Tag Archives: God

Yep! Being Real Again!

Psalm 54:4
God is my helper! The Lord is the provider for my life.

Sometimes you just have to step back and say, “WOW, God is really going to do that?”  Ever wondered how He does it?  What I am about to share is quite personal but because I am secure in my relationship with God, I have not much shame left when it comes to the things and thoughts of this world.  For those who are reading this and have not read my testimony, Day of Deliverance, a short version:  Married to a man addicted to drugs for 18 years.  Separated through an act of God.  Left without a working vehicle, a kitchen stove, a dryer and no gas hooked up to the trailer for 3 years.  Within six months of the separation, all those things were restored, mostly given to me or bought cheaply.  God provided then and He once again is doing it now.

During the 18 years of my marriage, I did not have the time, energy or money to take care of myself as I should have.  I focused all of my attention on survival for me and my children, while trying to keep my husband provided for.  Any spare money went for drugs, bottles and cans were taken back for nightly dinner and between work and raising two small children, I let myself physically go.  At one point I had stopped taking my thyroid medication and almost put myself into early menopause.  Yep, sacrificed myself for the sake of others.  Never once did I do anything for me.  Any time we happened to have any money left over it went to the kids.  Birthday money, meant for me, yup spent for someone else.  I never have been a self-centered person but there is a line somewhere when you have to take the steps to take care of you and somehow the line had been erased for me.

Now here I am, a restaurant manager, people person, very out going, youth leader, desiring to be a published writer and public speaker some day and I can’t even smile in public.  I never had good teeth growing up and was always getting fillings.  My dad took care of things until I was 18 and then, well I just neglected to take of them.  One by one teeth were pulled when they got to the point of unbearable pain.  Not having dental insurance we had to go to clinics and the answer always was just to pull the teeth.  Well, here I am at 41 with a broken space between my front teeth.  A few months ago my boss had taken steps to help me get my teeth fixed through his dentist.  I had a estimates done and it was not looking all that great….$5,000 was a rough estimate since I would be needing upper dentures.

I started seeing my boss’ dentist and most of the bottom work has been taken care of except for one tooth which needs a root canal at the cost of $900 and the payment has to be upfront.  Shortly after this was decided my boss passed away and since he was helping me some of the payments, my dental work stopped.  I am now stuck with the same inability to smile and just frustrated that I cannot get myself ahead enough to get to a place where I can make affordable payments.  A friend of mine gave me some money towards getting the root canal done but because of garnishments on my check from past due medical bills that were my husband’s, I just could not get the money to have the procedure done.  So I just decided, I will have to wait until tax return time to get started again….then God stepped in and intervened!

I had gone to a Date with Jesus soaking, where we just sat and listened for  the Lord while listening to music and reading Bibles at the church secretary’s house.  Being a writer I filled a few pages of my journal including a page of just praising God for the things He has done for me recently.  I was getting ready to leave and the secretary asked if I would like to stay for a piece of blueberry pie, I declined because I needed to get to work to do a truck order, but she asked again.  (this is where it becomes a true God thing)  She had said blueberry pie and that is my favorite, so I changed my mind and said yes.  (the pie was actually made by another church member…see how God works?  He knows blueberry pie is my favorite)  Long story shortened, the conversation turned to discussing my teeth.  We had prayed before about my teeth and so she was aware of the situation.  She asked me if I had an estimate because someone in the church who also knew about the situation said the Lord had laid it upon their hearts to help pay for my teeth.

My jaw dropped and I sat in amazement at what had just happened.  I gave up on getting my teeth fixed for awhile and the moment I did, God went to work on my behalf.  I tear up every time I think about it and I can just feel how much God loves me.  I know He has great plans for me and this is just another step towards the end goal.  He has also promised me a new home so that I can finally step over the last hurdle to becoming free of my old life and it’s memories.  I cannot explain to you in great enough detail the love God has for you.  He truly cares for His children and will do anything to provide for them.  He has done so much for me in such a short spanse of time it is just amazing.  As I am entering into the final stages of my book, the healing process has just been wonderful, God knows what He is doing.

I urge you take a moment and examine your own life.  What are you holding onto that God wants you to let go of so He can take care of you?  So often we hang onto things because we feel we need to fix them ,since we are the ones who made the wrong choices in our lives to begin with.  Let go.  Let God work out your testimony so that He may be glorified!  I am not sure where I would be if He had not stepped down and gently picked me up out of the mess I was in.  Where would I be if He had not placed persons in my life who urged me to get an order of protection so my husband could not come back home after only 4 days in a mental hospital?  I know where I would be…wandering around in the desert for another 40 years.  Surely God provided in the desert but destinies where not being reached. Let go of it!  Allow God to work it out on your behalf in ways that you could never come up with!

He truly loves us all like a Father.  After all if one of is lost, He will come searching and I can pretty much guarantee He will scoop us up no questions asked and continue to love us, holding us a little bit closer than before.

 

Advertisements

Me, Being Real

“Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165 AMP

Ever just feel like you lost your joy for a moment?  Got sucked into the world a bit too much?  Can’t seem to explain why, but you feel the need to scream..again and again and again?  Perhaps the feeling you just want to hide somewhere for awhile or run away?  Maybe just a simple walk will suffice or a gaze upon a sunset in the west will revive the feeling you lost of being secure with Him.  There are times when I have these feelings, even though there is so much to be thankful for, these feelings seep in unexpectedly and I just want to run away, back into the open arms of Jesus.

How did I stray?  Was it distraction?  Or perhaps a mere disappointment moment?  I live for the joy in life.  I always try to stay positive and see the half full glass rather than the thirst which comes when the glass is nearing it’s emptiness, however there are times.  There are moments when I just wonder to myself, “Why are these things happening?”  When I separated from my husband almost two and half years ago I could finally see what I had been trudging through for years, muck!  I had allowed myself to drift so far from God that I was just walking through muck and not getting very far.  Like a lost sheep, I was crying but no one heard me because I was truly lost.  Saved but lost.  Does anyone get this?

I have set myself apart from the world as directed in the Bible.  I have quit smoking.  I have given up drinking.  I have tried to keep my speech clean and uplifting.  Nope, not perfect at at it, but I have a much better handle on things than just two years ago.  I have sought out the face of God during revival and He renewed my thinking and given me new hope.  I have learned to lean not on me, but only on God.  He is truly my refuge in the storms of life.  He is my fortress when I have no other place to reside.  I have searched for answers to my life everywhere which is why I was walking in the muck for so long, I was not searching in Him.  I knew He was the answer, but I thought I had a better way for some reason.  Ever feel that way?

Some recent events in my life have been fighting for my attention and steering me away from my focus on God.  My owner at work passed away suddenly a few months ago and we have new owners.  New owners mean new rules and some are just not what I am used to.  Now I have employees who are unhappy and frustrated.  My schedule has drastically changed and my sleep is varied.  This is also preventing me from attending church like I was because of my schedule at work.  I am trying to stay positive but one thing after another keeps happening, so standing my ground is become a difficulty.  My dad had his second knee surgery a few weeks ago and is residing in a nursing home because he is 79 and the healing process is taking a bit longer than the first time.  My mom who is also 79 tells me she is getting rid of all the extra junk in her apartment so that when “she goes” I won’t have so much to take care of. My youngest is preparing for her senior year of high school.  Things just seem to be piling up.

It just seems like BAM! The world hits me in the face and I have to react.  I have been praying more and seeking God, yet I feel sometimes at any moment I will lose it and run around screaming my head off thinking nothing strange about it while others who have seen me dealing with stress before begin to scratch their heads in bewilderment.  So I guess my point in this particular blog refers to the above verse: Peace.  I have to find that peace which passes all understanding, pull myself from the muck of the world and enter into His presence every morning.  I will not allow myself to be dragged down by the things of this world any longer.  I have not trudged through this life just to wallow in my own self-doubt and worldly thinking.  Surely the world wants me to react in “normal human” emotional back lashing, being constantly angry and bound by the “why me” syndrome that seems to be running rampant in today’s society.

No more pity party for me!  I seek now the face of God and choose to dwell in His presence in all circumstances.  Usually when I feel things are at their worst, God is doing His best work.  Tomorrow is a new day to  begin afresh.  No matter what I have done with this present day, I can restart in the morning because it is a promise from God.  I urge each of you reading this to examine your own lives.  Are you burdened with the world?  Is there muck on your spiritual shoes?  Had enough of the self-doubt and pity parties?  Seek His peace.  Listen for His soothing voice in the times of crisis.  Know He is right beside you even when you can’t feel Him.  Make God a reality in your life so you will not stumble or be offended by the world, but rather filled with peace at all times.

Follow His Voice

Matthew 10:42
And whoever gives to one of these little ones [in rank or influence] even a cup of cold water because he is My disciple, surely I declare to you, he shall not lose his reward.

Ever just done something  knowing it was God?  Maybe just bless someone and wonder why?  Ever felt lead to do something out of the ordinary knowing God was using you?  This happens almost every for me at a local music festival, Unity, that we have here in Muskegon, Michigan in August.  This was me fifth year to attend and four of them I have volunteered in the inflatable games.  Mostly teens run the games and being a youth leader I feel right at home.  Every year God sends me a child of some significance that just touches my heart.  Usually it is a child who is having difficulty with the climbing wall and I share Philippians 4:13 with them for encouragement.  One year it took this little girl all three days of the event to finally get to the top.  I rewarded her with some happy meal toys and by the end her mom, myself and the child had tears of joy.

This year was no exception but this one was really specially.  This little boy, approximately age seven, came through the line for the climbing wall and as I was putting his harness on, he said this was his first time here and he was staying with his uncle.  He came through the line again and explained his parents were divorced and it was sad.  Then once again he goes through and tells me his mom is in Italy on her honeymoon.  By the time he had finished for the day, I knew enough about him to feel his pain of divorce and the uncertainty of the new marriage.  Tears fill my eyes now as I remember his little voice crying out for peace even if he did not say it directly.  The last time he came through the line, he reminded me he did not go to church and wondered what I was telling the girl ahead of him about.

I had been sharing Philippians 4:13 with her because she was nervous.  I told him about this and he was still confused, and finally he asked, “What is a Bible and these verses?”  I took a moment and explained this to him and and I could see he was really interested.  My night as a volunteer ended and I went on to enjoy the concerts not giving another thought of this little one until I was at work the next day and I kept hearing that still small voice, “Buy a Bible today.”  I was suddenly filled with excitement!  God wanted me to bless this child!  So after work I bought one all excited to give it to the little boy later that day.  I searched for him during my four hour shift and after asking several little boys if they were the one I was looking for, I was pretty sad to discover he had not returned.

Saturday arrives and the weather is ify.  It had stormed earlier and more were on the way.  We opened the inflatables for a few minutes only to end up standing in the pouring rain.  Bummed again I wondered if I was going to be able to give this Bible to the person it was intended for.  The storms passed and we were able to reopen the inflatables and I began my searching again.  Finally I saw a teenager whom I thought I had seen chaperoning the little boy two days before and I approached him asking if a particular boy was with him and if the boys mother was in Italy at the moment.  The teen looked at me wide eyed and asked how I could possibly know this, I laughed and said the boy had shared with me the last time he was in line for the wall climb.

I instructed them not to move while I retrieved my gift.  I presented the Bible to him and wrote his name on the inside.  I had highlighted Philippians 4:13 for him and showed him how he could find it.  He was so excited I was fighting back tears.  He promised me he would read it and tell me all about it next Unity if he could come.  God is so awesome!  Who knows, that little guy could be the next Billy Graham!  My friend asked me later if I realized that I had just placed a lethal weapon in the hands of a seven year old!  I said give me some more!  I am always honored to volunteer at Unity.  For me it’s not about the music, as awesome as it is, but it is about serving and being obedient to the things of God.  I look forward to next year, wondering what God will do with me next!

In a Forest of Trees

John 8:12

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

 We had a lovely day just wondering around Michigan this past spring.  We began our day at sunrise on the lake praising His name and then ended our day almost exactly 12 hours later with a hike to the lake farther south.  We took the time to take pictures and enjoyed God marvelous beauty. My daughter, Victoria is quite the picture taker but the one I am attaching to this note, I took and did not realize the significance of it until I placed as the background for my laptop.

As I was wandering in the forest  I took great notice of the trees for some reason, some were brand new baby ones, others were old, some broken, short ones, many really tall trees and some with damage to them.  I was amazed at the size of some of them and wondered just how long they had actually been there standing with great prestige in such a wondrous place.  There were some pictures I wish now I had taken, perhaps on a return visit this summer, I will.  I stumbled upon this tree which was hallow from one side yet it had great tallness to it and looked perfect when viewed from the other side.  Much like some people, this tree may have appeared from one angle to be whole and mature while on the inside it was hallow.  How many of us have hallow spots on the inside?  How many of us are longing for something to fill that space in our insides?  We may appear as though we have it all together but something is missing and sometimes when others see us from a certain view they see that emptiness.

There was another tree, which I tried taking a picture of but it was just too tall!  I was in awe of how far it reached into the sky.  But if you looked closely, the first thing you actually saw was this place of damage, not far from the ground.  Not sure what had happened but you would have thought this tree would not have grown very much after such damage, yet much like Christians, we keep growing despite the wounds.  Sometimes we hear testimonies of others and we wonder how they even made it through a certain situation to where they are today.  Just like the tree, they find purpose and they just reach up towards heaven and God meets them right were they are.  Just finding security in the fact they have been saved.  Not realizing that by their testimony they can reach others and show them the Light.  How did I become so selfish that I just wanted to be a drifter in the forest of life not really making a difference in others lives?  Took my eyes off of the Son and accepted my situation as unchangeable, that’s what I did.  I stopped searching for answers to my questions, in reality, I stopped searching for God.

Towards the end of our hike I took the attached picture, trying to capture the light through the trees.  It wasn’t until I placed it on my laptop as the background did I notice the second light.  I loved this picture because I was whining to Victoria that there seemed to be no end to this trail.  I was tired and my asthma was attacking me.  When I turned the corner and saw how it looked like the path just dropped off I had to laugh.  How many times do we think in our Christian walk that there is no end to certain situations only to discover there is a drop off into the unknown?  How often do we feel our searching for an end have just brought us nowhere?

If you look at this photo as I saw it, I was trying to take a picture of the sun shining through and how the path just seemed to drop off into the unknown.  When I posted the picture I saw instead the Son shining through the trees, the narrow path we are to walk and the this tiny light up ahead which seemed to reassure me that even if I did not see the end of the path, the Holy Spirit was guiding me.  While my eyes were upon Jesus (the sun in the sky), my feet were securely on the path as I walked in faith and even though I could not see it when I took the journey, the Holy Spirit was just up ahead in the darkness, leading me.

What a wonderful portrait of God’s love for us.  If we just walk by faith and keep our eyes on Jesus we will never walk into darkness for the Holy Spirit is our guide.  Can you see how the Trinity truly works?  I was filled with such joy upon seeing this right before my eyes and it stills fills me with an uncontainable joy as I write out his marvelous vision.  God loves us all and even when you feel alone in the forest, God sees you there and is reaching down to meet your needs.  Walk in Faith.  Stay on the path God has destined for you.  Keep your eyes on Jesus!  And surely trust in the Holy Spirit for He is our guide and present help in time of need.  Never stop searching for God.  We all desire to be filled and not hallow, strong in our faith and not dead wood.  God longs for us to reach for Him and seek His face, like the branches of the trees.  Never think that you are the only tree in the forest, you are never alone, God fills the space all around you!

Seeing Promises

Proverbs 3

Trusting in the Lord

 1 My child, never forget the things I have taught you.
      Store my commands in your heart.
 2 If you do this, you will live many years,
      and your life will be satisfying.
 3 Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
      Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
      Write them deep within your heart.
 4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
      and you will earn a good reputation.

 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.
 6 Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.

 7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
      Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
 8 Then you will have healing for your body
      and strength for your bones.

 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
      and with the best part of everything you produce.
 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
      and your vats will overflow with good wine.

Ever just wonder where your promises are?  Seem like things just are not as they should be?  Wanting to SEE God?  Well, recently I was at church and was being prayed over.  I loosed some very BIG things from my life and could see freedom.  I had not realized how bogged down I had been by these weights on my heart.  I let go of some issues that needed to be let go, untied some strings that needed to be broken off from me and God showed up in all of His intended glory and gave me this awesome view of the sun rays exploding in the sky to gaze upon as I stepped out of the church that evening!

About a year a before this night, during prayer and revelation with my mentor she told me God said the sun rays were for me.  Ever since then I just stop in amazement at His wondrous displays and I remember His promises.  He promises to never leave or forsake us.  He promises provision.  He promises restoration of the things the enemy steals and destroys.  During my marriage, I lost many things that most take for granted when they enter a marriage.  We went three years without gas which meant no dryer, no kitchen stove and no furnace.  We grilled often, used the microwave and dried clothes by hanging them around the house and in the cold of winter we used space heaters and kerosene.  Within 6 months of being separated, God returned these things to me at almost no cost to me.  God knows our needs and is surely glad to meet them when we are looking to Him for the answers.

What do you think God has promised to you?  Is it health?  Is it restoration?  A prosperous way of life?  A new home?  A child?  A new job?  Peace in your walk?  I encourage you to examine your life and see where God has already given you some of His promises, then seek out the others.  As Christians we cannot just sit here and cry out, “Lord Bless Me!”, sometimes there is action on our part so we may grow in the things of God.  Bless to be blessed, share so He can share with you.  Our Father longs to give us everything, however if He just gives and gives we become unappreciative and selfish.  He wants to give to see us give.  Love us so we will love.

Take a moment today to write down your blessings and see where God has given to you His best.  Pray over these things and ask God to show you how you can repeat it in someone else’s life, perhaps you are an instrument God is waiting to use to bring about a promise to someone else.  For instance, you may have an extra blender you received as a gift and have no use for it.  Take a moment and ask God whom you should give it to, He may know someone in need, can you imagine the love which can transfer when someone asks you, “How did you know?” and you respond, “The Father told me you were in need.”  I hear of stories like that all the time and it is just awesome!  Be a willing instrument and let God use you this week!

Broken Into Pieces

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

scattered about

longing for connection

wanting to be whole

my heart lays in pieces…..waiting.

As the days just continue to fade away, I have time to reflect on where I am.  My sole reason for writing is to touch hearts and reach those who are brokenhearted.  I long to help pick up the pieces and rebuild relationships simply by sharing what I have seen.  I am married to an addict, first alcohol and then drugs.  I was addicted to him as much as he was addicted to me.  Somehow in the strangest of ways, we needed to be with each other.  I needed him for acceptance and he needed someone to love him for who he was.  Kids complicated things as the marriage worsened, I wanted out, yet I just saw no alternative through the winding mess of  brokenness I had found myself in.

I would look in the mirror often and just wonder what I was doing here.  My heart was completely broken after 18 years of marriage.  My kids we 15 and 17 when my husband planned to commit suicide on my daughters 15th birthday with a 410 shot gun while high on methadone and even at the hospital as lies were being told about the situation, I was scared to say anything.  I feared a man who was clearly not in his right mind.  I was scared of what he would do if he found out I was the one who told the doctors finally about his addictions.  Looking back the only explanation as to why I could spill the story to the nurse, was God.  He took one look at me suffering in a situation I had placed myself in and found mercy; giving me the confidence in that one small moment of time to speak what I needed to say.  In that one small moment God was able to finally remove me from my situation so healing could begin.

In my weakness, God gave me courage.  In my crisis, He showed me they way out of the wilderness.  He heard my crying out to Him.  He was already finding all the pieces to my shattered heart so that He could begin the healing process, I just had to recognize I was broken.  This whole time I thought it had it under control. My kids were okay.  I was still working.  I went to church.  I just assumed God just let this relationship continue because He was serving a purpose for my life.  As I have started to get my thoughts in order, I have found writing this book about my situation has caused me to see I was not okay.  The kids were NOT okay.  Certainly I did not have things under control.  Yet God is using this now for good.

In the coming days, I will step into the reality of God.  He is real for every situation.  God is in every moment of the day.  He is our provider, our protector and our guide.  His love covers a multitude of wrong decisions and choices.  As we are beating ourselves up He is trying to find a way to encourage us.  Maybe for some it’s reading something that just hits home finally or He sends someone into your life for a season or a moment just to show you He is there….waiting.  Waiting for you to give it all to Him finally so He may begin picking up the pieces of your heart and put them back together for His glory.  He longs for you to be happy in all aspects of your life, this cannot happen if you think you are the one in control.

waiting….

staring at the pieces

wondering if it still remembers

how to beat.

What a Drama!

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 ASV

Unbelievable things happen to good people.  Undeserving stuff happens to those we view unworthy.  Strange unexplainable events take place everywhere around the world.   Soon mouths are moving and hearts are broken; things are done and words are spoken to change the perspectives of many.  Rumors are begun and accusations fly like birds scattered from a loud noise.  Drama.  Drama.  Drama.  It is everywhere you go.  It does not stop after you graduate from school or college, it just gets different to fit whatever situation you find yourself in.  As Christians we need to begin to see drama differently and take part in God’s Drama.

I try hard not to let drama control my life, however I work with two types of persons who usually are at the heart of it:  teenagers and restaurant workers.  I often can find myself drawn into the excitement of “he said she said” and the “didja hears”.  It is easy in this worldly time to forget for moments at a time that the words we speak can either bring life or death, healing or brazenness.  We need to see things in a slightly different light, a view point of drama maybe not seen before.

Drama Defined in Webster’s Dictionary:  a : a composition in verse or prose intended to portray life or character or to tell a story usually involving conflicts and emotions through action and dialogue and typically designed for theatrical performance : play — compare closet drama b : a movie or television production with characteristics (as conflict) of a serious play; broadly : a play, movie, or television production with a serious tone or subject <a police drama>: dramatic art, literature, or affairsa : a state, situation, or series of events involving interesting or intense conflict of forces

Drama is the unfolding of a story, often in skit-form.  Hmmm, could we not use the Bible as our drama?  It has verse, portrays life and it has conflict.  If we decide to use the Bible as our skit, all we have to do is learn the lines and then continually practice them.  By building up the character in us, we can be a spectacular sight for others to live by for they will see the star quality in us:  Jesus.

If we have troubles along the way say for instance, learning our lines or understanding the purpose for a certain setting, we can seek out the Director.  He will place people in the right places and guide us to the perfect performance.  (Webster:  di·rec·tor noun \də-ˈrek-tər, dī-\: one who directs: as a : the head of an organized group or administrative unit  b : one of a group of persons entrusted with the overall direction of a corporate enterprise people in the right places and guide us to the perfect performance.) The Director can change the scenery along the way to make more sense of the current scene we are acting out. The Director sets the theme and the tone for the entire skit and we just need to trust Him to get us through to the end.

So as you can see, drama can be a good thing in our lives when we look to the Director to guide us and show us how to tweak our performances.  He will give us confidence and an assured path to get us to the next act in the dramas of our lives.  By choosing to follow the Bible as our script for life, we can have a sureness about us as we look to the Director for all of our answers.  We however, cannot ad-lib our lines to fit the skit into our life situations.  We cannot make up things as we go along or deviate from the acts which have already been laid out for us to perform.  By seeking out the Director these mistakes can be avoided and a beautiful display of His handiwork can be seen by many!

What kind of drama will you choose today?  One with a Director who knows the way to a great performance and has already written the words for us?  Or will you take matters into your own hands and write your own skit, hoping it fits into the Directors plan for the performance?