Friday, January 23, 2015

Take Courage

Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the Lord. 
Psalms 31:24

God has been bringing the words "take courage" to my mind all week. I've read about it in my Bible, prayed about it, and asked God questions about it. Then, yesterday, I was given the opportunity to choose to take courage, or take fear. 
Yesterday was not a good day for me. It started out well with the usual Thursday trip to pick up my grandchildren. After getting settled at home we had an accident that caused pain for my grandson and we raced to the urgent care.
My heart was hurting.
My body was trembling.
I couldn't stop crying.
My mind was racing with so many thoughts; it was hard to focus on the truth.
My husband, son and daughter in-law met us at urgent care and the doctor took a look at our sweet grandson. His injury was soothed with medication and wrapped in bandages. He was given bundles of love and antibiotics and they went on their way.
But still, I was faced with the choice of taking courage or living in fear. The fear was growing inside of me on several levels. Even though I knew he was going to be okay. I began to feel afraid that  my son and daughter in-law wouldn't trust me with my grandson anymore. I felt afraid that I wouldn't trust myself. I felt emotions from an old trauma that happened 26 years ago when our son was hurt while left home with his grandma. 
But then, a friend reminded me that fear is not from God. She literally gave me courage. And, I realized that this was the moment God had been preparing me for. "Take courage!" I could choose to take the courage she was offering me, or I could stay in the fear that was overtaking me.  It was my choice. 
 I chose to take courage.
So today I am asking myself, "how often do I give courage?" If God is saying over and over again to take it, and He does. Then, surely we must give it.  I know for me it was an amazing strength to have a friend be very direct with me and encourage me to not let fear overwhelm me, but to have faith in the love of my family and take courage!

"There is no room in love for fear. Well formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of death, fear of judgment--is one not yet fully formed in love." 
1 John 4:18

Give courage and take courage today. Say That Again!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Front Row!

It's a New Year, and I'm looking forward to some decisions I've made about 2015. I don't know about you, but sometimes my schedule gets really busy. Way too busy. And, when that happens, I start to feel way too tired. When I start to feel tired, it's not good.  So, this is one of my decisions. I'm not going to be as busy, I have to slow things down, restructure, check my priorities, and pace myself.
Another goal I have for 2015 is to celebrate MORE! I want to let others know that I am celebrating their joys and their accomplishments. I also want to celebrate my own. The big ones and the little ones, all of them. I think that sometimes I have been too tired, or my thoughts have quickly moved on to the next thing before I have taken the time to celebrate. I want the people in my life to know that they should be celebrated. And, I want to be celebrated too.
I"m going to get back on my treadmill. That's about all I have to say about that.
There's a story in my heart that needs to be told, I'm going to work on putting words to it. 
I'm going to fill up my front row.  Are you wondering what my front row is? Well, let me explain:
my front row is that group of friends that hold the core values about relationship that line up with the Kingdom of God. They know their value. They celebrate each other. They are respectful, trustworthy, responsible, loving, and teachable.  They want to know who I am.
I want to be a front row friend to the people in my life.
I have a few other goals that involve my ministry, my family, and my heart. God has already began to answer some of my prayers in some interesting ways, and I'm thinking that the remaining pages of 2015 are going to a wild adventure!
So, put on your seat belt, the front row has a good view. Thank you Jesus for being in my front row, Say That Again!
Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family. Proverbs 18:24

Saturday, December 27, 2014

What I've Learned

2014 is wrapping up, and it's time to say goodbye. I've been reflecting on the year for a couple days now, it's like a rear view mirror. Praise God the years behind me are like mirrors that are tiny, and the years ahead are wide open windows!
Thank you, to my many readers for bringing my blog to 100,000 reads! Thank you for sharing my posts on your pages and with your friends and around the world. Thank you for making 2014 a breaking record year of over 2000 page reads a day! God has blessed this blog, and He has blessed me through all my readers, and I want to Say That Again, and Again!
What is the biggest most important thing you learned in 2014?
This is the question that I have rolling around in my head. 
Through it all, what have I learned?
1. When people die, even people that I may not be especially close to but I still know, I feel sad. And, I need to cry and talk about that pain.
2. Love is a choice, it's a direction that we all can choose to take in life. Wearing love for ones self is a practice that requires the power of the Spirit just as much as loving others.
3. God's promises seem slow sometimes. This can be discouraging. This does not mean I do not have faith or I do not believe!
4. It's okay to have expectations! In fact, it's weird not too. I have expectations of myself, and when I'm in a relationship with people that I love, it's only natural that I would expect them to love me back, or to reciprocate. 
5. To be authentic is scary, but it really brings out the true and faithful. 
6. I am weak. But, I believe God is strong and I believe He is going to accomplish all that He has promised. I have goals and dreams for myself and for my ministry. I know I cannot do any of this on my own, but with God, somehow He will make it happen. 
7. Passion is a gift from God.  
8. God heals.
9. Prayer works in amazing ways in my life. Prayer is a fragile gift from the Spirit, His language soaks deep into my soul penetrating every fiber. 
Prayer is my avenue to being known. 
Everything is wide open in prayer, nothing held back, no secrets. 
Prayer is love. Faith. Hope. Trust. 
I have discovered to pray for someone is very different than to pray with someone...for someone is coming alongside them in love and support to lift them up to Jesus. To pray with them, I am giving them a view inside my heart.
10. I'm 52 now. There are many things in my past I would prefer to be different, but then again, I would not be who I am without those challenges. I have made many mistakes. Through it all, God has brought so many blessings. He has lifted me up into a life of restoration, renewal, and love. I need Him to Say That Again to me every day lest I forget His glorious gifts!







Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Shadow


We've been out of town all month, and just rolled back into our garage last night.  It was a great trip, one of the best ever.  While I was playing with my children at Disney Land, and enjoying the warmth of California sun, my thoughts were not on Christmas.
But now, it's the 21st and Christmas is just around the corner. My kids received money for Christmas, and I was warmly blessed to see their eagerness to spend their gift money on others.  
We were also given the pick of our Christmas tree from a tree farm, so today we headed out to go cut down our tree. We were greeted with hot chocolate and donuts before the short trek to find the perfect tree.  And, there were a lot of perfect trees, but when we saw the tiny tree, shorter than me, it just seemed to be more than perfect.  So,  with a few swift cuts of the blade the tree was ours!
This Christmas all my children will be with us on Christmas day and our grandchildren! To me, this is a beautiful gift. There are not a lot of presents under our tiny tree, but it is wrapped in love. 
As I mentioned, we've been away on a trip. We went to California. My husband had business to attend to there, my kids and I had some serious play time.
It wasn't all fun and games though. God sent some rainy days to stop the flurry and put us all to rest. It was delightful.
With each day I thanked God for the way He was wrapping up 2014 for me. He took a year that has been hard and challenging, and topped it with fun, rest, play, and love. All the things I really needed. I felt wrapped up in His love and protected in His shadow.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1

And, I realized that sometimes when we are in the shadow, it can feel dark and alone--for a time. Shadows are like that. But, there is safety in that dwelling place, and knowledge of light.
In shadows, there is a wrapping.
This Christmas season, my prayer is that each one of you will abide in the shadow of the Almighty and know the wrapping of His amazing love. May your life be filled with rest, play, family, joy, and Jesus.  
And, in the New Year Say That Again!



Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Totally Saved

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a very nice day. I had a few birthday wishes, all of which I got to do. 
The first thing I wanted to do was visit Bethel Church, and we did that on Sunday. It was a great experience for our entire family. I enjoyed watching the people engage each other in conversation there. Both my husband and I noticed that they reached out and touched each other a lot and prayed for each other often. The conversation in the HeBrew coffee shop centered around God and all that He was doing in their lives. It was stimulating, exciting, and good.
I also liked it because at the end of the service, I went to the front and asked someone to pray for me. My right arm has been in pain for a long time, and I haven't been able to fully move it above my head or behind my back. She prayed. It moves now. The pain is almost completely gone. She also prayed for my time to be refreshed and restored and as she did God gave me a picture of a hammock and a sword. 
A hammock for rest and a sword for restoration!
She asked me what I was planning to give God in exchange, and I gave Him the stresses in my life.
It was a beautiful time.
My family and I spent my birthday day together. We did some shopping, went out for coffee, and ate Italian food. Then we drove to the beach, one of my favorite places. I loved watching my children play in the waves and run in the sand. We explored new towns, and had good conversations. It was a relaxing and fun day.
Many friends and family wished me a happy birthday and I felt loved. It was a good day. 
Above all, I knew on my birthday, and I know now, I am totally saved! Because my Jesus came to this earth and was born, lived a life as a boy and man, then died on that cross, I am Totally Saved!
He didn't do it half way. In fact, He even said "It is finished!"
Totally Saved
That's the best part of every day.
Say That Again, Totally Saved!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Painting Life

"The joy of the Lord is my strength."
I painted this on a pallet last week and gave it to a friend. As I was painting it, I kept reading 'joy of the Lord' over and over. 
I don't always feel joyful. This verse continues to remind me that it is not my joy; it is His!  When I am able to accept His joy, then I am strong!
I also painted the words "God Will"  on a board. Because, He will. He gives us joy. He will do what He says He's going to do. He will, because He is God. 
There are times that I have to remind myself that God Will. Sometimes I remind God that He says He will! Sometimes it's hard to believe that He will. 
But, God Will. 
Then I painted
"Shine On"
Isn't it true? When we have been blessed with the joy of the Lord, when we persevere through all things knowing that God will our life will shine on!
Above all, He is King. He loves me and holds me and calls me His own. I am His favorite!  So are you. 
King Favorite!
I painted that too. 
Say That Again, His joy covers me, and God will do all that He has promised. And, as the King's Favorite, we will all shine on!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Delivered

David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the Armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."  The Story
Even though I've read the story of David many times, this morning when I read it, I was struck by his words. David was able to prophecy!  He told Goliath what God was going to do.
Goliath was the big huge enemy of Israel. They were terrified of him. But, David knew that God was bigger, so he  was able to walk up to Goliath and simply say to him, "the Lord will deliver you into my hands." 
This is true for me, and for you, too. God is greater. The Lord Almighty will deliver his children from the enemy that comes against them, and the whole world will know that He is God!
Say That Again, Lord Almighty!