Thursday, July 5, 2012

Answered Prayer

 by TLC

As I was cleaning the six older chairs outside in the 90 degree heat, I was smiling. Ten degrees cooler after the brief rain, thank heavens.  I couldn’t believe I received the chairs I had prayed for and they were free!

I had 2 harp-backed chairs already and loved the beauty of them. The second one I found in a thrift store last year.  I hadn’t been able to find any more and it came up in prayer time not too long ago.  So I asked God, if possible, for free or low cost harp-backed chairs since our current dining room chairs, inherited by one of our grandmothers two decades ago, were falling apart one after another. It wasn’t in our budget since property taxes had jumped over $1000 this year.

So here I was in 90 degree cool  weather with free chairs in need of cleaning and fixing, amazed by answered prayer. God saw my need to be loved, heard (and seated safely) and responded! Now I need to pray for that new grandbaby that’s due soon.  Oops, there’s the phone.  I wonder...

Father, thank you for Your Son and Your Love. You always amaze me especially because You remind me to ask for the ordinary as well as the miraculous.

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is heaven give good things to them that ask him? (KJ)

Monday, June 4, 2012



The last thing I expected from a writing conference was being bullied.

It was my first writing conference ever and it was on my very first day, in my very first meeting. I thought the meeting had gone okay but I had made a mistake. Within the hour, my mistake was made public when this publishing personality used it as an example of “a stupid mistake writers should never make.” The nail in the coffin was the fact that this person couldn’t believe this had happened to them once! Definitely a reference to our meeting just an hour ago. Of course it received huge laughter and I just wanted to run away.

I had a past history with bullies, having moved around so much as a kid. Someone always needed to feel special and better than the new kid.  And here at a Christian writing conference, a Godly person felt the need to get a laugh at the expense of a new writer in order to teach others not to be quite so stupid. After a few people picked up the pieces of my heart and convinced me to stay at the conference God so clearly wanted me to attend, I decided to pray for healing – for the both of us. I so wanted to bully the person back by reporting what they did to those running the conference.  I cried and prayed instead, and God used the brokenness to hold me close, assuring me that I did not want to choose to bully back. I needed to turn the other cheek and walk the extra mile by praying for them, even encouraging others to meet with this person and take their class too.

Yes, God worked on me so that the next day I went to this person’s class. It was a great class and I took lots of notes, yet what I saw there made me realize I could fill out the end-of-conference survey with a helpful rather than critical suggestion. This person had a sarcastic sense of humor and liked using bad, real life examples to teach how to write. Everyone has the potential to be a bully – it’s just sin nature to feel better about ourselves by tearing someone else down, especially in humor.

My last day of the conference was amazing, a bookend for my first day of stupid mistakes. The editor I really wanted to meet with was encouraging and real, challenging me to finish my books and to write articles. If I had gone home in defeat that first day, I would have missed this joy. While I currently do not feel safe enough to interact with that first publishing personality or the parent organization, I hope to someday find the courage to do so, perhaps finally learning to forgive completely (myself as well as them). I will continue to offer them up to God since, like me, they make an occasional stupid mistake.

Is there anyone you need to forgive? Here's scripture to help!
Ephesians 4:29-32 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (NIV, italics mine)

Luke 6: 37-38 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (NIV, Christ's own words)

Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (NIV, italics mine)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Being Transplanted


It’s been awhile since I last recorded the things God is teaching me, especially while we seek a church home. We are almost at the 6 month mark with no definitive answer over where God would have us find community. Of course, with two parents in and out of the hospital as well as some major health concerns of our own, I’m not sure we would have noticed the answer even if it was written overhead in the sky. I know I haven’t been looking up enough, figuratively speaking. Hanging on would be a better analogy.

But our parents are better, my spouse will soon see the doctor and I have graduated from two of my three physical therapy assignments – finally! I have also started gardening again, necessary with all the weeds that have sprung up during my time of PT and all the exercises that go with it. As I have transplanted the daylilies and found room for the vegetable plants started from seed by my children and grandkids, God pointed out that He is in the process of transplanting us – digging deeply and carefully around our roots in order to make it easier to pop us out of our normal surroundings. As I look at the daylilies I’ve dug up and put in a temporary container, I notice their droopiness and acknowledge my own, thirsty and out of my element in so many ways.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

God's Next Assignment

Feb. 2012

It ended suddenly, right after Thanksgiving, our assignment at our current church. We had been sent back to this church, this time as prayerful volunteers rather than volunteer leaders. God greeted us there with many people from the different churches and ministries He had used us at in the past and it was humbling and amazing! But circumstances occurred, here 6 years later, that made it clear God needed us elsewhere. I miss them immensely but understand that God cannot keep so many solid Christians in one place for long. It was truly a privilege to have been there again.

It's been 3 months since we left and we realize He has us on a meandering journey. For me, the impatience to find our next church family has finally abated as I realize how diversified is the body of Christ! I wasn't raised in "the church" so this has been a fascinating time of learning about the different denominations of Christianity. I was taken by surprise by "intinction" where, in communion, you dip the piece of bread into a cup and then eat it. I had gone up front and dipped my bread, turning to take it back to my seat when I thankfully realized the drippiness and put it in my mouth. I returned to my seat, red-cheeked.

I'm not sure where we'll go this weekend to church - weekly we ask for God's direction and usually find it in the personal invite, prayerful direction and even the impromptu decision on occasion. So far we've visited an Evangelical Free Church, a couple of non-denominationals, a Presbyterian and UCC church and I can't wait to see what He has next for us - whether this week or for longer.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

God's PT

Feb. 2012
I'm finally seeing some kind of progress in my physical therapy (PT) these past 2 weeks. Small but encouraging signs that allow me to add new exercises where, hopefully, more progress can be made. I've been trying very hard to suck it up and not feel sorry for myself. I am blessed to even have a physical therapist who spends time with me figuring out what's wrong and pinpointing the muscles that need strengthening.

Interestingly enough, God spoke to me through the pain - encouraging me to see what He needed me to see. He is my ST and sees the weaknesses in my spiritual muscles. He has arranged a whole timeline of interactions and exercises to build me up so that the interconnectedness of my whole life, physical and spiritual, can work together well. Then one day, I will be past the pain - if I choose to follow His plan, including the daily exercises in store for me. I long for the day without pain and without sin, when I can be whole again and wholly His.

Excuse me while I go finish my exercises...