flashthoughts

Posts Tagged ‘church

christmas-every-day-i-wishAfter reading my devotions this morning, as I do every morning, I began to write in my prayer journal. I say it has turned into more of my “thanksgiving journal” than my prayer journal because, most days, I’m simply thanking Him for various things. Lately, most of my actual prayers are not written – for a few different reasons. This morning, however, turned out to be a little different. Oh, it started out the same – my usual “Good morning Father! Thank You for waking me this morning” then I wrote the words “Christmas Eve” and, after that, I really didn’t even know what I was writing until I finished and read back over it. I felt I should share it and I hope it will touch at least one person’s heart and/or life. I am going to simply share exactly what is written in my journal:

Christmas Eve – the day before we celebrate the day of Your earthly birth – when You chose to put aside Your glory and Your Heavenly home to come and dwell among us AS one of us! My mind is hard-pressed to even BEGIN to comprehend the depth of Your love for ME! There are no words and, even if there were, I don’t know that I would be able to get them down on paper. I feel so inadequate and extremely unqualified to even try – so I pray and I ask You to help me live my life in a way that portrays and conveys what there are no words for – a love with no explanation – a love that can not be explained – a love that only You can give! I want my life to be a life that points others to You and honors You in a way no words can and a life that brings glory to Your Name! Without You, I am nothing and worth nothing; but, WITH YOU, I am unstoppable!

Help me to share the TRUE gift of Christmas every minute of my life – every second You give me breath; for I can not even take a breath without You filling my lungs with air! Help me to remember every day I have is a rare and precious gift FROM You and how I choose to use it is my gift TO You. I want to always be able to give You a lovely gift at the end of every day and, without Your help, even that isn’t possible.

My heart is truly overflowing this morning as I look back over this past year and remember all the wonderful “gifts” You have given me:

  • time spent with family & friends
  • growing love from & for my husband
  • a daughter making her way back to You
  • FREEDOM from my fears

and so many more! With You in my life, I truly can have Christmas every day, as can anyone else!

Thank You for all You have spoken to my heart this morning and, for all I have asked this morning, I ask it in the Precious, Holy Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! I love You ūüôā

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.

I think this is my most favorite speech of all time. The fact that it is done by a cartoon character makes no difference to me. I believe it is THE most important speech ever and I pray that you truly know the One that makes Christmas, Christmas. Now, take a minute out of your busy schedule, sit back, relax and breathe for a moment as you listen and are reminded what Christmas IS all about…….

 

I would like to take a few minutes today to say Thank You to someone – My MOM!

52 years ago today she was giving birth to me. I wrote a message on her facebook wall (YES, my MOM has a facebook page *smile*) and I suddenly realized that I wanted EVERYONE to know how much I appreciate her. This is what I wrote on her wall:  

Ahhhhhh – you say you can’t remember things but I bet you remember what you were doing 52 years ago today ūüôā
 
I just want to say THANK YOU for being the wonderful Mom that you are and always have been. Thank you for being willing to take care of me, love me and bring me up in a home full of love. We may not have always had the ‘latest’ or ‘greatest’ of whatever material things were out there, but we ALWAYS had a house FULL of love and caring and those are things that are so much more important than the material stuff. Thank you for loving not only me, but for loving my Daddy and my sister and brothers. Thank you for always showing me that, no matter what else may be going on around us, family is what matters the most. Thank you for ALWAYS showing us Christ’s love – even though you may not have realized you were doing it. And please accept my apology for taking 52 years to say THANK YOU ūüôā
 
I love you Mom!
 
I’m quite sure that during my ‘growing up’ years, I didn’t always feel so thankful to have a Mom and Dad that loved me so much. They loved me enough to care who my friends were, where I was going and how I was spending my time. They loved me enough to punish me when I was disobedient and I believe I am a better person for it. Horror of horrors, YES, they even used the belt on me!!! I grew up in the days when most parents disciplined their children and I am so glad I did.
 
While I don’t really remember it on my own, I know that my older sister has told of how our parents always took us to church – wait – I don’t mean they took us and dropped us off at church – we ALL went to church as a family. Somewhere along the way, though, I think my Dad got hurt and quit going. But that didn’t mean he didn’t love me or the rest of us – he just had to deal with things in his way. I am happy to say that before he died I KNOW that my Dad was at peace with the way things were between him and his Lord and I KNOW that I will see my Daddy again when I get to heaven. I tell you that part so that you can understand¬†what I said to my Mom about always showing us Christ’s love, whether she realized¬†she was doing that or not.
 
My Mom will tell you that she gave her life to the Lord AFTER my Daddy died. Yes, she will tell you how they went to church before and how she THOUGHT she was ‘saved’. But¬†she will also tell you how she¬†realized how wrong she was¬†and that NOW she KNOWS she has a¬†relationship¬† with the Lord that she never had before. What a wonderful feeling to know that I will ALWAYS have my Mom AND my Dad! Death may separate us for a little while, but even that doesn’t change the fact that we will ALL be together FOREVER!
 
WOW! I guess I kind of got ‘off track’ a little bit but ALL those things are why I am able to say Thank You to my Mom today. My Mom still does a lot for me these days – like allowing me to drive her car next week when I have to go to North Carolina for a conference. She is always ready and willing to do whatever she can to help me or any of her children. She is most definitely a very special lady and that is why today, on my birthday, I had to do what I could to give her a little special recognition – even though she will say I shouldn’t have. That’s just another reason I love and thank her so much!
 
What about you? Who is a special person in your life you are thankful for. Take a moment and leave a comment to share with me and others who you are thankful for today and how they have blessed your life.
 
In His Love always ūüôā
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Juke Joint. Bar. Lounge. Beer Joint. I’ve heard¬†this type of establishment called several different names over the years. There was one located on the side of a highway between the little town I lived in (from the time I was in 5th grade) and the town where we always went to shop for groceries and other things. This little establishment was called “The Little Dutchman”. It was there for many years. I’m not sure when it closed, really, but I got married¬†in 1981 and moved away.

I moved back in 1990 and I noticed one day that the establishment that once had been “The Little Dutchman” looked to be coming to life again. I remember driving by and thinking maybe it would be something good this time. Maybe a safe, clean place for teenagers to hang out – like a game room or something. Alas, that wasn’t to be. To my chagrin, it was going to be another “bar”. So sad, I thought, but maybe it won’t last long. I even said a prayer, something to the effect of “Lord, I’m asking You to turn that place into something good. Let this business go OUT of business and bring something good there.”

Sure enough, that little place didn’t last long and it closed down. Not much later, it opened up again. But, to my bitter disappointment, it re-opened as yet another bar. Still, I didn’t really give up hope that one of two things was eventually going to happen. Either that building was going to be torn down one day or it was going to be used for something good. I’m not sure how long it stayed open as the last bar but it wasn’t long. The building sat there empty again and I was beginning to think it would sit there and become dilapidated and have to be torn down one day. But I still remembered that prayer I had prayed asking God to let that building be used for something good.

I am so glad to tell you that driving by that building on my way home from work a week or so ago, I noticed a new sign on it – and that sign said, “COMING SOON – GATEWAY TABERNACLE”

PRAISE THE LORD!!! I just KNEW that building was going to be used for something good one day. Can I tell you it STILL gives me “Holy Ghost” bumps and makes me want to SHOUT when I think that building that once housed the devil and his demons is now FILLED with God and His love? A place once filled with people that were, most likely, feeling as if no one cared and that they had no hope – nowhere to turn and the only thing in that building was something to make that feeling even worse. NOW that building may still have some people enter that are feeling as if no one cares and that they have no hope, HOWEVER, by entering that building they will come to know there is someone that cares and they will be introduced to the One True Hope!

I only wish I were eloquent enough to put into words all that I really feel in my heart when I think about it.

Does it do anything in your Spirit to know that what was once a place of despair and loneliness is now going to be a place of LIFE and HOPE? Please share your thoughts in a comment below. I’d love to hear what you think ūüôā


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