Friday, February 28, 2014

Turning Around At The Roadblocks

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Packed and ready to go to our friends beach house, we got in the car with plans to go down the Oregon coast side, and stop at a few other beaches on our way there.

The rain came down in huge splatters on our windshield and the wipers were on high. Traffic was slowed down a bit. We had just come out of a week of snow and now we were back to our Pacific NorthWest weather.

When we were almost to the beach we came up to a line of stopped traffic. After a few minutes we noticed the cars coming in the opposite direction were those that had pulled out of the line and turned around. We stopped one of the cars and asked them what was up? We were told a tree was down across the road and it would be awhile before it was cleared.

So we turned around and went back up the highway to take another route to the beach. Believe it or not...the same thing happened on that highway. A tree fell across the road.

Discouraged we turned around again. It was frustrating, because the only other way we knew of to get to the beach house, was to go all the way back to where we started, close to home, and go on up the WA side.

We stopped at an espresso stand before going back, and asked if the employee if she knew another way to get us where we were going. She did!

I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to believe the directions she gave us would lead us to our destination. I've been in the situation countless times, where I get directions, and I drive and drive and do not get to my goal.
But...we went anyway, with hopes we would get there safe and sound.

And then we actually ended up having a blast!

Not only was the scenery incredible but we came across an Elk reserve which was amazing to see.

We ended up being seriously sick of being in the car though. What was supposed to be a couple hour drive had turned into four. Finally, we reached our favorite little town which is just a half hour out from our friends cabin.

The river waves were like it was the Pacific Ocean. And it was very gray, rainy, and windy!

We stopped to eat, and had to push through the wind to get to the door of the restaurant. I asked the girl what was up? She informed me of the storm warnings for the next two days. Possible 85 mph winds, flooding, and that they possibly may shut the bridge that I so desperately hate to go over. Then she went on to tell me about a semi that had tipped over because of high winds on the bridge  during  a previous storm.
I didn't need to hear this. That bridge is scary enough on a good day.

Well, we decided, it would be better to just go home, since there was the chance of flooding, and high winds, we wouldn't be able to do much during the storm. We didn't come to the beach to just sit inside.
While on our way back we decided we would figure out how to have fun around home. So we did, and we had a great weekend. Different, but fun just the same.

Sometimes, that's just how life is. We have plans that are good. But for some reason no matter what we do our path is blocked and we aren't able to do them.

In the Bible, Paul talks about his plans to go to  Asia, but he couldn't because he was told not to do it.
So, he didn't quit ministering, he just ministered where he could, and where he was led.

Sometimes, although disappointing, instead of going and doing a good plan, we are to do something else. It doesn't mean it will always be like that, or a person can't go do there plans later, it just sometimes means God has a different direction for a person to go.

When I first quit work at an office, to work at home on building a writing career I had plans on how I was going to reach my goal to become a published author, and I had lots of them. I didn't do those plans the way I wanted to, but I did reach a few of my goals, and that was to write books, and to be a published author.

With college in mind, instead I went to a hands on college, working side by side much more experienced writers, who basically took my hand and walked me through the whole publishing experience. I learned to love to do editing on other peoples work, although it was something I hated to do previously. I never would have thought in a million years I would be asked to edit another persons book.

Also, my plans for building any sort of platform didn't include speaking in public and/or writing a blog.

But yet, although I didn't go the way I planned to go, as I reach my goals in writing, I realize God has build a really good foundation for my career, and He set it up in a way that is so much better than I would have.

Maybe right now, your up against a roadblock, whether it be in a career move, relationship, decisions, finances...maybe it was put in front of you by God. And He just wants you to stop and listen to the direction He has for you.

Instead of trying to move the roadblock, I suggest turning away from it, and turn to God with a listening ear.

Where is He wanting you to go?

What is He wanting you to do?

Despite the road blocks I've encountered. The path I've been on the last twelve years, all fit, to make the pieces of the puzzle, come together to form a pretty nice picture.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

WORDS

Proverbs 16:24
New King James Version (NKJV)
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

When I sit down at my computer, my fingers are usually ready to start tapping on the keys, to form the words to share the things dancing around in my mind.

I love having a fresh blank sheet in front of me, and I eagerly fill it up.

Typically, my goal is to write something that will encourage another person. Or to share something that will make a person smile in the midst of their struggle. Or just to include you in on my wild imagination and spin out a story.

Words are very powerful, and a great responsibility comes with writing a lot of things. Words sink right into our minds and deep into our hearts. Funny thing, though, words of encouragement, compliments, and love are easier to brush away than words that hurt, embarrass, or ridicule. Mean words can eat at a person’s insides for days.

Have you ever been there?

I know I have.

Recently! During a course of a conversation, my heart was being shot with sharp arrows over and over again. Wounded, I sulked, and obsessed over each word spoken, how it was spoken, why it would be spoken, etc. The wounds became festered boils.

I can just as easily write my thoughts in a not so pleasant way as a pleasant way. I did write something, my fingers were running all over the keyboard. It felt good to punch those letters to get all the hurt thoughts that beat around inside of me on to the screen.

When I finished, I didn’t press send. I used to press send after I vented, but I learned, it only makes things worse. So I waited, and went over and over that thing, I don’t know how many times. I was fixated on this issue. Each time I went over it I revisited what was said to me.

Finally, I pressed send. I didn’t expect a response.

I got one though, almost immediately.

An APOLOGY! With an explanation which made perfect sense. It was a big misunderstanding on a matter.

That apology healed those wounds better than any antibiotic or a topical medicine ever could.

It put a smile right back in my heart and I saw that person the way I did before the offense.

How powerful is that?

Proverbs 10:19

New King James Version (NKJV)
19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise

One time I gave someone my work to edit. They made a very rude comment about my work, informing me that using short sentences is a sign of ignorance.

I put my writing down and mulled on that for a long time.

I started to extend my sentences with a semi-colon. Someone asked me why I did that? I explained what had been said to me.

With a smile, that person explained, writing short sentences is a sign of wisdom. If you can use a few words to get your point across, it’s wise.

Those words got me right back on the computer using periods, instead of semi-colons.

Words are easy to say, and so hard to take back. Words can come out wrong and sound nasty, when the intention was to say something nice.

I’ve been there a lot of times.  

I am usually a very talkative person. When I’m out in public, I actually think the person standing next to me wants to engage in conversation with me, even though they don’t know me. (It’s a family trait.)

I love to read words, hear words, sing words, and most of all…say and write words.

In that respect, Proverbs 10:19 stated above pertains to me. There are plenty of nights, I lay my head on my pillow and pray for God’s forgiveness for something I had said to someone that I shouldn’t have. Or I remember something I said that may have come out wrong and then I wonder if the person was hurt or offended. Or what really can keep me awake is when I didn’t finish saying something, because of some interruption, and the person could be thinking something that isn’t the whole truth.

Many, many, times I have those pillow talks with God.

Relationships, directions on life, work, decisions, are all done with words, even the unsaid words, or the words someone wishes were spoken to them.

I love you…you did well…your special…

They sink down into our hearts to hold onto and treasure and they direct our day.

There is one word that is more powerful than any word ever spoken…


John 1:1

New King James Version (NKJV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend[a] it.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

The Living Word, Jesus Christ. Who spoke and the world was. Who came and dwelt among us. Who died for our sins on the cross and rose again from the grave. Whoever believes on Him will be saved.

There is no more powerful Word to direct our days or to hold onto and treasure.