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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July 28, 2014

Open


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)
Open your palm, a closed fist cannot receive.
Open your mind - there is so much more than what you think you know.
Open your heart - and let My love come flooding in.
Open the door - I stand there knocking, let Me in.
Open My Word - and eat.  Partake in my promises for you. 
Open your eyes - and see what has always been before you, you just haven't realized it...
Open your life - up to Me and I shall cocoon you with my love and transform you into the beautiful being I have intended you to become.  I see the beauty of you.  I see the gift of you. I see the fullness of you that I created you to be...but you have to acknowledge Me, believe in Me, love Me, trust Me and allow Me to change within you those things that you yourself cannot change, no matter how hard you've tried.  You know deep inside that this is the truth. My best for you is better than anything you would have considered for yourself.
Open up  - and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. And when you do - you shall soar with wings of an eagle to a height you never dreamed you could fly.
Open to me - like a flower bud opens its petals to warmth of the rays of the sun, feel My Holy Spirit encompassing you, molding you into the vessel I originally created you to be.  For no one knows better than I the beauty of you when filled with the essence of Me.

July 27, 2014

Are You a Vessel or an Un-Vessel? Think Carefully, the Choice Has Always Been Yours to Make...

What is Pouring Out from Your Life? Are You a Vessel or an Un-Vessel?  The choice has always been yours to make...
The Bible tells us that God knew us when we were formed in our mother's womb, actually the exact words are as follows:

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart."

God made YOU.  He formed you.  He knew you.  He had in mind what you were to be.  You are His masterpiece.  You are one of a kind.  You were chosen.  How special does that make you feel? If it doesn't it should.  You are a creation of the Utmost High God.  He knows every part of you.  You are unique.  You are special and whether or not you acknowledge it or are aware of it, or believe it - You are HIS.

"For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.  I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well..." (Psalms 139:13-14).

I can visualize in my mind God creating you, with such excitement and pride and joy.  Think about it.  If you are a parent, a father or a mother - think about the joy you experienced when you found you were going to have a child.  As a mother myself, I can remember laying a hand on my stomach, talking to this little tiny peanut of a being with such love and joy and happiness and hopes.  I remember saying to my firstborn Joseph, when I found out:

"Oh how I rejoice in the fact that God has given me YOU.  You are answered prayer.  You are special, you are a blessing.  In fact, I use to a sing a song to him it was called, "God made you special" Sung by Denise Williams.  I spoke blessings over my unborn child, even though God had not yet formed his outward ears in completion, I know Joseph's soul heard me.  I nourished him not only with that from my own body, but with my words of love and blessings.  If I did that with my own children - how much more so does God do that with us as He forms us?  He has great desires for you.  He has plans for you.  The only thing you have to do is choose.  He has given us free will.  We can choose to be that vessel He has called us to be, or we can choose to be an un-vessel.

Just as surely as God has created our physical bodies - He has created you with a desire that is to be one in communion with Him.  There is a part of us (whether or not we choose to acknowledge it) is hungry to be one in communion with God.  Originally it was our sole purpose in being created to have fellowship with God.  I often think about what the Garden of Eden must have been like before Adam and Eve's fall...  I don't know about you, but I LOVE the outdoors.  I love hearing the birds sing, seeing God's nature in the different plants and flowers that He has created, I tend to believe that Adam and Eve communicated with the animals in the garden, because when the snake deceived Eve, she was not surprised that he spoke to her.  How peaceful it must have been, sheer joy and love and harmony and abundance - such as we won't know until we get to Heaven. All around us is the witness of God.  In the hustle and bustle of daily life we get so caught up in activity or family or problems that those things that speak so clearly of God's being get drowned out and often ignored or taken for granted as we live our lives.  Live our lives not realizing or identifying or acknowledging the true reason of why we were created.  When God made you, He made you with special gifts, special talents that were yours to be used  to glorify Him.

You can choose to be a vessel or an un-vessel.  

Definition of a vessel according to the Miriam Webster Dictionary:


" A vessel is a vein or artery that covers blood to the rest of the body" or "A vessel is a hollowed container for holding liquids" or "A vessel is a ship or large boat."

An "un-vessel" (a definition a new friend just introduced me too recently) is someone who is a vessel and doesn't know it... Maybe they try to fill themselves with things other than what God originally intended, but true satisfaction can never be found without filling it with what God intended it to be filled with - HIMSELF.  Even Jesus said:

"Whoever drinks of the water I give him shall never thirst.but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." (John 4:14-15)

You were made to be a vessel.  A very rare, special and dear vessel unto the Lord.  You choose what you will be filled up with - discovering the true purpose that God has for you or living a life as an un-vessel, filled with other things that will never give you the satisfaction or the completion you would receive if you realized that you were created to be filled up with God's purpose; that is where the peace that passes ALL understanding described in Philippians 4:7 comes from.  I can't adequately find the words to write to explain just what that feels like, it's something you have to experience for yourself and here is the thing - just like our fingerprints are individual and unique - so is the calling God has for you.  It is better than ANYTHING you could have chosen for yourself, part of life's journey is figuring out JUST WHAT THAT CALLING IS.  I can only compare it to a treasure hunt - with you being the treasure.  There is such a peace that comes about when you realize that God created you, He made you, He formed you SPECIAL.  That He has a purpose for your life - and it is not a contest, nor is it one where you are in competition with someone else.  God has no favorites.  He loves us each individually for who He created us to be.  He made you.  He knows you.  He loves you.   You were not made by mistake - no matter how you were conceived.  God knew you were coming.  You were no surprise to Him.  Maybe you were made to feel as though you weren't special, maybe you were born into a situation where you felt unloved.  However you entered into this world, you need to know that YOU ARE LOVED.  Greatly, truly, wonderfully, completely loved.  Hear my words - for I am only a vessel unto the Lord, my calling - to write for Him.  To allow my fingers to fly over my keyboard and deliver whatever words of encouragement I can give you to allow you to know that God's word is the same today as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).  Whether or not you acknowledge it - you need to know, you were created to be a vessel. God desires to be glorified through your life with the gifts He has created you to utilize.  He loves you enough to give you the choice - to be a vessel or an un-vessel.

Look at the example of Jonah.  God told him specifically what he wanted him to do and what did Jonah do?  HE RAN!!!  He thought he could run from God and for the purpose that God had for him.  You can read about it yourself in the book of Jonah in  your Bible.  To get Jonah's attention God had to have a whale or "great fish" swallow Jonah up, what a way to get Jonah's undivided and complete attention.  I have written a post about it in my blog - you can look it up on the side of my page, under my blog entries from 2013, the month is October and it is entitled "Are You in the Middle of a Jonah Moment."  The point is - God will continue to capture your undivided attention for as long as you have breath in your body.  He loves you, He knows that the purpose He created you for your life will bless you more abundantly than you can possibly imagine!  There is no greater satisfaction or joy than to be used as a vessel by the One who created you - God.  So maybe God hasn't swallowed up someone by a whale or big fish in these current times (or maybe He has and we just haven't read again about it yet... hehehehe...)  But if you think about it - what point in your life do you keep coming back to?  Someway, somehow God is trying to capture your attention.  Only you can determine if you think long and hard about it how He is doing that... 

"Here I am!!! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and they with me."  (Revelations 3:20)

Listen - do you hear it? Quiet your soul. Quiet the noise around you. LISTEN.  It is God knocking on the door of your heart.  Open it. What do you have to lose? You have only to gain.  Try it - see what it is God is telling you.  I know that as you read this word, that desire that God instilled for Him within you is crying out.  Maybe for the first time you are recognizing that you were not created to be an "un-vessel," but a "vessel."  You won't be whole until you recognize and fulfill the purpose that God has for your life.  And here is the thing - YOU are the VESSEL. HE is the provision.  He wants to be used in YOU, through YOU, by YOU.  So let Him in...

Here is the thing about vessels.  They come in all shapes and sizes, they are not all the same.  We are an imperfect people, God is in the business of using those imperfections to draw people unto Him.  I think about my own imperfections and it makes me realize all the more - I am called to be a vessel, yes that is true... But here is the beauty of it - God fills me up.  God makes me beautiful. The beauty you see in me - is Him.  Without Him, I am an un-vessel, incomplete and not used for the intent in which I was created.  The beauty you see in me - is HIM.  

I think there is very clearly a reason why throughout the Bible God has chosen to use people who you would not have thought He would use.  They were not the strongest, they were not the most beautiful or perhaps they were the last people you would expect to be chosen for "Team God."  Yet they opened themselves up through their faith to allow God to use them.  Mary did, David did, Jonah (finally did ) as did so many others that you can read about in your Bible.  When you read about them, remember that these are not a made up bunch of characters - but real individuals like you and me - who decided upon their own free will to be vessels unto the Lord.

God created you for a purpose.  A beautiful one of a kind purpose.  Will you be that vessel unto Him?  Listen... Do you hear it?  He's knocking... It's time for you to stop ignoring the knock and open the door wide.  You won't be sorry...

"Taste and see that the Lord is good.  Blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him." (Psalms 34:8)






July 24, 2014

No Matter What - God's Got You!




"I Will Fulfill the Number of Your Days" (Exodus 23:26)
This past Monday was my 4th year “cancerversary” (or so we survivors call it).  It was my 4th Year annual appointment from having been diagnosed with early stage, triple negative breast cancer.  I have been cancer-free for 4 years, but no matter how much time passes  these yearly mammogram appointments fill me with anxiety, fear and trepidation.  This time I was definitely concerned because I had been having painful sensations at the lumpectomy site; sensations I had not felt before and of course ol’ slewfoot taunted me with all kinds of horrible thoughts on what it could be…  Some cancer survivors like to refer to themselves in “remission” personally I have never liked (or used) that word.

I Googled the term “remission” and a Dr. Z’s medical report, Published May 17, 2006 written by Ed Zimney, MD (whoever that is…) popped up. He defines remission as such:
“Complete remission means that there are no symptoms and no signs that can be identified to indicate the presence of cancer. However, even when a person is in remission, there may be microscopic collections of cancer cells that cannot be identified by current techniques. This means that even if a person is in remission, they may, at some future time, experience a recurrence of their cancer.”
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but for me, I find the term “remission” to be insulting, offensive and inaccurate.  You see – I am *not* in remission, I am HEALED.  God has healed me.  To call it anything else is to belittle what He can do and what He has done and I refuse to belittle God and identify my cancer-free self as one who is in “remission.”  Now it is a personal thing, and many survivors fine with that term, I find it insulting and am quick to correct someone who describes me as such.  God has healed me, He has given me a second chance at life and for that I am truly grateful. I found myself thinking of the scene in scripture when Jesus calls Peter out to walk towards Him upon the water.   Matthew 14:22-33:
Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.   After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.
“It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.  
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”
"Lord if it's You," Peter replied, "tell me to come to You on the water."
"Come," He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”He said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.   Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
I didn’t want to focus on the taunts the enemy was whispering in my ear, because I knew just as Peter had – I would begin to sink.  So, with my mother by my side, my back straight, my chin firmly set I went to my appointment at the Dana-Farber holding on to my promises.
“I will fulfill the number of your days.” (Exodus 23:26)
“I have made you the head and not the tail.” (Deuteronomy 28:13)
"Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. Your builders hurry; Your destroyers and devastators Will depart from you.…” (Isaiah 49:16)
This is why God tells us to hide His word in our hearts so that we can find strength in His promises. Unlike people, God does not make promises He doesn’t keep, we can trust that if it is written in His Word - He meant it.  He is not a God that He would lie. He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith – He knows the beginning of the story of “us” as well as the ending, so who better to trust???!
The memories of my cancer experience always hits me a new when I walk into the doors of Dana-Farber.  The confusion, the shock, the fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of what's to come all come flooding back.  I guess it is a natural “knee jerk” reaction.  Once again, I went through my check in, my blood work and next – the dreaded mammogram (dun dun...) this huge machine that would give the radiologist the knowledge of what was going on beyond the surface…

This is where most of us Pinks are found sitting in the waiting room, bitting our fingernails, holding our breathes, only to release them when the results (prior to leaving the Imaging Department) are handed to us.  It is the waiting that is the hardest part, the not knowing.  This time around when I was told that everything was normal, I burst into tears. Tears of relief and gratitude.  According to my oncologist, nerve endings can come back to life anywhere from 10 to 20 years from a lumpectomy post surgery.
I cannot tell you what I would have felt if the report had been otherwise, I can only draw upon my previous experience of receiving a phone call saying, "you have cancer..."  But I can tell you this - I believe that God would have given me the strength to face whatever I needed to face as He has done throughout the course of my life and my walk with Him, things may come as a surprise to us - but they are never a surprise to Him.
I have come to realize more and more that each day - EACH day is a gift, a blank sheet of life for us to write upon, one that we will never get back again.  Somewhere along the line we humans began to take each day for granted, to treat each new day as if it were “owed” to us.  The truth is - it’s not.  We were originally created to live forever – before Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden bringing sin and death into the world.  But most people never feel like "they've had enough life."  Have you ever noticed that "old" is something that is 15 years older than what you are?
Life is a precious gift.  What are you writing upon the pages of your life? How do you wake up in the morning?  Do you rejoice?  No one knows what the future holds – but instead of worrying about whatever will be, why don’t we just rejoice and praise God for what He has given us today?  When you wake up tomorrow visualize the day as a blank sheet of paper.  What will you write upon it?  What memories will you make?  How will you view things? What difference might you make in the life of someone else?  Write well dear reader!  You won’t get these moments back… See? Another has just passed… Make every moment count because make no mistake about it - each one is a precious gift from God.

July 22, 2014

Are You Facing a Goliath-Sized Situation?


It only takes a pebble sized faith to defeat the Goliaths in your life...
Are you up against a Goliath in your life?  Oh yes, they still exist, they just come in different forms and fashions.  Are you standing there with legs trembling, feeling really small against a Goliath who is lording over you?  Every common sense worldly view of your situation leads you back to the present problem; your natural, physical reaction is to RUN!  You’ve got those flight hormones pumping through your blood, your heart is racing and there appears to be NO WAY OUT.  This is where worrying tries to invade your mind filling you with every thing that is opposite to living a life of faith (fear, anxiety and all those feelings that distract you from what it is you really need to do).
What is it you need to do?

P

R

A

Y

Even if you only have a teeny, tiny little mustard seed size faith and you just can’t see any solution to your current situation. Perhaps the point is, you are not supposed to!  This is where the rubber hits the road. God did not create you to be able to handle ALL situations on your own.  You are NOT God.
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20)
Maybe your head is telling you something along the lines to what was reported  (according to the US Archives website) Something similar to what an employee of the Titanic once uttered:

“Not even God Himself could sink this ship…”  Only your head is telling you, “Not even God himself could help me with this Goliath situation I am finding myself in….”
Listen – that is a lie from the pit of Hell.  God is concerned about you and wants you to realize that you need Him.  There is no shame in that.  In fact – say it out loud.
“God I NEED You!!!”   Say it again…  “God I NEED You!!!”   one more time… “God I NEED You!!!”   
Hmmmm – I don’t know about you but me, I feel a lot better admitting that… Why? Because it's the God honest truth!
It is when we don’t realize that, admit it or don’t believe it that we are truly in a Goliath type situation.  The truth is, we can trust that if we go to God sincerely in prayer, He hears us and Instead of going into “worry mode” go into prayer mode – bringing whatever it is before your Heavenly Father.
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?” (Matthew 7:8-9)
No other man would fight Goliath, that’s because they realized that they could not win any fight with him with their own physical strength…  David’s faith in God was the only thing that gave him the strength to stand before the giant.  David was very much aware that unless God fought the battle for him, the battle would not be won.
There are certain Goliath situations that come up into our lives for us to realize that we can do nothing in and of our own accord.  Nor were we meant to.  That is our biggest mistake. God did not make Adam and Eve independent of Him.  That was never the way things were supposed to be.  We were created to be in fellowship with God.
“Oh Lord, I am surrounded by Goliaths in my life…  Every which way I turn I run up against them. I can’t fight them on my own, and I know that is not  Your will for me, so I come to You in prayer knowing that YOU are greater than any Goliath-size problem I face.  Help me please Father to become victorious over these situations that YOU may be glorified.  I take my mustard seed size faith and I swing it into the midst of this situation, believing that YOU will multiply the size of the seed and cause the situation to fall down and have the plans of the enemy defeated.  I stand knowing that “Greater are YOU that are in me than he that is in the World” (1 John 4:4) and that “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens ME.” (Philippians 4:13) Thank You Father that I can come to You in prayer, I thank You by faith for Your provision, Your grace, Your mercy and Your favor in these situations .  In Jesus’ precious name I pray.
AMEN

July 15, 2014

Are You There God? It's Me, (Add Your Name)...


When I was a child, I read one of author Judy Blume’s books entitled, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.”   It is the story of a 6th grade girl who is coming of age and how she converses with God.  It is what began my own childhood conversations with God.
When I pray, I talk to God like I talk to you – readers of my blog.  I speak my mind.  I am honest and transparent.  I am REAL with God.  Why? Because the Bible tells me:
“He knows my thoughts before I even think them.” (Psalms 139:2)
So why not just be honest and forthcoming?  Besides God desires a relationship with you, a relationship requires communication.  My own personal opinion is that God loves it when you have “conversations” with Him.
"These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” (Isaiah 29:13)
The above describes being “religious” having a personal relationship with God is communicating with Him, having a relationship with Him. Your heart is in your conversations with Him, it is a one on one conversation and yet because God looks at the heart of an individual, while we can only see the outside – it is up to God to determine whether or not it is a “personal relationship with Him.”  It is between that individual and God.
Any “relationship” requires communication.  A relationship should be a two way street – even one with God.  I have had many a conversation with God that is similar to that of a child having a temper tantrum on the floor of a store aisle with some of my prayer requests, like a child who wants their parent to buy them a piece of candy and the parent says, “no” there are times when I have brought a request before God and He has said no.  No child wants to hear the word “no.”  But in looking back at my past prayer requests I can see times where God has compassionately shown me why He has said no.  (He doesn’t always show us – He doesn’t have to – He is God).  But the one thing we can keep in mind is that:
“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
We don’t see the FULL situation but God does, He has our best in mind.  The Bible tells us:
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11)
If you are a parent you can relate. There are times when you have had to say no to your own children – maybe it’s that they want a cookie before dinner and you say, “no.”  And while all they see is that  they want that cookie and you have said no! What YOU see is that if you give them that cookie before dinner, it will lessen their appetite to eat food that is more nourishing for them.  If we think that way, how much more so does our Heavenly Father who sees oh so much more than we do?
I have come to the conclusion that it is all about the issue of trust…
Trust… What a small word with such a significant meaning…   The definition of trust according to Webster’s Dictionary: 
Trust - Reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.  One in which confidence is placed.
Who is your confidence placed? Who do you trust?
Trust is something that makes us vulnerable.  Who we trust or how we trust is pretty much based upon our past experiences. It also makes it difficult when we have been let down to confidently; walk by faith and not by sight.  When people have let us down, it is hard to confidently trust in a God who says He won’t.  It is probably one of the hardest lessons to learn in our walk with Him.  He desires us to trust Him.  Do you trust Him?  When you find yourself in a situation where it feels “pitch black” and you can’t see two feet in front of you – do you feel as though God has your back?  Sometimes God allows you to be in those situations just so you can place your trust in Him.  When you are out of answers and your head is in your hands – Who do you trust? Do you believe you can trust God?
Sometimes we can make trust a “head thing” and not a heart thing.  God wants us to step out in faith and know without a doubt that we can trust Him.  This is hard to do because while we have God desiring us to trust Him, there is ol’ slewfoot standing by our heads whispering in our ears:
“You are certainly in a fine kettle of fish.  You are here because of fault A,B,C – all of your own doing…”  Or he taunts me saying, “Yeah – look at Suzy Q over there.  She has A,B,C, while you – well you are lacking in D,E,F, G. God must love her more than He loves you…”
Those are lies from the pit of hell.  The devil doesn’t want you to trust in God – even when you don’t see an answer.  Remember he is the author of lies and confusion.  The very last thing he wants you to do is trust in God.
Trust… Sometimes we don’t even “trust” our own selves to make the right decisions. It’s enough to make you want to cross your own eyes.  Do you second guess yourself?  We all have weaknesses.  We all have our “Achilles heel.” And the devil knows how to rub salt into wounds that need to be healed.  “Why would God want to help you???”  The taunts go on and on hitting those nerves that either push us into depression, despair or are used to push us farther away from believing that God is concerned about us and really cares.  Instead of believing the promises we have, we believe the author of lies who (if you recall) deceived Eve and caused sin and problems and death to enter into the world in the first place…  His tricks are still the same, they haven’t changed, if they were good enough for him to use on those “REAL” people (notice they were not characters – but real people like you and I) in the Bible, why would he not try to use those same methods and tricks on us now?  Remember, he even tried to boldly tempt Jesus in the desert. If he was bold enough to try and tempt Jesus, what makes us think he won’t try to do the same with us? 
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  (John 10:10)
God desires that you have life – abundant life.  Who are you going to believe and trust? This is one of the ongoing lessons we continuously have to decide throughout anything that life throws our way.
Communication is an ongoing element in a relationship.  Relationships in order to be successful satisfying and in order to grow require nourishment.  If you are mad at God – Tell Him!  He knows!  Nothing you are feeling surprises Him.  He is your Father. If you need guidance or clarification, tell Him! If we take time to quiet our souls and listen, we will hear Him speak.  If we can quiet down the noise of our worries, concerns (and sometimes ourselves even!) You will hear God’s steady, soothing quiet voice.  In my own experience God has never once “yelled” at me.  Disciplined me, yes – but His voice has been one that is calming and soothing and personal.  It takes time to form a strong relationship, but a relationship is something that requires two individuals and God has already said:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Revelations 3:20)
God already desires to be in a relationship with you.  To reveal His plan for your life, to reveal how much He loves you.  It requires trust which is an ongoing element and difficult to do at some moments in our walk with Him.  But when we do trust Him, even when we don’t understand the “why” of a situation, we can experience “the peace that passes ALL understanding” (Psalms 4:7) that comes only from trusting that no matter what we are experiencing, God is in control.  Because whether or not we “feel” or “believe” that He is.  He is.
“Hi, are You there Lord? It's me - Kelly... I am going through a situation that I have NO clue as to what to do.  Which way to turn, but I trust that my steps are ordained by you. (Psalms 37:23).  I know that you have given me certain promises in the Bible to cling to and believe in when I don’t see a way.  I trust You. You tell me that “You have engraved me in the palm of your hand.” (Isaiah 49:16), while I don’t understand or fully see all that is going on around me – I know you do and I know that I belong to You.  I need You. Thank You for being an ever present help in time of trouble.  Help me to rest and trust in You.  In Jesus’ precious name I give this situation to You. I drop it at the foot of your cross knowing fully well that you are more able to handle it than I.  Knowing fully well that You have my best interest in mind. Knowing that my steps are ordered by You. I thank you for Your provision, Your help, Your love.  In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen”



July 11, 2014

Stormy Weather - Are You Going to Focus on the Storm or the Creator OF the Storm?


When things are out of our control, we need to remember that they are NEVER out of God's Control.
Honestly, this has been a month of questions, worries and concerns; the kind that has kept me up at night; the kind where I have gone around and around the issues trying to find solutions.   One of those month’s where I have just want to cry out to the Lord in frustration wishing that I would hear from Him as Moses did, boldly and with certainty!  I wish that when we give our lives to the Lord that we would hear Him like we hear Him as surely and loudly as we hear our GPS – “Kelly, turn right at this point in your life… Now make a sharp left!  You are at the destination I have chosen for you!” J

Last night, as I was preparing to go to sleep, I found myself thinking of the scripture below:  
When Jesus got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He said to them, "Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.… (Matthew 8:24-8:25)
Now don’t get me wrong – God is always speaking with us, sometimes we don’t take the time to quiet our souls to listen to Him. (Is that the case with you? I know it is with me).  We let the worries and concerns and fears that we have override His voice…  I felt chastised as I remembered Matthew 8:24.  The disciples had a genuine fear!  They thought their boat was going to overturn! That they would drown!  The rocking of that boat, the covering of those waves was real and genuine and they became filled with fear.  Who of us wouldn’t have??? When we experience stormy situations in our own lives, the situation is just as real and we focus on the physical realm because what we see is more obvious to us by our senses than what is going on in the spiritual realm.  We are used to looking at things with our physical eyes and not with our spiritual ones.  The only way we can calm our storm is to pray and to trust that although things come as a shock and a surprise to us, it does not come as a surprise to God, who sees everything.
It is probably one of the hardest things to do in our walk.  It is walking BY faith and not by sight and for me, even having been a Christian for 26 years; I still struggle with this… This is a part of my walk with Christ that I continually have to work on.  Quite frankly, it is a trust issue.  Will I trust in myself? Or will I trust in God?
When I was a child, I was blessed enough to be able to attend a wonderful girls overnight Camp in New Hampshire.  I remember a game we use to play as a group.  It was a game of trust.  We were divided in to teams of two, one of us would be blind folded.   The blind folded individual would have to fall backwards and trust that their partner would catch them and not let them fall.  I believe that God would like us to trust that when we feel like we are falling, He is there to catch us.  But we have to walk in that trust.  Walk in the knowledge that God’s promises are true.  The question becomes, “Who are you going to believe?”  I think that is why He allows certain situations to occur in our lives, because He wants us to trust Him MORE.
There are so many examples of strong men and women of faith within our Bible.  Sometimes we forget that these stories are TRUE, these were real individuals like you and me – with the same problems and worries and issues.  The concerns haven’t changed – the times may have but the worries and problems remain the same.  It is during those “stormy” times in our lives that we need to gain strength from what we’ve seen from people and situations in the past.  They are in the Bible to encourage us, give us hope and help us to remember to look at our situations through the eyes of faith.  One of the strongest examples of this is Abraham.  I read about him and pray that God would help me to look through the eyes of any “stormy” situation I experience in life as Abraham did.
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." (Romans 4:19-4:22)
The definition of faith is as follows:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews  11:1)
I have been thinking that looking through our lives situations through the eyes of faith is very similar to learning a “foreign language.”  It takes concentration and practice.  Perhaps it becomes easier as we continue to apply God’s promises to our lives.  As I previously said, I have been a Christian for 26 years.  But I am 47 years old.  I have looked at things from the worldly perspective still many more years than I have had being a Christian. It is easy to fall back on familiar habits.  The one thing I can say, that as I have immersed myself in the Word of God the Holy Spirit has brought forth scriptures that I have read to the forefront of my mind during those “stormy” moments in my life.  Sometimes I hear them clearly, sometimes my fear, worries and insecurities drown them out.  The one thing that I continue to remember is that Jesus said right before He ascended into Heaven:
“And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, A tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings.  (Psalms 61:3)

"Hold my hand Lord, help me to remember to keep my eyes upon you and not upon the “stormy” situations that occur in my life. Help me to remain calm and focused as you remained calm in the boat with the disciples.  Help me to hold onto your Word (my promises) within my heart and to reflect upon them and hold on to them during those times when I am fearful. Please guide and direct my steps and thank you so much for never letting go of my hand. and when I am fearful and afraid, I pray you will help  In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen…"

July 9, 2014

Hello Old Familiar Place...


Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Hello old familiar place, it has been a year and here I am again; the place I least want to be.  Yet I’m here…  I didn’t realize how fast the year has gone by until I realized it is that time again... I stand in front of your doors, my back straight, my chin set firm – trying to keep the memories of 4 years ago from flooding over me and keeping me from doing what I know needs to be done.  Like a dog fighting against getting a bath, I have to pull my own arm to move jellied legs forward.
“I can do this.  I need to do this. I WILL do this.”  I encourage myself as I move forward, taking one step at a time.
Hello old familiar place, four years ago I walked through your doors, numb, scared, and uncertain of what the future would hold – or even if there would be a future to hold anything.  Yet here I am…
 I am not the same woman I was four years ago when I first entered your doors.  Every year I am a little bit stronger.  Every year I realize how blessed I am to have had yet another year.  I am more grateful for every day that God gives me a fresh page of life to write on.  I am more aware of the fact that none of us are promised tomorrow.  When I walked through the door four years ago, the pages of my life were written in water colors.  Now – they hold a precious vibrancy and boldness as I have learned to embrace each day.  The truth is that none of us know what tomorrow may bring – which is why we have to be thankful for today.
Hello old familiar place, I did not want to revisit you, yet every year I faithfully come against my will but with the strength of better judgment, because I know I have to take care of me.
I am not a statistic, I am not a number, I am not a previous diagnosis – and I most certainly am not “in remission.”   I am a thriving survivor.  I am healed.  I am a child of the utmost high God.  I will walk through your doors trying not to let the flood of past memories overwhelm and terrify me – but to walk in the strength of the Lord holding on to my faith remembering Who it is who is the Author and the Finisher of my faith.  My life is in His hands.  It always has been and it always will be. Although you can’t see it and I appear to be alone – I am not, you see, He is holding my hand.  I can hear Him whispering in my ear:
“My child I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you, through rivers you shall not be swept away. When you walk through fire you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you, for I, the Lord am your God .” (Isaiah 43:1-3)
“I have made you the head and not the tail.” (Deuteronomy 28:13)
“You can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you.” (Philippians 4:13)
Hello old familiar place. God used you once to save my life – that is why I return every year. Every year I walk through your doors I am thankful anew at the previous year God has given me.  I am hopeful that I will be given another.  I should have felt that way before any of this had happened, I thought I had – but I realized I had taken life for granted…  I’ve learned  not to.  I have metamorphosed in a way I never imagined I would.  Yet even though I didn’t know what would happen – God did. In the dark place I have been He has brought the amazing light of other women into my life who have been where I have been.  Women from ALL walks of life; women with the same questions and worries and wonders as I.  A pink rover line that needs to end, no new members joining in on it; but in the meantime – we squeeze each other’s hands.  We laugh, we question, we cry, we rejoice, we share, we LIVE.
Hello old familiar place – when my testing and appointment is over I shall run out your doors not realizing I had been holding my breath all the way through.  I shall release it and I shall go forth with a renewed commitment to live life FULLY and to make sure that I pay it forward. I will love more deeply, hug my children harder, I will laugh more heartedly, I will savor each moment of life as it was meant to be savored and I will dance as David danced.  In fact, I shall dance out your doors and not look back but forward until we meet again.

July 7, 2014

The Bigger Picture


Oh what a patient, merciful and loving God we serve! I don’t know about you, but I am SO glad that HE is God and I am not!  Although there are times when I have tried to maneuver or take charge of situations I have no business taking charge of.  I think those are times when God wants us to allow Him to be God…  You know the moments I’m talking about?  The times when you are having a “Job experience”  and there you are sitting with your head in your hands, no solution to whatever the situation coming to mind.  You’ve done everything you can and still the problem exists.
The Bible is God’s living Word; the same today as it was yesterday as it will be tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8)
One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and satan also came with them. The LORD said to satan, “Where have you come from?” satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”  Does Job fear God for nothing?” satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (Job 1: 6-12).

Perhaps these Job moments that we sometimes experience within our own walk occur so that we can learn to trust God more.  Occur so that we can realize that there are some situations that we simply cannot handle, figure out nor are we supposed to.  What are you doing when you experience a “Job-like” moment?  I know that for me, I look at the problem from all sides and try to figure out the best answer – and fail.  I fail because the problem is too big for me to carry.  It was not meant for me to carry the weight of it.  I fail because I look at the problem with a worldly point of view and all the time God is waiting, saying, “Kelly – give that to me.  Come on.  I’ve allowed that to come in to your life so that you can turn to me and say, ‘Father, what should I do?”  Sometimes the problem occurs not because it has anything to do with my own walk with the Lord – but maybe it will affect that of my children?
Have you ever seen your child try to pick up something that is too heavy for them to carry? They try and try and try and then get frustrated.  They can’t do it – sometimes it’s bigger than their little body and after a while of trying unsuccessfully, they sit there and cry.

The world and “worldly” point of view is all around us.  Often we forget that there is also a spiritual realm all around us.  We look at things with our “worldly” eyes and not our spiritual ones.   We need to change our point of view.  When the world says, “there is no solution to this situation.  YOU have hit rock bottom.”  We need to respond with the promises we have been given and we need to believe them.

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
2 from the end of the earth I call to you

when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
3 for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy. (Psalms 61)
Trust in the Lord with all our hearts, lean not to our own understanding.  In all our ways acknowledge Him and HE will make straight our path. (Psalms 3:5-6)
Note that it says HE will make straight our path – not WE - HE.  There are certain things which only God can do, because He is God.  So often when we find ourselves in a Job situation we take our eyes off God and panic.  We try to put a band aid on a wound that needs stitches.  Maybe during those times God is watching us, seeing how we will respond.  Will we do as Job’s wife told him he should do?
“Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9)
Or do we give God the situation because He also tells us:
“Take my yoke upon you, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul.” (Matthew 11:30)
Are you nodding your head in agreement as you read these words? Is the Holy Spirit filling you with  “the peace that passes all understanding.” Because our God is not a God that He would lie.  How will you respond to what “Job moments” come in to your life?
I am thinking of the salmon that swim upstream to lay their eggs.  They fight the current of the water with just one focus on their mind – to lay those eggs.  What seems like an impossible journey is one that doesn’t even cross their mind – they simply do it.  Their focus is their destination, even though the close of their journey means the end of their lives.  Yet – out of their own end comes the eggs of future generations of salmon that will again and again make that same journey of those that came before them.
Trust Him – even when everything IN you does not see an answer.
Give it to Him and watch what God does. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith and He wants us to trust in Him.  We need to focus on the solution and not the problem and sometimes the only solution is God. And here is the thing – if you think back to other “Job” moments in your life you can see how God brought you through.  What you learned, how you grew and what you were able to pay it forward to someone else in the future who is experiencing the same things YOU experienced.  How can we help others if we don’t know firsthand how to get through a situation?  Sometimes the hardest thing is to think back to how God helped us – but this is why we go through things.  We are dependent upon God, and there is no shame in that – the shame is when we refuse to see that we are and choose not to believe that we have a God who is merciful, loving, forgiving  and who WANTS to be there for us.  If you don’t recognize that, you can’t give those oh so cumbersome “Job” situations to Him to carry.  He is there, He cares and even better than that – He sees the FULL picture of you.  It is hard to adjust to seeing things spiritually instead of worldly it takes practice – when the World says, “There is no way.” God says:
“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No man comes to the Father but by ME.” (John 14:6)
Is not the Creator of this world able to take your itsy bitsy little problem (compared to the enormity of Him) and work out a solution?  I am sure that that “big” problem is small potatoes to God.  We have only to go before Him, talk to Him about it and see what God will do.  What only God CAN do.