His Power In YOU

The visible is the expression of the invisible. The blood running through our veins in this visible world tells us something about the invisible world where Christ is seated now. Before we talk about blood and what it teaches us about Christ, let’s look at a few of the Scriptures that confirm our material world speaks of the heavenly world.

2 Corinthians 4:18 – “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:3 – “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

The Invisible is Made Known

By faith, we comprehend that this world was created from God’s spoken Word, forming our visible world out of the invisible.

We – the galaxies; this earth; and everything within – came into existence when God spoke. When God spoke, visible creation took new form.

That which exists in the spiritual realm, including God’s nature, took on material form when He spoke.


God’s Word explains that we are God’s image (Genesis 1:27; 5:1). Right there at the beginning of our formed existence, our Maker wanted us to know that we were created to bear His image.

In His likeness – we are a reflection of the invisible.

And as we read through the Old Testament and into the New, the Word continues to tell us that the things in this realm — the material — point to the substance in the spiritual realm. Scriptures reveal much about what the spiritual realm looks, feels, and operates like. Many parables begin with these words: “The kingdom of heaven is like a field, a farmer, a treasure, a mustard seed… (fill in your favorite biblical metaphor).

Oswald Chambers once wrote: “All that we see on this earth is symbolic reality.”

While there are mysteries surrounding many of God’s plans and ways, we are given clear indicators of His nature and His existence through our physical world. He exists in the place called heaven. And through parables and metaphors, we are told what heaven is like.

And we are told that our blood is a symbol of something wonderful in heaven.

Hang with me.

The Blood Symbolizes Life

Leviticus 17:11 –  “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

The red stuff pumping through our veins is a picture of life in Heaven.

What? Blood is symbolic of Life?

Further study gives us a clue to the relationship between heavenly life and blood.

John 1:4 – “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 5:26 – “For as the Father has life in Himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.

John 14:6 – “I am the way, the truth, and the life.

1 Timothy 6:19 – “So they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

When we look at the biology of blood, we come to understand more about this life of heaven. The blood in our bodies is constantly at work, carrying oxygen and nutrients to organs, but also, through the liver, eliminating harmful bacteria and other bad stuff we don’t need.

Our blood is one of the symbols God uses to speak to us of Christ and His life-giving power.

Blood, it turns out, is a beautiful symbol of the need for Christ as he is Life. He delivers all that is good and removes harmful junk. He is our breath, our sustainer.

Without Christ running through our spiritual veins, we’d be dead, both spiritually and eternally.

The Perfect Life-giving Blood

Jesus shed His perfect, sinless blood so you and I could have real life – a life akin to the glorious life we will experience in Heaven. 

Look at this little jewel of a verse: 1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Christ is the cleansing agent for sin, just like your blood is the cleansing agent for your body.

As a born-again, living creature, His pure, virus-free life flows through your spirit-veins. Ephesians 2:13 tells us: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

As your physical body must have blood to live, your spirit body must have Christ to live.

Christ’s sinless and pure blood – a shadow of His life.

And His life imparts the atoning value needed for our redemption. No virus, no spike protein, no cancer cells will be find in Him.

There’s power in the blood … hmm … hmm … power in the blood. He shed His power blood to share it with you.

Receive it and let it flow!

Perspective is everything. We have the true perspective while half the crazy world embraces the false. Is it any wonder that the enemies of God distort the truth about blood and the vaccines that penetrate the body. Is it any wonder that the enemies of God look to alter the blood? Remember with me that we do not battle against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). It is the enemy at work in the minds and hearts of the deceived today.

Heavy stuff, I know. But these verses and this truth help me understand ( a smidgen) why we are under attack as the enemy seeks to alter our blood functions.

Food for thought,

Laurie (L.G. Westlake)

Are We Desensitized?

The desensitization of our foundational Christian values has more than begun.

In psychology, desensitization is a treatment for phobias in which the patient is exposed to progressively more anxiety-provoking stimuli and taught relaxation techniques. This process teaches a patient to ignore the internal signals or alarms warning them that whatever is triggering said alarms, is dangerous. For the person with the phobia, the danger is unrealistic, outside the boundaries of normal responses.

For the Christian, the triggered responses to a alarming situations are the Holy Spirit communicating God’s perspective or desired response.

Constant Exposure

But as Christians are continuously exposed to what should initiate battle calls to prayer, we’ve relaxed, learning to ignore the inner voice whispering for us to take action. With progressive (and aggressive) anti-God rhetoric and immoral acceptance, we’re being lulled into a relaxation mode.

This is by an evil design — a blue print straight from the pit of hell.

I’m guilty. I admit, at some point in the last twenty months, I became overwhelmed with the speed of change in our culture and have come to do little more than raise my brows. I’ve complained when I should have been hitting my knees. I’ve talked about the wickedness more than I’ve prayed about it. I’ve sought like-minded souls to support my opinions instead of speaking truth to those who need to hear it.

I’m going to change this.

Light vs Dark

As I reviewed the Scriptures below, I realized I’ve become a wimpy warrior. Maybe I’m battle weary. Maybe I’ve given up, knowing we’re near prophetic days and the clock of history will not rewind. Actually, time seems to be speeding up as day after day, the signs of the coming end times’ prophecies pile up. But still, the battle instructions from the Lord are clear: regardless of our current and unsettling state of affairs, we are to arise from our beds of comfort and bring light to the situations around us. We are to battle, not relax.

John 3:19 – 21 And this is judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

John 12:46 – I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.

Ephesians 5:13-16 – But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise, but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Psalm 19:8- The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

In the above scriptures, we’re warned of the dramatic contrast between those who walk in the light and those who prefer the murky shadows of the dark. I’m reminded of that famous passage in Isaiah 5, verse 20 – “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The dark spiritual forces and those humans who dwell in their shadows seem to be doing exactly what Isaiah warned us of. Those blinded in the dark oppose all that we light-dwellers cling to. But yet, we are to take the light to them, not keep the light on our side of of the battlefield.

We’re to bring the light. Shine Christ in the dark. Be lit-up cities on the hills, never allowing desensitization techniques used by the enemy to make us comfortable in these dark days.

Speak Truth

The Word is clear. We are to expose the deeds done in the dark by shining the light of Truth. In the Matthew 10, Jesus tells us that persecution will come but to have no fear. He explains that all corruption and dark deeds will be exposed in the future, and then He instructs His followers to speak truth.

Mat 10:26-27 (NIV) “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops.

What I believe Christ reveals to us in this passage is that during the dark days of earth, we are to speak out as light bearers. Even if it costs us relationships, jobs, or communal isolation. What truth He whispers through His Word, we must proclaim now.

Our biblical call to action is to speak truth.

Let me speak (write) the truth starting here, in this blog. Jesus Christ is king yesterday, today, and tomorrow. No morphing of the world’s societies change that. He is on the throne and governments are upon His shoulders. He has all control and all attempts to make things appear differently are mere games of delusion. I serve a king, not a government.

Speak, Light Bearer!

Laurie (L G Westlake)

What the Heck is Happening Out There

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Crazy Stuff

Post Covid lockdown culture and extreme sensitivities brought on by a woke society out to radically morph our world have me asking daily, what the heck is going on around here?

With all the talk of UFO sightings, I wonder if we haven’t already been invaded and body-snatching aliens are walking around in everyone else’s bodies. Not mine, of course.

At a recent women’s Bible retreat, I heard girlfriends comment on the curious, frustrating times at hand. One said a life-long friend blocked her on FB because she and this friend no longer “believed” the same way. My perplexed girlfriend explained that she wasn’t the one who’d changed anything in her beliefs or habits. It was her FB friend who’d taken to the airways with hurtful language and accusations of narrow mindedness.

I think that’s probably happened to all of us.

Another retreat member mentioned fear. Fear of … people. Places. Information. After a lengthy group discussion and prayer time, we all determined that fear is exactly what we’re being sold 24/7 from media and, sadly, portions of our own government.

The change in our world is staggering. And it seemingly happened overnight.

So what really is happening?

But what did happen?

Fortunately, we have a Word of Truth that explains a few things.

Second Thessalonians 2:9-12 speaks of a strong delusion God will send in the end times: “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

It is clear this strong delusion will take place during the time of the lawless one (2 Thessalonians 2:8), also called the Antichrist or beast elsewhere in Scripture (Revelation 13). He is the one Jesus will kill with “the breath of his mouth” (2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:15).

God sending a delusion is only part of it all. Satan is to blame in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. The delusion applies to those “who did not believe the truth.” (v. 12). It is downright false to think our God might have a hand in tricking people. Instead, those who refuse to believe are among those who accept the delusion God sends. Free will still exists. By free will, these have denied the truth and willingly followed a lie.

After all, we know, we know that God desires for all to be saved according to 1 Timothy 2:4.

We are also told that this strong delusion will happen during the time of rebellion against God. 2Thessalonians 2:3 says, “For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed.” So extreme lawlessness begins to ramp up before the antichrist is revealed.

Hello 2020 and 2021.

Familiar history

I’m reminded of Sodom and Gomorrah, the places where people sought to live life according to their own, godless rules—wild, but suddenly familiar-looking godless rules.

Here’s more from 2Thessalonians: Chapter 2, verse 7: “For the mystery of the lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”

Okay, back up. Did this verse just say that the spirit of lawlessness is at work now?

Yes. This verse said the spirit of lawlessness is at work now.

 And did it say things will get worse because “he who restrains” will be removed?

Yes, it said there’s a restrainer who will be removed. Then things … will … get … worse.

I believe that because Jesus said the Holy Spirit will be with us always (John 14:16), that the reference to a restrainer here in 2Thessalonians is a reference to the Holy Spirit being removed at rapture. If we’ve been promised that the Holy Spirit is with us always (again, John 14:16), then the Holy Spirit isn’t removed from this world until the church is.

That’s my take.

But still, we’re told the spirit of lawlessness is at work and boy, oh, boy, do I realize that now. Right now.

The answer is at our fingertips

To understand why our friends are leaning into new and strange philosophies; to understand how a child can accuse me of being old and out of touch; to understand how a brother or sister can suddenly follow the world when they once claimed to follow Christ, we must look at Scriptue. Looking at 2Timothy 3, we read in verses 1 – 5: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

What we are called to do

The call to action in this verse is not to state your case on FB, nor engage in holiday obligatory dinner debates, but to avoid such people. Avoid the heartless, the slanderous, the proud, and the rest of the list that is whole-heartedly accepted by main-stream society today.

For additional study on the weird way your friends and family may be acting, look up: Luke 12:53; Mark 13:12; Matthew 10:21; and Matthew 24:10.

To stay grounded, to stand firm, we must, must, not just stand upon, but immerse ourselves in Truth. Lies abound. False teachings lure.

Hold fast. Be brave.

More to come…

If I perish, I perish,


How Do I Dwell, Anyway?

When I read verses like Psalm 91, my hands get a little sweaty.

I wonder, have I dwelt this week? Have I gone to find that mysterious shelter and have I spent enough time there? Will I receive these promises if I’m not spending specifically motivated but serious moments in a state of meditation?

Take a look at Psalm 91:1-16 with me: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

So what is it to dwell, to abide, or to remain (word used depends on your Bible version) in or with the Lord?

In keeping it real, I must admit that I’ve struggled with the concept of dwelling physically. After spending years in women’s Bible studies, going to conferences, and following biblical fads, I would try to conform to my teacher’s or the latest superstar speaker’s methods of connecting (or abiding) with my invisible Lord. For someone whose mind races pretty much 24/7, I found traditional quiet time, a difficult endeavor. I would read various books on the spiritual disciplines and then guilt myself into following an author’s prescribed plan for officially “dwelling.”

I thought I’d miss out on the promises in the above Scriptures if I didn’t do it right – if I didn’t’ put myself physically in some mysterious, spiritual location and sit there.

But that’s all changed.

And it can change for you, too, if you’re struggling with the traditionally prescribed formulas for dwelling in the shelter of the Lord.

I once thought I had to have an advanced doctrinal degree to understand the complicated mysteries of Christ. But because the Bible interprets the Bible, I found that the doctrines of Christ are not nearly as complicated as I’ve made them out to be.

By digging around in the Word, I found answers to my naïve quandaries and explanations to things that seemed untouchable for my wee little brain.

What’s wild about the key verses today is that we’re given insight into the action of the believer and the reaction of our God. It’s in the second statement: “I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” that I was given a clue as to what dwelling meant.

Dwelling is not necessarily expansive times of sitting before our invisible God, but more a state of consciousness, or a living, hourly, in the realm of trust. When the psalmist declared that he would say, God is my refuge and fortress, He made a declaration of great trust. To have great trust in something is to put yourself in that something/somebody’s hands or under that something/somebody’s authority at any given moment.

Yes! Quiet times matter. Stilling our hearts and minds and reading or thinking about Scripture (Truth) is needed for our own spiritual health. But “dwelling/abiding/remaining” in the Lord is state of being that isn’t reserved for special get-away moments. It’s an every moment, 24/7 hour, state of mind.

According to the Greek Word used in the famous verses “I am the vine,” verses found in John 15, the definition of “to dwell” is: to stay, to be given a place, to continue, to endure, to remain, or to tarry. In other words, to dwell is more of a state of consistency. And to dwell in the shelter of the Most High is to dwell in the shelter of His trust; His promises.

Consider Colossians 3:1-2: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  

Here’s my Laurie Language translation of this verse: If you are not a grave dweller, but a child raised to life, then you are to be looking for heavenly perspective concerning all things you encounter.

I want to make it clear that I am not bashing the traditional quiet-time mandate. In Psalm 46:10, God says to be still and know. Getting still and quiet in our “prayer closets” gives our minds the opportunity to hear and hear clearly from the Lord who lives in us. But … and this is a huge but … if Christ lives inside each of us, then you and I have the opportunity to dwell or remain or abide in that truth 24/7 – at our jobs, doing laundry, walking the dog, visiting with friends, changing diapers, and even sleeping.

Dwell by letting this truth wash through your clouded thoughts. Today and beyond, both you and I can dwell, or abide, or remain by basking in the promises found in Psalm 91, our key Scripture today.

Go ahead, be brave, and dwell in the truths of God all the day long. And you will be living every moment in the shadow of the Almighty — in His Shelter.

😊 Laurie


Do you set your GPS on a highways only setting, or when traveling, do you steer clear of the traffic and choose the backroads instead?

While on our spiritual journeys, our Holy Spirit GPS setting will determine whether we are developing into a mature, solid believers or folks getting by with the basics of faith. In my life’s wild and wooly journey, there have been times, I humbly admit, when I’ve chosen the easiest path possible. After all, efficiency matters, right?

Not always.

In chapter six, the writer of Hebrews admonishes us to “press on” to maturity, developing a mature spiritual nature. In contemplating this call to action, I took a closer look a the following verses:

Matthew 7:13-14Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Luke 13:23-25 “Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them. “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”

Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life? Broad is the road that leads to destruction? I need to reset my spiritual GPS to intentionally point me to the road less traveled.

Highways vs Paths

Highways host clear instructions, ease of joining, and a smooth, fast ride. Highways are easy to find. You can even set your GPS into highway mode, making sure your journey is always one of convenience. As fast-paced people, we love our highways!

When I was younger and had never heard of a GPS, I’d have an idea of the general location of the concert hall or ballpark I intended to visit. I never worried about the exact directions because I knew I could follow the crowd into the parking lot, or to the ticket desk. Easy, peasy. I trusted all those people pulling up wanted to go where I wanted to go.

Let’s talk Black Friday 5:00 am sales. When driving to one mall in the predawn hours, I’d pass another mall, see hordes of people lined up outside the store and think they knew something I didn’t. Making a hard turn, I would pull in and jump in line. Seriously. I was what my husband calls a sheeple – a crowd follower.

But paths. Paths are rarely traveled. Paths are more trails that tend to lead to places we aren’t sure we want to go. Unless it’s a state-park hiking trail, there are generally no rest stop signs or mileage markers letting you know how close you are to your destination. Paths are generally pot-holed, snaky, host unpredictable twists, and require well-working shock absorbers in order to travel. And paths, as a rule, don’t host overhead lighting for night travel. No wonder the number of folks traversing pathways are scarce.

And that’s just the point – paths are not traveled much. That’s why they are paths. Few people take them.

And according to our key Scriptures above, paths are not obvious. You can’t just hop on one at any junction in life. Jesus tell His disciples, “narrow is the road that leads to life and few find it.” He seems to suggest that we must hunt down this path that leads to life. We must search for it.

Once you do find it, chances are there won’t be a crowd to follow on this trail. Chances are, you’ll find yourself figuring out a few maneuvers on your own and may even be lonely at times. Again, this is the point. There isn’t going to be many people there.

And without road signs to point the way, you’re going to have to trust the Holy Spirit – not the car bumper in front of you – to be your guide. (John 16:13)

Lonely Paths

In these times of threatened persecution, confusing health messages, volatile politics, worldwide upheavals, and rumors of another wave of pandemics sure to come, I find myself being misunderstood and sometimes rejected as current issues polarize not only good and evil, but folks I thought were on the same page as me.

I look around, feeling more and more like I don’t belong here.

Paths don’t sound convenient. Or safe.

But when did Christianity become about convenience and safety?

I’m Adding “Pathwalker” to My Name

Again, paths can be lonely at times. Trusting someone I can’t see (the Holy Spirit) can be scary. And though the Word promises to be the lamp for my feet, there are times when I just don’t know what the next step is. If I’m not careful, I can be tempted to run back for the well-lit highways.

Pathways are not for wimps.

Pathways are for heroes. Unsung heroes.

I have to get on and stay on my path.

If you’re not currently on a ruddy path but stuck in the middle of a convenient highway with everyone else somewhere, get off and start looking for your narrow gate. That gate will probably have the sign “Trial,” or “Overcoming Fear,” or “Get Outside Your Comfort Zone,” hung above it. But you got this. Jesus is with you every step of the difficult way.

That crowd out there on the highway – they are headed for destruction. Become a pathwalker and find your way to true life!

If I perish, I perish,

L. G. Pathwalker Westlake

You’ve Been Quoted.

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While you and I are on planet earth dealing with pandemics, arguing about vaccines, and witnessing myriads of people burdened by bizarre tribulations worldwide, heavenly beings are documenting man’s movements, victories, trials, and failures in eternal books (Exodus 32:32 The Book of Life: -33; Psalm 56:8; 69:28; Daniel 7:10; 12:1; Revelation 13:8; 20:15).  I’ll bet it has been a doozy of a documenting year.

But in all spiritual seriousness, written account is one way our Creator communes with us. He created both language (in various sounds depending on the people group) and script (in various forms depending on the culture) as an avenue of conscious exchange.

We know that under God’s dictation, Moses carefully recorded the account of creation including the rise and fall of the first humans. From there, the story of man and woman unfold in God’s prophetic heart but also in the written pages we call the Bible. God calls this written form of communication the Word (Davar in Hebrew – which is a root word of order, interestingly). Mysteriously, He also calls the embodiment of His Word (Davar), the flesh and blood that arrived by way of a virgin and Holy Spirit two thousand plus years ago.

If you want to know the fulness of who God is, look to Christ, His Word (Davar), His communication to us.

Along with His perfect communication system through Christ, God continues to use language and script as a means of establishing oneness. Throughout the written Word, we have come to understand that preaching (speaking from the written Word) is a means of people hearing the good news of Christ. In the book of Romans, Paul writes that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Time and again, this has proven to be true. As we absorb the living Script Word, it manifests itself through us in the form of the spoken Word.

But while your and I are in this shadow realm reading and hearing and speaking the Word, (and other things) there’s something of great interest transpiring in the realm of substance — heaven. Just as Moses documented man’s beginning journey on earth, there are heavenly beings in the spiritual realm documenting your earthly journey. At least, parts of your earthly journey. While there is no biblical evidence that your every move is recorded in heaven, there are some interesting Scriptures that tell us of books being filled with our specific names and certain events.

God’s having documents prepared based on our earthly actions.

This thought makes my stomach queasy. During my life’s excursions, I’ve camped at a few undesirable stops along the way. I’ve also disappointed more people than I can count, ignored the Holy Spirit’s promptings almost daily, and I’ve gossiped, slandered, and acted a fool plenty. And if the Lord is getting my sins in writing, then I can confess, I dread standing before Him. (See Matthew 12:36, Psalm 56:8; Psalm 139:16.)

But God. But Jesus.

Thankfully, my sin and my shame – the viruses coursing my life veins – have been overcome by the beautiful antibodies of Christ’s perfect, sinless blood. Because of Christ, on the day I stand before God and the dreaded books are opened, My Savior’s red blood will cover any eternal words that expose my sins.

This grace-filled truth drops me to my knees.

Thank you, Lord. Thank you.

But there are a couple of books I look forward to our King Jesus reading out loud. These are the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5) and the Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16).

The Book of Life is the list of recorded names of the heaven-bound faithful entering into eternal bliss with Christ. I am beyond thrilled my name is among such superheroes as Esther, Paul, Peter, Lydia, and the Mary who hosted seven demons prior to meeting Christ.

And then there is an especially interesting book called the Book of Remembrance. This is probably one heck of a thick, leather-wrapped document or scroll. According to the prophet Malachi, within the pages of this great book, are the collective discussions of God’s children that concern the Lord and all He is doing in the world today. Here is that promise:

              Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name. – Malachi 3:16

Our enthralled, faith-laden conversations about our King are recorded in a book. I’m telling you our virtuous words and deeds do not go unnoticed by the Lord. Truely, our words are not just noticed, but so weighty, so full of life, our expressions are quoted in a future famous book.

Let me put this another way: You are published.

Your publication is not in an op-ed, electronic blog, or paperback that will be irrelevant in three years. No! You are published in an eternal, real book that the Maker of the Universe keeps close to His heart. These records likely sits somewhere in the vicinity of His fire-flashing throne.


You, oh tiny human, have words written in heaven.

Everything we speak is considerable.

While I’m wincing at the remembrance of some of my ill-spoken earthly words, I’m also in awe that my godly conversations are cherished by my King. So much so that He has them recorded. Permanently.

To wrap up — what you say matters. What you write matters. And the fellowshipping between us matters. These communications are precious to our Lord.

We should speak of Him often.

Go ahead. Write or say something wonderful about the King, or our God, or Holy Spirit. Someone in another realm will capture the moment in heavenly ink … because you are worth quoting.


The Thing About Suffering

Privileged to Reveal the Glory …

1 Peter 4:13:But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”

Romans 8:35-39: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Key Words: rejoice in sufferings; in death and in life, nothing can separate us from Christ

Laurie’s Comments:

Years ago, as we prepared to move to underdeveloped Equatorial Guinea (EG) to live as missionaries, we encountered one consistent question: Will you be safe?

Safe they asked?

When did anyone ever considering doing the work of Christ safe?

Post EG, Africa now, I can tell you, we were not safe.

But, besides marrying an amazing Christian man and birthing three radically talented children, the year and a half in EG was the richest experience of my life. Those months in the Congolese Rain Forest changed everything. “Everything” includes my walk with Christ, my view on prosperity, and my view of health issues.

This blog probably needs to be a book but let me try and capture my rousing thoughts in a few points. Here are some examples of our “not safe,” status then:

  • Our legal driving papers were stolen by the police.
  • One of our sons (age 10 at the time) had a massive asthma attack on a mountain with no breathing treatments available. He survived.
  • Our daughter (age 8 at the time) had a close encounter with death when her malaria meds were not effective. She survived.
  • Our older son was dealing with drug issues back in the states. (And this, today, continues to be the biggest trial/suffering time of my life)
  • My daughter and I were separated from the rest of the family for two days when seeking medical help. Without phones, my husband had no idea where we’d gone . (Long, beautiful story).
  • Whenever at the market, men offered to buy our blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter – we couldn’t take our eyes or hands off of her when in public.
  • My husband and sons were kidnapped (but only for several hours thanks to our very clever mission leader).
  • We all suffered dysentery when living in an African village home for 3 weeks.
  • We had snakes in the yard and neighbors who robbed us on a consistent basis.
  • We had to filter all water and bleach the vegetables from the local market.
  • We encountered corrupt, inebriated, and packing police at checkpoints every time we traveled.
  • And the local parasites loved our tender American digestive systems.

I learned more about myself in that year and half than I’ve learned about me in a lifetime here in the US. Hardships reveal our weaknesses and once our flesh is out in the open for everyone to observe, Christ will sweep in and cut that honor-destroying flesh right off your bones.

I encountered more of Christ in that jungle than I’ve encountered here in the land of plenty. When faced with unusual challenges day in and out, and not in control of much of your life, you tend to seek guidance and wisdom from the Lord. He responds to these requests in big, audacious ways.

And because this isn’t a book, but a blog, let me jump right to the point: It is in suffering that we run headfirst into the glory of our God.

In the first chapter of James, we’re told to count our trials as joy, knowing that various hardships create in us a certain, glory-yielding perseverance – a trust of sorts that points the rest of the world to Christ.

Because people and principalities are watching.

As I write, I’m traveling back in time to the lessons I learned in the “not safe” time in EG. Even though our pantry was thin, I kept canned tuna, flour and sugar on the shelf and some kind of protein in our propane, camper-size refrigerator. Most of the Africans I knew didn’t have pantries, much less a refrigerator. The local Christians there depended upon God for their daily bread. Literally.

As well, our African, Christian friends didn’t obsess over health but depended upon God Almighty when illness came. There was a hospital in town, and there were a couple of Cuban doctors (another long story) practicing there … but people were not obsessed with what might or might not happen health-wise in the future. When illnesses came, we prayed, sought help if available, and trusted God with the outcome. People we knew died. People we knew survived. We trusted God in both circumstances.

In an underdeveloped nation, I developed a dependence upon Christ.  

Oh, I’ve such a long way to go in deeply trusting my Savior. And I forget to turn first to Him when uncomfortable or trying times catch me off guard. But the lessons I learned in the most challenging situation of my life, I pray I cling to.

May His glory will be revealed in and through me. What a privilege we have in radiating Christ.

I’ll end with the words of James:

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”       — James 1:12 

If I perish, I perish,


Read more about our African pantry here: shttps://lauriegreenwestlake.com/2018/07/16/empty-plates/

For His Glory, Rise!

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

John 11:25: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live …”

In the Word of God, I love the shadows of earthly things that point to the substance of the coming, powerful truth.

Jesus gave us (and one heck of an interesting family in Bethany) one of his foreshadows of this truth through the actual account of raising his good friend Lazarus from the dead.

Rise, Lazarus!

So the story goes like this: When Lazarus becomes seriously ill, his sisters send Christ a message that reads, “He whom you love is ill.” Mary and Martha send this simple statement believing Jesus will do something about their brother’s situation instantly. Considering that this family knew Christ, I’m sure they were aware of healings he’d performed including the centurion’s servant that was healed without being in Christ’s vicinity. I’m guessing the sisters believed that the moment Christ became aware of the situation, he’d either come immediately or instantly heal their brother.

But as is the way of Christ, He didn’t do the expected, but revealed that this, this situation was going to look like all was lost and it would look this way for His glory. He told his disciples “This illness does not lead to death but to the glory of God … ”Wait, back up.

So Christ has been healing folks all other the Holy Land and when His good friend is sick, He indicates that he’s going to allow it?”

After two … TWO more days, Christ tells His disciples that Lazarus has fallen asleep and now He will go and wake him up. That He waited two days is significant. As the author and perfecter of our faith, He put these sisters through a trial of patience to test that golden faith he’d been building in each.

Sometimes waiting is His plan.

All to radiate His glory.

So now Jesus and His disciples are heading back through hostile territory to Bethany. And this is where all sorts of shadows (Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1) come into play.

Martha – you remember Martha? She’s the one who, earlier, complained to Christ that her sister, Mary, wasn’t helping her in the kitchen when they had guests to feed. In that event, Jesus mildly rebuked Martha and told her that Mary has chosen the better place to spend her time – at His feet.

Now, it’s Martha who gets up and rushes out to meet Jesus when she hears He’s coming. Mary stayed behind.

Interesting twist here.

Hang with me. At the rapture, we’re told, that we will meet Christ in the air. Martha’s going out to meet the King, I believe, is a foreshadow of the rapture of the bride and this is a beautiful, beautiful picture of Martha’s alert faith.

She’s alerted that He’s coming, and she rushes out to be with Him rather than sit and mourn and wait for His arrival. Are we to be alert, waiting to meet our Savior soon? — Oh, yeah.

Back to the story: When Martha meets Jesus, their conversation is exhilarating! This is where He makes this “I AM the resurrection and the life” statement and Martha makes a couple of faith-revealing declarations of her own. You can read their exchange in verses 21 through 27. As the plot unfolds, Martha returns home in order to bring Mary to Jesus, telling Mary that the King asked for her. Get this? Martha leads Mary to Jesus this time! When Martha led Mary to Jesus, she falls at his feet in heart-breaking agony. Our King is so moved, He cries.

He does not rebuke her for not coming to Him initially, but cries with her!

The whole party of mourners and disciples make their way to the cave grave holding Lazarus. Jesus tells the men to roll away the stone covering the entrance and he calls Lazarus to “come out.”

And here comes Lazarus, after four days dead, wrapped in the cloths of a mummy, walking out of the dark cave of death and into the light of day.

Let that sink in for a moment.

So, so much going on here, it’s hard to contain to this one blog assignment.

Let me make some simple observations for your considerations:

1. Christ refers to Lazarus’ death as sleeping. We don’t die in the sense of the original curse-wielding death of body and soul but leave our sickly bodies.

2. Through Scripture, we are assured that as believers, once we shed this body, we are instantly with Christ (Luke 23:43). His reference to sleeping is a statement to comfort the mourning Christian left on this side of the glass darkly and not a statement about the condition of those who have gone to heaven ahead of us. I believe he uses the term “asleep” to ensure the absence of a loved one is temporal. Believers in heaven are not asleep.

3. Martha went to retrieve her mournful sister and bring her to Christ. When our brothers and sisters are discouraged, and cannot get to Christ on their own, we are to help them go to him.

4. Lazarus never died. He left his body. In this actual account, Jesus shows the world that He controlled the whole story line from allowing Lazarus’ body to be ill to the point of death, to calling Lazarus back from heaven, to restoring that decaying body in the tomb. He is the resurrection and life. Your afflictions have purpose in His hands.

5. Jesus told humans to roll away the stone. The stone, it seems, is rolled away to shed light on the truth of the grave. Christ could have had the stone blasted to smithereens with a nod of His head, or commanded an angel to come and remove the massive rock. But He asks the mourners standing by to be the ones to shed light on the grave and let Lazarus out. Are we not to do the same and remove heavy obstacles so that we would be light-shedders?

6. Our afflictions are designed to bring God glory. Lazarus’ illness and death resulted in our Lord claiming that He is the resurrection and life.

Praise God! The words “for his glory” should supernaturally satisfy our mourning hearts when we find ourselves afflicted.

Read about another shadow name Christ calls himself here: https://lauriegreenwestlake.com/2020/12/03/the-door/

Oh, how Scripture illuminates truth! Our swords, the Word, are sharpened every time we dive in and seek profound understanding.

Wield you swords Warriors!


Got Sap?

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15-5)

I love vineyards. There’s this certain magic that happens when my husband and I drive through the Rio Grande valley and look over the lush green vineyards nestled beneath the towering Cotton Woods. The scene is an oasis in our desert homeland of New Mexico. Sometimes (pre-Covid) local vintners host tastings and teachings. There, I’ve learned how different soils and climates yield different grapes, and how after crushing and aging, make varietal wines.

In the Word, wine is generally a symbol of happiness.

But wine is also a biblical symbol of blood.

Christ’s first documented miracle involved wine. Remember the wedding at Cana in Galilee? When the jars of wine ran dry, Jesus intervened. This story is bulging with typology to teach us about Christ. The miracle He brings to this wedding, as everything He does, reveals a couple of not-so obvious truths.

Here’s the story recap: After Jesus and his mother exchange an interesting but revealing, conversation about the lack of wine, He tells the servants at the party to take the six (number of man, btw) empty 20 gallon jars and fill them with water. These jars were normally used to fill immersion pools (mikveh) for ceremonial purification. The servants obey, fill the jars with water. Jesus then tells them to draw the water out and take to the master of the feast. You remember how this goes: Jesus turned the water into wine and it’s the best wine the guests have had during the seven-day celebration. And it is a lot of wine: more than 120 gallons!

Fast forward with me for a moment to the last supper when Christ lifts a cup of wine and tells His disciples that “this is my blood, drink of it…” At the last-hour table, our Lord used wine as a symbol of His atoning and cleansing blood.

Now, put the wine (Christ’s blood) into the purification jars at the wedding and you have an illuminated truth thrown down in the middle of a party. Christ showed the entire wedding reception that it is by his blood, not water, that we will be purified. This is a shadow (or typology) of things to come.

And we haven’t even started taking apart the vineyard yet.

Ever step, word, and miracle of Christ is full of purpose!

Now let’s go back to the “I am the vine,” statement, the last of seven “I am” statements found in the book of John. The context stage is the last supper. Judas has left the scene, Jesus has washed the disciples’ feet, and now He’s verbally preparing them for His crucifixion and ascension. Being God, He already knows the trials his followers will face in the coming days and years. His words give them the answer to enduring what’s ahead. Abide. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

He used vintner lingo to explain how his followers would survive moving forward.

The vineyard is a beautiful, physical metaphor of our life with and in Christ. Let’s break it down:

  1. Christ is the vine, the source coming out from the root which is buried in the dirt. Christ, being a human came from the dust.
  2. The vine supports the entire plant. The branch is a natural offshoot of the vine. Christ is our support.
  3. The vine carries the sap to the fruit-producing branch. The vine does not produce fruit without the branch but brings the sap to the branch. Christ brings us the spiritual gifts we need to produce fruit. As a branch, we don’t have to go searching for our sap. It comes to us.
  4. Apart from the vine, no branch is useful. Vintners will cut away branches that are not producing fruit so that the entire plant remains healthy. If we shall “know them by their fruit,” (Matthew 7:16), then fruitless branches symbolize those who are not truly saved, and these are removed from the vineyard.
  5. Vintners will also prune fruit-producing branches so that their future yields are even greater. And so, the Lord God prunes us. We are in a state of constant grooming for higher yields.

Oh, what a beautiful picture this is of our King! He is our support. He is the sap in our veins. He is the life-giving source to the branches spreading throughout the vineyard.

Now – think on this with me – the yielded, produced fruit is used to make … yup, yummy snacks and jelly, but also wine!

This symbol circles us back around to what Christ shows us at the wedding when he changes the water to wine. Our fruit — drum roll, please — will always point to Christ and His sacrifice for His glory.

No wonder I’m mesmerized by vineyards.

You are grafted to the vine. Receive the sap. Abide.