Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Better to See You With, My Dear

In Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf impersonating her grandmother answers all the questions asked.
When the girl arrives, she notices that her grandmother looks very strange. Little Red then says, "What a deep voice you have!" ("The better to greet you with"), "Goodness, what big eyes you have!" ("The better to see you with"), "And what big hands you have!" ("The better to hug/grab you with"), and lastly, "What a big mouth you have" ("The better to eat you with!").
That certainly doesn't end well. 
Have you ever wished someone could see things clearly, see things for what they really are?
We all have blind spots.
Recently I received similar prayer requests from friends. While each situation was very different, the cry was, "Why can't they see it?"
I remembered almost twenty years ago, when the church I went to went through a horrific
split. In less than a month, membership dropped from over 5,000 to around a 1,000. You can imagine how that impacted finances and the jobs of those who worked there. It was the most devastation I had ever seen wrought by church members.
One thing impacted me profoundly in this chaos. Although the newspaper was having a field day with accusation, the new pastor never publicly defended himself.
It was the first time in my life, I had ever seen someone walk out Isaiah 53:7:
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth:
he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb,
 so he openeth not his mouth.
It was certainly contrary to the way I lived my life. If you hurt or even offended me, you were going to get a mouthful and so were others.
But the interesting part to me maybe two years later when the dust had settled, we were bankrupt and lost our million dollar buildings, we continued to pray every morning at 5:42 a.m. to a different cadence.
Pastor Mike still had not accused his accusers. Now though he asked us to pray two scriptures daily.
I am going to talk about just one today. The scripture was Ephesians 1:16-23.
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
 may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
that ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe,
according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead,
 and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion,
and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Diligently we prayed that for those who left and those who stayed. Change happened. Some was almost imperceptible. Others were healing and brought unity. The change that surprised me the most was the change in me.
What we pray for others, we saw accomplished in our own lives. I began to become more grateful. My discernment was keener. My trust level increased.
My friends along with Ray and myself are praying this prayer until the end of the year asking God to open their eyes of understanding and give them wisdom. We don't want our loved ones devoured by the wolf. We want them to know the hope of HIs calling and have the power available to them. We want their lives changed according to His plans, not ours.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why Make It Complicated?

It is sometimes funny to me the things that drive people, including myself. What bothers one person isn't even seen by another.
When we put things in context of eternity, they seem to come into proper perspective. My mom is fond of saying, "A hundred years from now, it won't even matter."
How right she is!

The older I get, the more I want the simple way. Not dull, life can have panache, but it doesn't have to be complicated.
When things are simple, you can more fully enjoy them.
Let me encourage you to enjoy the every day simple things and quit straining to getting everything perfect. Perfect is generally fabricated.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Just When I Think I Have It Together Again

Today was a funny, weird sort of day. I found myself stuffing envelopes, certainly not on my to do list when I headed to work this morning. For some reason I find it difficult to do mundane tasks unless I can throw something in the mix.
So I put on YouTube, found Michael W Smith, and put on one of his concerts to listen to while stuffing.

Slowly I shifted from the mundane to beautiful time of worship. Since I was in the office, I did not sing, but the earphones cut out all other noise and it was just Daddy and me. Tears ran down my face as I interceded for a young woman who miscarried a much wanted baby; a young couple forming who they are as one; repenting for some head trash I had carried too long. I remembered the approaching holidays and it made me miss Carrin ever so much. I prayed for the daughters and their families she left behind.
One thousand envelopes later I was cleansed. .
Worship is a two way street. I praise Him because of His love for me and He gives me even more love. I do not have to ever run dry. I just have to remember I was created for His pleasure from dust. I need to make myself available to Him daily for Him to form and shape me into His idea of beautiful.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

You Get Real When You Are Still

I personally love fall with pecans falling from the trees and the vibrant colors mimicking trees aflame. I love the crunch of leaves as I walk through the yard. I love a good roaring fire and sipping hot cocoa.
Perhaps it is the cocooning that is necessary to keep ourselves warm that makes us a cozier, nicer person.

When we are still, the things within us that need to be perfected
 have a chance to percolate within our soul.
There are things that the busyness of life impedes. When we slow down, they waft through our spirit and that longing for dreams forgotten stirs.
We are body, soul and spirit. Unfortunately, we do not give each part of our being the full attention it needs to blossom. The weeding is deferred until it chokes out hopes. It is in the slower pace that we take notice of such things.
A crackling fire can ignite our spirit and a warm cup of cocoa, our soul.
Enjoy each day fully as if it were your last. It is a gift.


Friday, November 15, 2013

More Precious Than Silver

Struggling with writer's block today. Funny how I can think clearly just as I drift off to sleep. So I am sharing an older post that still has some meat on the bone.
Years ago south of Dallas I attended a Worship Symposium. I took a course on writing worship songs. Suddenly the teacher, Marty Nystrom, author of As a Deer Panteth, stopped teaching and came straight to me and said, "Sister, out of your brokenness, you will write songs that will bring deliverance to many."
I have never forgotten that even though it probably was 20 years ago. I am not discouraged that it has not come to past for Moses spent 40 years on the back side of the desert. Besides the brokenness that I thought he was talking about then, has been healed in a deeper dimension today than then.
What do I know about song writing? Practically nothing. But my responsibility is not to make something happen but to listen and be available.

"Creativity does not truly come from the popularized image of the tormented artist, struggling with the muse," Michael Card says. "True creativity is born in community as men and women of God listen to each other and to Him."

So I wait and I listen. One story that Marty told that day was the song, More Precious than Silver" was written in the kitchen while the author was preparing dinner for her family. The original lyrics were, "Lord, you are more precious than french fries." She took that phrase and developed the following song:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hospitality Comes from the Heart of God

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.

Make time and space in your heart and your home, not for the popular, but for those who need your love. You may entertain angels unaware.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

As Thyself

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind;
and thy neighbour as thyself. Luke 10:27
When flying there are pre-flight instructions. It’s the oxygen mask instruction that gets my attention. The masks drop down from above you if something happens to the air pressure. They tell me I have to fit my own mask first before helping infants or the elderly. I’ve always felt that the airlines have got it the wrong way round. Surely I have to help others first and make sure everyone around me is OK before I put on my mask. That’s the right and proper thing to do. Anything else is just pure selfish.
As they run through the drill, I sit in the plane and it occurs to me: I’m of no use to anyone else if I run out of air.   I must help myself before I can help anyone else. It's not selfish at all. In fact, in the final call, I am a liability if I cannot breathe myself.
This same principle could be applied to so many parts of  life. If I want to help someone with advice, I must first make sure that I live by that advice myself!
Often in the past I’ve offered advice to others yet not taken it on board within my own life.  How can I help fix someone else’s problems if I can’t take responsibility for my own? Frankly that is just being a busy body. 
There is no sense in talking the talk if I am not willing to walk the walk. Just hypocrisy.
I have to be willing to put on my oxygen mask first!
My attitude towards God and others is colored by my attitude towards myself. 
How can I love God when I think He made a mistake in creating me?
How can I pour out love for others if I am not receiving anything from the Father's heart for myself?
If I hate myself, I hate God and hate others. If I love myself, I love God and love others.
The beginning is to learn to love yourself.
For in him we live, and move, and have our being;
as certain also of your own poets have said,
 For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:28

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Who Is Praying for You?

My mother has a list of all the children, their children and their children's children, She prayerfully prays for each daily. When I think over list, I recognize that for some, this will be the only one praying for them today.
Perhaps when we get to heaven, we will find out the difference our prayers make. Perhaps they kept someone from making a mistake or kept them from harm.
I have a friend who will spot someone obviously in need and pray for them as he drives by. It may be something simple like, "Bless them, Lord" or "Send them hope and direct their paths."
Whenever he does that, I often wonder if he is the only one praying for that person.
Have we become so busy that we cannot pray for those he causes to cross our paths?
Lord, open the eyes of my heart that I may see as you see.
Let me bless those that come into me life not only in word, but also where you have opened the door, in deed.
Let me splash your love everywhere I go.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Quietly I Wait

I wrote this probably four years ago. It is good now and then to look back at your journey to be reminded of how God has met you. It renews your faith and restores your joy.

Over 20 years ago we lived in the middle of a cow pasture. There were six of us. I had become critically ill and in a series of events, we lost everything.

One of the parishioners of the church we attended owned a dairy farm and he offered us shelter and a job for Ray on the farm. I don't know which took more faith- the house or the job. We moved from a beautiful 4,000 plus square foot turn of the century Victorian home to this 900 sq ft home heated by a wood burning stove in the living room. Ray was raised in the Bronx in a high rise and now he milked cows. We were way out of our comfort zone.
He would get up every morning at five a.m. and while he dressed I made coffee and his breakfast. This was the only quiet time of the day that the two of us had together. We treasured this time encouraging one another that things wouldn't always be like this.
He would load the wood burning stove so the house would be warm for the children when they got up. Soon he was out the door to go to the barn.
When it was winter, it was bitter cold even in north Florida. I could hear his boots crunch as he stepped outside. I returned to the kitchen table and watched in the direction of the barn. Soon the light came on and I knew he was there.
I cannot adequately express what happened in my spirit when that light came on. It was if the darkness of the moment was flooded with light and with gratefulness. I had a husband who loved me and shelter. I was very grateful.
For the next hour I had my quiet time with the LORD before I woke the kids to get ready for the school bus. I poured my heart to Him keenly aware that I had come perilously close to dying the year before. I didn't understand the way my life was turning out, but I did know that life was a gift.
I think much time is wasted trying to figure out the whys, rather than living in this day. His mercies are new every morning and I need to appropriate them as opposed to sucking my thumb over what could have been, should have been and the willy-nilly "if onlys" of life.
[It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
[They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness.
The LORD [is] my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
The LORD [is] good unto them that wait for him,
to the soul [that] seeketh him.
 [It is] good that [a man] should both hope and quietly wait
 for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:22-26

The LORD was my portion, not antiques and a spacious dwelling place. The LORD was my portion, not a high paced executive position. On the farm, we had nothing, not even a car. If God did not provide it, we didn't have it. My hope was in Him. Deep from within I could feel new life- life I didn't understand, but life nevertheless. It was in the early morning that I would both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD."

I make the trek back to now in this season of my life to learn once again to "quietly wait."  A good friend used to tell me I sometimes get a "whiney-butt" spirit. My pastor is more direct and calls it self-pity- the superglue from hell that binds us to our past.

Quietly wait means not calling the shots and surrendering to the LORD. What fear keeps me from doing this knowing that time and time again when I have come to that place of absolute surrender, He has met me in a way that was beyond anything I could have dreamed? That fear must be identified and excised with repentance for allowing it to come again. Remember I said this knowledge began forming over 20 years ago. What distractions have been so important that I haven't had time to sit at His feet and learn of Him? Why do I continue to declare like a four year old, "I do it myself?"

Last week I went through the For My Life program again.

It had probably been four years or more since I had taken it. It was completely re-formatted and a joy. The program I took 11 years ago was like drinking out of a fire hose. It stirred up the drivenness, performance and perfectionism within me to get it all and get it all right NOW!
This new program gave me breathers to process and seem more Holy Spirit led than curriculum led. What  joy to get back to the place of quietly waiting.
What are you waiting for? When you wait with Him there is a confidence that brings peace.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Are You Moping Around?

I was ministering to someone a while back and the Lord gave me an acronym that totally fit the situation. This young woman was being battered by trying to meet the expectations of others. I think this is extra prevalent during the holidays.
So the acronym was M.O.P.E.
It is an open door for oppression and depression and you will just mope around the house and through your daily tasks.
Someone who mopes is someone who looks like they have been spray painted with "Why Me, Lord? Why Me?"
They are always singing the blues which is an open door to self pity. When you are all dressed up in self-pity, nobody wants to be around you. That just compounds the mood.
It is not a forever situation. Joy comes in the morning. That is His morning of choice, not yours Psalm 30 says:
Sing unto the Lord,
O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:
 weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

When you wallow in self-pity and grief, your morning will be delayed.When you go there, soon your foot is on a slippery slope and recovery is difficult.
The only antidote is to shake yourself loose. Not always easy, but always necessary.
It requires action on your part.

Shake from Free Online Dictionary: Parentheses mine.
1. To cause to move to and fro with jerky movements.(get up and dance)
2. To cause to quiver, tremble, vibrate, or rock. (Rock 'n' roll)
3. To cause to lose stability or waver: (Self-pity as a belief system has to go.)
4. To remove or dislodge by jerky movements: shook the dust from (my feet).
5.a. To bring to a specified condition by or as if by shaking:
   b. Slang To get rid of:
6. To disturb or agitate; unnerve:
7. To brandish or wave, especially in anger: shake one's fist. (Get mad at the devil.)
Okay, still not sure how to do it?
Here is a great example:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Put on Your Big Girl Boots

We all face challenges. The enormity of it can almost always be determined by your attitude.
Even if you cannot change the size of the problem, you can choose how you will overcome it or walk through it.
1 Peter 4 tells us:
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings;
 that, when his glory shall be revealed,
ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Repeatedly when something life-shattering happens, my first thought is not to rejoice, but to ask, "Why me, Lord?
That is really a form of accusation as if to blame God for allowing it to happen. However, the job description of Satan is to "kill, steal and destroy." So why would I blame God for something the enemy caused?
My friend, Mary Pat, wrote a book, Walking Through Fiery Trials. She lost two sons and her mother in a time span of less than 18 months.
When my daughter was killed in an accident last year, I thought of her and how she handled it. It did not lessen my grief, but it showed me that I could get through it.
During our following 18 months, Ray lost a brother, had another sister very ill. He had to have a quadruple heart bypass which was a huge surprise for us, because he had always been the family Energizer bunny. We thought his slowing down was due to grief.
Three months after the surgery, we moved from the home we thought we would spend our latter years in. A couple of months later Ray lost another brother.
In each case, there was mercy, a measure of time to deal with it.
We never felt the Lord abandoned us, but instead felt a sweet closeness. His provision during that season was exceeding abundantly.
The joy comes not in celebrating the loss. I could never celebrate the loss of our daughter. The joy comes in knowing I will see her again and that in the mean time, He will never leave us nor forsake us.
The joy came when things no longer mattered. Relationships matter. Period.
Every mountain we faced, He gave us the strength to traverse it. He showed us the path to take. Each time he traveled with us. Each time we drew closer.
When you face the mountains of your life, look back to see the ones you thought you couldn't cross, but did, then put your big girl boots on and begin to climb again.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Kind of Love Do you Have?

We have all been taught the three kinds of love, but I suggest that agape love is really more identifiable as a selfless love. When we give up our right to be right, God can move in our behalf.
After a struggle with a family member, I decided to re-examine the Love Chapter:

1 Corinthians 13

King James Version (KJV)
13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries,
 and all knowledge; and though I have all faith,
 so that I could remove mountains,
 and have not charity, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,
 and though I give my body to be burned,
and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself,
 is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own,
 is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
 but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things,
 hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Now if I rewrote this through selfishness, it would read like this:

1 Corinthians 13 of Narcissism

He enters every situation as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Look at me! Look at me!
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, I really don't have time for other people's lives..
3 bestow all my goods to feed the poor, because he needs the tax deduction and he gives my body for relay races, because it is good public relations.
An easy answer, and regardless; he thinks he is the envy of all. Has made a name for himself.,
Doth behave itself unseemly, seeketh  his own, is easily provoked, or is getting even;
6 . loves it when people get their just desserts; after all truth is relative; 
Shirks all things, doubts all things, suspicious of all things, and if it is too much of an imposition is suddenly too busy .

There is so much baggage that we bring into a marriage, family and the work place. One word can jerk us back to the past. When we are selfless, there is no trigger.

There was an old book called Looking Out for Number 1. That would have been great advice if he realized that Number 1 is God, the Father.

Monday, October 21, 2013

You Can Be the Artist Who Paints the Masterpiece

The older I get the more important it is to me to leave something behind. How will I be remembered? In my 30s, I was very selfish. A great deal of that was to protect myself from further abuse. Then I met Ray.
Ray got a real tiger by the tail when he married me. We laugh now and say, he re-wrote The Taming of the Shrew (good old boy style.) He never gave up on me even when loving me was like loving a porcupine or hugging a telephone pole.
Mary Kay has taught me a great deal about giving love. I mostly do the one on one facial so I can spend time with the woman sharing that no matter where she is in this journey called life, she is beautiful, a creation of Father God.
I have had some cry saying that no one has ever told them they were special before. That should not be so.

The ministry I work for, Be in Health, has given me numerous opportunities to minister at a much deeper level to those deep heart needs. I cannot express enough gratitude for those divine appointments. I am every bit as blessed as the women I minister to.
Several years ago, I was sorting books for a huge garage sale next weekend, and I found one by Lee Ann Womack called Something Worth Leaving Behind. The following is a quote from it:
"You are the artist who paints a masterpiece
In the lives of those around you.
Maybe you are doing it right now.
Maybe you will do it tomorrow.
Or the day after that.
But you WILL make a difference.
You will make a beautiful difference.
With words of encouragement,
Words of hope,
With a smile...
A long hug...
A heart felt "thank you."
There are canvases
All around you.
Some are in desperate need of what only you can offer.
Awaken the artist within you and
A masterpiece?
A living, breathing, masterpiece!
One person at a time.
One stroke at a time
With the color of...

One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 5:5, "... the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

You are deeply loved, pass it on. If you do not know how special you are, would you listen to Mandisa's song and take another look?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Where Is Your Journey Taking You?

Whether it is finishing my first eBook, teaching for the ministry I work for or having fun with Mary Kay facials  if God is not first, it is just wood, hay and stubble.
Nothing can be more important than my relationship with Him.   No fear can cancel my faith. He must be my everything.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
To delight means to totally surrender. To make Him your everything. When we do that we will find that sometimes the final destination changes.
It is a journey to cut out the things in our lives that do not reflect Him. No destination can be greater than the journey for it is the journey that determines your character, your integrity when you cross the finish line. The destination brings joy unspeakable and peace that passes all understanding. It is well worth the pain, detours and challenges of the journey.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How Obedient Do You Want to Be?

There is a cost for obedience.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous,
 but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth
 the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them
 which are exercised thereby. Hebrews 12:11
To change a habit or be who God has called you to be you  withdraw from business as usual. It means you choose your time carefully realizing that it can never be regained.
It may mean turning off the computer, the television and phone and just listen to the Father. Can we be still that long without any results for the world to see?

You see the things that are wrought deep in our heart may not show for weeks or months. It isn't a microwave experience but a crock pot one as you rest in the everlasting arms of your Father.

You may even be deemed unfriendly if you withdraw to spend more time with the Father to fully receive His love not just for yourself, but so that you may heal and pour out that same love on others. Who is it more important to please? Friends and family? Or your Father ?

There is a cost to finding the root to that Father. I have been digging around the roots to gluttony and a sugar addiction. Are they the same or evil twins?
An article called  Adverse Childhood Experiences written in the Huffington Post gave some clues. But we are triune beings- body, soul and spirit. So it is a one-dimensional snapshot that assessed the connection between childhood trauma, abuse or tragedy that colored  later-life health including obesity and well-being.
I am on a journey to take back those things stolen from me and live my life as my Father intended for His plans for me are for good and not evil.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Broken, Winding Road

I came to the For My Life program twelve years ago. The results were nothing short of miraculous.
Because I was still not free of fear of man at that time, we decided that we would move up here. The purpose was to keep "practicing" until I got the precepts right and only accept what lines up with the word of God.
I had a lot of bad programming both generational and self-inflicted. It was time to overwrite those programs with the Word.
Pastor Henry teaches three steps forward and two back is still progress.
Trying to do things my way still, sometimes I even did that backwards.

I remember the second time I took it, I kept thinking, they didn't teach this last time.
It wasn't that they didn't teach it before, it was that I was now in a different place.
Next week I get to go through the program again. I am so excited because there have been some changes and additions.
I pray that yet another layer will come off.
It is my heart's cry that I become the Diane that He created me to be.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Slice of Humble Pie?

Over a year ago I was asked to do a taping for a teaching I do at Be In Health called Unloving. The team was going to the UK the following week and needed it quickly.
They had just finished a small recording studio.
I was ushered in. Everything looked perfect. Compact, but perfect.
The teaching was about ninety minutes long. I was to stand in one place for ninety minutes.
Well, with every ounce of drivenness and performance, I gave myself the "I Can Do This!" speech in my head.
Normally I engage the audience and I walk from one side to the other in the presentation.
Nope. I had my square and it was barely as big as I am.
Since it was going to the UK, I was asked to use no colloquialisms or idioms that could be misunderstood.
Well, I was raised in the South and our vocabulary is peppered with our special language. The King's English it ain't. So no pressure.
I began. The camera didn't bother me but after about an hour, the lights were about to take me out. I really thought I might pass out. 
So I gave the time sign and paused. I then asked for a fan. They got me a chair, water and after about ten minutes they located a fan and I began again.
No worries. Right?
Well, almost.

You see in January. they decided to release the DVDs one by one each month so our Partners could watch the program one subject each month and have a followup teleconference call for discussion. This is my month. I didn't watch it. I knew I would critique myself and it wouldn't be pretty.
So today I got a phone call from Long Island. After I solved her problem, she said, "Did you know that when you were teaching Unloving that the camera was still rolling when you took your break?"
"Uh, no....."
She proceeds to tell me all about it.

Well, I am sure glad that I behaved myself.
The glitch has been fixed, but I felt I had been served a large piece of humble pie.
As Christians we are told that we may be the only Bible some people read.
So when you are taking a break from life as I did in that hot studio, please remember somebody may be watching.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Humming Her Way to Victory

I was encouraged by an email I got today.
"I am good and grateful for another day to live while advancing the Kingdom of Father God.  It's been a daily learning process  to lean on the TRUTH while loving the process to see what the Father is restoring in my life.  (What a joy to keep in mind that GOD didn't leave us alone.  Process doesn't feel good but is good for me.)  I am giving HIM my ashes and reaching up and out to receive HIS Beauty!!! 
There is a song that describe these past few years that goes like this (hum along with me)
I just can't turn back nowwwwww!!!  Come too far from where I started it from.  Nobody told me the road would be easyyyy, I don't believe HE brought me this far to leave me. 

So when I fall, stumble or have challenges at home, work, ect...   I choose to praise HIM because HE IS GOOD!!!! (sometimes all I do is hum to HIM) .

It so encouraged me I had to go to YouTube and look it up. Not exactly my favorite genre of music but when he began by saying this was a testimony of an 82 year old woman, not only was I encouraged, but I felt younger. too.

Rev. 12:11 says, "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death."

My friend sang and hummed her testimony and she overcame.
I think I should follow her suit.



Sunday, October 13, 2013

Exchange Questions for Love

For over 30 years I have ministering to women who have been abused. Repeatedly I ask them to read Psalm 139 OUT LOUD twice a day for 30 days.
It answers questions like: "Where were you, God?" "Does anybody care?" "Was I an accident?" and statements like: "What's the use." and "I feel like such a loser."
Innocently they look like questions. In reality, they are accusing God.
None of that comes from the heart of God. Psalm 139 reveals His heart. When you know that then anything that does not line up with that is from the accuser of the brethren, Satan. Ditch those thoughts quickly before they destroy you.
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26-27
If Jesus wants to wash us with the water of the Word, shouldn't we be doing the same?
Your Father loves you and His plan for you will bring joy unspeakable. I can't promise you that there will never be pain, but I promise you that He will carry you and the healing will bring a new life that is more than you could have ever imagined or even hoped for.
Let me tell you in case you have forgotten, You are loved, deeply loved.
He works all those things together for good for those that love God and are called according to His purpose.
Do you love Him?
Are you called according to His purpose?
Then it is time for that great love exchange.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Handmade Love

As we set our sights on eliminating all credit card debt (again), one of the ways we will adjust is by having a handmade Christmas.
Our daughter, Margie, has requested a grapevine Christmas tree as a centerpiece for her dining table. I almost choked. As a teen she hated gathering kudzu on the woods for me to make trees and wreaths for sale. Now she wanted this throw back to the past? You just never know what children remember.
I remember one Christmas tree I made for a wholesale florist was five feet tall. I am only 5'2". So it was a stretch. ad
The thing about working with vine is that as it dries, it shrinks. So even though you may think your frame is covered, three days later you will see gaping holes. So you wrap over the original, wait three days and do it once more.
I remember how hard it was on my hands so I thought I'd check eBay and maybe I could fake it. No such luck! It was $50 and not as plump and full as mine.
So I will be making my little Margie hers. Besides Georgia has way more kudzu than Florida.
My friend, Sally Swift, used to make all sorts of things to sell at Christmas craft shows and fairs. She is truly an artist who patiently taught me many things. I remember making tiny woolen sheep. Each one was slightly different. She showed me how to make gingerbread men from corrugated paper.
She was an artist who could do the most complicated quilt or hand painted picture while mine were simpler, folksy whimsies.
Even though I sell Mary Kay, I love making and giving natural body scrubs and lotions. I am counting on Curstie to share some of her recipes (We both love coconut oil.) My cousin, Lisa, plays with essential oils and I love anything with lavender. I love buying the lavender for sachets and adding essential oils as a refresher.
Of course, a family favorite is always anything good to eat from fudge to pumpkin rolls.

Cinnamon applesauce ornaments are so easy and so fragrant.

If you want to give some handmade love for Christmas, it's not too early to get started.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Take Your Peace

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39
Whatever the storms are in your life, take your peace.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Forgive Me

Sometimes we fail to speak the things hidden in our heart. Sometimes that is a very good thing. With Facebook, Twitter, et al, we can speak too quickly.
Yesterday I injured a friend with my "cute" remark. What was normal to me, wasn't normal to her and offense was taken.
Thank God for the delete button and His forgiveness. In fact, God's delete button is more thorough than FB's.
He remembers it no more. He never brings up our past. Repentance makes it null and void.
Sometimes because we don't "see and touch" God, we mutter prayers in our heads, but our heart needs to hear these prayers to help shift from regret to hope.
What do you need to ask God to forgive you for today?Or is it possible you need to ask Him for forgiveness for the times you accused when you thought He failed you?
Just because you don't get the answers you think you need, doesn't mean He failed. It may mean you have some changes to make first or that He has a better plan.
As I put my head on my pillow each night, I review my day and repent for my mistakes.
His mercies are new every morning.
I don't need to take any excess garbage into a new day.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shake Yourself Loose

I have had the flu for almost a week. I have been well so long that I am a bit insulted that
a simple achy, sneezy, coughy flu bug could take me out.
It is not serious, just annoying.
I have mostly slept. One of the books I read is Have Heart by a couple who lost their son in a car wreck. It was encouraging and brought me back to one of my favorite scriptures:
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us." NLT
Our races and weights may be different, but neither of us can do what God has set before us unless we lay down all of the weights that we have picked up over the years.
I can rattle off a dozen reasons why I couldn't be expected to a winner in the race of life. They could be as trivial as my weight or age or as devastating as being the victim of a violent crime. But those are just events. That is not who I am. I am finding my true identity in who God says I am.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. Ps. 139:14
We have fun with the following song at our church. Listen to it a couple of times until you really get it. Then really, I mean seriously, just do it!
Shake yourself loose and go get what is yours and give God all of the glory.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Run to Him

I am rarely lonely. I enjoy my own company.
My mom encouraged me to read. So if the book is interesting and straightforward, I often finish it the same day.
I have written for years. So the solitude is bliss.
Part of that is very healthy while a secret part uses it as a defense mechanism for withdrawing from the fray. I often  run away from conflict and let the issue fester until it has to be lanced.
That "don't rock the boat" mentality keeps the Lord out of the issue. Jesus not only rocked boats, but He stepped out of one and walked on water.
I am learning to love myself now and not to allow myself to be somebody's dumpster. If every time I call you, you whine, my calls will be less frequent. I will still love you, still pray for you, but I don't have to be defiled by you.

The first time I heard the phrase, Happiness is a choice, I was infuriated. I had had years of abuse. I had a right to be miserable. After all, life wasn't fair.
Now I know happiness is indeed a choice. I can dwell on what happened or I can seize this day and live it fully, not looking back.
 Paul said, in Philippians 3
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
I am here to tell you that reaching forth and pressing toward the mark brings joy!
Our Daddy said in Deuteronomy, "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:"
My choice is not all about me. It I clothe myself in self-pity, I am programming my generations to do the same.
No more! I choose life, life abundantly.

If I must run, I must run into His arms. When we run to Him He runs to us.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Who Do We See in the Mirror?

Today we did our final Glamour Shots.
What fun we three musketeers had- Elizabeth Evans, Kassy Levitt and myself. We were faithfully assisted by Ann Cobb.
Our dog, Eddie, ate my glasses this week. Yes, you read that right. So Ann was often my eyes when I couldn't read the  print on the Mary Kay samples.

The reality is that for each of us, we have all struggled with loving ourselves.
I have no problems at all taking a bit of makeup and enhancing what is already there and bringing a face alive- as long as it isn't mine.
I think when we see ourselves as anything less than what the Father created us to be, we are seeing reflections of the lies that others have spoken about us. We took those lies in and began to parrot them until we believed them ad our body conformed to them.

If I choose instead to worship my Creator, and commit to His ways then I change from the inside out. I reflect my Father for I am Daddy's girl.

Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul
I live for you alone
Every breath that I take
Every moment I'm awake
Lord, have Your ways in me


Friday, October 4, 2013

What Are You Willing to Leave Behind?

Ray and I moved to this small town twelve years ago.
We left behind a lot and there were regrets, because some of the people we love were hurt in the process. I praise God that as time passed, each relationship was restored.
Through our struggles here, we have found a new life and a deeper love for one another.
Some of my worst weaknesses have been surrendered one by one. (Why did I hold on so long?)
We had a freedom and a peace that we have never experienced before. Then last year everything that could be shaken was.
No mother plans to lose a child. Children bury their parents, not the other way around.
During the next twelve months after we lost our daughter, Carrin; Ray lost his brother, Bill; Ray had a quadruple heart bypass; and we moved from the home we thought we would grow old together in.
Corrie Tem Boom once said, "Hold everything loosely, because it hurts when God pries your fingers open."
What we have learned is that God has a plan for us. He wastes nothing.
The most precious gift we have is time.
I learned is we don't make time for children when they are young, they may not make time for us when we are older.
Ray and I moved to Texas for a season. We left grandchildren behind. Now as they are maturing, the tie between us is not as strong as I  would like. If I had known that then, would I have moved?
I honestly don't know.
I see parents who think their job is more important than attending a football game. They say the HAD to work. Really? Where does trust come in ? Who is God? The job?

Maybe God is calling you to leave some things behind.
He has been doing it for centuries.
Michael Card has put it to music. Here are the lyrics. The video follows.

Things We Leave Behind
There sits Simon,
so foolishly wise
proudly he's tending his nets
Then Jesus calls,
and the boats drift away
all that he owns he forgets

More than the nets
he abandoned that day,
he found that his pride was soon drifting away
It's hard to imagine the freedom we find
from the things we leave behind

Matthew was mindful
of taking the tax,
pressing the people to pay
Hearing the call,
he responded in faith
followed the Light and the Way

Leaving the people
so puzzled he found,
the greed in his heart
was no longer around and
it's hard to imagine
the freedom we find
from the things
we leave behind

Every heart needs to be set free,
from posessions
that hold it so tight
'Cause freedom's not found in the things that we own,
It's the power
to do what is right
Jesus, our only posession,
giving becomes our delight
We can't imagine the freedom we find
from the things we leave behind

We show a love for the world in our lives
by worshipping goods we possess
Jesus has laid all our treasures aside
"love God above all the rest"

'Cause when we say 'no'
to the things of the world
we open our hearts
to the love of the Lord and
its hard to imagine
the freedom we find
from the things we leave behind

Oh, and it's hard to imagine
the freedom we find
from the things we leave behind