Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"Eternity" - 12/31/14 - Revelation 19-22

"I saw Heaven and earth new-created. Gone the first Heaven, gone the first earth, gone the sea.        
I saw Holy Jerusalem, new-created, descending resplendent out of Heaven, as ready for God as a bride for her husband.        
I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making His home with men and women! They're His people, He's their God.        
He'll wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death is gone for good - tears gone, crying gone, pain gone -
all the first order of things gone."(21:1-4)
 
It's hard for me to let go.  It's hard for me to comprehend the blessings I have here on earth are just a mild taste of those to come when in Heaven.  It's hard for me not to take onto and focus on the joys I have here, instead of focusing on Eternity.

My Taste of Heaven here fills so much of me, many times I don't want to let it go.  Why?  Because there are more times often than not,  I am just plain out selfish.  When I am focusing on me and getting my voids filled, rather than letting go in anticipation of Eternity.  In my trying to hang onto these "Taste of Heaven", I become like a self-centered child.  When the unfairness of life steps in - and it will - anger, bitterness, unforgiveness seeps in as I focus more on what I don't have, instead of what He has blessed me with. 

These past few days my heart is so full.  The gift of having all of us together - at any given time - any place.  I struggle right now in knowing within just a few short days, again we will be separated by several hundred miles.  I struggle knowing it will be many weeks before the short time of being together happens again. 
 
In His own special way, ABBA helps me see, my clinging onto "the Taste of Heaven", is a hindrance to not only myself, but to others.  When I do, I am putting a burden on others to fill my void.  I am to cherish those moments, not allow them to fill my God-void. 
 
He has helped me see (again) in using our children where they are planted, they are leading others to Him.  Others that see no other "Christ", except when experiencing life with our kids.  In my selfishness of wanting them here, I am missing the point of why we are here. 
 
Eternity. 
 
I read the verses today and He realigns my focus once more. 
 
"He who testifies to all these things says it again: "I'm on my way! I'll be there soon!" Yes! Come, Master Jesus!
       
The grace of The Master Jesus be with all of you. Oh, Yes!"(22:20-21)
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"In The Last Days" - 12/30/14 - Revelation 12-18

"They will go to war against The Lamb but The Lamb will defeat them, proof that He is Lord over all lords, King over all kings,
and those with Him
will be the called, chosen, and faithful." (17:14)

Revelation is a hard read for me.  I don't understand most of the writings.  I try to picture the images and come away even more perplexed.  I do know it is in regard to the second coming.  The end times. 

Many speculate what it means, when the account of Revelation becomes.  All I know is when Christ ascended into Heaven, the end days began.

Living a life in Christ isn't easy.  All about us the spiritual warfare is continuing and many times we walk along oblivious to the damage.  Even worse are the times we go about so consumed with "self" we are not realizing we are meant to be a Warrior for our ABBA.

So many souls have yet to give their lives over to our Christ.  So many souls stumble about, lost in the wasteland of sin.  So many souls Christ has left us with orders to harvest.

I haven't any concern over my soul.  It is saved eternally through The Blood of my Savior. 

I do know, each and every person He puts into my path is someone He is wanting to use me for.  It may be for introducing them to Him, encouraging them in their walk in Him, to just offer love as a healing balm from the injuries sustained while on the battlefield. 

I also know, while reading Revelation, to end this time on earth without Him is hell.  To be in a place where there isn't any of Him - will be hell as we have never known.  Total separation from our ABBA. 

I come away from my time spent in His Word realizing, it isn't about my soul.  It is about those that know Him not. 

The end days are upon us.  Live as though those who do not know Him are dying and you - you - are His Warrior. 

For in reality - that is exactly what our life here is all about.  Journeying towards Home.  Bringing as many as we can. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

"Changed" - 12/29/14 - Revelation 6-11

"There wasn't a sign of a change of heart.(9:21)

It has been years now, that I have been praying.  Trying to be an example of what an intimate relationship with ABBA is like.  The Holy Spirit transforming my heart so I may become more like Christ.  Allowing myself at times to step backwards instead of forward in my relationship with ABBA.  All of these moments have been witnessed by others.

And my heart breaks.  My eyes tear up.  Knowing those moments, even though covered in His Forgiveness, His Grace, His Mercy, are still moments when I failed Him.  When I failed to allow myself to be His vessel.  When I decided to serve "self". 

Thankfully though, He is able to use all things.  all people.  all situations.  for His Glory.

As I read through His Words, my heart breaks knowing there are those whom He has set onto the path I am walking, who know Him not. 

And I don't know what to do except have Faith and continue to pray.  Continue to allow Him to use me.

And then ABBA reminds me.  Only He knows a persons true heart.  Only He knows if there is change.  I know what a persons heart is comes out in their words.  their actions.  The Truth always comes out. 

But I don't and can't know how much He is changing a persons heart through the use of "me". 

This is encouragement for when I am thinking "my time, my way" in the relationship between ABBA and ones I am praying for.  This is a peace for me, upon seeing behavior that is of the world and knowing ABBA is working on their hearts - through me.  This is confidence in knowing He has all under control.  This is joy knowing He will never give up on anyone.  Anyone.

He is teaching me it isn't my job to measure hearts.  That is His.  My job - is to continually allow Him to change, transform my heart to become totally His to use.  To love as He loves. 

A servants heart.  Not a judges heart. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Winner, Winner, Better Than a Chicken Dinner!" - 12/28/14 - Revelation 1-5

 "Look at me. I stand at the door.
I knock.
If you hear me call and open the door, I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you."(3:20)

There was a show I enjoyed as a kid, "Let's Make A Deal".  The remaining contestants at the end of the show were asked to pick Door 1 or 2 or 3.  I would always become nervous because usually, they had to give up some pretty neat prizes won thus far for the chance to choose.  There was never a guarantee that behind the door were better prizes.  More often than not, they weren't and the "winner" walked away a "loser".



Reading these Scriptures today reminded me of the game show.  I also noticed for the first time, it isn't a blind choice.  Christ is telling me, "Look at Me.  I stand at the door. I knock.  If you hear me call."

He isn't leaving anything to chance.  I not only see Him standing there, He is knocking at which door I am to open and He is calling out to me.  To me. 

And if I open the door He is knocking on, there isn't any hesitation.  "I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you."

The neatest part of all this, I know He isn't coming as a guest, but as family.  He wants not only to sit down and share supper with me, He wants to share life with me. 

He won't be exiting out that door, unless I show Him out - and that ain't happening! 
He is here to stay.

"HE" is why I am not a "loser", but a "winner".  No games about it. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"Loved Through and Through" - 12/27/14 - 2 John; 3 John

"But permit me a reminder, friends, and this is not a new commandment but simply a repetition of our original and basic charter: that we love each other."(2 John 1:5)

She sat with her young toddler asleep on her lap as I made my way over to her.  Christmas Eve services had just finished up and I needed, not just wanted, to say hello.  One of my many "sisters" in Christ.  Looking up and seeing me, her eyes became bright, her arm raised up to envelope me into a hug.  She whispered into my ear, "my heart burst whenever I see your smile". 

Walking through the doors earlier, there were those who  greeted with their love for me showing through their eyes.  One young "sister" stood leaning against the wall, upon seeing me she broke into a run and wrapped herself about me.  Another "sister" came up and gave her mischievous grin and shared her love with not only me, but Curt as well. 

Standing while singing praises to our King, I heard the voices of my husband and children sharing their love for their Savior. I was completely surrounded in His Love through our "family".

My mind goes into overload, memories made and being made. It isn't just during this season of Christmas, but it is each and every day. It is during each and every moment. ABBA gives me reminders through cards, text, phone calls, messages, physical touch and bright eyes.
.   
Words.  Hugs.  Expressions.  All of Love. All from Him. 

My heart is full to bursting.  
                                  

Friday, December 26, 2014

"Cheers!" - 12/26/14 - 1 John 1-5

To rid you of any Holiday Blues:

"But you belong. The Holy One anointed you, and you all know it."(2:20)


Thursday, December 25, 2014

"Greetings" - 12/25/14 - 2 Peter 1-3; Jude

"I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours,
all due to our God's straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
 
Grace and peace to you
many times over
as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.
 
Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God
has been miraculously given to us
by getting to know, personally and intimately,
The One who invited us to God.
 
The best invitation we ever received!" (2 Peter 2:1-3)
 

 
 
 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Love Him So" - 12/24/14 - 2 Timothy 1-4

"There's nothing like The written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.       

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another -
showing us Truth,
exposing our rebellion,
correcting our mistakes,
training us to live God's way.        
 
 
Through The Word -
we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us. (3:15-17)
 
 
Why I share and blog each day - can't help myself. 
 
His Word has/is/will continue to transform my heart, soul, mind.  And life. 
Growing intimacy with our ABBA.
 
Praying the same for you.       

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"No Games" - 12/23/14 - Hebrews 11-13

 
"For Jesus doesn't change - yesterday, today, tomorrow, He's always totally Himself."(13:8)

Peace.  Comfort.  Joy.

Knowing our Savior doesn't play games of cat and mouse with us.  Knowing our ABBA shoots straight from the hip, telling us like it is.  Knowing The Holy Spirit is there to knead into our hearts more of Him, like yeast, penetrating into the very core of "us", so we may become more like Him.  Knowing when digging into His Word, it is our trustworthy, up-to-date map for our journey Home. 

Knowing we are desired to be known, to be ourselves, in an intimate relationship with ABBA. 

So thankful. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

"Blessed to Overflowing" - 12/22/14 - Hebrews 7-10

"In acts of blessing, the lesser is blessed by the greater."(7:7)

It happened this morning.  It hasn't happened for far too many days.  or weeks. or months.

My first waking thoughts were in thanksgiving to ABBA.  Thanksgiving for the blessing of my complete family asleep in our home.

With the arrival yesterday of Nichalas and Amber, my heart is overflowing with blessings.  There isn't anything material to top the blessing of watching each of them interact with each other.  The joy that can't be contained in being together after almost six months. 

Even now, my heart will catch in my throat at all the time that has passed in our not seeing each other.  My eyes tear up knowing, even though I pray for time to slow down to a crawl, the next 14 days will go by in a blur. Knowing at the end of the blur, another year will begin where we won't be together much more than a few weeks here and there. 

ABBA knows me well.  He knows my heart is fullest when physically sharing life together with my family of five.  He knows I desire these times to be centered about and in Him, growing us to be more like Him, helping us to lead more to Him.  He knows these times are my "filling up" place, in order to weather the storms coming up where the world or satan will attack.

He is giving me a "Taste of Heaven".  Forever I am grateful.  He knows my heart and what it needs. 

Blessed I am by The Great "I AM".



Sunday, December 21, 2014

"Those Times" - 12/21/14 - Hebrews 1-6

"Why, they've re-crucified Jesus!"(6:6)

The times I beat myself up.  When I don't forgive "me".  When I don't accept His Mercy and Grace.  When I doubt and believe I am not ready.  not good enough.  not.

The times when I hold onto bitterness.  vengeful way of thinking.  unforgiveness. 

The times when I walk my walk and not His.

I am actually saying His death on The Cross wasn't enough. 

I am throwing the gift of Salvation back into His face. 

Each and every time I sin. 

And still.

Still.  He welcomes me with open arms.  The Holy Spirit transforming my heart, kneading into it more of Him.  Christ continually covers me. 

What a Savior.   The gift that keeps on giving.  Even when I sin. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

"The Day is Coming" - 12/20/14 - 1 Peter 1-5

"God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.
The Day is coming when you'll have it all - life healed and whole."(1:5)

I refresh the page and watch the little airplane move over the different states.  Two parts of my heart are making their way to Chicago for an overnight visit with friends and then taking the train tomorrow morning, journeying their way towards home. 



It has been a little over five months since seeing our Nichalas and Amber.  Five long months of not being physically together, sharing life.  Knowing that seeing them for almost a month per year, has and is part of the plan for the next few years, making our time together even more treasured.  It so helps knowing our ABBA is using them for His Glory as His Warriors.  It so helps knowing He is omnipresent.  It so helps knowing, without doubt, they are His.

His Word tells us to confess our sins.  I am confessing.

Fear.  It resides deep down within my heart and sometimes will rear its ugly, damaging, head.  It utilizes every single thing it can to take my focus off of ABBA.  It tries to dress me in doubt. 

Fear.  Fear of Curt.  Fear of Adam.  Fear of Nichalas.  Fear of Amber.  Fear of the four dearest parts of my heart being taken from this earth. 

There.  I confessed. 

In my being human, I am also selfish.  Even when knowing where they will be when not on this earth. 

It crosses my mind frequently how our lives would have been so different if our two other children had of lived.  I wonder what gender they are.  What they look like.  It used to be I was so set into self-pity and selfishness, I wasn't focusing on the many other blessings I was given from ABBA.

Living in this world is so bittersweet because of the spiritual warfare going on about us.  Numerous faces run through my minds eye, those who have endured loss and heartache.  Those who, like me, remember more frequently during this holiday season. My eyes tear up thinking of the pain endured - knowing those precious faces missed are now seen only through memories or photographs.  Praying comfort and hope is there for them, knowing dreams of futures are put on hold until we are all together in Heaven. 

ABBA reminds me.  As I refresh the page and watch the little airplane journey towards Chicago, He is watching over me.  Over all of us.  As we journey towards Heaven.  Our future. 

ABBA reminds me. 
"The Day is coming when you'll have it all - life healed and whole."

Friday, December 19, 2014

"The Bestest Gift" - 12/19/14 - Titus 1-3

"It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back.
       
But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in,
 
He saved us from all that.
 
It was all His doing; we had nothing to do with it.
 
He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by The Holy Spirit.
 
Our Savior Jesus poured out new life so generously.
 
God's gift has restored our relationship with Him and given us back our lives.
And there's more life to come - an eternity of life!
 
You can count on this."(3:3-8)
 
How easily we can get distracted from what Christmas is really all about.  How easily we become caught up in the commercialism, the busyness, the "keeping up with the Jones". 
 
Years ago, when the boys were little, we decided to cut back on the gifts from the world and focus on the gift of Christ.  Each of us received three gifts, using the number of gifts Christ received from the Wise Men.  As far as I can tell, the boys survived this practice we embraced long ago and continue to carry on, without any life threatening scars. We have begun each Christmas morning in a prayer circle and then listening to Curt read the account of our Savior's birth from Scripture.  It is a tradition we started and I pray will continue on in the homes of our sons when they begin to have their own Christmas mornings. 
 
We began the tradition of centering this time of year on and around Him.
 
As the boys have become young men and our family has been blessed with "our Amber", upon the day  Nichalas took her as his bride, it has become even more difficult to come up with ideas for gifts.  Last year we gave money, which I folded origami style, inserted into items I had made from card stock.  Adam needed new clothes, so I painted a dinner setting on a small rectangle and folded a shirt and tie, a pair of pants and placed them in with a local restaurant gift certificate.  Money for Nichalas/Amber's new couch went into a small replica I made, folded into pillows and a dress, shoes, etc. I had placed in the "cushions".  It dressed the gift of money up into something fun to unwrap. 
 
 
 
This year my gift to the family was an all day activity for us to attend.  It didn't work out due to the schedules of the five of us.  Perhaps next year.  I could easily get upset.  I could become frantic wondering what gift will I get them now.  How thankful I am He has transformed my heart from trying to celebrate, or rather endure, the way the world wants us to spend this season.  How blessed I am that this isn't robbing me of the joy in having all of our family home, together, celebrating Him. 
 
 I love how He is keeping me focused on the most important gift. 
 
The Gift of our Savior. 
 
"God's gift has restored our relationship with Him and given us back our lives.
And there's more life to come - an eternity of life!
 
You can count on this."
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"I Am Rich" - 12/18/14 - 1 Timothy 1-6

" but it's the rich simplicity of being yourself before God."(6:6)

I really can't think of anything more exhausting than pretending to be someone you are not.  In so many ways it leads to self-destruction.  How often are we guilty of trying to impress someone with things, status, lifestyle, all at the cost of who we really are.  How often do we believe just being ourselves isn't enough.  How often do we doubt that who ABBA made us to be is sorely lacking and won't be enough to be accepted. 

Not only with other persons, but even with our ABBA.

Right up there with the gift of knowing my Salvation is paid for by Christ, knowing I am covered with His Grace, Mercy, Forgiveness, is time spent with my ABBA being myself.

To finally comprehend He knows my heart through and through.  Any mask I put on, He sees "me" behind it. No longer do I have to hide away parts of me I think are totally unacceptable, He already knows and accepts me anyway. No longer do I think my words are ones He doesn't want to be bothered with, but instead He desires to hear each and every one.  No longer do I have to have a "stiff upper lip", He cries with me and captures each tear in a bottle.  No longer do I believe I am out in this world alone, He has me in the palm of His Hand, totally controlling all of life. 

Simply being myself.  With Him.
 
What a gift has been given to me, knowing my ABBA wants nothing more, nothing less, than "me".

"the rich simplicity"...............














Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Each Day" - 12/17/14 - Philippians 1-4



"Don't fret or worry.
Instead of worrying, pray.
Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.
        
Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.
 
It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
        
Summing it all up, friends,
I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious -
the best, not the worst;
the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse.
        
Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.
 
Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.(4:6-9)
 
 
 
 Receive and experience the amazing grace of The Master, Jesus Christ,
deep, deep within yourselves.(4:23)
 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"Reminder" - 12/16/14 - Ephesians 1-6

"Mostly what God does is love you.

Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.
Observe how Christ loved us.
His love was not cautious but extravagant.
He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us.

Love like that. "(5;2)

Words from God's Hand (Paul) to your hearts.............

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Special Agent" - 12/15/14 - Colossians 1-4; Philemon

"I, Paul, have been sent on special assignment by Christ as part of God's Master Plan."
(Colossians 1:1)

Isn't it exciting to know, as soon as your foot hits the floor each morning, our ABBA has a "special assignment" for you in the day ahead!

An Assignment He has prepared you for, in the exact place, at the exact time, with the exact persons. 

Nothing about life is a coincidence.

All is in His control. 

But why is it, when throwing back the covers and climbing out of bed, we reach over and put on the "robe of doubt"?  That ratty, old, beat up covering which serves no other purpose than to keep us in our comfort zone.  Wouldn't it be a wonderful way of starting our day to instead put on the "robe of His Truth"?

To be excited as we go through our day.  Our eyes searching out eagerly for a glimpse of Him.  Our ears tuned into His frequency, so we know without doubt, it is His Voice we are hearing.  To drink in and taste what it is He has prepared for us at the "table of life".  To wrap our arms around and draw into our hearts, souls, minds, sharing The Love He is giving us through those He puts into our path.  To smell His fragrance in the sweet aroma of persons sacrificing self in order that He may be God in their lives.

To live each day with all senses overflowing with Him. 

Unfortunately, more often than not, we choose to continue wearing the "robe of doubt".  Making our way throughout the day enveloped in the fog of dread, anxiety, fear, anger, bitterness.  Crawling back under the covers at the end of the day, weary and overcome, by the weight of the world upon us. 

Why not live each day for Him.  Laying down at night,  going back over your day, falling asleep with a smile on your face, knowing He used you for His "special assignment".  Falling asleep in anticipation for the next morning, eager to begin yet another day discovering another "special assignment". 


Sunday, December 14, 2014

"Gift of Sunshine" - 12/14/14 - Acts 27-28

What a beautiful day!!!  In the lower 60's on December 14.  We attended church, hit the grocery store - all without wearing a coat!!!

Decided to take advantage of this day and put up the rest of our outside lights. 

Of course, the plug in on the light pole doesn't work

After spending a few hours trying to fix it, Curt has given up and may not be putting up any more lights.  Isn't that the way?  When you think it won't take long to do something, obstacles jump up too numerous to count. 

Praying your day was spent enjoying what is probably one of our last "warmer" days for 2014.  I love how He gives us such unexpected gifts in His nature. 

Drinking in His sunshine - better than any medicine. 





Saturday, December 13, 2014

"All Our Days" - 12/13/14 - Acts 24-26

"But now, up on your feet - I have a job for you. I've handpicked you to be a servant and witness to what's happened today, and to what I am going to show you.       

"'I'm sending you off        

to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I'm sending you off to present My offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in Me.' (26:16-18)

Another day He has blessed me with!  Another day closer to having our Nichalas/Amber home for a short time, celebrating the birth of our Savior as a complete family.  Another day to work with Curt and Adam.  Another day to be outside in His nature.

I pray I utilize this day, and all future ones, for His Glory.  I pray I will be a witness for Him in all I encounter.  Even those I am unaware of watching.  I pray when I am thought of - it is Him that comes into their mind quickly. 

I pray this life He has given me is bringing another closer to our ABBA.

Where ever He is sending you off to, I pray you may be His servant.
This day He has blessed you with!

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Allowed To Be Used" - 12/12/14 - Acts 20:4-38; Acts 21; Acts 22; Acts 23:1-35



"He came and put his arm on my shoulder. 'Look up,' he said. I looked, and found myself looking right into his eyes - I could see again!(22:13)

What courage Ananias had to follow the instructions of God and go to Paul.  Paul who was there to kill the Christians. 

By the way, Ananias was a Christian.

It was on the road to Damascus that Paul came face to face with our Christ.  It was in that moment he was completely transformed from killing as many Christians as he could,  to introducing many to Christ.  Up to that moment though, Ananias only had the word of God to go on that Paul was a changed man. 

It takes courage to go into the world and tell others of Christ.  To live a life for Christ is living outside of the world.  I sometimes wonder how is my courage.

Do I see the lost and set aside my "self" to introduce them to our Savior?  Do I see the ones the world has considered a misfit and go in to do life with them?  How often do I see someone who is stumbling about blind and go to them, putting my arm on their shoulder and leading them to The One who will remove all blindness from them.  To lead them into living a life looking right into the eyes of our Christ. 

How can I not?  After all, it is Christ who did that for me, through the arms of others who put aside "self" and saved me from an eternity of death. 

We all have the responsibility to be one to lead others out of blindness. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"Love Like Him" - 12/10/14 - Romans 11-13

"So here's what I want you to do,

God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering.

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.
 
Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
Instead, fix your attention on God.
You'll be changed from the inside out.
 
Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it.
 
Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.                
 
I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you.
 
Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God.
No, God brings it all to you.
The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what  He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.   
     
In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. 
       
The body we're talking about is Christ's body of chosen people.
Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of His body.
 
But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we?
 
So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body, let's just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren't.
 
If you preach, just preach God's Message, nothing else;        
if you help, just help, don't take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching;
if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don't get bossy;
if you're put in charge, don't manipulate;
if you're called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond;
if you work with the disadvantaged, don't let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them.
 
Keep a smile on your face.
 
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it.
Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.
       
Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of The Master,        
cheerfully expectant.
Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder.        
Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.        
Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.
Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down.
Get along with each other; don't be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don't be the great somebody.        
 
Don't hit back; discover beauty in everyone.
If you've got it in you, get along with everybody.         
Don't insist on getting even; that's not for you to do. "I'll do the judging," says God. "I'll take care of it."  
Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he's thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness.        
 
Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good."(Chapter 12) 

 
 
 

"Beyond This Moment" - 12/11/14 - Romans 14-16

I love how His Word becomes a prayer for those in my heart, on my mind.  Those whom I know are going through struggles.  Who have a hard time during this season especially.  Who feel alone.  Those who beat themselves up because they have fallen into the game of comparison. 

I love how His Word encourages us.  Helps us refocus on Him.  Reminds us, over and over, this life is so temporary.  All we say, do, think, are - is just a blip on our way to eternity. 

Lifting you up today through His Words:

"Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy,
fill you up with peace,
so that your believing lives,
filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit,

will brim over with hope!(15:13)

Take a few moments and watch - Francis Chan - "What are you living for". 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86dsfBbZfWs

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

"Dot to Dot" - 12/09/14 - Romans 8-10

"How could they miss it?
Because instead of trusting God, they took over.
They were absorbed in what they themselves were doing. They were so absorbed in their "God projects" that they didn't notice God right in front of them, like a huge rock in the middle of the road. And so they stumbled into Him and went sprawling."(9:32)

It isn't just during the holiday season anymore that we find ourselves rushing through life.  It seems to be a 365 days a year thing. 

Life is passing us by at a very brisk clip.  And the older you get, the faster the clip.

And the faster the clip, more often than not, life will pass you by in a blur. 

It used to be I was involved in a number of events, activities, clubs, associations, etc.  If there was the need for a volunteer, my hand would be raised before my eyes checked my calendar.  Spare time wasn't on the agenda and my life started to suffer.  So did my relationship with my ABBA. my family.  my friends. 

I was so torn between "doing", I wasn't enjoying life.  And it was showing. 

It used to be I needed to be "doing" as a method to try and build up my self worth.  I had fallen into the trap of  "doing" all these "God projects" for my glory - not His.  Until one day, I "stumbled into Him and went sprawling."

Thankfully, He lifted me up and gave me a talking to.  He showed me the why I was trying to do it all.  He forgave me in my mess of trying to make it all about my glory, changing my heart to "do" all for His Glory.  He gave me encouragement to get up and start walking again.  He has never left my side - even after all the times I mess up.  He also taught me a wonderful word. 

"No".

He has opened my eyes to see when I put down my hand to volunteer, there is someone else He has chosen to use in my place.  That is one of the reasons He has such a large family!  In my wanting to build up my own self worth, I was robbing another of "doing" for His Glory. 

In the past few years since I have begun to say "no" in with my "yes", I am able to look back and see where exactly He has used me, is leading me, and how His Glory is shining through.  Life isn't a mess anymore.  It isn't passing by in a blur.  He is showing me how following His lead is much like connecting the dots in where His steps have and are taking me. 

experience as we connect the dots of life s synchronicities and ...


Through all of this, He has taught me to trust "in" Him and live His way - not mine. 

So much I could be missing out on. Life really is lived best when I don't try and take it over. 

Monday, December 08, 2014

"Note to Self" - 12/08/14 - Romans 4-7

"Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate.        
Fortunate the person against whom the Lord does not keep score."(4:7-8)
 
As a Christian, we strive to be Christlike to all.  We strive to love as He loves.  We strive. 
 
And with our ABBA's help, only then are we able to. 
 
There are some who inflict pain upon us knowingly or unknowingly and we must choose to forgive them.  And love them.  Pray for them.  Or we can choose to not forgive and harbor anger, bitterness, thoughts of revenge against them.  Elements that will eat into our heart and come in between our relationship with Christ. 
 
Thankfully, ABBA has and is helping me in this area with others.  The moments of anger, defensiveness, are less than moments of feeling sorrowful and lifting them up in prayer.  Not only for their hearts to change, but mine as well.  For the Holy Spirit to knead into our hearts - Him. 
 
Listening to the sermon yesterday on the gifts of Grace and Mercy, I know there is one whom I don't extend the gift of forgiveness to.  One whom I beat up continually, look for flaws, berate for the sins of the past, see as continually falling short in their walk.  One whom I see through my eyes  more often than seeing them through His eyes.  One whom I look and see ugliness rather than being of His Beauty. Believing lies instead of His Truths.
 
That person is me.
 
I know I am not alone in the way of my thinking.  Why is that?  Why is it we are able to extend all the gifts of Love, Forgiveness, Grace, Mercy to others, yet not as readily to ourselves? 
 
"We" who are made in His Image.  "We" whom He loved so much He gave His only Begotten Son.  "We" whom He desires to be with as our Bestest Friend.  Our Lord.  
 
David said it so right: 
"Fortunate those whose crimes are carted off, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate.        
Fortunate the person against whom The Lord does not keep score".
 
When "in" ABBA - He doesn't keep score.  Our sins are wiped clean from the slate.
 
So.  Why ever am I not letting Him be God and putting myself in His place regarding me. What. a. fool.  Time to start living life as a "fortunate" one of His. 
Standing in Faith and living - knowing His Words are also meant for "me". 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

"The Gift - For ALL" - 12/07/14 - Acts 20:1-3; Romans 1-3

"Since we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us,
        
God did it for us.
 
Out of sheer generosity He put us in right standing with Himself.
 
A pure gift.
 
He got us out of the mess we're in and restored us to where He always wanted us to be.
 
And He did it by means of Jesus Christ.
 
       
God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin.
 
Having faith in Him sets us in the clear.
 
God decided on this course of action in full view of the public - to set the world in the clear with Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins He had so patiently endured.
This is not only clear, but it's now - this is current history!
 
God sets things right.
 
He also makes it possible for us to live in His rightness.(Romans 3:23-26)
 
 

Saturday, December 06, 2014

"Coach Holtschlag" - 12/06/14 - 2 Corinthians 10-13

"The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way - never have and never will.
The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture.
We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.
Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. (10:3-6)
 
Right now, a million, trillion miles (or so it seems), our Nichalas is coaching his first wrestling tournament. 
 
Coach Holtschlag.
 
ABBA has helped (again) through these verses in another moment where it is hard to be a mom.  Knowing ABBA has sent he and Amber where they are and is using them, helps in not focusing on our being apart and unable to share life day to day.  I marvel thinking about all the steps to the places  He has taken our children on.  Steps preparing, growing, using them.
 
I know that teaching these underprivileged kids how to wrestle is at the bottom of Nichalas' list.  He wants first and foremost to introduce them to ABBA.  To equip them in dealing with the attacks towards them from the world.  To show them and build them up on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
 
I know how He prays for each of these children, their families, Amber and himself.  He watches and follows The Holy Spirit where ABBA needs them to be.  I delight in looking back and seeing how ABBA has prepared Nichalas for this time.  For this time of being a Warrior for Him.
 
I know in this tournament there will be those who will wrestle unfairly, doing anything for a win.  I know Coach Holtschlag will be one to point his kids in the direction that really matters in how to respond to the unfairness of the world.  I know he is training these kids up with Christ as His Role Model. 
 
Utilizing the tools ABBA has given him which "are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity".

I know these kids are learning lessons to take them through their lives.  I also know, Coach Nichalas Holtschlag will always hold a place in their hearts. 
 
Because of our ABBA.   
 
 

Friday, December 05, 2014

"In All Seasons" - 12/05/14 - 2 Corinthians 5-9

Arms are shaking vigorously, bells ringing out their sounds as people all over are ringing in the Christmas season by bringing us an awareness of those with less. 

It seems commercials have more air time than the programs, trying to convince us we "need" this or that.

Isn't it sad that the world is able to get us to focus on self or the emptiness "stuff" provides. 

It crosses my mind each day - all those who are living life outside of Him. 

In all seasons - each and every moment - remember to pass on the only Gift that is heart changing.  Life giving.  Ever lasting. 

"We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ Himself now:
Become friends with God; He's already a friend with you.
              
How? you say.

In Christ. God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God."(5:20-21)


Live Him out loudly - louder than all the bells together. 

"God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God."

Tis the reason for all seasons.


Thursday, December 04, 2014

"More Than You Think" - 12/04/14 - 2 Corinthians 1-4

"And He did it, rescued us from certain doom. And He'll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing.       
You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation - I don't want you in the dark about that either.
I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God's deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part."(1:10-11)

The times I usually think my prayers aren't being heard, is when ABBA answers them His way instead of my way.

Hmmmmm.

I so love our ABBA.  He could have made it so we weren't needed.  Done everything on His own. 

But - He created us with the need to be needed and utilizes that need all the time. 
He is the only one who can fill the Need Void within us.  Nothing or no one else is able to. 

So, the next time you are feeling you aren't someone special.  You aren't someone He needs.  Think about what Paul wrote - "You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation".

Wow. 

How amazing is that.  The Creator of all, uses us - each and every one of us - as part of the rescue operation for those who are lost.  Not for our glory, but His. 

The cap He gave "you".  
 
"You" - who are "fearfully and wonderfully made".  Keep on praying on.




Wednesday, December 03, 2014

"Eyes Wide Open" - 12/03/14 - 1 Corinthians 15-16

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you've got, be resolute, and love without stopping.(16:13,14)
 
Praying your eyes are wide open and you have life based on and in Christ.  Praying the standards you live by are from His Word. 
 
Praying that you aren't merely skimming through this brief life.  But as you go, you are giving it all you have.  For Him.
 
Praying that in this short walk toward Home, nothing nor anyone, is causing you to lose focus on our Savior. 
 
And most of all, I pray as you live this life He has placed you, you are loving Him and others without stopping.
 
Reminder - Heaven isn't a destination - it is a future address. 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

"No Pressure, But" - 12/02/14 - 1 Corinthians 12-14

"Then each speaker gets a chance to say something special from God, and you all learn from each other." (14:31)



We often laugh in our "His Beloved" group when it comes to our praying time.  As is the situation in most gathered groups, the talking immediately stops when someone says, "would anyone want to pray". 

All of us are on a different level in our walk with ABBA.  Unfortunately, we fall into the trap of "comparing", and believe our out loud prayers will sound stupid, silly, lame.  I find this so sad. 

To be able to hear words spoken from a persons heart to our ABBA is nothing but a treasure. 

These are the moments when my ears pick up on messages He is sending.  Their words may bring about an awareness of blessings I take for granted.   It may be that someone is hurting and needs comfort.  One may be inspired to share in a way that promotes growth in my life.  Accountability.  Encouragement.  More often than not though, it is drawing me into an intimacy with ABBA.  Through the words of others I am being shown - an open heart is what our ABBA desires.

No frills.  no secret agenda.  Just words from the heart. 

Opening up to Him, baring all.  Just being whom He made us to be. 

I love hearing others pray out loud.  Their words let me know, I am not the only one who is thinking the way I am.  All the emotions.  All the thoughts.  All the words.  We are all created in His image. 

There are so many times He gives us growth through the words of others. Prayer is yet another way He gives us unity.  In Him and each other. 

His Power comes through His Words.



Monday, December 01, 2014

"Unbroken" - 12/01/14 - 1 Corinthians 9-11

"Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness - Christ doesn't become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in Him.
We don't reduce Christ to what we are; He raises us to what He is."(10:17)



There is such honor in being one to serve communion to my family.  To stand at the end of the aisle and pass the bread and juice to outstretched hands.  To pray over those my eyes take in until my heart feels as though it will burst.  To see my family sitting, with heads bowed.  To see little ones watching, wondering, requesting.  To see smiles.  To see tears.  To see peace. 


To see His radiance shining through the faces as they are in communion with Him.

There is such blessing in knowing, without doubt, when the trays are emptied and put back into their places, the unity of my family remains. 

There is such treasure tucked away into my heart.  Mind pictures of those I see Him shining through their eyes.  Their smiles.  Their tears.  Their hugs. 

How He fills my heart with those I am unified with.  Those I share communion with.  Those who He has raised up to where He is.  Transformed them into the beauty I see. 

There is peace knowing because of the brokenness of Christ, we may live life unbroken together. 
His blood covers and unifies us. 

My family in Him. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Give It Up" - 11/30/14 - 1 Corinthians 5-8

"Isn't there great danger if someone still struggling over this issue, someone who looks up to you as knowledgeable and mature, sees you go into that banquet? The danger is that he will become terribly confused - maybe even to the point of getting mixed up himself in what his conscience tells him is wrong.
Christ gave up His life for that person. Wouldn't you at least be willing to give up going to dinner for him - because, as you say, it doesn't really make any difference? But it does make a difference if you hurt your friend terribly, risking his eternal ruin!
When you hurt your friend, you hurt Christ. A free meal here and there isn't worth it at the cost of even one of these "weak ones." (8:10-12)

I read and wonder what it is I am selfish in giving up in order to help another in their walk.  Is it time?  money?  stuff?  food?  What is it I am loving more than loving His people.

As a believer, many are watching to see you in action.  When in Christ, there is something "different" about us, and it does/should draw attention.  It is being in Christ that makes us stand out from the world.

Do I ever hold on to the things of the world to satisfy my "self", even if it means hindering another ones walk?  I know of one who didn't feel the need to give up drinking in front of an alcoholic, believing it was up to the person to not submit to drink.  It wasn't part of their job to help them overcome. We are all on a different level in our walks, different strengths and weaknesses.  Different because we need each other. 

As I have grown in Christ, I see it is our job to come along side of each other and help the growth.  When helping each other, we are really helping the whole family.  We are living a life that is pleasing to Him.

So I ask you, what is it you are holding onto, satisfying "self", which is hindering the walk of a brother or sister.  Is it really worth it? 

 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"What is Your Job?" - 11/29/14 - 1 Corinthians 1-4

"I planted the seed, Apollos watered the plants, but God made you grow.
It's not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow.        
Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages.        
What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God's field in which we are working.
Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation!
Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ." (3:6-11)
 
When I was quite young, one of my chores was to make sure the watering trough for the pigs was full. It was old, made of cement, with wide edges containing the water.  Edges wide enough I could stand on them, as the water poured in from the well, and spend my time waiting by "preaching" to the pigs.  I can't remember the words I said to them.  I can vaguely remember my arms and hands moving about with passion.  Looking back now, I smile, thinking I probably was quite the spectacle. 
 
I can't remember how many years I had this desire to preach.  I do know I didn't have any converts or baptisms in the watering trough from my "congregation". 
 
The silly things we do as children. 
 
That fire, deep inside of me, died down to an ember within my heart.  At times it almost went out completely, but our ABBA has breathed into my soul and the fire is back.  Raging within me.  Consuming me.  It has taken me years of letting go of "my" way and following His, before I am now confident what my role is in The Kingdom Come.  Content in where and how He is using me. 
 
As Paul writes, there are many jobs in the building of His Kingdom, and our ABBA is the Contractor.  The one who calls the shots.  Our Savior is whom we build upon.  Our solid foundation.  The Holy Spirit guides us to know what tools He has given us to be used for Him.  His Word equips us with the Wisdom to put these tools to work - planting, harvesting, building. 
 
Each of us has been given a purpose.  gifts.  talents.  Each of us. 
 
Me?  I am a Seed planter.  Encourager. 
 
That's my job in The Kingdom Come.  What is yours?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Friday, November 28, 2014

"Best Bargain Ever" - 11/28/14 - Acts 18:19-28; Acts 19:1-41

 
"putting fresh heart into the disciples."(18:23)

I love how our ABBA does this to each of His. 

"putting fresh heart into the disciples."

He does it through His Word, His family, His nature.  He does it in so many ways. 

I pray during this beginning of another holiday stampede, you won't miss out on the gift of His fresh heart.  I pray you won't become so focused on what the world proclaims to be the bargain to beat all bargains, you miss out on His.  I pray you will remember and gift to all you know that "He" is the true meaning of not only Christmas, but each and every day.

Only He is able to give us a new start with a fresh heart. 
The Real Deal of a lifetime. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"32 Years" - 11/27/14 - IThessalonians 1-5; 2 Thessalonians 1-3

God's amazing grace be with you! God's robust peace!
Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you're in our prayers."
(1 Thessalonians 1:1-2)
 
How differently this day is compared to the 27th of November 32 years ago.
 
We are together in the kitchen, both in our pj's, working on our contributions towards the Holtschlag feast.  Curt is peeling away the 25-30 pounds of potatoes and I have put my peach pudding into the oven. 
 
There isn't any amount of makeup able to cover up my wrinkles while Curt doesn't care if his show or not.  My wedding dress hangs in our bedroom on display and I sigh realizing one leg would pretty much fill the space my waist used to.  I wonder why it is gray hairs enhance my husband, while they don't do the same for me.  So not fair.  Instead of just the two of us starting out together on this day, we are surrounded by those who are here, "just because of two people".
 
Last night as I was praying and thinking about the past 32 years, memories of joy, heartache, good and hard memories, marched through my head, reminders of all the water that has passed under the bridge. 

If I could, would I go back and repeat this day from 32 years ago? 
 
Curt and I met on June 9th during the week he was back in Quincy packing up and moving to Texas.  After that week, we were together the few weekends he would drive back and a week when I went down to see him.  There were many who speculated I was pregnant to be getting married in only five months.  I wasn't.  There was just something within us that knew we were to be together.
 
Neither of us walked with The Lord.  It was in becoming pregnant with Adam I finally woke up and realized I needed to have an intimate relationship with our ABBA.  That was the beginning.
 
We have been and are evidence in how our ABBA uses everything for His Glory.  Today, I am able to look and see myself, Curt, Adam, Nichalas, Amber, and many others in our lives, who have come to know our ABBA directly linked from our being together.  I stand amazed at how He has/is, using us as part of His Kingdom come. 
 
There have been times of hanging on to each other tightly and times of wanting to let go.  On this day of Thanksgiving, I am so blessed we endured and have made it. 
 
If I could, would I go back and repeat this day from 32 years ago?
 
In a heartbeat - YES.
 
"Every time I think of "my Curt", I thank God for him. Day and night he is in my prayers."
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"No Games" - 11/26/14 - Acts 17; Acts 18:1-18

"Starting from scratch, He made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find Him.

He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; He's near.
       
We live and move in Him, can't get away from Him! One of your poets said it well: 'We're the God-created.' (17:26-28)
 
 
 
We have always played inside/outside games as a family.  It is the norm when together, to spend hours sitting at the table playing a board game or cards.  Sometimes we will drag out the little kid games, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, etc. and have a tournament. This past Christmas we played a game we made up years ago, "fart ball".  Most of the lights are off and we are playing "tag/hide n seek" with a little nerf football.  I will always remember the look on Amber's face as we were running through the house away from whomever was "it", throwing this little brown "fart ball" at each other.  Another game we played was where one would hide in the darkened house while together the others counted to 100 in the bathroom.  As the one hidden was discovered, the discoverer would squeeze in beside them, until everyone had found the one who was hiding. 
 
And each time we played these games in the dark, until they were older, the boys never ventured far from Curt or my side.  They loved playing, but were just a little unsure, scared, to be alone searching in the dark. 
 
And that is yet, another thing I love about our ABBA. 
 
As much as I enjoy playing games, there aren't any games being played when it comes to life "in" Him.  There aren't any times I have to wander in the dark away from Him.  
 
"He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; He's near.
        We live and move in Him, can't get away from Him!"

  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Praying" - 11/25/14 - Galatians 4-6

"May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely - be deeply and personally yours, my friends. Oh, yes!(6:18)

Amen.

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Not a Wallflower" - 11/24/14 - Galatians 1-3

"If I was "trying to be good," I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.        
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work.

So I quit being a "law man" so that I could be God's man.

Christ's life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with Him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.
 
My ego is no longer central.
 
It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  
      
I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God's grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily."(2:18-21)
 
He is leading me and I am striving to follow. 
 
Sure, I sometimes find myself doing the fancy dance of "self" - you know the one - two steps back one step forward.  But what a relief to know, my "Instructor" is right there with me - no matter the steps.  Leading me to dance, "The Dance of Eternity", with Him.
 
I love knowing - to all of life's music - my dance card is full. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"You Belong, Come" - 11/23/14 - Acts 15-16

"So outsiders who seek will find, so they'll have a place to come to"(15:17)

There is an old TV show from when I grew up, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys.

It isn't that I sported a huge red-nose that would glow and beep, but felt there was something about me that never "fit in".  No matter where, or with whom, I usually felt like someone on the outside looking in.  Wanting to belong.  To be part of the celebration others seemed to be enjoying.  I am thankful in looking back to see those He did put into my life, for those few and in between times, that gave me a taste of knowing what it meant to be loved and belong.  Those He used to prompt me in continuing to seek for more than a "taste", but a whole meal of Him.

I can remember sitting in the bathroom in front of the open window, the cold winter wind blowing across my face, wishing more than anything I would catch cold and die.  Thinking my wet hair would do the trick.  I remember sitting on a window ledge nine stories up, wanting to slip off the edge, wishing more than anything I would die.  I can remember driving in the night and thinking about not taking the curve, just heading straight, wishing more than anything I could die. 

A misfit.  Feeling so alone.  Feeling like there was not any place I belonged. 

The emotions of shame, guilt, fear, controlled my thinking..  Put upon me by those who said I was always a burden.  Who have affirmed what I always felt, telling me, my love didn't matter to them.  Who caused me to believe for many years, I truly am a misfit.

Thankfully, our ABBA had other plans for me than an early death.  Today, my life is full and I have realized those that treated me as a "misfit" were correct.  I have been and always will be a "misfit". 

A misfit in the world. 

But I am not, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be - a misfit in my ABBA's heart. 

I love that He has surrounded me with the "misfits" of this world.  That my life is full of love from and for them.  Never have I experienced such joy and peace, such sense of fulfillment and belonging, as I do with my family of "misfits".  My heart feels full to bursting when looking across a room and seeing a "misfit' sibling, the look, the smile we share - knowing without doubt - we are His "misfits".

"Misfits" who are no longer "outsiders" looking in. 

And that is more than okay. 

"He led them out of the jail and asked, "Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?"         They said, "Put your entire trust in The Master Jesus. Then you'll live as you were meant to live - and everyone in your house included!"        
They went on to spell out in detail the story of The Master - the entire family got in on this part.
They never did get to bed that night.
The jailer made them feel at home, dressed their wounds, and then - he couldn't wait till morning! - was baptized, he and everyone in his family.        
There in his home, he had food set out for a festive meal.
It was a night to remember: He and his entire family had put their trust in God; everyone in the house was in on the celebration."(16:30-34)

He hears, He sees all "outsiders".  all "misfits" calling and seeking "a place to come to".

Please listen to this - one of my favorite songs. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAMbEPZfWCY

"Came To My Rescue"Falling on my knees in worship
Giving all I am to seek your face
Lord all I am is yours

My whole life
I place in your hands
God of Mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at your throne

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are

My whole life
I place in your hands
God of Mercy
Humbled I bow down
In your presence at your throne

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are
In my life be lifted high
In our world be lifted high
In our love be lifted high

I called you answered
And you came to my rescue and I
I wanna be where you are
 
 


Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Ripples of Praying" - 11/22/14 - James 1-5

"Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.(5:16)



The prayers lifting Nichalas/Amber up yesterday, during his surgery, did more than grant a successful surgery.  They also touched my heart and opened my eyes to see where I need to grow.  And to let go.

The mom in me wanted nothing more than to be there with them.  Not that I have the medical expertise to add to the situation.  Not that I have super powers to prevent anything "bad" from happening.  Not that I could take his place.  I just wanted to be there. 

To see his face, hear his voice.  hug. To be with Amber in the waiting area and help ease her fears and concerns.  To protect them.

Confession.

Prayers for Nichalas/Amber opened my eyes to the fact that in my wanting to protect them, it hinders them from growing.  It gets in the way of "their" moments.  "their" trials.  "their" tribulations.  And even, "their' celebrations. 

Prayers reminded me (again), our children are no longer children. 

And they aren't, nor have they ever, been mine.

"The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with."

Thank you for praying.  You who are "living right with God".  Because of your prayers, your living by His standards, I am being molded into what He designed me to be.  He is removing the garments that aren't His, which I have put upon myself.   

I stand amazed at how praying works.  At how it touches everyone, not just one. 



Friday, November 21, 2014

"Hard Part of The Harvest" - 11/21/14 - Acts 13-14

"putting muscle and sinew in the lives of the disciples, urging them to stick with what they had begun to believe and not quit, making it clear to them that it wouldn't be easy: "Anyone signing up for The Kingdom of God has to go through plenty of hard times."(14:22)

The "mommy" in me is causing my heart to be in my throat, tears threatening to overflow as I bat my eyes, trying to keep them contained. 

In less than an hour, Nichalas will be undergoing hernia surgery.  In Phoenix, AZ.

My prayer time this morning began focused on Nichalas/Amber and then ABBA turned it around to me. 

I know, without doubt, ABBA is using both Nichalas and Amber as part of His Kingdom Come where they are planted.  Both of them are mighty warriors and each day many young lives are being touched by ABBA through their jobs as teachers.  These young lives are then touching their families and friends.  A perfect example of  how Paul's teachings on "one-by-one" harvesting works.  Both of their hearts are sold out for ABBA and when looking out into the world, they see the lost.  They see the lost and react, wanting nothing more than to introduce them to Jesus Christ. 

"following orders, doing what God commanded when He said, I've set you up as light to all nations. You'll proclaim salvation to the four winds and seven seas!"(13:47)

The hard part of this is the "mommy" in me is selfish.  ABBA has brought Adam back home and now working with us.  And although I am so grateful for that, I want more.  I want, no I desire, to share life with Nichalas/Amber on a more frequent basis than one or two visits a year.  And even though I am thankful, so thankful, for cell phones, Skype, I desire face to face time with them.  When the guys moved out, I had to give over to ABBA every morning my fear of "something" happening to them.  I had to give over my selfishness.  I know, without doubt, if "something" did happen, they would be face to face with ABBA, for eternity.  So it is nothing more than selfishness to want them to be here.  It is hard to grasp Heaven is better than the love here with our children. 

This morning, ABBA gave my heart another pull.  When I am loving them this selfishly, I am loving them more than Him.  I am also putting a burden on them to fill a void.  To give me worth.  These are only things our ABBA is equipped to do. 

Years ago, I gave over our sons to ABBA.  Thankfully, ABBA is bigger than all of my mistakes and our sons are now His Warriors.  His Warriors, who He is sending out to harvest this world.  Where I know they need to be for His work.  Growing up from little boys to young men of God.  My growing up to let go and let God. 

That is the hard part for the "mommy" in me.

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask The Lord of The Harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His Harvest field.(Luke 10:2)