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.


October 12, 2010

MercyMe - Bring The Rain

Spreading my arms out wide and saying - "Ta Da!"

This is called a "Ta-Da" Moment. Brought to you by your Heavenly Father.  So how about truly "letting go and letting God?"
(*image from Imagebank.org.uk)

Have you ever given something over to God - reluctantly? I mean like you say to Him, "Father - I want to give to this to you." And then when you hold your hand out to give it to Him - you're still holding on to the other end? And you kind of have a gentle tug of war going on?  He never yells at you to release. Because our Father is patient. But finally He might say, "When you are ready to let go, let's try this again."

Have you ever asked the Father to change something inside of you - because you can't even make "heads or tails" of what that "something" actually is? You just know that it needs "fixing?" Maybe He has brought you to a point after going around and around like a dog chasing his own tail - where you are ready to throw your hands up in the air and say "I NEED TO GET OFF THIS MERRY GO ROUND!" And then you do one of those flying jumps off it because you just know you can't go around and around it once again?

Or maybe He has brought you to a point where you are running to the Father.  And your "pushing whatever it is" right into His arms. Maybe you are saying, "Okay, Okay - I can't do this anymore. HERE! You win! Take it quick before I change my mind!!!!"  I visualize Him looking at us when we do this - with a cocked eyebrow and an amused smile on His face.  Because you see, He knows the "whole story of you." We only see the situation, or the problem and it seems real intense.

Sometimes we get so frustrated with ourselves - we beat ourselves up. "Why can't I do this? Stupid me. This should be easy! I know my Word...." And we walk away from the Father grumbling at ourselves. Not sure that He will be able to fix whatever it is we've given Him.

But like planting a seed in the soil. We don't see the growth under ground until it comes to the surface of the earth. It doesn't mean that something isn't going on down there. It means that we can't see it with our eyes.  I think that is what God does with us when we give Him something that is too big for us... I think that sometimes we forget or think "He won't DO anything with what we give Him to fix." But think about it - if your child falls, and skins his knee, and comes to you crying? Comes to you frustrated. Comes to you in pain. Do you turn him away? Noooo. You take him by the hand or perhaps you lift him up into your arms, and you carry him gently some place where you can take a look at it. And always the worst part is the "cleaning the wound up" because it stings and your child might cry or try to get out of your arms. But after that - you put some antibiotic on it - and a bandaid. And maybe even afterwards - you lean down to kiss the boo-boo, smooth your child's hair back and reassure him that its going to be okay, that its going to get better.

Matthew 7:11 says, "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."

If you truly have struggled with something - and have brought it before the Father and released it (albeit reluctantly).  Don't be surprised - if He changes you... It may be a slow process. We sometimes give something to God and then wait for that "Ta Da" moment.  We may even stand there and say - "Ta Da!!" And then expect to feel rejuvenated... And then we don't so we say it again - "Ta Da!" And we stand back - and nothing happens.  And then we think "God can't change this!" And we grumble some more.  But the things that we need changing with us are usually things that didn't just happen overnight.  Somethings take time.  And it doesn't mean that God can't change a person instantaneously - there are times when I  know He has. But I think there are times when He is in us "tinkering around" like one would in an attic.  And you wake up one morning with an "Aha moment!" A realization that - Hey! Wow! I feel different. This thing that I have struggled with and given to God doesn't seem so "front and center" anymore.  Or maybe you have had a realization that you weren't able to face before - and its not so bad.  We can trust that when we are struggling with something, and we bring it to the Father that He won't disregard it. That it matters to Him. True repentance starts in the heart. It's a heart thing! And your Father sees that. He sees what is going on inside of you. We cannot "change ourselves" somethings only God can. And we have to allow Him to do it. And more than that - we have to trust that He will. And when He does - rejoice. Because He's "cleaned you up, covered you with the salve (his precious blood), applied the band aid of the Holy Spirit - and leaned over and kissed you and said - You are healed for I am the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Now THAT is how MY Father works! He is all the "Ta-Da" we need.

October 10, 2010

Amy Grant - Thy Word

For Michelle - who Always "Hopes and Prays"

I think this picture should be entitled "Hope." God tells us that He will never leave nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)  Even at our darkest moments. He IS there. Just like the sun peaking through these leaves.
As I write this, I sit at my computer completely bald from 3 treatments of chemo and from getting my hair buzzed off like GI Jane. I underwent a lumpectomy on July 20th - so my breasts (except for two scars - one under my arm and one where you would place your hand to say I pledge allegiance) look pretty much the same. However, the me inside has been radically changed. My body doesn't feel the same. It's in a war. My lymph nodes under my left arm were removed because of "one bad node" - hence my need for chemotherapy and for later on radiation. Having your lymph nodes removed totally makes your body feel 'different'. "Numb." Like that feeling when your foot falls asleep and you have to shake it back into circulation. I don't quite recognize this girl in the mirror. She is not the one with a tan, with the curls coming over her left eye, with that confident smile. The girl that I see now, has a completely bald round head. Her scalp is white (who knew?) and she has freckles on her head! That was hidden by her curls. Her eyes look sadder and a bit war-struck. Because make no mistake about it- going through chemotherapy is NOT an easy thing.  Her taste buds are gone, and her waist is a bit narrower, because with the loss of flavor comes the loss of desire to eat. (All of which will be restored after chemo is done). There is a wisdom there in her eyes too. One that only those who've gone through a life battle can recognize and understand. She is learning lessons that she never knew she would have to learn, but that she will never forget and that is just the physical side.

Spiritually, I have learned how much I need my Father. How I need to get my spiritual act together. That bad things just don't happen to "Jane over there" - but can happen to us too.  The Bible says, "It rains on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). I know my life is in my Father's hands. I also see my weaknesses and my faults. I also realize that it is God who is in control. It is at this place where you can really be "beaten up" by ol' slewfoot if you allow it. But I've also learned that it is "not by power, not by might but by My Spirit. Says the Lord." And that  in our Word it says (Luke 15:4-6)"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'  Whenever we go through trials or are in a "valley" experience - we can feel abandoned, lost, hopeless. But all those things are lies. He said "He would never leave nor forsake us." And we can trust in Him because if it wasn't true - He wouldn't have said it. I guess this is where we learn that we are not to go by "our feelings." For me that is not an easy thing to do. I'm emotional and don't have a fake bone in my body. Don't know how to be otherwise... but I have to trust that God is in control. Nothing surprises Him.

The other thing this has shown me - is that I have taken a hard good look at myself and I realize that things need changing. Life is short. I always knew that - but NOW I REALLY KNOW that. Life is a gift. No more "wishing, and wanting." No more "settling." I'm looking within myself and asking God about the things that need changing in my life. If you have been in a prodigal stage in your walk - maybe this is a good time to ask God WHY. Why you have made the choices you have? What is it about you that needs changing? And to remember to say to Him - "Lord, I don't have the ability to change it myself. I need YOU to do it." Who understands us better than our Father? Maybe He is just waiting for us to "give it to Him." Realize that it is too big. That we can't handle it. To admit that we don't "know how?" I remember doing this when I was in college - just getting quiet before the Lord and saying, "Lord - I keep tripping over the same problem. WHY? Help me to see the lack in ME and what "we" can do to deliver me from it and heal me." When I reached that point - where I was willing to admit that I could do nothing about it - He showed me what the problem was and helped me to be strong enough to finally "pass this spiritual course." So that I could move on to the next one. But the difference was, I had to be willing to let Him. I had to reach a point of giving it to Him totally. How ironic that I would find myself - 22 years later - having to do that again? Self examine myself. Oops I thought I had been doing that every day. I'm not a baby Christian any longer - I know my Word. I've grown and matured so much in the 22 years I've been saved. Haven't I Lord? Hmmmm you know - we will always have room for growth and change. Its when you don't think you need to that you are really in a dangerous place. Or when your eye is soooo critical of "others" that you are so busy concerning yourself about their walk that you lose focus on YOUR OWN. (Yes I did type that! - ducking down under my desk... peeking my bald head out slowly to make sure its safe...)

One thing I have learned is that I don't want to wait to live life anymore. I want to live it. FULLY. And I intend to... Walking by the mirror - stopping, looking at the girl I see in the reflection... Yep... She's baaaaaaccccckkkk. See that glint in her eye?  And as my almost five year old son says "Mummy I love your cute bald head..." Okay, so I may look like Telly Sevalas or maybe like Uncle Feister (sp?) or maybe like a Genie out of their bottle... But you know - its only for a season... I guess I'm physically "total transparent" now before the Lord.  I'm okay with that...