Posted in Hiding His Word

The Shedding

There is a shedding.

It’s a stripping away of me, from me.

Not only can it not go where’s He’s leading, but the old stands out. It gets attention in ways He doesn’t desire, and so I don’t need.

There is a “putting on” of Him.

Something else that is conducive to the coming assignment and is camouflaged to all but Him.

I am on a path I knew I would travel – someday. Always someday.

But here I am.

I’ve no trail markers, maps, or a compass. I have no earthly companion to discuss the way.

But, I do have the Word, and I do have the Holy Ghost speaking and faithfully leading even as He led me to this place.

The path is overgrown with brush and thorns until it appears as no path at all.

You would think no one ever traveled this way.

They did.

The mothers and fathers of the faith.

I would be able to see their footprints had I not waited so long.

But maybe that was never His plan

There is a shedding.

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. ~ Isaiah 30:21

Stained Glass: Trust the Artist

If You Think

If you think I’m selfish, you don’t know me.

If you think I’m weak when you see my tears fall as I cry out of my brokenness, my deepest hurts, or my burdens (or out of yours), you don’t really know me.

If you thought I  wouldn’t survive attacks of deception set to destroy everything I have hope and faith in, then you really don’t know me.

If you think you have me in a place that doesn’t line up with the place God called me to,  you REALLY don’t know me!

If you think you have the right to speak negative things over me or my family or friends, and that I will let it go – then you REALLY, REALLY don’t know me!

If you think I will eventually give up or give in, and that is a part of a grander scheme, then frankly, you don’t know anything about me at all. I learned early on giving up is never an option.

So if you think I will give up on you … well, you should know this about me – I definitely won’t.

Because I have the power of the Holy Ghost burning on the inside of me, and I have the authority to decree and declare God’s Word over every inch and detail of my life. Every Word over every detail. I love the details and you are somewhere in my details.

Words

I believe in who HE is and who HE says I am. I believe Him, who holds my beginnings and all the steps of this journey! I believe that the great I AM resides with me always! I will stand and believe that for you too!

I believe this scripture, (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds); Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

I believe we create or tear down with our words. They are chosen. What are you saying?

I see words that build up as brick and mortar.

I hear words that tear down the same brick and mortar – over and over until the piles become impassable walls. What are you saying?

I can honestly say I lived by natural words for a long time, and they defined much of who I was. Living like that kept me broken, of low esteem and little confidence.

My fault. I gave permission to build up as mortar and bricks but then turned around and gave permission to tear it all down.

No more!

Be careful what you say. Speak words that build and declare the glory of God. Speak Words of LIFE!

Be careful what you hear! Listen only to Words of life!

Be quick to believe what He says about you! Be quick to discard words that don’t fit PERFECTLY with who He says you are.

Stained Glass

Don’t force the glass into just any part of the fame, or you will break it. There is a place designed for each piece. Trust the artist!

One of the last phases of stained glass creation is when the artist places the painted glass in a kiln, so the paint fuses with the glass.

Your story is your story. It is fused into the fiber of your being and really into mine too. There are different layers of washes and paint that step-by-step bring out all of our glorious details.

If we live in Christ, then we must believe we are the Temple. Step back and look at the stained glass windows. They reveal the whole story and it is breathtaking!

Trust the artist!!!

Posted in Hiding His Word

Faithfulness

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love

I love this hymn, and when I hear these words, they remind me of faithfulness.

To be faithful is to be reliable, loyal, and unwavering. The Bible speaks of faithfulness in four ways: as an attribute of God, as a positive characteristic, as a characteristic many lack, and as a gift from the Holy Ghost.

The Bible also warns us of the consequences of unfaithfulness. These warnings are necessary because, as the words of the hymn tell, our hearts are too often found fickle, despite our best intentions. Fickle to God and others.

Faithfulness affects every relationship we have, as does unfaithfulness or to disavow faithfulness. It is a gift. I am so grateful that despite the fickleness of all of us, God is always faithful. Bind my heart to Thee, Jesus!!!

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O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. ~ Isaiah 25:1

But the fruit of the Sprit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentlesness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. ~ Galatians 5:22-23

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  ~ 1 John 1:9

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faitful, putting me into the ministry. ~ 1 Timothy 1:12

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Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace
Streams of mercy, never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it
Mount of Thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I’ve come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

Oh, that day when freed from sinning
I shall see Thy lovely face
Clothed then in the blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy wondrous grace
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry
Take my ransomed soul away
Send Thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day

Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

~ Robert Robinson (from Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing -1758)

Posted in Journal

On Birthdays, Military Life, and Freedom

Next week, I will celebrate my 60th birthday, and this week we celebrated Veterans Day. This particular time, combined with everything going on in this country, has caused me to look back and write down a few thoughts.

As a young married couple, Dan was in the Navy and deployed when I gave birth to our daughter. Meagan and I stayed with my mom for several months so I wouldn’t be alone. We then moved to Zion, Illinois. It was the first time I had ever been away from home for more than a couple of days.

When James was born two years later, Dan was there; but he left for a deployment when James was six-weeks-old. That time I stayed in Navy housing with my two babies. Don’t ever think that our military members (and their families) don’t pay a price well beyond a small paycheck for our freedoms. Do we regret that life or that circumstance? No way!!!!

No way, no regrets….but there were many weeks we ate soup and crackers daily so our kids could have what they needed. We lived far away from our families, back in the day before internet and cheap phone service (one 5 minute call per week was all we could afford). When Dan’s mother took a turn for the worse and died of cancer, we were too far away to get back in time. It was a price – but then we saw our country step in to send us back to PA to be with family for the funeral.

The nation watched the TV as CNN covered the Gulf War. I did too, alone at first. But then I watched with a community of wives as we went through it together. Are there wives that go astray? Yes! But most military wives that I met were struggling to keep their families taken care of while their husbands were gone. Our husbands (like so many others) were in the middle of that gulf. We helped each other in so many ways. We helped each other through the day to day chores, with childcare for doctor’s visits and to even go buy groceries (since at that time the commissary did not allow children), and we helped with the emotions military life brings. These were the things our children couldn’t provide and our husbands couldn’t provide – they were in a war! It was quite a great community of women – stronger than any of us knew.

It isn’t easy to be the one to leave; it isn’t easy to be the one to stay. Regrets? No, not one!!!! Complaints? Never!

Things of value rarely come without costs. Those were hard days, but precious days for us. When apart, we wrote letters to each other every day. When together, we sat at dinner and talked and dreamed of our future. We read books, walked in parks, flew kites, and fished. Those days helped make us who we are today, and those days were indeed some of the greatest of our lives.

Money can’t buy so many great things, but so many don’t know that because they are distracted by the things money can buy.

Dan and I were always very proud to do our part for this country. We knew at the time, and we know now that there is a price for our freedoms. We knew, and we volunteered for it. What a gift those prices now have become. Because of them, our freedoms hold great value to our family. We don’t take them lightly. We know that even if things get hard or we face challenges and even temporary separations, we can make it if we press on as a team.

When your spouse is gone for months on end and then comes back for a little while only to leave again…you both learn quickly not to make each other pay a $5 price for a one-cent bill, or you will spend your entire time together fighting. Time is precious. Love one another and don’t take each other for granted, or the things they do daily.

And never, never take your neighbors for granted because you never know that it might be you next in dire need of help or support or just a friendly ear!

Laugh every chance you get.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, stay in His Word, and in prayer. Serve Him and let everything you do flow from Him.