Monday, November 22, 2010

Grateful Thanks!

Today as I look back over the past year with its challenges and changes, I am so grateful to know that our God has been in control of our goings and our comings! Nothing was a surprise to Him and He orchestrated a few surprises for us that have all been for our good!

I am so thankful for the love of my wonderful husband, who continues to love me unconditionally and unselfishly! With 40 years of marriage under our belts this year, I have another gratitude to our Father for that fete - we could not have made it without His guidance, forgiveness and mercy! I'm thankful for the love of my three children, their spouses and my eight grandchildren! God is so good and He has blessed me with many blessings through them this past year. I thank God for my siblings and my mother who help keep me grounded and appreciative of all the opportunities and help their love has provided. I'm thankful for my Christian family that is spread throughout the world. The love of Abba Father that binds us together and makes us one is the most powerful force in the universe! I'm grateful for the friends from my past that have been brought back into my present and, hopefully, my future! I'm excited and thankful for the plans that Abba Father has for me in this next year and for the health to be able to participate in all His plans.

Oh, He is so good and He's so loving! I'm very grateful to be called His daughter, to hear His voice and to know His love! There is nothing to top it in this world or the next! I love each of you and pray that you will find much to be grateful for as you reflect back on this year. God bless you in His love! Happy Day of Giving Thanks, dear ones.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Prime Your Pumps! or Thanksgiving Blog

Growing up on a farm in Pennsylvania, we had no running water or bathrooms in the house. We did have a wondeful, old, red-handled pump right outside the kitchen door where we could get the coldest, sweetest water on earth! The water came from the flowing creek at the bottom of the pasture and was pumped up to the house from a pump house down by the creek. Frequently, after not being used for awhile, we would have to prime the pump by pouring some water down it to get the water to come out. Once it started coming, we could pump as long as we wanted and the water would keep pouring out!

I've said all that to prime my Thanksgiving Blog! When My husband and I started our family and celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our home, we decided to start doing "Thankfulness Rounds" around the table. Everyone was expected to participate by sharing something for which they were thankful. At first, as young children, they were excited about thanking God for their sister, dog or new toy. As they entered the teenage years they became less excited about our traditional rounds. Each year our children would start off complaining about having to participate in the rounds, so each year we would have to prime the pump and start sharing our own thanks and then passing the turn around the table. Some years we only managed three or four rounds before we stopped and other years we would go about ten rounds. Each year there were tears and laughter by the time we finished and there was the determination by Allen and me that we were doing the right thing. Whenever we had guests join us for Thanksgiving, we always shared our tradition with them and welcomed them to join us in the rounds if they so desired. I don't recall that anyone ever refused the invitation even if they were a mite apprehensive. We have had some wonderful thanks given around our dining room table, thanks expressed by friends of old, friends we met that day, people of other faiths and nationalities and our own dear children as adults! Tears have flowed and laughter has been shared. How enriched and blessed we've been as we've been entrusted with thankful hearts. There is a vulnerability in being thankful. It denotes our dependence on our God and His access into our lives. It relates our interdependency on others. Ephesians 5:20 tells us to give thanks IN everything for this is God's will for us in Christ Jesus. Being thankful keeps our eyes on our Father and what He is about rather than our circumstances. Being thankful is certainly a God thing and because of that, it's a good thing!

Our three children are married with children of their own and all of them now do the Thankfulness Rounds as part of their celebration. Now they're hearing some of the same types of things we did and are also experiencing the joy of thanks given and thanks received. There are now tears at numerous tables and family gatherings. Guests and family members who shared those times with us in the past have also incorporated it into their holiday traditions. So, if you haven't already done so, prime the pump in your own family or gathering and get those thankful hearts going in grateful praise to Almighty God! Start small if necessary, but start & don't quit because if you prime long enough the cool, sweet, water of thankful hearts will come pouring out and will keep coming long after the day of Thanksgiving has passed!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Please, Please, Don't Drink the Poison!

To forgive or not to forgive is one of life's more challeging situations. I'm sure each of you has had many times when you had to choose between forgiving or not, just as I have. The decision to forgive is easier for me than it used to be, but there are still situations where I struggle with that decision. I've discovered when I'm confronted with a second-person offense, when someone I care about has been wronged, it is harder for me to reach that forgiveness decision than when it is only directed at me. I think its that "mother-bear syndrome" even when I'm not their mother!
Some time ago, I read the most dynamic definition of unforgiveness I had ever seen. The author, I regret I don't remember who it was, stated that unforgiveness is when: "We drink the poison expecting the other person to die!" What a perfect picture of such a vile thing as unforgiveness! That's a visual that has spurred me to forgive when my emotions didn't want me to. I hurt only myself when I choose to not forgive. Steve Saint wrote that "Hating someone and holding onto bitterness builds a prison around us. Forgiving others frees us." Forgiveness is first a choice and then an action. To forgive doesn't mean that person deserves forgiveness or that we forget his/her actions, it means we CHOOSE to forgive and then we do so! I choose to not die from poison I've ingested in a prison I've constructed! What a waste of our time, energy and position in Christ. The Bible states that if we don't forgive, we will not be forgiven and I need to be forgiven, hence I need to forgive because the price is too great if I don't! Our extraordinary God prepared an amazing way for our own undeserved forgiveness - Jesus the Christ! How can we do less?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Holding Tightly With My Eyes Closed!

When I was a child we moved twice a year to another state. The journey would entail a couple of nights in little roadside motels, meals at picnic tables and an occasional Yoo Hoo to drink when we stopped for gas. I don't recall ever asking my daddy, the driver, if he knew the way to go, if he had enough money to get us there or if our car was safe for the journey. I often asked him how long it would be till we got to our destination and "are we almost there?". As I have been thinking about my relationship to Abba Father and His directive that we need to come to Him as little children, the memory of my childhood days has helped me to understand more clearly what Abba means. Thankfully, I had a good daddy I could trust. He wasn't perfect like heavenly Father, but he was a good man and I knew he loved me. It's been easy for me to draw comparisons from my childhood because of that. I know many of you had fathers that you couldn't say that about or no father figure at all. It may be more difficult for you to come to Abba Father with childlike faith, but it is not impossible. Father God is constantly at work in our lives to reveal His great love to us and His desire to have a deep relationship with each of us. Maybe you've received a gift that you had no reason to expect, a job promotion or position offered when you had almost given up, new friends and old that truly care about you, a good report from the doctor regarding a condition you have or had, or anything good in your life. I believe all those are gifts from God to show us His love-heart and to draw us into a relationship with Him. Okay, most of us can accept that, but what about the times when people and things are not so good in our lives? Those times when our home is being foreclosed, our jobs are gone, our friends seem to have abandoned us or our health is attacked can be earthquakes in our relationship with Abba Father unless we have come to experience His love for us and to trust Him as a little child. That trust as a child where we simply have to hold on tight to our Daddy and let Him get us through the mess. Picture with me a raging river, a stormy night, a single log across that raging river to the other peaceful side and Father God on your side of the river. Childlike faith is when Abba Father holds us and tells us to put our arms around His neck and hold on tightly - He will walk us across to the other side. He instructs us to keep our eyes tightly shut and trust Him to get us safely over. What a wonderful position to be in - in His arms with our arms tightly around His neck and our eyes closed! That, my friend, is childlike faith! We're fine in that position unless we open our eyes and look at the narrowness of that single log or the raging waters below. Those are faith destroyers and cause us to start squirming in fear and trying to get out of Abba's embrace because we're not sure He can get us across. Nothing has changed in that picture except we opened our eyes and became focused on the circumstances rather than our faith in Him! How many times I've done that and you probably have as well. I don't want to live like that anymore, so I am determined to keep these baby blues closed as Abba Father walks me safely over! Join me, won't you?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Use The Oil You Have"

Last week I wanted to bless a couple of my friends. These women and I meet on a regular basis and have shared our hearts, hurts, joys and hopes with one another. The three of us are walking some new, uncharted paths and I just wanted to show them, in a tangible way, that I love them and care about them. As I shared that desire with Holy Spirit, I related that I had no money to buy anything for them. Of course, He knew my situation and had put the desire in my heart to bless them! He also had the answer - "Use the oil you have"! Remembering the stories from I Kings 17 and II Kings 4 of the prophets, Elijah and Elisha, being fed by the widows with their last little bit of oil and flour, I knew what I was to do. Going through my pantry and freezer I was able to make them some goodies. I believe they were blessed - I sure know I was!

I have mused over Holy Spirit's statement this week because I believe there is a deeper lesson to be learned. Many times I have not done something to help someone, not been available because I didn't think I had "what it took" to meet that need. Oil is symbolic of anointing in Scripture, so the statement could be interpreted to mean, "Use the anointing you have." When we operate in the anointing of Holy Spirit we have whatever it takes to meet the needs of others. The oil flowing from Holy Spirit's bottle doesn't run out as we stay connected to Him. We are supernaturally enabled to meet the needs of others when we use His oil! Flowing from His anointing oil is healing, teaching, mercy, love, grace, forgiveness, preaching, helps, and joy! Wow! What a difference we can make if we start using the anointing oil we have, rather than focusing on what we don't have! We have everything we need to make a shining (oil is greasy, remember) difference in our world - everything! So... are we willing to use what we have and let our extraordinary Father turn our "little" into much for His glory? I say, "YES"!

"Use The Oil You Have"

Last week I was wanting to bless some friends of mine. I love to give gifts, that's my strongest love language, and I had no money to buy anything for them. I shared my desire with the Father, of course, He's the One who put the desire there in the first place. I told Him that I wanted to do something for them and didn't know what to do. Holy Spirit simply said, "Use the oil you have"! I remembered

Sunday, June 6, 2010

"Why, Oh Why?"

This was the title of a dear friend's email to me earlier this week. She wanted to know why our faith in the Father is so tested and stretched. Knowing some of the trials I've gone through and some I'm currently going through, she was asking for some wisdom and prayer support. I can only give what I have, so this was my answer. Any wisdom I've gained has come through my journey with Abba Father and my relationship with Him

"We are tested and stretched because He has more in store for us than just "easy" faith! Remember, if we can see it in the natural, it isn't faith, its just walking in the natural. His desire is for us to know Him so intimately and to trust Him so completely that our lives won't become topsy-turvey if we don't "see" what we want or are expecting. I know you know this, but He is working to establish a knowing in your spirit that supercedes your circumstances! That's where true faith and true peace reside - in the knowing of Abba Father. I can relate to your cry and so can He. We have had no income for over a year and our home is in foreclosure. We have visions and plans that we believe the Father has given us, and yet, no concrete visualization of His provision. We haven't gone hungry, we have kept our utilities on and gas in our cars. At any point, the homes and properties we owned could have sold and rescued us from this place - it didn't happen. We are continuing to walk each day in faith, knowing that He has promised He won't ever abandon us or leave us defenseless. He hasn't! We don't see the way out yet, but we know its there and that it will be revealed as we wait on Him. I don't know all we'll have to walk through to get there, but I am convinced by His love and care over us, that we will get where we are to be to serve Him more completely than ever before. I can say, with that same assurance, that you will get through this place if you continue to seek hard after Him. He will take you and your family through, not around, but through, circumstances that cause you to cling to Him and learn to know Him more intimately as your Daddy Provider - Your More Than Enough! The journey through isn't to hurt or alarm, but to prove His love and character to His sons and daughters. Trust Him and let Him carry you through in His arms because they are there for you. Get excited about what He is forming in you, because He is excited and delighted about you!"

Just about everyone I talk with is going "through" something in their life that requires faith in order to make it through victoriously. I encourage you to meditate on Psalm 37 and meditate on Abba's love for you, His child! Be blessed by our extraordinary Daddy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Heart of a Mother

A number of years ago I awakened one night for a bathroom visit and found myself, for no known reason, sobbing uncontrollably for my mother's love. I was in my late 30's at the time and remember crying out to Father God and asking how long I was going to hurt over the lack of a love relationship with my mother. When would the ache stop? As I sat there, crying out to Abba, He started showing me things regarding my Mother's life and the many hurts, rejections and love lack that she had endured. I started seeing her as a wounded woman who had never made the choice, for whatever reason, to break through the hurts of her life so she could fully love others. Maybe, she didn't know she had a choice, or it seemed too daunting to her. God revealed to me that I needed to break the chain of love-lack myself or my children and grandchildren would suffer more than she or I had. I determined I would break those enslaving chains that night and set myself and my offspring free to love and be loved.

I was able to share with my mother at a later time, an abridged version of that evening. I told her that I accepted her just as she was and that, even though I longed for a different relationship with her, I would accept her even if she never changed. She started crying and told me I had no idea how much my words freed her. Our relationship started changing from that point on and we have continued to grow in our love relationship with one another. It's not a perfect relationship, but it is much better than I ever expected it could be. I broke the generational chains and was able to accept her as she is which allowed her to love more freely!

The wonderful after effect is that by setting myself free, I was able to accept and love my children unconditionally. It took perserverance and God's work in my life to get to that place. I now have a wonderful relationship with my children and they know they are loved by me. I've watched each of them as parents love their children with abandonment and joy. I've seen my grandchildren growing up with the assurance and stability of knowing they are wholly loved and accepted. What more precious gift could the heart of a mother want? I have always loved my children with a ferocious, sacrificing love, but I was freed that night to love them unconditionally and to freely show them that love! How grateful I am to the healing, freeing and loving work of my Abba Father, from whence my mother's heart comes!

Friday, April 23, 2010

FREEDOM!

Freedom! We all want to be free. Free to do what we believe we were created to do. Free to love. Free to be unique. Free to soar. Free...

This week a beautiful dove entered our screened porch and couldn't find her way out. We opened the door so she could fly out at her leisure to no avail. After two days of trying to get out of the corner she was in, she was exhausted and weak. I tried to shew her out and she kept going back into the corner. Her feathers were all battered and torn from her stuggle and her strength was waning. The morning of the third day, (that sounds so biblical!) I enlisted my husband's help and gave him my recommendations for helping her. He tried my way one time and then took matters into his own hands - literally. He walked over to the dove, captured her in his hands and began to stroke her head and talk to her as he walked with her to the door. As he released her into her freedom, she left behind a bunch of battered tail feathers, and soared.

What a beautiful example of what often happens in our lives. We know we were meant to "fly" and yet we feel trapped in whatever "cage" we're in. It could be the cage of discouragement, the cage of fear, the cage of jealousy, the cage of inadequacy, or the cage of the unknown. We get stuck in that cage, whichever one it is, and can't find our way out because we keep battering against the area of the cage with no opening. There is a way out, a door, a window, an opening, but we're so accustomed to our "corner" we don't want to leave. We finally get so worn out, so battered trying to do it our way, our dream about to die, we go to the Father for His help. Even then, we try to give Him our formula for success in setting us free. He may let us have a go doing it our way and when that fails again, He takes matters into His hands! He picks us up in His hands, gently soothes our head and heart with His caress, speaks peace to our soul and releases us into our promise! What an extraordinary Daddy!

As I watched my husband soothe and quiet the dove with his hand and his voice, it was such a visual for me of Abba Father's care over you and me. Just like the dove, you and I have a way out of our "cages". I don't believe the dove would have been as easily caught the first or second day. It was only after she had exhausted her strength and schemes that she was ready to be picked up and helped by the master. Then and only then did she achieve freedom and begin to soar. I am learning to trust the Master's hand so I don't have to wait until my strength is gone to go to Him for help and comfort. I'm learning that His soothing touch and calming voice bring peace to my spirit and life to my dreams and purpose. I no longer want to live my life beating myself up by trying to make my own doors and windows. I want to live free to be all I am called to be by trusting Abba Father in all areas of my life. I am planning on soaring! So, make way - you hear my wings flapping?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Heart of a Gardener

I am a gardener and I love to plant things and watch them grow and produce. Unfortunately, I did not inherit my mother's "green thumb" and some of my planted things end up in the trash heap. I love to plant and I love to water, but I don't like to weed and yet I have to do it (or my husband does!) in order to keep the plants growing strong and my gardens looking good.

I just recently planted some new herbs and tomatoes and was musing about my delight over their progress and how it reminds me of Abba Father and His care over me. I go out first thing every morning to see if the plants have grown or if new ones have sprouted up. I check my mature tomatoes and fruit trees to see if they have started to put on fruit. I get so excited to see fruit forming and new sprouts starting and growing. I carefully tend the "babies" and shelter them out of harm's way. The more mature plants can take the full sun and elements and need it in order to grow bigger and stronger and more able to produce fruit. I'm sure you see where I'm going with this.

Our Father, or husbandman, watches over us with a similar type of anticipation and joy. He delights to see us growing and is constantly providing what we need in order to grow strong in Him and to produce the fruit of His Spirit in our lives. He carefully tends us, shelters us & teaches us how to remove the "weeds' that can stunt our growth and prevent fruit from setting. His joy in seeing us grow strong and healthy and bearing fruit is much deeper that what I experience with my plants, but I think He allows me a glimpse of His heart with my garden. I love showing off my plants to others and talking about what they're doing and how great their harvest. I love sharing the fruits of their growing with others and seeing them enjoy those fruits as well. I even love talking to those plants and praising them for a job well done at the different seasons - don't laugh, it works! What a picture of our Father and His joy in us, His plantings! I could go on and on with analogies, but I'll stop here and let you share some of your own with me. I'm so thankful for the extraordinary love of Abba Father for me!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Singled Out II

Well, I guess the time has come to attempt an answer to the Tozer writing from February 21st. I must admit, when I first read the piece I was uncomfortable with the words. Knowing that Tozer was not a "pussy-footer" when it came to his relationship with the Father, I had to delve deeper into his meaning than just a cursory reading. Please bear with me as I try to share my thoughts on Tozer's statements. I will try to follow his paragraphs in sharing my thoughts with you.

When we are called to a higher calling by God, we are expected to live lives above reproach. That means a greater discipline in all areas of our lives. The suffering Tozer talks about is, in my opinion, the result of dying to our flesh. The more we desire to be like Christ and to please our Father, we have to die to the natural man that desires his own way and own will. Christ showed us that example throughout His life and His death. The greater suffering He shared with us at Getsemane as He sweat blood in the agony of surrendering His will to that of His Father was a precursor of the suffering we would have to undergo in order to reach that same conclusion, "Not my will, but Yours be done". If we aren't willing to go there, we won't be able to go there to the place and purpose of our creation.


Tozer's second paragraph at first seemed harsh and frightening, but as I continued to ponder, became a wonderful picture of the work Father God has been chiseling and hammering in my life throughout the years. The times when I have seen the greatest growth in my spiritul life have been times when I've experienced the most pain. Pain caused by choices I made or others made, deeds done against me or mine, and especially hope destroyed and expectations trampled. Those things hurt fiercely, but brought the most change! I've learned how to love unconditionally, to trust God when I saw no reason to trust except for His Word to me and I've learned how to rest securely in the Father's love. It was worth the pain! Everything I have experienced is helping to form me into a thing of beauty for my Father and it has all been worth it!

I'm thankful that God, in doing His supreme work of grace within me, has removed things from my heart that prohibited my relationship with Him. This third paragraph isn't talking about God killing our loved ones or destroying our homes. It's talking about those idols that are where the Holy One is to be - first! He has shown me the idols that needed to be removed and helped me to remove them. Some were very precious to me and, yet, not anywhere near as precious as He is. We all have to come to the place of crisis where we make the decision to follow Christ even if it means all else falls or fails - I call it our "Crisis of Faith". Can we trust Him with EVERYTHING? If we can't, we trust Him with nothing. From the ashes of our idol treasures can come our greatest joy of knowing Him.

I agree with his fourth statement that true faith lies in the will, our will. It is a joy unspeakable as we experience our faith growing in a relationship with our Father. There is great stability in knowing that I am truly His child and that I can trust Him no matter what!

Tozer's final paragraph appears to be an indictment of immature Christians. There is so much talk about having peace about something and being joyful as believers. Most of that talk is often related to the desires of someone and the happiness they are experiencing. I don't mean to belittle those desires and happiness, but I believe it falls short of true peace in the circumstances and joy based on a faith walk with the Father.

So, let me know what you're thinking and we'll continue to sharpen each other in the faith. God's blessings on each of you as we remember our own Passover Lamb, Jesus, and the wondrous, glorious truth of His resurrection!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Singled Out

I read this writing by A.W. Tozer yesterday and it has caused me to muse again. Today, I'm sharing his words with you and then I'll share my musings at a later date when they have become more solidified in my mind and heart. I invite you to muse along with me and then share those musings with me so we can encourage one another. The writing is from A.W. Tozer's book, RENEWED DAY BY DAY.

"If God has singled you out to be a special object of His grace you may expect Him to honor you with stricter discipline and greater suffering than others are called upon to endure.

If God sets out to make you an unusual Christian He is not likely to be as gentle as He is usually pictured by the popular teachers. A sculptor does not use a manicure set to reduce the rude, unshapely marble to a thing of beauty. The saw, the hammer and the chisel are cruel tools, but without them the rough stone must remain forever formless and unbeautiful.

To do His supreme work of grace within you He will take from your heart everything you love most. Everything you trust in will go from you. Piles of ashes will lie where your most precious treasures used to be.

Thus you will learn what faith is; you will find out the hard way, but the only way open to you, that true faith lies in the will, that the joy unspeakable of which the apostle speaks in I Peter 1:8, is not itself faith but a slow-ripening fruit of faith. You will learn, too, that present spiritual joys may come and go as they will without altering your spiritual status or in any way affecting your position as a true child of the heavenly Father.

Then you will also learn, probably to your astonishment, that it is possible to live in all good conscience before God and men and still feel nothing of the "peace and joy" you hear talked about so much by immature Christians!"

So, dear friends, think or muse on these things and let me know what you're thinking. My inquiring mind wants to know!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ark Building Faith: Part Deux

After I wrote the preceding blog I had several thoughts jump into my mind. I'm sure you know I am a woman who muses over things by now. Anyway, I was thinking about the ark. It was built to the specific directive of Father God. He told Noah what type of wood to use, the dimensions, number of stories, windows and openings, etc. He told him to gather the animals in pairs of male and female of each species on the earth and to have areas prepared for them in the ark. He told Noah to bring food for his family and the animals and to bring extra animals for sacrifice. Now, God told him all this, but Noah was still operating by faith. As I wrote before, there had never been rain or a flood on the earth. Noah had no idea of the number of animals or the species and would have had to have help in getting them gathered for the boat ride. It took years for the ark to be built and I'm sure there were many difficult times and seasons during the building of the vessel that would keep them safe and get them to their new life. Father God's directions were so specific and perfect for the situation that later ships were built using the same ratio of dimensions to keep them afloat with the least danger of capsizing or sinking. But, it was all through obedience and faith on Noah's part that his family was saved.

When we operate out of that same obedience and faith to Abba Father's instructions, we are in the process of building a vessel that will be able to ride out the floods and rains in our lives. Our vessel (life) has been given with specific criteria to help us come through those floods victoriously! It normally takes years and can be an unfamiliar journey of walking in faith that what God has said He will do and how He says to do it will come to pass even when we don't see it. Faith! When we build our lives based on faith in the Word of God, our vessel is sound for the journey and less likely to capsize or sink when the flood levels rise! What an awesome thing! God pre-designed us to walk by faith and when we do, we please Him and are blessed with assurance in His plan! Don't you just love our extraordinary Father?!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ark Faith

What is faith? Sure, I know the biblical definition that "faith is being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we don't see it" but, what is faith? I've been told that it is like sitting in a chair and believing the chair will hold me up, but is that really what faith is? I believe faith is bigger than a chair that holds me up. Noah built the ark under the directive of God when there had never been rain on the earth. He faced ridicule and rejection and yet, kept building until the ark was complete and the animals inside. Funny thing was, the rain didn't start immediately once they were all in. Did Noah or his family question his God during that wait? Probably some did. I'm sure those on the outside were laughing and mocking for a time. But then, the rain started and didn't stop and the laughing and mocking became cries and pleas for entrance to the ark. Noah and his family were saved because he knew God's word concerning the coming event was true even though he had never seen rain before. Faith.

The entire eleventh chapter of Hebrews is a recounting of many men and women of the Bible who chose to operate on a faith account rather than a visual one. Hebrews 12:1 states that we have been surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means! It is not trusting a chair to hold you up! It is heavy-duty, all encompassing trust that Abba Father is bigger than circumstances, bigger than reports, bigger than enemies, bigger than death and bigger than knowledge.

As I walk through my current circumstances, I'm having to walk in faith. Have I had doubts and fears to deal with? Sure, I have. I am choosing to walk into the unknown with the All-Knowing One. Would it be easier to do it my way and get a quick "fix" to my circumstances. Probably would be, but then I would miss out on the wonderful reward of knowing I have trusted God to do what He has said He will do. I can't please Him if I walk only in what I can see - I have to have faith! Sixty is not the age, in the natural realm, to be "starting over", but it is the age in the spirtual realm that I believe will produce the greatest life I have ever had - by faith! Many of my family and friends are having rough times in the current economic climate and are being faced with an uncertain future. What's going to happen and when are big questions in many hearts. We have to settle who and what we are going to believe. Are we going to believe there are "giants in the land' or are we going to believe that Abba Father has led or allowed us to reach this place in our lives so He can prove Himself mighty on our behalf and bring good for us out of the circumstances? What's it going to be? Faith or fear? Life or death? I encourage us all to choose faith and in choosing faith we will experience abundant life in God's favor and blessing! I love you! Be blessed today.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

On February 3rd, ninety-eight years ago, a baby boy was born who would become my father thirty-seven years later. Daddy was born into a family of sharecroppers in Georgia. He learned to work hard as a little boy and worked in the cotton and tobacco fields until he left home as a young man. He only finished the eight grade at school and then worked full time to help support his family. Daddy's mother died when he was 12 years old and he told me that her death changed a great many things in his life and family. My grandfather married very soon after my grandmother's passing in order to have someone to care for their home and family. Not very romantic, but a necessity of life in the early 1900's.

I was my father's first-born and always knew that I was loved by him. When I developed acute rheumatic fever at the age of nine and was hospitalized for weeks, my daddy would stay with me every night in the hospital so I wouldn't be frightened when the nurses would awaken me for more shots or tests. One night I was awakened and he wasn't there because he had gone to the nurses' station for coffee. As I began to cry loudly in fear, Daddy came running back into the room. He held me in his arms there on my bed and told me that if he could take my place and be sick for me, he would gladly do just that. Even at the young age of nine years, I knew he was telling me of his amazing love for me - his little girl. I never forgot it! Many years later after dealing with heart problems related to the illness of my youth, I was missing my daddy and just thanking God for giving me my father when the revelation of what happened in my hospital room all those years before become very clear. God was revealing to my little girl's heart a picture of the sacrificial love of a father for his child that would prepare the way for me to fully know and accept the love of my Abba Father for me. Daddy loved me and wanted to take my place and take my disease, my pain and my fear, but he couldn't. Abba Father also loved me and wanted to take my place and take my disease, pain and fear - He wanted to, He could and He did! What a glorious picture of my Abba's love revealed through my daddy! I still miss my daddy but I have the assurance from God's Word that Daddy has not ceased to be - he is still very much alive! So, happy birthday, Daddy, from your little girl. Thank you for loving me and preparing me for the greatest love I can know! You did good, Daddy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

She Looks Like Her Daddy

From the time I was a very little girl, I was told that I looked like my daddy. I loved my daddy and enjoyed being told that when I was young. However, as I grew older my desire was to look like my mother or my older sister. It was the '50's and mothers in that decade wore dresses or skirts to work even if that work was at home. The dresses were gorgeous, full-skirted renditions that showed off the waist and figure. I thought my mother & sister were beautiful and I really wanted to be told I looked like them instead of my daddy. That never happened. They both had dark brown curly hair and dark eyes while I was blonde with manufactured curls and blue eyes. My daddy had the same color hair and eyes and we shared similar cheekbones and noses. He looked like a young Bing Crosby, even to the ears and I had those, too. He wasn't unattractive, he just wasn't pretty and I was all about pretty! Well, my daddy died when I was 27 and now I love it when someone states that I look much like my daddy. It helps me feel close to him when I see a reminder in the mirror or in pictures that show our similarities.

Today, my hearts' desire is that when others see me or interact with me, they see a resemblance to my heavenly Father, my Abba (Daddy). I still like pretty and I still think my mother and sister are beautiful, but my desire is more to glorify Him than myself while on this journey called life. I think my face is beginning to look more like Him because I know my heart is. The more I interact with Him, the more I look like my Daddy inside and out! Isn't that an awesome thing about our extraordinary Abba - how we are changed from within as we walk and rest in relationship with Him and then become more and more like Him in the process?! She looks like her Daddy are sweet words to my heart! Thank you, Daddy.