Saturday, November 30, 2013

Movin' On.....

One of the hardest and most freeing things we face in life is change. Change is something we all need, but at the same time, most of us are forced into it. Why? Because even though it is good, the growing part of it hurts, sometimes worse than death. But we have to know that "change" isn't death at all, it's "life". One of my favorite songs in the entire world is "I'm Movin' on" its about letting go of our past and realizing there's still a future. With the Lord our future is always brighter than our past; the sun has already set on yesterday. Letting go of relationships is something we all go through, and it feels the same, no matter how old we are. I believe sometimes the Lord takes people out of our lives because we're not ready for them, or they're not for us. There was a plant once in my back yard, it was very small. It was suppose to be a large plant, but no matter how much I babied it, it never got bigger. It was so pretty, with beautiful flowers and green leafs, it just wasn't as big as it should have been. One day I got the Idea to move the plant, transplant it, away from the tree I had planted it under; I had planted it there for the shade, I didn't want the sun to kill it. I moved it away from it's best-friend, the tree. Right after I moved it, I thought it was going to die. It's leaves started to change to a pail green. "What have I done?", I kept asking myself. "I should have left it under the tree, at least there it was safe.", I kept thinking. It was a long hard year for the plant, it fought so hard to stay alive. I expected at the start of spring I would be removing it, I just knew it'd be dead. "The outside of the plant is going through so many changes, the roots must be dying.", I thought. Spring finally arrived! I hadn't looked out the back window in weeks, nothing to see but a yard full of snow. The first nice day of the year I decided to go play in the yard, I was so excited about planting new flowers. I remember thinking, "What can I put in place of that dead plant?", I knew I wanted something big, like the old plant was suppose to be. Walking around my yard, the transplanted plant didn't look 'All the way' dead, so I decided to leave it for a few more weeks. A few weeks turned into months, and by the end of the summer the plant was three times its largest size from last summer. The plant would have been happy just staying under the tree and not growing anymore, but that's not what God intended for it. A few years latter I was moving from that house, I decided I wanted to take the plant with me. I went out back with a shovel and a box, ready to dig it up. Digging up the plant, I left enough room around the edges not to cut the roots. When I picked it up and pulled it to put it in the box, part of the root was really long and still buried. I pulled and pulled the root, "Why is this root so long?", I asked myself. After following and pulling the root up, to be sure I had the entire plant, I finely came to the end of the root. The root had grown all the way across the yard and stopped under the tree it was transplanted from. When we 'Move on' we are really never gone from where we were, everyone we come in contact with leaves roots in our lives and we leave them in theirs, we leave a direct dotted line to each other. It's almost certain, when we are the tree that protects someone, one day we will have to be the tree that allows them to grow.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Light in a world filled with chaos

Does it seem as if the world has gone mad, or is it just me? We have had so many things happen that are just ‘unspeakable’…earthquakes, floods, fires, and all sorts of mass killings. Just yesterday a man in London stabbed a man to death. The victim, an unarmed solider, laid dead in the middle of the street while the ‘murderer’ gave an interview to a bystander; his hands were red with the soldier’s blood. “How do we find ‘Life’ in so much death?,” I asked myself. As I thought about the answer, my thoughts wondered to the Moore, Oklahoma tornado a few days ago. This tornado was unbelievably strong, they rated it a ‘F5’; the rating doesn’t go any higher. I heard reports that the winds could have reached 318MPH. Unless we’ve seen ‘318MPH’, we cannot fathom what that looks like. I’m a NASCAR fan; I’ve been to lots of races. Those cars, at top speed, are going so fast, that unless you spot them from half a track away, you can’t read anything on the car, not even the number; it’s all just a blur. Top speed for those cars is around 200MPH. So the tornado’s wind-speed was around 118MPH faster than the fastest NASCAR speeds. I went to a NHRA drag race once, in a little over (3) three-seconds the car was at the end of the drag strip. It went past me, and I was in the front row, at 303MPH. I was standing up and it felt like someone took their hand and shoved me back. The speed was amazing and scary at the same time. But the tornado didn’t last for (3) three-seconds and it wasn’t a sport. It took lives, precious lives. Not one more valuable than the other; 24 in all. This brings me back to my question, “How do we find ‘Life’ in so much death?” This question brings me to this video of a lady who lives in Moore, Oklahoma, Barbara Garcia. She is an older lady, but she’s tough, as all Oklahomans seem to be. A little while after the tornado shredded her neighborhood to pieces, a news crew finds her by what’s left of her house; it looks like a pile of rubble. Ms. Garcia knows what has happen, she doesn’t appear to be in shock and she’s very calm. In the video as far as the eye can see is disaster, almost nothing is left standing. Ms. Garcia tells the story of how she went to her safe place with her little doggie, and the tornado ripped the house to pieces and the dog out of her arms. But she hasn’t found her doggie, but she knows it’s in the rubble, because she called for her and she didn’t come. Watching the video of Ms. Garcia being so calm in a time like that makes you calm watching the video, until you hear someone say, “A dog, a dog”. Just then the camera focuses on an area of what use to be Ms. Garcia’s house and under the rubble you can see a little dog’s face. Ms. Garcia is the first to get to her dog, unable to free it alone, she asks for help. Slowly, the little dog emerges from the rubble. She is so happy, as I’m sure everyone watching is; I cried like a baby when I seen the dog was alive. The dog stands there for a few seconds while she’s petting it, then they both, with the camera crew, start to walk away. The dog, like it’s master, seems to be unfazed by the chaos around it. The (2) two of them walked away together. By the way that Ms. Garcia left her once-home, it’s obvious she wasn’t prepared to leave till she found her doggie. It’s hard to believe in all that rubble any ‘Life’ could have been found, but it was. In our life when rubble and chaos are all around us our Master, The Lord, is there ready to walk us to safety, after He digs us from under the rubble. Like Ms. Garcia with her doggie, He will never leave us nor forsake us. Thank you Ms. Garcia, for showing me The Light in Oklahoma. Godspeed.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is it worth it............

Saving money is on everyone's mind; even more these days. I try to cut corners where possible, but there are some things I just will not consider.
I Can remember one of the times some friends and I went to serve dinner at a homeless shelter.
When we go each person is responsible for getting one of the things being served.
During this certain visit one of the things we served was Peanut-butter sandwiches.
I was the one in charge of getting what we needed to make them.

Shopping at the local grocery store, I went and picked up the bread I needed then I headed over to the peanut-butter. Looking at the peanut butter, I spotted my brand.
Remember when I said there are some things I wouldn't consider cutting corners on? well peanut-better is one.
I started to reach for the name brand I ate, "but I need so much", I thought to myself.
So I thought, "I'll get the store brand and save".
I put 5 jars of peanut butter in my cart and walked away.
I really had an uneasy feeling as soon as I put the jars in my cart.

"How could I get the store-brand for people who are going through such a hard time, when I wouldn't even eat it?", I asked myself.

I turned my cart around and went and returned the store-brand for the name-brand I liked.

Was I thinking more highly of myself than the people at the shelter? I don't know?
What I do know is being at the shelter, The eyes looking back into mine, would be thankful for anything. People with tears in their eyes because you give them
an extra cookie or a second helping. They would never know what kind of peanut-butter I used, but I would.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Gift

It’s funny how different we all are, but at the same time how much we're all alike.
Do you have that one thing, or maybe even more, that you do the same every day?
I know I do. It’s funny watching friends, family or co-workers doing the same things each day. I see people who have a fresh cup of coffee that they have stopped at the same convenience store every day to get that coffee. "Wouldn't it be easier and faster to just make a pot at home before you leave?"
One of the things I do on the days I work, I make an egg sandwich to take to work with me. If I don't the day just seems out of place.
Maybe doing some of the same things every day gives us some since of control over our day? In reality, none of us really know what is going to happen to or around us on any given day.
I've had the habit of reading my Bible every night before I go to bed for years.
There have been days that I'm so sleepy that I can't keep my eyes open, still I pick it up and open it to where ever I'm reading at the time. Sounds crazy what could anyone possibly get out of reading half asleep?
It just makes my day better by doing that, just like the person who stops to get the cup of coffee or hot-chocolate.
My egg sandwich is always the same, not the same with what I'm reading each day.
About 4 weeks ago that wasn't the case.
I just kept reading the same story over and over in my Bible. Why? I wasn't sure, I just kept going back to the same place, 2Kings 10-15 were Elisha inherits Elijah's mantel.
What I was reading wasn't very long at all, only 8 sentences. Coffee, hot-chocolate and egg sandwiches is one thing but to read the very same thing over and over every day.
I remember thinking, "This is weird" and it's me doing it!
About a week into doing this one of my friends, Jennifer, called me and said she had something for me. I was so excited! She said she was cleaning out her office and found this "thing" and felt like she was supposed to give it to me.
I couldn't wait to get it, I wanted it right away, but I would have to wait.
We don't get to see each other that much because of our busy lives, it's actuality a treat to even get to talk to each other.
For two weeks there wasn't a day that didn't go by that I didn't think of this "gift" Jennifer was giving me. I'm like a little kid when it comes to gifs. A few weeks later I attended her daughter’s school play, Afterword’s we went back to their house. We were there about 10 minutes before it came to my mind, "Do you have my gift?” I said like some 5 year old.
She kind of laughed and said, "Oh, yeah"
I was so excited; I couldn't wait to see what she was giving me. I could hear her saying from a distance, "it's not a big deal". She didn't want me to have my hopes up for some great big present. It didn't matter to me that this was something she had for years and was "handing it down". It's just fun, it doesn't matter where it came from.
She walked into the room with her "gift" and the 4 weeks of reading the same thing over and over came to life before my eyes. What was it?
It was her prayer mantel.
I told her the story about how I'd been reading the same thing over and over for weeks, she was thankful that I shared that with her.
What was my message in all this? For years I've helped others with their ministries, walked beside them and held them up in prayer.
For the past few years I've been working on my own ministry and I felt like the Lord was telling me with this "gift" I was going in the right direction.
There is no special power in this mantel; the power comes from knowing God is directing our paths. I sometimes think these "things" we do every day is what connects today to tomorrow.
What a wonderful "Gift". Jennifer says the best gift in this entire story was being able to give me the mantel. I think the best gift in this story is having a friend who prays for you........Thanks Jen!

Friday, December 10, 2010

For the love of puppys.....

Memories are a funny thing; they can take you from a happy place in time to a sad place in time. When we were kids my brother, Gary, and I use to talk about a lot of things. I remember talking about time travel one time, "does it exist or not?"
The best time travel in the world is right inside our heads, our memories.
I can see anyone that I've ever seen or go anywhere that I've ever been, in just an instant. The only thing is we can't change anything about our past memories.
Can you think of anything you'd like to change about a memory you have? I can.
I think most people would say they wish they hadn't done this or that, for those of you who know me you won’t be surprised to find out it involves a puppy!
Memories are funny; you can be 5 in one and not have another till you're 7 or 8.
The memory I'm speaking of happened when I was 10, I think?
I remember it being very cold outside and I was playing out without a coat, when from nowhere came the cutest puppy I'd ever seen. He must have only been about 9 or 10 weeks old. He was yellow and had a ton of hair, like a "Golden Retriever".
I remember calling for him and wanting to pet him so bad that I just knew he wasn't going to come to me, but he did. I remember how warm his fur made my uncovered arms and how he seemed to snuggle up to me as I held him.
After holding him a few seconds I ran up the stairs into the building my family and I were living in. My smile soon turned to a frown when I heard my Mom yell, "Get that dog out of here!"
"I love this puppy, why doesn't everyone love him?" I did what my Mom told me and took him back outside, I stayed out with him as long as I could stand the cold. I can remember walking up the stairs looking back at the puppy with tears in my eyes.
I fell asleep thinking about the puppy and woke up thinking about him. As soon as I woke up I ran outside calling for the puppy, "here Pup". "Someone else has gotten him", I thought to myself. Just as I gave up and started up the stairs I seen something the color of his fur, I yelled to myself, "there he is asleep under that car". I ran as fast as I could to get to him. I looked under the car, "yep, it's him!"
"Come on, pup", why wasn't he getting up? I realized he wasn't asleep, he was frozen to death. I picked him up and held him in my arms; I remember my face being so cold from the tears running down it. Someone, I don't remember who, came and took him from my arms and told me it'd be alright and to go home.
I think about this a lot, "what could I have done to save the puppy?"
Could I have made him a house, put him in a car or even disobeyed my Mom and hid him in the house?
The truth is there is nothing I could have done.
As an adult I think of this story and I'm thankful the puppy had someone to love it
Also, I like to think he went to sleep thinking about me, just like I did him.
So many people turn their backs on people in need because they think, "someone else will help them". Sometimes we are "someone else".
Watching people not helping someone with an "I'll show them" attitude makes me so sad, not for the "needy" but for the ones who have been hardened by the world.
How do people get that way? I believe they get that way one puppy at a time.
Remember I said there was something about this memory I'd like to change?
I'm sure you're thinking it has something to do with the puppy? It doesn't.
I'd like to remember the man who took the puppy out of my hands and told me to go home and that it'd be alright. Why? Because I'm almost sure that man was Jesus and he was telling me it'd be alright, not because the puppy was coming back to life, because the warmth from my heart for other living things had saved mine.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

desires of our heart........

I love finding bargains, don't you? A few months ago while shopping at the local "Goodwill" I found a "Blue-boy" print. It's from the early 1900's and went really well in my bedroom. I think I paid $5.99 for it. After doing research, I found that it was worth several hundred dollars. I was so excited, that every time someone came to my house, that hadn't seen it, I made them go look.
During one of these times of making one of my friends look at it, she had this funny look on her face and said, "where did you get that?!"
I proudly told her of my find at the "GW". She then said, "I think that's my Mom's picture."
She went over and touched it like it was The "Mona Lisa". She told me when she was a kid her Mom had a picture just like that hanging over her bed, frame and all.
She wanted it but her father had sold it at a garage sale without her knowing, he didn't realize she wanted it.
Her Mother died shortly after my friend had turned 18.

I really Loved this print, but not for the same reason my friend did.
I decided my friend should have it, so I found out when her mom’s birthday was and just this past week, 4/30, I gave it to her on her mom’s birthday.
When she received it, she started to cry, which made me cry.

I knew I'd never find that print again, not at the Goodwill. But it was okay, it was worth a lot more to me not to have, than to have it.

Today, while shopping at the same Goodwill, I found the same print.....unbelievable!
It's smaller than the one I gave my friend, but it's a "Blue Boy".
When the Goodwill puts a price tag on a donation they receive they also put the date the donation was received. The date on the price tag, $2.99, was 4/27.
So, if I would have decided not to give the print to my friend and went to the GW, I still could have given it to her and still had one. I was never expecting it to be replaced.
I thought, "what if I would have found it then decided to give her my "extra one"?
Is giving out of our "extra" really even giving? Is giving without sacrifice giving?

I know the Lord smiles with delight when we put others "wants" over our "wants".

I'm thankful that the Lord gave us both the desires of our hearts!

Psalms 37:4
Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

do you have a "kitty"?

Ever have the Lord reveal something to you about yourself you just don't like?
Sometimes he uses unusual things to get our attention.
Recently I just moved. When I did I inherited two outside cats. One is always around, the other comes around here and there.
There was a bag of cat food here when I moved in, so I fed the cat till the food was gone. Then I thought, "Someone else must be feeding them, this place was empty for 3 months".
So, for a few days I didn't feed them. At first I felt kind of guilty about not feeding them, then I just thought about them once in a while.
I saw a bowl outside my neighbors door, so I knew they must be feeding them, that made me feel less "responsible" for them. The part-time kitty was getting food from somewhere, he looks like he weights 15 pounds!
I really LOVE animals, so for me to not feed them for a day is unusual.

When I got home Christmas afternoon, I started to feel really sick. Three days latter, I'm still sick.......the flu!
It has really gotten cold outside today, I had to turn my heat up just a tad.

Laying in bed just an hour ago, praying for my family and friends, the kitty come to my mind. I thought he must be hungry because you need more food when it's cold outside. I couldn't stop thinking about him, so after about five minutes I got up to go check on him.
He is always by the downstairs back door, but I just knew he was going to be by the upstairs back door.
I walked over to my refrigerator, got out all the sliced turkey I had, then walked to the upstairs back door, opened the door and there he sat.He didn't run to the door when I opened it, he was already there.
I gave him the sliced turkey and he ran away with all he could carry, but not to far to come back for more.
I knew the Lord had put the kitty on my heart, but it wasn't just because he was hungry, what was He showing me?
Then I started to think about how we can be so passionate about something and slowly grow cold to it.

for-instance, you don't go from feeding the homeless to walking past them in one day, do you?

Just the same, I didn't get that way with the kitty in just one day.
A few months ago I took a stray kitty in because it was starving to death, and I'm allergic to cats.
Anyway, I got fleas in my house so bad because of taking that kitty in.
So by not feeding the kitty, I was, in my mind, protecting myself from some kind of future harm.

That's how we go from feeding homeless to walking past them on the streets, we think we're protecting ourselves from something.
If I do that with a kitty, what will be next? A person hurt me so I'll stay away from them? A homeless person I gave money to used it to buy beer, so I'm not going to help homeless people anymore? The things that could happen to our sensitivity is countless, and it all started with one little kitty!
I hope I'm never too desensitized to the the world that I can't hear the Lord speak to me about one single kitty.
Maybe your "kitty" is something else, but I think we all have them. What do we ignore that we use to embrace?

Monday, December 7, 2009

What will you be known by?

Is there something you just love to watch? My "thing" is watching the snow fall.
I don't mean just sitting and looking at it, I mean standing out in the open with my eyes reaching for the heavens. There is something so warming watching it fall.
This morning, before 6am, I was standing with my head toward the heavens watching the beautiful white snow fall against the still night sky. Breathtaking.
Latter on in the morning, the snow was gone just as fast as it had came.It had melted and I could see the green grass once again.
Looking around at all the beautiful green grass, I noticed some patches of snow that hadn't melted yet. No shade or anything was keeping it cooler than the grassy areas, so why hadn't these "patches" melted?
I was so excited with what the Lord showed me in the remaining snow!
Every single area that still had snow was barren, no life whatsoever. Piles of dirt with snow on top.
The green grassy areas had absorbed the moister gently resting on top of it.
God will always give us what we need to grow, but if our life is "barren" we wont recognize the spirit "gently resting on top" waiting to be invited in.

Matthew 7:20
20"So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What is success?

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I've "blogged". Ever have an interruption
in life that seems like the "pause" button was pushed. Thats what happened to me, concerning this blog. The "interruption" wasn't one thing I can pinpoint. I just wasn't sure how to get started back. You hear that whisper, "No one wants to read this", "It's not any good", and the best one, "You're not good enough to do this".
All of these things were being whispered to me and more, about this "blog" and my book I'm writing.
Well, last week I started hearing a different whisper. What caused this whisper?
I heard someone speak, she was so inspiring to me.I'm so thankful for everything she shared.
Funny, what she was speaking about had nothing to do with my "pause" button being pushed. But the Lord is so faithful to meet us where we are. I didn't need to listen to some CD or read some "self-help" book for the Lord to speak to me.
While this lady was speaking, the Lord was telling me, "you can do this, it'll be ok."
Fear of failing or not being "successful" keeps us from doing more than I think we want to admit. The lady I heard speak shared a powerful message with me,......"And they overcame by the blood of the lamb and the power of their testimonies." Rev. 12:11
We all seem to be living the same struggles, with different story-lines(testimonies). What pushes your "pause" button?
Fear is what pushed my "pause" button. In reality, what is "Success"?
Also, where do we get our measurement of success?
I'm thankful that the Lord loves me even if no one ever reads this "Blog" or wants to read my book. Knowing who you are in Christ and pursuing His will for your life, now that's Success!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Much more than we ask for.......

A few days ago my little sister read my Blog, "For my own good". She was reading it while we talked on the phone. I held my breath waiting for a comment, then my breath holding turned into laughing. Why? Because I was anticipating her getting to the part that I tell "Where" my check was found. She would stop reading here and there and say, "What's so funny?" "You'll see." I said. Then, the biggest and longest laugh come out of her. It was such a fun time sharing that with her, it made me think of other fun times I have had with her.

A time that comes to mind: about 7 years ago we were coming back form "Indy".
We had spent the day at the race, we both love racing.
Well on the way home my car started "knocking". I knew it didn't sound good, but we only had about 20 miles to go.

We drove through Germantown, right past a gas station. I said to her, "you think we should stop here?"
She said it was up to me. Well, my thinking was, "What could they do?" "Nothing."
So, I said I think we can make it.

I could tell the look on her face was, "Oh, Lord."
We turned onto RT4, toward home. There was something comforting about being on Rt4, home was in my sights.
Then, it started "Knocking" really bad, and now, it was also loosing power.
I was trying to make it as far as I could, so I just kept the gas pushed as far to the floor as I could.
I thought, well the farther I get, the less we have to walk.

Then it happened, my car died. I turned and looked toward my sister and said, "It's okay, the Lord will take care of us!"
I knew it would take a few hours, at least, to walk to my house, but we would get there.

We were almost at the top of a hill on RT4, my car hadn't even came to a complete stop yet. Coming up, over the top of the hill, toward us, was a "tow-truck".
With my car still rolling, I stuck my hand out the window and flagged the driver down.
The "tow-truck" did a u-turn in the middle of the street and backed up to my now stopped car.
He gets out, and walks over to us and I told him what was going on and could he tow us home?
My sister just had this look of amazement on her face, I'm sure I did too.
When my car started acting up, I just asked the Lord to help us get home safe.
Maybe walking wasn't safe that day?

The Lord showed me that He is ready to give us much more than what we ask for.
My sister, I'm sure He answered her prayers that day too.
What a fun time we had that day.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

for my own good........

Ever misplace something and no matter how hard you looked you couldn't find it,
only to find it in the most unusual place?
This happened to me, just this past week.
I went shopping with a friend of mine, we were gone all day long. While we were out, we stopped to pick up my check, from work.

Her husband was out of town, so I didn't drop her off at home until 11pm. Talk about "shop till you drop", I was more than tired.

I told my friend, when I left her house, that I was going to stop by the "Jennie" to put my check in the bank. She asked me not to, because it was too late, and "someone might get me". I said okay, and started my drive home.
After getting home, I decided I was going to take my check to the "Jennie".
"I'll be fine, I have done this 100 times before", I said to myself.
Going out to my car, I couldn't find my check, "Where is it?"
So, I went back inside my house to look for it, no where!
After looking in my car and house for over an hour, I e-mailed my friend and told her "I have lost my check, and I'm going to look in the store parking lots and your driveway."
Why did I e-mail her? Well, I thought when she woke up she would look for it in her yard, plus, I just needed to tell someone, by this time its 12:30.

I get in my car and head toward her house, they live about 15 minutes away.
Halfway to her house, she called and asked, "where are you, and have you found it?"
I told her I was on my way to look in her driveway, she had already looked and said she would meet me at one of the stores we had been to earlier that day.
My thinking was that it must have blown out of the car.

We drove our cars to all the stores we had shopped that day. my check....... no where to be found.

She said we should go back to her house, and go through my car really well.

Now, not only have I lost my check, but my car is on empty, my gauge was on orange.

"I can't believe I have done something so stupid" I kept saying to myself.
My friend kept reassuring me, "It's okay, everyone has done it".

I was SO ready to cry, but I had just told one of my friends, just that day, "the Lord has always taken care of me." So, I kept saying that to myself.
Well, to be honest, I'm not sure if I cried or not. Heres what happened; My eyes filled with tears, but I wouldn't blink because the tears would have started rolling, and once they start........well, you know how it is.

So, heres a rundown of the check is lost, my car is out of gas AND
my friend, who I was with all day is now trying to help me find my check with 8 stitches in her mouth, from a surgery she had that morning.

"What else could go wrong?", I thought. Just that minute, I felt a bug crawling on my upper chest area. I went to scratch and knock off what ever it was
crawling around. When I did, I was so embarrassed, the case was solved, it wasn't a bug, it was my check, folded up.

All I could say was, "Oh my gosh, you're going to kill me!" "What, what?", she said.
I had to tell her I had found my check, and where I had found it.
I was expecting for her to be a little ticked off. Her reaction?
She ran over to me, hugged me and said, "Thank God you found it."

The funny thing is, if I would have listened to my friend and not tried to go to the "Jennie", it would have "fallen out" when I got undressed.

Not only did my actions put me in danger, but they also put my friend in danger. But when I found it, she was as happy, if not more, as I was.

This reminds me of God telling Adam not to eat of the "Tree of knowledge",(Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.")

this was for their own good. And because they didn't obey everyone who has lived since, has suffered because of their "thinking" they knew better than God.........Just like I "thought" I knew more than my friend, she was just trying to protect me, just like God was doing with Adam.

My friend is no God, but what she was telling me, was for my own good.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Who gets the credit............

Life is funny, does it ever seem to you that you're turning into, "evolving", who you are, each day?
Happy, sad, tragic, all the different kinds of things we go through, each one has to do with who we are.
Could we be happy if we've never been sad, or could we be sad if we've never been happy?
Every event in our lives impacts it. This is just something I have seen in myself, recently. I mean EVERY event. Ever remember something that seems meaningless?
Once, on Valentines day, I received three red roses, at my house.
The note with them said, "I love you.........Jesus"
First of all, I don't think this was meaningless.I couldn't believe it, I had gotten flowers, I really love flowers.
After I received them, the first thing I did was try to find out who the Lord used to
send them to me.
There was one friend who I thought it was. I called and asked, she said no, but I didn't believe her. Then, I asked another friend, she also said she didn't send them.
I knew the Lord sent them, but I knew He used someone to do it. For some reason, I needed to know, "Who".
A few weeks went by. One of my friends,that I would talk to about it a lot, trying to think, "Who could it have been?"
Anyway, there was one person I thought it was. Why? I guess, maybe, I wanted it to be
because she kind of reminded me of a "saved" version of my Mother.
Well, one Sunday, I decided, at the last minute, to sit with my friend that I was always talking with about, "who sent the Flowers".
See, I had always sit in the same place and she did, too. We never sat together.
Sitting with her, this is the thing that may have seemed, "Meaningless", but it wasn't.
During the "Praise and worship", worshiping beside my friend, I started to smell
flowers. It was the most beautiful smell I have ever smelt.
I turned to my friend and said, "do you smell flowers?"
Just as fast as that came out of my mouth, an overwhelming feeling that the Lord used her to send the flowers. But I had asked her more that once, if she sent them and she always said ,"no".
Just that minute, I turned to her and said, "You sent the flowers!"
As soon as I said that she replied, "I'm so sorry I lied to you!"
See how sitting beside her, seemed to be meaningless, but turned out to be very meaningful.
God didn't show me this to say, "Ok, I'll tell you who sent them"
He was showing me how we can give other people credit for what God, Himself, has done. What I realized was, if it mattered SO much to me, who He used to send them, I wasn't really giving Him the credit for them.
I was, and am, so thankful He showed me this. We can give other people and things so much credit for what He does.
I try to always give Him credit for what He has done. That is what this one, "meaningless" time taught me.
Never, ever take credit, or give credit, for something He has done.
In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar is taking credit for what God has done.

Daniel 4:30-31
30"The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?'

31"While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you,

Friday, August 28, 2009

The first feather.....

Are you wondering when the Lord first started speaking to me with "feathers"?
I was reading a book, it was a parable of just a regular person who was challenged to
leave what was familiar and follow his "dream"
When I started reading this book it challenged me to find my "dream".

I had no idea what my dream was or would be.
In the parable, you would know the "giver of dreams" had given you one by placing a
feather outside your window.
I prayed and prayed, while reading this book, for my dream to be revealed to me.
I did have something that kept coming to my mind, but I was sure it wasn't my dream.
The "thing" that kept coming to my mind, I had no ability to do. I asked and asked the Lord to give me my dream, but nothing.
Finally, I asked the Lord "if this is the dream you have for me, show me in another way, besides my thoughts." See, I did want to do what kept coming to my mind,But I thought it was just silly , because I didn't have the talent needed.
The next day, after praying this prayer to the Lord, I was leaving my house, walked out the front door, and right in front of my door was the biggest feather I had ever seen.
I couldn't believe it! God had told me, "Yes, this is your dream"
I was SO happy and excited. I think I was more excited that the Lord has spoken directly to me, than the realization that my dream was real.

How did that feather get there? I don't know? after it first happened I thought about it a lot, trying to think how it come to be. A friend of mine, I suspected, she denied
having anything to do with it. I don't know if He used someone to place it there, or if a bird lost a feather while flying by, or if He placed it there with His own hands. It really doesn't matter how it got there, God
arranged it.

I was so excited and terrified at the same time over this "dream" the Lord was letting me have.
My dream? writing. When the Lord first gave me this vision of my "dream", I couldn't
even write a complete sentence of my thoughts, so how could I be a "writer"?
In order to do this, I was for sure going to have to leave "familiar".
It wasn't writing something that terrified me, it was someone reading it.
Many times, over the years, I would write something and the Lord would ask me to give it to someone. Grammar and spelling, how humbling.
I would cry of embarrassment, but I would do it.
You see, it doesn't matter that I don't write like Shakespeare, what matters is, that I write like Carla.

We should never, ever let our "dream" die. If we don't have the strength to do it, good, we can use His.

I'm am so thankful that our "dream" isn't based on our ability's and strengths.,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

finally, the story I promised about feathers!

finally, the story I promised about feathers! Do you have that one "thing" that the Lord uses to speak to you? I think we all do. Mine? Feathers.
I find feathers ALL the time. The Lord uses feathers to speak a "word" to me, or to get me to look at myself.
Here's an example, one time I felt hopeless about something and I was talking to Him about it, while taking my clothes out of the dryer, I found the most beautiful white feather. That was the Lord telling me, "it's going to be alright". He used that feather to give me Hope.

Once, I remember I wasn't spending the time with the Lord, I knew I should be. during this time, I found a feather at work matted together with oil, it was ugly.
No, the Lord wasn't telling me I was ugly, what He was doing, was asking me to look at myself. That one moment caused me to get back on track where I knew the Lord wanted me.

This may sound silly, but this is how God speaks to us. Each relationship is different and personal. Once, I was standing in a friends front yard, talking to her, and out of the blue, a feather come floating down between us. It just made me smile, because I knew He did it just for me. It was like He was saying "hi".
Why wasn't it for my friend too? Because He talks to us all in our own personal way. It's like Morris-code from God.
When I find feathers in, what I call, meaningful times, I save them and tape them inside my journal.
He talks to us in so many ways. Once, a group of people were gathered at friends house to pray for her. We were marching around her house, 7 times, for a touch of Gods healing. Which He gave her, and allowed her to live to see something she desired so much.
During our march we passed a bird that had been ran over by, what looked like, the mower. There was bird and feathers all over this area. A friend of mine that was
marching beside me asked, "So, what did the Lord say about that?".
Funny thing, the Lord had said something to me about the bird.
See, most people may have looked at the dead bird and said, gross. I looked at the bird and saw all the beautiful feathers blown all over the yard. Because God showed me the Beauty in feathers.
What I said was, "It's not important how we die, what's important is the "beauty" we leave behind".

The Lord loves us and protects us so well.
Psalm 91:4
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who's tending our "crops"

driving home from work I pass a lot of different crop fields, mostly corn.
Some green beans, and some that I don't know what they are.
One day while driving home, I noticed something I hadn't ever noticed. Mixed in with a
field of beans, was one stalk of corn. I had never noticed such a thing. How did that happen?
I realized the last crop in that field must have been corn.
Since I noticed that one stalk, I seen that in a lot of fields.
My thought was, that must be some strong corn. That corn, is so strong that it made it through the harvest,fall, winter, cultivating and replanting. Wow.
I knew the Lord had something to show me in this, but what was it?
The Lord showed me we have "things" that go through Fall, Winter, the Lord will Cultivate
that area and replant something new. But there can be just little pieces of that "thing"
that tries to hang on and grow.
And when this "thing" is planted in a new crop it can be hard to spot.
I know I have had this happen, mostly with my eating habits. I am sure some other things along the way.
Dying is living. The Lord will give us what we need, will we use it?

We all have crops growing in our fields, who's tending them?
John 12:24-25 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Unexpected day......

What plans did you have for today? Me? I was going to write about something completely different than what I am about to share.
When you were a child did you ever do anything you are ashamed of?(or an adult)
I did, and I have thought about it often.
When I was in Middle School there was a girl in my class I wasn't so nice to, sometimes. She was very nice and would go along with peoples teasing. I wasn't the only one to "pick" on her. She seemed really smart, something I never felt I was or ever could be.
I remember a few times feeling bad about it in school, but it didn't make me stop.
I don't remember seeing her too much in High School, and I never thought about her much the rest of school.
Something happened after I got out of school. I remember seeing movie and I don't remember the name of the movie or even what it was about, but it made me think of her. That was around 1990, I got out of school in 1987.
I remember wishing, after the movie, that I could tell her I was sorry.
Well, in 1992 I saw her on a bus in Cincinnati, I was going to work.
I wanted SO badly to tell her I was sorry for how I had treated her. But all I could do was hid behind the bus seats hoping she didn't realize who I was, I was ashamed.
I was sure she hated me. I wasn't someone who just picked on a lot of kids, she was the only one and I hated that I had done it.
Two years after that, in 1994, I gave my Heart to the Lord. I remember one time praying that the Lord let me "run into" her again and give me a second chance to tell her I was sorry.
Sometimes on the bus ride to work, I would find myself looking into peoples faces hoping it would be her, then glad it wasn't.
Year after year at least once a year she would come to my mind and I would pray to be able to tell her, "Sorry".
Well today her name popped up on my facebook. I couldn't believe it!
I sent her a note, telling her that I remember being "not so nice" to her and told her I was sorry.
The main thing I wanted her to know is that kids can be bad to each other and it had nothing to do with her and she didn't deserve the treatment she got.
I think we have all at one time or another gotten treatment we didn't deserve.
I wasn't sure if or when she would ever respond. If she did that was fine and if she didn't that was fine, also.
Within a few hours of sending her my message, she had responded back to me.
I had given her treatment she didn't deserve, now she was giving me treatment I didn't deserve. She said she remembered me and forgave me and a few other things and ending her message with "hugs", all very undeserving. Then, as if that wasn't enough, she asked me to be her friend on Facebook.
I am so thankful to the Lord that He allowed me to tell her I was sorry. We go through life everyday and things happen we didn't expect. Sometimes, we don't get that chance to say, "I'm sorry" to someone we hurt.
How the Lord must cry when we hurt each other, all the while holding us in His arms.
Do we really know how badly we hurt each other?
A few years ago, because of how someone had treated me, I cried almost everyday for a year. Sometimes I would just cry for a very short time, sometimes, I would cry myself to sleep.
For some of us that phone call or message may never come,but maybe, just maybe someone is hoping their path crosses with yours one more time.
I think of Peter, how hurt Jesus was when he denied him,not once but three times.
And how Peter when he realized what he had done, and how he must have prayed that he could see the Lords face just once more.
How undeserving Peter must have felt when the message was given to him that the angel said, "Tell His disciples and Peter, He is going a head of you to Galilee; there you will see Him. just as He told you." Mark 16:7
The angel was saying, "Peter, God still loves you. You are still a disciple!"
How joyous and undeserving he must of felt.
I am sure his day didn't go as expected.
Has your day went as expected today?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Just one footprint can change the view

It has been so hot the last week, that it makes me long for Winter. Sounds crazy, don't it?
With Winter comes snow and ice. Who wants to try to maneuver through the mounds of snow we pile up.
I can remember one year the temperature being in the 60's and mounds of snow still piled in store parking lots. That snow isn't pretty anymore either, and it makes me long for summer. Funny.
Once I was talking to the Lord about the snow piles, and He showed me that our spiritual lives are like the snow. How?
God shows us things in our lives That we need to work on. He covers them peacefully.
I love to look at a field of snow never touched by anything except the human eye, it's beauty is paralyzing. Just one footprint can change the view.
God places the "snow" where things need to be covered and die to prepare for "new life".
That can be a beautiful thing, but when we mess with it, it can get ugly!
The Lord will blanket things is our lives, peacefully. So what do we sometimes do? We get a plow, and push all the "snow" in an area we think we don't need anyway. Then all the beautiful snow has turned into this 6 foot high mound. It would have taken only weeks to melt, now months.
I have done this in my life. The Lord says an area of my life needs work, but I'm not ready. But the Truth is He wouldn't ask us to do anything unless He was going to give us the strength to do it.
The funny thing is, it's much more work uncovering the covered than to just leave it alone.
For me, it's not necessarily that I like things He may want to change in me, it's just that I'm use to them. Ever heard the saying, "I'd rather push a Chevy than drive a Ford"? (or it could be the other way around.)
In other words, "if I can't have it my way, I'll just not have it".
It's all about comfort. Dieing to your old self isn't comfortable.
If we try to change what God is doing in our lives, just like the one footprint I talked about, it will change the entire view.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Last Shall be First

Do you remember picking teams as a child for "Dodge Ball"?(Or any other game)
I think everyone has had that fear that they would be the one picked last.
I know I did. Always hoping to be the next one picked, but acting as if it doesn't matter. Every time I had that fear, funny thing, I never remember being picked last.
Why do we care?
Because if you are the "first" one picked, our world says you are the "Best".
NFL or NBA draft, the big story is who went number 1. Which most of the time the number one pick is the "Best". So the later and later you are "picked" the world says the less valuable you are.
We carry that way of thinking over into our everyday lives. Being single, for sure can take you back to those days of "Dodge Ball". Standing against the wall waiting for someone to call your name, hoping you're not the last to be picked.
Maybe its not being single for you, maybe its not having children,a job, or maybe the house of your's different for us all. The thing that's not different is the battle of our minds. We can't stand up against the wall, just waiting to be picked.
A house, husband, job or kids will not make us happy. Only one thing can fulfill
our happiness, Jesus.
God has really blessed me so much, by being in the middle of so many lives.He has given me so many "family's" and has allowed me to minister to many, and many to minister to me.
Sometimes the Lord allows us to be "picked" last, because someone else's life may depend on them being "first".
I have always felt when God doesn't give us what we "want", He's using us to give someone else what they "need".
The Last Shall be First......(Matt. 19:30)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Have you ever woken up so early that it's not morning but it's not night either?
I have. In my eyes time is like a "Teeter-Totter", and there is a time that it's
almost leaving night and almost starting morning. What name could we give this time?
Maybe........."The cool of the Day"?
Isn't that such a wonderful time? A time when God comes looking for us. (Gen. 3:8 "They heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.")
God was coming looking Adam, to walk with Him.
Adam ashamed of what they had done, hid.
What did he hide behind? "The trees of the garden".
Ever felt like hiding behind something besides the Lord? When the Lord first brought that question to mind mind, my thought was, "I don't think so?"
But the more I talked to Him about it, the more I realized the answer was, "yes".
What do we hid behind? T.V, Games, food or work.I am sure there are many more things to "hid" behind. Something to take up our time so we don't have to deal with the "right here and now".
"I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."Gen.3:10

Have you ever been afraid of where God was taking you and "hid"? I have. Why?
because the striping away of ourself is painful,
but this striping away is when we
are covered the most.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The story behind my "Beauty for ashes"

I have seen pictures of people I don't know or don't know very well, then, when I get to know them the picture changes. Do you know what I mean?
Years ago, I started going to a new church after moving back to my home town.
I didn't know anyone very well at all. I was attending a Bible study at a home of a family that latter become my friends.
One day their mom was there and she was really nice to me and told me, "You are beautiful". I would think, "Wow, she is really nice to say that"
After that EVERY TIME I saw her she would give me a hug. I didn't want to be hugged. So, what did I do? I started avoiding her. I would come into church late, after the greeting, so she wouldn't hug me.
I know that sounds silly, don't it?
Why didn't I want to be hugged? Well, for starters, I would get very emotional like I wanted to cry when she would hug me. Also, a part of me didn't feel worthy of her hugs.
Her hugs was different than any I have ever had. Why?
Because she really, honestly loved like Jesus.
When she looked you in the eyes, you could see Jesus.
Being loved by her started me on my journey of learning to love myself.
She has went home to be with the Lord now. Are you thinking I'm going to say a picture I have of her looks different now? Well if you are, thats not it. But a picture I have did change after knowing her. That picture was of me.
What a blessing it is because I get to tell others about her.
Her family supports a place where I just happen to volunteer and they donated some really nice items to be given out to any young lady who
gives their hearts to Him.
What a blessing it is to hand these ladies, that are just starting out,
a gift and tell my friend Rita's story and how she loved EVERYONE.
Their eyes are so big when they hear it. They hold onto every word, waiting for the next.
It's like they are starting on their journey of loving themselves, and it's with Rita. I wrote something after she went home to be with the Lord called, "You looked at me and made me see who Jesus sees".
When we don't see ourselves the way God intended, we see a pile of ash. Our ashes don't just go away, they are gently blown away, a little at a time, by the very breath of God.

Beauty for ashes.......really!

Getting ready for Church. I am going to write about my title to my blog tonight when I get home, "Beauty for ashes".
Can't wait to share why I wanted to use this phrase.
See you in a bit.....

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

cracks in our pots....

I was going to share a story about, "feathers" I'll have to do that later in the week.
So, last night I gave my testimoney at my church, ALT. God is SO amazing!
After words a few ladies come up to me to thank me for sharing and shared things that
they have been through in their lives. A couple of them said they had never shared these things with anyone else. God is so good to guide us where we are to be, if we let him.
It's not always easy going where God wants us, is it?
I have had times in my life where I knew the Lord was taking me someplace that was going to be painful to get to. Sometimes I would go in peace, and sometimes I would go "kicking and screaming".
Why was some of these times so painful? Letting go of things or people we want to hold on to. No matter how painful these things are to us, it's always for our own good.
One time the Lord told me to do something and I knew this was going to cause me to loose something in my life, and I didn't want to do it.
I cried for weeks upon weeks over this. Why? Because I knew I had to obey the Lord.
And when I did, I lost the thing I feared.
A very hard thing.
Obeying God is far more important than anyone or anything is our life.
The Lord didn't take the pain away during this time, I felt every ounce of it.
Sometimes, it still hurts. But it's like holding a rose.
Why doesn't God take our pain away, when obeying Him is what is causing the pain?
I guess really what is causing the pain is the fallen world we live in.
If we didn't feel pain how could we use that pain to reach out to others?
The pain we go through is the "cracks" in our "pots".
And "if we don't show the world our cracks, how is the light going to get out?"
Wy Judd said that on one of her CD's that I her.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Side bar.....

Going to give my testimony at my Church, ALT, tonight. I have an interesting story about "feathers" I'll write about later tonight.
Kind of uneasy about tonight. It's easier to talk in front of a group of people you don't know than in front of one you do know.
I just pray for God to guide my words to whoever wants to hear.
Side bar......I have always thought it was interesting that Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear" Matt. 11:15
Then, during Jesus' arrest this happens....."And one of them struck the slave of the High Priest and cut of his right ear.
But Jesus answered and said, "Stop!No more of this." And Jesus touched his ear and healed him. Luke 22:50-51

Funny the man who got his hear cut off was,
1. a SLAVE to the High Priest. A "Priest of this world. That must mean the "slave" was a slave to this world.
2. His right ear was cut of, the side of God Jesus is on.
3. "Jesus touched his ear and healed him" Jesus healed HIM.

So, now the Slave doesn't have to be a slave to this world, but can be a bond-servant (a slave by choice) to THE Hight Priest, Jesus Christ. Why? Because Christ has given him a ear to hear........I love the Lord and how the entire Word is woven to its self.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"You did not choose Me but I chose you....."John 15:16

The biggest part of learning who we are in Christ is really understanding this verse...."You did not choose Me but I chose you....." John 15:16.

We have to really, really understand that nothing we have or nothing we are is because of us.

My friend Candice sent me this after reading my last post,"Funny story...."
"I was there when you fell and am SO glad you did not get hurt too badly. Once you come to know God, nothing EVER happens to you again by accident. You took your "fall" and made application with it ! Keep being YOU !!"

She is SO right, "When we come to know God, nothing EVER happens to you again by accident".
I will go in more detail about this tomorrow.Have a good night, thanks for reading.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Funny story....

Alright, the funny story...........When I visited the "Home for Life" and passed out the index cards
(if you're not sure what I mean by "index cards" read yesterdays post).
One of the young ladies at the "Home" wrote on a card......"Clumsy".
Why is that so funny? Well after I left the "Home" I went to visit a friend I go to church with and drop a few things off . I had to run upstairs, and on the way down I fell ALL THE WAY down the stairs. I was told that I did a flip down the stairs from the 2ed stair and didn't hit till I got to the bottom. Embarrassing! I did get hurt, but it could have been much worse.
It's so funny to me that one lady said that about me, "Clumsy". What are the odds?
I was talking to the Lord about the fall. Surly I didn't fall without a message to share from the Lord, did I?
You may wonder what caused me to fall? A few things, I'll tell you one........The shoes I had on, they don't have a back to them and they are high-heels. My heel got stuck in the carpet of the stairs. So, my foot went to move and my hill was stuck in the carpet. My foot moved but the shoe stayed in one place causing me to trip, over my own foot!

The shoes are really pretty and I love them. They are not good shoes to walk around in.
Sometimes in order to find the beauty inside, we have to feel the beauty on the outside.
So we try to make ourselves feel pretty by making the outside pretty. Because if people see
beauty on the outside how would they ever know what a pile a ashes we really feel like.
One of the things the Lord showed me when He was revealing my beauty to me was that
we must be careful not to worry more about the outside than the inside. In an instant, without warning, we can fall.
An instant before falling, everything was fine. Our spiritual lives are the same.
It doesn't matter one bit if we have the best shoes money can buy if the places we are walking in them aren't where God wants us to be. We need to be careful not to become our own stumbling block.
God wants us to worry about the outside very much, but the inside is SO much more important to Him.
God is so good to have given me this and to share it with you.
Thanks for reading

Thursday, August 6, 2009

How "true" are our opinions of others?

An amazing thing the Lord has allowed me do with the Ladies I speak to; I pass out index cards and ask them to write their first impression of me down on the card. This is when I first get up to speak, they have seen me for maybe 3 minutes when asked to make some kind of judgment about me.
The funny thing is, thats about how long it takes us to form an opinion about someone when we don't know them from "Adam". And sometimes, we will carry that opinion around like it's "Truth".
The young ladies have ALMOST always said nice things about me on the cards.
My point of the cards? To show them that we have no idea ,by looking at someone, what they have
been through in their life and what kind of ashes the Lord has sifted them out of.
God is SO great!
I have a funny story I'll write about latter; it's about what someone wrote on one of the cards.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

what do we believe about ourselves?

Went and spoke to a group of young ladies at "Home for women" going through a crisis in their lives.
God is so good to direct our paths. There are a lot of women who don't see themselves the way God intends for us to.
We can't believe the "untruth" that is spoken over so many of us from a very young age.
God is good to shine His light and let us see the truth, but we must seek it.
Looking in the mirror, for me, was a task and I hated it. Learning to love myself.........

Just a few of the things I shared with these ladies. will share more latter.