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Posts from the ‘Inspirational Thoughts’ Category

John 10:10 Another View

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.

My sheep hear My voiceThis morning as I had devotions with my coffee, I chose The Passion Translation and felt led to read John 10. In this translation, in the first verse, Brian Simmons adds the phase Jesus said to the Pharisees, and then continues, “Listen to this eternal truth: The person who sneaks over the wall to enter into the sheep pen, rather than coming through the gate, reveals himself as a thief coming to steal. 2 But the true Shepherd walks right up to the gate, and because the gatekeeper knows who he is, he opens the gate to let him in.”

I have often quoted John 10:10 to refer to our enemy, satan and his evil cohorts. His M-O is always to steal, kill, and destroy. But today as I read through this story, I had a different take on it.

I went back to John 9 where Jesus healed a man born blind. Jesus spat on the ground, made clay, and placed it on his eyes and then told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. The people of his neighborhood were astonished, but they marched him over to the Pharisees because Jesus had done this miracle on the Sabbath, a day Jews weren’t supposed to work. The healed man was brought before the Pharisees for questioning, and they grilled him even to the point they brought in his parents. The Pharisees called Jesus a sinful man and wanted him to agree. We all know his response, “Whether He is a sinner I do not know. There is one thing I do know: I was blind, but now I see!” [Jn 9:25]

At the end of John 9 we see that they threw this man out of the Synagogue. Jesus learned of it and went to find him. In their conversation, Jesus revealed that He was the Son of God. Jesus further said, “I have come to judge those who think they see and make them blind. And for those who are blind, I have come to make them see.” [Jn 9:39] Well, the Pharisees standing nearby heard this and Chapter 10’s parable of the Good Shepherd was told to them.


I believe the thief Jesus refers to in John 10 is actually the work of the enemy on the religious leaders: Sadducees and Pharisees, also known as “hired hands”.

11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters the flock. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and does not care about the sheep. [John 10:11-13]

I believe the hired hand represents those in charge of the flock—in His day, the rabbis, and in our days, religious leaders who don’t know the voice of their Shepherd. The wolf is actually the devil, who wants to destroy the sheep.

That we may be one

Jesus then explains Who He is and His purpose.

14 I am the good shepherd, and I know My own, and My own know Me, 15 just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice; and they will become one flock, with one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it back. 18 No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it back. This commandment I received from My Father.” [John 10:14-18]


Today’s culture is so divided. Yes, the “thief” has come to steal, kill, and destroy, but the “hired hands” haven’t done a very good job at keeping the sheep safe and together. The “flock” is without identity and purpose, and thus they are easy prey for every wind and doctrine as well as an easy target for the thief. Perhaps we really don’t know the voice of our Good Shepherd. If we did, wouldn’t we want to be “one” with Him and with one another?

22 The glory which You have given Me I also have given to them, so that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and You loved them, just as You loved Me. [John 17:22,23]

So what can I do about it?
I can pray. I can share with friends. I can encourage others. I can be a witness for Jesus Christ. I can tell my testimony. I can be a pebble in a pond and just see how many ripples I can generate. I can write.

I haven’t written on this Handmaiden site since August 31, 2020. I lost my courage, confidence, or whatever you might call it. Several friends have encouraged me to write again. Last week I clearly heard the Lord say, “Stick it to him. WRITE!” Since that day, I’ve written down some thoughts, done a bit of research, but always could find something else to do with my time. But today, when I read these chapters in John, I knew that today was my day.

The enemy might have stolen my confidence, killed my passion, and destroyed my vision as he whispered “It doesn’t matter. You don’t really have anything worthy to write.” But today, I have once again found my identity and my purpose. I’m going to write and let Holy Spirit take it from here. As for me, I’m going to follow Jesus wherever He leads me. I’d like to end with one more scripture.

My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them,
and they follow Me;
[John 10:27]

Mary and Martha, Arise!

AriseA Dream This Morning

I woke up from a dream snippet. I think it was a conversation with someone who was listing attributes and I said, “I know what that is! It’s a FEMELINO.” And then I felt like ducking and apologizing like it was too radical. I felt embarrassed.

I kept repeating that word, femelino, in my head so I wouldn’t forget it when I really woke up. While I put on the coffee, I looked up the word. It appears to be Spanish, but I couldn’t find a definition. I checked images and found this image for femelino. It’s a poster for International Women’s Day, March 8. The background is pink and there’s a large sign of the female with myriads of butterflies flying out of it, especially at the top. Later I did a Spanish to English translation: femelino means feminine.

After I wrote all of this in my journal, I heard this from the Lord:

“I am calling My women prayer warriors to rise up in that meek and gentle spirit to prophesy to the bones. They are equal in My Kingdom. They are light and beautiful, not dark and sinister. Men do not need to be afraid of them. Their cries kiss heaven and I hear each one. Butterflies represent metamorphosis and resurrection power. Mary and Martha, arise! It’s time to evangelize and prophesy.”

I continued in my journal…

I just realized it’s 8/22. 8 is the # of new beginnings and 22 is the # of governmental authority (Isaiah 22:22) — “I will give him the key to the house of David—the highest position in the royal court. When he opens doors, no one will be able to close them; when he closes doors, no one will be able to open them.” (NLT) In my Jesus Calling devotional for 8/22, this phrase stood out: “Remember that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Me.” And in my Prayers on Fire devotional for today, “You bloom through my dreams with whispers of love that awaken my heart.”

Last night I watched a YouTube program called “Breaking the MUZZLE off the rising voices & shaking off fear” by Nate Johnston*. The video is a pleasant view from the clouds over mountains and valleys with his voice giving this powerful prophetic word. The video is 22 minutes long.

My Thoughts

Since this Covid shut-in began March 19th, I have been engaged in a personal revival. I have had dreams, words from the Lord, significant revelation in Scripture, and in general, an over-powering excitement to get engaged, especially in prayer and intercession. I have been introduced to international and national ministry teaching, videos, and newsletters and books that I felt were “heaven-sent.” During these past five months, I have had some incredible insight into past wounds as a child and some later ones that have kept me quiet, reserved, timid when it came to my faith, but no longer. Ezekiel 37 (The Valley of Dry Bones) has been a “landing spot” for me and more so with the April launch of the song “Rattle” by Elevation Worship.

In general, the world sees authoritative women as controlling, bossy, too strong, and well, a little hard to take. But what I’ve been learning is that authority, especially in prayer, doesn’t have to be loud or brassy, but it still can be the Lion of Judah’s roar through us. It can have punch because it’s the Spirit firing us up inside. It’s His breath. They are His words. Whatever heaven reveals, we can pray back to it and know we have that authority.

So I say… Mary, Martha, Susie, Cathy, Karen… whoever you are… you were made for such a time as this! The world needs your voice in prayer. Your families, your kids, your brothers and sisters need your voice. Father’s ears are open. The angels are waiting for heaven’s orders. All that’s needed is some time and some heart-felt prayers. It’s time to live your life outloud. Be all that you were made to be.

*info Nate & Christy Johnston live in Australia. This video on YouTube 3 days ago was actually written on their site on July 6th “Letter to the Muzzled Voice: it’s time to encounter the Lion & shake off the fear of man”. At the end he’s written a list for Symptoms of Being Muzzled in a Roaring Season and How You Can Be A Voice in This Season. Excellent.

Heart and Soul

heartLast week I had a conversation with a dear friend who woke up at 3AM on Wednesday with a strong urge to pray for Pastor John Ettore—not Hope, his wife who has cancer—but John, for what he must be going through with Hope’s tragic news that she had more lumps. Her doctor said she might as well stop treatment, but was still scheduled to have another CT Scan last Friday and other tests this week. My friend said she “cried her heart out” as she prayed for him and Hope’s family. She had given up hope for Hope.

Something rose up in me and I stopped her right there. “Whose report are you going to believe?” I loudly exclaimed over the phone, “I am not giving up and I’m not giving in! The Lord gave Hope a word at the beginning of this journey. He said ‘plan for longevity’ period! He is not a man that He should lie. His words are true, and they are life!”

Almost immediately I realized that her disappointment for John was deeply rooted in the disappointment she is experiencing right now. Her weeping for John was connected to her own grief and hopelessness in her personal situation. Gently I pinpointed where that grief and sorrow for John was coming from—her own wounded soul. We can’t deny the battle. We can’t ignore the truth of the situation. But—and that’s a big BUT—we can pray, we can fast, we can declare the promises of the Word of God that will not return void and believe for miracles. We can believe that all things work for our good and for Hope’s good too. We can crush negativity and the power of negative words. We can declare truth, declare healing, declare His goodness—ALWAYS He is good! No matter the present circumstances. We have a future and a sure word. We have hope. And we have confidence in that hope and for our Hope Ettore. The devil is a liar—always was and always will be.

Take Charge of Your Thoughts

Our strongest enemy is named discouragement. The enemy of our souls (who Tim Sheets calls “the forever loser”) has a great weapon—messing with our thoughts. His best battle plan is to help them travel from our heads to our hearts and down to our souls. Once that doubt, fear and unbelief is there, the roots take hold and bring you down, down, down. But GOD—and that’s another BIG BUT—we who believe in Jesus Christ and what He did for us on that Cross at Calvary, can stand boldly before the Throne of Grace and appeal to heaven because His precious blood was shed in our place. His greatest Gift is found in Holy Spirit upon us and within us at our salvation. His gentle voice speaks to us when we read His Word. He helps us when we draw aside and ask for His peace, for His wisdom, for His compassion, and for His answers. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus and His “Other Brother”!

Sisters! Look up!! Not down!!! Look up to His perfect rule, His righteousness, His power, His mercy, and His judgment in all matters—including us. Don’t look down at your checkbook, your broken marriage, your prodigal son or daughter, your unsaved husband, your lost opportunities, your stresses, your challenges, your no-way-outs. He IS our Way Maker, our Promise Keeper, our Miracle Worker. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. Always and Forever. PERIOD.

A Side Note

duetI happened to share my conversation with Shell Cowper-Smith. She wrote to me that she wanted me to write an article to the women at GPC as many of our women are really having some hard times. I thought about it. Slept on it. Got up to morning coffee with it and went back to get dressed for the day. It was this Monday, the day our youngest son was getting married to the perfect love of his life. As I looked in the mirror putting on my makeup, I heard the song “Heart and Soul”. I’m sure if you ever sat at the piano, you’re humming that song in your head right now. It’s a classic beginner duet on the piano. The “heart” carries the beat and the “soul” plays individual notes. The song is played separately, but comes into harmony until the very end when they are together as one sound. (YouTube Heart and Soul)

I think the Lord was confirming to me that when we pray, we need to be aware of what’s in our soul and not just what’s in our head. The greatest prayers we can pray are when our souls come into alignment with our hearts. And remember what the Word teaches us: out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

A Praise Report

weddingMy son and his bride-to-be announced their engagement in January and had planned on a May 23rd wedding. I was to host a bridal shower in April, but due to the Coronavirus shut-in order, we held a “virtual” shower on Zoom. They had desperately hoped for a lift on quarantine, but eventually changed the date to August 15th. And then the second wave hit. Not to be denied, this past Monday, July 27th, immediate family and closest friends met under camping canopies in a dirt parking lot wearing masks and sitting socially distanced to watch them exchange their vows. As his father adjusted his tux scarf and tie, I received a text that Hope’s lumps were cysts! Hallelujah! Thank You, Thank You, Lord!! As we drove to the wedding, I phoned my friend and started the conversation with, “WHOSE REPORT ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE?” You should have heard the excitement in her voice… “ Is it Hope? Is she okay?” You betcha! God came through! And He’ll come through for you too. Nothing is impossible for our God, Who loves each one of us like no one else can.

One Final Thought

I’m sitting outside at the umbrella table with pen and yellow pad and just reread what I wrote. Something struck me. If you are a student of the Word, you will find that a lot of what I’ve written here is scripturally based. I know that there is wisdom in what I have written—not because I am wise, but because I am a friend of Wisdom Himself. He greets me every day when I sit with His Word or share a YouVersion devotional with friends. This June 6th I celebrated my 30th year as a Christian. I regret that I didn’t know Him the 40 years prior, but He knew me before I was even born. [See Psalm 139] I can say with confidence as I approach my 70th year, our Lord will never, ever leave you or me. He will never forsake us. He is with us in and through every battle we face. Look up! Be positive! Confess the good and let go of the negative. Unite your heart and soul with Him at the center

If you are unfamiliar with our constant prayer for Hope Ettore’s miracle, please read “The 6:56 Movement” on my blog site Hope isn’t out of the woods as yet, but this was a significant answer to immediate prayer. Please join us as we pray for her and so many others who need at miracle at 6:56PM every night.

Fresh Oil and New Wine

I had a vivid dream about someone close to me who was in a lot of emotional pain. I would like to share the dream and then the revelation I received from scripture study.

I walked into this person’s home with a notebook in my hand. For some reason, I didn’t think they would be home and was headed to the kitchen table to leave it there. I was shocked to find them sitting on the floor in front of an open sliding glass door with what looked like a bible on their lap. They looked up at me with such sad, tear-full eyes and said, “I hurt. I hurt. I hurt.” I approached to put my arms around them, but they put their hand up to stop me. I then began to pray out loud, “Oh, Lord, You are the Comforter. You bind up our wounds and heal our pain. We are made whole in You.” I then woke up.

I was shaken by the “realness” of the dream and went to the Word. These are the scriptures I studied:
Job 34:6 (NIV) Although I am right, I am considered a liar; although I am guiltless, his arrow inflicts an incurable wound.’
Ps 147:3 (NLT) He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
Lk 10:34a (NIV) He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.
1Pet 2:24 (NLT) He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

I was intrigued with Luke’s Gospel account (10:33-34) and want to quote it fully: “But a certain Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him: and when he saw him he felt compassion. And came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.”

What was the significance of the oil and wine?

Oil [Strong’s #1637 elanion] Olive oil. Used for lamps, for wounds and anointing the sick (Mt 6:13, James 5:14). Also mixed with spices for anointing the head and body in token of honor.
~~ Well that makes sense, to treat his wounds with oil. But wine? Maybe it’s the alcohol to clean the wound and oil to heal the wound? I was reaching for my ipad to look up the phrase, oil and wine, and thought, “Oil and wine don’t mix!” So, that was my first search and I found this from “When you try to mix water and oil or alcohol and oil, the polar molecules stick together, keeping the oil molecules from getting between them-and the two don’t mix.”

Wine [Strong’s #3631 oinon] Wine, particularly new wine

Oil and Wine [] “Oil, say the Chassidic masters, represents the paradox of spirituality. The nature of oil is that when it comes in contact with something it saturates it entirely, seeping in and pervading its every part. But oil also has an opposite nature: when mixed with another liquid it remains aloof, refusing to blend. Such is the nature of the spiritual: sublime, transcendent and pure, it nevertheless pervades everything, transforming it from within…. But wine is beyond paradox. Wine has no private self and public self — only a self. Wine has no secrets: when a thing is what it is, it’s the same from the inside looking out and from the outside looking in.

John Gill’s Exposition on Luke 10:34 (my favorite)

“pouring in oil and wine:
by which, in general, may be designed, the blood of Christ, applied to the conscience of a wounded sinner; which cleanses from all sin, heals all the wounds and diseases of sin, cheers and revives fainting spirits, gives ease, peace, and pleasure, and is therefore exceeding valuable and precious: and in particular by “oil” may be meant, the grace of the Spirit of God; compared unto it, for its sweet smell, its cheering and refreshing virtue and efficacy, and its cooling, softening, supplying, and healing nature: and by “wine”, the doctrines of the Gospel; such as free justification by Christ’s righteousness, and pardon through his blood; which when applied to distressed minds, cause joy and gladness, and them to forget their sorrow, and remember their misery no more:”

There was so much more, but you get the drift of the importance of these two elements of compassion the Good Samaritan showed the man who was robbed and beaten. In the end, my summary is simply this: #1 Wine (Jesus’ precious blood) is used as a disinfectant and Oil (Holy Spirit’s saturation of our spirits) coats our wounds with Father’s love and enhances our healing. and #2 Wine denotes faith and Oil denotes love.


I believe my dream was an invitation to pray for this person that the Lord would pour out His sacred oil and wine on them and that the wounds that were so very deep would be healed once and for all. At the end of it all, I found a promise scripture and quote Jeremiah 31:12 here:

“They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion, they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD — the grain, the new wine and the olive oil, the young of the flocks and herds. They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.”

Prayer is Music to God’s Ears

This summer I chose to read The Passion Translation. It is a delightful and yet profound way to read the New Testament. I was in Matthew 18 and was arrested with these verses: 19 “Again, I give you an eternal truth: If two of you agree to ask God for something in a symphony of prayer, my heavenly Father will do it for you. 20 For whenever two or three come together in honor of my name, I am right there with them!” [Emphasis added]

I sat back and immediately thought, “My prayer is music to God’s ears!” Just imagine what it’s like to Him when two or more of us pray together? It becomes a symphony! I was astounded with that concept. How in the world can two voices become a symphony? And then Deuteronomy 32:30 came to mind: “How could one person chase a thousand of them, and two people put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up?” And of course, there’s the multiplication of the 5 loaves and 2 fishes (Mt 14:19).

The “power of multiplication” is the word, AGREE. It’s the Greek word, sumphóneó, (Strongs #4856) and it means to call out with, to be in harmony, generally to agree.

4856 symphōnéō (from 4862 /sýn, “together with” and 5456 /phōnḗ, “sound, voice,” which is the root of the English word, “symphony“) – properly, voicing the same opinion because like-minded. [“4856 (symphōnéō) was originally, a harmony of voices, figuratively, to harmonize with in the sense of to agree with” (Souter), i.e. to be in harmony, agreeing, because in one concord (A-S, so also in Plato, Aristotle).]

And when we add Jesus into the mix by asking in His name, it’s no longer 2 to the power of 2 — it now becomes 2 to the power of eternity! Just imagine my excitement when this song came on my ipod while dressing: Sing Along by Christy Nockels. I imagined singing my prayer to Father and listening to hear His song back to me. Find someone to pray a new song to the Lord. Agree — harmonize — and become a symphony of prayer.

Great God. Wrap your arms around this world tonight, Around the world tonight, And when you hear our cries, Sing through the night, So we can join in your song, And sing along yeah, We’ll sing along Sing along by Christy Nockels

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