21 June 2012


Yesterday ended last night ...

This is such a critical time and the need to remain forward-focused has never been greater. The children of Israel still had to fight once they stepped into their promised land. There was no time for investing countless moments in the past (positively or negatively).

Are there things you wish you had done differently? Know that you cannot change the last five seconds, five minutes or five hours - let alone five weeks or years. Let it go. Forget those things which are behind and press forward. Place the entire matter in the restorative hands of God Almighty, repent where needed, learn in all matters and move forward in grace.

Are there accomplishments that have warmed your heart? Forget those too. Now is not the time to rest on the laurels of past victories. Certainly there is a time and place for reflection and even celebration. Yet, I must realize there is new territory to take every day and, in the words of famed poet Robert Frost, 'Many miles to go before I sleep'.

With that said,
Charge at the day knowing ...
  • We are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:37)
  • No weapon formed against us shall prosper (Is. 54:17)
  • Greater is He in us than he that is in the world (I Jn. 4:4)
  • God is working all things together for the good (Rom. 8:28)
We are His special treasure and have been graced to face each day with confident boldness. We have an assuredness and we declare rather than question, 'if God be for us, who can ever stand against us?' (Rom. 8:31)

'For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the earth
that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.'
II Chronicles 16:9

Have a Blessed Day!

19 June 2012

un buen dia

A Good Day ...

Today was a good day.

Actually, I've been experiencing quite a few of those lately. Just Sunday, the LORD made provision for a very specific need within my family (and He did it through two sisters at my church). By the way, we moved into our building on Sunday. It was such a blessed time - reflecting on the faithfulness of God, standing in the promise and being reminded that what He promises, He fulfills. Then to top it off, my biological sister dropped by with a special treat that I had been wanting. Needs and wants supplied by God, through His obedient servants. Magnificent ...

Well the blessing just continued today. I took my youngest son to the doctor this morning. He has been diagnosed with a severe case of scoliosis and he had to go for a follow-up today. They checked his x-rays and checked his back and advised that he would not need to wear the brace anymore and that they were not recommending surgery at this time ... they were just going to keep on monitoring him. However, his back is still curved 39-degrees (they recommend surgery for curvatures that are 40-degrees or greater). So, even as I celebrated the good report for today, I was still praying for his back to be straightened.

Well, tonight I was sitting in my living room watching a Christian television program. They were talking about the power of worship. And by worship, the focus was not strictly on singing or playing instruments. They were discussing how we live and conduct ourselves daily as an act of worship and also 'clapping'. Well, the host of the show starts clapping (as an act of spiritual warfare, coming against the enemy).

So my son starts clapping in response to what the host is doing. Truthfully, I think he was doing it in gest - but he was clapping nonetheless. Then the host suddenly stops clapping and states, 'And this is what I'm hearing ... somebody's back has just been healed ... the spine is being aligned and made perfectly straight.'

I let out a shout!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was so loud that I think I need to pray for my son's hearing now.
I cannot wait to see the complete manifestation of his healing. Praise God!!!!!

You just have to smile at times like that ...

'O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph'
Psalm 47:1

17 June 2012

Father's Day 2012

Happy Father's Day!

What a wonderful day ...
I actually found myself wishing the LORD 'Happy Father's Day' several weeks ago. I am so thankful that He has been a Father to me and to my children. I am so blessed to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. Some days, just the thought of that overwhelms me.

The Word states that children are a blessing from the LORD ... happy is the man whose quiver is full of them (Ps. 127:3-5).' So much truth in those words. When I think about our world, I can't help but to reflect on the vital role that a father plays - creating a secure environment, providing wisdom/direction and helping children to establish there identity in the earth. It is such an important responsibility yet often goes without the recognition or respect that it truly deserves. You have the unique opportunity/privilege of giving a child their first sense of what is like to be in relationship with God the Father. I honor you fathers today!

John 15:13 tells us, 'Greater love hath no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.' Outside of those men who are father's by birth, there is a another special group that deserves recognition today. There is an elite group of individuals out there and something must be done to acknowledge those who will lay down their lives daily to be a father to those with whom they have no biological connection. These elect group of gentlemen have made a concious decision to play a vital and effective role in the lives of young men and women. Despite the fact that they did not play a role in the birth of an individual, they assume the awesome responsibility of playing a role in the WORTH of an individual. They pour out their lives daily and they give glimpses of what it is like to be loved by GOD. So to all the step-fathers, pastors, mentor, teachers, coaches, foster dads and those who have adopted children as their very own - Thank you and God bless you!

Last, but certainly not least, I take time to acknowledge and celebrate the moms who have had to become dads. All across this earth, there are moms who work double-duty, donning the shoes of both father and mother. Some are in that position because they had children outside of marriage. Some find themselves in that position because of a divorce. Sadly many are in that place because of the death of a much-beloved father. And there are still others who temporarily have to assume that role while the actual father is away (defending a country or working in another location so that he can financially support his family). Whatever the reason, it is never easy to have to be both man and woman to children who are in need. It is a tremendous job - one that requires constant commitment, ingenuity, strength and selflessness ... and a ton of prayer. It is often an 'unsung' position (as is fatherhood in general). Yet those who are on the receiving end are blessed in ways that you can never fully know or appreciate. Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you shall recognize and reap the fruit of all your labors. I speak blessings over you and pray that God would supply every need (spiritually, emotionally, physically, finacially and relationally)!

No matter who you are or how you came to assume the role of FATHER know that you make a difference!

Happy Father's Day ... Have a Blessed One!

08 June 2012

Make Some Sunshine!

'... I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.' Habakkuk 3:18


So much purpose in three simple yet powerful words

I           : the one who is speaking or writing [personal accountability]

WILL    : to determine by an act of choice

JOY     : (noun) happiness, felicity, bliss delight
            : (verb) experience great pleasure or delight
I will joy in my life
I have determined by an act of my choice that it will be part of my life, regardless of my circumstances

I will joy in the LORD
By a determined act of my choice, I will experience great pleasure and delight in the God of my salvation.

A wonderfully empowering choice that is available to each of us

My day and my life will always bring 'unscripted' surprises
Yet I am the author of my attitude

Lately, I keep finding myself humming the words to a song that was played in a Lowe's commercial. For all of my international readers, Lowe's is a home improvement store. Their goal (of course) is to get you in their store, puchasing all the necessary supplies to make your home and yard beautiful. Yet, they have inspired me on a completely different level.

So I went in search of (and found) the song online. I've shared it below because I think it perfectly captures what I've been feeling for the past few weeks and what I am trying to convey today.

Sunshine by Alyssa Bonagura


07 June 2012

about this time next year ....

'...about this time next year...' Gen. 18:10

They were facing a seemingly impossible situation
Sarah ... well past child-bearing age
Abraham ... ninety-nine years old

But they had a promise from the LORD ... a promise that He would radically change their situation

I am certain it was exciting, intimidating, awe-inspiring, joyful and frightening all at the same time. To have a promise from God is a powerful thing. For we know 'God is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?' (Num. 23:19)

Even so, the road to travel from promise to fruition can be an adventurous and one - and so much more when the promise is not as specific as the one that Abraham and Sarah received.

The past few days have been times of tremendous reflection for me.
About this time last year ... actually, exactly this time last year ... I was moving out of my home of fourteen years. I had been out of work for over two years after my position was eliminated. My fridge had broken, the air conditioning hadn't worked in a couple of years and the temperatures were unbearable. We had no finances, no where to go and family relations were strained (to put it mildly). I recall vividly, sitting at the storage facility with my three sons that evening ... trying to figure out where we were going to spend the night. I can still go back to that moment of relief, when we entered a small hotel room (Min-Pin in tow). With all of the packing and moving, I think I had not had a chance to be still for the two weeks leading up to that time. Odd, that I was out of my home, living day to day, but I had peace. The worst that I could have imagined, had actually happened and we were all still alive, well and together.

Now, I did not have an 'about this time next year' promise
But, I did have a promise from the LORD ...

'I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.' Jer. 29:11

The following weeks and months would find us needing to move out of the hotel once the funds ran out and unable to find room at any of the shelters that I contacted. Yet God was still faithful. With most of my belongings in storage and no permanent place to call home, we never spent a night without a roof over our heads. We ended up staying at my sister's for three months.

It is now 'this time next year'...
And the past year has been full of ups and downs, twists and turns:
  • My van (which had been sitting inoperable in my driveway) worked long enough to get us around for the week after we moved out. Then it failed inspection and sat (again inoperable) in sister's driveway the entire summer.
  • My ex-husband then gave his truck to my oldest son so that we would have some sort of transportation
  • Then I got rear-ended by a huge truck while driving my son's vehicle
  • I got temporary employment and we were finally able to move into an apartment just as we were getting ready to move back into a hotel
  • Less than one month after we moved in, someone tried to break in - busting my son's bedroom window. Thankfully, my neighbor drove up just as they were breaking the window and he ran them off.
  • My son's truck got struck again while it was in the campus garage - hit and run
  • Twice my sons had to pay the rent because I simply did not have enough resources. That was humbling and beautiful at the same time. To see their selflessness and how much they've matured.
  • Then someone from my church gave me $1200 to get my car back on the road. It was exactly what I needed. Yet, when I went to the shop they said, 'Your car is fine you; it will only cost you the price of the inspection.' I couldn't believe it. After having my car sit the entire summer, to be told nothing was wrong with it.
  • When I went to give the money back to the couple and explained what happened with the van, they told me to keep it. I then felt led to give it away.
  • Immediately after I gave it, the transmission on the van started acting up and I ultimately had to sell the van to avoid homeless again.
  • My middle son purchased a vehicle on his own. I was so excited for him!
  • Less than one month later, he was hit by a huge SUV. His vehicle was totalled but he walked away without a scratch or as much as a headache. Praise God! And he got back into another car about one month ago ... better than his first one
I can't begin to tell you how many of my talks with the LORD have started, 'Really God?! Really?!' Yet, He truly is working all things together for the good.

  • My oldest son is starting his senior year of college in the fall
  • My middle son will be a sophmore in college
  • And the youngest son all grown up (height and maturity) will be finishing up high school.
  • On the birthday of my youngest last month, I found myself praising God. Three sons, grown up and so precious to me ... what a blessing. I could not have done it without the LORD. He is truly a Father to the fatherless.
  • Family relations are mending
  • And I've been able to continue attending and serving in my home church (even the days when I had to walk to get there). We're moving into our building on June 17th!

It has been quite a journey...
I have grown tremendously
My life is governed by peace
I have learned to laugh a lot more!
I have a permanent position (got hired in February)
And I am writing this post, from my air-conditioned apartment ... where it is small ... but we are alive, well and together. I am truly blessed!

I praise God for His faithfulness
Although there are still many needs .... much has changed in the past year
I know my best days are not behind me ... they are right out in front of me

Jesus is my hope, and His prayers have accomplished His will ... that my faith would not fail.
I am still growing, still trusting, still standing, still singing, still smiling and holding fast to the faith that I profess.

I am feeling .... Thankful!

I would love to hear something that God has done for you this past year (or month, or week). Please, take a minute and leave a brief message. God's Word tells us that we overcome by the word of our testimony, and we do. However, we also overcome by the word of others' testimony ... and they by ours. So take some time to share what God has done and what He's doing in your life ... if not here, somewhere, with someone. It will encourage your faith and theirs.

Take Care and God Bless!

04 June 2012


MEETING MINUTES                           

TIME:                 All the Time
DATE:                 Everyday
AGENDA:         Praise, Honor Worship
ATTENDEES:  GOD's Faithful, Jehovah

'Then those whose lives honored God got together and talked it over. God saw what they were doing and listened in. A book was opened in God's presence and minutes were taken of the meeting, with the names of the God-fearers written down, all the names of those who honored God's name.

[Then] God-of-the-Angel-Armies said, "They're mine, all mine. They'll get special treatment when I go into action. I treat them with the same consideration and kindness that parents give the child who honors them. Once more you'll see the difference it makes between being a person who does the right thing and one who doesn't, between serving God and not serving Him." Malachi 3:16-18 MSG