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Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eggscelent Inspiration!

I'm still thinking about Sunday...  We had a special service at church.  Our first service feature the pastor's sermon on being thankful, and it was a good one!  But the second service was all about Target: Dayton!  The Target Dayton Choir came to sing and testify at our church.  I recently talked about the ministry they do for the homeless and the addicted in the city.  There are many that have hit rock-bottom and yet were saved because their paths crossed that of Target: Dayton Ministries.  I believe the church is still home to one of the largest AA groups in the area.  I'll have to check on that.

I remember when they came and told about being able to purchase the really large but empty church building.  They survive on donations.  Their members cannot support the ministry with tithes, as most of them haven't even a home. 

Apparently, Cindi's (Director of the choir, organizer of the meals, and wife to the pastor) dream for years has been to take the choir to New York to see the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir perform.  She would have never taken from operating expenses for the trip, but donations  came in that allowed her (with a bit of help from the Man upstairs) to not only take the choir to New York, but gave them the opportunity of a lifetime... They actually SANG with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir!

During their performance, they ran a slide show of the wonderful things they did and saw while in New York.  It was truly amazing.  In between soul-shaking solos from members of the choir, some of them stepped forward to speak of what the trip meant to them.  The first man made me reach for the tissues...

He spoke of how he had been down on his luck.  Addictions had gotten the best of him.  He was suicidal.  Then Target: Dayton! entered his life and told him about Jesus.  Now he's stayed in a hotel where President's have slept and sang with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir!  Ah, God is good...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Resume for Heaven

God has a job for me. I sometimes wonder about what God intends for my job here on this earth to be. I try to intently listen for His still, small voice. I desperately want to follow His lead, to be where He would place me. Am I succeeding?

What about heaven? Will we have a job to do there?

Whenever heaven has been described to me, it is a place of perfection... streets of gold, gates of pearl, angels singing, no tears, no pain... We will forever worship Him. Is that it? I mean, day in and day out, for eternity? Do we just hang out, singing and praising... feasting on the good stuff? Not that it sounds bad; but eternity is a pretty long time, and all that sounds pretty simple for a God that conceived of this intricate universe.

I have been fortunate in my life to have spent time in nature, surrounded by calm and beauty, feeling the presence of God. There is no greater feeling; but as great as it felt... how long could I honestly sit there? A day? Sure. A week? Mmm... relaxing. Years? Well...

Eternity is a long time. I have a few questions:
  1. Will we sleep? If so...
  2. Do we have to get up at a set time... or can we sleep in?
  3. What will we do when we wake up?
  4. Do we eat breakfast? Where does it come from? Is it cooked?
  5. Who does the dishes?
  6. Are we then, off to work?
Silly? Perhaps; but will we have a job to do in heaven? Is our time spent here in preparation for our career in the afterlife? That might explain a few things. Then again, maybe not...

I was reading something that got me pondering again the subject of pain and suffering in this world. You know... that old 'Why would God allow...' thing. I know that, just as the analogy speaks in the Bible, a grape vine thrives when pruned. It grows strong and bears much fruit. The rough times of my life have always turned out to be a blessing. Sometimes it takes longer to see it. I don't wish to go through the pain again; but it made me who I am. It prepared me for how I live my life right now. Did it also prepare me for something else ...something greater?

If heaven has all these souls filling its space, will not it be a society? In any society, there are roles to be filled. Even Jesus talked about a body needing hands and feet. Heaven is perfect, right? So what is a perfect society? Maybe one filled to the brim with compassion and understanding? Genuine caring for your fellow man? If there is no evil, no pain, no suffering, how much compassion will be required? After all, isn't compassion more of a react to a situation, rather than a tangible thing?

OK, now I'm rambling in circles... Does anyone have the answers?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I've read this story before; it circulates through the e-world periodically. I thought I'd share it and see what comments you might leave. It is an interesting story to ponder.

In a small Texas town, a new bar/tavern started a building to open up their business. The local Baptist church started a campaign to block the bar from opening with petitions and prayers. Work progressed, however right up till the week before opening, when a lightning strike hit the bar and it burned to the ground.

The church folks didn't have much to say after that, until the bar owner sued the church on the grounds that the church was ultimately responsible for the demise of his building, either through direct or indirect actions or means. The church vehemently denied all responsibility or any connection to the buildings demise in its reply to the court.

As the case made its way in to court, the judge looked over the paperwork. At the hearing he commented, "I don't know how I'm going to decide this, but as it appears from the paperwork, we have a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that doesn't.

As I read this story again, I wondered how my church might respond in this situation. Let me state for the record, I've never been involved in a church praying against a bar. I do believe, however, that a community has a right to set moral standards. It's just my opinion. If I were in this situation, I would have to take credit. If I pray and something happens... Well, it is what it is. I'd like to see the judge's opinion in that situation!

So, if you were the judge, and the congregation took credit for the destruction by prayer, how would you rule? Remember, if the destruction was a direct result of the prayer, it truly was an act of God.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Holding Back the Claws

I want to always trust God the way my mama cat trusts me. My best friend has commented more than once about how tame my cats are. Her cats are tame, too. They are loving. They purr when petted. What's so different about mine? Trust... Total trust.

I thought about it this morning when I cradled Little Bear. She is a farm cat and lives outside, hunting mice and other varmints while escaping whatever larger predators may lurk in the darkness. Yet, with all the natural instinct a cat can possess, she is not the tiniest bit 'cat' when I hold her in my arms. A lot of cats won't let you turn them upside down (especially if they grew up with little kids!), but that's how I always hold Little Bear. I lift her with one hand under her belly and roll her into my waiting cradle. She falls back into the comfort of my arms peacefully and begins to purr. She doesn't struggle to upright herself. She doesn't reach out with her claws to secure a hold on my shirt. I can walk around with her, bend over, stoop... It doesn't matter what I do; she purrs with contentment for she is in her mommy's arms.

She was days old and orphaned when we found her. She was one of a litter of five – one dead, four barely alive, crying, their bodies cold, their eyes barely open. We took the four sickly kittens home, stopping along the way for kitten formula and the other necessities. Don King (should have seen his hair) was the worst. He survived a few days, but never seemed likely to make it. The other three flourished. Chubbers, with his unquenchable appetite, appeared to have swallowed two ping-pong balls. Paint Girl’s fur looked as if a loaded brush had touched her in places on her back. And Little Bear… so deep black, with golden eyes, claws that always seemed too long to withdraw into their hidden place. (see photo) And we became their parents.

Before the DOG came along, the three of them walked the lane with us to the mailbox and back. They followed our lead everywhere. They were devoted to us because we saved them! We saved them from death. We saved them from a hard life with no one to guide them. We provided them with everything they needed. We loved them and nurtured them. They know the sound of our voices.

I was barely alive when Jesus found me. My heart was cold. My eyes were not open. I faced certain death. I was struggling to survive. I needed His guidance and His love. God is now my Father. He saved me from certain death. He guides me daily, giving me wisdom to make the right choices. He provides me with everything I need and more. He loves me and nurtures me. And I know the sound of His voice.

He tries to pick me up, to cradle me, to give me comfort. Sometimes I let Him. Sometimes I bring out the claws. I reach to cling to something… control. I am afraid to let go. Why? Has He not always cared for me with the greatest tenderness? Don’t I trust Him with my life? Of course I do! But instinct tells me to bring out the claws, at least until my reasoning takes over.

Little Bear knows that she doesn’t need her instinct with me. I don’t know how she turns it off, but I’m going to learn. It will probably take a lot of practice and patience, but, hopefully, with time I too will no longer pull out the claws when my Father takes me into His arms.

Monday, June 29, 2009

When God Ran

I just heard a song that touched my heart. Lille Diane from ...This Time Tomorrow... is a recording artist as well as a wonderful photographer and painter! I am this very moment listening to a CD of hers titled 'A Child Like Me'. I listened to the last song, 'When God Ran' first. Wow! I've got to run my mom to an appointment, but the cd's going with me!

You've got to check out Lille Diane's music. She has a fabulous voice! Blogville is so full of talented people! I love living here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Patina

I was reading through my morning e-mails and came to the one from the Presidential Prayer Team. It's a good way to start the day! Today's daily compared the rich patina of a well cared for antique table to the rich 'patina' a follower of God will achieve through years of a well cared for relationship with God.

Through daily prayer, scripture study and constantly walking in the path, we will achieve that patina that so pleases God. It is not only visible to God, but to all that cross our paths. A deep relationship with God improves all our other relationships; even those we pass as strangers.

When I further pondered that train of thought, I contemplated what else might contribute to my personal patina... The years of abusive relationships surely left me with those nicks and gouges that only add to the beauty of a treasured heirloom. The wisdom I continue to gain gives me that soft sheen that cannot be achieved with a quick polish.

Even the arthritis has its place. Have you ever noticed on a very old piece of furniture, the places that were constantly touched or rubbed? The finish is worn thin, paint rubbed away, exposing the bare wood. Yet, we would not think of touching it up! No, those spots are evidence of its history... Grampa rested his hand there; Mom opened that drawer the most.

Yes, some days I wish for that shiny new polyurethane exterior. It sure was easier to get chores done. But then I realize the value I place on those 'chores' now and I treasure my patina.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm not judging you, but...

Today was magnificent! I made it to church for the most wonderful service. Still celebrating the upcoming birth of Grand #5 (or should it be #B1, with A1,2,3,4 the others? IDK) it brought me to tears to witness the special events today. Four graduates were honored before the congregation. All four were read to as they stood near the alter. The youth pastor read letters written by their fathers... Words like, "...when we first found out you..." and "...our little bean!" Thanks what Tim & Jessica call their long-awaited. And if that wasn't enough? Following the grads was a family for a baby dedication. The baby's name? Brody! Close enough to Brady to make me grab my next-to-last tissue!

Oh well... I know you're all ready to O.D. on my baby babblings. Back to the point of my post...

[Warning: If Jesus offends you, click the little x in the upper, right-hand corner. Or better yet, read on anyway...]

Friday, after Jessica 'delivered' (I love that word) the news, we were talking about church. I commented about some of the people that are there whenever the doors are open. (no names, not a gossip session - just opinions) Yes, we do need those dedicated people to keep things in order. But, (and again, I'm not judging) that's not what it's about folks! Remember the Great Commission? Did Jesus spend his every waking hour inside a synagogue? No! He went out! Out to where they needed HIM!

I am being judged. I don't know by whom, but I know it's happening. People know us. They look around at the small group gatherings and miss our faces. They have a BBQ and we're not there. They have the ladies lunch bunch. I made one. Men do a Saturday breakfast. I don't think Hubby's ever been. We've missed numerous prayer meetings and special events. I'm not saying we never go to them. We do. Some. Want to know the most horrible thing about me? I've skipped church because of reasons other than death. I KNOW!

Yes, Jesus clearly directs us to gather together. It is important to strengthen our faith. Our church family upholds us. They pray with us. They are so very important to me. It is hard to grow our faith in the world without a strong bond with our Christian sisters and brothers. 'Nuff said.

Pastor's sermon today said it all. He reminded us that, yeah it's great to come here, but that's not what it's all about. We come to be equipped... to go. On the Day of Pentecost, the followers waited. The Spirit came and filled them, giving them the ability to speak in all the tongues of the people gathered in the city. Not to communicate with each other, but to go out.

Now, I'm not bragging that I'm this 'pounding on doors, bringing people to the Lord' person. Far from it. I fall miserably short. I've missed many opportunities to witness about what God has done for me. But I've shared a lot. When I was a MySpace addict, many of my posts shared how God was moving in my life.

Our church purpose: "To turn people into passionate followers of Christ" Pastor reminded us this morning that we can't do that sitting in the sanctuary. And Pastor, if you're reading... "HONK, HONK!"

Friday, May 29, 2009

"I once felt sorry...

...that I had no shoes, until I met the man that had no feet." This is probably the quotable quote I quote the most, and that says a lot coming from me. I'm a notorious quoter! Too bad I can seldom remember who said what. (Mark Twain & Thomas Edison were very wise!)

Back to the subject... Not that I'm having a pity party - far from it! Thanks to that little saying, I've not fallen pray to the invites in some time. It has become second nature to me that whenever I have to do something or experience something unpleasant, that quote immediately comes to mind. I think it's my answer to a frequent prayer. I asked God to continually remind me to be thankful and deeply aware of other's needs. It is amazing how your mountains can instantly become the most beautiful fields of wild flowers!

Next on my agenda is strapping on my pollen mask and tackling those resilient sticky things in my front garden. I am taking a breathing treatment 'as we speak'. The new medicine my doctor added to the regimen tastes nasty! And I have to wait for the jitters to subside before I dare try to bend over on a slope. But thanks to God and that little saying, it is no more a bother to me than brushing my hair in the morning. Besides, it gives me time to share one of my favorites with you...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

my remarkable hand

Today started out typical, until I heard the BOOM! Well, come to think of it, that was pretty normal too. My mother-in-law fell again. She gets very impatient and forgets she can’t always walk. While trying to make it 4 feet to her stash of peppermints, she fell and hit the back of her head on something and got a nasty cut. Hubby called me to help. That’s when I found her sitting in the floor with the back of her head wet with blood.

After locating the source of the bleeding, I held the heel of my hand firmly against it while she sat pleading with me to have Hubby and my father-in-law pick her up. With both of them having previous back surgeries, she had no choice but to wait on the ambulance. Besides, she hit hard enough that perhaps we shouldn’t be moving her around…

The ambulance crew arrived (a few familiar faces) and carried her off to the local emergency room. After the CT scan showed no problem and she got a couple of souvenir staples in the back of her head, Hubby brought her back home.

During this ordeal I got a message from my daughter. It seems Grand #3 was running a temp of 104 and shaking! Her preschool called Mommy and Daddy at work. Daddy was on his way to pick her up and take her to the doctor. I was going to be in Middletown anyway for the choir concert (Grand #1), so I would get to see her and give her a dose of Nana!

I drove Dani home after the concert to find Grace still running a fever. Her body was like a hot roll right out of the oven. She crawled into my lap and wanted to give me one of her sqeezy hugs. She wrapped around me and laid her head on my shoulder. I put one arm around her and my other hand to the back of her head and rocked her as I always do when she’s feeling lousy…

It dawned on me that the hand that applied pressure against the wound of the seventy-seven-year-old woman in the floor was now the hand that cradled and comforted the four-year-old with the fever. I stopped typing just now to gaze at that hand… that hand I take for granted every day. It’s remarkable. My God is so amazing!