Category: Why I have confidence


What a week!  Have you ever had a week where multiple things happened in such a way as to be upsetting, encouraging, busy, and crazy all at once?  That was my week, and looks to be continuing into the weekend.  Oh, joy!

Ever felt like doing just what this “kit” suggests?

The other day I was reminded of Romans 8:28 where the Apostle Paul writes  to the Christians in Rome, basically letting them know that God is in control.  No matter what the situation looks like, no matter what the “case may be” as Andre Crouch wrote in his song “I’ve Got Confidence”, the lyrics to which have inspired me throughout my whole life, God is going to fix things for us and take the bad stuff and turn it around for good.

“We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.”

Occasionally, we can see how that might be true, but many times I can only surmise that you, like myself, think that’s a bunch of baloney!  Not a chance!  No way, Jose!  Not gonna happen!

The circumstances of life, finances, health, family problems, and even weather related issues, seem so terribly out of whack at times that it isn’t possible for God to bring good out of bad. Or so we think.  What we so easily forget, however, is that His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours.  So much for our high and lofty-thinking theologians, philosophers, pundits and so forth!  He even says our greatest wisdom is foolishness in comparison to His.

What’s neat about the Lord, though, is that things will be going along pretty well for awhile, and then all of a sudden something will happen out of the blue that throws you into a tail spin.  Then, providing you have learned to wait on Him for a little bit, He’ll show you that this is an opportunity for Him to show you what a BIG God He is and how well He will bring you through to the other side, stronger, more capable that you ever dreamed possible.  Basically, He’s stretching you, making you ready for the next big blessing He has for you.

Well, ok, but I’d rather just stay right where I am and remain “unstretched”, thank you very much!

May I compare God’s blessings to yummy desserts?

Fortunately for me, God is much wiser than I am and knows I’d be happier and  more fulfilled if I’d just follow His lead and let Him do the stretching and “growing me up” that He apparently wants to do, loving Father that He is.  I may not like it at the time, but by now I know He’s trustworthy and I can have confidence in Him to carry me through the troubles to get to the good stuff in the end!  (I LOVE DESSERT!!!!!)

Besides all the great things He’s done for me over the years, I found a fabulous example of God’s ability to turn things around, right in the middle of a real, live hurricane!  Check out the whole story here:  BGEA: Restoration, Desperation, Salvation in the Gulf   Due to a mother’s continued prayers, a family was reunited, forgiveness was requested, given and received, and a family was saved after many, many years of division.  It took a while for everyone’s hearts to come to a place they were willing to make a change, but it did happen finally!  What a heart warming story, witnessed first hand by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team in Louisiana this year.

What looked like a devastating turn of events with the hurricane doing untold damage, God turned a bad situation around for good for this family.  And, I suspect, this is not the only such story that will ultimately be told.  You may have a story like this in the making!

God’s got a bigger bucket!

If your week has been like mine, or worse, and it doesn’t look like anything good could possibly come out of your set of circumstances, and the proverbial “ship” you were waiting for appears to be sinking, get a bigger bucket!

Have confidence in God to turn things around for you.  He’s really good at it and has been for all eternity.   Oh, and when the good stuff starts to happen for you, I’d love to hear your story, if you’d care to share!

Still one of my favorite restaurants!

Many years ago, while going through one of the most trying times in my life, I was fortunate enough to work at a McDonald’s restaurant.  Some of you might not consider that fortunate, but for me, it was a training ground for things to come.  I was terrified when I started, but by then I had been working for almost a year at the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store next door, and would continue working at both for a period of years.  I gained some experience in handling customers at “BR”, the next “happiest place on earth”, and my employers were a wonderful married couple that soon became my good friends.  I always told them that had I had lots of money, I would have worked for free!  I loved working there, and so did my tummy!

Once I obtained the “position” at McD’s I had to learn fast, which was not really the most successful feat.  I prayed every day going into work that God would help me to do my best..some days were good, some not so much, but I knew somehow God was pruning me, teaching, training, and helping me to grow strong, when everything in me wanted to quit and stay home.

Shortly after I started, I was assigned to make fries during the lunch rush.  We served millions of teenagers, or so it seemed, from the local high school everyday, and they ate tons of fries!  It didn’t take long till I was running short of fries, so I turned to one of the manager underlings and asked politely if she would get me another box of them.  Her response floored me!  “Sorry, that’s not part of my job!” as she rushed passed me and headed for the drive through. I was stunned and speechless, but it sure gave me some insite into the kind of people I might be dealing with here.

The best in the industry, in my opinion!

Well, it wasn’t long before the second in command showed her colors, or lack thereof.  I grew to dread coming in to work when I’d see her car parked out front of the restaurant at 5 am.  I was never sure what sort of mood she would be in as it seemed to change from day to day.  Some days I felt she was quite friendly and accepting of me and other days she either ignored or mocked me.  At first I thought it might just be me, and I’d been too sensitive, but there were others who expressed similar experiences, so I guessed I wasn’t too far off base.  Perhaps a little bipolar?? or personal issues that clouded her frame of mind?  In time, she was replaced by other, more emotionally stable assistant managers that made life a little easier.

My own emotions, however, were raw and on edge for a time during the first few years there.  Although I know I was a little sensitive, I tried not to let it show too much.  God was dealing with me about the inner me, making me a little tougher and healing me in places I didn’t even know existed at the time.  But all things considered, McDonald’s was a good place to work and I met some awesome people, some of whom changed my life and perspective on life a little bit.  I learned lots of life lessons, a few skills, and God blessed me during that twelve year period in ways that I don’t think I could ever adequately communicate.

McDonald’s was definitely NOT a place I would have chosen to work had I had marketable skills, but at the time, as a housewife and mother, I’d never done much of anything else.  I was desperate for a second job, to add to the job at Baskin Robbins, because I was about to be forced out on my own after nine years of married life.

Looking back on it, I can truly say that God miraculously provided and kept me in His Hands the entire time.  He gave me strength where there was only weakness, hope where there was none, and courage to face the next day, when all I wanted to do was fold up in a little ball and feel sorry for myself.  Frankly, I didn’t have time to do any of that!!!

If you have ever been, or are now, in a place that was not of your choosing, and it seems to be taking forever to get to the “next level”, let me encourage you to have confidence in God.  As much as I hated McDonald’s at the time, especially when I had to mop the floors and clean the restrooms, cook on the hot grills for hours, help undecided customers or grumpy people, clean up spills and wipe tables, He reminded me that I was to consider it an assignment.  He has given this to you to do for His glory and your good.  It isn’t fun at the time, but you will, I promise, be able to look back on it as a grand learning experience, and something that will make you stronger than you thought possible.

As terrified as I was, as lonely as I was, God was always there to help, encourage, guide, and provide correction when needed.  He was my strength, my hope, my courage and Faithful Friend in the midst of the storm.  If  you find yourself wondering how you got to this place, just trust that God has you there for a purpose.  You may not see how this place could possibly be of any value now, but I can assure you, from someone who has been where you are, The Lord has a plan for you and when the time is right and He’s accomplished His will in your heart, it will all begin to make sense to you.

Two-all-beef-patties-special-sauce-lettuce-cheese-on-a-sesame-seed-bun..not my favorite tho’!

May I also encourage you to cooperate with Him so it will go well with you.  He has your best interest at heart and you will be so glad you willingly joined Him in the journey.  I’m excited to hear of all the miracles and blessings that will be yours as you walk each day with Him.

Would you like some fries with that Big Mac today?

This question will probably find its way to my roommate’s tombstone one day — per his request, comedian that he is — but in the meantime it serves to ask you, my readers, if you’ve ever felt like you’ve had the weight of the world on your head and shoulders? If so, how did it get there and why do you let it stay?

Do your problems feel like a pile of rocks on your head?

Oftentimes we don’t even realize that we have this heavy burden on us until we are so weighed down with guilt, feelings of responsibility, concern, emotional involvement, etc. that our health and mental stability are in jeopardy. By the time we become aware our health is suffering, we are so involved in the problem and so sure there is no way out, that the weight becomes heavier and heavier till we snap and experience a nervous breakdown of sorts.  All too often, this scenario is where self-medicating with drugs, legal or illegal, and alcohol comes into play for some people.  Or, if we are truly fortunate, we finally realize we cannot handle the situation all on our own and we courageously seek help, either thru counseling, prayer, or other resources.

How did the problem get this bad? For me, it started innocently enough. I was trying to help my daughter and her family start over. Without involving too many specifics, let’s just say that for the first few years, life in my chaotic world wasn’t too bad and we all got along pretty well. By all, I mean all nineof us…in my small three bedroom house. But that aside, within a reasonably short period of time, it became obvious that the kids were getting bigger, needing more space and freedom to have friends over, etc. and personalities were not as willing to work together as in the beginning. Mine included.  I must admit that I bare part of the responsibility for the strife and tension during those years.

Tension and strife take a toll on your health!

We all began to feel the tension too, but I was holding on hoping things would work out so that we’d all be one happy family. As time and circumstances drug on, I felt more and more taken advantage of, but still could not open my mouth to calmly state my position without getting hostility from them. The older the kids got, the less respect they had for me and, to be quite honest, the feeling was mutual.

I dearly love all of them, but for a period of time, I really didn’t like any of them at all. The guilt I felt was enormous, and the anger (it’s not like me to be angry) that I felt inside was absolutely amazing to me. I was thinking things, well, you don’t want to know what I was thinking and it’s not uplifting to repeat those things!! But, let’s just say I was not myself.

I finally realized I was becoming emotionally compromised and I needed help to cope with this situation. In the nick of time, a dear friend of mine called me, out of the blue.  Although we have not talked since this time, her phone call saved my emotional life!  She sensed that my family was “sucking” the life out of me and I needed to make some changes in order to find myself again. Well, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but I needed to hear it!

It still took several months to really feel confident in my decision to make those changes, which involved my family finally moving out on their own, but once those changes were made, I began to come back to myself. The weight began to lift, the guilt, sense of responsibility for the success of my family, all of that slowly was removed from me. And, the best part, my peace returned. There is nothing in this world that can compare to God’s peace. Once you know it, you don’t ever want to lose it!  Believe me.

Although I am really sorry things within my family turned into a “black hole” for awhile, God has a way of turning even the worst looking scenarios into something that will give Him the Glory!  As I continue to submit to His Word and His Will, I know that He’ll bring us all into that “due time” where He can exalt us.

1 Peter 5 has a lot of good info about how we’re supposed to act, but in verses 6 and 7 it says:  “Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”   The Amplified Version  (underlining mine, for emphasis)

How peaceful is this?

I would encourage you to read the whole chapter, but this gets across the idea that you can have confidence in the Lord with all of life’s issues because He’s your loving Daddy and He has your best interest at heart.  He will take care of you!

So, if you’ve got a rock, or a pile of rocks, sitting on your head,  and you think there’s no way out of your mess, trust Him and determine to make some changes in your life.  Recognize your part in the problem, repent (or turn around and go the other direction), and trust God to see you through till the end!  You’ll be surprised how peaceful you’ll feel!

 

There’s nothing better than Plum Pudding for Christmas!

For some reason lately, maybe because of the summer heat here in Arizona, I’ve been thinking about plum pudding.  That, of course, reminds me of Christmas, and that reminds me of my maternal grandmother who lived in Minnesota up until her home going at the age of 85.  She made the most delicious plum puddings from scratch (I have the recipe) and sent them as gifts to all her family and close friends at Christmastime, wrapped in cellophane and aluminum foil, topped with a big red bow!  For those of you who have never had the pleasure of eating steamed plum pudding, you have missed out on a wonderful treat!  But more importantly, I would suppose that you missed out on a bit of heritage as well.  Much like the Cratchet family in the movie A Christmas Carol enjoyed their Christmas pudding, so we enjoyed Mom’s turkey dinner with all the trimmings and Grandma’s plum pudding  for dessert!  So delicious and so very — English!  Yummmmm!!

Although we lived far apart, she in Minnesota and my family in either Montana, Idaho or California, she would come to stay with us for a month or two at a time every couple of years and spend much of her time helping Mom with various cooking, canning, sewing, or other projects (darning socks was a big one, I remember, and other types of mending).

Occasionally we would travel so that Grandma would get to visit places she ordinarily wouldn’t be able to see.

Where’s the food??

To name just a few:  Yellowstone Park, where the bears stuck their noses into our open car window that Grandma had forgotten to close in time; San Francisco and a ride on a trolley she’d never forget, and, I believe, a trip to Arco, Idaho where the first nuclear reactor was built and we toured the Crater of the Moon National Park and Monument near there as well.  (That was quite a peculiar place!)  Her “exploits” would inevitably wind up in the small local newspaper upon her return after she shared from her trip’s journal, diary if you will, with a friend from the paper.  (Obviously, they didn’t have a lot going on in that town!)

Once in awhile, Grandma had projects of her own that took up some of the rest of her time, such as making doll clothes for my dolls, or a crocheted dress and beret for my first day of school as a 6 year old.

The Beautiful Dress I Hated

(Truth be told, I absolutely hated that dress, but she and Mom were so proud of it so I told her “thank you” and “I really like it”, and never wore it again after that day.)  I sorta felt bad that I just didn’t like it at all, but at the same time I appreciated her efforts and the time she must have put into making that dress.  She loved me enough to spend the  energy on it and that makes up for how bad I looked in it.

I always loved those times when Grandma visited.  She wasn’t the get-down-on-the-floor-and-play-dolls-or-games type of person, but she was a good soul and wise, a good cook, and I just liked having her around.  And, she just happened to be there at one of the scariest times of my life to diagnose some symptoms I was having at the ripe old age of 11….I was becoming a woman!  I had totally forgotten the booklets I’d received from Mom 2 years earlier that explained this would be happening to my body soon, but when the diagnosis became known, I remembered and read them again!  Not to belabor the point, but at those confusing times, it’s not only nice to have your mom around, but having an understanding and experienced Grandma handy is awfully nice too!

I wish now I had been able to spend more time with her.  She taught me to love Postum, a non caffeinated, grain based hot drink.  Smells divine when brewing on the stove!!!  She made do with little and made it seem like so much.  She was a proper and mannerly woman and had the respect and admiration of pretty much everyone in her small community.  It’s a shame that we are missing so much goodness that has now been replaced by these violent and vulgar times.

As I considered my heritage, having been adopted into a wonderful family, I was reminded of an incredible Scripture that tells us of our heritage in God.  Not only are we adopted by Him into His family, but all that is His is now ours!  Amazing!

“But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong.  This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reporduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.”   Isaiah 54:17  The Amplified Version

What is your heritage?  What heritage are we leaving for our children?  Be encouraged to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, to help us leave a heritage that will bless the  generations that follow us!

When I was a kid, the only thing I can consciously remember being afraid of was being left alone.  My parents were forced to go away for a few days to tend to all the things that have to be tended to when a parent passes away.  My grandfather on my dad’s side had died and of course, my dad had to be there to help his sister close up the house, etc.  Mom traveled with him to help in whatever way she could as she had gone through this herself several years before.

As a seven or eight year old I was panicked wondering what would happen to me if something were to happen to both of them while they were away.  I was told that my mom’s twin brother had whatever necessary authority to raise me in that event, the thought of which left my blood running cold.  I like my aunt and uncle and cousins well enough, it’s just that they were soooooooo far away in Minnesota, and I was currently in Idaho.  I would have to get used to a new place, meet new friends, new school, and the downside just kept flooding into my thoughts.

I spent the few days they were gone with neighbors whose son and daughter were my best friends.  We had a lot of fun together, but boy oh boy, was I eternally grateful when my parents came home!!  I doubt they ever knew the fear I had felt, but it all dissipated once I saw their faces!  Up until that time I don’t think I’d ever been so glad to see anyone in my life.

In the many years that have followed, I’ve had several other occasions to have fear, as I’m sure you all have as well.  Sometimes, especially when I was in the midst of my family breaking up, the fear was so intense at times I could do nothing but roll up into a ball, the fetal position I think they call it, and cry and wait until the wave of fear subsided.  Other times, fear for my children or grandchildren would evoke those same types of feelings, but not quite as intense.  Fear of physical harm, fear of being alone, fear of rejection, fear, fear, fear.

Sometimes fear seems to come in “like a flood” or a dust storm!

We’ve all felt it in one way or another, but the one thing I’ve been constantly  reminded of since receiving Jesus as my personal savior and Lord of my life is that God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind!  (found in 2 Timothy 1:7) 

Ok, then, where does fear come from, and how can you get over it?  Well, someone years ago came up with an acrostic for fear:  False Evidence Appears Real.  So often this is absolutely a truthful saying.  The enemy of our soul has a way of throwing situations, or the possibility of certain situations, into our lives that may never happen or most likely will never happen and then he lies to us about them making us think they are a “done deal”.  Our response, all too often, is to panic as if this situation is real and we go off the deep end.  Our confidence in God is shot all to pieces because we start blaming Him as if He let it happen, when in fact, nothing has happened at all.  It’s just all in our minds where the enemy has a field day lying to his heart’s content!

Once again, I refer back to the divorce I went through many years ago.  I was in effect forced out on my own because the children were going to stay with their dad partly because I was going to have to work two or three jobs to survive and had no time left to take care of them, nor did I drive or have a car to get them back and forth to the Christian school where they were enrolled.  Even though God had given me Scriptures to reassure me, I was still in panic mode as I had no skills to sell myself into the business world I thought, and my future seemed doomed for failure.  The enemy had a “field day” in my brain for awhile, to be sure!

However, as I lived each day and relied, trusted and leaned on Him one day at a time (more like one minute at a time!!!!), things slowly fell into place and none of the lies I’d been hearing in my head and believing would happen came to pass.  As I spent time in the Word of God, listened to Christian TV, tapes, and Christian music to encourage my soul, I gained more strength, more insight, more knowledge, and pretty soon, fear began to lose its grip.

I cannot say that I am fearless in every area of my life, but now I know that fear doesn’t come from God.  So, when I do find myself in fear, I know that I need to get closer to Him and stop listening to the one who is spewing the lies, and start listening to the postive, uplifting voice of the Spirit of God through His Word.

At the name of Jesus, fear must go!

I am certainly aware that some fears are rooted in things from our past as a child or in the womb or perhaps even far back into our ancestry that have been passed down to us, however, even those things are able to be loosed from us if we are willing to give them to the One who can bring healing and restoration.

If you have experienced or are experiencing that debilitating, gut wrenching fear that many of us have known, may I encourage you to stop listening to and then repeating the enemy’s lies out of your own mouth.  Turn to the life giving Word of God instead.  You will literally feel a difference in your soul and your heart will be encouraged.  What have you got to lose??  Fear!

Shooting Victim Petra Anderson

This story deeply touched me and I wanted to share with you, in case you missed it!  It is a miracle indeed and I can’t help but think that God has some wonderful plans for this young lady and her family.  May your confidence in God be strengthened and deepened as you read this testimony.

A Miracle Inside the Aurora Shooting: One Victim’s Story

 

 

This last week I had the pleasure of being honored for having worked at Bank of America for an amazing twenty-five years!  My team applauded as I walked through the door and headed for my desk where I spotted a vase of huge sunflowers awaiting me along with a pin signifying my tenure.

Now it’s official!

It later was attached to my name tag so now whenever others read it, they will see how long I have been with the company.

It occurred to me that when anyone works that long at any job or career, they have to have a certain amount of enthusiasm for what they do, a great deal of endurance to face the ups and downs, patience to bear the inevitable battles, and perseverance to go up against all odds.

What a surprise waiting for me!

I can’t say that I have been blessed with all of those fabulous character qualities, but I’ve known for years that God gave me this job, and inspite of the inevitable desire to give up and quit when the going gets tough more times than I care to count,  He has given me the strength to persevere, every day, every week, every month, until, with great surprise, I’ve come to this milestone!  This is not always the case, but fortunately for me, the people I have been blessed to work with are wonderful–kind, funny, interesting, hard working, and caring and I am truly honored to have been placed on the same team as they.

Perseverance, at least for me, has meant a lot of prayer and hanging on to God to give me strength in spite of my desire to stay home where I feel safe.  Not that I feel threatened at work or anything of the sort…quite the contrary.  But, being a homebody at heart and a bit of a wimp, I never wanted to have to work outside of my home, and was forced out into the working world due to circumstances beyond my control.  It has been for my good, and ultimately I am glad God “pushed me out of the nest” but all in all, it has definitely taken me to a new level of trust to keep me out there!

Don’t give up till you reach the goal!

We’re soon coming up on the Olympics 2012, something that I look forward to every four years with great anticipation.  The looks of joy and hopefulness on the participants’ faces from so many different countries, the incredible stories they tell of how they were able to even get to the Olympics to compete, the sadness when many do not get to the finals but then the exultation of those who win — what a story of perseverance!  I think that is what draws me every time these events come about.  I love seeing how people have persevered in the face of great odds.  It’s inspiring, at the very least and gives me hope, even to live my little life with more vigor!

A Scripture that encourages me along these lines is as follows:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

May I encourage you to persevere, endure, be steadfast and faithful in whatever you are going through in life.  And most importantly, lean on Jesus, especially when the going gets tough.  He will see you through and bring you out victoriously.  I can attest to His faithfulness, His endurance, patience, and steadfastness when trying to keep me on the straight and narrow are concerned.

Blessings await you!

I don’t always do all I should to bring Him the glory He is due, but He has brought me through troubling times and I have confidence He will always be there for me in the future.  I trust Him.  You can too!

Honor

“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 New International Version

Not having any idea if this subject matter is of interest to or affects anyone else but me, I felt in my heart it was time to address it, if only to remind myself to take the opportunity to express my gratitude more often to those who have honored me in some way.  What exactly is honoring others and why does it seem so hard sometimes to give others their due?  People do nice things for us or around us all the time and most of us “forget to remember” to say thank you or “Good Job!”  Maybe you aren’t like this, but I sure am.  I really do appreciate all that folks manage to do everyday, especially when it makes my job easier or more pleasant,  but I just don’t make a point of saying so often enough.  Well, maybe I don’t appreciate them as much as I think I do?  Or maybe it’s just my memory??

Meeting the man of her dreams

In any event, in the spirit of honoring those who have blessed my life, and being obedient to what I felt God prompting me to do, I’d like to take this very public forum to extend my sincerest and heart felt appreciation to one of the many people who have played a part in helping me get to where I am so far, and because of what their friendship/relationship has supplied, will help me get to where I need to be in the future.  As the Lord leads, I will include others but today He spoke to me about one individual in particular and would not let me go without sharing her with you.

Dreams of a Life of Love

The first person I’d like to honor is a young woman who, for privacy reasons, except for those of us who know her because of this phrase, I shall call “Due Jesus!”  She came along several years ago at the right time and in the right place for me as a genuine gift from the Lord and shared her hysterically funny Southern black humor and intense love for “that wonderful man named God” with all of us in our work place.

She is a lover of love and happy endings, fantasy and Cinderella in particular, which is why you see images of her sprinkled throughout this post.    While on a trip to Disneyland several years ago she admitted, in her embarrassment,  that she’d spotted her favorite Disney Princess and almost ran the children over trying to get to Cinderella first to get her autograph!  Perhaps it has occurred to her, as it has me, that her love of Cinderella may be a picture of sorts of her relationship with Jesus.  We as mere humans have dreams of being and doing better in our lives, and then, wonder of wonders, we stand in the Grand Ballroom, before the Prince…..so handsome and awe inspiring…and then the clock strikes one, two, three….seven, eight, nine,…….eleven, twelve times….oh, no…and we find ourselves back in our old reality with only the memory of that brief moment in time when we experienced the Glory…

Dreams do sometimes come true!

And then, wonder of wonders, He comes to our door…. and with the glass slipper fitted into place, He rescues us forever and takes us to His glorious castle where we will be loved and treasured for the rest of our lives!

Her enthusiasm for the Lord, her church, and pastor led her to share some tapes and CD’s with me, most without cost, the messages of which literally changed me and brought me back to life again.  Those tapes were filled with preachers and teachers such as Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, T. D. Jakes, I.V. Hilliard, and others speaking the Word of God, encouragement, hope and life into my spirit day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute as I listened as intently as I could while sitting at my desk, typing all day long.  Sometimes it was just a word or a phrase that helped me through my day.  Sometimes it was a much needed word of “scolding” that snapped me back from doing, thinking or speaking things I shouldn’t.  While she had no idea of all that was going on in my life at that time, if it weren’t for her generous gift of God’s Word, I know I wouldn’t have been able to cope very well.

Since that time,  we have both grown and matured and I’ve watched as she has gone from experiencing financial and marital struggles to having a miracle baby girl, living well and loving her husband in ways she never imagined years ago!   She has stepped out in faith and begun a small business selling cinnamon rolls, really at a financial loss to begin with, because she just wanted to bless people.  (I can tell you from personal experience, those rolls are delicious!)  And more recently, because she had grown in confidence, could finally take the steps necessary to begin using her creative abilities to write a romantic novel.  As a result, she’s inspired me to start this blog.  Her book hasn’t been published yet due to the time it takes to do the rewrites in order to get it ready for publishing, as well as being full time wife, mother and employee, but I’m confident God will show her the way and open the doors at just the right time.

Like any friendship, we’ve had our misunderstandings over “this and that” through the years but “DJ” has probably meant more to me for her selfless acts, her giving heart, and her willingness to follow Jesus anywhere He leads, kicking and screaming sometimes, but as she obeys He always blesses.  She will tell you that she is not perfect by any means, and will probably be extremely embarrassed that I am writing this post about her, but to me she is a down to earth example of just trusting God in the little things and God has been faithful to meet His daughter right where she is and answers as a loving Father would.

Princess Cinderella

Thank you, my dear friend DJ, for being who you are and living for Jesus in a negative world!  Everyone who knows you, cannot help but “testify” that you give glory to God no matter what!  You are bold inspite of your timidity and shyness, and share His righteousness with humor to make others feel more at ease.  But no one can escape your testimony of God’s love.  You are God’s little Princess and your royalty becomes more apparent and endearing everyday!*******************************

Since the last time we talked, I’ve decided to add a few important points.  We previously mentioned “thought habits” because they dictate our speech and actions based on what we spend our time thinking about.  As a silly example of my stubborn “I’d rather do this my way, don’t tell me what to do” thinking, rather embarrassing really, may I present the following true story:

My stacks were much neater, but you get the idea!

My former mother-in-law, God bless her, always told me how much better I’d feel if I’d just do the dishes as we dirtied them instead of letting them stack up for days at a time. I, in my slovenly little mind, thought it was easier to put them in such nice, neat, lovely organized stacks, and then, when I had time, I’d wash them!  When I got ready!  By the time I got “ready” though, there were so MANY of them, they began to feel like an incredible weight around my neck after every meal. Well, being the great procrastinator and rebellious, newly married young woman that I was, and pregnant besides, I was still not willing to listen to her incredibly good advice!  So, I waited, sometimes days before tackling them and, of course, it was a monumental chore, taking hours to get them all washed, much less put away!! (I had to rest in the middle, don’t ya know!).  You can only imagine how much worse it got when we started having kids!

Well, it wasn’t until I was in the middle of my unwanted divorce that I willingly learned a valuable lesson while working at McDonald’s of all places! Wash as you go and put everything back in the prescribed location so it will be there for the next person’s use!  (And no, the dishes were not the reason for the divorce, but I’m sure they may have figured into it some way or other.)

Although I am profoundly more adept at doing dishes now, sooner rather than later, than I was then, I still struggle with them, and a lot of other household chores among other things, but I at least know why I do what I do, or don’t do, and I know how to fix it!  Determining to take control of my life to agressively combat passivity, one of the greatest, most deceptive tools of the enemy keeping men and women of good faith from doing what they should, is part of the issue.  Perhaps we’ll discuss this more in a future post, but I did want to mention it here in case you too might have conflicts in this area.  Passivity keeps many of us from accomplishing all that we could in life and hinders our being at peace and having contentment in the Lord.  It is a thief of the highest order and it takes much determination to overcome!  It can be done and it starts with our thoughts, which is why I believe our thought life is so important!!

Well, if our thoughts are so important, what’s next?  OUR MOUTHS!!

Yup, you were waiting for that one weren’t you?  Oh, yes you were, I can tell!!

What are we talkin’ about!

Our mouths can cause more damage, or create more good than any one thing on this planet.  We all talk all day everyday to several people:  family members, acquaintances, coworkers, strangers on the street or at the store, gas station, bars, restaurants, etc. and I’ll bet most folks have no clue what God has to say about what goes on with our mouth.  The Bible, in Proverbs 18:21 The Amplified Version, says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in  it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].”  Then, “For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.”  Matthew 12:37 The Amplified Version.

Boy, oh boy, if that wasn’t heavy duty enough, you should check out the book of James, one of my favorites, which just tells it like it is!  James 3:5-6 The Message says  5-6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.”   Wow!  Gotta love James! He gets right to the heart of the problem.

I’m sure we all have plenty of examples from our lives of bad or good things happening while our tongues have been in action.  I certainly have and barely remember any, mores the pity!  But here’s the thing.  We can control what comes out of our mouths, most of the time.  If we want to cope with what life throws at us, we take control over what goes into our brains, what we meditate on and believe in our hearts, so that when those demanding times come at us, we can talk right (or not talk at all!!!) and not make a much bigger mess of things!

Joyce Meyer

As Joyce Meyer says in a recent tweet: “Your thoughts become your words; your thoughts become your actions. Your thoughts become your life.”

Another word of wisdom from Joel Osteen:  “If we want to experience God’s best, we must learn to take responsibility for our thoughts, words, attitudes and actions. How can you improve in these areas?” 

Joel and Victoria Osteen

Well, that’s a great question!  Becoming more aware of what comes out of our mouths is crucial to putting a stop to much of the negative stuff we speak.  Asking God to help us by putting a watch over our mouths so that we don’t sin against Him will help too.  Several years ago, God dealt with me pretty harshly about my mouth during a serious family issue that was taking place and He showed me that I had allowed my mouth to say a lot of unkind things to and about the people I cared for the most.  I knew how important it was to speak right things, but somehow I’d forgotten, lost focus or just didn’t care enough to “shut up” I guess.   He reminded me that they were His children and the authority to criticize or judge them was not mine.  That was His job and since they were His kids and part of His family as I was, it would behoove me to love them and be supportive with my mouth.  Difficult lesson??  Oh yeah!!!!  Easy to put into action?  Not so much.  But I’m doing better, and that’s a good thing.

Since then, I’ve learned that God has given His children the right and ability through Jesus to do the same things He did.  He spoke the world and all that’s in it into existence.  He spoke and things happened just as He said they would.  Since we are created in His image, and His words are creative, likewise, He’s given us the ability to create with our tongues too.  We can create life, or death.  When we criticize, complain, judge, belittle, etc., we are bringing death.  But when we speak encouraging, loving, inviting, healthy words, we bring life to the person or situation we’re speaking to.  That really makes God happy and then, He blesses us!   I spoke words of death to many of my family members for years and am reaping the consequences.  But, God is good and delivered me when I repented and asked Him to help me “turn off the flow”!!!

If you are facing some difficult situations right now, it may be that changing your thought and speaking habits might make all the difference in the outcome!  Try it!  You have nothing to lose but death, and everything to gain!  Once again, choose life!

After a tough week in our world, I think it’s time for a some humor to bring a little joy into our sometimes crazy, stressful lives.  Or, if you have a lot of drama in life, take a few minutes and enjoy these fun videos.  But, get ready to be inspired at the end.  Enjoy, everyone!

Jeanne Robertson  “Don’t send a man to the grocery store!”

Mark Lowry Comedy

Funny cats in water, EPIC   (This is amazing!!)

            ********************************

The next video is definitely not humorous but incredibly moving and I can’t help but share it.  Not often in life are we mere humans given gifts like this young man and woman have, especially at such young ages, but when we do get the opportunity to experience God’s magnificence through vessels like Jonathan and Charlotte, I hope it encourages you to have faith and confidence in the God who cares for us so very much.  The bond between them is inspiring and you can tell by what you will feel when watching this video that God has some wonderful purpose for both of them and for their music.

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