Tuesday, April 17, 2012
AS I was reading other blogs as I love to do- I got on a path that led me to a blog entitled Always in Development and a lovely lady called Shalom Seeker. This questionnaire caught my eye because I made up one similar a few years ago in email and sent it to my friends and some of their responses made me cry, because they were candid in their answers and a few said they did not know where they would go when they die-this was some of my closest friends. Boy, that can grab you and wake you up when you realize close loved ones need to hear the Good News.
Here are her questions and if you read this and feel like answering them please send me a line telling me to come see.
1. When did you come to believe in Jesus? Tell your story! (as long or as short as you like) I came to believe in Jesus when I was about 6 and I vividly remember the day I went forward and made it public and was baptized - I grew up in church and loved growing in knowledge all my young life, then I had a few years or more where I was not walking with the Lord-I turned from him -He never turned from me.
2. What difference has #1 made in your life? In my darkest days, through many trials He has carried me. I truly have felt His love when it was hard to feel love from those around me. I feel like I can tell him anything and He cares. I place the things that matter most to me at His feet and for the most part leave them there-for example my children and grandchildren. I realize that they are truly gifts from Him. I honestly feel He is my best friend- I can't think of any experience good or especially bad that I don't turn to Him now. My thoughts are Pray about it or thank God for it.
3. What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why? I love them all -but my favorite chapter is Psalms 139- It begins with "O Lord you have searched me and you know me- you know when I sit and when I rise-You perceive my thoughts from afar, you discern my going out and my lying down, you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord." So many more precious verses-one I particularly love is "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God How vast is the sum of them. Were`I to count them they would outnumber the grains of sand"-Wow-God thinks about us more than the sands on all the beaches!!! It ends with "Search me o God and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." That's my prayer.
4. Tell about a time God answered a specific prayer in your life. How did that affect/change you? I prayed for my children all their lives that they would desire to walk with the Lord and that He would be working on precious Christian mates for them. So far-one is married and he is a precious Christian man who loves my daughter and it was all a testimony how that happened- A God incidence that is a long story to share maybe later. This is just one that came to mind because there are so many. I've tried to teach my children to believe the power of prayer.
5. Do you remember a time that God made a Scripture passage especially clear to you? Tell!
When I found myself a single mother of 3 small children with a small income a verse God gave and made real in my life was "Once I was young but now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread"Psalm 37:25 We might not always have what we wanted but we would have what we needed and we would never be hungry.
6. Who has influenced you in your spiritual walk (family, friends, mentor, pastor, authors, etc.)? In what ways? My parents raised me in a Christian loving home, that is a big influence- a woman who has been a spiritual mentor to me is Ms Inez- I love her and thank her. Ladies who I love to sit at their feet for spiritual food are Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, Jan Silvous and Joyce Meyer. Since I wrote this I have been priviledged to be in a smaller retreat setting and learn and be blessed by ladies like Ann Downing, Peg Kennedy, Sandra Aldrich and Bonnie Skinner~ I'll keep going back for more!
7. Sometimes we get to share His story with others. Is there a particular story that you want to tell about that? A story I love to share is how He sent an angel to intervene- Let me share- it was early in 2002 and my youngest child was going through a time of rebellion (That is enough to need divine intervention-Can I get a witness?). She decided at the age of 16 she would leave my home where there were rules and curfews and I knew where she was and her friends and expected her to be in church, to go to her Fathers house where rules were looser, curfew was later, he didn't have to know her friends and Church? not at all. I being the close mother I felt I was wanted her home-it was breaking my heart- every phone call was tears and please come home ending in hurt and anger. All I knew was to pray! In the midst of this my Father had a major stroke and we almost lost him. When I finally got her on the phone she being angry with me said she wasn't even going to come to the hospital. I cried and said our fight may be our fight but all her Poppy had ever done was love her. Much later after her aunt went and talked to her and other family members had called her she came-I remember looking down the hall and seeing a little girl with a big chip on her shoulder coming toward us-she went in and was a broken little girl seeing her Poppy laying there. When it came time to leave I wanted to walk her out and she didn't want me to -she thought there would be more begging when at that time I needed her love and she needed mine. We got on the elevator and she said don't start on me- I said cant we just get along right now and the elevator door opened a floor down and a large beautiful young black lady got on, we ceased talking and rode on down. We all got off the elevator and she went to the food area and we were sitting on a bench not saying anything when she came back up and said God had told her to tell us some things. She looked at my daughter and told her everything she was doing and that God was revealing that she should go home. She said there is nothing you are doing that your Mother won't love you-she prays for you. She was very specific and said things only few people could know- she laid hands on us and prayed out loud in that lobby over us and the little girl with the big chip melted right there. We sat there and agreed it was an angel- she went home that night and told her father God had sent an angel. She came home. I left out many personal things said and and details but I hope you see the picture of God coming in human form and speaking words that we needed. I told everyone and even spoke about it publicly and to this day know that God came in the Hospital in the form of a beautiful young black lady.
8. Is there something in your history that you would change if given a chance to?
I wish I had always walked closer with him, I wish there had been more of Him and less of me.
9. What's a vice in your life? Any virtues? ;-D Probably one vice I have is I am over sensitive and sometimes have low self-esteem-are these vices or faults? Virtues are my Faith and I feel great love from my Heavenly Father so I try to show love. I believe strongly in prayer.
10. What's your favorite way to worship God? I love to worship him with music and with prayer and praise for what He's done.
11. If you could possess one (real) talent or gift that you haven't already been given, what would it be and why? I wish I was a good speaker and could play an instrument.
12. What is an important lesson you have learned? How did you learn it? Unconditional love is loving someone for who they are, and not expecting more than they can give. People need love the most when they deserve it the least.
13. What things are you really passionate about? What sets you ablaze? I am passionate about Mercy, because I have received it. I am set ablaze to see someone come to Christ or see someone grow in their relationship with God.
14. What do you love or appreciate about God? That He loves me and I don't deserve it and that He has shown me great mercy and continues to.
15. Where have you be especially effective in serving God? (This isn't prideful; if you've been effective, it's because of His Spirit in you, so really it brings glory to HIM.) I believe I am effective in loving and learning with the Ladies Sunday School class I teach, we are a close group of ladies who have been through alot together and lift each other up. Ecclesiastes 4:9and 12 says " Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who has no one to help him up. A cord of three strands is not easily broken."
I know this was long but its a look inside your self to answer these questions.
Maybe a Heart Check.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
"The March wind roars
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.
When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here."
- Author Unknown
March roared in for sure, in the land where I live. Friday, March 2nd I woke up, still trying to get used to the 8 to 5 I am working temporarily. I get to work and very early in the day comes the beep-beep-beep on my phone warning of a Tornado.
We go back in our large metal building to an office to wait. The wait proves to be a scare I'll never forget. As we sat and tried to get info about what was going on we see it's hit very close to my house on a path I've seen before back in time. Then very soon the faces of my co-workers tell a story that requires me to remember who holds my life, my loves and all I care about in His hands. The Facebook that is not coming in on my phone, has told my co-workers my neighborhood is hit and search and rescue is looking for survivors. I try repeatedly for what seemed like hours but was really 5-10 minutes to reach my children who are at home with my grandchildren in this neighborhood. I remember the tears, I remember the prayers I tried to utter, I remember thinking Lord take everything I own, but please not my babies. Well, He was faithful! The EF3 tornado that touched down did demolish houses, but noone lost a life. To God be the GLORY! My end of the neighborhood was just wind blown- my babies were terrified but unharmed. My daughter had just recently moved to my end of the neighborhood, and her old house was demolished. That weekend we saw neighbors helping neighbors and a community come together for each other. The businesses near my home were hit, a church had part of it's roof blown off. About 12 homes in my neighborhood have complete or significant damage. We were without power for almost two days, but all of that is replacable. Human life is not. This could be a rough spring. I'm so glad I know who holds my future in his hands.
Speaking of knowing who I belong to, brings me to the second weekend of March.
I spent it at the Opryland Hotel in the Magnolia Ballroom at The Pearl Event II, where two hundred beautiful ladies sat underneath the glistening chandeliers and heard some of the sweetest ladies in the world tell what God has done for them and what He wants for each of us. I met two ladies I have followed for years, who felt like friends before I met them.Edie was so beautiful, baked us all The BEST Chocolate chip cookies, and shared how God has taken care of her family , even through a fire. I was blessed to finally meet her.
Paige is as wonderful as I imagined all the years I've read her blog. I have tried to meet her on several occasions when I went to Atlanta for Market. She introduces you to her life, her family, and her relationship with the Lord in such a way you feel like friends. Seeing her and her sweet family meant alot , but hearing her say God wants us all to know we have a significant story touched me.
Sibi is the lady who planned, prepared, fasted and poured her whole self into making this day become a reality. I had not read her blog as long as the other ladies, but when they both showed up on their blogs saying she was planning this shindig and they would be there-I started reading her blog and could not stop. I would read her posts and think ~she's a modern day Mother Teresa. What a special heart she has. Now, after meeting her and hearing her amazing story -you know she is the testimony of Jeremiah 29:11 fleshed out. God had plans for her all her life and he brought her into her hope and her future. She taught us that we are God's beautiful pearls. I'll never look at pearls the same again. I felt so blessed to be there and to hear all the ladies speak. Each one shared what God has done in their life. We had wonderful praise and worship music. It was a day I'll never forget. I just wish I could have taken more people with me to recieve the blessing.
For I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
Yes, March has been eventful!
Thank You Lord for all of it!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I guess I was busy living life. I can say that the past year has been a doozy!
It was a year ago today when I was having a normal working day for me at the time. I was so busy I felt like a one armed paper hanger. Then you know the rest of the story... I had my life altered by those 3 words- You are fired. It tore me up. I know I blogged about it. But on this side, a year later I am testifying that what someone meant for evil God meant for good. He's like that.
I spent more time with my family~ in the past year two of my grown children and their families have come back home to stay while finishing up new home issues.
I have enjoyed my grand babies alot and spent more time than usual with them.
I became a Christian Women's Job Corp mentor- I have always wanted to do that.
I went on a foreign mission trip to Guatemala.-I have always wanted to do that.
I climbed a mountain. I did not necessarily want to do this, but I did not think I could.
I got to swim with my sweet peeps from my Sunday School at least once every week of the summer.
I had long leisurely lunches with friends.
I went to see my extended family at Christmas- I rode with my parents and had a great trip.
I began cooking for others and it might be what I'd like to do for the rest of my life. I found out the medical profession likes my home-cooking.
I spent wonderful times with my BFFS. I've always done this but it just seems sweeter with no time limits.
I stayed up late and slept late.
I grew to love and keep my quiet time even more.
Also, I let my hair go natural. I have a head of silver white hair.
You know what the bible says about silver hair...
Proverbs 16:31 says:
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.
I know I'm not by any means self righteous- But I am trying to be right with God!
Last of all- James 1:2-4 says:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I'm so thankful that I can say I have Pure JOY.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy!
Yep, that's me- thats what I'm talking about...
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I love it when God winks- I had a significant one recently. I was on a mission trip October 16-21st to Guatemala. I was part of a mission team who have adopted the village of SanAntonio-near Guatemala City and Antigua. Before I left I got a new journal to write my experiences down in. I put some verses I thought I might need in there. One day a few weeks before I was just reading the Bible and I found some new verses I did not remember ever reading and I liked them so I put them on index cards to carry with me. I stuck them in my journal just because they were loose.
The first day of the trip was the 13th straight day of rain. Our village was 3 miles from the road- up a dirt hill then straight down. By prayer and effort our 4wheel drive vehicles made it most of the way up. I had the start of the day and the excitement and will to help me get up that rest of the way and I was very careful going down the mud and slush to get to my destination-the village and the children I had come to see and serve. Fact: San Antonio Suchitepéquez is a municipality in the Suchitepéquez department of Guatemala. It has an elevation of 300m to 500m above sea level. At the end of the day, this overweight, out of shape Grandmother did not realize how hard it would be to walk back up -straight up the mud and slush I had come down- to the trucks. About a half mile. I kept feeling like I couldn't breathe. I was the last person up. The ride back to our hotel was long and my mind kept saying what if it is still raining tomorrow and trucks can't get up the hill. I did not want to be a burden to everyone or a hindrance. So sadly (very sadly-tearfully) I wondered if I would even go back if it was raining. I did not tell anyone, but my mind was saying YOU can't. That night as I got out my journal to try and write down some of my feelings, an index card I had written weeks before and just stuck in there fell onto my lap and it said: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord: I will exalt in the Victorious God of my salvation!The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet and will make me to walk (not stand still in terror) but to walk and make progress in my high places. Habakkuk 3:18-19
I began to cry and I thanked God that He gave me the very verse weeks earlier I would need at such an important time. I went the next day and every following day and that walk got easier and easier. Part of my heart is left on that hill in Guatemala and I am going back.
I shared this on God winks on Facebook and wanted to go ahead and share it here.
God is good all the time!
I’m getting to the good stuff-next the children.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
How can you put down in word’s the works of the Father? How can you show His hand moving in lives and circumstances on paper so that the person not experiencing it can get a glimpse? I will feebly try because the last few weeks have been the workings of our Loving God who still works and moves and does miracles every moment.
He put a desire in my heart a long time ago to not just know Him, to not just love Him but to GO. Go ye therefore… I never knew the therefore but I knew some day I would. From the moment I saw the first pair of eyes and saw the work He was doing there ~ I knew this was my time. I felt the stir one Saturday morning in August and from that moment knew that God would make the way. I got my passport, I got my plane ticket ( thanks to a loving husband –although he did not really want me to go, he was very reluctant to let me, but who can mess with God’s plan?).
In the month before leaving when I realized one of the things we would do was provide them a pair of shoes, I made it my goal to see that happen. I thought about my own grandchildren and thought of how much they have. How much we all have. I thought about how every shopping trip to anywhere in the past 8+ years –if I saw something that I wanted for them I got it. If I had the means to buy 100 pairs of crocs on my own I would have done it. So I did the next best thing -I went to friends- I put on Facebook the need –I shared at church- I told friends. I did not procure the money for every pair – Crocs gave us some and others collected money. We got the shoes we needed. This was just one of the ways God provided even more than we could ask for. He touched hearts who gave and we filled needs -even more than shoes- financially. We saw our very need met before the trip and knew that God does make a way.
In the weeks before and especially days before leaving, I shared my fear of flying with others. Others who promised to pray. I can tell you on this flight, probably one of my longest ever -I felt the presence of God and I did not cry. Usually I’m so anxious I cannot help it, tears come and I am afraid. But this time I felt the prayers and was almost surprised at how well I did.
Sunday –when the plane touched down and we were greeted at the airport- I did not fully know what to expect. I was surprised to drive down the street and see places just like here. Texaco- McDonalds- Lowes and the list goes on and on. The place was different, they spoke a different language, the people look different. The city does not seem as clean and efficient as ours does. It seemed like the city was almost a sepia color compared to America. As we drove from the big city to Antigua –where we were staying we drove through beauty- natural green mountains. That’s where I started to see God’s handiwork in all its beauty.
and all homes, and dwellings are built in a compound format. You drive up to a wall with a gate and enter into a secure area that houses everything. As I entered the gate where we were staying I was surprised and almost in awe of how beautiful our accommodations were – it seemed like such a paradox to what we had come for.
The place we stayed was called Casa Santa Rosa. It was a beautiful, comfortable, safe and secure place to stay. A place to come home to and rest to go back out and do the part we came for. I’m sure that many mission trips are more in the field environment than what we experienced. I know after the time we spent there that our accommodations were made for our safety and our health more than anything. The fact that they were beautiful and comfortable were just how God gives- more than we could ever imagine or ask for.
Monday, October 10, 2011
It seems like the last few Octobers I have had a day or an event that makes me recollect on where I came from. I just finished the bible study A Confident Heart by Renee Swope and in the last chapter she found paper written by her son entitled –Where I Am From. Renee said God used her son’s words to remind her she doesn’t have to be a perfect mom or a perfect woman. She just needs to be intentional and available to live and love well.
I wrote these words in October several years ago and shared them again last year, maybe by next year one of my sweet children will write theirs down for me, so I can see their thoughts –(hint-hint).
My parents were close enough to perfect for me and I am thankful for the consistent loving home I grew up in. I think sometimes they need reminding they did a good job.
I come from a family of 6. Loving Father, very involved Mother, Older brother, younger sister, baby brother.
I come from a home where we ate dinner together every night.
I came from a home where Daddy worked, and Mom took care of the kids.
I come from a home where my Daddy loved my Momma like Jesus loved the church. He put her happiness before his and took very good care of her always.
I come from a home where parents said no and we did not get everything we wanted, but we got everything we needed.
I come from a home where my Mom made all our clothes, even underwear.When we were little, my sister and I always matched.
I come from a home where us kids could not wait for 4:30 because Daddy would be coming up the road and he would get out of the car with his folded paper sack saved from lunch and he would hug us.
I come from a home where every day was spent outside playing and running around the neighborhood and we were safe.
I come from a home where we had one television and we all watched TV together at night and the shows were funny and healthy for families. On weekends I loved to watch Shirley Temple movies with my Mom.
I come from a home where there were punishments like being grounded and being spanked, usually by Mom.
I come from a home where all vacations were taken to see other extended family who we loved alot and were very close to.
I come from a home where we hardly ever went out to eat at restaurants,when we did it was usually after church, to a family style place and Mom usually ordered for all of us.
I come from a home where fast food was a sandwich and chips at home.
I come from a home where we went trick or treating with a pillowcase and came home in an hour or two with a whole bag of candy and we were safe.
I come from a home where my mom worried about me having a weight problem and she watched what I ate in my teen years and was verbal about it.
I come from a home where we all decorated for Christmas. Christmas was very special and we got one good gift and it was laid out like it came from Santa, not wrapped.It was not the quantity of the presents but it was usually something we had expressed a desire for.
I come from a home where every Sunday was the Lord’s day and we were at church in the morning and the evening. Also Wednesday nights. My daddy was the SS secretary for 20 something years and cooked the supper on Wed. nights.
I come from a home where there were fusses and tears but we always knew we were loved.
I’m so thankful for where I come from!
59 years ago two people pledged their love, the day after she graduated. Although they had dated since she was 16 and he was 17~It wasn't supposed to last. Two weeks later he flew overseas and served his country. Five years later they had their first little man, two years later came the first girl, three years later the second girl and in their 18th year of marriage what a precious golden haired boy came as a present to them all. The children all grew up good because the Daddy loved the Momma well, just like the Bible says. Now the children have had children who have given them children. All of this from living a life that is pleasing to the one who gave us life~Thank you GOD.
October is a good month for remembering…….
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
I have found the verses for this time in my life. They come from Isaiah 61 and they are entitled The year of the Lord’s Favor in my bible- NIV.
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
I am thanking Him now for this season of my life that began with hurt and the ashes of a job I loved, and now is a time to praise and serve. Mostly I thank God for giving me many desires of my heart during this time.
I have been a supporter of Christian Women’s Job Corp since its beginning. I always wanted to be a mentor, but I did not want to not be able to do a good job. I always said to myself when life slows down I will be a mentor. Thank you Lord, I became a mentor a few weeks ago. I am going to walk beside a sweet lady who is trying to have a better life and I feel so grateful and humbled to be able to spend time with her and help her set goals and reach them.
I also have long desired to be on a foreign mission field. In a bible study I am doing, we were supposed to share what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to be a missionary. I wanted to be a singer. I wanted to be a hairdresser. I wanted to be a Mom. I have all my notebooks from church where I did things in Acteens and studied Missions. I wrote in there that I wanted to be a missionary. On October 16th I will fly to Guatemala with Mission Firefly to serve the village of San Antonio, Guatemala. I cannot wait. I look at the faces of those children and I already love them. I will be showing many pictures when I return.
As far as the other things I wanted to be when I grow up- I sing at church often and I thank God for the voice He gave me to praise Him! My best friend is a hair dresser and I spend alot of time at her shop-she keeps my hair great and that’s the next best thing to being one myself. And _as far as being a Mom….
God truly blessed me as a a Mom and now a Grandma!
For some reason, this week has been a revelation for me.
I woke up in the middle of the night, just the night before last and I had a little man snuggled up against me. I thought Thank you Lord, and while I’m thanking you –Thank you for all of the blessings I am having. I thought about losing my job I loved and the hurt was finally gone. I love the Seniors and I always will, I miss so many people I worked with and can’t see, like I did on a daily basis. But when I see what all I have been blessed with since that time and the stress He relieved me from-how can I not praise Him.
Yesterday, in my wonderful devotional book-Jesus Calling- He said this- “When you are back on ground level, you can face your circumstances from a humble perspective. If you choose supernatural responses this time-trusting and thanking Me- You will experience My unfathomable peace.”
Oh-How I thank Him- I thank Him for my year of favor.
I have traded in my ashes for JOY!
I am going to be doing my Father’s business! I am so thankful for my blessings.
My cup runneth over!