Saturday, November 29, 2014

I pray you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!   We've enjoyed a very relaxing weekend and time together.   We genuinely have much to be thankful for.  Don't forget to be thankful EVERY DAY!  :)

Sometimes you see something in your everyday life that the Holy Spirit uses to speak to you.  Recently, I watched a video that a friend had posted on FB and it spoke volumes to me.   Thought I'd share a few things.   First, Take a look....

Girl Helps Horse Overcome Fear of Water

 Cute, huh?!!  Did you get more than cute?  :)

One thing that first came to me was that the horse was intrigued but unwilling at first.   How often are we the same way?   Ever intrigued at something new but not really willing to jump in?  It's sometimes scary trying something new but when God is telling you to do it, you can be assured that it WILL be worth overcoming your fears and the experience will be incredible and lasting!

When the girl first encourages the horse, it's from above.. riding it.  In the horses mind, it probably trusts it's owner but with her being in a position of not actually experiencing the water herself, the horse is hesitant.  This made me think of how we are with others too...  have you ever tried to get someone to try something new by pushing or 'riding' them?   Telling them it will be great but not really fully engaging yourself?   You may have experienced it yourself at some other time and know it will be great for them, but if they weren't there to witness it, it's just a new and terrifying experience to them.   Does God do this to us?   Force us to do something without fully participating in it Himself?  NEVER!!  God is always right there with us... not watching from above, not pushing us to do something while He rides along!  He is walking right along with us, enjoying every moment by our side!

How do you encourage others?   Have you ever wanted to show Christ to someone?   Did you hit them over the head with scriptures?   Tell them what to get rid of or change?   Push them to come to church with you?   How'd it work out?   On the other hand, how do people react when we come alongside, helping without an agenda, a smile in passing, a genuine compliment, buying a cup of coffee, etc...   Don't we have a much better reaction when we walk in their shoes and show them what having Christ in our lives really is like?

She gets it... she gets off his back and gets to his level.  She leads instead of pushes.  She shows him the way... starting slow and encouraging from the front.   He hesitates a little more but his trust in her is enough to overcome his fears!!  Is your trust in our loving Father enough to overcome quickly and enter into all the greatness He has for you??

Then not only does the horse enjoy.... he gets all in!!!  Fully enjoying the experience and soaking them both in the glory of the moment!!   Just as we do... when we enter into the best God has for us, letting go of all our inhibitions then we soak in His Glory!  and our act of trust and obedience then sends the Glory back to our Father and we soak Him as well!

Is your relationship with him one where it's give AND take?   Do you realize that your joy and obedience and trust and love gives Him as much pleasure as it does us?   God is not a Big Being sitting on His throne and commanding from above... He is our relative, desiring a real, constant, tangible relationship with us.   Walking alongside and welcoming us to join Him in some incredible things.   Don't be afraid... He will only ask us to do things that will bring about His best in us!

Please comment and share things the Spirit showed you....



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Do You Have Fruit Flies Hanging Around?

Hey!   It's been a crazy week here in WNY!  We've had many towns around get record snow falls in a 24hr period and many, many friends are VERY SLOWLY digging out!   More is on it's way over the next 24 hrs... please keep us in prayer!

Something else, not quite so crazy but very interesting, has been happening this week...  Fruit Flies keep coming up!  I've noticed a few comments on FB about them.  I talked to someone on the phone yesterday that was complaining about them.   And today I had one that kept flying right in my face!  Just one, and we have no fruit, or anything else that would attract them, around.   So I started thinking... what's with the fruit fly?   Why one?   Why now?   Why do they keep coming up?    Next question...   Lord, what's up with the fruit flies?    His answer...   Make sure you don't have any fruit flies in your life!    Okay....!??   

So what brings fruit flies around...  really ripe fruit, or anything sweet that is fermenting.   Um... Lord, I have no ripe fruit here or anything fermenting.   His reply...  Are you sure?   I also want you to make sure you don't have anything attracting them in the future.   Okay....!??

So I get my head out of earth and ascend to the clouds.  :)   Is there fruit in my spiritual life that is getting old, too ripe?   Perhaps even rotting and/or fermenting.   This is where fruit flies lay their eggs and become even more fruit flies!   I definitely don't want that!

So is there spiritual fruit that I am letting go to waste?    I'd like to say, no.  But truth is, yes.   There is definitely fruit that God has given that is not being used.

One scripture we are all familiar with...  Gal 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control."

Do I have love I have left unshared?   Is the joy of the Lord always evident in me?   Did I practice ALL the patience I could have this week?  Was I as gentle as I needed to be when speaking to my family?   Did self-control rule the day when someone didn't listen to me?   and these are just a few of the kinds of fruit we have.   

Fruit also indicates any areas of harvesting/productivity in our lives.   Has God asked me to do something that I am not doing?   Was there someone I was supposed to pray for and didn't take the time?   Or call them to encourage and bring life and didn't bother?   Am I using my time wisely?   Am I leaving things undone that shouldn't be ignored?    Did my day produce ALL that God had for me or did I leave some fruit on the tree/vine and let it rot?

How about you?   Is there fruit you are leaving, letting it get too ripe and attracting fruit flies?

I pray we all strive to be ALL that God calls us to be and to use all our fruit wisely and timely!

Ephesians 5:11-16

Don’t waste your time on useless work, mere busywork, the barren pursuits of darkness. Expose these things for the sham they are. It’s a scandal when people waste their lives on things they must do in the darkness where no one will see. Rip the cover off those frauds and see how attractive they look in the light of Christ.
Wake up from your sleep,
Climb out of your coffins;
Christ will show you the light!
So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Loving Autumn!

Happy Monday!!  God has an incredible week planned!  How do you plan to participate?   With awe and wonder and thankfulness and boldness and steadfastness and strength?    I hope so!!!    :)     

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

So to start out today's lesson... I have a confession... I DON'T LOVE Autumn!  I can hear the audible gasps coming from so many of you.  :)  I know many of you Love Autumn.  It's your favorite time of year.  Every year people say to me, "Don't you just love this time of year?"   I don't want to respond with "NO!  I don't LOVE it.  What's to love?  Ok.. the colors are awesome but that's about it!"   So instead I quietly smile, and say, "It is pretty."    No lying coming from my lips.  :)

Here's why I have never loved autumn...  (Not that I want you all to agree with me... just sharing)
It signifies the end of summer.  Remember that short few weeks a year (for those of us in WNY) that we enjoy warmth and sunshine?
It means cold is on it's way.  Any of you who know me, know I am cold 350 days a year!
It also means shorter days.   I love long summer nights and eating dinner on the deck or watching the stars late at night.
Another thing I never liked was that the trees and plants died and went dormant.   I always looked at that as a negative thing... until recently.

Now, please don't get me wrong.  I don't HATE autumn either.   It IS beautiful with all the trees turning and I am sure I am prejudiced, but we really do live in one of the most gorgeous places in North America and autumn takes the cake there.    I LOVE that we have 4 clearly defined seasons and am thankful for parts of each one of them.

So the other day, I was driving home and noticed a barn up on a hill that I don't remember seeing before.  I realized that it had been hidden all summer by the trees.   Now that the leaves were falling, it became visible.   As I continued, I saw many other things "uncovered" by the falling leaves... houses that I knew were there, but could not see; smaller trees and bushes that were not visible when the larger trees around them were in full bloom; trails in the woods become more visible; even the landscape is easier to see all the dips and rises.   

And another aspect of autumn that I have always known but not really contemplated much...  that what appears to be dead is really just resting, rebuilding and preparing to bring forth new and more abundant life in another season.

So how does this apply spiritually?   Have you ever had a vision/dream seemingly die?   I have.   There have been several times that God gave me a vision for something... a ministry, a business, a passion for new outlets of creativity... many different visions.   Often, there comes a period when it seems as if that vision is not going to come to pass and I've asked the Lord, "I was so sure that was from you, God.  What happened?"  I begin to doubt myself, my ability, doubt if I heard correctly, doubt the way I was going about it, etc...

Then, later the vision comes to life again.  It begins to grow, then blossom, then become fruitful.   Most often when I've completely given up on it!  :)

When I look back on the season between the birth of the vision and the fruition of the vision, I see a season that to the human eyes looked dead.  But with spiritual eyes I see many things that were 'uncovered'.  Areas I needed to grow in.  Things that needed to be removed and make way for new things.  Times when the Lord was rebuilding for even bigger and better things to come.

So, I can genuinely now say, "I LOVE Autumn!  It means God is making way for incredible growth and new life!"   I welcome His caring, shaping, removing, changing of me.  It's another step closer to being like Him.

How about you?   It may be easy to Love the earthly autumn but have you come to a place of loving your spiritual autumns as well?

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,  being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;  Philippians 1:3-6

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A New Day!

Hey!   Once again... it's been too long since I've posted anything.   Not for lack of nudging by the Lord, simply a lack of obedience and an excuse of time!  But.. today's the day!   And I have the perfect post for this NEW DAY!, which I'll share in just a moment.  :)    First, a little note for those of you that are new to my blog....  I started this blog several years ago as a way to share myself with my business partners that were out of town and most of whom I've never met in person.   It transformed into a place to encourage other women in my shoes... stay at home moms/homeschooling moms.   Then it transformed into a public journal of sorts...  What's the point in God transforming us if we don't go and help others do the same?   And that's where I continue.  Since it has been so long, I spent some time this morning updating the blog and reading old posts.   Ahhh... a written archive of just how much God's changed me over the last few years.   If you decide to read old posts... I encourage you to start at the oldest and read on up... you will hopefully see the transforming as well!   And that is my prayer for each one of us... that we are constantly being made new, growing in understanding of the mysteries of God, growing in awareness to our surroundings, growing in love for our Savior and for each other!  Forever changing to His image!   Love to you all!

Now... here's the way my day started...

Nope, first a small amount of background... for the past 2 years I have been driving my husband to work 3 days a week. (a 45min drive 1-way = 3hrs driving/day)   The reasons are a story for another day, so I will suffice to say, it's not because I want to or even choose to but because I love him enough to.

Ok... back to this morning.  Wakened while it's still dark to "You awake?  It's time."   First thought... "Ugh, this is getting old and I don't wanna any more."  (Yes, it was with a thought, not verbalized for husband to hear.  But God knows our thoughts before we even have them.  And, yes, it was in a whining 2 yr old voice).    Determined not to be snotty or make him late, I got up, got moving and headed out.   As we were driving down our road, the sun was just beginning to paint the sky in glorious colors.  I could tell it would be a beautiful sunrise.   This... just a fleeting thought as I went back to wallow in my own self-pity.   On we drove with the sunrise at our backs and the beauty and message NOT on my mind.  

I dropped him off, turned around and headed for home.    What awaited me as I turned the first corner was a brilliant, colorful, amazing reminder that this was a NEW DAY!
Yes.. I stopped to take the picture!  :)

I was not only reminded of it being a New Day, but was reminded of a message this week about being Thankful.   OUCH!   I had not started my day thankful, nor had I remembered the blessings I've had in these driving times for the last 2 years.  I have spent many wonderful hours alone with the Lord... worshiping, praying, seeing His creation.   Other things I'd neglected to be thankful for this morning... I have a newer, safe, good-running car; I am able to rise each day and take on whatever tasks lie before me; I have family and friends that are more than willing to help when needed; I have a husband who is able to work and he has a great job to go to every day; and on, and on, and on.
So.. I asked the Lord to forgive me, then I spent the ride home enjoying the view and thanking the Lord for many things.

And, I prayed for all the other souls driving with me.... many of whom, I would guess, starting their day just like I had.  Grumpy, sleepy and ungrateful.   I asked the Lord to open their eyes to the beauty of the day He'd given us.   I asked Him to remind them, just like He had been loving enough to remind me.. instead of chiding me!

So here's a question... do you wake forgetting the things you have to be thankful for.   Or even worse... getting so involved in the cares of the day, the hustle and bustle of life... that you miss the reminders God puts in front of you?   If you have, I will not chide (for we are all guilty of all things at times), but I will lovingly share God's reminder and encourage you to treasure EVERYTHING around us and become more AWARE as you move through life.

Blessings!!   Geordie