Saturday, September 20, 2014

Use Your Gift~







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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Taste and See~









 
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Me, A Blessing? Yes, Lord~









  
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Monday, September 15, 2014

To Know The Heart of God~

Her words rattle and shake me.

As I read, and then re-read, and then re-read her emails again, I hear her heart.

In each word I hear the desperate cry of her pain.
"Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . .
Where were you God when . . . ?????"


In each word I  hear the sorrow and the anger.
"You must not have suffered as much as I have because you would not find it so easy to write these silly emails....God makes life easy for some...like you... it must be great to have a nice life."

In each word I hear her hurt .
"you do people like me a disservice...I wonder if you'd write the way you do if you had suffering in your life and God stood by and did nothing. yes its hard to trust and have faith when God favors some over others...."

As the words of her heart come barging into mine,
I feel my heart struggle to stand up under the weight of it all.

To have gone through so much pain.
To have experienced hurt after hurt after hurt.
To have looked for God and not seen Him.
To have cried out to God and not been rescued by Him.
To have come to the conclusion that God is a God who plays favorites and blesses some and not others.
To have decided that God's goodness is found only in the good.

More than all that she has gone though,
more than all that she has experienced,
more than each tear she has shed,
more than each cry of her heart,
the one thing that breaks my heart the most is this:
not knowing the heart of God.

Suffering.
Heartache.
Rejection.
Abuse.
Disappointment.

Just like the rain,
these fall upon the righteous and the unrighteous.
Just like the rain,
these fall on those who know God and those who don't.
Just like the rain,
these fall on all races, all tribes, all people.
Just like the rain,
these fall on each and every. single. one of us.
Just the like rain,
these fall on you and these fall on me.

And, just like the rain,
God is there, too.
He is always there, and He is always love.

Love isn't something God does; love is who God is.

Circumstances are not a reflection God's goodness.
Situations are not an indicator of God's faithfulness.
Heartaches are not a representation of God's love (or God's lack of love) for us.

Yes, I write about God's goodness -
not because my life is always good,
because my God is good.

Yes, I write about God's faithfulness -
not because my life is always steady and sure,
because my God is steady and sure.

Yes, I write about God's love,
not because my life is always full of love,
because my God is love.

The world is the world.
And, God, He is God.

When we allow the two to become one,
we lose the heart of God,
we lose God.

More than all that she has gone though,
more than all that she has experienced,
more than each tear she has shed,
more than each cry of her heart,
the one thing that breaks my heart the most is this:


not knowing the heart of God.







 
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Saturday, September 13, 2014

What's Holding You Back?~

What's keeping you from fulfilling God's call on your life?

If you take a moment and do some looking around in your own life,
I think you will discover it doesn't take much.

It doesn't take much to keep us stuck,
to keep us idling in neutral,
to keep us doing nothing at all.

Sometimes, the thing that is holding us back can be as little as a comma, or a semi-colon, or a run-on sentence. At least, that's the way it has been in my life.

A writer I am not.
A master of grammar I am not.
A whiz at punctuation, capitalization, (and any other "ation" that comes in to play when one chooses to write), I am not.

And yet, I can't deny I hear God calling me to write.
And yet, I can't shake the urge to take words swirling around in my heart and birth them on paper.
And yet, I can't NOT sit at my keyboard and share what God is sharing with me.

And yet, I often don't.
Because I know what I am not.

Which brings me to my precious friend Ruthie.

When my posts would be few and far between, I would receive an email from her that simply said "Keep writing. I'm still reading."

One time, I shared with her the crippling, paralyzing fear of my heart.

 I have a deep desire to write...but I know I am far from being a "writer". Sometimes, (most times if I'm totally honest) I feel so inadequate to write for God. I have no formal training, I have a limited vocabulary, and I feel I have so very much to learn of and about God. Who am I to tell others? And yet, I feel the tug of God in my heart......write this down....share this with others...tell of my goodness....declare my glory."

It is her words, written in an email back to me, that keep me pursuing this call of God on my life.
  
Have you ever heard of God using ordinary people to do extraordinary things? Have you ever heard of the phrase Use Your Gift? Well, that's you my dear. Don't fret about not being formally trained. You would never know it! When someone reads something that touches their heart, I promise you, they don't say, "Now I would feel this so much more if I knew Stacy had a journalism degree or took night classes at the local college." Pleeeaaasssee. You're a fantastic writer. Your words move me. I too feel closer to God when reading YOUR blog. Give thanks to Him every day that He gifted you with an ability to write and a desire to express yourself for Him. 

So, I ask YOU again.
What's keeping you from fulfilling God's call on your life?

And, I ask you this.
Are you willing to let it keep you from being what God created you to be?
Are you willing to let it keep you from doing what God created you to do?
Are you willing to let it keep you stuck, idling in neutral, doing nothing at all?

Taking a class in grammar,
joining a writers group,
studying the art of writing,
hiring an editor, (ok, this probably isn't an option,  . . . yet) -
these are all things I can and should do to master the craft of writing and be the best I can be.

Listening to the Holy Spirit,
being obedient to His promptings,
sharing the words He places on my heart,
pushing past my fear of "wrong" and continuing to write, -
these are all things I can and should do to fulfill God's call on my life.

What about YOU?

If you don't mind,
I think I will step out of the way right now,
and leave you and God alone to talk about it.







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Friday, September 12, 2014

The Prayer of a Wife's Heart~








 
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Mind of Christ~









 
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Hope of Heaven~

Have you ever seen the hope of Heaven?
I did.
Last night.
But, for you to see it, too, you have to go back to here:

I find myself seated in a pew at the funeral of a four month old. From the angle where I sit, I can see the tiny casket resting atop a green and yellow striped baby afghan.

And, I listen.
And, wonder.
And make myself face this question head on.

"Do I really have faith?"

As the lady seated in front of me wipes a tear from her eye, I wipe a continuous stream of them from my own. Pew after pew, eye after eye. It seems no one here is untouched by this heartbreaking loss.

"Faith isn't faith until it is tested. It is in times like this that we stand on our faith and it carries us through. It is in times like this that we discover the kind of faith we have."

The words of the minister reach deep into my soul. I can hardly stand the pain I feel seated in this place, in this moment. It is overwhelming, suffocating, too much. My eyes keep veering right and then left; any direction except straight ahead at the reality before us and the reason we are here.

And, I think of this precious mother, this broken father, these young sisters and tiny brother.

To suffer such loss.
To bury one so tiny, so helpless, so innocent.
To love God in spite of and in the midst of.
To believe without a doubt that God is good all the time,
even in times like this.

Faith.

Do I have it?

Or am I simply spoiled by the goodness of the Lord?

My life has been an easy one.
God's blessings have been abundant. Sorrows, few.
It's easy to have faith when all is well, life is happy, "God is good."

But, what about when God's goodness is disguised in heartbreak?

What about the times when everything falls apart and nothing makes sense? What do we do with our God when our God allows something into our life that pulls the rug of our heart right out from underneath us? What do we do when our foundation shakes so violently we find ourselves grappling to keep our footing.......and our faith?

And, I wonder.
And, I hear God's Spirit asking me the hardest question of all:
Do you trust me?

And, the only answer I know,
the only answer I can give,
the only cry of my heart is this:

"Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
~ Mark 9:24

*********
Last night, on the second birthday of this tiny infant,
I saw the hope of Heaven shining bright in this momma's eyes.
I heard the hope of Heaven loud and clear in this momma's words.

"Everyone wanted to stay home and mope around today. Nobody wanted to smile or be happy. Everyone just wanted to be sad. So, I called a family meeting. I sat everyone down and I reminded them. This is a day of rejoicing,this is a day to celebrate the gift we were given, this is a day to be extremely happy. No moping around. No sitting around crying. Rejoicing and celebrating that we were given such a precious boy and rejoicing and celebrating that we will see him again."

As this precious young mother stood beside me,
I looked deep in her eyes, and I saw it:
the unmistakable, undeniable, inconceivable hope of heaven.

And, it was breathtakingly beautiful.~♥

If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world. But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man. For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.
~ I Corinthians 15:18-22








 
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