Thursday, March 12, 2015

My Grief Letter To Family and Friends

I never thought that I would sit here on this sun-filled day to write a Grief Letter to my family and friends but here I sit.

Almost five months ago, I suffered a devastating loss when I got home from a luncheon.  I came home fully expecting to see that smiling face of my beloved Barry.   As I went from room to room calling out to him, and not finding him, I could not imagine where he was.   Then I remembered that his back was "killing" him that morning and that he was going to read.  I saw that Lacey (my dog) was out in the yard and Abby (a neighbor's dog was on the lanai) I figured Barry was outside reading.   I went out to find him calling his name and looking around at neighbors' yards to see if I could find him but he never answered my call.   I walked further out to see one of his feet and thought he was sitting down weeding.  As I got closer, I saw him lying flat on his back thinking what is he doing?   I actually asked that question aloud to him.   No answer came.  I thought is he trying to get some sun. It was a beautiful sunny day just like today. Weird what goes through your mind but I had no reason to think he was dead.  He was flat on his back and his, legs were straight out, and his arms were straight at his sides as if he just decided to lie down.  I bent down and shook his arm lightly and said honey but again, no answer.  I shook him harder and once again, no answer.  It was then I looked into his eyes and I knew my beloved Barry was gone.   I screamed as I never screamed before.   Neighbors came rushing over and some tried CPR but it was too late.  He was gone.   I will never see him this side of heaven again.   My heart was shattered.   
I am still grieving the loss of my beloved Barry and miss him terribly.   After three and half months of agonizing grief, I realized that I cannot do this grieving on my own.  I need help.   A couple of friends recommend Grief Share.   I found one that meets every Tuesday night not far from my home.  It has been a huge blessing to me and it is through Grief Share and talking with my dear friends who are like family to me, that I realized the need to write this letter to you.   

As I walk this journey of grieving I want you to know from time to time, I cry and I even sob uncontrollably from time to time thinking when will this pain end.  Will this overwhelming sense of loneliness ever go away?   Will my shattered heart ever be whole again.  These times have become less and less and further apart now that time has passed.   I am having more good days than bad days.   Even though the good days are more frequent, does not mean that I am not grieving.   I have come to realize through my Grief Share meetings, that grieving will take months and perhaps even years to recover from such this loss.   

I have also come to realize that through this time of grieving, I have made so many mistakes such as being rude to people who are only trying to help.   Please forgive me if you were one of those recipients.  My emotions are like a roller coaster going full speed ahead, twisting around one corner only to plummet down while they are twisting and turning upside down then the upward climb once again.   In all honesty, I cannot explain this emotional roller coaster than I am now riding I just know that I am in the front seat holding on with everything in me.   Oh, there are times when I lift my hands in praise and scream deep in my spirit, "Thank You Father, You are here with me on the wildest ride of my life, sitting right here with me."   

One of the ways God is with me is through you.  I cannot begin to tell you how much your love and friendship means to me.  If there was any way for grieving to be more bearable, then please know that your friendship and love has done exactly that for me.  I cannot thank you enough.    I still need you probably more than I ever let on.  I need your friendship, I need your love, and I need your understanding when I am not making sense.  Please be patient with me.  Please call me, text me, or email me.  Do not wait for me to make the first move because at times I am too overwhelmed in sadness.  If you see me withdrawing, remind not to.  I need you to reach out me on a regular basis even though it has been almost five months since my beloved Barry walked into eternity.   Please try to understand that my behavior is normal for a person walking the road of grief.  It is not an excuse; it is reality.  Keep praying for me that I will continue to draw close to Lord each day holding His hand while I take this walk of grief with Him.  

Thank you for loving me.   Thank you for praying for me.   You are a gift to me and a gift that I treasure more than words can say.  
I love you,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

"Yea, Lord we greet Thee, on this happy morning."

Come all ye faithful for our Joy has come to the world.  Come and greet the One who was born so many years ago in a stable, a little town called Bethlehem.  Worship Him Who is our Prince of Peace.  Fall on your knees in humble adoration and worship your King. 

As we celebrate the birth of our Lord with great joy, I want to encourage you to remember that one day, one glorious day; He is coming back for His Bride.  His first coming was just the beginning for us.   As the first coming was foretold, the second coming is foretold in the Scriptures as well.   Titus 2:11-14 tells us - "For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live -self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who zealous for good works."

Not only do we see Christmas in these verses, but also we read about Easter and the Second Coming.  What a great way to celebrate Christmas by coming in adoration to the One born so long ago, Who gave Himself on the Cross to redeem us and making us His Bride for which one glorious day, He will return for His Bride.  

  Merry Christmas!   

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Way of the World or The Way of the Word?

I want to offer up a big thank you to all the women in my Tuesday morning bible study.   Most of the women with the exception of the new ones, who have joined us these past couple of weeks, know how much I love watching and discussing current events as well as biblical prophecy.

Last week they were so gracious and willing to put aside our study of John and focus on some current events.  Believe it not we ended up looking at some passages in the book of Ezekiel.  Lots of good stuff in Ezekiel.   Talking about current events and the book of Ezekiel were not what I planned on doing; however, God had different plans.  It was such a blessing to be led by the Spirit and cover current events that are happening worldwide and to see that all fifteen of us share that same interest.  It was because of this discussion about current events that I was able to get my thoughts down on paper and put them the blog.  I have had the title for this blog for some time but just could not get anything down in writing.   I think a big part of that is because there is so much happening so quickly that it is overwhelming and quite difficult to try to keep it short. 

As I thought about our discussion, I was thinking about why pastors do not teach about the second coming of Christ.   Most churches every year teach about the first coming of Christ but not the second.   Why is that?  Why not teach from the book of Revelation where we are told in Chapter 1 verse 3 - "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near."  Why do most churches not teach about the coming judgment of Christ?   I believe it is because of what the Word of God says that in the end days people will not want sound doctrine but will want to have their ears tickled.   In other words, they will only want to hear the easy and uplifting things.  Why aren't most pastors teaching their flock how to prepare and be ready for the more difficult times that are sure to be coming?  Is it because they don't want to offend anyone?  Is it politically incorrect to do so?  Could this lack of teaching be why the church is so powerless today because we have stepped back from teaching the full council of God for fear of offending and being politically wrong by doing so? 

As we know things are rapidly deteriorating.  Sin is rampant worldwide. Sin is no longer a word that is used or taught about in most churches today. It seems that almost nothing is considered sin any longer.   REALLY???  Hmmm! 

Economies around the globe are collapsing, cities are declaring bankruptcy, and countries including the US are trying to force Israel to divide their God-given land.  If you are a student of God's Word, you know, that is a big "NO NO".  In Zechariah 12:9, we are told - "And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."  The bible is very clear that a nation that blesses Israel will be blessed and a nation that curses Israel will be cursed. The more the US tries to force Israel to divide her land, the more America will suffer the consequences. 

There is fear and panic is everywhere.   Unemployment is still high.  The unemployment rates rose in 90% of US cities the Labor Dept. said on Tuesday, July 30, 2013.

The housing market is still in the slump and rentals are at an all time high. The "American Dream" is slipping, as home ownership is at an 18 year low.  US rents hit record highs according to the latest quarterly homeownership data released by the Census Bureau.

The focus of the meeting with John Kerry and the Israelis and Palestinians is about the land of Israel and Israel building homes on their God given land.  Compare that to what is happening with the Americans and their homes.  The economic meltdown in America is hurting the young.  It is this generation that for the most part, not all, are for abortion, homosexuality, drugs and have no use for Jesus in their lives.  Many cannot find jobs and make it on their own.  They have no choice but to live with their parents after college. 

Here's another example of what happens to a country that comes against Israel.   An article came out a week or so ago entitled EU Tightens Economic Restrictions on Israel.  A week later another article comes out entitled Europe is Cracking Apart...Are You Ready for a Crash?   As a country does to Israel, so God does to that country.  Don't mess with God's people or be prepared to suffer at the hands of the Almighty God.

People are searching for peace and hope and yet find neither in the things this world offers.   Many have chosen the "Way of the World" instead of the "Way of the Word" only to find out the world truly offers no hope nor does it offer peace.    

I cannot help but think of the words from book of Daniel 12:8-11 -"I (Daniel) heard, but I did not understand. (He heard a conversation between someone and the man clothed in linen...this is in his vision.)  Then I (Daniel), said, "O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?  He said, Go your way Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.  Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly.  And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand."

I want heed the words of Titus 2:11-14 which say - "For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."

It is my prayer that the Church, the Bride will purify herself and will make herself ready to meet her Bridegroom.

I want to note the words that Joshua presented to the Israelites in Joshua 24:14-15 - "Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness (The Way of the Word).  Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt (The Way of the World), and serve the Lord.  And, if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your father served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Choose this day - The Way of the World or the Way of the Word!  It is your choice. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Storms of Life - Why Does God Allow Them?

"Oh no, You never let go, Through the calm and through the storm. Oh no, You never let go, In every high and every low. Oh no, You never let go Lord, You never let go of me." "You (Jesus) raise me up to more than I can be" are the results of those words when we have survived the storm.

In John 6 Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52 we learn that Jesus knowingly sent His disciples into a storm. We learn that we too have to experience the storms of life. Some storms are more intense than others are but each storm requires us to walk through it. No one can do the walking for us. Our assurance of walking through the storm is that we will never walk alone God is always with us. He is always near when we need Him, to give us strength and support so that we can keep stepping through storm one-step at a time.

Why does God who is a good God allow these storms in our lives?

Below are some of the reasons we discussed in our Bible study.

1. To give us new direction - Psalm 107:23-31 - as we sail through life we come to a point where we as the captain of our ship become prideful. We think we are the masters of our fate. Then suddenly and savagely a storm comes swallowing us in its crashing waves. It is then, when our survival is out of our hands that we call out to the One for whom we had no time for or did not think we had need of personally. Are you in the middle of a storm being tossed about and wondering how you will survive? Call out to One who not only sends the storms but is the Savior of the storm.

2. To give us necessary correction - Jonah 2:2-3 - God had specific plans for Jonah in Nineveh. But guess what? Jonah in disobedience headed in the opposite direction of Nineveh. He wasted no time getting on board a ship heading away from Nineveh. Are you running in the opposite direction of where God is leading you? Learn from Jonah you cannot run from God. Satan may cause you to think otherwise but rest assured that is not the case. Satan as he did with Jonah already has the ship waiting for you to board. He doesn't need to flag someone down and say go find a ship that my friend here can board. No! He's already there waiting for you to run from God and jump onto his ship with engines running and sails ready to be set. Are you running from God? If so, beware, running from God or trying to rationalize that you know what is best for you, a storm is sure to follow. What will it take for you to turn direction and run into arms of the Anchor that keeps us steady throughout our storms of life?

3. To give us needed protection - Matthew 14:22-33 - After the miracle of feeding the multitudes, Jesus sent His disciples immediately away. Why? Because He knew that the multitudes wanted to overtake Him to make Him King. Jesus knew how easy it would be for His disciples to be swept up into the emotions of what that would mean. Finally, their dreams would be fulfilled. They would be free from the rule of Rome. Maybe Judas would become treasurer and Peter Prime Minister. Oh at last, they would be free and Jesus would be King. Jesus knowing all things sent them away for their own protection. He sent them into a storm where they would struggle and wrestle with difficulties. He does the same with us. He knows what things are swaying us away from Him and His purposes for us. As we struggle through our storms, remember, Jesus is watching over you, praying for you and living inside you. It's a struggle you will have to go through in order that your focus can be shifted from the temporal to the eternal. What things does Jesus want you to turn away from? While in the storm listen for His still small voice as He steers you through the storm turning you away from those things that have pulled you in the wrong direction.

4. To nurture perfection - Acts 4:1-4 - After Jesus sent His disciples into a storm He ascended to a mountain to pray (Matt. 14:23). He knowingly sent them alone. He would not be with them. In Acts 4:1-4, there is another crowd of 5,000. This crowd though is not being fed but being saved. After they were saved, there was a storm of persecution that broke out and the disciples were put in custody until the next day. Maybe the storm in John 6 was in preparation for the storm in Acts 4. Jesus as the Captain of our lives sees what our tomorrows hold. He says to each one of us, "As difficult as this storm (whatever that storm may be, physical, emotional or spiritual), it is absolutely necessary to prepare you and perfect you for what is coming." Storms make us who we are, they bring us to a place where we have no choice but to surrender all to God and rely on Him and Him alone. They help us to have compassion, mercy and grace for others, they build our character, they break our hearts, but through our broken hearts and through our tear filled eyes we can see the Light guiding us and giving us the direction we need to stay the course. When we look to the Light, we know that Jesus will be saying, "It is I, do not be afraid" I'll take you through the heart aches, the tears, the storms of life. Our storms will not be wasted. The disciples went through one storm as a time of preparation so that when future storms came they were able to look back and see how their Captain steered them through the storm and brought them safely to their appointed destination. As the storms of life surround you remember the faithfulness of our Captain in the past storms.

It is my pray that as the storms of life overwhelm us, that we use them as an opportunity to grow in our faith and not as an obstacle to run from our faith and God. Run my dear sisters run to the One who is waiting with His arms wide open to bring you the peace that surpasses all understanding. Yes, even in the midst of the storm, His peace awaits you; all you have to do is to receive it. It is there for the asking.

So sister storm survivors, be of good cheer and rejoice for not one of life's storms is out of God's control. Remember, the Sender of the storm is also the Savior of the storm - for without Him, we would all sink.

Holding tight to my Anchor,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mind Over Matter or Heart Over Matter

Mind over matter.   We have all heard that before.  The implication of that saying is that if you put your mind to something you can accomplish that. While yes that may be true in many instances it does not always work that way.

As I have been home "resting" this week I was thinking about how I wanted to return to a bible study that I am involved with called Bible Study Fellowship.  But to their credit my two immediate bosses (my term of endearment for them) Becky our Teaching Leader and Tami our Children's Supervisor who I directly serve under, both encouraged me to stay home and "rest."  I do "rest" well after learning the hard way not to push myself when I am not feeling well but my flesh does not want to cooperate with me on that. 

Therefore, "rest" is what I am doing.     In my "resting" last night, I was thinking and hoping that I could return to BSF today.   It turns out that there are two Children's Leaders, who are out sick, and me.  The matter before me was that they are shorthanded and I need to be there to help and do the work God as called me to do.   After awakening this morning, I was more tired than when I went to bed and got up later than I normally would or should have on a BSF morning.  My mind was saying, "Go, you can do this" but in my heart I knew that I could not.  I just did not have the energy.   Which I believe is because of all the medication I was taking.  It was then that I realized I cannot act upon the words "mind over matter" but I must act on the words "heart over matter."   It is because of my love for the women and the children that I could not go and subject them to my coughing.   I realized that my wanting to go and serve was more for my ego, my self-centeredness and me.  There were quite a few "I's" in my thinking.  "I" can go and do what God has called me to do.  "I" can go so they will have one extra person and will not be so shorthanded.  "I" can go so "I" can keep the dinner plans we had tonight without feeling guilty that I was not able to go to Bible study but well enough to go dinner.  Dinner plans were to be with my precious eighty six year old neighbor who recently had to go on oxygen.  And, I wanted to go to dinner.  Imagine if I passed something on to her.  None of this is a pretty picture and not too wise either.   Have you ever done that?  We mean well but sometimes we act with our minds instead of our hearts that are overflowing in love for those around us and those that we serve. 

My heart won out and I stayed home to "rest."   God will provide for the needs of BSF, dinner plans can be changed.  Yes, I am so much better but not 100% yet.  Sometimes instead of stopping and smelling the roses, we have to stop and "rest."   Yep!   That is the way the Lord has made our bodies.  Now if we would only let go of always be on the go and trying to accomplish so much and pushing our bodies so much when not feeling well, then maybe we would heal much faster.   Resting is a good for the body and it may not always be an easy thing to do, but something that is necessary. 

I want to leave you with this verse as my prayer for you from 3 John 1:2 - Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
Listen to your heart and let your heart rule over the matter at hand.  

Friday, September 17, 2010


I was a young girl but not so young that I did not feel this yearning, this desire, this emptiness deep down. All the hurts, all the tears, all the turmoil. At the time, I knew there had to be more to life than "this." But, what was it? I had to find out and thus my search began.

I heard that off in the not so far distance a King was born. He was to be the Savior for all people bringing glad tidings and peace. Could this be true I questioned? Is this what I am missing, the so-called peace that this King is supposed to bring? I thought, "Well there is only one way to find out and that is to go and find this King and pay Him a visit." Early the next day I ran with a determination that I did not know I even had. I ran and ran asking for directions along the way - "Where is this King that was born? I must find Him. Do you know the way?" After receiving direction after direction and following them precisely, I came to a stable. I could not believe my eyes or my surroundings. Surely I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Out of breath but determined, to find this King, I made myself go into the stable and there before me were all sorts of animals, camels, sheep and even some cattle. Still out of breath, I made my way further into the stable. As I stood there breathless, before my eyes was a baby boy in a handmade manger of straw and some wood. There was a man and woman there who I knew had to be the parents of this baby boy. They looked surprised to see me as much as I was surprised to see them in these surroundings. He was a beautiful baby boy, but I knew this was not the birthplace of one who was called a King. I mean the smell, the stench, and the animals munching away on the hay. No way could this be the One who would be King. I apologized to the man and the woman telling them that I must have taken a wrong turn in my search for one who was born a King. I was too stunned to say anything more and left in search of a King who would bring me peace and quiet to my soul.

Many years had passed since that encounter with the baby in the manger and my search continued. I needed peace in my life more than ever. It seemed as though everything around me was spinning out of control. I had traveled some places I knew I never should have all in the search for peace. I felt worn out and used, tossed aside like a piece of garbage awaiting some dog to devour me. Down but not defeated my search continued.

One day I heard all this talk and commotion about this Man who was beaten and whipped beyond recognition. Beaten so brutally that one was able to see His bones and tissue as the blood poured out crimson red. The talk of the town varied. Some say He deserved what He got. Others, on the other hand, knew without a doubt that He was innocent. They said He was a King. Their King. I thought about that and wondered if this is the King, I was looking for all these years. And if it was, why were they crucifying Him. Was it too late for me? Was it too late for Him to give me the peace I was so desperate for? Then someone told me, that He was laid Him upon a cross to be crucified. They put a crown of thorns on His head, and a sign above His head that read "King of the Jews." I have to say that got my curiosity awakened and I took off running full speed ahead to the place where crucifixions took place. I ran with all my might straight to the foot of His cross. There I was breathless before Him, staring at Him wondering if He truly was the King, I was looking for. Like the baby in the manger, He didn't look like a King. I mean He was so beaten and His blood was dripping from all the cuts and bruises, that there was no telling who He was. Breathless I stood looking up at Him and sure enough above His head was the sign that read - "King of the Jews." Still breathless before Him, I was even more confused wondering how this could be. Is this really the One I've been searching for all my life? If it is, then I am too late. He is going to be dead in just a few hours. Once again, I missed my chance at peace. After catching my breath, I took one last look before I turned and mumbled some kind of prayer to a God that I'm not sure even existed, and if He did, I wasn't sure He would hear my prayer. Besides, what could He do now, this Man that was before me was just as good as dead.

I turned away from the One who hung there bleeding and dying and made my way back home. I couldn't imagine the neighborhood would be quiet that afternoon. There was too much talk of the One who I just turned my back on and walked away from. Sure enough the streets were filled with people talking and debating about that One. I needed to be alone so I could ponder life and its meaning. I needed to figure out how to find the peace that I was looking for. It was a long night and sleep didn't come easily as I tossed and turned seeing the face of the One who looked down at me from the cross with eyes that seemed to be pleading with mine. I didn't know what it meant but I knew that I would never forget those eyes.

A few days later, it was Sunday to be exact; I heard shouts coming from the street right outside my window. I sat up and shook the sleep from head, and listened. He's gone...the tomb is empty...the stone is rolled one knows where His body is...come you must see for yourselves. What in the world? What are they talking about? I got dressed as fast as I could and ran outside to get the news. It seemed that the One before whom I stood breathless was not in the tomb that He was buried in after being taken down from the cross. How can that be? Is this true? There was only one way to find out and that was to go and see for myself. I ran through the crowds pushing and shoving, anxious about what happened to His body. I arrived at the tomb and it was obvious that others have seen for themselves that the tomb was empty. I ran to the entrance of the tomb and I as stood there breathless I looked and I could not believe what I saw. I saw nothing, the tomb was empty. There I stood breathless before the empty tomb too shocked to move. As others began arriving at the tomb, I shook my head in disbelief and told them that sure enough the tomb was empty. We all stood there breathless staring into the empty tomb wondering what it all meant. No one wanted to leave but yet we knew there was no reason to stay. I headed back home as did the others deep in thought not sure what to think.

It wasn't long before once again I heard more noise and commotion. Now what I thought, can't I just get a little peace and quiet? I just about had it with all this noise and commotion these last few hours. But of course, my curiosity sent me in search of what all the noise was about. It seemed that now people are claiming to have seen this One, who hung on the cross, was buried in the tomb and now whose body was no longer in the tomb. What did they mean He was appearing before them? This kind of talk went on for forty days. I have to say, I did not see the One they claimed to be walking among them. I think they were all letting their imaginations get the best of them. I mean after a missing body from tomb, I am not surprised. But as for me, my imagination is just fine and it is not playing tricks on me.

One day I was in a gathering and I heard someone tell a story about a man named Jesus. He said that He was God's Son and that He was the Messiah, the promised King. He told the story of how He was born in a manger among the animals because there was no room for Him at the inn. He said that He was beaten and crucified for all people so that they can have eternal life. He said that this One, this Jesus, was placed in a tomb only to be found empty three days later. He had risen from the dead. He told how this One appeared to many for forty days before His Resurrection back to Heaven. He told us that His name is Immanuel, God with us. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the King of Kings. He said that everyone who calls on this name would be saved. All of this took my breath away as I recalled the scene at the manger, those pleading eyes and dripping blood at the cross, the empty tomb. It all made sense now. I now knew that the One in the manger, the One on Cross, the One who was buried in that tomb was the One I had been looking for all my life. The realization took my breath away. Breathless, I fell on my knees weeping at the feet of the One who was able to give me the peace I so desired. It was at His throne of grace I confessed my sins and my need for Him and for His peace. It was at His throne of Grace I gave Him my life not only for a day but for all eternity.

As I left His throne of grace filled with His peace, forgiveness and love, I searched out those who could teach me His ways and learn His word. I now run to His throne daily and He still leaves me breathless. I am continuing my run with my eyes set upon the Wedding Feast that is still to come, which is off in the distance. But I know that when I get there, once again I will be BREATHLESS BEFORE GOD!

I do not know where you are in life but I want to ask you, does God take your breath away? When was the last time He took your breath away? If you can't remember because it's been so long, maybe you need to run to the manger and start there. Run full speed ahead and gaze on that baby boy Who came so that He could take your breath away. Maybe it's been a long time. If that is where you are then run to cross, and look up into the eyes that plead with you telling you that He loves you, that He wants to take your breath away once again, and leave you breathless as you live for Him. On the other hand maybe, you need to run to the empty tomb and stand there breathless allowing it to remind you how empty your life was before Him. Or, are you at time in your life where you need to run to the throne of grace. If that is what you need to do, then run with all you have in you and fall at your knees breathless before the One who beckons us to come boldly before His throne of grace. Wherever we are in life, I pray that we have not changed direction, that we have not turned our backs on our King, but that we are running full speed ahead with our eyes on the wedding feast that awaits us.

I'll see you there. I'll be the one who will be standing BREATHLESS BEFORE GOD.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Greetings everyone,

Obviously, it has been several months since I have posted a blog. As many of you know life has hit hard these past few months. While I was out biking today, I was thinking how the past year and a half has been a time of non-stop trials and tribulations. What I also realized today was that each one was an issue of the heart - some were physical like in my brother's case. He underwent mitral valve surgery last year only to have his heart stop beating on the way to recovery. Fortunately, they were able to get it pumping again after it stopped three times. The others were heart issues of the spiritual kind. You know the kind. The kind that causes us much hurt and pain. They leave us with a taste of bitterness that burrows down deep getting all nice and cozy, with the intention of never leaving. Yep, it's been a challenging time for me but I can assure you that many great lessons have been learned along the way stretching my faith and giving me the opportunity to see whether or not I would live what I say I believe.

While I was on vacation last November (which is when I first started this blog), Barry and I visited a church in Blue Ridge Ga. and behind the Praise Band hung a banner with the words "LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE!" I could not stop thinking about those words.

I realized that in order to live a life of faith you have to determine what you really believe in order to live it. It is then you can walk the walk and not just talk it. Living what you believe means to stand firm and true to God and all that you believe about Him and His character, regardless of what your circumstances are. Think of Job. Look at what he said when he lost his family and all his livestock. In Job 13:15 he says- "even though He slay me I will trust Him." We say we "trust" God but do we really? What happens when life tosses you a few fastballs and you swing until you are down and out - you are defeated? Do you still trust Him? We may say that we trust Him with our mouths but do we really? If we did we would not let those fastballs take us down and defeat us time after time.

Through this past year and a half, I had the opportunity to see where my faith and my so-called beliefs really were. When the fears came I had a decision to make, did I trust God with my future? Did I cry out to Him in prayer? Did I believe He would answer my prayer? When the hurts came, I had to trust God to be my comforter, to be the One who would hold me and wipe my tears away telling me it was all going to be okay. Did I believe that and would I live like I do? Do I believe in such a way that nothing will stop me from living my life displaying what I say I believe?

As we see the world spinning out of control, we need to live out what we say we believe more than ever. Why? The world is watching God's church, that's us. There is no better time than now to LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE! Lives are at stake and desperate for a light and a hope that will shine in a world that is full of darkness and evil. Are you willing to LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE even if it means standing alone for what you know is true and right, even if it means going through a time of hardship and testing for the sake of bringing hope to others?

The most important question and one that must be asked is "what do you believe...what do you REALLY believe?" I want to emphasize the word REALLY, not what do you say believe but deep down inside what do you believe? I want to encourage you to spend some time meditating on that question - "what do you REALLY believe? And how do you know for sure?" These two questions need to be answered if you want to live a life of victory in Jesus Christ and to be a light that offers hope to a dying world around you.

Let me share some other questions to ponder.

Who is God to you? Do you believe that the God of this universe, the Creator wants to have a personal relationship with you? How well do you know Him?  Do you have just a "saving knowledge" of Him knowing that you are redeemed and will go to heaven or do you know Him in a deep and intimate way? In Zephaniah 3:17 it states - "He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Hmmm! Quiet me with His love - do you believe that? How have you experienced His quieting your spirit?

Do you believe in the power of prayer - why or why not? If so, is your life a life of prayer seeking God's wisdom, direction, guidance, His will for your life? On the other hand, is your prayer life more of handing God your laundry list each day?

Do you believe that you are more than a conqueror as the Bible states or are you continually living a life of defeat?

Do you live humbly before the foot of the cross remembering the One who died in your place?

These are just some questions for us to think about and I am sure we can each add a bunch more. I think it is important for us to examine ourselves in order to know where we stand in our beliefs.

Once we have done that let's LIVE WHAT BELIEVE in this world that is in desperate need of seeing the love and power of Jesus Christ in His church.