Friday, February 27, 2009

Reach for the Stars

"When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either." Leo Burnett

Planning for our trip to Ireland is a huge reach for the stars for us. I feel with all of my heart that it is going to a trip of a lifetime. I have such expectancy.
Because Ray found his way around South Africa and Lesotho with no problems, I have every confidence in planning a road trip with him through Ireland.

We are returning to the land of his roots and plan to visit the town his family came from, Dungarvin near Waterford. We want a simple laid back vacation, a people's holiday, if you will.

I am sure half the fun will be in the planning.

I encourage you to reach for the stars as well. When God deposits something in your heart, protect it and when times are hard, remember what He told you. Not what the circumstances tell you, but His promises to you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We Need Each Other

Sometimes having extra people in your home complicates your life. It should not be so, because we are to be given to hospitality. If that hospitality comes out of the heart of God, it should be an act of love, not a fulfillment of a need. Resentment can come in if it is just filling someone's need.

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 1 Peter 4:7-9

Without grudging simply means without murmuring complaining. The Lord may have sent this person as a gift to you. He may expect you to invite the unlovely and entertain him as if he were the Lord himself.

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Hebrews 13:1-3

We need each other. Living simply may be a gift, but it must include the body. We are all a part of God's body. We need each other to be who He saw before the foundations of the world. You may be just the one to provide that missing piece in someone's life. You may have just the encouraging word they need to hear, the hug they need to feel, the meal they need to taste to see that the Lord is good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Loving Gathering Tea

Once a year minimum I have a customer appreciation tea for all of my Mary Kay customers. I have told you that I began selling Mary Kay because I had a lot of self-hatred and needed the discipline of taking care of myself.
Similarly, it is easy for me to withdraw when I am wounded or hurt. So setting aside a time when I know I will have guests regardless of what is going on inside of me forces me to totally rely on "Christ in me, the hope of glory."
Last Saturday was just such an afternoon. With Jonathan in the house, old hurts are surfacing and I am doing my best to deal with them. Last week my friend and boss, Mary Pat, was teaching Bitterness. I had just been defiled by one of Jon's explosions. She thought it would be good for me to sit in the class again and it was. It showed me how much self-bitterness I still had because I was not a good mom. Sure I could use the excuse that I was bipolar and later diagnosed as multiple personality disorder. However, as devastating as the roller-coaster emotions were for me personally, they were multiplied for my children who because they were children automatically assumed it was their fault. That's a lot of baggage.
At the close of the teaching they played a beautiful song by Terri Lois Gregory. I immediately ordered and it arrived in time for the tea. That was God's favor, because I did not order it until Tuesday. I had to mail a check to Kansas and she sent it immediately back to me. It arrived two hours before the tea.
In it she explained that within 18 months time she had lost her job, her farm, her home, her mother to leukemia, an attorney violated her trust and a close friend stole a large amount of money from her. WOW! And I thought I had problems!
The song begins, "Father, remove this bitterness from me and heal my broken spirit..."
What a powerful beginning to healing. She goes on to share a quote from a book she was reading.
"Questions are allowed in the Kingdom, but lack of answers must not interrupt our heart-communion with God." Please re-read that:
"Questions are allowed in the Kingdom, but lack of answers must not interrupt our heart-communion with God."
She continues: If we demand answers from God, then we are walking in the spirit of offense. Hosea 6:3 says, "Then shall we know, [if] we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter [and] former rain unto the earth.."
Follow after is radaph. It is a verb. It requires action.
1) to be behind, follow after, pursue, persecute, run after
a) (Qal)
1) to pursue, put to flight, chase, dog, attend closely upon
2) to persecute, harass (fig)
3) to follow after, aim to secure (fig)
4) to run after (a bribe) (fig)

b) (Niphal)
1) to be pursued
2) one pursued (participle)
c) (Piel) to pursue ardently, aim eagerly to secure, pursue
d) (Pual) to be pursued, be chased away
e) (Hiphil) to pursue, chase

We are to passionately pursue God whether we understand or not. She says we are to run after Him in in the face of potential offense.
How I struggle to protect myself from getting hurt again. When I protect myself, He cannot.
Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
Why should I act surprised when there is tribulation? We were told about it beforehand. Have I become so disconnected from the Word that I forget what it says and turn to emotions instead?
She gives me one final quote: "Persistently pursue fellowship with God even when your uncertainty feels deep and endless, and no answers have materialized. The suffering will last but a moment in God's grand plan for your life. Be thankful for the opportunity to persevere. And be assured - better times are on the way."
How I praise God for the wisdom to slow down, have tea and laughter and share my heart with friends. Walls are tumbling down.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beauty Tips

I sell Mary Kay. I delight in doing one on one facials and helping the other woman see herself as God saw her before the foundations of the world.
Yes, I do a customized color consultation and teach her how to best take care of her skin. However, it is very important to me that the inside changes begin during this one on one time. I want to give her hope for her future. I want to encourage her and love on her, too.

Audrey Hepburn was once asked for her beauty tips. This is what she recommended:
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Audrey Hepburn - Moon River - These bloopers are hilarious

So many years are wasted chasing windmills when all we need to do is to pull out what He has already deposited.

[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Col 1:26-27

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Is Your Attitude Showing?

Read this on a website yesterday.
There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is ATTITUDE. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Twins' Birthday

February 13th is the birthday of my twin daughters, Carrin and Margie.
At the end of last year I got the flu so severely that it caused my heart to begin to go into congestive failure. This is something I was healed of years ago. However, it frightened me and I got rather maudlin. What could I leave behind for my kids?
Last summer my mom found an old crystal necklace that her Aunt Livvy gave me when I graduated from high school in 1963. It was broken but still had many crystals. I thought it would be special to make necklaces for the twins from it somehow even though I had never made one before.
Then in the fall, Mary Pat gave me a crystal necklace from her mom. Hers were all the same size and smaller. I thought that they would be perfect spacers. Last weekend Ray went to Hobby Lobby to pick up the thread and tools and met a really nice lady named Vicki who guided him through the process.
When he came home he was pumped. He said just tell me what you want.
The twins are not identical. So I wanted them similar, but different. So I laid out the design and without hesitation, he began adding the clasp, crimping the end the way Vicki showed him and stringing. He dropped the first necklace THREE times, but just got down on his knees, regathered the beads and calmly began again. There was much rejoicing when he finished. I fell in love all over again.
My hero!
Then he began on the next one. After that was completed, he made earrings. He didn't like the first pair. So he did it again plus there were enough beads left to make me a pair.
I sent a picture of the necklaces to my sister, Karen, and told her my congestive heart failure story and her response was to keep finding things you need to finish first. Besides there's no hurry anyway.
So Happy Birthday, Carrin and Margie!
I am going to find another memory to share with another. Your gift made me a rich woman.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

To All My February Birthday Girlfriends

Darlena Fields, Carrin Meadows, Margie Hill, Marcia Fisher, Patsy Montes, Eleanor Carter, Theresa Southwick and Judy Waterman

Of course, Ray's is the 16th and that's the kind of old woman he wants me to grow up to be. So here is a glimpse of his future with me.

Definition of Insanity

The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.
The other trap is to believe that our future depends on others. If only they.....If this hadn't happened... But what about those who do make it anyway?
I believe it is because of what you believe about any given situation.
If I believe I can't be healed, I can't. If I believe I can't lose weight, I won't. If I believe I will always struggle to make ends meet, I will.
I received a dynamite newsletter today from a Mary Kay Director, Allison LaMar. In it she says:

To truly reposition ourselves, we must develop a working knowledge of two well known facts:

1. Over time, one will accept as truth whatever we tell ourselves over and over again. You are not ever defeated until you accept defeat.

2. What we allow ourselves to think about WILL manifest itself as a reality in our world.

These two facts alone can sound extremely abstract and almost beside the point. However, you must understand that they are, in fact, the lifeline to your success in repositioning yourself. Here’s why: You will never perform beyond the level that you actually believe is possible for yourself. And, your thoughts drive your words, which drive your actions, which drive your results. Everything that you have created as your current reality began in your mind as a thought. So, before we can reposition YOU, we must reposition your thoughts.

As you embark on this revolution, you will need to be armed for battle. The following questions will become the most powerful weapon in your arsenal:

What about my current reality am I no longer willing to accept?"

This video best says it all. To begin again, we must begin again. It's a forward motion. What a difference one step at a time can make.
Watch this and see what I mean:

Today dare to take some baby steps forward.

Trying to Figure Out Why

Sometimes we get bogged down trying to figure things out instead of pushing through to the other side. It is more than can't see the forest for the trees. My friend, Tim, says it is like trying to figure out things using the wrong equation.
Like if it takes three yards a fabric to make an elephant a vest, how far can a chicken with a wooden leg kick a football?
We take all these variables that don't even matter or aren't connected to figure out our problems. Meanwhile God is waiting, watching, to see if we let go of all the tangled details and trust Him.
Do we really have to figure it all out or can we just take the step set before us and then the next one?
Life is a faith walk.
Take time today for a stroll with the Lord.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Son Returns Home

Ray, Mike and I work at a ministry called Be In Health.
It offers a week long program called For My Life. When I went through the program for the first time seven years ago, I felt as if I had been through a semester of college in one week.
This past week our oldest son, Jonathan, went through the program which is 50 hours of intense teaching and ministry to bring healing to the spirit, soul, and body. Pastor Henry Wright teaches that often the mind needs to be renewed before lasting healing can take place. The scripturally based principles taught in For My Life™ encourages renewal of your mind with the Word of God.
For My Life™ was birthed in part out of Pastor Henry’s frustration that only 5% of those prayed for in healing lines received healing. He discovered that the key for realizing more healing in the body of Christ was applying the scriptural principle of sanctification. One of his favorite sayings is, "God’s perfect will is not to heal you but that you do not get sick".
So this week we saw Jonathan go from a "show me" attitude to "I want more." With tears welling in his eyes, he said, "I feel like I am home."
We have a close community and he saw how people were involved with others' lives and reached out in love. In spite of his false bravado, he felt totally accepted.
Many diseases are the result of separation between God, yourself, and others. The course helps you identify and deal the root causes behind these separations. These issues can include fear, stress, bitterness, guilt, self-hatred, accusation, and rejection.
Because of this course, Jonathan was able to apply the principles of God to his life in such a way that he can find healing of spirit, soul, and body as he continues to walk out what he has learned.
On Sunday he decided he wanted to participate in the foot washing done by the pastors. Like the rest of us, he has a ways to go in his journey, but I sincerely believe he is headed in the right direction.
He is planning on finding a job in the area and staying here. When he gets established, he will bring his wife up here as well. Please keep them both in your prayers.
Funny how God seems to always bring things full circle even if we don't notice the bend in the road.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blogs Begetting Blogs

It was a blogger who encouraged me to begin blogging. Another stepped up to the plate with similar encouragement.
Now my son, Michael, has begun a blog called Iron Man.
My oldest son, Jonathan, has been staying with us this week and going through the program that we have at the ministry I work for. (See Already we are seeing beautifu changes and I would not be surprised at all if next week, he had his own blog as well.
I can remember over 50 years sitting on my grandmother's front porch after supper and just listening and talking. It was a form of family and community communication.
Today I also have a large front porch with a swing, but there is far too little time spent on it. My family and friends are from China to Africa. Yet I believe deep inside each of us is both a need to be heard and share our heart.
A pastor once told me that if you truly listen to someone, truly listen, you allow those hidden things to bubble up and bring hope. When thoughts go unexpressed, they can torment, stagnate or become bigger than life.
Blogging allows one an opportunity to share their thoughts and even knowledge or skills and those things hidden are revealed. You find out that the monster under the bed was just a dust bunny when you expose it.
I love writing. I always have. Some bloggers have taken individual blogs and created a book. I don't know that will happen here, but isn't that what we do with our lives?
Each day is a new page. What kind of book is your life? Mystery? Suspense? Romance novel? Or a How-To Book?
Write ON!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Are You Building with Your Words?

Our words can build people up or tear them down. In fact, silence can destroy others as well. Christ in us, the hope of glory means that we have the gift to be able to speak life into people today. Why not see how many people you can touch with words of life today?
Not only will it change them, it will change you as well.
Do it on purpose.