Saturday, October 23, 2010

Recent Doctor's visit

I am so glad that I have such a loving "Great Physician" overseeing my condition.

God's promises are like the stars: the darker the night, the brighter they shine. -- David Nicholas


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Acceptance - from where it is important

As much as your love and acceptance would thrill me,
my life is not dependent on it.
I know who I am in Christ
and that alone gives me the reason and validation
to get up every morning
and keep moving every day.

One thing that God has been showing me through my Mt. Moriah experience is the fact that HE is all that I need. Everyone and everything else in my life is just 'the icing on the cake' so to speak.

Just as Abraham had to be willing to give up the very thing that he had waited so long for, and felt was a blessing from God - so must I be willing to completely trust God to know what is best for me even if that means removing people and things from my life. I am amazed how my view, in the last 6 months, has changed of what is important.

Many of you know that the relationship between my mother and I has never been really solid - and usually is at best at least minorly strained. Well it came to a head again 3 weeks ago today, and as I look back in retrospect, yes it hurts, but it hasn't devastated me, as it would have in the past. I love my mom, I know that life hasn't been easy for her, but I am no longer willing to be "the only hell that she ever raised" as she told me many years ago. I can't change her life, or the decisions that she chooses to make in the way that she treats her children. I am not willing to allow her to blame me for all the problems in her life, or my siblings life, and if that means that I have to step away I am reluctantly willing to do that. As she ended one of our 3 conversations on the 25th of September, she said "Come get your things, have a nice life, good-bye." If I would have heard that from her 6 months ago, my heart would have been crushed. Did it hurt, yes, it hurt like hell, but I wasn't then/ and am not now willing to allow the hurt, and bitterness, that was spilling from her, to change and/or define who I am.

I am a child of God. Am I perfect? absolutely not - but I know that I am forgiven - and God has cast my sins as far as the East is from the West. He doesn't throw them in my face, every time He gets frustrated with me and ultimately He is who I have to please. He puts all of His children on a level playing field and never uses one to judge another by. He is teaching me, that He finds great value in me - I am His treasure. And I am excited to say that it has been a long time since I have seen anything good when I look in the mirror of my soul - but now through this experience, I can see so much clearer now at who I am in Christ - and that is good enough for me. I am enjoying His refining process in my life - even though the pain is great at times.
I am learning that it isn't in people, things, or "stuff" that my worth and value is defined - it is simply in who I am.

I am so excited to see what He is continuing to show me, and how my trip to the Holy Lands plays into all of this. I am going to walk where Jesus walked, sit by the Sea of Galilee and hear His voice say "come follow me", and I am going to be able to honestly say 'Yes Lord, I am willing to do whatever it is that You are calling me to do', with nothing holding me back. And for that - this Saturday morning brings me a hope and excitement that I haven't felt in a long time.

Big hugs to you my friends. Know that I love you, but God loves you more than I ever will be able to.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Israel - Here I come

I was just sitting here thinking that this time next month - I will be in the Holy Lands. I can not even begin to explain what is going on in my heart when I think of this. But I want to start blogging the journey, I feel that this is the process that I need to be taking at this point - even though it is a long way away. I certainly won't be blogging every day, at this point, but it should be a progression towards the day of departure.

I have been looking at "small" laptops lately, to help cut down on the luggage that I will be taking with me, and am amazed at all that is available. Maybe this is one of the ways that God is working on 'compacting' me down so that I don't have as much baggage either. LOL

^you cant build your future on hurts from the past.^ Maybe it is time to move ahead in life and leave the past behind including all the pain.

This was a post that I put on Facebook yesterday. I think of all of the decisions and things leading up to my going on this trip, and I am amazed at the Mt. Moriah experience that is going on in my life right now. Life has a way of teaching you things, even when you don't want to be taught - making you realize what is truly important, and what is just additional baggage. Pain and hurt is additional baggage that all to often people drag through life, or maybe pain and hurt drags people through life.

Growing up everyone talked about leaving things at the foot of the cross, and through these past 7 months, I am amazed how much I have left at the foot of the cross, and am so excited to think about actually getting to go and see where that cross was, the place that my Savior died, willingly for me, so that I might live. Am I doing Him a dis-service by not living life to the fullest - by dragging huge suitcases of hurt and guilt, shame and rejection around throughout my life?

As I make my lists of what I need to take with me, remembering that this trip is 2 weeks, not 2 years or 2 decades, God keeps reminding me of His ability to care for me, and take care of my every need - even in far off countries. As I keep researching the best way to blog and keep in touch during my sojourn I am thankful for the many things that God is showing me, and am excited to see what He is going to show me while I am there.

So you guys will get to go through this with me. Maybe there is something that God will teach you through this also - who knows, I guess time will tell. Hugs to you all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The gift of encouragement

These last couple of months, I have been blessed with a sympathetic ear. There has been a changing on the guard at the community home where Marilyn, my mentally handicapped charge, lives. The new administrator, J, and I hit it off, extremely well as we worked together for the common good of Marilyn. It was great having a sympathetic ear, when it came to my frustrations of what was happening.

Slowly these last couple of months, we have gotten meds straightened out, and M's attitude has improved so much. I have to admit, sometimes I feel like a mom with a child, when it comes to M's issues, and wonder why I made the promise to the Judge to make sure she was taken care of. But I know why I did it, and know that everyone deserves to have someone who will look out for them, when they are no longer able to look out for themselves.

Well, these past few days, have been rough for M - and we have had to deal with some medical issues with her, that hopefully won't make a move to the nursing home necessary. Tonight I had to run out to the home and check on her, and the new administrator said to give her a call, when I left there.

After checking on Marilyn, I thought I would give J a quick call, and just give her a quick report. I guess God had other plans. It seems as if J had a bad day, and so I gave her the opportunity to vent about whatever she needed to get off her chest. In her early 50's, lost her husband of over 25 years, 5 years ago, she is stronger beyond her years, but she doesn't realize it. Today was just a crappy day for her. As I gave her the quick update on M, I realized that maybe she needed a sympathetic ear tonight, and so I encouraged her to talk about how her day was.

When I got off the phone and realized that we had talked for almost 2 hours, I was amazed. As we shared back and forth, and she would ask personal questions about my life, I found that she was truly interested in how I came to do the work that I do. She was trying to encourage me, but in a round about way - it gave me so so many opportunities to be an encouragement to her.

I have to be honest in saying that for the past few months, I have found myself spending more and more time with God (that's a good thing), and not depending so much on human contact for the encouragement and acceptance that we all so desire. As I encouraged J not to give up and stay the course, God keep saying that to me in the back of my mind. I guess that is the amazing thing about encouraging someone. You can't encourage someone, without being encouraged yourself.

"Thank you God for allowing me the opportunity to, once again, use the giftings that You put inside of me, to give hope to another struggling warrior."

Let me encourage you - find someone who needs a little extra encouragement, and freely give it. I can almost guarantee that it will make you think less of the stuff going on inside of you - and you might even walk away with a smile.

Just a few thoughts,
Walking with the King,

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beauty for Ashes

I finally got out to Mom and Dad's today - and on the way was able to see the devastation of the Cowiche Mill Fire. I was in shock, as I saw so much blackened earth, covering the hillside, knowing that what I was seeing, was basically just the start, as the fire went over the hill, into the West Valley area, and also up into the canyons where I usually never get to.

The blackened earth, scorched by devastation, but yet in the midst of it, were oasis's. The homes, burnt all around, yet still standing, the orchards singed but yet still bearing fruit.

I kept thinking of the verse that talks about He will give us beauty for ashes. I am sure that those whose homes were saved, are singing His praises, along with those of our fearless firemen - who valiently fought the fires for many hours. I am reminded of the big fire in Yellowstone National Park, back in the late 80's, early 90's and how then several years after that, we had the opportunity to go through. The utter devastation of the fire was now flourishing, growing, it was truly amazing. We found out that there are certain types of pine trees, that they will only release their seeds, in extreme heat - and that kind of heat is only present during a forest fire.

I think sometimes in our lives, there has to be a fire. Something that, if not handled right, could truly devastate us, but if given over to the Master, can be made beautiful. I think of the things that have gone on, and are currently going on in my life. Things that could send me to an early grave, encourage me to turn my back on God, give up, and so many other things, but yet I keep remembering "what satan intended for evil, God can use for good."

So I am not saying this real loud, but go ahead and turn up the heat, because God is in Control, and He is more than capable of turning ashes into something beautiful.

Walking with the King,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Greater Is He that is in Me -

As I sit and think about Who God is, I am in awe.

This is the One that could create the world in 6 days - could destroy it with a 'rainstorm' - made dreams come true for so many (Abrahm and Sarai, Zechariah and Elizabeth) and so many more, and yet in His infinite Power - He is concerned about me.

I was talking with a friend tonight on the phone for quite a while about all that is going on in life, and all I could think about was, and He loves me!

MY GOD LOVES ME!! His love isn't based on anything I could do, say, sacrifice, or pay for. It is based solely on who HE is, it isn't even about me. When you think about that - all I can say is WHOA!!! How can I not be moved with that fact? He loves me, so much, that He wants to take up residence in me - to help me to be a better person.

As my friend and I were talking, it once again turned to how God is so much more patient with the world than I could ever be - because it would have been over along time ago - I would have said enough is enough, as I look at all that is going on in the world today. But then I am reminded, that there are many who don't have the benefit of having His Presence guiding them, in their everyday activities.

So I am again moved with the idea that HE LOVES ME!, and wants to take up residence in me. So tonight I am blessed to be able to say - Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.

Just a few thoughts
As I walk with the King,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Faith Can Do - Kutless

After the last couple of days - this is my anthem!!!

I am so glad that I serve a God that is MORE THAN ENOUGH - and I can only hope that my faith will be more than enough - as we continue down the path called life. Sometimes life gets so discouraging, but I know that God is MORE THAN ABLE - to meet my every need, and still take care of everyone else - but sometimes I can't seem to wrap my head around that thought - but I am so so glad that He is willing to love me enough to take care of every small detail of my life.

Just a few thoughts,

As I walk with the King,


Sunday, July 18, 2010

My God is an awesome God!

It was so awesome to be sitting with 13,000 people tonight worshiping and praising our God. There is just something about being in a choir that big.

No matter what might be going on in our personal lives, corporately we were able to beckon heaven to turn it's ears on, so to speak. For that little while, we were able to focus on what is truly important - God, and His Kingdom.

On the way home, found out about a fire out around where my parents live, and so I tried to go and see what was going on. You could see the glow from Yakima, 15 miles away - no, not just the smoke, but the orange glow, from 5-6,000 acres of wild fire that was racing through the sage brush, threatening homes, blackening the earth.

This might be weird, but the thought that went through me, was, will we be able to see the orange glow from Hell - thus reminding us of all the Jesus did for us, so that we wouldn't have to endure the heat? How awesome is a God that would sacrifice His most precious thing, for me? when there is absolutely NOTHING that I can give in return, that even comes close to being worthy of that?

Just reminds me of how Awesome my God is.
Just a thought,
As I'm walking with the King,

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Tears That No One Sees

I heard a Christian singer, today, talk about the tears of the heart that never make it to the eyes, and I could really identify with that statement. So many times we are taught, even expected at times, to put on a good show, so that no one knows how bad we are truly hurting. Tonight my heart was challenged by this news story: "Officials'>">Officials, Friends Mystified by Texas Mayor Jayne Peters' Murder-Suicide

Here is a family, supposedly doing well, has everything all together, who is unable to communicate with anyone, of the pain inside of them. I don't know if they were Christians, but it really doesn't matter at this point (for the purpose of my blog). It isn't their actions that I am worried about, it is mine. Now granted, I did not know this family, and so couldn't have done anything to change the circumstances or outcome for these two, but what about the people that I do know, the situations that maybe I could help change.

This last week, a friend of mine's husband had a heart attack. Now this is the same friend, whose son was killed in an automobile accident in March. My heart is challenging me to stop thinking about what is going on in my own life, and step out and minister to them. Now this isn't a problem, because this is the sort of thing that I absolutely love to do. The thing that is so challenging in this, that is kind of scary, is to reach out to others, who's pain might not be so obvious. Back in my late teens, a song was made popular by Steve Green. It really challenged me then, as it is doing tonight.

My prayer tonight becomes : Lord, help me to see with my ears and hear with my heart - the pain, that causes You pain (the tears that might not reach the eyes) - and help my hands and feet to be Your hands and feet to the hurting.

A heavy thought tonight,

As I walk with the King,


Friday, July 16, 2010

Sound canceling headphones - contradiction in terms

I am smiling at my "technology-less" brain. A set of head phones, is just a set of head phones. They are all the same, and they produce the same desired sound - unless of course you go to some of the ones like a BOSE system. I have a BOSE radio/CD player, and it amazes me how good it sounds compared to a large stereo - the quality is unmatched, but headphones are just headphones. I let my nephew use my MP3 player, as I am not ready to allow him to use my I-pod touch - probably a pride issue, he would probably be able to use it better than me. (I was blessed by a 2nd Ipod by my bank, because of some promotion, and I might give it to him for his birthday/Christmas present this year - because he is really into this tech stuff), but I am deviating from my blog. I let him use my MP3 and he got a little bit upset because he couldn't hear the music - because my headphones sucked. ROFL - they work fine for me, but what do I know.

Anyway, I decided to go on a crusade and find a set of headphones that didn't suck - so when they travel, he could use the MP3 again and actually hear the music. Do you know how many types of headphones there are out there? Oh my goodness, I was amazed and the price ranges are so so so varied. Well, being a woman, and not being afraid to ask for directions, I found a young sales clerk in the electronics dept - and started asking questions. Finally I settled on a medium priced set of headphones. I'm used to paying 2.99 for a pair, and here I was paying 24.99, but there were some over $100. I had to smile as I read that these are "sound canceling" headphones, I thought I wanted to hear the sounds? after using them, I understand.

I love to mow my folks lawn. I can get on the riding lawn mower and 1 1/2 hours later, their lawn looks great, and I've listened to several pod casts, and lots of music. Well I mowed mom and dad's lawn last night, and used my new headphones. I didn't have to have it turned up all the way, and I could hear everything - even when the speaker would walk away from the mike a little - WOW. It actually was so good, that had I not known I was sitting on the tractor, I wouldn't have known I was mowing the lawn, as I couldn't hear the mower. I have to admit, I got so excited, I went and bought another pair of these headphones, so that I could keep one for me.

You know, sometimes I wish that there was some device that would cancel out all 'external' sounds when I was praying. It seems lately that the enemy is really working hard for me to not be able to concentrate during my prayer time. This is frustrating for me, as I want to be able to 'be still' and listen, waiting on God to drop something into my spirit, but it seems all I am getting these last couple of days is a laundry list of things to do for the day.

Maybe I'll start using my headphones during devotions - so I can be more attentive to what God is trying to say. Maybe I can find someone who can develop - thought canceling headphones, so my brain is a little clearer during that time. Just a thought - any ideas?

Walking with the King,

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Signed up for Camera classes - I'm so excited!

Okay, let's try this one again. I had it all finished, and then something happened, and poof it was gone. lol

I decided that since I was stepping out in faith, and planning a couple of major trips for the next couple years - (I'm doing my part - God just has to do His ) I wanted to get a new camera. So I went and invested in a new Camera. It is a Nikon 5000 - and just an awesome camera. BUT I need to learn how to do all the bells and whistles, and so I went ahead and signed up for a couple of classes - because the videos just weren't teaching me very much, and the manual isn't a very entertaining read. So I am having fun trying to figure it all out, so that I can get some awesome pictures on my trips. I find that this is taking up a lot of my "thought" process' as I get excited for this.

In writing this, I am reminded at times when my relationship with Christ was "new" and exciting - and how I was doing all that I could to learn about my God. But like most things in life, the 'newness' starts to fade and slows our interest down. I am happy that I am at a "new" place right now and life is exciting as I learn to truly trust God for every breathe that I take and His ultimate provision for my life. May I never take Him or His 'awesomeness' for granted. Just like my camera, as I allow Him to overtake my thought process - I am excited for the things that He is showing me, and is going to be showing me.

Just a few thoughts,
As I walk with the King,

Just a few

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who are we representing?

I had to laugh the other day. I got a note from the tour group that I am traveling with this fall, God willing. It had a packing list - and one of the things that really caught my eye was "a good attitude."

Now, I would think that that would go without saying, but as I thought about it, I thought, 'there are lots of people who are very critical and negative when they go somewhere.' We Americans, have a bad reputation in places, and I don't want to have to go in somewhere and be viewed as "one of those Americans."

2 Corinthians 5:20 - states that 'we are Christ's Ambassadors - God's representatives so to speak - and it makes me wonder, what kind of representative am I for Him? I pray that when people look at me, they will see that there is something different about me, and are curious what it is.

I know that I am in NO WAY perfect, or even close to perfect - but I know that I am doing the best that I can, to be different than the world.

Thank you Lord for loving me just the way that I am, but loving me to much to leave me that way.

Just a few thoughts,
As I am walking with the King,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

BC - No Access, AD - Full Access

I was thinking about the "no access" concept again - and in some ways, my blog from a couple days just kept coming to my brain.

I want to take it a step further though.

I am excited, in Bible Study Fellowship, this fall, we will be studying the prophets - so I am working my way through them, so to refresh my memory. I really enjoy BSF - because of the simplicity of the studies, yet the in depth thinking it invokes. We use only the Bible, for the most part, and dissect the scriptures to see what God is saying. It is so much fun.

The one thing I keep thinking about is how in the Old Testament, if you wanted to "get a message" to God, so to speak, you had to go through your priest. I am amazed, that even in the midst of immense sin, that precept stood for many many years. Mere man could not enter into the Holy of Holies. So, because I wasn't born into the Levitical tribe, had I been born back in those times, I NEVER would have been able to talk to God. All of my petitions, and prayers, would have been through a priest, and only if my sacrifice was 'good enough', and the priest was in right standing.

I am so glad that when Christ died on the cross, the veil was torn and we were given access to the Holy of Holies. So many times, at various times, I have turned my face towards Him, and am so relieved to see that He is anxiously awaiting for me to come with the latest of what is going on, because He loves me that much. That is such an awesome concept. My 'sacrifice' doesn't have to be 'good enough' because He accepts me just the way that I am. I can go at any time, I am not limited to a certain time of year, and Thank You Jesus, I am not dependent on the righteousness of someone else, to take my petitions to the Mercy seat. (Now let me clarify - I try to continually keep my face towards Him, but I am human, and am definitely not perfect - but He is and fully aware of my limitations.)

Thank You Lord for just being You - and loving me enough that I can crawl up in Your lap at any times.

Just a few thoughts,
As I walk with the King,

Monday, July 12, 2010

How much is to much?

Today has been a real interesting day. For quite a few years, I have had an uncanny 6th sense. I can't explain it other than, it has to be from God. I will awaken in the night, and just feel the urge to pray for someone, or know that I am supposed to send a specific amount of money to someone, etc - and it will be right. In some ways it kind of scares me, because I always want to be open to God's leading, but the things that are "dropped" into my spirit - is really weird. Sometimes I know the outcome, but many times I don't - and that is okay with me, because God knows.

Today was one of those days. I had taken one of my little ladies to her physical therapy appt, and as we were leaving, I just really felt impressed to pray for a friend of mine and her husband. I took a quick moment and said a prayer for them, and made a mental note to call her when I got a chance. Now I admit, I thought my reason to pray for them was a past issue. In March, their son, one of my "kids" Adam, was tragically killed in a car accident. During the day I just prayed for peace and comfort for them - especially for Laurie. I finally had a chance to give her a call around 4:30 and she was upset - she asked if she could call me back, and I said sure. She then proceeded to tell me that her husband had suffered a heart attack that morning. I asked if I could come up and see them and sit with her this evening, and she said yes.

When I got up to the hospital this evening, we were all talking and as we put a time line together, the time I felt impressed to pray was the time that Steve was having his heart attack. Thank God, through modern technology Steve is going to be just fine - and will have to make some lifestyle changes, but should live a good many more years. Laurie started to breakdown, talking about how she can't take any more. I shared with her the scripture that reminds us that God isn't going to give us anymore than we can handle, and it was okay to tell God that we are going under, and enough is enough. She looked at me like I was some crazy person. I explained that there have been times in my life, when I would tell God that He had a lot more confidence in me, than I had in myself and I just couldn't take anymore. She asked - How much is to much? I told her that only her and God could answer that question. After praying with them, and coming on home, that thought keeps going through my mind - How much is to much?

God is all sovereign but how much is to much? He is all knowing, and all powerful, but many times we feel like we are drowning - and yet the waves keep crashing upon us. I can't explain it, but I know this - God is still God and we have to come to the point that we trust Him completely REGARDLESS of outward conditions in our life. So How much it to much? I don't know - but He does and I'm just going to continue to let Him be in charge.

Just a few thoughts,
as I walk with the King,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

An Audience of One

Around the beginning of the year, I really felt impressed in my spirit - and then it was backed up in several ways - that God was looking for an "audience of one" with me. Don't ask me where I got that terminology - but it was dropped in my spirit, and it kind of stuck.

I'm not sure how to define an "audience of one" except with a very 'intimate' description. I truly believe that God wants, with each one of us, an extremely intimate relationship with Him and Him alone. We should be able to stand before Him naked and not be ashamed. We should be totally comfortable with Him, and our deepest thoughts, emotions, needs and desires - knowing that in that intimacy - there is complete security and love. He is NOT there to use and abuse us. He knows our thoughts before we even say them, so why not be honest with Him about what is going on inside of us. Psalms 139: 1-18 are such descriptive verses of how intimately God already knows us, long before we even entered this world. Much like a husband/wife, who make love to each other, after years of getting to know each other - completely open, and not ashamed, God so wants to have such an intimate relationship with us. He was willing to give up His most precious possession, His Son, for each one of us, but yet most of the time, we are unwilling to give up, or be inconvenienced for Him.

This song, helps me keep life and my relationship with Christ in perspective. He has already given me more than I have ever deserved, and I need to be able to enter into the Holy of Holy's with nothing hidden, no hidden motives, or agendas - just me, wanting to spend time with my lover - the lover of my soul. We have degraded intimacy to nothing more than a bargaining chip, with which we get what we want. Where in all reality - intimacy is not about me, but about the other person.

So as I work hard at achieving an "audience of one" with the Great Creator of Heaven and Earth, at least for this time, I bring nothing to give but me - asking nothing in return, but knowing that after my 'encounter' I will never be the same, and as time goes on, those changes in me become so deep and ingrained, that I can start loving unconditionally, those around me - because I have learned to love unconditionally and be loved unconditionally by the lover of my soul.

Just something I am learning about,

As I walk with the King,


Saturday, July 10, 2010

No Internet Access

It amazes me how "tied" I have found myself to my computer. It frustrates me a lot, when I am unable to be around, to check my e-mails, facebook, etc. I am realizing that for not being very "technology minded" I sure am "technology dependent". LOL

On Saturday night, as I sat down to write my blog, the Internet was down, in the area where I was staying. Thankfully I was able to get on-line with my cell phone and at least make a posting that I could come back and "edit" tonight. But on my cell phone, it is very limited also.

As I sat there on Saturday night, I put that frustration in perspective. I am so so thankful that God is always available - He never times out, He never crashes, He never boots us off - but He is always there. I don't need a password, or some special program - I don't have to have any special training, because His way is so simple:

Revelation 3:20 (Amplified Bible)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.

Lord, I thank You for always being there - and the simplicity of Your plan of salvation. Help me to always remember where my focus belongs - on You, and not the computer.

Just a few thoughts,
As I walk with the King,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mt Moriah Experience

Many people have been e-mailing me, and sending me messages asking me to explain my reference to "my Mt. Moriah experience", that I have referenced in several of my blogs.

In Genesis 22, the scriptures tell of Abraham, who is asked to sacrifice Isaac, the son that Abraham prayed for, for many years. When Abraham was told to do this, the next morning, he got up, took Isaac up Mt. Moriah, and prepared to sacrifice him to the Lord. At the last moment, Abraham saw a ram in the thicket, and was able to sacrifice it, in place of his only son. The whole 'gist' of this account, is that Abraham was willing to obey God no matter what he was asked to do. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Isaac was 'something' that could have taken the place of God in Abraham's life, but in doing what God asked, Abraham proved that God was #1.

A song that has really hit me in the heart about this is: It is by Ernie Haase and Signature Sound. When I first heard this song, it was in a completely different text, and I feel God showed it to me, to help someone else - but now it is so so fitting for what is happening in my life now.

Now that I got the "Mt Moriah" explanation out of the way, let me go into detail as to how this pertains to me. I recieved a phone call from a wonderful prayer partner of mine, the first part of May. I was going through a real struggle in my life, and just could NOT figure out what God was trying to teach me. Now my wonderful prayer partner is an elderly lady, has been pivotal in keeping me "in line" (LOL - if that is possible) for at least 7-8 years now. There was one point in my life, that she would call me every morning and pray with me, and this lasted for well over 15 months. I can talk to her about anything, and she is a great mentor for me - always being honest with me, and always willing to correct me if necessary. Anyway, Ms Emma called me the first part of May and after we talked for a bit, she asked me if I remembered the Bible Story about Abraham and Isaac. Of course I did and we discussed that a little bit and the importance of Keeping God first. She then told me that she really felt that God was getting ready to do something in my life and take me to a different level, but before He could do that, I was going to have to go through a Mt Moriah experiance. I was going to have to give up, some temporarily and some permanently, anything that would hold me back either physically or spiritually from doing what God wants me to be doing. Basically God is going to have to strip me of anything and everything, that isn't necessary, that could become a stumbling block in my relationship with Him, and in my service for and to Him. He gave me some very specific examples of things and people, that were going to have to be put on the back burner, and I'm not sure if they are there temporarily or indefinately. From there, I felt strong in my spirit that I needed to get a new Bible. For those of you who know me well, know how important my Bible is to me, but I had to get a new one, for a "fresh word" from God. I can use my other 2 favorite ones from time to time, but when I am reading, I need to have a "clean" one. I have to admit, that I'm having fun reading, out of a Bible that isn't all marked up, fortunately this one is starting to get marked up also .

I'm not really sure what God is in the process of doing, but I really feel that the "revealing" will take place in November, when I am on a trip. This will be a time, where He hopefully will show me exactly what He wants me to do with my life, at this stage that I am in right now. It is so interesting to see how things/people, even myself, can become a stumbling block in my relationship with God. I am working hard to make sure that everything and everyone, in my life, is there with a purpose of making me a stronger Christian, with a stronger witness, for My Lord. As He is "trimming" my life, so to speak, He keeps reminding me, that in this time in my life, what He wants right now, is "an audience of one". He is looking for a deeply intense relationship with me - where all is stripped away, allowing me to trust Him with all of me. Not just parts of me, because I am depending on other people or things to provide that which He wants to provide for me, in all areas of my life - actions, thoughts, emotions, desires, dreams, faults and failures.

At times, I am really excited, but I have to be honest, that at times, it is really painful, and I feel like things are being "ripped" from me - and I don't like it. But.......... I guess, if I would be willing to give some of this up, maybe it would be easier to get through this time. I guess even during this time, I am only human and need to learn to be patient with myself.

Hopefully this explains just a little about the "Mt Moriah experience". I will try to keep you posted on all that God is doing in this area.

Just a few of my thoughts,
As I am walking with the King,

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Faith vs. Fear

Have you ever had to make a decision that was far beyond the scope of anything you ever would want to have to decide? If you have, do you make the decision based on Faith, or out of fear?

I find myself at a place right now where I have some decisions to make and I have to decide what is the best for me. Should I make my decisions out of my Faith, knowing that God is in control, and ultimately will have His way anyway? Or should I make them out of fear of rejection, or pain, or the unknown?

Deuteronomy 31:8It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit--depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].

2 Corinthians 4:16Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

I guess after spending some time in the scriptures, once again, I will step out in Faith - and trust God for the final outcome to be in perfect keeping of His perfect will.

Just a few thoughts,
As I walk with the King,

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Experiment vs. Journey

I saw a billboard tonight that said "Life is an experiment". It really got me to thinking. I have always been told that "life is a journey." So what is the difference?

Webster defines these words as:
"Experiment": an operation or procedure carried out in controlled conditions in order to discover an unknown effect or law.

"Journey": an act or instance of traveling from one place to another.

So what do I want my life to be? An experiment?, where I don't know the outcome, or a journey, where I know the final destination? All of my experience with experiments have usually ended in something being blown up - and I really don't want to have to pick up the pieces of life anymore, for myself, or for anyone else. My experience with journey's have always been favorable. They usually include maps, and final destinations - yes, sometimes they include detours or slow downs for construction, but in the end we always ended up where we were supposed to.

John 14:2b - 4 (Amplified) "for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And (to the place) where I am going, you know the way."

This scripture certainly doesn't sound like an experiment, but a journey. So I am going to stick to the saying that "Life is a journey". I've got my road map (the Bible), extra things for the detours and slow downs (worship music and awesome Christian books and speaker tapes), and my final destination all mapped out. I'm excited to see where this road takes me in the next few weeks/months/ and years as I continue to trust my Pilot. I know the ultimate destination, but it might be a scenic trip - and for that I am excited to see what God is going to do.

Let me re-assure those of you, who are content to make life an experiment, if it blows up and I see you sitting along side of the road, don't worry I will stop and see what I can do, but remember, I won't sit there long because I have a final destination that is calling me, so be willing to make up your mind quickly.

Just a few of my thoughts,
As I am walking with the King,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Isaiah 32:18

Today has been a day that has seemed to put life into perspective once again for me. What is life about? What is it in life that we should find happiness in? If it was our last day - how would we spend it? I know these questions are deep, but I guess it makes me wonder - How do I live my life.

I lost 2 of my hospice patients today - and it is really interesting how they seem to affect me lately. I guess maybe I am at a point in life, that I am questioning if this is what I want to do with my remaining days. When is it that I decide that instead of me taking care of everyone else, maybe I need to start doing more to take care of me. I know that I have been gifted to do what I do, I'm told that so often, but maybe after 20+ years, it is time to think about a different avenue or even career.

Maybe my feelings today have a lot to do with my "Mt Moriah" experience right now and the fact that I keep being reminded to invest in everything, attach to nothing. It is scary because things that were important to me 6 months ago, aren't as important as they are right now, things important to me 3 months ago, aren't as important, yet all the while other things seem to be moving to the forefront as to what I need to be investing my time and energy in.

All I know is this, on that final day for me, I don't want to look at my days and have regrets, I want to make sure that my days are spent much like my 'mantra' is - Living life with no regrets. My life scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 (Amplified) "For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome." But as I have started to live "life" as much as I love my life verse, I have found another one these past few months, Isaiah 32:18 - (Amplified) "My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in safe dwellings, and in quiet resting places." I am thankful for the scriptures that give me assurance of peaceable habitations, safe dwellings and quiet resting places.

My 2 hospice patients that passed away today - lived opposite ends of the spectrum and unfortunately only one of them died with quiet resting places. Such a waste of life to spend all your life working hard, only to have death be hard also, with no hope of the future.

Lord, let me live my life knowing that Your hope and future for me, are more important than getting my own way - and may I find those places of peaceable habitations, safe dwellings and quiet resting places, as I continue to find my way those this maze of life.

Just a few thoughts as I am
Walking with the King,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Take your Daughter to Golf week

I was driving by one of the area golf courses, here in Yakima, today and saw on their reader board it said, take your Daughter to Golf week. As I quickly scanned the golf course, I was pleasantly surprised to see a lot of Male/Female pairs around the course. Now, I am not saying that they were all Father/Daughters, but if some of them were, that would be great.

I have been truly blessed with a great Dad. Many of you have heard me say that it takes only minutes to become a Father, but a lifetime to become a Dad. For those of you who don't know, my Dad is my step dad. Now granted, he is the only Dad that I have ever known, but he is Dad. It makes me smile when people, who don't know the little "step dad" information, tell me how much I look like my dad.

My Dad is a gentle giant. He is strong enough to be the head of our household, but gentle enough to not smash my mom's spirit. He is her strongest defender, and my mom is NOT always the easiest to live with. I know that for a fact, and I can say that, because the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, and I am my mother's daughter. There have been times in my life, when my mom would have nothing to do with me, but my dad has always been there, supportive and loving, no matter what. I have been truly blessed!!!

But that brings me to my thought for the day. I have been blessed with a great dad, but there are many people out there, that haven't had that blessing. But I am so glad to be able to say that we have all been blessed with an absolutely awesome heavenly Father. He is strong enough to be the head of our lives, if we allow Him to, but yet, even in our stupidity and making dumb mistakes, He will be our biggest defender. He loves us un-conditionally - and I love being able to say that I am His favorite, and each one of us is His favorite. Don't ask me how He does it, but I love knowing that He is able to say to each and everyone of us that we are the apple of His eye.
We have such a loving Daddy - and I know that I certainly don't Thank Him enough, but maybe this week, seeing that sign every day, at least for a week, I will be reminded what a great Dad I have here on earth, and even more important what a Great Dad I have in heaven - who loves me so much more than anyone here on earth ever will. As I am reminded of this, hopefully I will learn to be more open with my thanks to them both.

Just a few thoughts,
As I am walking with the King,

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Video Blog: With All I Am (By Hillsong)

I really struggled with whether or not I would do any videos blogs during this month - but then I figured I am still writing, just supplementing it with a great song. I love this song - because in many ways it is a song reminding us what is important, maybe even a song of dedication or re-dedication.

One of the things that I love about house sitting, I wrote about this on Friday July 2 "Finding the right key", is I can crank the music and just worship as I want to. To do this in my 5th wheel would be a little difficult, I don't think my neighbors would appreciate my "joyful noise." In a "normal" house, I can sing and dance and just worship freely - call me a fanatic, that is okay - but I absolutely love to spend several hours in worship - it gives me strength to get through my days, and my nights.

For the past few months, I have been going thru what I like to call the "Mt Moriah" experience. Maybe I will write more about this in the coming days, but basically it is a time where God is calling me to do some incredibly difficult things in my life - and maybe that is why this song has become important to me. One of the verses says: "I'll walk with You, wherever You Go, Thru tears and joy, I will trust You." This is something that is really easy to say, or sing, but to live out is a completely different. I'm not bashful about my Faith, I love Jesus more than I love anything else - but I am also able to say that there are many things that I struggle with, and there are so so many questions that I will be asking God about when I get to heaven, because I just don't understand the whys. I know it is not our place to need to know the whys, but it would sure make life easier at times.

The scriptures that keep coming to my mind today are found in 2 Corinthians. I will be taking them out of the Amplified Bible - so bear with me: 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 "We are hedged in (pressed) on every side (troubled and oppressed in every way), but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair. We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted (to stand alone); we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 "Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is (progressively) decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being (progressively) renewed day after day. For our light momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory (beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease."

Now,my take on the above scriptures - life is not going to be easy, people will fail us, and we will fail people. There will be times when we feel as if the entire world is against us, and we are all alone, but even as we are laying in the dust - crying out in pain, Jesus is right there with us, understanding the pain, wrapping us in His arms and just loving us. Our bodies will wear out, whether from age or disease, or even our own actions, but this is not a permanent. This all happens because God is so in love with us that He is preparing us for a "glory" that we can't even begin to imagine. (I do have to admit though, I don't consider this a "light momentary affliction" - lol, but I guess in light of eternity, It probably is just "momentary".

So let me encourage those of you, that are struggling with life right now - Realize that He does hold your world in the Palm of His Hand. He is in charge and loves us all so very much. Learn to say, even thru the rough times "I'll walk with You, wherever You go, thru tears and joy, I will trust You." Does it make our "momentary" circumstances different, No, but at least we realize that we are not alone and He is there to give us the strength that we need to endure.

Just a few thoughts as I walk with the King, Sandy

Saturday, July 3, 2010

All things new

I received a phone call from my parents this morning, and I have found it kind of comical. My parents purchased a used motor home a few weeks ago, and with absolutely no background in this area, my dad calls me at least once a day with questions. Now, I can answer some of them, having lived in my RV for the past 9 years, but not all of them. This morning was a different story, because I knew exactly what the problem was. Their refrigerator/freezer had died - the smell of ammonia was extremely strong so now what. For their dilemma it is an easy fix, get a new refrigerator. But it really made me think, why is there no easy fix, when our bodies wear out.

For the last 4 weeks, I have been helping with a hospice assignment. My rule has always been: NO PEDIATRIC ONCOLOGY HOSPICE!!!!!!!! I can't say that loud enough, and have turned down so so many jobs because I knew just how much my heart could take. BUT........ 4 weeks ago, a family called me, one whom I have done hospice for, for 4 separate members - and they insisted on me doing this current hospice job. But there is one small problem - her name is Lindsay and she is 6. She has Leukemia and not doing well at all. As I watch her little body fail I think about how I can handle doing "old people" hospice because they have lived their life, and here Lindsay isn't lived at all yet. But you know, we are promised that one day, we will be given a new body - one where there are no aches and pains, where everything will work exactly as it was designed. On certain days, I long for this day, and wish that the Lord would return just so that the aches and pains would go away. But until that day happens, I will continue to do my best to put a smile on my face and encourage those, who will in all honesty, probably get a new body before I get mine. I will also continue to pray for those around me that are struggling with "parts wearing out". One friend is on the transplant list for a new Kidney - Another one starting the process to get on the transplant list for new lungs and liver - another that will be getting a Bone Marrow transplant soon - God willing.

God keeps reminding me, on this earth, we will have troubles, and so I guess He was trying to warn us that there would be aches and pains, but the day will come when that will be gone, and our mortal bodies will be replaced with ones that will never wear out, never disease, and never fail us. Lord, hasten that day.

So for those of you struggling, with your mortal bodies, don't lose heart - we will get new bodies if we don't lose heart and give up. I guess this goes for anything - Don't lose heart, I've read the back of the book and we win. So until then

I'm walking with the King,

Finding the Right Key

I house sit alot, and was contacted by a new family last week. After coming and meeting the family, it was decided that Yes, I would be willing to come and stay with their "kids" while they were gone for a couple of weeks. The interesting thing, is that this could become a "regular" thing, and the dad works in another state and so the mom likes to go and visit regularly - but I am deviating from my subject. When I met with the family, after deciding that I would come and house sit and "kid" sit for them, before I left, I was given a house key. This is not an usual thing, as I have an ashtray in my car, full of people's keys, that I house sit for. And most of the keys, I don't return, I just keep for the next time. There are times that I never see the families that I house sit for, as I go and do my thing, and leave a bill and just get a check in the mail. I find this interesting, but that may be another blog for another day.

I came to the house today and found that the key that I was given, didn't work. Now what was I going to do??? First time house sitting job, and I can't even get into the house. To add insult to injury - the couple was currently in flight to their destination, so I couldn't even call and ask them if they had a hide a key somewhere. In the course of meeting with the family previously, I remembered that she told me who her parents were, and so I nervously called them, explained the situation and asked them if they had a key to the house. Sure enough, they did, and her father quickly brought me the key - and so now I can house sit for the next couple of weeks.

Shortly after getting in the house, my phone rang and I was called out to work again - thus the late hour that I am posting this blog. But I thought about this scenario most of the evening - and it is interesting the things that have gone thru my brain. I could have gone through every key on my key ring, and none of them would have given me entrance into the house.

How many times, do we try to reach God, through every avenue except the guaranteed method? There are many people who think that going to church is going to get them past those pearly gates. If going to church doesn't do it, maybe giving to charity will, or maybe doing good works, Paying it forward, will catch God's eye and gain us entrance into that Eternal city. Some people try to do it through knowledge and education - some work hard and have lots of financial resources, so maybe they can buy their way in. Just like no other key except "THE" key was going to let me into this home, there is only ONE key for us to reach God. Jesus is that Key - He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one enters to the Father, but through HIM. I am so glad that I learned what the Key was a long time ago, so I don't have to waste my time trying to figure it out. I have to admit, sometimes I look at other things wondering if they would make it easier, but I always come back to Jesus and thank Him for being all I ever need.

Just something to think about.
Walking with the King (or maybe that should be with the Key),

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A blog a Day - I Must be crazy

I have had several people tell me that I need to blog more often, and now I have been challenged to write a blog, every day, for the month of July. I really had to think about whether or not, I wanted to commit to doing this, but finally decided to do it.

I'm not really sure what road these blogs will take, but I will do my absolute best to write some type of blog everyday. Now, this will all have to be contingent on my having internet access, but I will do my best to live up to this commitment. Those of you who read my blog, if you can think of something you want me to blog about, feel free to shoot me an e-mail and I will do my best to accommodate those requests.

My prayer during this time is Psalm 19:14 "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, My (firm and impenetrable) Rock and my Redeemer." My prayer during this coming month is that my blog would be pleasing to my God, and might offer some encouragement to those of you who read it.

I must be crazy to do this, but I do have to admit, I am kind of excited to be undertaking this. So walk with me during this time, as we see where this leads.

Walking with the King, Sandy

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Deer at the River

Yesterday, I was blessed with seeing 2 deer along the Yakima River. I was traveling on Hwy 24, from Moxee to Yakima, and just happened to look down at the old KOA campground - and there were 2 deer. They were walking towards the river - and so I am assuming that they were heading for a drink. The thing that made this unusual, was that it was in the middle of the day - and usually you only see the deer during the cool of the evening or early in the morning. I slowed down, but didn't want to impede traffic, but it was really neat for me to see.

I was reminded of the scripture - Psalm 42:1-2 " As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?"

I think of some of the things that have been going on in my life the last 3 months, and I totally understand this scripture. I think I can even understand, these 2 deer, seeking "living water" in the midst of the day. Sometimes the heat is turned up, and we will do just about anything to go and meet with God, for a thirst quenching drink, for some refreshment, some cooling down. Psalms 23:2-3 states As He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.

I am so thankful for those times of restoration, the times where He gently guides me to areas of quiet waters and cool meadows - where He can minister to me in exactly the areas that He needs to.

I'm not sure where you are at, but remember even in the "heat of life" He wants to restore our souls, but we have to be willing to "thirst for Him". John 7:37 states "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." I think, as the day of His appearing draws close, it would be wise to become thirsty for the things of God - otherwise, in our dehydration, we will miss out on His wonderful blessings for us.

Just a thought.
Walking with the King,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Being Thankful - a new perspective

I have always tried to be Thankful and remember all the blessings that I have been blessed with. Sometimes it is harder than others - but right now, I am in a Great place, and am excited to be part of what God is doing and how He is blessing me right now. It is interesting to be saying that, because I am in the middle of something that is so hard for me. I am going through a Mount Moriah experience, but in the midst of the "stripping away" - the blessings keep flowing, and it makes me so excited to see what God is up to. I have my eyes set on a goal, something that will happen in November, and really feel in my spirit, that it will be at that time and in that place, that I will then understand the last year. But until then, I continue to keep my eyes on Him and remind myself that God is truly faithful - and can be trusted. He has NEVER failed me and never will.

In all of it, I was reminded of how truly blessed I am. Maybe those of you who read my blog, need to be reminded of what things to be thankful for, because at the place that you are in your life right now, things aren't looking so good. There are a lot of things that are happening in your life, and you need a little something to help put things in perspective for you.

If you find it hard to get to sleep tonight, think of the homeless family who has no bed.
If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair think of the people in this world who have no automobile.
If you have a bad day at work, think of the man who has been out of work for 3 months.
If you despair over a relationship that is in trouble, think of the person who has never known
what it is like to love and be loved.
If you are grieved with your boss, because he won't let you work a 4 day work week so that you
can have a 3 day weekend, think about the woman who works 12 hours a day, 7 days a week,
just to have enough money to put food on the table for her children.
If you are frustrated because your car broke down a mile from your destination, think of
the paraplegic that would give anything to make that walk.
Should you notice a gray hair in the mirror, think of the cancer patient, who is going through chemotherapy, who wishes they had some hair to examine.
When you are sick and tired of your children's messes, think of the parents who just buried their child because of a terminal illness.
When you find yourself discouraged because you can't figure out what your life's calling is - be thankful - because there are those who didn't get to live long enough to even think about it.
If you wish your children would just sit down and be quiet - think of the single mom, who has just been given the news, that there is nothing else they can do for her 6 year old who has leukemia.
And last but certainly not least, if you find yourself the victim of another person's bitterness, ignorance, smallness, or insecurities, remember things could be worse - you could be that person.

Hopefully this helps put "the little things" into perspective. Be thankful!

Walking with the King, Sandy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sealed with God's Spirit

I am so thankful for great devotionals that put me in my place and remind me of my place in Christ.

I had one today that really hit me between the eyes. I want to share it, because I am sure that I am not the only person that needs this right now.

You are sealed with God's Spirit
Ephesians 1:13 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your slavation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise."

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I am so thankful that You have sealed and guaranteed me! Forgive me for those times when I speak badly of myself, judge and condemn myself, or put myself down in front of others. I should be proud or and thanful for who I am, because the blood of Jesus has cleansed and redeemed me. You were so convinced that I was free of defects that You sealed me with Your Spirit, giving me Your ultimate seal of approval. Help me appreciate that great work You have done inside me! Thank you for guaranteeing, overseeing, and assuring me that no force on earth and no demonic powers can stop me from arriving at my ultimate heavenly destination. I pray this in Jesus' name!

My confession for Today: I confess that I am "sealed" with the Holy Spirit. My contents are intact and in order. I am approved, endorsed, recognized, affirmed, sanctified, and notarized by the Spirit of God. Because God has "sealed" me, it is guaranteed that I am going to make it to my final destination. When demons see the seal of God on me, they know they are not to mess around with me! I am a special package, to be treated with special care. Angels watch over me, and guard my safe passage from one place to the next. Evil forces may attempt to mess with me, but the seal of God guarantees that I'll arrive safely and complete! I declare this by faith in Jesus' name!

365 Days of Power by Rick Renner - Harrison House Publications

This is probably one of the greatest devotionals that I have ever used, and I have used a lot. - LOL Today I needed this confession!!!! I am excited for what God is going to show me, and do through me, as I journey towards my final destination with Him. Like I said, I'm sure that I am not the only one that needs this today - so please apply it to your life if necessary.

Walking with the King, Sandy

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The invitation

The Invitation
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream,
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own,
if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic,
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul;
if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,
and if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
I got this "writing" from a friend and it has really made me stop and think about what we look for in friendship, and what is most important. I wrote a few weeks ago about fighting for a friendship and my friend who is deciding what to do with her marriage. As she and I sat and talked last night, she told me that she was done, thru, and that she was okay with that. As she shared, the one thing that she said was "I'm loosing me - I worked so hard to become someone I liked, and I don't want to lose me." As she shared more of the gory details, I wanted to insert my opinion, but instead I just listened - and by the time she was done, I had to agree, that it probably is best that they split, at least for now - because the kids don't need to be raised in an environment of constant fighting.
When I got home, I thought of this poem and had to read it again. It has made me think about me, and do I fit into this 'mold', and it made me think of others that are in my life, and are they toxic relationships, or ones that really bring out the best in who I am and who God has called me to be. Didn't sleep much last night, because soul searching, has a tendancy to do that. Sat at the computer this morning at about 2am - and the words just didn't blend - but now my fingers are dancing on the keys, as my brain is over-riding the emotions.
This "invitation" is important to me for several reasons. It gives me something to "shoot for" as I realize the importance of the words. Is this the kind of person that I am, I'm not there yet, but I can say that I think I am well on the road to being the person that God is calling me to be - one that likes themselves, and doesn't loose themselves to be someone else, just to have a friend. I am learning I can be honest about myself and "take off the mask" and if people don't accept me for who I am - that is their loss. It also gives me a yardstick to measure by. What kind of people do I surround myself with, healthy ones, or toxic ones? Now please don't think that people that are going thru a rough time, are toxic people - usually they are the most healthy ones, because they are actually able to be honest with themselves. Then there are some people, they seem to really have their "stuff" together, and they are as unhealthy and toxic as they can be, but don't see it. Bob Marley is quoted as saying, "Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." With God's help, I am starting to weed out those people in my life that aren't worth suffering for - thus "toxic" people. Those that drain me, never giving back, those who are "takers and users", thinking of themselves. I want to surround myself with people who are "true" friends, in the good the bad and the ugly - those that push me to be all that God wants me to be, as I encourage them to do the same.
Lord, help me to be the person that You want me to be - knowing that You judge me from the inside out. Help me to remember that, when dealing with people - that they are important to You, for their Soul value, and nothing else. Remind me how to be a light, in the midst of struggles and pain, to my world. In the quietness of the moments - calm my spirit, and remind me of Your never failing love, and Your ever present Spirit. And too, for those of my friends, who are struggling right now, give them an extra dose of Your Love and Mercy and Grace.
In Jesus Name - Amen.
Just a few of my thoughts this Sunday morning.
Walking with the King, Sandy

Monday, May 24, 2010

the Velveteen Dog and my Velveteen Life

I am housesitting tonight - last minute gig - but I absolutely love coming here. This is a great couple, they are wonderful, and I have lots of fun with them, and have no problem watching the "kids" when something comes up and they have to go out of town.

One of the dogs, in particular, just touches my heart. Maggie is OLLLLLLDDDD. She has a thyroid problem, so has to have thyroid medication morning and night, and she is just very "well loved" literally. One of my favorite books, as a child, was the velveteen rabbit - and you know you have been "well loved" when your fur has been rubbed off, and you are missing an eye, and your ear is torn, etc. Well Maggie is "well loved". Once I had a friend come over for dinner while I was housesitting here, and she was scared to touch Maggie, because half of Magg's hair has come off, and her tail is just the skinny bones, with a little hide left on it, and if you aren't comfortable with animals, she can be quite intimidating. But let me tell you, you aren't going to find a more loving dog than Maggie anywhere.

I needed Maggie tonight. I needed Maggie to remind me that it isn't what is on the outside that is important, but what is on the inside. I've had a rough going these past few months. As much as I hate to give satan credit, he has really had a hey day with me, and my feelings of self worth. When I go to have myopathic muscular therapy, the therapist always can tell when I am struggling, because in the area of my body, which houses the "self worth" block as she calls it, she really has to work hard to get my body to balance out. Those of you who know me well, know that this is an area that I really struggle in - and I am working on it and seeing some progress.

I guess I am coming to "terms" with me, and am frustrated when others aren't so quick to do so. I guess in many ways I see myself as "velveteen". I'm not the prettiest thing anyone has ever seen, not the thinnest, not the smartest, at times not even the nicest - but I guess I look at my life and I see how life has rubbed "the fur" off in lots of areas, and how I feel like I am missing parts. I will never hold a PHd in anything - but then you know what, God hasn't asked me to either. I know that I have "My Master's Degree - the AUG one, Approved Unto God." But,also in my defense, even in my imperfections, you aren't going to find anyone who loves more fiercely than I do - sometimes even to a fault. You aren't going to find many people that "put up" with so much crap, and never lash out in retaliation. I've been reminded so much of this a few weeks ago, with one of my elderly ladies and when a doctor thanked me for taking such wonderful care of her, going far beyond the call of duty, to make sure that she died with dignity. And all I could think was, that's what I do - how could I do any less.

I have been blessed, far beyond what some people can even begin to imagine, and I know it. So tonight, in my "self-worth" imbalanced self - I needed Maggie - a physical reminder that it isn't what is on the outside, the looks, the education, the whatever, but it is the heart that is in us, that God judges, and is most important.

Thank you Lord for providing Maggie - to remind me, that You love me, despite all my imperfections, and it doesn't really matter what others think, because if You are for me, what do others matter anyway. So I will continue on in my "velveteen life" doing all that I can, to be all that You have asked me to be.

Walking with the King, Sandy

Saturday, May 22, 2010

God of Second Chances

This last week, I've had the opportunity to watch a couple of little boys playing with an etch-a sketch. It was fascinating to hear them, as they were trying hard to draw something, which I could never quite figure out. They would work together, then one of them, would take it away from the other and try to do it by himself, and finally the other one would get mad, grab it from the other one, and shake it. It brought back many many memories. As a child, we all remember playing with Etch-A-Sketch toys. We would turn the knobs to draw our pictures, making the most entertaining artwork, but when we wanted to start a new drawing, we could simply turn the toy upside-down, shake it up, and have a clean slate to start again! My friend, God is like that with us. Sometimes we get turned around and shaken up a bit, but He is the God of second chances!

In the Bible, there are several examples of those who needed another chance:
The great apostle Paul was responsible for arresting and murdering Christians before his Damascus Road experience. He was among those at the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
Israel’s King David, called a man after God’s own heart, committed adultery with Bathsheeba.
Peter denied knowing Christ three times, even after he had the revelation of who Jesus was.
However, God showed mercy toward those in the Bible. He didn’t want them to miss their heavenly purpose. He gave them a second chance! I am so thankful for those second and third, and fourth chances.

I think of the times in my life when God and I would be working together on a picture, and I would get frustrated and take it away from God's hands and try to do it myself. I am not saying that God was the second child, who got mad - took it away from the other one - and shook it up, but God is the one who patiently waits for us, watching us get frustrated, and when we have finally had enough - we take it back to Him and He "shakes it up" and gives us a clean slate once again. I'm thankful for friends who give second chances, and I hope that in this very vivid illustration this last week, that I will be quicker to be willing to wipe the slate clean and give second chances to those around me, who prove to be human.

Thank you Lord, for second chances. Thank you for reminding me that there will never be third and fourth chances, but only second chances - because as we come to You, You are willing to forgive and forget, so it will always be a second chance. Help me to become more like You!

Walking with the King, Sandy

Friday, April 30, 2010

Willing that None Perish

I am going through a rough time right now, and have really had some deep discussions with God. I was talking with a friend the other night, who is also going through a really rough time. One thing that she said to me was "it's sad that you are fighting harder for a friendship, than I am willing to fight for my marriage."

I have to admit that her statement hit me really hard. I found myself asking the questions: Are my expectations for this friendship unreal? When is the appropriate time to let it all go? When do I walk away and not look back? Am I trying to force an issue with God, that He is asking me to let go of? Is this unhealthy - to keep fighting for this?

I really really struggled with this for several days, and just asked God to show me something that would give me guidance in the way that I needed to proceed. I stopped all communication, and just sought God's guidance. During this time, He showed me how I had to walk in forgiveness, and forgetfulness. This is really hard for me, but He showed me that in my own strength, it wasn't possible, but with His help nothing is impossible. I had to learn to walk in Love, His Love, and not my humanness.

I thought this was going to be the answer, but it still didn't help the struggle in my heart over the questions that I stated in the first paragraph. Then one morning, I awoke with a scripture on my heart, and that same scripture was in my devotions, and a friend called and said, I really feel like God wants me to share this scripture with you - and it was the same one: 2 Peter 3:9.
Basically it states that God is willing that none perish. He basically stated again to me, that the investments were for the Kingdom, and He is not willing that it perish. And if I am made in the image and the likeness of God, having the mind of Christ - because of His righteousness, and not of my own self - I have to have that same mindset, and be willing to hang on, and not let go of, all that God has done in this area and with this person.

Now I get to deal with all the implications of trying to be Christlike in this area - and as I struggle with my humanness in this area,I will do the best that I can to do what God has called me to do, with this relationship in my life. As I step forward in this area, my heart is burdened for my friend and her marriage. Lord, in this area, I am sure, that You are willing that NONE perish, even this one. Guide me in my words and actions - to do all that I can, and in my mindset - hold on to the scripture that states that You are willing that NONE perish. Thank you for Your guidance.

Walking with the King, Sandy

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Perseverance against the Waves

This morning, after the morning Holy Week service, I stopped at the beach to watch the cruise ships come in. This is something I can't do in Yakima :-)

As I sat there and watched, I noticed something in the ocean, at first I thought it was a buoy, but it was moving. Soon I realized that it was a swimmer in an orange cap. As I watched the swimmer I was amazed by the __________, not even sure what the right word is, but the ability to just keep swimming. You see, the seas were a little rough this morning, and so for much of the swim, she was fighting the ocean, getting a really good work out. If this would have been me, I think I probably would have stopped.

As I continued to watch, the swimmer left the beach and headed toward her car, which happened to be parked close to where I was. I mentioned the rough seas, and she said, not as bad as yesterday though. It seems that she swims 10 miles each day - 5 miles up, and 5 miles back along the coast, part of her training. I'm not sure what she is training for, but I acknowledged her dedication.

After she left, I was thinking on the morning devotional and several things that the pastor had stressed - and I found the similarities very much the same.

We battle against spiritual things - and some days they are definately going to be harder than others. We just need to set our minds on Christ and remember that this life is more than just a physical event, but it is a spiritual battle.

My prayer for today is Lord, help me to be dedicated to remain on course, even when the waves seem to be pushing me everyway except the way that I want to go.

Walking with the King, until I am sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Oh, what words I hear Him say!
Happy place! so near, so precious!
May it find me there each day;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
I would look upon the past;
For His love has been so gracious,
It has won my heart at last.

Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
Where can mortal be more blest?
There I lay my sins and sorrows,
And, when weary, find sweet rest;
Sitting at the feet of Jesus,
There I love to weep and pray;
While I from His fullness gather
Grace and comfort every day.

Bless me, O my Savior, bless me,
As *I sit low at Thy feet; [*I’m waiting]
Oh, look down in love upon me,
Let me see Thy face so sweet;
Give me, Lord, the mind of Jesus,
Make me holy as He is;
May I prove I’ve been with Jesus,
Who is all my righteousness
This song has begun to have a strong impact on me lately. Have we ever stopped and listened to the words of some of the "old hymns" of the church? I grew up in a church where we sang many many hymns and loved them. But as the church has progressed, so has the music, and now many churches are filled with Praise and Worship chorus', and the old hymns are left in the back pew.
I think often of the old patriarchs, that now sit at His feet, listening to Him. What will it be like to sit at Jesus' feet, surrounded with such a cloud of witness', praising Him together?
Happy place! So near so precious! May it find me there every day. This verse tells me that we can sit at His feet, even while here on this earth, but why does it seem so hard to do this? I think it is because all the "issues" that we deal with in this life - keeps our focus off what we need to focus on - HIM. Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to be one of those people who are so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good, but we, in the midst of trials and tribulations, should focus on things like this, instead of allowing the enemy that foothold and diverting our attention off the "important" things.
As things "progress", in many realms of reality, I expectantly wait, leaving behind the pains, trials, and troubles of this earthly life, trading it all in, for the opportunity to sit at His Feet, with the likes of Mary and Peter, John Wesley, the Patriarchs of the church, who patiently endured. I look forward to sitting with my grandparents, some of my kids that have gone on before, worshipping together at His feet. I don't care where my seat is, just let me join them in the great choir.
I don't care if we don't sound good, I hear the acoustics of heaven make even the worst singer, sound great. Just let me sit at His feet, I think the first 1,000 years, I probably won't say a word, because I will be in such awe - and that would probably be a good thing in the eyes of many of my friends here on earth now. LOL
Walking with the King here, until I can sit at His feet there.