Monthly Archives: March 2009

Dominos

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Have you ever played with dominos?

When you finally get them all lined up just right, you wait in anticipation to touch the first one so it falls into the second one, causing a chain reaction.                     If you have set them up right, they all fall! 

Well, we are like dominos too.  God sets us up to cause chain reactions and when we are obedient our reactions cause action.   It is amazing to watch!     

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Let me give an example…when Nehemiah found out that the walls of Jerusalem had been destroyed, he sat down and wept. ( Neh 1:4)  Not only did he weep, he went into action.  He prayed, first with praise and then with petition.  He prayed for the people of Israel, as well as his own sins.  He desired success in speaking to King Artaxerxes about going to rebuild the wall.  He prayed for it and he got it.

Once there, he surveyed the damage and he formed a plan to rebuild the wall.  Praying all the while.  He was also sharing news of  the gracious hand of God with people as he encouraged them to rebuild the wall. ( Neh 2: 18)   He suffered opposition, but he kept moving forward, like a domino.   He told his naysayers,             ” The God of heaven will give us success!”  (  Neh 2: 20… my emphasis added)

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Nehemiah’s obedience to God caused a chain reaction in people to help rebuild the wall.  It was an amazing feat and was built in 52 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Nehemiah was a domino, causing a chain of events to happen to get the wall built.  All the gates were rebuilt first, laying beams, putting up doors, adding bolts and bars to hold things together.  ( Neh. 3)  God used everyone to get this job done. Not just a few, but all types of people with different gifts.  Goldsmiths, merchants, perfume-makers, men AND women, rulers, servants, priests,  and many others.  The people worked with all their hearts.  There was great opposition, but Nehemiah was determined and he continued to pray  fervently for God to help them.   He even asked God to strengthen thier hands.   ( Neh 6:8)  Have you ever thought to ask God to strengthen your hands to complete His work?  Nehemiah was a relentless domino.  He put GOD first and foremost and in doing so, the wall was completed.  Wow! 

I love the faith of Nehemiah.  His story gives me much encouragement to be a domino for God.  It shows me that by putting GOD FIRST in ALL THINGS, that we truly can DO ANYTHING.  We have no idea of the power of God until we ASK. 

Will you take time out of your day TODAY to seek GOD first and to ASK Him to strengthen YOUR hands, for whatever your plan may be, whether it is building a wall, getting out of bed, changing a diaper, doing a surgery, appealing a case, mopping floors, preaching a sermon, working with teenagers, feeding the hungry, helping the elderly…the list goes on.  Will YOU seek to cause a chain reaction for GOD today? 

It is my prayer that ALL who read this will be inspired by GOD to be a domino for HIM in another person’s life today!

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May the God of all creation strengthen each reader’s heart, hands, and faith today. 

May He pour His blessings of love, strength, goodness and encouragement upon you and your work today. 

In His Gracious and never-ending love,

Donna

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Shoes

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We all have lots of shoes.

I have some shoes that I don’t even wear. 

Some kids don’t have much at all, not even shoes.

My mother’s shoes were old and wore out too.  She used to tell us that she would put newspaper or cardboard in the bottoms of her shoes because there wasn’t much sole left on them.  She was poor too. 

This is Marvin.  marvin1

 

 

 

He is a little boy that my friend Laura met while she was on a mission trip in Nicaragua.  He had a chance to play in a moon bounce but when he was told he had to take off his shoes, he decided he didn’t want to play after all.  Laura asked him why and he said he was afraid his shoes would be gone when he got out, and they were his only pair.    So she assured him that his shoes were safe with her.  And they were.

I have two kids and when they were younger they used to play in the playplaces at McDonald’s and BK and had to remove thier shoes.  They never thought twice about it, nor did I.  Kids shouldn’t have to think about these things, they should be having fun being a kid.  When was the last time you counted how many shoes were in your closet?  I can’t say that I have ever kept a count of them, but I know I have too many.  Hearing Marvin’s story makes me want to give my shoes away to someone who needs shoes.  Kids shouldn’t have to worry about these things, but they do.

My daughter and her friend want to have a yard sale to help raise money to buy Marvin some shoes.  They are 8!  They are also going to bed thinking about Marvin tonight.  My daughter wants to sleep on the floor with just a blanket and a pillow, because that is all that Marvin has.  My daughter’s friend wants to give the poor people her bed and some money so they can buy shoes.  She says she has “too much stuff.”  They are 8!!!  My 14 year old is ready to go to Nicaragua today!  She said she will be able to speak spanish when she gets there as she is into her first year of spanish now. 

Laura is a 19 year old and this was her first mission trip. She was obedient in going and obedient in trusting in the Lord to get her there and back.  She had no idea what was in store for her there.   Her words to us were ” this trip wrecked my life in the most amazing way possible.  I left my heart in the hands of the Nicaraguan children.”  Laura shared her testimony with us last night at church.  It was heartwrenching, amazing, and eye opening to all of us there.  Laura’s obedience has made an impact on our children.  Not just mine, but anyone who has heard her testimony about this trip.   This is how God works.  He ignites these little fires in people until they become burning hot with passion for Him and then it spreads like wildfire.  Laura was already ignited, and God breathed on the flame and made it a little hotter and a little higher.  Now He is using that flame to add to ours.  Some of us need more breathing on than others and some just need to be ignited for the first time, like these 8 & 14 year old girls.  Pretty soon it will be like a wildfire! 

Laura said that the difference between compassion and pity is that compassion takes ACTION.

Laura is starting  the ” Shoes for Marvin” project.  This is ACTION.  This is a result of COMPASSION.  These 8 year old girls want to help because they feel COMPASSION for the Nicaraguan children.  They want to have a yard sale to help buy shoes. This is ACTION.

Our God is so amazing in how he can work through a pair of shoes to reach the hearts of our children to make them aware of thier “stuff” and thier “needs.”  He is also making them aware of thier love for others, even those they have only seen a picture of, and don’t really know.  This is the beginning of a relationship with them, and with Jesus.  God is in the relationship business.  That’s all He wants, is for us to love one another, scars and all.   That’s it.   He will use whatever and whoever He can to do that.  Just like He has used Marvin, the moon bounce, the shoes, Laura, our church family and my two girls and thier friends. 

I am blessed to be their mother.   I am also blessed to have shoes with soles and many pairs of  them.  I am also blessed to have a husband who loves his wife, his children and the Lord.  I am blessed to have a roof over my head, clothes on back, food in my belly, and too many other things to list.  Like Laura, I too want to save the world.  But I know I can’t.  Only God can do that and I can only help one person at a time.  If we all help one person….then WOW!  A WILDFIRE!

Jesus said DO!

So go forth and DO! 

Blessings,

Donna

The Joy of John

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Revelations 1:9- 11
I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” 
Here you see my latest drawing of John on Patmos, writing.  he was told to WRITE and write he did! 
Here is what I think…John and Jesus were very close to each other.  John was around 14 when he was called to follow Jesus.  14!  So, he spent his ENTIRE adult life serving the Lord.   When He was younger, he spent a lot of time with Jesus.  They knew everything about each other.  Beth Moore says that John knew how Jesus parted his hair and what his feet looked like!  Think about someone you know really well, what do you know about them?  What is thier favorite food?  Favorite color?  What do they like to eat?  Read? Drink? The list could go on forever really. 

But let me ask you this, what is the most important thing we need to know about them? 

Where they are going when they die.
Well, John saw Jesus LIVE, he saw the miracles of Jesus, he saw Jesus DIE an agonizing death and he probably wished it could have been him up there instead of Jesus.  But you know what else he saw?  He saw Jesus RISE from the dead, in a new body!  He didn’t even recognize Him, his best friend.

To Believe 

Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side.    The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.”    John 20:19-21 (The Message)
They did not know this man was Jesus until he showed them his hands and side! 
Luke 24: 13-16 says: That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

John watched his beloved Jesus die on the cross, but he also saw him ascend to heaven!   Luke 24 says that after the disciples saw Jesus carried to heaven they returned to Jerusalem with great joy and that they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. 

John saw Jesus ALIVE after he had seen him dead and buried.  Oh the JOY that John must have felt to be able to see, hear, smell, touch, and talk to his best friend again!  John shares this glorious hope with us in his writings because he BELIEVED.  A friend of mine told me that she thought the Holy Spirit swooped ( my words) down on John and he wrote without effort and without thought.  He was being led by the Holy Spirit and he did this in obedience and in love for Jesus.  He was, after all, banished to Patmos as  a criminal.  I imagine it took some doing for him to write at all.  He wanted us to “get it!”  He is saying ” WAKE UP!  PAY ATTENTION!!!!  DON’T WAIT!  The time is near! 
Will you join me in experiencing the great joy of knowing a life in eternity?
Blessings,
Donna
 
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Sledding in Seneca County, NY

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Hey there! I am hanging out at Out of the Box tonight.  I was surfing around on YouTube, missing my “roots” in Seneca County, NY.  Anyway, I came across this awesome ( to me) video of this girl sledding down “Killer Hill.”  Killer Hill is this ginormous hill at Cayuga Lake State Park where we used to sled as kids.  At the bottom of the hill is the parking lot, a road, and then the lake.  This video tickles me to pieces because it reminds me of my childhood, giggles, cold feet, hot chocolate and good winter fun!!  If you are from Seneca County, you will understand why!

Happy Spring! 🙂

Donna

Grand Canyon

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“But look again! Those terrifying walls are moving, are changing! A new light is not only creeping over them, but is coming out from their very shadows. See those flattened slopes above the dark sandstone on top of granite; even at this very moment they are being colored in gorgeous stripes of horizontal layers of yellow, brown, white, green, purple. What means this wondrous change? Wherein lies this secret of the great canyon?
Stanton, Robert B.  1909

Trekking the New River Trail

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Roots, roots, and more roots!

Tree roots fascinate me.  Some roots are thick, some are thin, and some are around each other.  These tree roots are along the New River Trail, on the high side!  Many of them look as if they had been in a landslide, but are still hanging on for dear life.  How is that possible?  Well, as far as I can figure their roots must go pretty deep into the earth, as well as running straight for the source of life…water.  The deeper the roots, the stronger the tree.

We have a common bond with roots in our own walk with God.  The more we study, read, commit ourselves to living a godly life, repent, forgive,pray & obey, the deeper our roots are in Jesus Christ.   He is our source of Living Water and we too run straight for a refreshing drink to revive our thirsty souls.  I need to drink more often and more abundantly.  My roots need refreshing more than I think!   

Take a look at some tree roots today!

Blessings,

Donna

Sunny Monday

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Hi!

This is my second draft of the morning, after having lost the first one completely!  Ack!  Anyway, I have been researching spots to visit in New Mexico and I found the “Turquoise Trail” which runs from I-40 North to Santa Fe, NM.  ( Route 14)  We are planning to visit Madrid, the town that was in the movie ” Wild Hogs.”  ( John Travolta and Tim Allen)  It is an eclectic little town full of artist’s, artisans, coffee shops, and unique little shops and places to visit.  One of the places near there are the Sandia Mountains.  They crest at 10,678 feet!  The entire trail is 62 miles long, a great bike ride!  I can’t wait to see the wild and beautiful vistas that it has to offer.  My creative juices are already flowing and I expect this trip will cause them to overflow!  I can’t wait to see the rest of God’s creation! 

Blessings,

Donna

Who IS Georgia O’Keeffe?

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Georgia O’Keefe was born in Wisconsin and grew up taking art classes at the inisistence of her mother.  She attended the Art Institue of Chicago.  She worked as a commercial artist and also as an elementary art teacher.  She met and married Alfred Steiglitz, a world renowned photographer. 

Georgia was known for her abstract paintings of flowers.  Not just any flowers, but she would get as close to the inside of a flower as she could and paint what was there. The stamen, the seeds, the petals.  Some people have called her work erotic, but I think it is beauty in it’s finest.  Georgia saw what most people don’t take the time to see.  What was on the inside.  God knows what is there, but we didn’t until she painted it!  When was the last time you really looked inside a flower?  Or how about a cow pelvis?  One of my favorite pieces is a painting of a cow pelvis and you can see the sky and clouds through the bones.  How unique is that?  Sure, it’s weird and abstract, BUT it makes you view things differently. 

In  1929 she visited New Mexico and saw a whole new world to paint.  I, too, intend to see a new world while I am there too.  I am very anxious to get to New Mexico and Arizona and see the landscape there with artist’s eyes.  When I look at her New Mexico work,  I see a world full of artistic possibilities.  My heart connects with Georgia’s.   I don’t paint much , but I love to draw in pencil and when I draw, like Georgia, it helps me to speak.  Here is what Georgia says: 

“I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality, I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint. ”  Georgia O’Keefe 

I love this painting…the colors alone make me swoon!  Take some time out today and really look at things around you!  You might be surprised at what you find!  Happy creating, Donna

 

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