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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Sunday afternoon, since it was the second Sunday, I went to take part in the prison ministry church service that Knox Presbyterian leads for women.  I opted to bring my journal so that I could share a few stories about myself.  I normally sing, however, I wanted to share a few things about my life with the ladies.

When I went to check in, there was a newer guard who was still learning the ropes.  Apparently, he didn’t know that I was not allowed to bring in a journal (full of my personal experiences) into the prison, and we lost about 45 minutes waiting for the request to bring my journal in, which was later denied.  Suffice it to say, I was discouraged, and I was ready not to say anything to the women because we were already behind schedule.

When we got through security into the general population, I had no idea what God was doing with me there.  I didn’t want to sing, I didn’t know what to share, I was just going to sit there and read prayer requests that the women fill out before each church service in order for people to pray for them.  When we entered the room, I sat on the stage with the rest of the team, like a lump, and didn’t know why, but I asked for the guitar.  I didn’t know what I was going to sing, I didn’t know what I was going to share.  I ended up telling them the truth of what I had planned, and found myself singing ‘I Could Sing of Your Love Forever’.  While Pastor Mike was giving the sermon, I started reading the prayer requests.  There was a random stack of loose papers handed to me, and the second one I read was this one:

Sharon

I knew exactly who it was from, and I remembered that I had not written her lately.  I didn’t know what God was doing, but I knew that His spirit was speaking.  If you want to know more about the story behind the above note, please read this and this.  Pastor Mike left me just enough time to sing one more song, acapella.  Some of the lyrics included “I am a sinner, if it’s not one thing it’s another.  Caught up in words, tangled in lies.  But You are a Savior and You take brokenness aside and make it beautiful, beautiful.”

As I left the prison, I still didn’t know what He was doing, but He caused me to sing what was in my heart to share that day.  For that, I’m grateful that the Spirit Spoke and I am reminded that He still speaks for me.


With every breath I breathe

With every song I sing
I wanna shout it out, Lord I am listening
To every word You speak
I’ll go where You will lead
To love the least of these
Is my greatest offering
(All Sons and Daughters)

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Hold out, hold on, don’t give up, and don’t run.

I’m going to wait for the one who is for me.  I’m going to stand firm in the faith that Christ gave me.  I won’t abandon the hope that I have.  I won’t flee or cower when love finally finds me.

I have learned quite a bit about myself this month.  How capable of love that I am…but also, how capable I am of easily going down the wrong path, tripping over God’s examples, and making a mess of good relationships.  I hope that I am capable of learning from my mistakes and really making the best out of some awkward, painful, and ridiculous situations.  This month has been trying, but then again, I have had other months that have been the same way.

Colossians 1:26-29:

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.

Two more days of February left…..

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As we approach the end of the month, I find myself wondering if I will actually keep up writing in my blog with the daily news and things that I have been learning.  I haven’t actually fully made that decision, however, I think it would be good to at least do something at least 2-3 times per month.  We’ll see 🙂

This past month,  I’ve had the joy of seeing that people actually like my posts! It’s very humbling.  I have no idea who the majority of you are, however, I have been visiting some of your blog sites and am honored that some of you have actually subscribed to my blog.  Thank you so very much.

Tonight, I am mentally preparing to go on a women’s retreat that starts tomorrow afternoon on the west side of my state.  I have been looking forward to the trip somewhat, and yet it sometimes just makes me nervous.  It’s mainly because, as someone who has done about six women’s retreats to date, there are sometimes groups of women that I don’t know.  I don’t know what their humor is like, if they will like the style of worship that I lead, if they will like the message that my mentor will be bringing, etc.  At a certain point, I just give up and know that everything really is not in my control.  I just wish that I would get to that point earlier.

My difficulty this weekend will be loving the women that I come into contact with, with the love of Christ and everything that He would like to speak to their hearts.  I really want for them to experience his joy and peace and refreshing during this weekend getaway, and the conference center seems pretty amazing, so all I can do is wait for Him to give me an opportunity to love well.

I often wonder how many people worry about the odd details that I do, but I think that once my worry is turned over to God and I start getting excited for everything that He is going to teach me/us, I begin to find the peace and can prepare my heart.  OK…now I’m getting really excited for the weekend.  You may see some interesting posts this weekend!

ONE LOVE.

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This is the blog entry that I have kind of been dreading.  Now remember, I am not necessarily offering the absolute correct answer.

I know that all of us have had people in our lives that have done wrong to us and that we have done wrong to.  I know that sometimes the wrongs done to us can be almost unbearable to the point where we feel that we can never talk to that party again.  And for a while, it really seems like we never will again, however, there are times when I believe our spirits soften toward them, if only for a moment.  When that happens, I would hope that each one of us would consider the act of forgiveness.

Last year, I went through a time that I never thought would happen.  I cannot go into extreme details, but it resulted in me settling for something temporary and something that wasn’t right.  I’m pretty sure that reveals more than I intended, however, as a result of my misstep, I ended up having to cut someone out of my life.  I am having a problem forgiving them for what they did, and while I know they still love me, I feel that I was taken advantage of.  These things are now being shared to perhaps benefit those that may be going through something similar.  Because I feel like I was taken advantage of, I am having a hard time loving this person through the hurt I am going through.

I don’t know what will happen next, but I do know that God has been ever present during my misstep, during the after-affects and consequences of my sin, and during my healing and moving forward.  I know that at some point, I will let this person back into my life as an acquaintance and not a friend, and I know that while the relationship may be strained at times, it can still be one that honors God.  These aren’t necessarily the best answers, however, I know the Lord desires that we do live at peace with one another.  He knows that we are not perfect like Him, but I believe that’s why He gives us Himself so that we have the Perfect One to lean on and trust in.  The Lord has never taken my heart for granted, He has never sent me in the wrong direction, and He has always loved me perfectly.  I’m the one that comprised and chose the wrong path, but at least He made a way for me to get back to the right one.  I have to confess, truly, it is SUCH AN AMAZING THING when we let the Lord take hold of the reins of our lives and He guides us through.  It brings an intense joy and a wonderful peace, and it has made me glad that I could return to Him.

How do I love the person that hurt me?  I can’t.  I can’t love the person with the love that I have; it’s just not good enough.  The extension of the Father’s love will have to cover it all since I cannot fully love this person any longer.  This might not be the world’s greatest entry about love and forgiveness, but it’s the honest one.  Sometimes sin does considerable damage.  The Lord can restore, though, and miracles can happen.

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I am learning so much about love this month.  I learning about how difficult it is, how beautiful it is, how wonderful it is, and how painful it can be.  I kind of want to pool the group reading this blog to ask how it is that they are able to continuing loving people with God’s love.

I almost forgot to blog today because I have been scheduling my days so tightly.  I normally blog in the early morning, however, I wanted a morning off to watch a tv show and sleep in a little bit.  I have found my own spirit a little less-driven to read His word and pray, however, I can almost feel the prayers of those who are thinking of and praying for me daily; I’ve felt it since I left my house on Monday morning. That’s love for the Lord and dedication to His kingdom.  For those of you who have been praying for me and thinking of me, thank you, I really have felt you.

This will be a short post, but I have a free evening this evening to go over some things and so I hope to have something more put together for tomorrow.

Love and Light.

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This morning, I am thinking about the book of Hosea.  I am thinking about God’s calling to Hosea to take an unfaithful wife, and the true feelings that he would have had for her.  I understand that the marriage is symbolic of God’s relationship with Israel, however, I would like to focus on the obedience factor of looking at the story from a perspective of Hosea marrying a woman that he knows is unfaithful to him.  Is there really love there, or does it bloom later?  How do you love someone that has been unfaithful and/or will be unfaithful to you in the future?

This will be a short and hopefully sweet entry.  I was mentioning a few days ago the topic of trust.  We are a people who really do have to make that choice to trust others.  When circumstances occur where someone has been untruthful/unfaithful to us, how do we go about loving that person?  I mean, we really do trust the loved ones in our lives with quite a bit.  Within a marriage, we really trust that person with all that we are and all that we hope to be.  We lean on them as they lean on us.  The thought of “being in it together” immediately comes to mind.   If we have given ourselves over to another in love and trust and the other person in turn says that that love and trust aren’t enough for them, how do we still have a favorable outlook of love and of God?

I cannot answer my own question even to my own satisfaction, however, I will say that God is in the business of miracles, of changing lives, and of changing hearts.  If the Lord wills it to be, He can make it happen.  If He wills it, He can cause a faithful spouse to continue loving and cherishing the marriage involving an unfaithful spouse.  I really think that with God, there is hope for a perfect world.  If He can will a heart to love one that betrayed another and turn that relationship around…I have a rejuvenated hope of heaven and perfection.  Think about it.  Would you, alone, without God, take an unfaithful spouse, knowing that your heart could be at risk?

I already know I couldn’t do it without God.

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Over the past decade, I have sometimes forgotten who I am.  I really don’t know if I am at home with the person that I did become.  Did I become someone that I really wanted to be, or did I compare myself with someone else in order to become like another person?  Who is the real me, anyways?

Over the past few months, I have definitely had some ups and downs; I have been able to easily see who I am in a sense, and, in a sense, of who I am not.  I have been able to say ‘no’ to some things that I know will not benefit me in the long run, and closeout the relationships that hurt me.  I guess in essence, this blog would have to be the example of how to love oneself.  I really don’t have any solid advice about how to go about getting there 100%, however, I have some thoughts….of course:

FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AND BE…AND THEN DO IT. BE IT.

If you have figured out what you like to do (that is something you can make a living off of), I think that you should start to pursue that as a goal.  It has taken me most of my adult life to become cognizant of the things that I enjoy doing and would like to continue to do, but it has caused me to start in a direction toward a goal.  In that, I feel like I am able to have a face, to have a reason for existence (for lack of a better description).  In that, in a sense, I can face my next task, my next hurdle, knowing that I am heading down a track/road that isn’t necessarily easy, but I am content in, knowing that’s for a certain purpose.  All of that, leads to a sense of having a little bit of a “chin-up” moment; a moment when you realize that you like what you are doing, and therefore can push yourself knowing you can love who you are while working towards that goal.

There are a lot of bad voices out there; too many to really name specifically, however, they say sometimes that you aren’t good enough to do what you want, or be who you want to be.  Sometimes, the voices say that the world is better off without you in it.  I can tell you that these things are not true, that your life most definitely has value; the people around you really don’t want to lose you, but, YOU have to make that decision of belief for yourself.  These voices can stay with you hours, days, weeks, months, years after you have originally heard them.  I think sometimes I have stayed so busy in an attempt to block them out.  That could be true, however, the people that have stayed around me, have had to constantly tell me that they enjoy spending that time with me; that I’m loved.  I’m still here, haven’t left town or the people that I love, so I guess it’s me deciding that I do indeed trust and believe what my loved ones are saying.  It’s up to each person to decide if they desire to trust.  For the parties getting the negative vibes, etc.:  do you really trust your friends and family when they say that they love you?  Sometimes that is the key to being able to stay in a town, stay in a lifestyle, or staying alive.

To come to a conclusion of sorts, friends, what you say to others and how they respond to you is very important.  You are helping each of your friends and family members determine how they feel about themselves; you’re letting them know they are worth the time and effort to know; that they can be loved.  As much as I’ve absorbed over these last 33 years, the one thing I’ve taken closest to heart is the people in my life that haven’t changed how they feel about me and the life path that the Lord has chosen for me.  Those people are sometimes are the reason why I love myself and what I do.

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