From Turtle to Butterfly

Posts Tagged ‘Prayer

07-31-20 - LAST BUT NOT LEASTDay 31 of my birthMONTH celebration. Well, today is the last ‘official’ day of my birthMONTH celebration. My plan was to save the best for last, but since I missed a few days and still have a few others on my list I haven’t been able to share yet, it may not actually be my ‘last post’ like this. However, today IS the last day in my ‘official’ birth month, so I’m still sharing about this person today.

I met this person in my early teens and we have continued to stay in touch ever since. I really don’t even know where to begin sharing about what a difference this person has made in my life, but I’m gonna do my best to start at the beginning and go from there. As I said, we met when I was in my early teens. Our relationship then was tenuous but has grown oh so much over the years! This person has definitely made a difference in so many areas of my life!

I started writing this early this morning (around 4:00) but didn’t get to finish. Now here it is, 11:49 p.m., which means I probably won’t finish until after midnight, making it August 1st, but that’s okay, too.

This is probably the one that should be the easiest to share about and, yet, there is so much to share, it’s hard to get it condensed down. Truth is, I don’t want to condense it, but it is necessary that I do or it would be way too long for anyone to read.

This person has taught me about kindness, compassion, love, hope, forgiveness, God, humility, serving others and the list goes on and on. This person not only continues to teach me about these things, He was the absolute, only PERFECT living example of everything He taught.

His name is Jesus and oh, how I wish I had known earlier what it meant to have a relationship with Him. You see, I asked Him to come into my heart when I was in my early teens. I remember the church I was in and the person who was standing beside me before I walked down that aisle. But, even though I asked Him into my heart that day, it was many years ago and not much was taught in those days about having a relationship with Him. It was more like, okay, you’re a Christian now so here’s a list of things you do and a list of things you don’t do – no, I wasn’t actually given a list, it just seemed that way, as I look back on it.

Fast forward to July 2006, though, and that is when I actually began building a relationship with Jesus. I can remember it like it was yesterday, yet it’s been 14 years and so much growth has happened since then. Oh, how He has changed me, changed my heart and my whole outlook over the last 14 years. He continues to grow me, stretch me beyond anything I could ever imagine and……that comfort zone I used to live in? Please! It’s been so long since I lived there, I barely even remember it! I truly never want to live there again! Sure, it was nice and comfortable and I sort of knew what to expect, but nothing grew there. It was all stagnant and had no room for growth.

We are living in the days where we (especially Christians) could very well have to make some really tough choices. We can’t wait until it’s time to make that choice to decide what we will do. We have to choose NOW – TODAY – what we will do when faced with those choices. Y’ALL!!! It is NOT going to be easy! What we are currently living through is nothing compared to what it could become.

Are YOU ready to make the hard choices, if you have to? Do you know what you would do, if you had to choose between taking a vaccine and being able to shop for groceries or not take it and not be able to buy food for your family? These are the type of choices I am talking about.

I sincerely hope you are ready for what may be coming, but more than that, I pray you are ready for what is DEFINITELY coming one day (and I feel it is coming very soon) and that is the return of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! If you aren’t and would like to talk to someone about it, PLEASE feel free to message me – I certainly don’t have all the answers, but we can certainly search them out, together, in His Word!

Interesting note here before I end this – I don’t know how many of you reading this know my butterfly story from last year, but as I was typing today’s entry, my eyes glanced over at the calendar I keep on my desk. It’s a calendar I got from Thirty-One years ago and each month has one of the company’s core values listed on it. Two things I noticed about the one for July – it has butterflies on it (every month’s value has something different) and the core value for July was curious. I find those two things very interesting because last July (2019) is when my butterfly story happened and the core value curious is to remind me to seek new opportunities and new ways to expand my mind. What better way to expand my mind and seek those opportunities than by going deeper and deeper into His Word to find all He has for me there?

Are you on this journey with me? Would you like to be? If you’re not already on this journey, I truly hope you will message me so we can talk. I have so much more to share than I can fit here.

07-28-20 - ADRIANEDay 28 of my birthMONTH celebration. It’s hard to believe I’ve known this lady for ten years already (or is it 9? I don’t really remember) and, then again, it seems I’ve known her my entire life. She came into my life at just the right time – isn’t it amazing how God does things like that for us? I actually met her through my daughter, who met her first. You see, when my daughter moved to Auburn to complete her college degree, my Father knew she was going to need a very special person to look out for her and keep an eye on her. So, He sent Adriane to be a ‘second Mom’ to my baby girl and I’m sure He did it just for me 😉

Adriane made a huge difference in my life all those years ago and she has come to be such a dear, sweet friend that I don’t know what I’d do without her. How did she make such a huge difference in my life? Let me just share a little bit with you….

My baby girl had moved three hours away from me and, it didn’t matter that she was in her twenties – she was (and is) still my baby girl and I wanted to be sure she was taken care of properly! LOL Not long after Jessica moved to Auburn, the Lord introduced her to Adriane. Adriane invited Jessica to visit their church, so she did and she and Adriane became good friends.

This made my Mama heart so happy because Adriane has two children of her own (including a daughter named Jessica) and I knew she would watch out for my baby girl for me. Adriane became like a second Mom to my Jessica and they attended the same church for quite a while.

Adriane made a huge difference in my life because I knew she was watching out for my baby girl and that means a lot to a Mama! As the years went by, however, Adriane made a difference in my life in other ways, too. She is a great friend who is always willing to listen, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve talked. She is sincere and she loves our Father the same way I do! Adriane has helped me grow in my own faith in many different ways. She also made a huge difference in my life because of the difference she made in my baby girl’s life! The way she watched out for her and was always there for her when I couldn’t be – I will never, ever forget that!

Time marches on, things change, we all get busy with our own lives and we don’t always have time to spend with the friends we love. I am really glad we made it a point to have a “girls day” a couple of years ago, when my Jessica was expecting her baby girl. That was a fun day!

Now, we may go for weeks or months without really seeing or talking to each other (except through Facebook), but I know, if I need Adriane for anything, all I have to do is call, text or message her and she’s there!

There is so much more I could share – LOTS more – but, I’m trying to keep these to just one page, so I guess I’ll have to save those stories for another day and time! Adriane has given me something that can’t be bought in a store anywhere – she has loved (and still loves) my baby girl as her own and that, my friends, is something you don’t find every day. It is a treasure that will be stored in my heart forever! Oh! Did I mention she is also one that God used to ‘nudge’ me to let Him give me the devotions for the year 2019? Yeah – she did that! Also, just look at her beautiful family…..


07-17-20 - CAROLDay 17 of my birthMONTH celebration. Most of Day 17 is being spent in the car, leaving Myrtle Beach, South Carolina heading back toward home – well, Alabama, anyway. We’re going to stay near Birmingham tonight and tomorrow night because Frank has a funeral to officiate tomorrow afternoon. So, I have plenty of time to get today’s post written – now that I’ve finished my nap 😊 (Riding in the car just makes me sooooo sleepy – anyone else?)

This lady was one of the first ones that came to my mind when I was thinking about who has impacted my life. I have known her for around eleven years now, I guess. WOW! I sure didn’t realize it had been that long. In a way, it seems I’ve known her all my life, but then again, it seems like I just met her not long ago. There have been a lot of changes in eleven years!

This lady is a great hostess and, in fact, that is actually how we met. Best I can remember (and we all know about THAT – LOL), she was the ‘hostess’ at the Connections Center when I first attended Grace Fellowship church. Carol Hochstetler is one of the most warm, welcoming ladies I have ever met in my entire life!

She just has this way of knowing exactly how to talk with others and make them feel welcome and make them feel like she’s been their friend for forever – at least that’s how she made me feel, anyway.

When I met Carol, it was at the very beginning of my long journey out of believing the lies the enemy had been telling me for years – the lies of shyness and not being wanted anywhere by anyone. How like the Father to put me right where He knew I needed to be to get a good start on this journey. Carol was just the one to be a huge help in continuing on my journey.

Carol has the knack of making people feel loved, wanted and cared for just by engaging them in conversation. She knows how to make others feel involved and feel a part of whatever is going on around her. No matter how busy she is, she always takes time to care for others.

Carol has had a few changes in her own life over the last year or so that has taken her down some paths I’m sure she would rather not have traveled. But, in usual Carol style, she has handled it all with grace and a smile on her face. I’m sure she has had her private moments of frustration and asking God her own questions – anyone would – but, to my knowledge, she has not shown that to anyone but Him and, my guess would be, her very closest friend(s).

I don’t get to see Carol as much anymore because I got married and began attending a different church, then we moved two and a half hours away, but I still think of her often and we pray for her and her husband, Jim, every day.

Carol, you will likely never know just how much you impacted my life and helped me through a very difficult time in my life, because I just really can’t find the words to describe it. One thing I do know, though, and that is our Heavenly Father knows exactly all that you’ve done and He has your reward waiting to give you one day. And His reward will be way better than any words I could ever say or anything I could ever give.

MOM AND MEDay 14 of my birthMONTH celebration. Day 14 is my actual birthday and oh, what a day it has been already! But I’m not here to tell you about that. I’m here to share about someone who had an impact on my life, as I have been doing for the past 13 days.

I should have started working on today’s entry long ago because I know it is going to be a hard one to write. Without this woman I would not even be here – my Mom! She chose to carry me for 9 months, give birth to me and love me. She loved her entire family – her husband, as well as her children. She (and Daddy, of course) had four children – girl, boy, girl (that one was me 😉) and boy

Mom and Dad raised us with lots of love and discipline. Neither of them had the greatest of childhoods and they both wanted better for their children – don’t we all? Anyway, I guess as far as I can remember (and we all know how well that works – lol), Mom pretty much always had a job. But here’s the other thing I remember about that – it didn’t matter that she had to get up earlier than she should have had to, she always had a big breakfast prepared for us. She would prepare scrambled eggs, bacon and toast and I believe she did this every morning, Monday through Friday, because she wanted us start the day with a good breakfast. We won’t even talk about the weekend breakfast spreads! Mom was definitely a good caretaker of her family.

Mom never blinked an eye about disciplining us either, though. If we were doing something we weren’t supposed to be doing, she would not hesitate to spank us. She didn’t say, “Wait til your father gets home” She didn’t beat us or mistreat us, but she definitely did what she had to do to keep us in line. Then, when Daddy would get home, she would tell him and he would get us again. Even after we started school, if we got in trouble at school, we weren’t off the hook – we would get it again from Mama or Daddy (or both) at home.

Mom and Dad both taught us a good work ethic, but I guess I was always more impressed with Mom’s efforts to go the extra mile by getting up early so she could prepare a good, hearty breakfast for her crew before they had to head off into their day.

Mom always put others before herself. That’s just the way she was. She loved making other people happy and/or putting a smile on their face. She didn’t much like it when others did things for her – I think it made her uncomfortable to be on the receiving end. She loved to cook and/or bake things for others, too. It really made her happy when someone enjoyed something she made. Many people were on the receiving end of her amazing Cream Cheese pound cakes, scrumptious suppers or Sunday afternoon lunches.

We never see ourselves as others see us (or as Christ sees us, but that’s another post – lol) and Mom was no different. According to her, she didn’t really have many friends. One thing I am most happy about is how God showed her how wrong she was about that. When Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and got to where she didn’t feel like going much, she was amazed at the number of people who would come by her house to visit! I am so thankful that God allowed Mom to see for herself just a small sampling of how many lives she had touched with love over the years!

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” and He definitely granted my Mom the desire of her heart. She always said she prayed that God would take her home quickly – in her sleep or something – because she didn’t want to be a burden on anyone. Now, Mom would have never been a burden to any of us, but God pretty much let her go home in exactly the way she wanted. She went to bed on a Saturday night and never really woke up again. She moved to Heaven the following Sunday evening. That was a little over two years ago now, yet it seems like it was just yesterday and some days it seems like I forget and think she is still there at her house, waiting for me to call her. But then reality hits and I realize I can’t call her anymore. It’s true my Mom’s body died, but my Mom’s soul did not die. The minute she took her last breath here, she took her first breath in Heaven.

I know everyone isn’t as blessed as we were – we had a Mom that truly loved and cared for us. I know how blessed I was to have the Mom I had and to have had her for as many years as I did. I will be forever thankful for all the things she taught me and for the way she loved and cared about me and so many others. To be honest, as much as I love my Mom, I find myself these days being so very thankful she isn’t here to see all that is beginning to happen in this crazy world around us. I know I will see her again, one day, and that gives me great comfort.

Do y’all know what I would really love to have for my birthday? If my Mom touched your life in any way or you have a special story involving her or a special memory of her, I would love for you to share it here in a comment. What a wonderful birthday present that would be for me!


07-07-20 - SHERI ROSE SHEPHERDFor the 7th day of my birthday celebration, I am going to share about a very special lady. Oh, how I wish I could remember the exact year I came to know about her, but I don’t and that’s okay. This lady is not someone I know as a “close friend” but I can not even begin to tell you the impact she has had on my life. I believe I first heard her speak at an Extraordinary Women’s (E-Women’s) conference I attended in Pensacola, but it could, possibly, have been before then. All I can tell you is from the first time I heard her speak, I knew there was at least one other person out there who understood me!

This lady taught me about identity theft and helped me realize how I had been a victim of it in my younger years. God has used her, through her teachings, to help me overcome so many things in my past! I love this lady as if I knew her, personally, my entire life!

Now, I understand it can be easy to listen to someone’s teachings and not really know if that person lives what they are ‘preaching’ or teaching. Let me tell you – I have seen this lady’s heart, up close and in person! For a couple of years, the Lord had me volunteering at several different E-Women’s conferences in Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. In 2010, I was blessed to work this lady’s product table at the conference in Birmingham, Alabama. That is when God allowed me to see this woman for who she truly is. He allowed me to see how she talked to and treated the ones who came to her table to see her and get her to autograph a book. But more than that, He allowed me to see this woman’s heart and to see that her only objective was to help every single woman she could come to know Jesus and to know they weren’t alone! I saw this woman give away countless books to women who could not afford to pay for them because she just wanted them to have every weapon they could at their disposal to help fight off the enemy!


I know there may be several Christian speakers and artists who don’t ‘walk their talk’, but I can assure you this lady does! For years now, she has been battling breast cancer and has been on my prayer list since even before then. When it seemed she wouldn’t be able to go on any longer, God sustained her through it all.

If you have never heard of Sheri Rose Shepherd or heard her speak or read any of her wonderful books, you have certainly been missing out my friend! I encourage you to check out her Facebook page, as well as her website.

I sure hope I have the opportunity to hug her neck at least one more time on this earth, but even if I don’t get to do that, I know I will see her again one day and oh, the talks we will enjoy then! I am very blessed to know this lady (though I’m sure she doesn’t remember me) and to have actually been able to spend the time I did with her. She is one of God’s blessings to many, many people and I am honored to be one of them. Maybe y’all could add her to your prayer list, too. I know she would appreciate it.

HE IS RISENSince Friday, Father has allowed me to feel a burden I have never, ever felt before. It was a heavy, hopeless sadness, as if nothing mattered anymore. I truly believe, with all my heart, He was allowing me to feel only a slight fraction of what the disciples and other believers must have felt on the day Jesus was crucified. I have never felt such despair before, such aloneness.

Even though I knew, because of living here 2,000 years later, what would happen on Sunday morning, I still found myself experiencing sadness on a level I have never felt it before. As if all hope was gone! Just an underlying “heavy” heaviness, even though I went about my day as normal, completing the chores that needed to be done and conversing with my husband and even my daughter and granddaughter, by way of a video call. Even partaking of communion, the Lord’s Supper, with my husband before we went to bed, I still felt that heaviness, that sadness that wouldn’t go away…..


THEN CAME THE MORNING!!!!! My soul feels FREER than it ever has!!!! That heaviness lifted and was gone the instant I woke up and realized JESUS IS ALIVE!!!!! HE IS RISEN!!!! HE IS RISEN INDEED!!!!! OH HALLELUJAH, PRAISE THE LORD!!!! DEATH HAS BEEN DEFEATED!!!! THE GRAVE NO LONGER HAS VICTORY!!!!!! DEATH HAS LOST ITS STING!!!!! JESUS IS THE KING OF KINGS!!!! THE LORD OF LORDS!!!!! He did not leave me or abandon me or turn His back on me….HE SUFFERED IT ALL FOR ME!!!! NOW I CAN LIVE WITH HIM ETERNALLY!!!!! Because of what HE DID, I NEVER HAVE TO DIE!!! This ol’ body may die one day, if He delays His return, but I will NEVER DIE!!!! My last breath here will be my first breath in glorious HEAVEN with HIM and I will live FOREVER!!!!

Father, Son and Holy Spirit – How do I ever begin to even TRY to praise you enough???? If I praised all day every day from now until eternity, it would not be enough!!!!

Do you know this man, Jesus, I speak about? Have you accepted Him as your personal Savior? Did you know He can set you FREE from ALL that binds you? He is the WAYMAKER, MIRACLE WORKER, PROMISE KEEPER, LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS – MY GOD, THAT IS WHO HE IS!!!! Did you know that everything He has done for me, He will do for you, too??? He loves you so much, He suffered DEATH so you would never have to!!! The grave could not hold Him, death could not keep Him – HE LIVES!!!!!!

If you have never met Him but would like to, all you have to do is call out to Him! He’s waiting for you. If you want to talk to me about Him, I’m here and I’m ready – anytime! I would LOVE to introduce you to Him! Feel free to call, text, private message or even leave a comment, if you want to talk or have questions. I may not know the answers, but will surely do my best to help you find them.

DEUTERONOMY 31 V 6All across this nation people are waking up to a very different kind of Sunday; well, different for a lot of them anyway. A lot of people usually wake up on Sunday morning and begin their ‘routine’ of getting ready to attend their place of worship. This always looks different in every household and, even today, will probably be different in every household – except for one thing. One thing is true of every person preparing to worship today. Every person is most likely thinking something along the lines of, “I’ve never done worship like this before.”

It IS different. Some people will be watching their computers, some their phones, some their televisions and some may even be going to ‘drive-in’ church today – all to help do our part in “flattening the curve” of a disease that seems to be running rampant across the world and closer to home than we care for at this present time.

I would venture to say that most of us never imagined a day in our lifetime where we were not allowed to gather in our respective buildings to give praise and worship to our Father because of a disease. The way our nation has been lately, however, some of us MAY have imagined it becoming against the law for very different reasons in our lifetime!

This reason – this disease – will run its course and, soon, we’ll be back to meeting in our respective ‘buildings’. There’s one thing I hope we won’t forget, though. I hope we don’t forget how bad we feel about not being able to physically gather together in worship. I hope we don’t forget this ‘lost’ feeling or this feeling of being isolated and alone. Yes, WE are the church and yes, we CAN worship together virtually or by way of drive-in or some other means – but it still isn’t the same as being able to ‘assemble ourselves together’ and greet one another with a hug or a handshake. I hope this time we’re in will help us WAKE UP and stop taking for granted something that should be very special to us – our time to worship together as a body of believers.  Obviously, Father knows it is important for us to do so or He wouldn’t have told us in His Word: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25) So, while we may not be able to come together as we normally do, I hope you will still join in worship today in whatever way you can.

Maybe this time of temporarily not being able to come together will give us an appreciation we seem to have lost somewhere along the line. Maybe this time of temporarily not being able to come together will give us a greater appreciation of each other and how we learn from one another and lift one another up in different seasons of life. Maybe this time of temporarily not being able to come together will make us realize that one day, if we aren’t careful, we might be barred from meeting together for totally different reasons. Maybe this time of temporarily not being able to come together will cause us to WAKE UP and maybe, just maybe, REVIVAL will break forth from it and spread even faster than this disease that is trying to shut us down for now!

I hope you won’t ‘dismiss’ your worship time today just because it may be different than normal. Embrace it for now, join with your congregation in a different way and just see if He might not show you something different about yourself. He may reveal things to you through this that you wouldn’t be open to hearing in a ‘normal’ worship service. You won’t have the distractions of others, but you WILL have distractions in a whole different way. Anything to try and keep you from having your worship time – don’t let the distractions win. Lean in and listen closer than you’ve ever listened before and ask yourself these questions, “What are You telling ME through this message today, Father?” “What do You want ME to learn from this message today?”

May we all grow from this experience and may it make us even stronger for when we can get back to gathering in our ‘normal’ way. Love y’all!

FIRE UP THE FAITHFather, we are certainly living in “uncertain” times right now, as far as this world is concerned – not knowing what might be closed the next day or the next minute – yet, as a Christian, I can’t help but also feel a little bit of excitement growing! Because life with You is never truly uncertain! We may not know exactly what You have in store for us next; but, we DO KNOW these things:

1 – YOU are still on the Throne
2 – YOU are still in control
3 – YOU are not surprised by ANYTHING!
4 – YOU have the Master Plan
6 – YOU have equipped Your army – Your children – US for battle such as this
7 – YOU have given us FAITH, not fear!
8 – YOU go BEFORE us in EVERY battle
10 – YOU have the VICTORY already!

Help us remember all these things, Father, and not get caught up in the frenzy of fear and hysteria! That’s what the enemy wants. It must be his favorite tactic – fear – but he knows his time is short and that’s why he is trying to ‘pull out all the stops’ – but no matter what he tries or what he does, he KNOWS he is already DEFEATED and he simply wants to take as many as he can with him! Help not only us, Christians, to be strong and steadfast; but, I’m asking You, in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, to use this to truly open the eyes – REMOVE the scales from the eyes of the lost, so they can TRULY see! Use this fear the enemy is trying to destroy with and turn it around to cause MORE to come running to YOU! Let the lost see Christians remaining peaceful and CALM through this and may it make them want that SAME thing, which only comes from accepting YOUR SON, Jesus Christ, as their personal Savior! YES, LORD! Let it be so! Yes, we need to be cautious and we need to keep doing the same things we’ve always done for personal hygiene – washing our hands, covering our coughs and sneezes – but we do NOT have to be caught up in the frenzy of fear. Instead, let us FIRE UP OUR FAITH so others can see the flames and be drawn to YOU! ALL HONOR, PRAISE AND GLORY TO YOU, FATHER! Thank You that we don’t have to be afraid! Thank You that all we have to do is continue to call on and trust in You to lead, guide and direct us every step of the way!

WHY GO TO CHURCHI asked this question on Facebook yesterday – “Why do you go to church on Sunday?” Now, I would like to share WHY I asked that question.

I was listening to a message and the pastor said, “I didn’t come to church for a normal service; I didn’t come to church to play church. I can’t have a ceremonial faith. I need a personal, powerful touch of God!” When he said that, I began to wonder why others go to church, so I asked the question to see what kind of responses would be given. Most were what you would expect – people giving the answer they think they should give. Not that they weren’t sincere, but, I wonder… did they really ask themselves the question and take time to get honest with themselves? Or did they just give their ‘pat’ answer? Because here is the way I would have to answer that question…

I remember a time when I got up on Sunday mornings and got ready for church because, well, it’s Sunday and that means we go to church. Not because my family went, but my older sister did. She was the pianist at church and, as a teenager, I went with her. That’s how it started for me. I’m told we did attend church as a family when I was younger, but I don’t remember that. WOW! I never even realized until I started writing this – my sister is the reason I began going to church. If it weren’t for her, I have no idea where I might be today! Praise the Lord for her “transferrable faith”. (You can listen to the message about that by clicking here)

Back to why I go to church, though – for years, that’s why I went, because it was the thing to do on Sundays. Sunday morning, Sunday night and, gasp, even on Wednesday nights! YES! Believe it or not, that was the norm ‘back in the day’ and, also believe it or not, some churches still have those three services. Personally, I think we need those three services – I don’t know about everyone else, but I leak a LOT and need to be refilled more than once a week. I am thankful to be in a church where we do meet on Wednesday nights, so I can get that mid-week refill I so desperately need!

If I am being totally honest, my reason for going to church did ‘evolve’ over the years. I did begin going to church because I love the Lord and because I wanted to worship and fellowship with other believers (I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior when I was a teenager). But, I still found that, even though I went to church on Sunday, for the most part I left the same way I went. Nothing was really different. My way of thinking didn’t really change and my lifestyle didn’t really change. I was pretty much that ‘good, Christian girl (woman) who went to work (or school, when I was younger) and went to church’ week in and week out.

Then, He began doing a work in me in July of 2006 and even more so around the year 2009. Hard to believe that’s been fourteen and eleven years ago! During those years, I’ve had some really great moments and some not so great moments. I believe He ‘bumped up’ His work in me beginning in 2012 and things REALLY began to change when He revealed some things to me in July of last year (2019).

So, today, I can answer my own question – “Why do you go to church?” (on Sunday or any other day, for that matter) – in a totally different way! In fact, this is what I found myself writing/praying in my prayer journal this morning:

Thank You for today being the day I GET TO go to Your house and join my sisters and brothers in praise and worship of You! Light a fire at Eastside Baptist this morning, Father! WAKE US UP!!! Draw us to the altar!!! Give every person in attendance EXACTLY what they need and let Your Presence SO FILL the sanctuary that it spills outside the doors and walls and draws people in who are outside! May they feel SO compelled by the Holy Spirit to come in that they can’t stay away – they can’t just drive by – they must STOP and go inside! Let Your Spirit fall SO HEAVY, Father, that it can be SEEN as a fog inside – but ALL will know it is YOU! Oh, how I LONG to be in a service like that – a service of TRUE, PURE, UNADULTERATED, ABANDONED WORSHIP OF YOU, FATHER! May it – let it begin WITH ME! If it has to start somewhere – let it start with me! Teach me, show me how to worship You with TOTAL ABANDON! Just like the old song says – I WANNA LIVE WITH ABANDON! GIVE YOU ALL THAT I HAVE!!!

I agree with Pastor Jentezen Franklin – I don’t want to go to church for a normal service; I don’t want to play church anymore; I don’t want a ceremonial faith – I want, no, I NEED a PERSONAL, POWERFUL TOUCH OF GOD!!!! And now, today, I can honestly say THAT is why I go to church. And, if Father wants to start the FIRE with me, I’m okay with that now! I sure wasn’t ready for it before, but I am now. Are you?

URGENTSome mornings my alone time with Father can feel a bit ‘forced’ to me. Not meaning I feel ‘forced’ to have it – just meaning I sometimes don’t know what to say after “Good morning Father! Thank You for waking me this morning.” I’m not sure why that surprises me because it’s hard for me to keep a conversation going with anyone. I’ve just never been good at ‘small talk’. No, I don’t consider my time with Father to be about ‘small’ talk, but at the same time, He’s okay with it if that is what we have.

Then there are mornings like this morning. Our time together gets off to a bit of a slow start, I find myself trying to think of things I need to thank Him for and He is so precious to remind me of some things I had almost forgotten. Then, I’m getting ready to leave and I ‘innocently’ thank Him for something else that came to mind and He begins to fill me! Sometimes He fills me with His sweet Presence to overflowing and I just get so HAPPY and FULL OF PRAISE I can’t contain it! But, this morning was different.

This morning, He began to fill me with a feeling of URGENCY!!! A feeling of urgency like I’ve never felt before! The only way I know to explain it to you is to just share what I found myself writing (praying – yes, I write my prayers) as He was filling me with this sense of urgency. Actually, this filling (yes, filling – not feeling) can’t be explained – but I will share what I found myself writing:

Thank You for this day to go to Your house and worship You with other believers. Father, may we EACH and EVERY ONE begin to realize how important URGENT it is that we STOP PLAYING CHURCH! Each of us – ME, I – need to realize just how URGENT it is that we are staying in a constant, CONSISTENT, state of WORSHIP! We MUST start GENUINELY crying out for the lost souls to come to You! We need to take You to THEM!!! Does my life do that? Do I let You shine through me to others or am I too busy doing what I want to do or feel like doing? Oh Father, BREAK MY HEART for the LOST! For the ones who so desperately need You! Show me how – lead me – and help me to know when You are doing it!

Even as I typed those words, He began to fill me with that sense of urgency again! If you have read this far, then you were meant to read it for some reason. Either He wants you to begin to realize the urgency or maybe, just maybe, you are one of the ones that need to surrender to Him today, this minute! Whichever it might be, if you would like to discuss it, I’m here. Well, I’ll be at church later (from 10:00 a.m. CST until around 12:30), but outside of that, I’m here 😉

P.S. This verse (II Peter 3:9) keeps being put in front of me the last few weeks. My husband even showed it to me yesterday and said, “I keep seeing this verse today in all different places”. The Lord isn’t slow about keeping his promises, as some people think he is. In fact, God is patient, because he wants everyone to turn from sin and no one to be lost.” ~II Peter 3:9

The sad fact is there are some who will absolutely harden their hearts and never come to Him. He is being patient; He doesn’t want anyone to be lost, but He will not – He cannot – wait much longer. Please don’t wait one more second if you haven’t come to Him yet – surrender to Him TODAY!!!

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