April 14, 1942 - February 7, 2023
This photo sums it up! Claire made me laugh! She brought me joy! She accepted me and loved me unconditionally.
Claire and I met 10 years ago at a Christian women's group. As the group was being discontinued, Claire began to weep. When I asked her why she was weeping, she replied, "Because I won't get to see you anymore." Right then, I knew that I needed to get her phone number and make it a point to visit her. And this I did, happily.
Once Claire went to live at Riverview Healthcare, we would take Claire to visit for the day in our home, and so it happened, that she won a place in the heart of my family. It was like we adopted Claire, which was wonderful, because my husband and I do not have family members who live locally. My husband Steve, two of our sons and our daughter came to enjoy Claire's company just the way I did. And there was a bonus for Claire, because she loved to be around our 4 cats. Several times we brought Claire to our home for summer cookouts and on those days she loved spending time with the little ones.
Claire loved to go out for lunch and Newport Creamery was a favorite. That was because she loved to order their Awful Awfuls. For the last few years we took Claire out to eat for Chinese food on Christmas Eve. This was following a Christmas Eve service at her church, Faith Fellowship. On all of these occasions, Claire filled our hearts with love and so we weren't so lonely in the absence of our relatives.
I'm going to miss Claire's jokes, in which she never was at a loss. No matter how badly she felt or how dismal things looked, she always found some humor in life's circumstances. She was a vessel of God's joy and His love. I want to thank God for the gift of Claire in my life and in my family. I would like to ask Him to give her the biggest bear hug He can muster. And also, to tell her that I love her.
It's Christmas eve morning and I am supposed to be joyful. Tis the season. But my heart is sorrowful. My heart is breaking.
When Jesus was a baby and his parents took him to be consecrated to the Lord, it should've been a joyful occasion for his mother Mary. But she heard Simeon's words to her, "and a sword will pierce your own soul." My heart has been pierced with the thought that Mom's life on earth is about to end. I keep breaking down crying ever since I heard this news on December 15th.
It is hard to sleep at night and then hard to get out of bed in the morning. I've suffered heartbreak from the loss of loved ones in the past, but it has never been this hard. I feel numb; like I'm on another planet, far removed from reality. My brain fails to work when it ordinarily functions with ease.
Mary was again filled with sorrow as she stood at the foot of the cross and watched her grown baby's life pour out of his body. I am watching Mom's life pour out of her body. In my recent visit, I noticed she lost at least 100 pounds since my last visit 18 months ago.
Jesus knew what what it felt like to be sorrowful. In the garden of Gethsemane, he told his friends, "My soul is sorrowful even unto death." His heart was breaking because he knew he'd have to suffer a harrowing death at the hands of wicked men. Mom is having to suffer a harrowing death at the hands of wicked cancer. Cancer cells are riddled throughout her whole body causing her much pain. I wish she didn't have to suffer like this. Dear God, take all pain from Mom's body.
I do not wish for Satan to steal my joy, not in this Christmas season, nor any other time of year. Joy is from heaven, given to Christ-followers as their inheritance. It is a substance or virtue in which no person or thing on earth can offer, only God. So I profess God's words over myself from Isaiah 16:1-3...
Jesus, you died a cruel death so that the wounds of my broken heart would be healed. Heal my heart now Jesus. Make it whole. You died to comfort all who are in sorrow and to strengthen those crushed by despair. Jesus, comfort me and strengthen me. Jesus, you died to give away the oil of joy, instead of tears, and a mantle of praise instead of heaviness. Jesus, take my heavy heart and give me a spirit of joyous praise. Thank you Jesus. I need you. I love you.
Take care of Mom for me and be sure to take her straight to heaven where I will one day accompany her when it's my time.
God's Fire and Glory Fell on Times Square
Photo by Let Us Worship
Let Us Worship
Times Square, New York, NY
September 25, 2022
I have not been the same since Sunday night. I've been marked for life. In my 39 years of walking with Jesus, filled with His Holy Spirit, and having numerous mountaintop experiences, Sunday night was the greatest moment of my life. I have cried on and off for 4 days now, ever since leaving Times Square, and the tears continue to pour down my face as I write this. I just had to sit down and express my feelings that seem to be exploding from within like a volcanic eruption.
That night I truly felt like I was on the mountain with Jesus, along with Peter, James and John, when Jesus was transformed before their eyes. In Matthew 17, it says, "He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light¹...a bright cloud overshadowed them."² While standing in Times Square that evening, I felt like Peter when he said, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If You want, I will make three tents here."³ Like Peter who was in the midst of the glory of God and didn't want to leave that mountain, I too did not want to leave Times Square where the presence and glory of God was upon us. I wanted to stay in that place forever. The love of God, the glory of God and the power of God were released without measure inside of me, around me, and in the people gathered with me.
God's presence and glory were felt during the worship gathering led by Sean Feucht, but the glory of God continued to crash in during the 3 hours following, from 7-10 PM. To the ones who lingered, who were thirsty and hungry for more of God, He poured Himself upon. It was evident that God was answering their prayer for more, because as God touched them, they fell to the ground under the power of God, and at times, they were filled with holy laughter or moved to weeping. When one was filled with holy laughter or the joy of the Lord, it spread to others. When one fell to their knees weeping tears of travail, others also wept. I counted 6 people who fell to the ground under the power of the Holy Spirit, including myself. It was just like in Matthew 17, "When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground."⁴ One thirsty child of God laid on the ground, still as a corpse, for at least 30 minutes, if not, more. I found myself flat on my back on 3 different occasions within those 3 glorious hours. I was completely oblivious to the hundreds of people who were walking by, some who took pictures, and others who asked my friends if I needed medical attention. On the contrary, there was not one thing in the whole world that I needed or wanted, other than to stay in that place forever. It was like I had died and gone to heaven. Since then, I continue to find myself weeping, just thinking about what I experienced that night. It is difficult for me to carry out my daily tasks of life because it all seems so mundane.
These thirsty ones were not only vessels of God's fire and glory to one another, but they went about sharing the Gospel with the onlookers passing by. My 17 year-old son, a prodigal who just returned, went about Times Square by himself, seeking to share the love of God with others. This led him to a group of teen boys his age who were mocking us Christians. He engaged them in conversation, trying to help them understand the things of God, such as the supernatural signs and wonders that God was releasing in front of their eyes. Eventually, these teens accepted the invitation to pray the salvation prayer.
By 9PM, there was still a small group of fiery ones gathered. We just didn't want to leave! We met as strangers, but were united by the blood of Jesus, and so we continued to pray, praise Jesus, prophesy and minister to one another. Our group included my group of 3, who traveled from Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Also included was Rego who traveled alone from Virginia, Eric who traveled all the way from Texas, Chris and his wife who were natives of New York, and several others whom we didn't exchange names. If a stranger came upon our group, he wouldn't have guessed that we had never met before. We were family, brothers and sisters in Christ.
By 10PM, I hadn't eaten since noontime, yet I had no desire to leave to get dinner. I stood in Times Square for 7 hours, yet I had no desire to go to our hotel to rest my feet. When the storm clouds opened up with pouring rain, thunder and lightning, I had no desire to run for cover under the store awnings. At that moment when the sky opened up to water the earth, God's Spirit was being poured out like rain over our small group.⁵ We were gathered in a Holy Ghost huddle, surrounding Rego whom God was encountering with His Father's love. As I prophesied over my "brother," I saw in a vision, Jesus, wearing a robe of white and bending over Rego to embrace him. Rego went from standing, to kneeling on the Times Square cement, to weeping on his hands and knees. His heart was being melted by the love of the Father and Jesus. This is just 1 example of how God manifested His presence that special night.
All I can say is, "Thank you God! Thank you Sean Feucht for saying yes to God. Thank you to the countless others behind the scenes of Let Us Worship, who are paying a big price, in order that the people of America can have heavenly encounters with God, leading to salvations, healings and deliverances."
Photo from creative commons library
"He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV
Not one, but two. Two of my baby boy's toes gone forever. My 16 year old "baby boy" ran his foot over with our family lawn mower on Memorial Day. I ran to my boy's loud screams from inside our home. I immediately put pressure on his foot to keep his life-blood from pouring out of his body. Later, the ER doctor stated that he was expecting to have to administer a blood transfusion, but realized there was no need. Thank you God for sparing David* from this.
For years I had been praying for God's angelic protection over my family, including my 3 boys. I prayed almost daily, "For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all of your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. (Psalm 91:11-12). I questioned God on this, while reminding Him of this very promise. "Is this a joke? My son ran his foot over with the lawn mower." But that's just it! He didn't lose his foot! The devil wanted to take my son's foot, but God didn't let him. Thank you God for not allowing the devil to take David's foot.
All of our faith-filled friends and family were seeking God in faith and asking that He take all pain from David. And each day following the accident, the doctor visited my son and asked him, "What is your pain level on a scale from 1 to 10?" He prepared to give him a prescription of pain medication. Each day David would reply, "I have no pain." So no pain meds were given past the original date of the accident. Thank you God for taking all pain from David's body.
David left the hospital in a wheelchair, with the instructions to undergo weeks of physical therapy, as his foot would have to learn to balance while walking with only 3 toes. David lost the toes (numbers 3 and 4), located in the middle of his foot, hence his recovery would not be as long and strenuous as it could've been if he had lost numbers 1, 2 or 5. Come to find out, my husband inspected the lawn mower following the accident and discovered that the mower blade was on backwards, which means that the dull side is what made contact with David's foot. Had the sharp side made contact, David most likely would've lost all 5 toes! Thank you God for sparing David's 3 toes!
David was also told that he could not go back to playing that year's football season. This was one more loss and major disappointment that David had to process. However, things did not happen as the doctor had thought. After the long process of healing, going from a wheelchair and then crutches, David visited the therapist to have his cast removed. That day the therapist told us that David would have to have many more visits to learn to balance on his foot, and also because he lost strength in his leg and foot from not having used it for months. However, when David returned home from the therapist's office that day, he placed his crutches against the wall as a symbol that he was not going to use them another minute. He began walking without them with ease and perfect balance. Thank you God for David's speedy recovery!
David was doing well enough that he talked his doctor into giving his football coach the "thumbs-up" so that he could play out the final weeks of the football season. Thank you God for granting David this desire of his heart.
There are 2 different ways that one could view the events of this "storm" that our family experienced. We can view the circumstances with eyes that see God as a mean and unloving God, a God who doesn't care and who doesn't answer prayer. We could be like Job and cry out "WHY GOD?!" Or we could open our eyes to see the circumstances in which God manifested Himself to us and affirmed that He was with us in the midst of the storm. As you can see from my testimony, there were blessings in the midst of the trauma, the pain, the loss and the disappointment. With each blessing, God was saying, "I'm here. I hear your prayers. I love you. I will never leave you nor forsake you."
My response was and remains today, "God, even when I don't understand, I still choose You."
* Name has been changed.