“My arm hurts,” I moaned. I’m not sure what exactly I did, probably carrying too many books along with my laptop in a bag off that arm, or maybe I twisted it, I don’t know. But it hurt and though I’d taken some ibuprofen and tried to use the other arm more, it wasn’t really working so I complained out loud until I caught myself. If my arm was going to stop hurting, I had to change what I was saying.

I repented and instead of saying what I had, I called for what I didn’t t have–healing. I started saying, “The Bible says by His stripes I’m healed. Arm, you’re healed.” I called for what I didn’t have. That’s how faith works. Faith calls for things that are not, so that they come.

Sometimes we start off great and we find scripture that fits what we are calling for, but then we get distracted and let it go by the wayside and the problem returns. That’s what happened to me. I thought I had it handled, but then it got worse and I started getting worried. I asked Jane to pray for my arm and she did and it felt better. I believed my arm was healed but there was still some irritation.

I was so glad I didn’t have to do any really hard work because I was starting to get concerned about my nagging arm. I believed it would be healed and kept saying to my arm, “You’re healed in Jesus name.” But there was still one last step in my healing process. It came in an unusual and fun way.

I started a new job with my friend Wendy. I got up early, got dressed, emptied the cat box and went into the kitchen to make coffee. I was a little worried about how my arm would perform but I was going anyway. Then as I was making my coffee I got this revelation from the Holy Spirit. The Lord brought Wendy’s words that she spoke a year ago to my remembrance, “I always do stretching exercises in the morning.” God used those words to speak to me!

As I was waiting for my coffee, I started swinging my right arm around in a full circle forward six times, then backwards six times, then my left arm. Then I swung my arms to the sides as I twisted from side to side. Then I bent sideways and stretched my arms over my head and did a few other stretches. Then my coffee was ready.

It was like in Luke 6:10 where “[Jesus] said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” My arm was totally healed.

There are so many varied examples of healing in the Bible and I love how the Lord leads us to our healing if we persist. Believing God for healing is the important thing and seeking Him first and continuously.

Healing could be instantaneous, or through a friend’s prayer, or through medicine or exercise, or a combination of things. Or even as wild as when Jesus “spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing” (John 9: 6-7).

We never give up on God. He’s always on time and He will heal us.

Love, Carolyn

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When we had painting jobs that had to be done in a hurry, one of my favorite painters, Jose from El Salvador, had a saying that made us laugh and eased the stress. He’d cock his head sideways, raise his eyebrows, and put on a quirky smile as he slowly drew the words out, “Dooon’ puuush me.” We all adopted the saying and loved it.

Sometimes we want to say that to the Lord. He challenges us to go a little further with Him and we hesitate or resist. “I’m pretty comfortable right here. I pray regularly, read my Bible pretty often, tell others about Jesus, minister healing occasionally. I’m actually pretty happy with things the way they are. I’m not sure want to change things right now.”

But usually the Lord lovingly lets us know, “You’re doing great with where you are now but I’ve got something new for you now if you’ll accept it.”

Once He’s got us, He wants us to have the whole package. He wants us to grow. “Then He [Jesus] said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree” (Luke 13:18-19). In Luke 17:21 Jesus tells us “the kingdom of God is within you.”

The seed of God’s kingdom is a living thing and it’s supposed to grow like the mustard seed into a large tree within us. There’s nothing in the Word of God that says once we’ve learned a certain amount of Bible, we have the right to just stop the tree from growing any more. Quite the opposite.

The Holy Spirit just keeps gently encouraging us to go further, learn more. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” That’s not a onetime thing. The Lord continues to pay us a visit if we will let Him come in and spend the time.

Second Corinthians 5:14 says, “The love of Christ constraineth us.” That means He just keeps coming, imploring us to experience more of His presence and the new things He wants to show us. We never have to be afraid. Jesus said, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt 28:20).

We can usually recognize when we’re being challenged to go further. We’ll start to get an idea on our heart and it comes up from different angles: in conversation, on the internet, in Bible teachings, etc. That’s often how God lets us know He is trying to get us to pay attention and take a closer look.

Think about it. What is the Lord maybe nudging you with lately?

Love, Carolyn

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An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the home-building business. The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work.

He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, the employer came to inspect the house. He handed the front door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.” The carpenter was shocked.

What a shame. If he had known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the building. Then with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we’d do it much differently. But we cannot go back.

You are the carpenter. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Your attitude and the choices you make today, build the “house” you live in tomorrow. Build wisely!


Love, Carolyn

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I opened the sliding glass door and out he went past the patio to take a leak (the dog, that is). The next thing I know, I hear a yelp and Spike’s limping back into the house. He must have gotten his foot caught in one of the loops of the new vine I planted. I figured he might have just pulled it a little and was being extra cautious. He was favoring the foot, and still limping, but it didn’t seem too bad. But the next day it took a turn.

In the morning Spike couldn’t put any pressure on it at all and I had to lift his 35 pounds of cuteness to take him anywhere, including outside to do his business. Jane and I got together and prayed for him. As I prayed, I realized that I couldn’t pray for Holy Spirit in him to work on the healing from the inside out. He’s a dog. Dogs don’t have Holy Spirit inside. But in the next instant it came to me that God created dogs. If it was something really serious, God could even provide a miracle of healing and create a part. But God also created animals’ bodies having the capacity to heal just like our bodies were given that capacity, with white blood cells, etc. So what was I going to pray for?

I got the revelation to pray and believe that his healing process would speed up, and I had a scripture to back it up: “I the Lord will hasten it in his time” (Is 60:22). What a great promise! I’ve put my faith out by revelation on this speeding up process many times with super results. This was one of those times and I thank our God for it.

By the afternoon, Spike could put pressure on the leg and the next morning he was bouncing down the hallway once again. Even if it was only sprained, normally it would have taken longer to totally heal, but the Lord speeded up the process just like He inspired me to pray for.

Luke 12:6 says God doesn’t even forget about one sparrow, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” Psalm 104:14 says, “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle” and there’s lots of scriptures telling us He feeds and takes care of the wild animals too. We can be assured that the Lord cares about our pets.

Love, Carolyn

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I was in the scissor lift 30 feet in the air, painting stripes on the ceiling of a new casino. I had to get the stripes painted in between two beams and there was one small space that was hard to reach. I hesitated. I could just barely see it well enough and if I stretched out from the lift, I could do it. But . . .

I thought maybe I could get a better chance at it from the other side of the column. Bad decision. I moved the lift around the column and got as close as I could, took the lift up the 30 feet and I couldn’t reach that one little spot. Sh…!

You guessed it. I had to go back down, drive the lift around to where I was before, maneuver it into the tight opening without hitting the column, go back into the air the 30 feet, stretch out over the edge of the railing and paint stripes on a piece of ceiling that was no bigger than 6 inches by 6 inches!

That experience made a lasting impression and the video runs in my head whenever I am in a similar situation, in my painting and other categories as well.

If you can see it now and think you can reach it, do it now. Challenging? Yes. But definitely worth it. It’s not fun to go backwards and waste time trying to do something you could have done the first time. And besides that, if we hesitate and balk at opportunities in life, there’s a chance they may not come around for us again.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” The word “circumspectly” comes from the Greek word which means “exactly and diligently.”  We’ve all experienced the rush of being diligent on eating right or exercising or any other great project and burning out down the road. The only way we can really be diligent consistently is by allowing Christ to take an intimate role in our lives every day.

Diligence is supernatural.

Jesus Christ is coming soon. We haven’t got time to go backwards and do things over and over again. We want to take full advantage and do what the Lord presents, today.

Love, Carolyn

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“Put him on the phone.” Wendy’s 6-year-old son Jack didn’t feel like taking a shower and was giving grandma a bad time. When Wendy was sure Jack was on the phone, she measured out her words, “You need to get in that shower and be clean by the time I get home.” “Okay,” he answered. Jack instantly changed his mind and obeyed. What about us?

Children can make changes easily and learn the benefits of obeying. They remain flexible and grow. As we mature into adults there’s no reason that has to change. So, how do we do it?

Just this morning I was feeling burdened, thinking I had too much to do. Then when I went to write this, I heeded my own words. “Change your mind. It’s only a thought away.” So I told myself, “It’s going to be a great day.” My attitude instantly got brighter. Satan tried to get me to balk and argue that it wasn’t going to be that easy. But I answered that thought with, “No. With God it is that easy!”

A rudder on a ship is small but it can take that ship and turn it around and make it go in a different direction.

Romans 12:1 says, “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” So, by even one tiny thought, I can change the whole direction of my day and be pleasing to God. That’s awesome!

A better day is just a thought away.

We can only think one thought at a time and we have the power to choose the next thought. “For as he thinketh [is thinking] in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7). What gets into our heart starts with one thought. A right thought is just one thought away from a wrong one. And right thoughts come from the Word of God. It really is just that simple.

Jack instantly changed his wrong thought to a right one by listening to his mom and obeying. We can do the same with God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are our own best friends when we take a thought from God’s Word rather than one that collides with it. Simplicity is a good thing. Life is not that hard if we keep ourselves flexible and obedient like children, one deliberate thought at a time.

Love, Carolyn

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I was watching a baseball game on a High Definition TV. Wow! It was so much clearer than you could EVER see with the naked eye! I could see faces, hands and everything in bright detail. Even if I had been there in person I wouldn’t have been able to see so clearly. Two things made this clarity possible. First, the camera and second, the TV. So how does that relate to spiritual matters?

The Christ within us is like the camera and sees everything clearly. But for us to see it as clearly, we need to continually upgrade our TVs to see what Christ sees. Upgrading spiritually means to continue studying and reading the Bible, believing and acting on what the Holy Spirit teaches and shows us.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 says, “that your faith groweth [is growing] exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth [is abounding].” Sometimes we wonder if we’re really growing spiritually. We wonder if we’re showing the love of Jesus enough in our lives.

One way to increase in faith and love is to start repeating this scripture aloud, and replacing the words “our faith is growing” with “my faith is growing” and saying “my love is abounding.”

Ephesians 4:15 tells us how to further grow up in Christ. It’s by “speaking the truth in love, [you] may grow up into him in all things.” That sounds simple enough, but honestly, sometimes I don’t want to speak the truth because I know it’s going to hurt someone. The key, though, is to ONLY speak it in love. That often takes preparation and thinking through just HOW to speak the truth you have. Ask yourself, “How would I like to hear this message if the tables were turned?”

Hebrews 5:13-14 says, “For every one that useth [is using] milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth [is belonging] to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

When someone is a new believer we don’t expect them to be able to operate in all aspects of the Christ within. But if we want to grow to full age spiritually, we start paying attention to our spiritual five senses and exercise them like the verse says. We won’t know what we can see, hear, touch, taste or smell unless we try it out—test the hunches. The Lord blesses us to see how often we’re right. And being right helps to build confidence in our spiritual walk.

Christ Jesus is our indwelling camera. Let’s get our HDTVs tuned up!

Love, Carolyn

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