Hello!~~~

Welcome!~

It has now been seven years since I started this blog. How quickly time goes by! We are many members but we are one in the body of Christ. Therefore you do not journey alone! Hopefully through this site you will be encouraged by the fact that many things you are going through in your own walk, others are going through (or have gone through) as well. Sometimes we think we are "going through things alone." But we are not. God said that "He would Never Leave Nor Forsake Us." (Hebrews 13:5) and that "There is Nothing New Under The Sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:9). No man is an island. It's easy to forget that. May the words in this blog help you to think, encourage you in whatever spiritual state you are in and may the Lord use them to help us to grow in Him! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith!

I don’t want any readers to think that I am “promoting” being a prodigal. I definitely am not. But what I am hoping to do – is to encourage those of us who either have had or are currently experiencing a hard time in our walk to be honest about it. Personal conviction is a powerful thing, especially if you truly love the Lord. I think that sometimes the Body of Christ critiques and judges to the point where the person who is at the other end of that pointing finger feels ostracized, alienated and alone. I don't think that that is what Jesus intended. When I read through my Bible - I see a firm yet gentle restoration that Jesus ministered to those around Him. Look at John 21:15-19. When Peter who was at an all time low point in his walk - he was firmly, yet lovingly restored by Jesus. He didn't tear him down, or yell or make him feel any worse then he already did. He spoke to him lovingly and gently - and in doing so, Peter was able to repent and minister in a much more powerful, humble and confident way and it became one of the largest ministries ever.

Please note that I am only a vessel, my calling - to write. I dedicate this blog to the Lord and ask that He use it to reach out and touch whoever needs a special, loving, personal touch from Him. My hope is that the Holy Spirit allows you to see Him through the words (and not me). We go through things so that we can extend our right hand of fellowship behind us to assist and help someone else. Our Bible is the same today, as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (I am far from perfect and do not profess to have all the answers...) but the good news is - Our Heavenly Father does! His love, forgiveness, grace and mercy is real!Nothing you are experiencing in your walk comes as a surprise to Him! May He be glorified through this blog and may God bless you at whatever stage in your walk you are in!~



I am a Breast Cancer Survivor

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with early stage triple negative breast cancer on June 24th, 2010 - I have been cancer free for 7 years now. It was only a chapter in my life - NOT my life, but the impact is one that has changed my life forever. Its important for women to know that 80% of the breast cancer diagnosis come from women who don't have a history of it in their family (My family didn't). Early detection is the key. For more information please click on the pink ribbon above. It could save your life.

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April 28, 2010

Superchick We Live Lyrics

Why Does The Grass Always Look Greener on The Other Side of The Fence?

How many times have you looked upon someone else’s life – wishing sooooo your life could be like theirs?

"They have it all together…”
“I wish I was her…”
“Ohhh what a lucky guy!”

We look at them wistfully comparing their lives to our own – and suddenly ours seems sooo wanting… Or so we think… We do this naturally too. It’s not something that requires a lot of thought. But here is the thing… We only see on the surface. There are so many things about our own lives we take for granted… How does God deal with such “spoiled” children? I remember a commercial that use to come on TV for dog food (LOL) And the song went:

"My dog’s better than your dog… My dog’s better than yours. My dog’s better because he eats (brand name of the food) my dog’s better than yours!"

It was a catchy tune so it stayed in my head… Why did her dog have to be BETTER than someone else’s? Did it make her feel superior? Did it make her feel more important? Were there actual studies done to show that that brand of dog food made her dog “better than” the other dog? What was her proof? (Chuckles…) We do this in so many areas of our lives.
Here is where that transparent factual quality comes out in my writing... (Warning: I have a tendancy to tell it like it is... Ready?  Here I go...):  I am short and have an hour glass figure – which with having three children has become “rounder” by the year…. Or as the fashion magazines would say – “I am pear shaped…” Or if you take off the finesse off of it and strip it down to the bare facts..the three b's  (big b and b)…Well.. perhaps I shouldn’t spell it out… I think you get my point… ;P My brother on the other hand is a little taller than I with a small waist and a tight butt and very very handsome. In fact my brother is down right gorgeous. Long eyelashes, sweet smile – I think my brother is model gorgeous. Anyhow – the first thing that came out of my mouth to my mother was ‘Wahhhhhhhhh - It's not fair...You loved him more than meeeeee…” (yeah – like she had any “control” over how we would look!)

If you have curly hair (like mine) you want straight hair… If you are tall you want to be short… Fat – thin. And so on and so on and so on…. And that only handles the physical side of our dissatisfaction with ourselves. Can you imagine how offended God gets when we carry on so? To Him I’ll bet we are all “His” beautiful piece of work. He created each one of us. We are formed in HIS image. How offended He must get as we criticize what He created. “God – you should have made me blond, with long hair and blue eyes…” Who are WE to tell HIM what HE should do???? Yet we do.

How loving is our God. How long suffering… How patient… (Boy as I write this I begin to think more and more how glad I am that HE is God!) For you see I’m having a revelation that my list of dissatisfaction and grumblings has been quite long… Is yours too? Excuse me a moment while I repent… (Father forgive me… I’m so thankful that you are God and I am not….”)

However our society tells us “what to wear” “how to dress.” “what is cool” “what is not.” WHO is “Society ANYHOW??” And why do they know so much while the rest of us know so little?

And ohhh that only talks about the physical side… But how many of us do the same thing about everything in our lives? To the point where all the blessings you have become “bone dry.” You can’t even think about why you are blessed… You’re too busy envying Jane Doe her life, her marriage, her house – when in reality you don’t know what’s beyond the surface.

That didn’t occur to me until recently someone I love very much said to me. “You don’t know what it is like in my life. You think I’m happy all the time. You have no idea.” And you know – they are right. I have no idea. It hurts my heart to think that someone I love so dearly isn't loved and appreciated and happy all the time but its true what we think may not actually be the case… How often we assume so much… And you know what they say the word "Assume" breaks down to if you look at the word really closely... (Clears my throat, loosens my shirt color a bit...Enough said on that...)

Since I was a small girl - my parents would make Christmas really special for us by having a big social gathering on Christmas Eve.  My mother is one of the most kind hearted women  I know.  And no one can host a party like my mother... (oops did I just do what I said we shouldn't be doing?? Grins sheepishly..) But her Christmas Eve party tradition actually started out because my mother believed that no one should be alone for the holidays... Sooo she began inviting coworkers, friends, friends of coworkers, neighbors over to our house Christmas Eve. And she would have a beautiful buffet spread upon the dinning room table of assorted foods for people to choose from (all of which I will say she cooked and prepared herself...) A brightly decorated Christmas tree, Christmas music... good food, good company... And no matter who walked through that door - my mother always has something under the tree for them.  She got in the habit of making baskets of homemade Christmas cookies... From your rum balls, to your bar chocolate chip cookies to little itty bitty gingerbread men.  The party would go on throughout the night until the wee hours of the morning.  With us kids going to bed, the grown ups staying up socializing and than waking us up at 2 or 3 in the morning "after Santa had arrived."  How magical she and dad made Christmas for us.  And not only for us - but for all who walked through that front door.  You may have walked in hesitatingly if you were new, perhaps missing wherever it was you were from if you couldn't go home for the holidays.. But when you left my mother's house - you left with a full belly, a gift under your arm and a basket full of home made cookies - and maybe a new phone number of a new friend or someone that was attending the party.  But what ended up happening - was it became a yearly "reunion." Oh people enjoyed themselves so much and felt comfortable and at home that every year they would come back to my parents house for Christmas Eve. Even till this day.  My father died 8 years ago.  The year he died my mother said to us quietly, "I don't know if I'm going to have a Christmas Eve party anymore..."  She had been doing the party for over twenty four years.  My brother and I supported her in whatever it was she wanted to do. She needed to do "what was right for her."  She had lost our father - her best friend.  It had to be her choice... BUT as the holiday drew nearer my mother went into "Holiday mode" automatically.  Began baking her cookies, making her spread and you know - it occured to me that not once has my mother ever sent out an invitation.  Not once.  It has become such a "tradition" in the lives of all my mother and father have touched.  That over the years - the same people have just "come on their own  accord." It's been  a "given."  And it is wonderful and it continues to be wonderful.  That first Christmas my mother was without my father so many people came and "loved her up mighty much."  "Paid it forward" if you will... (See one of my older posts that describes what that means).  They actually came up all through the night telling her how much their Christmas parties have been to them.  I don't think my mother realized how much loneliness she had (and continues to do) out of peoples lives.  Because she's just "being my mom."  You may never ever ever know what goes on in someone "who's life looks ohhhh so much greener than yours."  But instead of looking at it like that - why not think about how you can make someone else's life "greener." Because in doing so - you will find you can't "out-give love."

Wow - do you see that?  The grass in the yard of my life??? Is it ME or did it just get a "little" bit greener?

April 27, 2010

Prodigal by Casting Crowns *w/ lyrics*

Angels Among Us~

I'm so tired right now i can't think of a thing to blog. I had a very emotional day - with more lows and highs than a roller coaster. Some days I wonder if it is truly worth it... And that is when I have to will myself to go on.  I am only one woman.  One woman who doesn't have all the answers.  You know when I feel like this - I think back to the beginning.  I was born three months premature.  I weighed 3 lbs.  The doctors and nurses warned my mother that i wouldn't live long... I was in the hospital for 40 days and 40 nights... How ironic - just like Noah! LOL  When I feel like this - as I did today, I wonder so- why He strengthened me? What purpose does my life serve?  What plans does He have for me?  There is a reason... Nothing happens by mistake....

When I was in my twenties I was on my way to work.  I was crossing a very busy intersection in my car.  The light was mine.  At the same time I began to drive through the intersection I was hit by a car running the light.  How odd I can remember that at the same time I was crossing.  I heard in the driver's passenger seat, "Kelly! Stop!"  I stopped and turned to look at the seat, surprised.  Its a good thing I did stop.  The woman who hit my car running the light hit me so hard that the stearing wheel came off in my hands.  If I had been only a few more inches up she would surely have killed me.  Why? Why? why?  Why was I saved?  What is the purpose what is the reason?  I can swear there was an angel in the seat beside me.

I really do believe we all have Guardian Angels that have been assigned to us from birth...  There is a purpose for our lives.  Each life is a gift from God.  I'm still trying to figure out what that purpose is...

April 26, 2010

Today (Unplugged) by John Denver

Is Your Love Like a Flickering "Light Bulb"?

I found myself thinking a lot about the word "Love" this weekend... What love is and what love isn't.  How do you show love? Is your love like a flickering light bulb? Blinking on and off, on and off on and off....  It brought to mind a very famous song by the Beatles that went like this:

"All You Need is Love... yadadadada"

We were all born like blank sheets of paper.  Our lives experiences are the words that form on the page and set the tone of our future relationships from the foundation that is set in our childhood.  We start out as helpless infants - I once heard of a study that tested how well babies thrived.  Those that were held and loved and those that were just cared for.  The babies that were held and rocked were the ones that thrived the most.  (I'm not sure of where this study was done I'm just remembering that I heard of it once).  And when you think about it - it makes perfect sense. We really haven't changed since we were babies - WE NEED LOVE. 

1 Corinthians Chapter 13:4-8 tells us that:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

What shows love to you?  I of course can only speak for myself.  There is nothing more appealing to me than a man who knows how to treat a woman.  Who stands behind his word.  Who shows consideration for her feelings. Who can show a woman by his actions that he loves her. Who can say, "I'm sorry" when he's made a mistake or when he is wrong without feeling that that makes him weak (for it doesn't - in fact it makes him more of a man).  Honesty - that goes a long way. Eve was made under Adam's heart. To be protected, respected and loved. Those are the qualities that show me that someone loves me. To be treated... "like a woman."

In the same respect - a "real woman" knows how to love her man. To appreciate him - to be his "helpmate." To be forgiving, understanding, compassionate and loving.  To make him feel "special." To show him that he is "one of a kind." To support his dreams and desires. A "real woman" can apologize when she is wrong.

My sister Shannon had posted a saying on her Facebook.  One that was kind of sad but true it went like this:  "Sometimes a guy realizes how much they care about a girl after the fact - and how amazing she really was. When that day comes, she's usually walking with the guy who already knew..."

Love is not wanting to change a person. But loving them inspite of their faults.  There is "no perfect person." We all have things within ourselves that we need to work on. We all have our flaws. Part of loving a person is accepting their good points and their bad. Loving them while knowing that everyone has their faults. If you are looking for Mister Perfect - guess what? He doesn't exist and maybe - just maybe you need to take a look in the mirror and realize the things you need to change about yourself - because Miss Perfect doesn't exist either.

Love should be a mutual giving and receiving. It should be a two way street.  When its "all about one person" there becomes a road block.

The best way to show a person you love them - is to love them. Simply, truly love them.  Actions really do show the inside of your heart.  They speak louder than the words you say.  And because its "better to give than to receive" don't be surprised  when the object of your affection - turns, runs into your arms, wraps her arms tightly around you and hugs you close while whispering in your ear.  "I love you. I'm so glad you are in my life." Because in sowing your love for someone - be prepared to reap a harvest.  It may be hard work - but in the end - it is soooooo worth it!

April 25, 2010

Christina Aguilera- Beautiful (with lyrics)

Sunday Heinz 57 Thoughts...

Its a quiet Sunday and as I pack away the things I haven't used in the last 6 months in anticipation of a move that is going to take place in the next couple of months, I am feeling rather reflective... How interesting life is. Right now I feel like the last scene in the movie "Forrest Gump" when you see the feather floating in the air.  The air just carrying it here and there.  I have no sense of direction right now in my life.  But its okay because I know that "The plans of the righteous are ordained by God." And I also know that "The number of my days He will fulfill."  There is a certain peace inside when you know that once you have given your life to God that you belong to Him.  Even in the current prodigal state I am in.  (And its important that I mention that from time to time - because not to do so would be to deny it - and make no mistake I've been feeling very rebellious for the last three years).  Maybe that means I'm in my "teenage" spiritual years (LOL).  I don't know.  I only know that I don't have a plan.  Maybe that's the point He wants me to be at right now.  No plan.  Ahhhh as I write this another scripture comes floating from my heart to my mind... "All things work for the good of those that love the Lord."  Not quite sure at this point in my walk what that means... But I know that my Father loves me unconditionally and He sees my faults and my weaknesses and yes - even my sins.  But more importantly - He sees my heart.

I have never understood people who set out to deceive other people and willingly lie to hurt people. I don't have it in me to think like that.  Never have and I hope I never will.  Perhaps I have a certain trusting naivete about me.  I love fiercely.  I do.  If I tell you I love you - you can BET I mean it.  If I tell you your my friend - you can count on me.  Perhaps my heart is too vulnerable - but I'd rather be that way than be someone who is cold hearted and calculating.  I know that life's circumstances can make people cold and make people bitter but that is a road I have chosen not to go.  However if you hurt me or break my trust - although I can forgive I don't forget.  I have what my friends use to call in high school a "Portuguese temper" and when it flares - my words can cut deep.  I am nobody's fool.

I don't feel like putting where I found those scriptures today - so if you want to look them up yourself - feel free. (Homework assignment? LOL)  I have hidden God's word in my heart.  I just don't always know where it is... LOL Today is a day where I will reflect and ponder and smile...

When I was a little girl my mother decided it would be a good thing if I went to camp.  Overnight camp. I am so glad she did.  I spent my summers in New Hampshire at an all girls camp from the time I was 6 to the time I was 16.  And it was one of the best experiences of my life.  I learned sooo many things during those summers.  I learned tennis, swimming and archery and horse back riding and how to make a fire.  We would go hiking and climbing.  We would climb mountains and sleep out under the stars.  We drank fresh water from river streams.  We picked blueberries and made blueberry pancakes.  I went from being a camper to a CIT (Counseler in Training) to an  LIT (Leader in Training) to finally a Junior Counselor. How I loved camp. How proud I was to get my first "Staff shirt" and days off with the other counselors were always fun.  Beach parties by Weir's Beach or other wonderful day off outings. Dates with the boys from our Brother camp. The summers were long and fun. 

I remember specifically a time when I was helping to teach the younger kids horseback riding.  I hadn't worn my riding boots (big mistake) and I was helping a little girl on her horse.  A horsefly landed on one of the legs of her horse and because horses can't kick out "sideways" the horse (while trying to get rid of the annoying horsefly) stepped out and came down on my foot. In case you don't know this already - horses weigh a ton!!!  Instead of thinking as I had been trained to gently push the horse over a bit I instead panicked and tried to pick my foot up from underneath his hoof. (BIG mistake). My white sneaker began to get stained with blood.  My foot was bleeding profusely. I was taken to the hospital and it turned out that the nail on my left big toe was shattered and would have to be removed. (The nail).  I can remember being mortified. (Of course I was - I was a teenager! The world "revolved around ME").  My toe had swollen up to the size of a "fake jokeshop thumb" and they had to wrap it over and over and over again.  And of course ALL this happened the day before the night of our season's dance with our brother camp.  Not only did my foot look ridiculous - wrapped as it was.  I wouldn't be able to dance and worse - I'd be on crutches.  What a funk I was in!  Well - at the dance, everyone signed my crutches (I think those crutches are still somewhere in my mother's attic... LOL)  When the summer was over, my mother had to take me to the Children's Hospital where they would remove my crushed toe nail.  I was devastated... As we were in the waiting room of the hospital and I was being "glum" my mother leaned over and whispered in my ear.  "Kelly - I know your upset about having to have this surgery, but look over there..." And she pointed to a child who was in a wheel chair.  "Or look over there..." She pointed to another child who's leg was amputated at the knee... "Kind of makes you think how lucky you are that this could have been worse - and it wasn't.  All you are losing is a toenail."  Begrugingly I agreed.  Because she was right.  "It could've been worse."   How ironic that that lesson is one that I have carried throughout my life.  When I start to feel sorry for myself - I think about how "it could be worse." I have a roof over my head, I have food in my belly, I have people who love me.  I may not always have what I want - but I do have what I need.  I may not have direction for my life right now - but I have a Father who loves me.  A Father who said "He would never leave nor forsake me."  A Father who cares...

So next time you are feeling down on yourself or your circumstances - take a good look around you. All of a sudden it might not seem soooo bad...

April 23, 2010

Save A Place For Me - OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

Pardon me - I suppose I Should Have Begun with My Testimony...

Friday... The precursor to the weekend.  And I'm tired - more than tired. And when I think of ALL the things i need to do this weekend - I get tireder (is that even a word?) still.

What do you do when your mind keeps going and going and going? And your body can't keep up with it? I have to move - where I'm not sure... Its a good thing I know God has a plan for my life - because honestly, at this very moment - I don't.

When I was a little girl - I would go with my parents to the summer cottage in the Cape.  Oh how I loved to kick my shoes off and feel the heat (or the coolness depending on the time of year) of the sand under my toes.  There was a rocky pier that I would go out and sit on and think.  And oh how I loved the spray of salt water that would sprinkle me whenever a wave would crash against the boulders of the pier.  We would go usually in the Fall.  A time when the cottage would be empty of renters and people. How I loved the quiet solitude of those days.  I think even before I became a Christian at 21 I was always a "thinker."  One of the first introductions I had to "God" was the book - "Are You There God?  It's Me Margaret." By Judy Blume.  On the brink of womanhood I read that book and I learned soooo much. I began to "talk to God" - "Hi God, its ME - Kelly."  Growing up in a predominately Jewish neighborhood the daughter of parents who were agnostic they never forced a "religion" upon us.  We were free to explore and learn and choose.  I started going to church by myself when I was a teenager.  I felt something "lacking deep inside of me." A need to feel closer to God. I chose a church that had solar windows (I thought that was cool). I would go by myself Sunday after Sunday - but the Reverand of that Church only spoke of the history of the Church. There were "prayer books" in the pews but I didn't understand them (there were no Bibles in the pews). The people were kind enough - but still something was lacking deep inside of me...

Ever since I can remember - I wanted to be an actress.  Since the age of three. Talent shows, musicals, plays, make believe - whatever involved theatre - I just had to be a part of. I knew when i grew up I wanted to be an actress.  There was no doubt, no changing my mind - that was it.

When I was in College I was the only Theatre Major in a school filled with women that were going to be teachers.  It was an all girls college - I had been told that I would be able to take my theatre classes at Harvard.  Not sure who it was who told me that - but it ended up not being true. Talk about a square peg fitting in a circle setting.  I didn't see the need for college - I wanted to get an agent, head out to California and begin to act.  Oh how wise I thought I was at 17. How little I really knew.  However - again, there are times we go through things for a reason - even if we don't know what that reason is.

I loved my father (my earthly father) very much. But he was very strict.  It wasn't until I was a freshmen that I discovered MEN!  And ohhh the men that would come to my college because it was an all girl school! I became a sweetheart (little sister) to a nationwide Fraternity.  Parties galore - studying?  What was That?? I even tried to pledge a sorority - but was appalled by the things they did to us while pledging and couldn't possibly consider someone who spent weeks and weeks tearing me down during the pledging process being someone I would WANT to call sister when it was said and done.  My whole pledging line - quit.

How interesting it is to see how the Lord allows things to form - to set up things that occur to sometimes bring you closer to Him.  While on my way to a pledge meeting (before I dropped out of the line) my sister pledgers and I were walking down a semi-tough section of town.  I had grown up in an expensive part of town - so I wasn't familiar with this neck of the woods.  A man was running towards us - not to us - but in the same direction.  In his hand he had a gun.  Another man was running after him.  Yelling, "He robbed my store!" We quickly got out of the way and someone (I think called the police).  We continued walking to the Sorority Sisters House we were expected to appear at.  But I was crying and I was trembling.  It really shook me up.  Three weeks later - I was at a "under 21 club" with the same group of friends.  A fight must have broken out within the club and someone yelled in the darkness of the club "He's gotta gun!!!"  Again I was in the midst of unfamiliar terroritory and worse - caught up in a stampede of people trying to get out the exit door.  And yes - it was just like what you see in the movies - when you see cattle charging for whatever reason... How weird it was to feel oneself being pushed along with the crowd everyone scared and wanting to get out as quickly as possible.  For a young woman who had not witnessed anything violent - these two experience shook my foundation to the core.

I have lived a very sheltered life, you see.  I'm not ashamed of it and I love my parents for all they tried to shield me from.  But when i faced things I wasn't familiar with it was like a genuine culture shock to my system. It absolutely terrified me. I felt small and vulnerable...   Shortly after that time - my grandfather died.  Now in a Portuguese family the grandfather is really the head of the family.  I loved my grandfather.  We had a very dear and special relationship.  And although my family will laugh and probably each of us grandchildren will say the same thing "I was his favorite." (Of course I'd be the only one telling the truth... Winking at you).

When my grandfather died - I was at the end of my rope.  There HAD to be more than just this.  It was at this point I was approached while waiting for the bus one day - by a certain cult we are all very familiar with and I shall not name. They asked me if I wanted to study the bible and I agreed.  I began to study with them - much to the dismay and fear of my mother.  She was so fearful that she made an appointment for me to meet with the Reverand of the Church I had gone to by myself as a young girl.  She even went with me to talk with him. He sat behind his large cherry wood desk and began with the religious stain glass windows behind him.  Smiled at me calmly and said - "So Kelly, your mother tells me you have questions for me?"  And I did indeed.  You see the cult I had been studying with had prepared me for this conversation.  I turned to him with my first question and I asked - "Do you believe we are descendents from Adam and Eve?"  He looked at me and said (this is the truth) "Well, I don't really know... We could be descendents from Monkeys for all I know."  I looked at him and blinked.  I asked him my next question - "Do you believe that there will be a judgement day?"  He looked at me again and answered "Could be... Could be not.. We may all be blown up in a nuclear war - who knows?"  I looked at him astonished and I grew even more confused. I felt like why was he a Reverand if he didn't believe things that were key to his Christian faith?  At any rate - the meeting with him made me determined not to go back.  But an interesting thing began to happen.  Although I had not become a "member" of this cult - I did continue studying with them and as I did - i became fearful.  They were causing me to separate more and more from my family and my parents and my brother meant the world to me. I felt.. uneasy... So I finally told them I wouldn't study with them anymore - and Ohhh how ANGRY they were.  And at that point - since I wasn't a Christian yet - my response was what anyone with a Portuguese temper would be - PISSED.  And after she told me where she thought I would go - I told her what she could do with her little book.  And from that point on - I determined in my head that my relationship with God - would be JUST THAT. My relationship with God.  No one else's business. It wasn't until a couple of years later - when I transferred over to another University and they were having a fleamarket day - I was inbetween classes and walking around looking at the different booths. I came across a table with something called - tracks on it. a girl my age was sitting behind the table. She asked me if I wanted to talk about God.  I looked at her with an eyebrow raised and said firmly - NO. She indicated to me that she was a member of Campus Crusade for Christ of the Intervarsity Fellowship program at the school and I was welcome to join them for prayer or Bible study early in the morning.  I looked at her, blinked and said... "Ahhhh... no..." And kept on walking.  How odd it was that a few weeks later I had gotten into school early.  I wandered around the university and found myself outside of the chapel.  I went inside so I could "talk with God" by myself.  I felt an emptiness inside of me and no matter what I tried to fill it up with - auditions, Shakespeare, Plays, partying, friends, men - there was an emptiness deep inside of me.  I felt as though there had to be MORE to life than just THIS.  Along came "Julie" the girl I met on the fleamarket.  She came quietly and sat beside me and said, "I'll leave if you want me to - but it might be helpful if you share what your feeling with someone."  And so I did. I shared with her all of what you have just read and she told me she wanted me to meet the Director of the Intervarsity Fellowship Program, would I come back tomorrow?  The next day - I came back.  It was early morning.  Students were gathered around in a circle reading from the Bible. There was only one seat left - available.  It was next to this very tall, very slender waayyy older black woman.  I looked at her and thought "Good for her! College is for any age!" And I sat down next to her.  The reading was over in a few short minutes.  Julie approached me and said, "Hi Kelly! Glad you could make it! I want you to meet the Head of the International Varsity Fellowship Program. She turned to the woman next to me.  Who smiled at me warmly gave me a big hug and said with a wonderful southern accent.  "Praise the Lord Kelly! Ahhh have heard all about'cha. I'm sooo glad you came to join us today..."  She looked at the little red book I was carrying in my arms.  You see - the foundation the cult had set in me was still there.  Because no one had ever taken the time to share the Bible with me.  Sarah looked at the book and asked me if she could see it.   I handed it to her.  "She flipped through the pages with a knowing smile.  She glanced up at me and she said... "Ahhh have one question for you."  Her beautiful dark brown eyes looked at me wisely.  I looked up at her thinking about that Reverand I had met with and I smiled.  Ready for her to be as much as a pushover as he was. She paused for a moment before she continued. "Who wrote this book?"  My face crumbled... Such a simple question.  Unexpected - and yet there I stood not knowing the answer.  Feeling like a fool because there I was believing these beliefs and NOT knowing who's beliefs I was believing in.  I may be many things - but I've never been a stupid woman. I'm much smarter than people think... But in this circumstance, my face crumbled and I began to cry.  I felt alone, I felt confused and I felt very, very lost.  Sarah looked at me compassionately, took both of my hands in hers and said with her musical southern accent, "Kelly, ahhhhh wanna tell you about someone who loves you very much." (I glanced up at her wondering if she knew one of my fraternity brothers...) She raised my chin with her finger and said, "His name is Jesus Christ. "  (Now you have to remember - I grew up in a predominately Jewish neighborhood.  Wonderful rich culture. And while I had learned much about the Jewish faith - I had never learned about Jesus.  He was more like a "Christmas fable" to me).  Sarah began to tell me about how Jesus had died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.  How he would never leave nor forsake me.  How He defeated sin and death by His victory over the cross by rising again.  She told me that it wasn't "church" or a "building" that would save me.  She told me she wouldn't "make me" go to a certain church. She told me that all I had to do - was to believe in my heart and confess with my mouth that Jesus was Lord and I would be saved. I didn't see what difference it would make, so i went over the Sinner's prayer as that goes something like this: 

Dear Father,
I now believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, that He came to our earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.

I honestly didn't know at the time what a difference that prayer would make in my life. I had NO idea what was taking place in the spiritual ream while I prayed that prayer. And I also thought to myself - "Lord if you are REALLY REALLY REAL - I need you to reveal yourself to me."  Sarah gave me a Bible.  She had indicated to me - that I could go out to any Christian bookstore and buy a bible myself.  I think it was important to her that I realize that I wasn't being "forced to learn something, join something or go somewhere" to be close to God.  You see when someone has a cult type experience its important that they not feel "pushed" into something.  I was overly cautious and very appreciative that she was not "making me join a certain church" although she encouraged me to find a church where i could worship and have a body of other believers around to support me. For the first six months of my new Christian life - i didn't join a church.  I hungered for the Bible.  I couldn't read enough of it.  Learn enough about Jesus.  The Apostles - the stories in the Old Testament.  I understood what I was reading.  I fell in love with the Lord.  His Word I hung onto deep within my heart.  You see - its not about being "religious" its about having a "personal relationship with the Lord." One where you can be REALLY REALLY REAL.  And the most wonderful thing about it - is that He in turn, is REALLY REALLY REAL right back at you...  All of that was 22 years ago.  So hard to believe how quickly time has gone.  I have learned soooooo much - but I have yet sooo much MORE to learn.  That is the most amazing thing about being a Christian - you never stop learning, growing in Him.  There is a peace that passes all understanding.  And its not something I can describe to you because the Bible says - "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" (Psalms 34:8).  Its like trying to describe to someone who has never seen - what the color "blue" is.  You can't.  But once you know Him - you really do realize that "He is the Way, the Truth and the Life." 

As I indicted in the beginning of my blog - I don't have all the answers... I am far from perfect (especially during THIS time in my walk) but I can point you towards the One who IS Perfect... His name is Jesus - and while people will disappoint you all the time - HE NEVER WILL.

Fee - Everything Falls

Feeling a need to pray...

Dearest Father,

I know that I can only come to you through grace -covered by your precious blood.  Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for me.  Thank you for your grace.  Thank you Lord that what matters most is what YOU think. I have not been able to pray affectively for quite some time because my life has been in upheavil.  Nothing you don't already know... I pray that even in my prodigal state - you use the words of this blog to encourage someone who is going through.  So that they know they are not alone... There are many of us Father who are at a point of unrest or filled with uncertainty at this part of your journey with you.  I know I may be only one of few who openly admits it.  But there are more of us.  Hurting, confused (which I know confusion is not of you), doubting even.  Please continue to wrap your loving arms around us.  I have to continue my journey.  I have to find answers I seek... You know my heart.  You know my actions.  You know my ways.  You know my love.  You know my faith.  Please Lord, be glorified through the words of this blog.  Reach someone who has felt alone... Its easy when you are at this point in your walk to want to just give in.  Feel like there is no point to it all.  But there is Father - because you are the same today as you were yesterday as you will be tomorrow.  And whoever is reading this needs to know that YOU LOVE THEM.  That they are not alone (even in a backslidden state).  Reach them where they are at - even as I know you are reaching me.  Help them to feel your love...

In Jesus' precious name I pray.

Amen

MY REDEEMER LIVES - NICOLE C MULLEN VIDEO WITH LYRICS

Listen - do you Hear it? He's talking to you...

People can be soooo judgemental. Everyone thinks they "have the right answer." They think "they know how you should be and what you should do and how you should live." Most of this comes from well-meaning relatives (and ironically some that are not Christians).  There are sooo many voices around us that sometimes its hard to know which voice to lesson to.

"You should be doing this..."
"You need to do this..."
"Why aren't you doing that?"
"If only you..."

Most of it is well intentioned.  But they are small "pricks" against your spirit. When the voices of judgement and opinion are growing louder - we need to go off some place (possibly alone) gather our thoughts together and sit quietly - hope to hear from the ONE voice who matters.  Throughout my walk with the Lord the times I've heard His voice - it has been gentle and softly spoken.  I've had to really "listen" to hear it.  But I have heard it.  Maybe he knows that I come from a family of "yellers." (Except for my mother - when I was growing up and my mother got mad - her voice got quieter and quieter... you knew that when she got like that - you were in serious trouble! Dad was a yeller but mom - well she was the one who made the hair on my arms go up! ) But God's voice has always been (for me) gentle and quiet.  And the times I have heard it I have had to quiet my soul.  Sit quietly at a park, or some place where I have to "listen." And it hasn't been an easy thing.

I remember I had been a Christian for a little over a year and I wanted to know the plans that God had for my life.  So I was seeking His face (talking to him through prayer, reading my Word).  I can remember the day so well.  I was at work - typing.  I had been praying, "Lord - what have you called me to do? What is my purpose in life?" And as i sat there working, I heard his gentle voice whisper in my ear. "Kelly, I've called you to write."  And I was surprised, because writing is something I've done for as long as I can remember... I heard His voice say to me, "its as plain as the nose on your face.."  (You see, my Father has a sense of humor...) I can remember thinking - how strange it is that writing had never occurred to me.  I've kept a journal or diary since I was a young girl.  Use to write short stories ALL the time.  But you see, sometimes the gifts God has given us are sooo obvious that we miss them.  We take them for granted.  What gifts do you use daily without realizing it?  Those are your talents.  Each of us has them - but not many of us "tap into them."  He has made you special.  One of a kind.  Like a fingerprint there is no one like you.  Sometimes we don't have enough confidence within our selves to even see what gifts we have.

When you are in a prodigal state its hard to believe that God is listening.  You know you are off track in your walk and if you really love the Lord and are not a hypocrite you may have a hard time praying.  One of my best friends (who is also one of my Sisters-in-Christ) recently told me.  "Kelly - God loves the backslidder."  All throughout the book of Hosea God is talking about the backslidder... (In fact even as I'm typing this I'm thinking I need to read that part of my Bible again...) It says in Hosea 14:4

"I will heal their backslidding.  I will love them freely."

How wonderful is our God?  How compassionate, how loving, how patient, slow to anger.  This makes me feel even more convicted because I think about Jesus dying on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.  I see Him in my mind - looking waaaaaay into the future - seeing ME. Me in my prodigal state.  And taking on my sins to die in my place.  How can a person not feel convicted when they think of that? Many of my brothers and sisters in Christ might read my blog and think - she's being overly critical of herself.  Allowing the devil to beat her up. Or maybe - they will think "we ALL sin."  Yes we do.  That is true.  But here is the thing. And of course this is only my opinion and I can only talk for myself.  Where I am at my walk right now.

Discouraged, angry, let down. STUCK.  It becomes a cycle.  I think perhaps there are "different" types of Prodigals.  It depends upon your situation. And by NO means do i feel as though using the label "prodigal" is a phase that a person should you in their walk to continue to walk in disobedience and sin.  I can be honest about the situation I'm in in my life right now.  I'm not excusing it, I'm being honest.  This is the place I am in.  I don't expect to remain in this spot for the rest of my life.  But for the time being, while I figure it out, while I pray, while I admit to my short comings before my Father.  This is where I am.  But the one thing I DO know - is that God can be glorified through every situation.  He uses our circumstances (if we allow Him to - because we always have free will) to glorify Himself.  Perhaps I am in this place in my life to be able to affectively minister to someone else later down the line... Having to go through this period to be able to really know "where they are at." And hopefully at some point be able to say - "I've BEEN there.  I KNOW what your feeling and what your going through..." If we don't go through ups and downs in our journey - how can we really reach others who like me right now - feel "unreachable?"  That is one of the lies of the devil.

I don't know what my life will be like in a month, in a year - or ten years from now... Perhaps that is part of my problem.  I am a planner and the plans I had thought were set for myself - have diminished.  Soooo I am going through a wilderness experience.  And much of it is my own fault. I freely admit that as i try to find my way back on the pathway He has for me.  But there is another scripture.  (See? They are all hidden in my heart - although I will admit to having to search through Google or Christianity Online to find where exactly they are... You should never just believe what someone says - just because they say it... That is why I try to find out where the scriptures that come pouring out of my heart are...) The scripture I'm thinking of is 1 Corinthians 13:12:

"Now we see a poor reflection - as in a mirror. Then we shall see - face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as i am fully known."

Your Father loves you.  No matter what state you are in.  I think the most important thing we can do - is continue learning, growing, being honest and transparent and looking to Him for the answers.  Listen for His quiet voice - its there.  We just need to be still enough to hear it.

April 22, 2010

Casting Crowns - Praise you in this storm

Paying it Forward...

Yesterday while driving through the drive through at McDonald's (to get a large ice coffee) - I looked in my rearview mirror and see a police officer behind me, placing an order.  I was feeling kind of down and I thought to myself - hmmmm what can I do to "pick my spirits up a bit?"  And somehow it crossed my mind that today would be a good day to "Pay it Forward..."  Have you ever heard of that term?  Its a term my mom taught me years ago.  Its when you try to give back a little of what you have been blessed with by doing something to bless someone else.  So when I drove up to the window to pay for my coffee - I said to the cashier.  "...And I'll also pay for the order of the car behind me."  She raised an eyebrow and looked at me in surprise.  I could tell she wasn't use to people being generous.  I told her - "When he drives up to the window - please tell him his order has been paid for - and that the woman in front of him hoped that God blessed him today, and that he had a good day."  She indicated with a nod of her head that she would.

I share this "not to toot my own horn" because the Bible tells us not to let "Our left hand know what our right hand is doing." But because it picked up my spirit.  I smiled as I thought of the look of surprise on his face when he pulled up to the window.  I of course had already drove off by the time he was collecting his meal.  It also made me think how it really does feel good to give.  Unconditionally. And lastly, it made me think about how Jesus paid the price for my sins.  How He died on the cross for forgiveness of my sins.  He paid my price. 

What have you done to make a difference in someone's life?  Make someone smile? Thought about someone other than yourself?  We get so wrapped up into our own circumstances, problems, thoughts - that we often don't count our blessings...   The ironic thing is - I don't know who felt happier about my actions... It was just a small really "insignificant thing" but it made ME feel good - "paying it forward." 

Imagine what a better world this would be - if everyone decided to "pay it forward?"

April 21, 2010

"The Motions"-Matthew West

Okay - Time to BE REAL. Ready? Here we go...

Many of us grow up with expectations set.  I'm a parent now, so I can understand how natural it is for a parent to automatically unintentionally form expectations for her child.  So now I have the ability of looking at it from two points of view.  That "as someone's daughter" and also "as someone's mother."

A lot of the expectations that are set on us are from whatever society we grow up in. I didn't realize until now the pressure we put upon ourselves, and our children.  In many American cultures it is a given that a girl will: Grow up, go to college, marry and have children.  Even in all the princess movies the princesses all live "Happily Ever After."  What is that?... Happily Ever After...???  The bar is set high and disappoint follows when you and your so-called "Prince" don't live "happily ever after."  And as much as as a female, you are disappointed - how much more so for your "Prince"?  Who hasn't met every expectation that you put upon his shoulders.   Ahhhhh and shortly after getting married you hear the question, "Isn't it time for you to have children?" From harmless family and friends.  The kids come.  You juggle married life, work, parenthood and even with God as your foundation - it still isn't a "cup of tea."  I'm not trying to sound negative.  I'm just "bein' real.... and its true...

The pressure, the bills, the tugging on you.  Twenty-four hours in a day and soooo much to do.  No time for yourself.  A messy household, bills that need paying. And you realize - how little you really knew. Maybe you realize that "Happily Ever After" is just that  - a fairytale.  And there you are, looking in the mirror wondering where you go from there.  Can't pray, can't think.  Just "stuck."  And its no one's fault - you bought into the "American Way of Life." And you realize - you never really knew what love is.  You start questioning yourself and wondering where you go from here...

So you are reading this blog and you are thinking - "Hey, no one promised you a rose garden."  Well that is true, and I'm all for taking responsibility for one's self and one's actions.  But its kind of hard when you realize that all you thought you knew - you really didn't... This is where the devil attacks you at your most vulnerable point... And the words to the song "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin goes on in my head... "There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven..."

No one can meet the expectations they set on themselves.  Not one of us is perfect. NOT ONE.  And you can sit here and read my blog in whatever spiritual state you are in - and still I will say - not one of us is perfect.  I say that humbly with no gloating or joy in it.  I use to think I was... well to a certain extent.  I judged others (not intentionally) but I just did.  Ever hear of the saying, "Pride before a Fall?" (Proverbs 16:18)  Oooops - I jus fell off my own pedastal... HARD... And I can truly, truly say - there go I BUT by the grace of God.  And I'm glad at least I can admit it.  I can truthfully say - I am sooo disappointed Lord. Why lie about it?  He knows its the truth anyhow?  But you see - I think admitting where we are at is the first point of "moving forward." Getting back on that right path He has for us - even if we don't know what that path is.  Even if that path is different than how we thought it would be.  The steps of the righteous are ordained BY GOD (Psalms 37:23).  Not by us. And oh how for myself that has been so difficult a pill for me to swallow.  You see - I am a planner.  Take away my ability to plan, and I am at loss.  All of a sudden I feel like a child lost in the woods.  Unsure where the path is... Losing my footing.  Feeling very much alone.  But you know - one thing I DO know even in my current prodigal state is that my Father said, "He would NEVER leave nor forsake me." (Hebrews 13:5). Wow.  That's a promise I have and honestly, in a day and age where people come and go as they please regardless of how it makes you feel, that is a promise that brings me so much comfort.  Because I know that people disappoint can disapoint you all the time.  (I am one of them - I know I have disappointed people unintentionally of course..) But GOD NEVER WILL.

I may not know the plans God has for me - for they are obviously different than I expected.  Or maybe I messed up and now the plans have changed... But you know it's possible that it could be even more wonderful than I ever imagined.  For my Bible tells me, 'I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future..."  (Jeremiah 29:22)  By the way - in case you didn't know that - that's a promise you have as well...

Carrie Underwood-Jesus, Take the Wheel Lyrics

Gently Now... With love...

I woke up this morning not feeling very well. You see, I have Diabetes and I rage against the fact that I do. I get angry because I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs. Yet the worst place of attack is being “told” what I can and cannot eat?! That simply just won’t do!! So sometimes I don’t eat the things I should, or the way I should. Thankfully it is under control – for now. But you see, I know that if I don’t get in the habit of “pricking my finger” or “taking my medicine” one day that might not be the case. And Praise God we live in a time where we have better knowledge and know-how from our physicians on how to keep such an awful disease under control - much more so than in the days of old. But it requires obedience. So truly I have no excuse. Hmmm wondering if that could be another symptom of my “prodigal ways.” The wise and very transparent words of Paul from the book of Romans 7:15-20 (NIV version)

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do. But what I hate, I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature, for I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law. But I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature of a slave to the law of sin."

Paul’s words describe what many in a prodigal state are experiencing. Even if many of us don’t voice it – deep inside that is what we are feeling. The important thing is getting beyond the point of staying in our prodigal state. Finding a way to turn around and get back on the pathway we need to be on. For myself this is a slow process. I’ll be transparent and say – I think I am in my prodigal state because I am disappointed in my life. Things have not gone or turned out the way I believed they would. To me 2+2 = 4 and when it has turned out that in my life it hasn’t – I’m angry, I’m disappointed. I feel I’ve been let down. I’m at a loss to know why or what to do because of it? People don’t necessarily turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. There are other subtle ways a person can get off track with the Lord. Don’t let the devil deceive you into thinking that Christians can’t be tempted or cajoled or – if in extreme pain – turn to ways of escape, because we can and many of us do. The mistake is not turning to our Father - Actually running into his arms. The mistake is in isolating ourselves, turning inward. Not reaching out to our Brothers and Sisters in Christ for help and support. And when you get that far off the pathway – it is a LOT harder to turn around and get the help, direction and compassion you need. THAT is why I am writing this blog. Because for myself – that is the point I am at. Are you at that point? Do you know someone who is? You know many of us in our Prodigal state don’t “appear” to the world to be in it. We can cover it up ohhhh soooo wellll. On the outside going through the duties of our daily routines (although if you look closely – you can see the hairline fractures…) but inside there is a HUGE battle going on. Our peace is gone, our hope has diminished. We are in a “stuck” position – where we KNOW what is right but don’t know how to get back or move ahead from where we once were. That is where we become vulnerable to not only the attacks of the devil – “You will never get right with God. I told you. You never stick with anything…” Or we get ostracized by our church or the brethren. How easy it is to judge. The most powerful lesson I’ve learned over the last two years – is not to judge. You look at me and say, “Well, Casey the Bible judges…” You say to me and my response is – “Yes it does.” But have you walked in the person’s shoes? Do you know all parts of their life? What they currently are going through? My Bible tells me that we are to “love each other as we love ourselves.” Hmmmm I guess the question we have to ask then is DO we love ourselves? I have learned that I must take the plank out of my own eye (and oh yessss my plank has been quite cumbersome and large) before I can even think of removing the speck that is in my backslidden brother or sister’s eye. And think about that for a moment. When someone tells you they have something in their eye do you march over to them, shove their eyelid open roughly and try to get it out. Or do you walk over to that person, gently take their head in your hands, tilt their head back, carefully lift open their eyelid and gently try to blow the speck away?

Love goes a long, long way….

April 20, 2010

Casting Crowns - East to West

Is it Well with Your Soul?

Ahhhh for those of us who are in a prodigal state (okay - bluntly - backslidden) this is a question that cuts deep.  For myself - I have to remember that I am my own worst critic.  Why is it we see all our faults and imperfections and we don't give much thought to the gifts our Father has given us?  I think for those of us who have been saved for a long time - perhaps the expectation within ourselves of where we are - and where we should be are two things that cause us to be overly critical of ourselves.

My soul is at war with what I know I should do - and what I do.  Sometimes I feel as though I am looking "outside myself" and wondering who this person is? I am not excusing the things we do that we know we should not. (Although it would be quite easy to do that...) We blame our circumstances, our unhappiness, our families, our finances, etc... Its very easy to come up with many reasons why we are struggling against what we know is right.  However - I have to remind myself there is no degree of sin with our Father.

It can be kind of scarey when you think about it.  I have a tendancy to talk to the Father like I would talk to a friend in conversation.  I figure it is pointless to hide things from Him because He sees everything anyhow. So why hide how you feel?  What you are doing?  Be honest with Him.  The Bible tells us "He knows your thoughts before you even think them..." (Where is that?? Oh how these verses come into my mind and then I have to scramble to figure out where they are... they are tucked away in my heart... But I certainly should blog with a concordance by my side... Sheepish grin... - I'm being lazy... LOL)

I'm far too transparent and straightforward for my own good. (Chuckling) Are you the same? I'm finding that making my way back to my soul "being well" is being honest of my current situation. Our Father is a loving Father. He is merciful and He is graceful.  I have to remember (and believe!) that the rules He has provided for us are ours for a reason.  Not because He is being a mean Father.  I try to compare it to the things I say to my children.  For instance, if I saw my 4 year old son reaching to touch the stove - I would tell him, "Don't touch that!"  He might look at me puzzled because it was something he wanted to do.  And maybe he would even disobey me and touch it anyway.  And if he did - he would get burned.  God tells us things for a reason. Although my head knows that - my heart doesn't always obey... And then we wonder why we hurt? Why we feel lost? Why we feel depressed? Or discouraged? But think again of that small child touching the stove in disobedience.  What would you do with your own child after he burned his fingers?  Me - I would gather my son into my arms (Exasperated and perhaps annoyed) but still - I would gather him close.  Run him over to the kitchen sink and run cold water on his burnt little fingers.  Depending on how bad the burn - do whatever I needed to do to let him know that I was there.  Not happy with what he did - but loving him just the same. Hoping that he had learned a valuable lesson.  Wanting ONLY the best for my child.

Here I go with a scripture again... The Bible tells us "If we being evil give good gifts to our children - how much more so does your Heavenly Father want to give to you?" He only wants our best.  Even when we don't feel that or see it... Even now he is gathering you into His arms.  Kissing the back of your head.  Hoping that you will get back on that pathway (if you have strayed) that He has set for your life.  He loves you - even when you don't love yourself....

(I promise I will start posting where these scriptures that come into my head are in our Word... Grinz again sheepishly..)

April 19, 2010

The Enemy Inside of ME

We give so much credit to ol' slewfoot. But sometimes that credit we give him - really is more then he deserves... Sometimes the worst enemy we have - is ourselves.

I remember once when I was a little girl sitting out in my parents backyard on a hot summer's day. Looking down at the ground and seeing a beetle. I can remember wondering if I looked BIG to him. I watched him as he moved along. At one point he paused. Then next thing I knew he was on his back. I watched him curiously to see what he was going to do next. His little beetle legs flaring in the air. I waited for him to turn over and begin his walk some more. However, he didn't do that. He kicked and he kicked and he kicked some more. And then, he paused. Each time he kicked his little beetle legs, they got tangled into each other. I watched in horror and in fascination. Eventually the beetle died. Probably of exhaustion.

Sometimes I think we are like that little beetle. Instead of getting ourselves out of the situations we put ourselves in - we make things worse instead of better. Not meaning to of course. But we do. At least I know I DO. Like that little beetle instead of turning ourselves carefully over thinking our way out of a bad situation. We let the situation and our feelings take control - and we make what might have not been so bad in the beginning worse.

Thankfully we have a Father who is patient, long-suffering and caring. He gives us chances over and over and over again. Because He loves us and He wants to see us get it right. How hard it must be for Him to let us make our mistakes - believing in us even when we have lost the ability to believe in ourselves... How ironic - it just occured to ME. Our Father has faith in us!

Casting Crowns - Does Anybody Hear Her

Broken Vessels

There is a place deep within the depths of our being - that is a place only God can fill. We try so hard to "fill that place" with so many other things. But it was meant only to be filled with Him. You can see it all around you with those that don't know the Lord. But You can ALSO see it amongst Christians who are going through a prodigal's experience in their journey. I wish so hard that once we have given our lives over to Him - that he would just say - "Okay... I've got it from here." And we could just sit back and enjoy the ride for the rest of our lives. But unfortunately I have discovered that in giving my life to Him - it is something I have to recognize over and over and over again. The fleshly side of me takes over as if to say, "No Lord - we go this way..." And then I realize after a bit of time it would have been better if I had just let Him drive. How patient He is with us. How loving. How long suffering. Even when we make the same mistake over and over again.

Oh Lord forgive us for the times we've gone astray. For the times we thought we knew better then You. For the times we didn't understand that there is a reason why you have a book of rules for us. They are not because You are a "mean Father" but because you know what is best. Lord - I know even at this point in my walk - I have been reluctant to give you completely the reigns of my life. How ridiculous am I? Even at this prodigal point - I recognize I know nothing. But still I proceed. There is a war raging deep inside of me. One that doesn't trust enough I guess. One that doesn't believe that God has my best interests at heart. Even though the pathway I have wandered onto has been one that has filled my soul with unbelievable turmoil. Yet I continue. And deep inside I know - that this place inside of me - reserved only for my God cannot be satisfied by anything OTHER than Him.

I think it is at this point that we need to look deep inside ourselves and find out where is that "hole" that needs plugging? And why is it there? Like a boat that is taking on water and slowly sinking. I think that somewhere in the Bible we are referred to as "vessels." I know that we are like clay pieces. One thing I have learned - is that there are lessons to be learned throughout our walk - no matter if you are newly saved or been saved for over 20 years - like ME. There is always something new to learn. I'm noticing that there are hairline fractures in this vessel called "me." And things I had thought had been healed and fixed - are starting to show cracks. Only the soothing balm of the Father's touch upon these areas will keep these cracks from causing my vessel to shatter. But in order for that to happen - I have to be willing to submit those areas of my life to Him. And THAT is easier said than done. Why are we so resistant to get the healing help we need? He has made it so easy for us - why do we make it so difficult for ourselves?

My quoting scripture is a bit rusty - so please forgive me if I paraphrase and feel free to add what scripture I am referring to - for I sometimes can't remember. I know the Word of God is in my heart - its just the memorizing where it is in the Word that I haven't been quite disciplined in. (Sheepish grin).

I'm thinking of the scripture - I think it is Paul? Who says, "The things I shouldn't do - are the things I do." How living and breathing and relevant is God's word - even today. For it is still true.

I guess the most important first step - in journeying back home to Father - is recognizing those things within us that we need to give over to Him to change. He truly is the only balm that can heal the cracks within our soul. We just need to let Him. Its easier said than done - but its doable.

April 18, 2010

My Journey Home Begins~

I hesitated as I thought of what to call my blog site. Truth be told, I've never done this before... Finally trying to be obedient to a calling I've ignored for 23 years. I've been a Christian since I was 21. Never ever in my walk did I ever think I'd consider myself as one of my Father's "prodigal children." But for the last two years - that is exactly what I've been. This blog is not a "confessional site" what I've decided to do is to extend "my right hand of fellowship" to the brother or sister behind me - to encourage them. One of the biggest mistakes we make as Christians is looking at others and saying, "Oh no! I will never do that... I will never be like that individual over there.. Poor dear..." The saying "Pride before a Fall" (Proverbs 16:18) Is very true. I think sometimes we (even unknowingly) judge people in our minds. I've been extremely humbled and I've learned to leave my judging to the "Judge." Besides that I've figured out that I need to "remove the plank from my own eye" instead of trying to remove the speck from someone else (Luke 6:42).
We are all on a journey called, "Life." And I can truly say "there go I by the grace of God." It's only under His blood and by His grace that we can go forward. In the last two years I have discovered MORE about myself in my Prodigal's state - then I have in my whole walk with Christ of 22 years. And as I sit here and write this - I realize even more that the Bible tells us that "we see in part - but He sees in full."(1 Corinthians 13:12). That fills me with a peace that can only come from our Heavenly Father. I'll be honest and say - I don't have all the answers. I'm figuring out as I go, and I'm sure to make mistakes along the way. But I want to share my blog with you to encourage you. To lift your spirits up and to in turn, lift mine.

I guess you can say - this prodigal's daughter is trying hard to find her way back home. I know there will be times when I think to myself "okkkaaay, I'm not quite sure I can do this...." I know it will be a process - but I also know that the Father has promised me that never will He leave nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:8) and Greater is He that is in ME then he that is within the world. Praise God for a Father who is merciful, graceful, patient and loving. I hope this blog will bless you, encourage you, make you laugh, help you to grow. I hope you will share words of encouragement and stories from your own experiences as well. For sometimes it helps others to know that what they are going through is not something that hasn't been experienced by someone else. Someone who has come forth victorious! Because if you really think about it (as I have and am) if we don't experience these "prodigal moments" at some point within our walks - how can we effectively minister to others?

The Bible tells us that we are "many members but we are one in the body of Christ." I believe I am a "finger." (LOL) since I type 90 wpm and I love to write. What are you? Every part of the body is important. Think about it - Nothing hurts WORSE then a paper cut! (Laughing). Sends signals all throughout your body that you've got this tiny little boo-boo that hurts like... well - you know what! Every part of the body is important. From the most vital organ to each little cell. It all makes up one body. So we have to be there to pick each other up, brush off the dirt from our clothes and get our feet set back upon the pathway.

He didn't say it would be easy - but He did say that He would NEVER give us more than we could bare. Journey with me - and let's grow in Christ together.