Monthly Archives: December 2011

Intentional commitment

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Well, this has been the most amazing Christmas ever!  I can’t put it all into words and I have no pictures or gifts to tell the story except the beating of my heart!  What I do have is JOY UNSPEAKABLE!  You can’t buy that in a store or grow it in a garden.  That only comes from GOD. 

I have struggled for months with myself.  I am finally free from that bondage and I have to be intentional about NOT picking that stuff up again.  My mind is full and ON for God and God alone.  I have dealt with issues of anger and selfishness and have had to be brutally honest with myself concerning these things.  I let them separate me from God.  I have spent much time  alone in prayer and in God’s Word.  I have accountability people in my life who hold me to being the best that I can for God.  They have prayed, counseled and helped me lay down my issues.  It’s not always easy, but it can be done. 

Pastor Ronnie gave a beautiful sermon on IDOL WORSHIP this past Sunday.  It was Christmas Day but it was NOT your standard Christmas sermon.  I’m glad.  I would call it more of a New Year sermon compelling us to cleanse ourselves before 2012 arrives.  He preached with much boldness on what our idols are and what we need to do to release them.   He can’t do it for us-but he can be there to help us.  There may be other people in your life who can help you, but they can’t help you if you don’t let them.  Sometimes it takes a different viewpoint to get to the root of the problem.  What I mean by that is taking yourself out of the picture and then looking in as a spectator and really force yourself to see, hear and discern what the problem is.  Most often it is within ourselves.  Sometimes our vision is so clouded that we can’t see what’s right in front of us.  Until we can see and be brutally honest with ourselves the problem will always be there.  No one can change you but you.

We all want to point fingers and play the blame game.  It’s not until we see the 3 other fingers pointing back at us that we begin to realize that it has to start right here, in our own heart.  “Sally” can’t blame her husband for her selfishness and “Harry” can’t blame his wife for his drinking.  But it is interesting to see what begins to happen when “Sally” starts changing her attitude and her reaction, action, and inactions.    It takes being intentional to change.  There is no magic pill but we do serve the GOD who WILL and DOES strengthen us with resolve, determination, patience, love and trust when we ask for it.  We must ask.  We cannot do these things alone and sometimes our “idols” are so huge that we need extra help.  Help that comes in the form of a doctor, a counselor, AA, NA, AL-Anon, Suicide hotline, TWLOHA and many other organizations that are out there to help people.  Some folks need serious personal financial counseling and my husband is going to be going to school this summer to provide that need for people.  Why?  Because he has been there and he asked for help.  Right now he teaches a personal finance class.  Most people don’t think that finances have anything to do with illnesses but they are dead wrong.  When you are in debt up to your eyeballs you don’t know how to get out. So what do you do?  You get depressed. You get more credit cards and rack up more debt,  you drink, and you may even try to commit suicide.  Why? because you can’t see the way out and YES there IS a way out of every idol ( debt is an idol)  but you have to be willing to ask for help.  It’s not going to go away on it’s own. 

Suicide.

Part of the training my husband will be taking will cover suicide counseling.  Being in debt literally kills people just as accidents, alcohol, drugs and other things do.   This is serious stuff folks.  Pastor Ronnie said that he would not put alcohol into his body because it steals, kills and destroys lives, families and homes.  Debt is the same way.  We do not use credit cards because they do the same exact thing. Steal your money, your joy and your life.  They kill your credit and destroy your family.  Ask me. I know.   We live differently because we have been down the road of debt.  Now I’m not saying we are perfect because we are NOT.  What I am saying is that there IS help for you if you are willing to be honest and ask for it.  We are here to help.  It’s part of who God made us to be. 

Idols.  What are yours?

Are you willing to put them down and be intentional?  Are you willing to swallow your pride ( which is also an idol) and be the person God intended for you to be?  I heard the urgency in Pastor Ronnie’s voice as he pleaded, in love, for all of us to get rid of our idols.  Will you do it?  Will you do the right thing for God?   The right thing is always the hardest and it is always the purest and holiest thing you can do for God.  Give up yourself and your idols.  Then watch God work!

I’m working on giving up my selfishness and it is a daily intentional walk I will take to serve God and others with my whole life.  I  am also giving my art over to God.  In the past I have made things more about the art than I have about God.  It’s a fine line-one that needs constant, intentional work. Now it is time for me to see and use art, as a tool,to share my First Love, Creator God, with the world.   It has become my passion.  Like Paul,  I want every heart to know God’s heart and to become one with Him.  Paul understood unity in a way that most of us don’t.  I understand it too.  Now, I intend to live it, but I know I cannot do it alone and I must walk daily with my Lord and seek His strength in doing it.  God must be my head and I cannot let anyone or anything get in the way of doing God’s work.  I must be a horse, or a beast if you will, with blinders on.  I’m learning, Lord, I’m learning. 

God bless Pastor Ronnie’s message, heart, boldness, courage and fire for God! 

My JOY is as complete as it can get here on earth!  One day it will be forever complete~!  I wait for that day with great anticipation!

Blessings for your New Year and for your renewal and recommitment to GOD. 

d.

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The “ Gift”

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Hello!

On Christmas Eve I was blessed by the message from our new Associate Pastor, Pam Sutherland.  What I heard and saw in Pam is represented in this drawing.  She is full of the Life Light of Christ.  She speaks Truth in Love and with Grace.  She truly cares about you, your life and especially your soul.  She spoke with tenderness, boldness, compassion and passion.  Her words were from the heart of our Creator and it is evident Who lies within Pam’s own heart. 

The Gift

Pam- I thank God for you and for your amazing husband, Lyndon!  The Light of Christ comes from deep inside of your hearts and I am praising God for your presence among us here in Carroll County!  God places people in our lives for a certain purpose, time and season.  God takes people out and places others in to accomplish His work among us.  Only through the plans of Our Father in Heaven is the work continuous from  one person to the next person.  I am able to see this with much clarity today.  I don’t understand how God works but I certainly believe that He does! It must be experienced and there are no amount of words that can explain it.  I look forward to doing God’s work, hand in hand, with you and Lyndon! 

Thank you Lord, for your many gifts, but especially the Gift of Life through your Son, our Savior.  This has been the most amazing Christmas ever!  You can’t buy that in a store! 

Blessings!

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The “Present”

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So, today I spent the afternoon wailing on old barnwood in the woodshed.  The harder I hammered the more God spoke to me.  He showed me how our sin is like this steel-hard, cold and immovable.  As I bent and pried and hammered I felt a weight leave me and a vision began forming.  Not an “ezekiel” vision- but a plan. 

I began how to see the ugliness of the old wood and the weight of the steel was like sin.  It keeps us from seeing the cross.  As you can see here the cross is hard to see as it blends in with the other wood, but there IS a cross there.  Seeing it in person helps! 

Every piece of steel, nail, bolt and barbed wire shows our sin.  It gets heavy, chaotic, messed up, twisted and just not right.  The only thing that can make it right is the love of God.  The heart is connected to the end of the barbed wire to show the contrast between good and evil, unforgiveness and forgiveness.  Without love we are nothing but a lump of old stuff.  But with love we are everything.  Love never fails.

I cut the heart out of a piece of cedar that I had from a friend’s old kitchen cabinets.  It’s aroma was sweet and it reminded me of the aroma of Christ.

Ephesians 5: 1-2

1Imitate God, since you are the children he loves. 2Live in love as Christ also loved us. He gave his life for us as an offering and sacrifice, a soothing aroma to God.

What better way to share that than with a piece of fresh cut cedar?  Perfect!  As I was sanding the cedar- a little knot came out-leaving behind a hole in the heart.  You see, it reminded me of the soldier who thrust his sword through Christ’s side while he was dying on the cross.  Can you imagine being there that day?   I can’t.  That hole is a reminder to me of the love that God poured out on that day. 

There is LIFE in death.

Die to self and live for Christ. 

Today the cross is empty.  A baby came down to shower us with love. That baby grew to a man and died on a tree. But he’s not dead. Far from it!   He sits at the right hand of God the Father waiting to hear from YOU!

Will you answer Him before it’s too late?  There’s no time like the “present.”  ( And believe me- it IS a present!!!) 

blessings for your holdiays,

d.

The mess of SIN

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Sin messes us up.  It gets tangled into our lives and chokes the goodness that God has planned right out.  It is hard, taut, dirty, cold, and unbending just like the steel, rusty nails and barbed wire in this picture. 

Over the past few months the weight of SIN has clouded my vision.  Sin in the world and my own.  Yes, we all sin-so don’t think you are perfect because there’s no such thing as a perfect human being.  Don’t kid yourself. 

When we carry these burdens ( for ourselves or others) they weigh us down with a tremendous load.  Sometimes we have no idea what we are carrying until something drastic happens and our eyes open ever so slightly.  When they begin to open, what we are shown can send us into shock.  This where the rubber the meets the road.  Do we run toward God and face these things or do we run away in denial? 

Denial. 

The longer we run in denial the longer it will take to get us to the point of the cross.  What is that point?  For us to know that love came down to consume us in such a way that all we focus on is Christ.  But we cannot do this when we are in denial. 

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Sin is a hanger-“onner”  just like this piece of twisted metal.  It hangs on because it can.  It is allowed to.  Getting sin to let go takes the right tools, prayer,  and a whole lot of persistence on our part.  It’s no easy task so don’t let anyone tell you that becoming a Christian is easy because it isn’t.  It is undeniably the hardest thing you will ever do in your life.  What I mean by that is walking the talk.  Not just talking it.  Talking it is easy.  Walking it requires a devotion and commitment to holding onto the hand of Christ the whole way.  You can’t do it alone and you aren’t expected to.  So don’t even try.  Even Jesus needed help carrying his cross. 

 

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Sometimes the sin is so great that we lose sight of the cross.  The cross is always there, but we aren’t.  So where are we?  Wrapped up tight in a mess.  The only way to get out of a mess is to remove yourself from it.  You can’t remove yourself until you know what the problem is.  Discovering the problem takes time, love, honesty, unselfishness and a desire to serve God and God alone.  It may also take the help of another person who can help you see what you are so blinded to.   

 

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This rusted steel, old nails, barbed wire and bolts represent the sin and the weight of it.  It comes in all shapes and sizes.  Sin does too- unforgiveness, selfishness, lust, addiction, abuse, murder, lying, cheating, stealing, adultery, drinking, jealousy, coveting, love of money, worry, hatred, pride and the list goes on and on.   It is only when we get honest with ourselves and God that we can get to the point of the cross.   His love crashes over us like a tidal wave-all consuming, wild and passionate.  If you let Him in-He’ll never let you go.  I promise. 

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Can you see the cross under your own weight of sin?  It’s there waiting on you.

Let go and let God.

He’s there to help carry your load.

 

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Love came down to cover YOU!

Peeling the Onion

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Onion

Onions contain many layers and peeling them will often make one cry. 

Well, human beings are the same way.  When we begin to peel back our issues ,with ourselves, in truth and love and one layer at a time- it will often make us cry.   We cry because we know we have grieved God and how much!  Ouch! 

One thing about onions is that it takes a really sharp knife to cut them and if you know how to take the sting out then you are ahead of me.  Peeling back the layers of self can be very cleansing and freeing.  You get all of that stinging, stinky stuff out of the way.

When you get down to sautéing the onion in butter-it softens and begins to sweeten.  It takes a  patient chef, who peels and  cuts with precision to get the onion cooked just right. 

When we peel ourselves back we get down to the nitty gritty and we find out what is underneath all of that stuff-the sweet aroma of Christ.  Pure love.  Just as an onion cooks and the smell wafts through the house, Christ is the same way.  When we cleanse ourselves with truth, honesty and repentance-then we can become a sweet smell too.  God doesn’t do it for you though.  It requires work on your part.  A willingness to be peeled and then to do the peeling.  Coming clean with self is a freeing experience.  The sooner it’s done- the better off things will be. 

Sometimes it takes another person to help us peel those layers.  It’s not just anyone-but the person that God sends.  Sometimes he will send one, two or three.  But if you aren’t willing to get real with yourself-it will never work.  The sooner we quit hiding under those stinky layers, the better off we will be.

THEN God can work through us! 

 

The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins

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To Christ our Lord

I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-dom of daylight’s dauphin,

dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding

    Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding

High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing

In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,

    As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding

    Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding

Stirred for a bird, – the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here

Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion

Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

   No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion

Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,

    Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

 

 

FROM: SPARK NOTES

The windhover is a bird with the rare ability to hover in the air, essentially flying in place while it scans the ground in search of prey. The poet describes how he saw (or “caught”) one of these birds in the midst of its hovering. The bird strikes the poet as the darling (“minion”) of the morning, the crown prince (“dauphin”) of the kingdom of daylight, drawn by the dappled colors of dawn. It rides the air as if it were on horseback, moving with steady control like a rider whose hold on the rein is sure and firm. In the poet’s imagination, the windhover sits high and proud, tightly reined in, wings quivering and tense. Its motion is controlled and suspended in an ecstatic moment of concentrated energy. Then, in the next moment, the bird is off again, now like an ice skater balancing forces as he makes a turn. The bird, first matching the wind’s force in order to stay still, now “rebuff[s] the big wind” with its forward propulsion. At the same moment, the poet feels his own heart stir, or lurch forward out of “hiding,” as it were—moved by “the achieve of, the mastery of” the bird’s performance.

The opening of the sestet serves as both a further elaboration on the bird’s movement and an injunction to the poet’s own heart. The “beauty,” “valour,” and “act” (like “air,” “pride,” and “plume”) “here buckle.” “Buckle” is the verb here; it denotes either a fastening (like the buckling of a belt), a coming together of these different parts of a creature’s being, or an acquiescent collapse (like the “buckling” of the knees), in which all parts subordinate themselves into some larger purpose or cause. In either case, a unification takes place. At the moment of this integration, a glorious fire issues forth, of the same order as the glory of Christ’s life and crucifixion, though not as grand.

Commentary

This poem follows the pattern of so many of Hopkins’s sonnets, in that a sensuous experience or description leads to a set of moral reflections. Part of the beauty of the poem lies in the way Hopkins integrates his masterful description of a bird’s physical feat with an account of his own heart’s response at the end of the first stanza. However, the sestet has puzzled many readers because it seems to diverge so widely from the material introduced in the octave. At line nine, the poem shifts into the present tense, away from the recollection of the bird. The horse-and-rider metaphor with which Hopkins depicted the windhover’s motion now give way to the phrase “my chevalier”—a traditional Medieval image of Christ as a knight on horseback, to which the poem’s subtitle (or dedication) gives the reader a clue. The transition between octave and sestet comes with the statement in lines 9-11 that the natural (“brute”) beauty of the bird in flight is but a spark in comparison with the glory of Christ, whose grandeur and spiritual power are “a billion times told lovelier, more dangerous.”

The first sentence of the sestet can read as either descriptive or imperative, or both. The idea is that something glorious happens when a being’s physical body, will, and action are all brought into accordance with God’s will, culminating in the perfect self-expression. Hopkins, realizing that his own heart was “in hiding,” or not fully committed to its own purpose, draws inspiration from the bird’s perfectly self-contained, self-reflecting action. Just as the hovering is the action most distinctive and self-defining for the windhover, so spiritual striving is man’s most essential aspect. At moments when humans arrive at the fullness of their moral nature, they achieve something great. But that greatness necessarily pales in comparison with the ultimate act of self-sacrifice performed by Christ, which nevertheless serves as our model and standard for our own behavior.

The final tercet within the sestet declares that this phenomenon is not a “wonder,” but rather an everyday occurrence—part of what it means to be human. This striving, far from exhausting the individual, serves to bring out his or her inner glow—much as the daily use of a metal plow, instead of wearing it down, actually polishes it—causing it to sparkle and shine. The suggestion is that there is a glittering, luminous core to every individual, which a concerted religious life can expose. The subsequent image is of embers breaking open to reveal a smoldering interior. Hopkins words this image so as to relate the concept back to the Crucifixion: The verb “gash” (which doubles for “gush”) suggests the wounding of Christ’s body and the shedding of his “gold-vermilion” blood.

Dogs tell Christmas story

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Haha this cracks me up.  A few years ago I started this little humorous book with dogs telling the story of Christmas…..I just found it again….thought you’d like it too!  It’s a little hazy due to being on a different program on my old computer drive but you get the idea.  haha. 

Christmas story page 1

christmas story page 2

 

Christmas story page 3

Christmas story page 4

We all know that dogs were not part of the story that night and I only used the dogs as another form of telling the story of the ONE who loves us.  I’d like to think that there were a few dogs roaming around the barn that night…

Smile

Blessings!

The TRUTH

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Thief comes

Don’t let this happen to your church.

Ephesians 6:10- 18

10Finally, receive your power from the Lord and from his mighty strength. 11Put on all the armor that God supplies. In this way you can take a stand against the devil’s strategies. 12This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the heavenly world. 13For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days.[c] Once you have overcome all obstacles, you will be able to stand your ground.14So then, take your stand! Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. 15Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace.16In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Also take salvation as your helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies. 18Pray in the Spirit[d] in every situation. Use every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert. Use every kind of effort and make every kind of request for all of God’s people.

Listen-Satan is real.  He is trying his hardest to rip our churches apart person by person, issue, by issue, conflict by conflict and there are times when he is actually winning.    He is accomplishing this because we are not properly equipping ourselves with the Truth.  What is that Truth?  The Word of God.   It also takes BELIEF.  I have talked with people about spiritual warfare who look at me like I have 13 heads and 6 arms.  They just do not believe it.

I can remember a time when I didn’t believe it either and I looked at people in the same way.  My Pastors, church leaders, and teachers have all stepped out in faith to teach me that it is very real.  They didn’t shove it down my throat, but they lovingly placed it before me to read, study and grow.  I have also been in a position to see how it works from inside the church.  It is not pleasant, it is not pleasing to God and it just plain hurts.  While it hurts my heart, I know it is grieving God.  I can see this scene in my head…” God holding his head in hands, sobbing for his children and saying, ‘why oh why can’t they see what is happening?”  Then he sends someone to teach them, someone in the form of a Pastor, teacher or leader in the church and they still don’t see it.  The warfare is so strong that the people ban together and form sides.  The only side we need to be on is God’s. If God is for us who can be against us?  Do we not know that we do not have to live in this mess?  Do we not know how much our Creator yearns for us to be in unison with Him?

It appears to me that some don’t.

Why?

Because some have made church all about “ME.”

Listen folks, church is not about us.  It is a place to come  to fellowship, to learn, to love, to grow and then to go out and share what we have learned with the world.  The physical building is mortar, bricks, stone, masonry, wood, whatever.  Someone has labored in love to put the building together so God’s people can come together IN LOVE.  God lives inside each one us.  The sad thing is that some of us have no idea that our breath is God’s breath too.  That the breath that curses, and screams words of hatred and spreads gossip came from God, but it certainly does not sound like God.  Why?   Because satan has been allowed to enter the building.  How did he do that?  Through the people.  Why? Because the people are so focused on themselves that they cannot see God anymore. “I want it this way, I want it that way, we can’t do that because we’ve always done it that way and that will never happen because so and so said….and blah, blah, blah.”

God’s purpose never changes.  His purpose is to bring all people into a relationship with Him.  When I say relationship I mean a real relationship.  Not this “ Oh I believe in God on Sunday…” or “Oh sure, I believe there is a God and that all good people will go to heaven.”  No.  That’s not it.  That won’t work.  God requires our whole hearts and when we fully give ourselves over to God then we begin to see the Truth for what it really is.  We begin to see and hear God work and we can feel the depth of his love in our hearts.  It will consume us, envelope us and we will yearn for what God yearns for- for his children to be IN love with Him.

When we are in love with someone we want to please them and do whatever it is that will make them happy.  This is what God wants.  He wants us to serve others because we love Him.  We are to have servant hearts for all of His people.  Even the ones who cannot see the Truth yet.  It’s there, waiting for them.  It may be you or me that delivers the message-but GOD is always the message.

Satan intervenes when we don’t  know what the message is.  Our hearts have become full of me, me, me.  It’s all about me.  It’s all what I want or what I think.  NOT!  Control in a church is a big issue.  It has the ability to destroy a person, a ministry, a congregation and a church.  Control is a sin.  Control over money, control over the office, control over the Pastors, control over the ministries, control over the people.  When control gets confronted it gets ugly.  Ugly gets mad and destroys.

Romans 12:1-2

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  We are to be a Holy and living sacrifice to God and God alone.  We are not to be controlled by people, money, or addictions.  We are to be so addicted to God that we don’t want anything else in our lives.  God is to be at the forefront of our lives.  We are to wake up everyday and say, “ Lord, what can I do to serve you today?”

We are called to be servants of love.  We should sit down with one another, in love and with gentleness, and say, “ what can I do for YOU today?  How can I serve you?  What are your needs?  Hurts? Can I pray with you?  Wash your feet, clean your house or fix you food?”   This is what Jesus did. He served His Father to people through his actions, words, prayers and yes, even cleaning.  ( after all he did clean the temple and he did prepare breakfast for his disciples.  Don’t believe me?  Well it’s all right there in that big book that sits on your coffee table, probably covered with dust.  But that’s okay because dust can be blown off.  Don’t you think it’s time you picked it up and searched the scriptures for yourself?  Read:  Matthew 21 for the temple cleaning and  John 21 for breakfast.)  God is right there in the pages on your coffee table or on your bookshelf.  He is just waiting for you to pick Him up and get to know Him!

A Desire to Serve

1 Peter 5

1I appeal to your spiritual leaders.[a] I make this appeal as a spiritual leader who also witnessed Christ’s sufferings and will share in the glory that will be revealed. 2Be shepherds over the flock God has entrusted to you. Watch over it as God does: Don’t do this because you have to, but because you want to. Don’t do it out of greed, but out of a desire to serve. 3Don’t be rulers over the people entrusted to you, but be examples for the flock to follow. 4Then, when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

I have been learning how to serve others.  God has placed this desire deep inside of me and in the past few weeks he has quadrupled that desire. I feel like God came down and sat next to me and said, “ Donna, this is how you do it.”  He sent me a teacher.  That teacher has taught me more about Christian love in 3 months than I could ever learn in a lifetime.  It was fast and furious. I have learned how to take the  ME out and put in YOU.  I have learned this in a very personal way.  I have had the opportunity to work side by side with one of God’s servants for several months.  I saw her put herself to the side to serve the Body of Christ.  She served the WHOLE body in a very personal, one on one way.    Not just those who were in a relationship but also those who were hurting.   I saw God’s love, Truth, responsibility, accountability and grace come to the surface.  I saw a woman so in love with her Lord that she gave it all she had.  When she was fully spent she knew it was time to move on.  I saw a seed planted in love and a woman, who has done all she can, leave- trusting her God to do the rest.   I know that wherever she is she is praying.  I know that God sent her here for many reasons and one of those was to prick my heart for God.  To get me out of  ME and get FULLY into God and to TRUST HIM. Today I know God’s plan and purpose a little fuller, a little deeper and with more passion than ever.  Sometimes it takes another person to get us to see things and to get us out of our own way.  It also takes a heart that is willing to be broken for God.

Mine has been torn apart yet I am not sad.  Why?  Because I know that in walking away from something that I have made about me is also the thing that has freed me.   I never realized how heavy my burdens had become until I let them go.  They had been something that I felt I had a tiny bit of control over when in reality I never did.  I never realized it until now.   They gave me a sort of sense of control that I didn’t realize until now.   Leaving them behind is forcing me to trust in God and it will also force me to have better planning and organization in other areas.  I am very free spirited and this has often been my downfall.   I am my own worst enemy.  Haha.  When I walk away from me, my free spirit,  I am walking into TRUST.  Over the past several weeks many hearts have  been torn apart with grief, anger and sadness but I know that for myself,  God was working on transforming my heart and today I am stitched back together with the scarlet thread of Christ and whatever I do from here on will be for GOD and not self.  I am letting go and letting God and this has brought me joy unspeakable.

Thanks be to God for His timing in sending the right people just when we need them.

Jesus came, he died and rose again.  Today He lives and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.  He has gone ahead of us, as he has in everything, and he is there preparing a place for you and for me.  Do you know this?  I hope you do and if you don’t-I would like to share that Truth with you.  I  plan to spend the rest of my life serving people that great promise.

God’s promises are true.

and that’s the TRUTH!

Listen closely to the words…

Sigh*

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You never know when God is going to bring someone new into your life or take someone out.  These past few months have been rather rollercoaster-ish with a lot to process and pray about .  I really can’t put it all into words. 

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Life has gone from being in a rut to full on passion for God.  God placed someone in my life who has inspired me to see beyond myself and  has challenged me to be all that I can for Christ.  She has taught me, hands on,  how to hear, how to see, how to react , how to comfort, soothe others and be accountable.   This woman has taught me more in 3 months than I could ever learn in a class.  I am learning how to let go of the little stuff in order to get to the big stuff-loving people the way THEY need to be loved.  Meeting people where they are at, not where I am.  

 

In order to do this I have given up a lot of my time wasters-like Facebook, email and tv.  I have replaced those things with face to face contact, bible study, prayer and spending time in the wood shed.   It’s amazing how much clearer you hear God when you turn your focus toward him and serving others!  I’m still working on it!  I have been able to hear the same messages through bible study, sermons and time spent with several friends. 

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I’m a little sad tonight – for many reasons.  Not boo hoo sad-but sad for God.  His people are hurting and desperate.  They need somebody to love them back toward God.  I’ve watched my friend do this.  I’ve watched her spend herself on God, get rejected, and go home.  The next day she would get up and do it all over again…and again…and again.   She has taught me that people aren’t rejecting her and to not take things so personally.  In their pain they are really rejecting God.  Some of them don’t even know it.  They are blind.  I pray for their blindness to be healed and for my friend to be revived. 

I was blessed to be able to accompany my friend as she baptized someone this week.  In that moment I immediately understood why she does what she does.  People are desperate for love and she cradles them with it unconditionally. 

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I’ve been exhausted today.  It’s been a draining week, but even more so for my friend.  Tonight she is traveling back to her home state-a long way off to the west.  I’ll probably never see her again, but only God knows those plans.  I hope I do.  She has been like an angel sent here to encourage me.  An angel who whispered in my ear…you have worth, you are worthy and you can do this.  You are going in the wrong direction-let me help turn you around so you can get over the mountain this time. 

This is why I am exhausted.  I’ve been climbing that mountain-in the wrong direction-for years.  Tonight I am finally over it.  I think I will rest well.  I thank God for sending his angel.  He truly does bring something good out of something bad. 

Thank you my dear friend.  Happy travels and I hope God will cross our paths again and you may even have something on a hanger to hand me when we see each other again! 

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