Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!! Three Movie Men

My three favorite movies, It's a Wonderful Life, Pride and Prejudice, and last but not least The Cinderella Man. The male star, in each, plays a role that is incredible.

George, in "It's a Wonderful Life," puts others needs before his own. Those around him seem to be living a far more glamorous life than his. His dreams of traveling and building huge skyscrapers remain just that, dreams. When tragedy strikes, he discovers his true richest. His treasures were those who stood around him, singing Christmas songs, and were there to help him in any way they could.

Mr Darcy, the lead charactor in "Pride and Prejudice," is misunderstood by the women he loves. She rejects him. Darcy never gives up but continually lives out the love in his heart for the woman of his dreams, writes her a letter and secretly does wonderful things to bless her and her family. When she discovers the truth about him, she loves him in return.

"The Cinderella Man," is up against all odds. A boxer, loses everything, with hardly any work available during the great depression, his only option is to beg for money from his old peers in order to pay the electric bill and get his children back. Then life gives him another chance. In his mind flashes the memory of all his family had suffered during the hard times. It made him fight hard, never giving up, until victory.

What, you may ask, does that have to do with Christmas?

Aha! It reminds ME of the main STAR of my life. Jesus. Who put aside everything for me. And came to earth. Immanuel, God is with Us. So many times His love for us is misunderstood. He was beaten, hung to die on a cross. It looked like He had lost everything, but then He came back to life again. Death could not defeat Him. He was victorious, knowing the future of His children, without Him.

He wrote us a letter, the bible, declaring truth about Him. Also, He is constantly doing wonderful things so we may know the love He has for us. Never giving up.

One note from His letter to us says,

God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life.


He will be called Immanuel, God is with us.


He will never leave you nor forsake you.

No matter what is going on in your life. Immanuel. God is with us. Believe on Jesus, the very reason we celebrate Christmas.

Monday, November 30, 2009

FIFTY??? Where Am I Standing?

Our women's ministry just finished a study. A question really stood out to me. "You're still standing, aren't you?" I mentally took a step back to take a good look at this question. "Yeah," I nodded. "I am still standing."

But I think the real question is, "How am I standing?" Here on the day of the big "FIVE - O" birthday, that's a pretty huge question.

There are quite a few ways I could stand. In the pain from the past, unforgiveness, self-medicated, bitter, worse yet with gaping heart sores oozing with, well...I'm not going to gross you out.

Or... forgiven, bruised, scarred, strengthened, wiser, and able to forgive what has been.

Life is so tough. If you are sailing through, count your blessings, but many haven't and are not sailing through.

A day can start with the sun shining through a slit of your curtain. The birds chirping a song and your heart is singing along. Great hair day, bills paid, food on the table, even those pants from yesterYEAR fit. And then...with no warning, on your next step, you fall into a dark hole. Or you're slammed and knocked down, not able to get up.

The thought, "I'll never be the same again," goes through your mind.

About nine years ago, a few days before Christmas, while on my way to work, I had one of those moments. I can still hear the finality of the sound. Bam! Stopped in my tracks. Knocked down so hard I didn't think I would ever get up. Not only physically, but emotionally. The person in the other car...didn't make it. It was a sound I don't think I'll ever forget.

Some days, the healing process was overwhelming and I would be in a puddle of tears. I wanted to be back to normal and impatient about the whole process.

Normal, as I knew it, wouldn't return.

After agonizing months, I grew to accept my "new" normal and to face the negative things that came from that day.

Most important to me, I learned to trust the "why" question, to be answered in the plan Jesus had for my life. It wasn't easy, many days I sat in front of His throne, the only sound was my voice crying out to Him or the sounds of my sobs. Then one day, when I was ready, He began to speak into my heart and heal me from within.

I didn't do this on my own.

When life throws a curve, I know of many ways to deal with it. A bottle of alcohol, anger, unforgiveness, shopping, eating, isolation, and pushing God's love away.

Where would those things make me stand? Healed? Or stuck?

Who wants to stay in pain?

Where am I standing? I have a lot of scars and wounds I tend to pick the scab off of, (I know, gross, huh?) but isn't it true? Recently, I've received some new wounds and bruises needing some healing. So where am I going to stand?

I stand in the hand of the One who made me. Many challenges have and will come my way. I not only stand, I grip the hand that made me.

The hand that is scarred, from the battle He faced, to fight the biggest battle EVER fought for me and for you. In the hand of my Saviour, Jesus.

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Promise to Stay

What do we do, when those we love are gone?
Whether they walk out of our life by choice or death?
Or we find ourselves walking away.

When our dreams disappear?
When we hurt so bad we barely can make it through the minutes of the day?
Ever wonder why life seems unfair?

Anger, hurt, betrayal loom on the horizon of the heart.
A tear is waiting to drop. Blink, blinked away.

There has to be something, someone, who will fix what isn't right in life. Hands reach for what will medicate the pain. Or cling to a person, who seems to be the answer.

I've stood where darkness surrounds me. Pain rudely tramples down the walls, I built around my heart. Illness isolates. Goodbye is not by choice. A dream blows in the wind. I've cried in the black of the night, loneliness of the day. Pain searing through my whole being with no answer seemingly in sight.

One day I pushed through the curtain of religion. Peered into a well of life. So misunderstood by my circumstances. I found a hand catching every tear I cried. A promise to never leave me alone.

I heard of a woman who many years ago, suffered for a long time, ill, isolated and alone. She pressed through the crowds and touched the hem of His garment. He knew her touch, though many surrounded Him. He knew. When she came to Him, healing was found.

I came to Him, Jesus. Day by day, minute by minute. He answers my why's. Comforts my pain. Still's my anger. Fills me with strength. I rest in a love promised to never go away.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you Veterans

I want to say thank you to each person who has served in the military for our country. You made yourself available to protect not only our freedom, but other countries. I can't tell you what that means to me and other Americans.

I love living in America. Thank you and may God bless you and surround you with love.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Salute to a Brownie and Girl Scout Troop

What a day we had Saturday! Our Brownie and Girl Scout Troop had a planned food drive to pick up donations for a local family shelter.

In the heavy rain and ever increasing growing mud puddles, I had the privledge to watch two girls go from house to house, knock on doors and ask for donations. Although cold, tired and wet they not only perservered, they pushed on with excitement and smiles.

It was awesome to watch their reaction whenever food was put in their hands. Once it was brought to the vehicle off they would race to the next house. The people in the neighborhood were very generous. We decided to stop knocking on doors when it began to thunder and lightning.

Afterward, we met down at the shelter. I was amazed at the amount of food the entire troop had accumulated. Soaked and hungry the girls proceeded downstairs to stock the shelves with the food they collected with no complaints! Tears spring to my eyes at the memory of those faithful young girls working as a team to stock those shelves so carefully.

Money was donated for lunch so, when we finished there, off we went to a local arcade and bowling alley for lunch and of course bowling. Yet again, I saw each of these girls show strength, they waited in line watching others play games and eat, for about 30 minutes before they could eat themselves.

What an example these young hearts are to me. Despite the odds that continued to come up against them, they pushed through to finish the work set before them, seperately and as a team. With smiles planted on their faces, hands reached out to bless those in need. And when a reward was in sight for them, they waited without complaints until it was given to them.

I pray my older heart would be faithful and stedfast to the call God gives to me. And not be so eager to receive the reward, but to be eager to work, so others receive a reward.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Coffee Thoughts

I have to tell you, the past week I was able to store up some very special memories.

My brother-in-law came home on leave from Iraq and we had an early Thanksgiving. Also, my husbands parents came to town and another brother-in-law got married. And yesterday we got to celebrate my sisters housewarming. During this recession, God allowed her to have a new home built.

Family and friends gathered together throughout the week for different celebrations. I can still hear their laughter and see the smiles as I sip on my coffee today.

God's word says to meditate on things that are true, holy, pure, just, praiseworthy, knowledgeable and of good report.

Sometimes we have to look hard to focus on those things, but I've found it's definitely worth the look.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seeds of Winter

The first year of my marriage I went through a Bible study that allowed a deep healing in my heart from some choices I had made before I was a Christian.

The first night I came home from the study I was sitting out on our deck. Recently I had purchased a new pot that I just loved and couldn’t wait to start planting flowers in that and all my other pots. Much to my delight I noticed a very pretty leafy plant starting to grow in one of them. I watered and fertilized it. I even went to the point of splitting it up and transplanting it into my other pots, even my favorite new one. Boy, did that thing grow and multiply.

One day, I took a good look at it. It was a weed! I had been watering and fertilizing a weed! And it was in my favorite pot!

A thought ran through my mind, I truly believe it was from God, about how carefully I take care of the weeds of my heart, my secrets, my shame, my wrong choices. Although I firmly believed Jesus died on the cross for my sins and I received Him as my Lord and Savior still I held on to the shame of some of my decision made before I knew Him. If anyone ever knew, they probably wouldn’t like me, or want me in ministry. Plus, I would ask Jesus for forgiveness when I messed up after becoming a believer, I would punish myself by saying horrible things, to convince me I was a complete failure.

I went to great ends to make sure the weeds of my heart were taken care of and protected from others. Until that day, I let Jesus take those things out of my heart and I started to believe that when He said He would cleanse me from all unrighteousness when I confessed my sins, He really meant it. When He died for my sins while I was a sinner, His sacrifice was enough. I had to believe there was nothing more or less that I could do, but believe.

What I did in the past, was in the past. I am a new person in Jesus Christ. The amazing story truly is that ALTHOUGH I made the choices I made, He still died for my sins. That is the amazing story. I now walk in the unbelievable joy that He called me in spite of what I did in my past. And He calls each person from their sins. When He calls, word is, leave it there and come here. He already took care of it. No matter what I put in front of Jesus, the price is already paid and now I’m free to be all He wants me to be.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dream come true

How exciting! If you would like to take a look, there is a really nice interview about my book, "Like a Bird Wanders" at http://bookreaderscentral.blogspot.com/.

When I was young, my dream was to be a writer. To see that dream fulfilled is an incredible experience. It wasn't easy and still isn't. There is quite a bit of work that goes into the writing of a book or a story.

In the beginning, I just expected to write a book and get published, after all I believed I was following a call. But over the last couple of years God has brought me through a process to mature me in different aspects of this craft. Sometimes it is painful. True on the job training.

One thing which taught patience - after we signed the contract some unforeseen things happened which put our book on hold. The waiting was unbearable yet we knew we needed to just wait. How hard is that? HARD!

A note of encouragement to you. If you feel like life is just plain tough and you don't know what to do or which way to go. Hold on to your dream. Talk to God about it. He knows what doors need to be opened and what needs to be closed. And then watch and listen.

I pray many blessings in your heart and life.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September Breezes

There is something about September. It's my favorite time of year. Summer is ending, school starting, and usually, it's time to start wearing those favorite sweatshirts, or sweaters. This year is different though, I'm still wearing shorts and tank tops, along with my flip flops. The summer season is hanging on, which is good!
But what about the seasons of life that hang on that aren't so good? I personally can say a yearning starts to grow inside for a change. Feelings of discontent, discouragement and even depression fill the days during a long hard season.
I'd like to pass something on, I happen to be in one of those seasons and today, I was reminded. To meditate on things that are pure, holy, true, just, praiseworthy, of good report, knowledgeable. These are the things to focus on.
And to cast my cares upon God. I don't have to carry them. Whew! What a relief.
During my walk with my sister, she said, "After a storm, I wish I could go back through it again because I know that I'm going to be okay. Well, I'm in a storm and that's what I'm going to do, choose to know that I'm going to be okay while I'm in this storm."

Here is a word I hope will give you the hope that it gave to me.

Isaiah 41:9 - 10
"I have called you back from the ends of the earth so you can serve me. For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand."

Those words are like a hug to the soul during this season in life. And when I'm out in the September breezes, I feel like I'm getting a nice warm refreshing hug from God. So go ahead, when the breezes stir, go get a hug.