There was an error in this gadget

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lighthearted

Yellows, Blues, Greens, and Reds
With the sun shining and the weather warmer, I am welcoming Spring with a gait in my step. Around me I am seeing the beauty of all of God’s wonderful creations. Grass is turning from dead to alive, flowers are blooming colors all around me, the days are longer and warmer and my heart is lighter.
My “wild” flower bouquet placed in my Mason jar lifts my spirit. The joy of this simplicity is more than I can explain. Sitting in my living room with only my screen door protecting me from the elements outside, keeping the bugs at bay and flooding my home with fresh air and sunshine is refreshing to my soul.










It is bliss with fruits and vegetables filling my belly, grilling fish and chicken and sitting down with family to share a meal. Flip flops as the only protection for my feet, and a splash of orange on my toes to brighten my mood. White tees and blue jeans rolled up, changing my hair color from drab to fab and the desire to get out and walk!
The simple fact that the noises (some funny, some beautiful) of the birds welcoming the day, are not an aggravation as they used to be when I was younger and demanded sleep. Seeing them fight over food and play tricks on one another to get the last bite makes me giggle.
Playing outside with my animals, seeing my nieces and nephews in their spring attire, Little League Baseball games, and red Georgia dirt dusting across my feet brings a smile across my face.
Little girls and boys are running in the yard laughing with fits of sneezes from pollen; the musical selection of nature’s symphony orchestrator.
Most of all, the warmth, the sights and smells, the comfort, the relaxation and the joy in my heart which reminds me of Easter. Dogwoods are in bloom with their little reminders to us of Christ’s crucifixion and the Sun bright and beaming, displaying the fulfillment of His resurrection.










These are my favorite things about Spring!

Monday, March 22, 2010

She Speaks

She writes, she speaks and she ministers. She allows God to use her through the talents He has given her.

When I began this blog it was for two reasons:
1. To glorify God
2. To quench the thirst I've had since the age of 10 to write, write, write.

I am by no means an accomplished writer. However, I express myself best when I write. I am not too great at speaking how I am feeling because when I have emotions, they are too strong to put in to verbal communication. Therefore, I have always written how I feel.
I have this yearning within to get to the place in my life where God is using me through giving. A place to help others, to further His kingdom, and to share my stories the only way I know how...writing! But I would love to learn how to communicate His love verbally, also.

Last year I stumbled across Proverbs31 Ministries. Most of you know that, for I shared my findings with you. One of the fabulous "events" (if you will) is a conference called She Speaks.
Here is a little of the information on the conference I gathered from Proverbs31 website:

She Speaks is a life-changing conference for women of every generation seeking to explore the tug on her heart to reach out to the world for Jesus. Through She Speaks, Proverbs 31 Ministries encourages and equips women who are called by God to share our mission to bring God’s peace, perspective and purpose to today’s busy woman. Sharing God’s truth with love is not only a holy calling but a remarkable responsibility. We believe by equipping women to become more effective at sharing the Word of God, we multiply our efforts to reach a hurting world with the life-transforming hope of Jesus.

A fabulous opportunity has come for me and women like me. A scholarship to attend the She Speaks conference. WOOOHOOO!!!!! An opportunity to learn how to sharpen my writing skills and to gain knowledge on verbally sharing God's love!!! How exciting.

I am applying for this scholarship due to my current financial state. Followers of my blog have learned a little bit about me over the past year and my situation. For those of you who do not, long story short.
1. Two year tug in my heart to leave my job and stay at home.
2. Prayer and searching for God's guidance opens up a door for my dream to be fulfilled.
3. Six months later (last Feb.) with economy crash, hubby lost his job.
4. Husband unemployed for 11+ months.
5. A constant giver having to learn to receive...hard lesson.
6. Husband got a job 4 months ago.
7. Trying to catch up on bills

So.....needless to say, I am hoping that if it is God's will, He will allow this chance for me. Who is to say? It could happen. If not, God knows other women who will benefit from it more than I. Either way, it is a great thing those Proverbs 31 staffers are doing.

http://www.proverbs31.org/
http://lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/2010/03/she-speaks-scholarship-contest.html

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

When we are wronged

Our lives changed in an instant. Out of nowhere; heartache, lies, betrayal and fear gripped our family tight and did not want to let go. I have always heard the saying “Your life can change in an instant.” I have never really known just how drastically that can happen. Someone we loved and cared for, someone we took in to our home and our life, stabbed us in the back and did not stay to clean up the mess. This someone instantly fled and did not look back.

To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. I walked in a living nightmare for weeks, as did my family. As anyone who loves knows, when someone messes with your family, defense mechanisms kick in. Well defensiveness does not come alone. He brings with him a suitcase full of anger, tears, fear and numbness. Every negative emotion that one can feel floods the soul. How dangerous that can be.

I was so angry at this person who attempted to destroy our lives. So angry at the one who trampled on my loved ones heart and attempted to smear their reputation. I wanted to let them have it and have it GOOD! One day I was searching God’s word for direction and His peace since I was not doing too well at getting by on my own. I ran across Matthew 5:44 (ESV) which says “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I need to admit that I knew this was not going to be easy. Praying for them was one thing, but love them, too?

A few days later I was sitting in church listening to my pastor speak on love. He made several references to God’s commandment for us to love one another. I buckled up, grabbed the pew and held my breath for what I knew God wanted me to hear. My pastor said “When we love God; loving others, even those who persecute us, becomes easier.” What a revelation to me. Of course, I love God. He is my friend and my Savior. Even over the past couple of weeks I never hated this person, but my feelings towards them were less than loving. It made me stop and evaluate the way that I was praying for them. Was it in a loving manner? No, I admit, it was not.
When I prayed for this person I continually prayed for their eyes to be opened to the heartache and tragedy they caused us. I prayed for them to reap the things they sowed in to our lives. I do not personally think that asking the Lord to open their eyes to see what they did is wrong. However, I realized that I was not trusting God’s word when He tells us “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19, ESV)

God plainly tells us that He will take care of those who have wronged us and that while He does that; we need to concentrate on loving them.
Leviticus 19:18 ESV ”You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
1 Peter 2:23 ESV / When he was reviled (hated), he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

When I walked out of the church that day, I felt more of a peace about the situation than I had in weeks. I knew God wanted me to hear His word that day and it is by no coincidence that my pastor spoke on love in all forms, even towards our enemies.
When we are wronged, it hurts. It cuts deep and the wound feels open and fleshy for a while. It seems that our minds resort to going over and over and over the hurt, the pain, and even replaying the incident. What God showed me further confirms His love for me. God wants us to love those who hate, hurt, and defile us because loving them produces great things.
1.It honors God. It shows Him we trust His word and we love Him.
2.It heals our wounds quicker. It takes the negative and replaces it with peace and positivity.

I am not sure that I will ever fully get to a place in my life where I will forget what happened. However, I am called to love them, pray for them and their salvation and forgive them. It is what God commands we do. He commands it because He loved us enough while we were still sinners to send His son to die for us. I had to learn that God made, loves and died for my persecutor, too. By loving God and obeying His word, I should have no problem lovingly praying for my persecutor.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Acceptance

John 6:37 "All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out."
God tells us the greatest thing that we can do is to love. And love is a form of acceptance. To love our rowdy neighbor, aggravating relative, unlovable co-worker, and that irritating lady everyone jokes is showing love through Christ. In fact, "love your neighbor" is one of God’s greatest commandments given to us. Our acceptance of others shows the world there is something different about us. It makes people curious. When we are seen talking, hugging or sitting next to the “different” woman/man/child who stumbled in to the school meeting or who we invited to church, it speaks volumes of God’s love.
Jesus accepted everyone. He was seen talking to the woman at the well, who had been married five times and living with a man whom she was not married to. He was seen inviting himself to the house of a tax collector, who by the way was extremely very short. God even tells us in Hebrews 13:2 - "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it."
It is important that we are accommodating of all God’s creatures. Acceptance holds great meaning! It shows a great witness to others of God, it gives someone who is “unacceptable” a feeling of worth, and it holds blessings for you! Since we are to be Christ like, we are to be accepting. Jesus touched the untouchable (lepers) and He talked to the unclean (sinners). Jesus is no respecter of persons. To accept everyone, to love the sinner but hate the sin enough to witness; that is being Christ like and radiates God’s love for all.