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.


April 24, 2015

The Allegory of the Pitbull

"Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
 (Ephesians 5:15-16)

 She was walking down a new pathway, lost in thought of the lessons she had learned upon the previous way.  Soaking them in, digesting them, smarting from the lesson she had learned, realizing that while her heart still smarted and needed mending from her recent battle with a troll (*On the right side of the blog where post are listed refer to a post entitled "The Pathway Continued" from June 2014)  she was going to be okay and able to move forward.  She had been one who planned, but her plans had not worked according to how she had thought they would.  The new pathway she was on was one of trust, this time not in and of herself; but in Him.  As she strolled along this new pathway, she randomly spoke out loud.

“Where am I going Lord? The scenery is beautiful, but I have no destination in mind. I have no plan to follow.  I am at your mercy, trusting in You.  Clearly my own plans have fallen by the wayside and I am too tired and heart sore to come up with a new.  You tell me that “the steps of the righteous are ordained by you.”  (Psalms 37:23) So, I place my trust in You, lead me and give me wisdom to follow.”
She continued along the pathway, uncertain as to where it would take her, but filled with peace that He would guide her where He wanted her to go.  As she continued on she was surprised to see lying upon the left side of the pathway a medium sized, light brown pit bull dog.  He lay whimpering.  She approached him cautiously, as it was not in her nature to keep walking when encountering a creature in clear need of assistance.

Hesitatingly she approached him, keeping a mindful distance.  “Are you alright?” She asked. Without turning his body, the pit bull lifted his head and looked up at her; she was amazed that he had the most beautiful hazel eyes, eyes which were clearly filled with pain.
“My pain is of my own doing.” He indicated wincing, with a beautiful smooth voice.  “You have no reason to fear me.  I will do you no harm.”

She stepped closer.  She didn’t have very much knowledge of pit bulls, and what she knew was not good, still he deserved help and a chance.  “What did you do?” She asked cautiously kneeling down beside him.  He lay on his side, his right hind leg bent at an unnatural angle, clearly the source of great pain, but his eyes captivated her, though filled with pain, and he had a look of defeat that pulled at her heart strings.  Carefully she reached down and stroked the stop of his head, hoping to bring him some comfort in spite of his pain.
“As a young pup I was filled with energy and a strong sense of adventure.  I constantly threw caution to the wind and did whatever I pleased.  If you told me I couldn’t do it – I did it.  If you dared me – I did it.  I was afraid of nothing or no one, life was one big adventure.  I was given to a man, who became my owner. I thought to myself, how wonderful! I will have a family who will love me and adventure with me.  But that is not how it was… I was not loved.  I was beaten over and over again whenever his mood shifted. I didn’t understand what I had done to deserve such treatment.  I tried to please him, but no matter what I did – it was never good enough.  Finally I stopped trying because I realized the effort was useless.   I ran away and became more and more daring with my life.  Whenever someone dared me to do something I did it, not considering the risk to myself.  See that scar? He said lifting his chin. There was a long scar that lined his throat at the base of his neck. 
“I had ventured onto a farm. There were a lot of animals there – horses, pigs, sheep, cows, geese.  I thought I could be taken in, or at the very least had found a place to hide and sleep for a couple of nights.  Next to the barn was a shed.  While conversing with some of the animals and boasting of my exploits a pig dared me to jump from the top of the barn across to the shed.  He said if I made the jump, he would give me complete access to his slop to eat for the night. My belly rumbled at that the thought.  I couldn’t remember the last time I had eaten a meal, the challenge was there and all the other animals looked at me with expectation wondering how I would answer.  I knew I could do it and he had dared me.  I never turned down a dare.  Defiantly I found a way to climb up to the top of the barn roof.  I glared down at that pig and did a flying leap.  I had miscalculated the distance; the shed was not as close to the barn roof as I had figured, as I fell I hit the sharp edge of the shed roof neck first. It left a long gash which is the scar you see now.  I fell in a heap at the base of the shed. I don’t remember much else after that… I must have passed out.  When I woke up I was lying on a cold steel table of what turned out to be a veterinarian’s office.”
She listened to his story as he told it, horrified and wanting to put her hands over her ears to shut out the horror of his life experience, her own problems and worries minute in comparison to his.  She could not relate to his life experience but felt compassionate towards him, for he clearly had never been shown a kindness. He spoke matter-of-factly, with an acceptance of how his life had been without thinking it should have been otherwise.  It seemed to her it hadn’t occurred to him that although he had lived a life of living on the edge unwise in the decisions he had made, that he had truly deserved a life of love.  She stroked his head gently and lovingly as her heart filled with compassion.
“Turns out the farmer must have come out to tend to the animals, give them dinner and found me lying bleeding; by the shed, unconscious, not knowing what else to do he carried me to the veterinarian’s for help and that’s when I woke up in the most tremendous of pain. I could hear the vet speaking to the farmer as he worked on me.”
“This dog is lucky to be alive.” The Vet said to the farmer.  “It’s a wonder he didn’t break his neck.  I don’t know how in the world or what in the world he did to himself to get this injury, but if you hadn’t found him he would surely be dead.”
“I came out to give the animals their evening feed,” said the farmer.  “And to my surprise, there he lay.  I’ve not seen him before.  He is a rough sight to see with the many scars on his body.  But I couldn’t just leave him by my shed to die.”
“I’m going to have to give him a  large shot of painkiller to keep his pain at bay.” The Vet said.  “I will give you pain medication to give him for a while to keep his pain at bay.”
“I wasn’t planning on keeping him.” The farmer said. “But I suppose I can keep him until he’s healed up a bit.  I have no use for a pit bull, now if he was a sheep dog that would be another thing…”  He and the Vet laughed together.
“That was the last thing I heard, because after a pinch of pain caused by the needle the Vet was sticking into my hindquarters came the most wonderful feeling of peace and all of a sudden I was painless, feeling more wonderful than I had in a long time.  Pain free… Feeling extremely fine, the best I ever felt.  Care-free… I didn’t need to think anymore.  I just floated and everything was wonderful… You see, the medicine made everything okay… Or so I thought…  The farmer took me home and cared for me, set up a blanket in the kitchen by the wood stove and allowed me to stay there, gave me a collar to go around my neck… He even gave me a name, something I had never had been given.  He called me, ‘Bob.’”

She giggled at that.  Bob...  He didn’t look like a Bob.  Yet how odd she found it that no one had even considered him important enough to even provide him a name.  It was more than she could comprehend.
“I lived for those pills.  I eagerly awaited the moment he would give them to me so that I could go off into the La La land of peace and wonderful floating feeling that it gave me…  Days turned into weeks and then months and then came the day when the pills were no more.  They were no more!”
"'I’m sorry Bob.' The farmer said to me. 'You don’t need them anymore.  They are all gone.'"
“All gone?!  All gone! How could they be all gone?!  The farmer went out to tend to the other animals and when he left,  I looked frantically around the house.  They had to be somewhere.  I needed those pills. I wanted those pills!  Those pills had made life bearable for me.  They made me want to exist.  How could they be no more?  The more I looked and couldn’t find them, the more frustrated and angry I got.  How could he not give them to me! Where was he hiding them?  He was probably using them for himself! He stole my pills! I’d fix him alright!  I’d show him that he couldn’t treat me that way!  I tore up the cushions in the living room, knocked books down off the shelf, made a royal mess of things.  Not give me my pills!  I’d show him! Take my pills from me!"
Her mouth formed a perfect O.  She removed her hand from off his head and laid it on her lap, leaning forward to hear what happened next, she could only imagine the farmer's anger at coming back to the house and finding his house a complete wreck.  Bob looked up her and nodded his head.
"Oh yes... He was livid. I'll never forget the look on his face when he entered the house.  It went from confusion to astonishment to absolute anger.  He yelled my name.  I bodly came out from behind the sofa I had been tearing apart.  As I came around the corner, he was removing his belt from off his blue jeans.  All of a sudden I had flashbacks, to when I was a pup.  It wasn't the farmer who was standing before me, but the owner I had had and this time I was not going to allow him to beat me. He came at me and I snarled and clamped my teeth down upon his hand.  Hard. I wouldn't let go. He yelled in pain and grabbed my collar to pry me off his hand, which was profusely bleeding at this time.  I had shocked myself.  Here was someone who had shown me kindness, took me in and cared for me.  I knew it was over now.  He picked me up and headed out the door of the house towards his truck.  Threw me into the back of the truck.  I couldn't think.  I couldn't do anything.  I was shocked by my own actions.  He had tied a towel around his bleeding hand and was driving the truck at a fast pace right down the road, muttering under his breath the whole time.  I don't know how long we drove, it felt like forever, it was dark and getting cold.  I wasn't feeling very well, the remorse I felt from biting him filled my mind along with a fuzziness in my head, which I can only think was contributed to my having a lack of pills.  When he finally pulled the truck over, we were somewhere far away, looked like a cornfield.  He came around to the back of the truck, picked me up and threw me onto the side of the road, did a u-turn and drove back the way he had come leaving me stranded. Once again, I was on my own and it was my own fault."
She didn't know how to respond.  She couldn't identify with his experience, what he had done was wrong. But at one point or another everyone did "wrong" things in their lives.  She was not one who could judge.  She thought about the things she had done "wrong" in her own life and found herself unwilling and unable to judge him for his actions.  It didn't matter that life had shown him little kindness, there is a point where one has to take responsibility for their own actions, no matter what life had previously thrown one's way.  to own up to one's own wrongs and look to the One who had provided a way out.  A covering of grace.  She knew now why she had encountered him along the path.  She glanced down at his twisted leg.
"Is that how you came to lying here?  What happened to your leg?"
He barked out a laugh before he answered. "Once the farmer had left, I became terribly disoriented.  I didn't know what way to go or where.  I was experiencing all kinds of strange feelings along with regret.  I felt hot, I felt cold.  Felt like I was going to vomit. Felt sweaty.  Physically I began to run the gamut of strange sensations.  I didn't know how to get back to the farm, nor did I want to try returning there because I had outstayed my welcome, I thought it would probably be best if I found somewhere to lie down and try to get both my head and my body together.  Perhaps if I could just lie down and sleep I would feel better when I awoke.  I walked off the pathway into the cornfield and found a quiet place to lie down and rest... What I didn't count on was sleeping days and days. I woke up to the sound of an engine. I was groggy, it sounded close, but I didn't realize how close until it accidently ran me over.  The driver didn't even realize he had hit something and couldn't hear my yelp over the sound of the tractor motor.  I thought at that point I was truly done for.  Yet I was able to drag my leg behind me, not sure of the distance.  But here I am. I lay on the side of this pathway with the expectation of eventually dying."  And with that statement, he lay his head down on top of his two front paws.
She sat next to him quietly for a moment, thinking. And then she shifted closer to him, lifted his head onto her lap and began once again to stroke his head.
"Now you listen to me, Bob..." She could tell he was listening as his ears twiched in the direction of her voice, even though he remained silent.  "You weren't dealt the best hand at life, I'll give you that. And you have made some really stupid decisions in your life.  REALLY STUPID... But I'll tell you this.  At some point or other we ALL have made really stupid decisions in our own lives, so I can't point a finger at you without pointing all the rest of them at myself!  Here is the thing though... There is Someone who has always loved you, cherished you and wanted you all your life.  In fact, He created you!  He knew you when you were formed in your mother's womb! (Psalms 139:13) He knows all hairs on your head (Luke 12:7)  or in your case fur...  Maybe He has brought you to this point so that you can realize how much you need Him."  She could tell he was really listening to her because now his head was tilted at an angle, he was looking at her listening intently to her words.  She continued to tell him how when Jesus hung on that cross, He had done so for Bob.  He had looked as he hung on that cross future and had seen Bob.  And if Bob had been the only one He had seen, He still would have died for him. Tears were streaming down Bob's hazel eyes as he listened to how much God loved Him.
"You matter Bob, you do.  And it isn't a mistake that God had me walk along this pathway to meet you.  You see Bob, you are not at the end of your life - you are at a new beginning."
"What do I have to do?" Bob asked.
"You need to just turn to Him.  Talk to Him.  Tell Him, 'Lord, I don't know You, but I want to know You.  Come in to my life and be my Lord and Savior. I need You.'  And watch what He does..."
Bob did just that and when he was done, he was taken by surprise when she rose up on to her feet, leaned over and carefully picked him up and put him across her shoulders as one would carry an injured sheep, effortlessly which was surprising because she was a slight of a female.
"Where are you taking me?" Bob asked.
"Well I'm not going to leave you here in pain at the side of the road." She said a little bit breathless as she walked forward down the pathway.  "The steps of the righteous are ordained by God, and I am almost certain that we'll find help for you along the way."
A little farther down the road was a cottage.  I would say ironically, yet nothing that God ever does is "ironic."  The owner of the cottage was a retired old man, one who had recently lost his wife.  One who lived alone.   A man who was extremely lonely, and in need of company.  A man who happened to have been at one point in his life to have been a veterinarian.  It was here that she dropped Bob off.  Here that she left to continue on upon the own "unknown" pathway of her own life feeling confident that Bob had finally been given a home.  One where he would heal, where he would grow, where he would love.
Even when we feel lost, even when we can't see or understand why we go through what we go through, God is still on His throne.  All we need to do is simply acknowledge that, be thankful and trust that in the midst of all our uncertainty, it is certain that God knows what He is doing and is in control.  Even when we ourselves are not.

Often times on our own individual journey, God will have us encounter people along the way. People who have lived lives very different from our own.  People who He only wants us to walk with for just a short period of time.  The Bible says:

"I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

Often we are only to be in someone's life for a short period of time, God uses us to plant or to water and the growth is what God is responsible for Himself.  It is important to recognize when it is that He wants you to move on.

Along the journey of our lives we shall encounter many different characters upon the pathway. Indeed, for myself, it has become more of a time of personal reflection, spiritual growth and more food for fodder in what I write.  May God bless you Bob (not his real name).  May you continue to grow in Christ.  God used me to plant, I trust that He will bring someone else in your life to water - and I know without a doubt that if you will allow Him, He will certainly turn your life around and provide an increase.  In Jesus precious name I pray. AMEN
"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." (Philippians 2:12-13)

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