Saturday, January 30, 2016

My Redeeming Love Story

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived—
what God has prepared for those who love him.  NIV 1 Corinthians 2:9/Isaiah 64:4

Can this love be real?  Has God pulled me out of loneliness and despair and given me someone who loves me like He does?  The answer is Yes and Yes!

My love story started, like many, when I was born of two loving parents, who later divorced.  My redeeming love story began when I was 15 after I accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior.  My trials and triumphs in life led me down a path of my salvation and the Lord’s glory.  However, sadly, after 30 years of marriage my husband left me, the family and the ministry. My Expanded Story will fill in the details of that time.
God’s redeeming love for me endured after the divorce. For three years I perceived from the Lord and prayed for a man who will come into my life that will be a partner in marriage and ministry.  As the Lord impressed visions upon me about one particular man I wrote the affirmations down and dated each one.  I had quite an impressive list and knew it had to refer to only one man who could fulfill all of it.  One of the declarations on my list that the Spirit impressed upon me time and time again was that it will happen “suddenly”.  In other words, events would move quickly but I will have a sense they are coming so I would believe this man was from God.  I truly believed God was going to bring that man and I together.  However, during several lonely times I doubted if I really heard God correctly. 

Through a series of events beyond my control, as my Kalskag job was eliminated, I moved this past summer from Alaska to Washington.  In early October I found myself alone...again. My son moved back to Alaska and my parents moved to Hawaii for the winter. One of my girlfriend urged and “double dog dared” me (I always love a challenge) to join eHarmony, an online dating site.  I kept my parameters to a 60 mile radius of eligible men which would be between Seattle and Vancouver, Washington.  I wasn’t really interested in a long distance relationship.  On October 20th I was matched with a man from Bend, Oregon, 200 miles outside my distance parameters.  William Knight’s profile picture caught my eye but I didn’t bother to contact him because he was out of my area.  I obviously caught his eye as well, even though he was only looking for women in the Oregon area and I was150 miles outside his distance parameters.  To this day we are amazed how God put us together when we should not have been matched due to distance security on eHarmony.  William contacted me through the secured eHarmony email system.  We messaged back and forth until I felt comfortable to give him my phone number, after all, he was 300 miles away! That was a safe distance. The very first phone call he asked me many questions and at the close of our conversation asked if we could pray together.  Of Course! No other man asked that before!  I was impressed.  Then William asked if he can call me in the morning to have devotions and worship.  That was the beginning of the revelation that God was doing something with this new relationship.  It was unique… fresh… spiritual.  We have continued with prayer and devotions every morning and evening.

Sadly, seven years ago William lost his 17 year old daughter.  It was a very dark time of his life.  He will tell you he was angry at God for allowing his precious daughter to die.  His divorce transpired shortly after his daughter’s death.  But our God is a God of Love and eventually William experienced His love and he whole heartedly turned back to Jesus.  William began to earnestly pray for a Godly wife.

Through a series of events in William’s life shortly after we met, his job was phased out (very similar to mine in Kalskag).  November 4 he moved to Washington.  What happened in the next 16 days was a whirlwind of emotions, revelations and a deeper, closer walk with God.  We both knew we were the ONE God has spoken to each of us about and whom we were praying for. 

November 21, 2015 was our legal wedding in Washington with just my daughter, Valerie and her partner, Benjamin, my minister friend, Chris and his wife, Lisa.  It was a small and short service.  We planned a slightly larger formal ceremony in Alaska during Christmas break so my family and friends can be a part of it.  On December 31, 2015 we held a ceremony at Word of Faith Assembly in Wasilla with a small group of friends and family.

William speaks Spanish fluently.  One of the first things he said was, “Do you think God put us together to go on the mission field so I can interpret for us?”  Missions has always been a part of my DNA since I was saved at age 15.  It is also a strong call of William’s.  Even though we are taking 2016 off of ministry tasks to concentrate on our marriage, we will be open to where God is leading us in 2017 and beyond.  Possibly Mexico to start, but Bolivia, Peru and the Philippines seem to keep popping up.  We shall see. Truly, “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”
William’s sufferings of soul and my difficulties of days have collided us into a love relationship of one for Him.  No doubt in our minds God has put William and I together for each other and for His service.  The Lord has fulfilled everything he said to me about this man, and so much more.  William romances, cherishes, adores and loves me.  He treats me like a queen. He truly is my "Knight in shining armor."  It is a liberating love story for both of us.  Our God is a God of redemption and mercy. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Behind Iron Bars

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 1:6

Imagine you were arrested for a crime you never committed.  As a matter of fact, the very hideous crime you are convicted of turns your stomach and you can’t even imagine anyone, let alone yourself, doing this!  You are ripped from your family and suddenly find yourself in an environment where death threats are occurring hourly until you are snatched away and put in an isolated cell, only allowed out one hour per day.  This is a repulsive picture to imagine. However, I know Christian men in the Alaskan penal system that lives this life every day.  Whatever the circumstances that put them in a correctional center these Christian men have truly repented and are trusting God for protection and victory. 

The Apostle Paul was in a prison cell, shackled in chains for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Violence and fear permeated the prison back then as it does today in our modern jails.  When Paul penned that for him to live is Christ and to die is gain (Phil 1:21), he was struggling living in the flesh and desiring to “depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Phil 1:23).  That is not hard to imagine.  Many of us, if not most, have struggled with these feelings at one time or another.  I have encouraged several Christian brothers behind bars to write their story of hope amidst a very evil, dark situation, following Paul’s example while in jail.

 When impossible circumstances happen in our life and we are panic-stricken it’s like we are shoved in a “prison cell” by unforeseen forces. It’s hard to push back against the fear and violence swarming around.  HOWEVER, there is hope even in the toughest trials.  Paul’s letter to the Philippians while he was in prison gives us a certain hope.  God is working in and through us to complete a spiritual work of wholeness that He started.  Jesus won’t leave us where we are, in a prison cell to rot and be forgotten.  NO! He will finish what He started in us.  Like Paul, we too can shout, “I can do ALL things through him who strengths me” (Phil. 4:13).  We can make it through the next hour, and perhaps through the day.  He promises He’ll bring us out to an open, pleasant place. “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19).

God will never leave you; never let you go.  God is moving on behalf of my Christian friends behind real iron bars and locked doors.  One inmate I visit is only allowed visitation with his family one hour per night.  He was assigned a night job that took him away from his visitation (a vital link to emotional health).  We immediately went to prayer and within 48 hours he was reassigned to the day shift and visitation continued with his family!  Only God could do that.  Let me give you one more supernatural example.  An unsentenced inmate was awaiting trial.  He was told he would have 100-240 years (basically life).  He committed a crime but not so severe to have that horrendous punishment.  I prayed for victory in his court case .  He walked out of the court room having to serve six years behind bars.  He will be released the day before his son graduates High School.  That is victory!  Again, only God could have arranged that. God be praised!  My friend, He will move in your impossible circumstance, too.  The worse things look, the better God can change your situation and be glorified.  Even the seekers will see that God gave you the victory! There is no other explanation other than supernatural forces at work in the lives of His Beloved.
Dear God, You see my impossible circumstances so I am declaring that you turn these circumstances around for my good and your glory.  Bring the good work in my life to completion.  Amen

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Need Healing?

Put me in remembrance, let us argue together;
    set forth your case, that you may be proved right. Isaiah 43:6

If you are waiting for the full manifestation of healing to come into your body or mind, put God in remembrance of His Word by speaking His Word.  Jesus defeated satan by “It is written.”  You can defeat him this way, too.  Here are some healing scriptures to meditate and speak out loud.

By Jesus’ stripes I am healed. (I Peter 2:24)

It is God’s will that I prosper and be in health, just as my soul prospers. (3 John 2)

The Lord is my healer. (Ex. 15:26)

Jesus came that I may enjoy life and have it overflowing abundance. (John 10:20)

As I serve the Lord, sickness is taken from my midst. (Ex. 23:25)

Healing is one of God’s benefits. (Psalm 103:3)

God sent His Word and healed me (Psalm 107:20)

I pay attention to God’s Word, for it is life to my body and health to my flesh (Prov. 4:20-22)

God gives me good and perfect gifts.  He has no sickness or disease to give me.  (James 1:17)

As I submit to God and resist the devil, he must flee from me.  Sickness and disease must flee from me. (James 4:7)

Jesus is able and willing to heal me. (Matt. 8:1-2)

Jesus paid for all sin and sickness at Calvary. (Matt.8:17)

Because the Lord is my refuge and habitation, no evil nor plague shall come nigh my dwelling. (Psalm 91:9-11)

I am redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:19)

Jesus redeemed me from the curse of the law. (Gal. 3:13)

Jesus legally redeemed me from the bondage of sickness and disease and every other work of the enemy. (Luke 13:10-17)

I have been given authority in the name of Jesus to speak to the mountains that I face.  As I command the mountains of sickness, despair, hopelessness, and lack to be removed in Jesus’ name, they must go and be replaced with the fullness of God’s blessings. (Mark 11:22,23)

The measure of faith God gave me is growing by leaps and bounds. (Rom 12:3)

Because my faith is growing, nothing is impossible unto me.  (Matt. 17:20)

Jesus is moved with compassion on my behalf.  He wants me healed because of His great love for me. (Matt. 14:14)

Satan cannot dominate or oppress my life, because Jesus came to set me free.  (I John 3:8, Acts 10:38)

I will rise above anything and everything the devil throws at me.  Nothing can keep me down, for I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.  (Rom. 8:35-39)

Today I will rise to new life from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept me. (Isaiah 60:1)

The days of my life are seventy years – and if by reason of strength eighty. (Psalm 90:10)

Long life is mine because I obey and honor my parents in the Lord. (Eph. 6:1-3, Ex. 20:12)

My obedience to the Lord prolongs my life. (Prov. 10:27)

“No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 54:17

I am speaking these promises over my son and believing we will see the manifestation of healing in his body!  Speak these declarations over yourself and your loved ones!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Empty Principle

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
John 4:13-14 NIV

 Empty.  The word pretty much sums it up doesn’t it?  When your doctor says your daughter has leukemia, when you lose your job unexpectedly, when you find out the joy of having a child has now been tainted with “special needs”, when your spouse for decades suddenly decides the marriage is over, when financial losses have shattered far too many dreams and driven you into deep despair, when your spouse is living life out of control through addictions, or when death strikes and there are no answers.  In these times there seems to be no words, but “empty” is as close as you’ll ever get to describing how you feel.

Yet it doesn’t even begin to explain the condition of the depths of our soul when we’re “empty.”  But if we are walking by faith, believing His promises and trusting Him fully then He is going to REQUIRE that we’re empty, so He can fill us up to overflow.  The emptier we are the more we can be filled.  But that still doesn’t make much sense.  We think this through and can’t help but reason that if we’re “empty” we have nothing left…right? Wrong.

Let’s look at 2 Kings 4 to look at the EMPTY PRINCIPLE. A widow with two children had creditors calling her threatening to take her children for payment. Can you imagine? So Elisha, the prophet, told her to gather every empty jar she can find in her neighborhood and fill them with the little bit of oil she had.  She was instructed to keep pouring until all containers  were full then sell the jars of oil to pay her debt and live on the left overs.  She did what the prophet told her.  The jars were empty but the potential was there to be filled with precious oil of hope.

The widow began to pour the small amount of oil she owned into one of the pots she gathered. She kept pouring and the pot became full.  As a matter of fact, every jar she collected was filled to the brim with oil that she sold and paid off debt.  Afterward, there was more than enough product to sell to support her family.  The widow was desperate, hopeless and needed a miracle. God showed up with his miracle working power.

I was completely devoid when I endured destitute times in my life.  Empty.  Nothing left. Just like those dry clay pots the widow gathered.  Little did I realize that I needed to be emptied.  I was filled with a mixture of God and myself.  When self was poured out completely God began to fill me up with His Spirit, that precious anointing oil that gives hope in the midst of turmoil. 

The Empty Principle is when you feel there is nothing left inside then God can work His miracle and fill you to overflowing with eternal life.

Fill me up, God, to overflow!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Good Side of Doubt

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT

Does doubt ever sneak up behind you and slap you in the back of the head like it does me?  I find myself doubting the very words the Lord Himself gave me or even questioning the written Word of God.  Its times like this that the Rebel against the kingdom of darkness rises up within and I have to scream, “Doubt BE GONE!!” 

But why does doubt come into our lives?  Because circumstances in our natural realm are manifesting itself different than what the Bible says? Maybe we have waited long enough and the thing we were praying for never happened…yet…the way we expected it?  There could be a number of reasons why doubt creeps in or sneaks up from behind or comes blatantly in your face.

I “know that in all things God works for the good for those who love him,” (Rom 8:28) so even doubt must have a purpose for the good in my life. We can’t control the way doubt comes but we have a choice whether or not to dwell on and believe in it.  Our faith grows when we tackle and overcome the doubt that comes knocking.  The greater the doubt, the greater our faith grows.  I have learned that when I have great waves of overwhelming doubt, that is when my faith grows by leaps and bounds.  It’s like a seed planted in the ground then fertilized with manure.  It stinks but helps the seed to germinate.  We have a seed of faith that the Lord planted in our hearts, the doubt fertilizes it and causes it to sprout and grow strong.  Great Doubt=Great Faith!

Don’t fear doubt, because it will inevitably come.  It is something God allows in our path to increase our faith.  Keep on the steady road walking by faith not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7)!

Help me, Lord, to turn the doubt that comes in my life into a catalyst that feeds great faith!

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Story Expanded

This is the testimony of what the Lord has done in my life through a gut-wrenching season.  Part of it was published in 2010.  Here is the expanded version:

In 2003 my husband, myself and 2 of our children moved to Alaska to carry on a small church who's Pastors died in a head-on car crash on Christmas Eve 2002. We arrived and ministered to a small grieving congregation. Our church began Community Cafe, a free dinner open to the public a couple nights a week. Faithful volunteers would prepare the meals. Our sole purpose was to eat dinner with our neighbors, building a trusting friendship across the table and help them in their journey to Jesus. We would accept and love people in a non-judgmental way. As the friendships grew we had the opportunity to lead many to the Lord and baptize them. The discipleship began with Bible Studies, Home groups and INSTE (Institute of Theology by Extension).

We developed a website that caught the attention of many around the nation and on the continent of Africa and Australia. Over the years several churches sent short term mission groups up to our church. We expanded the kitchen, restrooms/showers and property through generous gifts and the short term missionaries.

We added a food bank that quickly expanded to over 400 families per month (representing about 2,000 people that were touched through the ministry). For a small community of 2800 (2010 census) that was about 70% of the community. The church then added a clothing give-away every week.

The enemy did not like what we were doing and began the attacks on our church, ministry and our family personally. I stood in the gap, praying, speaking forth the Word, combating spiritual warfare, fasting and believing Jesus would prevail and the enemy would be defeated.

Our marriage suffered. We went to marriage counseling for several months. My husband finally announced that he needed to resign the church to work on his marriage and be a father to his children. However, everyone was duped. He left the church and a week later he left me and my son permanently. He moved in with another single woman from the church.  He served me divorce papers on my birthday. There are no words to explain the agony and deep pain I suffered through all this. Dear friends were praying for me and I had friends close by that took days off work to be with me for hours. My mother flew up within 4 days after he left. I am so thankful for my family and friends.

That year following was heart-wrenching.  All I could do on some days was try to breathe for one hour at a time.  Later I seem to make it through half a day.  I pressed into the Lord because I had nothing left emotionally. Completely empty. My son was in his senior year of High School.  He has epilepsy and ended up having several convulsing seizures that year so we were in and out of the hospital.  He missed over 35 days of school and was failing classes. His dipolma was in jeapordy.   My son and I felt like the Apostle Paul, "we were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die." (2 Corinthians 1:8) Through the grace of God, allowances were made and he was able to pull his grades together and passed High School.  "We stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God" (2 Cor. 1:9).

Next up: The Trial  I tried to get a mediator to work through the divorce proceedings without going to court but my (former) husband would not agree and we ended up having a grueling three hour trial.  All in all things were split fairly and he did not get all he demanded.  The Lord was on my side. For months I claimed the verse in 2 Chronicles 20:17, "You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you."  Because we had a "high profile" divorce (meaning it affected hundreds of people in the community besides just our family and friends), many people in the community were watching the proceedings closely.  Some people walked out of the court room that day describing an "aura" or glow about me.  Most said, "Wow! I just witnessed the hand of God move on your behalf!"  I had people across the country and in Uganda, Kenya, Germany and Russia praying for me on that particular day of trial.  Many were fasting with me 24 hours before.  A few people were on the front line and praying in the court room through every word and every decision. The divorce was final and things were settled.

Since then the Lord has called me to a small bush Village in Alaska where I work with the Yupik Eskimos. So far I have been given the priviledge of helping over 20 people accept the Lord.  I have seen other leaders repent of addictions and bootlegging and whole-heartedly live for Jesus.  I have been accepted into the culture and given the honor of a Yupik name.  But that is another blog....

Through all the deep agony I  experienced Jesus has been so close, walking me through every moment of every day. This is a blog about my journey with Jesus during tremendous suffering and pain of losing 32 years of marriage and closing a church I poured my life into for years. My purpose is to offer a glimpse of hope for those who are suffering one of life's death blows.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. I Cor. 13:7

Rev. Shelly Blocker

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Lord Laughs

The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
Psalm 37:12-13 NIV

Have you ever thought of the Lord as laughing?  I love the artist's renditions of Jesus laughing. Why is He laughing? Laughing at what? Psalm 37 reveals one reason why our Lord is laughing.  He just laughs at the wicked person's schemes. He sees their future and it’s not going to end well for them.  Proverbs 1:26 tells us that the Lord will laugh at the calamity of people who refuse to listen to His words.

I’ve come to know and believe that “Jesus has my back.”  Those of you who know and hear me talk or preach has heard me say that phrase several times.  All evil intent, fiery darts, slander or word curses that come my way from the enemy won’t affect the favor I have in the Lord.  Jesus will laugh at those who plot wickedness against me (the righteous). Rest assuredly; He will laugh at your mockers, too.  You can count on it! Because you ARE righteous. The Word tells you that.  Believe it.  Confess it.

Thank you, Jesus, that You call me righteous.
You have “this”.  You have my back!