Archive | February 2012

Rain

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Rain

Tender drops of grace
Gently falling past the pain
Washing away all the stains
Healing this broken heart

Soft storms flood the mind
Cleansing the thoughts within
Renewing the mind once again
Healing this darkened soul

Pitter patter of God’s still small voice
Bringing hope to this shattered life
Easing the suffering and the strife
Puddles of love trickle in

Gleaming sun shining down
Warming the soul and heart
Giving life a renewing start
Misty aftermath floating by

Gray clouds now gone away
Rainbows filling crevices of the mind
Vibrant colors left behind
God’s imprint on this once broken heart

Safely in His Hands

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord; He alone is my refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust. Psalm 91:1-2

Safely in His Hands

Amazing joy filling my heart
Watching God’s mighty hand at work
Uncertainty looms in the future
Yet I know where I am
Safely with God at the helm

I stand in awe at where I am going
Letting God take the reigns
There is a deep feeling of peace
Walking with Him each days
Safely knowing He will never lead me astray

Life is not without complications
Still I know God is alive and well
Reaching into the depths of my soul
Comforting and easing my mind
Safely I reside in His loving arms

God you are so good
You are my truth and my life
Giving me all I need in all I do
You are my everything and so much more
Safely I stay with You no matter what

As we journey through this life, we will climb mountains of despair and uncertainty, swim in rivers of joy, trek through valleys of darkness, and bask on sandy shores of peace and light. We will be happy, sad, angry, jealous. We will experience frustration, acceptance, rejection, and love. We will make mistakes, break promises, fall into temptation, while at other times we will stand strong in our resolve, look for the best in others, and encourage those around us. We are human and we live in an imperfect world, but that is not the end all of this journey.

If we choose to, we can walk, climb, swim, and trek through this journey of life with God at the helm, leading us through the toughest of times and rejoicing with us through the best of times. He has offered His hand of grace, mercy, and never ending love to all who choose to accept it. Respond to His call, His beckoning to your heart. Accept the sacrifice of His One and only Son who died on the cross for you, who suffered so that you may find joy despite the pain, who accepted death so that you could be forgiven, who rose from the dead that you may have eternal life. God is your rock, your fortress, your shelter from the chaos of the world. He is your hope and your light as you traverse moments of darkness. He will cover you, support you, encourage you, lift you up, and fill you with peace, joy, and love that will give you strength to face each day in spite of what may come.

My you rest in Him and know the extent of His love for you. With all my love and blessings that you know you are truly loved by the Creator of your soul and your very life!

Floodgates of My Heart

Struggling to stay afloat amidst the pain of the past and the chaos of the present, yet still I have peace that God is here, holding me, preserving me, helping me through all that is going on in my life right now.

Have you ever felt that you have just been through so much and all you can do is ask the Lord why? What good is it producing? What do you want me to do Lord? Or have you ever thought you just can’t take it anymore? Felt like you would rather just lie down and be done with the world? I think, I can safely say, you are not alone! I have been there, even to this day, struggle from time to time with what I feel is so overwhelming and unfair. I can look at my past and wonder why, but God gently reminds me that He knows why He allowed things to happen and is working it all for good, if I only let Him have the reigns. If I will quit asking why and ask Him instead what He wants me to learn from it, then I will benefit so much more, as will the body of Christ, my brothers and sisters!

God has designed each one of us to endure hardship, chaos, and tribulation. He has provided us with all the strength, endurance, wisdom, and discernment we need to make it through this life. He is constantly building us into a beacon that shines for Him, growing us more and more into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. Ah, to be like Christ! I wonder what my life would look like if I could so fully trust in God as Jesus did. I wonder how my heart and mind would feel if there was complete trust that God really does have it all planned out. I wonder if this raggedy old shell of a body would worry or doubt. I have so far to go, but I rest in knowledge that through each trial, from the past to the future, I am becoming more and more a true masterpiece in the Potter’s hand. God is molding me, shaping me, refining me to be all I can be. He is using my past hurts to bring future glory to His kingdom. He is using my own sinfulness to renew others and bring hope to desperate lives. He is using me in ways I will never understand; I just have to trust…according to His word!

May you trust in the LORD no matter what you face. May you hold tight to His word and allow Him to work beauty into the ugliness of life. May He bring light into the darkness of your heart, mind and soul, filling you with joy, peace, and comfort. I pray you reach out to Him in your time of need and find that He will indeed preserve your life.

All my love and blessings.

 

I have suffered much; preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word. –Psalm 119:107

Floodgates of My Heart

Everyone has a past
Times that haunt
Memories that taunt
Tearing our hearts apart

Conflict so strong
Believe the lies
Run and hide
Or let truth fill your mind

Floodgates of darkness
Seeping in
Bringing sin
Destroying beauty from within

Is this all
Drowning in satan’s sea
Numbing the life God gave me
More to this life there must be

Remind me of truth
Pure and righteous through God’s Son
Knowing He is the only One
Bring me back to innocence long gone

Heal the pain is my prayer
Come dear Lord and live in me
Reach into my heart and set me free
In your grace is where I want to be

You are the ultimate release
No other love can help me live
Fill me with all the peace only You can give
Do not let the sins of the past relive

Light of the World

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they might see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Light of the World

Wanting to reach a world in need
Share God’s love to the dying communities
Bringing light where darkness once dwelt
Letting God’s love reach the highest hills

Revealing mercy and grace to the valleys below
Shouting his praises on the mountains covered with snow
Singing praise of my God and King to all
Exposing a dying world the their Creator’s call

I want only to share what He has done in my life
Hoping others will see His love is rife
Searching and digging deeper into His word
Learning and growing more in love with my Lord

Serving God with all my heart, soul and mind
Being open and ready to be giving and kind
Showering compassion and gentleness in the world’s hollow shell
Praying others will know that God is alive and well

Bringing them hope through Christ’s sacrifice
Providing scripturally sound wisdom and advice
Giving more of God and less of me
Shining the light of God for all to see

 

Each day we traverse this world, we encounter numerous choices. We choose what to wear, what we will eat, who we will talk to, where we will go after work, whether to turn right or left, whether to tell a story or hold back. Decisions abound! We must constantly choose between right and wrong. To cuss or not to cuss. To gossip like all the others at work do, or to keep our thoughts to ourselves. To be kind to the person we can’t stand or treat them like yesterday’s leftover dinner.

What you do, what you say, how you act, everything you do is reflection of what you believe, a reflection of who you are and your integrity. When we choose God and the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, then we are choosing a lifestyle filled with decisions that contradict what the world desires, what the world demands, and what the world says we should do.

What have you chosen today? If the answer is Christ, will others know that by what you say and do? Or will they think you are just like everyone else in this world? Choose today whom you will serve, for tomorrow may be too late.

All my love that God will bless you with wisdom to make choices that reflect His glory, strength to stand up and choose the path that no one else is taking, and courage to stay the course when everyone ridicules and accuses you. God bless and keep you in His love.

Face to Face

In this increasing world of technology, we find that meeting people can happen anywhere from church, school, or the grocery store, to internet chat rooms and online games.  I happen to have met a gentleman online over 7 months ago.  We have spent time IM-ing and emailing and then progressed to texting and talking on the phone and are about to meet face to face.  Many are skeptical, saying there must be other ways to meet someone so you can know them better, on a more real world level.  Others are adamant that online meeting is taboo, creating a sense of relationship without connection.  Others feel it is an awesome avenue, especially for those opposed to the bar scene or who are too busy to get out and hang with others consistently.

I personally stand on the fence, to be honest, for I have had bad experiences and good experiences from meeting people online.  I have also met people who have had horrific experiences online, but I also know two couples who have actually met someone online and are happily married.  Either way you look at it, you have to admit, in this world of technology and the ever shrinking global community, meeting online is becoming the norm in today’s society.  With much caution, even more prayer, and the hope that God will lead my heart and mind in His ways, I excitedly look forward to what God brings into my life, be it someone who lives down the street, someone who attends my church, or someone I meet by chance in the grocery store or online.  There is an excitement and air of giddiness when you have talked to someone for months and will finally be meeting face to face.  It is kind of like pen-pals that finally get to put a face to the personality they have been getting to know letter after letter.  I happily proceed into the technology of online friends and online dating, but remain open to the people God places right in front of me as well.

I have been single for 10 years now and have been growing ever stronger in my walk with God, trusting that He will only open doors that He desires me to walk through, and knowing with full confidence that He will close the doors He wants me to walk away from.  The primary struggle at this point with any relationship is that of the flesh.  The desire to move faster than God intends due to fleshly desires and emotional loneliness that pulls one down toward temptation is strong and must be combated consistently and fervently with prayer, meditation on God’s word, strong boundaries, and Christian accountability partners.  With full assurance that as I walk in obedience with God He will give me the desires of my heart, I wait on His timing and allow Him to lead me in all my ways and give me strength to resist temptation and WAIT.

For anyone else embarking on the journey of online friendships and dating, I caution you to take things slowly and trust and seek God’s guidance through His word and in prayer.  I also ask that you find Christian friends in your inner circle to keep you accountable to God and self.  I pray you enjoy life as I have and that you remain open to whatever God has planned for you my friend.   May the Lord bless you and keep you in the palm of His hand, fill your desires to the fullest and pour continual love into the emotional loneliness of life.  All my love.

I wait on the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in His word I do hope. Psalm 130:5

Face to Face

Excitement building
Anticipation rising
The chance encounter now becoming real
Meeting face to face
Wondering how it will feel

Giddy as a school child
Nervousness abounding
Trying hard to surrender it all
Unsure of what is to come
Attempting to let expectations fall

Anxiously waiting
Feels like forever
Utterly amazed at where God has taken me
Hoping for a true friend
Perhaps more, but I have to wait and see

Online freedom
Personal fears
Meeting in the middle of uncertainty
Allowing God to lead
Trusting in His sovereignty

Astonishing admiration
Marvelous complexity
Desires of the heart at an impasse
Waiting to see
Protecting this heart of glass

Future unknown
One day at a time
Releasing emotions to my Lord, my God
Continuously surrendering
Knowing we both are flawed

Euphoric calm
Beautiful peace
Resting in the God’s grace
Wanting to see you
Waiting to finally meet face to face

Children of Tomorrow

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. –James 1:17

Children of Tomorrow

Anxiously we watch
Wondering what the future holds
Letting precious time slip away
Like sand in an hour glass

Hoping our kids will grow and learn
But stifling them with old fashioned views
They are digital natives
Existing in a world their grandparents never knew

Technologically smarter than their parents
Navigating globally like never before
We teach them reading, writing and math
Forgetting there is so much more

Schools are so completely out of touch
Becoming museums filled with books that don’t relate
Ultimately it is our children that suffer
Forced to stay in an era that has long been erased

Teachers are curators of things once known
Standing archaically amidst historical remains
Will we accept the challenge or completely fall
The future is indeed in our hands

I was attending a two day conference this past week listening to knowledgeable people who have researched the realm of education for years and studied this ever changing world of social technology. I was surrounded by 300 or so highly educated and respected teachers, administrators, superintendents, and others in the profession of teaching. As these wonderfully intelligent speakers proceeded to enlighten us on what is to come with common core standards and smarter assessment tools, I found so many teachers baulking and ridiculing the new shift in teaching today’s students.

Whether we like it or not, the world is not as it was 10 years ago, or for that matter, 5 years ago. The education system that once prepared America’s children for the college and/or transition into the world workplace, has recently been failing miserably. The ability of today’s children to become adept, societal contributors is decreasing by the year. Why? Because we, as an entire system of education, are stuck. We are stuck on teaching things that are not applicable in this ever advancing world of technology. We are stuck on prohibiting the very use of technological advances our children are accustomed to using for fear of dumbing-down our children, instead of utilizing it to prepare them for the job force.

Personally, I stand amazed at the ineptitude of teachers to change and adapt to what is coming in the future. There are those that are gung-ho and ready to make dynamic shifts in the way we teach our students, but unfortunately those numbers are few and far between. Perhaps because of our own ineptitude in the world of technology we stifle our children. The current generation of children are indeed digital natives, with a comprehension and understanding of technology way beyond the average adults in their lives. They have grown up using computers to communicate, write, and learn. They have, in an instant, information that used to take us weeks or months to research and find in the library, pouring over microfiche film, periodicals, and reference books. They can get information from around the world within seconds and yet we deny them the use of such things in the classroom. While fundamentals of education remain the same, the way it is taught must change if our students are to become productive, successful members of society.

The seminar and training I attended had some of the most vibrant, excited, and forward thinking teachers, administrators, superintendents, and district representatives in attendance, yet still there was a nervousness that filled the room as the speakers continued to show the new ways of learning and teaching that will better prepare our kids for the future. If the most forward thinking among the education realm are uncertain and reluctant, what does this say about the rest of our teaching professionals? What about the ones who are stuck in their ruts and still have yet to adopt the current standards and ways of teaching because they think that their way is working just fine?

Change is here and we, as educators can choose to embrace it and help our children succeed or we can baulk at it, saying it will cost too much, be too difficult, and take too much time and ultimately fail our children and society. The fear of embracing change has been ever present throughout the ages in the world of academia, but like it or not, it is here and we have no choice but to shift our ways of thinking. We must quit asking questions that focus on the teachers and the districts in which they teach, and start asking ourselves, “what is best for our children and what will benefit them the most when they are no longer in our academic institution?”

Change has brought wonderful things in America: freedom for slaves and rights to live as everyone else does, women’s right to vote, freedom of speech and religion. Change has been at the forefront of every advancement our country has made, so why do we think any differently about our children’s education? Children are indeed a gift from the LORD and we are to be their protectors, their security, and we are called to teach and prepare them for the future that is to come. Therefore, for those of you who teach, I challenge you to embrace the changes that are coming, expect greatness from your students, and be the one teacher in their life that they remember forever because you could relate to them, knew what they were facing, and equipped them to succeed in this rapidly increasing global economy. Stand up, speak out, accept reality, and stop being curators in the museum of education! Be the forerunners that change the world, one child at a time!!

Heartfelt Gift

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
–Romans 12:4-6

Heartfelt Gift

Heart filled with sympathy
Aching with pain for so many
They hurt, I feel
They struggle, I ache

This gift sent from above
Helping me extend compassion
I cry, they heal
I pray, they feel

A connection I will never truly understand
The Lord must guide me in this gift
My heart breaks, God renews
My mind races, God calms

Wondering sometimes what I can do
Always coming back to God
I seek, He heals
I release, He strengthens

God has so richly blessed every one of his children with gifts that are meant to glorify his kingdom and build his people up. There are numerous gifts that have been bestowed on the body of Christ. You may be an encourager, the mouth of the body, building and edifying those who are discouraged or stumbling in their walk. Perhaps you are the server or helper in your church, the hands of the church that reach out to those in need with a meal during hard times or a hug or shoulder to cry on when they are in despair. There are also those who have been given the gift of wisdom or knowledge, those who teach. They are the minds of the church, continually digging deeper to find meaning and facts to support the truth of God, to teach who God is, to teach the ultimate truth to the body of Christ. There are those who evangelize, others who perform great miracles, others who prophecy, and still some who are called to be leaders, pastors, apostles, and so much more in the the body of Christ. I do not know what gift you possess for that is between you and God. Through prayer the Lord will reveal to you the gifts He has so richly blessed you with.

I have, in time, come to learn my own gifts and to increase in knowledge of how I use them and apply them to my own life and the lives of those around me. There is one gift however, the gift of mercy, that I am still learning how to use. The gift of mercy creates within my heart a deep sense of compassion for others and the ability to feel with them, or to walk, so to speak, in their shoes. I have found through the years that this, of the gifts God has blessed me with, is the most difficult for me to get used to, especially when so many of my friends are suffering and going through such difficult times. The emotions for me are as real and intense as the emotions they are feeling. The urge to cry or hit moments of despair are strong, especially when the person is close to me. The compassion God has placed within my heart for others means that I hurt when they hurt. It has called me to a life of prayer in which I have to constantly surrender those people, their situations and their emotions to God. If any gift could be a burden, this one is for me because the emotions are so intense and the pains are so real to me even though I am not the one going through the storm! As I pray for them, I pray too for me…that God will give me the strength and wisdom to use this gift well and to bring him glory despite my weak heart and fallible mind.

It is from the gift of mercy that my other gifts flow. I have come to realize that though this beautiful gift is often hard on me mentally and physically, it is what enables me to understand the hearts of those around me and it allows me to really use the other gifts God has given me more effectively and efficiently. I am able to encourage and come along side my sisters and brothers because I can understand the trial they are going through because I can feel it so intensely. I am able to focus my prayers more clearly for I truly know what my friends are going through. The gift of mercy has also made me a better listener and has opened doors that have allowed me to share the love of God more freely and has helped me understand the hearts of others so as to help guide my conversations with them. God has said that our journey in this life would not be easy but that He would equip us with all we need to carry out His plan for us. We can truly bring God glory when we honor the gifts He gives us by using them to the fullest.

I urge you to seek, to pray, and allow the Lord to use you, to use the gifts He has given you. Though it may be difficult, the fruit that is produced is both miraculous and beautiful. May you find yourself in the hands of God, living according to His will and being an instrument sharing God’s melodic tune with all those you encounter. All my love.

Because

As we traverse this world of flesh and blood, longing for the world of spirit and eternity, we must face the struggle against principalities (Ephesians 6:12).  There are struggles to please the flesh, struggles to fulfill our selfish desires, struggles to get ahead and get more, do more, be better, look better.  There are struggles to keep up with everyone else around us.  Yes, struggles abound in this life, but how blessed we are to know that God is there amidst the turmoil and battle for our souls.  The battle between flesh and soul has been going since the beginning of sin in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve fell to their human desires in spite of what God had instructed them to do (Genesis 3 & 4).  We are blessed though, for despite our sin, despite our struggles of the flesh, and our succumbing to temptation, God continually offers grace, mercy, peace, joy, and forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7-8, 2:4-5).  We exist because He created us .  We struggle because we want to overcome.  We desire because God wants so much more for us and we long because deep within we know there has to be more to life than just the day to day events and struggles this world.  And there is!!  There is an eternity of perfection and righteousness awaiting those who place their trust in the Lord and the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ on the Cross (Romans 10:12-13, John 3:16) !  We will not have to struggle or fight against the flesh any longer because Jesus Christ came, died, and rose again victorious so that we too can be victorious over the grip of sin and struggles.  Rest in Him and enjoy peace, joy, and comfort because the God of the world, the Creator of the universe, the Lover of your soul is with you.  All my love!

I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves.
Just as you used to offer parts of your body in slavery to impurity
and to ever-increasing wickedness,
so now offer them to slavery in righteousness leading to holiness.
Romans 6:19

Because

I struggle because I am only human
I desire because I am only flesh
I fight because I am of the world
Seeking more
Longing for freedom
Beseeching in prayer
I love because I am of God
I reach because I am from the Lord
I feel because I am in Christ
Knowing grace
Receiving mercy freely
Burning with passion
I follow because I have hope in Christ
I lead because I am led by God
I trust because I am a child of the Lord
Claiming peace
Tasting God’s grace
Feasting on His love

Who Am I…there is so much more!?!

You know, it has been on my heart to start this blog in order to share the love, beauty, and peace that God has so richly brought into my life through the years that were filled with pain, turmoil, and chaos.  However, I really was struck this morning by the Lord!  Posting just a poem, expressive though it may be, is only a slight reflection of the emotion behind the words.  Others can read it and not really take anything from it for there is no real person behind it, no circumstances to understand it, and nothing for them to relate to personally.  This is not to say that the poems the Lord places on my heart will have no impact, for I know they do otherwise they would not be here for you to read, but the desire of my heart is to be real, to be transparent so that others can say, “Oh yeah!  I totally know how that feels,” and then to have that feeling resonate in your heart.  Then to reiterate those feelings and emotions poetically has much more power to transform and renew.  Thus I begin yet another chapter in this ever increasing journey of blogging–revealing the stories behind the poems.  They are the stories of my life, the stories of struggles, and the stories of reality in a fallen world.  They are who I am and are reality for many who read them, a part of their journey with God as well.  May they truly bless your life and I pray that through this blog, you will come to rely on, trust more, and surrender to the One true God who can indeed bring you a future filled with hope and promise.  All my love and blessings as we embark together on this, the ultimate Journey with God!

Conflagration of the Tongue

 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.– Ephesians 4:29-31

Conflagration of the Tongue

Death and life are in the power of the tongue
It is a fire, a world of iniquity
So set among the body’s members that it defiles the whole body
No man can tame the tongue
It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison
Do not let unwholesome talk spew from the mouth
Nor obscenities or foolish words
Coarse joking is out of place
Put away perversity from the mouth for it stirs up dissension
Keep corrupt talk far from the lips
Flattery and smooth speech is a double-edged sword
A gossip betrays confidence and separates close friends
Reckless words pierce the heart
Harsh words stir up anger
The deceitful tongue crushes the spirit
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks
Every idle word that comes forth will be judged
All will give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word uttered