Thursday, September 30, 2010
No more am I living for me, but in accepting His grace I am making it all about Him. He makes it all about me! What a wonderful God we have. No matter what is happening in my life, He is forever without a doubt washing me with His grace and favour. So much in life just keeps changing. Life changes us. God is forever the same. His grace is the same grace that washes everyone who accepts Him.
Philippians 4:6-7 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." In God's grace we can find comfort. We can find that when we give Him everything, He will meet our needs, as unique as they are, He knows each one. There is nothing we must face alone in this world. Whatever is reaching your door today, you can be sure that when that door opens the Lord is going to be there greeting you with all you need to face not only today, but tomorrow.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I can do this with God's grace. You know when you were a child and you just were not feeling good? What was it your mother did? She might have placed a warm blanket upon you, covering you, making you feel secure and safe. As she brought out that bowl of chicken noodle soup and gave you a soft drink, you knew without a doubt you were taken care of in love. Grace is that warm blanket that covers our fears, and the unknowns of the day. It is that love that brings us through and allows us to overcome.
Philippians 4:19 "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." We can be full knowing Christ is going to supply each need. Whether you are without a job today Christ is with you and will see you through. He will meet your needs. If you are facing a test today and waiting upon the answer, God is there to hold your hand and give you the strength to face the moments with assurance in His promises. If you are broken hearted, hurting, or just simply having a hard time making it through the day with all you are facing, God is there. Accept His grace. Simply open your heart and allow the grace to overflow..
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
I too am thirsty. My thirst is not being quenched by what I am seeing when I look out my window today. Oh, there is water there, enough to wet my tongue, but not enough to drench me. I just want to jump in fresh water. I want it to overflow and stream for miles. I want to float along and rest in the sun.
Ever feel that way? We turn and look in every direction, but nothing is filling us anymore. Why? Am I basing my "filling" on the turnout of my circumstances? Yes, I am. I feel like I am simply stuck. I know where to go for nourishment. The Lord. I know He knows exactly what I need to fill me. I know where to go when I am thirsty. The Lord. He can quench my thirst to where I thirst no more. So, why am I not going there? Why is it that today I feel so empty? It's not that I do not see beauty around me. I do. It's not that I don't see laughter. I certainly do. I see the good things happening in my life, but I am at that point where I keep asking, "Why are the bad happening?" Is it going to get better, or is this as good as it gets for now?
You know, we all have dreams. I use to have dreams of traveling the world. Now? My dreams have changed. I dream of having food on the table and having a paycheck each week. I dream of having our needs met enough we can help others meet their needs. Is that really asking for too much? Is wanting your family taken care of really too much? To have insurance and to go to the doctor?
I have learned after all I was taking things for granite. We take for granite everything. If we say we don't we are not being honest with ourselves. We take each sunrise and sunset for granite. We think it will just be there tomorrow. We leave our home without saying goodbye thinking we will see each other again in just a bit. We spend all we have thinking next week more will be there. We waste what we have. We simply waste the moment we have away wanting more for the next. Why? Why can we just not be satisfied with today, with right now?
Even being a Christian I have been living for myself and my wants for too long now. I get stuck in thinking this or that will make me happy. I am learning the material things of this world do not bring lasting joy. Sure, they quench that midnight craving, but in a few hours you are hungry again.
Somewhere along the way we stop thinking of others and we just concentrate on ourselves. We stop reaching out, we stop giving and in that process people lose hope. Not so much in Christ, but in other people. Where is that Christian love? Where is the simple caring of another? We see so many in need and we just pass them by. I think somewhere we begin to look for others to satisfy our needs that only Christ can. No one else can fill that God spot inside us. We must stop looking for others to meet our wants and look to Christ for all our needs. He knows each need and He knows how to cultivate the greatest blessings to bring us the most out of life, giving us life abundant.
I must learn to wait on Him. I cannot expect things to appear just when I snap my finger. I must stop looking for each day to meet my needs and begin to meet the needs of each day. Things may not appear to be moving forward right now, but God is working behind the scenes making things happen in His time. It is in His time that the best of the best of blessings appear to us.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 "We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; stuck down, but not destroyed."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."
2 Corinthians 12:9 "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'"
Philippians 3:7-14 'But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
My dad had been fighting lung cancer for a year now. My parents never told me how bad it really was. They hid that from me. Maybe I was just ignoring it all. No one thinks their dad will never be there, right? I was expecting my dad home that next day. My brother in law was to come out and bring a bed for him and move my parents room around. So, I was expecting to see him, but not on this day.
It was summer. It was the month of April, and it was unusually hot. Now, I had called to check on my dad and mom said he was doing great. I was planning on going to the hospital before work. Little did I know he would be gone by the time I was ready to go.
My dad called me Rob. It was a name that just seemed to stick. Those people who love me the most call me Rob still today. It is a name I carry with a humble heart, remembering just how my dad said it. I wish I could hear him say it again just once more.
All the tubes are left hanging free. No oxygen turned up high. No muffled sounds of breath. No television to drown out the silence. Only me and my dad. My thoughts and empty heart. God? I knew there was a God, but I sure didn't know where He was. I didn't think He was in this room. I did not carry the deep faith in Christ Jesus then as I do today. I held anger and resentment. I was mad at the world. Why? Why did my dad have to die in this way? Why did he have to go at such a young age?
Those were questions I sat and said through my tears. I touched his hand. I kissed his forehead and remembered the dad that was. I remembered him strong. I remembered his huge arms that scared boys away. I remember his cowboy boots and endless amounts of shirts. He liked to dress that is for sure.
As this girl sat beside his bed I felt like a little girl all over again. I was confused and hurt. Why didn't someone tell me? Why didn't someone prepare me? I thought he was coming home. I thought he was fine. I knew he was sick, but no one was ever honest with me. We just never talked about it. But, then again, can you really prepare to lose your father?
Little did I know then, but before my dad died he accepted Christ as His Savior. A family member had a pastor come and visit my dad. He accepted the Savior that I would find later in my life. Now, I know why good bye words didn't seem to fit. We were not saying good bye, but see you again one day.
It took me years to let go of my anger and pain. Today if I let my flesh get to me I can still draw from that anger. I still miss him. I still remember like it was yesterday. After the memorial service I took my dad's ashes and walked down to the river. I opened them with great care and I remember even praying. Praying what I don't know. With tears I let his ashes slip through my hands into the wind, blowing into the river where he spent his evenings and weekends.
Even though I didn't know the Lord then, He knew me. I have no doubt in my mind He was in that room that day with me and my dad. The Lord was watching over me even when I didn't know Him. That is how great His love is. Where my earthly father is no longer here, my heavenly Father is. There is one thing about Him. He is never leaving me. Nothing can tear Him away from me. Not the sin of this world or the evil in it.
If pain is in your home, talk to your children. Talk to your family. Don't hold back truth. Be honest in those deepest struggles and move through the journey's together in love and faith. We don't have to walk through anything alone, we can reach out to others. Ask for help when you can no longer stand. Reach out for others to meet your needs. Don't worry about the right words. Just put your arms around each other and lean on the Lord. He will meet your greatest needs. Don't let your fears keep you from healing and living again.
I have kept my promise to my dad. I pray he can see me from heavens gates and look at me with pride. I know he is cheering me on. Oh, how I wish he were here. I would love to walk this journey of faith with him. One day we will sit together at the feet of Jesus and you know, just that makes it all worth it in the end. I don't have all the answers. I can't even begin to figure it all out. But, I know the One who can. I know He has a plan much bigger than I can see. He can take those hurts and turn them into healing. He can take our anger and turn it into peace. He can take our confusion and give us hope. Hope eternal.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
When you have Fibromyalgia any exercise seems to hurt about ten times worse than normal. But, I have realized when I do exercise, and push myself I feel so much better. I feel healthy. I feel strong and I have more energy at the end of the day. It's not to say I do not have to take pain medication. Because I do. And often. I pray I get to that point where I never have to take a pain pill again. Those days I feel good are becoming more and more. I might have to slow down a bit. I try my best not to let stress overtake me.
Share your journey with me. Are you exercising? Are you growing healthy? We have no excuse not to my friends. Let's travel this journey with joy and energy. We we are feeling our best, we can be motivated in Christ. I know if I feel bad, all I want to do is lay in bed and have myself a pity party. Migraines and Fibromyalgia have taken enough of my time. I am taking some back! Live, Life, Love! We can live life to the fullest and we can not only love ourselves, but thank the Lord who gave us this one life to live out for Him.
1 Corinthians 6:19 "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."
My son and I use to play checkers all the time. For Christmas one year we purchased a chess game for him. It came with details on how to move, and what each move meant. Playing checkers took us from ten to twenty minutes a game, but chess? Now, that at times could take hours. We would leave the board, only to come back later to finish the game.
It is so hard for us to learn to be still. Harder yet to listen to the wisdom of others when we ourselves think we have it all figured out. I have learned, just about the time I think I have it all figured out is when I realize I really know nothing. The Lord is forever teaching me to be still.
Ever try putting your child in a time out? Ha! Why does it work? They don't want to sit and be quiet for long. All it takes is just a few minutes and they got it. But, before they know it they are right back in that chair for another time out. It usually takes us a few trips around until we finally figure it out.
Proverbs 13:1 "A wise son heeds his father's instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke."
Proverbs 13:20 "He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed."
Proverbs 19:20 "Listen to council and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days."
Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day."
Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
2 Timothy 2:15 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
This world teaches us to hurry. In hurrying, that is where we make mistakes of misfortune. It is when we take our time, slow down and in the quietness of the room seeking the Lord that our paths will be made straight. He will forever light our way and never lead us wrong.
Wherever you are today my friend, stop and wait on the Lord. You may ask, "How long am I to wait?" We should wait until we hear from Him. It is in that waiting period that we learn so much about Christ and ourselves. Ever sit in a waiting room while one is in surgery? There is not much else to do besides sit and reflect on life. We pray and focus on the one before us. Just as in playing checkers and chess, we too can walk away with a knowledge greater than when we sat down, if we only allow ourselves the time to learn from those before us who have walked godly lives and look to the One who makes our paths possible.
James 1:5 "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all you ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
Friday, September 24, 2010
(Robin) Has there been an "aha" moment in your life that has changed your perspective?
(Robin) What is one thing you look for in a close friend and what is one quality you hope others see in you?
(Robin) When life seems to go crazy, what is one thing you do to bring comfort and peace?
(Robin) What is one thing about yourself you admire?
(Suzanne) I am a very, very hard worker. More hard working than talented!
(Suzanne) My home—it’s simple and small but warm and appealing. My backyard—we’ve worked on it over the years and it looks like a park! A lot of redwood tress and cozy places. And my garden. Love, love, love my garden.
(Robin) What are your deepest passions?
(Robin) What is the best advice ever given to you?
(Robin) In the legacy you leave, what is one thing you hope out shines before all others?
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I mean there are so many jokes about Menopause. I am thinking this is no joking matter. I dare anyone to joke with me right now. lol I mean, come on. We go through our teenage years and puberty which is bad enough with zits and now, here they are again at 43! Seriously, what woman wants to carry around a zit on her chin for ten years again?
After that we go through our 20s where we think we know everything and make the dumbest mistakes ever. Now we head into our 30s and have children and our bodies change drastically. Who knew a body could do that? Aw, and now the 40s. Do you know how many people have told me, "This is the best time of your life?" Really? I didn't think Menopause would hit until I was like 50 or 60. Maybe even 70. I am thinking Jesus should be back by then, right? One more reason to want Him to hurry up! I do not want to have a heat flash when the trumpet sounds!
It's not like we haven't heard enough about PMS, right? Now, we get to add on Menopause to our list of gifts. I mean really God, what were You thinking? I guess we could continue to blame Eve. If she just could have went on her business and ate the right kind of fruit. I mean did she have to take a bite? Couldn't she just smell it? Or say, "Hey, Adam, come on over here and taste this fruit for me."
I think we should not be ashamed, but stand with the beauty and grace the Lord gave us. Ladies, we go through so much in life. Things a man will never understand. So, let's embrace these changes. There has to be a blessing, right? God has a plan, right? He wouldn't allow these things if there was not a perfect plan above. I think going through these changes makes us more sensitive to others needs. We begin to open our hearts more, and if anything, we begin to search God more.
I am honored to teach the Trek class in our Awana program on Wednesday nights. I have the group between eleven and fourteen years old. This group of kids is going to bless me beyond words this year. I can already feel it. Last night we were able to begin our books. Our lesson was on why should we read the bible. If I have learned anything about this age is that you never stay on one subject for long.
We were soon talking about useless information and how much we carry in our brains. I had one student speak up and say, "We can have knowledge of all kinds, but without wisdom it is useless!!" Hello, he is twelve years old my friends. What a wise young man he is and what amazing parents he has to teach him such valuable wisdom at an early age.
Some of my kids are not so blessed. They have never been in church and they wonder, "Why do I really need to know what the bible says?" They don't have direction and they are missing those valuable people who need to influence their lives on a daily basis. Kids just simply want to understand. They have question after question and if we give them a chance we can learn much from them.
Last night while speaking on useless information one child speaks up and says, "Learning keyboarding is useless." Well of course now we were on our way to a new conversation. Again, they last about five minutes at a time. So, we talked about how keyboarding is important and a valuable tool. I began to share with the kids we didn't use keyboards when I was in seventh grade. We didn't have computers in our class rooms. We didn't have to worry about keyboarding on a laptop, we later had typing class on a manual typewriter. Oh my! We didn't have texting. You actually had to pick up a phone, and one that dialed on top of that. So, you actually had to know the number of the person, you just didn't click on their name. We didn't have the computer to look up valuable information. We had the dictionary and encyclopedia. Oh my, we didn't even have spell check! We too went to the library each week and used the card catalog to look up a book we wanted. We didn't have hundred dollar video games to choose from. We um, had pong!! Now there was an exciting game, right? One little ball, or dot, moving from side to side as you tried to hit it back over. I remember thinking this was the coolest thing ever! We didn't have Old Navy and Aeropostle. We had Sears and JC Penny's. You were either slim or if you were a boy, you could find yourself in the husky section! That would be wear my husband found himself.
Each year we got five new outfits for school and a new pair of shoes for the winter. Even got a new pair of tennis shoes for gym. A new coat for the winter and a back pack? Are you kidding me? We carried arm fulls of books everywhere we went. There were no cute bags to carry everything in.
Now, that next year I went to a Catholic high school, so clothes became uniforms and that was a whole new dilemma.
Things were just different. Things were simple, or so they seemed. So, I am now listening to myself speak to my kids and I am thinking, "Oh my gosh, I am now one of those old people who say, 'Well, in my day we...'" I stopped and laughed at myself. The look on the kid's faces was one of horror. "How did you survive?" Kids today never leave home without their phone and they have a laptop and all the easy conveniences that the modern world has to give.
That leaves me to think, "Are we really giving our kids more by giving them more?" It seems the more we give the more they want. The more they have the easier they want it. What happened to just old fashioned work for an allowance each week? What has happened to chores and if you do not do them you do not get to go anywhere this weekend? What happened to a curfew? What has happened to just saying, "NO?" I think we have begun to say yes way too much. In saying yes, we are not really helping our kids grow, we are holding them back from really experiencing what it means to work and respect yourself.
We no longer sit down to dinner together. We don't even play games anymore. My mom and I used to play Yahtzee on my snow days. Oh, and snow days? We went to school when there was snow on the ground. We went with chains on the tires and we plowed through that snow and cold weather and guess what? We made it!
I was blessed, but my parents new how to say no to me. I never had a phone in my room. Didn't have a television in my room. That was just not allowed and of course no computer. When I talked on the phone I got twenty minutes and I talked in the kitchen. Some may say, "Wow, your parents were strict." No, not really, I just had boundaries and I knew my limits. I knew when I crossed the line. When I did there was a punishment waiting for me. Do we even do that anymore?
What I am finding in teaching is that kids want direction. They want someone there to lead them. They want someone to care enough to say, "No." They want boundaries even if they say something different. They want parents at home at night. They want to eat dinner and watch a movie with their family.
We give way too much to compensate for the time we do not spend with our kids. We have such big to-do lists, we work 40-70 hours a week, and we are tired. Somewhere in there we must find a balance. Our kids must be our first priority. We must come to the point we decide what we can do without in order to spend more quality time with our kids.
They learn from us. They will have a family of their own one day and they too will find themselves saying, "Well, in my day we..." What is it that we want our kids to say? What values do we want them to walk away with? It is something to ponder.
I have seen children that have much, and in their heart they carry very little. I have seen kids who don't have much in material things, but in their heart, it is filled with a love that will carry them through life and lead them on to a more productive life, giving, loving and sharing.
I am grateful for how I grew up. I am now thankful for those kids who sit in front of me each Wednesday night making me smile and taking me back to a time in my life where I can look back and see where I was and just where the Lord has brought me today. A woman with a grateful heart and is humble before all others.
Wow! Intrigue/thriller/romance!! DiAnn Mills has written a book that will keep you turning page after page and leave you wanting more! I loved this book. There were so many twists and turns in this read it will keep you on the edge of your seat. A crime happens and three people are dead on Carr Sullivan's ranch. Special FBI agent, Bella Jordan, is sent out to investigate. There is a legend in West Texas filled with tales of gold and wealth. Carr has a past and Bella too is carrying her own demons that haunt her. Bella is from this area and carries a deep past here. Does she know more than she is willing to share? Sullivan is the top suspect in these murders, but soon, there are more and Sullivan is desperately trying to prove his innocence, while Bella is on the search. She is on the trail and she is close, but the murderer seems to always be one step ahead. Bella is discovering and uncovering much more than she ever imagined. Bella is pursuing justice in more than one area. The Lord is doing a work in Bella's heart and she is fighting Him every step of the way. Her past has hardened her heart, but Carr Sullivan is about to change all that. This book takes you deep into Texas where legends are alive and truth prevails. This is a winner in my collection and one that I will have to share with friends!
Award-winning author DiAnn Mills is a fiction writer who combines an adventuresome spirit with unforgettable characters to create action-packed novels. DiAnn's first book was published in 1998. She currently has more than fifty books in print, which have sold more than a million and a half copies.
Six of her books have appeared on the CBA best-seller list. Six of her books have either won or placed in American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year contest, and she is the recipient of the Inspirational Reader's Choice award for 2005 and 2007. She was a Christy Award finalist for Lightning and Lace in 2008 and for Breach of Trust in 2010.
DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive; Romance Writers of America's Faith, Hope and Love chapter; and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild.