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My Great Fortune

It’s been a very long time since I’ve been willing/able/determined to write.  However, something is coming up for me, and I feel so very blessed that I get the opportunity to be involved in it.  I most recently heard from a gentleman who told me a story about his nephew.  Now, this gentleman sent a message to me on Facebook a year ago, but it was hidden with many others.  When I finally saw it, I replied immediately.  I am so glad that I did.  This post will include opportunity, obedience, gratefulness, and I get the privilege of sharing such an amazing story.

Once I replied to the gentleman’s message, he seemed so happy to hear from me.  He wanted to tell me a story about his nephew who, two years ago, had been struggling with depression and did not feel like he wanted to live.  These stories always break my heart.  I know what it is like to not want to live regardless of all the really good people and things in life.  Depression does that to a person.  It sucks every good thing out and self-loathing and doubt ooze in like the hazard materials they are.  This young man, who I will call “C,” was in my hometown one day, August 16th to be exact.  He was attempting to get back home for an event in his hometown.  He had been having thoughts of suicide.  He had full intentions of making it a reality.  Again, heart is always broken when I hear that.  He saw a sign…a literal sign.  That sign had three little words scribbled in permanent marker on it.  I was holding that sign because I felt that it was important to be obedient to God’s will that was put on my heart just a few days before.

God woke me up on August 14th, 2014 and told me to go let people know that they matter.  I had zero idea what that meant.  But, I knew that it was important that I do what I was being so lovingly guided to do.  What it boiled down to was my cousin and I making signs that had encouraging, loving messages on them.  We stood on street corners in some of the busiest parts of town because that’s what I was told we should do.  My cousin never questioned anything I told him, and he didn’t look at me like I had lost my mind.  He knew that when I told him this was from and about God, it was just something that had to be done.  So, it was done.  It was done on a daily basis for a time.  We never knew the impact those signs had until much later.

So, back to this young man.  He saw my sign as he was headed out of town back to his home.  When he got back home, he told people what had happened in seeing my sign and what he had been feeling.  He shared that he was free from those horrible feelings.  While his uncle had told me this over the phone, I had chills, and I had tears.  I was so grateful that this young man was still alive.  I was/am grateful that he listened to God tell him that he was important.  That was the message I had on my sign, “You Are Important.”  No, I am not calling myself God.  But, that WAS God’s message.  C got to share that message with a group of people when he got back home.

Tomorrow evening, April 27, 2016, I get the blessed opportunity to meet C, his uncle, and other family members.  I cannot express the gratitude I feel regarding that.  My heart is full and overflowing with God’s goodness.

None of that happened by chance.  It was supposed to happen just when it did.  I think about what would have been had I not been obedient to God’s will.  That young man could be dead.  Many others could be dead as well.  I give all the glory to God.  I never thought that I’d be anybody saving anybody’s life.  That was just not my plan.  It was God’s plan, however.  Maybe you’re reading this and thinking that I have lost my mind and there is no God.  Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, “I have never heard or felt God like that.”  Maybe you’re in full belief of everything I am telling you.  I don’t know.  I never in my wildest dreams ever thought that God would use me like He does.  Who was I that He would choose me??

“Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord.  I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant.  I am slow of speech and tongue.’

The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths?  Who makes them deaf or mute?  Who gives them sight or makes them blind?  Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’  – Exodus 4:10-13

I was feeling like Moses.  Who am I that He would call on me?  God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.  We, as the called, have to answer.  If we let that call go to voice mail because we are “too busy” or “just being stubborn,” who dies?  Who dies when we refuse to do a simple request from God?  Maybe it’s us who die.  Maybe it’s a teenage kid who has lost all hope.  Maybe nobody dies, but maybe somebody misses out on a really good message because we are drowning in selfishness.  We have to answer that call.  HAVE TO.  God directs my path even today regarding that sign.  He has always told me where to stand and when.  He directs the amount of time I stand on any given corner.  I listen.  I obey like I have never done in my entire life.  I believe like I have never done in my life.  I have faith like I have never had in my life.  That sign didn’t just save C.  It saved me as well on so many levels.

I can’t wait to meet these people and give them the biggest hugs ever.  I know that God will be working in that meeting.  He’s working now.  He’ll be working when it’s over, and I am grateful.  I am blessed, and I get the opportunity to share those given blessings with others!  I am beyond fortunate.  My heart continues to be full.

May God bless you today and always.  Be blessed and be a blessing.

 

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Oh, it IS Jesus!

Ok, so I was on a particular social network just a bit ago listening to this guy speak.  LOVED what I heard!  Seriously, what a great story teller this guy is.  Anywho, he mistakenly saw a profile picture as a woman in a dress.  The icons are really small, so it was hard to tell in all honesty.  I thought it was a woman in a big skirt, also.  The person who has that picture told him, “It’s Jesus, man.”  The guy speaking looked closer, and he stated, “Oh, it is Jesus!”  This one phrase made me decide to write this.  Why?  Because.  Because how many times do we see something, or someone, and not realize that it really is Jesus, so to speak?  A blessing.

I’m not talking about seeing some complete stereotype of what Jesus looks like.  I’m talking about the “smaller” things or events that we see on a daily basis.  I am talking about the sun.  The breeze blowing across your skin.  The delicious taste of that first cup of coffee or that tiny morsel of your favorite food.  The wispy clouds floating past the moon on any given night.  The person who may seem totally insignificant in your life until by some unexpected occurrence they aren’t.

We often take these things and people for granted for one reason or another.  We live in a busy world where we feel the need to hurry and get as much as done in the fastest amount of time possible.  Why?  What is so important that we forget to notice the little things we have been graciously given?  I am reading a book, and have been for a while because I have a hard time with comprehension sometimes, that has kicked me right in the rear.  The last chapter I read has really done me in.  It’s a good “done me in” thing, though.  The whole thing is about being able to practice thanksgiving and just living in the “where you are now” time and place.  I know that I had forgotten, or perhaps had never really know, how to do that.  I do my best on a daily basis to pay closer attention, though.  I fail a lot of the time.  I am okay with that and know that it is up to me to make it better.  I have to work harder at it.  I’m not against hard work and think that I perform better when the work is harder.

I think seeing Jesus, or blessings, or the opportunity to give thanks in everything could scare some folks.  Some folks are just so comfortable in living in the complaint department of life.  I’ve visited that department myself.  Complaining about not enough time to get this or that done when I’m just sitting around complaining about it.  Complaining about the amount of my health insurance deductible when there are others who are absolutely unable to get health insurance.  Complaining about my cluttered house when there are those who have no home to complain about.  Ugh…yes, I do this.  It’s gross.  Vile, even.  What would my life be like if I solely focused on just being thankful?  I think it would allow me to be more giving.  It would allow me to be more loving and kind.  It would definitely allow for me to be more grateful and less judgmental.  I am struggling to see the downside to this thanksgiving stuff.

Being able to hear a crying child can get irritating.  Seeing laundry that needs to be folded and put away is frustrating.  Having to put air in my tire because it went completely flat had me feeling dread.  But the gifts and provision by only Jesus are there.  I can hear!  I can see!  I have transportation!  Who am I to complain about things I have been blessed with?  What the heck?!  It’s mind-boggling if you really think about it.  Why do we complain so much?  Why are we so focused on seeing a lady in a dress or big skirt when really it IS Jesus?  What is it going to take to get us to slow down, breathe, focus on what we really do have?  Hm?

I have gotten a lot better about being thankful, but I can hardly stand myself at other times when I have allowed my humanness to take over.  It takes work, and I know that it is absolutely worth it to be grateful for every little thing.  It lifts a burden.  We are prisoners of ourselves, and we are freed from that when we practice thanksgiving.  Don’t you want to be free?  If so, what are you willing to sacrifice to make that freedom happen?  Pride?  Fear?  Selfishness?  Lay them down.  Slow down, take a step back, and just breathe.  Look for Jesus in the picture.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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I Must Tell Jesus

“I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.”

As I was sitting in my office yesterday, I found some music files from my dearest friend on an older phone that I have.  Finding them made my heart so happy!  I listened to the two that I had, and my eyes filled with tears because 1.)  My dearest friend was singing them, 2.)  They spoke about Jesus, and I needed that extra comfort.  I have had to make a significant change in my life regarding work.  It hit me most recently that I had to leave one of my jobs.  I knew that I just had to pray that through.  I had to make sure that it wasn’t just my thought.  For those who have a relationship with Jesus, I know you understand those times where you are not sure if the thoughts and directions in your heart and head are yours or are from Jesus.  I prayed and prayed hard about the decision that has been made.  I do know that the steps I am taking are led by Jesus and not by me, my pride, or my own selfishness.  That’d be gross.  The passion that I had to have my own practice was so good.  I prayed to Jesus, told Jesus, about those ambitions and dreams.  He directed me to take steps to make that dream come true.  Now, I’ve prayed to Jesus, told Jesus, about other ambitions and dreams.  He is now directing my steps in a different direction.  I do not know what He was in store for me, but I know it’s going to be so very good.

You see, when we let go of our pride, our human nature to do all things on our own, and our selfish ideas and ideals, we can have a great amount of relief and joy.  I always want to do what is right by God.  I lived my life for so long only listening to myself and others.  I cannot even begin to tell you how miserable I was at that point in my life.  I would act solely on impulse, out of pure, from-the-flesh needs and wants.  Boy, I cannot explain how much trouble that got me into.  I was lied to by Satan and believed that I could do whatever I wanted and have no real consequences.  And, if I did have consequences, and I did not like them, I could just move on to some other dark situation.  I do not have the words to tell you how joyful I am that I do not live in that place anymore!  I behaved as I believed others wanted me to.  Whatever situation I found myself to be in, I conformed to that situation, healthy or not.  I carried so much of the world on my shoulders believing that if I just do whatever everyone else wants me to do, I can make everyone happy.  Yeah, I know.  That didn’t work so great in my favor.

It wasn’t until I learned that I could absolutely go to Jesus with everything I had and lay my troubles at His feet, that I could feel joy.  That my load could be lighter.  Not everything that I feel is right for me, is right for me.  Oh boy, that’s a whole other blog post!  I’m so relieved that I do not have to live my life without the One who gave His life for me.  I am SO happy that I can give my burdens to Jesus, and He will take them from me, when I actually let them go completely, and guide me where He would like for me to go.  I have great faith that wherever it is I end up in this life, it will be because I trusted God with my whole heart.

“The body of flesh is a heavy burden, the calamities of life are a heavy load…Faith is for this world, and sight is for the other world. It is our duty, and it will be our interest, to walk by faith, till we live by sight. This shows clearly the happiness to be enjoyed by the souls of believers when absent from the body, and where Jesus makes known his glorious presence.”  Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

2 Corinthians 5:1-8

I hope that I can remember this feeling of joy as I move into the next phase of my life.  I hope that I can remember that Jesus is always there to take my burdens as I lay them down.  I hope that I can always have the faith it takes to actually lay those burdens and down and not pick them up again.

Hopeful.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Craving, Desiring, Coveting…

The title of this blog post has three words, and they all mean the same thing.  

For instance:

crave kreɪv(v.)craved, crav•ing.

  1. (v.t.)to long for; desire eagerly.

  2. to require; need:

    a problem craving your prompt attention.

  3. to ask earnestly for.

  4. (v.i.)to beg or plead (usu. fol. by for).

de•sire*dɪˈzaɪər(v.; n.)-sired, -sir•ing

  1. (v.t.)to wish or long for; crave; want.

  2. to ask for; solicit; request:

    The mayor desires your presence at the meeting.

  3. (n.)a longing or craving, as for something that brings satisfaction; hunger.

  4. an expressed wish; request.

  5. something desired.

  6. sexual appetite or a sexual urge.

cov•etˈkʌv ɪt(v.t.)

  1. to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others:

    to covet another’s property.

  2. to wish for, esp. eagerly.

  3. (v.i.)to have an inordinate or wrongful desire.

All of those words mean to want something you do not already have.  The idea for this post came when I watched numerous videos of young men and women singing from their very cores, and I thought to myself, “I wish I could sing like that.  I wish I had that talent.”

Then, I thought, “Dawn, this is not the talent or gift you were given.  Why can you not be satisfied with the talents and gifts you do have?!”  It was a humbling thought, really.  I find myself having thoughts about craving, desiring, coveting others’ gifts and talents.  It’s really unfair to me and everyone else around me that I do not appreciate, fully, what I have been given to share with others.  Mainly, it’s rude and unfair to the One who gave me such gifts.

As a society, we all crave more.  As if “more” is the answer to everything wrong in the world.  It simply is not the answer to everything wrong in the world, and it is most likely not the answer to most things.  Some crave attention, love, and relationships.  Some desire more money, bigger homes, nicer cars.  Some covet other people’s mates, lifestyles, and lives.  

When we turn our focus on what other people have, it is very hard to see and appreciate what we already have.  Wanting what someone else has places blinders on us, so that we see nothing else.  That’s a shame, really.  Think about it.  If we have a house, car, food, clothes on our backs, and shoes on our feet, we have more than most of the world.  Even if we have just some of those, we have more than most of the world.  Yet, YET, we still want what someone else already has.  That has me hanging my head in an Eeyore kind of way.  Where do we get the chutzpah to think that THAT is the way to live?  If we allow ourselves to be so busy constantly wanting something or someone else, we’ve committed a grave injustice.  We begin to live a life of greed and selfishness which is just ugly and dark.  Greed is a sin!  Here’s how the definition of greed reads according to Merriam-Webster:

:  a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed

 

When we are so busy sinning, it’s hard to do what it is good and right.  When our hearts are so full of greed, there is no room for love.  That’s what this life is all about.  Love.  Give it unconditionally!  Accept it humbly!  Encourage it exuberantly!

Greed brings upon us a death which is lonely and unbearable.  Be content with what gifts, people, things you have.  

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. — James 1: 14-15

 

Let’s replace craving, desiring, and coveting with words like faith, hope, and love.

If I speak in the tonguesa of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,b but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13

 

Love sounds a much nicer way of life than does greed and selfishness, doesn’t it?  

Be mindful of where your thoughts take you today.  Are they leading you to greed and selfishness, or are they leading you to love?  If you find yourself being led to greed and selfishness, you can change those thoughts.  Move toward love.

Be a gracious gift-receiver.  Be a loving gift-receiver.  Be a thankful gift-receiver.  

That for which we are so ungrateful, someone else is longing for out of necessity, survival.

 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Pity Party: Table for 1

So, I spent the last thirty minutes, at least, writing a blog post that disappeared right before publication.

Yay!

Ok, so on to the post. This past week, I have found myself feeling untrustworthy and insignificant. I have attempted to take from others what others did not have…or what others did not want to give. Really, Dawn? If a gas tank is empty, and my car is out of gas, I cannot get anything from the other tank. The past several days, I have been the prime example of entitlement. I believed myself to be entitled to being told something that would hurt my feelings, before I saw it for myself. I believed myself to be entitled to more than average performance evaluations at work. Results?

EPIC FAIL!

Who do I think I am? I am nothing but a human being. I am nothing but another individual taking up space. I am nothing but a skeleton, draped with flesh, injected with a soul. Who do I think I am?

I am nothing special. Nobody owes me anything.

In times of trouble and turmoil, I forget where I am supposed to look. I forget what I am supposed to see. To hear.

James 3:16-17
For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

Indeed. I’m grateful for grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Tweet from Dawn Pringle (@DawnLovesSVU)

Dawn Pringle (@DawnLovesSVU) tweeted at 11:43 PM on Fri, Jul 12, 2013:
Sexual Abuse, Eating Disorder, and all that goes with that come face to face with God’s love, grace, and mercy. https://t.co/yW3AcvsjMI
(https://twitter.com/DawnLovesSVU/status/355910360697548800)

Get the official Twitter app at https://twitter.com/download

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Broken Path

When I am traveling, or doing my walking, I always love when the surfaces are smooth.  They are more comfortable when smooth.  Driving on an uneven or bumpy street is just uncomfortable on your body and your car.  Walking on rocky terrain or uneven ground takes more concentration and deliberate steps to ensure you will not fall or trip.  Would life not be easier if all of our paths were in one piece, smooth, and even?  It would be, but then what kind of attention would we pay to the path laid down before us?  In our fantasy worlds, everything would be perfect.  There would be no war, no poverty, no prejudices, no illnesses, no problems with money, and no heartache.  There would be no troubles.  Jesus Christ had different plans for that, however.  He even told us so, in His Father’s word:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.   In this world you will have trouble.   But take heart! I have overcome   the world.”  John 16:33

That, indeed, tells us that we will have bumpy times and hard roads to travel.  It also tells us that we will not be left alone during those times.  Obstacles are put in place, so that we may place our focus on God.  We always want to talk about how good God is when things in our lives are going our way.  We tend to question God when things are not going our way.  Unfair, to say the least.  As hard as it is, I try to focus on how good God is even when my life is stormy and messed up.

“And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm”

— Casting Crowns

It is hard to stay faithful when things seem the hardest.  It is hard to feel the presence of God when we feel so alone.  He is always here for us.  ALWAYS!

Yesterday, as I took my youngest kid to the university she will be going to in the fall to get some things done, we came upon this path that was not smooth nor even.  It still got us to where we needed to be, but I was uncomfortable going across it.  Our discomfort in walking where God has placed us does not mean we will not reach our destination.  It just means we have reached a point where we need to seek God on a deeper level.  Do not be afraid by broken paths.  Be satisfied in knowing that you do not have to travel them alone and helpless.

Cast your cares on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 55:22

A broken path will still lead you to where you need to be.

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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