Tag Archive | God

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

This is going to be my shortest blog post yet. Something has been on my mind today and I want to share it with you all. I know what the word PROMISE means in the dictionary and in the Strong’s Concordance. What I want to know is what does it mean to YOU? When you hear the word PROMISE, what does that say to YOU?

I would love to hear some discussion on this. Would you please click below where it says LEAVE A COMMENT and tell me what the word PROMISE means to YOU? This could be very interesting.

Love y’all =)

Advertisements

NEW YEAR OR NEW DAY?

So long 2011. You were not very good to me. I’m glad to see you gone.

I believe 2012 is going to be a better year!

2011 was no friend of mine! I’m glad to see it gone.

The above statements are just some I’ve heard the last few days and yesterday, when I woke up, all the negative statements I’d been hearing were absolutely swirling around in my head! Along with part of a song – and I just didn’t know what to do with it all. It was in the back of my mind all day. I tried to sit down last night and put it into a post; but, still it just wasn’t coming together. I finally gave up and went to bed with this prayer: “Lord, I know You have these thoughts in my head for a reason. Please show me what You want me to do with them.”

This morning He let me know. It was as if He whispered to me “Who or what are you trusting in? Are you trusting in Me or the days on a calendar?” How fitting (and confirming) when I looked at my Promise Calendar today and saw one of the promises on it:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.”

Maybe you had an awful year and are ready for it to be over or maybe you had a great year and are hoping to have another just like it – No matter which category you fit in, would you take a minute to consider something?

Lamentations 3:23
Great is His faithfulness, His mercies begin afresh each morning

It doesn’t matter if we’ve had a good year or a bad year. Why? Because His mercies are new EVERY MORNING! Every time the Lord is gracious enough to allow you to wake up from your sleep, you have a fresh, clean slate to start with. You don’t have to wait an entire year to make a new start. In fact, I am going to do my best to start every morning from now on as a new beginning. After all, that’s what it is.  I am going to put my trust in HIM and not a year on the calendar.

Oh – and the song that was on my mind along with everything else? The part that kept playing over and over in my head was this:

Seek justice,
Love mercy,
Walk humbly with your God.

And, I have to add, that I find it very fitting that as I was sitting here working on this post, I saw a young friend post this as her status on Facebook:

the only way we’ll ever stand is on our KNEES with LIFTED hands …make us courageous

That is another part of the exact same song. The song is COURAGEOUS and is sung by Casting Crowns. If you’ve never heard it, take a minute to not only listen, but REALLY pay attention to the words (which will be on the screen) and let them soak in.

What about you? Don’t you think it would be much better to start new every morning instead of waiting an entire year? Would love to read your thoughts about this in the comments.

WHEN HE SAYS HE LOVES ME

The words that every female (I believe from birth right on up to old age) longs to hear – I LOVE YOU! Those three words seem to hold so much power over our lives. When we are little, we long to hear our Daddy say it to us and it can drastically change our lives depending on whether or not we hear it from him. If we don’t hear it from him, as we get older, it can cause us to go in search of it from anyone and everyone thinking, if we can just find the one that will say it to us, it will make us feel so much better. If we do hear it from our Daddy, it can help us to realize that we are valuable, we do have worth and we are special. That is why, for a little girl, it is so important to know her Daddy loves her. Whether he says it in words or in actions, a little girl needs to know and feel her Daddy loves and cares for her and that he is there to protect her. It will help her, as she gets older, to be better able to accept God’s love for her.

However, sometimes, even though we were blessed with having a Daddy we know loved and cared for us, other things happen still making it hard for us to believe anyone, especially God, could ever, truly love us. If you read My Story, you know why I had trouble with this. However, in reading My Testimony you get to see how wonderful it was when God revealed to me that He does indeed love me and I actually GOT it!

Since that time, I have come to realize He shows me in so many ways every day just how much He truly loves me, if only I take the time to pay attention and be aware. Some days it may be something as simple as my cats snuggling close and loving on me or seeing a beautiful sunrise in the sky or having a friend give a compliment that seems to make the day brighter. But then, every once in a while, He tells me in a really big, huge, GOD kind of way. A way that leaves absolutely NO misunderstanding that it is Him saying very loudly and clearly to me – I LOVE YOU!

In fact, this happened very recently and I wanted to share this on my blog last Monday but, to be honest, I was still in such awe and wonderment from it that I truly could not even put two words together. Even remembering and thinking about it as I’m trying to write this has me overcome once again with the enormity of His love for ME making it still hard to write, so please be patient as I try to tell you how it came about.

My sister is the music minister at her church about 35 miles away from  where I live but only about 10 miles from where I work. They are a very small church with a very small choir. A few months ago she was telling me about having the choir over to her house so they could select the Christmas Cantata they wanted to do at their church this year. Once they had selected their cantata, she asked if I would like to help them out. Since they were going to practice on Wednesday nights and our church doesn’t have service on Wednesday nights, and since they were going to have the cantata on a Sunday night and our church doesn’t have Sunday night service, I told her I would.

Then, I became a part of a new Life Group that was starting at my church. I wish I had time to tell you all the things that have happened to bring all this together in such a GOD way, but you will just have to trust me when I tell you I know, beyond the shadow of any doubt, God Himself ordained this group and He knew exactly who He wanted to be a part of it. Our group consists of six married couples, one lady (who is married but her husband can’t attend church due to disability) and two women who have recently been through divorce through no choosing of their own.

We meet on the second and fourth Sunday evenings each month. When we met on Nov. 27, I was planning to suggest that we have our next meeting at my sister’s church – in other words, I was going to invite them to come hear the cantata since it would be our night to get together. However, before I had a chance to do that, our group leader announced that for our next meeting we would be caroling and handing out the flyers to gather information from people that needed Christmas dinner delivered to them. After caroling, they would be going to fellowship at Don and Phyllis’ home. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed – but mostly because I couldn’t be there to help out and take part in the caroling. I told them I wouldn’t be able to help and told them why and I thought no more about it.

Little did I know what God had planted in their hearts and minds! I truly wish that someone could have taken a picture of my face when I saw it because I KNOW it was full of surprise! I was at my sister’s church and we were getting ready for the cantata to start. It was still a few minutes til time to begin and people were still coming in. I looked up and I know my chin must have almost hit the floor as my mouth opened wide in amazement! Every person in our Life Group was walking in the door!!! I guess it’s a good thing I was so surprised or I would have been crying my eyes out! Never in my life did I expect that to happen. Seems they all got together (behind my back) and decided to surprise me. They came up with a new plan to head straight for the cantata as soon as they finished caroling. They will never know how much it touched my heart to know they would drive that distance. Not one person stayed behind. They ALL came to show their love and support for me.

While I know they did this because we all truly love and care for each other in this group, I know it was also God’s way of showing me yet again how much HE truly loves me. I believe that is one of THE biggest “I love you”s that He has ever given me and I just had to share it.

What are some ways that God tells or shows you that He loves you? Do you take time to notice the small things He does to try and show you? Would you share it here in a comment? Maybe He told you in a special way, even as recently as today, that He loves you? I hope you will take a minute to share what He’s been doing in your life. I’d love to hear about it.

GOD NEVER WASTES A HURT – MY STORY

God never wastes a hurt: I borrowed that line from Celebrate Recovery because it is SO true!

I was born inPensacola,Florida. I have an older sister and brother and a younger brother. I was also blessed with the most wonderful parents a person could have, too. When I was in the first grade, my parents moved us all to Bay Minette,Alabama. I finished first grade there and continued through third grade. Then, we moved again during the summer and I attendedCrossroadsSchoolfor the fourth grade. During those years I don’t remember being really introverted. I guess I wasn’t what you would call extremely ‘outgoing’ but I had a lot of friends and enjoyed spending time with them.

Then it happened. We made what would turn out to be our last move for many, many years. During the summer before my fifth grade year we moved to a very small town, which wasn’t so bad until school started. That is when everything began to change for me. It’s true the last school I had been in was a small school, also. However, everyone was just as friendly as could be and it was not a problem. This new school was very different though. If you didn’t have one of a few certain last names or if you weren’t there from Day One, you were considered a nobody and you were treated as such by most of the kids. That is when I experienced what Sheri Rose Shepherd calls “Identity Theft”. (If you don’t know anything about Sheri Rose, please go check her out by clicking on her name.) I allowed the things they said about me and the names they called me to define who I was. I realize now, that I was not ‘outgoing’ enough to stand up and defend myself against the verbal attacks, so I chose to withdraw instead. Since we didn’t move any more, I attended that school through the ninth grade, which was as far as it went. In tenth grade, everyone that lived in our area attended the high school in Bay Minette. I was happy to be going back to that school. I had loved it when I was there in elementary school. Unfortunately, things weren’t like they were when I attended elementary school. One bright note, though, was that in tenth grade I reconnected with a friend from third grade. She actually remembered me (though I’m not sure I remembered her – lol) and we became very good friends and still are to this day, even though she now lives far away inVirginia. I miss you, Denise!

I guess I should also say that at some point in my junior high years, I asked Jesus into my heart. I can’t remember exactly how old I was or what grade I was in and I don’t remember the exact date; but, I can tell you to this day who was standing beside me because I remember asking her if she wanted to go with me. She was afraid to go; but, I went anyway. Back then the only thing that was talked about was ‘getting saved’, being baptized, becoming a member of the church and then a long list of DON’Ts! You didn’t hear anything about having a RELATIONSHIP with Christ like we do now.

I graduated in 1977 and was sure life would get better once I could be out on my own. Wrong! It’s sad to say, but like so many others, I was still suffering from my identity theft. I had been treated like I didn’t matter and been shown that I wasn’t wanted around for so long, that I believed that as truth. I naturally assumed that I wasn’t wanted anywhere and that no one, other than family, wanted me around.

In November 1980 I met the man that would become my husband. He was in the Air Force and on his way to Japan when we met. He came to visit me in February 1981, asked me to marry him and we were married that same month before he had to go back to Japan. Yes, I did love him and still do; but, I didn’t really have a relationship with the Lord then and I never even thought about asking Him if this is what I was supposed to do. I went to church and called myself a Christian but, as I said before, I had no clue what a relationship with Him was like. Anyway, even though I was ‘in love’, I think the main reason I agreed to marry him so soon is because I was surprised that anyone would even want to marry me. After all, I thought I was “not wanted” for so many years that I think I was truly afraid that no one else would ever ask me and I wanted to be married and have children. That’s what most young women want, right?

So, we were married and he went back to Japan until September. Then he was assigned to a base in Georgia and he came home and we moved to Georgia. We were married for ten years and had a beautiful daughter in the fourth year of our marriage. Many things happened that led to the death of our marriage but I am glad to say that God has brought us back to the place where we can be friends again.

I moved back home to Alabama in July 1990 and my Dad helped me find a house for myself and Jessica (my daughter) and it was just us two for the next fourteen years. Jessica graduated in 2004 and after that she made some not-so-wise choices that eventually led to her moving to Georgia to live with her Dad and Stepmom sometime in 2006. On July 20th of that same year, God FINALLY got through to my heart. If you want to read about that, just go to My Testimony page and it is there. For this posting, I will just tell you that is when I had the most wonderful experience that I can EVER remember. That is the night when I finally understood that God TRULY loved me for ME and that it was okay for me to love me and that He just might have someone else out there that would love me.

In April 2007, He introduced me to Jeffery Champion. We became friends and that is all I was interested in being. One night as we were talking on the phone, Jeff said something that I didn’t react to very well. He said something along the lines of he just might have to “court” me. I let him know in no uncertain terms that I was not interested in that. However, that night as I lay in my bed trying to go to sleep, I was reminded of the prayer I had prayed back on July 20, 2006. I told the Lord, “I’m open to whatever it is You have in store for me.” And I really felt like He was asking me why I had been so quick to reject Jeff. Like He was asking me if I meant what I said to Him in my prayer. So, the next time I spoke to Jeff, I apologized for what I had said and told him I would be open to the idea, if he was truly interested. As you can tell from my name, he was interested – lol. This time it was totally different for me. I truly felt that the Lord had put us together. To this day, I still believe that. However, I also know that the Lord is a gentleman and will NOT override man’s (or woman’s) free will. One month before our first year anniversary, Jeff decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. Instead of celebrating our first anniversary on April 8, 2008, I was served with divorce papers toward the end of that month. I went through all the emotions – anger, sadness, guilt and I even grieved for a time. We didn’t actually go to court for the divorce until over a year later. The day before our court date, I spent the entire day in the prayer room at church and asked God to show me what I needed to do. I pleaded with Him to save my marriage, if it was at all possible. He gave me words from many different scriptures that day and through other means, also. I knew what I was to do. The next day at the courthouse, Jeff and I were given time to talk with each other, alone, to see if we could come to an agreement on our own. I had several things I shared with him that I felt led to share and I also offered to quit my State job, only five years away from retirement, and move to Georgia with him, if he really felt that was where he was supposed to be. But he wanted no part of it – or he wanted no part of me anyway. Once again, I was being rejected. It seemed no matter how hard I tried or what I did, I just wasn’t good enough one more time.

There was one thing a little bit different this time, though. The month after Jeff left, God began showing me that I was not alone. He used many different ways to let me know there are SO many hurting women out there. So many of us that have believed the lie of shyness and “you’re not good enough” from the enemy for many years. This gave me a strength and a courage that I never had before. I began to feel that He was calling me to do something. I had no idea what, but SOMETHING. I felt He was getting me ready for a new direction in some type of ministry – women’s ministry maybe. I’m still not completely sure what He has in mind, but since I began going to Celebrate Recovery, it may be something there. I always joke and say the Lord ‘tricked’ me into going to Celebrate Recovery (CR) because I went with someone else to support them. I thought I didn’t have any reason to be going to CR since I’d never had a problem with drugs or alcohol or anything like that. I did not realize that it was about so much more than that. It’s not just for people who have had or have addictions – it’s for ANYONE that has ever suffered a hurt or hang-up as well.

Just want to insert a little note here – when I was growing up, my family, and everyone else for that matter, called me Kathy. Well, the first job I had in Georgia was in a small office (three people) and there was already a ‘Kathy’ that worked there. They asked would I mind if they called me Kathryn to keep everything straight and I said I didn’t mind at all. Then, the next job I took in Georgia had a similar situation so I continued to go by Kathryn. I never really thought much about this until I was working through the Step Studies with CR. The Lord showed me that the reason I like going by my given name, Kathryn, instead of my nickname, Kathy, is because I associate the nickname with the rejection I received when I was in school. Yes, my family mostly still calls me by my nickname and that doesn’t really bother me so much, but it’s nice to understand why I now prefer to be called by my given name, Kathryn.

God is where I get my strength but He is helping me learn how to do that even better by going through the step studies at Celebrate Recovery. He has surrounded me with people that I know truly care about me. Even though I had a church where I was happy and ‘comfortable’, He wanted me to grow even more. He wanted to ‘stretch’ me and He gave me a new church family at Grace Fellowship. As I look back, I believe that was just the beginning of Him continuing to give me the strength needed for my journey.

Anyway, that’s kind of where I am today – still trying to be available to Him and be sensitive to where He is calling and leading me. I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I’m “over it” now because I’m not. I still battle with my automatic assumption that people don’t want me around, though I am working on it and making some progress. I still battle the enemy when he starts telling me his lies such as, “You don’t need to go to that gathering. They don’t want you there. They’ll never even know if you don’t go. They certainly won’t miss you. A blog? What? You really think you have anything worth saying? You’re not a blogger. You don’t write every day. No one cares what you have to say. You don’t even know how to explain or express yourself very well. Why would you even want to try that? A leader? HA! You have never been a leader. What in the world would make you think you could do that? You aren’t good enough.”

But now it is much easier for me to recognize his lies and now I have scriptures and songs stored up to come back with.  One of my favorite verses to come back at the enemy with is: Out of all the people on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen ME to be His treasured possession. ~ Deuteronomy 14:2 (NIV – and I changed the word ‘you’ to ‘me’) and my favorite song to come back with is “Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns.

I am learning to count my small victories – every Sunday that I make it to church instead of giving in to the enemy’s lie that no one would miss me if I didn’t go, that is a victory for me and Jesus! Every time that I attend a gathering with the church or even with family, that is a victory for me and Jesus! Every time I go to a Life Group (or small group) meeting, that is a victory for me and Jesus! Every time I attend CR and plow through yet another CR Step Study, that is a victory for me and Jesus! I may get to events or gatherings really early, because I have learned that it is easier for me to be there ahead of the ‘crowd’, but as long as I make it there, that is a victory!

He is doing this for me and I know He can do it for you, too! Do you have anything that you are strugglinig with? Give it to Him and He will show you the way through it. If you’ve never accepted His gift of salvation to you, then why not do it now? You will see that, while life won’t become easy all of a sudden, it is much easier WITH Him than without Him. I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know if my story helped you in any way or just to know that you even read it – lol (oops! Yep, guess the ol’ enemy tried to sneak in there again and make me wonder why I think anyone would even read this anyway!) But, you know what? Even if there isn’t one single person that reads this, it doesn’t matter. It has helped me just to be able to write it and get it out there.

For those of you that did make it through my story, thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you have any questions for me or comments, I would love to hear them.

Love y’all!

BUGS…..AND GOD

When I left work Tuesday afternoon I was fighting back tears – trying not to give in to the attack that I felt sure the enemy was making on me. I got in my car and noticed there was a bug on my windshield (outside) directly in my field of vision. I thought, “Well, you won’t be there long,” and started on my way. I was too busy trying to figure out why I was being attacked and trying to ‘rationalize’ the attack in my head – you know, ‘Ok. I get it. I understand what’s going on. This is what happened and I’m NOT gonna let it get to me. I am NOT going to cry.’

I got through town and was on the 25 minute stretch headed home. Even though I had let a few tears fall as I was getting through town and heading out, I had it under control now. I was gonna be just fine. Yeah, right! As soon as I thought that, the floodgates opened! LOL I was not just crying – I was sobbing! “Oh poor me! Why does the enemy have to attack me like this? It’s just not fair! I’ve been trying SO hard to do better! Lord, don’t You see? You KNOW I’ve been doing much better and really improved – a LOT! Right? So, why do I feel so awful because I messed up again? Is it because I’m in Celebrate Recovery and trying my best to learn how to deal with all this ‘junk’ from the past? Is it because I finally NAMED my fear and so now it’s being thrown at me from ALL directions? If so, then I don’t know if I want to continue! This is too hard! It hurts too much! Maybe I should just give up!” (All of this while sobbing, uncontrollably)

At this point, I noticed the bug was STILL hanging on to my windshield and it was as if the Lord spoke into my spirit, “See how that bug is hanging on for dear life to your windshield? I want you to hang on to ME like that. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. I’m here for you and I will see you through this. But this is going to be a process and you will HAVE to be willing to hang on to Me just like that bug is hanging on to your windshield. I’ve got you. I’m not gonna let you go.”

WOW! Okay, Father. I’m hanging on but I’m gonna need Your  help. Some days, like today, I feel like the enemy is snatching me away and that I just can’t hold on any longer. But as long as You have me in Your hand, I know I’ll be okay. You will continue to give me strength and help me hold on.

Then about ten minutes away from my house, I was watching the bug and still being amazed at how it was hanging on and then………..it let go! It got THAT close to being home and it let go! It was as if something just snatched it right off the windshield. Again, I felt the Lord whispering to my spirit, “See? Don’t be like that bug. Don’t be SO close to getting ‘home’ with dealing with this fear only to let go and give up and be consumed by it again. Don’t let go. I’ve got you and I’M not letting go of you so don’t you let go of Me either.”

I’m not gonna let go, Father. I want to keep clinging to You! I WANT to learn how to deal with this and still be a shining light for You, whether this ‘thorn’ is ever removed from me or not. Thank You, Father, for reminding me that YOU are with me and that You won’t leave me. As long as I hold on to You, I will make it through this. And thank You for leading me straight to these verses when I got home:

My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are One. ~ John 10:27-30 (emphasis mine because that is the part that really grabbed me)

So, no matter how hard the enemy may want and try to “snatch” me (or you) from the Father, he can NOT do it! As long as I (or you) hold on, He will not let go of us.

What about you? Has there ever been a time when you just felt like letting go and giving up? Would you leave a comment and share what inspired you to keep going and keep holding on? I’d love to hear it.

TEARS ARE A LANGUAGE

I’ve been ‘pondering’ about tears for quite a while. Why do we shed tears? What purpose do they serve? I’m quite sure there are scientific reasons; but, I’m speaking more about what is in our heart when we shed tears? Obviously, I can only speak for myself and I can tell you there are many reasons that I shed tears.

I am a frequent tear shedder. It doesn’t take much to get them started in me. I shed tears when I’m happy, excited, upset, angry, overwhelmed, hurt or sad for myself or for someone else. I can even shed tears and not even know why! As I was thinking about trying to post something about this, a song kept coming to my mind – it’s an oldie, so I don’t know how many of you reading this may have heard it. If you have never heard Tears Are A Language God Understands click on the song title and it will take you to the lyrics. Tears are definitely a language and not just one that God understands but one that I’m sure all of us in this “group” can understand. Whether you are one that sheds a lot of tears outwardly or whether you shed your tears inwardly, you still understand and know what they speak for you and I’m sure you have a pretty good idea what they speak for others that are drawn here.

I believe tears are a way of cleansing your soul.While texting with a friend today, I mentioned I was wanting to do a study of Tears. Before I could tell her the direction I was thinking in (cleansing), this is what she wrote back: tears are beautifu l– cleansing to the soul — funny how Mary’s tears cleansed her own soul more than Jesus’ feet. (Luke 7:38)  Coincidence? No – I don’t believe in that. I do believe in GODincidences though. I told her that I took her word as confirmation that I was to write this.

I believe that our tears cleanse our very soul and allow God to pour more love straight into our heart. That is why the picture I used for this post just jumped out at me when I saw it. Did you notice that the pupil of the eye is in the shape of a heart? That was the first thing I saw. As we are pouring our tears out to Him, He bottles them up and records every one and pours more of His love straight into our heart. You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book. ~Psalm 56:8 (NLT) And I also love how it is written in The Message~”You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in Your ledger, each ache written in Your book.”

So, the next time you find yourself shedding tears – whether on the outside or the inside – just remember that they are never wasted. Your Father knows of and saves every one and He knows every situation that caused each individual, single tear. He loves you with an everlasting love and will never leave you or forsake you.

Do you agree? Do you feel your tears serve a different purpose than what I mentioned here? I would love to hear your thoughts on  the subject in a comment here.