Sunday, August 28, 2022

Who is Jan Hicks?

Who is this woman?  She is an adoring wife, a beloved mother, a devoted daughter, a respected teacher, a fun loving woman, and a published author who is after God’s own heart. She is a generous friend, a truth teller, a prayer warrior, a Harley rider, a kayaker, a great listener, and a thankful, transparent woman who has no shame --- as she has been supernaturally changed by God for His mighty purpose. She counts her personal relationship with Jesus as the top blessing of her life.  In August 2022 Jan returned to Chapala to tell her testimony in several Spanish congregations in Guadalajara and Chapala. She has a growing ministry in Alabama and in Guatemala. She opens her testimony with "They conquered him (schemes of the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their lives in the face of death." Who are they?  The Two Witnesses in the book of Revelation breathed fire. A believer in Jesus named John heard a voice from heaven "eat the scroll:\" It would be bitter in his stomach, but sweet as honey in his mouth. Sometimes when we share all that God has done in us, we are mocked and that rejection can turn bitter in our tummies. We obey, eat the word and in our obedience to forgive as we are forgiven, we are blessed beyond measure.  The Revelation of Jesus Christ in chapters 11 and 12, point out much truth. As we stand strong and witness with fire, we may lose friends and the enemy will attack, but God --- equipped us in advance! The lethal weapon of God's word destroys the enemy.   God empowers His witnesses. In the last days these two had the power of the Holy Spirit (as we do) to stand against Satan and all his attacks. These two witnesses were killed right where Jesus was crucified. However, after 3 1/2 days of laying dead, God blew His breath
of life into them and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who had been celebrating their death ---when they rose from PUBLIC dead bodies, (not buried, not stolen) they just simply got up ALIVE and were taken up into the clouds. Wonder if CNN will cover that story?  When we accept Jesus as Lord, and EAT HIS WORD when it assimilates fully, we become ALL of who He planned us to be. We get set free from all temptations as we saturate our minds with the truth.   That is what kept Jan's complete, immediate deliverance in tact. She ate the Word of God.  In 1991, both parents had worried that when Jan began passionately talking about all that Jesus had done for her, they were earnestly concerned that she was in a dangerous cult. They even dispatched Jan’s eldest son to investigate. However, while he only came to church to spy on his mom, during a church service, her son accepted Christ. Jan’s Dad and Mom accepted Christ in December 1994 as he was battling lung cancer. He moved in with Jesus 7 months later.  Her mother continues to serve the Lord today and was remarried to a minister in the year 2000JAN’s MINISTRY: For years Jan Hicks worked in the same church that she got saved in. Her gift was to pray and the prayer ministry at this church operated 24 hours a day. Eventually friends from church encouraged Jan to begin an independent prayer ministry outside the church. They even financed a new prayer ministry and a website for Christians United Ministries, Inc. (CUMI)  launched in August of 1999 and it began with 12 prayer partners. God blessed their ministry and by His grace the website received prayer requests from churches and other online prayer ministries. Within a year, over 100,000 prayer partners joined from around the globe. Jan continues to work full time, without a salary, while Don works with their son doing restoration
construction to pay the family bills. Today Jan teaches a prayer model that brings healing to hearts that have been wounded or who remain in denial about past hurts. Many hard working Christians withhold pieces of their past from the light of Truth which prevents total healing.  The process she teaches comes from her personal healing experience. It includes closing doors to the enemy’s habitual ways of obstructing a person’s right to live a joy filled life. Jan is invited to share her amazing redemptive testimony at various denominations of faith. The power and grace of God transformed Jan's messy adolescent ways, supernaturally, in one hour. She is a beacon of hope for all who suffer through a life without passion or purpose. His power continues to restore whatever has been stolen from those who genuinely seek wholeness. Jan travels to Mexico as a teacher/trainer by partnering with Wellspring International School of Ministry which is hosted by Judy Whitener. Wellspring combines CUMI and other ministry resources to teach and encourage pastors and church leaders to be certified in a simple method of prayer.
A move of the Holy Spirit occured at Espiritu Santos church in Chapala on August 28, 2022 and several youth came forward, knelt at the alter in humility as they confessed their sins and welcomed Jesus into their hearts. Jan then had the youth line up for a personal word, and blessing. The Holy Spirit,personally touched these kids with great conviction as Jan told her testimony as Pastor Raul interpreted.  JAN’s HISTORY: Jan was born in Alabama, and raised in Pensacola, Florida. Her daddy owned a meat packing company, and her mamma retired from Sears and Roebuck as the personnel manager. Growing up, her mom and dad did not attend church themselves, but dad dropped off Jan and her brother at a local Baptist church every Sunday.  At the age of 12, Jan went forward to receive Christ Jesus with a gaggle of close pre-teen girlfriends who were willing so that they could get a new bathing suit to be baptized in. When she came home boasting of what she had done, her mother stated she was just following the crowd. Jan graduated nursing school and worked in a hospital, a private practice, and was a private duty nurse for Para and Quadriplegics. For a short time she worked for a Urologist, and the last 5 years of her nursing career was spent working in a Family Practice Office in Foley, Alabama. Little did Jan know that her choices would soon lead her into a personal crisis. Jan first got married in 1967 and at the age of 20, she gave birth to the first of her two sons. That marriage ended up in divorce in 1978 and Jan went out seeking attention as she wildly celebrated her freedom with friends. JAN’s TESTIMONY: In 1979 Jan met a man in a bar, who said all the things a damaged young lady wants to hear. They moved in together and later Jan learned that her boyfriend was secretly shooting up hard drugs. Jan eventually
caught him and she sought to save him by using her knowledge as a nurse. Her boyfriend responded “How can you help me with something you know nothing about!” Jan, full of pride, insisted “ I might not know anything about illegal drugs, but I am smart enough to not get addicted!” In a dare to prove she was strong, Jan stuck her arm out to him. Her boyfriend inserted a needle into her naked arm and filled her veins with liquid cocaine. For the next 12 years, Jan’s arms were full of tracks from heroine, cocaine, and speed use.  Jan manipulated people to get the drugs she craved. She stole from her parents and she overdosed twice and was left for dead once. She was dangerous to herself and to others. Jan attempted to murder the uncle who had molested her as a child, by trying to put a meat hook into the back of his head. She also attempted to intentionally harm the boyfriend who introduced her to drugs.  Jan moved from Pensacola to Alabama in 1982 after getting married again. She continued as a nurse until 1986 when she took a job at Sears and was promoted as a Department Manager.  She wore a mask and hid her addictions and worked to support her drug habit.  Soon she was divorced again and back into the partying lifestyle.  In June of 1991 she was dumped by another live-in boyfriend because he had met Jesus and could not be seen with a ‘whore no more’.  Jan deceived herself into thinking that she was doing okay. By the will of God, on August 4, 1991 that same boyfriend, who was raised by a preacher, and left his home as a prodigal, 
God used him to extend Jan an invitation to church. Jan declares that she only accepted his invite in a desperate attempt to win back the heart of this man. She admitted that she had no desire to turn her life over to God. His will be done on earth, and in us, as we stubbornly submit. During the music and the sermon Jan began to weep. She thought foolishly “If I go up to the alter this ex boyfriend would get credit.” After the service they drove 17 miles back home. Jan was sobbing and requested that he take her back for the music service at 6:00 pm. This inter-denominational church was celebrating their new sanctuary that night and afterwards Jan said “We need to talk”  This ex-boyfriend at one time had been a seminary student, but when his wife divorced him, the seminary kicked him out. He had been angry at God and the church, but he was redeemed and wanted Jan to experience new life in Christ. Later on that night Jan cussed him because he drove her back to the church to speak with the Pastor and his wife. On August 4, 1991 at 9:30 PM after the pastor prayed with Jan, her heart opened and she honestly confessed to God “You know all that I have done, and I am not sure you could use me, but I ask You to help me stop using drugs, alcohol, tobacco and pornography. Jan knew her home was filled with all sources of evil habits. That very night Jan was totally delivered from any desire for drugs, or alcohol. She went home and tossed all substances into a burn barrel. Two weeks later Jan was baptized and delivered from three and a half packs of cigarettes a day. In October of 1991 Jan heard a man named Don Hicks
give his testimony at church. His story of bad choices matched her own struggle with addictions. Jan was moved by the Spirit to ask Don if he would talk to her incarcerated girlfriend. They went to talk over coffee. They talked for hours and soon after began seeing each other every day. Within three months after their first meeting they got married on Jan 3, 1992. Don’s dad was also a preacher, and Don also left home as a prodigal son. He had tasted all that the world had to offer and returned home to Christ in Sept of 1991. Don was also supernaturally delivered from all his addictions which cost him about $20,000 each summer. Don worked in construction and throughout their brief courtship, together they attended either a bible study, or some kind of church function every night of the week. Don led Jan into the Word, the importance of tithing and prayer. Jan Hicks took possession of the indwelt Holy Spirit. Nothing but the indwelt Holy Spirit could ever satisfy her hunger to know God. Jan said YES to God and she allowed Him to inject His living Word into her soul, her body and mind.  Don and Jan Hicks are blessed with an awesome blended family. Don's two daughters refer to Jan as "Mom" and her two sons introduce Don as "Dad". Everyone in the family has crossed over to Freedom in Christ.  The book "Crossing2Freedom", by Jan Hicks“If you find yourself bound by your past --- and try as you might, you are unable to move away from the lingering pain of old hurts, Jan's book encourages you to pick up your mat and walk into all that God has personally intended for you. 
Crossing2Freedom is a must have BOOK for anyone that truly wants to be deeply healed from any past abuse, neglect, or simmering anger.  A person crosses into freedom when they choose to forgive others and forgive themselves. In faith we pray effectively to release certain chapters of our past to the Lord. We live free from the urge to dwell in the hurts of the past. Jan is the real deal, and so is her book. This isn't a book of theory, Crossing2Freedom was written with the blood, sweat, and tears of her own personal journey to absolute freedom in Christ Jesus. Jan has an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying, and she walks her talk by the Holy Spirits leading.” Written by a thankful student in Mexico 2014. You can order this life changing book by clicking here: Christians United Ministries

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Barb of Bright Fables

Recently I have bathed my mind in the wonderfully written pages of Anne of Green Gables.  My imagination swells with a kindred spirit to Anne as I embrace her wordy, colorful visions. As her uninhibited tongue renames anything that impresses her as "royally beautiful", she delights to describe with specific words, that which gives glory to her soul's response to God's magnificent creation.  The "White Way of Delight" is how she proclaimed the wonderfully silent, yet vivid impression she received when Matthew quietly drove her through the Avenue. "It's the first thing I ever saw that could not be improved upon by my imagination!"  We too are on a journey, in a physical buggy, best driven by the Holy a place of peace and eternal rest..that also cannot be improved upon by our imagination...our heavenly home. "After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.  And the One who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A
rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne." Revelation 4:1-4  --- It seems quite possible that the Author of our souls knows how beauty implores us to respond in praise! God's living Word gives us a glorious indescribable glimpse of His impact, His brilliance and His promise to us as He calls us to "Come up here, and I will show you"...the unmatched beauty and magnificent sounds of what our eternal home, in His presence will be like. Anne of Green Gables, Barb of Bright Fables and YOU were created to joyfully worship our faithful Father, our generous King, our powerful God for Who He is and for all that He promises us. In this life as I drive down the Libremento to it's end in Ajijic, the amber-brushed hillsides on both sides of the road
are like hands applauding Lake Chapala's graceful shifting landscape.  A beach receding that is flush with ethereal shades of green bobbings and a body of water that shimmers incandescently under a rainbo colored sky. Anne would certainly call Chapala's big translucent pond "the Lake of Shining Waters". Lakeside is a little valley that is saturated with God's creative handiwork. Wistfully and eagerly I thank my Lord for His shining light of guidance, provision and promise. Oh my heavens Jesus, my mind is raptured into silent reverence as I consider ALL what You have prepared for those who love You. A Word that fits: Halleluiah!

Thursday, August 25, 2022


May ye be edified by how God continues to confound the wise and change even the most hardened hearts.  This original tale of A Changed Heart puts Jane Austen and Lord Byron in Bath, England during a period that both were known by facts of history to have visited.  Jane visits for her health, and Byron for his renewal. In 1812 Bath was the place to be, and in this year Jane was 36 years old ~ and recently diagnosed with Addison’s disease. With her opaque, failing health Jane returns to Bath. History accounts Jane's demise at the age of 41, but not without this fictional chance encounter with Lord Byron the rebel! My intent of heart is to feather the foam of a squawking society that cannot be satiated with the mere facts of Jane’s quiet existence.  This 5,000 word short story includes historical places that remain in existence today.   A CHANGED HEART ~ It was the twenty second day of 1812 and sisters Jane and Cassandra were set upon celebrating a fresh year of promise.
Together these exuberant siblings enjoyed a carriage ride through the woods from Chawton House, across the Avon gorge on a bridge that would fail all mathematical principals yet supported the weight of thundering horses. In a great measure their merriment was increased by their grand expectancy to reunite with sister Lydia. The sun piercing the crisp cold of January simply added to their delight in this long awaited return to Bath. With deliberate pursuit of what news, good or bad they would gather, the horses clopped down Lilliput Alley to arrive at their chosen destination. After departing Bath in 1805 when their father George, the retired Rector of Stevenson passed, the surviving family of mother and two spinster daughters moved into Brother Edward’s country estate near Canterbury. Both sisters were absolutely ravenous for any sort of interesting conversation. It had been ten elongated
years since Jane refused to accept the unbearable and unsuitable affections of her rejected neighbor Harris Bigg-Wither. Sense and Sensibility was recently published and with that an extra portion of income. Gossip bloomed regarding her unknown pen. Her chosen anonymity produced a scandal among growing fans and a bit of notoriety in the Austen manor. It was a welcomed temporary lift to the entire family spirit as Jane's all consuming passion of the written word had turned into such sweet fruit for all. However reclusive and miserable Jane had become, she rebounded this day from being vertically flattened by her comfortable, yet stifling country existence. She was abnormally happy to greet this day with hope for the years
spawning ahead. Today was not going to be another stupid party with a limit of six people. “No indeed”, Jane declared “we shall not need to utter a single word of nonsense, and for this I am motivated beyond the acute disorder of boredom.” The famous Spring Gardens drew a fashionable throng across the river. The Bath Chronicle had advertised hot buttered buns and public readings at Sally Lunn’s House, the very place of great attraction to which they had reserved to be. With explicit purpose these Austen sisters had planned and twittered about what to wear ever since Christmas Eve. They arrived just before noon and were quickly engulfed in Lydia’s embrace! The reception of the three sisters by the proprietor was exuberant and Jane dreaded any recognition that may result from his great felicity. They were seated among the visiting aristocrats at a requested back table. The atmosphere chosen for this reunion was done
without a thought for economy as Jane delighted in the opportunity of being generous towards her sisters. In December Jane had written a note to the proprietor and asked him to pay particular attention to the elegance of the table in which she and her sisters would sit. This would provoke an apt expression of exceeding joy for Lydia especially. Even in her maturity, Lydia was yet unabashedly Lydia and prone to notice all accouterments's added in honor of her visit. A moistened cluster of Pansies and Camellias tied together with

purple ribbon was the centerpiece atop a white embroidered table cloth. The decor accentuated the rare joy of benefiting from Lydia's way of abounding in vigor. For this particular New Year outing, the rich use of color, the aroma and warmth from the baking ovens wasted nothing on the elevated hopes for this memory making occasion. Jane was recently released from her doctors restrictions, and so delighted to be out and wearing Cassandra’s Christmas gift. A hand stitched white lace scarf that brightened the grey long sleeved satin dress that fitted Jane's thin shoulders. Lydia had received a letter from Cass that gave voice to her dire concern for Jane’s frail health. Lydia’s discovery of such news gave priority to her certain attendance. The provocation that led to this celebratory moment was unbeknownst to Jane. With such extreme happiness
over this New Year reunion, Cass was pleased that Jane’s countenance had notably improved. From the hand painted menu, Jane ordered a selection of sweets for the reunion; tea, three hot buns, lemon curd, Devon-shire cream and strawberries. After the customary etiquette of time, the tea was poured by attending staff into the beautifully ornate tea cups. With spoons quietly swirling, Jane’s eyes widened with a shock. Her confounded expression led Lydia and Cassandra to join in Jane’s directed gaze. A pin drop would have sliced the silence that enraptured all three sisters. Suddenly the group focus was on whose voice they were hearing. Could they trust their ears? What was being publicly read was from Sense and Sensibility. A portion had been reproduced and circulated in the Bath Chronicle. But it was not just that Jane was the author of this enlightened novel, but rather who was reading it! To Jane it was indeed a rather disturbing misfortune to be so honored by such an
undesirable reader. Simultaneously the Austen sisters recognized the one reading as England's very own Lord Byron! Jane would have hoped to find a noted scholar giving voice to her articulated large truths, but as it is, she was completely vexed by the audacity of the infamously impetuous Lord Byron! He read while brandishing his arms and with a chuckle he read what Edward Ferrars spoke to the impressionable young Marianne. Jane was instantly filled with illegitimate thoughts as her words slithered through the lips of this most offensive person. Her eyes froze upon Byron’s smiling mouth as he read. With growing consternation brewing she thought "Fate has been unkind that this man, of all men should read my heartfelt works with such a grinning smirk!" Lydia was lit up with such pride that she was ready to applaud had Jane not constrained her. Byron’s eyes glanced over at their table. Jane shifted in her chair and lowered her eyes to dissuade any polite conversation. Byron ended his animated reading and sat down with a crowded table of mostly female admirers. Cassandra and Lydia both acknowledged verbally how lovely of Lord Byron to choose to not read any of the many verses he had written, but to select Jane's. The two chortled on with hilarity mixed in their volume and soon resumed in reminiscent conversation. Jane bowed out of their silly theories of
why Lord Byron had chosen Sense and Sensibility out of all the books ever published. Jane was understood by family to resist any extroverted nonsense and was left undisturbed by her company to sit silently musing about the
 history of Bath. The name came about from the legend of Prince Bladud. The tale is that the Prince caught leprosy and was banned from the court and forced to look after pigs. Like the pigs, Prince Bladud was instructed to wallow in hot mud and was then found to be cured of his decaying skin. After being crowned King, he founded the city and named it Bath. Jane’s mind was steeped in poor opinion, she judged Lord Byron entirely on what others had said. Her mortification's erupted with a selfish wish that
Lord Byron's skin would suddenly crawl as if diseased and cause him to cease reading. That he might wallow in remorse for his degrading illicit affairs. Cassandra was attentive to Jane and acutely aware of her sister’s anguished look as Lord Byron gave animated voice to her writing. With resignation and a lowered tone, Jane turned and bitterly complained in a whisper "He may pen verses that cause women to faint at his feet, but his good looks cannot recover his unrepentant reputation. It grieves me to think of how his opinion of my work clashes against the blemish of his undone moral character!" Cassandra quietly pleaded "Oh Jane, I agree he is not the 'Byronic hero' that his accusers claim. I perceive him to be a melancholy man who broods about perhaps a misery of some unknown unforgivable event in his past. His heart shows pure in his poetry, and his music. His delight in your wit brings him a measure of joy, and for this we must see that your pen has fulfilled its purpose in him." Jane could barely be attentive to her sister's supposition when Lord Byron approached their table. It was Jane’s forthright intention to remain unapproachable. She began to fidget uncontrollably whispering to Lydia's ear
 "Oh what shall I do, I
simply cannot speak to this man whose reputation is ruined by his confirmed promiscuity!” Byron was a hero to many women, but not Jane! His romantic poetry was in a style that she could not fully comprehend as such passion for another had not been her friend. The fame of his scandalous private life was described by one contemporary as “mad, bad and dangerous to know”. Lydia retorted "Oh Jane, calm yourself and take pleasure in the moment." Byron had recently published the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and Jane was not one of his adoring socialites! She gave him due credit for speaking effectively in the House of Lords on important liberal themes, however, his hectic love-affair with his half sister Augusta was disgusting! Jane’s brother Henry did not lead Jane away from the truth, but with great affection and respect for her intellect, he wisely chose to simply empower her with the facts of what was noteworthy in
England. Jane had the privilege to read about the romantic style now in demand, however, a plunder of gushing words to describe gothic architecture and nature's perfect landscape was a bore to Jane. She refused to write to please the latest fashionable obsession to read paragraphs filled with adverbs to depict a simple fallen leaf. The fascination of England over Byron's life and style of pen was indeed not shared by Jane. With his worthless character so widely in print, how is it that her text would be so tarnished by his tongue! Jane had procured a quiver of dark facts about a man named Lord Byron from a Lady Beckham, wife of the local magistrate. No mercy was seen through the eyes of the law, but Byron was seen by His Creator with through the eyes of grace. From a house filled with the discussion of law, Lady Beckham felt obliged to share love less words that drifted in from England. Jane held this one opinion of man above Gods and in so doing she could not conceive that any good could be held in the person of Lord Byron. Having ascertained steadfast knowledge of his affairs, Jane was absolutely incensed that this tragedy should land on her happiest day! Lord
Byron unaware of Jane's personal rebellion against him, stood at their table, bowed, clicked his heels and with a wave of a gentleman’s arm said "Miss Austen, your appearance is far lovelier than a flower in bloom. It is indeed my genuine honor to meet the woman that shall most certainly cause any man of intelligence to open the contents of his heart." Altogether astonished at his grace and manner, Jane felt a flush of conviction spreading to her cheeks. The spirit of repulsion had been suddenly banished. Humbled by his sincerity, she questioned "What brings one as notable as you to Bath when London brims with praise for your work?" Byron then spoke "It would have been bold of me to suppose that on my birthday I should be gifted with the
presence of such an accomplished woman. Therefore I must advance to request your forgiveness for my lack of social reserve in my cavalier approach. As destiny happens to surprise us with occasional sweetness, I am compelled to reveal this genuine truth. Having just refreshed myself with the wit and content of your heart, and having hoped that I would someday meet the humble writer who wishes to remain anonymous, without presumption of course, that you are indeed that very artist ~ I am compelled to agree with the whispers in England that a woman, indeed a brilliant poetess penned Sensibly the Sense found in the verses I just read. If you are indeed the author, your secret is safe with me and I am further bold to ask that if we are contemporaries, might we enjoy a literary conversation over tea whilst I am in town?" Jane hesitated as Lydia inserted “Yes, yes Jane wrote what you have read and she has been writing many wondrous works since before she attended the Abbey School in reading.” With that horrifying thrust of truth, Jane could not offer any ignorance to who wrote what Byron just read and her eyes blazed across the table at Lydia!
Silence hovered like a thick blanket of fog and Lord Byron was correct in his perception that Lydia’s innocent enthusiasm had caused Jane to fluster with a visible chagrin. The kismet of their meeting had quickly dissolved and with the fastidious aplomb of a gentleman, Byron said “I stutter in the presence of such humility for it is a lesson that I am hard learning. Might you be assured that your anonymity shall be reverently respected Miss Austen. My time in Bath will be short as I have been invited to Lake Geneva with Percy Shelley. So if I should be so fortunate to cross your path again, it would be considered my full portion to speak more completely of your inspirations. Thank you for giving me the gift of your time on my birthday. Miss Austen and ladies I bid you good day.” Byron left their table yet his stunning words swarmed through each lady in attendance. Lydia burst into tears at the thought of having vexed Jane when the afternoon had been so full of promise. “Dearest Jane, I am miserably sorry for having ruined our day with
my impetuous behavior. I humbly acknowledge that I disrespected your desire to remain anonymous, and I admit that my pride for your accomplishment simply erased any ability to control my tongue. I beg for your pardon my sweet Jane.” Jane remained quiet in a state of violent shock by what had just occurred. She usually was quick to recover with a bit of wicked wit, but somehow she sat unready to speak a word. Lydia became excessively more distraught in Jane's hushed state. Compassionately Cassandra quietly offered her sister a look of encouragement. It was a nod of approval for her surprising maturity in the admission of her uncontrolled tottering. Jane seemed to suddenly come back to a dimension of consciousness from the distant place her mind had wondered. With a warmth in her tone, the elder sister Jane looked at Lydia and proclaimed "The afternoon is yet young and it need not be cut short on a sour note. I shall seek no excuse for your bold assertion of truth, and it is I that must seek your merciful forgiveness. Let us return to joy and dismiss any further conjectures
regarding Lord Byron knowing that I wrote Sense and Sensibility. " Ahhh, whom is leading who? Jane possessed a winsome nature which allowed her to devote her observations and responses to any witnessed social guffaws as merely a source of inspiration to be noted with fanciful embellishment and either etched or scratched from a page. With a renewed light filled heart Jane continued "Let us delight in the fact that we have met Lord Byron and rest assured Lydia that your exuberant personality is something that I have always and will continue to admire. We shall all gain valuable insights from what has transpired this day. My spirit was forthrightly admonished most accurately for the rage I held towards Lord Byron without a single idea of how much my judgment must have grieved God as my witness. Are we not all called to forgive and we have been forgiven? Come then let us amuse ourselves with what else is worthy of our attention and accept that not one of us is above needing a bit of coaching away from any gloating or thought of superiority. My personal lesson this day is to offer more grace instead of disdain. Oh my dear ever radiant Lydia, may the ever present
joy you carry ~ be instantly contagious as we are obliged to enjoy this glorious day! We came together to spoil ourselves with the fruits of our lessons in labor. I am the proud sister of two amazing women of such grace that it doth far surpass my capacity to grasp the love God has lavished upon one so unworthy! " A more noble recitation of the value contained in a self reproof could not have been better stated. Cass gushed with glee for the end of the tension at the table and each one served themselves a heaping spoon of berries and cream. An unequaled magnitude of happiness was the joint lullaby that rocked all to sleep. As they did when they were young, all three slept together tucked between luxurious silk sheets in their shared garden suite at the Apsley House Hotel. Awakened by Lydia's giggling, it was a shared bliss to explore Bath's exquisite gardens. Cass, Lydia and Jane engaged in a joyful frolic of ring around the Posey, just as they once did as little girls. Jane began to sing
as she brushed her hair and Cass played the piano while the fire crackled. Before getting dressed and assuming proper composure for breakfast, the three spent time delighting in the coincidence of Lord Byron's personal introduction and earnest praise of Jane's pen. Such providence was a sure sign that 1812 would continue to be a year of tremendous surprise. Raised in the country the ladies insisted on a brisk morning walk before tea. Bundled up in jackets and bonnets they took a jaunt across the green to the camellia garden. Jane let loose with a fanciful bird call

and indulged her imagination that this pleasure would have wings that would take her through the entire winter. The ever demure Cass also afforded herself a skip in her walk and a tune in her hum while Lydia shrieked over the finery of each new blossom that seized her gaze. As Jane turned the corner around a carved hedge she came face to face with none other than Lord Byron. Her nose red and running from the bitter cold was quickly wiped with an embroidered hanky tucked in her sleeve. "Good morning Miss Austen" His greeting was chipper and again she felt that her tongue had been swallowed. Jane was absolutely exasperated by her inability to hide her annoyance of being rendered utterly speechless in this man’s presence. As if she were a school girl, her eyes darted away from his as they sought another focus that would not give the one on looking a chance to
peer into her soul. Time seemed to have been suspended as her troubled mind tumbled over what words would become sensible in response to his obvious delight in having encountered her again. Peering round the hedge to see if her sisters were coming, her gaze then settled on his face as she greeted "Good morning Lord Byron, and what a surprise to happen upon you so early in the morning. My sisters and I found our chambers at Apsley House most agreeable and I so hope that your stay has been equally congenial." Just then Cassandra and Lydia approached from behind the immense hedge and were equally startled to look upon the ever captivating Lord Byron. Lydia never pinched for clever words quickly exerted "My Lord what a lovely jolt of good fortune to chance
upon seeing you twice within so short of hours.
 Is not this morning a bounty of benefit to have the favor of your presence while strolling in the garden! Come Cassandra, since we have all been formally introduced, it is certainly socially acceptable to allow these contemporaries to engage in a conversation that would literally be above our heads. Jane we will not be far ahead, and do not worry Lord Byron, we shall also keep this accidental meeting treasured as a family secret." Jane stood confounded by her sisters offering that she would be available for such a extemporaneous meeting. Lord Byron noted Jane's surprise and accepted the option with grace as he offered "Jane if you find it within your schedule, and if it is not too objectionable, might we sit briefly and enjoy a fortuitous exchange?" With consideration for her recent lesson on

grace, with the utmost elegance she extended her gloved hand to accept the arm he most handsomely extended. They walked together in silence at a dignified pace towards the garden bench. Feeling ever so slightly pained by the obligation thrust upon her repentant heart, she was hesitant to admit that Byron's charm was having its impact and she simply chose to acquiesce. Byron placed his woolen scarf to soak the dew from the bench. He then assisted Jane as she descended to sit. Sitting aside her he gave careful respect for a ladies requirement for a decent distance. After a lush moment of silence they both began to speak at the same time. Giggling softly Jane composed "You have delivered me unsolicited
appreciation for what has been anonymously published of my writing. Coming from a man of such magnified influence on society, it took me a bit of time to receive the full measure of your most genuine manner. I therefore must acknowledge your professional recognition with a rather delayed and reflected honor. Your evaluation was extremely favorable and with that said I must confess that though your style differs, in your poetic verses, I am fairly charged to accept perceptions that would not be mine." Byron's gaze upon her while she spoke was fixed upon her particularly honest and refreshing pure candor. In his fame he has known many a person who would struggle to flank him with praise for works that he himself believed to be unworthy. His earnest fascination for her plain speaking encouraged him to be likewise. "May I consider you a friend Miss Jane?" She looked at him quizzically "I would be
honored to name you among my small orchestra of friends. I shall consider you the sweet violin that accompanies the delicate keys of my sister's piano" Byron was smiling wide when he professed " Then Jane it is with unsurpassed respect that I feel compelled to now speak apt words that would encourage you to continue to write as a mirror of great value for the generations to come. My poetry is to be figured out, to be interpreted by some as folly, and others as romance, but your insights within relationships has been a grand lesson for me. Your brightness and humor holds in it great promise as a writer of important substance." Jane sat blushing as she had not been so encouraged by anyone quite so eloquently. She was accustomed to her beloved Cassandra's partial praise, but this was from a person who had no association or occasion to gain. Lord Byron halted his desire to further persuade Jane of the tremendous clout with which her words had impaled upon him. He leveraged the moment by
adding "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now seem to bear." It was wise to hold his words to a few as he was certain by her expressions that she grappled with the minimum of what he so ardently desired to confess. "Until the spirit of revelation is fully surrendered to, none of us can comprehend how deeply the written word can minister to the hidden brokenness of a human heart." Jane was struck with the duplicity of his public persona and the words he was now speaking to her. It was as if God Himself had introduced him to her for such a time as this. In her fragile state of health, the family excursions to the seaside of Sidmouth, Dawlish and Lyme Regis were intentional to refresh Jane's weakened condition. She concluded that God had a ripping sense of humor that He would use Lord Byron to teach and uplift her to a height that was precisely heavenly. His gallantry with her erased all previous inclinations regarding his character. She was reminded in their silent walk through the garden of a conversation she had enjoyed with her father, a member of the clergy, charged to pray for all people, the saved and especially
the lost. Her sister Cassandra had readily perceived that Lord Byron’s lack of parenting and disconnect from the faith caused him to write from his darkness. It was curious to Jane that the wit of her pen had been so meaningful that he would pour out such praise of something she did not write with the intention of converting a soul. Feeling a freedom to speak with honesty she confessed "Among my few friends and shrinking family it would be considered an indecent crush between us if it were known that we are sitting alone sharing such transparent words. Ashamed as I should be to admit that my first impression of you was rather severe and unjust, I now perceive you with a worthy extraordinary esteem. Not entirely based on your kindness shown towards me, but having more to do with my own conviction for having judged you at all" Byron was tested to also recite his compulsory penchant to discover who wrote the stirring words that he had chosen to read publicly in several places before Bath. “Miss Austen it was my choice to unmercifully badger my publisher to research and reveal just who was the lady genius behind what my heart believes to be a legacy, a gift to all who at some point
find themselves questioning the meaning of life. The content of Sense and Sensibility is profound as it does not ridicule, but it was written to enlighten. My initial shock was to learn that it was written by a woman, and the most astonishing revelation was that she is a woman who is the daughter of a clergyman. I read about love, emptiness and pain that is laced with forbearance. My depraved self-indulgence has never been delayed or as controlled as your words. My attempts to fill the emptiness of my souls cry for love, fame or money has not met with contentment or sensibility. My questions to why was I born, or why I was chosen to live out the title as Lord Byron have yet to be answered. Having met many statesmen, and after many debates with esteemed writers, I was moved to take steps to meet and speak to Jane Austen before I depart this plane. Escaping my past is impossible; however, I do have hope in a future that includes people of your dignity and character. My confession to you
Miss Austen is that I came to Bath in hopes that we would somehow come to this very open and honest communication." Jane was surprised by the clarity he gleaned from something she wrote to simply entertain, but she was not surprised at how God could use anything to draw the lost back to Himself. After soothing him with a look of sincere compassion Jane smiled and shared “My dear brother Byron it has been remarkable to witness my own transformation during our brief yet divine interface. My lessons have been great last night and again today. What I am not is a saint. I therefore must encourage you to trust that God has a plan for you just as He planned that you would read something and seek comfort from something new. Indeed our lifestyles may differ, however my lifelong lesson is to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Without my Father talking to me about God, left to myself, my life would be full of what the world would perceive as unforgivable. When I heard you reading my words last evening I was filled with pride and prejudice.
We each seek to know that somehow our work, our life, our being alive has in some measure benefited someone, somewhere in some small way. Sitting here now with the man known to the world as the bad, mad and dangerous boy ~ because of grace issued unto me, I see you in the light of truth. I was blinded and deceived, but I now perceive thee correctly. I shall treasure our friendship forever, and NOT because you protest that my words have inspired you, but because you Lord Byron have inspired me to write more truly about poor judgment.  To write as transparently as you have spoken.  My pride had a desperate need to be broken and thoroughly undone, so I thank God for our chance encounter. For all the friends that I have had while alive, for all the silly parties that I have attended, this conversation we are now engaged in has been the most
fulfilling of my lifetime. Might I call you simply brother Byron?” His response was immediate “Yes, sister Jane, I would like that very much.” Lydia came into view and waved them towards the lake where Cassandra was engaged in teasing the geese. Jane then was prompted to inquire “Brother Byron, please accept this most wonderful invitation to join the Austen sisters for some frivolity this afternoon! Also, I was wondering if you would be so kind as to grace us with your fame for a surprise birthday lunch for our beloved brother? If delighting your poor sister is something that brings you joy, then might I also request that you would read to your adoring family some of your prose?” Byron beamed “It is indeed a dreadful sin to have such an indecent crush on your sister!” They both laughed and soon stood beside the lake skipping rocks across the still water. Lydia’s childlike laughter and Cassandra’s sweet humming added the distinct sense that 1812 was bound to be a great year filled with a joy that will surpass every understanding. After a time they raced back to the hotel where Jane would tell eager ears that the conclusion of her titillating odyssey this afternoon was that the Austen family had acquired a rather dashing new brother in Lord Byron! (END OF STORY but not the fascination of Jane Austen) This story was submitted to the Austen Fan 2011 Contest hosted on the Republic of Pemberly website and published on Valentine’s Day 2011. 

Thursday, August 11, 2022


Did you know that METAMORPHOSIS is a term derived from the Greek word meaning a transformation? Truth is that we are born out of the seed, the ova, the egg of Abraham. Much like the butterfly, there are four stages in our transformation, our metamorphosis from being a voracious consumer of all the world has to offer, to a new creature "in Christ" who has been gifted with unique abilities. With discernment we fly high above world views and we see things correctly through the mind of Christ. We were all born from a seed, on a planet full of many things to eat, ideas to ingest. The larva (caterpillar) eats voraciously for several weeks, growing so fat, so full that it splits its skin and sheds several times. The baby (human) eats for several months, and grows out of its newborn clothes quickly. The hard shelled PUPA (chrysalis) is formed around the caterpillar because it has chosen to slow down with a willingness to surrender ALL to it's Creator.  For several months, inside the hard
pupa a miraculous meltdown occurs. Science confirms that the caterpillar is no more ---as inside the pupa, nothing is found but green slime.  Not a leg, not an ear, not an eye, an idea or the skin of a caterpillar exists. From the green slime, God knits together a whole new creature with amazing wings and a purpose filled gift to fly.  The ADULT (butterfly) emerges from the hardened pupa ready for a new life, not crawling on the ground, but in flight looking down with a new body, and a life filled with AWE.  The Monarch butterfly reaches deep into flowers and gathers a lot of nectar, they taste with their feet.  "Taste and see that the Lord is good." Pollen sticks to their feet and they transport this life giving nutrient to make a new seed, a new plant.  Like the outer shell of a single kernel of wheat must be broken, for new life to come forth, so must we. What does our Lord love and require of us? A broken and contrite spirit.  For we humans to crack, to breakdown, to surrender to God's bigger plan, it often takes much suffering on our part.  As we yield to the seed of Truth bursting within us, we agree to be confined to the Word of God, and to be transformed. Our Father desires His creation to fully experience "Christ in us" His hope for glory! The butterflies compound eyes allow them to see a wide spectrum of color and detect predators while in flight.  The wings are made of tiny scales which are water repellent.  The Monarch migrates up to 3,000 miles for a single season, never to return.  Simply consider how the Creator of all things installed a GPS in the mind of a butterfly, that the Monarch, several
generations later, still manages to return to the same exact place of origin is still a subject of research and astounding WONDER.  Wise people gather much insight by reading God’s word. It is truly marvelous to behold the discovery that as we surrender ALL, and die to our self-centered ways, we emerge to migrate in flight to spread the GOOD NEWS. Just like the caterpillar, we put off the corrupted old self, and during the divine melting down process of sanctification, we are no longer constrained by the world, but we are set free, as a new creature in Christ. We were chosen and saved by grace to continue to work out our salvation as we renew our mind in who we are "in Him".  Several generations later, man returns to marvel at the mystery of God’s ways! "As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning." LUKE 9:29 ~ "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.
Unwilling to commit to the cocoon,
40 years later, no surrender, no change!
For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be
changed." 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 - Without falling to the ground and dying to our selfish ways, we remain a single seed, with no growth, and zero CHANGE.  People who are bound to their flesh, their will, their ways - they remain unable to experience all the glory of God. Consider the Apostle Paul and if he boasted, he spoke about his weakness, for without Christ we can do nothing that has any eternal value. Thank God for each season, for every change, and for His consistency, and the Holy Spirit's persistent conviction to "walk this way".  His job "in us" is to teach, guide and grow us until we step into heaven. The work of Jesus was finished on the cross, but we are reminded to work out our salvation, our freedom  "in Christ".  As a new creature in Christ we are given compound eyes that allow us to see a wider, larger purpose and detect predators while on our journey. Without divine transformation, we cannot the crucified life. A poem that inspires a stuffed caterpillar to Total Surrender "and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:24 and "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36  Ever wonder what your gift is? Click this link and be transported to a look at the Gifts of the Spirit

Monday, August 8, 2022

Word Fast

Ahhh, let me hear you say "outstanding!"  Or tickle my ear with "that sounds marvelous!" Increase my joy by replying "what fun!" Fascinate me by your interest in the tale I told. "What a blessing that must have been!"  "We have two ears, and one mouth....let us listen more, and speak more about "their" positive impact, "their" value, and less about me, me, me. Why not ask more questions, and listen intently? Let us not minimize "their" experience with one of our own. Simply remark on how you perceive the potential THEY have to be a mighty force, a great
blessing to others!  The Holy Spirit dwells within each beleiver. He is just waiting to be asked to take hold of our tongues so that we can speak more blessings!  "Are you listening to what the Spirit is saying?"  We are exhorted to "LISTEN" many times in God's Word. Examine yourself: Does the content of my mind and heart show up on my face as a smile or a scowl?  Are you baffled by doors that have been closed to you? Do people seek to be around you? Are you a light?  Do you consider IF your complaints
about people in authority, or about innocent strangers..."IF"you are pleasing God, or those that hear the complaint? Or do you simply voice whatever runs through your mind without the filter of considering God's purpose? Do you resist changing your pattern of thinking and speaking?  Why? Are your thoughts superior to God's? While observing God's beloved people, are you judging them by asking "Why would anybody say that, or do that?" As Jesus hears every thought, if we remain surrendered to the Holy Spirit, He might respond "Only God knows the motives of man's heart and that we all fall short and need grace."  Are you easily irritated by perpetually optimistic people? Does your level of contentment depend on who wins the game, the race, the election?  Do you grumble when plans change? Do you automatically issue mercy because you have received much?  Do you seek opportunities to encourage?
Do you look for what is GOOD in your spouse, in the White House, your team or the church and speak it? Are you quick to inject a compliment or a complaint? Are you inclined to defend your ways, your thoughts, your actions, your opinions?  Do you listen with both ears and an open mind?  Are you quick to point out the good, the better way when in the midst of chaos? Can you admit that you miss the moment in front of you as you reminisce about the way it used to be?  Will you agree or deny the scripture that paints the picture of a man’s stinking thinking? “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.” Mark 7:20-23  For our heavenly Father is fully aware of our secret criticisms. Inside every Christian, the Holy Spirit abides, and He is there to help us be purified of all that defiles us. Can you agree that sarcastic humor is just as wicked, or as sinful as profanity or murder?  It is foolishness to deceive ourselves... and pride fully deny... that a critical spirit is not of God.   Lord, in the name of Jesus,  help us heed Your calling for our hearts to be transformed as we put on the mind of Christ.  Wash our minds and uproot  
the deep pockets of judgment that reside in our hearts.   Give us eyes to see what You see in others. A living hope, a holy restoration and the ongoing sanctification through the completed work of our Lord Jesus.  Help us to look and find the good in every situation, in each encounter You set before us.  Help us to control our tongues and speak words that will edify and encourage those You place in our path.  “Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, I will not tolerate.” Psalm 101:5  To the glory of God, and for His good purpose, as we relate to our brothers and sisters in Christ, it is vitally important that we become a love covering for another believers inappropriate actions or words.  1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because 
LOVE covers a multitude of sins”  This truth instructs us to recognize that if we gossip about a wrong choice, or a worldly way in another, we are exposing faults and uncovering them. When we tear down instead of lift up, we are choosing to sin against God's will that we love one another, forgive one another, and issue grace to one another...just as He loves, forgives and issues grace and mercy to us....daily. “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:2   A dysfunctional Christian justifies his complaining, sarcastic humor, negativity and criticisms.  Jesus taught that there is no middle ground between the kingdom of heaven and the world we live in. “Whoever is not with Me is against Me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.” Matthew 12:30  Our judgments’ produce misery and the chronic critic reaps what he sows.  “Yet I will show you a more excellent way” 1 Corinthians 12:31  The polar opposite of a life spent in judgment, criticism, sarcasm and
bitterness is a life filled with complete joy and contentment.  “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 The NEW creation, is NOT a negative person, but a positive, joy filled, peaceful person who identifies with the freedom of Christ Paul had while in prison.  We are either praising God in all circumstances, or we are whining and complaining!  To live “in Me” as I am “in you” is to live in gratitude and contentment.  “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the WILL of GOD in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thess 5:16  Choose to look for whatever is noble, noteworthy or good in every situation, everyday.
Choose to draw people to the Love, Light and Joy that lives inside you.
Choose to rehearse or filter every thought before it exits your lips.
Choose your words intentionally to inspire, uplift and transform.
Choose words that saturate the receiver’s soul with love.
Choose words that cause the hearing face to light up.
Choose words that cause good feelings to emerge into a smile.
Choose to be methodical not mechanical in your praises.
This word picture goes perfectly with our 40 day word fast challenge. We cannot accomplish fasting on negative, pessimistic thinking and broadcasting without our indwelt Holy Helper.  Lord help us hold our tongue.  Help us listen with genuine interest and not just wait for a pause just so we can share our experiences.  Help us intentionally choose words that will uplift, acknowledge, and encourage.  Help us glorify Your plan for the world as we speak Kingdom language. Forgive us for any secretly held thoughts of criticism, judgment, malice or unforgiveness.  Amen ---- "The Forty-Day Word Fast" by Tim Cameron