Monthly Archives: July 2009

A little rain…

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saints

Good Morning!

The girls and I were headed to Galax yesterday afternoon and we experienced something really COOL!    As we were driving  through town I could see the rain coming.  Yes, I said coming!  It was amazing and you really had to be there to experience it.  I slowed down and we watched the rain as it made it’s way down the road toward us.  The pavement , darkened by the wet rain, made a perfectly straight line across the road just ahead of us.  It was approaching like a marching band in a parade.  When it arrived , it hit full force with these huge drops that sounded like cannon balls.  By the time it hit us we were mesmerized by what we had just seen.  I mean it’s a silly thing, but like I said, you had to be there.  We were witnessing God’s handiwork in action!

Corynn and I were giggling with excitement at what we had just witnessed.  The car cabin was full of excitement and life.  We had experienced this great joy in the simplicity of the rain that comes from the heavens, the heavens where our Heavenly Father is seated.  God had to have been tickled with delight to watch and hear us exclaim about the rain.  I felt like a kid again, grinning all the way to Galax.

On the way there, my imagination ran wild, as did the girls.  I thought, ” wow, if I am this excited about a little rain, what’s it going to be like when Jesus comes back? ”   Can you see it now?  We will all stop dead in our tracks as we hear the trumpet sound, feel the rumble of the horses hooves, and smell the dust from the coming of the Lord.  That makes my hair stand up!    I imagine His coming will be much like that rain.  We will stop in awe and drop to our knees and lay prostrate & trembling on the ground before the Lord.

Matthew 24: 30

“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

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Luke 21: 27

At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

 

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1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (New International Version)

16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

 Don’t you just love the details in this painting?  I love it!

It really gives you a lot to think about!

AMEN!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings,

Donna

(all artwork courtesy of the internet.)

 

Chain link fences

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walking

Hi!

This morning I was walking on the trail behind the CWC.  I had already successfully conquered ” KILLER HILL” which is behind the government center.  Another notch in my walking shoes! Yay!  I was on the last leg of this morning’s walk, behind the local factory.  There is a bench there and I will stop there from time to time to sit and pray.  I have a friend who works at the factory and I always pray for her as I walk this stretch.  This morning, as I prayed my heart’s desire to God, I began to cry.  So I just sat there all tired and sweaty, and cried, and just talked to God for awhile.  He is really stretching me in many, many ways, but thankfully all in the same direction…toward HIM!  Woo! 

barb wire fence

smokestacks

When I finished praying I lifted my head and opened my eyes and I noticed the chain link fence with barbed wire running along the top.  Just above that in the sky were the smokestacks of the factory, just puffing away.  I thought of Slovakia and how Pastor Ty had shared with us that it is an ex-communist industrialized nation.  I imagine it as being dark, dank, depressing and oppressed.  This morning’s sky was a little like that too, overcast, stormy and moody.  A lot of people are like this too.  Especially people with no hope.  People with no hope cannot see thier way out of their circumstances.  As I sat there, just staring at the fence, thinking on these things, I noticed something beautiful!

At the corner of the fence there was a vine that had heart shaped leaves that was climbing along the fence.  It was bright and green and full of life!  It had woven itself in and out, up and down, side to side, and round and round that cold, hard chain link fence.  I began to grin and I said, ” God, you are really something, you know that?  You speak to me in the simplest things, like this vine!  You never cease to amaze me and I will praise your Holy Name forever and ever. Thank you!”

vine

What?  Oh! You want to know what He said to me?  Well, He told me that there IS life beyond the oppression, beyond the chains, the barbed wire, the moodiness, and the storms.  A LIFE in CHRIST!  That vine is just brimming with LIFE!  It is woven into our DNA by our most magnificent Creator, God in Heaven!  Not just in mine, but in EVERYONE’S!  All people everywhere have the ability to overcome thier oppressors and oppression through having a relationship with Jesus Christ!  How do they get it, you ask?  We have to take it to them!  Just as that vine creeps along that fence, weaving itself in and out of the wire, Jesus does the same for us.  He lavishes us with His love every single day by giving us a sunrise and a new day.  He gifts it to us.  Yes, I said GIFT!  Life IS a gift and it comes from God.

God was telling me that He is the vine and I am the branches.  Have you ever looked at a tree and it’s branches?  The tree branches are always reaching upward, straining and seeking to find the source of light, the sun, to receive energy and sustenance.  When the branches receive the light, they grow.  We are like this too.  Exactly like this.  How amazing is that? When we seek God with all our might, with all our body, mind and soul we find Him!  He sustains us with His love, power, mercy and grace.  He prepares us everyday for each new day.   God was telling me that He wants this branch to go to Slovakia to share the Light with the people there.  But He was also telling me that I might feel alone while I am there and He is filling me with the desire and determination to never let that swallow me or hinder me from serving Him.  Rather, He is showing me, in His special way, how to overcome that.   To seek HIS face.  To NOT be afraid.  To dwell on thoughts of Him and only Him.  To put on HIS armor and His alone.  I cannot do it without Him.  He is strengthening me with His own two hands and He is building my mind, body and soul with confidence each new day.  I cannot praise His name enough or thank Him enough for all that He done for me and it is with a humble heart that I write this today.  There IS HOPE.  His name is JESUS CHRIST, Son of GOD, Savior, Counselor, Healer and Friend.  If  He can do a work in this ex-wretch, He can certainly do one in YOU!  Hallelujah!!!!!!

John 15:5 (New International Version)

  5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Seek God’s Face in ALL that you do!

Blessings,

Donna

Painting

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Hi!

Emily and I had fun playing and painting in the studio today.  My cousin works in a print shop and he is always giving us scraps of paper and cardboard to use for our projects.  So today we took these big scraps of really thick cardboard and used them as canvasses.  It worked out well because they were so heavy.  Thanks John!   

Emily mixed up her colors and before I knew it she was slathering paint all over her board. She was going to town!  It was a beautiful sight!  I was doing a collage type thingy just for fun and am still working on it.  Here is Em’s masterpiece.  I just love it!  It is so simple yet it says so very much!  Great job Em!

 

Love God by Emily Godwin

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Mine is a hodgepodge of stuff based around the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11.

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Jeremiah 29:11-13 (New International Version)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Creativity is flowing again…

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Hi!  I am just grinning and ready to try some abstract painting!  These videos of Charlene Rice painting are so unique and different that I just had to share them with you.  She inspires me!  She has a sweet, sweet, spirit about her and you can tell that she just loves the Lord!  I am so tickled that I found these this morning!  I especially like the second one! 

You know, if you are creative, like to doodle, scrapbook, sew, paint, whatever, DO IT for the LORD!  Don’t worry about what other people say or think, just go with the flow and open your heart to God’s calling!  My motto is if I can encourage ONE person with a drawing then God’s work is being done!  It can be complex or simple.  Just show people GOD!  He’s got your back and He’s all over it!  Woo!

Paint your journey!

Peace!

Donna

PS: Thanks Charlene!

Some thoughts on missions…

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Good Morning!

God is preparing my mind, body and soul for the work that He has planned for me to do today, tomorrow and forever.  In a few months I will be traveling thousands of miles away to another country with a mission team.  To a foreign country, with fellow Christians with one goal in mind…to build relationships in Christ Jesus.  We will be doing work, but it isn’t the work that matters as much as the relationships that we build.  Years ago I used to think that working in missions would be beneficial only to the person or persons on the receiving end of the work.  That was before I actually DID anything with missions.   Today I see how small minded and self centered that those thoughts were! 

Since then I have done some things locally, but not enough.  The need is great.  It is greater than any of us can comprehend.  It is always overwhelming to think about.  But that’s what happens when we try to see the whole picture at once instead of seeing each person or need individually.  It is when we see each person as a special and unique creation of God, a person that He loves and desires to have a relationship with, that we can begin to do God’s work in building Godly relationships.  God gives us our actions, words, prayers and deeds as building blocks to reach the hearts of the lost.  It is in a cup of coffee handed to someone with a smile, or in the reading of a book to a child who has nothing, it is in a tender touch of love at the passing of a loved one, it is in the building of a coffee bar to reach the youth of the community, it is in the entire youth group going on a mission trip for Christ,  it is in the bag of groceries at the local food pantry, it is in the visit to the elderly and shut in, it is in the support of the church for those who desire to do missions internationally, it is in the prayers of the people.    We stand together for the cause of Christ.   It’s not so much where we do it, or even how we do it, but WHY we do it. 

I never thought that saying ” YES” to God’s calling would be so heartwrenching, but it has been.  I have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts and prayers since saying yes.  I was not ready for that!  God is drawing me near to Him and preparing my heart for what is to come.  I have no idea what that is, but He does.  I serve a God who wants to give me the desires of my heart, a God who knows the plans He has for me, and a God who created the heavens and the earth!  A mighty and magnificent God who loves me.   In saying yes I have enveloped myself in God’s embrace and Word and God has placed this huge desire on my heart to serve Him with every ounce of my being.  I know that I can only do this through His strength and guidance.   Here Am I Lord!

I have also discovered that when we surrender all, and I mean ALL, that God is just waiting to give us the desires of our hearts.  But the funny thing about that is, that our desires begin to change.  Twenty years ago I never planned to be a bible carrying, chalk drawing, hand clapping, woman of God.  Sorry to say, that was not my desire then, but it certainly was GOD’S!  I am so blessed to be able to serve HIM in this way.   God’s mission has been me, you, and every other person on this earth.  He wants ALL of us to come to Him.  To Remember Him.  To serve Him, to love Him, to praise Him.  How do we do that? By building relationships with people.  One at a time.  Then that person will build, and then the next and the next. Like dominoes. 

So, whatever you do today, think of it as YOUR mission work in your hometown.  Let me encourage you to go out and build relationships in the love of Christ!  In doing so, you WILL be blessed by those you serve!  I am not even gone yet and this trip has already blessed me a hundredfold.   The support and encouragement that I have received has been phenomenal.   I have had people thanking ME for going!  I was not prepared for that!  When God says He is going to do something, He really does it!   I am so thankful that I have stepped out of my boat…

Peace and Blessings,

Donna

Letting Go

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Letting Go by Tammy Trent

I’m laying down my burdens
I’m laying down my pain
Every care and worry that is written in this face
I’m letting go, I’m letting go
I’m laying down rebellion
I’m laying down my pride
All the broken promises within this broken life
I’m letting go, I’m letting go

Holding nothing back from You
Ready to do all the things You call me to
Holy hands are reaching up to You
I surrender, I surrender
I’m letting go

I’m pulling down the image
The idols I let stand
I’m holding to the hope that’s sure
They’re resting in Your hands
I’m letting go, I’m letting go

I’m bowing in Your presence
Poured out before Your throne

Amen Tammy!
To be a living sacrifice and follow You alone
I’m letting go, I’m letting go

Holding nothing back from You
Ready to do all the things You call me to
Holy hands are reaching up to You

I surrender, here I stand
I surrender, all I am
I surrender, my heart sings
I surrender

Holding nothing back from You
Ready to do all the things You call me to
Holy hands are reaching up to You
I surrender, I surrender
I’m letting go
I’m letting go

Amen!

What an AWESOME God we serve!

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This morning I went to the early service at FUMC Hillsville.  I had not planned to do that, but something just told me to go early today.  So I did!  When I got there I had the pleasant surprise of meeting some old friends  there.  I was surprised and it tickled me to be able to worship with them today.  Ty delivered a powerful and awesome message and the Holy Spirit was present in Him and in the music.  Tom, Cindy and Jenna Jackson sang and played today and as they sang, I saw many wiping tears from thier eyes, myself included.  The offertory song spoke to me, ” Remember Me.” 

As I prepare my heart, mind, body and soul for my upcoming trip to Slovakia, I pray to always remember these words while I am there,  “Remember Me.”  To me they speak of the life of Christ, from his birth, to his short, but abundant ministry, to his trials, torture and pain; and finally to his glorious resurrection.  When I hear the words ” Remember Me” I am reminded of what He did for me on that tragic, but destiny filled day at Calvary.  I am reminded that we too, as Christians, are to drink from the cup of remembrance everyday.  That we are to live in honor to God, to glorify God in all that we do; in each task, in every word that comes off of our lips, in each deed and action that we do throughout our day.  We are to LIVE in remembrance of HIM. 

Remembering our precious Savior,

DonnaJesus on road

God of This City by Bluetree

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In each picture there is work being done, prayers answered, and work STILL to be done!

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Africa

Blue Church

 Bratislava

 

 

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 Prayers by our leaders past and present

hunger

Hunger around the globe 

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 praise for work done

homeless Mike

 homelessness

Magagascar kids

 Madagascar- work being done through Samaritan’s purse

poverty in appalachia

Appalachia poverty 

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                                                                                                                                       Slovakia poverty