“That was the best mammogram!,” says no one ever. Those things are painful and uncomfortable. Having to be half naked in front of a stranger and all of the weird noises and pinching. I was dreading my appointment this morning when my husband called to tell me to cancel all of my appointments today because the roads were icy and he did not want me out in this 20 degree Michigan weather. I asked if he was sure because I had a 9 am mammogram appointment that I was ready to cancel and to my dismay he said I should go but to be very careful driving. And so I went.
How many times have we “ignored”, “set aside”, “put on a back burner” or “rescheduled” what we are suppose to be doing for God? For me…too many to count. I am a writer. I see things which need to be written and I write my heart. My goal? To touch one heart for Jesus. To make plain that which this fallen world has made complicated. I have been in this boat before where I know I need to write but I will find every excuse in the world not to accomplish the task before me. Today I received a push from a total stranger in an uncomfortable situation.
I could have 1,500 people come up to me and be like, “So when is the next book coming out? What’s it about?” and I would have some sappy reply to cover up the fact that I had not even started it. I can tell them the title and what it’s about but I have no words on paper to prove it. Recently I have been off work…10 weeks to be exact with the means of resting and writing. Have I written any words towards a book? Nope. Blogging is at a minimum. I just seem to have no motivation. I can’t even use the excuse anymore that I don’t have the means to create said book because I now have this beautiful new laptop with the right program to use to write with.
But! Because God loves me, He doesn’t give up. He keeps pursuing me. He is my creator and He knows the plans and purposes He has for me and that is to write. Today the technician who took my “pictures” was Christian and the encouragement from her meant so much to me. God used a complete stranger to give me ideas and venues for my writing. He chose to use something I was dreading and rewarded me with His grace. I left that appointment walking on cloud 9! Why? Because as I was leaving I told her thanks for the encouragement and her response was, “Thank You! You were also an encouragement to me today!”
So now I am back on my mission. If I can touch one person with the words I scribe it is all worth it. Enough running away from my gifting. Finished with the lies from the enemy that I am not making a difference. I am done with trying to be a writer and am accepting the words: I am a writer.
Dear God, It’s me Brenda. I know that you have instilled in me a purpose. An avenue of scribing words so that Your people will be able to hear Your heart. I thank You today for this precious gift You have given to me. Thank You for pursing me. Thank You for pushing. I pray now for those who are struggling with their gifting that You would begin to pursue them and show them the same grace You have given to me. I pray that You would use all of us in some way for Your purposes. Lord I surrender my gift to You. Use me. In Jesus Name, AMEN
Isaiah 53 The Message (MSG)
53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
(I would encourage you to read all of Isaiah 53)
Ever notice how things with God can sometimes be backwards? He gave death to bring life. He sent His only Son Jesus to die so that we may live. There are times when I just don’t understand the whole deal, yet I am ever grateful for this opportunity of life. I am thankful for the life I have been given so that in turn I can give life to the death in other’s lives. From the moment I knew that I was to be a writer for Jesus, my one desire is to mend the hearts of the broken. As I myself have healed from many hurts and wounds I want others to be made whole in His presence. His grace is what pulled me out and it is by that same grace I write.
We were given life so that we can bring the revelation of life to others. Today my husband and I visited a regular customer of mine who had recently been hospitalized. Her and her husband have been in my drive thru every morning for the past two years and I felt compelled to visit her. I brought her both copies of my books and we sat and chatted for awhile. Then we prayed over her. She was ever so touched by the mere fact that we stopped to see her. This is the impact God wants us to make on the world. I can’t tell you what compelled me to visit this person I knew nothing about, yet I know it brought some life to her day.
It’s always the little things that matter the most when it comes to showing love to someone. Take for instance when my hubby picks one single flower and places it in my hair it is much more special than a dozen roses. When someone just simply smiles randomly as you pass by it is way more appealing than just rushing right on by. When someone stops to pick up something you dropped when they could have just walked away means more than them just ignoring it. Do see what I am trying to say? It is the little things which matter the most and those are the things I like to partake in.
So where am I going with this when Jesus dying on a cross was such a huge act of love? Because with one death, the world gained life and for those who choose Life in Christ, they will see so much more come to pass in their lives than the ones who deny His very existence. In death we find life. In darkness we have found Light. When we find death in our situations we get the option of shinning the Light of Jesus on it and moving forward. We have the opportunity then to speak life into other’s darkness. This is who I was designed to be through my writing. I am able to shine a light where maybe only darkness brooded.
Can you be a Light to those around you? What can you do to share Life? Are you willing to allow Jesus to enter into your very own darkness? Are you ready to let Him shine through you so that others can see just how much life they can have? Everyday I strive to shine, some days it is not easy, yet it is by His grace I am able. With His grace I can smile. With His grace I can stop and help someone. With His grace I can be a Light in such a darkened world. If what I write changes one mindset today, God will have used me. The key to all of it is…are you willing to be used? Are you willing to let God bring life to your death? Are you willing to be changed so God can use you to change others? It’s tough at first I know but what joy comes when you see someone surface from darkness. Are you somebody’s only Light to Life?
1 Chronicles 16:23-27
Sing to God, everyone and everything! Get out his salvation news every day! Publish his glory among the godless nations, his wonders to all races and religions. And why? Because God is great—well worth praising! No god or goddess comes close in honor. All the popular gods are stuff and nonsense, but God made the cosmos! Splendor and majesty flow out of him, strength and joy fill his place. Continue reading 101…Not Dalmatians…Nations!!
Then I observed all the work and ambition motivated by envy. What a waste! Smoke. And spitting into the wind.
“The grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” How many times have we heard this statement? We as humans always seem to want what the other person has. We want to “keep up with the Jones’s” . Sometimes people want what others have just because they think they will never get it for themselves. Others want what others possess because they are jealous.
Another reason for us wanting another persons gift is that we don’t realize we have one of our own. I wish I could preach like that! I wish I could write a book! I wish I could sew an outfit! I wish I was crafty. I wish I could cook a gourmet meal!! I wish I could style my hair like hers! I wish. I wish. I wish. How many times do we speak these things or at least think the thoughts? We get so wrapped up in what we can’t do that we forget to search for our own gift.
For me, I have known for a long time I like to write. I wrote tons of poems in middle and high school. I took creative writing classes and I even received a scholarship from my writing to attend college. Did I believe I was a writer? Nope. When my friend said to start a blog I was nervous. Who is going to read it? When I began to write my first book again I was doubting its success.
We need to come to realize we all have a special gift which God gives to us the moment we begin life. Some people spend their whole lives not knowing what their gift is or they have it in their possession and do nothing with it. I have chosen to take my writing as far as I can. I have tried to be dedicated to writing a blog every week…yes I have failed at times but I just keep trying.
I attended a powerful conference just recently and a Man of God prayed over me. He stood back and looked sternly at me and asked me if I knew I was in a place of influence. I agreed that I was concerning my job, however I thought that was the only area. He prayed that God would place the mantle of influence over my life and that He would begin to show me my areas of influence.
My first glimpse of this was yesterday when I was just going over my stats here on WordPress. There is this map which shows how many different countries have read my writing. I was reminded that about 3 years ago it was prophesied into my life that my writings would touch the nations. I shrugged it off not really believing this to be true until yesterday that it is. I discovered that people from 65 different nations have read my blog.
I stood there is awe of what God can do. The only thing I have to do with this is obedience. I opened my gift and used it and in return God has blessed me. I encourage you today to find and open your gift. I know you have one. What has God given to you for the nations? How has He equipped you to do His will here on earth?
[ God’s Discipline Proves His Love ] Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
Ever been in that moment where you just want to get where you are going and don’t want to do all the stuff in between? Like I want to be a published author but the steps to get there seem almost impossible. Take for instance the writing, the editing, the financing……..all the necessary steps which need to be completed before the goal is accomplished. I have been dreaming of being a writer since I wrote my first poem in kindergarten. I loved arranging words and having them take on a whole new meaning. As I grew up I learned how to convey my emotions through mere words and I found great excitement in doing so.
At this point in my “career” I would like to be writing for a Christian magazine or something bigger than just this blog. I aspire to have writing about the things of God be my full time work….yet here I am with just this blog. I often wonder what God is doing. I thought by now the books would be published. My plans obviously are different than God’s.
So let’s put this into perspective for a moment….I have dreams and aspirations for my life, but God has already planned everything out, so why I am even trying to figure this out? In Jeremiah 29:11 it clearly states He knows the plans He has for our lives. We should be willing to let it all go and trust that God has it all taken care of. If we could just wake up in the morning and look up the heavens and say, “Here I am Lord, what’s on the agenda for today?”
I trust God with all my heart and I know He will give me the desires of my heart because He is the one who placed those desires in our hearts in the first place as our Creator. I know I just need to relax and go with the flow as God sets up things for me that I can’t even see. I have had the pity party. I have stood behind the brick wall wondering why I can’t move forward. I have done everything possible to move myself forward only to come to discover that I will not be moved until God has made the way……..ya know that patience thing.
“So here I am Lord, waiting to move. Show me today where we are going. I choose to take Your hand and lead me into the adventures you have already planned for me.”
They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Raise your hand if you have ever had a pity party for yourself. Good now that hands are raised all over the place, this will be easier to write. God has created each of us with a purpose. He has also commanded us to preach the Good News and have compassion towards others as we aspire daily to become more like His Son Jesus. I myself have been struggling a bit these last few months as I have been adjusting to all of the changes in my life. I have been divorced, fell in love all over again and become remarried….all because God decided what I needed in my life. Well in this process I feel I have lost a bit of my purpose as a Christian writer.
I knew at the age of 5 when I wrote my first poem in kindergarten that I wanted to be a writer. Not a journalist but a writer. I loved words and had fun putting them together in an array of sentences to make some semblance of meaning on a page. As I grew older I had a teacher who spoke life into my writing and I was hooked. I wrote journals and poems and short stories. As I moved forward in my ministry aspect of life, I began this blog and wrote two books, looking towards the life of becoming a published author and having a way to share my love for Jesus publicly. I have since fell short of these goals in my life. I have not blogged and the two books I have completed are sitting at the publishers waiting on me to locate financing to have them published.
I was really feeling low today and I prayed with my husband looking to God for solutions. I surrender it all to God on the way to a revival meeting, knowing that I cannot do anything in my power to fix me. I surrendered the books and my blogs. I surrendered myself as a writer and I asked God to show me the next steps to take. Leave to our loving Father in heaven to send a message to a man of God to speak at the very end of the of the meeting with a word that spoke straight to my heart. This man spoke of dying fruit. He painted a word picture of a lonely grape still ripe on a vine among other wilted ones. The moment I heard him speak I knew it was for me. I felt that my usefulness as a Christian was dwindling and that I really did not matter to the purposes of the Kingdom work.
I went up for prayer and he spoke life into me. Told be that God was turning things around. I now have regained hope in this area of my life. God has renewed my passion and I am ready to press in and move ahead. No more accepting the lies of the devil. I am ready to realize that I have more fruit to produce for the Kingdom and I say to each of you reading this blog, don’t let your fruit die. You have a purpose. God has given you a reason to be on this earth. Do not be led into darkness away from your destiny or dreams by the lies Satan likes to feed us everyday. Be strong in the Lord and in all your way acknowledge Him, trusting in His plan for your life.