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Monday, December 14, 2009

For the Love of a Horse

I don't know how many of you have been in contact or have had horses but I am sure if you have owned a horse that animal has in some way connected to your soul and spirit. Somewhere down deep you became a part of the horse. They become a part of your life very quickly and for those young girls (or young men) who are drawn to them, horses become a part of your identity. I have been reading blog named "for the love of a horse". The writer is amazing in his description of the egyptian arabian horse from old lines to new lines. And as I read his blog tonight, I felt as though I am deceiving some who come across my blog. The name "far side farms" was started with the thought that I would be bringing a helping hand to some of those out there who have horses with problems or issues that I have faced over my many years of dealing with horses that were not the easiest to own or train. I truly love horses, they are a part of my life that is more than just a pet, they complete my identity. I am not by any means an expert horsewoman, and nor do I portray myself as being one. But when I am with them in some sort of way I can become a different person. Not angry not someone I 'have' to be but ME.

Horses don't care what you look like or what you wear. They don't care if you are standing beside them or riding them (most horses). Horses are old line of life that love people. If you are ever around a horse that loves its people you are seeing the way that they were created to be by God. I fell off of the horse wagon for a while, trying to make it something it wasn't and God made it so that even though I didn't want to ride I had to care for 'the girls' (my nickname for the small herd out my backdoor). That small part of me that desired and loved them was being beat down by the fact that they had become a job instead of a love. That was not the only thing happening at that time, I was drowning in a lot of anger and anxiety and horses became part of that anxiety and anger. It was at this time that God intervened in my life, He sent Peggie to intercede in my life. It took about a month before my life started to unwind before I realized that my horses were actually a part of my life that God was directly connected to in my every day life. I chose, or allowed, to have my horses become a part of my life that I resented. I know today that when those days come that resentment sets in that the enemy is working on a part of my life and I am directing it toward my horses. I also know that in God's word the horse is a noted animal. Horses carry the angels of the apocolypse bringing the will of God in the future. Horses carry Jesus Christ back to us to claim His world and people. Horses have that high recognition in God's word. How amazing!!

So while my blog started in one direction, God directed me quickly that this was not part of his plan. So I mislead those looking for help with horses, and I am working to find a new name for my blog (nothing so far). Until the time when that name comes to me, Far Side Farms will remain, misleading those looking for horse help, and maybe finding God's help instead.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Beautiful Poetry

I love poetry, especially the old stuff that has a rythym to it and tells a story. I loved for years growing up "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. When I first read this poem in high school, I had no concept of what it meant except that a lonely traveler had happened upon a split in the road and after a debate of which to take he decided on the one less traveled. The poem holds more to it than that really, it was a life decision by a traveler who was making a life choice. Of course the poem doesn't let on to that especially because of the way it was written by Frost. The poem means much, much more today and I love it even more, it holds a sense of new life by taking the road less traveled now.
I don't know of anyone who calls the gospels poetry but I find poetry in the words of John. He wrote as though his heart was telling a story in a rythmic tune about Jesus Christ. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Not much of a rhyming tune but these words set the tone for the remainder of John's gospel. They are the prelude to a mixture of poetic words that flow from John in a way that draws the reader tightly into the poem. Just like Frost's poem, John doesn't give you all of the details in one lump sum. He tells you about this 'light' that is the light to save all men, he tells you about the how He made the world but the world did not know Him. From John 1: 1- John 1:19, a poem starts to tell of the works, coming, arrival, and message of Jesus, a prelude to the full gospel by John of his Lord Jesus Christ and when he put Him to words poetry erupted.
Many of us have heard or know of the story of Jesus's birth, why, when, where, who came, how the story started and ended. I had never heard anyone person speak of Jesus the way John does. His words drew me to a closer understanding of God and Jesus's relationship with God and how even though Jesus was God in the beginning, He was a man, and now He is the living God.
John may not be the poet that Robert Frost is, he may not be the ryhming, rhythmic, wordsmith. But like Frost, John had a choice to make, a choice between a split in the road to the left (a road much traveled) or to the right (one overgrown and slightly hidden). You and I have that choice. We can't see around the bend in the road, just like Frost's traveler, but as we stand at the split in the path we can make the decision which to take. I read Frost's poem much differently these days, I don't see the traveler trying to make a decision of which way to go on to his destination; rather, I see a life choice. I chose late in life to take the road less traveled, of course I had take the much traveled road many, many times, or maybe I hadn't reached the split in the paths yet. I like this new path, it's not predictible and I don't have to see what's around the bend.
Two roads to take, one life choice, which will it be for you.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Do Not Be Afraid

I grew up being afraid of the dark. Why? Well I was afraid of what was in the dark, the 'thing' that I couldn't see or make out that might 'get me', so to speak. For may children, the dark is one of the places fear first sets in, or at least that's my theory, where else would fear begin except in childhood (ok adulthood holds some pretty scary things too). But when you really think about what you're afraid of, how far back does it go? I thought for many, many years that my fear of the dark was just 'my thing' the one thing that I truly didn't like, well that was a lie. A lie from myself to myself. My fears started in the dark and grew from there. So why am I still afraid of the dark, now at age 39? Well, I believe it is because that is where all my skeletons are hiding!! And I'm right, that is where they are all hiding, the left the closet and decided that the dark is where they needed to be!

God said several times (where I don't know) that truth hates darkness and shines the light on it to expose it. Sorry I have heard and read that several times but I can't find it now. But reading this what does it mean? Well last spring Lee and I took a life group, Experiencing God, and in that time we learned that "truth" is a person, in the new testament "truth" is referred to as Jesus..."I am the truth, the light and the way" (paraphrased and sorry no reference). When I learned this, I understood why He hates the darkness because if Truth is Jesus then darkness is the enemy. I often struggle with the dark, at one point in my life it was like my nemesis the thing I had to conquer, I was an adult I shouldn't be afraid of the dark. Now, after meeting Jesus and having Him in my life, I don't struggle with that anymore. The fear of the darkness is still there but I know now that I can come inside, if I'm outside, and ask Lee to come out side with me while I do whatever it is that I need to do. If I'm inside I can turn on the lights (by the way that was a revelation for me!). I don't have to be afraid. Sunday I heard that the phrase "do not be afraid" is resited 365 times in the Bible. God says it 365 times!!! That's once for every day that I wake up. My spirit literally jumped for joy when I heard that Sunday morning. My heart leaped and I felt total peace. For the first time in ever I heard that I didn't have to be afraid of anything in this world, that God is taking care of those things that I fear.

Am I still afraid of the dark? YES! Sometimes more so than others, but I don't have to be totally afraid because when I am I get help from Lee, I start reciting verses outloud, I turn on the lights and the fear subsides. I don't have to be afraid but am I still yes because all those skeletons that God is picking away at are trying to pull me back into my fear but I don't have to go. This time, unlike for the majority of my life, I don't have to submit to my fears because I have someone standing beside me, Jesus. So I wonder what you are afraid of? I wonder how far back the real fear goes? Mine still stems from childhood, at least the root of it is from my childhood, and I am still trying to cut it out of my soul. Where does your's start? Does it matter? Yes it matters because without knowing you are defenseless, the fear is still in the dark and no one, even you, don't know how to shine the light on it. Am I still afraid of 'things' that go bump in the night, yes, but God has set the lamp on my left and right to show the way and He can do the same for you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

In Remeberance


When I was growing up, I remember the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon", do you know that song? "Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree, so you remember me....daa, da, daa.." I know the song had purpose but I can't remember what it was truly about, today we place yellow ribbons on cars, mailboxes, homes, trees, anywhere we can to remember that our military soldiers are away and fighting for freedom.

Or, have you ever tied a string around your finger to remember something important? I did that a couple times in my life, I can't say it ever worked but I did give it a good effort. But I would get through the day - at school, playing with my friends as a child, working a busy life as an adult - and all I would have is a string around my finger and no rememberance of why it was there. Have you ever had one of those days? My friends, by the way most of them much older than me, calls those moments "senior moments". Well if that's the case, I've been a senior all my life. My husband calls them "bright and flashy distractions". He believes that on some level I am distracted easily and can bounce, literally, from one subject to the next without a second thought as to the conversation at hand.

So why do we go through so much trouble trying to remember something so important? Where did this process come from? An old wives tale? A tradition from some far off land of imigrants? Where and why do we do this so often?

I'm studying anger management (here's one of those bright and flashy distractions) and in the book I am reading, the author refers to Cain and Abel. And that sparked my interest so I picked up my bible and began to read. I started in Genesis 3 after God "tossed" Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and stopped in mid Genesis 9 after Noah, his family, and the animals left the Ark. In these chapters, only twice was anger mentioned, 1st when Cain was angered by Abel and God's approval of Abel, and 2nd when God decided to flood the earth killing everything He had created. But what I found interesting in the end was that God created something to remind him of his covenant or promise with Noah, his sons, and the animals of the earth. He created a rainbow and placed it in the horizon and said "I will establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you,"(Gen. 9:9). Ok first, I would have loved to hear God's voice say those words, a covenant with you and your descendants after you. Can you even imagine hearing those words come from the body of God? And He didn't stop there, in Gen. 9:12&13 "God said "this is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds and it will be a sign of the covenant between me and earth." and in Gen 9:16 God says "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures on earth." Wow! Even God created something amazing to remember a promise He made thousands of years ago with a man and his family and all the animals of the earth.

In the new testament, Christ did the same for us, He gave us something to remember Him by and His covenant with us for forgiveness (now please note it does not say that in the bible but I think that this set of rememberance tools is exactly that). In Luke 22: 19-20 Jesus and his disciples were celebrating passover, the last meal that Jesus would have with his friends. And during that meal, "Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and gave it to them saying 'this is my body, given for you, do this in remembrance of me.' then he took the cup in the same way and said ' this cup is my new covenant in blood, which is poured out for you.'..." We call this communion, the taking of bread and wine (or juice) in rememberance of what Jesus did for us, His covenant or promise of life by the sacrafice of His blood. And we do this often in rememberance of what our life is now and where our life was once, a way to remember the promise the God made with us through His son Jesus.
So where did those old wives tales and traditions come from? I don't know exactly where those two particular traditions came from, but I know that they were probably established by God with Noah after the great flood. I know that thousands of years later, Jesus made a covenant with us and gave us a way to remember that covenant. Maybe God could have put a ribbon around a tree (the olive tree at that time) and maybe Jesus could have taken a small string from his robe and tied it around each of the disciples fingers at the table. But would I have remembered that as clearly as I see a rainbow in the sky? Would a string being tied around my finger make an impression of Jesus sacrafice and God's love? I would guess probably not. So what do I do to remember God every day? Not much really. I get up every morning rouse the kids, feed the dogs and horses, kiss my husband good-bye and somewhere in the middle I try to say good-morning to God. But I know that everyday, when I wake up with a song in my mind of His love, that He put it there to remind me that He is still around, still part of my life. I'm not a good rememberer, but God is and everyday I have peace because He remembers all He has spoken. All I have to do.......? Well, I'm not to sure, maybe a string around my finger isn't a bad idea after all.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rejected

Have you ever felt regetted? Turned down? Left out? If you are or ever were a teenage girl or not so cool young man, you know the feeling. I spent a very large part of my life feeling or thinking that I was being rejected, and to a great deal I was being rejected. That, in and of itself, is not the problem. People are rejected everyday. They are rejected from a crush, rejected from a college/school, rejected from friend, rejected from a job expectation. And, I believe that for the most part, we adjust to that part of our "human" life. What is not part of the regjection process is the carrying over of the feeling of being rejected. What happens to those feelings when we are rejected? Well I can't speak for others, but for me those feelings were buried deep into the core of my soul. The part that held onto the rejection and stewed over it, causing in the long run, the same reaction from me. When I was approached by others, my first intent was to reject or get them out of my life. Why? Well because most of my young life I had been on the receiving end of rejection. So the product of that part of my life was rejection; take and dish it out.

I even at one point in my life rejected fully Christ and God. Told people that i didnt' believe in Him and it was honestly the truth of my life. To me, Christ was no different than everyone else in my life that I didn't want to be part of my life (or - truly not knowing how to show anything but rejection). So for several years I detered people from believing, people that I know believe God placed in my life and path to get my attention. I walked willingly away from God in every aspect of my life. So what happened? God interjected!!! Literally He held and interjection of my life, and worked to get my attention in a way that I didn't expect, a total surprise. He had me blackmailed!!!! Well ok not exactly blackmailed, but that is what I call it, His counterpart calls it bribery. Either way, it worked.


In Ephesians 4:17-32 Paul talks about a "former life" to the Ephesians. How they were once hard hearted, calloused, and exculded formt eh life of God because of their ignorance (this is the first part of this section). The Paul goes onto say that "you be renewed in the spirit of yoru mind and put on a new self, with in the likenes of God has been created in righteousness and holin ess of the truth." WOW! These people were not the cream of the crop, as a matter of fact they were Gentiles, those who Christ told the disciples to tell the gospel to and those who were not part of the Jewish religion. They were part of the lowliest people in the sight of God. How did they come from that to those of a renewed spirit and life? What happened? ..... God intervened. I don't know how He does it but He has a plan for everyone and He certainly doesn't care what your plans are in the process.

Paul goes on to tell the Ephesians to set aside their anger and wrath and take on a new attitude. I believe this is what happened to me, I don't know for sure but I think it is. And even though I am far from being to the place where I can let my "new self" show completely through, I am getting there. God took all the rejection I felt in my life away, why I don't know. When, not to sure about that either. And He is replacing that rejection with a new attitude and life. Am I resistent, ABSOLUTELY! Remember, I am the one who rejected HIM not the other way around. So while I am in this growing process I am finding myself seek Him a little more some days and a little less others. I totally rejected the only person who could help me in my life and walked without Him for over 30 years. When He intervened in my life, He took what I was living with and began to tear down my walls. Now there is nothing to feel rejection through, so those who I feel would have normally rejected me are just a mission field now.

I don't know where I am going in this lack of rejection life that I am now living but I am more excited that I show to find out where it leads. What part of your life is being lived in rejection? I think that all of us have a part of "us" battered by rejection we just stuff it away instead of giving it away. I'm not sure how to end this except to say give it up to God and open your heart for a new life, a new spirit.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

LifeSong

Have you been somewhere and here a song that reminds you of a time or place or thing that was happening? My husband says that some songs make him 'taste' whee he was at, I think that's kind of odd, but he says he can smell and taste summer from his childhood. The smell of cut grass that leaves an odd familiar taste in your mouth. I don't have that reaction but I do know what it is like to 'remince' when a song comes on, back to a place or time that I remember clearly in my life. Kind of makes me think that my life was a little like that song.

About a year ago, I heard the song "Life Song" by Casting Crowns, have you heard it? In times when I want my life to be a song I make one up, try to force one into my life, when I heard this song I heard a different life, I heard what I want my life to sound like. How my life should sing about the life that Christ gave me without any trading or purchase on my part. How I should let my life be a song to others. Cool huh?? So why is that so hard? Why is that part of my life so hard to 'sing'? Well I'm not sure and don't think that I can tell anyone how that will work especially since I haven't made it yet. I have heard friends tell me that they can see a difference in my life and my families life and I take that to heart that God is actually in my life. But I can't see it, I don't see it, and maybe that's the goal. Instead of striving to make it happen, God just stepped in and it happened!

My lifesong? Not sure yet still trying to get to where God is leading me but I want my lifesong to sing to Him. I want those things that He produces, cures, heals, and shows to others. I guess that's the first part of the song, I wonder what the chorus and second stanza will sound like? How the melody and harmony will come together at the very end to make the song complete? I wonder, don't you? So what's your lifesong?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Filling the "Spot"

Did you ever do the marble in the jar experiment in school? I don't remember exactly but I think it was in 5th grade. The one where the teacher puts a jar full of marbles on her desk and asks if the jar is full...and we all said "yes". Then she added beebees and they filtered through the marbles finding little holes and spaces to fit..WOW we were surprised. Is it full?...our response "yes". Again she takes out a bag of sand and pours it over the marble, beebee mix and it sifts down and finds more spots to fill through the jar. Again we are amazed, is it full? Well by now it has to be, right? And once more, the teacher takes a glass of water and pours it over the mixture, the water filters through the jar and fills the jar up to the top. It is full? Yes, now it is full the water covered every possible place that air could be and nothing else could fit. I think as a member of the class I was really impressed with the experiment, it made me see something that wasn't visible right off the bat. The jar of marbles looked full, like nothing else could fit but yet three other items fit easily in the jar.

Our lives are very similar, we, humans, walk around looking for something to fill up that spot in our life. The hole or spot seems to be like a teenage boy with a endless stomach, no matter what you feed it it just keeps eating. A lot of 'things' make up that hole and try to fill up that hole. I have no other way to describe the hole that was in my life except like a hole in a tree burrowed out by bees or some small animal. It was there and I couldn't close it up and it was dark, I couldn't see into it and I couldn't fill it up. The hole kept eating stuff too, things kind of stuff. Anything that I could throw into it to satisfy it I would throw there, almost to the point of frustration. I did many many things in my life that I am not proud of, nor am I meant to forget them, I have been forgiven of them but they are part of my life for a reason. They were the 'things' I used to fill up my spot or hole. Those things ranged from running from my marriage to bringing horses to my home during a drought (oddly probably the last straw). The more I did or got the more the spot wanted .... "feed me seymour" is all I can hear (little laugh there). But that's exactly what it was like, feed me, feed me, feed me...you're not satisfied, feed me. Why did allow this spot or hole control my life? Because I didn't have what I needed to fill it up...water.

In John 7:38 Jesus said "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." What does that mean? What water? Where is this water? Well these are all questions that I had when I first started hearing God speak to me about changing my life and to stop trying to fill that spot. I mean I wanted to know why I had to do this for God, who says I have to be filled with this "water"? Well that question consumed my life for about a year, and what I found was I was empty, very, very empty. All the things...horses, house, land, children, career, stuff....all those things weren't filling me up, I thought those things were what I needed. Until......Until, I was asked to give something up. I was asked to give up control, power, and authority in our family to Lee, my husband. I was asked to get rid of horses because, among other things, 'we' couldn't afford them. Well my first question was why? My answer, because I asked you to do this for Me. That's all I could get, "because I asked you to for Me". So I let horses go, something that I hated but hid very well; then I let go of money authority..augh; then I was asked to follow and let God fill me up with His "living water". I have no desire to want anything, not really, not anything that I couldn't live without anyway.
The "desires" that I tried to fill my life with weren't cutting the mustard, the spot just wanted more and more until I couldn't see the end. The "things" were slowly killing me, not physically but emotionally. I was pulling away from my family and filling those spots with other things. I can't even begin to tell anyone how much I have changed and how much I don't want to have things fill my spot, I only need the living water of Christ. What I had to loose before is unknown. My question to you is what do you have to loose in allowing Christ to fill your spot?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Leap of Faith

Have you ever wondered what those words actually mean? I have, I mean I have heard them in my life probably more than a 1000 times but what do they actually mean. A couple friend of ours just entered into parenthood. A great and godly couple who were more excited about a child than I can ever remember being about my three pregnancies. They are full of just enthusiasium and happiness that I see in them that leap of faith. Walking into the unknown without a care in the world just going forward and making things work. I guess we all did it at one time or most of us will make that leap of faith at least once in our life time. I didn't see being a parent as a leap of faith almost 18 yrs ago when it all began, today I am getting my son ready for college, ready to go out into the real world and face unknown obstacles and trials that I will only be able to help with when I am needed.... a leap of faith.
I am starting another leap of faith, I guess God is not satisfied with just little "hops" in my life. I recently had an amazing tear down in my life, God tore down a wall between me and Him last week, one that I didn't even know was there. A wall that was blocking a lot of love, relief, passion and faith. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus said "Because of the littleness of your faith, for truly I say to you, I you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this moutnain, 'move from here to there' and it will move.." I said one time that I didn't think our faith came from us, that all we had to hae was faith of a little amount and God would do the rest. I didn't know then that I was speaking a truth. I didn't have the faith in God to let the wall I had built around my life be taken apart. God was just another figure in my life who wanted authority over me and a week ago I wouldn't have been saying this, but today I know now that I didn't want the authority because of lack of trust and faith I had in Him. It took all summer for me to get here, all summer of me feeling like God wasn't listening and He just wasn't around me to get to this place. I kept searching for my faith when I really should be searching and seeking God and Jesus and the faith that is a mustard seed will be enough.
So I ask you, what are you seeking? Are you 'force feeding' yourself faith? Or are you seaching out God? A leap of faith isn't what it sounds like, it's really not a leap at all just one step toward God and in that one step forward a 1000 backward steps are forgotten.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What Has Happened?

I'm not sure what has happened in the past couple of months, at least not in chronological order but I do have a clear idea of what happened. Lots of stuff that's what's happened!! Among all other things two very big things: 1. our daughter, Jennifer, was baptized and 2. my father passed away. One the beginning of a new life in Christ by Jennifer's obedience and the ending of a life and passing from our world to a spiritual world. But first things first.
Jennifer my beautiful, smart, godly daughter who is amazing and graceful decided to be baptized. Something she was excited about when she made the decision and then matter of facty about when she told me. It was as though she just said it, declared it and did it. I don't know who this child is sometimes but I do know that God has great plans for her. Plans that He set into motion long, long ago and is carrying out in the heart and mind of a non-reason. When I say this I don't mean that she jumps in without looking at where she is going but when she knows God is leading her she follows completely with faith and blindly letting God lead her. Wow what an amazing child, what an amazing God.
Second, my father passing away. I had eight months to prepare for this day, he was diagnosised with terminal brain cancer in November of last year. My brothers and sister had much longer than the doctor predicted, much more. But I still after all this time, wasn't truly prepared for him to be gone. When I received the call at home early Saturday morning (Sept 12) my amazing husband stepped into place and took over helping me get ready. When my friend, Peggie, was told she stepped into place and gave me comfort that I needed, even tho I didn't think so. And before we, my family, left for Michigan, Peggie told me that I have a Father to take the place my dad's place in my life. And she was right, up to this incident, I didn't realize the God, my heavenly Father, was filling a void that I had and He continued to fill in that void as new voids were created. I miss my Dad, even tho I didn't spend or see him as much as I truly wanted, I miss him. Yet that missing is just that a missing, not a void or empty space in my life. I don't know his heart but God does and did and I truly believe that in the last moments God was sitting with my Dad comforting him to sleep and a peaceful, non-painful rest. I had a wonderful Dad, he could teach anyone to dance and fish and I have a wonderful Heavenly Father who comforted me in the exact time I needed it.
Many more things have happened little incidents over the past month that made this last month exciting, lively. I believe with all my heart that God made every moment and event fit neatly into place from growing more slowly in my spiritual life to my dad's passing, God was in total control. More than comfort, more than peace, is what I have, I have joy and mercy, a filled void that can never be lost, a God who cares enough to know, listen and act.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Far Away

I'm truly not sure where I am suppose to start this at, I feel far away from a lot of people and especially God right now. This is one of those dry seasons, those testing times when I'm suppose to keep pressing forward and I have not been very successful. Then last night a long time friend and even more so sister (at heart anyway) encouraged me, something that I needed, kind of like a jump start. I haven't been faithful in my devotion time or anytime with God, a mission that I told and promised myself I was going to do, and I have been long away from it and I feel the distance. This morning I was literally struggling to find anything in the Word to speak to me and I love Ephesians, my favorite writings by Paul, and I just flipped through and picked some pieces out to read when I read chapter 2:12. Paul says "..that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Isreal and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world." I can just paint a picture of a long drive across the American plains as a kid...driving and driving through absolutely nothing. If you have never been across the great plains you are missing a great exerience, for me this experience has reminded me of times, like now, when I feel far away from God and distant from Christ. It's like driving and all you see is slow rolling hills and flat areas that go on forever and never seem to end. You don't even feel like your moving let alone getting anywhere. This time used to be a time of anger for me and sometimes still is but more and more I have learned to see this as a time of testing and trials. Times when God has given me a mission, a direction, and I have decided that I didn't want to move in that direction. It is or seems to be the dry season when no matter what I do I can't get through to God. I guess I'm driving across those plains once again. What I have found tho is that in these times God is so faithful to send someone to me who knows exactly what to say and when to say it. He did that last night with Liz. I am by far not one to share, and last night sharing was obviously on the agenda. Liz encouraged me to know that I was on the right track, even tho it doesn't feel like it to me, and to keep pressing forward. Ephesians 12:13 "But now you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ." Wow! what a powerful feeling, words that mean so much in such a short clear sentence. I may feel far away, not because God is distant but because I am moving through yet another piece of the onion layers, one that I am reluctant to let fall away but that are being peeled apart. The drive that I am on, the one across the long and barren plains, is getting shorter and the mountains are in the distance now. And even tho they are far away, the are getting closer and one day I will get up and they will be in the front window (or out the front door). I don't know when that will be but I am sure God knows and I have to trust and believe that very soon this dry season that I am struggling thru will turn to a new fruitfulness, a new season, a new level of closeness to God. I was once far away, so far away that the plains I was walking in were dust, anger and hatred, unforgiveness and tyraids ruled my soul and flesh. Now I am near to Christ, I don't know why and I truly don't care why He loves me enough to take on what I am bringing and take it away. It makes no difference, I am near, I am in a trial, but even tho I can't "feel" Him, I know He is standing close by, I am near.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Frustrated, Delusional, and Angry...Yep That Sums It Up!



Have you ever felt all of these at once....frustrated, delusional, and angry???? I feel that way a lot lately, I had a moment where God intervened in something and I let out to my small group that I was truly (and I am) an angry person. I don't mean the person who is always sounding angry and snapping at people but the person who you wouldn't think is an angry person, that's me. The one who when everyone thinks I have it all together, I snap usually at the wrong time in the wrong place for the wrong reasons. I know someone would say that's just me but it's not just me, I was programmed, by "man" that way. I don't think anyone is truly just angry by nature I know I am not and each day it is a struggle to make it through without fighting down that feeling of frustration and anger to make it through the entire day without just screaming at everyone about every little thing. I didn't have to search far to find this picture on the internet, this is what I feel like inside probably 85% of the time, I just don't express it. I get frustrated with a situation and it builds, mostly because I don't find a way to get it out in a positive environment. Then, believe it or not, I actually have feelings of delusion. Those moments when I can actually assess, playout in mind and have the entire conversation or agrument with myself, essentially. That's when it draws to anger. And the screaming person above becomes me inside. The feeling that no matter what happens this day it is going to be a bad day and everyone is on the chopping board!!! I depise this person, I fight every day to oppress (notice I say oppress) this person. So "she" comes out in other ways. I have fought a long time to be 'me' not that being me is hard to anyone looking in but it is. Have you ever just tried to be you? It's hard. I am not a pretty middle aged (augh) woman. I'm not witty or overly smart, I struggle to be "girlie", which I am not and never have been, and I find that more and more I am faced with being me. And, like most women, I dwell on things of the past and focus on things that I need to control in the future. "Therefore do not worry about tomrrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Jesus was taking about worrying (Matt 6:34) when he said these words. "Do not worry about tomorrow." I read this many months ago and even highlighted it to remember that it meant something then to me....it means more today. God did not design me to be frustrated, delusional, or angry. He designed me for Him and only Him. My life has designed and structured my frustration and anger to match what my circumstances in my life has produced, or more to the point what I have allowed those circumstances to produce. "Do not worry about tomorrow", I believe these words mean more than just what they say. I believe in more than just words Jesus was saying "I got tomorrow taken care of already, I want to you live for the now, the today. Let me worry and handle tomorrow. I already have seen what is coming, I already know your way out, don't worry."
It took a little longer to find this picture, but this is what I want to look like on the inside every day. This is who I want to be, not worried about every moment and day, not frustrated or concerned about tomorrow. If I can get there when frustation starts to build and I start having those delusional conversations that lead to anger, this is what I want to see in my spirit and soul. Me praising God! He can see it even if no one else can but if I can be this inside, maybe just maybe, I can be this on the outside.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What to Write?

It's been forever and I feel like I have missed out on something since I have been away from the blogspot. I have, finally, begun sharing this site with friends whom I have been somewhat afraid to share my new found faith with...why? I don't really know. Maybe because I don't want to look as though I have changed or become something different. Maybe because I am still dealing with "God as my banner". More than likely the second excuse..note I say excuse. And I say that knowing that I have heard at least four messages (heard in the sense that I have read it, seen it, heard it literally from spiritual leaders) stating "No Excuses. Just Results." What a statement! Unfortunately I am having a more and more difficult time moving in that direction. I have actually found more excuses not to move in the 'no excuses' direction. Wonder why that is??? I think I know, and that is half the problem...I know!!! I know that I am suppose to start moving again. I am suppose to start rebuilding, restating, reaffirming, re-establishing my life foundation and begin my journey to building, establishing, setting up and working for God's purpose. So, in essence, I am in a fight, a spiritual fight but a fight nonetheless. In retaliation to this fight that my body and mind are screaming to not be part of, and which those parts of me would love for me to faulter and follow my desires, instead I am going to step out - hopefully tonight- and start what I believe is where the stepping stones begin....my backyard.
Give me grace and humility to know when it is You and when You are leading to step out of the way and follow. Amen.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Reading Comprehension

We have a 13 year old daughter who, for the life of her, either passes one class or another but not both at the same time. This is due mostly to her stress in one area of her life and less stress in the other. This year it was reading comprehension, she failed her first attempt at the EOG under this catagory; something she has never failed before (it's usually math we have issues with). So after two weeks of reading and re-reading, selecting and pocess of elimination for answers on practice tests, she passed that section of the EOG. The thing that I found odd about this "failing", per say, is that she reads and gets the reading comprehension portion of school the easiest. It's something she loves to do, something she actually lives to do more and more, she has become our reader!! The problem is that she is also our wonderer, the one of our children who is easily distracted and easily disrupted from her train of thought. So, like most teenagers, she wonders from one subject to another, giving one more attention then the other, and inevitably we have to "put the train back on the tracks".
For me, this past two weeks, and really the past 4 years, have been learning experience. Learning - again - how to take tests, how to use the questions to find the answers without reading the entire story, and how to teach my daughter the best way to take a test. Yesterday, though, I was given something twice by God. You may not believe it or understand it but that's the best way I can explain it. I opened my bible to start to read (I usually just start wherever it opens) and it opened to the "parable of the tenants". Ever heard of it? I hadn't. I read this in Mark (Mark 12: 1-12), this just happened to be where it opened and when I read this section, it was very confusing, very hard to decipher, hard to comprehend. I am learning how to work through Jesus' parables and how He used parables to get the Word across to the ones He was leading and those He was warning. This one however was a conundrum, to say the least. So I pondered ( I just like that word-pondered) over these scriptures for a little while, prayed for a second or two and thought "maybe I wasn't suppose to be here" and went to turn the pages for another direction of enlightenment. Well, I was enlightened alright, right to Luke 20 versus 9-19, the parable of the tenants. Ok, so I looked at the versus, I didn't read them and I closed my eyes and asked God to lead me through this area of confusion. Then I re-read the parable...still nothing. I had no idea what I was reading what the parable meant, I researched the Word that Jesus uses in this parable-nothing. I mean nothing.
This morning, and because I have this now bookmarked (Luke that is), I reopened it and re-read the parable...and "taadaa" the light switch went on. I have been battling for sometime to make God my Banner. Something that I wrote about a couple of days ago and something that this parable hits directly on. I had never heard this parable, never read it before (or at least I don't remember it being in the gospels before), and this was no accident. I given up on accidents and coincidences, there's no such thing. This parable is Jesus talking about God sending prophets, men of His direction to the people, Isaiah, Caleb, Joshua, John, Zacharia, and the list goes on, to tell the men of the world about God and to change their direction. In each case, both before, during and after His Son's worldly life, the tenants beat, killed, and destroyed, God's messengers, even His most precious child, Jesus. I hadn't read this before, I have never heard this before, it's not something that I have "discovered" lurking in some book that a man wrote, I found it in God's Word, I was enlightened by the Holy Spirit to comprehend it, and I feel like I should share it. We are just a whisp of wind, we hear, we get and we do nothing with what God gives us. We cast it down and beat it to death with reason and logic, common sense and worldy views, even His Son, our Salvation, Jesus. Our reason, logic, common sense are the tenants; the tenants of God's vineyard, our souls and bodies. And when God comes to reap a harvest in us, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the tenants beat and kill those sent, whether it be a person or a thought, we destroy it with our reason and logic and how the world will see us.
I am suppose to be sharing God with those close to me, a very hard thing to do especially for me, I'm not an open up and share my feelings kind of girl. But I know now, and I probably always have known, that I am being visited each time by God's servants and His Son to collect a harvest, and I am beating and killing those servants. It may not be in the physical for me, but it is for someone I am suppose to be sharing and leading to God. I am loosing the harvest and the time is now. God is suppose to be my Banner and He is giving me all the opportunities to allow that to happen, all I have to do is turn the harvest over to Him. Reading comprehension was always my strong point in school, how odd is it that this week it took 24 hours for me to figure out 10 little versus.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Missionary

Do I even know what that word means? Probably not, at least not the real content of the word "missionary". But yesterday I was taking an email survey, you know the one that goes around and you answer with one word....or something like that. Anyway, one of the questions is where to you want to me in 6 years? "missionary" is what came to mind. I hadn't been thinking about this for some time now, and as in the past I just felt this was a flippant thing coming to mind. But yesterday it came so clearly to me when that question appeared. I have a long way to go before I get to missionary work. God is still working heavily on my allowing Him to be my Banner (you know the thing that you put in the front of your life, the One you let everyone see first-your banner). One thing he is working on is me opening my mouth for a good cause and reason. First and foremost, I am suppose to take opportunities to use my testimony of what God has done for me and where God has brought me from. Unfortuntely, those that I am suppose to share that with I am initimated by and leary, to tell the truth, about speaking too.
Sunday during the message, Randy described a person that I feel I am drifting into, a comfortable, content, complacent christian.......hummm? Doesnt' sound to bad on the front but when you put that description in the context that the message produced, it's not that great. And as I listened I found parts of the person being descried was becoming more like me. I do find ways to avoid speaking about God and what I feel, truly feel about Him and His Salvation of my life, and truly it was and is a salvation of my life. I find it even more difficult to speak when God puts a friend in front of me, one who may be sceptical or judgmental, I usually find something else to talk about. Even though in the back of my throat are words that I want to say, things that I feel are more important than waht I am talking about, yet they just never make it to the surface......chickened out!! God put the word missionary in my life more than a year ago. Some of you may think this is just coinsidence but it's isn't. Shortly after God grabbed me and Lee, I had a dream that we were standing in the church hallway and talking to our friends and one of them asked what we were doing, and immediately I said "we are going on a mission trip." Since that time, God has been putting us in places of immediate and strong growth. We don't always see it but then we attended a missionary seminar and we were moved beyond belief. I couldn't believe the way the weekend moved us, it was like wave and we were just on the ride. It was amazing how God rekindled the spirit of missionary in us that weekend. Then like a flame, it dwindled and has become less of a flame and more like a flicker. ...until yesterday.
God is preparing Lee and I for something big and we are only seeing the outer edge and not looking deeper in. I believe that God is preparing us here for work to do elsewhere, I don't know where or when, but I feel it and when the word "missionary" came to my mind yesterday, I found myself at peace with it.
Jesus told his disciples that He would always be with them. He told them to go an make disciples of the nations and tell the gospel. I don't know what the plan is but I believe that it is suppose to start here, in my present, current life. Here talking about God and putting Him in front of me instead of what others will think. Him as my Banner.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

changes of light

I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that I have a junior...well now a senior in high school, my first to graduate and move forward in life. But in addition to that, I have seen our son grow in a way that I have been astounded by in the past year. It's like when your child takes their first steps, without your help, or when you notice one day that they aren't the little boy/girl that you knew, they grow up right before your eyes and you wonder "where did the time go". I have been slowly, and I do mean ever so slowly, giving up things in my life to God. One thing that I have had trouble with in the past was money, one that I am having trouble with now is my children a very, very hard role to let go of. And I don't mean the throw your hands in the air "here God their yours" kind of giving up. I mean the humbling "Lord you have entrusted me with Your children, and I ask and look for your guidance to raise them. I give their lives and their directions over to Your Spirit and protection." Well, that is happening more and more in each of their lives, and right now I see that predominantly in our son, Kaleb. He is being baptized on Sunday, a step that he took right after he witnessed me and Lee's baptism in December. I think he was the first one to sign up that day. Wow what a change!! He didn't even have to think about it, it was like he immediately knew that he was suppose to be baptized once he know what it meant. He is changing in other ways too, ways that I think are not being changed yet those things are to a degree not the same as would expect. He is quick to forgive something that I never did and still have a hard time with; he is quick to say what he believes, even if the majority don't believe with him; and he is quick to correct and help guide his sisters, something that I never had the opportunity to do.
The Psalmist wrote "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him." (Psalms 127:3) I have never read this verse, never been given it until this morning. Today it is something that I know now was meant for me 17 years ago. I am not and have not been a godly mother, wife or person. Kaleb is our first child and I have not raised him nor our girls in the way of God's direction. "Sons are a heritage from the Lord," wow what a statement, what a revelation.
This life Kaleb is living, I believe, is not due to any great parenting tip but God. It wasn't us who made him come up with becoming a Christian athlete, something Kaleb is working on this summer (mostly finding the group in our area), it isn't us who gets him to church (well ok so technically it is), and it definitely is not us who raise and stir the Holy Spirit up in him. Totally and wholly all of this is from and due to God's hand in his life.
He is striving away from us and and all the while I see clearly in him a heart of commitment, a life of change, and light beginning to shine. I don't know what it means to have received a "heritage" or a "reward" but I know and understand that, now more than ever, Kaleb is standing in that role. The role that God planned for him before his birth, the role that makes him our heritage.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life- Drowning and Being Saved.

Wow! I'm not really sure where that title came from but I think it fits perfectly with what my life was, a drowning in the proces, and what it is becoming, a salvation project. I guess more than anything I am reminded of my life because of a story and a friend's current struggle. Without giving anything away, I can say that I feel compassion for her, I understand what she is going through because I too have been through the same thing. The personification of my life is not as it seems. I was told this weekend twice "you are tough". Even though I can deny that openly and truly know that I am not "tough", the personification that I present is the "tough exterior" life, the "suck it up and get up" person who can get through anything, or it seems that way.
The majority of my life, the part where I became this tough person, was spent drowning. I have no other way to explain it than that way, I was drowning. I didn't know it then but looking back now, I was. My life was filled with all the things that I wanted, done the way I wanted and there wasn't anyone in my life who was going to change me. Not my husband, not my family, not my children. I knew what I wanted and that is all there was going to be. I wanted the fairy tale marriage, I wanted the nice house with property and horse, I wanted no strife, I wanted perfection with no work...ah the good life. Well let's face facts here Theresa, that is definitely not what my life was like. When I didn't have the fairy tale, prince on a white horse, romance marriage, I started to struggle within my marriage. Doubting if Lee was "the right man for me". Wondering if there was something more and perfect. When things in and around my family was going the "right way", I pretended and fantasized about it being the right way and ignored those things that were happening. When I became a mom and realized that motherhood was more than I "bargained for", I went through my childrens childhood just being a provider not a mom. And my life became a fast moving river that was sucking me down and drowning me. And I struggled against that current looking for what I wanted. What I had planned out and expected, not what I was living. I was drowning in my own tears, that were becoming a river or anxiety, hatred, anger, frustration, discontent, you name I was it....drowning.
I don't believe I hit "rock bottom" but I was close. Things in my life were quickly falling apart and I was on the brink on falling apart with it. That's when the saving began, when I couldn't come up with any way to make what I wanted work anymore.
Isaiah was told plainly "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you." I was just recently given that passage. When I was so tired that I couldn't find a way to "search" out God.
I have a friend heading down the same path that I took and walked for 17 years, and I know what lays ahead of her. I know what is lurking around the next corner, what is lying in wait, and I want to run and tell her not to fall into the river, it's so very close and the path is being, even now, eroded away as she enters the beginning of the journey she is facing. And I want to encourage her to take those steps on that journey. She has something that I didn't have to start that journey, she already has God, I had to start the drowning process in order to find Him. The journey is not going to be easy, and from the inside looking out, it is going to look as though the waters are very deep. But no matter how much she may want to believe it, the rivers will not overflow her, they will be ebbed. I wish I could go to her and tell her to run toward the journey, the challenge and do not shrink away from it, the river is hoping, waiting for the first signs of doubt to come rushing in. And I would love to give her this piece of encouragement and hindsight. Being saved is the part of my life when I realized this: Marriage isn't a Cinderella story, a romance novel, or a girlie movie. Marriage is a cycle, a merging of two totally different lives being altered to become one. A changing of the guard so to speak, only this time one of you don't leave. You stand together, cover one another, protect one another, encourage and support one another and in the end you find that really in truly this man you are with isn't just some random person you had a small spark of love for but a man who was given to you. Given in a way that only God can give and then the fairy tale times drift away and love sets in. Children aren't here to be raised and their childhood goes quickly, like the changing seasons. I missed all of my kids' childhood, I wish I could go back and start all over with what I know now but I can't. Children are by far the best thing in an adult life, they are in our life to teach us to laugh and how to play again; because, believe it or not, we do forget how to play and really laugh.
Drowning in life is an option, it's something that I allowed to happen, something that I think in some part of us, we all allow it happen. And during that time, some of us-like me, become tough, but more likely than not - drowning becomes the end result. Being saved and being able to stand in the river and know that it is not going to overflow me, is a result of guidance and allowing God to work around me. I wish I would have ran into my journey instead of crawled, but for me I wouldn't have been saved, I would have just learned to run. For my friend, I believe she is being called to run, to trust, to stop looking at things around her and look ahead at what is already planned and know that she is able to stand along the river and in the river and not drown.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Got It!

I remember learning how to play frisbee! It was very difficult because I had (and still have) no hand eye coordination. Catching balls, frisbees, keys, anything that is tossed or thrown to me I inevitably miss. I do however make a good effort to catch the "thing" it always ends up through my hands an on the ground. With frisbee I could prepare to receive the disc, I could get my hands ready, and the disc would slip right through, my hands just didn't work right to get closed on time. I spent most of my younger years bending over to pick up the frisbee just to be able to throw it to my older brother, mom, friends, whoever, as quickly as possible. And to my amazement it didn't (and still doesn't) matter where I threw that disc the person on the other end always made the catch. Plus if we were playing with a large group of people (something they call ultimate frisbee now), someone would always use "got it" if the disc was on the move and everyone was moving toward it. And everyone else would stop and allow that one person to catch the frisbee.

I remember too, trying to catch snow flakes when I was growing up. Whether in my hands or in my mouth, I never seemed to catch very many. Now, where I grew up the snow is plentiful and easy to catch, it just always seemed like everyone else caught more than me. It's not as easy as it looks. Neither is catching water! I mean it looks simple enough but when you really try to do it, it's just not that easy. You definitely can't holler "got it" to any friend around you when you're catching snow or when your using your hands to get a drink of water from a faucet (glassless of course). Of course you "got it" or at least for a few seconds before the snow melts and the water finds a way out of your hands.

This morning God spoke to me. Not directly but He did through our worship pastor during worship. The Holy Spirit moved Kevin (worship pastor) to let me (and I'm sure others) know that the troubles that I have to let go and give it to Him and do now what He is asking me to do. I've been praying for faith, God's faith to fill me with His faith for healing of my brother. This has been continual every morning, whenever I think about my brother, almost all the time. I finally stepped out in faith to send my brother a letter a very hard thing to do. But it still didn't relieve this feeling that I couldn't get my prayer to God about healing for him. This morning God clearly stated "Got It, now move on to where I want you to be. Let me take this over for you."
Have you ever tried to catch God? How about Jesus or the Holy Spirit? Their not that easy to catch especially when running away (even when I didn't realize it I was). There's no catching involved! Really there's not. I am slowly, extremely slowly, learning this. I don't know how to "not" catch. I've spent my whole life trying to learn how to catch. Keeping my eye on the ball, closing my hands at just the right time over the frisbee edges, and now I don't have to do that, no catching involved.
What I do have to do is give, give of myself. I have to surrender, surrender to His will and to Him wholly. I have to wait, wait for Him to show me the way, the answers. Wow, how do I learn to do that? How am I suppose to just expect whatever God throws at me I'll be able to catch it? I already know that I can't even physically catch anything how do I catch what He will toss to me?
Faith, not mine His. He took the lead in my life, not me. I caught it but I didn't know it. Get this, I didn't even have to call out "got it", I just .... got it.
God knows, He understands when others don't, He heals when I can't, He holds hands when I'm not there....Got It. God comforts, even those I can't touch, He is the rock, when I can't do it anymore, He catches life, when life is more than I can deal with....Got It.
What a release of weight and a filling of faith!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Who Am I?

No, really who am I? I have been spending the past week (that I can equate to this issue) running around in circles in my life and this morning realized that I really dont' know what I am suppose to be doing or who I truly am. Not that I am on a fact finding mission or going to run off to "find myself" (altho that has crossed my mind) but more to the affect of truly who am I. I have a pretty good mask on I think. It took me over 30 years to develope it and make it fit perfectly so that everyone I met would see it instead of me. I even believe that it is me, but lately that old mask it starting to come undone. More like slowly peel off of me like old paint off of a front porch; it's absolutely annoying to say the least. In fact, it has started to make me more unbearable to those around or close to me (like family). I am irritable, moody, snappy, you name it, I'm it...humm kind of sounds like peeling paint huh? I have no idea what I am doing here and that is just rubbing me the wrong way. I mean I must be doing everything that I'm suppose to be doing. Being the mom, being the wife, doing all the laundry, cleaning the house, making dinner, making sure kids get to school, going to work, participating as an employee, everything or at least that's what it feels like. And when I'm alone and just in the quiet, I can't even get through one moment without a sudden burst of tears. It's absolutely driving me crazy. I spent most of one morning in my room, on my knees crying for absolutely no reason that I can think of just a total break down. And that's when I heard myself say for the first time, who am I? What are you doing here? Why are you here? Every question that a woman can go through went through my mind in a matter of a few moments. Who am I? For three days I literally sulked over this problem, quite nicely too I might add. I went about my business just like I was suppose to, going to work, being mom, being wife, going through the motions of my many jobs without an identity. Who am I? Those layers and layers of paint were slowly rolling away from my body. Who am I? I have to say that during this time of doing all my jobs, I was also being faithful, spending my time with God in the morning, and praying and talking to God daily. And yet, who am I kept coming up; kept haunting and me and holding my life hostage. Augh!!! This is nuts! I mean truly nuts! I'm Theresa..right?! I'm me!!! Who else could I be?
Ah ha! This morning I had that moment the "ah ha" moment (something that I will say I am stealing from my friend Eileen), the moment when you realize what the answer is. Who am I? Well, lets see I'm a mother, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a cook and personal driver, a paralegal, an "IT" person, a maid, a groom, a source of food, a ball tosser, a teacher, a friend, a woman. What am I missing? That's me!! Wrong. I was missing me. All of these things are layers of my life, layers of different color of paint that covers who I actually am, the layers of paint that I have put on through my life to hide who I actually am. This morning I sat down and wrote a letter to my older brother Chris. My big brother. The one of my siblings whom I am the closest to, the one who I worry about the most and the one who influences me the most. This morning I realized who I am. I am faithless, I am weak, I am not humble, I am prideful, I am lost. Somewhere in the midst of scraping layers of paint away God let me know that the person who I have become is not who I am. I am afraid to share my love for God with anyone who is really, really close with me. Although I am willing to talk and share with others, I am not sharing with the ones who are the closest to me, especially my brother. Why? Fear. Plain and simple, fear of losing Chris because of my new relationship and life with God so I've allowed that fear to rule my life and add layers of paint to me. Not just in this instance in every instance of my life and God let me know this morning that I was faithless. I was practicing faith and not allowing God to give me faith. This morning I had another bout of tears for no reason, and when I fell on my knees and just prayed and talked to God about my fear of loosing Chris, I was given this, I needed to allow God to give me faith instead of me striving for faith. While I kneeled on the floor crying to God, and God gave me this little piece of who I am, I totally changed my words. I suddenly stopped asking God to help me to have the strength for one more day and the words that came out of my mouth (not mine by the way) were suddenly about faith. There I was tear soaked house-coat and all and suddenly the tears were stopped, and I mean stopped, I couldn't even fake one up, they were gone with the words that lept from my mouth. Who am I? I am a front porch with peeling paint, one layer at a time slowly rolling away, falling to the ground and blowing away; a front porch that God is working on every day and today He removed a whole layer. Who am I? I am God's child, God's friend, and God's front porch that He is striping the paint away from. Who are you?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Delaying the Inevitable

Ok so a couple of days ago I came to the realization that I needed to follow what I believe God is asking me to do and directing me toward and I have yet to accomplish that task. I call it a task because in my mind that is exactly what it is a task ahead of me, even though God has been waiting behind me to do what He said to do. I was hoping to have the courage to go to Michelle's and find out how she was doing with the onset of the breast cancer diagnosis, but fear has assembled in my soul and I find that it is not as easy as I thought it would be. I can't imagine what things are going through her mind let alone how she is personally handling the stress. Michelle has a 14 year old daughter who I am sure knows that her mother has been diagnosised. Michelle has always been open with her daughter, so it is not a far stretch to believe or assume that this diagnosis has been shared. I do know what it means to be strong for your children. What it means to hid emotion and act as though all is good and sound in your life when it actually isn't. I know what it means and what it feels like to hide in a bathroom and cry in silence when you can't share that emotion with your child.
So here I sit all evening finding other things to do to keep from having to go to Michelle's and see her. I had a picture in my head of becoming the kind of friend that she actually needs and I have yet to step into that position. I don't know if that came from me dreaming it up or if God actually showed it to me in the future but I do know that Michelle needs a friend, a female friend, who can be strong for her when she can not.
I wonder how Saul felt when he couldn't see after meeting the living Christ on the road to Damascus. I wonder how it felt to in one moment be the strongest person in the group of people you are in and the next being completely helpless. I don't know how I would react to such a situation, I don't know if I could react to such a situation but I know that Saul did. He immediately reacted the way God wanted him to not the way his thoughts directed or by what he saw. I think that's how we are suppose to live. I think that it doesn't matter truly what we do or how far we run or what excuse we come up with, God is going to get the reaction He wants no matter what we don't do.
Ok so I do need to go see Michelle! Ya know, I don't know how much I like this blogging stuff. It makes me think things through to write them and then like a light switch I usually get the picture. Maybe I should just do it the first time then when I write I would have a testimony instead of a dilemnia to spread around on the internet...hummm now there's something to think about.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Asked Again

This week just flew by and I just ignored the fact that I might want to take a few minutes and write this all out but I did. I have three children, teenagers actually, and two of them are in spring high school sports so our evenings are pretty demanding. (I actually love it and look forward to it being over in the summer. ) So I miss alot with friends outside of our sport family. One thing I missed was a friend, Michelle, that I rode horses with regularly until recently was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was called by another friend of ours, Toni, about the diagnosis in kind of an odd way. Toni called me and asked how my day (work day) was and when I said "a little hectic and crazy the ususal for me during tax season in a law office that practices tax". She asked me "if I wanted to hear something that would make my life seem great". Well what was I suppose to say "sure". "Michelle just emailed me and told me that she wasn't going to a trekking event (horse thing) next weekend because she was diagnosised with breast cancer and they were working to schedule her for a double or "bi" mysectomy (spelling). Kind of makes your life seem perfect huh?" I was a little taken back and there was a little silence but then I responded with "I think my life is pretty good and has been." I almost couldn't believe I said it, and I know that that wasn't me but the fact that I have God in my life even when things are bad I have Him.

The first thing after my call that came to me was to email Michelle and find out how she was doing and what she needed from me; which I did. The second thing was that I needed to see her and soon. I don't know exactly why but on my way home from work, I had an urgent feeling and driving to see Michelle and pray healing over her. Ok so this is where I had a problem and I've been avoiding the problem as of lately (or at least the past two days).

In Matthew 19:27-28, Jesus said "who ever wants to be first must be a slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many."

The meaning of these words of Jesus changed for me today and if I had read them when I was suppose to instead of 2 days later they would have lead me to the understanding that I have now. I was asked to go see Michelle and ask her if I can pray over her healing. I know that Michelle is a non-believer, I have for awhile now and this will put me in a position where I have to trust that God really wants me to act in this manner and that He will open a door for Michelle through me. This is not the least of the requests that I have failed to surrender to, this is the one of the biggest directives that I have had to face. Michelle is a good friend who I dearly love just as much as I love Toni. But both of them have been critical of mine and Lee's decision for God and Christ and I am fearful of loosing them as friends. Jesus however gave His life for people that He didn't even know and was fine with that purpose. His words speak differently to me this morning. My ransom may very well me my friends and I know that because this morning I feel at peace with what God is asking me to do and I'm not striving to find a way out, although I would gladly take one if it was offered by God (notice by God not me). So it's time to put on my big girl panties and step out into a world of persecution but that's ok because God is leading the way and clearing the obstacles for me. I am going to attempt to begin to live fearlessly (thank you Corey for getting God's word to me and hopefully others), I hope I can stand up to the fire.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Rock, My Refuge, My Strength

Last night Lee and I watched Facing the Giants for the first time (if you haven't seen it watch it). In one of the scenes the main cahracter goes out in the morning and reads Psalms 18:1-3 "1. I love you, O Lord, my strength. 2. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies." It's amazing how God can send you something and you don't even know it. This passage was given to me over a week ago and it took a week for me to realize that it was for me to grow thru. Funny, how when I least expect it God can just light the way.
He is my Rock, my Refuge, and my Strength.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Condemnation or Conviction

I have been whollering in condemnation for the past week and last night I realized that it was actually condemnation and that the enemy who I have been fighting was standing in the doorway. How did I get in that place of condemnation? I was asked to step out in faith by God and pray healing over my older brother while I was in Michigan. Not only did God tell me to do this He also kindly gave me all the words to use. See I was in a moment of disbelief only I didn't know that then. I did pray about this little task that would have taken less than 30 seconds for me to accomplish and in that time I was lead to scripture that supported what God had asked me to do. Did I do this little task and obey God? No. I literally chickened out. So while driving home through Ohio, I was listening to music and the Voice of Truth came on and I knew (I had actually already known) that I was to ask for God's forgiveness for not obeying and His strength to start moving in His will. Not long after that, when I didn't yet again do what I was told to do, I had the thought that I could write to my brother and give him encouragement through scripture every couple of days. When I got home I did write to my brother, I didn't mail the letter but I did write it. I spent about 3 minutes praying over the fact that I felt like I was suppose to do this and then ventured out on my own. But I never put the letter in an envelope and mailed it.
So whollering is where I have been at for the last week and in that whollering I have not spent "quality" time seeking God. Well, in my small group Experiencing God, I was reading about crisis of belief and for a couple of days it felt as though God was just standing over me and pointing a condesending finger at me with a scowl on His face. So every time I tried to spend time with Him, I would fall to pieces. I couldn't even talk about the way I was feeling to Lee or my friends. It was absolutely horrible. So here I was whollering even last night during our meeting and in a DVD I heard this for the first time "I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief"(Mark 9;24). Wow!! That was just powerful to me at that moment, and it was at that moment that the condemnation was recognized. I was allowing the enemy to plant the feeling of failure in me God wasn't standing over me scowling or pointing a finger at me in anger, He was waiting for me to ask Him for help in my unbelief.
Condemnation or Conviction, I wonder after this week how many of us think that God is separating Himself from us. This week was enlightening, well now it is; I can see where I could have been literally sucked into the enemy's plan to live in condemnation and not get over the fact that I didn't obey. But God just wanted me to realize that I had to face my unbelief and ask Him for help in that unbelief to face it, release it, and move forward.
I know now that I need to spend time in prayer and wait for God's movement toward sending my brother the letters that I felt I was lead to write. I believe now more than ever that is why I never put that letter in an envelope, God wasn't ready for me to and I, even in self pity and whollering, didn't send it. I believe I am hearing and obeying much better than the enemy wants me to know. I believe God was just waiting for me to fall on my face, be convicted about not obeying Him, and ask Him, out of my pride, to help me face that fact and move forward from there. I think I like conviction much better, it's much lighter to carry because there carrying doesn't happen. I will sit today and pray over my brother and what I feel as though God is leading me to do, maybe now I will hear Him more clearly.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My Armor

Aren't knights in armor cool! I mean when I see them on the movies, they just set the whole scene. They charge out to save the day and win. They joust and fight without thought of personal harm, they are just cool! I really like the fact that their armor is shiny and steel - or probably an iron casting that reflects all of the light around the knight and I imagine could probably blind the oncoming enemy. I think having an outfit like a knight would really, really intimidate anyone who wanted to come at me to hurt me. Yep I think an outfit like this would be exactly what I need for life.
I know that actually getting a knight's armor is impossible and even those armors in the movies aren't really metal armor. but when I am in a dilemnia or having a problem that could cause harm, I sure would like to have some armor on to help protect me.I have been in a dilemnia with my family (extended family that is) as of late. There seems to strife, anger, discontent, unhappiness, and fighting all around. My older nieces are not talking, my little brother and sister-in-law are causing an uproar, my Dad is causing worry and not to mention, it is extremely evident that my big brother is very ill and the doctors can not seem to figure out what is causing all of the problems that are occurring. Man some armor would be great right now. I could slip it on and commence to giving all my family a well deserved but whoopin'! Ok so maybe I shouldn't do that, but it does sound nice doesn't it, I could put on that armor and be totally invensible. These last couple of days, however, instead of wishing, hoping, or desiring the full body armor of a knight, I have been directed to the Armor of God (Eph 6:10). In one verse, the author (whom by the way I do not know) states to the Ephesians "put on the full Armor of God...for our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, authorities against the dark powers of this world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms". A spiritual war, hummm. Directly after that, the author tells his friends to put on the full Armor of God and throughout the remaining scriptures of this passage he indentifies the Armor.
I have prayed this over myself many times in the past but last night I was loosing a battle in the night with the enemy and God gave me Ephesians (the whole book). I have read it before, but this time I only read the first four 'chapters' (not sure if this is correct or not) and as I read the love that poured out of the author under the authority of God, I was moved and freed. It was as though somewhere in the dark the pressue of the problems with my family was lightened. But God's words were strong and stength in a way that was unbelievable and immeasurable. He completely calmed all of my heart and mind. The Armor that God offers is more durable and stronger than any pieces of metal that I could physically put on my body. It covers me with all of the metal armor pieces but with a Godly presence. The Armor of a helmet, my helmet of salvation. The belt of Truth on my waist, breastplate of rightousness firmly on my chest, and my feet fitted with the readiness of the peace of the gospel. And finally, my shield of faith to extinguish arrows from the enemy and the sword of the Spirit (I mean what would armor be without a shield and sword to fight with). The picture is not deceiving, the Armor of God is a strong protectant against all attacks from the enemy. What I tend to miss is that the the strife, anger, discontent, fighting and unhappiness are not of the physical or the flesh. They apper that way, they mask their intentions to appear as from the physical but if I look deep they are attacks from the enemy army. I am often deceived that I can handle and take care of things, then God immediately reminds me that all things are not as they seem or appear and to quickly put on my Armor. I can only state that which I believe and know as Truth, the enemy is casting arrows in an attack. So, I will put on my Armor and stand firmly with God as my strength, my refuge, my "back up" and stand up to the attacks that are mounting.

Monday, March 2, 2009

You Should Have Seen It In Color!

Yep, plagiarizing! For those of you who read my blog and listen to country music have heard this song. So I apologize for not coming up with my own title but this one seems to fit perfectly. If you haven't heard this song, let me give you a little history. The singer is the persona of a young man talking to his grandfather and looking at old black and white pictures. For each picture, the grandfather tells a detailed story and then says "you should have seen it in color". I recently received some pictures, a mix of black and white and color pictures, from my mom's family and dad's family. She actually had to go thru some old stuff in her sister's home to find these and they are pretty interesting. Like most old pictures, there is some tell tale story on the backs of them. I love each and everyone of the pictures. Especially the black and white ones, there has always been something about black and white pictures that I love the most. There always seems to be something that I miss each time I look at them. A facial expression, a hidden item in the background, something. My kids can't believe the thickness and feel of the pictures and I forgot how much of my life was in those black and white pictures. There are several but some that stick out the most is the fact that for the first time in my life I got to see my Dad's Grandfather! A history that I always knew was there wasn't really real until then. I mean I knew Dad and Grandpa didn't just crop up from the ground but seeing Charlie in an old picture just brings our family history together. I would have loved to have seen it in color. I can just imagine the color of the trees and grass around the old shanty that Charlie built for his family. I can almost see the black stain on the side board house amidst the woods and the gray and white smoke billowing out of the old pipe chimney. On second thought, I like the black and white pictures better.
I often see life in black and white and I expect everything to be in black and white. I am either on the right side of good or the bad side of good...right? I can hold judgment against anyone that I want to whom I believe is in the wrong, the black part of the picture. And when someone is completely and totally right in my eyes, I can hold them up to a great standard, the white part of the picture. But the picture isn't really black and white when you look at it. Look again. Those old black and white pictures are really shades of gray. Various shades from a pale, soft gray to a dark, foreboding gray. But not black and white.
God is often moving around me in those black and white parts of life.
"I set before you life and death, that you may chose life." Pretty black and white! Life or Death! I never understood this verse before, never had to understand it, until recently. God created me for Him not for me. And yes even though I see things in black and white and a majority of the things around me are black and white in determination, God often throws in some shades of gray. "I set before you life and death..." What if I can't tell which is which? How do I determine what I'm suppose to do and how I am suppose to react and walk in God's "life"? Ok so maybe those "gray" pictures aren't so cool after all. I just want it black and white that would make life so much easier so much more 'planned'. Wow, wouldn't that be great!!!
I think that God gives me gray and more often than not more gray rather than black and white. That is when I am suppose to seek His wisdom and guidance to determine where life is, or to see the
color pictures. I know more now than I wanted to know. Like when there is a problem and I don't know what to do, I'm suppose to seek God's guidance and answer for the situation. Sometimes, not always but sometimes, the answer is plain and simple - or black and white. I know exactly what to say, do, how to react, and it's exactly right. Other times, the path is gray, hidden from me in a way that I'm stumbling over my own feet to find the right things to say or the right way to react. This is when God draws me closer to Him. This is just a few of those times when God says, ok do it on your own if you want to but I offer you Life. The opportunity to give it to Me and seek My way instead of your own. I believe now more than ever that more and more of my life is painted in those various shades of gray. More and more, I find that in order to see the color in the picture the more I'm depending on God to direct my path. I am enjoying this part of my life, seeking God out instead of waiting for Him to find me. I love seeing the color come to life the same way color comes to those old family pictures. On second thought (or actually third thought), those "gray" pictures do hold more life in them than if they were black and white.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Trust Me

Kind of an odd statement for a blogspot isn't it...trust me. It means so many things today and can me an array of other things. Trust me. Those words don't always sound inviting do they. They seem carry us away at first. Trust me. Then with age and life filling our heads those words could mean sarcasism and generally do in today's language. Those two simple words can have a different affect on you when you hear them, how you hear them, and who is saying them.
We, as humans, learn "trust" as an action. We take our parent's hand to go somewhere, we get into cars with our newly licensed teenage friends (sometimes when neither of us should be driving), we give our hearts to someone special, and we return the cycle with our children. Action, and we learn it. But we also hear it, not just in the way people protect us or we them, but in the way that we use it every day. "Trust me", with a little hint of sarcasism behind it. Jokingly used with friends, or seriously used with enemies. "Trust me" a plea in hiding for someone to love us, even though in reality we are running from them. "Trust me" a confident statement made to relieve the pressure of responsibility, a friendship that helps instead of hinders. "Trust me."
I believe these two little, one syllable words mean something different when God speaks them, or puts them into action. Jesus sais "Do not let your hearts be troubled, put your trust in God and trust also in me." How exactly do I do that? What am I suppose to trust? More importantly, Why? That's really what it comes down to, Why? I had to put my trust in God this week and do somethig that He'd actually been telling me to do for over a year. It's amazing how many things get in the way when God speaks. Above all, me (or you as it may be)! This week I broke a generational stronghold on my life. I gave up the finance part of my marriage to my husband. I didn't know that it was a generational stronghold until earlier this week when Lee sent me a daily devotional about generational strongholds. It was very clear after reading this half page devotional that I was caught in a stronghold. Let me just say that this was not the easiest thing in the world to do, I mean I've been delaying, making excuses, avoiding, and hiding from this issue for over a year. I think, on a personal level, I did a great job of getting away from what I was suppose to do. The problem is that things never really straightened out for me. I had plans to clean up the problem that I had created and the problem just got worse. Even more so, God was giving me the ole glare from afar. You know the one I mean, the one your mother gives you when all she has to do is look at you and you know that you are wrong...that look! I didn't literally see it but in my every day time with God, the words "trust me" kept coming up. To the point that when I was reading just flipping through the bible places where I stopped were about trusting God. So on Saturday morning, I laid down beside Lee and handed him the checkbook and my debit card.....talk about hard! I was okay at first but everything was still within reach, but then Lee left and gave me the checkbook to go get horse feed. The very first thing I did was looked for my debit card (when I gave it to him he put it in the checkbook). To my disappointment, it wasn't there. Lee left and I had an anxiety attack!! I had nothing to do but pray and ask God for strength to get through this part and time in my life. I'm still having a little bit of problems with it (of course it's only been 1 day) but I find myself not concerned with what is happening with the account. Lee has it under control, and God has my life under control. Don't be misled, the enemy is still at the door and I can come up with 900 reasons and ways to use our money anyway I can. And when those times arise I just stop doing what I am doing and ask for God's strength for me to trust Him.
This is what we are suppose to do. This is what we are here for, to find (seek), to trust and to do what God has planned for us. As hard as it is, and as far fetched as it is, our human mind can not wrap itself around this part of our life. Mostly because our life on earth is filled with human desires and wants-ones that the enemy helps plant and start. It's our spirit's desire to be closer to God, it's our soul and mind that we live by and fight every day.
But somewhere between what we want and what we long for, God gets in. I don't know how and I don't know where He does it but He does. I believe He's waiting for the perfect time to show me (and you) He and He alone can be trusted. This is that time, the time for me to put all of my fear, concerns, hurts, in Him and Trust only Him.