, but if you are focused on God's light, he will flee.  This is God's promise.  It is our job to keep our eyes on our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

Light comes in...darkness has to go!    

Darkness can not overtake the light 

God doesn't want us to submit to Him just for His glory, but because it is the best thing for us!  He can then protect and bless us! When you are in submission to God you are the strongest you will ever be!

Jesus said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  We must humble ourselves and learn to trust and rely on the Lord to bring the things we desire into our lives.  As long as we are trying to control our lives, we are not submitting to God's awesome power.  The more we submit to God and His word, the more we will grow in His perfect love.  We will walk in mercy, kindness, and love when we get under God's mission.

Lord, show us how to submit to Your perfect will!  Amen!

James 4:7; Hebrews 12:9; 13:15-17; 1 Peter 2:9, 3:1-2; Phil 2:3; James 5:16; John 10:10, 15:5;  Eph 5:21, 27; 2 Corinth 12:9; Prov 10:17; Psalms 107:10-16, 20

1/98

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, November 23 2003

We Must Get Bibles Back In Schools!
www.rivermistlighthouse.org

In November of 1997 I had a very disturbing dream that involved problems we were facing with the school system and reflected the true dilemma my family was facing in public schools at that time.  What I remember about the dream was that everyone was blaming my child for having difficulty learning in a closed environment. It was one of those nondescript dreams where I knew there was battle but I had no idea how exactly to fight.  Most tactile learners face this challenge and instead of incorporating hands-on learning techniques, they strongly recommended drugging my young student.  So it is no surprise that in this dream no one would help, they would only point their fingers and blame. This hostile dream stemmed from that very frustration.

When I awoke from the dream I sat straight up in bed and in a loud voice proclaimed, "WE MUST GET BIBLES BACK IN SCHOOLS!"  A voice spoke up and said, "That's impossible."  Then I heard in my spirit, "What's impossible for man is possible with God."

Over the years I had prayed to understand this dream.  It had such an impact on me, yet I did not know what to do about it.  I did not know if I were to start a ministry whose work was to get Bibles in school or what.  I asked other Christians who worked in high schools or worked with youth how I could do this.  None knew. I asked Christian speakers who are allowed in the schools for assemblies how this could be done.  None knew. I asked other parents. None knew.  I asked pastors.  None knew.  So it seemed this was one of those things that God was leaving as a mystery.

Do you know that no matter how complicated your problem is - God's answer is always simple?  Let me say that again just in case you quickly read over it.  No matter how complicated your problem is - God's answer is always simple.

One morning the answer came to me in an instant and I said out loud, "The answer is so simple!"   It was crystal clear.  I hadn't been able to come up with the solution because I was trying to solve a spiritual problem with a physical answer!  If we are going to fight something in the spirit we have to use spiritual weapons.

The Bible tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not natural, but that we have God's mighty power to demolish strongholds of the enemy. (2 Co 10:4, 5)  The word also tells us in James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

I believe a big part of our problem is that we - the church at large - have forgotten who we are in Christ, and we have forgotten our mission in life!  That or else we have never really known who we are and what our mission is.  To find the answer as to how to get Bibles back into schools, we must look for the answer in the Word, and we must realize what our mission in life is.  Without vision the people perish. (Proverbs 29:18)  It is imperative that we UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST in order for us to ?get Bibles' anywhere.  Otherwise it doesn't matter anyway! If we are all fractioned and divided then there is no battle.  We have already lost!

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.  10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.  11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.  Live such good lives among the pagans (unbelievers) that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us. (Emphasis mine)

This tells us that at one time we weren't a nation, but now we are a nation to God. Once, we didn't have mercy, but now we do. Then we are urged not to get tangled up in sin that surrounds us in this world because we are not of it.  What this actually means is that our actions will be very foreign to many because we are of another kingdom - the Kingdom of God.  We are to reflect His love.  People don't understand God's love.  But we are to live in such a way in front of unbelievers that even if we are accused of doing wrong, that one day they'll see the truth and they'll give God glory!

In the days of the early church, when Peter wrote this, people were defined by their race.  There were the Hebrews, Romans, Egyptians, Asians, Ethiopians, Samarians, Greeks, and so on.  But when peoples of all races came together as One Body with Christ being their Head - their Ruler - there was a dilemma.  What were they to be called?  They were many races under One King.  So Peter reveals here that we are a HOLY NATION.  We are a nationality. 

Dictionary defines NATIONALITY:  "The status of belonging to a specific nation by origin, birth, or naturalization."  (Are we not BORN AGAIN by God's Spirit?)  "A people with a common origin, tradition, and often language."  (Don't we often use terms and language we read in Scripture to talk to one another? 

The only way that we can ?fight' segregation and prejudice is by the perfect work of the Cross of Christ Jesus.  The Apostle Paul teaches: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.   (See Gal 3:28.)

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.  Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us; that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (Emphasis mine)

I want you to see something very important here.  We are called Christ's AMBASSADORS!!!!! Do you know what an honor that is - to be called an ambassador for Christ?  An ambassador is an agent of the highest rank sent to represent a figurehead like a king, a president or a ruler as its long-term representative.  Our being an ambassador for God is a life-long mission and is a huge part of our identity in Christ Jesus! 

What is our mission as an ambassador of Christ?  This Scripture is telling us that God has committed to us the word of reconciliation - to teach others about God's love and forgiveness on the Cross!  19  that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.  20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ,  AS THOUGH GOD WERE PLEADING THROUGH US.

We are given the responsibility to speak to others - to represent the King of kings as if the KING Himself is speaking.  He is pleading - pleading Church!  He is pleading through us to those who have no hope to show them where their hope comes, and that Jesus is their hope.  The Father of all creation has given us the charge to be carriers of His message that the world can be reconciled to Him.  This is an extraordinary position! 

How much good would it really do to have "The Good Book" sitting on the shelf in a school library collecting dust?  If people have no reason to pick it up - if they don't see it working for you - then does it really matter if we have it in schools or not?  Unfortunately, many Bibles are sitting in the homes of ?church-people' gathering dust there too!!!  

As you can clearly see, our problem is not a physical one - it is a spiritual one.

We are each called to be such a spokesperson for GOD!!!  Please, understand what I am saying here!   It is about our being God's hands and feet on this earth carrying out His will here.  We have to stop looking in the natural.  We have to stop looking at our abilities!  If we walk in our own strength, then we will fall flat on our face as an ambassador of Christ because we not representing Christ and His greatness when we walk on our own.

We are NOT to REP-resent Jesus - but we are to RE-PRESENT JESUS. Present again and again the glory and greatness of God.  Present His ways.  Present His word.  Present His will - on this earth as it is in heaven!  We are to present His unconditional love, His peace, His joy, His way.

One day I was walking through my room and caught my reflection in the mirror.  Suddenly, in an instant I understood the answer to getting Bibles back in schools.  This is the Scripture that came into my mind:

2 Cor 3:2, 3   You yourselves are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men.  Clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us,  written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone (or paper) but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

Do you see the answer?  We are the epistles being read.  Everywhere we go we are being read. So how do we get Bibles back in schools - or anywhere for that matter?  We become ambassadors for Christ and living epistles read of all men.  That is how.  We don't fight this in the natural.   We FIRST ask the Father to receive Christ Jesus as our Lord - We have a personal relationship with Him and we get Him IN us by His Holy Spirit. 

If you have been a Christian for awhile, let me ask you something - what do people read when they see you?  Do read about the transformational power of the Living God?  Do they see the love and mercy of Jesus?  Do they see humility?  Do they see peace being lived out in your life?  Do they see Jesus? Do they see the Father?  Do they read the Bible - the word made flesh when they read you?

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word (talking about Jesus here), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  (My comment in parenthesis)

How do we get Bibles in schools?  We consume The Word'- Jesus - WE GET JESUS IN US - WE REVEAL JESUS TO OUR CHILDREN - AND THEN WHEREVER WE GO- wherever THEY go, THE WORD IS THERE!!!  We are to be like Jesus and BE the WORD - MADE FLESH and take Jesus wherever we go!  THAT is how we get Bibles into schools.

Lord, right now show us what we need to do together and individually to be living epistles of Your love and Your light and Your way.  Teach us to be ambassadors of Your love. Let us be carriers of Your passionate heart, Your passionate love for the lost and for Your church.  In Jesus' name. Amen

Your fellow ambassador in the Lord,

Judy Bauman

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, May 23 2003

A Home In You

Jesus said, "If you love Me, you will obey My teachings." If you do this, He pledges, "My Father will love you and We will come and make Our home [abode, special dwelling place] in you." If the God who created the heavens and the earth has made a home in you, then you will not be left alone to face life's daily trials and tests. Jesus promises in His Word that He will not leave you as an orphan, but will send to you a Comforter. The Comforter is His Holy Spirit. Is there an empty spot in your heart? Then invite Him to abide in you now. If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord but you still feel empty or unsure about your salvation, it could be the result of the way you treat the One with Whom you share living quarters.

How do you treat the Father, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit? Are you respectful of your Companion's likes and dislikes? Have you made a point to learn what those things are? Do you treat Him like a friend or like a visitor? Are you trying to make it look as if things are better than they really are in your home? Don't fool yourself. God sees what is hidden in your closets, crammed into your garage, swept under your rug, stashed in your attic, veiled in your files, and concealed in your basement. He knows what you have and what you continue to reap from your reading materials. He sees the TV shows and the movies you watch, and knows why you laugh at the jokes you hear. Jesus knows everything going onin your house. He sees what you see and even what you don't. God sees your heart. You can hide nothing from Him. Nothing. A day will come when you will stand before the Father, with or without Jesus' help, and give an account for your life. Are you ready for that day? If not, then today is the day to clean house!!!

Jesus is not like anyone else you have ever had in your home. He comes to help, not to ridicule, judge or torment you. He wants to encourage you from the inside out. If you give Him access to every area of your home, He will help you clean it by casting His soft, loving Light on those hard-to-reach places. His long arm will tenderly clean out the vilest places in your heart that have kept you living in shame. Christ wants to say to you, "Come and take my hand. I won't abandon you, so don't be overwhelmed or afraid. We will work together to get your house clean. You will rejoice and so will I." Then you will be able to walk in His righteousness, and be clothed in His love.

Because God lived as a man in Jesus, He knows the things you go through. He understands why you fall, and He understands why you have a difficult time getting up. For you and all of mankind, Jesus came to earth and took our eternal beating, our eternal ridicule, our eternal torment, and our eternal death. He came to set the captives free. Why? So that we can boldly go to the Father, through Jesus, and be one with Him.Jesus came to spare you from everlasting separation from God caused by the sin in your life. Do not be fooled. "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Christ bought and paid for your freedom with His own innocent blood. Now His desire is for you to live your life abundantly, through, and in Him.

Christ loves you and wants to help you, but you have to admit that you need His help. Trust Jesus. You can attempt to build your home without the Lord, but it will be in vain. However, when the Creator of the universe lives on the inside of you, the Master of reconstruction will be at work for your benefit. He will remodel, rebuild, add-on, refurbish, and redeem all you want or need done to your house. All you have to do is ask. God promises that you will receive, and He keeps His promises. To get started on an exciting and wonderful journey with the Father, simply and honestly say, "LORD! HELP ME!"

~Like the prodigal son's father, the Lord will come running to greet you.~

To confirm this message, please refer to these Scriptures in the Bible:

John 14:15-27, John 1:1-5, John 12:47, Mark 7:21-23, Mark 15:10-39, Heb 4:15, 16, Heb 9:14-15, Gal 3:3, 13, Gal 6:7, Luke 15:20-24, Ro 3:23, Eph 4:30-32 1Thes 5:8-11, Ps 1:1-3, Ps 127:1, Proverbs 3:5-8, Job 16:19-21 Is 41:10, Hag 1:2-8, Matt 7:24-27, Is 61:1, Ro 8:34-39, Ro 10:13, Ro 14:10-12, 2 Cor 5:17-21, 1 Peter 2:5, Rev 1:5

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 01:01 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, April 19 2003

After volunteering to help with a cleanup project after the OKC bombing, something I saw seemed to compel me to tell its story.  This is a short tribute I wrote to honor the men, woman and children who lost their lives in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.  I pray it blesses you. Judy 

An Unlikely Monument

The coffee pot is full.  Its clock reads 9:02 a.m.  It is a common sight as people all over the country start their day by brewing their favorite morning beverage.  They fill the reservoir with water, carefully place the filter, add their favorite blend, and finally set the knob to brew.  Within a few moments the machine begins to spurt and sputter and before long hot, steaming water flows through the finely ground, dark beans.  Its rich aroma fills the air and stimulates the senses.  An anticipated cup of coffee satisfies eagerly awaiting lips.  To many these quiet, simple moments are cherished; it is a peaceful time to organize the day's priorities and decide how to conquer the day's work ahead.  A second cup is poured and savored as was the first.  Soon the coffee is forgotten. The busy day is in full swing.

However, this pot of coffee is different.  No one enjoys the first cup because on April 19, 1995, everything that surrounds it is shattered.  A lethal explosion shook the very foundation of the small room where it sits in a busy YMCA facility.  The YMCA is located diagonally across from the Alfred P. Murrahbuilding in downtown Oklahoma City, OK.  Outside, emergency crews frantically help the terrified office workers search for one another.  Hundreds within the bomb's grip are injured. 168 persons were not as fortunate.  The rescue effort continues for many days. 

Three weeks after the bombing, YMCA staff members and one volunteer bravely face the ruins of the condemned YMCA building.  Boarded windows conceal the sunlight.  Illuminating beams from flashlights reveal what has transpired.  Fallen ceiling tile, hanging light fixtures, shards of broken glass, fractured brick, and crumbled plaster are the undeniable state of this once thriving facility.  Many of the solid wood doors leading into the offices are cracked in two and hang limply from their iron hinges.  An entire brick wall has fallen on the newly remolded gym floor. The stale, musty, humid air weighs as heavy as the worker's stunned hearts.  However, with heads held high, the task to retrieve equipment, records, and furniture is tackled with cheerful attitudes.  Unfortunately, most of their personal belongings are lost in the catastrophe.

The insignificant appliance is found standing motionless in a small, dark, demolished office.  Somehow it has escaped destruction.  Next to the moldy, fetid liquid lay a toppled wooden show case which once housed awards, trophies, childhood pictures, and other memorabilia.  The keepsakes are strewn about and buried in the debris from the blast's concussion.  Plaster that fell from the cinder block wall encompasses the unscathed coffee pot.  Defiantly, this full pot of coffee stands amidst the ruins ~ like a monument. 

Suspended in time, on a seemingly average morning, the fragile carafe serves as an icon to remind us each to appreciate and embrace the simple joys of life.  There is much to embrace. Will you see the simple blessings in your life and give thanks to God for them?  Or, will you go about your every day eating, sleeping, working, and walking around life, and take such things for granted?  The choice is yours.

Copyright © 1995  All rights reserved

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, January 01 2003

Who Am I?

After my soul has left my body and my bones have returned to dust, what will be remembered of me?  Do those who love me know who I have been, and why I have done the things I have done?  Have they understood that the only reason I have had the capacity to love them as deeply as I have, is because Christ clothed me in His love?  He has been the deepest love of my life.  I pray they find rest in the same loving arms I have, and that they have made Him Lord in their lives as a result of my example.

I was awakened by God's loving touch within me.  The healing that has taken place in my heart and soul is all the proof needed for me to know that God chose to work within me.  If in my short lifetime, I have glorified God, then all of my life's dreams have been realized.  God's will has been for me to live my whole life, not bits and pieces of it, in His presence and give Him all that I am. The constant search for fulfillment left me weak.  Nothing filled me.  My capricious lifestyle only left me feeling as if I were only chasing after the wind. (Ecc 2:24-26)  No matter how much of life I ate, I was famished, and no matter how much of life I drank, I continued to thirst.  Jesus gathered my fragments made me whole.  He filled the empty hole that was my life. (John 4:1-26)

Jesus healed my grieving heart, and lifted cursing and drink from my lips.  He did this simply because I asked Him.  He heard my cries.  Jesus came and smiled upon me and gave me hope-- the hope to which He has called me. (Eph 1-18)  He set me free.  (John 8:36)  I have lived in God and He has lived in me.  Jesus chose me and I have known His voice.  (John 10:3)  I yearn for His word, love, and wisdom; His faith, grace, peace, mercy, and glory.  My goal is to live in a manner pleasing to my Lord, then rest in His arms.  I want Him to say to me, "Well done good and faithful servant!  Come and share your Master's happiness." (Matt 25:23)

In His Word, the Bible, Jesus promises that if we love Him, we will obey His teachings, then He and the Father will come and make a home in us.  (John 14:23)  I have known this to be true.  Jesus is not some character in a book, a great teacher who lived 2000 years ago, or a deranged lunatic who thought himself God.  Jesus is the only begotten Son of the One Living Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth.  I sincerely asked Him to forgive my many iniquities and invited Him into my life.  Christ made a home in me.  Through the power of His Holy Spirit, He has comforted, led, and freed me from the chains, the sins that formerly kept me shackled.

My hope is that I have lived as a reflection of Jesus' light on this dark, cold, and lonely world.  When someone needed to be loved, I hope to have been of comfort.  For those who hungered and need to be filled, I hope to have shared my food.  In a parched world where one could be quenched by drinking from the Living Well, I hope to have handed them a cup.

As an ambassador of the Lord Jesus Christ, I hope those who have known me will have seen Him in my words and in my deeds.  I pray that they see the Savior in the love I have given, the songs I have sung, the provisions I have shared, and teachings the Holy Spirit revealed through me.  May all glory and honor go to Him for any and all things I have done well.

7/97

Posted by: Judy Bauman AT 12:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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