Tuesday, November 20, 2018

THANKS-GIVING




The tradition for the celebration of thanksgiving began in the 1600’s.  The pilgrims ran from religious persecution in England and landed at Plymouth Rock.  They we not prepared to endure the harsh conditions of a Massachusetts winter and many died.  Those that survived did so because of the assistance they received from the Indians that were already settled in that region.  A feast was prepared for the Indian and Settlers to share and show appreciation for the Indian assistance and the formation of a new relationship.  The second memorable gathering occurred in 1777 after the British were defeated in 1776 and the settlers gained their independence from the old British rule.  Later it was made into a holiday.



Today, we gather with family and friends with a primary focus of the food we are to eat, the football games, or the uncle or aunt that we haven’t seen since last year.  We awake on Friday to initiate the Christmas shopping season.



Now the title of the day was coined thanks -giving because the early settlers were giving thanks with a feast to those who had helped them survive harsh weather or to celebrate the victory. Their survival and victory changed the course of history.



The first mention of thanks is usually when the grace is said.  We generally only spend seconds saying grace for a year’s worth of blessings; if we say grace at all. I know in my family, if you say grace too long you start hearing various ones saying amen for you.



Have we as individuals become less thankful and more ungrateful?  Do we take the good things that happen to us as luck or begin to expect them to happen?  Have you ever noticed when you go into a place of business now you generally are the one who says thank you and not the person you just gave your hard earned money to?  Whatever happened to teaching our children to say please and thank you? Have we begun to take even God for granted?  I was reminded of the scripture 2 Timothy 3:1-9 and it tells of how people will begin to be unthankful.



I hope you join with me in reversing this trend.  Thankfulness and gratitude are conscious choices.  I choose to be thankful every day and will express my thanks giving longer than the time it takes to say grace.   We have so much to be thankful for that gratitude should be flowing from our lips toward God. 



If you know who you are and where you are, give God thanks.  If you can breathe on your own, thank God.  If you can stand on your own two feet, thank God.  If have a job, thank God.  If you have food to eat, thank God.  Say thank you and give people recognition for their kind acts and consideration towards you, but remember, every perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17).



 It’s not our talents that promote us, but the favor of God.  It’s not our burglar alarms that protect our homes and possessions; it’s the angels of the Lord that He has assigned to us.   It’s not our driving skills or ABS brakes that take us over the highways safely, it is the traveling mercies of God that allow us to go out and to come in safely.



Give thanks freely and the blessings will continue to come.  Let’s put the giving thanks back into thanksgiving and make it a daily habit. We are given something each and every day to be thankful for.  Thank you for taking the time to read my words and making my writing such a fulfillment and joy.   Have a blessed Thanksgiving season and I thank God for each and every one of you.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

I REMEMBER




Memory is a crucial thing and becomes more valuable as you age.  We seem to have an epidemic of memory disorders today ranging from various forms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, amnesia, and brain fog.  I believe there are some to don’t remember because they don’t want to.

This phenomenon came real to me when I suffered from fungus of the lungs and had brain fog.  It was as if the answer was just on the tip of my tongue.  It was as if I remembered I had a car and car keys but couldn’t remember how I got into the car seat.

This attack on the mind is so important that if your mind can’t remember how you did certain things it could forget how to breathe or speak and your biological systems can begin to shut down; imagine that.

Since my recovery from the brain fog I purposely force myself to go through the process of remembering things.  I make a conscious effort to go through the entire range of thoughts for things occurring in my daily life.  When I do this, I’m often surprised how many things I’ve forgotten but were key to the final results.  I also find there are things I wish to forget.

I was sharing the details of my healing from the fungus in my lungs to someone.  I shared how I changed my diet, started juicing, and about the great physicians, specialist, and holistic doctors that helped this happen.  Then a song came on the radio.  I love the song and the story began to play in my mind why it had such meaning to me.

I remember one day I was in my kitchen gagging and coughing, begging God to help me and I heard Him say to my spirit, sing.  I thought you must be joking, I can’t even breathe or talk, let alone sing.  The word and command came to my spirit again.  Being obedient, I wondered what I should sing, and the song on the radio came to mind.

It took weeks to be able to sing the first verse, only accomplished by many napkins, tissue wasn’t sturdy enough, and many interruptions of coughing spells.  In several months I could sing the song all the way through but at a lower octave range than I normally sang in. After 6 months, I was singing the song as I did before my sickness.  I used Google to search singing and found that in the UK it’s a common successful therapy for lung patients, even some with severe cases, to have the patients sing for therapy.  Look at how wise our God is and how innovative He was in my healing.  Now I often sing to keep the lungs exercised.

This is why the memory is so important.  When I remembered the details of how I sang that song, my eyes fill with tears.  Not just what the singing did but remembering what God did.  He was so detailed and precise in my healing that each aspect is important to the outcome.

I also remember the things that have made my life what it is, both the good and bad.  My life and strength are in the small details.  That’s why I think I am now striving to be a storyteller.  By rehearsing the facts of the events in my life, I hope I’m leaving an indelible impression on my mind and those who hear my story.

Remembering reminds me of how much God cares for me and I am reminded that there is no limit to what He will do for me to make me whole.

Do this exercise today, look back over a few events that have occurred in your life and remember them in their entirety.  I guarantee you’ll see there are things you’ve forgotten that happened but most important, you’ll see how important it is to remember because our memories are the songs of who we are.

I’m so glad I remembered.

Monday, July 2, 2018

A WRITER’S GOTTA WRITE TO BE A WRITER




I’ve been so busy lately that I seemed to have forgotten my 2nd love, writing; my first is God.  I’ve been going after the American dream, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, where ever that leads me to rekindle my fire, I’ve studied the process of writing, I’ve read books on how to write. I’ve joined groups on telling stories about the things I’ve written in the past but I looked at my notebooks still full of pages and my calendar blank of my scheduled future writing.  But a writer’s gotta write to be a writer. 

This is a problem and probably explains why I’ve had a bit of an edge lately.  I feel as if a part of me and who I am is missing when I’m not writing.  When I write, I seek the guidance of God and google for my issues or things just on my heart.  I get to a place where I feel the anointing of God like in no other place. For it was He that asked me, what I originally thought was a question but realized it was an appointment, in 2009 who shall write of His glory.

I had to sit down one day and analyze the situation and find out just what my problem was. To my surprise, I found out I lost my focus and inspiration.  This is like needing a quadruple heart bypass for a writer with no doctor in the room.  Focus for me as a writer was always a challenge, if you saw me write you’d think I was bipolar, dyslexic, OCD, and just nuts. I’d be all over the place as ideas and sentences rushed through my mind but I’d always reel them in.  Now my focus can’t be tamed.  When I reel it in, I’m too exhausted to write.  My inspiration waned. I discovered it was because of writing wounds.  Writers know what I mean, those are the many disappointments and rejections that overshadow the acceptance and approval for assignments we so long to get.  It’s the point when the mind says to you, why try after the doors are shut in your face or on your foot for your next writing opportunity.  And to top it all off I went back to grad school to get my Master’s degree.  What was I thinking! But a writer’s gotta write to be a writer.

The ultimate danger to this would be the total loss of my passion for writing.  If I lost this, I wouldn’t think it important to jot down that topic or get up early or stay up late to finish until my soul was satisfied and God was pleased. I would not be pleasing in God’s sight because He commissioned me to write of His glory.  All those who send me emails, postcards, or call to say how my pieces have helped encourage them or their family members would cease and maybe the one who would have saw hope through my words would be left with despair and decide to choose the wrong solution.

Just like someone hangs on to a dying relationship with someone they love so dear, I’m going to run after my 2nd love, writing, like never before. I’m going to sit and just meditate, listen to music and let my mind wander while I put away the cares of this world for a while.  I’m going to schedule time again on my calendar to face that blank page on my laptop and fill it up with my thoughts.  I’m going to read more until my inspiration resurges again. 

I’ll go back before the One who gave me the commission to write and ask for His help.  One thing I know, He will provide what I need to accomplish what He told me to do, as I do my part.  It’s not that I don’t have material, my daily life is one fantastic story after another.  I need His help to minimize the disconnect and distraction of getting my thoughts from my heart to the paper.  I need His help to open the door that no one can shut and shut those where no one can reopen for me.  But one thing for sure, a writer’s gotta write to be a writer.

Enjoy life, trust God, and never ever lose your passion.

Friday, June 15, 2018

FATHER'S DAY THOUGHTS


Let’s go back to the first family and the original cycle of life.  God created Adam and Eve then placed them in the Garden to have fellowship with Him.  God sanctioned the family where a mother works with the father to nurture and grow a family to please and serve Him.



The circle takes a turn when Adam disobeyed God, eating the forbidden fruit.  Adam was formed by the hands of God and yet we see the flaw in his character.  As a result, the family of humanity is thrown into chaos from a father’s bad choice that led to spiritual death and separation from God.



Adam couldn’t blame his socioeconomic or environmental status.  He was sentenced to a life of hard labor and cursed not to receive a full yield from his labor.  He had to live with the cost of his choice and the woman that he blamed for his downfall.  Being unfaithful was not an option; there was no other woman, not even a mother on whose shoulders he could cry.  It doesn’t show where Adam complained.  He stayed and endured the situation of his own doing and watched the effect on his family. His first two sons were the first on record to be casualties of murder. 



A father is the foundation, strength, and final refuge for a family.  The original design of the father was to carry the weight of the family by protecting, setting goals, and direction.  The absence of a healthy relationship with a father can lead to insecure and often abused children; or they can become abusers.  The proper relationship with a father provides a reference point to judge the boundaries of love.  Children unprotected by the covering of a father, are vulnerable to predators, to anxious, withdrawn, and antisocial behaviors by not being affirmed by a father’s love and confidence. 



The fathers in the bible weren’t perfect; we can’t expect perfection from our fathers.  Fathers have a tough role in society today; the bad examples are always in the limelight and not enough is said about the good fathers. 



I am so grateful for the father God gave me and I miss him dearly since his passing in 2015.  Our relationship, both good and bad, are what make me the success I am today.  Once I began to go to church, God sent me back to repair the relationship with my father, so I could have the right relationship with him.



If we have a father who spent time with us, be honored.  If we have a father who did the best he could and didn’t leave, consider your life a rarity and be thankful.  If you have a father who prayed, took you to church, and lived right before you, consider yourself blessed.  If your mother had to be in the place of your father, consider yourself precious to God.   If you haven’t been the best father you could be, do better and be grateful God’s given you another day to try.   If you’re looking to fill that void, look no further. Your heavenly father has been trying to find you and is waiting with open arms. 



Let’s continue to celebrate the spirit of father’s day every day, and show daily gratitude to the many father figures in our lives; especially to the father who loves us the most, our heavenly father.  

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

THE MEASUREMENT OF EXCELLENCE


There are two inventions that are under rated that have changed the dynamics of many lives and industries.  These two items are the yard stick and the plumb line.  Dictionary.com gives these definitions: a stick a yard long, commonly marked with subdivisions, used for measuring: any standard of measurement or judgment.  A plumb line: a line (as of cord) that has at one end a weight and is used specifically to determine verticality, or being straight.
It is so important in the world of measurement that we use the right tool for judgement. In construction particularly, a straight line is critical to the integrity of the structure.  The correct measurement determines the excellence of the structure.
I’ve spent so many years of my life off course and scrambling.  I yearned to find that guide or benchmark to steady me, to show me the right course and how to get back on track.  
I’m so glad that while on this quest, Jesus met me along the way.  He heard my cry and set the solution before me.  I now have His Word and His Spirit.
The Word is my yardstick. It gives me the distance which I should travel.  It charts the course of my life in Christ with measurable and obtainable goals.  It shows when I’ve accomplished the task.  The Spirit is the power that enables me to move through life’s challenges.  It encourages me and picks me up when I’ve fallen off the path.  It’s a symbol of the love that provided it and the sign of my impending victory.
One day we all will be tested and measured for our integrity and verticality.
If you’re feeling a bit off the mark or coming up short in life, I recommend you contact Jesus to receive the tools that He so freely gives, His Word and Spirit. Once you have these, you too can be a measurement of excellence.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

NEW YEAR PRESS


As I look back, I realize the weight of facing some of the worst hardships and life altering challenges during the past two years.  I survived emotionally numbing blows in recent years, and because of the holidays, only to relive some incidents afresh.  I lost loved ones and friends dear to my heart.  I saw the true colors of many, left abandoned and like my grandma use to say, up the creek without a paddle, on several occasions. 



It seemed that at every turn, another door was either closed in my face or at my back.  I felt boxed in and forced in a state of bondage.  There were times I called out asking God if He saw me.  I felt as if He was watching me suffer these things as He watched the guards beat Jesus beyond recognition.  I felt my old nature rise and a bit of old Chris resurfaced; the one that jumps into action to take care of Chris and handle people and situations.  I want to keep that old girl under control because she’s dangerous.  The last time I let her have free reign for just 1 hour, it took years and several attorneys to get things resolved.  The reborn Chris just kept saying be still, do nothing, God is not blind nor has He turned His back on you.  It’s God that has brought you to this place and time in life.  Wait on God, my spirit would say.



I started to imagine my situation.  My spirit was feeling as if I’m standing in a paneled room boxed in with no visible way of escape.  Each wall of this room is touching me on the front, the back, and the sides.   I wait with my hands folded behind my back.  I kept hearing a familiar clicking sound.  Familiar in that I know I’ve heard is somewhere before, long ago.  Then I remembered our old camper.  The cabinets and closets in it didn’t have handles and the surface look streamlined and you had to know where to press them to get them to open.  I had trouble with a few of them, just couldn’t seem to get the press right to make it open until several tries. 



Then I heard God say to press with my hands behind me, and a door opened.  I stepped back and God began to give me insight into why things happened this year.  No great mystery, it was His will and it was what was best for all involved.  He showed me how the past two years were a proving year for me.  He showed me how much He loved me and had invested in me.  It was a year during which I was being branded for His purpose for my life, to write of His glory, as John was banished to the Isle of Patmos to write the book of Revelations.    One mistake was to believe in the word of people and depend on them for help and not look to God first then He would send the help I needed.    



 I found myself back in that paneled room and I was instructed to press again on a place in front of me.  As I did, a door opened.  As I stepped out the way wasn’t clearly marked and a bit foggy and unstable in places.  God whispered, if I trust Him, He’ll lead me and show me the way.  To be successful, I’d have to get rid of the useless baggage from the past year that would hold me down or cause me to fall.



Beyond the love and investment God has placed in me, I take away from this image that even when people and situations seem to have us boxed in, all we have to do is look and wait on Jesus; then press, and He’ll open a way of escape.  If we trust Him, He will lead and guide us through our day to day life.  To be successful, I must press the door closed on the past and focus on today with Christ. 



For 2018 join with me in my resolve, like that of the Apostle Paul described in Philippians 3:1-15, to forget those things which are behind, and reaching for those things ahead, then press the mark, for the prize, which is the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus.  Let’s do a New Year Press.


Monday, December 4, 2017

WHAT DO I DO NOW



I’ve been going though the days aimlessly without good direction and less purposeful for the last month or so.  I run out of things to do.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had that happen. 



Many of you may already know, I recently had to put down my 15-year-old pup.  That single event left a hole in my life.  I didn’t realize the extent of the place he held in my heart and just how much of my days were intertwined with his daily care. 



Warm memories come to fill that empty place in my life and heart.  I remember him catching rabbits in the yard and bringing them to me as a prize.  We sat on the deck in the Summer in our own lawn chair, just chillin.  He’d roll over for everyone to rub his belly.  He attacked the bird that flew too close to me in the yard.  I remember wetting him with the tears I shed when I came home from the hospital after my husband and father passed.



For the past four years, if he went anywhere, I had to carry him.  I can’t count the times I’d walk past and rub or hug him.  I would talk to him or sing while rocking him, even though he was deaf and blind



I learned so much from my pet.  He taught me first hand unconditional love, patience, loyalty and trust beyond measure.  He instilled confidence in me from his wagging tail. Even when something went wrong, his warm paw and cold nose was my rock of support.



As I sit here today, I ask, what do I do now? I hear the Spirit of God telling my heart to continue in my purpose; to tell my story.  We all have a story to tell.  I’m to tell of those who’ve altered the direction of my life, like the love of Christ did. I will share each chapter as they evolve. The one of my pup shows God using him for the recent season I’ve been through; my valley of the shadow of death.  The love of my pup was not in vain. 



From this, I can somewhat understand how the disciples and friends of Jesus felt after His crucifixion.  Hearing His words that He’d leave them one day taking them somewhat casually, only to awaking to the reality of his brutal treatment and death on the cross.  I understand their wandering around aimlessly and gathering in out of the way places to regroup their thoughts about what their next steps should be.  Maybe even asking themselves, what do I do now.



I’m sure they remembered all the things they took for granted like the conversations of Jesus and His very presence; never imagining Him not with them.  But after His death, savoring every minute they looked in His eyes, heard his voice or felt his touch.



After His resurrection, Jesus came to encourage and comfort them and to prove He had risen.  They too played an important part.  Their part was to share the greatest love story ever told, the Gospel of Christ.  This purpose became their life long work.



If you’re struggling to find your way or searching for what to do with your life after a great lost, look to Jesus.  I guarantee He’ll supply what you need for your season, just as my pup was for me.  He knows what we should do next, for He orders our steps. Then Tell your story as I’ve shared mine.  Enjoy your journey.  Thanks for letting me share my story with you.