Monday, November 18, 2013

YOULead & LPL; What a Weekend!

There are experiences in life we just want to savor forever; such was the weekend of November 7th-November 9th.  Actually, the experience began months before.  After helping my friend Susan call and promote the Beth Moore event to area churches, we and several women from our church (Edgewater Alliance) attended the LPL rally in April put on by LifeWay.

The rally was held at the First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach.  Betsy Langmade from LifeWay was there to lead the event.  She heads up event planning for LifeWay (hope I have your job description correct Betsy!), a very beautiful and godly woman.  The entire room was filled that day with women excited about what God would do in Daytona Beach. We were thrilled to welcome Beth Moore to the Ocean Center in November.  Many of us have felt like a part of her family for years; we've done her Bible studies, attended live events and simulcasts, and follow her on Twitter.  We know she loves her husband Keith, her daughters, grandkids, and most of all Jesus.  She teaches God's truth, the same truth that brought her up from the pit.  I read her book "Get Out of that Pit" at a time I felt I was in it.  I can't tell you what those words meant to me during a time in my life when I realized I was not in control of my circumstances (thanks for your prayers too mom!).  Then dark turned to light as He worked all things together for my good.

So back to the rally.  It was a fun event and designed to bless us and pump us up to tell others about the Living Proof Live event, as well as the YOULead leadership conference for Women's Ministry leaders.  Our Women's Ministry Director (who happens to be my friend Lisa), and I decided we would attend YOULead. Then a most amazing and unexpected opportunity was presented at the rally.  We were given cards listing volunteer positions available at the LPL event.  One of these opportunities was to sign-up to be an "Encourager" which I had to read over twice to be sure I was reading it correctly.  It was amazing to me that I could sign-up to be down on the floor, able to pray with women who would come forward when Beth gave the altar call.  Say what?  I was all over that!  I signed up.

Several weeks prior to the event, I received two major blessings of which I must give God the glory.  Months before the event, Susan encouraged me to enter my information as a Ministry Assistant since LifeWay would be giving away free tickets to some of us who serve in that role.  We both entered our info, and we both received a free ticket to the Beth Moore LPL event.  Woot!! And not only that, but we would be sitting in a special section close to the stage, especially reserved for Ministry Assistants.  Thank you Tammy Slayton, LifeWay Event Project Coordinator, what a major blessing!  Great seats :) It was wonderful sitting with you and spending time with you Susan Parry!

A short time later, I received the confirmation email that I would be serving as an Encourager.  I was so ready for this event to happen!  I must say awesome job to Dana Baggett who I'm sure was blessed to hear two words: SOLD OUT.  She rallied her teams to achieve the goal of filling every seat with women hungry for God.  Mission Accomplished.  One step closer to the Great Commission accomplished.

On November 7th, Lisa and I attended the educational YOULead conference, Day 1.  We registered, then had a delicious shrimp and pear salad at Bubba Gumps prior to returning for the first general session at 1pm.  Here is a pic of our lunch (and me. I wish Lisa was in it!):
Day 1 of YOULead was wonderful.  After the general session including worship, we attended break-out sessions learning about personalities and ways each type could best be utilized in ministry. That was "Embracing the Real You...Empowering Others" led by Sheila West; she's great!  I'm a Retriever-Otter by the way.  There were many break-out sessions to choose from; the other I chose on Day 1 was "Ministering to Women in Crisis" led by Rachel Lovingood. I loved her and she was good!  Very funny; she reminded me of my current supervisor Cheryl, our Church Administrator, love her too!

Day 2 began early.  Worship & devotional with Kaye Hurta (awesome) and again we were off to another session. A favorite was a study of "Generations...The Unbroken Chain: Ministry Through the Ages" very interesting. Thank you Chris Adams!  I can see why you are a leader equipping leaders.

The conference ended around 2pm. (Again, a big THANK YOU to Chris Adams and her wonderful teaching team who blessed us big-time).

After conference #1 ended, Lisa and I sat and chatted with some friends from Church at the Beach. So great spending time with all of them, as they painted their nails "Lincoln Park After Dark."  Had a blast spending time with you Lisa Engel!

Then I was off to check-in at a hotel around 3:15pm, since conference #2,  LPL, was to begin that Friday evening.  It would end late, then resume early on Saturday morning so staying in the area was a smart move.  Friday afternoon at 4:15pm, I was back at the Ocean Center in the Encourager training session.  The very sweet trainer (I believe her name was Susan), "encouraged" the "Encouragers" as she laid out the expectations for the role.  Doors opened at 5:30pm, and the excitement continued into the night with Travis Cottrell and his worship team, and an anointed teaching from Beth Moore.

Back to the hotel Friday night to stay with friend Betty.   We had a lovely chat, mostly about our beautiful grandchildren.  Then bed, sleep, up at 6:00am to be back at the Ocean Center by 6:55am.  Our role as Encourager also included greeting women warmly and helping them find their church's reserved seating.

As the morning went on, the time drew near for the main role of the Encouragers.  Beth called women forward to accept Christ, recommit their lives to Christ, and any who were in need of prayer.
Praying with those women meant more than I could even describe in words.  Since I sat in the Ministry Assistants seating area (and not the area designated for Encouragers), I was on the side of the stage where the stairs were situated.  So while going to that end of the stage in the middle of the arena, I was smack dab in the center of where the women came to pray with Beth.  The prayer time was awesome, and I was in the midst of it all with Jesus and Beth Moore (she would want me to note that I am not in any way putting them on the same level.  Jesus is Jesus and He is the One and Only). 

I forgot to mention CHRISTINE CAINE was in attendance.  Love her!  I read her book "Undaunted" and it was an amazing read, very inspiring.  I must say, another highlight for me was when I walked up to her and told her how I loved her book, and how amazing it is, what God is doing through the A21 Campaign.  I'm sure she thought me crazy, but I seemed to have been a little braver wearing that pink LifeWay Women apron.  I also follow Proverbs 31 and there was a call to prayer for the A21 Campaign.  So many captives being freed from bondage, praise God!

Speaking of prayer, all those prayers at the conference:  Beth praying over us; Angela Cottrell's praying over mothers still raising children; Christine Caine's praying over women 25 and under, the next generation being raised up to serve a Might God; Holy Spirit Powerful prayers.  Then the precious chaplain who came down from the stands to pray; a man to pray over the women, many of which have been battling with issues regarding relationships with men and who have suffered abuse by men.  Very powerful, very compassionate, very heartfelt, very anointed. 

27 Bones; we learned that the hand of God clothed in flesh on the person of Jesus Christ has 27 bones, we have 27 bones in each hand too.  No more "high 5's", it's now known as "high 27's"!  So many gifts from that hand of Jesus.  Ten major points made (almost left with only nine till the crowd began chanting "ten, ten, ten,...").  I'm sure LifeWay will turn the teaching into a Bible study like they did with Sacred Secrets.  If they don't, they should. I'd buy it.

Sorry to ramble, and I realize that this post is different than some of my others.  I want to give Glory to God for all He had done that weekend; I want to thank Him for allowing me to be used by Him to minister to hurting women.  I want to thank Him for allowing me to humbly serve sisters-in-Christ and serve beside sisters-in-Christ.  AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!

I wanted to record this experience on my blog, well,  because I can.  I wanted to record it so when I do the next revised edition of blog2print, I'll have this record, along with the pics in book form.  Yes, so mainly it's for me and my Lord, but thanks for taking a moment to read it.  I'm not sure I'll even proof this one, which is a major stretch for me!  Not sure anyone is out there reading it anyway besides the eight lovleys who follow me.  This will auto-feed to FaithVillage as well, so shout out to anyone who might see it there!  

Here are some pics for the record.  The first one is of Dana Baggett (in orange) and her team with Beth:

That's me on the left, Jenny Kenerly(Pastor's wife Church at the Beach) center, and Christine Baird :)

 This beautiful gal is Betsy from LifeWay.  What a lovely person and she did an amazing job!!

The Ocean Center will never be the same, and neither will the women who attended Beth Moore Living Proof Live.  So many lives changed forever during this very divine appointment.  To God Be The Glory :)  May you know Him, love Him, serve Him, share Him with the world, Jesus the One and Only.

You make all things work together for my good.....  Thank you Lord.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This is True

Dressing for a friend’s party, it was time for the finishing touch; a charming heart necklace with a tiny diamond in the center to add just the right amount of sparkle.  I carefully hunted through rotating hooks in my jewelry box, only to find this treasured necklace had become entangled in a mangled mess of knotted chains.  

I was so determined to wear it, I sat for a good 20 minutes with a pair of tweezers, gently tugging, prodding, and yanking to break it free.  Frustrated and cross-eyed, I finally gave up.  
Has this ever happened to you?
Let’s face it; we’ve all felt like my tangled mess of necklaces at one time or another.  Tangled messes can happen in our relationships, our finances, our unwillingness to forgive, our not-so-great decisions, our failures,...

Satan delights in his attempts to devour our confidence in Christ. He schemes up stumbling blocks to entangle us in a mess of chains, keeping us bound in defeat, as he tries to distract us from our true purpose. Christ IN US, the hope of glory means we could do some serious damage shining beacons in cavernous spaces void of light. The enemy works day and night against us. His dark whispers into our weakness drudge up sin and shame from our past; he makes us want to scream “I’m not who I used to be! I’m changed!” He deceives, tries to break us, tells us we’re invisible, insignificant, that our life has no meaning and we will never make a difference, not. even. one. tiny. difference.

Don't fall prey to the trap.  Instead fall on knees and pray.  Resist the devil, and he will flee; God's promise to us in His Word. We have the victory in Christ.  Insignificant, invisible, defeated? It’s not true.    

This is true:
"Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong."
                                                                                                                    2 Corinthians 12:10 

"Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces."                                                                                                        Exodus 15:6
"But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth."                                                                     Exodus 9:16

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”                                               Luke 10:19

 “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.                                                                              Philippians 1:6

“But thanks be to God! For through what Christ has done, He has triumphed over us so that now wherever we go He uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Gospel like a sweet perfume.”                                                                                                   2 Corinthians 2:14 

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”                                                                        Galatians 5:1

Life can get messy when we try to untangle our own chains, because truth be told, we can’t. Stand fast in the liberty that Christ has made us free. 

  Share a specific time when the Lord has brought you through a tangled mess?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Are You Ready To Swing at that Curve Ball?

Life can throw us some unexpected curve-balls, ever been there?  Should we swing, or are we afraid of striking out?  Is it really a curve-ball, or part of a bigger plan?  A funny thing happens when we swing at a curve ball...

After a banking career spanning almost thirty years, I was no longer a banker.  It's tough peeling away a layer of identity you've lived more than half a lifetime.  A season of transition had begun. 

If you've ever gone from two incomes to one sooner than planned, you know things can get a bit tight.  The fifteen month hiatus at home was a welcomed change, but it was time to venture back into the world of  the gainfully employed.  June would be the target month to return to work, and since it was only January, five months seemed like a long way off.  No sweat, right?

When May rolled around, I had not yet found a position.  Truth be told, I hadn't been searching all that hard.  I prayed, I waited. I prayed, I waited.  I guess I was praying and waiting for God to reveal this new job by way of "running into it" head-on.  It's true, praying is the most important thing one can do in a situation such as this; except I think God knew I was dragging my feet a little...ok, a lot.  A funny thing happens when you do nothing; nothing happens.

Now you might call it procrastination, but I like to call it "works well under-pressure."  Perhaps you've seen that quote going around facebook: "I do my best house-cleaning in the 20 minutes before the guests arrive."  That's me.  I trusted God, yet I struggled to push-back fear and doubt.  Did I truly believe God was working all things together for my good or not?  Where was my faith?  

I concluded I was setting myself up for disappointment, having attached an extensive laundry list of requirements to my prayer for the perfect job.  Satan loved whispering in my ear "why don't you ask for the moon while you're at it."  Still, I asked.  His word says we have not, because we ask not.

My prayer went something like this:

"Father God,
 I've been praying for a job by June, and I know You know it's mid-May.  Lord, if it be Your will, could you please work it out for me to find a job with no weekends; no holidays; no Fridays please, since I volunteer at Grace House on Fridays; no nights; nothing in retail or sales; preferably in ministry; not too far from home; nothing in my former career; not requiring me to go "door-to-door" with my resume, or go through interviews that would lead to rejections.  Oh and Lord, could you please work it out for Brian to be on board with this position as well?  Also, could you please reveal this job to me by June?  Only if June is your timing, because I know Your timing is perfect.  Lord, forgive me, I don't want to seem demanding; I know You are the God of the impossible, and these requests may describe a job that doesn't even exist.  I trust You Lord, with whatever you bless me with and wherever you send me.  I know You already have the perfect job chosen for me.  Thank you Lord.  In Jesus' Name, Amen."

At that point, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to pray not to be double-minded.  I shouldn't be praying without truly believing that He could and would answer.

A funny thing happens when you step out in faith; you step out in faith.  At first I hesitated to tell anyone I was looking for a job.  Pride reared its ugly head.  I had to get over myself and ask for prayer.

A funny thing happens when you ask for prayer; people pray.  My prayer-warrior-preacher-mom was praying; my sister Karen was praying; friends were praying; and the two lovely gals in my LTG (Life Transformation Group) Jamie and Kristin were praying.  Jamie is the Children's Ministry Director, and Kristin served on the Worship Team.

Fast-forward to late May.  Remember that "five-months, no sweat?"  Seems Ms. double-minded Doris began to sweat a little.  Back on my knees asking for forgiveness for that one, again.

Praying on the morning of Wednesday, May 23rd, a call came through on my cell.  It was Jamie's sweet voice calling with an important message; a message from God:

     "Hi Doris, have you got a minute?  I have some news for you, a job opportunity you might
be interested at the church..."

She proceeded to share with me the details of the position (with a bit of a chuckle I might add, since she had "inside info" namely, my prayer request):

   "Church office; Administrative Assistant; Monday through Thursday 9am-4pm.  Oh, and no  Fridays; the office is closed on Fridays..."  

Say what??  Stunned.  I remember hanging up and laughing hysterically.  Jesus and I had a little party going on.  Mind you, I hadn't even been "offered" the job as of yet, but really, it had to be mine.  Pretty Unbelievable huh?  No, very believable.  Nothing, no thing, is impossible with God.

Oh, it gets better...

I met with Pastor Dave and Cheryl, our Church Administrator, on May 29th.  I think they knew about my prayer request, so no pressure.  Can you guess the date Pastor Dave called and offered me the position?  May 31st.  Employment by June, check!

Now how's that for answered prayer?  If you go back and check my "laundry-list" you'll see He missed not one thing.  I made up a job description, and He led me to it.  It was by no accident I was in an LTG with Jamie.  God had set all that up well in advance.

You know these promises are for you too, right?  If you are praying and waiting, pray BIG.  PRAY BIG and WAIT.  Ask others to PRAY BIG with you.  Expect a miracle.  When it comes, share it.  There is someone out there who needs to hear it.

A funny thing happens when you swing at a curve-ball; God will make it a grand-slam.

                   "For with God, nothing will be impossible."  Luke 1:37 (NKJV)


Saturday, October 26, 2013

True Confessions of an Almost Author

I'm a writer; I love to write.  I blog. I've read countless books on writing, taken writing courses, am currently enrolled in COMPEL(a fantastic writing course through Proverbs 31 Ministries), and Jeff Goins, that talented guy who wrote Wrecked, The In-Between, Writer's Manifesto; he says I'm a writer.  He wrote a book about it: "YOU ARE A WRITER (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins.  I grabbed the Kindle Edition.

So where am I on this writing journey?  Probably right about where you are...

There's a book in me; several books in me.  If you're reading this, there's probably a book in you too. The thing is, they need to come out.  Besides reading about the craft, studying the craft, practicing the craft; eventually, we'll have to take the plunge, put ourselves "out there".   I'm just not too sure where "out there" is.  I know for a fact there are thousands like us; dipping our toe in the pool.  The water may be cold at first, takes a bit of getting used to.  Let's dive in; it's time to swim.

I've read that commenting on blogs is a good thing.  Does anyone else get obsessive about checking for replies after they've made a comment?  Confession:  I do.  Having said that (yes, overused), I have no hidden agenda when it comes to commenting on blog posts;  very simply, I have something to say that may hopefully add value to the conversation.

We know social interaction is obviously good for a writer; name recognition, branding, all good.   So my email address is my name, my blog address includes my name, my new blog is my  I find this difficult since it seems in direct conflict to humbling myself, and the important reminder "it's not about me."  Still, I'm thinking God is okay with others knowing my name; after all, He calls me by name.

Have you ever googled your name?  Confession:  I have. I googled my name yesterday, guess what popped up? A few pics of me, a pic of my friend Lisa (?), and umpteen images of "Doris" Day and Taylor "Swift".  I'm thinking a cross between the two of them wouldn't be a bad thing.  I guess that would be me.

Would you say you've struggled with doubt and fear?  Confession:  I would.   Yes, doubts creep in, yes they do. I'd like to think of myself as pretty fearless; I've given my fears to God and I'm in a good place as far as fear goes.  I would have to say though, there is one fear I have to keep pushing back, pushing down; a fearful thought I have to continually take captive to the obedience of Christ.  What is this fear? The fear that this dream will never take shape, will never come to pass.  Satan loves to tell us that lie repeatedly, doesn't he?  Do you ever have that same fear?  I do know love casts out fear, so I draw on that unconditional love when the fear and doubt creeps in.  If He's called us, He will equip us.  He will.

Then there's that word... the word most of us at this stage of the game get a little creeped out about; platform.  I'd like to think I'm a pretty likable person, but unless something goes viral, this is going to pose quite a challenge.  To aim for 100,000 hits on my blog in one month, a little intimidating.  Let me rephrase that, a lot intimidating. Intimidating yes, but not impossible:

Jesus said to him, 
   "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."  Mark 9:23

Yes Lord, I believe.

Confession: I have exactly 5 blog followers, whom I love dearly; My number of facebook friends only slightly exceeds the current balance in my checking account; and I have "grown" to 34 followers on Twitter.  I follow Jesus, but I don't think He's on Twitter.

Viral is another catch phrase popular in today's culture. The closest I've come to viral is having Chickenpox in 3rd grade.  So, until I can teach my cat to flush the toilet, I'm thinking viral might be a bit far-reaching for me.  

Have you noticed after a video has gone viral, these people wind up as guests on the Today Show?  Hey, wait a minute, I've been on the Today Show!  Well, I'm using the word "on" a bit loosely.  Brian and I were in NYC for our 25th anniversary in 2009.  We had been watching the Today Show for years, laughing at all the crazy people standing outside for hours; then, we decided to become one of them.  We had our daughter DVR the show that morning, hoping we'd make the big-time with our hot-pink, homemade sign.  We did!  We were seen on camera during several shots as they panned the crazies.  We carefully avoided deleting the recorded show, until the DVR finally crashed. Thankfully, we had taken a photo of the TV screen.  See....
No, that's not me standing with my husband under our anniversary sign, oops!  I must have been out of view trying to wave down Al Roker. The highlight of the morning for me (sorry honey), was when Meredith Vieira smiled and shook my hand!  That was during a commercial break, but what a treat!  She was as lovely in person as she looked on TV, and extremely gracious.  Here's a close-up (I don't think she'll mind, she looks great):
Sorry Savannah, this was before your time.

So last night was date-night.  I wasn't even near ready, I'd been reading and writing most of the day.  Thursday night we "COMPELers" were blessed to dial into a live conference call with Esther Fedorkevich of The Fedd AgencyPumped is the word I'd use to describe my emotion after the call.  So pumped in-fact, I replayed it again on Friday. Amazing. The entire COMPEL experience so far has been amazing.  Thank you Lysa Terkeurst and the P31 team!  Now back to date-night.  I was having a bit of trouble switching gears; my mind manufacturing a continuous stream of sticky statements.  Stalling for time, I took a bubble bath.  I figured dinner at the restaurant would be a little strange if I kept spatting out statements like "it's great to eat steak, but save room for the cake" or "a bloomin' onion to start, could clog arteries in your heart."  See what I mean?  I wasn't ready.  We did eventually go, and it was worth the wait.

Worth the wait, yes, this is.  We will get there.  Wait on the Lord, He appoints us and gives us the desires of our heart when we trust in Him. He'll give us that platform we need, because HE IS our platform; our firm foundation.  That's a promise, and our faithful God keeps His promises.

Perhaps as this journey unfolds, it won't look anything like we had hoped for; no, it will be more, it will be better.  More than we could ask or imagine.  So write!  Whether this dream comes together like fallen Manna from the sky, or whips us into shape so we can chase it, God is in control.  We don't have to scream out "I'm here!  Notice me!  Know my name, know me!" cause the only One that matters already does.

May blessings & joy fill your hearts, as you bask in His presence and grace.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Follow the Pattern

As a young girl growing up in New Jersey, I have fond memories of participating in a 4-H sewing club "The Darkroom Darners."  Interesting name, isn't it?  I don't believe darners do their best work in the dark, but when it came to sewing, that pretty much summed it up for me, "in the dark."  Our group would meet weekly at my friend Leann's home, where we would work on our sewing projects in preparation for the 4-H Expo. 

When I first joined the group, my mom & dad went out and bought me a Singer sewing machine.  What a treasure that sewing machine was to me.  My first pattern was a Simplicity pattern; a simple pant with elastic at the waist, and a long vest to match.  I have no idea why we chose a hideous dark-gray material, but oh well.  I can still remember meticulously pinning the pattern to the material, or was it material to the pattern?  Finally, the pattern was cut and sewing began.  It was a wonderful learning experience, and my seams weren't all that bad.  There were great tricks of the trade learned, like ironing down the pinned pant leg to create a guideline to sew along; and we all need guidelines, don't we?

The days leading up to the 4-H Expo were a bit stressful, as an incomplete garment could not go down the runway.  Exaggerating a little, there was no runway; just a hanger on a display.  I think it may have been the night before the event, while sewing the red binding/piping on the hideous grey vest, the material began to unravel!  Nice, now what?  My mom could pretty much make anything all better; she doubled up the piping and stopped the unraveling, saving the vest from being reduced to a mere pile of threads without form.

Patterns.  I woke up with this word on my heart one morning, so I wrote it down in my journal.  There are several references in scripture regarding patterns.  God instructed Moses in making the Tabernacle, including the furnishings, that it must be executed exactly according to the pattern He would give:
 Exodus 25:9
 "Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you."
Lampstands were also to be made according to a pattern:
Numbers 8:4
"This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold—from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the Lord had shown Moses."
We also find other references to the word "pattern" in scripture, both in a negative reference, such as:
 Romans 12:2
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
As well as positive:
 2 Timothy 1:13
"What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus."
How about Noah?  I'm sure he was extremely thankful God gave him a pattern for the ark, right down to the last cubit!  Can you imagine how the ark might have turned out without God's specific instructions of size, shape, depth, width, and construction?  God wasn't going to give Noah instructions to build the thing, then just say "Ok Noah, you're on your own."  No, God didn't leave Noah out on a limb, and He won't leave us out there either.  
Conforming to the pattern of this world can cause our lives to unravel, much like the hideous dark-gray material of my first ever attempt at fashion; and who wants to turn into a clump of frayed threads without form?  Thankfully, we have a pattern of sound teaching, a pattern established through Jesus who not only shows us the way, but is The Way. 

If I remember correctly, I received a "Very Good" red ribbon for my entry into the 4-H Expo.  This of course, was thanks to my mom who saved that garment from certain death.  How thankful I am that Jesus came to save us from certain death, He is the giver of life.  Follow Him, and He will bind our unraveling, so we may be a new creation according to His pattern; we are cut from the same cloth, a garment of praise.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Finding Joy in Our Calling

Praise the Lord!  On October 12th I was very humbled and privileged to speak at a women's event, Bagels & Blessings at Edgewater Alliance Church.  This season's theme is JOY, and it was just that to bring God's word to a room filled with beautiful sisters in Christ, and perhaps some that were searching for answers.

I was super blessed to have my mom, sister, and niece in attendance.  My family used mom's cell to video tape most of the message, just missing the first segment.  There were two stories not captured on video, "The $5 Bank Story", and "The Peggy Story", of which I pray I will have another opportunity to share those again.  The $5 bank story tied into how Awesome our God is; our Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider, and El Roi, the Strong One Who Sees Me.   Next we explored "wrong doors" after the Peggy story.  How sometimes we stand in front of wrong doors, doors that look attractive and inviting, only to find they are not the doors God has for us to walk through.  If the door has been shut, stop looking through the window!  That we can trust Him to open the right doors; He opens doors no man can open, and shuts doors no man can shut.  Praise God!!

The video picks up with a word about wrong directions.  "A change in direction begins with our reflection" We were made in His image; are we living a God-focused life?

I truly LOVE speaking, and know that it is not me but The Holy Spirit who inspires and delivers the message; I am but a willing vessel, and boy am I willing!!!  I so love speaking, I have no fear of it at all.  I pray God opens more doors that allow me to speak wherever He calls and according to His will.  Here is the link to the video, I pray God speaks to you through this message as you walk in His will for your life.  There is power in the Name of Jesus!!  Amen!!

(The link below can be copied and pasted into address bar)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dancing Out of Egypt

There was a time not long ago, when a half-my-life-long career began to slip away. I kept digging my claws into it, trying to hold on. Now I can see clearly that God had other plans for me; instead of allowing me to remain in a place where oppression was thick as the London fog, He had me dancing out of Egypt. I think that might be the title of my next book project :)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

In what ways has God revealed His plans for you?

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Happy, Healthy "Us"

Brian and I will be celebrating our 29th wedding anniversary in August.  We make date night an important part of our relationship, and try to have one at least once a week.  It gives us quiet time together (depending on where we go that is!), and keeps the romance in our relationship.  We have two grown children and three grandchildren.  Currently, our daughter and one of our grandsons lives with us.  Our son and his family, including our other two grandsons, live in the same city.  Needless to say, we spend lots of time with our grand-kids, love 'em to the moon and back, but grandparents need to refresh and recharge!

When we are at home, many conversations revolve around family.  When we are out on a "date night", we make an effort to keep the conversation about each other.  We make plans, talk about our day, and just enjoy being "us".   It doesn't matter where we go, and it doesn't even have to cost anything.  Our "date nights" are sometimes during the day! 

Yesterday, Brian loaded our bikes in the back of our pick-up and didn't tell me where we were going (element of surprise; another great date night/day tip!).  He took us to a lovely park with biking trails and we had a great time.  We sat on a bench by the river, tried to take a picture of ourselves with his cell, but I got such a laughing fit, my mascara started running.  Needless to say, the picture never happened, but being giddy was just pure joy.  We all need to laugh like that more often.  As we rode back to the truck, the sky opened up and it started pouring. It was so much fun riding in the rain, we really didn't care about the weather.  Thankfully, we didn't get struck by lightening!!  

God is so good, and by putting Him first in our relationship and our lives, we are abundantly blessed.  That doesn't mean we haven't had our challenges and trials to walk through, but building a strong relationship over time, through exercising good communication and making sure "together time" happens is key.  Building that strength in a relationship takes work, and with God's guidance we continue to enjoy a happy, healthy "us".

What are some of your date night suggestions and tips?  Where have you been recently?