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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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FML!

I see “FML” so much, and it makes me nauseated.  One event in a person’s day, and the next thing one will see on Facebook or Twitter is “FML!”  It is so disheartening that this is common usage in today’s society.    In the past couple of years, I have exhibited FML myself.  Read ahead for further explanation:

Following things, or people, that are no good for me?  That used to be me.  I used to change who I was to blend in with others.  I was quite unhappy with that.  However, it was all I knew to do.   I find myself being a stronger person, but I sometimes have flashes of the person I used to be.  I have followed others and ideas that I thought would be the most “popular.”  I have followed others and ideas that I thought would make me more loved (or loved at all).  I have followed others and ideas that have led me to do everything pleasing to Satan himself.  Poor self-esteem.  Poor social skills.  Poor coping skills.  I was drowning in a sea of “poors.”  I could blame everyone in my past, but I do not blame anyone.  I accept my behaviors and flaws as my own.  I was obeying and following Earthly things.  Multiple things had become my gods.   I hit rock bottom, and I will never forget what that felt like.   Money, alcohol, food, and a myriad of other things.  This is what the Bible says about that:

“If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.”  Deuteronomy 8:19

My purpose in life has changed.  When I was little, my purpose was to survive all that was going on in my house.  When I was a teenager, my purpose was to find someone I trust and just scream and cry about what had happened, and what was continuing to happen with me.  My purpose after the teenager years was to simply be noticed and loved.  Keep in mind, I had no idea about real love.  I had synthetic love.  That, I knew.  It is like when I hear adolescents speaking about “fake marijuana” (K2).  The words I hear about K2 are, “scary,” “dangerous,” “deadly,” and “crazy.”  The “fake love” I was seeking was not any different.  K2 can kill a person.  “Fake love” can, too.  It almost killed me.  Fake, or false, love can devour you, regurgitate you, and leave you in a puddle and never think about you again.  Love to me was like a magic show.  I knew people were telling me, or showing me, what it was, but I just felt i

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but
inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”  Matthew 7:15

Lord knows that I have done my share of shameful things.  I have done my share of embarrassing things.  But, the Lord knows that I have made a commitment to Him.  I have made up my mind to not follow or lend myself to Earthly things as they only push me down.  I have made up my mind to seek only real Love.  I know where that is.  I know that I am worth that kind of Love.  The world still feels like it is squarely upon my shoulders, at times.  I know that feeling does not have to last if I choose wisely.  God, my Father, is my provider.  God, my Father, is my redeemer.  God, my Father, is my life.  I fully understand that urge to throw my hands up in the air and just give up.  Where would that get me, though?  I know that I never have to face one second of my life alone as long as I depend on God to give me what I need.  Everyone I know could walk out of my life, and as much as that would be severely painful, I know that I would still have my God to hold me, love me, and keep each one of my tears in a bottle.  I have had multiple FML events and moments in forty-four years, but in the last two years, I have had different kinds of FML events and moments.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.”  James 1:5

The different kind of FML events and moments for me?  Read the first word in each of the three paragraphs that use regular font after the underlined beginning.

God bless you.  Be mindful of those blessings given to you and be willing to share them with others.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Remember Janet Jackson in that diner dancing and talking with her friends about her man?  He just was not meeting her standards and being lazy.  So many ladies could relate to her and that song!

But I wonder……

What if God was the one asking “What have you done for me lately?”  Could you or I answer with pride?  Could we say, “I am doing all that you have asked me to do.”?  What is it that God asks of us?  He tells, does not ask but deliberately tells, us that we worship no other god.  He deliberately tells us that we love others and help those who are in need.  He wants all of our focus and attention to be on Him.  His attention is fully on us every second, of ever minute, of every hour, of every single day.  I fall very short in this department.  My focus gets caught up on tuition for my kid, my job, my husband, bills, and so on.  That equals worry.  Worry equals lack of faith that God will do what He has always promised.  It is our raw humanness that allows for worry.  What if we decided, that for the rest of the day, we would solely focus on listening to God and following what He has told us to do?  What would our days and nights look like?  How would our words sound?  What would the expressions on our faces be?  The answers we would give God to the main question of what have we done for Him lately would break His heart.  Is breaking His heart.

Are you focusing on Him like is focusing so lovingly and deliberately on you?  I’m not.  I try, but I get caught up in worldly things.  I need to do better at being better where God is concerned.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 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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Beyond The Tip Of Your Finger

Have you ever noticed how many times you have pointed at someone?  What were those reasons?  It seems that when one points to someone, that someone is being talked about harshly.  Finger pointing is often associated with placing blame on someone else or putting someone else down.  Think about when you were a child and playing with a friend.  Now, think about when you did something wrong, and you did not want to get into trouble.  What was your first instinct?  Well, most children point the finger to blame the other person to stay out of trouble.  I did it.  I did it more times than I can even begin to count.  As adults, we tend to do the same thing but with a hatred, a bias, a judging nature.  I know how I feel when I see some people pointing their fingers at me.  I do not like that feeling.  I bet you do not like that feeling, also.  We, as human beings, seem to always pay more attention to what is beyond the tip of our pointing finger than what is behind that pointing finger.  What would the world look like if we stood in front of the mirror and pointed at ourselves as much as we choose to point at others?  I am absolutely sure attitudes would be different.  Most people are afraid to look at themselves and judge harshly.  It is not the easiest of things.  I know, for fact, that when I have done this, it has been the most eye opening experience…a heart opening experience.  Is this to say that I do not still point my finger at others?  No.  I say that “No” regrettably.  However, I look at myself and my lifestyle, my choices, my beliefs, and my behaviors.  I judge them, and they are not always pure or free from wrongdoing.  I wonder what it would look like if we, as humans, took those pointing fingers and and did something differently.  What if we chose to turn our hands with palms up and all fingers opened?  I think it would look something like this:

This gesture is not one of judgment.  This gesture is  one of “Grab on, and I will help you and love you”.  It is a gesture of being loved by the One who created us regardless of our sins, our behaviors, our impure actions and thoughts.  He does not teach us to hate others due to differences.  He teaches us to love one another as we are all sinners, and He loves us despite our sins.

 “A new command   I give you: Love one another.   As I have loved you, so you must love one another.   By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

Loving another person does not include judging them for how they behave, love, and live.  Loving them means accepting them and loving them anyway.  No sin is greater than any others.  Judging others for their sins makes us look foolish and ugly.

How would you like to be defined?  The next time you want to belittle or judge what is beyond the tip of your finger, stand in front of the mirror to do so.  I dare you.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Chess

The game of chess is so beyond me, so I do not even try to play it.  It takes strategical focus that I just do not have.  The objective is to place the king in checkmate.  You on one side, your opponent on the other staring intensely as the other attacks and counterattacks.  You set the pieces on the board in their “assigned” places.  You take your hand and you move your piece in a spot where the best outcome is for you.  Each piece, no matter size or ability to move, is important and powerful.  This is how I see life.  The Earth is the chess board.  The people are the game pieces.  God is the player moving each piece where He can acquire victory.

The game pieces in chess are unable to question why the player has moved it in a particular space.  Although we are able to question God when he places us in a particular space, why would we do so?  I am far from innocent when it comes to not questioning God.  It is part of our humanness to do so.  We, as humans, always need to know “why?”.  Not asking that “why” question is to be trusting in God’s love and knowledge of us.  He knows our abilities before we do.  He put us together just the way He wanted in our mothers’ wombs.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13

Since God put us together in the wombs of our mothers, does it not seem logical that He knows how we work, think, feel, and operate?  He places us in spaces that we are uncomfortable with sometimes.  Those places seem risky and unknown.  He puts us there for His reasons.  Trusting Him is all we can do when we feel unsure, unknowing, and fearful.  God moves us with His own hands in the places he knows we will prosper.  It is up to us to fulfill that duty.  God will keep all of His promises as has been done since “In the beginning”.  God’s opponent on a daily basis is Satan.  Satan wants us to move in rebellious, impure, unloving ways.  Satan places us in dangerous positions on the game board and tempts us to make reckless decisions.  God makes His move against Satan at the right time.

“At just the right time, I heard you.  On the day of salvation, I helped you.”[ Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.  2 Corinthians 6

God  knows the “game”.  God understands how each of us can move and in what direction.  God places us right where he wants us at the exact right time. Have faith in God and in where He places you.   The goal of God?  His goal is to be able to blatantly proclaim “CHECKMATE!” against Satan.  Bobby Fischer has nothing on God.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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