I'm excited to announce that I wrote a book of over twenty-five prayers for parents to pray over their children during these perilous times for our world. It will be published in an eBook format and available on Amazon. The release date is planned for summer of 2013.
I hope you'll join me at my new site as I write stories of faith that I feel certain will encourage and uplift your soul.
See you soon!
Jesus amazes me continually with His love and goodness. He is leading me to new places and new things.
I completed my first book recently and am planning to publish it as an eBook this summer. I'm in the process of setting up a new website which will hopefully be ready in the near future. I have enjoyed posting my stories here at ChristianBlogsites.com, but I am following Christ to where He is leading me to go.
As soon as my new site is ready, I'll post the web address here. I hope those of you who have been reading my stories will join me at my new online home.
I pray God's richest blessings on you!
Love in Christ,
I understand the deep hurt that comes from unloving people who say and do unkind things in the name of God. I’ve been hurt in my past by people who thought they were leading me to God. But I know now that they never even knew God.
A person who knows Christ intimately will be loving, kind, gentle, and caring. They will lift you up, not tear you down.
I wrote this post a month ago for my other blog, and I feel the Lord leading me to post it here as well.
The shepherd and flock picture was downloaded at stockfreeimages.com
is my mother's birthday. I am grateful for the inspiration she is and
will always be to me. From her, I learned to be a good mother to my
children. I learned to be a good wife
and helpmate by watching the way she loved her husband.
Happy birthday to the best mother and saintly example a person could have.
I love you, Mama, with all my heart!
When my daughter was about three years old my husband Michael created a special treasure hunt for us to enjoy on Valentine's Day. He hid small candies throughout our home for the family to search for. This treasure hunt is a tradition and a highlight of every year.
The hidden candies are fairly easy to find at first, but it gets harder and harder to find them after the most visible ones are found. Michael hides some of the candies in such concealed places, that we never find all of them on Valentine's Day. A great part of the joy in the hunt is that we always continue to find the candies unexpectedly during the days and months ahead.
Our anticipated Valentine treasure hunt is very much like life. When things are going smoothly, it's easy to see and enjoy the treasures. But during the difficult seasons, it can be a tedious thing to find and focus on the treasures. They have to be tirelessly sought after because they are hidden. But it is the hidden treasures that are truly the most valuable.
Without the storms, I don't believe I would have ever discovered the priceless treasures of life.
In January of 2006, Michael was self-employed, running a graphic design business with another design artist. The small company was suffering and eventually had to be shut down, leaving us with a very small income. This gave our family the opportunity to look for treasures in the midst of adversity.
Each year the cards are more meaningful to me. They are irreplaceable—something that money can't buy. And even though my husband now has a good career, we realize that the best things in life are free (monetarily). I don’t want to ever forget those times of being in need. Our family learned the most important lessons we will ever learn.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field..." Matthew 13:44 NIV
There is nothing like the love of Christ. His love permeates us and washes away all of our pain and brokenness.
For believers, Jesus truly is our ever present friend. He is with us twenty four hours a day.
All we have to do is fall on our knees and ask Him to cleanse our hearts of any unrepentant sin that could be hindering His presence. And in His glorious way, He comes to commune with us any time of the day. Isn't that amazing?
The above picture was taken when my husband and I were dancing together after renewing our wedding vows.
Today is my beloved paternal grandfather's birthday. He passed away last February at the age of 96. I wrote a tribute to my grandfather and read it at his funeral. I'm sharing it again today to celebrate his wonderful life.
A TRIBUTE TO POPPY
He lived a long, fulfilling life because he attained an intimate love relationship with Christ. He lived out the greatest commandments in the Bible very well.
He wants us to be so head over heels in love with Jesus that no circumstance or loss can rob us of our joy.
It was March 2, 2012, the day of my grandfather's funeral. Poppy, who was ninety-six had passed away peacefully a few days earlier. We had just left the cemetery after the graveside service. I was in the car with my husband when we pulled into the driveway of my grandparents' house that they had lived in my entire life. I’d lived right next door to them during my 3rd through 5th grade years of school. In fact, my family lived with them in this house for a short time while we were waiting for our new house to be built.
Minutes before, I had learned that the house and most of the property had been sold. Our family had about thirty days to move everything out of it before the new family would be moving in.
Emotions came crashing in my heart as I saw Poppy's tractor sitting there just like it had been for my whole life. It was probably a newer tractor. But he had always had a tractor for as long as I could remember.
I walked around that day trying to take in the reality of what was happening. As I looked out over my grandparents' property my aunt's words resonated in my heart.
"It's a chapter coming to an end."
She was having a hard time with all the sudden change. Seeing my brother and me walking around soaking in the memories that were created on that land was more than she could take. With teary eyes, she walked away and went inside the house.
As hard as it was to face the reality of a chapter of my life being over, I knew I needed to face it head on.
This reminds me of a memory I have of my father pulling a splinter out of my foot. I was terrified of the pain. I would’ve done anything to avoid it. But my daddy—in his wisdom—knew that the splinter needed to be dealt with or it would become infected. So I would wail as he made me sit still until he gently removed the culprit that was causing the pain. The pain was intense for a short time. But as soon as he removed it I felt better.
Just like the splinter needed to be removed, our hurts and sorrows need to be removed by our Father in heaven.
How many times do we choose to run from pain? When in reality, it is facing our pain that makes it go away. Sure, the grief might be intense for a short time as we are facing it. But in the long run, after the pain has been dealt with we are free to live fully and freely without the pain of the past weighing us down.
Pain festers in our hearts and infects us with bad symptoms in the same way a splinter would fester in our foot and cause many bad symptoms.
Knowing that I needed to let go of a chapter of my life, I embraced the pain. Week after week I returned to my grandparents' house to help go through their things before the new family moved in. As I combed through each closet and drawer it was therapy for my soul. I would find treasures from my past and gleefully share my excitement, "Look what I found!"
The very last day I went to their house was the hardest. The week that I knew would be my very last visit I prayed for God's help. I knew it wouldn't be easy to let go of something that had been a happy part of my life since I was born.
As I pondered the memories of my grandparents' home, I heard the Lord’s still small voice within me. "I will use the house and property to bless another family in the same way it has blessed yours." As the Lord was speaking to my heart, I realized that in order to experience the new beginnings He had for my life I had to be willing to let go of the past.
Why is it as humans that we hold on so tightly to our pain and to our past?
The day that I went to pick up the last piece of furniture, the new family was moving in. I introduced myself and began to share my heart with them. Through a few tears and with my voice breaking, I said, “I want this house to bless your family the way it has blessed mine.”
gentleman replied to me, "It already is a blessing us." I want to
stay here for the rest of my life." While I shared the difficulty
having in letting go, he responded, “I've got to go inside now,
your words are
about to cause me to start sobbing."
I'm the kind of person who truly wears my emotions on my sleeves. The vulnerability I was showing about the difficulty of letting go was really touching his heart. It was a powerful God moment for all of us there that day. In my letting go, the new family was able to embrace the gift of this beautiful, sacred home-place.
My husband and I stood on the edge of the property that overlooks one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. As I embraced my pain, my husband prayed the sweetest prayer for me.
In those last moments standing on that beautiful piece of property that had been a sanctuary for me throughout my life, I realized that the sacredness I felt on Poppy's land could be felt every day of my life wherever I am. I rode away from Poppy’s home on this earth and thought about the legacy that he had left behind for me and for my family. As our car pulled away, I let the tears flow. It was an hour and a half drive home. I prayed, “Lord, heal my heart.” By the time I returned home I felt better.
That was last spring on Good Friday of 2012, three days before Easter. How beautiful of the Lord to allow me to celebrate His resurrection with a healed heart, free of pain.
The legacy of Poppy’s love for Christ lives on in my heart. I am free to carry on and live free from the sadness. When we look heavenward, life is sweet and beautiful. When we focus on what we've lost, our lives become defined by brokenness and pain.
That’s what letting go does. It releases the pain and opens the door in our hearts for new beginnings and new beauty.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7 ESV
overflowing out of my soul as I realized my ability to run
pain-free had been restored. It was surreal for me. I hadn’t felt the
immense joy of a really long run (over nine miles) since
Training for a half-marathon is a renewed hobby for me. I completed my first 13.1 race in 1997 and completed a full marathon (26.2 miles) in 1999. I used to be an avid long distance runner. It was my sanity in many ways. I suffered a serious case of postpartum depression in 1997. And because my doctor wouldn’t prescribe anti-depressants to a nursing mother, I chose running as my prescription.
In 2000, after a 16 mile run I began having troubles with my IT band (a layer of connective tissue that extends from the knee to the thigh) which kept me from doing any serious running for several years. Not long after I fully recovered from the ITB issues, I injured a muscle in my calf that was so serious that I couldn’t run for several years. And every time I would start running again, the pain would come back. I really started doubting that I would ever be able to run again. At the time I didn’t realize that I was running too often and wasn’t training properly.
I really didn’t think about running hardly ever. I found some alternative exercises that I enjoyed and I was completely contented. But deep down in my heart there was still a desire to run. I’ve always loved it. I loved the adrenaline rush I used to feel when I blew through the finish line. Every runner knows the euphoria that comes with running especially on a cool, dry day.
At first, I felt discouraged about the park being closed. I knew that I would be taking a big risk to run on the road. Quickly, my discouragement was replaced with a perfect peace about running on the roadside. It was scary for me, because my calf was finally pain-free and I didn't want to jeopardize that.
But I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, "Everything is going to be okay." I told Christa that it was going to be a true test to see if my calf muscle was truly healed. We began running in a beautiful neighborhood and after about a mile my daughter asked me, "How's your calf?"
I have complete faith in the Lord to do the same for others…"For God does not show favoritism." Romans 2:11
We can rest and know that as we seek Christ wholeheartedly, He will continue guiding us and showing us the way to always live a life of good health and complete wellness.
As I was praying this morning, I thought about how many
people tend to blame God for things like this. It breaks
my heart to think that people could actually believe that
God is capable of such horror.
There is a fierce battle raging between evil and good. Our generation is living in an unprecedented time of evil. Many have chosen to turn away from God because they don't know His true nature.
God is love (1 John 4:8).
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion...” Psalm 103:13 (NIV)
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.” Psalm 103:2 (NIV)
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