Thursday, March 31, 2011

Almost Missed It

My friend Mary who is a mighty woman of God and has the gift of prophecy was coming to town to speak at a local church.
My new friend Debbie and I decided we would go together to see her. My older children were planning on going too. Mary has had a huge impact in not only my life but my childrens so we were all looking forward to seeing her at some point during her stay in Florida.
Sunday morning came and I woke up with a migraine and hadn’t slept well the night before and bla bla bla. I decided I wouldn’t go to the church to see Mary but would wait til she was back at our mutual friend’s house and visit her there.
I mean really, why should I get up when I’m tired and drive all the way there when she won’t be able to put all her attention on me? So what that I could be a part of God moving in other people’s lives what’s in it for me? I didn’t actually have that last thought but I might as well have.
My son Anthony called that morning to see what time we were leaving and I said let’s not go and just see her later when she gets back.
I reminded him that Mary would be busy and again bla bla bla. My son (thank God) said he and Amanda were still going. Actually what he said was “what are you 100 reasons why not to go?”
It was then I remembered I told my friend Debbie I would go with her and I didn’t want to bail on her.
How sad I was going to bale on my kids but didn’t want to sell out a friend. What’s wrong with that picture? Sounds like another jewel….
As Debbie and I were driving and sharing stories I told her a story that as usual I have no idea why or where it came from.
It took place when I first moved to Florida after my divorce nearly 25 years ago. I took Anthony and Amanda to a theme park and they were riding on the carousel. You know how it is with little kids every time they pass you they are waving like crazy and all excited and you better be waving back which of course I was.
I saw a man on the other side of the carousel who no doubt was watching his child. I could tell this by the look on his face, that loving look that only a parent can have for their child.
I remembered thinking even if I remarried no one would look at my children that way, the way I do because they aren’t theirs.
*Side note: This look can come from an adoptive parent as well I’m not talking about someone who was involved in the act of making a baby I’m talking about someone who is an active loving parent.*
With that said I remember feeling sad and for whatever reason I shared this experience with Debbie.
We got to church and the Holy Spirit was so present and the service was awesome and I was being convicted for being a ninny head.
Why you ask? Glad you did.
I was a ninny head because I wasn’t going to go see Mary because she wouldn’t be able to talk to me anyway. She was there to minister to the congregation she was visiting.
The first thing the Lord showed me, well second, first I was being selfish, second the Lord reminded me I could be there for support for my sister and friend. I don’t know maybe even be praying while Mary was ministering. Ouch.
I couldn’t seem to get into the service or the flow if you will because other things were popping into my head and even though I said I was sorry I still didn’t feel right.
The Lord showed me that the presence of God had so filled the room that His light was illuminating things in me. Darkness and Light can’t both be present at the same time. It was because the Holy Spirit had consumed the room that things I needed to confess were being brought to light so that I could commune with the most High God.
It was a very cleansing experience and once I got past beating myself up and just accepted forgiveness my whole spirit changed.
A little while later Mary asked my son Anthony to stand and she spoke a prophetic word over him. As she spoke she reminded Anthony that he was God’s son and just as she said the word son the Lord put a vivid picture in my mind of Anthony and Amanda on the carousel. He then whispered to me “I look at them that way.”
He reminded me that He was then and is now their father. It was so precious and I just wept.
Mary ended up speaking over both my children and prayed for my grandson. I too received a prophetic word from another prophet who was visiting; God is so good He didn’t leave me out in spite of me. If I hadn’t gone I would have missed it all. Not just God speaking to my family but to Debbie and the other men and women that were blessed to hear from God that morning.
I told Debbie later that the only reason I went was because I told her I would and she confessed the only reason she went was because she told me she would.
Thank you Jesus that your agenda went forward no matter what we thought our agenda was.
In case you’re not familiar with the gift of prophecy let me give you the Gena translation. Please don’t take this as an expert explanation, it’s not.
Prophesying over someone is speaking life over them, speaking God’s word, encouraging and edifying them. Everyone can do it.
The gift of prophecy is when the Holy Spirit gives a word to someone that pertains to a specific person.
This is what Mary and Don were doing, giving specific words through the Holy Spirit to certain individuals.
Gems let’s not get lazy when we have an opportunity to be blessed. Let’s remember there is an anointing that happens at those God appointed times and when it’s gone you missed it. We are so easily swayed to not do something.
I’m always amazed when the Lord gives me a word for someone and I try to reach them and set up a time to see them or talk on the phone and they are too busy…..
I’m just as guilty. I knew a prophet was available and I was going to decide to miss it because it wasn’t the way I thought I wanted it.
Gems how did we get too busy, too tired, don’t feel like it, it’s my only day off, bla bla bla for God?
This was a great reminder for me to pay attention to what God is putting in front of me cause I almost missed it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Who Loves Ya

I had the weirdest thing happen the other night, maybe not the weirdest cause I have had some pretty weird stuff happen but weird none the less.
I was at a friends house and she was telling me about all the awesome stuff the Lord has done for her lately and just bragging on the love Jesus had been giving her.
At first I was like that's so great, and yea isn't God good, and that's awesome, but as she went on and on I started getting this jealous feeling.
I was like wait a minute your going a little too far with this love thing you got going on with Jesus. Didn't she know He was mine! Yea she could borrow Him but she was making it sound like they were exclusive.
I wanted to say WOE there sista don't you think your getting a bit carried away here? Ya know He is taken.
Gems it was the weirdest thing, I started having this conversation in my head telling myself that's it you are a Jesus freak! You can't get jealous about Jesus.
I told my daughter Jessica about it figuring she would tell me I finally lost it but she said she thought it was sweet.
I figured that was my clearance that I could share the story with you.
I tell people my motto is I'm God's favorite and it's my goal in life to help others feel the same way. Apparently my motto slapped me right in the face lol.
I love that God can make every person feel completely loved and special at the same time but honestly I can't really comprehend it.
Ephesians 3:19
to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

He never ceases to amaze me how He will reach out to His children when they desperately need to hear from Him.
Last night I was supposed to go to a movie with my friend April. We had to be there by 7 and at almost 6:30 we were sitting in bumper to bumper traffic and still had a ways to go.
I already knew God had other plans and was excited to see what they were. I noticed a Cracker Barrell sign on the side of the interstate and thought dinner there sounds good. I turned to April and said “I don't think we're going to make the movie” and she said “we're going to Cracker Barrell.”
I love when a plan comes together. We walked in the restaurant and within minutes I saw someone I hadn't seen in years. He just started working there as a Manager a couple of weeks ago and like I said we “just happened” to be stuck in traffic in front of this restaurant.
He ended up sitting at our table most of the evening and was in need of some encouragement. April and I did just that and we told him we would pray about the things that he shared that were troubling him.
Then there was our waiter. What an amazing young man, on fire for God and getting married in two weeks. There was an instant connection with him so before we left he also sat with us and I was able to pray over him and share what the Lord put on my heart for him.
Two of God's men that were apparently needing to hear from their sweet Jesus.
Psalm 144:2
My Steadfast Love and my Fortress, my High Tower and my Deliverer, my Shield and He in Whom I trust and take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.

I had a dream that night about a couple who are very dear friends of mine and I called the next day to share what the Lord put on my heart for them. My friend knew as soon as she heard my message that the Lord had something she was needing to hear.
There is no one like our God! That he has this intimate relationship with all of His children at the same time is phenomenal! (for Stacy)
One night I was at church and was saving the seat next to me for my son Anthony. The church wasn't full so there were plenty of seats but this man walks up stops right at my isle and looks at me and asks if the seat is available. I tell him I'm saving it for my son and then I say but you can sit here. As soon as it came out of my mouth I thought why did I say that?
He sat next to me and all of a sudden I had this overwhelming flood of emotion flow through me. I knew right away the Lord wanted to minister to this man. It was all I could do not to start crying, the love of God was pouring into me and at the same time I could sense this huge amount of pain inside of this man I have never met before.
Needless to say when the service was over I spent some time with him and told him how much Jesus loved him and he just wept.
I know that the Lord is only giving me a small portion of how He's feeling if it were any more I truly think I would explode!
At those times my Spirit is making the connection with the other person's Spirit and there is a communication that is unexplainable. It's such a precious moment and it has to be handled with care.
1 Corinthians 16:14
Let all that you do be done with love.

Gems I wake up each day and ask the Lord to give me someone to share His love with. Partly because I know it pleases Him and partly because at times I can't contain it. It is truly consuming!
I want to remind you, it's not that I'm special or have some super gifting that God uses me like this, it's just a desire of my heart and it can be a desire of yours too :)
Take some time today to share the greatest gift, the gift of love with someone. Look them in the eye and say “let me tell you who loves ya!”
1 Corinthians 13:13
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Empowering Leadership

I have started a 7 week leadership class and I’m going to attempt to blog you through it with me.
I knew the Lord sent me on this adventure and as always that’s all I knew. My first class I was anticipating something wonderful as I had heard the Pastor who was leading the class speak before and he is a powerful communicator.
I didn’t know anyone in the room and decided to lay low and just observe for the first night.
As the teacher/pastor began to speak I knew for sure I was in the right place at the right time. He shared thoughts and theories I had in my own head and couldn't verbalize.
The world has been giving seminars and teachings on creating good leaders forever and I never seemed to fit the mold. I knew I was a leader but my style if you will when compared to other “great leaders” always seemed to be lacking.

Story time.
When my grandson Anthony was about 3 and could reach the lock on the door of his home he would just open it whenever someone came to the door. This of course worried me because I didn’t want him letting someone in the house without his parents knowing that could harm him or his family. For weeks I would go to my son’s house and knock on the door and as I heard his little fingers reaching for the dead bolt I would yell through the door “say who is it?” Hoping he would catch on that if he didn’t know who it was he wouldn’t open the door. This went on for weeks so one day I thought I would test him.
I got to the door and knocked real loud. Once again I heard him run to the door and reach for the lock. I yelled in a deep voice hoping to trick him “say who is it!” to which he yelled back “hold on Nana” and I said in a deeper voice “it’s not nana, say who is it” to which he replied again in that precious 2 year old voice “hold on nana” his hands still trying to turn the lock. I said again in a bolder voice “it’s not nana!”
Then I heard the sound of his mom asking him “Anthony who’s at the door” and he answered “it’s nana but she doesn’t know who she is!”
After a good laugh I thought to myself at times there’s a lot of truth to that statement.
Sometimes we just don’t know who we are and usually that’s because we’re comparing ourselves to what the world says we should be.
Back to the jewel:
Any time I have been in a leadership role I was asked for an action plan of some kind, charts, graphs, business plan, agenda, a pint of blood. OK maybe not a pint of blood.
These are not necessarily bad things they’re just not things I know how to do.
These are not the teacher’s exact words but he said something to the effect of you can’t take leadership and make it a science or program. It’s a living thing, spirit, an art. You have to let go, it comes from the inside, you can’t replicate it.
This spoke volumes to me as I could never put on paper a check list for people to follow on how I did things. They just seemed to flow from the inside out. This of course was and is the work of the Holy Spirit who will do things differently for each person. We looked at 1 Corinthians 12 where Paul talks about the body of the church (us) and the different gifts that are given to each one. As always I suggest you read the chapter for yourself but the verse I want to point out is v11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.You see it’s the Holy Spirit that gives the gifts how and when He wants so how could I possibly give you a check list to what the Sprit is going to do.
I have also taken on leadership roles and then one day the Lord would say your part is done move on. This was not received very well by the world system it translated that to you are irresponsible and aren’t taking your role seriously.
Gems I’m talking about my life here. God of course has people in leadership roles for certain lengths of time because that’s how the Holy Spirit decided that person would do his job. You cannot compare yourself to anyone else. We are each individual organic beings with our own living environment and as leaders we need to create an environment where everyone thrives. We can’t be a programmer or master planner we need to be an environmentalist where our goal is to not make everyone align with me but where everyone can thrive and grow in their spiritual leadership.
Our teacher brought up the word hierarchy and how it can give you power over people but it doesn’t make you one of the people.
I could so relate to this. When I was still living in Lake County I volunteered at a shelter leading a class I called Life After Abortion. When I told some of my prayer partners what the Lord asked me to do the first thing they asked was what curriculum are you going to use?
I didn’t have a curriculum the Lord made it clear He would tell me what to say each week. Now hear me I’m not saying a curriculum is wrong it’s not and many times it’s needed but not every time if the Lord has other plans.
I started second guessing myself. How was I going to lead without a curriculum? I asked the Lord how in the world was I going to heal these women. Me heal these women, did you hear that? The Lord said “they will be healed the same way you were, by Me!”
I was going to use the curriculum plan of 1 Corinthians 12, I would wait and see what the Holy Spirit was going to give me.
I was assured by people that this was not a wise plan for a good leader.
Painting by numbers will no more make you an artist than a check list will make you a leader. It’s born inside of you, its part of your DNA.
There’s another huge difference in this kind of leadership thinking, it’s not competitive as far as other people growing into their leadership capabilities. I’m not threatened if you rise to your occasion.
I used to run a sales floor and my team definitely competed with the two other sales teams. One year we won 10 out of 12 months in sales. You know why? Because I gave ownership to each of my teammates. I allowed them to flow in their strengths, how they felt comfortable selling, I didn’t make them copy my style. Honestly I have a sarcastic humor and someone else trying my technique could really get them in trouble.
We had an amazing living energy on our team and people on the other teams wanted to transfer to ours. Not because I was such an awesome leader but because there was a living energy that excited something in them and they wanted to be a part of it.
My question now is how do you still have leadership and chain of command if you use this type of thinking?
God is about order and He definitely had a chain of command. He tells us to obey those who have authority over us so where does that all mesh together?
I’m not sure I guess that’s part of the reason I’m intrigued by this class.
So Gems this is A To Be Continued jewel. Hopefully we will all learn something together about being a leader and empowering others to lead as well.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

No Slander Zone

I had an interesting thing happen to me the other day. I was at the printing company talking to Mark, the man who is working on Gena’s Jewels, and we were going over some changes to the book. My oldest son Anthony was with me and if you know Anthony you know he was messing with the guy. I assured Mark I was OK with having to wait for the book and Anthony started telling him that’s not what I say at home and how I trash the guy. I told him to stop, actually what I said was “stop Anthony he doesn’t know me and he’ll think I really said those things” to which Mark replied “I read your whole book I know you didn’t say those things.”

Isn’t that interesting, he felt he knew me even though we only met twice because he read stories I wrote. He didn't think I was the kind of person who would trash him and then be nice to his face. He had made a judgment call about my character without knowing me personally.

Ironically on the total opposite end of the spectrum I have a brother who I thought did know me. He has seen my life first hand. I have personally invested in his life and yet he doesn’t know me at all.

We had a falling out recently and if you’re wondering why you haven’t heard any of my parent stories it’s for this reason. My brother is now power of attorney for my parents and making all the decisions. How that happened will be another jewel; however it was not a pretty scene. I’m going to let you read part of an email my brother wrote about me to my sister:

Gena stole 5000 dollars from mom they need that money because dads insurance won’t pay all of the cost to put mom where she has to go. I’m not happy about it and will be talking to mom and dads layer when I go back. I had to get new titles for the car and the truck because she stole them to. genas daughter called me and gave me a hard time because she couldn't have the car who the hell dose gena think she is. Im gonna put her in jail if I can she made illegal papers up they weren’t witnessed or noterize. all they wanted was her to come once a month and help with the bills but couldn't even do that. now I have to drive every month and spend all my money to take care of mom and dad.the so called Christian can preach from jail now and rot in hell. shes nothing but a Liar and a thief.

Pretty strong words hu? It took me a few weeks before I could talk about it nerveless write about it. I was shocked because my brother didn't just think I was capable of these things he believes I did them! This is a powerful tool of the enemy, its called slander.

I'm not showing you this because I want someone to defend me or worse yet be mad at my brother. Its part of the “real people who have real problems” that Gena's Jewels is all about. I was deeply hurt by my brother’s words but more than that I felt sorry for him.

Of course I cried to my sweet Jesus about it and this was the devotional that was emailed to me the same day.

January 24, 2011. I know it is not easy. This will not last for a long time. If you hide yourself in Me during this time it will not feel as long, and not feel as hard. I have called you to rest and have surrounded you with love. Don't keep your mind on how hard it is. Keep your mind on the victory that will come, and your circumstances will not be overwhelming. Instead you will overwhelm your circumstances. You did nothing to bring it on, this just happened in the scheme of life. You are victorious and will look back someday and understand with amazement. You are a winner.
Romans 8:37 (NASB) "But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." Bev Robinson

Is God good or what.

The thing that was so shocking to me was one man didn't believe I was capable of trashing him because he read Gena's Jewels and the other man thinks I'm capable of stealing from my own parents and I grew up with him.

Bottom line Gems there are people out there who are obviously filled with anger and they need our prayers even when they have attacked us with slanderous comments.

The enemy is looking for people he can use to be destructive and tear friends and families apart and we don't want to be a tool in that plan.

It would have been easy to call or write my brother back and tell him off but what would that have accomplished? Nothing.

When you get attacked you need to let the Lord handle that person in His way and your plan should be to pray for them.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4 that when men slandered him he answered with kind words. This is easier said than done and I have not always been this gracious. There was a time when these would have been fightin words and I'm ashamed to say I would have gone for the throat.

The truth is we can't be surprised when these things happen. The Bible warns us that they will.
Luke 12:51-53 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Ironically there are 5 children in my family and it's 3 against 2 so I am living proof of the above verse.

I know I'm not the only one who has had family attack them with slanderous words. People who have been accused of things you can't believe your own family would even think about you.

I want to encourage you Gems your not alone. God hears your heart, catches your tears and most of all He knows the truth.

Do your best not to retaliate with the tools of the enemy, we actually have a weapon that works and that's the word of God.

Romans 12:20 Therefore“ If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink;For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

Psalm 101:5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure.

I didn't say that the Bible did. Our best defense is to do the right thing and let God do the rest.

Don't misunderstand me I'm not saying you should continue in a destructive relationship, believe me the door is closed between me and my brother BUT I will be praying for him and I have already forgiven him. That's the key, not to fester on it because the thing you feed is the thing that stays alive in your mind.

I'm not sure who this jewel is for and I may never know. I pray you will find comfort in knowing you are not alone and better than that comfort in God's word.

Psalm 57:3 He will send from heaven and save me from the slanders and reproaches of him who would trample me down or swallow me up, and He will put him to shame. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! God will send forth His mercy and loving-kindness and His truth and faithfulness.