Tuesday, February 14, 2017

FOREVER IN MY HEART


I was going through some of my old valentine day cards from my husband and a phrase seemed prominent in them all; forever in my heart.  Now I’m not sure if this is in most of them or if that’s a message that my husband wants to convey in the cards he chooses for me.  My husband picks the best cards for all occasions.  I often read them and the description of the person inside often causes me to ask if he really means that for me. 

This year will be the first time since our marriage over 15 years ago, that we’d be apart on Valentine’s Day. Being the great guy he is, he already bought my card and candy.  While I was cleaning him up in the hospital, he stops me to say how much he appreciates all I’ve done for him, especially those things he couldn’t do himself.  Very seriously and in a rare tone, he said he loves me.  I tell him, no problem, it’s all my pleasure. Then as I read those cards later, I knew what he meant; I’m forever in his heart.

One thing I’ve learned in life is the best place to be is in the heart of a good person; for a woman, a good man.  It goes beyond the candy and remembering the man-made holidays.  Being in the heart of a good man causes them to go beyond the norm to provide and protect you.  Their never-ending joy is to see you happy.  I think how he went to work in pain and endured the pressures of life to make a better life for his family.

How did I get in his heart; by being myself, and being in God’s favor. He chose me and I had to accept that choice.  Women can’t choose the man and make him want them.  My husband tells me that when the hen chases a rooster on the farm, she ends up in the pot; but that’s another story altogether.  Everyone is not suited for everybody, it must be compatibility. In turn, I recognized his goodness and wanting to do those things that pleased me, so I did what I thought pleased him before he asked.  I had to mend some of my ways; see I was divorced for 17 years before we married and I had picked up some habits. I listened and was attentive to his ways and moods; I did those things that protected and helped him and the family name.

Oddly enough, this is a mirror image of my relationship with God.  He chose me and loves me beyond measure and goes to every end to prove His love.  He died on the cross to show I was forever in his heart.  I read His Word to learn what pleases Him then I do those things.  I show my appreciation by saying thank you and I love you.  He shows is love by allowing the sun, moon, stars and rainbow to brighten my world.  When God wants to whisper to me He speaks through His Spirit that’s inside my soul; it quickens me.

So even though I won’t be celebrating the traditional valentine’s day with my husband, his love has made and everlasting impression on my life and heart.  You see, he died 3 days later.  The card he gave said that he found it an honor to love me.  I find it an honor to have a man of his caliber to love me.  More important, we have a God that has us in his heart and joined us together forever. 

Have you found your place in the heart of God?  Make a note to daily show your appreciation and gratitude to your loved ones every day.   But in all those you love and adore on this Valentine ’s Day, and beyond, remember to keep them and God forever in your heart.

Friday, January 27, 2017

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MY ENEMIES




I’ve been trying to determine what works in my life to recreate success with my future goals.  When I completed this task, I thought I’d have a list that would include incidents where my supporters surrounded me or friends and family came to my rescue, with help or a life changing word.  To my surprise, if these scenarios happened, it was so rare it’s not worth mentioning.  What I found was a list of events where I was alone with feelings of being abandoned with my enemies raging around me. 



Now I want to make it clear that my enemies are real.  I don’t have the kind of enemies that are passive, nor are they inexperienced in the art of war.    My enemies tried to set me up on my job to humiliate me then get me fired.  If I didn’t quit the job, they would strategically place themselves around contend with my every effort.   My enemy would work discord in my neighborhood.   My enemy will talk about me behind my back with hideous lies to destroy my character.  My enemies take joy in hearing of my misfortunes and wait to hear of my destruction from them.  If my demise doesn’t come soon enough, they will see what they do to help speed the process up.  My enemies would attack my children and my marriage when the attacks against me didn’t work, knowing this would destroy me.  My enemies would turn my friends against me.   Then they would use them on the inside to stay close to me to further hurt me.



Even though I felt alone in these situations, I realized God was with me.  He would somehow stir something deep within me, an anger of sorts or a refusal to go down without a fight that would arise in my spirit and I would come out swinging against the opposition.  I had a take no prisoner approach.  I fought with the strength that I know only the Lord could have given me.  I gained the victory over my enemies and negative situations in my life.  I learned skillful ways from God to defeat my enemy and God would not allow a bitterness to build within me that would cause me to become like my enemies.   I learned a lot about myself from facing my enemies and their attacks.  I learned a lot about God, who was my only source of help.   I realized that these attacks made me stronger and closer to God.  Over time, the attacks let me know that a bigger blessing or level of promotion was on the way from the Lord.  I would have never gained this knowledge and strength if it had not been for the malicious attacks of my enemies.  Most important, I learned that if I’m ever to succeed at anything in life, especially against my enemies, I must depend upon the Lord to guide and help me.



So if you’re under attack, don’t give in and please don’t give up.  Take a deep breath and a step back and seek the help of God.  He promised never to leave us or forsake us.  He is a master at strategy and can lead you around any trap of your enemy.  He can give you the victory over those that come against you, if you would just consult Him how to proceed.  Don’t be discouraged or dismayed we are more than conquers though Him that loved us (Romans 8:37).  Thank your enemy for letting you know that your help from God and blessings are on their way.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

ON BENDED KNEE


In remembering last year, I don’t know about you, but all I can do is breathe a sigh of relief, whew, I made it. I survived. There were times when my life felt like a new episode of Nightmare on Elm Street or my name should have been added in the book of Job in the bible. It seemed that when I hung up from one calamity another was at my door.



I made an effort to relax by turning on the television.  I got a glimpse of the daily news.   There was no relief there, only horror to see the tragedies happening all around me, near and far. It seems that after a year like this, resetting my tolerance meter and reevaluating my strategy for the upcoming year is crucial. It would be very beneficial activity for anyone. It would allow us to reconnect with ourselves, family and friends, and most importantly, our Creator. We don’t know what we’ll face this year but it’s better to face the unknown with an inexhaustible source of help and strength.



The process I suggest is very simple. It is most effective when done on bended knees. Let me explain that this is more than a physical position. There are times when physically I am unable to get on my knees but I am always able to bend or surrender my heart. You will be able to accomplish this too with a little practice if you’re not already an expert.



Why on bended knee you ask. Just look at it this way, it’s hard to be hit with a flying dart of life or any such attack if you’re on your knees. They seem to fly right over your head. Even if you’re hit, you won’t have far to fall. You also notice more of the simple and small things when you’re in this position.



Here we go, we’re on bended knee. Ask yourself these series of questions followed by the response “thank you”. Do I have a place to lay my head at night, “thank you”. Do I have something to eat, “thank you”. Did I get out of bed on my own this morning, “thank you”. The questions will start to flow if you keep going and the response will become automatic. After you’ve mastered this, sit still and quiet. Take pad and paper, you’d be surprised at what you’d write.



Many times, people get tangled in whom you should say “thank you” to. If you don’t believe in the Creator, it’s ok. It’s just as important to say “thank you” to those who feed positively into our lives. Just be grateful being able to do all these things. There is a deep cleansing and healing in this kind of exercise. It resets one’s perspective. No matter how independent we may feel, we all, at some point, need assistance from someone else.



Whatever comes this year; believe that we can handle it. Things will happen this year the will sadden and hurt us and come in a moment’s notice. There will be things that will over joy us and fill our hearts with glee. But whatever comes, stay encouraged and focused to live a victorious year. Remember, we are more than conquerors if we stay on bended knee.

Wednesday, January 11, 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 2017 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.

Friday, December 2, 2016

TURN THE PAGE

I remember the times in first grade when my teacher would read us the stories and show the pictures on the page.  I would go home and line up my dolls and imitate my teacher’s actions.  I would turn the book from side to side so all could see and then turn the page.

Some stories had me so excited I couldn’t wait for her to turn the page.  She lingered for the others to capture the images in their minds so they too could enjoy the book and follow along.

One night I was reviewing the platform of issues that I’m facing and studied them in my mind’s eye, lingering on some, waiting for the solution to present itself and I heard in my ear the words, turn the page.  Just as in class after enough time had lapsed and we studied the page, my teacher turned the page.  I believe God was telling me to do the same with certain issues in my life; turn the page.

I was getting in a rut, not making progress with those matters and God wanted me to move on.  Have you ever pondered something in your mind over and over until thinking about it rendered you motionless?  Have you ever faced something that was unpleasant and you saw no resolution, not even knowing how you arrived on that page?

I’ve learned that God is so concerned about us that He monitors each detail in our lives. He lovingly moves us along our own destined path.  He knows the things that have impacted us and guides us through the ruts.  He doesn’t want us stuck in any one place, especially to wonder or to be in sorrow, because He knows what the ending of our story holds. 


Aren’t you glad we have a God like that?  Have you reached a point in life that God is telling you to turn the page?  Take it from me and don’t hesitate, turn the page.  Let the all wise and Almighty God that loves us handle the fragments of our lives and make us whole to move on enjoy all the things He has in store for us; turn the page.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

THE BREATH OF LIFE



There is nothing like taking a big breath of fresh air.   For the past ten months, this has been difficult for me because of a sickness that overtook my lungs and into my bloodstream.  In the early stages, I had to wear a mask all day and everywhere I went.   

The doctors didn’t have any other antidotes or treatments.  We had to wait for my body to heal itself.  I refused to be defeated or give up without a fight.  I began to stock up my war arsenal with songs.
I diligently sought the Lord who fearfully and wonderfully made this body for answers.  I heard the instruction in my spirit to sing a love song to Him.  I searched in my mind which song carried the sentiment of my heart.

The lyrics to an adored song sung by Lamar Campbell and the Spirit of Praise came to mind titled, “More Than Anything.”   In the first attempt, I sang two words and had a coughing spell that lasted 6 minutes.   I sang each day as long as I could for 5 weeks.   I walked through my home, choking, tissue in hand, with my hands raised toward heaven. 

 In the 6th week, I was able to sing the entire song without interference.  It felt as if the Angels from heaven were surrounding me, clearing the way as I walked singing:  “I lift my hands in total adoration unto you.  You reign on the throne, for you are God and God alone.  Because of you my cloudy days are gone; I can sing to you this song.  I just want to say that I love you more than anything.  I love you Jesus, I worship and adore you”.  I felt a level of anointing that I hadn’t experienced in years. I had reached the throne of God.  My lungs were beginning to working at full capacity. 

 With God’s guidance I began to do research and formulate a plan of how He was going to heal my body.  I discovered the wonderful and powerful world of juicing.  I used juices to help clear the lungs and strengthen the immune system.
I searched the American Lung Foundation’s website for exercises for the lungs and discovered an article discussing the benefits of singing to heal lung disorders in an article in a U.K. medical journal.  

It’s nothing short of a miracle I didn’t die, have permanent lung damage, or a chronic disease.  My only saving grace then and now was God’s love for me.
But look at the wisdom of God, using something as simple as singing a song to help clear and strengthen my lung passageways.

The American Lung Association states that most people breathe 20,000 times per day, but the number of breaths taken daily varies depending on overall health and age.


It takes events like these to remind us that while we waste valuable time waiting on the “big” miracle to occur, there is a more significant miracle that happens each minute of the day; our ability to breathe properly.   

I think of the lyrics to another song in my arsenal, by Michael W. Smith, Breathe: “you are the air I breathe, your holy presence, living inside me…and I’m desperate for you”.   These lyrics reminded me that the spirit of the Almighty God lives inside of me and my very existence rests in Him.  Join me in taking a deep breath in and breathe out praise to God for being able to do it on our own.

Monday, September 5, 2016

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN




 It’s been awhile since I last posted.  I wish it was because I’ve been on a tropical beach being fed virgin fruit drinks but in reality, I’ve been fighting for my life. 

As God would have it, during this critical health time, He’s been giving me more writing material than I could write down.  I’ve met some new friends, spent time with some dear friends, and made a few new enemies.  I’ve been up, and so down that I thought it was my end. 

I fought financial ruin and emotional breakdowns all with the hand of God on my shoulder to lead me on.  His voice in my ear gave comfort from the pit of death and despair.  His love for me became so apparent and endless that I’m embarrassed as my own shallow impression of it. 

Needless to say, I love Him five times as much as I did last year.  I never believed I could love him more.  My heart hurts when I hear his name and the tears roll when I hear Him call my name.
 I will share more of these experiences and I’m sure He wants with you as the months go by.

I’m reminded of the song Gene Autry sang in one of his famous westerns, back in the saddle again as I write this.  I’ve been off my mark lately but missed the daily routine like a cowboy misses the open range.  It’s good to be back and great to know that God has given me yet another opportunity to write of His glory through my life’s experiences and share them with you, since you are also so special to Him.

So tighten up the reigns of your mind, straighten your back, and put your feet tight in the stirrups of your heart and get ready to ride with me over the plains of my life with Jesus.  I hope you share in the life changing experiences that I’ve had.  I believe you will see God in a different light and your relationship and importance to Him.