Category Archives: Uncategorized

Your Song

Related imageYou were born to sing His praises.  Through your music and through your life.  We all knew it.  We were all disappointed when you didn’t quite match up to the calling we thought you had on your life.  When you gave up worship in the church, we thought it was a waste of your talents and that you owed it to everyone to sing.  I suppose our biggest failure, was expecting you to change the world with your story, and judging you when you didn’t.  And maybe you didn’t change the world, according to our standards.  And maybe you didn’t perform miracles, in our eyes.

But what if you did.  What if you managed to change hearts, a little at a time, with each struggle.  You struggled with so many things, only He knows what your darkest moments looked like, and only He was there for you in those.  Your mom was there in every moment you let her be in.  She loved you like no other.  My heart aches for her now.  She was the one that God made especially for you.  She cared for you, and showed His love and His mercy more than anyone else in this world.  I wish you didn’t feel so lost in this world because of what you thought the world was suppose to look like.  I wish you hadn’t put so much faith in people, when He was the only one you needed to trust.  We get caught up in what life is suppose to look like, that we become blind to life and blind to love.

I will remember our times, sitting on the small back porch, taking turns churning banana ice cream.  Hanging on the clothes line, and yelling into the metal heating grate into the basement.  I will remember eating hot coffee can bread with butter.  I will remember stages of life that were blurry and not as sweet.  I will remember hurts and laughs, and disappointments.  I am so sorry your story ended so early.  I know that your life was a testament to the Lord, even though it wasn’t as some thought it should be.  Maybe people would say that you did this wrong or that you turned your back during this time of your life.  But no matter how I think your life looked, my life was pointed a little more towards Him for having known you.  Your life was a song to the Lord, sometimes happy and sometimes sad.  It was through your musical talents, but most of all through your struggles that I know that you had purpose.  And I know, that even though your story has ended, you would want us all to know….

Romans 10:9-10

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Advertisements

Picture Perfect

401px-etruscan_-_mirror_with_female_figure_and_engraved_scene_-_walters_54105_-_reverse

“Mirror with Female Figure and Engraved Scene”   anonymous artist

 

Do not act as if you see me,

You heed only what your mind believes.

Truly what you perceive, is a glimpse of insecurity.

That glower of spite is merely a reflection,

The reaping from the sowing, bouncing back in your direction.

Choose to inspirit, forgive and forget,

Then love will surround you, and shield you from regret.

Written by Shanenigans

 

Malice backfires; spite boomerangs.

Proverbs 26:27

 

 

 

Rain, rain, go away…

I AM NOT THE SAME PERSON!!!!  Can I exclaim that loudly and often enough so that I will believe it?  She is me, and I am her.  I am not the same person.  And yes, Ms. 20 something, when you asked if people ever really change, and I look at you with my 40 something years, and reminisce on my 20 something self, I want to shake you and tell you yes, yes they do change.  Yes I did change!  But she is me, and I am her.  Stop accusing me of not changing.

You didn’t really accuse me though, did you?  You are just trying to find your way in life.  You are trying to figure out what you are doing and how the world pertains to you.  But in that moment, it felt like an accusation and a judgement.  It felt as though the past I have been running from, trying to forget, was rushing upon me and I will never escape it. Never. It will, with all of its intentions, good and bad, show up and crush me at anytime.  There is not a safe place on earth to be.  There is nowhere to run, there is nowhere to hide.  It will find me.  She will find me, that 20 something self I do not care to know anymore.  Will I ever be brave enough to stand up to her, face to face, and see her through the lenses of pity and forgiveness, rather than the feelings of shame and disgust?  I am her, she is me.

There are holes in my heart.  As I move along towards what is better, I often get sidetracked trying to seal the holes.  I think they were intentional and strategic so the past would continue to have access to my heart.  Call it a past’s act of prewar, placing cracks and holes while in disguise, sneaky like a Trojan horse.  During my post war years, I have tried to cover the holes with a dense brick wall, no, really more  like a heavy-duty iron molded heart cast. But somehow, I have not managed to conceal all of the cracks and holes.  

Daily, I drag around the heaviness of that heart armor.  I puff up and point it in the direction of my enemies, and especially towards anyone who is trying to find HER. She does not live here, I am not sure she even exists.  My ginormous heart armor temporarily deflects attempts to locate her, but the exertion of the deflection takes its toll.  I feel weary, and in that weariness, the sadness, anger and shame begin to overwhelm me.  She is me, and I am her.  

I can feel my heart getting harder and heavier with every challenge of my character, whether from myself, or from other life players, present but especially past.  Do not pretend like you know me past. You do not.  She is me, and I am her.  Do not expect that we can pick up where we left off, because we can not.  The past is where I want her to stay and now you have shown up here to try to lure her out.  I ran away, and I built a magic fort to ward off this villainess character.  She is not real.  I chose to build my fort far far away. I built the walls high and strong.  They contain today and all the stories that I choose to share.  Maybe some real stories, maybe some half-truths, certainly not everything.  I control what goes in my fort. She is a story, a character.   My fort is strong.  Stronger than you.  She is not real.  Do not stand at the gate of my fort.   I will come to you.  I will come to you swiftly and in control, do not come to me, for she is not real, here.  I have spent half of my life building a fort so I do not even see you.  I do not want to see you, I do not want to hear you.  I am not her.  

The only way to protect myself now, is to add a layer to my heart armor and keep moving toward the future. If I move fast enough, maybe nothing else will seep into the cracks and holes and this will be another story and that girl will jump back into the early chapters of my life and remain a two-dimensional character.  One who has length and breadth, but no depth.  I am not her, she is not me.

There are rare days, like today, when I feel like I am being pulled backwards.  Most days, I feel like I am just spinning my wheels.  The spiritual treadmill of life.  Always moving, sometimes frantically, but never arriving, or seemingly ever getting any closer to my destination, where ever that is.    I am on the treadmill, getting nowhere, and the pace is so slow, that I am not even burning calories.  It seems, useless.  

As I seek, as I pray, my heart asks, What do you want?   

What is going to cause me to jump off of the treadmill and run on the road?  What do you want Lord? Why do we keep coming back here?  What is going to strengthen my heart to the point of bursting out of this broken armor and knocking down this shifting fort?  What is going to make me STRONG, HEALED, REDEEMED, WORTHY?     

In the day when I cried out, you answered me, and made me BOLD, with STRENGTH in my soul. Psalm 138:3

What will cause me to pick up my sword and slay all of the pasts and all of their villains for all of your people?  I cannot be the only one.  Father, I ask that you make me bold.  And that small still  voice whispers, You are her, and she is you.

To God be the Glory.

 

You can’t love them to heaven

You go through life working and worrying. Worrying about time. Money. Stupid things really. We go to work. Church. Gatherings. I worry about my time. I’m always in a rush. Did the kids get their homework finished? Is dinner going to be on time? I’m tired! Is the dog fed? How are we going to pay for the car problems? The house addition?

But when a friend loses her child, because that child takes his life, it all comes into focus. They are greiving. Heart sick. All you can do is say, I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. Nothing else matters. You hear the words spoken by the greiving. About their precious beloved. The Father is holding him in his arms. But is He?

All those years you spend worrying about time and money. All of those things you spend your worry and heart on. Were they what mattered? Because what matters is if your precious child, the one you love adore and ache over is with the Father. Is he in heaven? Can you be sure? Does he know Him? Did he love Him? Did you teach him to love God, to know Jesus?

Don’t fool yourself. We would all like to think that our passed child, friend, loved one is dancing in heaven. But are they? Did you MAKE SURE of that? You can’t love or grieve them to heaven. Not after they are gone. But you can lead them there while they are still alive. And there is zero time to waste. Because you don’t know if they will commit suicide. Get in an accident. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Eternity is. But you have to lead them there.

R.I.P. To the sons and daughters we mourn.

Moving Mountains

“Most assuredly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there, ’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.”  Matthew 17:20

Do you fully believe in and rely on faith?  Do you believe the promises of the Bible?  I thought I did.  But part of me wanted to hold on to reality.  I have learned that my “reality” and my faith have no place to coexist.  Either you believe and rely on God wholeheartedly, or you don’t.

I discovered this through an ill family member.  He’s a young guy in his early 30s that is in need of a heart.  Who knew I could learn so much through his diseased heart?  He contracted a virus that invaded and destroyed his heart.  He went into the ICU and was hooked up to life supporting/saving devices.  His heart did not work, it gave up.  Without the machines, he would die.  I remember talking with other family members about his odds.  See, he had to be put on the donor list first.  And he was having challenges just getting on that list.  Then, can you imagine what has to happen after you get put on the list?

How does a donor heart get to me?

  1. A potential donor who has been confirmed brain dead must be identified
  2. Next of kin is told of the chance to donate their relative’s organs and tissues. They must give their permission
  3. An OPO – Organ Procurement Organization – is called to decide if any of the donor’s organs are acceptable. If so, they get the family’s official permission and attempt to match the donor with the most suitable recipient(s)
  4. Organs are surgically removed from the donor
  5. The donor organs are taken to the transplant center where the surgery will be done
  6. That’s where you come in as the potential recipient

taken from http://www.chfpatients.com/tx/transplant.htm

So you successfully get put on the list, but then you have to wait for a donor.  Then the donor’s family has to approve it.  Then there is the medical approval.  THEN, it has to match.  It has to MATCH.  I remember talking with my dad who had told me that the doctor’s had all but washed their hands of his condition.  They told his family, that it was in God’s hands from this point on.  His only hope was a new heart.  I remember thinking, what were the odds of that happening on time.

I come from a long line of Christians.  My family is inundated with believers and God’s workers.  It’s natural, that a prayer chain started.  Via email, via facebook, gospel singings, we all began to pray.  And pray and pray and pray.  I remember some of my first prayers to God were please Lord, let your will be done and let the family have peace.  Sound familiar?  That prayer that you say because you don’t believe God will intervene on someone’s behalf.  Not so much because of the person, it’s just your own lack of faith that keeps you pessimistic.

I guess when a situation seems hopeless to us here on earth, we pray for the best possible outcome as known to us.  I mean people go on donor lists for years.  Ryan doesn’t have years.  He can’t survive without the machines.  And they aren’t guaranteed for the long term.  He needs a heart now.  The doctors are at the end of their  abilities.  It is now in God’s hands.  Lord, please let the family be at peace.

I remember, walking one morning on my new found exercise regimen,  when I heard God speaking to MY heart.  He asked me, “Why are you praying for my will to be done?  Why aren’t you praying for a new heart? What are you afraid of?”  I kept walking and started thinking.  Why am I just praying for God’s will?  For peace for the family.  Why?  Faith can move mountains!  The bible says so!  And with that, I began to pray every day for him a new heart.  For God’s perfect timing.   That only God would know at what moment he would recieve the heart.  And that this journey would serve as a testimony to so many, me included.  Fast forward 1 month to an email to the prayer chain group.

“CALLING ALL PRAYER WARIORS…THANK YOU JESUS! GOD has answered a prayer…RYAN is getting his needed heart at 2:30 pm today! Please be in prayer for him during the surgery and his family that this surgery will be a success and that his body will not reject it. We already know when God does a work that it is perfect He just wants us to believe when we pray!”

He just wants us to believe when we pray.  He just wants us to believe when we pray.  HE just wants US to BELIEVE when we PRAY.

All of my prayers, from this point forward, will be to move mountains.  Those are the prayers where mighty things happen.  Where hearts are healed and restored.  Mine was.

He’s 15 minutes into his surgery for his new heart.  Lord, restore him.  Heal him.  Let him be your walking talking testimony.  Amen.

VBS Rocks!

Romans 8:28

” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

There is this promise in the Bible. I’m not a Bible scholar, I have trouble sometimes just knowing where all the chapters are (sshhh).  You know, that awkward moment in church or Sunday school when you are told to turn to a certain book, and you are sitting there, your mind is going through songs you have heard your kids sing, hoping you will turn somewhere near the right book.  New Testament, Old Testament questions run through your mind, and then ultimately, Mathew Mark Luke John, Peter, or is Peter Mark, oh man.  Note to self, must memorize (make time) the order of the books of the Bible. (stop procrastinating)

 BUT (before veering off the subject), every time I see something senseless happen or someone runs upon a really rough time, this verse pops into my head. Probably because I have taught some Sunday school and AWANA, and at some point memorized that verse. Thank you God. But really, at a moment when I am trying to either make sense of it myself, or console someone else, Romans 8:28 pops into my head. Ahh, old faithful. Like a warm fuzzy blanket. It covers a lot right. Sick? Romans 8:28. Heart transplant? Romans 8:28. Massive public shooting spree in a movie theater, Romans 8:28.  (maybe that is a sign that I do need to learn more verses)

This week however, God introduced me to a new verse that also makes promises, similar to Romans 8:28.  Or at least how I experienced it this week.

GENESIS 50:20
” You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. ”

This week, I was fortunate enough to help in vacation bible school at my church(hmm, my church).  I have only attended this church for about a year.  And have not gotten involved with any activities until now.  I never thought I would say this, but I miss the organized chaos of working with young people.  You (by you I mean me) would think having three 6 year olds would be enough, but somehow I just love the feeling I get around kids coming together to learn about God.  And maybe even more, the feeling of knowing that somehow, I was a part of them getting there.

This week, I saw Romans and Genesis played out before me.  I won’t go into great detail about how God orchestrated my time and whereabouts to end up exactly where I ended up on that Thursday morning, but somehow I managed to wind up in the sanctuary, during the time the pastor was talking to the kids about making a decision for Jesus.  I sat in the back of a dark sanctuary (I was suppose to be taking pictures and this seemed too private of a matter to photograph) while Pastor Dave talked to the teens about giving their lives over to Jesus.  He called for them to sit quietly, eyes closed, reflecting and praying, and, for those wanting and willing to make a choice for Jesus, to stand up and pray with a teacher or adult standing near.

Insert teen attitudes.  Some were respectful, some were not.  Most were quietly and inconspicuously looking around to see who was going to stand up. My thoughts went quickly to eye rolling and head shaking, thinking how silly these kids are and I remember oh too well, as they say, been there done that.

I don’t know if they wanted to stand up and were afraid.  I don’t know if they were going to make fun of those who would stand up. I don’t know if they were waiting for it to be over.  All I know is that it felt awkward.  From where I was sitting, I didn’t see a single teen stand up.  And although I do not know how many teens there were, there were a lot.  We had almost 400 kids there that week.  (I’m still in awe of what this church did this week, but that’s a whole other post)

Then, the pastor looks around.  He asks the kids, “what are you waiting for?”.  Here these kids are, sitting in their seats, almost a week of learning about Jesus, singing, playing, being loved, and they reach a moment in the week, where all is quite.  They have the opportunity to change their life, similar to the life that was being changed on stage that week in a very well written skit performed by teens! And they sat there.  Scared.  Or arrogant. Or both?  Bummer.  Huge let down.

But then, Pastor Dave only had to say one thing.  He told them they may not get another chance.  Just like those kids and adults who went in to see the movie in Aurora, CO, would never get the chance to hand their lives over.  They are dead and gone.

Romans 8:28

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose. ”

See, I have interpreted many times, that this particular verse in Romans, to me, meant that no matter what comes at you in life, how evil, how horrible, how unexplainable it was, God would spin it around and good would come from it.  I believe evil is of the world.  And bad things happen, and God is not to blame.  And yes, he allows these things to happen.  But, he will make a bad situation work out for the good, for His purpose.  And while looking up that verse this week,  because of the shootings, God directed me to Genesis. Oh yes He did.

GENESIS 50:20
” You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

When Pastor Dave mentioned the shooting to those teens.  An overwhelming thing happened.  They stood up.  By the handfuls.  They just kept standing up.  To pray. To accept Jesus.  To stop waiting and procrastinating. They realized we do not all get another chance.  So many teens stood up, that they were running out of space.  Out of adults.  It literally brought me to tears and even again when I shared the story a day later.

I understood that God does work ALL things to the good.  And that although this world IS evil, He will turn it around to “accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” I have prayed a prayer of thanks many times since Thursday, that I got to see those verses worked out.  That God’s word was taught to me thanks to Vacation Bible School.  That through the helping, blessing, and teaching of others, God is still teaching, helping and blessing me.  That was the biggest blessing I have had this year.

WHO CARES!!!!! (YES I’M SCREAMING)

Seriously. What is wrong with people? Guess what? I don’t like chicken. I don’t. I eat only the skin and pawn the meat off to hubby or my kids. Drives my husband mad. But guess what? WHO CARES! I am a Christian. I support the biblical view of marriage, because I am a Christian. Because I am a Christian and believe that the Bible is the word of God, I do not believe in same-sex marriage.

Because I believe the Bible I do not believe in murdering people. Nor do I believe that lying is right/good/excusable. I believe that there are more sins than I have time to write here. And I have sinned probably half of those and my life is only half over (I hope I have half a life to go).

What if, the man who raised you for 16 years, who was married to your mother for 16 years, came out of the closet, after 16 years. Would you still love him? I’m pretty sure most would say yes. No hate involved there. You may not understand. You may not agree with the lifestyle, and you may even feel like your entire world is flipped upside down, but you wouldn’t hate the man who raised you, would you? You wouldn’t want to kill him. Or go online and spew awful hateful things about him. He’s still just a man. He just doesn’t think the same as you. Right? Doesn’t it come down with different ideas and beliefs for different people? Not hatred. Not bigotry. Not evil. Just differences.

Love the sinner, hate the sin. If your brother or sister were to murder someone, or let’s say a group of someones, would you still love him or her? Of course I would. I wouldn’t understand. I wouldn’t agree. But I would still love him or her. How could I not? I have a younger sister and let me tell you, I’ve loved her through a lot. I don’t always agree with her choices or actions, but I have always loved her. Always will, no matter what.

Lying is wrong and clearly against what the Bible teaches and what Christians teach. If your kids lie, do you hate them? If your best friend committed adultery, would you unfriend her? If your husband stole money from his company, would you leave him? Love the sinner, hate the sin. The people you love everyday make choices. Not always the right choices. You say tomato I say tomato, but there is no hate involved. It’s a difference of opinion and beliefs. No need for civil wars.

It’s simple. Freedom of speech. Right to choose religion. As an American, it would be a shame if we didn’t exercise our rights to these freedoms. So why, is there a community of people, calling Chic Fil A a homophobic, hater, and bigot company towards gays? That’s ridiculous.

They stand behind their beliefs that the definition of a marriage is between a man and a woman. They don’t waiver, they won’t cave, they stand firm on what they believe.

I mean, kudos because it’s hard to find someone these days who will stand up for what they believe, without fail, despite the negative media. In this day and age, who stands up and says things intentionally knowing it may, and probably will cost them money? WHO? Not many.

Either you are a Christian and believe in the Bible (hint hint they close on Sundays) or you don’t. I believe the color green looks good on me, doesn’t mean I hate the color orange. Geez people. Chic Fil A is not damning the gay community to hell, nor do they have the power. They are simply expressing what they believe.

And about the members of the gay community that have decided to kiss in front of the business and post it all over the internet, well, we do have certain freedoms, but sometimes we must exercise some class. I mean, WHO CARES!